6 Keys to Avoiding a Relationship Breakdown

See also: Communication Skills

Is the stress of life taking a toll on your marriage? Avoiding a relationship breakdown takes effort, especially when dealing with such relationship issues as physical infidelity, stress, health problems, lack of time spent together, or an emotional affair.

Even if these things have not occurred, maintaining a healthy marriage takes years of commitment, understanding, and honesty. Both partners need to recommit themselves to each other often.

Everyone knows that communication is one of the biggest keys to healthy relationships, but that does not mean that the ideal marriage happens overnight.

If you are worried that there has been a breakdown in communication with your spouse, don’t wait until it’s too late to fix it. Here we look at 6 key ways to avoid a relationship breakdown with your spouse.

1. Build Trust

One essential tip to avoid a relationship breakdown is to work on building trust with one another since many relationship issues stem from a lack of trust.

Do not question your spouse if they have never given you a reason to doubt them. And if trust has been broken in the past, work hard to repair the bond that has been broken. If you can't trust your partner, you can't rely on them emotionally or otherwise. This is not healthy for a marriage.

Trust is the emotion that guides your ability to love, and to be vulnerable enough to give your all to your partner. Building trust takes time, but you can help it along by being honest with your spouse, even when you're in the wrong. You should also display humility, be transparent with your actions, and always live up to your word.

2. Maintain a Healthy Sex Life

Passion is an important part of marriage that should not be overlooked.

Being intimate as a married couple is one of the fastest ways you bond with your spouse, as it is a private, pleasurable and sexual expression shared between the two of you. The adrenaline, dopamine, and oxytocin that rush through your body after being intimate with your partner draw you closer together.

Sex is also beneficial for your health. It helps you sleep better, reduces stress, lessens pain, and builds a stronger immune system.

More importantly, sex promotes relationship satisfaction. The findings of one scientific study found that married couples showed a significant association between marital satisfaction and sexual satisfaction. A great sex life can help you and your spouse feel closer and more tolerant of one another.

3. Communicate

If you only take one tip from this list to heart, it is this one: in order to avoid relationship issues, you and your spouse must learn to communicate with one another.

Partners who are unwilling to listen, talk, or understand one another are destined for a relationship breakdown. This is unhealthy behavior that tells your partner they are not worth your time or your respect. Why? Misunderstandings commonly occur when partners don't understand where the other is coming from, or what they are trying to say.

Communication will help you both avoid arguments. It also strengthens your bond and helps you get to know each other better. But, you need to be willing to be vulnerable and put in the work.

4. Dealing with Problems the Right Way

Every married couple has arguments here and there. Learning to resolve your problems the right way will help avoid a relationship breakdown in the future. You can do this by following these three steps.

Listen: When a problem arises, give your partner the chance to voice their thoughts, feelings, and opinions on the matter. Let them speak, uninterrupted, and give careful thought to what they are saying.

Communicate: Explain your side of things in a calm and respectful manner to your spouse. Do not shout, name-call, fight in public, or attack your partner's character. Speak to solve. Tackle the issue, not your spouse.

Resolve: The final step is to resolve your argument. If you have relationship issues, come to your partner at an appropriate time and discuss how you can fix the problem. Both should be willing to apologize if they are in the wrong, or compromise and meet "in the middle" to help resolve the issue.

5. Show Gratitude

Research shows that many happy couples attribute their healthy relationships to respect and appreciation for one another. This is no surprise since the expression of appreciation to your partner helps foster positive feelings for one another.

You can help avoid relationship issues and keep your marriage strong by expressing kindness, thankfulness, gratitude, and appreciation on a daily basis with your spouse. Thank them for the small things they do such as making breakfast or holding the door open for you. Tell them why you love them and what you appreciate about their partnership. Doing so will certainly strengthen your love for one another.

See our page on Gratitude for more information.

6. Make Time for One Another

Life can get hectic, but that should never be an excuse to ignore your partner.

Of course, work can be stressful and other concerns such as family matters or health issues may prevent you from spending as much time together as you would like, but don't let this become a habit.

It can be very dangerous to make your partner feel like they are not worthy of your time or that you have chosen work, friendships, or child-rearing above maintaining the health of your marriage.

Couples need to make time for one another, either by scheduling a regular date night, or by creating a routine together. This routine may be talking for an hour before bedtime, sitting down at the table for dinner, or talking over your morning coffee before heading off to work.

Guide to Personal and Romantic Relationships

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide Personal and Romantic Relationships

Personal and romantic relationships can be difficult to navigate.

Even those who are highly skilled at personal interactions at work can struggle to translate these skills to their home environment. This book is designed to help you do just that: to take your existing interpersonal skills, understand them better, and use them effectively in your personal relationships.

Don't let relationship issues take the joy out of your marriage. Strive to communicate, express daily appreciation for one another, and build trust together.

Saving a relationship can be a challenge, but by putting these tips to good use you'll be on your way to creating and maintaining healthy relationships for years to come.

About the Author

Sylvia Smith is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships.

Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.