Relationships are hard. They take work. They require time and patience and perseverance, and a whole lot more than just love most days. And sometimes they don’t give you the happy endings you read about in books.
However, whatever is worth having is worth working for. If you have a good, solid partner but feel like the relationship is slipping away for one reason or another, here are five things you can do today to rescue your relationship.
1) Start communicating better.
Perhaps you need to just start communicating at all. There’s a reason why experts talk about the importance of communication all the time in relationships.
However, you need to do it in the right way. Ask questions about things that interest your partner. Listen with your total attention when they talk. And then give your relevant, non-judgmental opinion afterward.
Use the THNK acronym as you talk to your partner: Is it True? Is it Helpful? Is it Necessary? Is it Kind?
2) Go back to the beginning.
Take yourself back to when you first met your partner. What drew you two together? What were the amazing qualities you couldn’t resist? Are those feelings and attributes still there?
Perhaps you need to just look for them a little harder to find them again.
There are few things that can ruin a relationship like one person holding a grudge. Perhaps it’s a big thing or just a lot of little things, but if you want to save your relationship you have to let them all go. Forgive your partner.
Relationship expert Alexandra Harra cautions against thinking forgiveness will happen overnight, though. In the Huffington Post she wrote, “Be mindful that forgiveness is a process, not a result, so perform small, daily acts that are reflective of your intent to pardon.”
4) Stop trying to be in control.
Do you want to be right all the time? Or do you want to be in this relationship? Many times you can’t have both.
Give up always being in control, always having the upper hand, always getting the last word. Focus on being open to mutuality and loving your partner where they are in life. Make the intention of this relationship to learn about loving yourself and others, rather than protecting yourself from pain with controlling behavior.
5) Do your own work.
Instead of focusing on the things that your partner needs to work on, keep your eyes on your own issues. Do the work necessary to heal yourself from past wounds and take responsibility for your feelings and fears.
Two people being willing to work on a relationship is one of the keys to saving it. With time and patience, honesty and openness, along with trust and consistency, many relationships can be rescued.
HuffingtonPost.com. Web. 28 July 2014. “7 ways to save a struggling relationship.”
Psychcentral.com. Web. 14 November 2011. “7 ideas to help save your sinking relationship.”
Reviewed February 12, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith
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