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Everything’s been going steady until your partner suddenly gives you the cold shoulder one day. It’s all been sparkles and butterflies until they ignore your texts and calls, and you start to feel like something’s up.
What could have possibly gone wrong?
Before panicking and thinking that your relationship is doomed, don’t worry because all hope is not lost. Couples always experience rough patches, but everything can be fixed if you’re looking for relationship advice. In fact, everyone in close relationships experiences conflict; it’s actually a normal and healthy part of any relationship. 1
What matters is how you and your partner deal with conflict when it inevitably arises. As conflict can cause stress, high blood pressure, anxiety, and may even increase your risks for depression, finding ways to deal with it effectively is actually in your best interest, both for your relationship and your health. 2 3
And congratulations, the fact that you’re even looking up ways to fix your relationship shows that you’re motivated to make things work. This article will cover tips and methods for rebuilding trust, fixing your relationship, and the many ways you can be a better partner.
Tips on how to fix a relationship after trust is broken
Trust is a crucial cornerstone of any relationship, as it is the foundation on which the entire relationship is built on. 4 It takes time to build trust, but it can also be just as fragile and only take a second to break it. 5 Whether your partner has lied to you, cheated on you, or gone behind your back, regaining trust can be a long and difficult process.
Before you can even start to rebuild trust, it’s important that you first understand why trust was broken in the first place. You and your partner can start working together to rebuild trust.
Nobody’s perfect, and even the healthiest relationships have their issues. However, following the tips in this article, you can get your relationship back on track and start rebuilding the broken trust.
1. Practice compassion and empathy
One of the best ways to rebuild trust is through compassion and empathy. Whether you, your partner or both of you caused the trust to be broken, you both must take responsibility for your actions and work together to rebuild trust.
And the practice of compassion or the ability to relate to the pains and suffering of others, might be the answer. 6 When you can see things from your partner’s perspective and understand where they’re coming from, it’ll be easier to start rebuilding trust.
Likewise, being self-compassionate has also been found to be a predictor of improved mental health, so if you’re having trouble forgiving yourself for your role in breaking trust, remember to be kind and understanding towards yourself as well. 7
2. Take some time off if you need to
One of the worst things you can do when your relationship is in trouble is to make impulsive decisions. If you need some time to calm down and clear your head, it might be a good idea to take some time off from your relationship. This doesn’t necessarily mean breaking up, but it means taking time apart to work on yourselves.
It’s important to communicate with your partner and tell them why you need some time apart. This way, they won’t think you’re just ghosting them or trying to end the relationship.
3. Talk about your feelings
While it may be tempting to bottle up your feelings or sweep them under the rug, this will only worsen things in the long run. To rebuild trust, you need to be open and honest with your partner about your feelings.
Self-disclosure, or when you share personal thoughts and feelings with another person, might be helpful in this instance as it has been found to be a key ingredient in long-lasting and trusting relationships. 8 9 So don’t be afraid to discuss what’s on your mind, even if it’s difficult to discuss.
Of course, listening to your partner and hearing them out is also important. Active listening, or when you listen with the intent to understand rather than just waiting for your turn to talk, is vital when your partner eventually decides to open up to you about their feelings as well. Active listening can also maintain intimacy in a relationship, allowing for greater connection and understanding between partners. 10
4. Listen to your partner’s concerns and try to understand where they’re coming from
It can be difficult to understand why your partner is upset, but it’s important to try. One way to do this is to ask them questions about what’s bothering them. Listen carefully to their answers and try to see things from their perspective.
If you can empathize with your partner and understand where they’re coming from, it can help to repair the relationship. In healthy relationships, both partners should feel like they’re being heard and understood. The best way to do this is to communicate openly and honestly with each other.
5. Make a commitment to work things out
When trying to rebuild trust, you and your partner must be committed to working things out. This means being patient with each other and being willing to put in the time and effort required to fix the relationship.
