Helping Orange County Families Heal Since 2009!

08 Jan
2018

Relationship Rescue: A 6-Step Strategy That Can Save Your Marriage

Are you worried that your marriage is on the edge of failure.

Take heart! It is possible to step back from the brink of a relationship disaster by following these six steps.

Step 1: Pause for a Moment

When you are caught in the middle of a relationship dispute, it’s easy to get sucked into the drama and emotions of the situation. That’s why it is important to take a step back and pause for a moment.

Try some breathing exercises or mindfulness techniques to calm yourself down and to stay relaxed. That way, when you do have a discussion with your partner, you can be in the right mindset instead of being ready to jump back into the argument.

Step 2: Listen to Each Other

Listening is an overlooked but critically important skill when it comes to relationships and communication. It means actually listening to your partner, instead of getting defensive, restarting the argument, or being condescending or hurtful.

You need to listen in order for each of you to feel like the other understands them and takes their perspective seriously. When you don’t make an effort to understand, it sends the message that you don’t care about your partner or your relationship.

Step 3: Reflect on What Your Partner Says

Before rushing to judgment and immediately writing off your partner, take in what they have to say and mull it over for a while. Ask yourself: “Could this possibly apply to me?”

No one likes to hear feedback that puts them in a negative light, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen. It may be that your partner is bringing to your attention issues that you never even considered or realized applied to you. In turn, the same could be said for them and the feedback you provide.

Step 4: Begin Reaching Out

Reaching out is the beginning of rebuilding some of the trust that you once had by re-engaging with one another. This means talking to one another again, even if it is more superficial conversations at first.

Also, try finding tender moments where you can be kind to each other. For example, holding hands, giving a small gift (such as flowers), or providing a compliment. These can be very simple moments. But in the long term, they can rebuild the foundation of your relationship.

Step 5: Spend Time Together

You cannot rebuild a relationship if you do not spend quality time with one another. Otherwise, you are simply two people living under the same roof with very different lives. That’s called being roommates, not partners!

Some ideas for spending time together include:
  • Having a weekly date night where you get out of the house together
  • Having a weekly date night where you get out of the house together
  • Playing a board game or puzzle
  • Taking walks
  • Going on a hike

These are probably some of the same things that you did together when first dating. They still apply now, as they are important for getting to know each other again.

Step 6: Practice Forgiveness

Holding onto grudges is exhausting and draining. How can you love someone and be in a relationship with each other if one or both of you is holding onto a grudge? If both of you want this relationship to work, then that means you have to be able to practice forgiveness with one another.

Professional Help

It should be mentioned that working with a therapist throughout this process can be extremely helpful for couples who need a relationship rescue. A couples counselor can guide you through these steps and be a resource for when you reach an impasse. They can also provide specific recommendations or tools that can help both listen and communicate more effectively.

Certainly, rebuilding a relationship is no easy task. It takes a lot of hard work. But if both of you are willing, it is possible to rescue your relationship.


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