Fixing a broken relationship

by Rod Smith

Let me know...

Let me know...

“How do I fix a broken relationship?” is one of the most common theme of letters I receive. Here are a few generic principles to jump-start the journey of greater health whether the relationship in question survives or not:

1. Don’t focus in “the relationship” but on doing what is healthy and mature for your individual sake. This is not selfish. Getting your house in order will challenge everyone around you to greater health even if you lose your primary, but toxic, relationships in the process. If you do not have the energy to do this, a simple way to help you access the healthy thing to do is to ask yourself the question What do really well and emotionally healthy people do when faced with such a situation and then try, as tough as it might be, to live the answer.

2. Never participate in sexual behavior you do not want. Good sex, or sex at all, (or what one partner regards as good sex) will not salvage a toxic relationship, but only serve to perpetuate all that is already unhealthy about it. Keep in mind that sex frequently prevents love from growing within a relationship.

3. Talk to close friends about what is really happening to you within a deteriorating relationship. Secrecy escalates toxicity. Opening your life to a trusted friend will help you to see healthier options. While a toxic relationship might be “killing you” allow your community to help save you.

4. Do not go rushing back to anything or anyone simply because they say they are sorry. Being sorry (asking forgiveness) for unacceptable behavior is not, in itself, change. Forgive, yes, but do not forget. Look for the fruit of regret. The fruit of an apology and forgiveness is changed behavior.

16 Comments to “Fixing a broken relationship”

  1. my boyfriend and i live together now but ever since i moved in i see him less than i did when i want living with him. he says he’s working but i dont think he is. He’s become rude and uncaring and he lies to me now.
    this never happend when we lived in different houses. is this because we rushed into things to soon?

  2. I am 28 years old and divorced. I have a son who will be turning 3 in April . About 6 months ago I moved in with my boyfriend. We had been dating for about 1 and a half years before the move.

    My problem is that at first he use to make really clear to me that he cared for me . always fussing about where I was and if I was ok . there was a moment that he didn’t want to be around me .. After the first year things started to change . he often made me feel like I was intruding in his space. Everytime I tried to speak to him he would get angry . I have caught him chatting to a girl that we have both worked with for about 5 years. The kind of conversations they had has that of an adult nature.

    When I confronted him , I said that it was all just for the fun of it and nothing really happened . Our problems and my insecurities have doubled since then.

    He never says he loves me or shows me any affection . Our sex life is almost non existant. He shows no interest in me . He has a temper and therefore I don’t always speak my mind .

    I can feel that he doesn’t love me , but yet when I have given him the option to leave if he is no longer happy , he doesn’t want to .

    He loves going into porn sites , yet when I try and meet him halfway when it comes to porn or spicing up our sexual life he pushers me away.

    When I try and tell him how I feel and how his actions have hurt me he makes remarks such as “ with your behavior its easy for someone to stop loving you “ .

    When I asked him if he was trying to say that he didn’t love me, he said that that was not the case and he didn’t mean it that way.

    My boyfriend and I were friends for 6 years before we started dating . I know his past and all the girls that we included in it.

    I am difficult .I check his phone , I ask a lot of questions , I’m always saying things like , you don’t love me or Do you still love me . I look at my physical appearance and I would ask him am I not attractive enough for him any more. When I ask questions never answers . All he says is that he will not be answering any of my SHIT questions again. I trusted him and left my husband for him. He has broken my trust in many ways and there fore I have become difficult .

    I hate the idea that he speaks to girls from his past. I get angry as he always tells white lies thinking that im to stupid to find out the truth . He has lifted his hands for me in the past , and always threatens to do it again when we argue .

    With all his wrong , he seems to be financially looking after my son and I . We are never short of anything.

    If this man has had enough of this relationship , why does he continue to spoil me and my son knowing that he doesn’t love me anymore. What is keeping him in this relationship.

    Is it because a take care of him , or is it the convenience of having a woman in the house .

    I need help .

  3. Hi Fatima, i feel your pain and i know exactly what you are going through. My boyfriend of 6 yrs now is almost like your man. We moved in together just 3 months into our relationship and all was perfect for a very long time. He then proposed to marry me just after i moved in and i accepted, guess what, we are not married yet.

    The problems started when i was pregnant with our son in 2005, the mood swings and the emotional abuse, but then i did not want to see it as abuse as i thought maybe my pregnancy is making him the way he was. Later in my pregnancy he became loving again and we were even together when i gave birth, and i thought to myself, ” yes, it was the pregnancy that was turning him sour. Last year he hit me for the 1st time and when i asked him why did he do that he said he does not know, he just got angry when he saw me. He then said in July this year he is paying lobola for me. The problem now is that i do not love and respect him anymore but i am scared of him and i do not want to be his wife and don’t know how to tell him that without him being violent.

