Any romantic relationship will have good, bad, and neutral moments, just like the rest of your life. Rough times can get out of control if you and your partner don’t address the problems you’re having and try to solve them.
Some people believe that a romantic relationship is destined to work or destined to fail, and the partners don’t need to change or try to work out problems. In reality, you may need to think about how to fight for your relationship when things go wrong.
Fighting for a relationship sounds like a desperate action, but it doesn’t need to be hectic or difficult. Once you identify the problems, like poor communication or lack of intimacy, you can work to eliminate them.
Why Should You Fight?
Why would you need to fight for your relationship? If your relationship was great, but suddenly goes through a bad patch, you shouldn’t give up on it. When you’re certain you and your partner love each, you should take the time to fight for your relationship and deal with the obstacles that are causing problems.
You may have had a rare disagreement or a loud argument that made you wonder what you ever saw in your partner. Maybe your partner has been MIA lately, and you fear he’s seeing someone else on the side. If your relationship is normally pretty chill, don’t let a fight, jealousy, or a misunderstanding convince you to give up on your Significant Other.
Some of your friends and family members will tell you to leave your partner after a major fight. However, if you love your partner, and there are lots of positive things about your coupling, you owe it to yourself to learn how to fight for your relationship.
Weigh the Pros and Cons of the Relationship
Think about the pros and cons of the relationship. All relationships have ups and downs, and you can’t control the relationship so rigidly that fights, lulls, and boredom never intrude.
You’ll mess up occasionally, and so will your partner. Before deciding to repair the relationship, think about what’s good about it, what’s bad, and how you and your partner treat each other.
Your relationship is worth saving if you’re able to talk and laugh with your partner, share some mutual interests, but still maintain separate friendships and lives, and deal with problems and inconveniences without getting into full-blown arguments regularly.
If you find your partner is becoming increasingly distant and won’t talk to you or listen to you, reevaluate the relationship. You need to find out why this is happening.
You may want to talk to a trustworthy friend who can be honest and objective about your relationship. Talking to a therapist is also recommended if you’re conflicted about saving the relationship. You’ll also need to deal with any serious issues in the relationship directly.
For example, has your partner suddenly become uninterested in going out in public with you? Get to the root of the problem by discussing it with your S.O. Don’t run away from problems, or instantly assume they’re the death knell for your relationship. If you care for your partner, it’s well worth the time and effort to discuss any problems that arise.
Discuss how to overcome any obstacles in your relationship, including work, family issues, financial or health problems. Most couples dread having such discussions, but it’s important to work on a relationship the same way you’d work to improve your health or your job performance.
A good relationship isn’t magic. You have to put time and energy into it.
Ways to Fight for Your Relationship
Here are some ways to repair your relationship after a fight or a bad patch. It’s better to try and recapture the camaraderie and good times than give up at the first sign of trouble. If you give up on your relationship too soon, you’ll always wonder what would have happened if you had fought for it.
Don’t set yourself up for regret. Take action; don’t sulk or become angry.
Make Up After a Fight
All couples have fights. You can’t escape it. Disagreements are part of being human, so don’t think your relationship needs to be cool and calm all the time to be successful.
When you do have a fight, replace yelling and name-calling and use that anger constructively. Talk about what went wrong, why you think it happened, and how to correct it in the future.
Was the fight intense enough to make you consider ending the relationship? If not, you need to vent to a friend (or your therapist). Give your partner space to cool down, and you should do the same.
Once you’ve recovered from the fight, the person who started the fight should apologize. Now you can figure out what caused the fight and how to prevent it from happening again.
Apologies aren’t enough. However, you both need to determine the underlying cause of the fight and how to prevent it in the future. The discussion shouldn’t veer off into another argument. Concentrate solely on how to fix the problem.
Many arguments start due to seemingly minor problems at home, such as your partner not doing the dishes, or charging luxury items on a credit card when you can’t afford them.
Find out why your partner does these things. If your partner is too tired after work to do the dishes, ask if it’s possible for him to work less overtime. Maybe your partner needs to get more sleep. If the problem is laziness or an assumption that washing the dishes is your job, let him know that his behavior needs to change to avoid arguments.
If your partner refuses to change his behavior, you may want to rethink the relationship. Saving a relationship is a two-way street.
Remember Your Partner’s Birthday or Other Important Dates
Fighting for your relationship means that you need to correct any behaviors of yours that may have caused problems. Your partner should do the same. Glitches in a relationship often occur due to the words and actions of both parties. One partner isn’t the cause of all the ills in most relationships.
