How to Fix a Broken Relationship

by Melody Causewell

Relationship issues are common and cause much emotional stress. By identifying the problem, addressing mental health issues, getting attached and working on communication, you may be able to fix a broken relationship.

Identify the Problem

Figuring out why your relationship is broken to begin with can be difficult, but it matters when trying to fix it. Looking at the situation in a nonjudgmental way helps. Instead of blaming your partner, make a list of what seems to be contributing to the issues at hand. Are one or both of you always upset? If so, why? Does one of you feel used or taken advantage of? What can be done to fix the issues on your list? Talk to your partner about what you came up with and see what she has to add. Once you are able to open lines of communication about what is actually wrong, you can take additional steps toward fixing it.

Address Mental Health Issues

Many who have relationship troubles have mental health issues that contribute. Depression in particular predicts marital dissatisfaction and hostility, according to research published in the Journal of Family Psychology. In this study, when husbands were depressed, wives were less satisfied and showed their husbands less warmth. The same pattern was found for depressed wives, though husbands also showed more hostility. Getting assistance for mental health issues helps to put you on a path to better emotional health and helps to fix a relationship by default by decreasing hostility, promoting warmth and improving satisfaction. If your partner is the one depressed, encourage him to get assistance as well.

Get Attached

Couples are more satisfied in their relationships when attachment to partners is strong, says research published in Personality and Relationships. Attachment security — which includes confidence in the relationship and positive feelings toward each other — can be enhanced by participating in activities you both enjoy or finding ways to be together more often. Snuggling for a late movie, going on a hike together or seeing a comedy show may all help with bonding, increase the closeness you feel toward each other and assist in fixing a broken relationship.

Work on Communication

Improved relationship satisfaction can be achieved through effective communication, reports research published in The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. Those who learn how to listen and understand their partner have less conflict, particularly when they are able to respond in less confrontational ways. You can try clarifying statements such as “I hear you saying that you hate my music being on. From the way you yelled it, it seems that the volume might be the problem as opposed to the song. Is this correct?” If you find that you are both too upset to have a productive conversation, walk away and cool off. And if you are both upset more often than not, seek out professional assistance to work through communication issues and fix your broken relationship.

About the Author

Melody Causewell has been a writer in the mental health field since 2001. She written training manuals and clinical programs for mental health organizations. She has published feature articles "Leaven" magazine and has been published in "Natural Awakenings." She has a degree in psychology, a Masters degree in social work and is a La Leche League leader.

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