Pinpoint the Problem
There may be multiple problems in your relationship, but there is usually one or two main issues that all the problems stem from. The four possible problem areas in a relationship are: lack of intimacy, whether intellectual, physical, emotional or social; communication problems involving a lack of confiding or troubles with problem solving; a power struggle; and a disagreement on roles in the relationship, according to relationship and psychosexual therapist Ellen Harley in "A Relationship Doctor’s Guide to Self-Diagnose Your Relationship Problems" on "Great Vine." Think about your relationship and what you feel is lacking. You may have to work on more than one issue if the problems come from more than one of the four problem areas.
Communicate Desires and Problems
Convince your partner not to break up with you by expressing your desire to make it work. Let your partner know that you are willing to work on your issues if he or she is open to doing the same. In the "Fox News" article, "Make Up, Don’t Break Up:’ 4 Ways to Stop Arguing," Benjamin Karney, a professor of social psychology, suggests that you make a conscious effort to give up the fight to always be right. Instead of trying to win every argument to get your point across, try coming to an agreement on something, even if it means admitting some of your faults. When you admit that you can work on some of the problems you contribute to the relationship, it may make it easier for your partner to own up to his faults.
Commit to Making Changes
After admitting your shortcomings and hearing your partner's requests, it is time to make the changes. If your girlfriend said she feels unappreciated most of the time, make a conscious effort to express how much you love her through words and actions. In the book, "Make Up, Don’t Break Up: Finding and Keeping Love for Singles and Couples," relationship counselor Bonnie Eaker Weil suggests acknowledging when your partner has made changes. When you notice her doing something you have asked of her in the relationship, reward her with appreciation for her effort.
See a Therapist
If you and your partner are still having trouble, but still want to stay together, suggest going to therapy. Sometimes trying to iron out a relationship's problems on your own can end up causing more damage, according to psychotherapist Dawn Lipthrott. A professional third-party can help with any communication problems or help discover any deeper issues that you may not be aware of. This may involve seeing a therapist a couple, as well as individually.
- Fox News: ‘Make Up, Don’t Break Up:’ 4 Ways to Stop Arguing
- Make Up, Don’t Break Up: Finding and Keeping Love for Singles and Couples; Bonnie Eaker Weil and Harville Hendrix
- Relationship Journey: When Should a Couple Go to Marriage or Relationship Counseling?
- Great Vine: A Relationship Doctor’s Guide to Self-Diagnose Your Relationship Problems