How to Fix a Broken Relationship

by Gideon Hanekom
May 17, 2019

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How to fix a broken relationship – that’s the topic for today. But first, it’s important to understand that ALL relationships face challenges from time to time. It’s a fact of life. And it’s, therefore, completely unreasonable to expect that any relationship will be all rainbows and unicorns all the time. Just understanding that, is sometimes the quickest way to deal with relationship challenges and move on. But what do you do or where do you start when your relationship feels broken? I have a few suggestions …

Progressive Muscle Relaxation fix a broken relationship

The first thing you need to realise about changing anything is the fact that it will probably require some form of commitment, focus, and consistent action on your part.

There is no change without these things.

Or at least, no lasting change.

I often meet people who want something for nothing.

But that’s not how life works.

If you want to create something worthwhile, it will most likely require that you do something worthwhile.

And the same goes for relationships.

If you want to be in a great relationship, it’s necessary to do what’s typically required to create great relationships like making your relationship priority and dealing with disagreements and struggles that happen along the way.

That’s just part of the process.

No one ever said creating and maintaining a happy, healthy and intimate relationship was easy.

“It is what it is” as the Kiwis say.

And that’s even more true for learning how to fix a broken relationship.

When you find yourself in a rut or shitty situation in your relationship, you will most likely be required to do even more to turn that around.

You cannot simply hope that things would improve.

You cannot expect problems to just disappear.

You cannot keep doing what landed you in the mess in the first place and think that you’d get a different result this time round.

No, knowing how to fix a broken relationship often demands a completely different mindset, focus and commitment from before to turn things around.

That’s often the difficult part for couples to accept.

Because it requires personal growth on some level and doing things they probably haven’t done in a long time.

Plus, when your relationship is hurting, chances are you’re both hurting which means you’d most likely be even less inclined to want to step up (first) to do what’s required to fix a broken relationship.

But that’s the price of admission though.

No easy fixes.

And definitely no “uninvolved” fixes.

So, let’s assume you’re good with all that but you just need to know WHERE to start to fix a broken relationship.

What do you do?

Where do you start?

Below is a list of 8 tips I have found can make a huge difference to feel close to your partner again.

Go through it and start thinking about how you can apply it your situation.

It could give you the necessary impetus to start turning things around.

How to Fix a Broken Relationship – 8 tips to feel close to your partner again:

1. Return to the past.

I really like this tip as there is so much to learn from it when you do it with an open mind.

The trust is there was a time when your relationship was great.

So go back in your mind and remember those times together when things were going well.

Remember your first date.

Remember your favourite trip you took together.

Relive how things used to be.

Really unpack the good times in the past.

Then simply ask yourself a simple question:

What was different that made the difference?

And focus on YOU when you do this – how did you think, what did you do, how did you treat your partner, and so on.

By returning to the past, not only are you bound to return to many of the same feelings from those times, but you’re also likely to recover a completely different approach on your end to your relationship back in the good old days.

And that information is worth its weight in gold.

2. Identify the issue.

Clarity is key for growth or change.

Oftentimes we trip ourselves up because of a lack of clarity.

We know things aren’t good but we don’t know why.

So get clear.

What exactly is wrong?

Are you feeling taken for granted?


Did your partner lie to you?

Is there something you’re doing wrong?

Be clear with each other about what’s coming between you and start working on a strategy to deal with it.

Once you identify the challenge, you can begin to find a solution.

3. Schedule time together.

The reality is that many relationships struggle due to not spending enough time together.

And the simple solution is to schedule time together on a regular basis.

Simple as.

Remember the early days of your relationship and how much time you spent (wanted to) with each other?

You couldn’t get enough of each other’s company.

But things change over time, don’t they?

We start prioritising other things over our partners and start spending more and more time there and the cost of spending quality time here.

Now, that doesn’t mean that you should spend ALL your time with your partner.

That’s not healthy either.


But it is important to spend a lot of quality time together.

So, turn off the TV and get out of the house together.

Play a board game.

Go see a movie.

Take a walk in the park together.

Do something you both like and get on with it.

4. Forgive.

The issue in many relationships is the accumulation of resentments over a long period of time.

And this eventually becomes like poison.

