By Christine Murray, Healthy Relationships Initiative Director

It’s important to do your best to keep hope alive, even in the midst of the most difficult relationship struggles. Take time to develop a positive mindset, such as by reflecting on the following affirmation: “This situation is difficult, but I trust that I/we will get through it and that there’s something positive waiting for me/us on the other side.”

Negativity–both in the relationship and within your own mind–can turn into a destructive cycle, leaving you and the situation feeling more hopeless and making it more difficult to see solutions.

A positive attitude doesn’t mean that you’ll gloss over problems or avoid facing difficult conversations. Instead, a positive attitude can help you accept that you are currently facing hard times, as well as trust that these difficult situations can be overcome.

Try to reframe your current challenges as an opportunity to learn and grow, which ultimately will help you to become a better, stronger person. These challenges also can be opportunities for growth and a deeper connection in your relationship, if and when you can overcome them in a healthy way.

If possible, try to encourage the other person to keep this positive mindset as well. You might even consider starting your difficult conversations by stating an intention to remain positive and focused on understanding each other and building solutions. If the other person chooses not to join you in the positive mindset, that’s their choice to make, and you’ll probably have to work harder to stay positive yourself. However, even in the most challenging times, holding on to a positive outlook can help you to move beyond feelings of hopelessness.

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