How to Know If it’s Too Late to Fix Your Relationship

    Is it time to walk away, or start working harder on your relationship? Here are five ways to know if it’s too late to fix a relationship that is wobbly or broken.

    How to Know If it’s Too Late to Fix Your RelationshipI’m not usually a big proponent of quick fixes, but Snap Strategies for Couples: 40 Fast Fixes for Everyday Relationship Pitfalls by Dr. Lana Staheli and Pepper Schwartz is a fascinating alternative to hours of talking about relationship problems. It’s an alternative approach to the common relationship advice that every issue has to be talked about at length, and that partners need to understand each other’s every motivation and thought process. Instead, these tips get right to the daily difficulties that cause the fights, addressing unhelpful behaviors and giving solutions to move past them.

    Here’s what one reader says: “I now feel we have maybe out grown each other and that too much hurt makes it impossible to repair things,” says N. on How to Fix a Broken Relationship. “We’ve had counseling but could not afford to keep it up. Do you think that some time apart for us both to reflect on things could help? He says he loves me with all his heart but I have to change for things to work. I just feel so lost, I don’t know what to do. I do not know if we’re both hanging on for the wrong reasons (ie: our daughter) or if this relationship has just become a habit. I would be grateful for any advice.”

    Google thinks you might like:

    I can’t offer you the same advice as a book or marriage counselor can, but I can give you something to think about…

    Signs It’s Too Late to Fix Your Relationship

    There’s no one right answer – and certainly no easy answers. But, there are a few signs that can help you decide if it’s time to throw in the towel…

    One partner refuses to take responsibility

    N’s husband said that he loves her, but she has to change for them to repair their relationship. That’s a load of hoo-ey! While I don’t know his perspective, I do know that an unhealthy marriage is rarely one person’s fault. He’s just as responsible for the state of their marriage as she is. So, one possible sign that a relationship can’t be repaired is that one partner doesn’t own up at all. I’m not saying N’s relationship is beyond repair, I’m just giving her something to think about.

    Both partners can’t or won’t talk about their arguments

    “We spend more time arguing than not, and any special moment is clouded by an argument,” says N. “We go for days not talking after an argument.” The healthiest way to repair your marriage is to talk! You can’t rebuild and reconnect if you don’t talk about it. You can ignore and repress your thoughts and emotions, but you won’t be repairing anything. You’ll be making things worse.

    If your spouse lies to you, read How to Recover From Broken Promises in a Relationship.

    One or both partners can’t forgive or forget

    N. mentioned that she has a hard time forgetting the nasty things her husband says to her in the heat of the battle. He had a rough childhood, and he’s bringing it into their marriage. And, she can’t just gloss over his words and actions, or pretend they never happened.

    If you can’t forgive or forget, but know you don’t want to repair your relationship, read You’re Scared to Be Alone, But Know You Need to End Your Relationship.

    But there aren’t any “for sure” signs it’s too late!

    I don’t think there’s any formula or absolute signs that it’s too late to repair your relationship.

    How to Know If it’s Too Late to Fix Your Relationship

    How to Know If it’s Too Late to Fix Your Relationship

    Every marriage — no matter how healthy or happy — has stuff that needs to be worked on. Don’t look at these few signs and decide that your relationship is beyond saving. Instead, focus on what you really want out of your life. Sometimes we have to sacrifice our short-term comfort for long-term gain…and it’s almost always worth it!

    Tips for fixing your relationship:

    • Find free sources of counseling, such as though churches or nonprofit organizations.
    • Ask counselors if they know of free marriage resources.
    • Be honest about your inability to pay for marriage help, but your need for it. Some counselors and organizations will waive their fees for people who can’t afford it.
    • Read books about healthy marriages – together.

    Sometimes, you know in your gut that your relationship is beyond repair, but you can’t accept it. I’ve been there – I’ve stayed in awful relationships because it seemed easier than leaving.

    Also, I wrote 13 Ways to Get Money to Leave Your Husband for a reader who is scared to leave a 30 year old marriage. She has no way to support herself, no job, no friends. If you’re in the same boat, you’re not alone — but you CAN survive on your own!

    I welcome your thoughts on how to know if it’s too late to fix your relationship. I can’t offer advice, but it may help you to share your experience. Writing often brings clarity and insight, and can help you figure out what to do next.

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    43 Responses

    1. Jeremy says:

      Slowly I lost my friends. Then I lost my family. Now I cling to her because I don’t have the money or the means to support myself and she does EVERYTHING in her power to keep it that way. She raises her voice and gets in my face and then the anxiety kicks in and I cave.

      There is no hope for me. And there is no future. I literally have to stay with this woman that treats her disrespectful ex’s better than me… Damnit I want out… She takes advantage of the child abuse I suffered and plays on it if I ever offer a dissenting opinion, so I just shut up.

      Constantly she tells me I’m not as good a lover as her other partners were, and I’m not as “big” as they were… I have no self esteem anymore. How could I? There isn’t even a shelter in the area that can take me because I don’t have children and there doesn’t seem to be anyplace that will take a single male in. I am numb, not even really angry anymore.

      It’s hopeless… And I’ll probably die miserable and alone before 30. This isn’t what I thought my life would be like.

