Life is full of challenges.
In relationships, you are going to be met with ones that you don't expect. You will have the choice to either get through them or run away from them.
The couples who get through problems usually have the benefit of staying in lasting relationships. The ones who aren't able to will feel defeated, and maybe feel like they have to start over.
As someone who has faced many problems and been in many relationships, I figured being with the right person would require just as much effort as most other things–if not more. So when I thought I had found that person, I was more than ready to put in the effort.
I knew that it was worth it.
I was prepared for the obstacles that would lie ahead just as much as I was basking in the joys of being in love. I knew this was someone I wanted to be with. So, when I was met with challenges that I had never faced before, I strapped myself in and prepared for what was going to be the bumpiest ride of all.
I didn't know the meaning of giving up on love. I had been pushed aside, beaten down, and hurt before, but I was always blessed with finding the beauty in the breakdown.
I knew that something great was always coming. So, when I started to get a little bit more beaten up than I had been in the past, I held on even tighter. I thought the reward would be even greater.
That was the moment when I realized there was a difference between working through problems and beating a dead horse in a relationship. Sometimes, if you're beating a dead horse, you get a little beaten up in return before you even realize what's happening.
I was used to working on problems, but I was beating up someone who was not ready to work on them. As a result, I felt the brunt of everything. Eventually, I realized that nothing would be resolved and that issues were arising more frequently than they were subsiding.
I thought our problems could be worked on with some simple communication. But when that was too difficult, everything else became hard.
My horse was already dead. He was not going to take the ride with me. I wanted to keep going, but my effort was only met with contempt.
Eventually, the relationship died.
When you are "beating a dead horse," you are trying to find life inside something that is lifeless. When someone is closed off, there is no getting the person to come back. You can beat them, love them, hold them, and communicate with them, but you are just going to be wasting your energy and time.
You're trying to communicate with someone who has already stopped listening.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking someone to try harder if you feel like you're working through problems while the other person isn't. That is unless–of course–the person who is supposed to be working on those problems gave up.
Someone should not make you feel like all the work you're putting in is getting you nowhere. I felt so much pain when I tried to communicate in my relationship, but I ended up exactly where I started.
I talked in circles every day until I realized that nothing was getting through to the other person. This person was making the same mistakes that I repeatedly said upset me. But my mistake was the fact that I was trying even harder.
Relationships should breathe life into you. They should propel you forward and give you all the strength you need to get through any challenges that come your way. Your relationship should be working with you, not against you.
Take it from someone who wasted plenty of time nurturing a relationship that was not getting any better: Leave that dead horse on the ground. You should be nurturing someone who makes you feel alive.