So where do you even begin when it comes to getting your relationship back on track?

My top tips are:

  1. Don’t rush into a breakup. It’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions so you don’t leave with any regrets. 
  1. Commit to taking some action. Good relationships don’t just happen, they take work and commitment. Make a decision to do everything you can to rescue your relationship so you know in your heart of hearts that you have done your best. The worst-case scenario is you leave with a lot more clarity and with less guilt having tried your best, but the upside is you could save your marriage.
  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Let go of the little things that have upset you and drop minor grudges that may have been stacking up irrationally due to ‘virus stress’. It’s easy to get tunnel vision about issues that really don’t matter. Instead, try and acknowledge the things you do both get right. The more you focus on the things you do well, the quicker the relationship will start to feel better.
  1. Be specific about problems When you’re feeling overwhelmed, talk about what is going on for you right now. Don’t just say ‘everything is going wrong’ and expect your partner to make it right. Follow it up with what they actually could do to help make you feel better. Bear in mind that they’re struggling too – they’re not your parents, and they can’t fix everything, so don’t blame them for being unable to rescue you. 
  1. Identify separate areas of responsibility One of the biggest sources of arguments, after money, is housework. So it’s vital to clarify responsibilities to avoid building up resentment. You might be fine with socks on the floor, but can’t abide an unmade bed, while your partner’s deal breaker could be abandoned coffee mugs. If you both know the one thing you need to do, it avoids weeks of nagging. 
  1. Appreciation goes a long way. Appreciation is hugely powerful and, in times of strain, is more important than ever whilst we all feel vulnerable. With a few kind words, you can quickly transition your partner from grumpy housemate to beloved spouse. 
  1. Get on the same page Aligning your priorities about key issues affecting your family and agreeing to these things before you hit problems will help avoid conflict and upset as you move forward. Start with something you think you have similar views on, something uncontentious, and build from there. 
  1. Refocus your mind. Write a list of all the things you love about your relationship, including the things you are grateful for. It is easy to only focus on the negative points so this will help you maintain a balanced view.
  1. Kindness is king. Kindness is often the first thing to disappear during rocky times in a relationship however it is key to a strong marriage foundation. Finding ways to be kind and loving can often melt tension and rekindle romance. 
  1. Actions speak louder than words. Be the change you want to see in your partner as this can be the most effective way to bring them around. You may find they reciprocate and make more effort with you without you actually having to ask them. 

These steps won’t always be the easy option and sometimes you may feel like throwing in the towel and walking away. Bear in mind nothing worth having ever comes easily and a good relationship needs nurturing. If things have gotten off track it will take some time and effort to restore it. But the good news is that it is possible and it could even make the relationship stronger and happier than ever.