Saving a relationship can be a lot of hard work but it’s worth every effort put into it. If you are wondering how to save your relationship but feel that it is important to do so without sacrificing your dignity in the process then you should be glad to know that this is very possible.
Your partner wants you to be strong and independent just as much as he or she wants you to need him or her. Couples are supposed to be happy amidst disagreements and misunderstandings. Of course, you and your partner were raised from different families and different environments, you have different beliefs and principles in life, thus conflicts may arise at times.
When attraction towards each other seems to fade, and quarrels occur more often, it means that the relationship is going for a toss. Then it’s time you need to wake up and work hard on the relationship so that you can avoid a breakup.
If you feel that your partner is slipping away and want to know how to save your relationship it is better to begin the process sooner rather than later. The following advice will help you assess the situation and get your relationship back on track.
Here are 23 sure ways that will help you save your relationship fast
- Give time to your partner
One of the ways to save your relationship from falling apart is by making sure you give time to your partner, despite the busy lifestyle these days. Even how little time you can spare, for as long as you spend it with your partner, it will help you a lot in saving your dwindling relationship. Show love by giving time to talk to your partner, laugh with him or discuss your future together. Even as simple as walking together on your morning exercise is a great time to strengthen that bond between you and your partner.
If your relationship is going down the drain, giving time for each other is one small but major step in reconnecting with your spouse. Give time to talk to him or her, forget about work once in a while and make way for activities that you can share – even having dinner outside, or something that you both enjoy doing before. Listen to what your partner says. If he has any complaints, listen. Paying attention to your spouse will let you know what has gone wrong and from there, you can both find ways to save your marriage.
Maintaining a strong relationship takes time together. Try to stay in bed together once a week and talk. No agenda. Well, if there’s any agenda, it’s just to cuddle. If you have to brush your teeth first, get up and do that and then get back in bed. Lock the door; no kids. Cuddle.
There is a right way and a wrong way to communicate in every relationship. The right way is asking your partner a relevant question, listening to their response, and then offering your opinion. The wrong way is overwhelming your partner with your irritations and worries as soon as they walk in from a particularly long workday. Practice effective speech by engaging your loved one in a conversation of their interest.
Ask questions that matter to them; people open up when you inquire about their day, an important project, their feelings, etc. Once you’ve listened to what they have to say, offer your side of the story. Stay away from heavy conversations in stressful times, and especially in the heat of emotion. Calm down, and then approach the topic again. Don’t just sound off with your concerns; delve to the core of the matter by drawing your partner into the dialogue first.
Have all your important conversations face to face or on the phone if face-to-face is absolutely impossible. Communicating will be clearer, more respectful, and more positive if you do it in person. It also gives you the chance to touch or hold hands during intense moments, which can change the course of an entire interaction.
Most often, half of the problems are created due to communication gap and if you can actually work on proper communication, then there are chances that the relationship issues can be sorted out by talking over things together. When you actually sit and talk together, make sure that you give adequate space to the other person instead of forcing your opinions on the other person.
- Forgive each other
Forgiveness is a vital course in saving a relationship. But many misunderstand what forgiveness is all about, it doesn’t mean giving permission for someone to mistreat you. It simply means that we all are doing the best we can in the relationship. Forgiveness means you commit yourself to letting go of the hurt of the past to allow for new possibilities in the future
To forgive is also to detach from the bitterness, anger, and animosity holding you back from progress with your partner. Forgo the negative emotions keeping you from true forgiveness. Remind yourself that whatever happened, happened and that there is no reason to drag the past into your future. Lingering on hurtful memories only perpetuates them. Be mindful that forgiveness is a process, not a result, so perform small, daily acts that are reflective of your intent to pardon.
Some people say, “I can forgive, but I will never forget.” I get that. But in a relationship, this can look a lot like resentment. You need to be able to forgive your partner for the wrongs he or she has done if you want to move forward. Not everything is forgivable, nor should it be. However, if you truly feel that you are dedicated to your relationship and want to make it work, forgiving and really forgetting is the key.
In so many relationships today, spouses don’t let go of past events or issues in their as relating to their spouse. They usually hang on to old grievances, and this will only make situations worse. So let go of your past issues in you intend to save your relationship so that it can work again.
While it may appear obvious, the couples that do not make it are usually those not committed to making their relationship work. When you make the decision to commit, you have decided to put in the hard work that is needed to save your relationship. When you waver and think about what it would be like if you married someone else or how you wish your life would be different, you are usually not able to generate enough momentum to push forward and repair the relationship.
When deciding whether or not to commit, be aware of the consequences divorce can have on your children and your finances.