In a relationship between two people, having the same levels of commitment is important. 11 Relationship commitment is a vital part of relationship satisfaction and stability, so both you and your partner must be on the same page. 12
It won’t happen overnight, but if you’re committed to working through the issues, it’s possible to rebuild trust and create a stronger, more stable relationship.
6. Remember that it’s not all bad
When your relationship is going through a tough time, it’s easy to focus on the negative aspects. However, it’s important to remember that there are still good things about your relationship, even in the midst of the bad.
Remember, obstacles like this happen to almost every relationship at some point. They can be excellent opportunities to improve self-expression and refine interpersonal collaboration skills. 13 How you deal with them makes all the difference.
Focusing on the positive aspects of your relationship can help to keep things in perspective and remind you of why you’re with your partner in the first place. It can also help build gratitude and maintain a more positive outlook, which is important for a healthy relationship.
7. Learn to admit your mistakes and apologize
Admitting your mistakes is an essential part of taking responsibility for your actions. It can be challenging, but apologizing in a relationship is a key step in rebuilding trust.
When you make a mistake, apologize to your partner. A sincere apology can go a long way toward repairing the damage that’s been done. 14 Even apologizing for something that’s out of your control has been shown to improve relationships and increase interpersonal trust. 15
By apologizing, you’re reducing negative feelings, showing your partner that you’re willing to take responsibility for your actions and increasing the likelihood that they’ll forgive you. 16
8. Develop concrete plans and conscious efforts to build trust
Just as it takes time and effort to break trust, it also takes time and effort to rebuild it. This means making a conscious effort to build trustworthiness back into the relationship.
One way to do this is to develop concrete plans and communicate them with your partner. This could involve making a commitment to be more open and honest with each other, setting aside time each week to talk about your relationship, or agreeing to work on specific issues together.
While this may seem like a lot of work, strategic attempts like this that aim to repair relationship problems have been associated with greater relationship satisfaction and stability over time. 17 So it’s worth putting in the effort if you want to improve your relationship.
9. Know when to forgive and move on
Just as it’s essential to learn from your mistakes and apologize when you’ve done something wrong, it’s also important to know when to forgive and move on.
Forgiveness can be difficult, but it’s an important part of healing after broken trust and has been identified as essential in maintaining healthy romantic relationships. 18 Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting what happened or condoning bad behavior, but it does mean letting go of negative feelings and choosing to move on.
Of course, you don’t have to forgive your partner if you don’t want to. But if you’re not ready to forgive, it’s important to communicate this to your partner. By doing so, you can avoid resentment and help to keep the lines of communication open.
10. Respect your partner’s boundaries
Respecting your partner’s boundaries is an important part of any relationship, especially after trust has been broken. Boundaries serve as a way to protect yourself from further hurt. 19 They also help to establish trust by showing your partner that you’re willing to respect their needs and limits.
Ask them if you’re unsure what your partner’s boundaries are. Perhaps they don’t want to talk about what happened right away or need some time. Whatever their needs, try to respect them.
In addition, it’s important to relay your own boundaries to your partner. If you’re not ready to forgive, for example, let them know, which will help avoid further hurt and misunderstanding.
By communicating and respecting each other’s boundaries, you can start to rebuild trust in your relationship.
A healthy relationship takes work. These simple relationship rituals will help keep the love alive and strong.
11. Seek help from others if needed
It’s perfectly normal to need some help after trust has been broken. In fact, many individuals who experience relationship distress often perform personal help-seeking practices such as talking to friends, confiding with family, reading a self-help book, or browsing the internet, even more so than professional help-seeking. 20
However, these private repair efforts often lead to professional help-seeking. 21 So if you need some help repairing your relationship, don’t be afraid to seek it out.
A professional therapist can help you and your partner work through the pain of what happened and develop a plan for rebuilding trust. They can also provide much-needed support during this difficult time.
If you’re not sure whether therapy is right for you, consider talking to a therapist on your own first. This can help you understand your feelings and needs and figure out how to communicate them to your partner best.
