Fixing Relationships: Honest Communication Can Help Save a Relationship
The first step for fixing a relationship that you can take is to bring up the hard question, "Do we want to continue this relationship?" It doesn't matter which of you brings this up, but it's important that somebody voices it.
Frequently just bringing up the questions around commitment are enough of a shake up that both parties will start the necessary actions to revive the relationship. It's necessary that both parties answer this question honestly, no matter what the other may say. This is because one of you may have already given up on the relationship, not realizing that the other would still like it to continue. Sometimes, one person wanting the relationship to continue, is enough to motivate both people to work on it. Of course, it can sometimes occur that one person truly does not want to continue, in which case a full clarification of this is the honorable thing to do for both parties. In either situation, asking the question offers the opportunity to get the relationship out of trouble. This occurs because honest communication offers the opportunity for healing. This can be a healing of the relationship or a healing for the individuals involved as they find closure in the relationship.
If the choice is to continue fixing the issues that got the relationship in trouble, then it is necessary to change the operating basis of the relationship. In order for the relationship to have gotten into trouble in the first place, consciousness has come to be focused on problems or negativity in it. It is then essential to change this focus and to remember what is right about the relationship. Share with each other the answers to these questions:
"The ways this relationship supports me are (fill in the blank)."
"My life is enhanced by your presence in it in these ways (fill in the blank)."
"I enjoy supporting you in these ways (fill in the blank)."
Work out what you can do to emphasize these positive elements in your relationship. Spend some time honestly communicating about how you impact one another positively. Also, take responsibility for how you effect each other negatively. And find ways to build solutions to the negative responses by learning how to be supportive to one another's needs and values.
Both of you need to come up with things you can do to aid in this project. This is a basic relationship counseling approach. The key however, is the legitimacy of the answers to that first question. The relationship will reflect the committment to that choice. Whatever direction is chosen, honest communication is very healing and is the basis for fixing a relationship by building an honest foundation.