Summary: These three ways to save your relationship are designed to help you keep a good thing going. In those cases where a relationship is a bad thing–and you’ll probably know deep down whether it is or not–it might be best to pack up your things and move along. But when you feel like your relationship is really worth saving, these three steps just might help in that endeavor.
Three Ways to Save Your Relationship When You Need To
Every relationship goes through ups and downs. Sometimes, it’s best to break off those relationships–start seeing someone new. But sometimes you’ve put enough time and energy into a relationship–and the potential is still there–that you really want to save your romantic connection to your partner.
Now before we begin, a couple of disclaimers. These three ways to save your relationship will only work on the following conditions:
- The parties in your relationship actually want to save it–forcing someone to remain in a relationship with you (or tricking someone to do the same) is a big freaking no-no.
- You put the work in. Not all of these three ways to save your relationship will be, you know, easy.
- Partners in the relationship are open and honest
In other words, you can’t lie, cheat, or steal your way into a relationship that’s going to be long, healthy, and fruitful. This isn’t one of those “trick your partner into liking you” articles (the fact that those articles exist at all always makes me a little queasy). Anyway, you and your partner have decided to save your relationship. Let’s talk about some ways you could do that!
One of the most reliable ways to save your relationship is through the use of couple’s counseling. Unfortunately, this method is often the one lampooned on television sitcoms. But the truth of the matter is that couples counseling can and does often work. The reasons are pretty simple when you stop to think about them:
- Couples counseling encourages you to talk openly about issues in your relationship
- A good therapist will help you get to the root cause of some of those issues
- In counseling sessions, you’ll be able to communicate with the help of a referee (the therapist) to keep things on track and stop your conversation from spiraling
- Couples counseling can give you skills and strategies that can help you manage conflict when you’re at home as well as when you’re in session
Couples counseling is definitely a long term solution, but it’s a good one with a proven track record.
Use “I Feel” Statements
When you’re in couples counseling, one of the first communication strategies you might learn is this: use “I feel” statements. And this piece of advice really could help save your relationship. It works like this:
- You might usually say something like “You make me mad when you put butter and peanut butter on your toast.”
- An I feel statement would be formulated like this: “I feel mad when you put butter and peanut butter on your toast.”
It’s a subtle change, but an important one. When you use an “I feel” statement, you refrain from making the other party responsible for your emotions. You also become less absolute in your interpretation of the situation. It’s less of an accusation and more of an invitation to discuss.
“I feel” statements can start off sounding a little silly, but that’s okay. The purpose of them is not to cast blame, but to facilitate conversation and communication.
Sometimes life pushes you in unintended directions. Maybe work eats up too much of your time. Maybe there are other distractions. Getting away can really help your relationship. But I want to be clear about something: planning an expensive trip isn’t automatically going to save your relationship. Going to Paris doesn’t mean you don’t have issues to work out.
And, sometimes, going on an adventure can indeed be good for your relationship–because it forces distractions to the wayside. When you’re in Paris with your partner, you can focus on just your partner.
Of course, you don’t have to go to Paris to accomplish that. Sometimes having a Date Night can do wonders for your relationship. But it won’t do anything to solve any of the root issues you may be having.
Not All Relationships Should Be Saved
A final note here. It’s worth mentioning that not every relationship is worthy of saving. Sometimes people just aren’t a good match for each other. And in those cases, it’s okay to end a relationship and move on. (If you’re married, this might be harder, but that’s what lawyers are for.)
Only you and your partner can decide whether your relationship is worth working on, worth saving. Hopefully these three ways to save your relationship will help.