Relationships aren’t like in fairy tales, as much as we’d all wish for it to be. People underestimate how much effort they require, particularly when one or both of you commit one of the most frequent relationship errors. However, most relationship blunders can be fixed, which is a good thing. Because, as far as I know, there isn’t a manual for dealing with a spouse who feels misunderstood or one who crosses your limits. A lot of trial and error is involved. Lots of making mistakes and forgiveness. The biggest and most prevalent issue I observed in relationships was certainly the failure to establish limits. They won’t understand if we don’t model for one another how we want to be treated. Setting boundaries in a relationship is crucial to maintaining harmony and showing respect. The Solution: You must inform your partner when they say or do something that bothers you. This is how you establish boundaries in a caring manner. Try expressing something like, “It would be better for me if you did Y instead of X.” Say, “I would prefer you took time to cool off,” as opposed to yelling. Alternatively, you may say something more blunt like, “I don’t want you to ever say ‘I hate you’ to me, even if we’re just playing. Boundary established. You cannot treat your partner as though they are faultless because they are not. On the other hand, you shouldn’t always be critical. In both situations, you and your partner experience resentment, irritation, and fury. The Solution: You must learn the distinction between situations in which you should just let things go and those in which you should speak up. It takes time and is difficult. However, it’s worthwhile. Otherwise, those minor irritations would compound into major regrets.