Do you want to know how to fix a broken relationship?
It may not be easy, but it can be done. If you want to know how to fix your broken relationship, this article will outline the best tips to help you mend and heal your relationship.
No matter what’s happened, ALMOST every problem in a relationship can be fixed.
Couples can recover from:
• Trust issues
• Money problems and financial fights
• Cheating and infidelity
• Arguments that get very heated
• Differences regarding kids and how to raise them
• Sexual intimacy problems that go on for years
• Communication breakdowns
• Yelling and screaming bouts
• Separations and even divorce
• Constantly fighting and arguing
• Not feeling understood and distant from each other
• Differences with the in-laws, and other family members
• Most challenges that couples can endure can be fixed. However, some issues take more work and require more effort. But if both people are willing to put in the time and effort, it’s possible to mend the wounds.
Fixing a broken relationship is worth all your effort because until you resolve the problems, you won’t be able to rest.
As you likely already know, a broken relationship can make you find it difficult to sleep, control your moods, stay happy, be productive at work, and add to your anxiety levels.
In addition, science is pretty clear – that unhappiness and broken relationships have many negative impacts on one’s health and outlook on life.
ALSO, READ How to mend broken trust in a relationship
If you’re wondering how to fix a broken relationship, here are the steps:
Step One For How To Fix A Broken Relationship:
1. Acknowledge There’s A Problem
Fixing a broken relationship starts the same way as any recovery program.
At first, you spent time denying the issues and swept them under the rug. You let the problems live on, hoping they would disappear or hoping things wouldn’t get worse if you just ignored them. But, things didn’t get better, they likely got worse.
Now you’re here, and things are broken.
Maybe the future looks bleak, but you want your relationship to work.
The only way forward is to stop ignoring that there’s a problem.
It’s time to admit there’s an issue. It’s been going on for too long. And it’s time to fix the problems, to find answers, and to heal the wounds.
When both people can admit things aren’t perfect, you can heal together. Even more, when both people can verbally acknowledge that something is broken, both people can mend wounds, find healing, and do it together as a team.
Being willing to mend as a team is a giant step. It’s the most essential step in your healing journey.
Every relationship that breaks always does so because the couple stops being together. For one reason or another, the partners don’t feel unified.
Maybe they don’t feel understood, perhaps they feel like strangers, maybe they feel too different, or like they have different priorities… The reasons why partners don’t feel unified are endless, and yet, the cause of a broken relationship is the same.
Not feeling together, unified, and understood is the cause of every break in your relationship.
Admitting that things are broken together, brings you back as a couple.
This one-step, when taken together, begins the process of fixing things.
The relationship broke because you lost the sense of togetherness. But now, coming together on this one thing will lead you to the next step to fix your broken relationship.
2. Make A Pact To Work On Things Together
When only one person is working on the relationship, it creates an imbalance. Most issues in relationships are created together, and they can only be healed as a couple.
Acknowledging that things are broken brings you together, and now by making a pact to work on things together, you create that balance of togetherness that you were missing.
Being a team! being a couple!! that’s how you fix a broken relationship.
At this stage, you may not have the answers. You may not know how to fix the issues, but by making a pact to be a team to fix the problems, you begin an alchemical process that leads to healing.
The agreement to work on things together is like covering holes on a sinking ship. Without this agreement, you can’t fix the sinking ship that is your relationship.
Coming together on the fact that things are broken, making a pact to work on things, these steps are the most monumental steps any couple can take. Getting unified on the most basic of things brings you together and creates a glue that will bring you and your partner together in a way nothing else can.
Step Three For How To Fix A Broken Relationship:
3. Take Full Responsibility For Creating The Problems
When couples choose to take responsibility for their issues, it opens the realms of transformation.
While a broken relationship experiences a tear because both people are pointing fingers, a transformed and healthy partnership experiences healing when each person can take responsibility.
Pointing fingers, wishing your partner would change, and trying to make our partner see our perspective usually just leads to more fighting.
After spending thousands of hours sitting with couples, it’s clear to me that the fastest path to healing is through taking personal responsibility.
Without a doubt, every broken relationship suffers these core issues:
Both partners don’t feel heard
Each partner doesn’t feel listened to or understood
Both people feel like they’re fighting to have their voice heard
Nobody feels fully validated or accepted
Both people wish their partner would just stop and listen
Nobody is taking responsibility, and both people blame one another
These problems often manifest in fights about intimacy, money, the children, sex, the home-life, commitment problems, power struggles, and trust issues. There’s a variety of ways relationships find their way to being broken, yet, the road back to love is always the same.
On that road back to love, the steps always start with coming together. Deciding that you both want your relationship, you want it more than you want the fighting.
