Despite what you may think, It is pretty likely that the deal breaker in your relationship is repairable. Even though your deal breaker seems like a huge issue, it may be able to be addressed through conversations or therapy. Here are 3 deal breakers that I have seen repaired in front of my own eyes.
It IS possible to be in love with your partner again or that they will be in love with you again. The feeling that “the love is gone” is common and I hear this phrase a lot. The “love” feeling that is described can come back. Most of the time, this particular deal breaker is resolved through bringing back “the spark.” Find activities that you used to love to enjoy doing together. Put aside excuses such as: mismatched schedules, kids, or family obligations. (They are probably what got in the way in the first place!) Instead: prioritize your relationship; have fun; and enjoy each other’s company. If you honestly cannot remember a time when you enjoyed time together, brainstorm an idea that you would both enjoy and make that happen. Make a habit of prioritizing the relationship.
During and after your quality time, talk about what you enjoyed; talk about what made you feel close; and talk about the small details that reminded you about your love. Remembering the things that JUST happened will help you to redirect your thoughts towards your positive feelings for one another. These details will be the kindling to spark your new and improved relationship.
This one is a BIGGIE. A lot of couples believe that an affair can be the “end all” for the relationship. Yes, affairs hurt – A LOT. And yes, there is A LOT of healing to be done. But, the relationship is repairable. Before “getting past” the affair, emotions and experiences need to be “validated” or understood. Each person should take the time to understand the other and acknowledge that their feelings are okay to have.
Affairs require a deep understanding of why they occurred and what needs to be different in the relationship to make it work. Successes that I have seen with couples include: a calm (and non-defensive) approach to conversations; a motivation to fix the issue; and teamwork in identifying what they want to see different in their relationship from now on. It is important to look to the future and it is also important to continue to validate any negative feelings that continue throughout the healing process.
Anger mostly consists of misplaced feelings such as guilt, hurt, or fear. Anger issues in a relationship definitely do not have to mean “the end.” Instead, anger needs to be communicated in a better way. It is okay to be angry occasionally, but constant anger can put a damper on any relationship. To address anger, the angry partner will need help and guidance in communicating their underlying feelings to their partner. This can usually be done with the help of a mental health professional, therapist, or counselor. It is important to recognize that safety issues such as domestic violence or abuse will need additional resources such as: safe houses/shelters, domestic violence classes, and sometimes require short/long term separation.
3 deal breakers that will not end your relationship include: not being in love anymore, affairs, or anger issues. If you are not in love anymore, you will need to re-create the spark in your relationship; prioritize one another; and remember the positives about your relationship experiences. In affairs, validation/understanding of each other is needed. Both partners in the affair also need to identify the changes that they would like to see in the relationship so that an affair does not happen again in the future. In the case of anger, the angry partner will need assistance in communicating the other feelings surrounding their anger. In more extreme cases, additional resources may be necessary to address safety. Don’t end your relationship just yet! Try these tips out turn your relationship around.
About The Author
Chris Cummins is a couples specialist with The Marriage and Family Clinic. He focuses on working with substance abuse and couples in high conflict. Chris enjoys hiking, traveling, and spending time with his family.