If your relationship has hit a rough patch, don’t worry, it happens to everyone. But learning how to fix a broken relationship takes time and effort.
A relationship, just like everything else in life, needs care and attention. Many couples overlook this detail and end up unhappy in a relationship. The good news is, if you feel like you’ve started to drift apart, you can find out how to fix a broken relationship and turn things around.
Figuring out how to fix a relationship is a lot like stacking a deck of cards. There are so many different cards involved and it’s really difficult to know where exactly the balance went awry.
In almost all cases, it’s never a single reason that leads to a failure in love. It’s a series of disappointments and resentments that lead to an unhappy relationship. Unhappy relationships don’t appear out of the blue on one gloomy morning.
It takes lots and lots of little things, miscommunications, and the buildup of resentment. [Read: Why does love hurt when it goes bad? The truth you need to know]
All relationships struggle occasionally
You don’t have to feel helpless, lost, or embarrassed about it. It happens to all of us.
You’re upset about something that you’ve discussed with your partner, and you think it’s pointless to bring it up again. So you give up and instead place a brick of resentment between the two of you. And over the months and years, these bricks of resentment build up into a wall between you that almost feels impossible to break down.
The difference between happy relationships and relationships that are falling apart is the willingness to pick at each of these bricks. And the mutual determination to tear the wall down, one brick at a time, so love can flow freely.
You need to remember this, a relationship falling apart really doesn’t have to be the end of the relationship. Even the unhappiest of relationships can be fixed with understanding and love, from both partners. [Read: Why you feel lonely in your relationship and how you can fix it again]
How to know if your relationship is in trouble
There are many ways someone can tell if their relationship is in serious need of repair. Everything from dysfunction to codependency are major red flags that need to be dealt with if you want to work things out.
Although arguing is healthy for a relationship, fighting is not. If the two of you are always yelling at each other or throwing low blows, there’s a problem. When you pick fights over little things and spend all your time together arguing instead of loving each other, it’s a sign your relationship needs fixing. [Read: 15 signs you’re fighting a little too often in your relationship]
Problems often start to show a while before they’re addressed, but when you start to notice a lack of intimacy in your relationship, that’s a red flag. If you don’t trust your partner, or they’re struggling to trust you, it’s also usually a sign of something deeper.
If you are unhappy in your relationship, the odds are, it’s broken. When you are unhappy more often than you’re happy, things aren’t good. And if you don’t learn how to fix a broken relationship, things will unravel one way or another.
When your relationship has turned into a one-sided affair, it’s time to take action or say goodbye forever. [Read: Secret signs that reveal a really bad relationship]
Questions to ask when trying to fix a broken relationship
Not all relationships need fixing. Some just need to end. We know that’s not something you want to hear, but not everyone is destined to be together forever. Of course, we hope that yours is fixable, and it probably is!
But, before you do that, ask yourselves these questions.
1. Do both of you want the same thing?
2. Is there enough energy left in the relationship to provide the fuel to repair and recommit?
3. Have you resolved traumas from the past? Or are they buried and showing up in repetitive patterns that don’t serve you? [Read: Emotional baggage – how to help someone put it down and find freedom]
4. Do one or both of you run away before giving resolution a chance?
5. Are there underlying, hidden issues that are sabotaging your chances to reconnect?
6. Do you both still want to try?
The answers to these questions will guide you in how you fix, or not fix, your relationship. If you don’t want the same things anymore or you just don’t want to try, that’s a pretty obvious sign of the end.
However, having issues from the past is something that can be resolved with time and careful communication. Let’s take a look at how to fix a broken relationship, so you can work out what route you need to take. [Read: How to deal with guilt and drop the baggage weighing you down]
How to fix a broken relationship
If you still love your partner and are willing to work on your relationship, follow these easy steps on how to fix a broken relationship. Some steps are easier than others, but sometimes it’s the easiest things that cause the most issues. [Read: Are you being pushed away in a relationship? Is it time to give up?]