Once the agreement is made that you both want love, you will both need to move towards taking personal responsibility. To move into this stage of healing, both people will need to answer this crucial question:
“In what way do I contribute to the issues my relationship is experiencing?”
Both people must answer this question:
“How do I contribute to the problems in my relationship?”
No more finger-pointing, no more blaming, just personal responsibility.
If it’s true that it takes two to tango, it’s true that every relationship problem you and your partner must fix together.Seeing how we contribute to relationship issues isn’t always easy, and it’s usually challenging to find our responsibility in perpetuating the problems.
And here’s a truth that is hard to swallow, every single problem we have in our relationship, we’re somehow responsible.
Just imagine how much you’d like your partner to say:
“I know that because I do that one thing, I upset you. I know that by doing this thing, I make things worse. And I know I hurt you when I do that thing or this other thing.”
Wouldn’t it feel wonderful to have your partner acknowledge how much their actions hurt you?
Wouldn’t it be great if your partner took responsibility?
If your partner could just see how they’re creating the issue, you love it. But, it won’t happen until both people take responsibility.
No matter how much blame there is to go around, both people participate in the issues you’re having.
Turning towards one another and admitting how you’ve contributed to the issue is the solution. When both people own their part in breaking the relationship, healing and mending can begin.
Sometimes couples can do this alone, and quite often, it helps to hire a counselor. Not only does a relationship counselor help the couple open up, but a counselor can also help both people find their half in creating the issue.
*Ideally, you work with a relationship counselor, as this kind of counselor knows couples, and it’s their specialty to help couples.
4. Hire A Relationship Counselor To Move Things Along
I once heard that at the height of Tiger Woods’ career, he had twenty-one coaches.
Similarly, every professional athlete who plays at the highest levels has a coach.
All of us who want to be great at anything, have coaches, mentors, and trainers.
While you might think you can heal a broken relationship alone, you’d do well to consider that many blind spots got you into this mess.
It’s never a requirement for a couple to get a counselor, but, just like athletes and professionals in any field benefit by having a coach or mentor, couples can expedite the healing and learn with a good relationship counselor.
Some of the benefits of hiring a relationship counselor are:
Having a third non-biased party present.
Get training that helps you move past your negative patterns.
Be supported through your process of transformation, so you don’t get stuck in the same old issues.
It can help you clarify your feelings and hear your partner’s feelings more clearly.
Having a relationship expert spot you and your partner’s blind spots.
Having an expert guide you through proven methods to ensure healthy communication.
Being in a new space with a professional who stops fights before they happen.
Have someone role model and support you through the process of talking with your partner in new, more loving ways.
Get the insights that you are missing, which make it possible to transform how you manage and handle your partnership.
Have someone to notice and help you tweak your unconscious patterns (Duke University study reveals 40% of our habits are unconscious, a counselor can help spot those patterns and encourage conscious transformation).
As a counselor, it’s impossible to list out all the benefits, but the most important one for couples is this:
A counselor can help you consciously create the love you want, so you’re happy in your relationship.
If you’re able to, do yourself a favor and hire a relationship counselor who specializes in couples and make the healing process more straightforward.
5. Schedule Quality Time Together
A common symptom of unhealthy relationships is a lack of togetherness.
Breaking a relationship happens in pieces. First, there’s a series of unresolved arguments, disputes, and the feeling that your partner doesn’t care or understand you.
Bit-by-bit, the couple feels distant and struggles to enjoy each other’s company. What was good is now tainted with the fear of a looming fight.
To avoid more problems, the couple slowly starts to spend less time together. And that, in turn, makes them grow apart more and more, until one day the best decision to call it quits.
Divorce doesn’t happen because a couple feels unified and is having a lot of fun. Relationships end because people feel too different, they fight too much, or things aren’t as good as they once were.
Before you grow apart too much, come back together. Take some time to schedule fun.
The best way back to love is to schedule quality time together.
In our overworked-society, it’s easy to make our relationship the last thing on our ‘to-do’ list. And it’s that kind of lousy prioritization that hurts relationships. Put your relationship at the bottom of important things, and soon, it will suffer the consequences.
When things are bad in our relationship, it’s not a natural compulsion to lean in, schedule time together, and find ways to make our partnership great again. Yet, the way back to wholehearted connection can only be had couples schedule quality time together.
The best way to grow together is by spending time together.
Even though things are bad, and it might be scary to schedule time together, the time apart guarantees you’ll grow apart.
