Usually, it starts out as the perfect story, boy meets girl, they fall in love and get married and then it’s happily ever after, right? Except that there are no guaranteed happily-ever-afters in real life.
Unlike other relationships in life for which we have quite a flexible yardstick measuring expectations and disappointments, when it comes to our romantic entanglements, we become quite inflexible in our expectations. Over the years those expectations are not met and we slowly start drawing away from our partners. There begins the vicious cycle of indifference, resentment and hurt, all because we were unable to articulate our feelings and now that they are not being met, we feel stifled in that relationship. There comes a time in every relationship, where you are ready to throw in the towel. With the future of your relationship hanging in balance, you ask yourself “Is there any way I can turn this around? Is there any hope for me?” Well, the good news is if you are looking to turn things around, we can help you with that.
The key to making things better is to acknowledge your own role in tanking that relationship. You cannot absolve yourself of that responsibility, in fact doing so shows that you aren’t ready to work on things to make them better. Now that we’ve established the primary rule, let’s see what you can do to save the future of your relationship.
1. Talk It Out
Obvious, isn’t it? Though you would be surprised to know that a lot of people seek to brush things under the carpet until it forms the proverbial lump over which their relationship trips. Don’t behave like an ostrich! The problems won’t go away if you choose to ignore them. In fact, that will only escalate them to the point of no return. So, what can you do?
Rather than running away from conflict, engage with it. Talk to your partner but without pinning the blame on each other. Acknowledge that the things are different from what they were before, tell your partner that you feel a little lost or confused. The key to solving any problem is acknowledging that there is one, and that’s where you should start.
2. Seek Help From A Professional
In our country, where the concept of love marriage is still not digestible to many, seeking help from a relationship counselor might seem anachronistic. But hey, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.
A primary cause of why good things come to pass in most relationships is a lack of communication. A counselor can help you with that. They can provide you with tools that can help you air your grievances in a more wholesome manner. Again, I would like to emphasize that the counselor is only going to help you see the larger picture and point out the patterns that are problematic. They are not going to resolve the issue for you. The hard work has to be done by you.
3. Acknowledge That Change Is Inevitable
Change is inevitable. Times change, circumstances accompanying them change and people are no different. In fact, change is the one thing that is certain in our constantly evolving world.
The expectation that he will do the same things that he did back when you both were 18 is an unfair and unreasonable one. Understand that your partner doesn’t just exist to serve all your needs. S/he has their own lives and issues to deal with too. Perhaps, they don’t buy you flowers anymore, but that doesn’t mean they stopped loving you. It just means that over time their way of expressing affection has come to mean something more understated.
4. Try To Remember Why You Fell In Love In The First Place
To expect things to be exactly as they were at the beginning of the relationship is akin to living in a bubble. That wild passion that you had for your partner, in the beginning is bound to wear out after a couple of years when cares of life have taken their toll on both of you.
Love is not the song-and-dance business that it’s made out to be in our movies, it’s work. In fact, it’s hard work. But think of it this way, why shouldn’t you put in the hard work for a person whom you chose for yourself. Try to remember why you fell for them in the first place.
5. Locate The Root Cause Of The Issue
A lot of the issues in a relationship are circumstantial. Probably the new job is keeping you from spending time with your partner, or the lovemaking has become very routine, there is an unequal division of house chores etc. These issues are not deep-seated and eventually, you can work your way through them. However, if these are patterns hint at a larger issue, then you need to unearth those patterns and identify the root cause of all issues. Once you’ve done that it becomes that easier to mend the fences.
These tips can enable you to approach your relationship with a fresh perspective and resolve the conflicts that are plaguing them. Just remember, your relationship is worth fighting for even though right now all signs might seem to point the other way.