It is not unusual to hear people lament about negative things happening to their once-upon-a-time flourishing relationship. The causes of the problems are peculiar to the parties involved in each union. As soon as you notice there is a gap breeding between you, the reasonable thing to do is try and identify where you missed it. Once you are able to spot where things went wrong, take the necessary actions to rectify and restore your love.

The process of reconciliation can sometimes be very challenging and even discouraging, especially when the other party sees nothing wrong with what transpired. On few cases, couples openly deny the presence of their differences, claiming all is well and thus making reconciliation almost impossible.

How do you help someone who says he/she has no problems? There was a disappointed husband who came to meet me for help in their relationship, narrating to the best of his knowledge, what they had been experiencing since the decision to live together as husband and wife. I was deeply moved and promised to offer my best, just to see how far it could take them in the right direction. But to my greatest shock, the first day he arranged a meeting with his wife, I met rocks, she was absolutely impossible to penetrate, claiming the exact opposite of what her husband said and telling me they had a wonderful marriage and life was satisfying since they got married.

The husband looked at me in shame but since I had had this kind of experience before, I took over and made it an evening to sit together and share. I avoided mentioning anything about marriage or relationship and we spent time talking football and politics then ended up with healthy living. The second attempt also failed but I kept supporting the husband with the advice to be patient. It got to a point that the man could not take it any longer and asked for a divorce. That was when she realised the relationship needed help. She ran straight to me and begged for my intervention, else her husband was at the verge of ending the union.

You can be sure that was a good opportunity for me to do what the man had been waiting for all his life—settlement. I tried hard enough not to prescribe how to live, but was sensible enough to point the things that cause problems in relationships.

As I now listened to both parties, I discovered that the wife was not as bad, but needed to learn the simple principles of effective communication. This gave birth to all the other problems they suffered.

Whatever the challenges in your relationship, it is worth noting that solving problems can be real hard work, you must be ready to humble yourself and seek to straighten things with your spouse or better still, start afresh, not in another relationship, but starting your love afresh, remembering how it was in the good old days and striving to bring the spark back to date.

However, if you want to save your trouble-shooting relationship, there are a few things I suggest could help you get back on track. There are quite a number of them, but I will mention just a few as a guide.

•Be calm: It is very easy to say, but we all know how difficult it is to be calm when you are angry. Any party who feels cheated or jilted finds it almost a right to be enraged, but since you know there has to be peace if you still want to be together, someone should learn to be calm. When your lover offends you, a thousand and one things come to mind. You just feel like lashing out and saying things to pain him/her to match your feelings of anger, but stop and ask that if after saying those things, will your relationship be better for it or the other way round?

•Identify the problems: Knowing what your problems are is a big leap in the right direction. You can’t solve what you do not know. Trying to identify the possible problems in your relationship requires, to a great extent, some level of sincerity. Some problems may be as a result of a carry over experience brought from childhood or hangovers or family background, but all the same, if properly handled, it will help to be on the way.

•Proper communication: Saying the right things at the right time is an all-time challenge. We should learn to tell, in very simple words, how we would like certain things to be done. Making your disposition known in a gentle way is not close to selfishness at all. Your spouse will be happy to do things that bring you satisfaction and joy.

•Agree: Work towards a common ground in your area of challenge. Both of you should shift a bit to accommodate the interest of one another. Relationship is all about making enough room for the other to thrive. Sometimes you discover it is painfully demanding your sacrifice, but since you want to stay happy together, no sacrifice should be too great. Do it right and over time, it would be pay-back time when the relationship would just be sorted without tears.