7 Easy Actions Any Couple Can Take To Save A Relationship

Photo: Powerlightss / Shutterstock
man holding woman

Is your relationship in trouble? While you may consider counseling or, even worse, divorce, don't jump too far ahead just yet.

The first question you should ask yourself is, "Do I want to save this relationship, or do I want to leave it?" If you want to leave it, then why even try salvaging it? However, if you're set on saving it, this article is for you.

Rather than your typical relationship advice about reconciling and improving communication, learning how to fix a relationship means changing certain things about yourself, and your partner, and doing inner growth in the process. And that's exactly what these 7 rules and choices will do.

RELATED: 6 Subtle Signs You're Falling Out Of Love — And Your Relationship Is Nearly Over

Here are 7 easy actions any couple can take to save a relationship: 

1. Be honest with yourself regarding your primary intention.

Which category do you fall into the intent to protect, or the intent to learn?

Is your primary intention to protect yourself from your fears with some form of controlling behavior such as anger, blame, criticism, withdrawal of love, threats, compliance or resistance? Is having power over your partner and winning more important to you than being loving to yourself and your partner? Do you make your partner responsible for your feelings? Are you more devoted to getting love and avoiding rejection, rather than to mutuality, caring, and sharing love?

Or, is your primary intention to learn about loving yourself and your partner? Are you more devoted to mutuality, caring, and sharing love than to being right, winning, having your way or making your partner responsible for your feelings? Is learning more important to you than whether or not you receive approval? 

Basic to all the other rules are being in the intent to learn about loving yourself and others.

If your primary intent is to protect yourself from pain and rejection with controlling behavior, you will have no chance of improving your relationship. You will continue to create the very problems you are attempting to avoid with your controlling behavior.

2. Let go of the past.

Hanging on to old grievances is part of the intent to protect. Blaming your partner for your pain rather than taking responsibility for whatever choices you made resulted in your unhappiness.

RELATED: How To Save Your Relationship When You’re The Only One Trying To Save It

3. Disengage from conflict as soon as one person isn't open to learning.

There's no point in trying to talk out problems and issues unless both people are open to learning. If you're open and your partner is not, then give up trying to solve problems by talking about them, and unilaterally figure out how to take loving care of yourself in the face of your partner's choices.

4. Share only about yourself and your own learning.

Let go of analyzing or defining your partner. Let go of interrogating questions that really attack. These behaviors are controlling and invasive.

Your job is to define yourself, not your partner! The more you define your own inner worth and let go of attempting to define your partner, the better your relationship will become.

RELATED: 20 Shady Signs He's Over You (But Too Scared To Dump You)

5. Do your own work to deal with issues of abandonment and define your own worth.

Rather than making your partner responsible for your fears of abandonment or your fears of losing yourself, do your inner healing work to move beyond these fears. Take full responsibility for these fears rather than making your partner responsible for causing them.

6. Accept your lack of control over your partner.

Instead, choose to see your partner as their own person. 

Learn to cherish the differences rather than try to make your partner into you. Support your partner in becoming all he or she came to this planet to be. Support your partner in what brings him or her joy, taking responsibility for whatever fears your partner's independence brings up for you.

7. Be kind to yourself and others, even when your fears are triggered.

Once again, if you're stuck in the mindset of protection and control, you won't be able to make these choices. Your intent to learn is basic to being able to make these choices and improve your relationship.

You are in charge of your intent, and the option to let go of the intent to protect/control and move into the intent to learn about loving yourself and your partner is always available to you.

RELATED: 9 Signs Your Relationship Isn't Just Failing — It's Already Over

Margaret Paul holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, noted public speaker, workshop leader, educator, chaplain, consultant, and artist.