There are many reasons why you might want to improve a relationship. And you don’t have to be in a massively bad place to want to do so. After all, we all know that relationships need constant work to remain fun, fresh, and strong
Of course, some relationships ultimately come to an end due to a variety of reasons. But if you feel that yours is worth saving (and most are – except if something monumental has occurred), then it’s going to take some concerted effort on your behalf. And, of course, that of your partner. But more on their role later…
Whatever the reason you’re looking to ‘fix’ your relationship, there are steps you can take to do so.
First, try to take time to understand what ‘stage’ your relationship is in.
The reason for this is that pretty much all human relationships tend to follow a set pattern or stages. From the initial infatuation, through understanding, compromise, arguments, doubts, right through to true happiness and trust, there are chances to fix a relationship every step of the way – as long as that’s what you both want to do.
Simply taking this time – to analyze exactly where you and your partner currently are – ensures that you’re in the right state of mind to concentrate on the process of fixing it.
OK, so once you know where you are in your relationship, and you’ve realized that you really do want to save it, then the following tips are simple, yet powerful, steps that both of you can work through. Of course, the crucial aspect is that the two of you see the relationship as one worth fixing.
Stop playing the ‘blame game’
When things are going a bit ‘pear shaped’, it’s very (very) easy to put the blame on the other person. To prevent this, rather than thinking about what your partner does wrong, try to see the similarities in patterns of things that create such scenarios.
This is something that relationship counseling therapists concentrate on. They’ll teach you to focus on recognizing these patterns, and then to determine which ones are beneficial and which are capable of damage. Once you have determined the negative patterns, you can talk about these with your partner and put a plan in place to alter it to one that’s more positive.
Take responsibility for your emotions
Accept that your emotions should be used wisely. A huge step towards fixing your relationship is accepting that it isn’t all about you. The first thing you need to do is stop taking everything personally, and realize that the other person might well be struggling in their own unique way.
Getting cross, sulky, or angry is not proactively dealing with the problem. Acting in such a manner is like slipping back to being a child, instead of the responsible adult that you really are.
Learning to recognize this is something you can train yourself to do. And when you see or feel the warning signs, then you can give yourself the heads up to stop acting like a petulant child, and to begin acting like an adult again.
Stop the accusations. Instead, ask why?
Rather than simply firing off at your partner when they yet again exhibit the behavior that instigates arguments, ask them why they are acting in that way. Be sure to phrase your question in a non-confrontational manner. After all, anger breeds anger, and that certainly isn’t something that will make for a rational exchange of views.
Ask instead of accuse. Go gentle – even if you’d rather place all the blame at their door. Once you start to think about your words before they spill from your mouth, you’ll be amazed at the difference in the reception they receive.
Live in the here and now
Much as it might be tempting to bring up past wrongdoings, all this does is make further problems. Focus on what’s happening in the present, and leave the past where it belongs. End of!
Take small steps
Let’s be honest, if your relationship is really rocky, it’s not going to be fixed overnight. So taking small steps towards recovery is what’s needed. Remember, you’re trying to break the destructive patterns that you’ve both fallen into. What about a spontaneous hug? Or simply compliment your partner. Such actions are positive, and can be considered small successes on the road to fixing your relationship.
Focus on you
Because, in case you haven’t yet noticed, all of the above are about your own actions – not those of your partner. One of the biggest challenges couples face when relationships start to go a bit wrong, is the temptation to think ‘all’ you need do is change the other person’s behavior.
But this kind of attitude only serves to create further tension and difficulties. Altering the way you perceive the relationship and your partner’s emotions, as well as changing your behavior, will have a powerful effect on how the two of you get on.
When it boils down to it, the end result is all about how well you and your partner communicate. Focus on this, and how you can improve it, and you’ll be well on the way to fixing your relationship.