All relationships go through rough patches. In fact, you may be going through one right now. But, that doesn’t mean that the two of you should call it quits. The truth is, there are multiple ways to solve relationship problems without breaking up.
Keep reading to learn about the steps you can take to save a relationship – regardless of the obstacles in the way.
1. Focus on what drew you together
The first course of action is to remember what drew the two of you together in the first place. After all, you’re together for a reason – right?
Maybe you wanted to be with your partner because of sexual chemistry, shared interests, or the fact that they helped you become someone new.
However, we don’t always pick people for reasons that will sustain a long-term relationship. Sometimes we pick people who helped us during a certain time in our lives – but now no longer need that help. In this example, you may have forgotten what that person did for you and why you became together in the first place.
If you were truly in love with your partner at the start of your relationship, there may still be time to regain that feeling of love. In this case, start to reminisce about the early days of intimacy and affection.
2. Maintain open communication
The number one priority for a healthy relationship is to have open conversations with your partner. Too often we avoid difficult conversations, which can lead to resentment and explosive arguments.
It’s best to approach the topic before it escalates. Try sitting down with your partner and opening up. You can start with a simple, “Hey, can we talk for a moment, please? There’s something on my mind.”
It’s best to have this conversation in a comfortable environment that allows the two of you to be your true selves. Avoid any public talks, and make sure not to have the discussion after a night of heavy drinking.
Honesty is the best policy, so don’t hold back. Concealing certain things will only hurt you in the long run.
It’s important to not expect everything to be perfect after your chat. You may have read that relationships should be a certain way, but all relationships are different. There’s no “one way” to have a relationship; the only requirement is that your relationship is healthy.
3. Take a breather
Relationships can be a whirlwind of love and excitement, which can result in many problems including losing individual identities or not having enough time to reflect.
It may be a good idea to take a breather. Not a long break, but enough time to give each other space to work on any emotional issues.
During this break, you’ll gain insight into where things went wrong in the relationship. Once you’ve collected your thoughts, you can go back to your partner with a clearer head and try to fix any issues. This can also prevent you or your partner from making rash comments in the heat of the moment.
Your partner is a special person to you, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend all of your time with that person. It’s extremely easy to lose yourself and rely on your partner for everything you need or want in the relationship.
Taking time to be independent can really help your relationship. If you can feel good in your own time, then you can really appreciate time with your partner when you come together again.
4. Remember that the grass isn’t greener
You may see other couples and start to compare your relationship with theirs. This is a frequent problem with the rise in social media platforms, like Instagram. With social media, it’s easy to look at happy couples and assume they are in a perfect relationship with no problems at all.
The truth is that you will never know what is happening behind closed doors. These couples usually aren’t as perfect as you may think. For example, a picture of a man buying bunches of flowers for his girlfriend might be hiding an extremely abusive relationship.
Looking at these pictures may convince you that the answer is to leave your partner for someone else who won’t give you any problems, but the reality is that every relationship has its own set of challenges.
5. Make some compromises
It’s only natural for disagreements to happen. You may believe one thing while your partner believes the total opposite, which can cause disagreements and even lead to break ups.
But, there is a third position in every argument: Compromise.
Empathizing with each other’s viewpoints and making compromises will give a huge boost to the health of your relationship. Remember: you are a team – not competing against each other. Sometimes compromise is needed for the benefit of that team.
Furthermore, valuing your partner’s opinion will build trust and show that you truly care about them, which can make all the difference in your relationship.
6. Have frequent date nights
Remember when you first started dating? There was magic in the air and you couldn’t wait see each other again. What changed?
Relationships can go stale if there aren’t any date nights or exciting times. It’s too easy to slip into a comfortable position where you aren’t making an effort to please each other.
Don’t get too worked up about what you do together. You could get a take away and relax on the sofa, go hiking up a mountain, or go to a local cocktail bar. Whatever it is, make sure you do something that is outside your everyday activities.
7. Have open conversations about money
Money problems can seriously damage even the strongest of relationships. Whether you can’t afford to go for dates or you’ve missed a few bill payments, it’s understandable for poor finances to affect a relationship.
