How To Fix A Broken Relationship - 10 Steps You Need To Know
By: Carlos Cavallo
If there's one thing for sure, it's that you will have problems in your relationship. So you need to know how to fix a broken relationship, no matter how bad.
The good news is that if you can detect it early enough, a broken relationship can be fixed. And unlike a broken piece of pottery, your relationship will be stronger after the break has been repaired. Now you will have faith that you can weather the bad times.
This is why relationships that don't have arguments or difficult times don't have what it takes to survive.
So you may have a broken relationship right now, but that's no reason to despair. The skills you learn to fix it will last you for the rest of your life. And you will know more about your partner in the process.
You may want to hit the reset button in your relationship. It can be difficult to repair, that's for sure. But if you have faith and the right knowledge, you can overcome these challenges in your relationship with your partner.
Why Do Relationships Break Or Fail?
The simple truth is that we are humans. We're complicated. And relationships between complicated humans are even MORE complicated.
Let's go through some of the reasons that relationships can break:
REASON #1: Trust Has Left The Building
The cement of your relationship is Trust. without it, your relationship will fail.
Trust issues are very common. Trust issues usually start in our childhood.
We learn them in our families. And then we bring them into our relationships.
When we stop trusting ourselves, we stopped trusting others. And when we stop trusting others, we stop trusting ourselves. Trust is a two-way street.
Some of the bad things that happen when you lose trust are:
And a whole lot more.
The first thing you need to do is to figure out whether your trust issues are because your partner is not trustable OR these are anxiety and insecurity issues inside of you.
Then you have to work on getting reconnected to your partner. I'll tell you more about how to do that in a bit.
REASON #2: Clash Of The Expectations
Expectations are the rules we set up in our brain for how we expect things to turn out.
It doesn't matter if it's a movie, or a new album from an artist, or a relationship. We have certain expectations for what we want from it.
The problem is that expectations are also one thing that breaks the easiest.
"We are almost never disappointed by something we don't have any expectations for."
Relationships, however, are something we have very distinct expectations for. When things don't turn out the way we expect them to, we get disappointed and our expectations are broken.
The most common reason a relationship will start to break down is if your expectations - or his expectations - are not met.
When your expectations butt heads, you understand the pain of a relationship.
Some people can work through these expectations that are not met and manage to negotiate their way to getting them met.
But more often than not, expectations can never be met by a person who doesn't meet your requirements. All too often we get into relationships with people that are not a good match and spend years trying to turn them into someone they are not.
When you see your expectations are not being met, check your expectations first.
If you're not willing to compromise or change those expectations, then it's time to really look at your partner.
REASON #3: Your Communication Sucks
This is another one of those very common reasons relationships start to fall apart and eventually break. If you're not communicating well, then you're not going to be able to meet each other's needs. You're always going to have misunderstandings and a deep breakdown of connection.
Communication is one of the most important factors in a relationship because it's how you navigate with your partner.
If you have problems, you have to communicate them.
If you have needs you have to communicate them.
If something isn't working, you have to communicate it.
If your communication isn't in sync and compatible, you will definitely have problems. And eventually you will turn to a therapist or counselor to help you with them. But chances are it will be too late.
Make sure you're always working on your communication. Not just with your romantic partner, but with everyone in your life.
Work on communication with your peers
Work on communication with your friends
Work on communication with your coworkers
And absolutely work on communication with your romantic partner!
REASON #4: You are on different maps/timetables
Sometimes it just happens that we are on different time schedules, or in different places in our life. The timing is just wrong.
It can be hard to see this when you want a relationship to work. But sometimes the situation is out of your control and you just need to walk away.
And sometimes you meet in the same place but you're going at different speeds. So you fall out of step with each other. He might be going slower, and you might be moving faster towards your relationship goals.
You have to decide for yourself if you're willing and patient enough to go at your partner's speed.
Sometimes this means you have different priorities at the moment.
You may want to start a family, but he wants to start a business. This will be something you must navigate and negotiate along the way if you want it to work.
REASON #5: You're just not a match
Very frequently I see couples that get together and start a relationship. But they didn't ever stop to really make sure the other person was right for them. One or both of them was just desperate to get into a relationship as fast as they could.
So they threw their needs out the window and ignored how wrong this person was for them.
They might have been seeking relief from anxiety, or from loneliness. But whatever reason, they didn't choose well.
If each person in a relationship is completely healthy, then they could probably start a relationship with almost anybody. But compatibility is a huge issue if you are not in a whole and healthy place with your own self-esteem and self-worth.
One of the biggest love myths out there is that love conquers everything.
Unfortunately this is not true. What love can do is to show you your own strengths and sometimes give you the drive and desire to overcome obstacles. But love cannot always make a relationship work, especially if you're not matched well to begin with.
In order to form a safe intimate connection with a guy, you do have to have some basic compatibility between you. Usually it's in how you communicate and how you work through your conflicts.
Your strongest incompatibility is the biggest enemy to making your relationship work.
THE ONLY RELATIONSHIP ABSOLUTE:
You can't make a relationship work correctly if either of you is engaged in abuse. Whether that's physical or verbal.