      • luko says:

        first, get a job, dont depend on her, second, get to the gym, to get healthy, and make friends, in time, you will find, your, self worth

    2. ethel says:

      my fiance broke up with me month ago. i was so devastated until now.trying to get him back but he keep on pushing me away. i must admit it was all my fault weve been in a long distance relationship for 4 years we used to see and spend time for 3 weeks every 6months coz he lived overseas he doenst have a kid as a separated mom he accepted me and my girls which is not 19 and 16 yers old. he supported me in every you know long distance relationship is very hard there will be trust issue with that.i keep on asking him if hes talking to anyone when ever is on pone sometimes i dont want him to go out and have some fun as i dont know what he might gonna do with friends. as for me i dont go out as well with friends only with my girls if its needs. even now hes still supporting my girls for their school. he will just send me message if hes asking hows the girls school but i answer but when i am the 1 sending him messages he barely reply on it.until now im still telling him that im here still waiting for him to come back and im gonna change my attitude if that changes will bring him back to me.but he keeps on telling we tried and we failed for 4 years that we used our time but nothing changes and its really too late for us..but i will not give up on him as long as we still have communication coz of the girls. now im confused if i will keep on hoping or should i give up on him.please help me

    3. vj says:

      Why is there many post to walk away from marriages. But none to stay .

      • Kobus says:

        I would do anything to stay, I’m vasting – today day 9 of a dry vast, praying everywhere throughout the day and night where I get a chance. I know anything is possible through Jesus Christ, if you truly believe. We’ve been married now for 2years and 9 days. My wife told me on our aneversary she had enough, the following day she went to see a lawyer, and I received the email 2days ago. For the last 2days we don’t even comunicate any more. She removed me on whatsapp where we used to chat and on facebook. Her last message to me was if I want to ask somethi g I must comunicate to her through her lawyer. All our problems is because of me, I’m a contract worker and work away from home alot, currently I’m busy on a project since March. And don’t yet know when we’ll be finished. I can’t give her the security, protection and stability that she needs. When I’m at home its off with no pay so then stress levels are running very high. We had 3 miscarriages, and I had a lot of things to learn raising a 3year old, since I havnt had any kids of my own-this was a big challange! And I made a lot of mistakes… A few to many. I always tried to fix everything on my own, untill I gave everything over to Christ only recently. He changed me 180 degrees and proved it throug 1 Peter1.
        I got a lot of scriptures proving God wants to change the situation, but there is still a lot of work to be done. My wife told me she doesn’t love me any more, she can’t trust me or have respect for me, due to all my mistakes, the memory will always be there. If God could change me I know He can change her too, but she’s blind to the truth, shes stayi g with non believing family, and they are backing her in her decision, not thinking or asking God to let His Will be done. Its so difficult to try and fix things when your 800km’s apart. All I can do is pray pray pray and believe God will bless us, and make things right. Its just very discouraging not having any family or friends to close to me to help me through.

        • Kobus says:

          The worst thing of all is, that I’ve never been unfaithfull, I’ve never physically hurt her, I dont use drugs, and only drank excessively 3 times during our relationship. Twice before we got married and once since we got married. Small thing, not being harsh enough – coz I always kept my temper, and spoke to her softly even in the heat of the fire. I struggled to help her with the little things in and around the house. And lied to her for her own best will, never to harm her, and the sad thing is I continued and didn’t stop. We’ve been staying seperated in different homes since January this year, and this is where I started to seek the Lord, I repented over and over and can’t say how much sorry I am, and thinking back, its such small little things, if I get a change to get my wife back I will do all these little things without thinking twise, its so easy, I was a fool not to see it in the past. But now her heart needs to change, I’ve got 2 days to tell the laweyr what my answer to the divorce letter is. I need breakthrough in Christ to tell me where to go from here.

    4. Deborah Yates says:

      With All Mighty GOD all things are possible:)

    5. ashlee says:

      Hi ive never done this before lol … I am 19years old and I have to beutiful kids which I have with my partner who I have been with for four years now we would of got to together years before that but distance kept us apart he is 22our relationship hasnt been doing good for a long time now there was alot of things thatd happened early on that I just cant seem to get past which has ruined our sex life and relationship probably dosnt help that I have put on 25kgs since my kids basically I wanna no how to get past these situation and be a better partner for him he has alot of difficulties about himself but I no he is better then wat he thinks n he deserves better I just wish I could get past it in alot of ways im mad and angry it him n just wish I new why it happened to me

    6. Alex says:

      Hi all.
      First time poster from the UK. Just coming to terms with the end of my marriage of 24 years. Would welcome some feedback. I should start by saying I am very sad and hurt to see my marriage end and I feel very rejected. My wife and I met in 1991. I was 20. Both hurt from previous relationship and wife married twice before. My wife suffered brutal violence in her second marriage and rape twice. We were volatile and poor at communication in first 10 years. Argued and split up many times. I would say 50/50 she now says 100% my fault.
      Three kids 1992 to 1997.
      In 2003 I was unfaithful for about 2 months which I deeply regret. I confessed but we separated for 3 months and reconciled through counselling. I also got personal counselling for myself to improve.
      Thought all was on but I was wrong. My wife had not forgiven me and from 2004 until 2013 my wife was telling my daughters behind my back how much she disliked me and numerous things about my affairs, her feeling I was always cheating (not I add) and other horrible things. We lost our home on 2010 and never got back on ladder and ended up in rental trap. Demotion at work also affected this. We moved north yo new town to save money in 2011 and started to recover. I worked 15 plus hours a day for last 3 years throwing myself into covering big bills and kids uni costs and to try and save house deposit. Mu wife worked in school part time on a low wage. I had no idea she was unhappy. She never said! 8 weeks ago I caught her having an emotional affair first on line and then it progressed to phone. When challenged she fell into a deep depression for last 6 weeks. I have been kind and supportive doing everything she has asked of me, she wanted separation so I found houses and spent thousands trying to get her safe and stable. I offered to cover all costs and keep her secure. Even paid got 8 nights away in hotels so she could get away. All she kept saying was I want a new life. When away she was calling out to her emotional affair man on twitter. I was upset so texted her to stop and all I received back was abuse. When she returned she accused me of emotional abuse and control. I am not like this. I am a dopey husband who failed to pay attention and did not support as I should but I was very tired. Her brother lived with us got a year last year and he said he always thought we were normal and saw no abuse. My children say dad you don’t listen enough and encourage mum but also say no abuse. Now she wants divorce, has left and gone to a refuge!! It seems there is no love left, she seems to hate me and now all these abuse allegations.
      I am getting on improving my life now but I am so sad and do not even know who this person is anymore. 8 weeks ago she texts she loves me and now this. Do I just wait out a year and see if she returns. She seems to want a quick divorce. She is still ill with depression on mess and has not done anything about the trauma counselling she needs.
      Thanks for listening.

