Reviewed by Aaron Horn, LMFT
It can be very disconcerting when your relationship stops bringing you joy. You know that a relationship is supposed to fill you with positive emotions, but this won’t always be the case when you’re going through a tough time with your partner. If you have been struggling with your relationship, you might want to figure out how you can turn things around. Many couples go through difficulties, and it’s certainly possible to work through issues that are holding you back from true happiness.
Keep reading to learn how to have a healthy relationship again when you’ve been struggling. You’ll be able to get some important advice that can help you to fix various relationship issues. If you utilize these tips properly, then you might find yourself back in a positive place sooner than you’d think. You don’t have to give up being happy with your partner if you’re both willing to put in the work.
Talk About What Is Going On
Talking about what is going on is necessary if you want to get to the bottom of things. Your relationship is struggling, and you have to acknowledge this as a couple. Sit down and discuss your feelings with your partner so that you can come to a consensus. Sometimes one partner will be worried, or they might even feel attacked, but you have to ensure your partner that you just want to try to get things on track for the good of your relationship.
Learning how to maintain a healthy relationship can take time when you have differences to overcome. You can start to understand your differences if you actually communicate with each other. In healthy relationships, people communicate regularly, but you might not talk about things enough right now. You can change that and substantially improve your relationship health over time.
One of the biggest topics of discussion needs to be what is causing your relationship to struggle. This type of talk can be tough when you already feel like your relationship is strained. You have to be careful about how you approach this so that you don’t wind up arguing or making things worse. Each person needs to be ready to own up to things that they might need to change, and you have to try to acknowledge problems that are holding you back from being in a good relationship. Modeling vulnerability is crucial to this process.
Develop Better Communication Habits
Your communication habits should improve if you want to have a healthy relationship again. There are a few ways that you can go about doing this to get better results. First, you might not be talking to your partner enough if you’re having relationship problems. You could try to make an effort to ensure that you’re communicating more often so that no one feels left out or ignored. Or possibly your responding to their silence with more conversations than they are comfortable with. It’s important to find a balance.
It’s also possible that you might need to change the way that you’re communicating. Some people are good at talking, but they aren’t so good when actually listening to their partners. You need to learn how to understand what your partner is trying to tell you to work together on your relationship issues. If you’re really having a tough time with your communication as a couple, working with a relationship therapist can help you develop the necessary skills.
Sit Down and Talk About Expectations
One thing that you should sit down to talk about is expectations. Expectations can be a good thing for your relationship, but they can also be negative when your expectations aren’t aligned with your partner. For example, you might expect daily communication from your partner, but they might think that having to check-in is too demanding. If you sit down and talk about your expectations and why you feel the way you do, it’ll be easier to reach some consensus.
There are many types of expectations that people place on their partners. Some of them are positive, and others become negative over time. If you can learn to let go of certain expectations, then your relationship health can improve substantially. Consider how talking about expectations could help you to shift things in your relationship moving forward.
Start Spending More Time Together
What is a healthy relationship if you don’t actually spend much time together? Sometimes relationship problems simply come down to you not spending enough time with your significant other. This can happen for a large number of different reasons. You could be very busy with work, or you might even have hobbies that take up a large portion of your time.
It’s fine to be committed to your job or to have interests outside of your relationship, but it’s also true that good relationships require effort. You can’t really do a good job of maintaining your relationship if you’re not putting in the time. Try to make time for your partner so that you can do things together. Find activities that make sense for you as a couple to start to feel normal again.
Spending time with your partner should never feel like an obligation or a chore. If you find yourself not wanting to be around your partner very often, you might need to ask yourself whether you really want to be in a relationship. If you don’t, then it’s not fair to your partner for you to keep things going. Most couples will find that things will improve substantially if they spend more time together.
Finding Common Interests
Finding common interests is one way for you to enjoy your time together with your partner more. Some couples like to go to concerts together because they appreciate the same music. Others might like activities such as hiking, canoeing, or gardening. You should spend some time discovering your shared interests to focus on those activities.
Try to take your partner out on dates that you will both enjoy. If you know that you both love a certain type of food, then go to a restaurant that caters to that culinary style. When you’re able to enjoy your time together and have fun, it becomes a lot easier to feel like your relationship is in a good place. Try to be mindful of your common interests so that you can use them to your advantage.
Consider Ways to Improve Your Intimacy Levels
Considering ways to improve your intimacy levels can help you out quite a bit. Couples that aren’t being intimate often enough will have a tough time maintaining a healthy relationship. It’s generally accepted that intimacy is a key factor in adult relationships, but some couples struggle to make time. If you can spend more time being intimate, then it can strengthen your bond.
This can refer to sexual activity, but it can also refer to simple acts of affection. Kissing your partner, hugging, cuddling, and doing other things that make you feel close to your partner will help. Think about how you can spend a bit more time together to promote greater intimacy. This could be as simple as shifting your schedule a bit or trying to get the romantic spark ignited in the bedroom. Another key is to put away your devices when you are alone.
Understanding That Independence Is Okay
Independence might not seem helpful when talking about your relationship woes, but it could actually be a major factor. It’s healthy to have a life outside of your relationship. If one partner gets too reliant on the other, then it can throw the relationship off-balance. Spending some time away from each other can make you spend together that much better.
You should encourage your partner to pursue interests and hobbies even when you’re not personally interested in them. People need to be fulfilled in various ways, and it makes sense for your partner to have pursuits that are just for them. You should also work to develop a strong social life outside of your relationship. Even just having friends to spend time with when you’re not with your partner can be very helpful.
Deal With Depression Issues
You might be surprised to hear that depression issues can actually have a huge impact on your relationship. When you’re going through a bout of depression, it can become difficult to focus on your relationship. Also, you can even develop depression symptoms because your relationship has been struggling. If you’d like to learn more about whether you or your partner are depressed, you can take this depression test to see how things are going.
If you or your partner are dealing with mental health issues, then you can definitely get help. Talking to your doctor about what is going on is the first step. You want to get an accurate diagnosis so that you can move forward with the right treatment options. Many people do much better once they’ve started getting treatments, and some thrive by going to therapy sessions.
Couples therapy is an option that has helped millions of couples, too. It’s going to be worth considering going to couples therapy if you’re committed to each other. The advice above can help you turn things around in many ways, but having a professional help you with your issues will be very effective. You can talk about things with a couple’s therapist so that you can come to understand them better.
Over time, you’ll learn how to form an even stronger relationship that has a solid foundation. Even couples who have gone through seriously difficult times have benefited from seeking couples therapy. It isn’t something that you must do to save your relationship, but it can show you how a relationship should be. They can help you find the best healthy relationship definition that will work for you if you decide to give it a shot.