“Saving a relationship requires being accountable for your actions that harmed it in the first place.” ~LMB
If your relationship is on the brink of a breakup, don’t turn to the traditional approaches to try and save it. Most people try to save their relationships via cards, flowers and attention. Although in some circumstances these attempts may help, they are seldom the “fix”.
If you genuinely want to win your partner back, you have to take a humble look at yourself. In particular, you need to look at how you have been showing up in this relationship over the years. Think back to your partner’s complaints, requests and recurring upsets with you. What did s/he say they were unhappy about? What did s/he constantly ask you to change? What were the small comments that were made again and again? People don’t leave relationships because of a minor issue. They often leave due to a major hurt (E.g. affair, addiction) or because of a destructive pattern that you never changed (E.g. anger issues, lying, defensiveness, being emotionally unavailable). The only chance you have of saving your relationship is figuring out what the core issue was that harmed your relationship and then fixing that issue. No amount of cards and flowers are going to save it if you continue to show up in the same way.
Although some relationships can certainly come crashing down in a moment, most relationships are often hurt by a slow burn. It’s the lack of emotional connection, harsh words or constant absences, done day in and day out over years, that leaves a partner lonely. It’s the frequent blow-ups, endless micro-managing or constant criticism that eventually kills the flame. The countless times a person becomes defensive rather than accountable, tells their partner s/he is wrong or repeatedly argues their case rather than listens to their partner’s story are the things that drive a wedge between people. If your relationship is on the brink, look at these slow killers. If you truly want to win back your partner, start with these. Look at the patterns you got caught in and change those. And once you realize which pattern you consciously or unconsciously played out—apologize for your actions. Don’t rationalize them, justify or defend them—simply own them and humbly apologize. And then, change them.
Relationships and marriages often end due to the micro injuries done over and over again. Saving your relationship requires being accountable for that damage and then committing to doing things differently going forward—not just today or the next week or even the next month. Your partner will need to know that you get the error of your ways and that you are going to make a life change around this issue/pattern. If you’re not prepared to commit to permanently change in this area—then don’t waste your partner’s time.
Challenge: Take a humble look at where you have been off in this relationship and focus your efforts on that area. If you’re not sure, ask your partner—and take in what s/he says—don’t defend! Once you know, change it.