How To Fix a Relationship That’s Falling Apart? (15 Steps Guide)

Mark my words: Relationships are hard. 

Even if you’ve found the perfect match, you’re bound to experience ups and downs in your relationship. 

Things are not going to magically fall into place and you’re not going to live happily ever after unless you constantly work on maintaining and improving the connection you already have.

If you don’t, your relationship might not survive in the long run. It might slowly fall apart.

That’s why it’s important to recognize and address any relationship issues when they arise. Otherwise, feelings of resentment might start to creep in and destroy what you’ve built together.

Now, just because you had a little fight with your SO the other night and they haven’t contacted you yet, it doesn’t mean you’re drifting apart. 

However, if you go through a similar situation every week, it’s safe to say that’s unhealthy and it might lead to the end of your relationship.

Since this can be a confusing situation to deal with, I’ll share with you the most important signs your relationship is falling apart.

If your suspicions turn out to be true, then you have reason to worry. However, you shouldn’t panic! 

I’ve got your back! I’ll teach you how to fix your relationship when it’s falling apart in no more than 15 steps. 

Let’s begin!

How do you know when a healthy relationship is falling apart?

Healthy relationships don’t fall apart overnight. Usually, the signs are there from the beginning. However, it’s easy to overlook them. 

After a while, you might notice that you don’t communicate like you used to anymore. On top of that, you don’t spend as much time together anymore either. 

Things may start to go south in the affection department as well. There may be a lack of affection between you and your partner. 

Since you no longer communicate openly and effectively, you could purposely leave certain things out and they could begin to keep secrets from you. 

Compromising with each other could become even more difficult when you grow apart from your SO. It’s like you both have a short temper and zero patience with each other. 

What’s more, there seems to be no excitement or happiness when you see each other. You no longer laugh or have fun together.

If you think about it, your relationship was strong until countless unresolved arguments started piling up. 

Can you relate? Any kind of physical and emotional disconnection counts here. 

Pretty much any positive aspect of your relationship that turned into a bad one can be taken as a sign that your relationship is falling apart.

15 Tips to Fix a Relationship Falling Apart?

Look at the bright side: Now you know that your relationship is in trouble, which means that you can take the needed steps to fix it. 

If you ask me, it’s better to know and have a chance to do something about it, than to live in ignorance and wait to get dumped.

With this in mind, here’s what you need to do:

Step A: To Assess the health condition of your relationship

1. Analyze your relationship and identify its problems

Things have been shaky between you and your boyfriend/girlfriend.

Do you know why?

Take a pen and a piece of paper and write down major issues that you think you have, as well as minor misunderstandings. 

At this point, it’s essential to know which battles to pick. So, try to focus on those aspects that directly affect the well-being of your relationship.

Let me give you some examples:

  • You frequently get into arguments
  • You don’t communicate effectively
  • One of you is emotionally unavailable
  • One of you has betrayed the other
  • There’s a lack of shared interests
  • Little to no quality time spent together

It will be our first step to fix a relationship that’s falling apart.

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2. Recognize and admit your faults that led to its decay

The next step involves taking accountability. Most often than not, it’s not just one person’s fault for the decay of a relationship.

Both parties are responsible in one way or the other. So, what you need to do is to think long and hard about how you personally contributed to the issues you two have.

Maybe you’re not good at respecting your partner’s feelings and boundaries. Or, maybe you have a hard time understanding their emotions.

In the end, recognizing and taking accountability for your actions could save your relationship.

How so?

First of all, it shows that you’re mature enough to admit it. Second of all, it gives you the chance to work on this side of you and make it better and health relationship again.

3. Consider the impact of other factors on your relationship

Imagine this: You and they are on a deserted island. 

Can you think of something you’d argue about? Probably not! 

You see, on a deserted island, there are no other people to put pressure on you. You don’t have to go to school or work, or to take care of others. 

However, in the real world, there could be lots of things happening in your life as well as theirs that could interfere with the healthy development of your relationship.

