A good relationship is not characterized by the absence of quarrels, arguments, and fights, but by the way the couple deals with them. In a relationship there are many potential problem areas, such as intimacy, communication, finance, and home chores. For every problem area there are different problems, and different ways to solve them. This How to fix a relationship? page focuses on the different problem areas, ways to solve the problems in each area, and ways to tackle future problems.
The question how to fix a relationship? suggests that the answer is simple. Unfortunately, that is not the case. A relationship is dynamic, vulnerable, and based on trust. Personal issues can affect a relationship, but also other people, such as parents, friends, and co-workers. It’s up to the couple to overcome each setback and each problem. At the same time, it’s important to keep investing in the relationship. The answer to the question how to fix a relationship? is different for every couple, but can be found on this page.
If you recognize relationship problems, you’ll have a much better chance to get past them. Even successful relationships deal with relationship problems, but they learned how to manage these problems , and keep their love life going. They learned how to tackle problems, keep communicating and listen to each other. Some read self-help books to deal with problems. Others see a counselor or relationship coach or succeed by trail and error. Unfortunately, knowing how to fix a relationship is one thing, but bringing it into practice is another. Here are some handy tips: how to fix a relationshipin 7 ways.
˝A good relationship is not characterized by the absence of quarrels, arguments, and fights, but by the way the couple deals with them.¨
At Barends Psychology Practice relationship problems are treated online and face-to-face (in Ljubljana). Feel free to schedule a first, free of charge, session:contact us. (Depending on your health insurance, sometimes treatment may be reimbursed).
1. How to fix a relationship – dealing with communication problems:
Good communication is key, especially in relationships. Without good communication it’s just a matter of time before the first irritations arise. People get irritated due to the fact that their partner doesn’t listen well, or forgets things. Communication is more than just talking. It involves body language, respect, patience, and effort. Improving communication is a part of the answer to the question: how to fix a relationship. Here are 3 common ways in which bad communication causes relationship problems, and some handy tips:
Not paying attention while communicating. Checking your phone, playing games, or watching television while talking is asking for trouble. It will annoy your partner, and causes arguments in the end. The best thing to do is to stop with what you’re doing, and to listen to your partner. Look at each other when you are talking to each other. And make time for each other so good communication is possible.
Communication style. Are you equal in communication, or is one dominant and the other submissive? Ask your partner in which way she likes to be spoken to in normal situations, during fights, and during social situations. This can take away frustration and irritation, and can tackle problems in their earliest stage.
Having little respect for your partner. Not letting your partner finish his point or sentence, not respecting his opinion, or not consulting your partner can lead to relationship problems. Allow your partner to finish their sentence, to make their point. And respect that others have different opinions. Ask for your partner’s opinion when you need to make a decision. This way you show that your partner’s opinion means a lot to you.
If you want to read more about communication problems, and get more handy tips, please check: Communication problems.
2. How to fix a relationship – dealing with sexual problems:
Sex is important in relationships. Having sex releases important hormones that positively affect the body and mind. It brings people closer together, and adds a little spice to the relationship. When bad sex causes relationship problems, it doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed to fail. Often, sexual awareness or education can help couples a lot in the bedroom, and may be their answer to: how to fix a relationship? For the others: here are 3 common ways in which bad sex causes relationship problems, and some handy tips:
Rush, rush, rush. Couples who just have sex and only care about the orgasm, may be bored after a while. Take it easy, use some foreplay to get in the mood. Foreplay doesn’t start in the bedroom, but already with a romantic dinner. Use foreplay to explore each others bodies and to get the other aroused. Foreplay can easily take up to one hour.
Different desires. Having different desires can cause some relationship problems in the bedroom. Do not focus on your satisfaction only, but also on that of your partner. Even if your partner has different desires. Talk with each other about desires and fantasies to see what your partner wants. You may be surprised and even like your partner’s fantasies. Also, try to be open minded about fantasies.
No time. Nowadays people are busy. Sometimes too busy to have sex. Having a headache, or being tired is a common excuse. Plan your romantic night and make something out of it. By planning sex you will anticipate on it as well. And don’t forget: there is always time for a quickie.
