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Steps to Start Rebuilding a Struggling Relationship

by Stacey Elkins

No one wants to be in the midst of a struggling relationship. It can be stressful, emotionally draining and painful for you and your significant other. You can't fix your relationship overnight, but with time and effort, you can build the relationship you desire.

Commit to Your Relationship

You and your significant other have to commit to each other and your relationship. If one of you is not fully committed, your relationship will continue to struggle. Commitment creates a safe and secure environment for openly discussing thoughts, feelings and desires, according to the article "Why Commitment Matters," published by the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center (NHMRC). Instead of blaming one another, accept that you and your significant other share responsibility for the relationship and then work on fixing your problems together, says Christine Webber, a psychotherapist and author of "How to Improve Your Relationship," published on the website NetDoctor.

Communicate With Each Other

Make communication in your relationship a priority. A lack of communication creates distance, reports HelpGuide.org in the article "Relationship Help." Distance in a relationship can make it difficult to talk to your significant other about important issues. Don't limit communication to surface-level topics, such as what's for dinner or what time you'll be home from work. Be honest, open and respectful. Share your feelings and hopes. The NHMRC suggests discussing the future to help you strengthen your commitment.

Spend Quality Time Together

If you don't find time for each other, your relationship may improve slowly or not at all, writes Webber. Find an activity that you and your significant other both enjoy, such as cooking, running or hiking. Jointly participating in a fun activity creates a shared experience and strengthens your emotional bond, says Colleen Ekbeck, a registered psychotherapist and author of "Six Components of a Healthy Relationship," published on the Younique Counseling website.

Seek Professional Help

If you and your partner can't seem to work out issues on your own, consider couples counseling. A therapist, as an outside party, will be able to add an objective perspective to your relationship issues. A counselor or other mediator not personally invested in your relationship can help you and your significant other communicate while offering insights and giving suggestions to improve your relationship.

About the Author

Stacey Elkins is a writer based in Chicago. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and a Masters in social work from the University of Illinois in Chicago, where she specialized in mental health.

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