Solutions That Can Save a Relationship

January 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Relationships

It’s the rare couple that doesn’t run into a few bumps in the road in any relationship. If you recognize ahead of time, though, what those relationship problems might be, you’ll have a much better chance of getting past them.

Relationship Problem: Communication

  • Make an actual appointment with each other. If you live together, put the cell phones on vibrate, put the kids to bed, and let voicemail pick up your calls.
  • If you can’t “communicate” without raising your voices, go to a public spot like the library, park, or restaurant where you’d be embarrassed if anyone saw you screaming.
  • Set up some rules — like not interrupting until the other is through or banning phrases such as “You always …” or “You never ….”
  • Use body language to show you are listening. Don’t doodle, look at your watch, or pick at your nails. Nod so the other person knows you’re getting the message, and rephrase if you need to. For instance, say, “What I hear you saying is that you feel as though you have more chores at home, even though we’re both working.” If you’re right, the other can confirm. If what the other person really meant was, hey, you’re a slob and you create more work for me by having to pick up after you, he or she can say so, but in a nicer way.


Relationship counselling can offer the chance to examine our patterns of interacting with those around us to allow us to lead healthier and happier lives. We can improve our relationships with work colleagues, friends or an intimate partner when we make conscious choices and learn new skills.

Managing conflict is one of the corner stones to improving relationships. It is unrealistic to hope to avoid it. Differences can be acknowledged with respect to allow people to co-exist in any environment – at work or play. Learning the skills to negotiate and communicate better can allow unhealthy patterns to change.

Understanding the value of self-esteem can help address difficult issues with the greatest chance of success. Transactional Analysis and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy are just two of a vast array of tools which can help focus on healthier ways to deal with people. Individual counselling can help build confidence and self-esteem.

Neglect of the relationship

Research shows that the foundation of a happy relationship is friendship. Put simply, this means that you can enjoy each other’s company, share values, interests, friends and extended family, and believe you care, support, understand, and in every way are ‘there’ for each other and work together as a team.

This friendship needs to be nurtured, because if neglected it will inevitably deteriorate. This means couples need to be regularly spending time together doing things, talking about things that matter to each partner, and making plans for the future. This seems obvious, but work pressures and other personal issues, the demands of parenting, and the general busyness of life mean that we too easily put off spending the necessary time together to stay connected.

As a result couples drift apart. This is often the case for high achievers, parents of teenagers, or ‘empty nesters’ who have neglected their relationship earlier on.


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