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How to repair a broken relationship?

Give your very best with total commitment


When your relationship is showing signs of trouble, it is easy to just consider it doomed and give up. There is always that hope somewhere inside your mind that you can find someone better next time or at least not have to deal with the problems of a relationship and be single (and happy) again.

In many cases that may actually be true but I prefer that you give your absolute best one more time before you finally walk away. Tina in Seattle was one such person who did exactly what I told her. Her relationship with her husband was getting strained to the point that she wanted to leave him and become a single mom. She liked another man with whom she had a platonic relationship and he was the one helping her go through the challenges of a difficult marriage. However, I told her to try her absolute best for another 90 days after her husband promised to do his part.  (Related: Jessica Simpson unable to forget Nick Lachey)
Tina tells me, "My husband has been really good and loving to me in the first week since we started working on repairing our relationship. He is now more like his usual self - the man that I fell in love with and decided to marry. Hope he'll at least be not rude and my life with him will not be intolerable. I'll wait and see. I understand that even a reasonably good relationship with my son's father is better than a dream about a potentially happy relationship in the future. I still have my platonic friend on my side though. I cannot make myself to forget him and throw him out of my life. He gives me something I need very much. Is this OK?" she asks.

No matter what the so-called polyamorous people believe, it is not easy loving two (or more) people at the same time with equal intensity (I guess swinging is somewhat different). While I do believe that we have almost infinite capacity to love, things do get somewhat complex when you start to share.  (Related:  How to leave an abusive partner)

For the relationship-repair time period, please try to keep the other man out of your mind and life - even if it is only a platonic relationship. Just put your whole heart and soul into your marriage, do what you can to bring the relationship back on track, and hopefully it will all end really well. Let me say this, for a good woman, if she wants, she can find another guy any day (in case this guy walks away because she did not pay attention to him for 90 days). You do not have to tell him anything and be polite and nice in case you run into him, but the best thing to do is to focus on your marriage.

I do, however, encourage couples to have other couple friends and both partners to have friends (not lovers) of the opposite sex - generally this is very healthy for your relationship. Even some harmless flirting is fine as it brings excitement in your life, makes you feel better about yourself, and brings you closer to your partner, but when you are trying to repair a broken relationship it is best to focus on one person at a time.

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