Remember, you’re not in charge of changing how your partner acts. You can only do your part to make the relationship strong again, or make gentle suggestions to your partner on how to improve things.
However, when you change how you act, it may result in better responses from your partner.
One partner forgetting birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions is a common complaint among couples. If you’re guilty of this, consider how it makes your partner feel, and then make changes so you’ll remember special events. Plan to bake a cake for your partner’s birthday, or organize a surprise party at your home.
When you strive to make a future event more unique, and take time out to make it more fun, you’ll be less likely to forget about it. Use the opportunity to create an experience you’ll both enjoy.
Your partner may forget important days, such as birthdays and anniversaries. Some people forget these special days more than others. We tend not to believe people who say they forget important dates or events because they’re busy or have a hectic job. Step back and evaluate why your partner does these things and how often.
Let him know it bothers you that he forgets important dates such as birthdays. If he apologizes and is willing to do things like using a reminder app to help him remember, the situation will probably be resolved.
Spend More Time on Mutual Interests
You may like going out to plays and art galleries, while your partner likes staying home to listen to podcasts and watch Netflix. It’s healthy to have different interests, but you also need to have a few mutual interests to make a relationship work.
Think about things you can do together, like go to the latest blockbuster movie or choose a restaurant that has food both of you love. If you’re a vegetarian and your partner likes steak dinners, compromise and go to a restaurant that offers both types of entrees.
If you both grew up listening to the same music or watching the same T.V. show, revisit these happy childhood memories by watching or listening to old favorites on YouTube or other streaming platforms.
Listen When Your Partner Talks
Everyone likes to share details of their day with someone close to them, or vent about things that are bothering them. It’s beyond frustrating when a partner ignores what their Significant Other says, especially when the subject is important to the person voicing it.
Always pay attention when your partner is talking to you. Even if you’re tired or frustrated about your problems, put them aside, and give your partner’s words full attention.
Sometimes, our partners may talk at length about something trivial or something that doesn’t interest us. If this happens, let your partner know you have something else to do and would like to listen to his story later. Don’t snap or look bored; it’s much better to acknowledge what your partner is saying and bring a gentle end to a too-long story.
When your partner is upset and has had a bad day or a crisis at work or with his family, listen to him, and comfort him. Give him advice if he asks for it. (Try not to give unsolicited advice; just let your partner vent.)
Practice active listening by nodding your head or saying “I understand” or “Uh-huh” when your partner relates something important. You can also ask for permission to ask a question to clarify what your partner is saying.
If you disagree with what your partner has said, wait until they’ve finished speaking to let them know that – and tell them why you disagree without raising your voice or using off-putting language.
Here are some tips for effective listening:
- Lean forward and look at your partner.
- Don’t fidget or get distracted.
- Summarize what’s been said when your S.O. finishes speaking.
Listen to everything your partner says; don’t drift in and out as your partner speaks. You may be formulating your response, but it’s best to wait until your partner has finished speaking, paraphrase what’s been said, and then take a minute to present a thoughtful response.
Improper listening techniques are the cause of many relationship problems, according to some experts.
Work with Your Partner to Fight for the Relationship
When both partners are equally committed to fighting for a relationship, it has an excellent chance of surviving and flourishing. If one partner works toward changing their behavior and being more aware and understanding, while the other doesn’t, the relationship won’t survive.
A relationship involves two people. Both parties must recognize problems and work to correct them. If you’re dedicated to fighting for the relationship, but your partner seems uninterested in doing his part, you need to have a discussion about the future.
Express How You Feel
Be honest about your feelings. If you’re upset, angry, or depressed about something that’s happening in your relationship, let your partner know. Too often, couples hide their feelings when they’re dissatisfied with something in the relationship. Hiding your true feelings only causes problems to fester until they explode into huge arguments.
Many people don’t know how to identify their true feelings, much less talk about them. If you have a tendency to become busy and scattered, meditate, or do yoga to calm your nerves. If you’re calmer, you’ll be better equipped to add
Don’t Rely on Your Friends’ Opinions
Your friends and family may not want you to fight for the relationship. Some of your friends may even stop speaking to you if you stay with your partner even though you’re having difficulties. Real friends will stick by you no matter what you decide, and offer support, even if they disagree with your decisions.
Don’t waste your time on people who apply their version of events to your story. Your experience may resemble theirs, but your relationship is your story, not theirs. Surround yourself with positive, well-meaning friends.
