Every relationship has ups and downs. When things are not going well, it’s natural to feel anxious and insecure. This can lead to behaviors that make matters worse.
If you’re wondering how to fight for your relationship, you may find you need a different strategy, one that is without confrontation.
What does it mean to fight for what you love?
Fighting for your relationship means putting your traditional thoughts and beliefs aside and determining what could be done to make the relationship successful.
When considering how to fight for your relationship, first recognize that you have the power to improve things. There are lots of ways you can bring a flagging relationship back to life without talking everything through with your partner.
Why should you fight for your relationship?
When you decide to fight for the man you love or fight for the woman you love, you might wonder, is it all worth it? Is it worth mustering up so much courage? Will it be reciprocated?
Once you are sure that your partner has shown equal eagerness to stand up for the relationship, you should realize that it is worth sticking by their side through thick and thin.
There are various reasons why fighting for your relationship matters:
Your partner deserves that you stand by their side. They are worth fighting for.
When you have to fight for what you want, these are the steps you need to take:
Assess your relationship
Change the atmosphere
Adjust your communication style
Assess your relationship
1. Take time out
If you are considering when to fight for a relationship, it’s a good idea to first take some time out to reflect on where you are at and what you want. You may desire to be more attuned to each other. You want to feel secure.
Assess where you think things have gone wrong.
Identify attempts you have made to make improvements.
Think about how you might begin to re-connect.
2. Take responsibility
As you fight for the one you love, you’ll need to ditch the blame game and own the choices you have been making.
If you nag or criticize, it’s unlikely to result in your partner being kind and loving towards you.
If your lover has been critical towards you, you can choose how you respond — lash out, or talk calmly about the situation.
Relationships that are stale or rocky are heading for real danger when someone starts to connect, physically or emotionally, with a third party. When fighting for your relationship, you need to deal with emotional and physical needs inside the relationship.
If you have found someone else who “really understands you”, you can’t properly address the issues you are facing.
You can’t tend to your own garden if you keep jumping over the fence into someone else’s.
4. Is the past influencing the present?
Understanding past influences can be key to improving current relationships.
Are you behaving in a suspicious or jealous way because you’ve been cheated on in the past?
Has the way you grew up in your family affected your expectations now?
Are there things about your behavior that your partner doesn’t understand, because of his or her different past, or vice versa?
You may be asking yourself, “Should I fight for my relationship?” You find your partner irritating and annoying.
It might help to list the qualities that initially drew you to your partner. Typically, we’re attracted by traits that we see in the other — “the other half”. What we don’t realize is that every characteristic has its negative side.
Someone who is tidy can be viewed as obsessive.
A live wire at parties can be seen as a flirt.
Someone who is impulsive is now reckless.
The things that originally attracted us can become the most irritating.
Spend some time listing the things you first liked in your partner, and try to identify the other side of the coin.
6. Redefine hurt and let-downs
When we are “in love,” we conveniently ignore the fact that our partner is not perfect. We expect they will know what we want, never embarrass us or let us down, and always be thoughtful and considerate. The truth is that every loving relationship contains hurt and let-downs.
When you fight for the one you love, you should remember that neither of you began the relationship intending to be nasty and hurtful. When you feel hurt, try to understand what needs the other person is trying to meet.
7. Are you using distance or fights to protect yourself?
Being in a close relationship can be risky. What if I’m rejected — again? It’s sometimes easier to escalate an argument or to focus on work or hobbies rather than spend time together.
You may decide to be vulnerable and admit to yourself and your partner that you are fearful of getting too close. Being real can help you connect with each other.
If you think you need assistance to explore any of the above points, then it might help to speak to atrained professional.
Change the Atmosphere
8. Affirm what is working
A great strategy when you are fighting for your relationship is to start to notice what is good. Instead of focusing on all that is wrong, choose to praise something you like about your partner.
Notice kindness and thoughtfulness. Find aspects of your life together that you can be grateful for. Make a list of positive statements about your relationship and speak them out daily. As you do this, negatives lose their power, and you’ll have a greater incentive to fight for what you love.
9. Recognize you’re on the same team
This is one of the most powerful things to do in a struggling relationship. The aim in any contentious issue is to have a team win. If the other loses, then you both lose.
These 5 simple words can defuse things immediately:
“We’re on the same side.”
When you are fighting for your relationship, take the “fight” out of the relationship.
Familiarity breeds contempt. Decide to make your home a place where, whatever is going on, you will respect each other. Refuse to engage in put-downs or belittling behavior.
“Powerful people deliberately set a standard for how they expect to be treated by the way that they treat others. They don’t demand respect. They create respectful environments by showing respect.”
-Danny Silk, author of Keep Your Love On
Adjust your communication style
11. Understand your partner’s love language
Once she or he feels special because you have used their love language, then you are winning the fight for the one you love.
Your partner may have been trying to show love by communicating in theirlove language. If you have discounted or rejected that, it will hurt.
For example, his or her love language is giving gifts. You criticize the gift, saying it’s not what you wanted. That will hurt much more than if you brushed off an invitation to spend time together (quality time).
People don’t give and receive love in the same way. Check out this video about 5 love languages that will help you read your partner’s love language.
12. Learn to translate your partner’s love language
Instead of demanding that your partner speaks your love language, learn to translate!
If they never hug you (physical touch), but are always saying you look great (words of affirmation) view those words as your virtual hug.
13. Check your tone and body language
In the fight for what you want, remember it’s not just what we say; it’s how we say it. If you make a critical comment in a gentle tone of voice, with a relaxed posture, you’ll get a different response.
Transactional Analysis looks at Parent, Adult, and Child communication. Speaking to your partner in a Critical Parent tone will get a Sulky Child or Critical Parent response. Couples who stay in their Adult — assertive and respectful — are able to communicate clearly.
14. Really listen
One of the hardest skills in a couple relationship is being able to listen well. Once someone feels heard and understood, they are then able to hear you.
It’s all too easy to assume we know what the other is going to say, tune out, and concentrate on rehearsing our response. Slow down, check that you have heard and understood correctly, and then you will also be heard.
The other side of listening is explaining clearly what is going on.
Instead of expecting your lover to guess why you are frustrated or upset, ensure they understand the reasons why. A few words such as, “It’s not you, it’s work,” can dispel a negative reaction.
As you take on board ideas of how to fight for your relationship, remember to love yourself. Maintaining a COAL attitude, as described by Dr. Dan Siegel, means you are Curious, Open, Accepting, and Loving. Practice applying this to yourself and to your significant other.
You may come to a point when you realize that the relationship is not working. Sometimes the best attempts to fight for a relationship will fail.
But by taking the steps above, communicating clearly, and maintaining loving responses, you will have grown in relationship skills. These skills will stand you in good stead in the future.
It is always important to recognize if your relationship is difficult because it is abusive. Abuse can be subtle and can be physical, emotional, or verbal. If you feel you have to walk on eggshells around your partner, then question whether you should fight for your relationship.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.