How to fix a rough patch in a relationship

Written by simon foden Google
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How to fix a rough patch in a relationship
Finding a new activity to share can revive a stagnating relationship. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

All relationships go through rough patches and these rough patches are different in every relationship. It may be the two of you just can’t see eye-to-eye on trivial matters, or there might be a deeper problem linked to trust or commitment. Don’t be disheartened when your relationship hits a rocky patch, it’s normal. Take comfort from knowing that if you make the effort to work things through, challenges like this can strengthen your bond.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


  1. 1

    Acknowledge the problems that are contributing to the rough patch in your relationship. Be honest with yourself and with your partner about your own shortcomings. It can be hard to accept your failings, but without doing so, you risk pushing all of the blame onto the other person, which is neither fair nor constructive. If necessary, ask your partner to tell you what you’ve been doing wrong.

  2. 2

    Communicate honestly. If your partner isn’t aware of how you feel, she won't be able to take steps to mend your relationship. For example, if your partner dismisses a suggestion you make or talks over you, she may not even realise that what she's doing is hurtful. Pick a suitable moment, preferably in private, and explain how her actions make you feel.

  3. 3

    Walk away from conflict. If you can sense an argument brewing, take preemptive measures and remove yourself from the situation. While this won’t resolve the issue at hand, it will prevent it from escalating into a confrontation.

  4. 4

    Talk through what you disagreed about when both of you are calm and take turns suggesting ways to resolve the issue. This doesn’t mean you should do a disappearing act every time you have a disagreement. Sometimes a good row can clear the air, provided you make peace before you say goodnight.

  5. 5

    Set goals and measure your progress. It is often the simple things that cause a relationship to hit the rocks. For example, a couple with busy jobs may neglect to make time for romance. Over time, that little “spark” can go out. A weekly date-night could help revive those flames of romance. Set aside one night per week where you go out as a couple, for a drink, dinner or to the cinema. Make the effort to dress up nicely and try to focus on relaxing and enjoying one another’s company.

  6. 6

    Give each other space. The time you spend apart is as important as the time you spend together. Whether you’ve just moved in together or you’re simply seeing more of each other, too much time in each other’s company can feel smothering. Time apart gives each of you the chance to reflect, to miss the other person and, very importantly, new topics of conversation when you do meet up.

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