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Relationship Advice:
10 Ways to Prevent a Break Up

by Patricia Fason

The question I am asked most often is: I think he/she is getting ready to leave me. What do I do? There isn't an easy answer for this or there wouldnít be any break ups. Every situation is different and sometimes breakups are inevitable. However this is not always the case and there are things you can do before you reach the breaking point that will help.

Here are the 10 most important things:

  1. Communicate. Communication is important. If you find that when you try to communicate your feelings to your partner it always leads to an argument, try writing your feelings down. Read through what youíve written. If you find things that are just petty problems with no real validity, eliminate them. Try to find the sources behind your words. For example, jealousy, are you jealous because you know he/she is cheating, or does it go deeper? Did someone cheat on you in the past and now you donít trust anyone? Is your partner giving you what you need to feel secure? Once you realize where the feelings are coming from, you can address fixing the problem.
     

  2. Resist making accusations. Approach your partner calmly, without being defensive. Tell him/her the problem. Donít be accusing or they will become defensive and yes, you will end up in an argument. If you find itís easier to write it in a letter, then do so. Leave while they read it so you arenít hovering over them, waiting for their reaction. Let them process what you have said. Again, do not be accusing. Tell them you want to make your relationship better. Have suggestions for BOTH of you, not just them. Be sure you know the core problem and arenít just mentioning a symptom.
     

  3. Refrain from insulting your partner during arguments. Fighting dirty can quickly become a habit and eventually someone will say something that the other person cannot forget, or worse, forgive.
     

  4. Take time to tell your partner why you love him/her. Not once, but often. This can be something as small as a compliment on how they look. Your partner needs to know you appreciate them. Donít just assume they know. Everyone likes to be reminded they are loved.
     

  5. Be supportive and look for ways to give your partner the things they need the most. Even if they donít tell you what they need, you can figure it out if you pay attention. Some people have a hard time telling you what they need but there are clues. If youíre not sure, ask.
     

  6. Donít neglect yourself. If your needs arenít being met, find a way to let your partner know. If you are unhappy, you will eventually blame your partner. Itís much easier to let them know, in a positive way, the things you need.
     

  7. Never try to solve a problem when you are angry. Take time to cool down. I know this can seem impossible at times but think about it. Is anything ever really solved when you are yelling at each other?
     

  8. Set aside some time for just the two of you. If not once a week, then at least once a month. This should be quality, alone time, however you two choose to spend it. You might try arranging a specific day each week and take turns planning what you will do.
     

  9. Discuss decisions that affect the both of you and try to find a solution that will keep you both happy. Never make an important decision that affects you both without talking to your partner.
     

  10. Donít Lie! Everyone lies occasionally. Itís in our nature. This isnít an excuse to lie to your partner. Every time you are caught in a lie, a little more trust is taken away. A healthy relationship requires trust. Never ever lie about things important to the relationship. Youíre better off facing the music if youíve done something wrong then being caught in a lie.
     

  11. This wonít keep you together but it is important to mention. Know when itís time to leave and make the break. Donít let anyone use you or abuse you. Most problems can be worked out if both people in the relationship make an effort to improve things. There are some exceptions. Itís time to leave if the relationship becomes abusive. Do not hope things will get better because he/she says they will change. Leave! If at some future time they actually do change, you can consider getting back together then. Another deal breaker is infidelity. If your partner cheats on you, there is a good chance that even if you do stay together, the trust that keeps a relationship alive will be gone. Iím not saying you canít survive it, but it will take a great deal of effort from both people and your partner will have to stop. Never give them more than one chance to do so or you will be setting yourself up for a very destructive emotional roller coaster. If your partner sees that itís possible to cheat and you will keep forgiving, why would they change?

©Patricia Fason

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