If you want to learn how to save a relationship before it turns into a “Blue Valentine” sequel – well, read on.
Once upon a time, you fell in love with your sig-o – and now your relationship’s turning to crap faster than you can say spinster. You’re not even sure where it started to unravel (seriously, where’s a fairy godmother when you need one?). Maybe it was the night you had to cancel your movie plans because of work. Or maybe it was when you stopped pretending to like his sister. Or maybe your priorities are changing and you haven’t admitted it to yourself.
Or maybe there wasn’t a specific moment when your relationship started swirling down the drain: Maybe nothing happened and that’s the problem. Regardless of where the funk with your sig-o started – where do you go from here?
1. Be honest with yourself
Before learning how to save a relationship, you have to go with your gut and decide: Is it worth saving? It’s not a question anyone can answer except you, and it’s not a decision you can be wishy washy about. Make sure saving the relationship is exactly what you want before forging ahead – deep down, you already know the answer.
2. Promise to let go
It’s tough to let go of what drove your relationship into a ditch, and it’s completely natural to want to protect yourself – but if you’re letting your insecurities run the show and forcing change instead of letting the process happen organically, you’re just going to drive a bigger wedge between the two of you.
3. Take note of your triggers
Become aware of the things he does (or doesn’t do) that set you off – are you really angry with him, or are his actions triggering you to feel angry with yourself? For example, do you think he’s a jerk for going out with his friends too much, or do you really think you’re the jerk for neglecting your own friendships?
4. Accept your sig-o for exactly who he is
How he chooses to live his life isn’t right or wrong – it’s just different. And aren’t your differences what drew you together in the first place? Work out ways to use each other’s differences to the advantage of your relationship instead of making them a point of contention. You connected for a reason, and those reasons are still there – they’re just underneath a giant pile of rubble (or maybe laundry).
5. Make your relationship a priority
Regardless of how busy you get, make your relationship a focal point. Do things you used to do when you first started dating. Contact each other throughout the day. Plan date nights. Your lives were just as busy when you first got together and you made it work then – so make it work now using the same strategies.
6. Remember, it’s a two-way street
Even if you’re on the same page about how to save a relationship, the only actions you’re responsible for are your own. If he doesn’t keep up his end of the bargain – well, that’s his loss. If it seems like he’s barely putting in an effort while you’re doing everything you can to make it work, it might be time to reevaluate.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given about how to save a relationship?
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Image: kelley leigh