23 Startling Tips That Will Save A Dying Relationship

By David Small •  Updated: 09/06/18 •  18 min read

Saving a dying relationship can be a lot of hard work but it’s worth every effort put into it.

Are you wondering if it is possible to save your relationship without sacrificing your dignity? Rest assured, it is very possible

23 Things that will Save A Dying Relationship

When attraction towards each other seems to fade, and quarrels occur more often, it means that the relationship is going for a toss.

Then it’s time you need to wake up and work hard on the relationship so that you can avoid a breakup.

If you feel that your partner is slipping away and want to know how to save your dying relationship it is better to begin the process sooner rather than later. The following advice will help you assess the situation and get your relationship back on track.

Here are 23 sure ways that will help you save your dying relationship fast

  1. Give time to your partner

One of the ways to save a dying relationship from falling apart is by making sure you give time to your partner, despite the busy lifestyle these days. Even how little time you can spare, for as long as you spend it with your partner, it will help you a lot in saving your dying relationship.

If your relationship is going down the drain, spending time with each other is one small but major step in reconnecting with your partner.

Listen to what your partner says. If he has any complaints, listen. Paying attention to your partner will let you know what has gone wrong and from there, you can both find ways to save your relationship.

Maintaining a strong relationship takes time together. Try to stay in bed together once a week and talk. No agenda. Well, if there’s an agenda, it’s just to cuddle.

If you have to brush your teeth first, get up and do that and then get back in bed. Lock the door; no kids. Cuddle.

  1. Communication

There are right ways and wrong ways to communicate in every relationship. The right way is asking your partner a relevant question, listening to their response, and then offering your opinion. The wrong way is overwhelming your partner with your irritations and worries as soon as they walk in from a particularly long workday.

Most often, half of the problems are created due to a communication gap and if you can actually work on proper communication, then there are chances that your relationship issues can be sorted out by talking over things together. When you actually sit and talk together, make sure that you give adequate space to the other person instead of forcing your opinions on the other person.

  1. Forgive each other

To forgive is also to detach from the bitterness, anger, and animosity holding you back from progress with your partner. Forgo the negative emotions keeping you from true forgiveness. Remind yourself that whatever happened, happened and that there is no reason to drag the past into your future.

Lingering on hurtful memories only perpetuates them. Be mindful that forgiveness is a process, not a result, so perform small, daily acts that are reflective of your intent to pardon.

Some people say, “I can forgive, but I will never forget.” I get that. But in a dying relationship, this can look a lot like resentment. You need to be able to forgive your partner for the wrongs he or she has done if you want to move forward. Not everything is forgivable, nor should it be. However, if you truly feel that you are dedicated to your relationship and want to make it work, forgiving and really forgetting is the key.

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   4. Commit

When you make the decision to commit, you have decided to put in the hard work that is needed to save your dying relationship. When you waver and think about what it would be like if you in a relationship with someone else or how you wish your life would be different, you are usually not able to generate enough momentum to push forward and repair the relationship.

Also, realize that it takes two to tango and that finding someone better is not necessarily a cure-all, as we will likely have issues in future relationships.

Recognize how the particular challenges of your relationship are growth opportunities for you and your partner, and that there are ways for you to transform this conflict into connection. (Of course, this does not apply to abusive relationships.)

Dying relationship

        5. Set boundaries with each other

Another important way to save your dying relationship is to set boundaries with each other and keep your word! If you set a rule for your partner, set a similar one for yourself as well. This means that if your partner promises not to stay out late on a Saturday, you should abide by the same principle.

A relationship is a two-way street. Tell your partner honestly what you would like them to do or not do, then be prepared to accept the boundaries they set for you, too. Remember to set boundaries that won’t get you upset and be honest about your limitations and capabilities.

  1. Do something special together

Perhaps you two have a favorite restaurant you haven’t visited in ages, or you can return to the place where you first fell in love? Being in a physical space where you have powerful memories of strong attachment can reignite passion. Or, you can try something you’ve never tried before. The excitement of something new produces serotonin and dopamine in our brains.

Ronald Rogge, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Rochester, followed 174 committed couples for three years. Some of the couples received traditional counseling, others received no special attention, and still, others were instructed to watch relationship-focused movies each week and talk afterward. Watching flicks and getting counseling both cut the breakup rate by half.

  1. Avoid things that will hurt your relationship

Stop doing things that can hurt your relationship. Also, avoid some common attitudes that can also harm your relationship. Been in a relationship is a great experience especially during the first few years but it can also go sour if you or your partner starts to show attitudes that can harm your relationship. Jealousy without a basis, for example, can be damaging to your relationship and thus, it is important to get rid of this behavior.

The words we use are powerful and strong, whenever we make a comment it never be retrieved again, which is why you must be mindful of the kind of words you use in your relationship. You can cause damage in your relationship when you put your partner down with the words from your mouth. Learn to use words that show respect, love, and hope on your spouse if you want to save your dying relationship.

