How to Solve Relationship Problems Without Breaking Up

The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast with Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

Fix Your Relationship Problems

Has your relationship felt hard lately? Do you find yourself caught up in constant arguments, bouts of bickering, and sullen silences? Do you feel like your partner is always either criticizing you or invalidating your feelings? 

If so, you’re not alone. As a couples therapist and discernment counselor, I can tell you that virtually every couple will go through rough patches. And they can be challenging, hurtful, and stressful for both partners.

I can also tell you that, at a certain point in every rough patch, one or both of the partners thinks, “Is this really worth it? Can this relationship really be saved, or are we just fooling ourselves?” 

This is when people start considering ending their relationship or getting a divorce. If this sounds like you, then let me offer you some professional advice: don’t be too hasty. Every couple goes through rough patches at one point or another. And without professional help, it can be hard to tell whether your problems are normal, or really do mean that you should end things once and for all.

So, CAN you work through your problems? Is there love at the end of this tunnel… or is a break up looking in the distance? To find out, I recommend you read the following article, and maybe listen to this episode on the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast. The information in both should help you make the best decision for yourself and your relationship, and lead to either a happier relationship or a happier YOU!

Can This Relationship Be Saved?

If you’ve been having relationship problems for a while, fixing those problems might seem like a hopeless task. It might seem easier to just break up and start a new relationship with someone else.

This is a scary place to be, particularly if you really want a relationship to work. But it’s true: when you’ve been trying over and over again to communicate and solve the problems in your relationship and it’s not working… Everyone starts to wonder if this is the end of the road for their relationship

When relationship problems persist, and nothing seems to help, it’s normal to start to doubt your compatibility, or think that you and your partner are just too different in your values or personalities. You may be wondering if your partner CAN learn how to communicate, or whether they are even willing to work with you to make the marriage or relationship better. 

You might think about trying marriage counseling or couples therapy, but then think, “How would a marriage counselor saying what I’ve been saying have any impact at all? What’s the point of marriage counseling when they refuse to change?”

While this mindset is absolutely normal and natural, it’s also dangerous for your relationship. Why? Because you’re convincing yourself that nothing can be done, which prevents you from looking for solutions. I’m here to tell you that you may have more options than you realize.

Grow, Together.

Our authentic relationship experts know how to help you learn, grow, and move forward into a bright new chapter.

How to Solve Relationship Problems

If you’ve been doubting your relationship for a while, you might even be harboring escape fantasies: browsing online for apartments, thinking about what you’d say to the kids, and what your life might look like if you’re finally free of the relationship that’s been feeling so frustrating and hurtful. It can start to seem like divorce or a break up is the best option.

But that is rarely the case. Just because what you have been doing hasn’t worked, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a path forward that will work. (It just might look different than you were anticipating.)

As a marriage counselor, I know that some relationships cannot be saved. However, I also know that many couples who survive rough patches emerge stronger and more connected than ever before. 

Sadly, most couples get divorced because they don’t know how to solve the problems in their relationship, and lose hope that things can ever get better. However, it is very rare that evidence-based couples counseling doesn’t work when two people care enough about their relationship to try (and are given the right tools and support to be successful).

Consider this, even if you do divorce and find a new relationship with a new person, chances are that sooner or later you’ll arrive in a similar place — feeling frustrated by your relationship and at a crossroads where you either grow together or grow apart.

(Read: Why Your Relationship is Worth Saving)

It’s easy to start creating a narrative about how “things shouldn’t be this hard” or “this is not normal.” But the truth is that unless this is a genuinely toxic or abusive relationship, all couples go through times just like this.

You’re normal. I dare you to find one person who’s been married or partnered for more than 4 years who has not, at some point, felt exactly the way you do.

There is hope for your relationship.

WIth the right support, couples can resolve their long term problems. And they may find that they become stronger, happier and genuinely more satisfied with their relationships — not in spite of their hard times, but because of them.

Working Through Relationship Problems

When couples get to the point where communication has broken down, and resentments have built up… they have the opportunity to do some serious growth work together. 

Through this process, you have the chance to be understood, cared for, heard, and respected by each other. You also get the chance to solve problems together as a couple, and work together to build the type of life and relationship that you want.

Without going through the hard times, you wouldn’t have the opportunity or motivation to get really real and embrace the challenge of growth that your marriage requires.

