How to Make an Unhappy Relationship Better

When appropriate, use humor to defuse an argument.
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From infidelity and lies to mismatched lifestyles, numerous problems can rob a relationship of its zest. Even small issues, such as spending too much time together, can dull the bond between lovers over time. As long-time romantic partners will tell you, relationships require constant maintenance and compromise. So, if you want your relationship to last, you’ll have to identify the causes of your unhappiness and learn to address them in a healthy way.

1 Compliment Your Partner

Over time, it’s easy to take your partner’s attraction to you for granted. You might even think that compliments are no longer necessary at this stage in your relationship. Take time to let your partner know that you find her attractive, both physically and personality-wise. A article, "A Simple Exercise for Improving Your Relationship," suggests that you and your partner make a list of the attributes you admire about each other. For example, you could write down anything from her sense of humor to her dimples when she smiles. Each week, share a few items from that list.

2 Spend Time Apart

Some people believe that spending more time together will break the cycle of unhappiness in a relationship. In truth, just the opposite might be the solution. If you and your partner feel bored or frustrated with each other, spend some time apart to engage other friends or hobbies. For example, spend a few days camping with your friends or take a class that interests you. You should both make efforts to keep your personal interests and friendships alive. The absence of your partner can help you appreciate the time you spend together, and you will be able to avoid the pitfalls of an unhealthily codependent relationship.

3 Argue the Right Way

Arguments are a natural occurrence in relationships. While some couples argue more than others, what really matters is how you argue. Bring up issues to your partner before angry feelings emerge, suggests a article, "10 Tips to Help Avoid Ugly Arguments." By doing so, you can lessen the severity of an argument, or even avoid one altogether. If you’re already feeling angry, avoid knee-jerk insults or accusations. Instead, go for a walk or practice breathing exercises first to help you speak calmly to your partner about the issue at hand. Respect each other’s opinions and respectfully consider different perspectives.

4 Laugh Together

Laughter comes with many benefits, from easing tension to helping you relate to other people. Continually search for ways to insert humor into your time with your partner. Watch funny shows together or swap funny stories from your day. Even talking about times in the past when you shared a laugh together can promote positive feelings, reveals a 2007 study titled "The Effect of Reminiscing about Laughter on Relationship Satisfaction" printed in the "Motivation and Emotion" journal. However you choose to find humor with your love interest, do it often.

Mitch Reid has been a writer since 2006. He holds a fine arts degree in creative writing, but has a persistent interest in social psychology. He loves train travel, writing fiction, and leaping out of planes. His written work has appeared on sites such as and GlobalPost, and he has served as an editor for ebook publisher Crescent Moon Press, as well as academic literary journals.