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3. How to fix a relationship – dealing with financial issues:
Money rules the world, they say. So money should also be the answer to ‘How to fix a relationship?’. Wrong. You partner might spend money too easily, whereas you might be too stingy. Or perhaps your partner built up some debts in the past and hasn’t told you about it yet. Using money as the answer to the question how to fix a relationship? is tricky. Here are 3 common ways in which money causes relationship problems, and some handy tips:
Spending, spending, and spending. A common problem in many relationships is sticking to a budget. People tend to spend all the money they have in the first 3 weeks after they received their pay check, leaving them broke in the last week. Make a list of the expenses, and set aside money for the rent, food, electricity, and so on. Check your local supermarket for discount products. And make long-term and short-term goals, and calculate the amount of money you need for each goal. Example of goals: going to a restaurant, going to the cinema, or going on a holiday. But also buying new furniture, or kitchen utensils are important goals.
Hiding information. Not being honest about your financial situation can cause relationship problems. Especially, if you have debts or earn less than your life style requires. Be transparent and honest about your income, your debts, and about the future perspective. It’s also wise to inform your partner about desired future purchases, so that you do not have to hide money from your partner to make that purchase.
Bills. Not paying the bills or being late with payment can cost you a lot. It’s rather the cause, than the answer to ‘how to fix a relationship?’. For some taking care of finances is difficult, whereas for others it isn’t. Decide who will be responsible for the financial matters.
4. How to fix a relationship- dealing with home chores:
Doing the home chores can be annoying, boring, and unrewarding because it’s a never ending story. Many couples are having problems with home chores because both people work or are too busy with other things. Perhaps your partner seems lazy, and doesn’t clean up his mess. Or perhaps you’re cleaning up too quickly for your partner to keep up with. For some the answer to ‘how to fix a relationship?’ can be found in home chores. Here are 3 common ways in which home chores cause relationship problems, and some handy tips:
Postponing.Almost everyone is good in postponing. ‘Taking out the garbage can be done first thing tomorrow, or tomorrow afternoon’. ‘I will vacuum after this great episode of ‘House on the prairie”. ‘If I don’t clean up my stuff, she will do it’. It is difficult, but stop postponing home chores, because this is where silly relationship problems come from. Home chores often take no longer than 15 minutes of your time and it takes away so much of your partner’s irritation. Another advantage: the home chores will not pop up in your mind all the time because you still need to do them.
No acceptance. Couples usually have difficulty accepting each other’s habits and rhythms. If your partner isn’t cleaning up his plate or cup soon enough, you’ll notice that the irritation builds up inside you. You probably think that your partner is lazy or sloppy. But he might just have a different rhythm or other habits. Perhaps your partner takes his cup to the kitchen only after watching the news (habit), or only after waiting for 15 minutes (rhythm). If your rhythm is 10 minutes, then it seems like your partner is lazy and sloppy. However, maybe you are simply too impatient for your partner to keep up with.
‘High’ expectations. Having ‘high’ expectations is asking for trouble. Many relationship problems start because people have ‘high’ expectations of their partner. People expect their partners to clean up, to vacuum or to do the groceries, but often do not oversee his busy schedule. It is wise to lower your expectations towards your partner’s efforts when it comes to home chores, or make a simple schedule: Mondays I do this and my partner that and Tuesdays … and so on.
5. How to fix a relationship – making your relationship your priority:
After a few months or years you may start to take your relationship for granted. You may not surprise your loved one any more, you may not shave your beard or legs regularly or dress up fancy for your partner. Friends and work may start to nibble on your precious time with your partner and soon you are too occupied with work and other stuff that your love life is suffering from it. Making your relationship priority is one of the answers to how to fix a relationship. Here are 3 common ways in which not prioritizing your relationship causes relationship problems, and some handy tips:
No surprises. After a while you and your partner are settled a bit and insecurities about your partner’s feelings for you are taken away. Time to relax. No more flowers, massages, dining out or going to a spa. She loves you anyway, right? Not completely. Back in the days when you two were dating it was all about surprises and making a good impression. That is the person you made your partner believe you are, the one she fancies. Taking it a little more easy is understandable, but continue to surprise your partner, make her feel wanted, special and appreciated. Sometimes candles can make things look special already. Surprising your partner isn’t about big things, but about the small things. Leave him/her a small note on a surprising place (lunch box, pocket etc.).
Work, work, work. Without a job bills can’t be paid, so work is a must. Working hard increases the chance of making promotion. However, working too hard will cause relationship problems. Or working hard is the result of relationship problems. Either way: the more time you spend with work, the less time is left for the two of you Less time quality means less reason to stay with you and eventually you may find your partner in bed with someone else. If you wonder how to fix a relationship then balancing between work and your partner is a good step in the right direction.
