Can you make your partner fall in love with you again?

Part 1, Part 2Part 3, Part 4

You’re wanting and looking for ways to make your partner or spouse fall in love with you again. I suspect that you feel heart-broken about something that's happened. So, let me reassure you first: yes, there's certainly a chance your partner can fall in love with you again. There's no guarantee though, and it will take some work. 

But before we get started, it’s important to really think about whether or not saving your relationship is the right thing to do here.

Sometimes, the old saying, “familiarity breeds contempt” is true. Over time, routine and becoming ‘comfortable’ together can start to make a relationship seem dull and lifeless. If that’s the case for you, injecting some energy back into your relationship could be the right way forward.

If, on the other hand, your partner has had an affair, you’ll want to think long and hard about whether or not your relationship should be rescued. (This is a biggie, so I’d encourage you to explore my articles about infidelity to help you make that difficult decision.)

And if you’re in an abusive relationship, this series of articles won’t be what you need right now. Instead, I’d love you to take the time to figure out what’s going on for you, and how you can take the right steps forward in your situation.

If you believe there’s everything to fight for, and you - and your partner - are keen to reinvigorate your relationship, read on…

What might have happened?

Your current search for something that can help could have been triggered by a number of circumstances. However, it’s likely to fall under one of two reasons...

1. You've been together for more than a few years...

… and life together has become somewhat humdrum. Routine, or overwhelming demands - at work and at home - are taking up much of your attention and energy. Feeling tired, you often just want to switch off and relax when you can.

The problem is that over time, you may actually have switched off from your partner in the process. (Or the other way around!)

Bit by bit, either one or both of you has taken your eye of the ball, and now your relationship appears to be falling apart. Your partner has lost interest, you've discovered he or she is having an affair, or suddenly you're told: "I don't love you anymore."

OR...

2. You haven't even been together all that long, but you consider yourself in a committed intimate relationship…

... yet you're aware that the relationship which you thought was all you'd ever wanted is starting to slip away. Or you've discovered that your partner is cheating on you.

Either way... boom!

Oh the pain, the pain! It probably feels as if you're hanging by your fingertips on the edge of a cliff.

So, this series of articles is for you! I’m aiming to help you to find the best ways for you to attract your partner's - positive - attention again. For them to want to see you again for who you really are, with all your wonderful qualities and your flaws. For them to accept you, and - perhaps - fall in love with you all over again.

Image quote: If you focus on blame, apologies, groveling, and waiting for your partner to change, you no longer have control over your own destiny.

I'm rooting for your success in making some valuable lasting changes to help you save and improve your relationship or marriage. I can't and wouldn't want to offer you any flimsy, 'magical' solutions though. We both know that - unlike what you may read elsewhere - there are no "fail-safe ways" to make your partner fall in love with you again.

Is there still hope, though?

Absolutely there is. There's much that you can do to bring about the necessary changes that will help you build a strong, potentially long-term relationship. My advice, though perhaps not always easy, is 'do-able' with long-term benefits for you and your relationship.

In the first part of this series of articles we're going to deal with one of the biggest obstacles to rekindling love... we're going to get the 'blame thing' out of the way. Later on, we’ll look at whether or not you can indeed prevent a breakup, and if it's possible that you've 'let yourself go' (more for your sake than that of your partner!)

Do you blame out of habit or is something really troubling you? Either way: listen up!

In her talk about blame, Brene Brown says: "Blame is simply the discharging of discomfort and pain".

To repeat what Brene said:

"Blaming is very corrosive in relationships".

That's why we're going to deal with it first. But, just in case you fear I stand in judgement, read on to understand that I really don’t...

WHY do we find it so easy to blame - everybody else, someone else or ourselves?

When bad things happen to us we become, to a greater or lesser extent, emotional. This is a normal and expected reaction. You're very likely to feel angry, sad, disappointed, traumatised or hurt. Those feelings - depending on the severity of the situation and your mental state at the time - can trigger your survival system. The more emotional we are, the less nuanced our thinking becomes. It turns black and white, one extreme or the other. That's when blaming becomes all too easy.