Also, realize that it takes two to tango and that finding someone better is not necessarily a cure-all, as we will likely have issues in future relationships.
Recognize how the particular challenges of your marriage are growth opportunities for you and your spouse, and that there are ways for you to transform this conflict into connection. (Of course, this does not apply to abusive relationships.)
5. Set boundaries with each other
Another important way to save your relationship is to set boundaries with each other and keep your word! If you set a rule for your partner, set a similar one for yourself as well. This means that if your partner promises not to stay out late on a Saturday, you should abide by the same principle. A relationship is a two-way street. Tell your partner honestly what you would like them to do or not do, then be prepared to accept the boundaries they set for you, too.
Remember to set boundaries that won’t get you upset and be honest about your limitations and capabilities, whenever your partner asks you of something. Accepting things you don’t really want can set you up and make you to feel disappointed and resentment later. You know what is good for you; your partner cannot read into your mind.
I call that the “win-win waltz.” The goal of the win-win waltz is to reach solutions that please you both. No more aiming to “get your way.” Instead, when you have differences, express your underlying concerns, listen to your partner’s concerns and create solutions that respond to both.
- Do something special together
Perhaps you two have a favorite restaurant you haven’t visited in ages, or you can return to the place where you first fell in love? Being in a physical space where you have powerful memories of strong attachment can reignite passion. Or, you can try something you’ve never tried before. The excitement of something new produces serotonin and dopamine in our brains. It doesn’t have to be something extraordinary; even sitting on a park bench watching the children play as you hold hands can be magical if love exists. The important thing is that you stop talking about taking that vacation, or trying that new spot, and follow through on your intention to reconnect together.
Make sure both of you are getting a little time alone to relax and recharge: even 15 minutes can make a huge difference. Also, if you tend be really social as a couple, make sure to schedule alone time together as well, where you can just focus on each other without extra people around.
Ronald Rogge, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Rochester, followed 174 committed couples for three years. Some of the couples received traditional marriage counseling, others received no special attention, and still others were instructed to watch relationship-focused movies each week and talk afterward. Watching flicks and getting counseling both cut the breakup rate by half.
- Avoid things that will hurt your relationship
Stop doing things that can hurt your marriage. If there is infidelity involved in the marriage, and you are involved in this extramarital affair, it is important to end these things totally before you are able to save your marriage.
Also avoid some common attitudes that can also harm your relationship. Marriage is a great experience especially during the first few years but it can also go sour if you or your partner starts to show attitudes that can harm your relationship. Jealousy without basis for example can be damaging to your relationship and thus, it is important to get rid of this behavior.
The words we use are powerful and strong, whenever we make a comment it never be retrieved again, which is why we must be mindful of the kind of words we use on our spouse in order to destroy our relationship. You can cause damage in your relationship when you put your partner down with the words from your mouth. Learn to use words that show respect, love and hope on your spouse if you want to save your relationship.
While things don’t look good, sometimes the best action is no action. Stop doing the things that aggravate the situation. Cancel the appointment with the attorney. Don’t do anything that places you in an adversarial role with your mate. Stop doing those things you know irritate your mate. Stopping the hemorrhage saves many lives. Make the decision to do no harm.
- Be affectionate
Most couples wonder how they went from not being able to keep their hands off each other to rarely making physical contact. Unfortunately, society tends to justify this pattern, reinforcing the idea that long-term couples are unsuitable for “puppy love” or PDA.
Yet, this elimination of affection is a sad and slow progression that often starts when a couple transitions from being a “you” and a “me” to becoming a “we.” Of course, finding a connection with someone is thrilling and meaningful, but losing yourself and your separate identity in the mix is paving a dangerous road.
People feel most attracted to their partner when they see them as someone separate from themselves, someone they are able to love, respect and appreciate for their unique qualities.
When couples replaces substance (real acts of love) with form (the practical roles of being in a relationship), they enter into a “fantasy bond.” This bond represents an illusion of connection that actually kills off passion and attraction. We can keep the spark alive by refusing to give up our own, natural desire to express love on a physical level. Hold hands, kiss in public, sit close on the couch, touch casually in passing, and you’ll be surprised to see the depths of desire and feelings of intimacy that arise.
When things are rocky, having sex or performing acts that pleasure your partner are not always in the cards. But even if you’re not in the mood at the moment, there’s hope if you actually still want to connect intimately, according to Rachel Russo. She says wanting to have sex even when you are struggling with a relationship, shows that you are deeply bonded to your partner.