Lack of personal care. Not shaving your beard for a week or wearing the same sloppy clothes for days in a row seems to be okay in a relationship and your partner may accept you as you are. However, taking normal care of yourself is a sign to your partner that you appreciate him/her. Also it better for your sex life and it makes you feel better. Try it and you’ll see/feel the difference.
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6. How to fix a relationship – dealing with conflicts:
Having a conflict every now and then is not a problem at all. I believe it is actually very healthy for a relationship. But if you are having conflicts almost every day, then it is obvious you are having some relationship problems. Some people search for negative things in their partners, others never take any blame. Knowing how to behave in conflict is one of the answers to how to fix a relationship. Here are 3 common ways in which conflict causes relationship problems, and some handy tips:
Not taking the blame. A common thing in relationships is not to admit when you are wrong. It’s usually a pride thing. In general, people who know they are wrong focus on the details (‘what do you mean Never? A week ago I did it’. or: ‘Tuesday? You don’t even remember the date, it was Wednesday. You never have your facts straight’), switch the topic slightly (to their advantage) or bring up irrelevant stuff from the past. But all you are doing is trying to win the argument, and all you achieve is losing your partner. Having a conflict is not about who wins, but about understanding each other better, finding a solution and to get closer as a couple. Try to admit when you are wrong, apologize and see the magic happening.
Bringing up irrelevant stuff. If you are having a conflict it’s tempting to throw it all out. To let him know how you feel about A, B, and C, even if you are having a conflict about D. Don’t do that, please. It will not bring you closer together, it will not make your partner feel any better or solve things. The best thing to do is to stick to the topic and deal with that first. If your partner brings up irrelevant stuff, then simply say: ‘we can talk about topic B later, let’s first finish topic A’.
Not using a mirror. People in general have difficulty seeing their own flaws. They deny their part in discussions, conflicts and messed up situations. But please, dare to look into the mirror and analyse your own behaviour in certain situations. It is you who responds in a certain way that provokes a response in your partner. It is you who takes in accusations and takes the blame, so your partner thinks he/she is always right. You are as much responsible for a conflict as your partner is. Looking into a mirror is one powerful way to partially answer the question: how to fix a relationship.
Trust is the most important part of a relationship. Without trust, there is little left to rely on. Relationship problems often start when someone cannot trust their partner. People can have trust issues from previous relationships, childhood or simply because you never keep your promise. Regaining trust is one of the answers to how to fix a relationship. Here are 3 common ways in which trust issues cause relationship problems, and some handy tips:
No realism. By promising your partner to take care of something you make a good impression on her. But often people are not realistic when they make promises. This often results in relationship problems. Before you promise something, think a few seconds to figure out how realistic this promise is. Make sure you only promise something you can deliver. So don’t promise you’ll be home by 6, but in stead promise you’ll give a call when you go home. Don’t promise to never do something any more, if you know it is a very difficult promise to keep.
Lying. If you fail to do something you promised or are supposed to do, it is easy to make up something so you do not have to take any blame. Unfortunately the more lies you tell the more likely one of them will be discovered. Another thing: slowly you are making a web of lies and the only one who will be caught in that web is you. Keep it simple: tell your partner that you forgot about it (forgetfulness is common in humans). Tell the truth. This makes you a reliable person and that’s a valuable character trait.
Not leaving the past the past. Trust issues from previous relationships are almost always taken to the next relationship. Is it fair to think your current partner will cheat on you simply because your previous partner did? Do you give your current partner a fair chance, you think? In case you have trust issues from a previous relationship, talk about it with your partner. Be transparent and honest about it. This way your partner will understand why you might act a little strange from time to time. If this does not help, please consider going to a therapist. At Barends Psychology Practice trust issues and jealousy can be treated effectively. Make an appointment now, it is free of charge and without any obligation.
I hope this page about How to fix a relationship helps you and your partner on al the above mentioned areas. Knowing how to fix a relationship is one thing, but bringing this into practice is another. Don’t give up trying if you come across some problems in the beginning. Try to learn from each problem and try to understand where the problem came from. What happened before the problem? Is this a returning problem? What have I tried to solve this problem? What would my partner like to change? All these questions can help you solve your problems. The tips and skills I just discussed may help you and your partner a lot. Practising these skills is the key to how to fix a relationship. If you have questions in regards to how to fix a relationship in your situation, please contact me.