  1. Be affectionate

Most couples wonder how they went from not being able to keep their hands off each other too rarely making physical contact. Unfortunately, society tends to justify this pattern, reinforcing the idea that long-term couples are unsuitable for “puppy love” or PDA.

Yet, this elimination of affection is a sad and slow progression that often starts when a couple transitions from being a “you” and a “me” to becoming a “we.” Of course, finding a connection with someone is thrilling and meaningful, but losing yourself and your separate identity in the mix is paving a dangerous road.

People feel most attracted to their partner when they see them as someone separate from themselves, someone they are able to love, respect and appreciate their unique qualities.

  1. Sex

When things are rocky, having sex or performing acts that please your partner is not always in the cards. But even if you’re not in the mood at the moment, there’s hope if you actually still want to connect intimately, according to Rachel Russo. She says wanting to have sex even when you are struggling with a dying relationship, shows that you are deeply bonded to your partner.

“If it feels unnatural to withhold sex even when things are rocky, it can indicate that you are thinking about what is best for the relationship in the long term,” says Russo. “If you don’t want to deprive your relationship of the intimate connection, it is a sign that you really care about each other and want to make the relationship work.”

dying Relationship

  1. Tell your partner you love him.

Express love in a way your partner would experience as loving – This may not sound like a very specific or especially scientific suggestion, but so often we forget to attune to our partner and do the things we know to make them feel loved.  Particularly when there’s tension in the relationship, we tend to focus on what we’re getting over what we’re giving. We build a case against our partner, and as a defense, we withhold our affections and resist being open and vulnerable.

It’s important to pay attention to our partner and engage in kind actions that he or she would perceive as being cared for. For instance, getting flowers or going out to dinner may feel like romantic gestures to us, but to our partner, they may prefer taking some time to joke around or be affectionate. Try to offer something that you know will have unique value to them. Engaging in such loving acts actually makes us feel more in love

  1. Take Showers Together

If you take showers together with your spouse, it always presents you with the opportunity to make intimate interactions together, without any form of distractions, except some soap lather.

At least twice a week, shower at the same time. It’s a great time to plan, and especially to discuss matters outside of the hearing of little ears. It’s also a great time to unwind. Either way, it’s easy to add to busy schedules because you both need to bathe, so you’re not adding anything additional to your schedules. And it’s good to be naked with each other every day. It is something private and special that you only share with another, so it will keep you connected. And you never know where it will lead!

  1. Cut Out External Influences

There’s one more important thing to cover here, it’s probably the most important of all. Keep other people out of your business and decision making. This includes family, friends, and well-wishers.

Everyone claims to have good intentions and would want to advise you about your relationship but, you know what they say about good intentions…with the exception of an expert in relationships, it’s probably best that you and our partner decide these things for yourselves.

Often times, it is outside influence or voices that breed toxicity in relationships. Understand who’s playing a less-than-positive role in your relationship and commit to keeping that person’s energy out of your relationship! Learn to keep your relationship as private as possible and always divulge as little details as you can.

23 Things that will Save A Dying Relationship

  1. Get Counseling

The mere thought of getting counseling makes many couples groan, but how do you save your relationship when you have tried and tested all other methods. Counseling does not have to be the first option.

If you have tried other ways to save your relationship but they don’t seem to have made any difference then counseling is your next best thing. This gives both parties a middle ground to settle their grouses as each person will believe they are being treated fairly. Counseling might help to identify problems that were never before known and the great thing is that advice is given on how to overcome them.

  1. Do Not Assume You Can Change or Fix Your Partner

In a relationship, the sooner you begin to accept the fact that you cannot change another, but yourself alone, the sooner you begin to heal and save your relationship. Everyone wants to be loved and be accepted for who they are. When your partner discovers that you are not ashamed or disappointed, then he/she may feel reinforced to choose to change.

Understand that your spouse-to-be will not change. My divorcing clients share why they are getting divorced; they often knew about their spouse’s behavior “flaw” or their relationship disconnect prior to getting married. About 95% of the time, they believed that it would change. Your spouse will not change, and, in fact, those little imperfections will only worsen over time. Realize early what they are, and determine if you can live with them forever before you tie the knot.

  1. Be positive.

Make a point of focusing on what you like about the other person, and what’s good (and what could be better) in your own life. Even if ninety percent of what the other person does drives you batty, remind yourself – and them – frequently about what you do appreciate.

“Look above the things you find annoying or unpleasant,” says Douglas LaBier, Ph.D., a psychologist based in D.C. “Respond to the best qualities in her—which will always make her best side stronger.”

There are always going to be problems, but instead of trying to fix the bad, focus on what you have that is GOOD. Put happiness back into your relationship with not only your partner but yourself as well, so that you both can focus on the good things you are experiencing in life together.

  1. Go back to the beginning

What brought you two together in the first place? What were the things that you enjoyed doing together? If you need the know what to do to save your dying relationship with your partner you might have to just make an about turn and go back to where it all started, that is, where you both started.

