Growing up we learn a lot about fairy tale weddings, but not much about what it really takes to be in it for the long haul.

You know how it is … it happens in a flash – the wet towel on the floor for the fourth consecutive time this week – and the dance is on! Thing is, it is never about the towel. 

Each person enters a relationship with certain expectations and when those expectations aren’t met, arguments occur. Romantic relationships are among the greatest sources of happiness and meaning for many human beings, yet also the cause of lasting sadness and regret. In truly long-term intimate relationships, some level of betrayal and hurt is almost inevitable, whether your partner lies about quitting smoking or has a full-blown affair. Love is a tough cookie; no two people think the same, no matter how much you have in common. 

So, if you’re feeling as if you’re standing in front of a brick wall, emotionally battered and bruised by your relationship, is it still worth it to keep trying? The good news is that in spite of the most terrible betrayal, or the most hurtful behaviour - if both of you are willing to try, you could reconnect and start fresh. 

Here’s a few ideas on how to HEAL the connection:

Hear your partner. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Take down your defences. What are his/her needs that haven’t been met? (such as love, companionship, understanding, respect) Try to relate to your partner’s perspective and embrace suggestions; doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. 

Empathise. Be attentive, keep tabs on feelings and never make personal attacks. Both parties should stop their own drives to be the “righteous” one. Soften your heart and show compassion and concern. Don’t be afraid to admit if you find yourself in the wrong, everyone makes mistakes. 

Act. Commit to intentional action to address your partner’s needs. This could be anything from spending less money to helping more around the house. Talk about your needs to function as a team. By taking this seriously he/she will feel valued and respected. Be sure to seek professional help if you need to.

Love. Don’t make your expressions of love contingent on what your partner does – even if you feel hurt or angry - rather reach out and express unconditional caring, support, understanding, and forgiveness. If there are unresolved issues that hamper your ability to love, talk about the steps you could take to rebuild trust. Give each other space and time to heal. Think about what made you fall in love in the first place and remind yourself of the hopes and dreams you once had as a couple.

Your romantic partner should be the person who you trust most in the world – someone who treats you with love and respect. However, when that love and respect turns into pain and suffering, it may be time to leave.

Good luck!



DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.