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5 Ways to Repair Your Relationship

When a relationship is seriously damaged, it can feel almost impossible to pick up the pieces. We start convincing ourselves that we can't make things better, so there's no use in trying. This way of thinking only makes the problems in your relationship much harder to work through. If you and your partner both want to repair your relationship, you'll have to be prepared to work for it.

There are lots of things that can cause a rift between two people, even if they're in love. This includes a loss of trust, a failure to communicate, and countless other issues that are unique to every couple. If you've wondered how to repair a damaged relationship, here are some critical pieces of relationship advice to consider:

1. Be Patient with Each Other (and Yourself)

Repairing a fractured relationship takes time, especially when one or both of you has lost trust. It's a journey that's going to take weeks, months, or maybe even longer to fully repair. If you truly love someone, it's worth the wait, but that doesn't mean you're not going to have moments when you wish you were making more progress.

Try not to rush things. Take things day by day, rather than constantly wishing you were further along in the process. Let yourself enjoy small steps and only take the bigger ones when you know you're both ready. 

2. Take Accountability

It takes two people to repair a relationship, just as it typically takes two people to fracture a relationship. This isn't to say that there aren't situations where one person is far more in the wrong, but it's essential in any case that both parties take responsibility for their actions.

Taking accountability doesn't mean blaming yourself for things that were out of your control. It also doesn't mean just nodding along with whatever your partner says you did wrong. Taking accountability means that you fully acknowledge how your actions contributed to the breakdown of the relationship and apologising for those actions if it's appropriate to do so. If one half of a couple can't acknowledge their own wrongdoings, however minor they may be, it's unlikely that they'll get very far in piecing the relationship back together.

3. Stay Calm, Cool, and Collected

Do regular conversations with your partner sometimes turn into arguments or yelling matches out of nowhere? The reason could be that one or both of you is struggling to remain calm when discussing potentially difficult subjects. Being a little defensive or sensitive, or being aggressive or insensitive, can cause a regular interaction to spiral out of control.

That's why you both need to learn how to stay calm and de-escalate before you get to the point of fighting. There are various ways of doing this, some of which will come more naturally to you than others. This includes using humour (NOT mocking), validating your partner's feelings, apologising if necessary, or even just taking a break from the conversation to cool off. You'll both get better at developing and using these skills over time.

4. Keep the Past in the Past

In the heat of the moment, it's not uncommon for people to bring up issues that happened years ago. It's almost guaranteed to upset your partner, derail the conversation, and make them feel as though they can't trust you. If you've already discussed this past issue and resolved it, bringing it up now is beyond unproductive.

If you're bringing up this issue because you haven't gotten closure from it, then that's a different matter. In this scenario, you may want to talk about it calmly with your partner during a separate conversation. Doing so will keep a past issue from seeping into the present, where it may not be entirely relevant, and vice versa.

5. Remember: It's Not About Winning

To realistically repair a relationship, both people need to be on the same team. That means no more trying to win or one-up or out-shout each other. Conversations should be about expressing your emotions, finding a resolution, and coming up with actual solutions. Trying to win a conversation is what turns a calm discussion into a fight.

That drive to win and be right is natural, especially if you've been hurt or betrayed by your partner. However, if you really want to make progress in repairing your relationship, you'll need to let go of that urge. If you're only focused on winning, you won't be able to express yourself or hear out your partner the way you need to.

Consider Calling a Professional

Repairing a relationship can be difficult, but you don't have to go through it alone. A licenced psychologist that specialises in relationship repair will be able to provide valuable insights about you and your partner, your relationship, and how to mend it.