How to Fix Relationship Problems

by Elizabeth Wolfenden

Real relationships don't often happen the way the books and movies portray them, and many people are often left wondering what they can do to fix their relationship problems. The process for fixing relationship problems is fairly simple and straightforward, but it is not easy. If you are willing to put in the hard work and effort to follow through with the process, however, you can be successful at fixing your relationship problems.

Hear the other person out. Even if you think that the person is being completely unreasonable, take the time to really listen to what the person is saying and try to hear things from that perspective. It may be hard if you don't agree, but the act of trying to understand where the person is coming from and hearing them out can make the other person at least feel validated and heard and will go a long way in opening up the lines of communication.

Focus on the positive. Even if the other person is driving you crazy, there is something about the person you must like or appreciate or else you wouldn't be trying to fix the relationship in the first place. Focusing on the other person's good qualities and the little things you appreciate will help change your mindset and allow you to be more open-minded.

Fight fair. Try to keep as calm and rational as possible during arguments, and avoid using "You always..." or "You never..." phrases. Instead, focus on how you are feeling and tell the other person specifically what you want to happen in the future, instead of focusing on blame or what may have happened in the past.

Pick your battles. Keep in mind that it takes two people to argue. If you see that the fight is not going to be productive and the matter is not of importance to you, it may be best to let it go and to save your time and energy for issues more important to you.

Take responsibility. Most people do not like to be told they are wrong, but chances are there is something both of you have done that contributed to this problem. Instead of trying to blame the entire problem on the other person, accept responsibility for your part in creating the problem and take the appropriate steps to correct your own mistakes. You can't control the other person's behavior, but you can control your reactions to it.

Make the first move. Instead of wishing the other person would do something for you, you should do something nice for the other person. In fact, every day you should ask yourself "What can I do today that will help make my relationship stronger?" Even small things to improve the relationship can add up big in the long run.

Look for patterns. Oftentimes, relationships have some sort of behavior pattern to them and many fights will occur based around the same issues. Determine what these core issues are and try to overcome them to break negative patterns.

Seek additional help. Sometimes relationship problems get too big to handle without outside intervention. A counselor or other mediator may be needed to give an objective viewpoint and keep arguments from escalating and getting out of control.

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  • Know when to call it quits. Although this should be a last resort after all other possibilities have been attempted, sometimes the only way to fix relationship problems is to end the relationship.

About the Author

Elizabeth Wolfenden has been a professional freelance writer since 2005 with articles published on a variety of blogs and websites. She specializes in the areas of nutrition, health, psychology, mental health and education. Wolfenden holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in counseling from Oakland University.

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