It was a vicious cycle and we didn’t know how to get out of it.
It came to a head about nine months into our relationship. We cried in my bed for eight hours, thinking it was over between us. Eventually we came to terms with the fact that we didn’t want the cry-fest to be the last time we ever saw each other. From there, we basically had to build our relationship back up... which wasn’t easy. There are resources on how to date and get into a relationship and there are equally as many resources for married couples. But there aren’t really any resources for couples who are in a relationship.
While I’m well aware that the deal isn’t sealed until you say “I do,” the path toward engagement is a huge deal, too. No one should get engaged and then deal with baggage. When marriage is being proposed, a “Yes!” should be exclaimed with eyes wide open.
Here’s what worked for us:
Pretty much everyone I know has engaged in therapy at some point. And it doesn’t have to be a big commitment: we were able to address what I needed to in three hour-long sessions.
Standing appointments with each other
Now we have a standing appointment on Saturdays at 10:30am on my sofa, where phones are put away, the TV is off, and there are no topics considered off-limits.
We handle conflict differently
These strategies wouldn’t work for everyone but I do feel that if both people are committed to it working, they’ll find the strategies that work for them. Did you ever come back from a near BLOW OFF and live to tell about it?