Are you about to give up on a relationship before truly giving it one last chance? To find out, look at a broken relationship the same way you’d look at an old house in need of restoration. A house that was once treasured, appreciated and admired by its owners. Instead of demolishing it, choose to restore it to its glory days.
To restore a relationship to its prime you’ll need to answer the following five questions. Use those answers as your blueprint to guide you through the restoration process.
Question 1- What made you fall in love with your partner?
While it may be difficult to answer this question when your relationship is in shambles, it’s the most detailed answer you’ll want to give. It is the answer that will lay the foundation for the work ahead. So make an effort to remember and feel those first days when you were falling in love with your partner. What was the greatest personality trait you noticed in your partner? What did they do to make you feel loved, valued and happy?
You may be surprised to find out that those qualities you loved in your partner are still there. But they’re likely covered in the dust and ashes of your fights. We spend so much time focusing on what our partners are lacking that we bury those fond memories. It’s time to begin the digging process and repair the foundation of your relationship.
Question 2- What do you hate about your partner?
You may have a long list of the things you hate about your partner, and that’s fine. It’s important to list everything you can think of so you know which areas need restoring. But remember, sometimes, even the most beautiful masterpieces can’t be perfectly restored. Yet, that doesn’t stop us from admiring and treasuring them.
Now, I’m not implying you need to change your partner for the relationship to work. Instead, bring awareness to the things and behaviors that are negatively impacting your relationship. To reap the full benefits of the restoration process encourage your partner to list what they hate about you as well. Remember to keep an open mind and avoid shaming or blaming. This is an exercise to help you see things from each other’s perspective.
Question 3- What are the top three things you fight about?
Underneath every fight and argument lies an unmet need, or unfulfilled dream. When you look at your fights bearing this in mind, it will make them feel less personal. You’ll be less likely to feel attacked and more likely to have empathy for your partner who is using that fight as a relief from reality.
All couples have recurring fights that chip away at the health of their relationship. When these fights go on for too long resentment moves in and wreaks havoc. So determine at least three things you seem to fight about the most and begin looking for solutions. More often than not these recurring fights have roots in our past. Once you establish their causes you’ll be better equipped to handle them.
Question 4- Does your relationship resemble your parents’?
Pay close attention to how your relationship resembles your parents’. Our upbringing, and the relationships we grow up witnessing, have a tremendous impact on our adult relationships. We unconsciously search for partners that mirror our caregivers, and recreate their relationships.
If your partner possesses the traits you dislike in your parent, figure out why you dislike them. These traits are likely bothering you because they somehow threaten your values. In which case, you may be facing a problem with misaligned values within the relationship. Misaligned personal values are a big source of conflict in a relationship. To be able to reach a compromise that won’t threaten your identities you must practice tolerance. Treat your partner as an individual rather than an extension of yourself.
Question 5- What is the price of staying vs leaving?
You’ll want to establish the reasons you’re staying in your current relationship to figure out if they’re sustainable. If it’s convenience, finances, or the children that are keeping you in the relationship, it will eventually end. If love and common values are what motivate you to stay in the relationship, then you have a good chance of restoring the spark. And if it’s a combination of the two scenarios, there’s still hope. You simply have to put in the work to gain more insight into what’s keeping your relationship from being great again, and address those issues.
Sometimes the price of staying in a relationship is higher than leaving. Any sort of ongoing abuse is a good indicator that the relationship isn’t worth restoring. If you’ve attempted to repair an abusive relationship and have been unsuccessful, it’s time to let go. No amount of work will restore your relationship at this point. And the longer an abusive relationship drags on, the deeper the scars you’ll be left with. While it’s heartbreaking to let go of a relationship you’ve been nurturing for a long period of time, sometimes it’s the best thing you can do for yourself.