“When all is said and done, the weather and love are the two elements about which one can never be sure.” –
Alice Hoffman

You meet someone you like and wonder, “Will he call me?” You have a blast on the first date and think, “Will he ask me out again?” Three months pass in a new relationship and you worry, “When will he say he loves me?”

Finally, he becomes the love of your life. At last, you can relax. No more dating. No more wondering if he will call back. No more waiting for him to say,’I love you.’ You have the commitment, the ring, the promise. The days of uncertainty are over…or are they?

You may be in a committed relationship but will it last forever? It’s not uncommon to question if you’ll be able to steady the ship in uncertain times. From concerns if he’ll be faithful while traveling on business trips, to worrying if you’ll be able to maintain your connection with so much time going to the kids and work. Perhaps, your partner is unhappy and asks you to go to relationship counseling. You wonder if it will work. Or on the other end of the spectrum, you have been happily married for 60 years. You don’t know how you’ll survive the loss of your partner if something should happen.

The reality is… uncertainty in relationships never ends.

So what can we do to decrease anxiety and worry, especially in times of stress?

Here are 5 tips to deal with uncertainty during the difficult times:

  1. Turn toward your partner. Often times we turn away from one another when stressed. Create the habit of going to each other during tough times.
  2. Stay engaged with your support system. It’s not uncommon for people to withdraw when problems arise, but this is exactly when you need your support network.
  3. Anticipate and prepare for different outcomes. Go beyond the “what-ifs” and actually answer the question. “What would I do if…” Plan for the possibilities.
  4. Strengthen your coping skills. Become informed! Research the problem and the solutions. Practice stress management or mindfulness to stay in the present, one day at a time. Find a support group if you don’t have one.
  5. Focus on what you can control. We have a tendency to focus on and worry about the things we can’t change. Don’t go there. Explore where you do have influence in the situation.

When you focus on ways to respond, embrace uncertainty, and you will find a new confidence in yourself and others. Uncertainty is a necessary part of life and will help you grow in wisdom and in the knowledge that no matter what happens, you will survive and thrive.

We would love to hear how you and your partner deal with uncertainty in your relationship on our Facebook page.

To your relationship,

Lori and Bob Hollander

Sign up for our monthly eNewsletter, Radical Relationships, to receive more tips and articles from us about relationships.