How to fix Your Relationship: STOP Trying so Hard

Put on brakes and shift to neutral.

Your efforts to find love and the intimacy you deserve and desire are to be commended. Your intentions are positive.

However, you probably are trying TOO hard.

When you attempt to “force it” or “fix it” you set into motion a cycle that defeats what you intend.

You want to “work on the relationship” so you embark on a campaign to enlist the efforts and cooperation of your partner.

You focus on him/her to engage with you in more conversation, better communication, more romance, more intentional time together, send articles, keep texting, or even suggest and strongly encourage couples’ counseling.

And, the more you persist the more resistance you encounter.

You pursue, your other distances.

Your efforts are met with resistance at best and failure at worst.

You feel another level of rejection and distance. Your state of frustration hurt and anger amp up another notch.

And, you try harder. You recharge your efforts. Perhaps you focus on another strategy; this time a weekend retreat or self help workbook. Or, you come across another strategy from an expert that will “make” your spouse responsive and you

implement that suggestion.

Again, you bump into another round of rejection, distance, perhaps passive aggressive resistance or more conflict. Or there may be a positive response, but it just doesn’t feel genuine.

You don’t trust it.

STOP trying so hard.

Become aware of your tendency to look to him/her for your health and well being, stop believing the result is rejection and stop performing or twisting yourself into a pretzel to get his/her attention and love.

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7 Responses to How to fix Your Relationship: STOP Trying so Hard

  1. Peggy Gucihu says:

    I’ve done all of these things. And you’re right none have helped at all Not doing anything gives me what? If I stop pursuing him to join in the recovery what responsibility does he have after having the affair? Sounds to me that I’m just supposed to lay down and deal with it all alone and expect nothing from him. Aren’t I supposed to be telling him what my needs are? And if he doesn’t even step one toe closer to fulfilling them am I supposed to accept this and be okay with it? What is the expected outcome from doing nothing or as you say, “stop trying so hard”. This article feels to me as if it’s half done. What should I do then?

  2. Doreen says:

    I agree with Peggy it’s so ridiculous that the betrayed person has to put up with so much bullshit from the cheater. They should be kissing our feet that were still even with them after what they have put us through. But I’m going through the same thing with my husband. I’m so mentally and emotionally drained. I don’t know what to do anymore?

  3. Dr. Bob Huizenga says:

    You might want to check out my latest blog on Charging Neutral. It is entirely appropriate to state your position, i.e. I’m tired of this. I want a mature relationship. I want to be married to an adult, etc.

    The key is not being a doormat, but not being reactive.

    Another possibility: you may NEVER get what you want from this person.

  4. Paula says:

    My husband has been involved in an emotional affair for almost 5 years. It changed to something more early 2014. His affair style is somewhere between 1 and 7. We have been married for 32 years. I have lost my self esteem for so many reasons. He basically has told me when he will talk that he can’t get any feelings back for me..for so many different reasons. I have tried charging neutral but fall back to being what he calls relentless. He recently moved out because he needed space. I am stuck between wanting to keep working after such a long time and just ending it. My problem is I feel such guilt…not sure why. He has no problem spending time with me as long as I don’t bring up anything about the affair. I know how my actions affected our marriage and have been working hard to be a better person. But can’t seem to break through at all. Maybe it is just time to walk away and worry about me.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    I feel the same way as the above. I do try too hard. “You focus on him/her to engage with you in more conversation, better communication, more romance, more intentional time together, send articles, keep texting, ….” THAT IS ME!

    My husband had an emotional affair with his ex girlfriend for four years. 99% of it was over the internet. The entire time I was fighting for our relationship. HE thinks because he told me he was doing it at one point that it’s my fault. My fault I chose to stay?!

    Now he’s able to tell me to stop talking about it. Get over it. Move on.

    So I do ask for more communication, to know where he is so I don’t have those old triggers haunting me. And he says I’m needy, I’m and endless pit.

    I don’t think a few conversations during the day to keep in touch is the worst thing to ask for. I don’t think asking him if he leaves work to let me know. I don’t want to know every little thing. I just want some safety in my life.

    I don’t want to feel like a door mat that just has to allow him to come and go as he pleases, talk to me, don’t talk to me, just basically whatever he wants to do. But if I voice that I want or need something, I’m NEEDY!????

    Why does he continue to have his way, to get what he wants??? I can’t even share a vulnerability without being told it was my choice to stay.

    Aren’t we BOTH supposed to work as a team? Aren’t we both supposed to compromise? I feel so alone.

    • Lee says:

      To Elizabeth: Yes, YOU ARE BOTH supposed to work as a team. Men do what they want to do, when they want to do it and women are supposed to be pretzels to twist and turn into every which way to let them walk all over us. Well, for the record: I am NOT a man hater. Quite the opposite. I love men yet I know that for the most part, they think they are doing a great job keeping us happy. We do take a calculated risk by stating our feelings to them, but believe me, its worth it in the long run. The worse we let them treat us and disrespect us, the more they do it. Stand up for yourself. You can be quiet and effective at the same time. You are not alone. There are thousands of women out here who feel exactly as you do.

  6. Lisa M. says:

    God has a will and a way to bring what we need to us. Instinctively, I have done exactly this. I am not moving from my position as a worthwhile woman and human being. I can only work on me and fix self. Therefore, I’m in neutral and he is left to pick up his pieces and figure out how to fix the mess he’s made…or not.

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