10 Tips for Improving a Bad Relationship
Yes, you can make a bad relationships better – especially if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and dig in. These tips for fixing relationship problems will help you fall in love all over again!
“Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years. That is what makes a marriage last — more than passion or even sex.” ~ Simone Signoret.
The stronger your threads are, the better your relationship will be. Below are several tips for improving a bad relationship; if you’re unhappily married, read 4 Ways to Create Love and Peace in an Unhappy Marriage.
One of the most popular relationship improvement books on Amazon is How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It. The authors (Love and Stosny) say talking things out isn’t always the best way to improve a bad relationship or achieve more connection and closeness.
Untangle money issues – they contribute to couples problems
“Often, when couples argue about money, it’s not money that’s the problem,” says William Harley, PhD, author of His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage. “Instead, the money fights are a byproduct of relationship neglect.”
Money can become a weapon when one spouse uses the other’s spending habits as ammunition or when a spouse spends money to get even. To improve a bad relationship, figure out exactly what you’re arguing about — especially if you tend to fight about money.
Take risks together, as a couple
Trying new things together, such as sky diving or learning about astronomy, unites you as a couple. Psychology professor Leaf Van Boven from the University of Colorado explains that happiness is found in what you do (not what you buy) because experiences are open to positive reinterpretations, become a meaningful part of your identity, and contribute to a happy marriage or relationship.
Learn how to express anger
Expressing anger and resolving conflict not only improve a bad relationship and keeps your love alive, it also lengthens your life span. “When couples get together, one of their main jobs is reconciliation about conflict,” says Ernest Harburg, researcher and professor emeritus at the University of Michigan. “Usually nobody is trained to do this.” His research reveals that couples who suppress anger are twice as likely to face early death as those who express it.
Commit to checking in with each other every day
“Commit to checking in with each other every day – or at least a few times a week without distractions,” says Marriage and Family Counselor Lisa Brookes Kift. “Marriages often get “dry” when couples get busy and don’t prioritize each other and get a read or take the pulse of how the other is feeling.”
This tip for improving a bad relationship will help you stay committed.
Find reasons to laugh (laughter is a surprising fix for couples problems!)
Kift also suggest “cracking each other up” with stupid pet names, funny looks, and private jobs. Humor binds couples together and de-escalating conflict. It also demonstrates friendship in the marriage, which is very important.
Stop criticizing, stonewalling, and being defensive in your relationship
Be mindful of criticism, contempt, stonewalling and defensiveness. If a lot of any or all of these exist in a marriage – research has shown that the chances are much higher for divorce. Criticism and contempt do not keep love alive; in fact, it’ll thwart your relationship goals for good.
Remember your romantic beginnings
“To improve a bad relationship, visualize the person you dated and married,” says psychologist Bruce Eimer. “Remember that person is still alive inside of him. The stressors and tribulations of life may have made that inner goodness hard to see. But, if you can remember who you fell in love with, you’ll improve your marriage.”
Appreciate your partner – be grateful for your love
Look at your husband and take a moment to appreciate all of the things that he does for you and gives you. You may in fact want to express your appreciation for him verbally and/or non-verbally. To keep your relationship strong, tell your husband what you like about him and watch him beam. You’ll beam too!
Keep your intimate life alive and healthy
Knowing how to say “I love you” in small daily acts of love will improve a bad relationship. Making one day a week a special day–a day during which to schedule a “goody time” — can help your marriage. This can be any shared activity that you both can appreciate (such as a dinner out, going to the movies, etc.).
If you struggle to express love, read How to Increase Emotional Intimacy in Your Relationship.
Research shows that contempt and holding back communication are harbingers of marital trouble and potential failure. So, find things about your spouse to appreciate and respect, and don’t stonewall. To improve a bad relationship, you need to keep talking, touching, and connecting with each other.
If you have a hard time standing up for yourself, read How to Say No to Your Boyfriend.
If you have any thoughts on improving a bad relationship, please share below…