It’s only through increasing quality time together that you can:
Grow together and feel like a team again
Improve your love maps and love quotient (more on this, in this article)
Start to heal and mend those wounds
Undo those knots and feel that connection again
Share love, time, and space together
Time together is one of the best ways to mend those broken things. Even if things aren’t so good, time together can begin the process of making things great again.
How To Schedule Time Together To Fix Your Broken Relationship
If you’re convinced now that time together will help mend the wounds, it’s time to discuss how to you can best spend time together with your partner.
Most people do this part wrong.
Since things have been bad, most people hear the advice to spend time together and either recoil and feel free, or they take this action to an extreme and plan a long week or weekend together.
Both of these strategies tend to work against the intended desire, so here’s the best way to spend time together, so it actually works.
Spend time together in small increments. Instead of a scheduled long-weekend, try planning a short amount of time where you’ll focus on enjoying each other’s company.
Some suggestions for short scheduled ‘mini-dates’ are:
Take a ten-minute walk together
Watch a sitcom show together
Cook a leisurely meal as a couple
Ask your partner about their day, set a 5-minute timer and take turns
Give each other short 5-10 minute massages and play soothing music
Go to the gym together and do a part of your workout together (stretch, or lifting, or treadmill side-by-side)
Clean the house as a couple for 10 minutes
Try my couple’s game, Date Night Questions For Every Couple.
The idea here isn’t so much as ‘what you do’ but rather – how you do it.
If a relationship has been riddled with negativity, scheduling short bursts of positive time together will work to rebuild the relationship into something that feeds both of you.
Short bursts of time together are comfortable, don’t require much, but over time, this strategy will work wonders on your relationship.
6. Practice Honest And Kind Transparency
In any relationship riddled with issues, honesty works like a healing salve.
Being honest with kindness and love in mind – will work wonders for any relationship that suffers from trust issues, disconnection, communication breakdowns, and negative patterns.
Learning to be honest in a kind way is crucial.
An excellent way to practice kind and honest communication to use a formula. Although it may feel awkward to use a script with how you communicate your emotions, decades of research has shown it works.
Just like any formula, try this out, tweak it in a way that works for you, but stick as close to this formula as you can – and then as you become more proficient in the method, you can take off the training wheels.
Start with the formula so you can experience what it’s like to express yourself with kindness, love, and empathy.
When you’re upset, sad, mad, or angry use this formula:
I feel __________ (insert an emotion like, sad, mad, angry, happy, anxious, uncomfortable) about __________ (insert situation that caused your feelings) and I am wondering if we can talk about it.
This formula ensures you’ll bring up an issue in a way that doesn’t set your partner’s alarms, but instead, helps them hear you.
I know this method, done without a relationship counselor, can feel awkward, but repeated research from experts from The Gottman Institute, have shown it works to help couples have disagreements without fighting.
Another suggestion to help you learn the process of communicating with more honesty and kindness, check out the fantastic book Conscious Loving.
Besides a book, or trying this formula, relationship counseling is the most desirable and assured way to help you transform toxic communication patterns. You can learn more about online relationship counseling here.
7. Practice Appreciation, Give Gratitude
You see, I once heard:
“Love is not a feeling, it’s an ability.”
And if it’s an ability, it’s something we can get better at. It’s something we can practice and improve at.
Fixing your broken relationship is just a matter of taking the right actions to remedy the problems.
One of the chronic symptoms of relationships that are falling apart is that both partners don’t feel appreciated or understood.
Injecting appreciation, gratitude, and verbal praise into your relationship can help remedy many of the significant issues.
To practice gratitude and appreciation in your relationship, try these suggestions:
Let your partner know how much you appreciate something they’ve done, no matter how small it is.
(Maybe they made dinner, took out the garbage, texted you something sweet?)
Has your partner hugged you or kissed you recently in a way you liked? Let him/her know.
Leave a post-it note or small card with a sweet note in it somewhere your partner will find it.
Give your partner a long hug, and whisper something kind into his/her ear.
Send your partner a sweet text message.
Offer to do something small and kind for your partner.
Call your partner to say, “Just wanted to let you know I was having sweet thoughts of you.”
Make your partner something you know they like to eat and pack it in his/her lunch.
Tell your partner one quality that you admire about him/her.
Share with your partner, something that you remember fondly.
Close your eyes and send your partner thoughts of wellness and healing
Offer to give your partner a short massage and tell them it’s because you want to say, “thank you” for all he/she does
Start with something small. You don’t have to do large gestures to show appreciation. What you need is consistency, small actions are taken regularly will work to rewire your partner to expect goodness from you and to look forward to the goodness in your relationship.
When both people take actions to fix the relationship and use the outlined steps here on how to fix your broken relationship, you can heal any wounds and past hurts.
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