Falling in love feels like soaring with eagles, but an unhealthy relationship can bring you crashing to the ground. We’ve all been there a time or two.
In the beginning, you love each other so much that the whole world glimmers and glows. But this perfection soon gives way to ups and downs, even in a healthy relationship.
Sadly, many couples break up as that romantic high wears off, leaving them with real love. They let normal relationship issues tear them apart rather than bring them closer together. A healthy relationship can’t develop without two people determined to stay together.
There’s no way around the truth: Relationships require work. No two people are alike, and sometimes differences create painful misunderstandings. Moreover, people make mistakes. No matter how good the intentions, both partners in a relationship will mess up from time to time. If you want to turn an unhealthy relationship into a healthy relationship, prepare to face these realities.
The tips below will show you how to rekindle love and turn a bad relationship around, but you don’t have to wait until after a breakup. Start early. As soon as relationship issues pop up, tackle them head-on. The trick is to fix a broken relationship before it breaks you.
1. Stop rehashing the past
It’s important to discuss the issues in your relationship, but that doesn’t mean bringing up the past in every argument. To grow as a couple, especially after a breakup or communication breakdown, you must forgive each other. Of course, forgiveness doesn’t come easily; but you must decide, once and for all, whether to let the past go or let the relationship go.
If you have spent any time broken up with your love, you know how hard it is to be apart. So, prepare to move forward. That means no more trying to make your partner feel guilty about past mistakes. Don’t bring up the past when disagreeing about the present, and don’t use the past to justify your current feelings or behaviours.
There’s no way to turn an unhealthy relationship into a healthy relationship while holding on to old resentments. The festering anger and constant rehashing of the past will lead to bitterness, bad arguments, and a dismal future. Don’t let the past ruin your future. You can create new, better memories together, but only if both partners willingly forgive the past.
2. Deal with real relationship issues.
Forgiving the past does not mean ignoring relationship issues. Unhealthy relationships often come from inattention to underlying problems. You may have argued over everything without really fixing anything in the past. Or you may have dealt with the symptoms of relationship issues rather than digging up the root cause.
For example, if everything blew up after one of you was unfaithful, the focus may land squarely on that single act of betrayal. Cheating is horrible and inexcusable, but there is almost always a problem beneath the surface.
Were you feeling vengeful, unfulfilled, or insecure? Did your partner feel ignored, unloved, or neglected? Had your relationship become too mundane or boring? Did you miscommunicate your desires? Is your partner not ready for total commitment? Sometimes it is difficult for couples to discover all the underlying issues, so don’t hesitate to bring in a neutral third party. That might mean going to couples counselling.
Once you understand the root cause, you can see if it is fixable. If so, develop a solid plan to prevent the break up and breakdown of your love. Make sure you agree on this solution since it takes two committed partners to turn an unhealthy relationship into a healthy one.
3. Give your all. Don’t hold back.
Some couples feel insecure when rekindling love after a breakup or breakdown. It’s tempting to hold back, just in case things go wrong again. But this approach sets you up for failure. Try to find comfort in that your partner chose to work things out with you, even though it might be easier to give up on the unhealthy relationship.
Many couples break up rather than fix a broken relationship. Instead, you’re working to build a healthy relationship. That makes your love special. Use this knowledge to bolster feelings of security to give your all in the relationship.
Don’t hold back out of fear or distrust. Don’t put your love on probation while waiting for something else to go wrong. Set your mind on healing the relationship rift, loving each other more completely, and creating happy memories together. You wouldn’t take time to read about how to turn an unhealthy relationship into a healthy relationship if you didn’t love your mate enough to try.
4. Give each other opportunities to change
If you and your partner are having difficulty, chances are that there are small opportunities for your partner to change. There may be small, everyday things they can do differently to make your life easier. For example, maybe your partner is controlling and you find it hard to let him or her do what they want without getting upset, but your partner doesn’t know what he or she is doing. You should give them a chance to change this by giving them a chance to show you that they can handle things differently.
If you find that you have a habit that your partner finds difficult to accept, you should work with them to see if you can find something that you can do without your partner having to change their behaviour. If you struggle with controlling your emotions, there are some things you can do to change this, including writing down what you’re feeling and doing it in a private place. These things are going to take time, so you should be patient and supportive of your partner while they try to change these things.
5. Know how your partner is feeling
Learning to empathise with your partner is crucial if you want to turn around a toxic romance. Perhaps they were trying to make their relationship work, but now they feel angry or misunderstood despite their efforts. Constant criticism from your partner might be difficult to ignore and comprehend. You should talk to them about their expectations if they seem too high. It’s not easy to put yourself in their shoes if they’re hurt by your actions.
If you and your spouse are having problems, it’s possible that your partner could benefit from some minor adjustments on their end. Asking your partner what they feel and why might help you become a better communicator. Perhaps they have a lot going on in their lives at the moment, and they don’t even realise it by the way they’re acting towards you. Perhaps they feel unappreciated and you just need to pay more attention to their concerns. Let them know how you’re feeling to make yourself feel better, and support them in ways they can’t support you, like giving them space to recharge.