Trying to repair a long term relationship is never easy, but the fact that you’ve been together for a while can make the process less difficult compared with a new relationship. Here are some suggested steps.
Nip the Issue in the Bud
As any car mechanic will tell you, fixing the problem early will prevent complications from arising later on. The same thing with relationships; don’t wait for the problem to become unmanageable before you do something about it.
If your partner drinks quite a bit, bring the topic of alcoholism up. Do the same if your partner has a smoking habit. Similar steps need to be taken if your partner spends money freely. It’s hardly a secret that financial problems remain a big problem among couples.
Try to Solve the Problem
The difficult thing about trying to repair a long term relationship is that couples don’t try hard enough. What happens is that both parties end up trying to prove they’re right and the other is wrong. Others like to cop out and get a divorce.
Suppose the problem is debt. Blaming your partner for incurring the debt isn’t going to solve the problem. Conversely, your partner must do the same thing. If the two of you can’t agree on anything, at least agree to try and solve the problem. Blaming each other won’t help; you have nothing to lose by trying to solve it. Why not give it a try?
Be Honest about the Situation
A half hearted effort to repair a long term relationship isn’t going to work. You either give it everything you got or not try at all. If you told your partner their transgression has been forgiven, it’s got to be real. You can’t harbor a hidden grudge inside you. If you don’t have what it takes to forgive, say it. Don’t lie to yourself and to others.
Problems take a while to resolve; be persistent. You and your partner need to realize that. Problems like debt can damage a relationship, but you can both take comfort from the fact you’re taking action.
Other Tips to Repair a Long Term Relationship
Some couples seek the advice of marriage / relationship counselors. Others seek advice from their parents. This can help; sometimes it takes an outsider to see what’s wrong and how the problem can be fixed.
Some couples opt for a cooling off period (i.e. separating for a while). This technique works for some, but not all. If you opt for a cooling off / temporary separation, sit down with your partner and talk about it first.
Things to Avoid
Don’t discuss your problem with colleagues or acquaintances. Keep the matter private. Word will spread around, and the stories will get embellished. If it gets back to your partner, things will get worse. Never send / forward email or text messages to your friends regarding your difficulties.
One more thing needs to be said when trying to repair a long term relationship: both parties need to be sincere about it. Without it, nothing will work.