When your relationship is in trouble, it may be hard to remember how you once felt about your partner. But you can get it back, even when the relationship seems broken beyond repair. Here’s 3 ways to make it strong than ever.
1. Communicate with each other
Lack of communication is the number one reason relationships fail. And the number one reason couples don’t communicate is that they don’t want to deal with a confrontation. Each person builds up a scenario of the fight that will ensue in their head. If you want to fix your relationship, have the conversation with your partner, not with yourself. It requires some bravery to talk about what is going on when it’s happening, but with practice it will get easier. Using neutral phrases that don’t place any blame on your partner can help diffuse a tough conversation. Say “when you do this, I feel like this.” And since your partner isn’t a mind reader, tell him what you need rather than making him guess (because he’ll probably guess wrong since men typically have different needs than women).
Good communication happens in the happy times too. If your partner does something nice or that you appreciate, take a moment to thank him. You’ll be amazed at how a little acknowledgement about what is good will spur more good in the relationship.
2. Practice the art of forgiveness
Nobody is perfect. Throughout the course of your relationship, things will happen and you have to choose whether you’re going to hold on to the hurt or let it go. If you want your relationship to last, you need to learn how to forgive. That doesn’t mean accepting something truly horrible, like infidelity or lying about important issues. Rather, it’s about forgiving the every day things, like forgetting to unload the dishwasher or forgetting your anniversary.
The other side of forgiveness is admitting when you’ve done something thoughtless as well, and apologising. Taking the high road and acknowledging how you may have hurt your partner, even if it’s completely accidental, will dramatically help repair your relationship.
3. Learn to compromise
Sometimes, giving in is in the best interest of the relationship. The next time you feel yourself digging in your heals and refusing to budge, stop and think about how important it really is to get your way. It could be as simple as agreeing to see a movie you have no interest in seeing, or it may mean getting that big, ugly reclining chair for the living room. Step back and assess the long-term impact of making your partner happy right now. If that chair will give him years of comfort and joy, why not let him have it?
Of course, you shouldn’t always be the one to compromise. If you find that you compromise on everything and that’s making you angry and bitter, go back to step one and work on communicating with your partner about your needs.
That’s it: three simple steps that will take your relationship to a new level of trust and intimacy. Better yet, it will help you remember those special things that you fell in love with and bring the bliss back into your relationship.
What’s your best tip for keeping your relationship strong?