May 10, 2019

how-to-save-a-struggling-relationship

In this post, we’re looking at 10 elements for how to save a struggling relationship.

Struggling relationships can be tricky terrain, often testing the patience, perseverance, and will of the couple.

Falling in love is a relatively simpler stage compared to sustaining a relationship over time and working through the trials and tribulations life might bring. Most long term, intimate relationships have ups and downs.

The initial stage in relationships is typically the dreamy honeymoon phase.

As time passes and reality sets in, lovers start seeing each other’s flaws, and the very traits that they found attractive in their partner start to bother them.

This often happens in the second stage of relationship maturation, which requires steadfast commitment and holding the positive aspects in view.

how to save a struggling relationship

If a relationship is falling apart, certain steps can help steer it to more steady ground. Here are some tips.

Accept There is a Problem

Acceptance is the first step for change; do not be afraid to acknowledge that your relationship is less than ideal.

Some relationships fall apart because one partner doesn’t want to acknowledge that there is a problem in the relationship.

If you feel your partner is unhappy, talk about it.

Communication is the best way to solve many problems.

Communication

Practice being a good listener.

Learn to take a break to cool down from heated exchanges when needed.

Schedule a time to tackle difficult topics with your partner if needed.

Make a commitment to speak from a place of love, kindness and compassion, no matter how difficult the subject.

Be clear and concise in what you want to say.

Do not bring past resentment into present conflict.

Remember the Reasons that Initially Attracted You

Remember the start of your love story.

Think of what originally drew you to your partner.

Re-evaluate if those reasons are still valid and relevant.

Do you still find qualities in your partner that are appealing?

You might be reminded of the foundation of your relationship or land upon insights as to whether and why your relationship is worth fighting for.

Make Space for Each Other

Make space for each other’s preferences, styles, and idiosyncrasies.

Try to accept your partner as they are and look for common ground or shared beliefs.

For the things that you know are topics of contention, agree to meet your partner mid-way and compromise.

Try to understand each other needs and expectations and make room for shared as well as individual activities and interests.

Bring Freshness In Your Relationship

Make a deliberate effort to make your partner happy.

Express your love to your partner.

Do not assume it does not need to be expressed and that they already know they are loved.

Show your partner how much you value them.

Don’t let go of a good relationship without a fight.

Introspect

Think of what kind of a partner you aspire to be and reflect on whether you are being that kind of partner.

If you are not, then what is coming in the way.

Look a bit farther, think about what your partner wants, and see if you are able to fill some of the gaps that may exist.

Find A Common Hobby

A relationship needs nourishment over time.

Finding a common hobby that you both enjoy can help create conversation and interest between you and your partner.

Try new things together.

If it is difficult to find a common interest, perhaps you can take the initiative of trying something your partner likes.

If your partner will see that you are taking a genuine interest in the things that he or she likes, it will make them happy.

Besides you never know… the favour might be returned.

Forgive

Let go of the bitterness or hostility dampening your relationship.

Make peace with the past and do not let it seep into the present.

The past may have one productive use – it is available to learn from.

But if one keeps holding on to resentment stemming from the past, it will be very difficult to be positive in the present.

Resort to Honesty

Be open about your feelings with your partner.

Do not try to cover them up or hide them.

It is important for your partner to know and understand you.

Be receptive and encouraging for your partner to share their feelings with you.

Follow Your Own Rules

If you set a rule for your partner, remember the same rule applies to you.

A relationship is a two-way street.

This helps create a sense of security and trust within the relationship.

Take Away …

Is there really such a thing as a perfect relationship?

No couple is always happy one hundred per cent of the time, no matter what their Instagram shows.

Each relationship has its up and down.

But relationships that endure winds of uncertainty and hardship do get stronger.

You might feel that it is time you should pack your bags and go.

Sit down for a moment and think about why you love your partner.

Remember all the good times you had.

Decide if you want to fight for your relationship.

Rather than playing a blame game or feeling pity, it might be time for an honest, non-contentious conversation and some corrective action.

Perhaps a little effort can help move things in the right direction.

Lack of communication exacerbates problems.

Sit down with your partner and tell him/her how you feel.

Ask them about their feelings and problems.

And last but not least…

Start Couple Therapy As a Way to Save a Struggling Relationship

Couples therapy might provide the support and tools to help turn things around. Sometimes an outside perspective, a neutral party, or an expert’s advice is the intervention needed.  

About the author 

Dr Parul Patel

Founder of couple-care.com, specializing in Couples Retreats and Couples Therapy, Dr Patel has a Doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy, a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy, and a second Masters in Human Development. With over 15 years of psychotherapy experience, and having researched Love in Contemporary Life, and Conflict Resolution in Relationships, she brings this research, insight, and experience to her work with couples. Check out more about her here.

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