1. Identify the problem
There may be big issues looming over you and making the relationship difficult. Are there trust issues? Do they do something you hate, and you constantly nag them about it?
If there is an issue at the center of all your issues, identify it and work to fix it.
When there’s only one problem, it’s a lot easier to get through than if there are a lot of them—which very well may be the case. Be sure to work together to figure it out too. You may both have different issues, and they both need to be handled. [Read: Problems that will make your relationship stronger]
2. Start communicating again
How did you deal with the situation the last time you disagreed with your partner or had a little fight? Most couples prefer to just end an argument with slammed doors and sulking evenings rather than face the situation, sort it out, and clear the air. Blame it on egos!
You could give each other some space for a couple of days and wait for the issue to get sorted out by itself. But by avoiding a confrontation, you would end a fight but you really can’t understand each other or help each other.
Problems that are brushed under the carpet have a way of raising a stink every now and then. [Read: Lack of communication in a relationship and how it signals the end of it]
3. Forgive each other
We’re all human, and all of us make mistakes, even the most perfect of people. If you want to know how to fix a relationship and have a successful one, both of you must learn to forgive each other.
It takes a lot of courage and strength for your loved one to confess something that they believe may be bad or hurtful. Being vulnerable is hard, even when you love someone deeply and feel comfortable talking to them. [Read: How to cope when someone you love has an emotional shutdown]
And most importantly, you must remember to never judge your partner for their past errors after they’ve put in the effort to better themselves.
When you judge your partner, you make them feel worse, and you also psychologically affect them and make them shut down. And once your partner feels uncomfortable sharing their dark secrets with you, they’d prefer to hide their secrets or talk to another friend rather than tell you what they really feel.
4. Are you still compatible?
Compatibility is crucial if you want to know how to fix a broken relationship. In several cases, opposites attract and you may find yourself dating or married to someone who has nothing in common with you.
But if you think about it, perhaps, it’s those differences that brought both of you closer. Sometimes, compatibility doesn’t lie in sharing similar likes and dislikes, it lies in wanting to understand and experience the ways of your partner.
If you’re having issues with compatibility and want to fix your relationship, you’ll know what this means. [Read: What does being compatible in a relationship mean to you?]
Don’t look at your differences as burdens, instead, look at them as something that either of you can learn from the other. Make a conscious effort to understand your partner and understand their behavior. By understanding each other’s minds, both of you can change and become better individuals and a better couple.
5. Compromise when it doesn’t hurt you
Learn to give in. It’s as simple as that. Surprisingly, so many individuals fail as a couple because of this one issue alone. Seriously, how difficult is it for couples to learn to give in selflessly once in a while?
Of course, it’s never good if one person always gives and the other person just takes. It has to be mutual.
For starters, you could even keep count if nothing helps. Every time your partner compromises for you, you need to compromise for your partner. Over time, these things will begin to come naturally. [Read: Foundations of a relationship that separate the good from the bad]
6. Remember to show empathy
Learn to walk a mile in your partner’s shoes before you judge them. Think from your partner’s perspective. Are they hooked on video games or shopping? Why? Is it their way to find a release from life’s stress?
Instead of getting annoyed, understand why they behave the way they do.
7. Be a giver
But be careful of takers. For a long time, you may be asking yourself, “what am I getting from this relationship?” But now as yourself, “what am I giving to my partner so they can be happy in the relationship?” [Read: Are you a giver or a taker in your relationship?]
8. You have to play a part too
Don’t blame your partner for everything. Even if everything is their fault, you need to remember that you played a part in it too. Every time your partner did something you disliked, you put up with it.
And now you expect your partner to change everything for you all of a sudden. Is that fair to ask? Help them see things from your perspective, but don’t hate them for who they are.
9. If you ask for change, query whether you would do the same for them
Every time you ask your partner to change something for you, ask yourself if you’d do the same for them.
