Dating 101,  Married Life

Relationships Require Hard Work, But It Doesn’t Mean You Should Suffer

two people holding hands
Photo: Roman Kraft/Unsplash

I really hate it when people glorify suffering, especially when it comes to romantic relationships. I think this helps normalize toxic situations that a lot of individuals suddenly find themselves in and struggle to escape from.

Unfortunately, though, it remains so common. In threads on unfaithful and abusive partners on social media, for instance, I usually see comments from netizens who preach about the importance of being patient with their partners despite their bad behaviors. They try to justify this by saying that relationships involve hard work.

What they do not seem to realize, however, is that hard work, in the context of a relationship, does not mean a person has to suffer and let their beloved cross certain boundaries to a point that they are already being taken advantage of and disrespected.

So what does hard work look like in healthy relationships?

For me, it’s being able to have uncomfortable but necessary conversations—whether they are about the relationship itself or the individuals involved in it—and maintaining mutual respect throughout the process.

This means both parties should be brave enough to confront the problem at hand instead of running away from it or simply sweeping it under the rug. Besides, just because no confrontation happens between a couple does not mean everything is fine in their relationship. In the same way, confrontation and uncomfortable discussions do not necessarily mean chaos.

I also believe that talking about any given problem allows a couple to take the necessary actions as soon as possible. Therefore, it prevents them from harboring resentment that could snowball into an even bigger issue that can later explode and turn the relationship into something beyond repair.

It can also mean having to make tough decisions together, whether it’s about career, finances, health, etc. Decisions about these important matters can affect couples, so it is important that they carefully tackle things before finalizing their game plan.

In other words, I think of it as growing pains, which are necessary to make sure no one is left behind in the relationship and that the partnership changes for the better as a couple tries their best to become even better individuals who are actually good for each other.

I’d also like to point out that while patience really goes a long way in any relationship, it does not have to mean that a person must tolerate everything their beloved does for the sake of maintaining peace and/or keeping the relationship from falling apart.

Sure, no one is perfect, and no matter how much you love a person, there will simply be moments in which you’ll find them so annoying. Yes, they will disappoint you and test your patience from time to time. But while it’s noble to be so patient with them, especially if they are really doing their best to become a better person and are showing a willingness to change for the better, once you see signs that they are already being abusive toward you, you are free to run.

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