12. Use I-statements instead of you-statements
During conversations about your relationship, using “I” statements instead of “you” statements can be helpful. “I” statements focus on your feelings and needs, while “you” statements tend to be accusatory and can make your tone appear hostile. 22
For example, instead of saying, “You hurt me when you lied to me,” you could say, “I felt hurt when I found out you lied to me.”
Using “I” statements can help to foster a more positive and productive conversation. It can also make your statements open to interpretation rather than coming across as a demand or ultimatum. 23
13. Sometimes there’s nothing left to do but move on
Some relationships can’t be fixed, no matter how hard you try. If you’ve tried everything and nothing has worked, then it might be time to accept that the relationship is over.
This can be a difficult and painful decision, but sometimes it’s for the best. If you’re no longer happy in the relationship or don’t feel safe, it might be time to let go.
If you’re not sure whether or not to stay in the relationship, consider talking to a therapist. They can help you to assess the situation and figure out what’s best for you.
No matter what you decide, remember that you deserve to be happy and safe. If the relationship is no longer providing that for you, then it might be time to let it go.
These are just a few tips for repairing trust in a relationship. If you’ve experienced trust issues in your relationship, remember that you’re not alone. It is possible to rebuild trust with time, patience, and effort. Seek professional help if you need it, and take things one day at a time.
9 ways on how to be a better girlfriend
When you’re in a relationship, it’s only natural that you want to be the best partner you can be. After all, healthy relationships can provide us with a lot of health benefits, including increased lifespan, lower rates of anxiety and depression, and even a boost to our immune system. 24 25 26
But being a better girlfriend or being a better wife isn’t always easy, and it takes effort, communication, and patience. If you’re looking to be a better girlfriend, here are 9 ways you can do just that.
1. Know when to listen
In any relationship, it’s normal to have disagreements. But during these disagreements, it’s important to know when to listen and speak up.
If your partner is trying to share their feelings with you, then it’s essential to give them your full attention. This doesn’t mean that you have to agree with everything they’re saying, but it does mean that you should try to see things from their perspective.
By doing so, you are setting the scene and atmosphere for the remainder of the discussion, and giving your partner the opportunity to enact upon the tendency to mirror this communication style and listen to you as well. 27 28 And you’re more likely to find a resolution that works for both of you when you actively listen to each other.
2. Constructively deal with conflict
As we all know, conflict is inevitable in any relationship. (And if you’re not experiencing any conflict, that might be a sign that you’re not communicating honestly with each other.)
The key to dealing with conflict constructively is avoiding name-calling, insults, or other forms of hostile communication, as this will likely only result in your partner becoming defensive and the conflict escalating. 29
Instead, try to stay calm and focus on what you’re trying to achieve by resolving the conflict. This could mean brainstorming a solution together, making plans to alter and re-evaluate the solution if it’s not working, or simply agreeing to disagree. 30
If you’re a couple, who avoids direct communication, learning to safely share your thoughts and feelings and increase positive expression of emotions can be difficult. Still, it’s worth trying. 31 It’ll make future conflicts much easier to deal with.
3. Support the growth and development of your partner
We all grow and change over time, and it can be incredibly fulfilling and motivating to have a partner who supports us through these changes. 32
If you want to be a good girlfriend, you must encourage your partner to grow and develop in whatever way they see fit. This could mean taking an interest in their hobbies and goals, providing moral support during tough times, or simply offering a listening ear when they need to vent.
Letting your partner know that you’re there for them can make a world of difference in the health of your relationship, so let your partner know that they’ve got your support. 33
4. Be present
In today’s age of technology, it can be all too easy to get caught up in our own lives and neglect our relationships.
Often, we might sit next to our partner while scrolling through our social media feeds or working on our laptops, not paying attention to them. (And this can be detrimental to our relationships, especially if your partner notices and feels like they’re not a priority to you.)34
Becoming a better girlfriend means being present in the relationship and focusing your attention on your partner when you’re together. This doesn’t mean that you can never use your phone or work on your laptop when you’re around them, but it does mean putting away these distractions and focusing on quality time together.
