Relationship in trouble, You’re fed up. It seems like every time you try to have a conversation, it turns into an argument. The little things your partner does annoy the hell out of you. You start thinking maybe it would be easier if you split… But you’re not ready to give up just yet.
It’s tough to be at odds with anyone, but when it’s someone you love, it’s even harder. You’re in a bad place with him or her, and it seems even worse because you remember how great it used to be. Sure, when you first got together it was all pixie dust and sunbeams. Then, after a while, your relationship started crumbling and now you’re trying to put all the pieces back together before your time runs out.
It’s Normal to Have Relationship Problems
Struggling in relationships is normal. People are unique individuals, and learning to get along with someone in an intimate relationship in trouble can be a real challenge. In fact, nearly all successful, long-term couples have gone through rough patches. Just because you’re struggling doesn’t mean you’re not meant to be together… It might just mean you’ve got work to do.
First, Let’s Assess the Situation
You and your partner are having relationship in trouble communicating. You fight frequently, or maybe you just ignore each other. The closeness you once felt seems out of reach. You’re frequently upset, and you feel lonely even when you’re together. This sucks… bigtime.
Next, Let’s Talk About the Nature of Relationship Advice
Relationship advice is cheap and easy to come by. Free relationship advice is available from thousands of websites online. But most of this advice fails to consider how truly unique every relationship really is. Sure, there are similarities – lots of couples suffer the same challenges – but knowing how to fix a specific relationship is a very individual task. “Blanket” advice doesn’t cut it.
Luckily, there are two people who are extremely well-equipped to judge your relationship in trouble: You and your partner. If you take relationship advice with a grain of salt and apply it judiciously to your own situation, you can find ways to improve your relationship and bring back the love. Bring back the love, man!
The Two Keys to Fixing a Relationship
No matter what problems you’re facing, there are two questions you both need to be able to answer “yes” to:
- Are you both committed to the relationship?
- Are you on the same side?
If you’re both committed to the relationship – you both want to have a happy and healthy relationship together – then you’re both willing to make an effort to fix what’s broken. That’s huge! If one of you just doesn’t care anymore, staying together is a long shot. But if both of you are willing to keep trying for a little while longer, and both of you are willing to try different approaches, you’ve got a chance.
Now, the second question is a little bit tricky. Are you both on the same side? Every relationship is made up of two individuals… Two people with their own ideas, their own priorities, and their own egos. The reason relationships are tough in the first place is because each person is torn between doing what’s best for themselves and doing what’s best for the other person. When one or both people in a relationship decide to do what’s best for themselves without considering the other person, trouble develops.
What I’m going to ask you to do is to bypass the entire self/another dichotomy. Instead, think about the relationship as “the two of you” versus “the relationship.” Think about the relationship as a separate entity. It’s like a building. You and your partner have to work on it together. Buildings wear out, buildings fall down. Together, you have to build it back up brick by brick. Don’t worry about what’s best for you or best for your partner… Worry about what’s best for the relationship.
By looking at the problem from this perspective, suddenly you and your partner are on the same team. You’re working together… and the best way to develop a relationship with someone is to work together on a common problem. If you want to know how to fix a relationship, this is a great place to start.
Every time a problem arises, consider this question before you respond: What would be best for our relationship? After you respond, ask for feedback from your partner. Tell him or her what your intentions were, and see if their interpretation matched yours. If not, talk about why not. Remember, if you disagree at any point, it’s not because you’re at odds with each other, it’s because your relationship isn’t strong enough to hold you both… yet.
The Breaks Are the Best Part
Over time, you’ll face many challenges in your relationship. With each challenge, you’ll bond with your partner as you face it together. And every time you repair a problem, you’ll have another memory to share, another story to tell. By the time you’ve grown old together, your history will be filled with all the ups and downs of your relationship, and when you look back those will be the best parts.