    7. Laurie says:

      Thanks for your comments, Marie! I really appreciate your insights.

    8. Marie says:

      Your post does a disservice to those who are experiencing emotional and verbal abuse. Individuals experiencing this type of abuse are far too often blamed and made to feel that they are crazy. Far too many problems in relationships are in fact one person’s fault–Just look at the statistics for abuse. I would like to recommend a book: “Why does he do that?” by Lundy Bancroft. It was a lifesaver for me, and it just might be for someone else too.

      I feel badly for John and that he is suffering so much. John if you are still alive, the book might be helpful for you too. No one should have to suffer emotionally when they are already suffering so much physically.

    9. Laurie says:

      Dear John,

      I started writing you back in this comments section, and then realized I had too much to say!

      Here’s my answer for you:

      I know you didn’t say you were diagnosed with cancer, but I wanted to make the article helpful to others as well as you.

      I hope it helps, and welcome your thoughts.


    10. John says:

      Hi there Laurie, I don’t know what to do anymore these days. I met who I thought was the nicest woman around a few years ago. A few months back she moved in to take care of me as I have a terminal illness. She says I treat her very badly but I don’t believe that I am that sort of person. Every observer that is outside of the relationship loves me for the person I am. A lot of the time when we disagree on something she will just scream at me and I feel like whatever I have to say is invalidated. She says I don’t help out enough with day to day things. I have offered several times to help out but every time I do this, my partner knocks me back so I don’t keep asking. We fight over what I consider to be many trivial issues. I have never said to her that I am perfect and I am more than happy to apologise if and when I am wrong to try and make things right. All I wanted to do was die with some dignity and spend whatever time I have left doing fun things with the woman I love. I don’t know how long I have left to live with the illness, but it wears me out physically and I find myself not coping on that level when I am so stressed out. It also feels that I am in a situation where I am the one who has to do all the work on the relationship and change the person I am so that she is pleased with me. I don’t feel that this is being reciprocated. I end up spending a lot of time in bed as I stay awake at night worrying about how I am going to fail her the next day. I try to rekindle the romance that we used to have together. I’ve offered to take her and the children on a family holiday, even a cruise to a tropical island like hawaii or fiji. It seriously breaks my heart to know this may never come to pass, it was one of my dreams fos us to do this together before I didn’t have the physical strength any longer. She still won’t come with me though. 🙁

    11. E.T says:

      i been with my boyfriend for 6 1/2 years we have two kids together,a year ago things happened, that should of happened not once but two times and now i moved so far away from my family and i forgave him for the one thing that he did but after a year i found out that he did something with someone that he told me that they were just friend.
      this happens a year ago and he said that they were friend .(a year ago he move to get a job to better our life we were away from each other for six month and we talked on the phone and i ever went up and we went house hunting it was day before we moved he called and say he didn’t thing it was a good thing if we moved but we work it out )then i found this out i don’t know what to do. he said that he loves me and is willing to do anything to fix this, but now i feel that I’m his last choose and I’m not wroth anything,we had a bad year with try to overcome the other thing but now we have to overcome this don’t know what to do or think but here the caught i found a message to his sis on Facebook about his ex and this was a year ago saying that he is think on going back to her.but then the next message said, what was he think ,e.t is so good to me. don’t know what to do or feel anymore
      I’m mad, sad and feel stupid very unwanted need some direction.

    12. Faith L Engen says:

      Me and my boyfriend have been on and off for over a year now. I truly feel in my heart that we were meant for each other but he keeps having inappropiate conversations with other women. I confront him about it and he says hell stop and hes sorry for hurting me but the same thing keeps happening. he said hes been trying but for some reason he cannot stop. Should I just let him go or is there a way we can work on this together? Our sex life is great, we live together, play together. Overall we have a good relationship. But the conversations feels like betrayal to me and its now to the point where its on my mind everyday and its ruining our relationship. He said he thinks its best if he leaves because he cant keep hurting me. But there must be a way we can work on this together. I love this man with all my heart. Itd save me a bunch of hurt if he just left, but I cant seem to let go of him. Please help

    13. Michelle says:

      Hi I been in relationship for 9 years we have no kids and we don’t live with each other nomore. being with him I found out I have a disability were my motor skills are gone. I can’t run, jog, ride a bike, dance, and sometimes I trip over my feet when I walk ect. I don’t really want to split up but sometimes I think it’s a matter of time it’s gonna happen we argue alot about the same stuff over and over like are relationship. He don’t want to talk nomore about it. I could understand. it gets so stressful and tiring. Here for the last couple of days I been calling him alot because I don’t want him to be mad at me. I feel like I bug him too much. I did yell at him alot and I wanted to stop but now he won’t give me the chance. If we do spilt up I’m a scared that I will be lonely for the rest of my life and I love him so much. We had so long of time invested in this relationship I don’t want it to end. HELP!

