No relationship is completely devoid of disagreements and occasional fights. It is only natural for two separate human beings to have individual priorities and ways of living which clash with each other. However despite all the ups and downs, it does not mean that a relationship has to break down irretrievably. So if you have been facing more than your share of problems in a relationship but are reluctant to give up, here are a few ways you can stop it from ending.
Contrary though it may sound, The first step towards stopping a relationship from ending is to acknowledge that there is a conflict. Recognize the fact that there are issues and the sooner they are sorted out, the better. Very often either partner believes that as long as the conflict is not out in the open, the relationship can limp along somehow. It is this fear of rocking the boat that prevents a couple from taking early corrective measures until it is too late and the boat has capsized. So take your courage in both hands and broach the matter with your partner.
TIP: Read the guide to prevent a break up or get back with your ex.
Use effective communication to get across to each other
No matter what the reason for you and your partner drifting apart, it is likely that things have come such a pass because you have not been communicating effectively. Verbalize your thoughts and express clearly what has upset you and why. If you keep your feelings bottled up inside it will only aggravate your perception of not being understood until it may all burst forth in an unpleasant manner. Moreover it is unfair to expect another person to read your mind and gauge what you may be feeling inside. At the same time, learn to listen – invite your partner to give his/her side of the story so that you know where things have been going wrong. When things are out in the open, it may surprise you to find out how much you both did not know about the feelings and the perceptions of the other.
Identify the source of conflict
Once you start communicating effectively, it is easier to identify the reasons which have pushed your relationship to the brink. Discuss what is troubling your marriage and explore the reasons which may have led to the present situation. However even as both of you discuss your relationship, agree to follow certain rules. Take turns to speak and do not interrupt when it is your partner’s chance to express his or her thoughts. Also maintain an objective stance - Avoid getting caught up in the endless cycle of accusations and counter-accusations. A good way to do this is to refrain from statements starting with “you”, for instance “you do not appreciate my work” or “you spend too much time at the bar”. Instead try to say, “I would feel much more valued in my marriage if my work is appreciated” or “It would mean so much to me if we could spend more time with each other”. Above all, stick to finding out the primary source of the present conflict and do not drag up incidents from the past or bring in comparisons with other couples. There is nothing so frustrating as being bogged down by the inessentials while the most important matter at hand remains unresolved.
Look for workable solutions
After you have identified the source of conflict in your relationship, try to find a solution. This is however easier said than done but not impossible to work out. Keep in mind that a resolution will entail some amount of responsibility for both the spouses. Discuss what each of you can do to improve the relationship which will in turn entail bringing some amount of change within oneself. Each will have to give a little in terms of time and effort. Either partner will need to make some changes in his or her priorities and principles if the relationship is to be saved. At the same time, agree to commit only what is possible and realistic on your part – this is a delicate time for your relationship and the last thing it needs is to be burdened with impossible expectations on both sides.
Find ways to reconnect
Even as you keep up your efforts to fixing the relationship, make time to romance each other and have fun. Take up new interests which you both enjoy and will help you to spend time with each other – for instance sign up with a salsa class for couples or go bungee jumping together. Do little things for each other that express love and affection – like sending her flowers at work or tucking in a love note in his lunch box. Better still, get away for a few days to a romantic place. Often couples get so bogged down with everyday responsibilities that they forget how important they are to each other - A vacation at this point can help keep things back on track.
Look for help
If matters come to such a point that you cannot find any meeting ground, try and seek the advice of close family members or friends on ways of resolving the conflict. But at the same time they must be people whom you both trust to have an impartial view and the interests of your relationship close to their heart. For this reason it is even better to go to a therapist of counselor who is trained to identify accurately and objectively the source of conflict. A counselor will take an impartial view while trying to resolve the conflict But best of all, he/she will also come up with practical strategies to help your relationship survive the crisis. So, if your relationship is headed for an imminent breakdown, this may be your best chance since there is not time enough to experiment with various other patchwork solutions.
Finally keep in mind that not every relationship is meant to be. Sometimes a couple’s goals and priorities are so different that they cannot possibly keep going together. At such times, it is best to accept the inevitable and let go. However if both partners feel truly wish to give the relationship a chance, they should definitely try everything possible to save it from ending.