Sometimes in our relationships we can get to a point where we aren’t quite sure where the relationship is going, and whether our partner is even into us anymore. Has your relationship gotten to a point where it seems like your significant other doesn’t feel the same way about you?
This does happen, and although it’s not desirable or enjoyable, it’s also not necessarily the end, either. We as a couple have so much potential to fight through the hard stuff and come out stronger. But we need to first be willing to fight for it.
If all hope seems lost for ever regaining the spark, then I encourage you to try taking a few simple steps, of which I will lay out in this article.
My wife and I have been married for more than twenty years, and believe me, we’ve had some tough times. But we’ve also survived, and our relationship just seems to get better each year now. We had to learn to live together in a way where we could each be ourselves and not take every single movement or look from the other as an attack on us.
We learned that it won’t always be perfect and that sometimes one of us might be going through something, which can lead to a feeling of abandonment or detachment for us. It is at this time where we must communicate with each other and not jump to conclusions. It is through open and consistent communication that we can be supportive and productive in the relationship.“When our relationship has slipped into a lull, we need to get involved to bring it back.” Click To Tweet
Avoiding becoming defensive is the best thing we can do when our partner seems distant or even troubled. Instead, this is where we can work with them and get through it together.
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6 simple steps to bring the relationship back to health
When our relationship has slipped into a lull or when the romance has died out, we need to get involved to bring it back. This can seem a bit unlikely when the couple is giving each other the cold glares and silent treatments. However, start at the beginning step in this little list and work through it.
It will take both to be successful in a relationship, but it will only take one to initiate this process here. Since we can’t get to the bottom of something unless we are told, we will start with communication. The following steps are just as important for the repairing process.
Here’s six steps that will get you and your partner back on track for a great, long-lasting, relationship:
- Communication is the only means for understanding
- Bring your relationship before God
- Correct harmful habits and behavior
- Increase relationship-building knowledge together
- Practice, practice, practice
- Get intimate to regain lost momentum
1. Communication is the only means for understanding
I write these kinds of articles often; I mean, the ones where I recall back to my own previous experiences to help others get through the hard stuff we went through. What many of these articles have in common is my constant nagging about how important communication is.
The reason I do this is because I have learned that the relationship is very valuable and can be extremely enjoyable too. I see many couples who could have such a great future together, throw it all away because they haven’t learned to work together. Instead, as stress and pressure builds, they start working against each other.
The why almost never matters. High-potential relationships fall apart due to a lack of communication. Well, a lack of communication and knowledge; but we’ll get to the knowledge part in a few moments.
Constant communication shouldn’t feel like a job or a chore. It shouldn’t be dreaded. I like to believe that when two people enter into an intimate relationship, they become best friends. Sure, our guy friends and lady friends will always have a certain bond, but our new partner will be our closest friend. So, why wouldn’t we enjoy talking to our partner and hanging out with them?
Well, I haven’t completely figured out why some couples don’t communicate well with each other. But I do know that when times get tough, the way out of the trouble is through communication. Sometimes this requires help from specialists, Pastors, and relationship counselors. But hey, I’d say it’s worth it.
If you find that your partner seems a bit cold to you, try getting them to a comfortable place and have a calm conversation; one where you ask them to help identify any looming issues in the relationship. When they say all is good, be sure to put emphasis on how you are perceiving the situation, and that you truly want to work through it.
But be sure to mean it. If they decide at this time to open up and say what the problem is, be sure to be willing to work with them on it. Even if you are doing something to push them away. The most effective strategy here will be patience and calmness. If they don’t open up at this time, try again soon.
2. Bring your relationship before God
In our years of marriage, we have had some hard times. For us, we have spent these years going to church and allowing God to work in our marriage. Why did our marriage have many hard times and struggles? Because I had a very rebellious spirit in me and I was constantly wrestling with God as I also had control issues and didn’t want to surrender to God and give Him the reigns in our relationship. I thought I could do it better.
However, my wife had much greater faith than me. She was, and still is, a praying woman filled with faith and love for God. Our relationship suffered some hard blows because of my attitude and behavior, but because of God’s grace and mercy and because of His love for relationships, He kept us together; He gave my wife the strength she needed to get through while God worked on me.