    14. Kathy says:

      Hi, Ive been with this guy for 9 years and out of those 9 weve been married 3.Just this past year we have had problems.Hes very french and sometmes the communication between us is really poor.I try and explain things to him but he refuses to listen.Hes not a big talker but seems to have time to talk to our dogs and cuddle with them and not me.Sounds stupid right.I bought him flowers the other day and he couldn’t care less.He says hes happy with the relationship but his actions tell me other wise.Theres alot more to all this but I do not have the time right now to get into it.I want my marriage but not like this.Im considering moving out to give us space.HELP!!!!

    15. Jennifer says:

      I need some help me and my boyfriend dont spend most time together and its been like this for almost a year now. he spend most of his day playing WoW. I have asked him to spend a little more time with me like walking for a nice and talking. he dont want to…” Another time I have asked him to help me with something he told me he will later. when I go back and him a few hours later he got all upset with me and start telling I never asked him for help he grabbed and held on the bed he start to hit me hitting my top lip making it bleed and hitting me on the side of my face. Am I doing the right thing staying with and trying to make this work?

    16. Daniel Southerland says:

      So me and my girlfriend of 2 years have been arguing A LOT lately and it might be because shes pregnant, but every time we do… she always says im the one who doesn’t care or is acting like a d***. I don’t know what to do to help fix this! I want to fix things to make it to where we dont argue as much and we’re happy! I mean we get home from school at 7:30 and i do everything, make her food, clean bathroom for shower, even do dishes, all so she can lay down and relax… but she yells at me all the time… i dont know what to do!!

    17. chris says:

      Thanks, my marriage has gone through a rought ime recently, but you have given me some ideas to help to work through our problems together.

    18. Michelle says:

      have a 10 yr old daughter & my boyfriend has an 18 yr old daughter & 16 yr old son. We have been together for 5 yrs & due to living 45 minutes apart, we only see each other on the weekends & talk on the phone everynight before we go to bed. His kids & ex-wife are ruining our relationship.
      He has been divorced for almost 14 yrs & is a full time father & mother to his kids. His ex had cheated on him during their entire marriage including sleeping with his best friend during a BBQ at their house. He found out about her marital affairs because she used their credit cards to pay for the rooms. His kids primarily live with him only seeing her every other weekend & 2 days during the week after school for a couple of hours. She has very little interest in her kids unless it benefits her. Usually when she’s trying to impress a guy. So he makes up for it by spoiling them & they get everything that they want. He states it’s to make up for how their mother is to them. His daughter stopped going over there a year after we started dating (which I never minded). She will only hang out with her mother when his ex’s is buying her something. His son will only go there if he is not hanging out with his friends, but when he does go its only to go across the street & stays at his brother’s house (her son from previous marriage). Their mother is always buying his son things & really doesn’t do that for his daughter. My boyfriend & his ex hardly ever spoke & when they did it was always a fight. She had started dating someone a couple of months before I met my boyfriend.
      Everything was going great for the 1st 3 yrs. of our relationship. We would have our ‘kids’ free weekend & when we had our kids we were always doing things as a family until his kids started getting older. I would suggest doing something & he would state that his kids are older & would rather hangout with their friends instead so we would just do things with my daughter. After sometime, I would start asking his kids to do things with us. His son always wanted to hangout with his friends & his daughter would sometimes go out with us. His daughter started becoming very mean to my daughter & here she admitted that she was jealous of the attention that my daughter was receiving from him.
      Even though his daughter stopped going over to her mothers, she would be out with her friends. We would then take a night to go out & hangout with our friends. On the way home, if we would fight I would tell him to end it when we were pulling up to the house because his daughter would be home & she didn’t need to be apart of it. Unfortunatley, he would continue & made her apart of it by telling her about our arguments which put a strike against me. She started becoming rude & ignorant to me. I was only good enough when my wallet was being opened up for her. I have always had a good relationship with his son.
      2 years ago, his ex-wife’s boyfriend moved to Kentucky due to his job. After he moved, she wanted to be buddies with my boyfriend & starting problems. She plays her game by starting to take an interest in her kids especially her daughter & he falls for it thinking that she is finally going to be a mother — which never happens. About 6 months after her boyfriend left, she announced she was moving to Kentucky. She had called their son on the phone & stated ‘Your father has a life, you kids have a life & I don’t. Since my life moved to Kentucky, I am moving there’. His son was devastated & his daughter hated her even more. Before she moved, that guy ended it with her & that is when things started going downhill. She would say things to cause my boyfriend & I to fight. One thing my boyfriend always states is that she plays her games. I know she doesn’t want him, but she also doesn’t want him to move forward in his life.
      His daughter graduated on my 40th birthday. The graduation party was being thrown at his/our house. His ex-wife played her game that night pretending to be the best mother & acted as though it was her home. Flirting with him & hanging all over his friends. She was even planning to leave the party with his best friend that she had slept with during their marriage. After everyone had left the party, except for her, his best friend & another friend. I got sucked into her game she started a fight with me & things were said. We were in an altercation. I ended up walking out on him the next day & cleared my things out of his house.
      After a couple of weeks went by, we decided to work things out. I explained to him that I want to take it slow & work on things. He throws it in my face how I should have never packed up my things. Now his ex keeps saying things to his kids to have them hate me. I love my boyfriend & his kids & honestly just don’t know what to do to get things back on track with his kids. He had a previous relationship with a woman if 4 yrs that walked out on him because of them

