How To Fix A Relationship


How To Fix A Relationship
It's often possible to fix a relationship but the solution that works may not be what you think.

A question I get asked frequently is, "How do you know whether to stay and fix a relationship or just let go and move on?" Unfortunately, like in most things relational, the answer is, "It depends." Not much initial help, I know, but there are always clues that can help you answer this question.

First, you have to determine the reasons for staying and trying to make things better. How much do you truly have invested in terms of time and emotion? How compatible are the two of you in terms of goals, values, life style, and future desires? Are you putting in more than you are getting back? Do you want it to work because all your friends are paired up, you feel like you're running out of time, or you're tired of being alone? Be honest with yourself now because the truth will come out in the long run.

More from YourTango: How To Control Anger: A 3 Step Approach

If any of the hard reasons are present--addiction, abuse, personality disorders--leaving may be the only healthy option you have. Soft reasons--poor communication, growing apart, not "in love"--can possibly be resolved. In addition, if you have children together, you won't be able to truly end the relationship so it may be worth the effort to improve it. The same is true if your lives are entwined in other ways, sharing property, owning a business together, etc.

If you decide to stay and try to improve things, there are a few things you need to focus on. The most important one is to recognize that the only person you have any control over is yourself. You, and only you, are responsible for your choices and behavior. The biggest problem in trying to fix a relationship is focusing on your partner. If you do that, your chance of success will be minimal. After all, haven't you already tried that?

More from YourTango: Don't Go Viral: What You Must Know Before You Send A Sexy Selfie

To really fix a relationship you have to put effort into your side of the equation. Relationships are reciprocal and are a function of what you each bring to the table. Being comfortable in your own skin means you have identified and are willing to honor your own needs and boundaries. You can't be part of a healthy relationship if you are not clear on what these are. Settling for less than you need or deserve will only lead to your feeling hurt and resentful. Harboring these emotions influences how loving a partner you can be. Identifying the source AND your part in allowing that behavior to continue is critical if you are going to make things better. A relationship that doesn't work for you is one that isn't going to work ever.

Second, try to look at yourself through your partner's eyes. What statements have they made about the relationship? What requests have they made for it to be different? While their view may be an exaggeration, there is some valuable information in their position if you can see it. Take what you can acknowledge and see where you might be willing and able to do things differently.

Share this with someone you love (or even like a lot)!

Let's make it
FB official
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Lesli Doares

Relationship Coach

Lesli Doares, MFT

Lesli writes about issues related to marriage and relationships at  She is the author of Blueprint for a Lasting Marriage:  How to Create Your Happily Ever After with More Intention, Less Work, a manual for couples on how to have a long and successful marriage.  Lesli also speaks passionately on many relationship-related topics.

Location: Cary, NC
Credentials: LMFT
Other Articles/News by Lesli Doares:

How To Control Anger: A 3 Step Approach


One of the most common things I hear from the couples who come to me for help is that they want to  communicate better. When I explore a little deeper, I'm told what they really want is to stop fighting. At the heart of this problem is that one, or both, of the partners gets emotionally upset. This upset often is expressed as anger. So what I'm ... Read more

Don't Go Viral: What You Must Know Before You Send A Sexy Selfie


To send a sexy selfie or not to send one? Lingerie shot? Topless? The Full Monty? After all, it's only going to your boyfriend and he's promised not share it. He swears he loves you and would never do anything to hurt you. You think using Snapchat will protect you, forgetting that taking a screenshot of the picture before it disappears is possible. ... Read more

What It Takes To Have A Happy Marriage


Couples today are delaying marriage or opting out of it entirely. After all, it's a commonly accepted fact that one in two marriages fail. And does anyone really know how happy the "successful" ones really are? But what if that commonly held belief was wrong and it really is possible to be married and live happily ever after? Well, not only ... Read more

See More

Recent Expert Posts
Multi-Ethnic Senior Women In Swimming Pool

Make New Friends, Keep Good Friends

Once you have a clear idea of the kinds of friendships you would enjoy, you can decide to create mor

Cooking Together

6 More Eco-Conscious Ideas For A Better World And A Better You

Here are six tips on how you can have sex more consciously and also be kind to the environment.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

How to find the right pro for you
10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

YourTango Experts can help your business go from good to great.

10 Steps To Improve Your Coaching Business

Take your coaching business from mediocre to great in no time…

Frequently Asked Questions About YourTango Experts

Thinking of joining? Here's all the facts you need to know to make the most of your membership.

Getting Your Guy To Join You In A Therapy Or Coaching Session

So how can your get your strong, self-reliant, superman to talk to an Expert with you?

Therapist/Counselors: Who We Are & What We Do

What exactly does a therapist/counselor do and can they really help?

See more resources>