You’ve heard about things you should never tolerate in a relationship, and the kinds of people you should never date again. But what about when breaking up isn’t the best option? What do you do when you are in love, but the relationship has hit a rough patch? Really, how can you rebuild a relationship?There is no such thing as a relationship that never hits a rough patch whether it’s a suddenly waning sex life, boredom, infidelity, or the buildup of little problems over time. Rough patches suck, but they are also signs of a mature, complex relationship. In fact, never hitting rough patches may be a sign that you are simply going through the motions of a relationship and never delving into the serious foundations of a partnership. People often say that the moment they stop fighting with their partner is the moment they realize that they don’t care about the relationship anymore.
Partnerships require constant work, and you shouldn’t be afraid of that work. I spoke with Lori Bizzoco, executive editor and founder of CupidsPulse.com, a relationship advice website, to learn what partners can do to survive a rough patch and nurture their relationship back to health.
According to Bizzoco, the most common causes of rough patches are a lack of communication, a lack of affection, and spitefulness. Bizzoco explains, “If there is no communication, there is really no relationship,” so you and your partner have to figure out why you have stopped sharing with one another. Bizzoco also points out that a lack of affection signifies emotionally removing oneself from a relationship, so you have to take active steps to praise each other on a regular basis. Bizzuco suggests nightly talks in which each partner describes one thing they love about the other. When it comes to spitefulness, finding delight in your partner’s failure is a huge sign of an unhealthy relationship. It is imperative for your relationship’s survival to pinpoint what happened to trigger such resentment within you in order to repair what has been broken.
It’s important to discern whether something is a rough patch, or whether it is a sign that the relationship should end. Bizzoco advises that you ask yourself four questions:
Is this relationship worth saving? Do you truly believe your partner will change and stick to the changes that need to be made? If your partner does make these changes, will it really help the relationship overall? Do you believe you deserve better? Hopefully, your answers to these questions will lead you to realize that your love is worth your hard work.
Here are 10 things you can then do to rebuild and strengthen your relationship:
1. Make space for one another.
2. Arguments don’t always have to be a bad thing.
3. Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of a break.
4. Remind yourselves of why you fell in love in the first place.
5. Connect with each other in fresh and new ways.
6. Always be honest with one another even when it’s inconvenient.
7. Keep the flame of your love burning.
8. Don’t settle for routines.
9. Take care of yourself as an individual.