How to rekindle a relationship after so much damage was done

Most Couples Fight Over Losing Their Connection

Dr. Sue Johnson spent her life studying how to fix broken relationships. She found this:  When our need for safe, secure attachment gets denied for too long, we literally freak out. Most couples fight out of panic.

Each person needs to know: “Do I matter to you?”

Couples fight because they feel hurt and disconnected. They’re desperate to get a response: “Are you there for me?”

Fighting is often a symptom of a deeper problem: feeling alone, invisible, or unwanted. Anger makes your problem worse. People acting in anger tend to raise their defenses just when they need to lower them! You can’t tell each other, “Yes! You matter to me,” when you’re blaming each other or feeling attacked.

The good news: You can heal a relationship after a fight. It will take some hard work. Sue Johnson has a process — Emotionally Focused Therapy — to help couples rebuild deep, lasting love. At its core, healing is about being able to show you are there for each other. You do this by becoming more

  • Accessible
  • Responsive
  • Engaged

The memory cue is ARE, as in, “Are you there for me?”

Learning about being accessible, responsive and engaged can help in good times and bad.  Think about how accessible, responsive or engaged you were before your last disagreement. You might recognize where things ARE not working:

  • Someone was too distracted, too busy or too far away to be accessible.
  • You didn’t respond when your partner needed you, because you didn’t see the need at the time.
  • One of you tells the other to “Get over your feelings.” This is the opposite of engaging to know more about your partner’s experience.
  • You may have shut down, turned away, or tuned out. You chose to withdraw, rather than engage your curiosity, your caring side, or your truth.

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Fix A Relationship By Making A Plan Together

Fix a relationship by making a plan together, we a

Fix a relationship by making a plan together, we all know the saying ‘ fail to plan, plan to fail’. Make your plan work by discussing what it is that you need to achieve to get your relationship back on track. It doesn’t have to just be one plan, you might want to make several plans that when they are all linked and succeed you will find yourselves problem free and enjoying the lovely relationship you once had. Sit down together and listen and talk, your plans will work because you have given a lot of thought to the problem. You both know that by following a plan you will be able to get back what you once had and it will feel that much more satisfying to know that your plan worked.

Fix A Relationship by Praising Each Other

Fix a relationship by praising each other, it's ni

Fix a relationship by praising each other, it’s nice to hear encouraging words. A comment or praise that passes between you will mean a lot because you are praising each other for something you have done. When you praise somebody you lift their spirit and help them to carry on. Equally if you receive praise you will be elated and even though you may be tackling a difficult task it will seem that much easier when you receive praise. Praising each other will give you a new found confidence and you will have faith in each other to know that you are appreciated. Try not to take anything for granted, try giving an encouraging word of praise to each other and your relationship will sail along on the crest of a wave.

3. Sext each othereven if youre in the same room

…Sexting! Sexy text messages not only let your partner know you’re thinking about them, they’re a great way to build anticipation. (Here’s our how-to on sexting.) Many couples find themselves falling into a more casual routine after a long time together—a routine that often includes lounging next to each other on the couch staring at their phones. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easy to lose track of how much time you spend with technology, instead of with your partner. The next time you find yourself on your phone, launch a sext and see what happens. Keep it tame and sweet or go for something racy and raunchy. It’s all about letting your partner know you’re thinking of them in an intimate way.

Welcome to the new relationship

What to do after a breakup with your partner and how to fix a broken relationship after breaking up? Recovering from a breakup is an uphill task.

Many couples after a breakup, want to renew the old form of the relationship with the same passion, drama, dynamics, etc.. At times, it can be done, but most of the time, especially after infidelity, betrayal or trauma, the “new” connection brings about new dimensions and new ways of looking at things. It might be a less innocent way of looking at the relationship or mature way of seeing your partner.

Whatever the case may be, it is important to embrace the new relationship and the changes that come along with it.

If you insist on having the past, it will keep you stay focused on what has been lost. While, if you embrace the present, you can grow into a new connection in the future, while appreciating it. That also answers the question, how to solve relationship problems without breaking up

1. Be honest with your partner about your feelings

SKYN Sex & Intimacy Expert, certified sex coach, sexologist, and author Gigi Engle says there’s just no way to rekindle a relationship without talking about it. Discussing why you believe rekindling needs to happen and what you feel is lacking from the relationship is key to making it happen. Don’t expect your partner to be 100 percent on the same page, however. Each person’s experience is valid and theirs will almost certainly be different than yours. Remember: the key to building and maintaining a healthy relationship is ensuring all parties involved feel heard, respected, fulfilled and safe.

Creating a Healthy Dynamic

So, you don’t want to cut ties despite being broken up, separated, or divorced. Or, maybe you’re currently remaining in a relationship that has difficulties. Maybe it’s a long-term marriage, let’s say, but you want to find ways to revitalize it.

