How to Fix a Relationship

What can you do if the relationship you were counting on, building your life around, and wanted more than anything in the world seems doomed?

What does a strong, confident woman do when she’s faced with this important decision? That is, to either walk away from what she wants—what she really desires with all her heart—or to be stubborn and fight extra hard for the relationship you’ve invested so much time in.

The worst case scenario is that you risk annoying your ex-boyfriend to the point where he cuts you off completely. The best case scenario is that you fix your relationship and avoid the breakup that seems inevitable right now.

If you want to learn how to repair what is broken, it’s time to take decisive steps. It’s not too late. But it may be surprising to you when you learn that most of your instincts on this are wrong. Sometimes the best approach is the opposite approach as these five tips show.

1. Stop living in denial. Acknowledge the problems on both ends.

It may feel self-empowering to deny any responsibility in an ailing relationship. But it’s only hurting the both of you. Sometimes what your partner wants is validation that his suffering is real…that it’s not all in his mind. Sometimes the best approach is to discuss the problems you have frankly. If you’re in doubt, ask him to confide in you what he feels and what he wants more of in the relationship. You don’t have to change who you are…but the first part of negotiation is accepting compromise and acknowledging your partner’s pain.

2. Mirror his energy and give him the support he wants.

Men will either have one of two reactions to a troubled relationship: they will either withdraw or they will try to talk the problems out (albeit sometimes in an agitated state). Just because a man seems negative, angry or passive aggressive doesn’t necessarily mean he has lost all love for you. Sometimes men really do just “vent” and they want to let out their frustrations. Let him speak his mind and assume that if he’s this passionate about the relationship, he really does care about the outcome. He doesn’t want to lose you but wants to fix this problem.

The other extreme is that your guy is distancing himself from all feelings, discussions and bonding sessions. He may be hurt, he may be thinking, or he may be trying NOT to think. Whatever the case may be, let him go.

Chasing after him and forcing him to talk about something he clearly is not ready to talk about is only poking the monster. He will either lash out of you or worse yet, just break things off completely. The best thing to do is to mirror his energy and give him the space he is obviously signaling that he needs.

Giving him his independence doesn’t mean that you’re submitting to him, nor does it mean you’re just giving up on him. It simply means that you accept his behavior. You don’t have to condone his behavior and you certainly don’t have to “wait for him” to come back to you.

But you are willing to let him go because he should always feel that he has the freedom to leave. He doesn’t necessarily have the freedom to “come back”. That’s up to you, whether you want him back in your life and how much effort he’s putting in to charming you and chasing you.

However, he can always leave because you’re independent and you don’t NEED HIM to be happy. You are a complete person with or without him.

3. Once you start negotiating again, focus on compromise.

Once you get back to the discussion phase of the pre-breakup, it’s time to focus on SOLUTIONS, not more rehashes of past offenses. Once both partners open up about mistakes and problems of the past, it’s time to move ever forward.

Now you’re onto the compromise stage. If you both feel there’s something beautiful worth preserving here, then you’re going to be willing to make some concessions. This makes your partner feel safer and helps you both build trust in these new rules and parameters.

This attitude of solutions first, arguments postponed will help you keep in mind what’s really important. You’re not attacking each other as people…just the behavioral patterns that bother you. You can work together to stop bad habits or at least limit them in a way acceptable to your partner.

It’s very important to minimize emotion in general when you’re working for a common solution. While it is cathartic to release your frustration openly and AVOID bottling up your negative feelings, it will serve you better to focus on facts. Focus on ideas for compromise and not on the volatile emotion you feel. Don’t go on the offensive and don’t become defensive, if your partner starts discussing patterns that bother him.

It’s not a fact that you’re guilty of doing something terrible…it’s a fact that something you do is bothering him. Listen so you can try to figure out a way to address his concerns, without totally changing who you are.

4. Empathize with him and listen closely.

The best way to get through a personal and volatile argument is to try to understand your partner’s perspective. What may sound like hateful or resentful commentary is oftentimes masking grief, fear, and paranoia. Remember that he may have other physical or emotional problems that are only adding to the stress of the relationship. Sometimes taking the mind of your partner and seeing things from his point of view will help the two of you find a workable compromise.

What does help is to listen closely, ask questions clarifying detail, and summarizing what his main complaints are. Answer his concerns logically and calmly. This will eventually cue him to match your energy and stop him from becoming overly emotional or defensive.

5. Lastly, always follow up your new conflict resolution agreement with more connection and more bonding time. Communication is key.

The makeup part of a mended relationship increases intimacy, mutual respect and oftentimes reignites old passions, making you both feel rejuvenated. Now is your chance to “maintenance” the relationship by talking more, sharing more feelings, and spending time rebuilding mutual respect. Communication is key because it’s not just the big arguments that keep your love going. It’s the little touches, the compliments, the please and thank you sentiments…the willingness you have to confide in each other and stay the closest of friends.

All relationships will be tested, especially as time goes on. But there’s no reason why you can’t save your marriage or engagement. All it takes is the desire to stay together and a strategy to come together again with a newfound respect.

About The Author

Matthew Coast

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