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) advices couples to take their finances seriously by facing the issue and having an honest conversation together.
It’s important to be honest about where you both are with your finances. There’s a strong possibility that big changes will need to be made if you want to resolve the issue. But, don’t bring up the topic in the midst of an argument. Instead, arrange a time where both of you can sit down and tackle the issue together.
- Don’t blame each other
- Don’t keep secrets
- Create a budget
- Make goals for the short and long term
8. Confront your problems early
It’s important to face relationship problems before they become too serious. Not talking about something that is bothering you can lead to built up bitterness and resentment. You should be able to discuss any issues that are troubling you with your life partner.
Here’s a tip: Hold hands with your partner while confronting relationship problems or discussing important issues. It may sound cheesy, but this method is highly recommended by psychologists to form an intimate connection that promotes teamwork and empathy.
9. Don’t be too influenced by the opinions of others
While it’s great to get an opinion from your friends and family, only you know the ins and outs of your relationship. Your friends may be biased, as it’s very common for selfish friends to want you to be single again.
Furthermore, friends can all give different opinions on the situation, which can result in you becoming overwhelmed and confused. While your friends may mean well, it’s best not to let your friends become too involved in the relationship.
10. Don’t rule out couples counselling
If a few changes aren’t enough to solve the problems in your relationship, then you can try couples counselling. Despite what some people may think, couples counselling is not about pointing a finger at who is to blame. Instead, couples counselling acts as a safe place to communicate in a productive environment.
Having a third party with outside views can help you gain another perspective. Counsellors are very beneficial in helping you and your partner communicate with each other. You can use a resource like Regain to find local counsellors in your area.
Studies conducted by The American Psychological Association found that roughly 75% of all couples who had couples counselling said their relationship improved as a result.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the most common relationship problems?
Trust: When a relationship doesn’t have trust, it has nothing. Trust issues can include checking your partner’s phone, not believing where they have been, or accusing them of infidelity.
Distance: It’s a sad day when relationships end due to distance. This type of relationship demands both partners to be on top of their communication game.
Money: Money makes the world go round, and can also make or break a relationship.
Sex: Your relationship may be full of love, but maybe things aren’t right in the bedroom. This is a very sensitive topic for a lot of couples, but it’s vital to talk about any sexual problems.
Arguments: Every relationship has arguments, but it’s important not to clash too often. Many couples fail to make-up after an intense shouting match.
These are all the most common relationship problems, but that’s all they are – problems. You don’t have to end your relationship if you have experienced any of the above. To find the solution, follow the advice in this article or seek professional help from a relationship counsellor.
Is it normal to argue every day in a relationship?
Every relationship experiences arguments from time to time. However, that doesn’t mean it’s normal to argue every day. Some couples never shout at each other; making passive-aggressive comments every day can make the relationship toxic.
During arguments with your partner, are you trying to resolve the issue or does it quickly turn into a competition? If you notice that you’re focusing on your partner’s weaknesses, then it’s wise to go about things in a different manner.
When is it time to give up?
Unfortunately there may come a day when it’s time to give up. No one wants a relationship to end, but sometimes it’s the only option for a healthy life – especially if the relationship has become toxic or there is a level of disrespect.
If you are making an effort to change and the relationship is improving, don’t give up on your relationship just yet. You could be one or two behavior changes away from a healthy relationship that lasts a lifetime.
Why do couples fight?
Couples often fight for no reason at all. In fact, if your partner is making illogical arguments, then there is a chance that they are unhappy for another reason, and just looking for any excuse to fight with you.
It could be anxiety, ego, fears, or even depression. The only way to stop these random fighting matches is to get to the root of the problem.
The Bottom Line
As we all know, no relationship is smooth sailing. It’s common to encounter obstacles on your journey together. While some issues are easily fixable, others have no solution – which can lead to the end of a relationship.
It’s important to remember that breaking up is not always the answer. If you’re unsure on how to save your relationship without breaking up, the tips above are a helpful resource and a healthy step towards happiness.