We seldom discuss the challenges of maintaining a relationship. Fairytales create the illusion of finding your one true love before living happily ever after — the end.
But, in the real world, relationships aren’t that simple, are they? We’re all human. As needs and priorities change, we can lose sight of the person we chose to be with, and potentially see our relationship begin to slip away.
Does this resonate with you? Here’s our relationship repair checklist to help you to Repair Your Relationship:
Communication is the most important part of any functioning relationship, but it’s something many struggles with.
How do you and your partner communicate? Are you open, honest, and loving towards each other? Or do you choose sarcasm, put-downs, and arguments?
Take the time to talk to your partner about how you’re feeling. Share your thoughts on the issues you’re facing and explain you want to turn things around.
Ask questions and listen to what they have to say. If you’re feeling lonely and isolated in the relationship, chances are your partner is, too.
2. Understand each other’s needs
We’re all different. We have varied tolerances and expectations about how we want people to treat us. As our relationship changes, so do those needs. If your partner doesn’t understand what you want and vice versa, how will you resolve your difficulties?
If your relationship feels unbalanced, work out what you both need to work as a team instead of fighting against each other.
Do you miss spending time with your partner? Tell them. It’s easy to fall into the day-to-day routines and forget you were once in a loving, close relationship.
3. Reconnect physically
Bringing up our feelings around sex and intimacy can be uncomfortable. But a lack of affection can wreak havoc on a relationship. If you need more physical connection with your partner, tell them.
And this isn’t just about sex. Reconnecting with your partner physically can be as simple as making time to hug before leaving the house in the morning or cuddling up on the sofa together in the evening. This physical connection can go a long way to rekindling your relationship.
If your relationship feels cold and distant, this might take time to rebuild. Focus on small steps you can take right away, and prioritize injecting more warmth and connection into your partnership.
4. Be present
Our always-connected, always-on lives mean we have a constant stream of distractions that compete for our attention.
How often do you find yourself sitting on the sofa, mindlessly scrolling your social media feeds? Is your partner doing the same?
Take time each day to put down your devices and have a conversation. Pay your partner some attention. Listen to what they have to say. Ask questions and take an interest in their day. Commit to being more present when you’re with your partner and ask them to do the same for you.
Forgiveness can be challenging. But if you want your relationship to improve, it’s often essential.
The act of forgiving your partner for past mistakes doesn’t mean you have to forget about what happened. We can’t delete these events from our memory. But if you want to repair your relationship, holding on to grudges from the past won’t help.
Communicate with your partner about how those situations affected you. This step is crucial because it allows you to set boundaries for your future relationship. But once you’re ready, draw a line under it and look towards a better future together.
6. Find time for fun
Life is hard. Responsibilities demand a lot from us — work, family commitments, and other pressures. These demands can suck all the fun out of our relationships as we focus on other ‘more important’ things.
When was the last time you did something fun together? Can you set aside one night each week to enjoy each other’s company, setting aside your responsibilities to unwind and make the most of your relationship?
You don’t need to do anything extravagant. Just put aside some time to rebuild that connection — you might be surprised how quickly your relationship begins to heal.
What will you try first?
We know relationships aren’t simple. Each has its own challenges, and these challenges can wear us down over time. But if you commit to rebuilding your relationship, the opposite can be true. You can build a future together where both of you thrive, energized by the love you both bring to the table.