Relationships: How to avoid conflict and have a happy romance

By: Tasia Rivero

Author: Canadian Living


Relationships: How to avoid conflict and have a happy romance

By: Tasia Rivero
When you first meet someone you're compatible with, it's easy for the relationship to blossom. But sometime after the transition from seeing one another to monogamous dating, a number of pitfalls could take knock rose-coloured glasses right from your nose. Issues like money management, housework and dishonesty can all-too-often bring stress and tension into many relationships, changing the initial feelings of love.

For a unique perspective on couples' arguements, take a look at Guy's funny but telling guide to relationship sucess. His account can help you navigate around common causes of conflict and can help you achieve happiness in your romantic relationships. You'll also find expert advice on couples' money management, forgiveness and trust issues, and learn how your parents' relationship has affected your own loving style.

Photo gallery: The guy's guide to (almost) perfect relationships

There may not be a magic formula for a perfect relationship, but our writer does have a few suggestions – get a dishwasher, for starters.

You need help with your relationship? Allow me to help. My qualifications? Well, frankly, I have none. No MAs or PhDs; no time spent in the psychoanalytical trenches, dodging emotional flak. All I offer is a reservoir of experience. I'm a veteran of a 22-year relationship, a man who has managed to navigate the choppy waters of separation (a two-year "hiatus" early in the game), parenthood (four years and counting) and, perhaps most critically, several successive seasons of lousy network television, during which time my girlfriend and I were forced into conversation much more frequently than usual.

Could money issues ruin your relationship?

David Bach, author of Smart Couples Finish Rich, tells you how to avoid money woes and become a rich couple.

Myth: If we don't talk about money, everything will work out okay.
Fact: If the two of you don't start talking about money, you'll more than likely die broke.

I'm a very positive person, but when it comes to North Americans and wealth management, the facts are frightening. The rich are getting richer and the poor are going nowhere fast. Statistics Canada reported in a survey in 1999 that there were more than 310,000 families in Canada with a net worth of more than $1 million. Sounds like a lot of rich folks, right? Not when you consider that there are more than 12 million families in Canada. Do the math. Only about 2.5 per cent of us belong to millionaire families.

Deal breakers: Should you forgive your partner for doing these 5 things?

Your partner has upset you. Should you forget about it?

Turn on any daytime talk show and you'll likely find a story involving the deceit of another partner. Television embellishes for the sake of ratings, but in real life every relationship comes with its ups and downs. Finding a way to forgive is a necessary part of the healing process and it doesn't mean you have to condone or agree with the behaviour, says Toronto psychotherapist Dorothy Ratusny.

How has your parents' relationship affected you?

Has your parents' behaviour as a couple affected how you view relationships? Answer these questions to find out.

When answering the questions below, do so from the perspective of your impression of what happened in your parents' relationship. It's your impression that counts. It doesn't matter whether your brother or sister would agree with you, or if you're not sure that's what your mother would say about herself.

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Relationships: How to avoid conflict and have a happy romance