Knowing When You Need to Address an Issue

December 16, 2013 (Updated Jun 29, 2019) by — Intended Audience: , .

Series: Exploring Conflict in Relationships (2013 Interview)
  1. Why Do We Fight About the Little Things?
  2. How Can Couples Prepare for Future Conflicts?
  3. Knowing When You Need to Address an Issue
  4. Can Relationships Be Repaired (and When Is It Too Late)?
  5. Advice for Newlyweds: Don’t Forget Who You Are
Video Knowing When You Need to Address an Issue

Video: 3 Minutes

There is a wide range of how bothered, or not, one can feel about the imperfections of life, oneself, one’s partner, etc. An important skill to develop is how to discern which issues are important to give time and energy to working through.

«Post Continued»

One rule of thumb is that if you are continuing to feel unresolved about something for several months that is probably something to give more attention to.1 If something is persisting, that is usually a sign that some more work is needed (with oneself, and possibly also with one’s relationship). Similarly, if you find yourself going to bed angry repeatedly (or other forms of upset, such as scared, sad, ashamed) that can indicate something needs to be addressed.

Both of these indicators have in common some form of intensity–either a low-grade intensity that persists over time, or a more noticeable higher intensity that appears in shorter bursts. In either case, unresolved intensity is usually a sign that your insides are needing you to address something (with yourself, and potentially also with your partner).

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  1. Note that it doesn’t have to be consecutive months–sometimes issues ebb and flow regarding how much they bother us. But if over time there is an accumulation of feeling bothered, that is important to attend to. 
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