How to Strengthen Your Struggling Relationships
All relationships go through different phases, there will be good times and there would be bad times as well. When you feel that your relationship is in a bad phase, just think again with heart. Great relationships don’t happen by luck, there are a lot collective efforts, energies, interactions that strengthen our relationships and make them fulfilling.
Below are some very handy tips for you to strengthen your struggling relationships.
- Make Your Relationship a Top Priority: Relationships are like living things: they either live or die. Like the living beings, relationships grow and flourish when we nurture them very carefully. If your relationships are struggling, it’s a possible sign that they have been neglected. To strengthen a struggling relationship, you must make it a top priority of your life, time and energy. Do dedicate more time in nurturing your relationships than any other thing to strengthen them.
- Accept Disappointments: We get disappointed when our expectations don’t match the reality. Disappointments happen in every relationship and it’s a truth. Most of us have a tendency to focus on the negative and we then use this “evidence” to reinforce the belief that our relationships are filled with disappointment and hence we get frustrated. Instead of freaking out simply accept the fact that disappointment happens. The best way is to choose to focus on the parts that have fulfilled your expectations and even brought unplanned blessings in your relationships, when you start thinking like it, you will see that you are making good progress in strengthening your struggling relationships.
- Watch Your Words: The words you use are powerful in making or breaking a relationships. When you put down your partner or your relationship, you are causing severe damage to it. Try getting rid of the words and habits that damage the relationship, especially when you feel frustrated and disappointed. Use words that show respect, love, and hope instead of words which show anger, frustration and disappointment. Plant the seeds you want to grow not the thrones.
- Don’t Stonewall: People start to stonewall when things are going rough in their relationships. They start to ignore their partners, don’t participate in conversations, show aggression when they talk, or simply choose to remain silent when other one is talking and don’t respond to them. Don’t keep your relationships in “me versus you” competition. Instead of it make your relationships “we against everything damaging our relationships”, that way your relationships would survive and flourish.
- Don’t Play the Blame Game: This is a game where no one wins. Even if you are successful in blaming all your problems on your partner, you still are stuck with all those problems and the bad feelings that come with them and obviously it won’t make your life easy anyways. The only possible way to start transforming your problems into real solutions is to take full responsibility for the parts you play. Stop blaming and begin to create the relationship you want.
- Do Not Expect to Change Your Partner Behaviour: The key to changing any relationship is to fully accept that you cannot change anyone except yourself. The sooner you accept this truth, the sooner you will begin to heal your relationships and grow together. All of us want to be loved and accepted for who we are. Build trust in your partner so that he/she may feel supported to choose to change. Meanwhile, focus on changing andimproving yourself, otherwise you won’t be able to bring in the desired change in your relationship.
- Focus on the Good Qualities: Everyone is special and have few good qualities along with bad things which might be irritating to you. Remember the moments and reasons why this person became special and significant to you at some point of time when you started this relationship. Trust that all those good things are still true. Close your eyes and try visualising and remembering those moments in your heart. Allow yourself to feel the love again, pride, and respect that you felt. Return to these moments to revitalize your commitment to strengthen your relationship.
- Believe in Your Partner’s Good Intentions: It has been proved by the psychological studies that once we become convinced of an idea, our brain will ignore and discredit information that contradicts what we believe in. We have a tendency to turn our partner into a villain, when we are feeling hurt and disappointed. If you want your relationship to give a chance to turn around, you must make room for the possibility that your partner can be your best friend. Truly and completely believe that your partner has good intentions, but the information he/she is acting on is incorrect or the impact is hurtful. Now what you need to do is sit down with your partner and make him/her understand in a very polite manner that what is wrong and how it can be done correctly.
- Learn to Forgive: As human being we don’t want to forgive people who have done something wrong, or may be mistreated you in one or other way ever. Forgiveness simply means that you accept that we are all doing the best we can. We never want to disappoint and hurt our partners, but many a time it happens and one of the partners feels pinched for something. What all you have to do is forgive that your partner that s(he) hasn’t learned better ways of loving you yet. Forgiveness means you let go the things happened in past and allow for new possibilities in the future.
- Be Fully Present: Most of the time couples have this issue that their partners don’t listen to them and understand their feelings. To improve your relationships first you start listening to your partner, don’t just listen to your partner, but also understand what they want to express, don’t argue on things, rather try finding out a way to solve the problem.
- Discover What Makes Your Partner Feel Loved & Respected: Usually we forget that like us as an individual we want to be loved, adored, appreciated, motivated and respected, so does our partners. Everyone has a different way of accepting these feelings, some people need to be told “I love you” many times every day, others need to have one-on-one time for at least half an hour each day. Ask your partner, “what makes you feel loved? What have I done that has made you feel close to me? What do I do that let’s you know I love you and I’m proud of you?” Then give your partner what he/she needs as frequently as they need it and it will help you strengthen your relationship again.
- Do Not Keep Secrets: Relationships are built on trust, and when we start to keep secrets from our partners which they eventually discover are more damaging than benefitting them. So, do not keep secrets, as much as you can, try to be as open as possible.
- Limiting Beliefs: All of us have some limiting beliefs, which are there in our minds and when we want to make some decisions they come up to stop us in order to protect us. For example, like “I can’t be in a relationship”, “Men always dominate women” , “Women will only use you for your money” and so on. Your limiting beliefs are not your partner’s fault. You had those beliefs long before your partner came along. Learn to identify your limiting beliefs. Be careful that you are not projecting your beliefs onto your partner. Speak openly and keep your limiting beliefs away from you.
- Be True to Your Word: In a struggling relationship trust will be weak. Partners don’t trust each other. When you say you will do something or share what’s true for you, your partner is going to trust that is true. So, try living up to your promise, or if you change your mind later sometime, let your partner know, but take the time to catch your partner up to speed.
- Take the Time to Express Appreciation: Everyone expects a little appreciation for what they have done. We often take it for granted that our partners will know we are grateful for them. When we don’t take the time to express these simple appreciations, we begin to feel taken for granted. Don’t forget to thank your partner whenever he/she does things that make your life easier and better. This will make your partner feel your love for them.
These simple tips are really very effective to give a turn to your struggling relationships.
Also published on Medium.