    19. D says:

      I am in the exact same situation now. I moved 200 miles to be with my partner. We have been together 4 years. we have argued a lot the last couple of years about some of his children’s behavior. we have shared access with their mother. He also took a job that takes him away during the week 3 months after me moving here and left me all alone not knowing anyone. We argue about that too. Every few months we have blazing rows and i threaten to leave because i am so unhappy but it seems he doesn’t care. We havn’t spoken properly for a few months now since the last big argument only to have a go at each other and we have both said things we didn’t mean. I asked my boss for a transfer back home in my job and told my partner that i had done so and he just said that if it is what i want then i should go ahead as he doesn’t know what he wants anymore. He said he hasn’t been happy for a while as we argue too much and that he doesn’t want to come home anymore. We have talked about both our faults and i have said that i want to work on the relationship but he says he is not sure if that’s what he wants. There is a vacancy in my job back where i used to live as a staff member there wants to move here so i have decided to move back. My partner said i did this in haste and i my actions have consequences but i can’t sit around waiting for him to decide if he wants to be with me or not. It hurts too much. I cannot argue with him anymore. I love him and don’t want us to split up but he blames me for everything and he has very selfish ways. I have to think about myself now.

    20. The situation says:

      First time visitor here!
      I have been with my husband for 12 years, married for 10. The first few years was party, party,party. Then we had children. We both settled into our roles. Me more than him lol. It has always been my job to do everything and when I was staying home with the kids I didn’t mind at all. Everyday he came home to a spotless house, a hot meal and a smile from me! Now that they have gotten older I am working full time in the corporate world in a very demanding position. Normal hours, but high stress! Even after dozens of polite conversations asking for more help, it’s still all on me. Back in Jan of this year I reconnected with my best friend from high school. He and I were always just friends and the best of them. we had lunch here and there, then it became apparent that we both wanted more. He actually left his wife and his divorce will be final in a few days. I decided to stay in my marriage. I decided to stay because my husband realized he was losing me and made BIG changes. At that point I had no reason to leave. He was cleaning, cooking, helping with the kids (8 + 2) and flowers and “your beautifuls” everyday. I still have minimal contact with my best friend and he completely respects my marriage and gives me advice on how to save it. After giving it my all for the last two months I see back sliding big time. I’m doing everything again. And he is not as sweet to me and not as patient with the kids. These old issues are back and in full force. He’s not an easy man To talk to. Should I try to ask him for the old – new him back or am I going to have to do that every two months forever. I feel like I got tricked! I’m not in love with him and have not been for several years but I have two children and this is my family. On the other hand I’m miserable. He thinks I’m fine, thought I always was fine. Amazing how we could share a bed and he could not see i wasnt happy. Am i that good or is he that selfish?I can make anything work for my kids. But inside I’m so sad. I don’t want to leave him for my best friend, I I leave him it will be because of him! I know I could seem content forever but I think I deserve more. I feel like God told me to stay, so I did. Maybe it was just to show me what would happen so I wouldn’t wonder????

    21. Steven says:

      Dear Laurie
      I have been broken up with my girl for 5 months now . Maybe I should start at the beginning. We met when we were 18 and were friends only she was a friends girl ,they broke up I did not see her again till I was 43 we met again on match after we both became divorced and we fell in love quickly moved in together in my small apartment we lived there for a year and a half while the new 2 family house she bought with her parents was renovated. She invited me to live there with her and marriage was on the table but it came with rules from her about stability of job I am self employed ,we had various problems with her brother who also lived in the house with us (downstairs with the parents)he has never lived away from them and he belives the world owes him a living .
      Caren can not stand confrontation and hides from it she asked me not to confront the brother when he pushed my buttons and I did my best not to .
      Caren and I lived together for the next 3 years in that time we lived ,laughed and loved , our only issues were I got sick and had panic from it in the last year Sorjgrens syndrome ,she is not a nurturing women , she is kind . last September I started to feel bad because I wanted our relationship to go further and I had some feelings which caused me to act out in small ways , I was short sometimes and sometimes distant , I wanted her to seek me out show she cared , it was dumb and not mature and for this I am ashamed .
      We went through the fall and into Christmas were some family drama from my family caused us to have to help out and this caused some stress. January came and things got tense I came home one night and she asked me what was wrong . I told her that I thought she kept me at arms length and did not let me fully into her life , the rules over marriage and money of which I always paid my way ,remember we spoke of these things very little and never fought not once in 4 and a half years . She told me she had no Idea that I felt this way .
      The next thing that happened was she cut off our communication , she stop talking about anything other then general information and she started to dress and undress behind closed doors. Now I was really frustrated but I figured when she was ready to talk she would . A week went by she called at work picking a Monday because I started to see my therapist again at her request and I thought it was a good idea cause maybe it was me .She asked me on the phone if I loved her and wanted to work on our relationship ,her tone was cold and stern , I was frustrated and confused and replied I don’t know she told me I had 2 weeks to decide so I decided to really use those 2 weeks to reflect the Saturday before the dead line I told her I would join the life group she had requested at the Liquid church. She responded by saying she was going to go alone first .
      That Monday of the deadline came she came to my shop and told me it was over for her and she wanted me to move out . I was shocked and devastated by this .
      I went home that night and asked why she felt that this was necessary she said after hearing my complaints has felt I was not the man for her ,she sat there and held me while I cried . the next few days she became less compassionate and kept asking me to go stay with my aunt in town of which I did , I was upset she told me we would talk and see each other . 2 weeks went by it was her birthday I wanted to take her to dinner when I called she said it was not a good idea too soon . she met with my therapist and they set up a meeting for the 3 of us to meet Caren did not show she phoned it in she told me and the therapist that she loved me but was not in love with me , she must have said it ten times she also said I was not financially in line with her thinking and I was looking to her to make me happy . I was needy that much is true but my heart had been broken and I was sick with another bad cold.
      I went to the house the next day and I let her have it about how I did not mean enough for her to make the effort she said she was upset I asked her to tell me what she was feeling she refused and just said she was not changing her mind and asked me to leave ,I refused , begging her to tell me , I kept my foot in front of the door keeping her from going inside , I was a mess she had brought me down to my knees, I let her go in .
      I sent her a apology card fro my behavior on the porch and left her alone until she contacted me to come get my stuff it was a e-mail that said please take all of your stuff ,I wish you all the best ,
      I waited about three weeks and wrote her a letter about how I acted in the last few months and how I was trying to use the time to improve , I wished her love and happiness. No response . I had seen a website with a list of flea markets she enjoyed and had called her to tell her about it , I left the message . No response . I allowed another 3 weeks to go by it was Easter weekend by then , told her I would be having coffee at the local Panera on Saturday morning and if she’d like to join me to come by . No response . I waited till the week before Memorial day , she now had a profile on match .com looking for the same arrangement we had I called her and ask her to just talk she did not pick up the phone , I never asked for more then talk . I did not try contacting her until this Monday that was two more months I called to tell her about a store which was selling medical scrubs cheap (she was always shopping for them again no response . I went to the house first time in 5 months she came to the door reluctantly and I think only because she was having company and wanted to make sure I was gone before that . She told now was not a good time I asked her to just answer 2 questions 1 was she ever going to talk to me again ? she answered with hesitation and stuttering eventually , 2 did she miss me at all she said yes sometimes . I went for a 3 question did she ever want to have another relationship with me which she answered no . I left .
      What I want to know is it is possible to get her to talk to me ever again . I know a relationship with me is out of the question but if we never talk then it is really true . I am not sure if I betrayed a trust ,if she could not handle the bad times I had the winter before or if she just thinks the right man for her needs to be non confrontational , nurture her with out reciprocation , take care of himself 100% deal with her family with out complaint , be financially successful. I know it all sounds bad , but I do bring something to the table . I am kind and loving and I do listen , I know her , I know what she needed I just needed something myself . I know even though we never fought and the majority of the time we enjoyed it was only the 2% that was bad does it make us no good as a couple ? Is there any way I can get her to talk to me again ? Is there any way to start a new? I have such love for her , I know worse couples . I will move on when I have exhausted all possibilities but I want the chance to talk , how do I at least get there ?
      Thank you Laurie for anything you might have to offer and I do know hearing something you don’t want to is hard I also know accepting it is even harder.

