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The online alternative to marriage counseling

The How To Fix A Relationship Roadmap

The How to Fix a Relationship Roadmap

If you are having relationship problems, here's a roadmap to help you get things back on track. It's got two parts. First, you have to learn to follow the "four essential rules of the road" for healthy relationships. And then, you can use the "how to fix a relationship" map to rebuild the love you used to feel. It's common for any serious relationship to hit bumps in the road. However even when things feel like they're falling apart, you can get things back on track by using healthy relationship skills.

Although this article gives you the basic outline for how to fix a relationship, it's certainly not an easy journey. The Power of Two Online provides detailed activities, videos and worksheets to help you learn and practice the skills you'll need to succeed. And, Power of Two members get the support of a real Power of Two marriage and relationship specialist to help answer your questions and support you along the way.

Part I: Four Essential Rules of the Road

1. Stay in your lane.

That means that when you talk, share information about yourself, the mistakes you've made, and how you would like to handle sensitive situations differently in the future. Do not cross the center line and talk about your partner, guess what he or she thinks or feels, or tell him or her what to do. Just like crossing the center lane on a highway, crossing from your lane to your partner's lane will cause accidents. Blame, criticism, and accusations are about your partner. Don't go there.

2. Focus on what makes sense

in what your partner says to you. Assume that even if your partner expresses his or her concerns clumsily or offensively, they are valid and important concerns that you need to hear. Learning how to fix a relationship involves being a good listener. That means listening to learn, not defending yourself or showing what's wrong with what you are hearing.

3. Keep a sunny climate.

Thunderstorms with big winds of anger will blow you out of each other's lives. If your emotions are getting stormy, take a break and return to talking when you both have returned to a calmer, sunnier mood. Negative emotions lead to hurt feelings as either partner may say something they regret.

4. Cherish each other.

Treat each other consistently with the respect, consideration and affection you would show to someone whom you truly treasure. Spend time together enjoying each other's company.

Part II: The Map

Whether you're surviving an affair or trying to repair lesser marriage problems, the path is essentially the same for any struggling relationship.

1. Start out by heading down the road of healing past wounds. As you talk about the upsetting interactions that have distressed you in the past, look back on these upsetting incidents to find what you yourself can learn from each. When thinking about how to fix a relationship, mistakes are for learning. Whatever happened happened. You can't change it, however you can learn from it. Share what you experienced, and think aloud about what you would do differently next time. If your partner joins you and does the same, convert past upsets to valuable learning moments in your life journey together, and find true forgiveness.

As you move forward, be sure to remember Rules of the Road number one of couples therapy-- stay in your lane. No telling your partner what he or she did wrong. Just focus on insights about yourself.

2. After a brief trip down the road of healing past wounds, the next turn in how to fix a relationship is to explore new paths for your relationship – new ways of dealing with similar situations when they arise again in the future. For this part of your journey, remember to keep your eyes on the road ahead. What's done is done. This part of the journey is about creating a plan for a new, better future.

Offer ideas of what you will do differently, starting now and into the future. Create new solutions to the old problems that have created tensions between you, not by telling your partner what you want him or her to change, but by offering what you yourself will do differently.

3. Lastly, this map has a few big DO NOT ENTER signs. Stay off side roads that go to alcohol and other addictions, to excessive anger, and to affairs. Those roads are guaranteed to take you down the wrong way, getting you further and further away from your destination.

One last comment.

In order to succeed on this journey, you're going to need great communication skills. The Power of Two Online is an affordable, personalized, and effective alternative to marriage counseling that will help you learn the skills you need to fix a relationship that feels like it's falling apart.

Talk with your relationship coach today.
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Fix a Relationship
How are relationships fixed?
Couples can learn to talk with each other effectively. They can work through even the thorniest problems if they have strong communication skills, and know how to make win-win decisions. Anger can derail a relationship. Emotion regulation is also key for keeping things on track. Finally support and positivity are the glue that hold you close to each other, for the long haul. Learn more.
Can every relationship be fixed?
Not every relationship can be saved. There are some behaviors that are totally out of bounds. However many conflicts, even ones that have caused a lot of pain, can be worked through with the proper skills. Learn more.
How long does it take to fix a relationship?
It depends, each couple is different. Often small changes in communication and emotion regulation can make a big difference fairly quickly. However big changes can sometimes require a real effort, over many weeks or months. Learn more.
What are the steps to fixing a relationship?
1) Heal past wounds. 2) Create new ways forward. 3) Stay on track. Learn more.
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Funding for this project was provided by the United States Department of Health Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant 90-FE-0123.Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of Health and Human Servies, Administration for Children and Families.