Home Relationship How to Fix a Relationship You Ruined

How to Fix a Relationship You Ruined

How to Fix a Relationship You Ruined

Relationships are complicated. Even the strongest bonds can become strained for various reasons. When you’re the one who caused damage to the relationship, it can be especially difficult to remedy. However, with some strategic effort, there is hope for reconciliation. This guide will walk you through the key steps to fixing a relationship you’ve ruined.

Take Accountability

The first critical move is to fully own up to your role in the deterioration of the relationship. This means openly acknowledging:

What behaviors caused harm

Reflect on how your words, actions, or lack of effort negatively impacted your partner or friend. Identify specific occurrences where you acted thoughtlessly or passive-aggressively. Understanding the concrete ways you created distance or hurt is essential.

Underlying reasons for those behaviors

Explore the roots of what motivated insensitive habits. For example, were you acting from a place of insecurity, jealousy, or fear at times? Whatever the reasons, don’t make excuses–explain without justification.

How it made the other person feel

Put yourself fully in the other person’s shoes. Express empathy for how your behaviors made them feel disrespected, disappointed, detached, etc. Validate those feelings.

Owning your part means not downplaying your wrongdoing with “buts” or “what-abouts.” Take full responsibility for the trust you broke or distance you created. This builds credibility and shows maturity.

Give a Genuine Apology

Once you’ve taken an honest personal inventory, offer a sincere, specific apology. This means:

No equivocating

Don’t try to apologize “if” you hurt someone or “hope” they weren’t bothered. Make definitive statements openly apologizing for definite ways you know you created pain.

Name impaired areas of the relationship

Directly address how your actions damaged intimacy, communication, respect, trust, support, etc. Don’t speak generally about “problems.” Get specific.

Express regret and remorse

Verbalize how terribly you feel for damaging such an important bond. Rather than just intellectually apologizing, access and communicate sincere emotion and grief over harming this relationship.

ALSO READ:  The Essential Component Of A Healthy Relationship

When done without justification and with vulnerability, a heartfelt apology can begin mending wounds. Follow it up by giving space and letting your friend/partner absorb.

Initiate a Dialogue About Needs

Once some time has passed after your apology, seek out a conversation about what your partner requires from you moving forward. Every situation differs, so avoid assumptions. Ask what your friend or partner feels this relationship needs in order to eventually heal. Be prepared they may still feel too hurt or resentful to be ready for this dialogue. If so, respect that by giving more space before trying again. When they are ready to talk, make sure to:

Actively listen more than speak

Creating healthy boundaries begins with understanding. So focus on asking clarifying questions and paraphrasing their responses non-defensively. Don’t interrupt or think ahead to your rebuttal. Set ego aside to intently hear their perspective.

Validate needs and boundaries

Make it clear through your verbal and non-verbal communication that their needs are reasonable and justified. Do not debate them. Reinforce that you intend to respect whatever will help them feel comfortable mending the relationship.

Having an open, responsive, mature dialogue builds reassurance that you genuinely wish to reconcile. Follow it up by letting your actions consistently match their stated needs.

Rebuild Trust Through Reliability

Trust is earned slowly through consistent reliability. After your friend/partner communicates their needs:

Set clear expectations

Clarify any aspects of their request you are uncertain about to confirm exactly what rebuilding trust entails day-to-day. Get specifics so you can create reliable new habits.

Follow through

Then patiently, consistently follow through. For example, if they need more one-on-one quality time for intimacy to recover, commit to scheduling regular date nights. Or if they need more affirmation, make brief daily check-ins a priority.

ALSO READ:  8 Ways to Fix Your Relationship After an Argument

Self-correct missteps

Mistakes and forgetfulness happen. But be accountable by apologizing quickly and sincerely for any regression or failure to uphold expectations. Analyze why it happened and verbalize your plan to prevent future slip-ups. Then rectify accordingly.

Reestablishing trust requires proving yourself through actions first–before words carry weight again. Be patient through this phase by focusing on consistency with no expectations for forgiveness.

Seek Input on How You are Doing

Once some time has passed actively working to meet their relationship needs, check if they feel you are upholding their boundaries sufficiently. Seek their perspective by:

Asking non-defensively about progress

Check if they feel trust or intimacy levels are improving thanks to your efforts. Resist any urge to justify or debate. Just listen openly.

Taking suggestions constructively

If they offer critiques about areas for further improvement, embrace the feedback. Verbalize appreciation for their emotional labor in communicating ways for you to better support them.

Offering amendments without rebuttal

If they felt let down in some way recently, apologize again. Be accountable by proposing ideas for avoiding future repetition of issues. Welcome additional suggestions from them.

This input demonstrates continued genuine commitment to regaining their faith and comfort. Coupled with maintained reliability, it rebuilds confidence in the relationship’s capacity to become whole again.

Reciprocate Effort by Adding Value

Healing a damaged relationship cannot be one-sided. Once trust seems to be stabilizing, look for small opportunities to add value for this person. This could involve:

Noticing and vocalizing appreciation for their support

Express gratitude for their patience with your efforts to repair the damage you caused. Verbalize awareness that this progress depended fully on their openness and willing participation.

Adding thoughtful gestures here and there

Look for minor ways to support them in return that they would find meaningful. These gestures could involve bringing their favorite snack when getting together, sending an article you know would interest them, handles a small chore they dislike, etc.

ALSO READ:  Why Do Men Randomly Stop Trying in Relationships?

Planning shared activities you know they enjoy

Organize an outing or date night activity focused fully around their interests and preferences as an added way to demonstrate gratitude for their companionship.

Reciprocation, even in small doses, turns reconciliation into a shared collaborative effort. It also offsets resentment over imbalance in the relationship.

Seek Outside Perspectives

If even after an extended sincere effort the relationship still seems to lack restored closeness, seek outside assistance. This could involve:

Couples counseling

An experienced professional therapist can identify unaddressed barriers and teach communication strategies to navigate them. Having productive sessions requires vulnerability from both people.

Advice from a mutually trusted friend

An objective third party who understands both people’s perspectives can pinpoint blind spots unapparent from inside the situation. Ensure first that the friend would offer reflections non-judgmentally before seeking input.

Support groups

For issues like infidelity or other deeper betrayals, support groups exist to help people reconcile. Connecting over shared struggles with others aiming to heal similar relational damage can uncover new insights.

Just ensuring you seek additional perspectives signals how heavily invested you remain in restoring your most cherished relationships. It also exposes you to new strategies for facilitating reconciliation.

The bottom line is, healing broken bonds takes tremendous patience, empathy, accountability, and effort. But few investments reap greater rewards than reigniting intimacy with people most meaningful.

By following these self-reflective steps to understand their needs, reliably meeting them, and eventually reciprocating care, reconciliation remains possible in even the most strained relationships. With commitment to mature communication and rebuilding trust gradually through consistency, you can fix what you once ruined.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here