How To Identify A Broken Relationship -- And Five Ways To Fix It

Updated April 5, 2023by Regain Editorial Team
Acknowledging that a relationship is broken can help us to begin to rebuild it. Doing so may seem insurmountable, but sometimes it’s more simple than expected and requires practicing new ways of communication. Once both partners commit to working on the relationship there is the potential for both the relationship (as well as each individual partner separately) to grow.” - Nicholas DeFazio, MRC, LPCC-S, LICDC

Going through long seasons of conflict with your romantic partner can be incredibly difficult. For many, frequent arguments that happen over a long period can make people wonder if their relationship is broken.  Reaching the point of questioning the stability of your relationship and thinking its broken can be a heart-breaking experience that brings up several painful emotions. If you are unsure of the indicators of a broken relationship, continue reading. This article explains the different signs of a failing relationship and a solution to each one. Do not feel ashamed if you find yourself nodding yes to one or more of the signs below. This does not mean it's time to give up on your relationship, just more reasons to fight hard to fix it.

Couples Counseling Can Help Health Relationships

How To Identify A Broken Relationship

There are a few main signs that identify a broken relationship. These include not feeling happy with your partner, spending less time together, arguing constantly, and a big one, not sleeping in the same room together. There are other signs, but these are the most common indicators that suggest a relationship is broken.

Not Feeling Happy With Your Partner

It is natural to feel unhappy with your partner from time to time. Your partner may be inundated at work or simply going through a low time in their life and neglecting to spend time to show how they care for you. However, these moments typically subside. A healthy relationship will recover from these stressful times, and you find that you both are able to enjoy each other’s presence again. But, if you notice that you are feeling unhappy with your partner consistently for no apparent reason, there most likely is a deeper issue that needs to be addressed. Maybe you feel like your spouse is not putting in the same amount of effort as you, takes you for granted, or perhaps something else is causing you to feel this way. It is important to find out what is causing this feeling and openly communicate the source of your unhappiness with your partner. Having constant feelings of contempt, annoyance, or disregard for your partner is not healthy and should be addressed immediately. Do not let these feelings fester over time, as they can become more difficult to resolve.

If you are hesitating and are worried about how your partner will react, remember that feeling unhappy or unsatisfied with your partner does not just affect you; it affects them greatly. They can likely sense that you are not happy and it might be the cause of some of their actions. Ultimately, opening up to your partner that you are experiencing feelings of unhappiness is the first step to healing a broken relationship. 

Spending Less Time Together

Have you noticed that you and your partner are not spending enough together? Even at home, do you sit in separate rooms and avoid spending time together? Life is busy, especially with work schedules and other activities we must fulfill. If you and your significant other are simply too busy to find time to spend together, this is not a sign of a broken relationship. However, when neither of you are making time for each other, such as not spending time together when you are both free from work, or intentionally avoiding each other, your relationship needs work to stop it from falling apart.

One way to bring you both closer again is to make an active effort to spend time with your partner. Something as simple as eating dinner together or watching a movie at home together after work can help breach the chasm you both have built.  Intentionally spending less time with your partner puts a wedge between the two of you and can be a reason for concern. If you are not spending time with each other, your emotional bond may become weaker over time and disrupts your ability to communicate with each other. 

Constant Arguing

Something that many couples struggle with is excessive fighting. After living with someone for many years, there will likely be periods where you cannot seem to get along. Frequent arguing can be caused by high levels of stress, hormones, dealing with loss, and many other reasons. While sometimes these seasons of high levels of conflict can subside on their own, this issue can also last for an unhealthy length of time. If you and your partner have constantly been fighting for over a month or two, this can be concerning. You may be dating an emotionally damaged partner and not know their struggles. Being incapable of enjoying a simple, quiet evening without arguing can be a sign of a broken relationship. 

However, do not confuse this sign with simple disagreements. As two separate people, you should have disagreements and be able to talk through them healthily. This is very normal and can be an indicator of a healthy relationship. However, constant arguing and screaming matches in a relationship are not good or normal. This is a sign of an unhealthy relationship that needs to be addressed. In any relationship, it is important to respect each other and talk to each other in a way that can be considered productive. Arguing just to argue is never productive and ends up just being hurtful to your partner and the relationship. It can also be hard if you are dating a broken person as it can be a factor as to why your relationship is so fragile.

Not Sleeping In The Same Room As Each Other

If you and your romantic partner live together, when was the last time you and your partner slept in the same room as each other? Sleeping in a different room as your partner can be a serious sign that the relationship is struggling. It can cause a large divide between the two of you. Being so angry or unhappy with your partner that you have not been able to sleep next to them should be addressed.

Many couples choose to not sleep together after a big argument. Some say this is helpful as it allows the two people space, and some say you should never go to bed angry. It is usually best to decide which is best for your relationship, as no two relationships have the same dynamic. However, if you two have not slept in the same room for weeks or even months, this is not normal. This can cause more contempt, less chances of intimacy, and one or both partners will feel broken and ignored. Not sleeping together should be addressed and resolved quickly. In a broken relationship, we want to work together to make things better again. If we have one or more of these signs and then add sleeping separately, it is going to cause much more tension and anger.

