A broken relationship is a painful experience and can cause a lot of stress.
A connected, intimate and supportive relationship is both what give us the support to make the most of life and also what provide the biggest boost in our wellbeing.
Today we will look at 3 tips for how to fix a broken relationship or how to save a relationship.
When we think about how to fix a relationship, we often think about what we can do to influence or control the situation.
The need to control comes from a place of fear, and fear comes from a place of scarcity.
So, before giving you the 3 tips to fix your relationship I want to address the myth that cause us to fear losing a relationship in the first place.
Not because I don’t think your relationship is worth saving because it very likely is but because once we get rid of the fear, we can actually relate much better and is that not what relationships are about, relating?
We grow up learning this fairy tale of “the one” and believe there is one person for us out there.
This scarcity mentality cause fear of loss and with it a long line of self-destructive behaviors such as trying to control and inhibit our partner.
Judgement of sides in our partner we fear we can’t fulfil.
All these shuts down connection and cause couples to move apart.
This is why the first (bonus) tip is
There is no evidence supporting that there is one person that is the perfect match for us.
But there is an overwhelming amount of evidence that suggest that we can fall in love with many people.
When I first had my first child I never though I could love anyone else like him.
Then I had my daughter and I realized I can love them both and it did not take away from my love towards my son.
I then found that love is not limited to a person and intimacy is something we can experience with many people if the conditions of vulnerability and acceptance are there.
And, no matter who you date it will require effort and some work.
We all come with different background, cultures and wounds and they might be more or less compatible but it’s a fact that effort is always required and there are many people you can be compatible with.
This is an important one because once you realize this is not the only person you can love and have an amazing time with it frees you up to be less fearful of loss, allow each other more freedom and self-expression and this will often if done consciously makes you feel closer.
We all want to be seen, accepted and supported in expression our desires and needs.
But to give that to our partner we need to first resolve the underlying fear of loss in ourselves.
Ok so things have gone sour, but don’t despair it’s normal for couples to be stuck in vicious cycles and they can actually be solved more easily than you think once you see the underlying cause.
Let’s look at the 3 tips I promised you on how to fix a relationship, how to fix a broken relationship or how to save a relationship
The most common factor in relationships that go bad is attachment wounds.
Some people feel easily anxious because they had care gives or close attachments that were not consistent and meet their needs.
So, they became fearful of loss and not being meet.
We call this anxious attachment style or the wave as they are often up and down emotionally and can feel very overwhelming for the other extreme.
On the other end of the spectrum are the people that are avoidant attached.
They learned that they could not count on care gives to fulfil their needs and they had to take care of themselves.
They find it hard to trust others, and to emotionally connect.
They often want a lot of space and more so when they feel stressed.
They think they have to deal with their problems on their own.
These two opposite attachment styles can find it very difficult to be together as the anxious attached needs a lot of closeness and reassurance to feel safe while the avoidant needs space, and often does not feel comfortable with the emotional closeness.
We are not one or the other we are difference places on this spectrum and different partners trigger more or less of it in us.
If your attachment styles are not compatible then you can work on it but it’s an uphill battle.
Unless you both do individual therapy or work to resolve your childhood wounds it’s unlikely to become a flourishing relationship.
Now there is a big grey area when we don’t look at the extreme avoidant or extreme anxious attached.
In this grey area you can do a lot to fix or save a relationship.
I will go in to great detail on how to identify your own and your partners attachment styles and how to create intimacy with different attachment styles in my eBook that you can find here.
But for now, let’s look at a few practical ideas.
If your partner is anxious attached then it’s important for them to know that you will be there for them in times of need, that you value them and that you will not leave them.
You can express this in both words and actions and it’s important you do both.
You might say “I love spending time with you and there is no one I rather be with in this moment” and you can follow it up by doing her attachment language for her.
We cover attachment languages in my eBook to so if you want to know how to identify your own and your partners and how to use it to create intimacy and closeness then check out the eBook.
Most relationship conflicts come from the question “will you be there for me when I need you?” is unanswered and your partner feel anxious that you will leave them or will not be there for them.
Even conflicts that seem completely unrelated are often fueled by this underlying anxiety.
