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Top 10 Ways to Restore Your Relationship

Deborah is a writer, healer, and teacher. Her goal is to help people live their best lives every day by sharing her joy and love of life.

Don't let this happen to your marriage

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10 Steps to Save Your Relationship

You can retrieve your marriage from the brink of divorce, despair, and "I don't care". All is not lost. Follow these easy steps and restore the love, passion and energy that you shared early on.

Whether you are married or in a serious and committed relationship, these tips help you bring your best self to the partnership and improve the quality of the time you share with a person you care deeply about.

Remember, you have chosen to walk with this person. This person has chosen to walk with you. You are in a relationship, you are married, because you like each other. You want to spend time together. You didn't get married to make yourself or the other person miserable.

Your relationship ought to bring out the best in you and the best in your partner. You can help that process by bringing your best self to the scene. These ten tips will help you remember what you came here for.


Let it Go

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Find Inner Peace

1. Be at peace with yourself. Your spouse cannot make you happy. You cannot make your spouse happy. What you can do is work on changing your own mind set. Being peaceful or happy begins in your own mind. When a situation provokes your ire, remind yourself that you can choose to see it differently. Seek peace in any given situation. A person at peace with himself has more energy to be at peace with those around him. Practice saying this mantra to yourself: "I can see peace instead of this".

Your perception creates your reality. If you perceive peace around you, then your reality becomes peaceful. If you perceive conflict and strife, then you react to situations and people in a manner which produces more strife. There is truth to the saying, "Peace begins with me." What you see is what you get. If you want a happy, peaceful life, then begin seeing it as such. Treat your partner in a loving, gentle way. Act as if the world around you is at peace and it will be.

Things come up every day that can irritate or annoy you. You can choose to be annoyed or you can choose to continue moving forward peacefully. Pick your battles. Is it really a big deal that she doesn't take out the trash? Is it worth fighting over, if you don't like the way he helps with the homework? Why does it matter, if she leaves hair on the counter, or he leaves dirty socks on the floor. Yes, you might have a preference that the sink be wiped down or the socks be picked up. You can state your preference, but in the end, you are the one who chooses to maintain your own peace of mind. You can see hair in the sink, or you can wipe down the sink and remind yourself to see peace instead of strife. You can see socks on the floor and grow irritated, or you can pick them up and remind yourself that peace begins with you.

The important thing is to realize that a marriage is a marathon, not a sprint. You are in this together, for the long haul. With that in mind, choose carefully what you will allow to upset you. Remember, nothing can ruin your day, unless you let it. You and you alone have complete control over how your day will go. Will something ruin your day? Only if you let it. Will dirty socks or hair or trash or homework ruin the entire rest of the day? The outcome rests entirely on your shoulders.

When a person accepts responsibility for his or her own actions, behaviors and thoughts, then there is likely to be less strife in the family. Take an honest look at yourself. Rather than choosing to get annoyed, you can breathe deeply and choose peace in any given moment. Remind yourself that peace is a choice that you can make at every given moment, no matter what is happening all around you.


Personal Responsibility

2. Take responsibility for your contentment. A lasting relationship is based on the choices you make today. You have the power to choose your response to circumstances and people around you. If one of you takes responsibility for your own behavior, then you begin to change the cycle of blame, anger and resentment. Choose for today, for yourself. Only you can make you happy.

In any given moment, you have a choice. You choose how you will respond to your spouse, your children, your employer and your friends. Regardless of what is happening, you always have a choice. There is great freedom as well as great responsibility in choosing your own happiness. You have the power.

You alone are responsible for your well-being. It is not your wife's job to make you happy. It is not your husband's job to make you happy. You are in charge of your own happiness. Do you want to be happy? It's simple. Be happy. There is no secret to happiness. The secret really is quite simple. If you want to be happy, then by all means, be happy. Literally. Just be happy. You don't need something outside of yourself or someone else to make you happy. Happiness is internal. It reflects externally as we express our inner delight.

Don't give your power away. When you try to make others responsible for your happiness or mental well-being, you set yourself up to be a victim, and nobody deserves that role. Instead, empower yourself by choosing happiness, in spite of outward circumstances. Don't let yourself be a victim of the world around you, and don't choose to be a victim of your internal saboteur. You are strong. You have power. You get to decide exactly how you will show up in your life and in your relationship. You deserve happiness, and your partner deserves a happy spouse.

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Communication

3. Improve Communication. The best way to improve communication is to shut your mouth. No really. Listen. Let your spouse speak uninterrupted. It is difficult to really listen while formulating a response. Instead of preparing your rebuttal, slow your brain down, and just listen. Repeat back what was said, and ask if you heard correctly. When you repeat what someone says, it confirms and validates the feelings behind the spoken word. While repeating may seem trite and somewhat condescending, realize that it conveys a depth of understanding and caring that may have been lacking. And when you speak the words that your partner just uttered, you may hear them differently. You may finally understand what they were trying to say all along.

Listening is the most important and hardest tool for improving communication. Rather than listening to defend yourself or explain a situation, listen with a heart for understanding. Allow your partner the freedom to speak their peace of mind. Don't judge what they say. Listen. Allow. And after you have heard, then respond.

Another way to improve communication with your spouse is to be honest and open. You don't like that she doesn't wipe out the sink after she brushes her hair? Then tell her. Maybe she doesn't know. If you hate that he leaves dirty clothes draped over a chair, then let him know. People can't change something if they don't know it is a problem. Be careful, how you choose your battles. Is the issue you want to raise really that important? Is it a matter of marital bliss, or do you just want to boss your partner around and show them who is in control? Choose your words and your battles with great care.

Be clear and honest in your speaking, using "I" statements that describe how you think or feel. Instead of saying, "You always..." Perhaps you could say, "I would prefer..." It is important to take ownership for your feelings and words. Don't throw accusatory words at your partner. Let them know how you really feel. Let them know your heart.

Don't use your words as a weapon to tear down and destroy the person you love. Your words should encourage and strengthen your relationship. Hurtful words cannot be withdrawn. Like a tube of toothpaste, once uttered, those words are out there, for better or worse. Let your words be used to edify. The dagger, once thrown, is not easily removed from the heart of the person you love.

Improving communication begins within. Know what you want. Speak your truth. When you speak your truth, not only do you honor your partner, but you also honor yourself. Be honest, first with yourself. What do you really want? What are you trying to accomplish? What do you need? If you can't be honest with yourself, how can you possibly speak your inner truth to someone else? Get clear, in your heart, about what you truly want. Then speak with truth and love.