    I know for a fact that as soon as i can afford getting a place of my own i will move out and never come back because i deserve to be happy and so do you but at the moment we are not happy. We do not have to put up with the nonsense men give us and i can tell you now that you are special and beautiful and don’t you ever let your man make you feel otherwise. It is about time that we women stick together and fight for our happiness and making sure that we give our children the best of everything and i can tell you now that your man is not the best thing for your child.

    Stay beautiful Fatima.

  4. Ladies

    What is it with us women that we always see the signs but always find a reason to stick it always believing that things will be better and they never do. I am in a situation excatly like yours yet I always forgive and believe that things will improve.

  5. Ladies

    I have been in a relationship for 3 years know and we also live together but sins last month we started fighting about everything and we had a talk last night and he told me he do not know how we can solve this problem, he wants me to loose weight and i do exercise but he stil doesnt seem to see what i’m trying to make dim happy, and i love him with everything i have do not wane loose him and it looks like he doees not wane be with me nomore? What can i do so i dont loose him. He told me that i have changed and are not the same as i was when we met and when i told him that he changed he didnt seem to agree. He doesnt want to have sex with me, he does not hold me at night, he doesnt tel me by himself that he loves me just when i tell him then he wil replay with i loveless tone. Can you please tell me what i can do?

  6. how do yu fix a sibling relationship

  7. me and my girlfrind have been going out for a year and a half. i fell in love with her a long time befor that, but now i just dont fell the same.its like i wont to brake up with her but than at the same time i dont know what to do without her, she is the love of my life.but i can’t stand her she always is blaming me for things i have nothing to do with and it fells like she dont love me at all she wont even kiss me the same. i dont know what to do…….

  8. Is there someone to talk to.

  9. yes….. when would you like to talk.

  10. call through the link at the end of the post

  11. I am 17, turning 18 in January, and my girlfriend is 18. Me and my girlfriend have been going out for about a year and a half. We met because we were both in theater. At the time i was in a bad relationship where the girl i was dating had cheated on me and admitted it to me, it hurt because the girlfriend before that had cheated on me and left me….for another girl. I knew my relationship was breaking apart so i decided to begin a relationship with the girl im with now. Eventually she found out about me and my girlfriend and we broke up…horribly. But my girlfriend stayed with me. We have had so many moments together, and we became engaged a few months ago. I love her but recently we have been fighting over the smallest things. She does theater in college but when i want to go join theater groups she wont let me because she says it would keep us from spending time together…were teens and we practically living together, she only goes home to sleep, and even then only on week days.
    We are young and i understand that, but i lover her and she claims to be unable to live without me…she has had a suicidal past and i dont want to do anything to possibly push her over that edge. We rarely cuddle anymore and our sex life has gone down to about one night a week for only 2 hours. When we first met we had sex every single day for 3 months for about 3 hours a day on average. Obviously it has gone down a lot, it almost makes me think that im not enough for her anymore and i start to feel like she may cheat on me.
    I have begun talking to my ex again too, she lives in lancing Michigan and i live near Detroit (we were seeing each other on weekends when we were going out, we always had a long distance relationship). I have no intention ig going back to her because of what happened when we finally broke up for good….bad drama, but talking to her makes me remember how much more romantic my relationship was with her. and it makes me wonder even more if i should just give up on the relationship im in. And i really dont want to.
    I cant explain how sorry i am for cheating on my ex, or how sorry i am that the fact that i cheated on my ex with my current girlfriend made my current girlfriend unable to trust me from the start. I have been a horrible bf in the past so i tried to do everything i could to keep this one from failing, but im starting to believe that in truly unable to be a good bf and lover to anyone.
    there is not enough room on this forum to explain how bad our relationship has become…..but its BAD!
    I need advice on how to fix a broken relationship with a girl who i plan to make my wife, who i love more than anything, who is way overly clingy, and who’s trust i no longer have. I allow myself to be whipped by her (i do everything she asks and i never do anything for my own fun, its all about her and i allow it in hopes she will love me more.). Any advice?

  12. Also, at this point i’m actually starting to believe that were both still together because were afraid to be alone, and because the people we hang around with are 2 or 3 years younger than us and look to us for advice and help. I kind of wonder if i should just break it off with her, but i always decide thats its better to keep truing because i believe that i i don’t want to break up then i must still have feelings for her enough that theres something i can salvage from all this and maybe rekindle the sparks in our hearts that were once roaring flames.
    I just don’t want to loose her, and make everything ive gone through and lost in her name to be for nothing. Ive always been called a hopeless romantic but recently the hopeless part is starting to ring true in my head.