Their family might not approve of you because of various reasons. Or, your boyfriend/girlfriend might have to work 2 jobs, which leaves them with less time to spend with you.

All these factors may affect your healthy relationship to a point of no return unless you work your way around them.

Social pressure, life transitions, as well as other changes could negatively affect your bond.

Step B: Communicate openly and honestly

Working on communication is one of of the most crucial parts of fixing a relationships that’s falling apart. And, here’s how you can do it.

4. Practice actively listening to your partner

After you complete the first three steps, it’s time to have a heart-to-heart with your boyfriend/girlfriend about your relationship.

At this stage, you should encourage them to share their feelings with you. You should try to find out how they feel about your relationship and what needs to change.

Remember: Let them talk! Try to truly listen to him or her. Try to understand your partner’s perespective – the message they’re trying to send. Don’t listen just for the sake of saying something back. 

Do your best to reflect on your SO’s feelings in a non-judgemental way. Practice empathy and look at things in the most rational way you can.

5. Express yourself using “I” statements

Would you believe me if I told you that you can tell your partner what bothers you without triggering their defensive side?

It’s true! You can do this by simply using “I” statements when you express your dissatisfaction.

Let me explain:

Don’t say: You’re impossible to live with! You always leave your clothes all over the floor!

Do say: I need your help for a second. Can you please pick up your dirty clothes and put them in the washing machine?

Don’t say: You never keep your promises!

Do say: I feel disappointed. I was looking forward to … Promises are not meant to be broken.

6. Make sure your tone is non-confrontational

Apart from using “I” statements to get your message through to your SO in a more approachable manner, your tone and body language are also important.

You should avoid yelling or using a higher tone of voice when talking to them.

I get it: you might be frustrated or even angry at them, but you have to keep your voice down.

Your goal here is to create a safe space where both of you can express themselves freely. This means that your tone should be warm and understanding.

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As for your body language, try to keep it as open as possible:

To be more precise, don’t cross your arms or legs, don’t put objects between you and them, keep your palms open, and make eye contact.

7. Identify the issues together and find solutions

After having a heart-to-heart with them, you should have a better idea of why they think your relationship is falling apart. 

The same should apply to their situation. They should be aware of what you think needs fixing. 

So, the next logical step would be to agree on your issues and find solutions together. For this part, you’ll probably have to do some brainstorming or even research.

What matters the most is to take it seriously and consistently work on applying it. Both parties have to put in equal effort. 

Otherwise, things might once again go off-balance in the future.

Step C: Work on making the relationship work by rebuilding trust 

If you want to fix a relationship from falling apart completely, then working on rebuilding the trust will be super important.

8. Sincerely apologize for your wrongdoings, if any

If your relationship problems are related to trust, then it goes without saying that you should work on rebuilding it. 

This is definitely easier said than done. However, you have to start somewhere, right?

Start by sincerely apologizing for any wrongdoings, no matter how small.

Trust me, this works because it shows you admit your fault and also because you encourage them to do the same.

You won’t have to ask them to apologize to you. They’ll do it out of remorse and as a response to your apologies.

There is one exception though: In case your partner isn’t truly interested in mending your relationship, they might not react as expected.

Regardless, not just romantic relationships but all healthy relationships need strong foundation of sincerity.

9. Keep your word and follow through on promises

Building or rebuilding trust is a lengthy process. Even so, it’s something that you can both succeed at.

How? By…

… always telling the truth

… not lying by omission

… not telling white lies

… not keeping your word

… not gaslighting each other

… not deceiving each other

While it’s true that being totally honest with someone is not always rewarding, if you want to build a genuine connection, you have to give it a try!

Trust has the power to make or break a relationship, so pay special attention to this point!

Step D: Focus on your rebuilding emotional health

Loving relationship needs emotional health of both the partner’s to be at the highest. Here’s how you can work on it to save your relationship from falling apart.

10. Spend quality time together

Listen, your romantic relationship will not fail if you build a strong emotional connection with your boyfriend/girlfriend. 

To do that, experts recommend spending quality time together and doing things that promote feelings of emotional connection.

