Trust & Relationships Part 3: Mending the Broken Relationship

Time to Get to Work

This series is about trust, relationships and the reality contained within them. How do you know when it is safe to trust your partner? There are so many different aspects to the trust issue, so I will do a few posts on the subject. This one is the third installment and it is about determining the lengths at which the two of you are willing to go to fix things, and making that final decision of whether you will try or you will split. Please try to remember. this is just a guide to help you on your journey to a better relationship and not intended to tell you what you should do, because ultimately, the decision is up to you. I just hope to give you something to think about and a little guidance while making that decision.

The other posts will follow sometime this coming week. Please take heed and enjoy this post. Just remember, I have been here, there and everywhere, so I understand how you feel. Believe me, if my experiences, good or bad, can help even one person, then my life was worth something…

Let’s Play Catchup for Just a Moment…
In the last installment, we talked about the questions that need answering before you can try to mend a relationship that has been damaged. Once you have decided that you do not want to walk away from a broken relationship, and have answered these questions to get to the root of the problem, it is time to mend away. However, now that you know it is mendable, you need to know how far you and your partner are willing to go make it happen. This means you are going to have to ask some more questions. But, I promise it will be easier this time.
What are you willing-or not willing-to do to help the situation? This should be the first question asked at this stage of the game. Knowing what they are willing or not wiling to do to help fix your collective problems is a big factor in determining how to go about fixing things when it is time. Knowing their limitations-and yours-when it comes to your relationship can actually determine if it should be fixed at all, which is also why you should set these limits first. If you or your mate have no intentions of fighting the good fight, then why proceed in the first place?
What is it that you think is wrong? Knowing what the both of you think the actual problem and getting their perspective of the situation might put the problem into a whole new light. This in itself could offer unique possibilities and different solutions. At this stage, it is important to know every possibility so neither of you feel trapped in the relationship or the situation as a whole.

How do you feel things need to change in order to make things work? Again, getting their thoughts and seeing the problem from a different perspective might just change the dynamics of a situation enough to make it work out easier. That said, the same is said for you too. If you both go into the mending knowing what may need to potentially change, it makes it that much easier-and prevents some untimely surprises.

Let Your Partner Answer
Once you have asked theses questions comes one of the more important part of any relationship, listening to the answers, whether you want to hear what they have to say or not. And I mean really listen. Don’t just nod and shake your head agreeing to every little thing. Don’t make snide or rude remarks if you hear something you don’t like or want to hear. Really listen, to everything your partner is saying and take it all in. Revel in the beauty that listening can bring. It means that you are really trying to understand where they are coming from and that you care about how they feel-because only then can things move on to the next level. Just keep in mind, however, the truth can hurt. As long as you understand that what you are about to hear may not be what you want to hear, it makes it a little easier to listen. So, open up and take it all in-without reacting.
Now It’s Your Turn
After you have listened to what your mate has to say about things, it will be your turn to talk about the same things. When you do, try to be as truthful and get as much to the point as you can. And whatever you do, talk about how you are feeling and what you want, not about what it is that your partner needs to change, or how they make you feel. For example, never start a statement with “you make me,” or “you said, or did this…” Try to start your sentences with “I feel…” or “I think…” Otherwise, it can put them into a defensive stance and shut down any negotiations you may have had as well as any that might have been just on the horizon.  
What Comes Next?
After you have asked and answered each other’s questions, you should have figured out a few things. Usually by now a clear picture is painted of what you can expect will happen in the near future. You should know how your partner feels about what is wrong, what he feels can be done and what he is willing to do to help fix things. You should have figured out the same things about yourself as well. You should have also made your feelings and intentions known to your mate as well. Then and only then can you make a final decision.

What Will the Final Decision be?
Well, it is entirely up to you and your mate. The questions you have asked and answered should be enough to jump start the process of mending the relationship and may have even gotten you half way there already. You would be surprised what a good bit of talking and listening can do to help solve problems. Why do you think therapists are trained to do just that? It is interesting, though, how no one realizes until it is too late. So because you and your partner did not wit, things will-should-be ok, but only if that is your wish.

~JC Torpey

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