One of the hardest things in the world is being with someone who doesn’t appreciate you.
Who takes you for granted…
Who expects you to be there even if he goes off with some other woman…
Who says he’s still not sure about you despite all the time you’ve been together.
When you think about how much you’ve given him, all the time invested, all the love, all the intimacy, you just can’t understand why.
Why doesn’t he see what you see?
Why doesn’t he see how precious this is, and how rare?
Why doesn’t he see that this is something worth fighting for, worth committing to?
And so you come searching for answers, hoping there’s something you can do to change his mind.
These 3 powerful steps can help.
Step #1. Stop trying to change him and focus on what you can do for yourself.
Life would be so easy if we could just wave a magic wand and make people behave the way we want them to.
We can see so easily how they should change. If they only did this simple thing, all our stress would vanish.
I wish we could fix people… but that’s not how it works.
The only way anyone is going to change is if THEY want to change.
And I don’t think your guy is coming to you right now asking for your opinion.
He knows how you feel. He knows how you want him to change. And yet none of that has changed his behavior.
If you go to him wanting him to stop what he’s doing and come back to you, he’ll just dig in deeper. Men hate being told what to do. If he’s already halfway outside of the relationship, then any criticism is going to push him the rest of the way out.
Which is unfair, I know!
But there is a way to shift that stuck energy.
It’s for you to start doing things differently.
Your question should be:
What can I do for myself?”
How can you take care of your own needs, so you wean yourself off your dependence on him?
Can you make new friends? Can you look up some old friends? Can you stop being so available to him and risk taking a weekend or a Friday night to do something with your friends?
Your goal is to feel stronger on the inside and build up a sense of self that has nothing to do with him.
Who were you before you got involved with him? What did you enjoy doing? Can you do that again?
Find yourself. That’s your first task.
Step #2. Question your assumptions.
One of the reasons it helps so much to talk to other people about what’s going on is that it helps you see things more clearly.
You may be assuming things that aren’t true.
For example, maybe your life with him isn’t as good as you thought it was. Maybe you might be happier letting this huge source of stress in your life go.
Sometimes we think that our job is to get him back, when in fact we haven’t thought through whether we still want him.
Our memories color the present. If it was really good long ago, but it hasn’t been good for a long time, are those memories a good enough reason to keep flogging a dead horse?
For me personally, one of the biggest assumptions I had to question was the assumption that a relationship should last forever.
I was going to keep making it work no matter what it cost me!
It took a skilled therapist with the knack of asking the right question to get me seeing things from a different perspective. I never even thought about whether I was thriving or not. I was just so focused on holding everything together. She helped me see that sacrificing myself wasn’t actually a good thing in the long run.
Therapists are really good at asking those smart questions. If you have the resources, I encourage you to talk to someone.
Step #3. Don’t put in any more than he’s putting in.
This is the most important step of all.
Take your lead from him in terms of how much you put into this relationship.
If he only calls once a week, then don’t call any more often than that.
If you text him and he doesn’t text you back, don’t send any more texts. Wait for him.
If he’s not making special plans to spend time with you, then stop making special plans for romantic evenings with him.
If he’s not looking at you with stars in his eyes, then stop looking at him with stars in yours.
If he’s dating other women, then you get online and start chatting with other men.
As soon as you stop holding everything together, you’ll quickly see how much effort he’s really putting into this relationship.
He might be expecting you to do all the work. You’re the one trying to get weekend plans together, you’re the one preparing romantic meals, you’re the one saying how you feel. He doesn’t have to do anything. He’s the man, why would he?
Once you stop doing more than he’s doing, it can be a real wakeup call.
You’ll see exactly how imbalanced your relationship is.
And then you can ask yourself the question:
Is this really what you want?
Or do you want a relationship that’s more balanced?
Do you want to be with someone who makes as much of an effort as you do?
Put The Ball in His Court
If you follow these 3 steps, something curious will happen.
You’ll start emotionally disengaging from the relationship.
He will be able to feel you pull away, and it will scare him.
This isn’t what was supposed to happen. You’re the one who’s always there. You’re like his puppy dog. Now he feels you slipping away.
You’re not available to him all the time. You’ve got your own things going on. Maybe you even told him that you’d put up a profile on a dating app, because you weren’t going to hang around while he dated other women.
Now he’s got a choice to make.
Does he let you pull further and further away from him, or does he try to get you back?
Watch him closely. See what he does. The way he responds to the changes in you says everything about what’s in his heart.
The unpleasant truth is that many of these men don’t actually have love in them. Maybe they thought they loved you once, but they’re only in the relationship now out of obligation. You need to know that, so you can cut those ties and move on with your life.
And moving on with your life is going to be so much easier, because you’ve already started doing the work of building a life outside of him.