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How to Make a Relationship Last

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 5 17

 It seems that relationships in our lives either make us sad or happy. Sometimes it’s romantic relationships, mother son relationships, brother sister relationship, or professional relationships. No matter where we are in life, we all would say that we want to see lasting growth in our relationships.


As much as we would love to see that growth, many of us do not. Every relationship has problems, and we either grow together or grow apart. Throughout our lives, we have opportunities to become closer to the ones we love and even those we don’t. One of these opportunities is thedisagreements that we have. Arguments can be a source of growth if handled with care.

Mother Daughter
Credit: http://www.dreamstime.com/mother-and-daugther-love-rimagefree9874911-resi3944856

The Disagreement

Pattern One: (This argument pattern is most seen in couples)

 This is where the basic relationship problems begin. You and your wife are cleaning the garage together. She starts throwing something away that you’ve told her at least 10 times that you want to keep. Something in you begins to get irritated. It’s that something in us that just begins to gnaw at us or annoy us.  You begin to express yourself and let your opinion known.


The Anger

There is a fine line between expressing how you feel, and letting those feelings turn to anger. At this point in the disagreement, if you say one more thing you know your going to lose it. You’re not thinking as you raise your voice to tell her that you don’t want to throw something away. She should know, you’ve told her you love those things. Most people know this feeling, they don’t like the feeling, but it comes out anyways.

The Interrogation

Questions start to fly. “How would you like it if someone threw your stuff away?” “Do you ever think of others when you make decisions?” “Would you do that if it was so and so’s stuff?” Generally, this kind of interrogation is a justification. You want to be right, and so you ask questions that will build you up and make you look better.


What started to be a disagreement, turned into anger, turned into interrogation, has now become confrontational. The big guns come out now. This is where past incidents come up that we’ve not talked about before. Things like, “You always throw my stuff away!” “You’re always throwing my food away before I’m done!” Generally these accusations are small and petty, but are always designed to make us feel like we are in the right.  

This is where most disagreements end. We become confrontational and walk away. There is no resolution. If things end here, we will see death in our relationships. But if we are wise, we will not stop at the confrontational stage. Let’s look at something that will bring growth to our relationships.

A Better Pattern

Find a Solution

Ideally you can come to this step before it get’s to confrontation. In order for this to happen, all emotion needs to be taken out. If we keep our emotion intact, our voices will begin to rise again. At this point in the conversation, we need to find a solution that will benefit both parties. Something like, “Dear, maybe I could go through all my personal stuff, and you could work over here.” It’s important that this part be done in a loving way.


This is the hardest part. Forgiving someone means humbling ourselves. This part is really hard, because we are the one’s who are usually wronged. To forgive someone does not mean you excuse what they did. In this scenario, it means say, “I’m sorry I yelled at you. Will you forgive me?” It simply means that you don’t hold it against them. It means letting go and letting the grace of God to rule in your heart. Sometimes it means forgiving yourself. But this step also means living.

Happy Couple(100226)
Credit: http://www.dreamstime.com/happy-couple-rimagefree17913525-resi3944856

Moving Forward:

At last, we can now move forward. If we have another argument, which we probably will, we won’t bring up the past again. We have a fresh slate.

Who do you need to forgive? What do you need to let go of so that you don’t have to be in an unhappy relationship? Where do you need to start using the “Better Pattern” in order to start living again? Arguments can be small or large. They can be short or lasting effects. But if you use a better patter…that of forgiveness…you will have life!

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. -2nd Chronicles 7:14

Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. – Matt 6:12 (NIV)



Jul 10, 2012 4:42am
Your article is very helpful - I just wish this article will find the right people. For instance, some people at work followed your method, others will respect them more resulting in a happier work environment.

Besides your helpful tips, I really like your writing style. It pulled me in by putting me in the situation as if I was making the decision or comments.
Jul 11, 2012 2:17pm
Thank you for your comments! I think humility is a big thing with relationships
Jul 10, 2012 5:31am
The stupid thing is that we generally quarrel for minor things and forget the important ones. I remember a touching interview about a woman saying that she had quarreled with her boyfriend the morning of 9/11 and how bad she wished this quarrel had not happened (her boyfriend died in the towers). That's hard and something we should remember before quarreling.
Jul 10, 2012 11:25am
You're right -- it really is that nickle-and-dime stuff that can destroy a good relationship.
A thumb for the article, too.
Jul 11, 2012 2:18pm
Jul 11, 2012 2:18pm
Yeah, wow that would be sad. :( we should always be kind, arguing is never worth it. It generally not even about the argument, it's usually about us wanting to be right.
Jul 10, 2012 10:40am
Congratulations on the feature! I agree with the statement "We either grow together or grow apart." I also try to avoid using the term "You always . . ." It never gets me anywhere but in an argument. Good article, "Thumbs-up."
Jul 10, 2012 3:43pm
Also, if someone is "always" doing something wrong, isn't it our fault not to have mentioned it before? Shouldn't we inform first, then express our concern about it and finally accuse that person of always doing it instead of suddenly using this accusation coming from nowhere?
Jul 10, 2012 7:12pm
That's what a rational person would do, but sometimes in the heat of an argument we (men & women alike) aren't always rational. Sometimes, you just want to viciously cut that other person to the quick. It's wrong. But I've done it, and I think we all have..
Jul 11, 2012 2:21pm
No we aren't rational, when we want out way :(
Jul 11, 2012 2:24pm
Dames -- can't live with 'em, can't stuff 'em in a sack and toss 'em in a river...Whattya gonna do?
Jul 11, 2012 2:20pm
Lol....communication? I think we all new to learn that every day!
Jul 11, 2012 2:19pm
Thanks for the comment! Yeah it's either growth one way or another. :(
Jul 12, 2012 5:20am
I always say that the main thing in relations is trust, understanding and the ability to give way to your partner.
Jul 12, 2012 3:08pm
Yeah, trust is a big one!
Jul 12, 2012 7:58am
Very impressive article!
I believe that while we are moving on with our life like a wheel, in a relationship - we either grow together and wheel along or grow and wheel apart.

Congrats on the feature!
Jul 12, 2012 3:08pm
Thank you! yeah, I was excited about the feature! I wasn't really expecting it! :) I got two this week!
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