Wondering how to fix your relationship? You’re not alone. Many people feel stuck and seek help.
I was talking to a potential client for couples counseling when she asked me if I would be giving her a prescription to follow in order to get better.
I was stunned for a moment and I think in all my years of counseling I have never been asked this. But I do know there is absolutely no way to understand a couple without meeting them, and I don’t have any idea what would be helpful for them, because there is no one size fits all plan for couples.
How to Fix Your Relationship Varies From Couple to Couple
I hesitated for a moment and then I told her that I knew she and her mate have tried everything they know to make their relationship work. So what I will have to discover is what isn’t being said, what feelings are not revealed, what needs and what longings are kept hidden.
And then I thought about what is needed for people when they love someone but can’t seem to make it work. Here is a thumbnail sketch of what I believe is the guidance for couples having a hard time.
It is very easy to point to what isn’t happening with your partner. In fact most people do this by telling me what their person is not doing or what they are doing that they don’t like. This is very human.
When people are unhappy in a relationship they either blame their mate, or they blame themselves. This leads to isolation for each and what they are craving is connection with each other.
Figuring Out How to Fix Your Relationship Involves Listening to Identify What We Both Want
So the first thing I have to discover is what is not working for each person, and then find out what it is that they want. During this process they get to hear from their beloved about what is happening to them and they might be surprised at the depth of feelings or the thoughts and ideas that makes their partner unhappy.
This experience is sometimes enough for partners to go through because with it they begin to understand what is missing. There is often an instant connection between two people when one of them is sad or unhappy without telling the other they are wrong.
Next, Fixing Your Relationship Involves Addressing Those Wants
Often we can move from this arena to what is needed pretty quickly, like how to respond when the partner is in pain. And then both the individuals can feel some relief. But here’s the catch, each has to continue doing their own work. Each person has to understand when they fall into automatic thinking about how they were done wrong or their partner did something to them and then they react. This is the growth. Because I can guarantee you your partner loves you and doesn’t do things to hurt you on purpose.
And yet, most of us in relationship get our feelings hurt by the one we love anyway. It just happens. We interpret life differently than anyone else and sometimes our mate will step on us or push our buttons and that will make us react.
Fixing Your Relationship Also Involves Apologizing When You Mess Up
Our reaction is what we begin to notice. And when we do, just say “I am sorry for reacting.” That’s the best medicine for all. For you because you don’t have to carry feeling bad, and for your mate because they get to know you care about them.
So in summary, be mindful. Be loving. Be kind. It’s simple, and It makes for a better life.
Learn How to Build Connection in Your Relationship
Read a Book About Relationships
Learn how to communicate as you explore how to fix your relationship, by reading Linda’s book Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might just help the two of you stay on the right track and treat each other more gently as you help make your relationship more mutually satisfying. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.