Whether it is the right move or not, people try to rekindle old relationships all the time because they are familiar territory. A relationship ending and facing loneliness, new routines and getting back into the dating scene can be difficult. However, before you learn how to fix your broken relationship, you need to make sure you’re doing so for the right reasons.
Expert Margaret Paul, psychologist and author of “Inner Bonding” and other relationship books, said a relationship can be repaired when both parties still feel some love for each other, are not engaged in any other relationships and can acknowledge their roles in the breakup. With helpful information and expert advice, this article provides some tips on how to fix a broken relationship regardless of the cause.
11 Ways to Rebuild a Broken Relationship
1. Take responsibility
How do you fix a broken relationship? By taking responsibility.
“Each person needs to learn how to take responsibility for their feelings,” Paul said. “They need to learn to love themselves so they have love to share rather than trying to have control over getting love.”
Recognizing the ways your feelings led you to act can help you see your part in the broken relationship. In taking responsibility for your feelings, you will see the other person as a true partner in your life journey instead of trying to make your significant other become someone they’re not.
2. Remember the good times
Can you recall those moments when your new relationship was going well? You had fun, made time for each other, tried new things, connected a lot physically and emotionally and didn’t even fight. That honeymoon phase can be good to reflect on because you can see what changed in the relationship and also what changed in you.
That is the foundation for rebuilding your relationship.
3. Focus on the present
Yes, you went through a breakup and it was tough, but the good news is your relationship is on the mend. Focus on where you are now. How are both parties truly feeling? What do you both need in order to move forward? Are there any red flags, new or old, still present in the situation? It’s crucial to work on them so you don’t repeat old mistakes and do your best not to avoid making new ones. And it’ s also key that “neither person is having an ongoing physical or emotional affair,” Paul said.
Rather than repair the relationship, that sets the stage for a fresh round of betrayal and broken trust.
4. Plan for the future
After you ponder on the good times and focus on the present for a reality check, get ready for the future. What was the reason for the breakup? Infidelity? Lack of attention? Addiction? You’ll have to do things differently for a different outcome this time.
“Each person needs to take responsibility for how they have been trying to control getting love from their partner [such as] with anger, blame, withdrawal, resistance and compliance,” Paul said.
Get to the root of the issue and seek out ways to overcome it. That can look like seeking professional help, rebuilding trust and finding new, better ways to communicate with each other. Your relationship doesn’t have to end up the same way if you can learn from your past.
5. Get counseling
Both people should be willing to receive help from a counselor, Paul said. Counseling can help hold each other accountable and help when discussing thorny topics that may escalate into arguments without a trained facilitator in the room.
Professionals are trained to give you the tools and knowledge you need for your specific situation. They may help you see things in a new way, which a fresh start in a broken relationship often needs.
6. Practice active listening
To fix a broken relationship, you talk a lot about what went wrong. But your listening skills are even more important. Observe nonverbal cues because they give a full-rounded picture of what’s being said. Try not to judge or draw conclusions and just let your partner share their mind. Ask for clarification when appropriate to try and ensure you both understand and get to the root of the issue.
7. Work hard
Reconciliation is not going to be easy. The good thing is that the anger and frustration you feel usually means you still care about the situation, and that energy can be transformed into something positive. If you commit to therapy or group counseling, be consistent and push through even when it’s hard—especially when it’s hard. If you have to have tough conversations, be intentional about opening up and being vulnerable.
8. Build new patterns
The best way to get rid of the old patterns of dysfunction is by building new patterns in their place. Do you get into nasty fights every time you drink too much? Find a different way to have fun and enjoy yourselves. Were you unfaithful or distant because you felt like you were missing something from your partner? See how you can work on that together. New patterns will feel different and reflect the growth you’ve done since your breakup. Embrace it.
9. Honesty, honesty, honesty
If your breakup was caused by something like the betrayal of a hidden relationship, lost attraction or lack of effort, honesty is the name of the game if you wonder how to fix a broken love relationship. Put everything out in the open with extremely honest communication because that can help you unpack and process your feelings.
10. Give it time
Depending on the reason for your breakup, acknowledging time and space will be very helpful in healing. Something like infidelity is highly traumatic, and sufficient time is needed to process what happened and build back trust. New routines and habits take time and practice to see results. Be patient with the process.
11. Love yourself first
To repair a relationship, it’s very important to focus on the relationship you have with yourself, Paul said. If you did the tough work of leaving a toxic relationship, for example, self-love is knowing that you deserve better and not looking back.
“They need to learn to love themselves so they have love to share rather than trying to have control over getting love,” Paul said.
Simply put, you can’t give what you don’t have. Self-love leads to believing you are whole with or without the relationship. When you love yourself, you will know when it’s worth it to fix a broken relationship.