The holiday season is here and with it comes stress. Sometimes this stress can be too much for a relationship. If you feel your relationship is teetering on the edge, here are five effective and very do-able relationship tools you can use now to prevent a relationship break up.

1. Take a time out from each other. If your partner has just told you they want to break up or want a divorce – or if you feel this way – take a time out from each other to gather your thoughts. When emotions run high, our ability to think rationally often goes right out the window. So take about a week or so to think about your relationship in totality.

During this time, try to remember why you fell in love with your partner in the first place and focus on the positive aspects of your partner and your relationship. We don’t realize how caught up we get in the negative aspects of our relationship and forget all the positive aspects. Take time to regroup your thoughts and feelings and revisit your relationship after this time-out period with a new mindset. Think about respectful ways to approach your problems with your partner once you have reunited and see each other again.

2. Look in the mirror. Take a long hard look at the issues you have brought to the difficulties you are having in your relationship. We get so caught up in what annoys us about our partner, we often forget that we are not exactly a walk in the park to live with either. We all bring our own emotional baggage into our relationship from our past relationships and childhood. As I tell couples, “There is no such thing as a one-handed clap.” Sure it takes a while to work through our own baggage, but acknowledging our issues to ourself – and our partner – will go a long way in making your relationship work.

3. Tackle the issues creating conflict. Many times we ignore conflict in our relationship hoping the issues will just go away. It just doesn’t work that way. The longer we ignore conflict/issues in our relationship, the deeper the conflict becomes. Ignored conflict(s) in our relationship is like an untreated wound. Left untreated long enough, your minor wound may end up getting infected, leading to more serious complications. So address the issues in your relationship once you have taken a time out from each other, and acknowledge the issues you bring to the problems in your relationship.

4. Prioritize the relationship. By the time couples are ready to break up, they have been spending less and less time together. Not spending enough time with each other is often what creates many problems in your relationship to begin with. This problem is so easy to solve. Schedule and prioritize time together. Two important rules apply to these date times – you must be able to have a conversation (taking a walk, going to dinner) and you are not allowed to discuss problems in your relationship during these “dates.” The point of these scheduled times together is to recreate the positive feelings that have been lost (or are significantly diminished) in the relationship.

5. Act now! Don’t wait for issues to solve themselves by brushing them under the rug and hoping they will go away. Take action right now to begin repairing your relationship. It can be a small baby step, but hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Doing nothing about the problems in your relationship ensures nothing in your relationship will change. So take action on all of the steps mentioned above and you will be well on the way to laying the foundation for a make up – instead of a break up.

Author's Bio: 

During the past 25 years, renowned relationship expert Dr. Patty Ann Tublin has helped hundreds of people rekindle romance and reignite passion in their relationships. The solutions in her Relationship Toolbox™ help couples re-build romance so intimacy inside and outside the bedroom can flourish. Through her successful 25-year marriage and her experience of raising 4 children, Dr. Patty Ann has earned an international reputation for saving relationships. To reignite your flames of passion, visit her site at