Saving A Relationship
How To Go About Saving A Relationship
There's no cookbook approach to saving a relationship that's in trouble. If we were all the same, having the same values, and similar personalities, a single approach might work. But then, if we were all the same, we'd no doubt find that boring, and in desperation, look for ways to destroy the boring relationship that the cookbook doesn't address. Put another way, we're all a little different and a little unique, and that can be said for pairs of individuals as well as for individuals themselves. So, where there is no shortage of tips and advice in repairing a relationship, and some of those tips are quite valuable, what may work for some may not work for others.
Sometimes the seeds of a sour relationship are sown at the very beginning. We all want to find someone and be with someone who makes us feel good. That's natural, but that's not giving, that's taking. A relationship can start going bad when one of the partners, or both, stop giving. We also tend to put the person who makes us feel good on a pedestal, and look at him or her as being perfect. We all know what happens to people on pedestals, especially those who think they belong there. Soon we discover they're not really perfect, and eventually that they're far from it. If we can't accept that, then the relationship may start to suffer.
Not Your Fault - That's not to imply that when a relationship has gone south it's your fault. Unless it's become a totally one-sided relationship, or your dealing with a hopeless or abusive partner, one of the first steps in saving a relationship is to look inward and see what you might be doing, or might have done, in contributing to the relationship's downturn. Maybe your partner is eventually the one that will have to do most of the changing to turn things right, but if there's any changes you need to make yourself, that's what needs to be done first. That can be a hard pill to swallow, but in cleaning up your own part of the act, you'll put yourself in a stronger position to deal with the situation as a whole.
Freedom And Trust - A good relationship requires freedom and trust, two things that don't always go together all that easily. This might be the first place to look. Is there a lack of trust involved, and if so where and why? Getting some answers here might help define the approach you need to be taking. The same goes with freedom. Two people in love may not be able to be without each other, but both still need their individual freedom. If one of the partners has lost that freedom, the relationship is bound to either suffer, or become one-sided.
When Neither Or Both Are At Fault - At times people just seem to grow apart, more often than not without really realizing it. This situation is probably the easiest to work with as far as saving a relationship is concerned, as both partners usually have a strong desire to do so. The most difficult aspects of this type of relationship are reestablishing communication where communication may be lacking, and frankly addressing where you are at, and what the problems seem to be. If this can be done without shouting, finger-pointing, or arguments, there's good reason to be hopeful.
The Abusive Partner - Not so easy is a situation in which one of the partners is abusive or otherwise intolerable to live or be with. One issue to be addressed is, whether the relationship is even worth saving. It's not worth saving a relationship that was either non-existent in the first place, or has become such that either or both partners are simply miserable and want out. If a partner or spouse is controlling, manipulative, dishonest, or abusive, the only recourse is to seek professional counseling and advice. Such a partner or spouse needs to be confronted by someone trained in the art, and by someone who can judge whether the partner or spouse sincerely wants to put the relationship back on an equal footing.
Infidelity - Infidelity is another situation where saving a relationship can be a major challenge. Here, one of the partners in the relationship has been hurt, or humiliated, and trust has been lost. Trust can't be rebuilt overnight, even if the offending partner says he or she is sorry. Even if both people want badly to save the relationship, professional counseling is often a good idea. Just remember, that the purpose of that counseling is to save something, not to nail your partner to the wall.
Saving a relationship requires plenty of thought, a strong desire to do so, perseverance when improvement comes in fits and starts, or comes very slowly, and of course patience. Most of all it requires love, and a willingness to rekindle trust.