    22. L says:

      My girlfriend and I have been together for 2 years now and just a couple of weeks ago I found out she had been going to another guy for emotional support. She told me she had been meeting up with him to talk about her feelings because I had been neglecting her. This really hurts me because for the past couples of months I had been dealing with depression and when I reached out to her, she didnt want to bother with it. I have a feeling that she didn’t want to be there for me through my time of need because I had been neglecting her feelings prior to it. Its like we are never on the same page. She is hurt and wants me to fix her, but I can’t because I hate that she wasn’t there for me. And then when I don’t fix her, but I need her help, she isn’t there for me because I didn’t listen to her. Its a vicious cycle and I don’t know how to break it. I know that we could have a great relationship if we could just care about each others feelings again without being selfish about our own feelings. I’m bringing up to her the idea of couples counseling but I don’t know if that will help..

    23. jaz says:

      Hi, I have been in a relationship for almost 2yrs. Within these 2yrs I have been hurt by my partner on numerous occasions, I have also done some hurting as well. Over all Im too the point were I’m confused I’m not hppy an I am not benefiting from this. I am a scorned 23yr old who has been cheated on lied to, hurt, abused physically,mentally,emotionlly and verbally half my life. Meeting my boyfriend I thought this would change but it’s only added more pain an suffering to my long timeline. And he knows my past an he feels he doesn’t take me threw stuff that I’ve been thru he won’t take responsibility for his actions an thinks everyone else is the reason to our problems he has become controlling, insecure and on top of that he knows I’m not Happy but makes me feel bad by putting me threw a guilt trip. I wanna leave but Wanna make sure I can walk away with no regrets. What should I do?please help cus I’m wasting my life.

    24. Laurie says:

      Thanks for your comments. I think we often don’t know if it’s too late to repair our relationships, until we actually try. Sometimes we think it’s way too late to rebuild, but it turns out to be possible after all.

      Other times, we think we CAN repair our relationship easily, but it turns out that we just don’t care enough to bother.

    25. jess says:

      I have been n a relationship for going in 9 yrs. Not married, and we have 2 kids together. The first 5 yrs he cheated on me repeatedly, I would sometimes leave but we would always end up back together. After 5 yrs I found out I was pregnant, and soon found out he was cheating. We ended up spitting after sometime. When my lil girl was about 3 mths we officially jot back together. It was hard but we did. When she was 6 mths old I was pregnant again with our son. We got our own place and things were goin fine. And he as far as I know didn’t cheat anymore. 3 1/2 yrs go by and his best friend ended up n a divorce, and he was someone I always thought was an upstanding guy. One day we started textn back and forth about dif things. Mainly about relationships, his son dying. Just dif things he just seem to listen something that I never got from my boyfr

    26. Melissa says:

      Great site Laurie. I like your hat 🙂
      For me, I could tell when the relationship had run its course because I simply wasn’t bothered whether he stayed or left me. That must make me sound cold and heartless, but I’m not really. That slight insecurity I always used to have about my fear of him leaving me had gone. One day we had an argument, and instead of feeling panicked and stressed about it, I didn’t care. A few days later I told him I wanted to split up. The thing that gets me is that I went from caring about him so much, to not caring at all in a matter of a few weeks. My feelings changed so quickly.