Try something old – As a relationship advances, it becomes all too easy to make excuses not to make time for each other. When we do get together, we may do things out of a sense of form or obligation. Relationships tend to start fizzling out when we stop sharing the lively things we used to share with our partner. Moreover, once things start to fizzle out, we become even less inclined to share these activities.

23 Things that will Save A Dying Relationship

  1. Change

You also need to change the way that you see things. Often, when you are confronted with a bad situation, you readily accept defeat. This is not how things should be. Behind this bad situation is usually a very good one. You should be able to capture what is wrong and make the necessary changes. Avoid looking at only one side of things, but analyze every corner.

People tend to get stuck in certain patterns of behavior and the ways they choose to solve problems. Getting comfortable in your habits can be the kiss of death for a romantic relationship. Maybe you always eat at the same restaurant or just sit around on the couch on Saturday nights. Instead of going through the motions in your relationship, find novel ways to spend time together and grow as a couple.

  1. Check in on one another’s progress.

After you’ve figured out the areas needing change and you’ve put forth the effort to cease your destructive behavior, agree to check in with each other every so often (perhaps once a month or once every six weeks).

This allows you to assess your relationship, and what each of you have done to improve it (hint: praise each other for what you’ve each done right so far, change doesn’t happen perfectly). Checking in periodically also allows you to address new issues and jump on potential struggles before they take root.

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  1. Be Willing to Compromise

As with any relationship, compromise plays a large role in the ultimate success or failure of the endeavor. Saving a dying relationship also depends on how much each party is willing to accommodate the other person. At the same time, your partner should also be open to your ideas and views.

Relationship relies on each party being able to put aside individual desires and wants and encompassing each other. Putting primacy on your own ambitions will likely only annoy and frustrate your partner, so how do you to save a dying relationship from breakdown is all about making sure both individuals in the relationship are happy.

  1. Figure out the hurts, disappointments, and misunderstandings

Salvaging a dying relationship frequently implies agreeing to ignore, or forget about, painful incidents from the past. But the problem with such “planned amnesia” is that much of what took place earlier may still be festering within you, your partner, or both of you. Whether right on the surface or somewhere beneath it, certain memories may still harbor substantial negative residue.

Recreating your dying relationship entails attending to, and scrupulously striving to comprehend, past hurts—but from a far more empathic and compassionate perspective: One where the goal isn’t to evaluate or judge but to sympathetically understand and forgive.


  1. Surprise each other!

Surprise your spouse with gifts on their birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentine’s Day. You can mail each other postcards and hand-written love letters to keep the fire burning. Shop online and surprise each other with very cool T-shirts, sexy underwear’s and such things alike says Shawn T. McIntyre the CEO and founder of Shawn McIntyre Fitness.

As well as adding more planned activities and gifts to your relationship routine, the occasional surprise can really spice things up. And you don’t have to stick to flowers — though flowers are always a welcome surprise.

Bringing your significant other a muffin at work or sticking an “I love you” note on her pillow can make her day. These gestures may seem insignificant, but they can save your relationship because they go a long way toward showing your loved one that you care.

  1. Stop the Rush to Judgment

The psychologist Carl Rogers believed that conflict begins with our habit of making judgments. We hear an opinion or witness an action, make a quick assumption, pass judgment and react. There’s a method to interrupt the process the mind goes through to make the snap judgment. It seems instantaneous, but you can interrupt this sequence.

Once you’ve been able to interrupt the rush to judgment, both of you can listen to one another’s concerns more easily. The hard part is to listen without trying to evaluate or judge. There’s a strong urge to interrupt, criticize, dismiss – all by making those quick judgments you’re trying to be conscious of. The best thing is to listen silently and concentrate on what your partner is saying. They’re describing how they see things, and that’s what you need to understand.

  1. Stop complaining and take care of yourself

How much time do you spend thinking about or complaining about what he or she is doing wrong? Catch yourself, and stop. Consciously turn your focus, at that moment, to what would be the best thing you could do, right now, to look after yourself and your own life.

Could you call a friend? (note: this would be to say hello, not to complain!) Could you do something around the house that you’ve been putting off that’s weighing on you? How about going for a walk, or a trip to the gym, to burn off your frustration and those extra pounds? There’s always something more productive that you can do rather than stewing or complaining.


Many factors can lead to the breakdown of your relationship, and for every couple they are different. For some, it might be an intimacy issue. You also need to be patient with yourself and your partner. Give yourselves plenty of time to internalize new ways of relating to each other.

A lot of relationships break down because neither party is willing to be proactive and take the lead. As this pattern continues, it becomes harder to reach out, and you and your significant other drift farther apart. By taking the initiative to buy concert tickets, start a conversation, or make a fun dinner, you can stop this cycle and pull your dying relationship out of its rut.

David Small

is the founder and editor of relationshiptips4u. He is a dating, marriage & relationship coach, speaker, and author. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
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