No matter the situation, you're interested in mending what was rickety in the relationship and create something healthier together.

Relationship and intimacy expert, Alexandra Stockwell, MD says, “When relationships end, it is usually for a good reason (even if one or both parties don’t want it in the moment).” She finds the main problem with restarting a relationship is the danger that people go back to an unhealthy and unproductive dynamic.

Andrea Stockwell, MD

The only time to consider rekindling a relationship is when both people have grown in significant ways, which means that the same people can now create a new relationship dynamic.

— Andrea Stockwell, MD

Be Honest: Are You Trying Again For The Sake Of Security?

Just about all of us know a couple that has broken up and gotten back together half a dozen times (or more). Despite not being compatible on several levels, these folks just keep finding their way back to one another. 

Things may be great for a while, but then the old issues resurface and the fights start anew, and the next thing you know, they’re broken up yet again.

Why does this happen? Don’t they learn their lesson?

Or are they just so passionately drawn to one another that they keep gravitating toward one another despite the obvious friction?

In most cases, this is a “devil you know” situation.

Quite simply, many people try to rekindle past relationships because they’re familiar, and familiarity is safe.

Even if things went to crap the first time around, a situation (or person) that you know is likely far less intimidating than something new. 

This is one of the main reasons why people stay in unhealthy relationships far longer than they should. They may have a bunch of coping mechanisms for dealing with these less-than-stellar circumstances, and where they are might seem a lot more comfortable, and safer, than the great big uncertainty looming out their front door.

So, you need to ask yourself honestly if this is something you’re doing. Are you turning back toward the familiar because it feels safer to you than risking a new situation?

Change yourself

How to get back together after a break up naturally? Well, changing yourself is the first step to be able to renew a relationship.

A relationship break up is painful. You might not be able to influence and bring about changes in your partner, but you can certainly change yourself. Changing yourself is probably the most effective way of resolving issues. These changes might appear more accepted and be appealing to the partner.

How to deal with taking a break in a relationship? Break your old habits. 

Once you have changed your bad habits and have learned to control your impulse reactions, you may want to try and bring about certain changes in your partner if they are willing.

This, however, doesn’t mean that you become too submissive to the partner, but it’s about adjusting yourself for a more satisfying and conflict-free relationship.

Why relationships die down

Has your relationship fizzled or has the fire died down? It’s easy to blame the natural progression of a relationship. Many couples become more friends than lovers over time, and many of them accept this as normal. But if you’re wondering how to rekindle a relationship, you’re ready for the truth: One or both of you have stopped putting in the work necessary to keep your love alive.

You may have stoppedspeaking to one another gently or you’ve started punishing each other for mistakes. You could also be spending too much time at work or with your friends and have drifted away from your significant other. Life changes can also be difficult to navigate for many couples. If you have recently had children, experienced a job loss or moved to a new city, the stress of the situation could take a toll on your relationship if you don’tmake an effort to stay connected.

Love is a powerful emotion. That’s why we like to think that we are “meant to be” with our partner – that we won’t need to work at love because it’s something that “soulmates” just have. That’s also why we give up and move on when we don’t feel it anymore. Yet love isn’t disposable. Relationships aren’t disposable. It takes commitment, but you can rekindle a relationship.

Is It Really A Good Idea To Try To Rekindle This Flame? 

In contrast to my own experience, a friend of mine ran into a former lover at an art show last year. The sparks were as sparkly as ever, but despite the fiery attraction, they both knew they could (should?) never get involved again. 

Why not? After all, they had incredible chemistry, had an incredible amount of fun together, and had some spectacular travel adventures.

Well, despite the chemistry and adventuring, their relationship had been volatile the entire way through. It had ended with a massive screaming match in the middle of the street, and the aftermath was a veritable emotional/psychological dumpster fire.

Depending on what your own pairing was like, it’s a good idea to be really honest about whether reuniting with this past love is a good idea for everyone involved.

Keep Showing You Are There for Each Other

Partners need to know they matter to each other. They need to feel safe, seen and cared about each day. To keep a partnership strong, couples need to renew, nurture, and recharge their relationship every day. Even little ways of being attentive, responsive, and engaged can add up to a strong empowering bond.

This process of healing after a fight comes from a series of steps for creating connection — part of Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples (EFT). Sue Johnson calls this step “Revisiting a Rocky Moment.”

We know this isn’t easy. It’s incredibly difficult. In fact we know it’s some of the hardest work you can do as a couple.

Creating a safe process for healing after a fight can actually build a stronger emotional bond than before. It works. We have seen it in our practice. But it is not a magic cure for every couple. It could work for you if you and your partner want to do what it takes to co-create secure love.

The basis of strong love is emotional connection. By noticing and responding mindfully to each other, you begin to make yourself a better partner. It’s the fastest way we know to create a better relationship.

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