Couples Counseling Can Help Health Relationships

How To Fix A Broken Relationship

You may have read the above signs and recognized some behaviors in your relationship. This should not be a cause for panic, nor should you feel hopeless. You and your partner can help repair and fix your relationship so you can get back on track to feeling happy in your relationship again. Are you wondering ? This process may be difficult and will take a lot of effort from both of you. If you both are wanting to get things back to how they were before all of this started, it is time to take action.

Unfortunately, There is no simple way to , especially if you know it is falling apart. In order to mend a fractured relationship, understand that it will take a series of few steps. These include:

  • Talking about your problems to your partner

  • Start going on dates together

  • Apologize to 

  • Forgiveness, 

  • Relationship counseling (if you need extra help)

If you still feel unhappy with your relationship after these steps, talking to your relationship counselor for guidance and additional strategies may be just what your relationship needs to heal. 

The following steps can help you work through a broken relationship.

  1. Talk To Your Partner About Your Problems

Once you have recognized you may be in a struggling relationship, sit down with your partner and talk about your problems. Let them know that you are unhappy with how things are going. They most likely are not happy about this situation either and may even recognize the same issues you that you have noticed. Remember that this conversation should be centered around love and try not to let it turn into an argument. It is important that both of you feel comfortable to express your feelings to each other without judgement or conflict. 

While you are talking, practice active listening and assertive communication. This means listening to reach a deeper understanding of what your partner is saying, without concerning yourself with your own thoughts or judgements. This includes not interrupting when your partner is talking, making sure neither of you are pointing fingers or blaming, and openly talking about your true thoughts and feelings, even if they are painful to say (and hear). Communication is key and is what will help you two fix the relationship and come out stronger than you were before. 

  1. Spend More Time Together By Going On Dates

If you are not spending time together, now is the time to make it a priority. Go on dates, mark it on the calendar and stick with it. Getting out of the same routine and finding a new environment can break you away from a space that reminds you of conflict or separation. Dating your partner will help reignite the spark you two had in the beginning. Do not be upset if the rekindling does not happen overnight, be patient, and keep going on dates. Make time for each other, whether you are going out for your date or if you are having a movie night at the house. Do something you both have never done before. Whether it is trying new food or going out on a kayak. Make it exciting! When was the last time you two went out and had fun together? Now is the time to have fun and deepen your connection.

  1. Apologize To Your Partner

Apologizing to your partner for what was said during an argument, or something else, is going to help the healing process begin. Don't just forget about the argument; they might still be thinking of something hurtful that was said. Always apologize and learn how to communicate with each other instead of fighting. Nothing good comes from explosive arguments and yelling matches. So, kick off the process of healing, set aside any pride, and apologize to your partner.

According to Dr. Susan Heitler, there is no such thing as healthy fighting. We often hear that we must learn how to "fight fair," but she has a different perspective on the issue. She believes that emotionally mature and skillful couples choose not to fight, but to talk out their problems cooperatively. Couples who learn how to communicate with their partner about conflict rather than argue are much happier. You will learn how to work together through a problem with humor and care. Raising your voices at each other during a fight puts the other in defense mode. No growing can happen here. So, during your next argument, apologize, and do your best to talk through your issue and not escalate it into an argument.

  1. Forgive Your Partner

Forgive your partner for what they have done to hurt you. When they accept your apology, you should accept theirs as well. Of course, if there have been abusive behaviors exhibited in your partner towards you, forgiving them and letting them back in is not the best solution. This is a completely different situation that needs to be addressed differently. But, if your partner said something that hurt your feelings or made a mistake and they genuinely apologize, try to forgive them. Let them know that you forgive them and that you appreciate all that they do for you. Sometimes all your partner needs are to know they are loved and wanted.

  1. Seek Marriage Counseling

If you two are still having trouble resolving your problems yourselves, relationship counseling is highly effective. In a relationship counseling session, both parties participate together with the intention to improve mutual understanding and help resolve conflicts. During therapy, you will be given the tools to communicate more effectively while finding more compassion for your partner and where they are coming from. Some people are hesitant to go to relationship counseling and believe it is a waste of time. The truth is relationship counseling can be very beneficial working to help fix and even heal your broken relationship. In fact, the sooner you get in to see a therapist, the better. If you learn the skills of how to communicate with each other and work through your emotions healthily, you are setting yourself up for success.

Traditionally, couples therapy occurs in-person over a series of sessions. However, with the increased demand for therapy combined with changing technology has allowed for online therapy to be an accessible option for people seeking relationship therapy. A current study published in Frontiers in Psychology investigated the efficacy of video conferencing for couples therapy in relation to in-person therapy. Results from the study revealed that couples satisfaction improved along with mental health symptoms and all other related factors equally with in-person therapy. 


If you are concerned your relationship is on the verge of collapse, you most likely are experiencing tumultuous emotions and may consider that your relationship is over. There is hope, especially if you are reading this article and looking for solutions to mending your broken relationship. The first step is recognizing your relationship is in trouble. The next step can be as simple as reaching for professional help from a qualified couples counselor. 

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