5. Be direct with your communication
We’ve all been there before: our partner does something that bothers us, but instead of telling them directly, we passive-aggressively leave little hints in the hope that they’ll figure it out on their own.
However, this strategy rarely works, especially if you want to see changes in your partner’s behavior. 35 It can also lead to resentment and conflict in the relationship, as your partner might feel you’re not being direct with them or trying to manipulate them.
Instead of hinting around, try to be direct with your communication. If something is bothering you, sit down with your partner and explain how you’re feeling calmly and respectfully. This will give them a chance to understand your perspective and potentially lead to a productive conversation about the issue.
6. Stand by your partner, even when times are tough
One of the best things you can do for your partner is to be there for them during tough times. Whether they’re going through a difficult situation at work or dealing with a personal issue, being supportive and understanding can make all the difference.
When someone is going through a difficult time, especially if the source of the problem is outside of the relationship, these stressors can cause your partner to negatively view your relationship and take their frustration out on you. 36 It’s important to remember that these reactions are usually a result of stress and not a personal attack.
Being patient and understanding during these challenging times will show your partner that you’re genuinely committed to the relationship and that you’re there for them no matter what.
7. Respect your partner’s need for space
Even the most head-over-heels couples need some time apart now and then. In fact, it’s healthy for both partners to have some individual time to pursue their own interests and hobbies.
Respecting your partner’s need for space shows that you trust them and are confident in the relationship. It also gives them a chance to miss you and appreciate you more when you’re together.
If your partner is asking for some time alone, try not to take it personally. Instead, use this opportunity to do something that you enjoy or catch up with your friends and family.
8. Don’t compare your relationship to others
In today’s social media-obsessed world, it’s easy to compare our own relationships to the seemingly perfect lives of others. Whether it’s a friend’s engagement announcement or a couple’s photo on Instagram, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that our relationship doesn’t measure up.
However, it’s important to remember that we only see the highlight reel of other people’s lives on social media, and it’s not an accurate portrayal of what goes on behind closed doors.
We all have different timelines and expectations for our relationships, so it’s important to focus on where you and your partner are instead of comparing yourselves to others. 37
9. Give them little romantic surprises
One of the best ways to keep the spark alive in a relationship is to surprise your partner with little acts of love and affection. It doesn’t have to be anything big or expensive—something as simple as leaving a love note in their lunch box or sending them a flirty text message during the day can make all the difference.
These small gestures show your partner that you’re thinking of them and that you still care about them, even after all these years. 38 They’ll also appreciate your effort in making them feel special.
Relationships are hard work, but they’re worth it. Here are more tips to help you be the best girlfriend you can be and make your relationship thrive.
As you can see, you can do many simple things to make your relationship more substantial and fulfilling. Of course, while it’s important to improve yourself and work on your relationship, your partner/s should also be pulling their weight.
If you feel like you’re the only one putting in the effort, it may be time to have a talk about your expectations for the relationship. Remember, a healthy relationship is a two-way street and needs to be maintained by both partners.
9 ways on how to be a better boyfriend
No one’s perfect, but that doesn’t mean we can’t strive to be the best versions of ourselves. Personal improvement has a whole host of health benefits (such as reduced stress), so it is a lifelong journey, and there’s always room for growth—especially when it comes to our relationships. 39
But what does it mean to be a good boyfriend or how can you be a better husband? Well, that will be different for everyone, but here are nine general tips on how you can be a more loving and supportive partner.
1. Make her laugh
We’re living in tough times, and one of the best things you can do for your partner is to be a source of positivity and happiness. If you can make her laugh, you’ll instantly become her favorite person.
There’s nothing wrong with being silly and having a sense of humor—in fact, it can be one of the most attractive qualities in a partner. So don’t be afraid to crack a few jokes and let your guard down.
Try being playful and using humor during arguments without making light of the situation. This can diffuse tension and promote relationship satisfaction and closeness. 40
2. Change up your compliments
If you’ve been in a relationship for a while, it’s easy to fall into a complacency trap and take your partner for granted. One way to avoid this is to keep your compliments fresh and genuine.
