One Bad Apple: Don’t Let One Bad Experience Spoil the Bunch

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You’ve heard the expression that “one bad apple spoils the bunch.” This can be applied to relationships as well. You can go along in your lives doing well and then one bad experience, (a fight, an outside circumstance, or a crisis) happens and you may begin to question if this one incident means that the relationship is over and it’s the end of everything the two of you have built together. It can feel pretty devastating to think that one bad experience might be the end of it all. 

It doesn’t have to be. Plenty of couples go through some pretty intense times when they ask these same questions and decide not to let that that “one bad apple” spoil things for them. Not to minimize the trauma and hurt that can go along with the event, but you DO have a choice whether or not to let that event dictate the course of your relationship. 

Couples that are emotionally close and can talk about anything and everything have a better chance of weathering all the storms that life can bring, but even these couples can find themselves on shaky ground. If your bond of connection is fragile to begin with, your relationship can be rocked to the core by a traumatic event or relationship injury. 

We have a roadmap back from the brink of disaster to a place where you and your partner can feel whole and together again. With time and guidance you can bring yourselves to a place where you feel close and loving again and can move forward. 

It takes a great deal of commitment to do this and both of you have to want it more than anything else. It doesn’t come easy and it doesn’t have a timeline. You’ll both need to agree to take the time it takes to get there and to care for and safeguard each other’s feelings throughout the process.  One partner’s experience may be vastly different and you must be able to have empathy for your partner and share in their experience as well as your own so each person can understand what their partner is going through. 

The truth of the matter is that there is no going back. You can only move forward. A traumatic issue, fight or problem can change your feelings about your partner. You may still love them deeply but you may not like them in that moment. You may have lost respect for them, or feel they must not love you anymore because of something that was said or an action that made you doubt the sincerity of their feelings for you. 

The good news is that this doesn’t have to be permanent. You can get through this tough time and find your way forward (not back) to a loving and happy partnership. It’s really a matter of how much you both want to be together through this rough patch and to come out the other side happier and closer than you were before. If you look back through your history together, you may be able to see that the good times outweigh the tough times, and that the two of you going through a stressful period in life can actually strengthen your relationship in the long-term. Knowing you can support and love each other through the stormy seas of life will give you a sense of accomplishment and eventually you will see these hard times as simply a bump in the road you’re taking together.

2019-10-04T16:31:01+00:00

About the Author:

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Stuart Fensterheim, LCSW helps couples to overcome the disconnection in their relationships. As an author, blogger and podcaster, Stuart has helped couples around the world to experience a unique relationship in which they can feel special and important, confident in knowing they are loved deeply and that their presence matters. The Couples Expert Podcast consists of weekly provocative conversations offering the perspectives and insight of experts from a variety of relationship related fields. Stuart also offers daily relationship video tips on The Couples Expert YouTube channel and by subscription in Stuart's Daily Notes. Stuart is happily married and a devoted father of 2 daughters. His office practice serves the greater Phoenix, Arizona area including the cities of Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, and Mesa.