08/26/2014 04:16 pm ET Updated Oct 26, 2014

4 Steps to Talk Out Any Problem in a Relationship

Even the best relationships sometimes have disagreements, but these four steps can help you talk out any problem.

Arguments and disagreements are a natural part of any relationship. What distinguishes bad relationships from good relationships is the couple's ability to work those disagreements out. If you can weather the storm and work out even the most uncomfortable or most frustrating problems, there will be nothing holding you back from a long, loving relationship.

While not all problems are easy to bring up or easy to solve, there is a common set of steps that can guide you to a resolution almost every time. Use these steps to bring up and resolve almost any problem in any relationship.

1. Express what you're feeling. Don't bottle everything up inside--that could lead to resentment or manifest in some other way. Instead, even if it's uncomfortable, you need to bring things up as soon as possible and with full honesty.
2. Listen. A little bit of listening goes a long way. Listen to what your partner has to say, even if you disagree with it or feel that it isn't helpful. Give your partner the chance to express his or her own thoughts.
3. Acknowledge. Address your partner's feelings and show that you understand their side of things. Even if you still disagree with them, find some common ground that you can agree with, such as "I can understand why you would feel that way, but I think you could have reacted in a more positive way."
4. Compromise. Every relationship is built on a give-and-take process. Eventually, you're going to have to find a middle ground if you want to resolve your issue.

These four steps should put you on the right path with just about any kind of issue or problem you face in your relationship. Commit yourselves to finding a solution, and eventually you'll find one

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