Jim works long hours and Lisa doesn’t feel he is there for her. Lisa spends all of her time meeting the children’s needs and Jim feels that she doesn’t have time for his needs? Can this relationship be saved? Should it be saved? Here’s how to save a relationship.
First, you must decide whether the relationship is worth saving. While almost every relationship can be saved with hard work, both parties must decide that they want to make it work. If a partner has opted out and doesn’t want to opt back in, there is little that can be done.
Many people stay in a relationship because it is convenient or remain in a marriage because of the children. But that is not enough. How to save a relationship starts with a commitment by both parties that the relationship is worth saving.
Next, you must pinpoint the problem or problems in a relationship. One of the biggest problems in how to save a relationship is that people believe the symptoms of the problem are the problem itself.
For instance, many people think an affair is a problem that causes break ups. In truth, the affair is a symptom of a deeper problem. For instance, a lack of true intimacy can lead to a straying spouse. While most people look at the affair as the problem, the underlying cause of the affair was the lack of intimacy in the primary relationship. If you do not deal with the lack of intimacy, you might be able to keep another affair from starting through the use of guilt, but another problem (for instance pornography) could pop up because you haven’t dealt with the core issue.
When you start to deal with core issues rather than symptoms, you can save the relationship.
Once you have identified the core problems, you can begin to share your thoughts. This means both verbalizing your own feelings and listening to your partner’s concerns. Hold your partner’s hand when you are talking about your problems as a signal that you want to reconnect even when your emotions are swirling. When your partner talks about things that hurt you remember that he or she is not doing it because he or she wants to hurt you. Rather it is because they want to improve the relationship.
Once you have detailed the problems in your relationship, create an action plan to solve them. Then, take concrete steps on your action plan. If you don’t spend time together like you used to, plan a date night every week. You should take turns coming up with creative ways to spend an evening together each Wednesday. If not communicating is the problem, commit to spending 20 minutes before going to bed just talking to one another. And, then do it.
Finally, you should realize that saving a relationship is an ongoing process. You are going to take two steps forward only to take one step back. There is going to be both laughter and tears going forward. Be quick to apologize and slow to blame.
Is your relationship worth saving? If so, I’ve described in this article how to save a relationship.