If you wouldn’t, why are you asking? You’re asking them to do something unreasonable in that case. It’s always useful to check your motivation and the reality of the situation. [Read: What is real love? 15 ways true love sets itself apart]
10. Focus on making changes together
Help your partner see how any changes could help both of you. Discuss how BOTH OF YOU can change things, not how they can change something to make life easier for you.
Be there for each other and support each other with each other’s goals and aspirations. Nothing brings two people closer than the belief that they can rely on the other person for help.
11. Connect emotionally
Discuss the small things. Over time, both of you may have stopped communicating with each other. Rebuild that. Ask your partner how their day was, and actually listen without staring at your phone. Start small. And see the difference in a week. [Read: How to get a guy to open up and share more with you]
12. Speak, but don’t get emotional
You’re brimming with dislike, and seething with anger when you want to make a point. But do you really expect your partner to understand you and communicate without seeing red when you’re yelling at them? Express yourself, but don’t hurt your partner to give yourself that satisfaction of winning an argument.
13. Don’t focus on the problem
Focus on the solutions. Look, all of us think we have the answers to everyone else’s problems but our own. Don’t point your finger at your partner, and tell them how to fix their problem.
Sit down, discuss the problem, and talk about solutions together instead. [Read: The most common marital problems and ways to solve them]
14. Make love
Well, this does make sense, doesn’t it? Can you really say you’re in love if you’re not making love with them? You two aren’t just best friends, you’re lovers.
So go on and jump into the bed again, you frisky bunnies! [Read: 30 naughty questions you can ask each other to reignite the sexy spark]
15. Remember the good times and make new memories
Reminisce and talk about the good old times when love was overflowing in the relationship. But don’t compare it to the present.
But also remember to create new memories together. Yes, it’s awkward to rebuild a relationship when so many things have gone wrong so far. But what have you got to lose? And do you see how much you stand to gain?
16. Lead the way
Don’t wait for your partner to change. Be the change you want to see in your relationship. [Read: How to resolve conflict – the 15 best ways to cut out the drama]
17. Don’t expect them to read your mind
Tell them what is bothering you. Don’t silence yourself and force them to figure it out because that will surely break your relationship if it’s not already broken.
In case you didn’t know, humans can’t read minds. So they’re not going to know when they’ve done something that upsets you and vice versa.
Start opening up and telling them what’s wrong so they can help make it right. You don’t need to nag or complain. Just calmly let them know how you feel. They should care and want to make you happy. [Read: 20 things happy couples never ever do in a healthy relationship]
18. Pay attention to your partner’s feelings
Just because you’re upset doesn’t mean you’re the only person in the relationship suffering. If the relationship is truly broken, then your partner feels just as frazzled as you. Pay attention to how they feel.
Ask them. How do they think things are going? Be empathetic if you want to fix a broken relationship, and you’ll find your relationship starts mending itself. [Read: Reasons why empathy is important in a relationship]
19. Spend time away from each other
Just as much as you have to spend quality time together, spend some time apart. Couples who are always together end up getting sick of each other and bicker all the time.
Give yourselves time to miss each other. You aren’t being mysterious or sneaky. Instead, you are focusing on yourself and your friendships outside the relationship.
Reigniting your independence can bring a newfound appreciation to your relationship. [Read: How to give space in a relationship without drifting apart]
20. Spice up your sex life
Sex may not be everything in a relationship, but it definitely plays a huge role. If your sex life is amiss, then everything can feel off. Sex and intimacy tie a lot of your connections together.
To fix a broken relationship that lacks pleasurable sex, start by spicing things up in the bedroom. Have an open dialogue about what you both want. Having this connection reopened makes it easier to open yourselves up to your problems, too. [Read: 16 mind-blowing ways to spice up your relationship]
21. Admit when you’re wrong
You’re not always right in every situation. You know that, even if you don’t want to admit it. You can’t always blame your partner for everything and think of yourself as a saint. A relationship is a two-way street. You both need to take some responsibility.
