The keys to rebuilding your relationship
Often as counsellors, we do not see couples until the relationship is heading for intensive care. While relationships have their difficulties, their disagreements and their fights, couples do not address the underlying issues until its too late. We underestimate the work that it takes to maintain and build a healthy happy relationship.
The big problems
A number of things can cause the breakdown of a relationship over time. Some of the more common ones are:
Lack of a shared view or different expectations from the relationship - while you and your partner may have very different views and very different approaches to life, It is important that you share a vision of what your relationship offers you both.
A lack of meaningful communication in the relationship - it might be that you find yourself criticising and finding fault with each other. You may find that there is no way to discuss problems in your relationship so that you can come to a workable solution. You may find that the laughter has stopped and been replaced by resentment of your partner.
A lack of trust and honesty in the relationship - trust and honesty are at the heart of a good relationship, yet when that trust disappears you find yourself questioning the relationship, wondering where your partner is and constantly doubting them. You feel uneasy in the relationship.
Healthy first steps
All of these present very real problems to couples in relationships today. Yet, if addressed properly they are overcome and the relationship rebuilt.
The first and most important step is to reconnect. Try to remember what got you together in the first place. It may be that you need to deal with resentments and old issues to put them aside so that you can draw a line from which to move forward. Anger, frustration and resentment get in the way of rebuilding your relationship.
When you first met partner you spent a lot of time with them, but it is easy as life takes over to forget to spend time together. It is important that you make time for your relationship and time for each other. Find activities and things that you can do to reconnect and remind each other what attracted you to each other in the first place.
Work on your communication. Talking and listening effectively to each other is key to making a relationship work. Try to understand how your partner feels about the situation even if you do not share their opinion. Empathising in this way will deepen your relationship between you. Being honest about your feelings, sharing what you like and do not like in the relationship helps to discuss how you would like to go forward.
Over the past few years, many of us got used to going to a gym or eating healthily; regular maintenance to keep us healthy. Our relationship needs the same a little and often. We cannot wait until we are in crisis and then rush to action. If you are in crisis, however, you may find it useful to use a relationship counsellor to get started on talking about you can rebuild your relationship.