When you or you and your partner want to rebuild a relationship which has been damaged by things you’ve said or done, then it’s important to create a plan for your future going forward. It becomes increasingly difficult to create a better relationship when 1) you’re unsure what that “better” actually looks like and 2) you have no workable plan to get there. So let’s fix that.
You’ve heard the expression,
“If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail”?
This expression holds just as true for your plan to move forward in your relationship as it does in your plan for a business or to purchase a home.
So, you will have to fix that if all you have right now is just a desire to rebuild a relationship but that’s it – you’ve got nothing else.
Because that won’t get you very far.
Therefore, in order to move forward, you’ll want to make a plan of some sort.
So, let’s take it one step at a time and look at a few steps you need to include in your plan to rebuild your relationship.
You’ll want each of these following steps included in your plan …
1. Commit to making changes in YOUR life.
In order to rebuild a relationship, you’ll have to be different.
This is so important, yet SO many people overlook or simply ignore this fact.
Your relationship will not change if YOU stay the same.
Change does NOT start with your partner but with you.
I cannot say this enough.
You need to hear this and let it sink in.
If you want to rebuild a relationship, the process ALWAYS starts with YOU.
You need to commit to making changes in your life before anything will change.
So many couples wait for their partners to make changes first before they’re willing to also make a few changes, but it doesn’t work that way.
Now, I’m not thinking of all-out abusive and toxic relationship here, as that’s a completely different story.
I’m talking about finding yourself in a place where your relationship has broken down over time and for whatever reasons.
If you want to dig yourself out of that hole, you must start with making changes in YOURSELF.
So, ask yourself – how can I improve myself?
This leads on to the next step …
2. Recognise that you cannot change your partner.
Only your partner can change them self.
Again, so many couples I’ve worked with or follow any of my work, have stepped in this trap where they’re trying to change their spouse or partner.
But, that will never work since you CANNOT CHANGE your significant other. EVER!
And in order to effect a change in any relationship at least one person must make changes.
But since you want to rebuild a relationship (or you wouldn’t be reading this) it will have to be you who start that process and change first.
When you begin to make changes it will very often spark changes in your partner too – but one of you must go first, so it might as well be you.
Now, making changes in yourself can be tough sometimes since we tend to be creatures of habit that sometimes just want things our way.
And this is why the next step is crucial …
3. Find support for the changes you’ll be making in your behaviour and in your relationship.
Find a therapist, pastor, mentor, or coach who can help you walk out the changes you must make if you’re serious about rebuilding a relationship.
Do not choose a friend who will be biased and won’t be able to give you a truly objective perspective that will be most helpful.
I know that we typically feel more comfortable with people who might take our side in things, but that’s not what you need here.
You need someone to call you out on you.
You need someone here to help you see the forest for the trees.
You need someone who can challenge you to start making changes in YOUR behaviour in order to effect change in your relationship.
The next part of this process is …
4. Write down your plan to win back your partner.
Right now you may still be living together, but if you continue down the same path you are currently on it may not be long before one of you has moved out.
The point here is that depending on your situation and where things are at, the more clear you will have to be about your plan to win your partner back, as well as executing it with diligence.
If time is not on your side, then there is no room for continuing any behaviour or any of the stuff that got you here in the first place.
Because if those things worked, you wouldn’t have ended up in the situation you’re in.
And I understand that there are two sides to a story, but you don’t have the luxury of playing that card anymore.
Time has run out.
If your partner is leaving, you don’t have time for clever arguments and tantrums – you don’t even have time to feel down!
You will have to come up with a plan, write it down, and stick to it.
But, not every plan will work.
If you want the best chance of rebuilding a relationship, you will have to get more insight, knowledge, wisdom, and strategies.
Listen, YOUR ideas and actions got you to the place you’re at.
So, maybe it’s time now to acknowledge that you don’t know everything and need to learn more.
5. Read everything you can about how to love and respect your partner.
Take a strong look at yourself and what YOU’ve been doing to create the divide in your relationship.
Each of you has had a hand in the damage done to your relationship and each of you must take responsibility to rebuild your relationship.
However, since you can’t force your partner to take responsibility or change them, it is you who must.
You can’t change them, but you can change yourself.
Look for the things in your life which you KNOW you’ve done wrong and commit to change them.
Now, if you have no clue where to start or how to rebuild a relationship in a way that will create change, then PLEASE check out my latest book “Happy Again.”
This book will help you gain so much insight and ideas of where to begin.
And you don’t even need to do all of it – just start with one or two vital principles and start putting them into action.
And let time become your ally again rather than the enemy.
6. Talk with a trusted friend and ask for their honest and authentic opinion about your personality and behaviour.
Although they don’t have full access to your relationship with your partner, they do know who you are and have seen you at your best and worst.
And sometimes the insights of a true friend can go a long way.
That obviously will only happen if you’re open and willing to hear the truth.
Hearing the truth isn’t always nice, but what choice do you have when your partner is about to leave you?
The truth sets free for sure, but only if you’re open to it.
7. Create a plan book which can also become your journal.
Every day commit to doing something toward making your relationship stronger and deeper.
Write down what you will do and what you did do, what worked and what didn’t work.
But, in all of this consider the feeling of your partner first and foremost.
This is not about manipulating them.
It’s time to put your pride away and learn how to consider and love your partner first.
I hope you found some of this helpful.
We’ll be back with another post in this Rebuilding a Relationship Series.
If you want to learn how to create a happy, healthy, and more intimate marriage (again), you need to read this very important letter I posted recently.