Every relationship has its ups and downs. Sometimes the downs are extremely down, and a great extent of extra effort is needed to save the relationship before it drowns completely.
Before you embark on this journey, realize that both parties have to want to work together to resurface a sinking ship. No way can this be a one-sided mission. Still, no matter how far a relationship falls, most struggling couples can come out on top and better than ever by trying a few things:
1. Re-Assess Why You Were Together
Once upon a time, spending time with your love was the highlight of your day. All those hours thinking of their voice and longing for their touch, every moment you were apart… You couldn’t picture breathing without them. Well, maybe their habits are a tad annoying, now and their presence is growingly irritating.
No despair. This is a normal reaction as a couple becomes overly comfortable over time. Hard times, routines, and the stresses of life can put a damper on our perspective, sometimes making it difficult to appreciate what remains beautiful around us.
Recollect the little things that brought those feelings alive. Don’t make the mistake of neglecting your love for misery. Revisit places you frequented when you first met. Reenact your early dates, fantasize about your first kiss or your first time undressing together. Go back to using the perfume or cologne you know drives them wild.
The butterflies in your stomach are still there. They just need to be revived by your best memories. Remembering why you were together in the first place is the first step to fixing a relationship.
2. Start an Open Discussion and Communicate
Good communication is the key to every successful relationship. That means sharing your truth and accepting the consequences that follow. Telling someone who cares deeply about what makes you unhappy or uncomfortable is no easy task, but it cannot be avoided.
How can anyone know what to improve on if they aren’t fully aware of the issue to begin with? Do not assume that your anxieties are recognized by those around you. Even your soul mate needs to hear about them from you — in words.
Don’t forget to mention the wonderful things you cherish in your significant other as well. Figure out what is lacking and work on those nuances. Put the focus on your needs and theirs. Discuss future goals as individuals and as a couple. Assess how much you’re willing to compromise your differences on the path to saving a relationship.
Communication is no walk in the park. It is work and will require devotion to overcome any existing obstacles. Try your best to suppress your ego when hearing the criticisms and, respectively, be honest when revealing the concerns in your head. After some time together, one might assume their partner can read their mind, but this is a common mistake. Always be blunt and brutally direct if you want to get through the rough patches.
3. Start Doing New Things Together
After tapping into the past to spark old flames, try to embark on new adventures. If situations are monotonous, the time spent just discussing freshly developed interests can bring you closer together. Visit places you have never been to. Play with new recipes. Play with a provocative wardrobe. Experiment with sexual positions and scenarios you imagined were too taboo to attempt in reality. Make every day exciting, so neither of you knows what to expect next.
Note, for your well-being, that there’s nothing wrong with exploring the world without each other. Sometimes, couples who are always together need some alone time to miss each other. Having a separate life will rebuild some mystery and enkindle intrigue. Wondering where someone is and what they are doing keeps them in your mind.
People do change, but that does not mean that you can’t change and grow together if it’s meant to be.
4. Building Walls, Setting Privacy, and Cutting Out External Influences
You’ve heard it, and it is true — true misery loves company. Unfortunately, a strong and thriving relationship can be affected by the intentions of unhappy people from the outside. Those that know some of the most personal details of your relationship may cause the most damage, especially those near and dear to you. Oversharing puts your business in the mouths of people to gossip and warp. It is a common mistake made when we need to vent, but do try to avoid it.
On the flip side, those that do want the best for you will only recall a toxic image of you and your significant other if you are constantly bringing up your mess and issues. Out of concern, they might give you advice that causes a rift in your bond. Your partner might be getting the same advice over and over again because of misleading information revealed to the company around you.
It’s best to agree to keep your problems as private as possible. Talk with each other before including others in your love life. If situations get severe and you need external help, it’s a sharper idea to seek therapy from an unbiased professional for relationship advice.
5. Forgiveness Is Free. You Can Invest in It.
There isn’t a relationship that doesn’t come with snags and hitches. It would be boring any other way. Conflict brings about the emotions that make our time memorable, so don’t regret the arguments and clashes.
When things do go wrong, try to find it in your heart to be forgiving. As long as the offense is something that hasn’t obliterated your love, safety, and trust, forgiveness costs nothing.
After some time and space to heal, letting go of the pains of the past is very therapeutic. It won’t be an easy mission, but if continuing with your relationship matters more than your ego, it is something that must be accomplished. That means not holding the issue over each other’s head or bringing it back up as ammunition every time an argument brews.
6. Clearing the Air and Coming Out Clean With One Thing
Balance is key to survival. When opening up to our partners, there must be a decent sense of stability met when it comes to forgiving one’s history. Being honest is vital but seriously contemplate fully disclosing all aspects of your past. Especially with truths you knew your partner couldn’t handle knowing. If their ignorance isn’t harmful, it might be best to leave unpleasant particulars where you left them.
Think twice, three times over if you have anything devastating to reveal. We always want to be sincere, but cleaning the air is a personal consideration. You can’t take back something once it’s been said. Even if you are forgiven, the reality is impossible to forget.
7. Words Are Better if They Are Materialized
Whether you are married or not, a strong relationship comes with vows. All relationships will be different in regards to respect and expectations. Continue to discuss openly in the beginning and throughout the days, months, and years, together, what those details are. Doing what you say is the best way to garden a strong foundation.
Keeping your word should help your partner feel confident in you. Lies, questionable promises, and untrustworthy behavior won’t ever lead to anything good and will eventually block the flow of trust and destroy any progress you have made.
Also, never put more on the relationship that will make either of your happy. Your connection should make you better people. If aspects of your relationship are causing depression or concern, something has to change. Build healthy walls and limits to help your bond flourish.
With honesty, communication, and responsibility, anything is possible. Follow through and believe in your intuition. Love is, surely, a ship on the best journey of your life, all with both soothing and harsh waves. Hard work, patience, and loads of strength will set you on the sea of saving your relationship. Good luck!