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What Is Tough Love In A Relationship? (7 Answers)

by Sonya Schwartz

The concept of tough love is best understood when one partner goes hard and harsh on the other person, regardless of how they might feel—which is solely driven by love and care. It is imperative to note that the action would not be complete if the motive behind it is not “love”. 

No one goes as far as to show a loved one self-control, teach values and morals, or lead by example without love being the sole motivation. However, someone could be harsh or strict on their partner out of impunity. This is not tough love. 

If your man promised to quit smoking and now he is asking for another stick of cigarette (and you say no to him, regardless of how he would feel), this is tough love. Another instance is if he’s trying to lose weight but still binges on fast food, insisting he changes his life-choices would be tough love. 

This action of strictness is born out of pure love and concern for relationships and loved ones a person would want to see flourish. There are many more reasons and benefits of this life-facilitating behavior, and I will discuss seven of its benefits in relationships. 

7 Benefits Of Tough Love

1. A sense of self-worth and respect

Respect for one another, as well as understanding the concept of self-worth in a romantic relationship cannot be overemphasized. In romantic relationships, it is usually not out of place for partners to communicate with each other’s preferences. 

This communication, even though it might not be easy, is necessary for the healthiness of relationships. ’Tough love goes far beyond going extra miles to get the best out of someone, to re-establishing dignity, respect, and self-confidence in the life of that person. 

If your significant other is in the habit of eating late at night, coming back home heavily drunk, or not cleaning up after himself, it takes tough love to deal with these kinds of issues. More so, doing this is a way of letting your significant other know how much they mean to you. 

2. It gives an opportunity for self-improvement

it gives an opportunity for self improvement

Other than enhancing or propagating self-confidence and respect, tough love has a way of creating an atmosphere for individual self-improvement. When both partners are able to communicate effectively their likes and dislikes, there is a good chance that they will equally work on themselves. 

It is usually in the best interest of the relationship that you and your significant other accept corrections without grievances, strive for excellence, and support each other. In fact, the entire essence of a romantic relationship is not only cantered on intimacy but helping each other attain growth and self-improvement. 

3. There is a bonding atmosphere

Exercising tough love in a relationship has benefits that cannot be overemphasized. Making efforts to discipline your partner, or at least strictly pointing out their faults to them goes to show how much love, care, and concern you have for him. 

When a man realizes that he is dealing with not just any woman, but a lady who goes all out to make sure that he isn’t slacking in any area; he pays more attention to you than anyone else. 

4. You stand to learn a lot about each other

When a person loves someone, they can’t truly bear seeing them make poor life decisions. So, rather than put up with bad behavior, they use strong words that may sting, but help improve on bad habits. Apart from that, you learn a lot more about the other party. Things like what he likes, how he likes to be spoken to, the best time to have such conversations with him, etc. 

Do not forget, the essence of tough love is centered on knowing when to say no to your partner when required. For instance, if someone starts smoking again after promising to quit, it’s normal for loved ones to use tough love to reassert their decisions. 

Speaking up against these actions will require good communication skills to calmly, yet authoritatively pass the message in strong yet respectful words.

5. It puts your love to a test

In any romantic relationship there comes a time when love is put to a test. This usually happens when you come to the reality of your partner’s weaknesses and strengths, and you have to re-evaluate your love and affection for them. 

When you realize that your man is battling with smoking, procrastination, wild spending, or excessive alcohol, you just have to love him enough to stick around and help out. Furthermore, your love for your imperfect partner only increases as you keep working on his flaws. With tough love, the true strength of love is tested. 

6. It establishes trust and confidence

it establishes trust and confidence

There is usually a sense of trust and confidence that follows when your partner corrects your mistakes. It is necessary to be tough on your man when he is going astray, or derailing from a vital life-altering choice. It will go to show him how much you care about him, especially if it concerns his health and livelihood. 

When a man realizes that his woman truly cares and loves him, the trust and confidence he has automatically increased. 

7. Improves understanding

There is no doubt that setting standards in your relationship and working hard to see each other improve can enhance understanding of the relationship. 

Showing each other tough love is a way of being empathetic and open-minded with each other. There is always that feeling of resentment that comes with being reprimanded by a loved one. However, in the long run, you get to realize that he meant well for you. 

FAQs

Is tough love a good thing? 

There is nothing wrong with being a bit tough on the person you love with the intention of helping them become a better version of themselves. However, the time, manner, and occasion should be considered. It would be a wrong move If you go too hard on your partner, especially if it was the first time

What makes love stronger in a relationship?

There are several little, but essential actions that can culminate in a strong and vibrant love relationship. For instance, sending each other sweet text messages every morning and night, making love frequently, making eye contact, talking about each other’s goals and aspirations, going out for dinner dates, and walking together. 

What is the hardest thing in a relationship?

There are relatively tough issues that can easily qualify as challenging moments in any relationship. These may include, catching your partner in bed with another woman, dealing with your partner’s ex, dealing with family issues, bad sex in a relationship, getting raped by your partner, etc. 

How do you respond to tough love?

One of the most effective ways of responding to tough love is listening to understand. It is more than likely that you cannot hear if all you do is think about responding or defending your position. Also, be open-minded about the issue in question. Look at it from the other person's perspective, think carefully before responding, and accept your mistakes.

You may also be interested in: 3 Easy Ways to Find Out If He's Cheating On You

Is tough love toxic? 

Constant or excessive use of anything is never good. In this case, excessive use of tough love can create guilt, shame, a drop of self-confidence, and an inferiority complex. For a relationship to be stable, the mental health of both parties needs to be on point. The excessive use of tough love will only negatively affect the mental wellness of the other party. 

To Conclude

This article has effectively discussed the benefits of tough love in a relationship. Tough love is by all means an effective way of enhancing respect and discipline, understanding, and establishing trust and confidence. 

However, just as the excessive use of anything might lead to abuse, the uncontrolled use of tough love in your relationship can negatively affect the mental wellness of the receiving party. It is advisable that moderation be applied when checking or correcting your significant other.

If this article has been helpful, please feel free to leave a comment below and share it with family and friends. 

You may also be interested in: 3 Easy Ways to Find Out If He's Cheating On You

Sonya Schwartz
A hopeless romantic that struggled for many years to find her Mr "Right" and made all the mistakes you could think of while dating. Known for always choosing the wrong guys or messing up relationships, Sonya was finally able to change her approach and mindset when it came to dating which helped her eventually find the man of her dreams and become happily married. You can read more about me here...

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