All relationships have their fair share of problems, although not all of them are severe.
The list of possible relationship problems is extensive, from one or both parties cheating to physical abuse, and anything in-between.
You may have heard the term “strained relationship,” but you may not have known exactly what it meant.
Here is an overview of what a strained relationship is, as well as what you can do to improve things if you’re ever in a strained relationship.
A strained relationship is when a couple experiences problems in their relationship due to a lack of adequate communication.
Communication is the key to making any relationship work, so if there is a breakdown in communication, then the relationship is unable to grow or be healthy.
People in strained relationships aren’t happy – they’re usually quite miserable.
Couples who are in strained relationships often argue and sometimes try to avoid each other.
Things can become pretty tense and uncomfortable at times in strained relationships.
Fortunately, strained relationships can be repaired, but both parties must agree to work hard at healing.
They must love each other enough and be willing to do whatever it takes to get their relationship back on track.
Here are eight ways that couples can try to heal their strained relationships and make them healthy and happy again.
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What is the root cause of your issues?
Before you can start to fix things in your troubled relationship, you need to recognize exactly what started the issues.
Did one of you cheat on the other? Did you have a huge argument that you never recovered from? Are you having sexual issues?
If you aren’t exactly sure what the root cause of your issues is, then you may need to sit down with your significant other and explain that you’re tired of things being the way they are and that you want to fix them.
Hopefully, your partner will be interested in sitting down with you and trying to work things out.
Why not consider couples therapy?
As long as you’re both willing to work things out, you might want to consider going for couples therapy.
Having a professional third party act as a mediator can be a great way for you to work things out with your significant other.
The therapist can teach the two of you how to adequately communicate so you can always make sure you’re on the same page.
People change constantly throughout life and throughout a relationship, and as long as they change together, their relationship can be successful and remain strong.
However, without proper communication, it’s quite easy to grow apart.
Why not initiate a calm and respectful conversation?
Couples involved in strained relationships often lash out at each other and harbor a great deal of resentment.
Any conversation can be forced and filled with anger, even when discussing things that have nothing to do with your relationship problems.
However, if you work on your own anger and refrain from lashing out at your partner, you will encourage your partner to do the same.
You should try initiating a calm and respectful conversation with your partner, and if your partner continues to lash out angrily, keep trying at different times.
Your partner may initially come around, especially if he or she sees that you’re trying to make an effort to fix things.
Why don’t you ask your significant other out on a date?
While it might seem silly to ask your significant other out on a date, it can be the first step to fixing the issues between the two of you.
If your partner accepts your invitation, be sure that the date will take place somewhere that you both like, preferably in a quiet and relaxed environment, so you can talk.
For instance, if you both like a particular restaurant, plan on going there.
Sometimes, doing something together that the two of you used to enjoy can help you two to remember how happy you used to be in the past.
This can break the ice and evaporate some of that pent-up anger so you two can talk, laugh, and hopefully enjoy the evening while also making progress towards building a better relationship.
Why don’t you plan a getaway together?
If you’re in a strained relationship with someone, the last thing you likely want to do is go on a romantic getaway with your significant other.
However, if you really love your partner and you want to fix your relationship, then some time alone to talk, express your feelings, and rekindle the spark that you had at the beginning of your relationship is imperative.
Once the two of you are relaxed and communicating freely, you can hopefully clear up any miscommunications that may have been present in your relationship.
While you’re unlikely to completely repair your relationship during one getaway, it would certainly be a great start and it can jumpstart the healing of your relationship.
Why don’t you apologize to your partner?
You may wonder why you should apologize, especially if you feel it was your partner who caused the problems in the first place.
However, in strained relationships, it takes two people to contribute to ongoing angry and hurtful feelings, so there’s no way you’re 100% innocent.
By apologizing to your partner, you are showing your significant other that you’re not only the bigger person but also that you want things to improve between the two of you.
It’s easy to get stuck in a negative rut of spewing angry words at each other, and this will only increase the rift between you.
However, if you take the lead in getting things back on track, you just might be able to make some progress.
Why don’t you consider taking a break from the relationship?
As much as you may hate to, if things are especially tense between you and your significant other, you may want to take a break from each other.
Even if you’re married, sometimes being apart for a while can help a couple to mend things in their relationship.
First of all, the couple will likely miss each other as soon as they’re not around each other any longer, which will soften their hearts and help them find their way back to each other.
It also gives the couple time to think and try to figure out what went wrong. Hopefully, this will enable them to come up with a solution so reconciliation can occur as soon as possible.
Of course, there is no guarantee that things will work out in this way, and you or your partner may find that you are happier being apart.
Hopefully, that will only be temporary, but every situation is different, and no one can predict how taking a break from the relationship will affect a couple.
Why don’t you watch for signs, so you’ll know when to call it quits?
There’s only so much you can do to fix your relationship on your own.
You can apologize, stop initiating arguments, smile more, and invite your partner to eat with you, and so forth, but if your significant other refuses to meet you halfway in your efforts, then you need to know when to call it quits.
Life is too short to be angry and unhappy on a regular basis, and if your partner isn’t motivated to get things back to how they were in the beginning, then you may have to say goodbye, regardless of how strong your love may still be.
Most strained relationships can heal as long as you and your significant other are both willing to work on rekindling things and working out your differences.
If one or both of you aren’t willing to put in the time and effort to fix things, then you could end up separating if things get too bad.
While some relationship problems can work themselves out over time, more serious issues will not go away on their own and could even get worse if you don’t work on them.