Every now and again relationships need a bit of a jump start. This can be for several reasons – family conflict, betrayal, children, death of a loved one, work, finance, stress or just any big life event.
Basically, life just tends to get in the way of something that requires a lot of time and effort, and that can put a huge strain on your relationship. Sometimes you need to go on a relationship rescue mission.
Here are a couple of tips to start out if you’re trying to save a strained relationship.
Focus on communication.
A consistent lack of communication is one of the main reasons relationships fail.
There is a right way and a wrong way for people to communicate with each other. The correct way is to ask your partner a relevant question (in a kind manner of course), receiving the response and then giving your views on their response. The wrong way is to overwhelm your partner with too many questions the second they get in the door after a long day at work.
Active listening skills are a useful form of communication when relationships are struggling. Relationships are all about respect, and communication is a huge part of that. Often, people pretend to listen or genuinely think they are listening when really, they are so frustrated with other aspects of life, they just cannot take in what’s being communicated to them.
This makes people feel unheard and gives off the impression that their feelings and opinions are irrelevant. A good way of acknowledging that you are listening is by reflecting what your partner is saying. This will allow your partner to feel heard and respected. You’re letting them know you have fully understood their point.
It has been said that at least half of our communication is nonverbal. Because of this, it’s important to take note of your partner’s body language, and if you feel there is something not quite right, ask your partner directly. Nobody expects you to be psychic but noticing body language early on can prevent bigger disputes later.
Be specific about what you want.
We can get so caught up in wondering what our partner wants that we become oblivious to the fact that we don’t even know what we want for ourselves.
Ask yourself what you want and what you expect from this relationship. Once you have figured out what you want and expect from your relationship, proceed by communicating this honestly to your partner and asking them what they want and expect.
If what you want is to continue dating for another year and your partner wants marriage and children, you will know that you are not on the same page. I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s better to figure this out sooner rather than later.
Do something special – Take a vacation
Life can be tough. With the pressures of today’s society, relationships, marriage and children, people need a holiday every now again.
It can be simple like a weekend camping trip, extravagant like a couples all-inclusive resort, or somewhere inbetween. If finance is playing a part in the stressors of your relationship, take a day or a night to go to your favorite restaurant or return to the place you first met.
Give yourself the chance to remember why you both got together in the first place. This will highlight what drew you to your partner initially. Why did you think they were so amazing? What values did they possess that you found valuable and are they still there? If so, make this a weekly or monthly event. An hour at the weekend or a weekend away every six weeks – ensure you have your relationship time.
Decrease useless fights.
Some couples fight morning, noon and night and never solve their problems. Others are so afraid of confrontation they never discuss their problems as they feel it will just cause more. All couples fight, and everyone is different.
But fighting over trivial things over and over again will probably result in a breakup or separation. It’s useful to sit down together and develop an effective problem-solving methodology. An example of an effective solution is to recognize that there are generally two problems: your emotions and the actual problem.
For example, if you’re angry at your other half for not doing the chores, you have two problems to resolve: the chores need to be done and you need to be no longer frustrated at your partner for not doing them. Recognizing that your emotions are very real things that need to be dealt with and separate this from the perceived problem.
When it comes to managing anger, everyone has their own way of calming down. It might be taking a walk, hitting the gym or for some just taking a deep breath. If you find yourself on the verge of fighting with your partner take a moment to think about the best way for communicate how you are feeling.