How do you fix relationship problems?

Fixing relationship problems depends on many factors such as the size of the actual problem, how long it has existed, if both parties want to fix the problems, etc.

There is always the option of couples counseling, which is the best method to ensure the relationship survives, assuming the problems are relatively new. However, for those who cannot afford therapy, there are some other things that may fix relationship problems. 

For example, new research has found that simply envisioning the future may help overcome relationship problems. Other research has found that taking a step back and adopting a disconnected, fly-on-the-wall-type outlook can also be an effective way to help resolve relationship conflict.

By taking on this third-person mentality, the person may be better able to see if he or she is reacting to the situation in a way that is reasonable. 

Here are some three tips that may help to fix relationship problems:

  1. Treat your partner with kindness. It’s very easy to be critical of a person if they have certain habits you find annoying. However, when you pick a person apart and catalog their flaws (either in your head or vocally during an argument), you risk the chance of your feeling snowballing. Instead, it’s best to act with kindness. Accept your partner, flaws and all. Lead with love, not with disdain. So, whenever you find your mind beginning to count all the things that drive you nuts about your spouse, refocus your thinking. 

  2. Be quick to forgive. Holding on to a spouse’s past missteps is a recipe for disaster. It’s best to deal with problems as they arise and then move on.

  3. Avoid using absolute words like “always” or “never”. These words tend to cause pointless arguments that rarely fix relationship problems. Why? Because they are used in statements that most likely aren’t true. For example, you may say, “you never help with the dishes“. However, has he or she really never helped, not even once? Most likely they have, just not as consistently as you would prefer. A likely response may include a laundry list of every time they did the dishes. Instead, to better address this issue, it’s more productive to say, “While I appreciate when you help with the dishes, on most days, you don’t help. Could we agree to a more equal division of this chore?” 

Regardless of how you approach fixing relationship issues, it’s important to understand that there is no such thing as a conflict-free relationship. Whether it’s about doing the dishes, having enough sex, or financial disagreements, conflicts are simply part of being in a relationship. 

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