“I want to give us a chance.”
“I am the one always working on our relationship.”
“I don’t know what to do anymore. I am at my wits’ end”
“My partner doesn’t know or even realise how bad it is.”
You can feel the desperation in those lines.
These are some of the comments from over a thousand people who have participated in my online relationship quiz so far. (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/INSP07X)
What do you do if you are the only one in your relationship wanting to work on it?
It does not mean that your partner has checked out or does not love you anymore. They are just not aware of what is going on in your head.
You might even think that you are exaggerating or overreacting because apparently your partner is happy the way it is and you are not.
Let’s analyse this common scenario further, because this is a very interesting topic in regards to perception, assumptions and reality.
Here are few of examples of what could be at the heart of your disjointed feelings about the relationship – in any situation it can be very dangerous to be left guessing.
First of all, your partner might be well aware of your feelings and the state of your relationship, and just doesn’t know what to do. They might be too scared to bring up the topic because they don’t want to get back into an argument. You are assuming that your partner is oblivious to your feelings, but it is important to ask yourself if that truly is the case.
Secondly your partner might also be working on your relationship to the best of their abilities. Maybe you just don’t see their efforts and engagement. You are assuming that they are not making any effort, but maybe they do. Maybe they are reading on the train on the way to work, or connecting with a mentor when they head off to golf on the weekend?
It is difficult to find out whether your assumptions are correct or not. You could ask your partner although that does require a level of connection within your relationship that you might not see anymore.
Simply asking your partner “how happy are you?” might backfire and create an avalanche of arguments and accusations – surely not the result that you want.
So here is your dilemma.
You are unhappy or even frustrated within your current relationship.
You feel that your partner is not helping to make it better.
You want to work on your relationship and save it.
You don’t want to leave.
You don’t want to be the only one making an effort.
What can you do to save your marriage or relationship?
Option #1: You can ask your partner directly “How happy are you right now in our relationship?” and take it from there. This approach requires the communication within your relationship is working and that there is a mutual respect.
If this is not the case and you ask that direct question, it could easily backfire and end up in a heated argument. Not what you want at this stage.
Option #2: You make a secret list of the top three things you would like your partner to change or do differently. You make this list just for yourself and not for sharing with anyone else. Then you create another list of the top three things you think that your partner might want you to change or do differently. Again this is for your eyes only. You don’t need to ask your partner, because chances are that you know exactly what your partner would like you to change.
Here comes the kicker – pick one of the three items you think your partner would change about you and begin to act upon it without announcing it or asking for feedback. Just act differently and watch what happens. The challenge for you is to pick one issue where you are rather comfortable in changing your behaviour. Don’t make it too hard on yourself.
Option #3: Read a book on relationships like my “Why Money is more important than Sex” encourage your partner to do the same. This would give you a starting point for conversation that might be helpful for your relationship.
You see if you do not consciously take care of the things you cherish, they decline in value. You maintain your house, your car, your computer, your health, and your teeth because if you don’t, they lose their value. If you do not look after your relationship, it declines in value as well.
Option #4: You do nothing and hope that your relationship gets better over time.
In my experience this approach hardly ever has the desired outcome. The likely scenario is that the silence and distance between you two grows and eventually becomes unbridgeable.
Option #5: You reach out to a mentor or coach and have personal coaching just for yourself. Trying to get your partner to come along can be fruitless, so start with your own growth and take it from there.
As we saw in the statements in the beginning of this article, often times a partner doesn’t realise what’s at stake and is reluctant to talk about it to a stranger.
No matter which of the five options you choose to take, I am here to help you. I’m more than happy to discuss your personal situation in an obligation free call. In this call we look at your individual situation and evaluate how I could be of service to you.
Book your free call by following this link: https://calendly.com/relationship/free-evaluation