“If it feels unnatural to withhold sex even when things are rocky, it can indicate that you are thinking about what is best for the relationship in the long term,” says Russo. “If you don’t want to deprive your marriage of the intimate connection, it is a sign that you really care about each other and want to make the relationship work.”
Sex is usually the first thing to go when a relationship begins sinking. However, getting back into sex helps you to get back into each other—literally and metaphorically. True, this might not feel natural at first. In that case schedule intimacy with a fake-it-til-you-make-it approach. But, after some time, you will find that sex is the purest and most actual way for you and your spouse to connect. This may lead you to realize just how much you’ve been missing out.
If sex is a physical symbol of your love for one another, the wilting of that symbol can be both emotionally and physically saddening. Sit down together and watch family therapist Michele Weiner-Davis’s Teds talk “The Sex-Starved Marriage” on YouTube. Even if you’re not exactly starving, this video can help stoke hunger now and forever.
- Tell your partner you love him.
If your relationship is crumbling, chances are, you have not told your spouse lately about how much you love him. If you love your spouse, tell him and show him.
Express love in a way your partner would experience as loving – This may not sound like a very specific or especially scientific suggestion, but so often we forget to attune to our partner and do the things we know make them feel loved. Particularly when there’s tension in the relationship, we tend to focus on what we’re getting over what we’re giving. We build a case against our partner, and as a defense, we withhold our affections and resist being open and vulnerable.
The more distance created, the more ready we are to feel critical or put our guard up. We start to live more inwardly, getting in our own heads, quantifying, judging or indulging in a tit-for-tat mentality about what our partner does and doesn’t do for us. The truth is, it feels really good to be loving. Studies even show that people get more pleasure from giving than receiving.
It’s important to pay attention to our partner and engage in kind actions that he or she would perceive as being cared for. For instance, getting flowers or going out to dinner may feel like romantic gestures to us, but to our partner, they may prefer taking some time to joke around or be affectionate. Try to offer something that you know will have unique value to them. Engaging in such loving acts actually makes us feel more in love
- Take Showers Together
If you take showers together with your spouse, it always presents you with the opportunity to make intimate interactions together, without any form of distractions, except some soap lather.
At least twice a week, shower at the same time. It’s a great time to plan, and especially to discuss matters outside of the hearing of little ears. It’s also a great time to unwind. Either way, it’s easy to add to busy schedules because you both need to bathe, so you’re not adding anything additional to your schedules. And it’s good to be naked with each other every day. It is something private and special that you only share with another, so it will keep you connected. And you never know where it will lead!
- Cut Out External Influences
There’s one more important thing to cover here, it’s probably the most important of all. Keep other people out of your business and decision making. This includes family, friends and well-wishers. Everyone claims to have good intentions and would want to advise you about your relationship but, you know what they say about good intentions…with the exception of an expert in relationships it’s probably best that you and our partner decide these things for yourselves.
Often times, it is outside influence or voices that breed toxicity in relationships. Understand who’s playing a less-than-positive role in your relationship and commit to keeping that person’s energy out of your relationship! Learn to keep your relationship as private as possible and always divulge as little details as you can.
- Get Counseling
The mere thought of getting counseling makes many couples groan, but how do you save your relationship when you have tried and tested all other methods. Counseling does not have to be a first option.
If you have tried other ways to save your relationship but they don’t seem to have made any difference then counseling is your next best thing. This gives both parties a middle ground to settle their grouses as each person will believe they are being treated fairly. Counseling might help to identify problems that were never before known and the great thing is that advice is given on how to overcome them.
You may say you can’t afford going for counseling to save your relationship, but believe me it’s cheaper than divorce. Furthermost counseling basically involves a few sessions to get the communication flowing again and set the ball rolling.
- Do Not Assume You Can Change or Fix Your Partner
In a relationship, the sooner you begin to accept the fact that you cannot change another, but yourself alone, the sooner you begin to heal and save your relationship. Every one wants to be loved and be accepted for who they are. When your partner discovers that you are not ashamed or disappointed, then he/she may feel reinforced to choose to change.
Understand that your spouse-to-be will not change. My divorcing clients share why they are getting divorced; they often knew about their spouse’s behavior “flaw” or their relationship disconnect prior to getting married. About 95% of the time, they believed that it would change. Your spouse will not change, and, in fact, those little imperfections will only worsen over time. Realize early what they are, and determine if you can live with them forever before you tie the knot.
- Be positive.
You can find many things to be grateful with if you are a positive person and if you see choose to see the positive things in your spouse rather than picking on his faults and mistakes says Carolyn Anderson, a great relationship expert.
