How to Save a Relationship That’s On The Rocks

How to Save a Relationship That’s On The Rocks

By Jamie Matthewman
August 9th, 2016

Is your relationship struggling but you’d like to do what you can to save it – if so this article could be useful to you. That said, you should know that I write this as a single man, having recently split from my long term partner. So read this with an open mind and if it resonates great but I don’t profess to be a relationship expert!

However I have gained what I think are some valuable insights worth sharing, which have led me to conclude that one of the biggest reasons monogamous relationships fail, where no one’s been cheating or abusive, is because partners stop SEEING the person they fell in love with.

By that I mean instead of seeing and experiencing the qualities you did when you first got to know your partner, over time your perceptions of who they are become clouded by your resentments, blame and failed expectations.

It seems to me it’s these negative ideas rather than anything else that create the rifts in relationships and makes it look like the attraction to that person that was once strong is gone.

It’s probably not your partner’s fault. In fact she’s unlikely to have changed massively since the day you met. It’s not that she’s necessarily pissed you off, it’s more to do with the fact you’re feeling let down, because she’s failed to live up to your expectations and rules about how things should be.

So if you’re looking to save a relationship that’s on the rocks what can you do? The answer’s simple…unconditionally accept your partner and drop any desire for them to change.

If you could do this your experience of them would be very different and you’d have a much better idea if this was the person you really wanted to be with. But most people don’t.

We often think it’s our partners job to make us happy , so we go about all kinds of ways to try to change our partners, so that they live up to our rules and expectations.

However this is manipulative, controlling and proves that most people are more concerned with their own happiness than their partners. This is fine, but if you want a truly amazingly, healthy relationship, you need to take responsibility for your own happiness.

The more you make them responsible the more disappointed and disconnected you’ll become. When you first met, the romance happened spontaneously, you totally accepted each other as you are, it’s when you start to judge and expect them to be a certain way, you become unhappy.

It can seem natural to blame her for your feelings of discontent. I’m not saying there won’t be times when your partner behaves in ways you don’t like. But it’s why partners are often used as the scapegoat for everything we don’t like and therefore get the blame for the unhappiness in our lives which we’ve probably carried for years before we ever met them.

So the first step is to take responsibility for your own happiness, until you learn to love and accept yourself, it’s difficult, if not impossible to see someone else judgement free.

Whether you’re in a relationship or not, you always have someone to love…yourself (here’s why loving yourself is so important). I don’t mean in a narcissistic way, I mean simply being kind, supportive and encouraging to yourself. Valuing your worth and making choices that honour you.

It’s not something most men talk about, and personally I’ve not always found this easy. It’s taken work but I think it’s mission critical in life and in relationships, because unless you do, you’ll always make love conditional and continue to be disappointed WHEN your partner fails to live up to your expectations, or make the changes you think they should.

If that’s you you’ll never be content. All the time you’re wanting someone to change, you’ll push them so far away they might never come back, which is a shame when the discontent is created because you’ve decided that circumstances or the person need to be different. A healthy relationship is about encouraging one another to be yourselves – not expecting them to live up to your ideas of who they should be.

How To Save a Relationship That’s Struggling

So my advice is firstly don’t make any decisions about whether to stay or go when you’re feeling disharmony with your partner. If you walk out when you’re pissed, you may regret your decision further down the line because anger could obstruct your real feelings, which you may not appreciate until it’s too late.

Secondly if you BOTH want to work things out, you’ll need to be willing to stop blaming each other for the unwanted feelings you have, (this article will help with this) and accept that the problems you’re experiencing may not be due to the relationship being wrong.

So instead of looking for what’s wrong, make the intention to start appreciating one another more, notice the simple things that are already good, that make your lives together easier. If you keep focusing on what’s wrong about your partner you’ve no chance.

Finally take responsibility for creating your own happiness, you don’t need a woman to be happy so stop expecting your partner to give you this.

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Jamie Matthewman

About Jamie Matthewman

Jamie is the founder, main contributor and editor of The Inspired Man.

2 thoughts on “How to Save a Relationship That’s On The Rocks

  • Dan Mckenzie says:

    Thanks for that Jamie. I think the most useful thing I took from this article (and is particularly appropriate for my current circumstances) is that it is so important to look for the great things in your partner and to appreciate what they actually do for you. It is so easy to take your partner for granted and then focus on the negative feelings that creep into a relationship over time. Also your point about taking more responsibility for your own happiness resonates with me too. Cheers.

    • HI Dan, good to hear from you and I’m pleased you found the article useful. It easy to take your partner for granted, we don’t do it purposely but it doesn’t always look that way. It’s great you’ve seen where you can make a difference, so I wish you the best of luck with creating the changes you want in your relationship.

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