Instead of just saying, “you look nice,” try to be specific about what you like about her outfit or appearance. For example, “I love the way that dress brings out the color of your eyes.”
You can also mix things up by complimenting her on qualities other than her appearance, such as her intelligence, sense of humor, or work ethic. Doing this won’t only make her feel good, but it will also show her that you notice and appreciate all the different facets of her personality. 41
3. Pay attention to her little quirks
Whether it’s the way she takes her coffee or likes her eggs, paying attention to your partner’s little quirks shows that you care about her and are interested in making her happy.
These days, it’s easy to get lost in our own lives and forget to connect with our partners truly. But making an effort to remember and act on the things that are important to them shows that we still care about them and want to make them happy.
So the next time she mentions something she likes, make a mental note and surprise her with it the next time you’re together, and it’ll definitely make her day.
4. Make an effort to connect with her friends and family
Approval from friends and family is often cited as a crucial part of satisfactory romantic relationships, it can even influence the love and commitment levels in a relationship. 42 This is because when we see that our partner’s loved ones approve of us, it can help to validate our relationship and make us feel more secure in it.
So even if you’re not the biggest fan of your partner’s mother, it’s important to try to get to know her and form a positive relationship. The same goes for their friends—if you can get along with them and make them like you, it’ll go a long way in making your partner happy.
Plus, it’ll give you a built-in social life when you’re together! You won’t have to lurk in a corner at their family gatherings or hide out in the kitchen at their friend’s parties.
5. Maintain your own life outside of the relationship
Having a healthy relationship doesn’t mean that you have to spend every waking minute together. In fact, it’s essential to maintain your life outside of the relationship to keep things balanced and avoid getting codependent.
This doesn’t mean that you have to keep your distance from your partner or never see them again, but it does mean that you should make time for your hobbies, interests, and friends. Spending time apart will give you some much-needed “me time,” and make you more interesting to your partner when you’re together.
Leisure activities, in particular, are a great way to maintain your own life while still spending quality time together. Not only will you be able to pursue your own interests, but you’ll also reap the physical and psychological benefits of recreation, which can include everything from improved mental health to improved well-being. 43
So go ahead and sign up for that dance class you’ve been wanting to try or join that book club you’ve been meaning to start. Your relationship will thank you for it!
6. Accept them for who they are
One of the most important things in any relationship is to accept your partner for who they are—flaws and all. No one is perfect, and part of being in a relationship is learning to love and accept someone despite their imperfections.
This doesn’t mean that you have to love everything about them, but it does mean that you should be able to see past their flaws and appreciate them for the wonderful person they are.
If you’re having trouble accepting your partner for who they are, try remembering all the things you love about them. Write them down if you have to! Focusing on the positive will help you to see past the negative and appreciate them for all they are. Your partner’s self-esteem will thank you for it. 44
And if there’s something about them that you really can’t stand, try to find a way to work around it or compromise. After all, relationships are all about compromise.
7. Be responsive
How long do you usually wait to respond when your partner sends you a text? When you’re busy, it’s easy to let texts go unanswered for a while, but this can make your partner feel unimportant and neglected.
To avoid this, it’s important to be responsive to your partner’s texts, calls, and other communication. This doesn’t mean that you have to drop everything and answer them the second they contact you, but it does mean that you should try to reply in a timely manner.
Being responsive means more than just answering texts, though. It also means understanding, caring, and validating when your partner shares their thoughts and feelings with you. 45 This way, they’ll feel like they can truly rely on you and count on you to be there for them.
8. Do your part in the house
On the off chance that you’re cohabiting, at that point, you realize how rapidly living spaces can get chaotic. What’s more, if you have kids (or even pets), the chaos can multiply!
With such a lot going on, it very well may be anything but difficult to enable the housekeeping to slide, yet if you need to keep your relationship solid, it’s essential to do your part around the house. When people in romantic relationships also decide to cohabit, their satisfaction often hinges on whether the household duties are fair. 46
No one likes feeling like they’re the only one doing all the work, so make sure to pitch in and help out around the house. Take out the trash, do the dishes, vacuum the floors—whatever needs to be done, pitch in, and do your part. It’ll make things a lot easier for both of you and help to keep your relationship strong.
