I recently had a new client reach out asking if it is too late for their relationship?
Here’s the straight truth.
Unless your partner will not even speak to you or interact with you, there may still be a chance.
If… and only if you change your reactions.
If you respond the way that you have typically responded in the past and they are saying that your past responses have pushed them away, then if you are more invested in saving the relationship than they are… you will initially have to do more of the work!
Sometimes this is hard for my clients, and I need to encourage them to put fairness aside. …A lot of people sabotage their relationship improving because they get tripped out being worried about fairness.
I get it – if you start to make changes in your reactions, you are fearful that your partner might not also make changes and then makes you feel vulnerable and scared of being mistreated.
However, the reality is that if you are invested in still trying to save your relationship and your significant other is less invested and has one or both feet out the door, then you might have to stick your neck out. You will need to make the first changes without even talking about your complaints or concerns about the relationship. Just focus only on changing YOUR reactions!
Please keep in mind, I have seen many couples go through separation and sometimes even divorce, and then still get back together and have a happy relationship. Anything is possible, and if you are not ready to give up … then don’t!!!
For a first step, putting in the work means really listening to what your partner has been saying and showing them that have you heard them? How do you do that?
There are many ways you can improve your active listening and validation skills. You can also think of one concrete, solid thing they have asked you to change or improve on as a person. Change it. Tell your partner that you are changing it. Tell them you were an idiot to not have changed it sooner!!! Then do the follow-through.
This is not actually about Never Giving Up On Your Relationship. It’s About Never Ever Giving Up On Yourself!!! Whatever improvements you make to your ability to listen, to repair relationship complaints, and to grow personally will always benefit you… even if not with this partner… it may help you in your life and your future relationships in ways that you never imagined. In that case, you are taking your relationship crisis and finding the silver lining. See what I mean?
***The only exception to the advice in this post is if you believe your significant other has been very abusive to you over a long period of time. In that case, then you would be putting yourself at risk to keep trying to save your relationship with someone who has completely de-valued you and abused you throughout your relationship. If you are confused about your relationship and need advice, you should schedule an appointment with a Relationship Repair Associate.
If you would like some more advice on listening, Register for my free class next Tuesday.