A relationship takes work. In Hollywood movies, two people fall in love and live happily ever after. In reality, no relationship ends happily ever after. Even when you see a couple with a perfect relationship, the reality is that they have to work at it. It is easy for one partner to feel taken for granted over the course of a relationship. Sometimes, both partners avoided talking about a topic they disagree about, and it led to a major blow-up later on. Whatever the case, most relationships need to be fixed at some point. By learning how to fix a relationship, you can make sure that both partners are happy and satisfied by the relationship.
First, you have to decide if the relationship is worth fixing. Sometimes, your relationship can limp along for years when both partners aren’t really invested in the relationship anymore. There is no harm in saying that you are better off as friends. It takes a strong person to admit that a relationship is not right for them and move on. If you both decide that the relationship is worthwhile and has the potential to work out, then your next step is to figure out how to fix the relationship.
1. Work on Your Compatibility
If you want to have a healthy relationship, you have to be compatible. The old saying that opposites attract is only true in certain cases. Having opposite qualities means that your qualities complement each other’s, and it keeps things interesting. At the same time, you can’t be too different. If you are total opposites on everything, then your relationship is not going to last in long. You need to have at least a little overlap in your personalities or hobbies so that you have a way to keep your relationship going. Basically, you need to have some way to connect and understand your partner.
If you are not compatible right now, then there are ways to change that. Being honest with each other and learning from each other’s good qualities can boost the quality of your relationship. Try to understand why your partner does the things they do and understand their behavior. Sometimes, you can learn from your partner’s personality. If you have nothing in common, try doing a hobby together. If your partner loves kayaking, hiking and the outdoors, tag along with them. By doing the same hobby, you are giving yourself a new way to connect to your partner and have a better relationship.
2. Focus on Communication
The best relationships are based on good communication. At the very least, good communication will help you understand your partner. It can also help you prevent an argument from growing out of control. One thing that you should both focus on is the way you argue. Are you calm in an argument or do you lash out? Do you ever say things that you regret? Your goal is to argue in a constructive way. If you call your partner names or accuse them of doing something, they will shut down and become defensive.
Instead, ask questions. Use, “I feel ____ when ____ happens.” This type of language helps you to open the door to good communication. It prevents you from saying something that you can’t take back while still addressing the underlying problem.
While you need to argue constructively, you don’t want to avoid an argument all the time. If you avoid an argument, it may work for a while, Ultimately, you will return to that topic and have an even larger fight. Even excellent relationships have arguments as both partners try to work out their feelings and differences. No one is exactly the same, so there are bound to be ways that you and your partner are different. Discussing these differences openly and honestly will help your relationship progress. It will also help you to prevent major arguments by actually discussing your concerns and problems before they are a major issue.
3. Grow as a Couple
You will not remain the same person forever. New jobs, difficulties in life, new friends and other factors can change your personality and interests over time. This is completely natural and should not be avoided. At the same time, you will need to spend extra time on your relationship. As you change as a person, your partner also needs to change. If one of you becomes a career-driven go-getter, then the other partner could be left in the dust.
If you take each other for granted and grow in different paths, then the relationship will be over with sooner rather than later. You have to learn from each other and grow together. Give each other space to grow and develop. By doing this, you can become closer in your relationship and work toward being an even more unified couple.
4. Forgiveness Matters
Everyone is human and makes mistakes. Both of you have to be willing to admit your mistakes and learn from them if you want to move on. It takes a great deal of strength to admit when you are wrong, but you have to do it. If you adamantly stick to your mistake, it will only hurt you. Your partner will feel like you don’t listen to him or her. They will also stop trusting you if they realize that you are continuing to support a statement that isn’t true. Sticking to your mistaken view will only hurt your relationship.
Disagreements and mistakes are bound to happen. What defines you as a human being and a couple is how you handle these mistakes. If your partner makes a mistake, talk to them openly without accusing them or getting angry. If they feel like you are accusing them of something, their automatic reaction will be to deny whatever it is and take the offensive. For your partner to open up, admit their mistakes and listen to you, they have to feel like they are in a safe environment and are being listened to. You can also set the right example by being honest about your mistakes and telling your partner when you are the one who is wrong.
5. Be Ready to Compromise
Relationships are all about give and take. You can’t win every argument, and neither can your partner. At some point, you have to compromise in an argument or situation. You are both different people, so you are bound to have disagreements and differing viewpoints. If you or your partner becomes too stubborn, it will hurt the relationship. You have to be open to compromise so that both partners feel like they are being listened to, understood and appreciated.
You love your partner. You want to make your partner happy, right? If that is the case, then you have to be willing to compromise. While you may think that your way is best, it probably won’t hurt you to compromise and your relationship will be better because of it.
Obviously, you cannot be the only person who compromises. Your partner has to be just as willing to make things work out. If you are the only person who ever compromises on things, then your relationship is ultimately unsustainable.
These five tips can help you learn how to fix a relationship, but you and your partner both have to be willing to use them. Start by talking to your partner about how you want your relationship to change. Avoid accusing them of anything. Let your partner know that you care deeply for them and just want to improve your relationship. If they are as committed as you are, they will be willing to make these changes.
When you do commit to these changes, make an agreement to move on from the past. Remembering a snide remark from five years ago will not help your relationship improve. You cannot change the past. For the good of your relationship, both of you have to be ready and willing to move on and focus on building a better future.