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Repairing a Rough Patch in Your Relationship

Popular culture would have us believe that once love is attained, life becomes as simple as living out your “happily ever after”. In reality, however, there are ups and downs in every relationship, no matter how healthy and strong it is. Although it can be an unsettling period of time, a rough patch doesn’t automatically mean that the relationship is doomed or that the people involved aren’t compatible. When couples argue, feel estranged or can’t see eye to eye, it often means each person’s feelings and desires aren’t being heard. If you and your partner are currently experiencing a rough patch, the following tips will help you move through it and get back to the joy of being in love.

Identify the Key Issues

More often than not, rough patches are a direct result of small issues that, over time and through lack of communication, become much larger sources of conflict. If you and your partner are serious about getting through this tough period, then take the time to determine what is the root cause of the dissatisfaction. Chances are good that the problem may be something slight, but you and your partner have lost the ability to clearly see the issue because the behaviours it produced became the primary focus. No feelings exist in isolation, so once you understand the problem, you can both start fixing it.

Remind Yourself of the Positives

When you get caught up in a lot of negative feelings, it can be difficult to remember all the aspects of the relationship that you cherish. If you want to commit to resolving a rough patch, it’s extremely important to keep all the positive qualities in mind. Otherwise, it will be hard to understand why you are working so hard to get out of the rough patch.

Never Stop Communicating

Even if you aren’t sure about your feelings, or you’re afraid of how your partner will respond, it’s important that you never stop communicating. When communicating, try to speak honestly and focus on your own emotions rather than play the blame game or project negative emotions onto your partner. The other half of communication, of course, is active listening, so always remember to ask your partner how they perceive the situation and listen carefully to their response. You may find that your problems simply come from lack of communication, which is easy to clear up.

Take a Break From the Problem

After you have discussed the issues, do something with your partner that will remind both of you why you fell in love in the first place. Start dating again by either doing something you used to do in the beginning of the relationship, or try out something new. Pack a picnic hamper or buy a gourmet basket and go on a picnic by the beach, plan a weekend getaway, or simply start going out for fancy meals again. Dating will help to restore a sense of closeness and mutual enjoyment.

While some couples pride themselves on never fighting, arguments can be both a healthy and necessary part of a relationship. If a conflict has become prolonged and is affecting your happiness, however, it’s time to make some changes. Getting through relationship problems – even if they consume time and emotional energy – can actually help your partnership become stronger.