We know that happy couples get upset, like everyone else, but they also forgive quickly and easily.

They move on from stuff a lot faster and easier than unhappy couples who tend to hold onto stuff.

You need to understand that if you can’t let go of the times you feel that you were wronged in some way, eventually, it becomes too much to bear.

And like I’ve said, one of the secrets to a lasting relationship is a strong ability to forgive quickly.

5. Take a trip.

Happy couples in lasting relationships constantly create something called “experiences of shared meaning.”

In essence, it’s about building new, positive memories together which keeps the relationship growing.

So many times I ask couples who come to see me for coaching about the last time they’ve created a new meaningful memory together, and the answer is almost always the same, “it’s been a while …” 

If you want to fix a broken relationship, you need to stimulate growth through new experiences of shared meaning.

Yes, remembering the past and its good or happy times is great.

But you also need to create new happy times which in turn will become the new happy memories.

So, why not plan a trip together today?

And ensure it’s a place that you’re both excited to visit.

Get away from your current home and routine, and you’ll be surprised to find how easy it is to reconnect with each other.

6. Compromise.

You can’t have everything your way.

Relationships require a lot of compromising on both ends especially if you want to fix a broken relationship.

As a happily married man of over 13 years, I can tell you that compromising never ends.

And it’s not a bad thing.

It’s just part and parcel of what’s required to create a happy love life.

There are two people in a love relationship and both are equal.

Which means neither one gets priority over the other.

Both are equally important.

And compromising is the way to navigate the gap between them.

It, therefore, important to understand that compromising is a skill, and it’s not always easy to learn.

Why? Because we all have preferences and would love to get our way ALL the time, but they can’t be met all the time when you’re in a relationship.

A relationship demands compromise.

You might even say that this reality is one of the disadvantages of being in a relationship.

But it all comes down to perspective I guess.

What’s seen as a disadvantage by some is seen as an advantage by others.

7. Avoid giving up too soon.

Creating anything worthwhile in life takes focus, commitment, and effort.

Very few things worthwhile can be created without.

And the same goes for relationships.

Especially if you want to create a happy love life or fix a broken relationship.

However, many people erroneously believe that creating a good relationship shouldn’t require work.

It just happens.

But this couldn’t be more wrong 99% of the time.

Yes, it is true that the early stages of relationships are often quite easy.

Everyone is on their best behaviour, and everything is so new.

But you also tend to put in a lot more effort into a new relationship during the early stages.

However, whichever way you want to look at it, within a few months reality sets in and things become (much) harder.

Suddenly you cannot rely on the things that used to work anymore.

You actually need to put in some effort.

The question you then come face to face with on a regular basis is,

How hard are you willing to work to have a good relationship?

This question becomes even more important when you’ve hit a wall in your love life and need to fix a broken relationship.

HOW you answer that question and make no mistake, it’s up to you, WILL make all the difference in the end.

8. Get professional help.

If all else fails, get help from a professional.

Look, chances are you wouldn’t rebuild the electric transmission in your car.

I know I wouldn’t. I’m useless with that kind of stuff.

So, perhaps you might not be able to fix a broken relationship on your own either.

Maybe you need an expert’s eye and support as well.

I appreciate that reaching out for help can be uncomfortable, but hey, many effective things are.

Take Away …

If you have a relationship, you’re going to have challenging times.

And it’s not possible to feel close all of the time.

There will be struggles to navigate.

That’s part of life.

Fortunately, most relationship issues can be overcome with the right mindset, strategies, and patience.

So give your relationship the attention it needs to heal and thrive.

Good relationships are an important part of a fulfilling life, and you deserve happiness in your love life.

About the author 

Gideon Hanekom

Gideon Hanekom is the creator of, a renowned relationship blog that ranks among the top 50 relationship blogs in 2024. The website shares valuable insights on creating healthy relationships life. Gideon holds a Master's degree in theological studies and transitioned into professional counseling more than a decade ago. In addition, he since completed post-graduate studies in Psychology at Massey University. With over seventeen years of marriage to his wife and two children, Gideon brings both professional and personal experience to his relationship advice. His articles have been featured on respected platforms such as and The Good Men Project.

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