It’s not easy to heal a broken relationship. But it’s worth it if two people are willing to make some extra efforts and save their bond. Because sometimes all your partner wants is for you to show that you care and love them as much as they do.
The year was 2018 when I hit rock bottom in my relationship. But, we decided to see beyond the drama. We decided to give each other another chance and learn how to heal a broken relationship. It was a rough phase, probably the worst of all the fights and disagreements we have had in 4 years of our relationship. Things were falling apart abruptly when we decided that we can’t let each other go over something that was ignited by other people.
Years after that incident, we are still going strong. We have been together for 9.5 years now. People usually ask me the secret of keeping the spark alive in a long distance relationship. They want to know how we have built a successful relationship despite the distance. The answer is simple: because we want to be together.
Successful relationships don’t happen only because you love each other. Love is just a part of the puzzle. There are many different factors like trust, loyalty, communication, and the most important one: sticking by each other and making it work.
Today’s blog is all about different ways you can learn how to heal a broken relationship and implement it to mend your broken bonds. I will share how I used some of these in my personal life to build a successful and thriving relationship.
How to Heal a Broken Relationship: 17 Realistic Ways to Help You Mend It
Before we dive into all the different ways to save and heal a broken relationship, let’s understand and answer some basic questions first:
How to heal a broken relationship?
To learn how to heal a broken relationship, you must first understand the basics, i.e. no relationship always goes through smooth sailing. Challenges are inevitable, you cannot escape them. Sometimes these challenges are small, sometimes they are big. In the end, it is what you do to save it that makes all the difference.
What you might perceive as a “perfect” relationship in society or on social media, is the result of that one decision. When two people decide to work on a relationship and make it a success, that is when it becomes a perfect relationship, one full of imperfections.
Long and successful relationships don’t happen because they are a match made in heaven. They happen because two people choose to believe in the power of building their own little forever.
Before we get into the details of learning how to heal a broken relationship, let’s try and understand if you can ever fix a broken relationship, or not.
Can you ever fix a broken relationship?
Speaking from my personal experience, a one-word answer would be yes. Fixing a broken relationship is a lot more work than it seems.
But, truth be told, relationships do get messy. Sometimes, it’s a third person. Sometimes, it’s you. And sometimes, it’s just life happening to test your bond. Either way, until you feel the relationship is torn beyond repair, there’s always scope to heal a broken relationship. But, the healing comes with just one condition and that is:
As much as you want to work on your relationship and keep the person in your life, your partner also wants the same.
Real relationships are teamwork. You cannot go participate alone for a long time. If it becomes one-sided and shows those red flags, then there is no other option but to let go and move on.
Having said that, let’s read what are some things you can do when you have made the decision to heal a broken relationship:
17 realistic ways to help you mend a broken relationship forever
1. Take responsibility for your actions
Nothing will save your relationship more than having self-realization if you are at fault. Trust is one of the root layers of a thriving relationship and once it gets broken, it becomes hard to continue. So, the very first step is to own your actions and take full responsibility if you have broken your partner’s trust.
Don’t be defensive but don’t fall into the deep well of guilt too. Take responsibility for your actions to lay that foundation again and rebuild the trust. Personal experience speaks again, I was shattered when it happened to me. But, along with time and patience, reassurance from your partner will make it work.
2. Start it slow
When you feel the need to fix your broken relationship, it is also important to take things slow. You cannot force your partner to be normal overnight. You’re only disappointing yourself by wanting everything to be normal at once. It won’t. Initiate your conversations with a simple “hi” or “hello”. Don’t force yourself on them.
If things have turned ugly, your efforts of reaching out to them will make some difference. This will show them that you care and you want to give your relationship a second chance. You can either say what you wanted to say at once or you can avoid being pushy and wait for them to respond to the first message. It depends on how your partner would prefer it.
3. Communicate your intentions
If your partner is willing to heal a broken relationship as much as you, they will respond to you. This is when you should clearly communicate your intentions to them. Be honest, open, and upfront about what you have in mind. Whether they come along or not, but least they will know that you respect them. They will know that you are willing to do what it takes to rebuild your relationship. Also, this will set the course for the future of your relationship.
Sometimes people expect their partners to read their minds and understand everything without any communication. But, to burst the myth, it doesn’t work every time. Communication is the key. Use it wisely to mend your bond.
4. Express your feelings
If both of you find a common ground to work on your relationship, start nourishing it by being true to yourself and each other. Communicating your intentions is of no use if you cannot express your feelings. When my relationship went through its hardest time, expressing our feelings was the only antidote we had to heal our broken relationship. We were on the edge of losing what we had built in the past four years, and sharing our feelings did the most part in saving our bond.
If you are in a long-distance relationship like us, video calls will be your savior. Phone calls work too. But, video calls give you the chance to see their facial expressions. We discussed every single issue that bothered us. This even brought up the built-in hurt and resentment we had over the years, related to other people and issues in our lives. So, take the opportunity to express yourself as wisely as you can.
