Many couples go through struggles, fights, problems, and issues, and almost reach the brink of breakup or divorce. Yet they love each other and don’t want to give up on their relationship. They would much rather find a way to get back together and stay together. This is a good thing – it’s good to keep trying to make love work.
But how do you get back together so that you can save your relationship or marriage? Here are the steps a couple must engage in to get back together and stay together successfully. You will also find actions each partner should take individually to survive while the relationship is being repaired.
Do this together to get back together and save your relationship or marriage:
1. Commit to the relationship
It’s very hard to work on a relationship when either of you has one foot out the door. If you have the attitude of, “If this or that doesn’t work, I can’t be here,” it’s almost certain that your relationship will fail.
To get back together and stay together you two must commit to the relationship and to each other deeply. You both must commit to try and try again to make your relationship work.
Instead of taking the attitude of defining conditions that would make you leave the relationship, decide that you are in fact going to get what you want in your relationship. The question to ask is not if you are going to get what you want, but when, and how you are going to get more of what you want so that both of you are happy.
2. Figure out what went wrong in your relationship or marriage
To save your relationships or marriage, both of you must honestly look at what you did to get your relationship to its current state. All defensiveness must be set aside, all excuses thrown out the window, so you can honestly see what happened.
It does your relationship absolutely no good to point fingers at each other. And it is a disservice to your relationship if only one of you is willing to own the blame or responsibility for what happened. Both of you must come to the table equally willing to own everything you have contributed to the current state of your relationship.
If you want help, I am an excellent relationship diagnostician. In one coaching session I can tell you exactly what went wrong in your relationship and show each of you how you contributed to the situation. Find out how I help couples in a 40-minute sample Get Clarity Couples Coaching Session.
3. Work on yourselves
These are the most critical steps you can take to succeed in getting back together and staying that way:
- Work on the issues and personality traits that got you and your relationship into trouble.
- Work on these issues wholeheartedly, because if you don’t, you will lose the relationship.
- Do everything in your power to turn your issues around.
- Together, read all the helpful books you can get your hands on.
- Take classes and attend groups together.
- Get yourselves a coach or therapist.
- Take significant action daily to show each other you care and value each other and your relationship.
4. Deal with the pain the two of you caused each other
When ready, each of you needs to talk about the pain caused by the other, with each person listening intently and taking it in. You both need to share the pain, listen to each other and find a way to truly forgive and start anew.
5. Talk to each other often
Make sure you communicate clearly with each other about what you want and expect in the relationship. Make sure that you both know what each one of you is agreeing to do or not do.
Talk about your feelings and experiences. Share with each other what you are discovering in your personal work. And sometimes just talk about the weather or what’s going on your life. Use communication to connect.
6. Take action to cure what led to your breakup or the distance between you
Do not communicate only and do nothing else – this is how most couples who are trying to get back together fail. They reconnect, talk, but don’t make changes to support their relationship. They eventually destroy the relationship by the same actions that got them to separate or breakup in the first place.
You must take many actions to specifically cure, fix, change, shift and transform the behavior and thinking patterns that brought you two to the brink of a breakup.
7. Create joyful moments together, even if they start out small
Spend snippets of time together, just being close. Bring back – or increase – physical intimacy, even if it feels a bit awkward.
At the same time, do not throw yourselves back into the thick of the relationship until the hard personal work has been done by both of you. You do not want to risk the fragile nature of by your relationship by overwhelming each other with untransformed issues.
Do these steps individually to sanely survive the “getting back together” period:
1. Get support
Who in your life will restore you to sanity when your thoughts and emotions overwhelm you? Who in your life can accurately see what’s happening with you and in your relationship, and give you correct advice on how to repair your situation, so that you can stay together? Be careful of advice from family and friends. They love you and have good intentions, but their advice will often harm your relationship instead of helping.
If you want clear, unbiased feedback on what’s going on in your relationship, try working with me as your coach. Go here to learn about how you can try coaching in a 30-minute sample Get Clarity Coaching Session.
2. Face your fears about the relationship
- Face your greatest fears about the relationship.
- Face your greatest wants and desires for the relationship.
- Face the feelings of possibly not having what you want.
- Face your fears of losing the relationship.
- Face your fears of disappointment and heartache.
In facing your fears, you will confront those worst possible scenarios that make you want to run while you are trying to put your relationship back together. It will help you to remember that your fears are only possibilities, not certainties.
3. Devise a strategy of what you will do if your greatest fears come true
Put the strategy down on paper and brainstorm or research real-world solutions and steps to take in case your relationship does not work out as planned. Having this strategy will give you a sense of power, and help you realize that you will be fine. Give yourself the comfort of knowing that, regardless of the situation, you will be able to take care of yourself and your life.
4. Practice a spiritual discipline such as meditation, prayer, communing with nature, sitting quietly, going to church, etc.
You need to learn how to be with what IS. Spiritual discipline can teach you how to accept the now when it’s not what you want, not what you hoped for and not what you would choose for yourself. Learning to be with what IS will give you peace in any circumstance, which will make it easier during the difficult period of trying to save your relationship.
5. Work on gratitude
So often when important situations in life are not going as we want, we tend to discount or ignore the other things that are going well.
Gratitude for those things that are going well will help you feel better and give you more patience and resilience to survive this trying period in your relationship.
A practice of making or reviewing a gratitude list each day can make a big difference in the level of happiness and well-being you experience.
6. Keep to a healthy routine and take care of yourself well
Go for walks. Go to sleep early. Meditate. Drink plenty of water. Get support. Do activities that bring you joy. Eat good food. Do things you like doing. The more you take care of yourself, the more resilience you will bring to your relationship situation, and the more patient you will be during the getting back together process.
7. Do your personal work
Delve into your personality and your issues. Look at what brought you to the point of breakup or separation in your relationship. For the moment, forget about your partner and look at why you are here and what you are trying to work out.
Work with a coach or a counselor, read books, or take workshops to help yourself grow.
8. Go deeper into your career, your work, your family or your volunteer activities
While you and your partner are trying to get back together, and you don’t yet know where the relationship will end up, dig into other meaningful areas of your life. Give time and effort to those parts of your life that bring rich returns.
9. Allow happiness
Often when major situations are not working as we would like, we feel guilty for experiencing happiness in other areas of life. It is as if we feel we need to be loyal to the unhappiness. Give yourself permission to be happy and to laugh. Give yourself moments of happiness daily.
So how do you make getting back together stick, so that the two of you save your relationship or marriage?
Don’t just get together and hope that this time it will magically work out. When couples do only this, they fail – every time!
- Put in time and effort and grow both of yourselves and the relationship.
- Take real, concrete steps to fix and change specifically the problems that brought you to the breakup or separation.
- Get knowledgeable, expert help with resolving the conflict between the two of you.
- Be patient with each other and commit yourselves to personal growth.
Only then will your effort of trying to save your relationship or marriage will reap the rewards of a lasting, deep, fulfilling relationship.