Do you need to know how to fix a relationship? Are you and your partner in a slump? Do you find yourself bickering more these days than cuddling? It’s totally normal for longer-term relationships to lose those initial fireworks you both experienced the first years together. But as with any relationship, the slow buildup of the cohabitation doldrums, works stresses and the arrival of children (and the utter exhaustion of it all), can totally put a damper on your sex life and patience threshold. But even if you hate your partner a lot more than you once worshipped them at the moment, don’t throw in the towel just yet. According to The New York Times, two thirds of divorces are initiated by women. So, take a step back, gain perspective, and as you think on how to fix a relationship, try some of these do-able things to help you fall in love again.
Don’t except it to be like it was. While the beginning was fun, you don’t want to over-romanticize the butterflies you once felt every time your partner walked in the room. “It’s important to remember that those sensations are actually related to an underlying fear of rejection, so there’s an element of risk that creates excitement,” said relationship specialist Ellen Hartson in a Red Book interview. “The sensation that brings back excitement is a quieter, subtle connection that’s more even, steady, and fulfilling. While this feeling is less chaotic, don’t mistake it for certainty, because that can lead to stagnation.”
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Touch more or compliment more. For some couples it’s about finding the right ways to convey a message of love, respect and appreciation. But sometimes words fall short or don’t mean as much to certain people than gestures do. Maybe your partner enjoys the power of touch more than you prefer when your partner tells you look beautiful and or that you did an incredible job on that work project. Maybe your partner would appreciate more back rubs, massages, and cuddling to make them feel appreciated on daily basis. Sometimes when there isn’t time for sex, touching and caressing one another can be healing in so many ways.
Just talk and don’t talk about not talking. Another common complaint during slump periods is a lack of communication. Your hectic schedules can get so bad that your intimate time may be simply brushing your teeth next to one another and asking for the toothpaste. Harriet Lerner, Ph.D., who specializes in marriage counseling told Psychology Today that if “you’re the one pursuing a distant partner, call off the chase. When you want more connection, suggest an activity, like a movie, restaurant or a walk. Instead of communicating about communication—talking about how you don’t talk—just try talking.” Then if you finally get that rapport going don’t forget to listen. “Many marriages would be saved if we would only listen with the same passion that we feel about wanting to be heard,” added Lerner.
Convince yourself you’re in love and constantly. Inner dialogue has a huge impact on how we view our partner, from the way we create tension to the way we tap in to love. “The biggest internal shift we can make is to look at what we tell ourselves about our spouse and how we dialogue with our partners inside our heads,” said psychologist Vagdevi Meunier, founder of the Center for Relationships to Redbook. “When one person is feeling discouraged in a relationship, the first thing I want to know is what they tell themselves on a daily basis. If you’re engaging in hopeless, negative, or judgmental self-talk, you’re actually having a stronger relationship with the spouse inside your head than the real person.”
Remember the best thing you can do when your relationship is in the dumps is to think positively and empathetically about your partner to help reframe your dynamic. If you do just two of the suggested tips above, we’re sure it will make a difference in your relationship. Love should not have to be a Pat Benatar battlefield.