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How to Save Your Relationship

After you put years into a relationship, it's hard to simply walk away. Get to the bottom of your disagreements and rescue your relationship with the following tips.


  • Step 1: Lay your problems on the table Don't expect your relationship to improve if you aren't telling your partner what bothers you. Honestly express your needs and insecurities in a non-threatening, non-accusatory way so your partner doesn't get defensive.
  • TIP: Use "I" language instead of "you" language. Say "I feel upset" instead of "you make me feel upset."
  • Step 2: Listen to your spouse Tune in to your partner when they talk instead of thinking about your next retort. If you can understand what motivates their behavior, you may be able to see them in a new, empathetic light.
  • Step 3: Be emotionally available Be emotionally available to your partner, even when you don't have a specific problem to work out. Give physical affection freely and empathize when they talk about problems in other areas of their life.
  • Step 4: Bond over fun time Plan activities and outings to have "fun time" with your significant other, which can help rekindle the romance and remind you why you fell in love. If your relationship is in serious trouble, think about taking a second honeymoon.
  • TIP: Flirt with your partner when they don't expect it to reinforce their self-esteem and stoke the flame of your romance.
  • Step 5: Seek out counseling Seek advice from professionals if your relationship suffers a major blow, such as from cheating.
  • Step 6: Create new patterns Commit to new ways of relating to your partner to put an end to bad patterns. If you agreed to spend less time golfing or to cut back on nagging, stick to it.
  • Step 7: Forgive Forgive your partner for their mistakes. Forgiveness is the best possible way to get over an affair and to preserve lasting bliss.
  • FACT: A 2007 survey found that men are twice as likely as women to cheat more than once.

You Will Need

  • Honesty
  • Listening skills
  • Emotional availability
  • Activities and outings
  • Counseling
  • New patterns
  • Forgiveness
  • "I" language (optional)
  • Flirtatiousness (optional)

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