Our brain is wired to find fault! Because if we can identify the 'baddie' then in that moment of overwhelm we know how to make ourselves feel safe. They've got to sort themselves out, disappear, grovel and apologise, or we disappear and we are 'okay'. Simple.

Of course, you may well come to regret your reaction later.

Why?

Because your emotional reaction might have...

  • landed you in the victim role
  • damaged the relationship even more with an out of control reaction
  • catapulted your partner into the defense mode. You've attacked them with counter-accusations, accompanied perhaps by some choice words

Whose 'fault' is it really?

If you're blaming your partner

Let's assume for a moment that the two of you were happy. Yet out of the blue you discover your partner is having, or has had, an affair (people in happy relationships can be unfaithful too). It's natural that you'd feel devastated, mad with them, and terrified about what it could mean for your relationship. You would very understandably then want to blame your partner. 

You'd have every right to feel offended, hurt, let down and want to complain - endlessly - about their behaviour. 

But... would accusations, criticism and attacks solve the problem precisely at such a critical time? No - it would only lead to defensiveness and even more negativity.

Wise relationship advice - short and to the point!

Conversely, let's imagine that the two you have been having issues for some time. You both played a role in that, so who then is to blame? You could point the finger at others (your in-laws, for example), your partner or yourself. But doing so wouldn't solve anything - and in fact it would probably just inflame the situation.

Escalation of the situation would lead to two people becoming increasingly emotional. Neither of you are then able to look at things a little more dispassionately. Nor are you equipped to devise some actionable steps to help you to improve your relationship and grow as a couple.

There's bound to be a pay-off when you blame your partner: 

  • It stops you from having to trouble yourself with uncomfortable thoughts, feelings and deeds.
  • You can dust yourself off and pretend you're squeaky clean.
  • You don’t feel the need to apologise.
  • You don’t feel the need to make any uncomfortable changes.

However, you're now stuck because the situation is likely to stay exactly the same… and probably even get worse.

Fault-finding, blaming and shaming will fail to make your partner fall in love with you again (or the other way around).

If you focus on blame, apologies, groveling, and waiting for your partner to change, you no longer have control over your own destiny."

You can wait for your partner to change, apologise, grovel, and do anything to 'make' you feel better. But at what cost?

  • You no longer have control over your own destiny.
  • While waiting for him or her to put things right you become increasingly worked up and stressed
  • You feel out of control; that's scary!
  • You're increasingly struggling with a sense of despair and hopelessness which can lead to depression.
  • It prevents you learning and growing. If there was - sadly - to be a breakup, you wouldn't have taken any learning from this experience. In that case you may well end up with an unsuitable partner or make the same mistakes all over again.

This is such an ugly outcome and I really wouldn't want that for you. I know you have it within you to take control of your own thoughts, feelings and actions. It's the only way, as you really don't have the power to 'make' your partner do anything.

  • You cannot control their mind or their thoughts, however much you'd like to  - because maybe you think "they've got 'it' all wrong".
  • You cannot change their feelings, even though you may think they shouldn't or needn't feel like they do
  • You cannot 'make' them do anything, even if you think they 'should'.

And, if you’re blaming them - how long would you want to, or could you, hold on to that? All the energy that you'd invest in that... there are so many better ways to direct your energy, if you could just let go of that blame! 

It may seem daunting, but at the same time it's refreshing and inspiring to think that you're now in charge of your own destiny.

How to do a self-check and take responsibility

So, reluctantly perhaps, you can own up - you admit you've resorted to blaming and complaining (haven't we all done that at times?). You're a star for acknowledging that. You're now ready to make some rapid - and lasting - changes.

Start by asking yourself the following - challenging - questions (be as honest as you can - I'm not judging you and there's nobody looking over your shoulder!):

  • Deep down - were you perhaps wanting your partner to be wrong?
  • Were you wanting them to feel humiliated and belittled by way of punishment?
  • Were you looking for ways to justify your own behaviour because you consider yourself to be better?
  • Were you looking for ways to feel better about yourself, because you're eaten up by guilt, self-blame and shame?
  • Were you pointing the finger to strengthen your own position - perhaps that of a victim?

If you were resorting to any of these behaviours - regardless of what's happened - you now realise perhaps that you had a next to no chance of your partner falling in love with you again.