  13. Hi there im 16 years of ages yes i get it 16 years of age and he thinks he is in love well anyway. i had fell in love with this girlthe relationship started slow but with alot of rumous around everywhere about eachother, I met he about 1 year ago at a friends house and ever since i laid eyes on her i knew she was the one for me a few months later she asked me out and i said yes. So we started going out with eachother it got to about 6 months of the relationship that we started going on holiday with eachother, Then 7 and a half months into the relationship i was talk to some girl on this msn fingy and it got a bit personal i ended the convosation because i didnt want it to effect our relationship so days went and weeks went then me and my fiance yes we got engaged at 6 and half months. But anyway we went on holiday again to this butlins resort the first day was fine the the second came along then she was avoiding me i asked her what was wrong she always said nothing is wrong so i trusted her on that the we went back home after 5 days of being there, She seemed different but i fort nothing of it so we caried on as usual i was working she was to we only got to see eachother on the weekends even then i was working on the saturday she asked me about the convosation on msn i just just feel to the ground crying because i knew it was the beginening of the end of our relationship i didnt say that i didnt do anything, i knew what i did wrong i said i was sorry many many times and she said dont worry about it but i was worried about it. Then a few weeks later she went to visit her sister on a friday and i was msn that night and she came online i was talking to her the she said the words that nearly killed me. (“ITS OVER”) And that was 1 month ago ever since ive been trying to get back with her but then i found out she has got a new boyfriend that is 6 years older than her she is 17 and he is 23 i said tio her about this you know have you got a new boyfriend she said yes his name is ant and he is 23 years old and i love him. the next week i had a phone call on my way to work she said can i have those baby clothes of mine at yours i knew what she was saying she is either pregnant or trying for a baby at the age of 17 with a 23 year old she has known for 3 weeks.With knowing all this my body has crashed down i havent eaten which has made me lose 3.5 stone in wieght always crying and what not. I keep on asking her what can i do to get your trust back and she says i dont know, but the hardest thing is she looks me in the eyes and says she still loves me. I Dont know what to do anymore my family and friends say get rid of her but i say i cant she is always in my heart i always think about her in dreams, Nightmares, At work all the time…..

    Someone please help me with this i want to get back with her but i dont know what to do ive tried everything post here or my email- thanks jamie xx

  14. Me and my girlfriend have been dating for little over a year. Her ex was a total unkind to her, and mine only was using me. We had an affair for a few months before we both went out officially, Everything was great. Just being around her. I felt so powerful. Like no matter what, I had her in my corner. Unfortunately, things seemed to go south after January rolled around. We kept fighting, I had started to get mad at her about little things. I pushed her to her emotional limit and she didn’t want to continue the relationship. Thing is, she is still in love with me, and I am with her. I’m hoping this is only a short hiatus. I feel like poorly for the way I argued and treated her. I just want to make amends and let her know that I still love her, maybe even more so than before. I don’t want to rush her though. I’m not sure what to do. We’re both still in love, but I have to show her that the constant fighting will stop. (Edited by Rod of unacceptable language)

  15. Am a married woman.. Last year I was in love with divorced man…He loved me a lot…we are like husband and wife… but sudden everything is changed husband came from US and my lover become angry to me…Now he is never sending a love letter or anything but he is sending money to me… He never called me, never send sms never come for chat…Am totally upset..I want my beloved…what to do? Am in apathetic situation…I love him more than anybody in this world. He loves me so much… I know still he loves me..but he is acting angry …How can he show these type of actions? Please give me a reply..I’m totally upset with the situation.

  16. Well my ex boyfriend and i have been dating for a little over 2 years and we just had a baby back in january.

    I got a letter in the mail saying that we had to go to court for child support and if not Landon (my son) would lose his medical card! Plus Raymond (my ex) was not giving me the money that he promised me…Well i got awarded 220 dollars a month (not alot of money). He agreed to it and then when i got home he called me and said im not trying to be a pussy about this but IM DONE!

    But i dont get it because child support was going to be dropped theis summer before the end of june because we were talking about moving in together.

    He called me a few days ago and told me that the past few times that he had sex that it was not out of love and he felt no connection! I told him how i felt yesterday and i feel that he is realizing that he made a big mistake.

    All i want is to be with him and to be happy but i cant read his mind…its like he never knows how he feels.

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