This is what I call the relationship absolute. You absolutely cannot make a relationship work right with any amount of abuse.
If you detect abuse in your relationship, leave the relationship immediately. Don't stick around hoping to turn things around. 99% of the time, you won't.
Should You Fix This Broken Relationship?
This is a really hard question to answer. I absolutely can't answer that for you without knowing your relationship situation. So you must do this for yourself.
In most cases, if you suspect your relationship is broken or badly damaged, it's usually best for you to walk away from it.
The amount of effort you put into trying to salvage it is usually 10 times the amount it would take to find a person that works for you and is compatible right from the start.
The only thing that keeps you in these relationships is usually a form of addiction.
When you are anxiously attached to someone, it can be incredibly hard to break the Habit. It's even worse than trying to quit smoking. But quit you must if you want to be healthy.
Just because you feel this addiction doesn't mean it's love.
Just because you feel afraid of losing them, that doesn’t mean they are THE ONE for you.
And it definitely doesn't mean you should stick around to try and make it work.
There are plenty of people out there for you to meet. You might have fallen into a scarcity mindset regarding the opportunities for love out there. Never forget that there are plenty of people to meet - and that you could fall in love with.
Just using simple math, 45% of all Americans over 18 are not married. That’s 110 Million + people out there.
They might not all be eligible for a relationship, but that should tell you that you have PLENTY of options out there.
Scarcity thinking - believing that you are our options are limited - is a distortion. It's simply not true no matter what you might think.
So the most important thing you can have to help you answer the question: “Should I fix this broken relationship?” is a healthy mindset that is not fogged or distorted.
How To Fix A Broken Relationship
Okay, let's say you've decided to fix this relationship. You feel your partner might be The One for you.
What do you do next?
Here are the steps to fix a broken relationship:
STEP 1: Bury The Past
If you're going to move forward with your relationship, you have to be able to let go of the stuff from the past. Because if you can't, you're just going to keep repeating it and never get anywhere.
Holding on to the past has only gotten you to where you are right now. (And I doubt it’s a good place if you want to know how to fix a broken relationship.)
The past is the past, and you have to be willing to let it go if you want to move forward with him.
STEP 2: Accept it all
You also have to bury the past by coming to terms with the things that you don't like about him.
You have to be willing to accept all of the traits about him that he has right now.
This isn't to say that he won't change or work on improvement. That's something you can work on together in the future.
But for now you have to realize that he is who he is right at this moment. He's not your personal self improvement project.
Carlos’ Rule Of Acceptance: “The less a man feels accepted by the woman in his life, the less he wants to be in that relationship.“
He needs your acceptance more than anything else. If you withhold it, he will look for it somewhere else.
If you hold on to your need to change him or mold him, you will only resent him when he doesn't do what you wish he would do. And he will resent you right back for not accepting him the way he is.
STEP 3: Get flexible
When we’re rigid in our relationships, we become impossible to deal with.
When we first get together with somebody, we accept them as they are and have no problems being flexible. This is what they call the "Honeymoon phase."
But inevitably, this phase ALWAYS ends.
We have to be flexible and able to accept when our partner doesn't see things the way we do. If we stick to our guns and insist that we are right, we may win the battle, but we lose the war.
And no relationship should ever feel like War or combat.
If you can stay flexible, you can better listen to your partner. You can also meet their needs better.
And flexibility will allow you to see the best path to fixing your relationship.
STEP 4: Enhance your Goodwill
One of the symptoms of a relationship that's broken is that there's very little Goodwill between them. Meaning, they no longer have the resting sense of love and joy between them.
One of the ways you can ramp up your Goodwill is to start showing interest in your partner again. Remember when you didn't know enough about them? You wanted all the details?
Where they grew up…
What their families were like....
What they were interested in doing…
What their dreams of the future were…
Unfortunately, we often give up exploring and being curious about our partners. This leads to a feeling of boredom - and eventually it can break the relationship.
Stay curious. Keep investigating the vast infinite being of your partner.
I guarantee you there is plenty you don't know. And plenty worth discovering.
It's a lifelong process.
STEP 5: Identify Your Dissatisfaction
In order to move forward, you need to identify what it is you're not happy about with your partner.
Somewhere in the relationship, you feel disconnected. Something feels off, and you may not know exactly what that is.
In order to go forward and continue the relationship, you have to identify what it is that isn't quite right. Once you figure out what that is, you can focus on it and target it as something to fix.
If you don't figure out what is going on, it will continue to sabotage your relationship with your partner.
STEP 6: Make Sure He’s On Board
Probably the most important part of the process is really to make sure that your partner will actually work with you on all of this.
You have to figure out whether or not he's going to put the effort in to make the relationship work, or is he just all ready to leave.
And you have to know whether or not he's patient enough to work through possible commitment issues, intimacy issues, communication issues, and so on.
The same thing could be asked about you too! Make sure you are really on board with fixing a relationship and going through the work - the hard work - of fixing it.
Are YOU prepared to make some changes?
As I said earlier, sometimes it's better to just let a failing relationship go.
Not every person you date is your soulmate. And the quicker you let them move on to find their better partner, the sooner you will find yours too.
