Updated: Nov 19, 2022
What Can I Do To Save My Relationship?
Stop Looking For Problems and Focusing on What Is Wrong
It can be very easy, after being in a relationship with someone for a long time, to start to notice their flaws and faults. Often, people can lose sight of the person they met, as their view becomes clouded by day-to-day responsibilities, stresses, and tasks. Sometimes life takes over and our relationships lose their sparkle and we can unconsciously blame our partner for this and begin to see them differently.
How we pay attention and how we decide to view the world profoundly affects how we feel and how our relationships turn out. Our focus may change from seeing all that is good in our partner to what we don't like. We can even start to question what they say or do differently. What once would have made us laugh, becomes irritating, what once would have been a compliment we take offence at. This can be because the trust between us has depleted over time and we are unsure of what our partners' intentions are.
Often though, it is simply because we have disconnected over time. The trust has waned. Misunderstandings and miscommunications have confused the simplicity of our interactions and this can snowball into us really missing and misinterpreting our partner's true intent.
If someone is solely focused on seeking out issues, issues are what they will discover and perceive. Thus supporting their perception that they are surrounded by issues and that life is challenging.
A client of mine recently believed her boyfriend was "hell-bent" on "harming" her. It was all his fault. He was incorrect in everything he said, and I mean everything. In her life, he was "one huge concern."
I don't consider such a broad perspective on life to be fact, though. It's not my responsibility to believe generalisations to be true. Yes, she had a very poor perception of her relationship with him, but since she was so preoccupied with all the unpleasant aspects of her life, I got the sneaking sensation that she was also losing out on all the positive aspects.
She gave me examples of times she thought he had hurt her emotionally. She cited an instance when he smiled at her and used a kind word to describe her. As opposed to appreciating this, she transformed the situation into him being patronising and condescending since she was so fixated on the idea that he wanted to hurt her.
Her life was significantly being impacted by the gloomy environment she was in.
Then I met her partner, a man who was doing everything in his power to make her happy. A man who, yes, wasn't doing it correctly, but whose goal was not to hurt her. He was interested in finding out what he needed to do and how to go about making her happy.
We collaborated throughout a number of sessions. I had numerous sessions with each of them in isolation.
She gradually realised that she might change her relationship if she viewed his acts as genuine attempts to make her happy.
Both members of this marriage were adamant about changing their perspectives and getting back in touch with one another. It took some time, but once they started to realise a brighter future and come to new understandings, trust and a loving connection gradually returned to their partnership.
You'll find problems if you look for them. You'll be able to get a more well-rounded understanding if you look for the positive aspects and focus on them.
To start making changes and set your relationship on a different path start to assume that your partner has good intentions and is not trying to hurt you. Ask them questions about their intent, tell them how you are perceiving what they have said or done, and choose to believe them if they say they did not mean to hurt you. You may be surprised at how your relationship can change quickly by doing this. If your partner feels trusted and that you are seeing who they really are, then they will quickly start to bring more of their best self to your relationship.
Obviously, there are exceptions, and if you feel that you are in an abusive or violent relationship please do seek help immediately.
But if your partner is a good person, and you were happy once, then it may be that your (Or their) perceptions are undermining your relationship. Creating a deeper understanding of each other and learning how to communicate effectively will help you to turn this around.
Please get in touch or go here to book your consultation if you would like help to get your relationship back on track.