Eventually, God broke through with me and I can testify that our relationship has improved tremendously. So, when we see a couple who is really struggling, my wife and I both agree that if that couple were to trust God with their relationship and their lives, they too would find that God is a faithful God who will help and heal even the worst wounds.
If you and your partner don’t know God personally, I encourage you to open your relationship to Him. This might be awkward at first, but God is the one who offers true peace and joy and good night’s rest. Click here if you want to learn more.
Also, if you and your partner would like prayer over your relationship, or any other area, please fill out a prayer request in the provided prayer box and my wife and I would love to pray for you and your family.
3. Correct harmful habits and behavior
If you find through pleasant and calm conversation that your actions have something to do with this breakdown, it’s best to make some changes. If the habits or behavior is damaging to the relationship, it’s possible that it’s damaging to your own well-being too.
Of course, I hope that this isn’t the case. Nobody likes being told that they are doing something wrong. But we do hear this stuff with our friends, family, and even in the media; “You’re too bossy; you’re spending too much money; you’re messy and you treat me like I’m your servant; you don’t seem like you care about me…”
There are many scenarios that can get us to a point where we just don’t want to be intimate with our partner anymore; at least until they change their ways, right? So, we need to ask the hard questions and be prepared to accept the answer. If we have something to change, correcting this might correct the whole situation.
Changing habits does take some effort and time, but it’s a daily process that will start to get easier. Talking to your partner and finding out exactly what is causing the turmoil will make it easy to know what needs some tweaking. This is where our pride needs to become less important than the need to repair the relationship. Otherwise, our pride will get in the way and we will become defensive and maybe even resentful.
I have had to change my ways many times, and although at the time it isn’t fun, it has always served both of us well when I did. Sometimes we develop certain habits over time that can really work against us. For me, I had bad habits of over-drinking, over-spending, and even flirting when drinking too much. These are some of the more severe habits I had to break, but I can assure you that my wife didn’t seem too into me when I was always drunk, flirty with others, and even belligerent.
Whatever the harmful habit, trading it up for a good habit will help improve the overall situation. Once I quit drinking, I quit over-spending and flirting. I was in my right mind and I started treating my wife better. This helped the romance and intimacy build again and allowed our relationship to flourish.
It is so much easier to figure things out when you are seeing someone else go through a situation. That is why I wrote this book, 12 Weeks in Colorado, a Christian fiction novel based on real life situations of couples who have overcome losing interest, and other issues for a stronger relationship, for getting out of debt, for finding balance in life in a fun and enjoyable story.
4. Increase relationship-building knowledge together
When it comes to gaining knowledge, there is no limit. We will never stop learning. Our minds are amazing, and they have an unlimited capacity for learning. Many will agree with me on this. What’s interesting however, is how few of us actually take the time to look up some methods for growing a great relationship.
We have this lifelong journey with our mate, yet we don’t spend time together learning how to live in the best way possible. Some couples travel lots, eat at interesting restaurants together, create and accumulate many amazing memories, and have fun doing this over several decades together. They have learned how to get along with each other and their life together is interesting and rewarding.
Couples like this will still have times of disagreement and there will be times where neither is in the mood for intimacy, but these types of couples are the ones who learn and develop the skills to deal with such situations in the most effective and productive way.
Gaining knowledge in relationship-building isn’t difficult. There are a handful of elements involved in a relationship, and that’s where one should start. These include; communication skills, showing Love and Respect, affection, romance, intimacy, and certainly conflict resolution in the relationship.
A couple doesn’t need to study for countless hours here and work towards some degree, although they certainly could I suppose. Instead, there are many resources available that are well-rounded and cover a broad range of topics relating to improving relationship health.
By working together through this, either through DVDs, books, seminars, retreats, or counseling, a couple can start to develop the necessary skills to take a failing relationship to a new level; a great relationship.
If you want to be good at math, study math; if you want to be good at science, study science; if you want to be good at growing strong, healthy, and long-lasting relationships, well, you know.
5. Practice, practice, practice
Once you and your partner find some great resources and start developing some new knowledge, the next step is to put it to practice. It is through practice that we get better and even wiser.