A solution could also be to find an EFT emotional focused therapist that work with attachment issues as a specialist.
I used these tools in my couples’ therapy.
If you want to know how to fix a relationship, or how to save a relationship then you first need to understand what might have got you to this destructive place in the first place.
We covered attachment issues above so hopefully you have dealt with that.
One of the most common reason for resentment and feeling distant in a relationship is when our boundaries have been continuously violated.
We or our partner might not have expressed our boundaries for various reasons such as.
Firstly remember; offering boundaries is a gift to your partner.
Because it help’s the relationship not drift in to resentment and it allows your partner to feel more free knowing you can look out for yourself.
Let’s address each of the points above.
If you can learn to set and enforce your boundaries in a firm and loving way then your relationship will quickly be restored to a much more connected place.
We have often become so used to our boundaries being overstepped as children that we are not even aware of what they are, how to sense them or express them.
So, the first step is to become aware of your boundaries again.
I cover this in great detail in my eBook.
But in essence you learn to notice emotions and sensations that tell you when boundaries are violated and by knowing them and being aware of them you can quickly get to know your boundaries.
We are not taught to listen to our sensation and most of them are on auto pilot like hunger, temperature, breathing and so on.
But if we practice paying more attention to our bodies and the sensations like through mindfulness or embodied dance then we can sense quickly when something is off balance and needs attention.
It’s our bodily sensation that first warn us of violation of our boundaries.
A tense stomach, a flush of heat, an increase in heart rate, whatever your signs are once you know them you can stop violations before they happen and your relationship will be so much better for it.
It might be hard for you to communicate your boundaries for several reasons.
You might have been violated so much that you disassociate.
You might have been taught to not upset others or be worried about conflict, and so many other reasons.
Remind yourself that sharing your boundaries is the kindest thing you can do for someone else and for your relationship.
You are teaching them how to connect with you and have a meaningful relationship rather than risking resentment.
When you communicate your boundaries it’s very important you are calm, vulnerable & specific (what is the violation and what do you want).
Let’s look at each of these.
If you are triggered and not calm, your emotional reaction will likely trigger the other person and they’ll not be able to hear you.
So being in a calm place when communicating is key.
If you are triggered then wait until you have calmed down.
You can always say stop or move away.
If you can’t then there will be instances where you must communicate your boundary while being triggered, but try to avoid it.
Be specific. If the other person doesn’t know what you mean then they can’t respect the boundary.
So here is an example of not to do it first.
“I fucking hate that I can’t step inside the door before you attack me with your moaning”
This is not calm so your partner will likely either attack back or get defensive.
Also, it’s not specific so it’s unclear what the violation is and what you want instead.
Let’s look at how to do this better…
“I felt really overwhelmed earlier when I stepped inside the door and within 10 seconds you told me I had not done the dishes this morning.
I am so overworked and don’t get a break all day. When I come home, I need 15 minutes of space to settle in before I can hear you.
It’s important to me that you respect that boundary and then I will also be able to hear you much better.
I can then let you know when I have arrived mentally and emotionally and then we can engage.”
Can you see how this is communicated in a vulnerable and calm way as we start by explaining the impact on us (overwhelmed) rather than saying we hate….
It’s also specific as we say it’s too much to get requests within 10 seconds of coming in the door and we need 15 minutes and will let them know when we are ready.
Now try it yourself with your partner.
Sit down together when you both feel calm and exchange a boundary in a calm, vulnerable and specific way.
It’s fine to write it down beforehand if that makes it easier for you.
We are often taught to ignore our own needs at the expense of others and to make them feel good or not hurt their feelings.
However, good intentions your care gives had this is not a constructive way to relate to others.
Ignoring our own needs and boundaries never leads to intimacy and connection.
So, the most connecting you can do for yourself and your partner is to share your needs and boundaries.
Only then can you connected and feel intimate through shared vulnerability and acceptance.
I just realized how long this article has become and so will cover needs in another article.
Learning to sense and express our needs is key to a close relationship.
If you want to learn in great detail how to get in touch with your own needs and express them clearly or how to elicit your partners need then check out my eBook.
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