Posted Under: Dating for Men and Women,Relationships
Can this relationship be saved? Should it be?
Joel puts in long hours at work, but Catherine feels he isn’t there for her when she needs him to be. Catherine is devoted to their children but Joel feels that she doesn’t have any time left for him. Let’s explore how this relationship could be saved.
First of all, is the relationship worth saving? Almost every relationship can be saved, but only if both parties want to save it and are willing to put in the hard work necessary to do so. If one person opts out, there isn’t much that can be done.
What are some of the reasons people may decide to save a relationship? It may be out of convenience or for the children, but it takes more than this. It requires a conviction by both parties that the relationship is worth saving and a commitment to do so.
The next step is to pinpoint the problems in the relationship. It is common to mistake the symptoms of a problem for the problem itself.
For example, many people may think that an affair is the cause of a breakup. The reality is that this is merely the sign of a deeper problem. The straying partner may be somewhat selfish or may simply feel that his or her need for attention was not satisfied. So the core problem was a lack of intimacy and the affair was just a symptom.
If you fail to deal with the core problem, you may, through the use of guilt, be able to keep another affair from occurring, but another problem, such as the use of pornography, could crop up in its place, because you failed to resolve the core issue. When you deal with causes rather than symptoms, you stand the best chance of saving a relationship.
The next step is in talking things out. This is a give-and-take process involving both sharing your own concerns and listening to those of your partner.
Holding hands while doing so can establish intimacy and maintain calm, even when emotions are running high. Be willing to let the other person speak and try to avoid interrupting. Write down the concerns of the other person and your own as well. This will help to reinforce what is being said.
The next step is to create an action plan. This should involve concrete steps for resolving any problem that has been identified.
For example, if you haven’t been spending time together like you did in the past, then set up a weekly date night to go out together. Take turns coming up with creative ways to make this a fun experience.
If the problem is a lack of communication, then get into the habit of spending 20 minutes with each other every day before bedtime just talking to one another.
Finally, remember that strengthening the relationship will be an ongoing process. It may seem like a case of “two steps forward and one step back” and you should expect a fair amount of both laughter and tears as you go through the process. Always be slow to find fault and quick to say “I’m sorry.”
Saving your relationship will take effort and commitment on the part of both parties, but the steps outlined here will help to put you on the path to doing so.