5. Address the problem and the need to fix it
Along with expressing how much you want to work on rebuilding your relationship, it is important to address what brought it to this stage. This might feel too much to talk about but this will help you in moving on as you both begin to heal from the hurt. If you both are genuinely interested to heal a broken relationship, it is only wise to lay this new foundation with integrity and dignity. And discussing your past problems and finding solutions to them is a milestone toward forming a rock-solid relationship.
When we decided to get back together, we made it a point to address all the issues. And what we discovered at the end of those conversations helped us to understand each other’s mindsets. We were able to see the situation from each other’s perspective
6. Break the pattern of past grudges
This one plays very crucially in winning each other back. When I decided to continue my relationship, I got this bad habit of bringing up old fights and past problems in every argument or disagreement. This didn’t do any good. I was hurting myself by readdressing the very issues that hurt me. And I was hurting him too. All of this ended in just one thing, resentment. This was definitely not why we decided to get back together.
Thus we both talked through the problems that mattered and decided to not bring the past grudges back. To break this pattern, we developed a habit of talking about how our days went at college, what was going on in the family, etc. We focused more on the present, daily life topics that got the ball rolling for the day instead of dwelling on what went wrong. It was hard for us but we found our way and it was the best thing we did.
7. Give them the opportunity to win you back
You cannot have what you want if you don’t work for it. Life is as simple and as complicated as this one sentence. Relationships are similar. How can you expect your partner to mend it all when you are not giving them the opportunity to do it? Or worse, you are not acknowledging the things they are doing to heal a broken relationship. I have been there. I know it’s easier said than done. But, what moved me was his unending faith in me and us. We always knew that we were meant to be more than this obstacle we had between us.
It was extremely difficult for me to contribute to the process. I was so hard on both of us, that it felt nearly impossible to overcome it. But gradually all of it fell into place. Today we are happier than we have been. Every passing day is taking us a step closer to removing this distance as both of us are working to build a strong future together.
8. It won’t be a 50-50 Always
This is a harsh truth. It won’t be 50-50 always. The ratios will vary. Some days it’s 60-40 and some days it’s 80-20. The involvement of one partner is more than another depending on the situation and circumstances. Less involvement on some days or in some matters is normal. It doesn’t mean that your partner is no longer interested in fixing the damage.
So, if you feel your partner is having one of those days where they want to be less involved, let them be. Nothing forced is ever good. And, it’s definitely not good when it comes to healing broken hearts and mending broken bonds. It is times like these when you should keep patience in your relationship. You must allow the power of time to work its way. You can take a step back and be with yourself for some time. You can either choose to stress yourself or use this time to unwind and relax.
9. Brainstorm ideas together for the future
This is one of the most beneficial exercises we did together. My successful freelance writing career and this blog are the results of our brainstorming sessions. We met when we were 17. We were immature teenagers who said “yes” to each other out of sheer boredom. But, with time, we have emerged as two strong individuals who are as much in love with themselves as they love each other. Our mindsets and thought process have aligned beautifully over time.
Like every couple, we have plans for our future too. And we have worked our way up in building our careers from scratch. Our brainstorming sessions, which continue to date, have helped us to support each other throughout. And they have played a huge role to heal a broken relationship that was beyond repair ones. We are two people aiming for different things in life but with the simple condition of achieving it all together.
10. Forgiveness to the rescue
And it’s time for another truth bomb. When you decide to rebuild what just crumbled in front of your eyes, it’s normal to blame others for it. When relationships fail, it’s either because one of you screwed up or it’s both of you. I am not here to judge you for the reason you are reading this blog. But, you have to understand that irrespective of who does it, it’s never completely the fault of one person. Thus, forgiveness is a key piece in this entire puzzle to heal a broken relationship.
Forgiving your partner is one of the hardest things to do. It doesn’t come easy because we tend to attach our self-worth to the incident, at least I did. I was questioning myself if I went wrong anywhere. But gradually I understood that I didn’t have to forgive him for what he did alone. I also had to forgive myself for not being there for him. And, I had to forgive him from the heart so that I could move on with my life as a calm and peaceful person.
11. Be compassionate for each other
As you continue to rebuild your castle, you will have to become more kind and more compassionate towards each other. I won’t sugarcoat here. Compassion won’t come easily, especially when you are the one who is hurt. You will have to explore situations where you fall for them all over again. On the contrary, if you are at fault, it will be harder for you. You will find it easy to roll in the spiral of shame and guilt than to show compassion to your partner.
Here’s some advice from my real experience. If you are at fault, stop complaining to yourself about why you did what you did. You have to accept that you made some mistakes and they were a part of your life to help you become a better person. Instead of wasting your time by beating yourself up over the past, shift the focus towards your loving partner who is ready to accept you despite the odds. Show them that you care for them. Make it as evident as possible.
