Broken Down Relationships

Sometimes in life, relationships break down.

A very important lesson I was taught, surprisingly in pre-marriage counselling, was the art of constructive conflict.

The objective is to always strive to build each other up. To complement and uplift.

Yes, we might not always agree with each other but we sure as heck love each other.

So, if I am ever in a place where a relationship has broken down, which I can see in my immediate circle, these are the steps I can see on how to get back to a place of strength and stability.

There are three clear steps I can see as a means to fix this broken system.

  1. Identify the status.
  2. Lay new foundation.
  3. Build upon it.

The first step is the hardest. Most people will only get to the first step when they hit rock bottom. When they lose hope in the relationship. When they give up.

What I am saying is that for you to fix a broken-down relationship is to acknowledge the relationship has broken down. If you are reading this, there is a strong chance you are there right now.

The way I see it, the above 3 steps are forward-moving to a new constructive path.

Before we take the forward steps, you need to acknowledge how you got to this place of brokenness. The previous path you were on lead you here.

If you go back to the previous path, you will land up back here.

Change of direction and change of approach is needed. Acceptance that things need to be improved up (and that things can’t stay the same as they were) is key to identifying your full status.

Now, that you acknowledge the past and present, we can look to the future.

The second step. Lay a new foundation.

The key here is the pursuit of constructiveness. Here we build. Here we support. Here we uplift and grow together.

Before building and support can commence, the key is to look at why you want to build.

Why do you want to go down the path of constructiveness?

Why do you want this relationship to work?

This is the part where you identify how much you love your partner. How much you care about them. How much do you value them?

Now, coming from a place of broken-down relationship, it is always difficult to link the existing love to a place of happiness. Usually, that existing love comes with a feeling of pain and hurt.

The previous path you were on, it let you down. It caused pain. You have been hurt. Both of you.

Also, the previous path you were on, was unconstructive. There were attacks and things got destroyed.

You are now standing in a post-war scene. Damage and loss have occurred.

To lay a new foundation, you need to let go of the pain that has been previously caused.

You have to forgive the past attacks that have taken place.

Yes, keep your walls up. Over time, those defensive walls can come down. Subject to you both sticking on the constructive path.

To effectively lay a new foundation though, there are two crucial steps.

  • Need to completely stop walking on a destructive path.
    • That’s where breakdowns occur. That’s where more pain and agony lies.
  • Need to identify why you want to build on a constructive path.
    • To make this relationship work, you need to fight for each other. You need to fight to be together. You need to fight alongside each other. It’s you two against the world.

If you find that when arguments occur, which they will, that you are trying to hurt or break down your partner, you got to realise that those actions are damaging. They are not constructive.

It is ok to disagree with each other. It’s OK to vent your frustrations. We all need to do that.

We need to express and communicate how we feel and how we view the world.

What is not OK though, is to insult each other. Especially in the company of others.

I personally use playful banter with my wife. On the face of it, it could look like mockery or even an insult. My intent is to tease and be playful.

The end result of my actions though is that my partner, the one I have chosen to stand beside, is happy. She feels acknowledged and appreciated.

To recap though, step 1 is a matter of acknowledging that things are bad and that they need to be improved upon if you want to make this relationship work.

Step 2 is a matter of drawing close. You have found your partner. Now you two have to agree to fight to be with each other. Fight off going down a deconstructive path and fight to go down a constructive path instead. Fight to change your direction. Fight to love each other.

Once you have acknowledged and agreed to these two steps, you can begin to take the third step.

Build and grow together.

You want to strive to bring the best out of each other. Allow your partner to be the best person they can be.

I personally build up a mental list of the things that makes my partner happy. So that whenever my partner is having a bad day, I can draw from that list and try bring comfort.

I also have to sit and listen to my partners’ needs. See how I can help my partner meet those needs.

I want my partner to experience the best life they can. To do so, I studied her dreams, hopes and inspirations. We then talk about goals and constant opportunities that help her reach those dreams.

This constructive path is what I wish for you.

Build together in love.

Be free. Be happy.

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