Maintaining a successful relationship can be really difficult, but maintaining a strained relationship can be worse. Be it a romantic relationship or a friendship, no one can predict when things go wrong. Losing a partner or a friend to a disagreement gone wrong or because of a mistake committed by either party can take a toll on our entire being. Some relationships are worth saving, and others are not. Relationships shape us and give us meaning, and letting go a particularly important bond isn’t easy. We may be willing to work with the obstacles that come our way to save an important relationship in our lives, but the road can be tough. Here are some important things to remember when you want to mend a strained and broken relationship:
Communicate (Communicate healthily to let the person know what you feel)
Communication is always the key, but at this moment, it is literally the key to a new life with this person. However, it is also not the time to revisit old arguments and pitfalls that led to the end of the relationship in the first place. If you’re turning over a new leaf, the old leaves need to be left in the past. If any current behaviors bother you or make you uneasy, make sure you communicate your feeling in a healthy manner. This means to talk calmly and respectfully together as you guide yourselves away from a place of hurt and pain. If you can listen to the other person as they communicate and take a step back, you may be able to understand the place they are coming from. When the other person feels like you are able to listen and understand them, and you feel the same way, both of you will be able to move forward.
Forgive (Let yourself feel emotions so you can make your way to forgiveness)
Practicing forgiveness is truly a difficult thing to do, but once mastered, can change every single one of your relationships. Holding onto the anger and the pain may make you feel like you’re protecting yourself from more pain, but letting go of these emotions and actually feeling them is the first step towards forgiving someone. You must feel something first before you let it go, which can finally form a new path for you and the other person to create a better relationship. Forgiveness also has a positive impact on your own mental health, and can keep you in a better mood.
Brutal Honesty (Complete and bare honesty lets you communicate everything you’re afraid of saying)
There is honestly, and then there is brutal honesty. White lies are a necessary part of any relationship, but they have no place when you’re trying to repair a strained relationship. We may feel like we aren’t permitted to feel a certain way or think a certain way, but they’re all a part of our authentic self. We don’t share everything truthfully because we are afraid of judgment, but showing our authentic self (along with the parts we want to hide all the time) is the only way the other person can understand what you’re truly feeling. The new relationship gets a big boost when you’re completely true and honest about yourself. Moreover, you never have to worry about hiding anything, or feeling like you weren’t able to say all that you wanted.
Responsibility (You’re a team, and both of you have your responsibilities)
Two hands are needed to clap, and both of you are responsible in your own ways for the state of the relationship. We tend to justify our action because the other person was this way, but now is the time to step up. Letting go of excuses and explanations can bring your perspective on your responsibility in the relationship. Once you acknowledge your part in what happened, you can see how both of you can fit better the second time around. Give this new round an extra dose of love, care and affection, and you might be surprised at how great the relationship can be.
Patience (Rebuilding takes time)
Fixing a relationship is an arduous journey, and it cannot be completed overnight. Patience is the greatest virtue in the crucial time, so practice it as much as you can. There can be setbacks and falls, there can be fights and crying, and there certainly will be a lot of pain as you work through it. But if you can remember why you need to do this, and how great it can finally turn out to be, it can make the process slightly easier. The decision to fix a broken relationship isn’t taken lightly, and you did so because you know what it is worth. A little patience can go a long way.