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How (Not) to Heal Your Relationship with Five Easy (Losing) Strategies

Updated: Feb 18

**For those who need this disclaimer, this article is written in a sarcastic or satirical way. I’m not actually advocating for the use of these strategies in relationships. I’m hoping to bring them to light in a way that reflects how ridiculous they can be. We often understand that these things we do won’t actually help, but we end up doing them anyway. To our own detriment. Whether it’s ego or habit, we’ve got to let go of these losing strategies and embrace more functional ways of interacting and communicating our needs. Check out our previous posts to learn REAL skills to build connection and stay tuned for our next post that will outline (in a less sarcastic way) the winning strategies to help you overcome these losing ones.**

Happy couple smiling and hugging in a wheat field


Relationships can be a tricky thing sometimes. But they really don’t have to be! Here’s a simple list of five winning strategies that are sure to help you heal your relationship and get you on the same page with your partner. Use of any one of these will lead to immediate improvements, but the use of all five is truly where you are going to see results. So, go out there and start using these winning strategies as often as you can! Let these be your guide to deeper connection and understanding with your partner. 

  1. Control – If you haven’t learned this yet, most people LOVE being told what to do, think, or feel. They find it comforting to not have to think or do things for themselves. So, you can learn to use this to your advantage. Find as many ways as you can to instruct your partner on how they should do things. The more you can critique them the better. And remember, you can do this in direct or indirect ways. The direct approach will look like outwardly commanding, “You shouldn’t feel that way” or “Why would you think that, that’s dumb.” The indirect approach requires a bit more tact as this is more manipulative. You can pull the strings behind the curtain to lead your partner to do, think, and feel what you want them to.  

  2. Being Right – You can employ this strategy by constantly fact-checking your partner, reminding them of what actually happened, and NEVER giving in or admitting you are wrong. Your partner will grow to love and appreciate you the more they understand that you are always right. Using this strategy frequently can help prevent arguments from even occurring because your partner will know from the start that you are always right.  

  3. Unbridled Self-Expression – This is done by sharing every thought and opinion that comes through your mind with your partner. The less you can filter the better because people want to know the real you and deserve to experience your authentic self. Call names and say hurtful things. This will only help your partner understand how serious you are and they will appreciate you for this. Oh, and it’s always helpful when you can remind them of the last 20 years of grievances you have as often as you can. It helps them to know you haven’t forgotten so they can keep trying to make things right.  

man in all black leaning with head against a concrete wall

4. Withdrawal – This strategy has multiple ways of being used. You can withdraw from a particular topic, aspect of your relationship, or the whole thing. Honestly, it’s not bad to try a little of all of them. By shutting down and shutting out your partner, they’ll quickly learn what it is you really need from them. There’s almost no way to foster more intimacy and connection than by walling off and refusing to engage.  

5. Retaliation – This is probably one of the most potent of these strategies. If you feel your partner has hurt you, then you need to hurt them in return. And there are no rules about what is fair in return if they hurt you first because they shouldn’t have hurt you to begin with. If you don’t do this, they will think you are happy with the hurt they’ve caused. Here are two ways to retaliate: directly and indirectly. The direct approach is raging on them with verbal, emotional, or physical abuse. Your partner will be grateful for this crystal-clear message and will want to treat you more kindly in the future. The indirect approach is a little more subtle. This occurs when you withhold things from your partner that you know they enjoy. This adds the extra layer of head games, which will allow more opportunity for your partner to reflect on their bad behavior toward you and learn how to treat you better in the future.  

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