Make the Most of Bad Situations
If you just started a new job that doesn’t give you much time to see your partner, make the most of a bad situation. Send your Significant Other texts on your break, or arrange a special date night on the one night you can share.
Drop off a favorite take-out restaurant meal to your loved one’s office on nights your S.O. has to work late. Put handwritten notes of encouragement on the desk in your computer room at home to encourage your partner during a long night studying for a test or preparing a work presentation.
When you and your partner are low on money, learn to make inexpensive, nutritious meals at home, and shop for clothes at funky, out-of-the-way thrift stores. You can still go out on the town if you’re broke – pack a picnic lunch and take it to the park, or go to free, city-sponsored events or free days at local zoos or museums.
Maintain a Positive Attitude
No matter how emotional you may feel about saving the relationship, remember to concentrate on the good times you have, not the obstacles, whether they be financial, medical, or personal. Stay steadfast in your belief that the relationship is worth fighting for, and work towards fixing it, bit by bit.
Relationship problems, like other problems, take time to solve. Take life one day at a time and stay fully engaged in the moment to build your relationship back to its former glory.
Successful couples know how to communicate. Talk with your partner at the first sign of a problem instead of seething in silence.
Giving each other space after a fight is a great idea, and it will help you and your partner calm down quicker. However, the issues that caused the fight in the first place will still return if you don’t confront them.
Few people are comfortable confronting anyone, especially their romantic partner, but bringing feelings and problems into the open will benefit the relationship in the long run.
If you are apprehensive about sharing your feelings with your partner, remember that being secretive or closed-minded will damage the relationship more than being honest about difficult feelings.
Better communication means more than discussing problems or making life plans. The most important types of communication take place during everyday situations, like preparing dinner or taking a road trip to a friend’s house.
Here are a few ways you can foster better communication with your partner in day-to-day life:
Make small talk about news stories, the weather, something you saw in a store, or any other mundane details from your day. These seemingly insignificant recollections contribute to your closeness as much as big events like birthdays or anniversaries. After all, it’s the little things, including after-dinner conversation at home, that make up the fabric of our lives.
As you make small talk with your partner, you’ll find out many things about his life that will help you understand him better. You’ll learn about your Significant Other’s childhood, adolescence, family life, and other details that wouldn’t come up in more complex discussions.
Use some of what you learn to buy surprise gifts for your partner, recommend a movie based on his interests, or prepare a favorite meal from his childhood.
You’ll also want to talk about shared experiences, like the first video game each of you played or your high school graduation. If you’re the same age (or close to the same age) as your partner, you can reminisce about where you were and what you were doing during important national and international events of the time.
These shared memories will bring you closer together and show that you have more in common than you think.
After you’ve learned how to talk with your partner about everyday experiences, try spending some silent time together doing things like reading or listening to music. You don’t need to have long conversations to bond with your partner – just hanging out every day will provide you with some of your most cherished moments.
Share outdoor experiences in real-time such as riding your bikes together, eating ice cream cones on the boardwalk, or watching the sunset. Sometimes simple moments offer a better emotional bond than high-drama events.
Learn to Forgive
Everyone makes mistakes, including you and your partner. Forgive your partner for past harsh words, forgetting to pick you up from work because he overslept, and other mistakes. Forgive yourself for stupid things you’ve done to upset your partner.
Share your feelings, and talk about what caused past mistakes and how to prevent them from happening again. Even if you both try to maintain your best behavior, there will be slip-ups and misunderstandings. Don’t raise your voice or bring up past wrongs if your partner
Sometimes we need to make sacrifices in other areas of our lives to fight for our relationship. You may need to change your work hours, take a semester off school, or move out of your apartment and into your partner’s place to save the relationship.
In most cases, small daily changes are enough to strengthen a relationship. Big, dramatic events are memorable, but they’re not the glue that holds relationships together.
You may need to sacrifice your eight a.m. breakfast with a friend before work and fix breakfast at home for your partner instead or go camping on weekends with your partner during the summer instead of shopping and going to the beach.
Now that you know how to fight for your relationship try to incorporate the tips naturally into your everyday life. Fighting to keep a relationship alive involves more than one air-clearing conversation or a big romantic gesture. You’ll need to think about what needs to change in the relationship daily to make it better.
If you and your partner are committed to making the relationship work, arguments, and jealousy will fade away. Communicate honestly and look at your partner as a friend first.