We all know in theory that love is an action verb. Love—nourishing it, keeping it vibrant, powering through the rough times—it takes work. Yet so many of us believe in the idea of a soul mate. Someone with whom love will be easy, intuitive, happy and fun.
Guess what? You can indeed be with the right person, your “soul mate”, and still encounter problems in your relationship, because every relationship has problems, if you stay together long enough. The important thing to know is, how to solve relationship problems without breaking up?
How you work through fixing relationship problems is what shapes the story of your love. When you and your partner meet up with deep conflict, you need to answer some questions.
Do you try and fix things? Do you take a temporary break from the relationship? Does taking a break from a relationship work? Should you seek out advice on relationships problems?
Let’s explore some different ways to solve problems in relationship without breaking up.
Let’s imagine that things between you are not at their best right now. You have some long-standing relationship difficulties.
You’ve been in a cycle: fighting, making up, fighting again, ignoring each other, trying to communicate but failing to do so in a healthy way.
You are at a point where you are seriously considering taking a break from the relationship.
Many couples who have spent deliberate time apart from each other claim that taking a relationship break is the healthiest thing they ever could have done to save their relationship.
If you and your partner have decided that a break would be a good idea, it is essential that you both agree on some specific rules that you would respect during this trial period. Some suggestions include:
- An end date for the break. This is a specific date at which point you two agree to evaluate the usefulness of the relationship break, and you decide whether or not to remain in the relationship
- Are you both allowed to date other people during the break?
- Are you both allowed to have sex with other people? If so, always use protection so you do not put you or your partner at risk.
- What will your communication look like during the break? It may be best to not communicate, to give yourselves a chance to “miss” each other.
- This will also allow you to tune into any feelings that might arise when your partner is not present. Are you happier? Sadder?
- Use your time away from each other wisely. See friends you neglected during your relationship.
- Take up a new sport or hobby. Journal your feelings. Be selfish: you only have yourself to concentrate on now.
Does taking a relationship break work?
Is taking a break in a relationship healthy or does it work? Only you can see for yourself.
Sometimes a break is indeed a valuable step to take towards resolving relationship issues, and sometimes a break leads to the breakup of the relationship.
Whatever the outcome, it will be the one that was meant to be.
Ways to solve relationship problems without breaking up (even temporarily).
One of the first tools you will use on how to avoid a break up is your words. That’s right, good communication is the most useful tool when working through your relationship problems.
Both of you need to be able to respectfully communicate your side of the story in order to move towards a healthy resolution.
This is often a job for an expert couples therapist, so do not hesitate to enlist the help of an expert to fix relationship problems.
Talk about what first drew you together.
Think back on the early days of your relationship, back to when you first met. What is the story of your meeting? Does it still bring a smile to your face? Those warm and joyful feelings can be recaptured with a little effort.
Change up your routine
One of the biggest contributing factors in relationship problems is routine. The couple stops making an effort to bring in new ideas to help nurture the relationship, and boredom sets in.
Maybe the husband is happy to spend weekends gaming, or binge-watching his favorite series. Maybe the wife is content to socialize with her friends, or workout each evening at the gym.
Even if the couple doesn’t realize it, doing these routine acts can have a negative effect on the couple in the long term. Their world becomes limited, and bickering can set in.
They are taking each other for granted. So before you scream “I’ve had it! I’m leaving you!” because you just can’t stand watching him sit in front of the computer for 12 hours at a stretch, try some new things together.
Short weekend trips to places you’ve never seen before. Volunteer together with community outreach activities. Take a ballroom dance class together. Inject some fresh fun into the relationship.
The point is to see your partner in a new light, reigniting what drew you to them is necessary for working through relationship problems.
Making your relationship work: Stop looking for the fairytale.
One of the best bits of advice that couples can implement when resolving issues in a relationship is to know that: Love is not a fairytale. When you put two people together, you automatically have two different ways of looking at the world.
It is normal that you will experience periods of conflict and discontent. But don’t jump straight to breakup. Use these moments to create growth and closeness. You will see that your relationship is all the richer for it.