12. Reestablish the intimacy
As you begin to work on your relationship again, you cannot ignore the essence of intimacy. Intimacy is not just about physical contact. It is also about vulnerability. Being transparent in your emotions is as important as the physical connection. Both of these can be difficult, especially if you are not on great terms with each other. But, you can choose to start slow. When you work to heal a broken relationship, it’s important to not rush into feelings.
Building an emotional connection is more important than establishing a physical relationship. Because the truth is you can open your body to anybody as you want, but it takes a lot to open your soul to someone. I sincerely believe that successful relationships thrive because the two people have an emotional attachment that they don’t have with anybody else. Because their bond goes beyond the romantic dates. And they respect the need to build deeper intimacy with each other.
13. Learn to compromise
This is one of the fundamentals to heal a broken relationship. The goal is to live and build a relationship that lasts a lifetime. When two people come together, they also bring with them different family backgrounds, different beliefs and systems, different perceptions, different visions, and different cultures sometimes. Irrespective of the similarities and differences in your personalities, it won’t be a cakewalk always. There will be disagreements, strong arguments, and even stronger fights sometimes. But, to make it a success, you have to look beyond the limitations and compromise on some things.
Compromises don’t have a place when the red flags in a relationship become obvious and evident. But, if you know that the person is worth the temporary disagreements and fights, there should be no place for ego. Having a successful relationship with your partner also means having a healthy relationship with yourself. You should be able to strike a balance between compromising on your opinions and maintaining your self-respect as and when needed.
14. Be a good listener
Listening is a life skill and it’s as significant for your relationship as it is for other aspects of life. I wasn’t always an active listener. I was prepared to reply and defend myself without paying attention to his point of view. I realized this when he addressed it directly. It took me time to accept it. It was more about answering him back than actively listening to what he was trying to convey.
With his help, I was able to reflect on this problem. I am a work in progress. I try my best to not talk unnecessarily. Whenever I catch myself forming those irrelevant comebacks, I stop to shift my perspective from defending myself to listening to him and answering more thoughtfully. It has taken me time to understand that “winning” an argument isn’t a real win for our relationship. It will only increase your partner’s resentment towards you.
15. Focus on the good to get it going
When you’re in the process to heal a broken relationship, it is imperative to focus on the good times to rekindle the feelings of love and affection for each other. You can do this in different ways. You can spend a week noticing all the good things between you both. When you are alone, you can spend time revisiting your happy memories, the ones that defined your companionship. Another powerful way is to practice gratitude for things that have worked in your favor till now.
Appreciating things around you and acknowledging the everyday gestures they do can go a long way in improving the mindfulness of your relationship. These little steps will help you to manage your expectations from your partner and become more realistic about the growth you will experience. As you make more time to see each other and keep the spark alive, notice their efforts without focusing on the outcome.
16. Have a life beyond your relationship
You have to remind yourself that you have a life beyond your relationship. I failed at it. I made this one person my entire world and forgot that there is life outside this relationship. I learned my lesson the hard way, you don’t have to. Spend time with your friends and family. Having your personal space in a relationship is crucial for your mental health too. It not only strengthens your self-esteem and self-belief but also improves your outlook on personal identity.
Don’t make the mistake of building your entire life around one person. It hurts terribly when things fall apart. Have boundaries for each other. Do things without each other. Give yourself the time and space to miss each other. Sometimes things don’t work out because you get too involved in the relationship. You must understand that your relationship is not your life, it’s a part of it. This is very important to heal a broken relationship.
17. Don’t ever let a third person command you both
Because our relationship started at the very young age of 17, we gave hold of our relationship in many hands. Sometimes it was his friends, sometimes it was mine. We realized our mistake when we hit rock bottom that we have been allowing too many people to intervene between us. This was a mistake that I used to do very often. Bringing my friends in between and giving them the authority to bad-mouth him or fight with him when things went wrong was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made. This was how I screwed it up, royally.
But, we have learned our lessons. Today, we understand the difference between keeping our relationship private and keeping it a secret. Now, we are more focused on building our careers and we prefer to keep things personal. We have had a long journey of becoming more understanding and loyal to each other.
There’s no one size fits all solution that will teach you how to heal a broken relationship. To find an answer to your situation, you‘ll have to evaluate based on what you both want for yourself.
There is no point in being the only person who takes all the responsibility to shift the course of your sinking relationship. You must ensure that your partner is as committed as you to saving your bond.
You can only save a relationship when the other person wants it as much as you. However, you must ensure that you are approaching healing a broken relationship only if it doesn’t reflect any red flags such as manipulation, violence, or other toxic traits.
I hope my personal experience has helped you to go ahead and reconcile your bond with your partner. If you try any of my tips, don’t forget to share your story in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.
Lots of love to you,
See you next week