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What are the Basics of Relationship Repair

Updated: Jan 25, 2023

First of all, it’s important to realize that it’s natural to have challenges in relationships.

Whether it's due to a fight, a misunderstanding, or simply because the spark has faded, all relationships go through rough patches.

Secondly, it’s never too late to start the repair process.

And, while it may seem daunting, all it takes is a few simple behavioral changes on your part.

Relationship repair doesn’t have to be difficult.

Below are some strategies to help you rekindle your fractured relationship.

Basics of Relationship Repair

Be a Good Listener

The relationship repair process starts as soon as you’re willing to listen to what the other person has to say.

You should be able to make them feel comfortable about sharing their pain.

Listen to them without interrupting and judging. Make them feel heard.

Make a conscious effort to understand and recognize what the other person is going through. It helps to see things from others’ perspectives.

Realize that if your relationship is going through a rough patch, you’re not the only one who’s struggling right now.

The other person is suffering too, maybe even more than you.

Ask yourself, can you find a way to ease their pain and be there for them?

Communicate Your Concerns

Once you’ve heard the other person and understood their concerns, communicate what’s bothering you. Most of the time, the other person just doesn’t understand what you want.

Communicate your concerns in a way that doesn’t ignite further conflict by being gentle and empathetic.


Once you know what’s bothering the other person, ask yourself, can you really empathize with their pain? Remember that feelings are feelings; they don’t have to be logical. So, try to empathize.This will validate that you understand their feelings without getting judgmental.

Show that You Feel Bad

If you’re at fault, even a little bit, show remorse. This helps others to know that you are accepting your mistake and willing to rectify it. Relationship repair happens when you make the other person feel understood. Make them understand that you feel bad about whatever you did or said. Once they feel understood, then you can explain your perspective.

It’s Okay to Lose Sometimes

You don’t have to win every argument. Sometimes, it’s better to lose an argument and save the relationship. Plus, it’s important to remember that you’re on the same team; you both want to achieve the same thing: Repair the relationship.

Understand Your Part

Most people are more aware of how the other person has contributed to a problem.

Instead of doing that, try to understand your role and rectify yourself. Failure to do that will further damage the relationship. Plus, if you continue to follow the same patterns, you might end up damaging other relations as well.

Give Some Space

There are times when you just need to give the other person some space to rekindle the lost spark. If your world revolves around the person in question, try giving them some space.

Even a day or two can work wonders if you’re patient enough.

Express Interest in Their World

Sometimes, it’s the smallest of things that keep a relationship from moving forward. Simply showing interest in your partner’s day-to-day life can speed up the repair process. So, express interest in their life and try to reconnect with them by asking questions about their inner world.

A lot of times, our busy routines prevent us from giving enough attention to the other person.

We may end up ignoring the efforts made by them. Over time, this can lead to serious relationship damage. Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid this; the solution can be as simple as asking, “How was your day?”.

Be Gentle in Conflict

It’d be fair to assume that every relationship has conflicts. The nature and intensity of these conflicts vary. Whatever conflict you’re facing in your relationship, try to be gentle in communicating your point of view. Amazingly, you can save the relationship by simply handling difficult situations in the right way.

It’s easy to blame or criticize the other person. But, what you want to do is direct their attention to your needs. For instance, instead of saying, “You never help”, say, “I’d appreciate some help around the house”. Try to avoid statements involving “You always” and “You never”. It might take some effort at first, but keeping in mind what’s at stake can help.

Take Responsibility

One of the most important reasons for a relationship impasse is not accepting your mistakes.

Admitting your mistakes is one of the most difficult things to do in a relationship. If you’ve done something wrong, you need to take full responsibility. Be sure to not justify your actions, even if you could. Even if you think you’ve done nothing wrong, it is important to take responsibility for understanding your partner.

Be Honest

If you’re hurt in some way, get it out in front of the other person without being harsh. Transparency is important even if you feel silly about admitting something.

If you’re at fault, think about what motivated you to make that mistake. Being honest with yourself is as important as being honest with your partner. And this goes both ways; so, make the other person feel comfortable about sharing their true feelings.

Spend Time Together (Alone)

It can be a challenge to take time out and be together alone for a while, especially if you have children and/or jobs. What you can do is start small; set a small window of time and be with each other. Make sure to put your phone on silent or leave it somewhere else if possible. Your phone brings a lot of distractions with it such as the constant influx of messages and the urge to check social media.

Express Affection

We convey a lot of information with our body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice.

These non-verbal cues tell the other person how you feel about them. If you don’t feel comfortable with physical touch just yet, try out different gestures of affection. Even a simple smile once in a while can work wonders. You can even do something unexpected like helping them with house chores or bringing their favorite flower from the garden.

Embrace Your Differences

Every soul on this planet is different in several ways. Don’t expect the other person to become the person you want. Instead, embrace and respect their differences, flaws, and opinions. You develop a deep connection with them when you accept and love them for who they are.

Don’t Hesitate to Express Gratitude

We tend to take good things in our life for granted and forget to show appreciation for them.

Gratitude is one of the most powerful things you can do to improve your relationships.

It’s easy to show gratitude for the big stuff, like when your partner gives you a gift or does something special. But, what if you express gratitude for the small things, like mowing the lawn, doing routine chores, or cooking a meal? It feels good to be appreciated for the things we do for other people, no matter how small they are.

Focus on the Good

Many of our problems arise because we focus too much on the negative. Most of the time, focusing on the good parts of a relationship can help you move forward. First, make sure to get your mind off the negative stuff. Think about the happy memories of your time together.

Make a list of things you like about the other person. Recall the positive reasons you’re with this person. Importantly, remember that if things were good once, they can be good again.

In fact, by putting in the effort to restore it, you might even strengthen your relationship more.

Heal Yourself

Sometimes, our own emotional instability and struggles are the underlying reasons for a broken relationship. So, what’s the yardstick to check if you should be working on your inner self rather than trying to fix the relationship? Ask yourself, are you blaming the other person for your feelings or unhappiness? If yes, you need to focus on healing yourself. Don’t ignore your feelings or judge yourself. Remember that other people tend to treat us the way we treat ourselves. Want someone else to love and respect you? Focus on loving and respecting yourself, instead of how you’re being treated by the other person.

Seek Professional Help

It’s possible to get stuck in a situation that’s tough to get out of. Have you been trying to repair a relationship yourself and aren’t seeing encouraging results? You want to talk to a professional relationship counselor.

RDU Counseling for Change has licensed counselors that can help you mend broken relationships in the most painless manner. No matter which type of relationship you’re struggling with, we can help. Get in Touch Now

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