9. Talk about your relationship goals
It’s important to have regular conversations about your relationship goals with your partner. This way, you’ll both be on the same page about where you see the relationship going and what you want to achieve together.
Having vital relationship goals, or being motivated to pursue intimacy and growth in relationships, can influence you to experience exciting and shared activities in your relationships. 47 48 This means that you and your partner will be more likely to do things that you both enjoy and will help you grow closer as a couple.
When you’re setting relationship goals, it’s important to be realistic. Don’t put pressure on yourself or your partner to achieve something that’s impossible or that you’re not both comfortable with. Instead, focus on setting attainable goals that will improve your relationship in a way that works for both of you.
These 9 ways are just the beginning of being a better partner. If you’re interested in furthering your relationship skills, consider reading books or articles on the subject, attending workshops or seminars, or even talking to a therapist. The most important thing is that you’re always working to improve your relationship and make it the best it can be.
5 Tips on rebuilding trust in a relationship when you’re the person who got hurt
If you’ve recently been hurt by your partner, it can be difficult to trust them again. You might feel like you can’t trust anyone anymore. But it is possible to learn to trust your partner again. Here are some tips on how to do that:
1. Get in touch with your feelings
It’s normal to feel hurt and betrayed after your trust has been broken. Take some time to process these feelings and deal with them in a healthy way. You might need to talk to a therapist or counselor to help you work through your emotions. Don’t try to bottle up your feelings – they will only come out later and cause more damage.
2. Talk to your partner
Talk to your partner about how you’re feeling. Let them know what you’re going through and why it’s difficult for you to trust them again. Be honest and open with them, and let them know that you want to work things out. They might not know how you’re feeling and might appreciate you being open and honest with them.
Happy relationships are built on trust, honesty, and communication. If you’re able to work on these things, your relationship can eventually be rebuilt.
3. Don’t blame yourself
It’s not your fault that your partner broke your trust. Don’t blame yourself for what happened. It’s not your fault, and you can’t control your partner’s actions. Blaming yourself will only make things worse. Plus, it’s not good for your mental health to beat yourself up over something you couldn’t control.
4. Give your partner a chance
If you want to fix your relationship, you need to give your partner a chance. That doesn’t mean that you have to forgive your partner right away. But it does mean that you should give them a chance to show you that they’re sorry and that they want to make things right.
If you’re not ready to forgive your partner, that’s OK. But you should at least give them a chance to earn your trust again. When you decide to do that, let them know what they need to do to gain your trust back.
5. Take things slow
Don’t try to rush into fixing your relationship. Take things slow and give yourself time to heal. If you try to move too fast, you might not be ready, and you could end up getting hurt again. So take your time and focus on taking care of yourself.
Healthy relationships don’t come overnight. They take time, patience, and effort. If you’re willing to put in the work, you can learn to trust your partner again and have a healthy, happy relationship.
Know that having trust issues in a relationship after it’s been broken is normal, but don’t let those trust issues keep you from trying to fix things. Healing relationships takes time and effort from both parties. If you’re willing to put in the work, your relationship can eventually be repaired.
Secrets to a healthy relationship: Books every couple should read
It's no secret that a healthy relationship is key in a long-lasting and fulfilling relationship. This list of books about healthy relationships will help you learn how to communicate better, resolve conflict, and deepen your connection. From classic self-help books to more modern reads, these titles will give you the tools you need to build a strong and healthy relationship.
- Boundaries in Dating: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Relationships
- Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of Every Healthy Relationship
- Love More, Fight Less: Communication Skills Every Couple Needs: A Relationship Workbook for Couples
- Infidelity Recovery Workbook for Couples: Tools and Exercises to Rebuild Your Relationship
- Healthy Me, Healthy Us: Your Relationships Are Only as Strong as You Are
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