To be happy with your partner until the end of your life – who doesn’t want that? But the reality is usually very different. Conflicts, relationship problems and other challenges put our love to the test. But finding a partner is also often a challenge. We therefore sought advice and went along with it Leonie Wilke spoken by myndpaar. Together with her father and couples therapist Ulrich Wilke she developed myndpaar, the relationship app for singles and couples.
Couple therapist answers the 7 most frequently asked relationship questions
vital.de: What is the secret of a good relationship?
Leonie Wilken (mynd couple): The secret of a good relationship is actually no secret. It’s relatively mundane. The basis of a good relationship consists of three components: love, respect and trust. Love means accepting your partner as he is without wanting to change him. Also unconditionally. Respect means respect for being different and appreciating it. Expressing appreciation is one of the most important foundations of a successful partnership. When that succeeds, trust is built. You feel accepted in your being. You don’t have to defend yourself, explain and fight.
When it comes to relationships, which saying is true: opposites attract or like attracts like?
Both sayings apply. However, the basic values in a partnership should be compared as a basis. The more stable the basis of a partnership, the easier it is for opposites to arise and exist. Acceptance, esteem and respect are prerequisites. Ethical foundations should also be similar. Opposites that attract each other can create a tingling feeling, arouse curiosity and create new perspectives and boundary crossings. But a relationship based solely on this will not last forever.
What are the biggest challenges in a relationship?
The biggest challenges in a relationship are changing and breaking routines and habits. This also applies to the development of new roles. This can be, for example, the start of a new job or the birth of a child. Incisive experiences such as job loss, infidelity, illness, burnout or the death of a monthly or friend pose massive challenges for a partnership. The same applies here: the more stable the foundation of a partnership, the better crises can be overcome. However, when couples fight over who sees the world correctly, every little difference poses a big challenge.
Jealousy is a common argument in many relationships: how do you deal with it as a couple?
Jealousy is actually a common problem. Jealousy is “ideally” suited so that familiar feelings such as “I’m not enough”, “I’m not right”, “I’m not enough” are constantly updated. This can go so far that one of the two drives jealousy to such an extreme that it actually comes true in the end in the sense of self-fulfilling prophecies. What is the result? “You see, I’ve always known it.” Jealousy is a passion that eagerly seeks what creates suffering. 1
How do you manage to maintain passion even after a long-term relationship?
In a long relationship, it’s normal for passion to wane temporarily. In order for the slacking to remain temporary, it is also important here to interrupt rituals and cherished habits from time to time and to create uncertainties. It can be small things. It is important that new things can only emerge in uncertainty. Everything else is already certain. For example, a weekend in a nice hotel can be wonderfully interactive.
What is the best way to deal with relationship problems?
In relationship problems, it is important to avoid complaining about your partner. To keep your ears open, it is advisable to start with appreciation and then describe your own feelings and impressions. You should only talk about yourself – without accusation, even if it’s difficult.
In which case does a relationship no longer make sense?
A separation makes the most sense when your own suffering becomes so great that your mental and physical health increases massively. Everything else is observer dependent. What some consider sensible, others consider too early, etc. Since people unconsciously often look for partners with whom suffering and old patterns can be maintained, the painful meaning of the partnership agreement lies precisely in this apparent paradox.
1 Franz Grillparzer, (1791)