Make a point of focusing on what you like about the other person, and what’s good (and what could be better) in your own life. Even if ninety percent of what the other person does drives you batty, remind yourself – and them – frequently about what you do appreciate.
I’ve observed this phenomenon time and again: when you focus on the good things about another person, and simultaneously begin attending to the neglected areas of your own life, the other person will often begin to miraculously improve on their own. Talk about a win-win!
“Look above the things you find annoying or unpleasant,” says Douglas LaBier, Ph.D., a psychologist based in D.C. “Respond to the best qualities in her—which will always make her best side stronger.”
“Any person capable of angering you becomes your master; he can anger you only when you permit yourself to be disturbed by him.” – Epictetus
There are always going to be problems, but instead of trying to fix the bad, focus on what you have that is GOOD. Put happiness back into your relationship with not only your partner, but yourself as well, so that you both can focus on the good things you are experiencing in life together.
- Go back to the beginning
What brought you two together in the first place? What were the things that you enjoyed doing together? If you need the know how to save a relationship with your partner you might have to just make an about turn and go back to where it all started, that is, where you both started.
Sometimes to reevaluate the past gives critical info that will help you reconcile with the present and make sure you easily move on in the future. Reflecting on how the relationship was in the beginning will give insights to what the differences are and what are the problems. Truth is relationship will change as this is only natural. Sadly some relationships only change for the worse
Try something old – As a relationship advances, it becomes all too easy to make excuses not to make time for each other. When we do get together, we may do things out of a sense of form or obligation. Relationships tend to start fizzling out when we stop sharing the lively things we used to share with our partner. Moreover, once things start to fizzle out, we become even less inclined to share these activities.
The cycle that’s created forces more and more distance between partners. We can challenge this by making a commitment to take part in activities we and our partner used to share and enjoy together. If we used to go on walks, we shouldn’t let a long workday dissuade us from getting outside. Participating in activities that light us up or that light our partner up helps us stay close with our partner, while feeling the most ourselves.
You also need to change the way that you see things. Often, when you are confronted with a bad situation, you readily accept defeat. This is not how things should be. Behind this bad situation is usually a very good one. You should be able to capture what is wrong and make the necessary changes. Avoid looking at only one side of things, but analyze every corner.
People tend to get stuck in certain patterns of behavior and the ways they choose to solve problems. Getting comfortable in your habits can be the kiss of death for a romantic relationship. Maybe you always eat at the same restaurant or just sit around on the couch on Saturday nights. Instead of going through the motions in your relationship, find novel ways to spend time together and grow as a couple.
Finding a new place to have that heart-to-heart conversation or taking a new class together can keep your relationship feeling fresh and new.
Changing of environment is also very important. Changing environment does not mean just merely going from one place to the next and then everything just gets miraculously fixed. Changing environment just simply change the perspective, and gives new insights to how best to work on the relationship.
Many couples will testify that just simply changing their environment, if only for a short period of time has helped their relationship tremendously.
- Check in on one another’s progress.
After you’ve figured out the areas needing change and you’ve put forth the effort to cease your destructive behavior, agree to check in with each other every so often (perhaps once a month or once every six weeks). This allows you to assess your relationship, and what each of you have done to improve it (hint: praise each other for what you’ve each done right so far, change doesn’t happen perfectly). Checking in periodically also allows you to address new issues and jump on potential struggles before they take root. Like your initial meeting, make sure this assessment is done SSprivately.
No matter how much you care about your loved one, work, kids, and social activities can make you feel like two ships passing in the night. When you and your significant other are leading separate lives, it’s a struggle to find the time to address and fix your problems let alone have fun together.
Try to be a part of her world every day, even if it’s in a small way. Ask about your loved one’s friends and job, or set up a double date with your mutual friends. These gestures show your significant other that you’re invested in her world as much as your own and will encourage her to show you the same kindness.
- Be Willing to Compromise
As with any relationship, compromise plays a large role in the ultimate success or failure of the endeavor. Saving a relationship also depends on how much each party is willing to accommodate the other person. At the same time, your partner should also be open to your ideas and views. A result of two people willing to bend to the needs of the other is the discovery of a middle ground where they can both be pleased with the dynamics of the relationship.
A relationship counselor can act as a guide on this odyssey. Relationship relies on each party being able to put aside individual desires and wants and encompassing each other’s. Putting primacy on your own ambitions will likely only annoy and frustrate your partner, so how to save a relationship from breakdown is all about making sure both people in the relationship are happy.