So, admit when you’re wrong, apologize, and move on. It stops arguments from overflowing and fixes your broken relationship.
22. Let them know you want to fix it
Sometimes, couples get so caught up in how broken their relationship is they don’t even think the other wants to fix anything. You may assume they’ve given up, and they may assume the same about you.
Make sure they know how much you want things to work. They may have felt defeated until now. Just telling them you’re committed to working things out will open their eyes and help them make just as much of an effort as you are. [Read: Love is a choice – why only you can make love happen]
23. Stand up for yourself
If you’re feeling unhappy in your broken relationship, it may be because you’re letting your partner walk all over you and your desires. Tell them how you feel and stand your ground. Stand up for yourself, and demand their respect.
They may have gotten comfortable with how they’ve been treating you. Making it clear that things aren’t okay will be a great starting point. [Read: When the love is gone -15 gestures to bring back the love]
24. Don’t be afraid to tell them what they need to fix
Don’t just admit your faults and make them think they’ve done nothing wrong. Tell them what you need them to do for you to be happy. They won’t know what to do to fix things. Let them know what you need from them.
They might not know certain things they do hurt you and the relationship. If they want to be with you and make it work, they’ll fix their mistakes, and your relationship will last.
25. Retrain your automatic responses
When your partner tells you something you don’t like, you probably respond in a way that undermines and even hurts them. When you are mad, don’t fly off the handle. Take some breaths and pause to really consider how you feel before reacting.
Consider what you’re going to say before you actually say it. [Read: Relationship arguments – 22 dos and don’ts to remember]
26. Try couples therapy
There is no shame in asking for help. In fact, admitting you need a third party to guide you into fixing your broken relationship requires a lot of strength and bravery. Working together with someone who can aim you in the right direction may be exactly what you need.
Don’t be afraid to look outside for help. This could be your saving grace. [Read: Signs you need couples counseling to fix your relationship]
27. Be honest with yourself
Of course, you want to be honest with your partner, but remember to be honest with yourself first. Do you want the relationship to work because you don’t want to be alone? Are you afraid to fail?
Do you truly love your partner and want to be with them? Will you be able to fix the broken relationship without changing who either of you fundamentally is?
28. Rebuild the trust
Most broken relationships are cracked by distrust. Cheating, betrayal, or lying is what starts the break and it just keeps spreading. To fix those cracks, trust needs to be rebuilt. You can’t forget about what happened. You have to face it and figure out if you can work through it and trust them again. [Read: How to rebuild trust after even the worst betrayal]
29. Maintain respect
Throughout any broken relationship, if the respect is gone, the chance of fixing things is slim. No matter how angry or fed up you may be, disrespect takes things too far. Saying things you can’t take back messes things up deeply.
Maintaining respect and care for each other through all arguments helps you fix things without going backward first. [Read: How to show respect in a relationship and love each other better]
30. Know when enough is enough
It takes two people to fix a broken relationship. Sometimes, both people just aren’t willing to put their differences aside to save the relationship.
Be willing to give up if you’re not getting what you deserve. Truthfully, your partner may not be as willing to fix things as you are. If they don’t want to make the relationship work, it’s not fair to put all of your efforts into something that won’t last.
You deserve to be with someone willing to put just as much effort into fixing a broken relationship as you. Don’t think that being single for a while is worse than being in a bad relationship. It can actually help you see the light and find a solid relationship. [Read: How to make a relationship last – 19 love commandments]
If you want it to last, you have to put in the work
Relationships are work. That is something many people don’t understand. Yes, they look cute on TV, but you don’t get to see the daily grind that goes into being with another person.
However, relationships are more than worth the hard work and effort when everything is going well. Sometimes we run into hard times, and that’s normal. All you need to do is make sure that those hard times don’t turn into a hard relationship on a full-time basis.
[Read: The 16 secrets to a perfectly happy relationship]
Take a baby step into learning how to fix a broken relationship today, and you’ll see how much better your relationship can be in under a week, just as long as you follow these steps.