Good news the very first step towards repairing a relationship is asking that question! It shows that the will to do so is there, and this is the sole crucial requirement for such an endeavor.
Now, there’s also bad news, and you need to know it so that you don’t get discouraged – it won’t be easy. Romantic relationships, if dysfunctional, have a way of settling into an especially persistent toxic routine.
The reasons we can discuss; some experts even claim we choose our partners based precisely on how well they might fit into our vision of a dysfunctional relationship. Some are not so extreme in views but agree on the fact that what makes romantic relationships and marriages gradually fall apart are precisely these repeated and incessant unhealthy ways of interacting with each other.
* Understand where the problems are coming from
This is, in addition to you (both) wanting to repair the relationship, the most important condition to make it better. If you don’t truly understand what’s causing the fights or the detachment, you don’t have a good chance of changing it. And this might seem obvious, but it’s much harder than it appears, as the majority of what’s causing us to behave bitchy, argumentative, needy, passive-aggressive, clingy or in any way that we don’t like and our partner doesn’t either, resides in our subconscious mind.
* Approach the problem(s) in the relationship with composure
Once we know where the problem lies (whether it is that we need more support, more reassurance, we find that our core values differ from those of our partner, or we don’t feel attracted to our partner anymore), we can work on it together. But the next rule is – always approach the problem(s) in the relationship with composure.
* Re-establish connection
Regardless of the roots of your discontent and discord, one thing that suffers in any problematic relationship is the connection, the closeness, the very thing that made us want to spend the rest of our lives with that person in the first place. You surely remember the times when you wanted to spend every second with your partner. And now you’re both probably often scraping for excuses to avoid each other, to avoid an argument or because you just can’t stand to be close to each other.
* Come in peace with your differences
This does not mean just passive acceptance of the fact that the two of you might be fairly different, much more than what you thought in the beginning. Some people accept the discrepancy between their and their partner’s personalities, values, temperaments, and desires, and fall into despair. This is why you need not only to accept the differences (and get into the “she/he will never change” mindset), but also acknowledge that, in order for your relationship to get better, you might want to think again about the way in which you perceive your partner’s reactions.