Relationship stress can really drag you down. Something that’s supposed to be a source of joy in your life becomes something that gives you a headache and sometimes makes you want to run away.
When you’re embroiled in relationship issues it can be hard to know what to do. Is it worth saving your relationship? Or is all the pain and stress just not worth it?
Not every struggling relationship is doomed to fail. Sometimes it’s worth fixing your relationship problems. Here are 10 signs that it’s not time to throw in the towel yet:
1. You both want to work on it
This is the cornerstone when it comes to saving a relationship: You both want to work on it.
If only one of you is committed to working things out, the power balance is uneven and it’s unlikely to end well. If you both genuinely want to fix your relationship, you’re already on the right track.
2. You make each other laugh
It sounds simple, but laughter is important. If you can still make each other laugh and smile, there’s still joy in your relationship.
Someone who can make you laugh is someone who gets you and understands the way you think. It takes a certain level of comfort to be able to laugh together, and it’s a sign that you’re still comfortable with each other.
3. You can be honest without being mean
Fixing a broken relationship means some hard talks. If you and your partner can sit down and have honest, difficult conversations without resorting to lashing out at each other, you’ve got a good foundation for rebuilding.
Good communication is a skill. If you don’t have it, you can work on learning together.
4. You feel sick at the thought of leaving
You might think you want it to end, but how does it feel when you honestly consider walking out that door or watching them walk out, knowing it’s over?
Sometimes when your mind is awhirl with worries and pros and cons, it’s hard to see your true feelings buried in the chaos. Take a minute to visualize breaking up, in vivid detail. Check in how you really feel in your gut when you think about it.
If the thought makes you feel awful, perhaps you’re not ready to give up yet.
5. You only think about breaking up when you’re frustrated
Wanting to break up is sometimes just a knee jerk reaction to frustration or anger. If you enjoy being with your partner most of the time and only consider breaking up when you have a fight or they do something that winds you up, don’t give up yet.
If you only feel like you want to leave when a fight happens, the chances are that what you really want is for the problem to go away. Isolate what’s getting you so angry and find a way to work it out with your partner.
6. Your problems aren’t really with each other
Sometimes it feels like your relationship is a huge problem and you just want it to be over, but take a moment to ask: Are your problems really with each other?
It’s easy to project stress from other areas of your life onto your partner. Maybe you feel like you never see them, but the real problem is that you’re both overworked. Maybe you’re upset that you never go anywhere, but the real problem is that you don’t have enough money coming in.
Problems like these could happen with any partner, so rather than break up, try working together to make things better.
7. You genuinely enjoy each other’s company
If a relationship is on the rocks it can be hard to spend time together. But if you’re genuinely enjoying time with your partner and problems are only flaring up intermittently, don’t throw in the towel just yet.
The times you enjoy together are a roadmap for what your relationship could be if you can sort out the issues that are causing tension between you. They’re also a reminder of what you enjoy about your partner, and what about your relationship is worth fighting for.
8. You can still see a future together
When you imagine your future, is your partner in it? Sometimes you feel angry and like you want them gone, but when you think about the future, they’re still there.
If you find yourself making plans for trips or nights out, talking to them about household projects, or even daydreaming about your future together, ask yourself if you really want that future without them.
9. You’re still a team
Maybe things are a little rough, and you’re fighting more than you used to, but are you still essentially a team? Do you still pull together when it comes to budgeting, household management, child rearing and the big life decisions?
Little things count too of course: Are you still a team when it comes to cooking dinner or fixing the car? If you’re still working together on the big and the little things, there’s still a connection there.
10. You’re still affectionate
Your words might be sharper than before and your stress levels might be on the rise, but do you still feel loved and cared for? Couples with deep seated issues don’t usually hold hands, cuddle, or make small gestures like stroking the other’s hair or giving them a shoulder rub.
If you’re still affectionate with each other, there’s still ease, connection and a spark between you.
Only you can know for sure if your relationship problem are worth fixing. Don’t give up without some thought though – sometimes a seemingly broken relationship just needs a little tlc.