All relationships have periods of uncertainty, turmoil, and turbulence. Even successful long-term relationships have conflicts. Don’t believe it when your great-grandfather says there wasn’t a single day that he wasn’t thankful for marrying your great-grandmother.
All relationships have conflict, whether people want to admit it, or not. From mild annoyances to serious stressors, a conflict can have a snowball effect on your relationship. If you don’t address the problems, they can destroy your relationship.
If you have conflict in your relationship, all is not lost. If both partners give time, effort and a little bit of patience, it’s possible to save a relationship, even if it’s severely broken. Here are a couple of steps that can help you fix your relationship.
1. Introduce Positivity:
The snowball effect of your relationship’s problems is much worse if it’s the only thing you focus on. Take a few moments, when you’re not bickering or dealing with the stressors that are building a wall around you, to do something you enjoy doing together.
If you both enjoy a hobby, find a way to bring that activity back into your life. Taking a workout class, going hiking, or taking an art course, can offer a positive challenge that will remind you and your partner that you are a great team.
2. Set Goals Together:
If you live in the past, you will kill your relationship. Instead of focusing on your past traumas and fights, start thinking about what you want your relationship to look like in the future. Then you can determine the best way to achieve those goals.
Don’t just write abstract terms like “teamwork” and “happiness.” Your goal needs to state exactly what you want; then you can plan out the steps needed to get there. If you both have your eyes on your long-term goals, you can work as allies with a sense of purpose.
3. Try to Share Your Painful Feelings, Not Just Anger:
When a person tries to defend themselves against fear, pain and hurt, one common defense mechanism is to turn those feelings into anger. Yelling and arguing with your partner, is actually a twisted way of expressing fear or hurt. Adults train themselves to repress their feelings until they come out sideways.
Anger may feel safer than telling your partner about your fears or crying, but it can cause more damage to your relationship. Sadness and fear are scary emotions. However, they’re healthy to share. Tell your partner how you feel without accusing them. Try to use the words “I” or “me,” not “you.” When you own your feelings, your partner will be less likely to feel defensive. This tips alone can save a damaged relationship.
4. Don’t Be So Serious:
Try to lighten up at home. It’s not enough to just pursue a hobby together; you need to inject some fun into your life. Challenge your partner to a sit-up or push-up contest during the commercial breaks in your favorite TV shows. Play karaoke music while washing the dishes or making dinner.
Do things to break up your routine and lighten the atmosphere. A little fun can go a long way. When you’re a place of joy and fun, it’s easier for love to come back into your relationship.