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5 Tips For Saving A Struggling Relationship

April 26, 2018

Recently, we’ve been exploring the great importance of building and maintaining meaningful relationships as we age. It is these relationships that help keep your life fulfilling and healthy. But, as we’ve seen, keeping those relationships strong requires some work. We’ve all seen in even the best relationships in our lives – whether it be family, friends or significant others – there are always struggles. Some relationships struggle more than others. If you find one of your relationships heading down this bumpy road, not knowing if it will survive, there are ways you can save things between the two of you and help keep this relationship an important part of your life.

Determine if it is worth saving.

When a relationship is experiencing problems, it doesn’t mean that it sound be excised from your life. However, there are certain relationships that are just not meant to be saved. If your relationship is experiencing some of these issues and your first thought is how it can be saved, that’s probably a good indication that it is worth keeping a part of your life. But if you don’t have that reaction, if you think the dissolution of this relationship is inevitable, or you feel a feeling of indifference, you might want to take an honest look at what this relationship means to you. This does not mean you have to play the blame game, but there are those tough questions to ask about whether or not this relationship is good for you. If not, bringing it to an end is probably best for everyone involved.


Good communication is probably the biggest key to a healthy relationship, and 9 times out of 10, a struggling relationship is having a serious communication problem. You need to be able to address this problem directly and make a genuine effort to find out how to talk to one another again in a respectful and efficient way. Take the time to sit down and not just talk to each other but listen to each other. It’s not likely there’s one easy fix for your relationship problems, but this exercise will quite likely give voice to a lot of things that had previously been left unsaid. Once they are shared openly, they can be addressed more effectively.

Be willing to acknowledge your part it this.

No healthy relationship is saved by playing the blame game. Part of the reason for this is that there is likely blame to be shared by both parties. It might not always feel like that and it takes a lot of self-awareness to be able to identify times when your actions or behaviour was in the wrong. However, being able to do this is another example of the importance of honesty, specifically being honest with yourself. It also speaks to the need to push aside selfish ideas to make a relationship work. These things function on a two-way street and there has to be movement coming from both sides.

Find ways to be kind to each other.

When a relationship is struggling, it can be hard to see eye-to-eye on certain things. What you should and must always remember if this is indeed a relationship worth saving is that you still care for one another. Whatever struggles you might be having, don’t let those get in the way of remaining respectful and decent people to one another. Sometimes these standoffs, waiting to see who apologizes first can turn a small thing into a bitter point of contention. Go the opposite way and go out of your way to be kind to the other person in the relationship.  Help to build those bridges and cut away at the tension. Small acts of kindness can often be the very thing that reminds you just how important this relationship is to you.

Forgive when you can.

Forgiveness is a tricky concept. Forgiving too much or too little can both get in your way of happiness. The ability to forgive is yours and yours alone, but whether you use it to help or hurt is your responsibility as well. That is not to say everyone and every act deserves to be forgiven, you have to decide that on your own. But if you do decide to forgive, understand that this is not something that puts you in a higher position than the other person. It is not something to be lorded over someone else, because a relationship based on an inequality will not and should not survive.


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