3 Secrets To Strengthen Any "Rough Patch" Relationship

These simple tips can help you overcome relationship adversity and build an unbreakable bond.

silhouette of man and woman kissing at sunset SATRIA NANGISAN / Shutterstock

Unfortunately, it's common for long-term couples to get stuck in a pattern.

Over time, that pattern can show up as avoiding certain topics, feeling bored, walking on eggshells, frequently fighting, misunderstanding each other, or, in the worst cases, all of the above.

When things get tense, volatile, stale, or boring, it’s easy to feel like the relationship is over and to give up on love. But there are ways to reignite the passion you both once felt and to break the cycle that you and your partner have been stuck in.


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Three these simple ways to strengthen any "rough patch" relationship:

1. Remember what first attracted you to each other. 

Have a conversation and share what drew you to each other in the beginning. When couples come to me for coaching, I often ask them to tell me the story of how they met and what first attracted them to one another.

Each person takes a turn reminiscing about how things felt when they first discovered one another and began to fall in love. Recalling the story brings those loving feelings back. And hearing you talk about them in a loving way can make your partner feel seen, valued, and special.


2. Clear the air so you're really present.

When couples have been together a while, little conflicts tend to get swept under the proverbial carpet where they can't be seen. The only trouble is that these ‘out-of-sight, out-of-mind’ issues can be held in your subconscious making it hard for you to be present.

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Invite your partner to do a clearing session where both of you get an uninterrupted time of five minutes to speak about anything you may have been reluctant to bring up or have put off bringing up because you were waiting for the right time.

Giving both partners time to express their feelings without interruption or judgment will avoid the back-and-forth, overtalking, and frustration that tends to show up in conversations where couples aren’t exactly on the same page.


3. Gaze, touch, and speak softly. 

Many of us did not bond very well with our parents or early caregivers so we tend to become defensive or walk around with our guard up. But as adults, you and your partner can help one another overcome and heal those insecurities.

Research in adult attachment has shown that the things that help babies feel safe and secure like soft, loving gazes, nurturing touch, and soothing voice tones are the same things that help partners become, "securely attached”.

So, whenever you sense that your partner is stressed or upset, offer calm and reassuring touches, and words of support in a soothing tone, or gaze at your partner with love in your eyes. Not only will it make you more willing and able to connect deeply with your partner, it will do the same for them.


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Susan Campbell is a relationship coach who teaches couples to heal old wounds that show up in their adult relationships to awaken true intimacy and connection through powerful exercises.