Even if your partner doesn't appear to be interested, there are many changes you can make to improve, and even fix your relationship - even seemingly small ones!
I have a 5 point action plan for you to help you repair your relationship.
You may think at first glance that much of it won't apply to or work for you and your situation. It may take a huge leap of faith for you to trust me that the steps in this article are going to work. But... please give it a go, really commit to it for one month and then evaluate your progress.
What other choices do you really have, beyond just continuing to hope that your partner will change or harping on at him or her that they should?!
This article has 10 tips to help you fix your relationship, but before we get to those I have an incredibly important question to ask - and it may surprise you...
One of the hardest things to do is to get to know yourself.
So why even bother?
Without truly knowing yourself it is incredibly hard to make lasting changes instead of those that just start with: "I'll try...".
What "I'll try..." really means is: it will be a huge effort, I'm not sure I can commit, but let's hope for the best.
Guess what? 'Trying' actually implies you're unlikely to reach your desired goal.
The difference between trying something and actually deciding to make it work is your motivation and approach.
So, what approach can you take to give yourself the best possible chance of making positive, lasting change?
A real change, that's started by...
a. first taking stock, then
b. making a decision and then
c. committing to the cause...
... is far more likely to stick, regardless of the circumstances.
If you think your relationship is on death row, you're crying yourself to sleep and you wake up with a jump in the middle of the night worrying about your relationship - here's my first aid to help you make real changes and stand the best chance of fixing it.
Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.
World Health Organisation
When you feel short-changed, stabbed in the back, passed-over, rejected and in other ways hurt or discarded, you're going to be emotional. However hard - it just means you're a normal human being.
To help you recover there are definitely things you can do that are helpful but there are also actions that will get you into even deeper water.
For example - the more emotional you are, the more needy you'll become or the more you'll shut yourself off. Either one of those can result in your partner being pushed further away. At the same time you're more likely to be short-tempered, less forgiving and less kind.
Can you see how you may be setting yourself up for further rejection?
Research studies have shown that 'self-soothing' is one of the best ways to calm yourself down, rationalise your emotions and so improve relationships. Therefore, if you can sort yourself out, you'll have more success in sorting out your relationship.
Here's how you can reverse the 'needy' cycle...
Your partner cannot meet all of your essential emotional needs. Nobody can. We are all responsible for our own well-being and our part in the well-being of our relationships. Be dead-honest with yourself when reflecting on your role in the ups and downs of your relationship..
One way of doing that is to imagine yourself in the shoes of people around you, the people who are involved with or affected by your relationship. Be totally faithful to the process and make sure you include people you don't like and those that don't like you.
If not directly, then by implication you'll get some valuable information about you as a person and the way you relate to others and your partner.
There's one big BUT with this though - what you discover is just feedback - not to give yourself a hard time with, but simply to discover how to move forward.
Before, during and beyond an event, a normal day, a 'situation', ask yourself: "What will be/is/was my role in this?"
Be critical, without being judgemental, taking responsibility for your role in any ups and downs and being generous in spirit and forgiving when your partner appears to have been less than helpful. Savour the rewards of your and others efforts and learn from any mistakes without chastising yourself or your partner.
Maybe your partner can do better, just like you can, and we all can. But... I also suspect that you've already tried to get him or her change their ways.
Were you successful?
Even if you scored some successes in the short-run, they're unlikely to be lasting in the long-term. Have you already noticed that?
If they have changed their ways it was either because you've whined or manipulated them by giving them an ultimatum - directly or indirectly.
Or they chose to do something differently based on their own assessment and motivation to change. That motivation came from the inside out - perhaps they saw the sense of it or they did it purely out of love and wanting to give.
Ultimately the change brought about by their own actions and thoughts will be the change that has the best chance of sticking.
When you've been together for a while, you begin to think that you know each other. However, we all keep learning about life and relationships every day. That implies that we change every single day. Every conversation, every thought, every act builds on previous experience.
When you've become too annoyed with each other to have a decent conversation, you've lost the capacity to be curious about each other. As your relationship deteriorates, your impression of your partner or spouse becomes increasingly jaded, focussed on the on the negative and based on 'old' information mixed with much negativity.
Therefore it might take an effort to remind yourself of all his or her positive characteristics.
Now my 10 tips for repairing your relationship...
I know that the things I have asked you to do aren't necessarily easy. Again, they require you to make a decision that, to fix your relationship, you'll do whatever it takes - including taking responsibility, without blame.
With commitment to yourself and to the process, you stand the best possible chance of making some real changes.
If, unfortunately, your relationship ultimately falters, you'll be able to break up with your sense of self intact and your self-knowledge increased.
You may have lost your relationship and your partner, but not yourself. You'll recover quicker, feel more empowered and able to move on with your life, regardless of how devastating the ending might be and feel at first.
Ways to Save A Marriage
How to Stop Arguing
Dealing with a narcissistic partner
How to Improve Your Libido
Dealing with Jealousy
Signs of an Abusive Relationship
Tips and Advice on How to Break Up