    27. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

      Dear Tony,

      Thank you for sharing about your marriage here. My heart goes out to you, because you sound so sincere. You really do want to repair your relationship with your wife, but she isn’t eager to reconnect. It’s a tough place to be, and I don’t know if you can save your marriage.

      I wrote this article for you, to give you a few things to think about:

      After Years of Neglecting Your Wife – Can You Reconnect?

      I don’t have any concrete answers for you, and I don’t know what your future holds. But you’re not alone – most married couples seem to let their relationships slide or take each other for granted! Some pull it out of the toilet, some don’t. The thing is, you can’t save your marriage alone. You and she need to pull together to revive your relationship – and I don’t know if she is interested in doing that. She may be going through a stage, and may turn back to you in time. Sometimes a bit of separation is the healthiest thing you can do in your relationship.

      Anyway, I hope this helps a little, and wish you all the best with your wife.


    28. Tony says:

      I don’t know what to do. My wife and I have been together for 6 years, and married for 3. We recently moved in order for me to take up a new career, and the job requires me to be away from home for up to 3 weeks at a time. She has never spent time alone before, she has always had friends or family nearby. After coming home from work after my last trip out, she told me she isnt happy, and hasnt ever been happy. She always puts the feelings of others before her own, and now that she has time alone she is re-evaluating her life.

      Although i have never hurt her on purpose, after self reflection i have realized that I have neglected her alot in our relationship. I have blown off things i thought were no big deal, but were to her. For years, because she doesnt like confrontation, she wouldnt tell me that i was hurting her, or when she did try to, I was ignorant to what she was saying. She has told me that she thinks i have treated her like a mother, not a wife, and that she doesnt feel cared for, wanted or desired. I haven’t made her a priority in my life, even though i never meant to do anything to hurt her. Because of how she grew up, she says she hasnt ever been open or honest with anyone, because people only hurt her.

      We have agreed to try to be more open and honest with each other. The other night i tried to talk to her about my feelings. I tried to remain calm but ended up quite emotional and near crying. She told me that she felt nothing seeing me upset like that. She feels bad that me being upset triggered no emotion in herself, but she literally found she just didnt care.

      She now talks to other guys constantly, because they make her feel desired and wanted. She has been honest with me about it, that she is only talking to them and its not going any further than talking, so far. I want to start to fix things but i dont know what to do. The couple times we have gone out, she is just on her phone texting other people.

      I can barely touch her without her pulling away, and there is no intimacy between us. She says she doesnt know where our lives are going and that terrifies me, because i dont know how to start showing her that I DO want her, think of her, and desire her. I know that the point our relationsh is at is mostly my fault because of the way i have treated her, unintentionally or not.

      I want to save our relationship, and I want to make her, and us, happy again. I just dont know where to start.

    29. Randall says:

      I think my relationship of 19 years is over but not because i want it to be,my wife had an affair for several years and i couldnt catch her at it which lead me to beleive it wasnt happing.Then on down the road she had an argument with a friend that finaly told me about everything she had done and was doing.While i was away working she was meeting with him 3 to 4 times a week and telling her friend she was in love with him and that she didnt love me she only cared about me.We almost split but some way or another we stayed together,its been 3 years and just 10 months ago i found a odd number and called it.Sure enough it was a guy that i went to school with so i ask her about it,complete denial she told me numerous lies about the situation,i caught them out together once,so i know shes seeing him.I love her with all my heart but i dont think she loves me at all,i continue to stay with her even though shes doing what shes doing i dont want to let go,idk

    30. Jane Doe says:

      Dear L. Its funny, but its totally not… however me, a women… never thought in my life i would ever hear someone with the exact same story as my life and situation, however add to the pot thats boiling, they always say they will change, and they do for a month or two. However quickly fall back into their lazy lies not helping with anything and making everything our faults. I even find myself breaking in tears after making “so called love” with my husband. And he doesnt even care. So obviously i can relate to you. I dont even want my husband touching me, and when he does i feel irritable and depressed and like the walls are sinking in on me. He not only tries make it a common thing to guilt me about his needs and how its my job to fill these needs. What about my needs for once…. ohhh wait what was i thinking, I’m married. F**k my needs i’m simply put on his earth for mans disposable. Use me abuse me and make sure i know it that i’m treated this way because he believes i deserve to be punished for god know whatever reason. I have bent over backwards and can not figure out where these thoughts come from. I can only assume he hates women and taking whatever mommy issues he has on me. As you can see this doesnt leave much for intimacy when feel this way about the one u married. I made a huge mistake we were never meant to be and much like you i figured i would try fix problems, and thought marriage would fix a problem that wasnt fixable. Good greif~ my marriage sucks.

    31. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

      Dear Paul,

      It’s extremely difficult for couples to split up and then try to be friends. The relationship will always complicate the friendship, because we human beings can’t easily put the relationship into a box and start over in a new, uncomplicated friendship.

      I think you and your ex should take a break from your friendship. Take several months off – give yourselves time to heal, detach, and move on after the break up. You’re not allowing yourselves to heal when you’re still trying to repair your relationship – you’re still working your love out in your friendship.

      Also, remember that if you or she meets another potential partner, the partner will not be happy that you two are still in contact. Staying friends with your ex, especially after a recent breakup, will affect your future love relationships.

      I hope this helps, and wish you all the best.


    32. Paul says:

      Could anyone give any advice to what I could do? I’m beginning to feel as though I should just move on.