Taking a relationship from okay to great can happen just by making some small changes. This is why I am saying that the couple doesn’t have to study for countless hours to achieve this. Instead, pick up a few new tricks for building the other’s self-image and esteem, and they won’t be able to keep off you.
But it’s important to keep at it. If we learn a few good relationship-enhancing techniques, but only put them to use for a few days, the results will be minimal, if any. Consistency is key when forming new habits and gaining relationship-building knowledge and working to implement it is a new habit. This will take effort for a while.
But if you and your partner are willing to give it a try, your relationship will improve, and people will notice. In fact, it doesn’t take much to become the most interesting and ideal couple in the room. I mean, who else is studying and practicing relationship-building 101, right?
6. Get intimate to regain lost momentum
By this point, a damaged relationship should be on the right track to recovery. If the couple has effectively identified the culprit for the breakdown of intimacy, and they have armed themselves with some new knowledge on how to grow a healthy relationship, then it will be likely that they are able to become intimate with each other.
If there has been a long duration since the last time a couple was intimate, it might come across as awkward. However, this is the feeling that must be broken. We get over things like fear and awkwardness through repetition. Well, I am recommending repetition here.
Related: Developing a Healthy Relationship
Spend time each day being affectionate with each other. Compliment each other. Encourage each other. Dress up for each other. Put their needs first. Show interest.
It is these things that make us feel attractive and loved when someone does this for us; man and woman, both. Sure, men might not say it if they are bordering on tough-guy syndrome, but even the tough guys need this. When someone makes us feel good, we want to spend more time with them. So, if our partner seems distant to us, we must consider how we have been treating them or acting around them.
When the intimacy starts, don’t let the passion die out. We can certainly find tasteful resources on how to improve intimacy and romance in our relationships, and we should. Then we should practice to really lock it in. Again, this is where ongoing communication will be useful; staying in the know of how our partner is enjoying the relationship and what could make it even better. Because, it can always get better.
Use communication to also tell him or her what you like and want in your ideal intimate relationship. This relationship experience is for both and only one person can’t do all the work. The idea is to create an understanding between the two of you of exactly what you both want and enjoy, and then regularly fill that need.
Move on and make plans
I just want to briefly say that when a struggling relationship goes in for repair, there are some things that will need to be left behind. What I mean is, over time, we can say things and do things, hurtful things, and if we want our relationship to move on and improve, we need to forgive for these hurtful things and leave them behind.
Metaphorically speaking, forgive each other of any harmful faults of the past and present, put those memories into a bag with a concrete block in it, and toss it in the river; never to be seen again.
If we don’t move past these issues, we are more than likely going to bring them back up continually, which will only prevent the relationship from growing.
A good way to bring meaning into the relationship is to develop some plans for that relationship. We can come up with ideas together for what we want to accomplish in the relationship this year, in five years, in ten years, and even in fifty years if time permits.
By setting goals, the couple has a focal point and something to work together on. They can also celebrate together as these goals are met.
Another way a couple can enjoy their relationship more is through helping others who are struggling in the same area. This brings meaning to the relationship and is rewarding.
My wife and I have had many hard times and big struggles that nearly tore us apart, but we worked through them and now are in a position where we can help others. It is said that we learn best when we teach others. So, if you learn some new techniques for building up your own relationship, you and your partner can really lock it in by telling others about it in some form.
This article has covered some basic ideas for breakdowns in relationships. There could certainly be other underlying reasons why a partner in a relationship might come across as cold, or not that into the other. But through communication and effort, the couple can often turn the situation around for the better.
It is possible for one partner to not be in the mood or show affection while remaining in the relationship. It’s also possible that they want things to improve, but don’t know how to say what’s really bothering them as it might hurt the feelings of the other. We can alleviate the tension by sitting down with them and talking it out; effectively giving them a free pass to tell us if we are doing something wrong.
The steps in this article are quite simple really; talk about it, agree to make some changes, agree to gain some knowledge together, and enjoy each other during the process. The healthy relationship isn’t one where nothing bad ever happens; it’s one where the couple knows how to maintain love, respect, dignity, esteem, and affection as they go through the hard times.
If this article has helped, or if you have an experience where you and your partner got through something of this sort, or how God repaired your relationship, please leave a comment for others to enjoy and become inspired to press on.