So, here are some tips to help you break the pattern of automatically going down the road of blaming and shaming...

How to move from fault-finding to accountability

Here's what to do instead...

10 Tips to help you - at least - become a more considerate, empathic partner

  1. Don't be drawn into a discussion about whatever's happened until you've calmed down.
  2. Intend to stay calm and - at least - considerate. There's no place for meanness in a relationship. You make mistakes, so does your partner.
  3. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt. You might be wrong, perhaps having not seen the whole picture and jumping to conclusions.
  4. To help you consider alternative explanations, take a look at their behaviour from different angles - there are likely to be several possible scenarios.
  5. Avoid at all cost "Yes, you did" and "No, you didn't" kind of arguments.
  6. During an adult conversation, aim to find out whether your partner acted with full knowledge of the potential consequences of their actions.
  7. Aim to find out if they intended to hurt you. If they did, take your time to consider what that means for the health of your relationship.
  8. Discuss what could possibly have been the reason for their behaviour.
  9. Discuss whether whatever they did or didn't do could have been prevented, and what you could both do to help prevent it happening in the future.
  10. Consider - over time - whether the problem is short-term and can be resolved, or indeed has been a problem or pattern of behaviour for a long time (discuss with a counsellor! See box below.)

All these measures will help the two of you practice healthy ways of dealing with smaller and larger problems.

Oh and one last thing…

Don't be tempted to tell your family all about how 'bad' your partner has been. If the two of you have made up, they're likely to still hold it against him or her!

Perhaps it’s not your partner you blame...

...for everything that’s wrong in the relationship, but yourself. What if that’s become your habit? 

Should you blame yourself?

In a word, no! (Well, unless you’ve done something drastic to harm your relationship, like have an affair. But even so - it’s still not really about blame... it’s more about taking responsibility for your behaviour.)

We are all as individual as the stars in the sky. That includes you! There is no-one else with the same potential, capacity, talents and resources with which you've come into this world.

I therefore really hope I can help you to stop blaming yourself, because... 

  • That too can put you in the victim role.
  • It can also leave you feeling - needlessly - powerless.
  • You'd only pile on more shame and guilt...
  • … leading to further feelings of failure and worthlessness. 
  • You'd become more emotional, thus compromising your ability to take positive and effective action.

Remember? The more emotional we are as human beings, the less we can think straight. An old part of your brain - involved in fight, flight or freeze - takes charge, leading to all or nothing, black or white thinking. You're more likely to make nonsensical, spur-of-the-moment decisions when your emotions are running high. Not to mention spitting out things you later regret!

Why waste your precious energy on undermining yourself? I can totally understand if you’re feeling anxious after the revelation that your relationship is in danger. But you're not going to save your relationship or marriage by blaming yourself.

You stand the best possible chance of creating positive changes and helping your partner fall in love with you again by...

  • Owning your responsibility. 
  • Being accountable for your own thoughts, feelings and behaviour
  • Engaging your partner in an open and honest conversation
  • Deciding which problems can be solved and acting on them (not to just please your partner, but more so yourself!)

It may take some time for them to see you in a different light. But moving away from blaming and instead replacing it with taking responsibility removes a tonne of stress from your relationship. It can be hugely inspiring. It can potentially transform your relationship when you stop berating your partner, or pinning all the troubles on yourself.

Are you habitually resorting to beating yourself up, or suffering from low self-esteem? 

You don’t have to be so hard on yourself! Click the link for my article on how to build your self-esteem. It's full of helpful tips and advice.

What more can you do to rescue your relationship?

In the next part of this article, I'll be cranking up the pressure a little bit. I'm going to really challenge you to hold up a mirror to yourself. I promise you I'll be gentle with you though. My aim is still to support you as you find ways to help your partner fall in love with you again.

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Part 1, Part 2Part 3Part 4

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5 Point Plan for Fixing Your Relationship
How to Save Your Relationship
My Boyfriend Has Changed for the Worse

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Elly Prior

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It's me - Elly Prior, I'm the Founder and Author of this site. I'm a 'real' person! I'm hoping to make a positive difference, small or large, to every person who visits my site.

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