      About 5 weeks ago me and my ex mutually split up and just be friends. At the time it seemed like a good idea to me, as at the time she couldn’t seem to stop focusing on the few areas where we didn’t agree on nor get past the couple things about me that irritated her and I couldn’t help but take take things personnelly, get past she was still good friends with her ex and that she kept correcting me over little things like grammar and it was badly affecting our mental and emotional health. Towards the end.of the relationship my girlfriend even said she couldn’t even feel a connection anymore, whereas I could and even loved her, simply because I kept seeing signs thinga could get better if we could get past the problems, such as me doing something that made her laugh or she did something that sent my heart racing. Since the split though I’ve come to regret the decision to end things and have been trying to mend things with her as even now as friends we can’t seem to get past the small thinga. I feel I am on the way to getting past them, but feel that for whatever reason she isn’t. I really want things to work between is, but can’t seem to get them too.

    33. Paul says:

      About 5 weeks ago me and my ex decided to split and try to be friends, as for whatever reason neither us could stop focusing on the bad things in the relationship. The ex even went as far as saying that whenever she came to meet me she would just get filled with anger, but couldn’t figure out why. I think I’ve been able to figure out the reason for focusing on the bad stuff – in that it simply became a habit that neither of us were able to break from and that we both seemed to take things too personally or looked too much into something. I still love her and am trying to make amends with her, along with trying to break thw habit, but she doesn’t seem to be either willing or able to sort things out. Even now as friends we barely go a couple days without arguing and she has even admitted she can’t feel a connection anymore. I feel if we could overcome these problems then she’ll begin to feel the connection that I feel is still there. There has been times since the breakup where we actually got along and had a laugh too, but whatever progress those times could have made are thrown away a couple days later. Is there any suggestions as to what I could do to try and improve things?

    34. Jim O says:

      This is the age old question when a relationship is struggling. Should I stay or should I go. There are some things that you need to know if you are going to make such an important decision. Here’s just a few. What makes a relationship work. Most people will say communication and compromise but if it were that simple they probably would not have found ourselves in a difficult relationship in the first place. What type of communication is the important question. Beyond that we need to know how to resolve our differences. Conflict resolution done poorly or avoided will tear a relationship apart. But conflict resolution done well will bring you closer together. But so what if your good at communicating and resolving your differences. That still wont be enough to make it work. For a relationship to be all it can be we have to be able to demonstrate (not just say the words) love, valadation, reasurance, fun, support, excitment adventure. Should you stay or leave the real questions is do you or your partner want to learn how to do the things that keep a relationship together. If th answer is no then you should split. What do you think?

    35. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

      Dear Tara,

      I’m sorry to hear about you and your boyfriend. I wrote this article for you — it may help you decide what to do.

      How to Know if Your Relationship is Over – 9 Questions

      If you’d like to focus on repairing your relationship (which I’m generally a big fan of!), let me know. I’ll round up a few tips for relationship repair.


    36. Tara says:

      Hi me and my boyfriend have been together for a while now and have a kid together and even though there is so much stress i really feel like our relationship is falling apart… its gotten to the point where we dont even hug in bed at night anymore and he says that he loves me and doesnt want to lose me buti dont think he sees how much he is hurting me and effecting our relationship… we dont spend any time together alone anymore and im finding myself getting really depressed over! he say that he wont go to couples counciling and i just dont know what to do anymore but i know that i dont want to lose him!! 🙁

    37. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

      Dear Nadi,

      I’m sorry to hear that you and your husband aren’t as close as you once were. I’m especially sorry to hear that you feel unloved and ugly…that’s a sad way to live, my friend.

      Is it too late to repair your relationship? I don’t know. If your husband isn’t willing or able to strengthen your marriage, then it’s much more difficult. After all, you can’t do it alone!

      Here’s an article about overcoming emotional disconnection in marriage:

      When You Feel Alone in Your Marriage – Emotional Disconnection

      I hope it helps, and welcome your thoughts there or here.


    38. nadi says:

      Hi, i have been married for 8 years now,have 2 girls,left my people,country and friends to come and live in another continent and have a life here.Iam not working for the sake of kids as they have no one to take care of but my husband never liked it.He is a very good person otherwise provider and a good father. we never fight like shouting etc but we have no intimacy between us for last few years.I am now so bitter now that i don’t know what to do ,I tried so many time but the response is always very indifferent.I
      feel ugly and unloved and have no hope yet we will stick to each other for kids

    39. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

      Dear L,

      I’m sorry to hear that your relationship may be beyond repair. I hope you and your husband can get the help you need.

      And remember that even the worst decisions and mistakes can be fixed! Maybe it wasn’t a great idea to get married, but you have to remember that God is in the business of fixing mistakes and redeeming His children!

      It’s not too late to consult and rely on God, to ask Him to fix the mess you’re in.


    40. L says:

      I am just not sure that my marriage can be repaired. It is so bad that we even argued in church. We don’t even speak to each other at home. He seems to think that things got this way over night and always blames me for everything that happens. Gets angry that we are not intimate but I don’t want him to get to close to me because of the distrust and disrespect I am not even attracted to him. He has moved into my home, doesn’t help pay bills, and gets mad if I bring it up. Calling me money hungry and greedy because I want him to pay bills. It just hurts that I found myself in this situation. Nothing ever changes, and not to add misery to the already terrible situaton we are expecting a child. It’s just too much to say that we can fix it. We need help, I am depressed, stress, and feeling like a failure. The reality is that we should never been married. I wanted to make it right in the sight of God becasue we had been living together. He should have just moved out, instead I tried to fix it. Instead of consulting God, I told God what I was going to do. You can’t fix anything apart from God, look at the mess I am in now.

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