Examples in this regard are:

  • Look into each other’s eyes and have meaningful conversations
  • Go for long walks in nature and hold hands
  • Share things that make you vulnerable over a glass of wine
  • Find ways to have fun together
  • Show interest in each other’s passions and hobbies
  • Try new things together or go on adventures

11. Go through the honeymoon phase again

Honeymoon? What honeymoon? 

Every couple goes through the honeymoon phase. And the best part? You don’t have to get married to experience it. 

However, it doesn’t last for long and it’s usually hard to recreate it. Even so, I think it’s worth giving it a go.

Do you remember how great things were when you two fell in love with each other? You were living the dream. 

At the beginning of your relationship, you thought you were perfect for each other. You were inseparable and couldn’t get enough of each other. 

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That’s when both your brains were flooded with feeling-good chemicals, such as serotonin and adrenaline. 

To get pumped with these chemicals again, experts recommend trying adrenaline-inducing activities such as going on a rollercoaster ride or doing something scary like watching a horror movie. 

12. Be there for them and support them

Healthy relationships can quickly fall apart if the people involved don’t support each other and they’re not present in times of need. 

So, to avoid that, you should do the opposite!

By being a shoulder to cry on and someone who is always willing to listen, you provide your partner with a sense of safety that they’ll cherish and find hard to let go of.

On top of that, it’s proof that you will be there for them through thick and thin. 

13. Consider emotionally focused therapy

The emotional connection between two people can be completely shattered due to various factors. 

If you fear you’re in one of those situations and there’s not much you can fix by yourself, don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Couples therapy is quite popular these days and the results are almost always positive. 

14. Share your visions and make plans

If you want to take it one step further and also strengthen your relationship, not only keep it from falling apart, then talk about the future with him or her!

Talk about the things you want to do together , such as seeing the world or trying a mountain retreat. Daydreaming together with your SO has numerous benefits.

But, don’t forget to also talk about the important stuff, such as relationship milestones like moving in together. 

Sharing personal and professional goals for the future is also recommended. That’s how you truly let them in and find out whether your ambitions align.

15. Increase the physical intimacy between you

Before you start giggling, let me stop you right here: Physical intimacy is not about sex. It’s about holding hands, hugging each other, cuddling, kissing slowly, and so on.

Did you know that simply holding hands with the person you love helps your brain release oxytocin, which is a chemical that reduces stress and improves your mood?

Well… now you know!

Especially if their love language is physical touch, you can’t go wrong with trying to build physical intimacy. 

Being comfortable with and longing for your lover’s touch contributes to the well-being of your relationship.

A good physical and emotional intimacy is a great sign of a healthy relationship.

What should you avoid doing if your relationship is falling apart?

By now you should know what needs to be done when a relationship is falling apart.

But what are some of the things you should avoid?

  • Don’t make any rash decisions
  • Don’t make empty promises 
  • Don’t repeat the same mistakes
  • Don’t lash out at your partner
  • Don’t be mean or disrespectful
  • Don’t be inconsiderate or cold
  • Don’t try to make them jealous
  • Don’t make them upset on purpose

If jealousy is the main culprit for your relationship’s decay then you can save your relationship by reading our article: how to stop being jealous in a relationship.

Navigating Forward:

Romantic relationships may fall apart because of many reasons. 

Numerous couples have trouble communicating and expressing their feelings, needs, and desires. Others don’t know how to meet halfway and fail to make compromises.

What about you? As soon you figure out why you and your SO grew apart, you can focus on fixing your relationship. 

There’s a lot of work waiting for the both of you, but as long as you’re both willing to fix things and put in the needed work when relationship falling apart, you’ll definitely succeed!

Daniela Duca Damian
About Daniela Duca Damian

A journalist by profession, Daniela has been sharing her knowledge and personal experience in the psychology of love and relationships for the past 5 years. Her work is based on facts, practical advice and is meant to help everyone achieve their romantic goals. When she isn’t writing, she challenges her friends with meaningful questions about life.

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