- Figure out the hurts, disappointments and misunderstandings
You need to analyze what your faults were to know how to save your relationship. What aspect of your personality turned him off? If you were possessive, change this behavior and learn how to be more understanding and less controlling. If you were always moody and high-tempered, study how to lessen these emotions in order to be more calm and cool. If you were the type of partner who just seemed to be neglectful, learn to be more concerned and caring because man by nature is always in need of tender loving care.
Salvaging a relationship frequently implies agreeing to ignore, or forget about, painful incidents from the past. But the problem with such “planned amnesia” is that much of what took place earlier may still be festering within you, your partner, or both of you. Whether right on the surface, or somewhere beneath it, certain memories may still harbor substantial negative residue.
Recreating your relationship entails attending to, and scrupulously striving to comprehend, past hurts—but from a far more empathic and compassionate perspective: One where the goal isn’t to evaluate or judge but to sympathetically understand and forgive. Exploring these admittedly noxious scenarios in a healthier, more healing manner enables fresh insights to emerge and assists both parties in grasping the other’s motives as less spiteful or malicious than originally assumed. It also helps past issues to get resolved in a way that couldn’t have happened earlier because your communication may have been laden with accusations and counter-accusations, verbal aggression, or hostility.
- 21. Surprise each other!
Surprise your spouse with gifts on their birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentine’s Day. You can mail each other postcards and hand-written love letters to keep the fire burning. Shop online and surprise each other with very cool T-shirts, sexy underwear’s and such things alike says Shawn T. McIntyre the CEO and founder of Shawn McIntyre Fitness.
As well as adding more planned activities and gifts to your relationship routine, the occasional surprise can really spice things up. And you don’t have to stick to flowers — though flowers are always a welcome surprise.
Bringing your significant other a muffin at work or sticking an “I love you” note on her pillow can make her day. These gestures may seem insignificant, but they can save your relationship because they go a long way toward showing your loved one that you care.
- Stop the Rush to Judgment
The psychologist Carl Rogers believed that conflict begins with our habit of making judgments. We hear an opinion or witness an action, make a quick assumption, pass judgment and react. There’s a method to interrupt the process the mind goes through to make the snap judgment. It seems instantaneous, but you can interrupt this sequence.
This all happens in a split second, even though your mind is doing something quite complicated. What you can learn to do, after a lot of practice, is to stop the process before making that final judgment and launching an attack. It sounds simple, but it’s hard to do: You have to check out your interpretation with your partner.
Once you’ve been able to interrupt the rush to judgment, both of you can listen to one another’s concerns more easily. The hard part is to listen without trying to evaluate or judge. There’s a strong urge to interrupt, criticize, dismiss – all by making those quick judgments you’re trying to be conscious of. The best thing is to listen silently and concentrate on what your partner is saying. They’re describing how they see things, and that’s what you need to understand.
After that, it’s helpful to mirror back what you’ve heard to show that you really do hear what they’re saying. The feeling that you’re being heard and understood is a powerful one in any relationship. It’s an affirming and hopeful experience.
- Stop complaining and take care of yourself
How much time do you spend thinking about or complaining about what he or she is doing wrong? Catch yourself, and stop. Consciously turn your focus, at that moment, to what would be the best thing you could do, right now, to look after yourself and your own life.
Could you call a friend? (note: this would be to say hello, not to complain!) Are your finances in dire need of attention? Could you do something around the house that you’ve been putting off that’s weighing on you? How about going for a walk, or a trip to the gym, to burn off your frustration and those extra pounds?
There’s always something more productive that you can do rather than stewing or complaining. Clearly, if you’re upset and there’s a major conflict in your relationship, it needs to be addressed at some point (women, in particular, who hold in resentments and unexpressed anger are at greater risk for early death). However, if you spend a significant amount of your life energy being angry with or complaining about your partner, resolve to take the attention off of them and onto what needs to be attended to in your own life.
Many factors can lead to the breakdown of your relationship, and for every couple they are different. For some it might be an intimacy issue. For others it could be inclusion of children in the marriage that could possibly lead to a communication breakdown. And some couples struggle with issues of infidelity. Whatever the reason may be, there are options to think about before you decide to give up and separate from your spouse. Most marital problems can be worked through with commitment, patient communication, and good counsel and help from others.
You also need to be patient with yourself and your partner. Give yourselves plenty of time to internalize new ways of relating to each other.
A lot of relationships break down because neither party is willing to be proactive and take the lead. As this pattern continues, it becomes harder to reach out, and you and your significant other drift farther apart. By taking the initiative to buy concert tickets, start a conversation, or make a fun dinner, you can stop this cycle and pull your relationship out of its rut.