(Read: Why Your Marriage is Worth Saving)

How to Work Through Relationship Problems: When It Feels On The Brink

There is a path forward that can bring you two back together again. It’s actually fairly simple (but not easy).

Listen to this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast for advice from a marriage counselor for how you can get your relationship back on track.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

xo, Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

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How to Solve Relationship Problems Without Breaking Up

The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast with Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

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4 Comments

  1. Dr. Bobby,
    How do you know when a relationship is beyond repair or if you should reconcile with an ex?
    I have listened to so many of your podcasts over the last year while I was trying to get over my ex. He and I dated for 14 months during which time he and his son lived with me. We had a very abrupt breakup on Christmas of 2017 and he moved out a month later. I attempted to repair the relationship with him the entire year of 2018 during which time I felt like I was “chasing him” and he didn’t want me. We would “check in” on each other every couple weeks throughout all of 2018. It absolutely ruined my self esteem and finally in December 2018 I blocked him for good. I blocked all social media, I blocked his email, his work phone number,etc. In February he got through to me and convinced me to give it a second try. We have been dating for a month and he seems to be fully invested in working on us but I do not trust him at all since he Didnt want to work on things for an entire year and he was out dating other people. We still have fun and enjoy our time together but How do I know if this relationship is beyond repair?

    1. Korei, this is a tough one. Particularly if you were the one pushing to get back together and feeling rejected for an entire year, I can understand how you’d be mistrustful of his intentions now and cautious about getting involved with him again. Have you taken the “How Healthy is Your Relationship” quiz? Taking it, either separately or together, might help give you some perspective into what parts of this relationship are working, and which parts need a lot of work.

      If you decide that this relationship is one massive “fixer upper” it might tip the scales towards walking away. I’d encourage you to think about the relationship as it is, rather than what it could be. Many people, particularly women, can start playing mind-games with themselves about how great things would be if only XYZ were different. I’m not sure if that is true with you, but as you go through this assessment please do think about whether you’d want to be in the relationship if they way it has been is the way it will always be.

      If the answer is yes, then the next step would be to get involved in some good couples counseling or relationship coaching to help you two repair your bond and find a path forward. It sounds like there has been a lot of damage done here, and I am sorry for that. I hope that it works out for the highest and best for all involved… no matter what the final outcome is. All the best to you, LMB

  2. Dr. Bobby,
    How do you know when a relationship is beyond repair or if you should reconcile with an ex?
    I have listened to so many of your podcasts over the last year while I was trying to get over my ex. He and I dated for 14 months during which time he and his son lived with me. We had a very abrupt breakup on Christmas of 2017 and he moved out a month later. I attempted to repair the relationship with him the entire year of 2018 during which time I felt like I was “chasing him” and he didn’t want me. We would “check in” on each other every couple weeks throughout all of 2018. It absolutely ruined my self esteem and finally in December 2018 I blocked him for good. I blocked all social media, I blocked his email, his work phone number,etc. In February he got through to me and convinced me to give it a second try. We have been dating for a month and he seems to be fully invested in working on us but I do not trust him at all since he Didnt want to work on things for an entire year and he was out dating other people. We still have fun and enjoy our time together but How do I know if this relationship is beyond repair?

  3. Korei, this is a tough one. Particularly if you were the one pushing to get back together and feeling rejected for an entire year, I can understand how you’d be mistrustful of his intentions now and cautious about getting involved with him again. Have you taken the “How Healthy is Your Relationship” quiz? Taking it, either separately or together, might help give you some perspective into what parts of this relationship are working, and which parts need a lot of work.

    If you decide that this relationship is one massive “fixer upper” it might tip the scales towards walking away. I’d encourage you to think about the relationship as it is, rather than what it could be. Many people, particularly women, can start playing mind-games with themselves about how great things would be if only XYZ were different. I’m not sure if that is true with you, but as you go through this assessment please do think about whether you’d want to be in the relationship if they way it has been is the way it will always be.

    If the answer is yes, then the next step would be to get involved in some good couples counseling or relationship coaching to help you two repair your bond and find a path forward. It sounds like there has been a lot of damage done here, and I am sorry for that. I hope that it works out for the highest and best for all involved… no matter what the final outcome is. All the best to you, LMB

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