STEP 7: Start Dating Again
Most relationships fall into a very similar pattern. They start out hot and heavy, then things rapidly turn routine.
You have to always fight the routine in a relationship.
Of course, a relationship can't always be the thrilling Love Roller-coaster it was at the start, and most people don't want it to be that.
But it shouldn't become boring and mundane very quickly, either.
One of the best ways you can do this and keep your relationship as your primary focus is to start dating again. At least one night per week should be set aside for “date night.”
This way you can keep a focus on the relationship itself. If you're too busy paying attention to everything else in life, you will miss what's going on between you and him.
STEP 8: Keep the feedback flowing
In order to keep the process of healing and making the relationship work again, you have to make sure you have an open Communication channel with him.
Another good habit to add is having a once-a-week check-in with him. This is where you can give each other feedback about what's going on in the relationship.
You can discuss:
Unhealthy patterns you want to break
Keeping the physical intimacy alive
among many other things.
Constructive feedback is the “circulatory system” of your relationship. Being able to pass feedback back and forth is critical if you want to avoid the same communication breakdowns that threatened your relationship before.
You should also make note of where your sensitive areas are and keep healthy boundaries around them.
For example, if you know that he is very sensitive to criticism, you may have to come up with a way to talk about them in a way that respects his boundaries.
You might say it like this: “I wanted to share something that might help you and me. I wondered if you were feeling okay to look at a sensitive topic?”
By giving him the opportunity to delay or have that conversation at a better time, you will be respecting him and the relationship. And you'll likely get a better response from him when 'the talk' does occur.
Again, many of the triggering and activating hearts of relationships happen when we don't have a way to avoid hurting the feelings of the other person. Blurting out something that you need before you make sure he's ready to hear it could create a huge argument.
STEP 9: Look at your patterns
Every relationship gets into cycles of pushing away, and pulling back. We push the other person away when we feel threatened, and we pull them back when we feel insecure or alone.
By identifying these cycles, you can start to avoid the push/pull pattern that relationships get into.
It's also a good idea to look at what triggers the “push away” part of the cycle. This is typically where the bad patterns start to show up.
Just like losing your balance, the wobbly patterns that push us apart can be identified and avoided.
Don't just look at your patterns as a couple, look at your own patterns of moods and emotions and responses. Chances are, you have already experienced your relationship cycles many times, and you know they're in there - just waiting to start problems.
Start to look at them and explore them. The more you can figure out about your own emotional reactions, the better you can help him to understand them.
Most people never investigate their relationships. They never stop to look at the very obvious behavior that's going on with their partner and slow things down enough to take a look at it.
However, the relationship “expert” sees their patterns and takes them apart to find out what's happening inside.
STEP 10: Don't forget about the bedroom
One area that we often overlook or neglect is the physical intimacy.
It's rare that both people in a relationship are always satisfied with the sex. You can't assume that he is satisfied just because he isn't saying anything. (or complaining)
The one thing you must learn about men (if you haven't by now) it's that guys rarely tell you what's going on in their minds. Sometimes it takes a little bit of investigation.
It can be awkward and uncomfortable to talk about it, but you must.
BONUS STEP 11: Get Help If You Need It
If you find that you have trouble making progress with him, you both must also know when to seek professional guidance. Sometimes a relationship therapist is the fastest way to get through the dysfunction.
The earlier you go to a therapist the better. Most people wait until it's too late before they finally seek professional help. By the time they do, one or both of the people in the relationship have already moved on emotionally. This is why so few people are able to get success with a relationship counselor or therapist.
But if you can get into their office sooner rather than later, you will see a much higher probability of fixing your relationship.
BONUS STEP 12: Forgive and let go
We frequently make up stories to explain the behavior we see in a relationship. And the stories we make up are usually completely wrong.
We assume our partner is being malicious and hurtful, when they are just trying to either defend themselves or make a bid for more love.
Be careful about your assumptions. They often mislead you.
It's very rare that your partner is trying to deliberately hurt you in a relationship. In fact, that's almost never the case.
If you're going to move forward in your relationship, you have to be able to forgive your partner. If you find that you can't forgive them, then the relationship should end.
But this is only if there is a major transgression that is unforgivable. And only you can decide what that is.
The essential ingredient has to be your willingness to let go of past slights and the things that fester. If you can't let go of the pain of the past, it will always blind you to the possible future you could have together.
When we find ourselves unable to forgive, we're really saying that we can't get past our emotions.
No one is saying you have to stay in a relationship where you betrayed. And if you're trying to stay in a relationship where you feel you can't forgive your partner, you have to question it - WHY?
Once you can let go, you can start to rebuild.
How To Fix A Broken Relationship - BEFORE It Breaks!
The key to any relationship lasting and making it through is always to avoid the problems before they become a problem.
You might not see the problems in your relationship before it's too late!
How do you avoid the problems?
Know how to make him want to make that commitment to you...
Get him to see you as the woman you are for him...
Make him give up on his resistance to your love once and for all!
When you know how to trigger The Cupid Effect in him, you'll be able to see his face change as he realizes how much he loves you and how much he wants to be a part of your life...
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