When your relationship is on the edge of destruction, it can be terrifying, emotionally overwhelming, and deeply painful. It can also be a ripe time for transformation. It’s human nature: the more we have to lose, the more highly motivated we are to change.
Can a broken relationship be fixed?
Most couples have barely tapped into the potential of their relationship, so there is definitely hope. So, can your relationship be saved? Here’s what to do, if you find yourself asking, “how do you save a dying relationship?”
First, in order to save your relationship, it’s essential you put these 4 essential tips into practice immediately:
1. Take radical responsibility
Although your ego may resist taking responsibility, and you may be concerned you are going to expose your weaknesses and throw yourself under the bus, the opposite is true if you want to save your relationship.
Your willingness to own your role in the decline of your relationship will lead them to respect you even more. It takes courage and integrity to name our mistakes.
It also helps them trust your capacity to change. If you are aware of what you’ve done that hasn’t worked, the chances are higher for you growing in the ways they need.
Taking responsibility also relieves your partner from thinking they need to repeatedly point these things out. If you already get it, they don’t need to fight so hard for you to wake up and understand their concerns.
What could you have done differently to get different results?
Apologize freely if you want to save your relationship. Say I’m sorry.
Empathize with how this must have affected your partner. See how you can make it up to them and do things differently in moving forward.
Put your defenses down. Get vulnerable and humble as you do this step.
2. Get willing to do whatever it takes to save your relationship
After you’ve taken responsibility for whatever unhelpful words and actions you’ve said and done, get radically willing to do whatever it takes to make things better than ever.
In the past, you’ve had moments when you were more committed to being right than being happy and connected. Or perhaps you were more committed to your ego than to your partner’s heart. Or maybe you were simply more committed to getting your own needs met than you were to ensure the overall needs of the relationship were being honored.
It’s time to shift this and be all-in on doing whatever it takes for your love to grow into its greatest form. Save your relationship and make your relationship irresistibly wonderful for your partner to want to choose it –and you – again and again.
3. Create a specific timeframe
What are the most important things in a relationship, when it is on the brink of a breakdown?
When couples are on the edge of separation or divorce, and one of you is really questioning things, it can be helpful to put a timeframe on how long you are asking them to reconsider.
It has likely taken a big occurrence or months or years to get to a place of them feeling ready to leave the relationship. Therefore, it can seem more appealing to ask them to give you three months to make significant changes, rather than indefinitely asking them to reassess their desire to leave.
Then, over those three months (or whatever timeframe you set), dive in and do everything it takes to grow, personally and together.
4. Get outside support to save your relationship
No matter how compassionate or successful you may be in other life areas, there is nothing like our romantic relationship to stir up our greatest fears, challenges, wounds, insecurities, and weaknesses.
It’s also easy to have blind spots, get stuck in certain patterns, and communicate about things in ways that lead to feeling worse after talking, rather than better.
Having a neutral third party – whether it is a book, video course, or counselor – can make all the difference.
Falling in love is easy and anyone can do it, but having a thriving long-term relationship requires a unique skillset very few people have. There are minimal role models, and most of us never learned these things growing up.
Therefore, to save your relationship, be strategic. With guidance and tools, you can fast track your growth.
If you follow these four steps, it will help you to shake things up (rather than break things up) and turn this seeming breakdown into a true breakthrough.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
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.