One of the most painful experiences that you might ever undergo is a broken relationship. You and your significant other might have been together for some time, enjoying each other’s company and basking in mutual adoration and love for each other. You might both have made plans for your future together, but suddenly or gradually, you discover that the relationship is headed towards the rocks. How can you save the sinking ship that is your relationship? What practical steps can you take to fix a broken relationship?
This article discusses what can be done to salvage a relationship and bring it back to where it once was.
Talk to your partnerThis vital step determines the success or failure of the fixing process. Talking to your partner will help you ascertain if they are willing to work towards fixing the relationship. In a bid to solve their relationship issues, many couples have experienced failure, otherwise because of a lack of effort, commitment or willpower, but because their significant other is not willing to salvage the relationship. It does not really make any sense to put in all that work and effort if it is one-sided. Hence, to save yourself further heartache or even embarrassment, talk to your partner about working to save the relationship.
Ask them if they are willing to make sacrifices and put in the effort to make things better between the two of you.
Meet upAfter determining that both parties want to make the relationship work, it is time to meet together and talk. Choose a time and location that is favorable for both of you. Do not choose a location that evokes bad memories, or choose a time that will not be convenient for the parties involved.
Identify the problem
Before trying to heal your ailing relationship, an important step on the path to recovery is diagnosing the problem plaguing the relationship. In a quest to heal their relationship, many couples have experienced further heartbreak and issues, not because of a lack of effort, commitment or will, but because they have failed to recognize the underlying problems that are affecting the fixing process. Failing to acknowledge the underlying issues would be like pouring water into a broken cup.
When the primary cause of friction is identified and isolated, you will know what to work on.
ListenListening is very vital to healing a broken relationship. Many couples have broken up just because a partner felt they were not listened to. Therefore, let your partner talk and pour out their heart. Even if what they say does not seem to make much sense, let them talk. Do not interrupt or try to get in a word of your own. Really listen. Try to understand their perspective of things and where they are coming from. Be empathetic by putting yourself in their shoes.
While listening, endeavor to restrain your tongue and your automatic responses. Keep in mind this rule: do unto others what you want them to do to you. When they express themselves, do not seek to argue or look for ways to ‘score points.’ Even when they say some hurtful things, let them talk, when they are done, calmly remind them that the goal of meeting together is not to cause more damage to the battered relationship but to look for ways to heal and fix the broken relationship.
Express yourselfAfter listening to what your partner has to say, it is time for you to respond. Do not respond to them aggressively or put them on the defensive. Talk calmly and soothingly. Take note of the expressions you use to convey your concerns. One proven way of getting a more positive response from your partner is personalizing your concerns. For example, if you feel your partner does not appreciate you, instead of saying something like “You never appreciate me”, say, “ I feel like you do not appreciate me”. Another manner of talking that can elicit a positive response is expressing concerns by saying “ When you do/don’t ABC, it makes me feel XYZ” These manners of speaking show respect for your partner, are less accusatory and usually lead to a better response from them. Think before you speak.
Look for solutionsAfter all parties involved have spoken their minds, it is time to look for practical ways to fix the issues above. Don’t just talk about your problems, talk about solutions too. In seeking solutions, forgiveness is an essential ingredient. Forgiveness might be very hard to do especially when there is a valid reason to nurse a grudge, but since the goal is reconciliation and renewal of the relationship, it has to occur. If you have wronged your partner, make it easier for them to forgive you by genuinely apologizing. Do not seek to excuse your wrong; it will only make things worse.
After communication, ensure that realistic goals are set and steps are in place to achieve those goals.
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Give it timeYou should not expect things to go back to the way they were overnight. A broken heart and old wounds need time to heal. Hence, while you might be eager for things to return to normal, respect your partner’s space and give them time to make adjustments and show that they are really ready to change.
Keep fighting. If things do not appear to be getting better, do not simply give up. Continue to make efforts to achieve your goals.
Know when to stop
In spite of your efforts and commitment, you should realize that it takes two to make the relationship work. If you see that your partner is not making efforts to adjust and fight for the relationship, it might be time to call it quits and stop emotionally investing in the broken relationship.