If you are struggling with your relationship and your partner is unwilling to cooperate in making it better, you can:
Wait for things to improve.
Your life is wasting away if your present relationship is not working. Doing something absolutely new could mark the beginning of a different relationship with your partner.
Talk about separation
This “nuclear” option may stimulate a change. However, think through the realities of separating; bluffing is dishonest and manipulative and you can get a nasty surprise. It also increases mistrust and disrespect. Do you want your partner to obey you only because you have a nuclear weapon?
Try to change your partner’s behaviour.
You have no right. This usually ends up with nagging, criticism and resentment. How would you like to be ‘changed’ by somebody so that you meet more of their needs?
If done secretly, you are disrespecting your partner, your relationship and yourself; its the same if unfaithfulness is done for revenge, manipulation or to make your partner jealous. An agreed open relationship may be worth considering but can be extremely challenging to maintain.
Approach your partner in a different way
In a chosen conversation with your partner, restrain all reactivity and prevent yourself from stating any of your own opinions or needs (keep those for another day); focus on only him/her; start listening with a view to a better understanding, try mirroring, validation, empathy. Persist in successive conversations over a period of time. This may seem difficult but, surprisingly, it can be the beginning of something different and new.
Change your own behaviour:
- Consider if you can get any of your needs met outside the relationship without being unfaithful. – More friend time, sport, interest groups, study, charity work …
- Read a book about relationships.*
- Consider what you need for yourself at this time in your life – from relationship and what you need from life in general – see Our Needs.
- You could use short term individual therapy in order to work these things out clearly for yourself.
- Remember, change means you may have to accept the loss of some of the things you had in favour of a better future.
If you are reading this, you have some energy for change. Doing what you are already doing but harder rarely works. It may not feel fair but if You want something, You must act and do something different.
Mating in Captivity by E Perel,
Getting the Love You Want by H Hendrix
Men Are From Mars.. by J Gray,
Quiet by S Cain
Arousal by M Bader
With thanks to Getting the Love You Want by H Hendrix
Overcoming Anger and Irritability by J Le Fanu,
Better Relationships by S Litvinoff
© 2018 – 2020, Relationship Egg. All rights reserved.