What Works When Trying to Save Your Relationship

by Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries on January 16, 2007

in Break-ups and Divorce, Dating, Marriage, Relationships, Singles

A client of mine was going through a very rough patch in her relationship. She wanted deep soulful connection and true partnership. He ran from the connection and she was angry with that most of the time. Even though this was a very obvious issue in the relationship, the man she was dating kept telling her that they just needed to “try to get along.”

They went to therapy to try to save the relationship, but he refused to look into his past for any clues as to why just getting along was enough and why he was refusing and running from the deep connection she was wanting. Because of this they tried to use the therapy to help them get along more and it didn’t help much.

This is how many people try to save their relationship – by trying harder to get along. What they don’t realize is that trying harder to get along does not work. Good intentions to get along or do better won’t work until both people stop and address the real issues in their relationship. The real issues in relationships are typically about not enough connection and always have their genesis in the past of each person.

So what do you do if you are struggling in your relationship, if you go from good to bad and back again, if you are trying to be connected and work it out, but can’t? Get to the heart of the issue(s) and ask your partner to do the same. This means both of you must have the courage to look back into past relationships and even into your childhood for clues as to what’s wrong with your relationship.

Here are the questions to ask each other to get to the heart of the issue(s) in your relationship: (The X below stands for the problem behavior in your relationship.)

When I do X behavior, say or look at you X way, what does it trigger in you?
What do you feel?
What do you think?
What does it remind you of?
What does it mean to you?
How does it make you want to act toward me?

Here is an alternative set of questions, in case you don’t know what sets your partner – or you – off:
What is bothering you?
Is something I am doing, saying, not doing making you unhappy?
What do you feel?
What do you think?
What does it remind you of?
What does it mean to you?
How does it make you want to act toward me?

If your partner decides to answer these questions, you must allow him or her to speak. Do not interrupt, defend or explain. Do not say anything back except to let the person know you are listening. Your partner needs the space to explore what’s going on. Allow the same space for yourself as well, to explore what’s going on with you.

If your partner rebukes the questions and tells you nothing is going on, you are being too demanding or too sensitive, making too much out of the situation, or that the problem is with you, don’t give up. You can tell him or her that you have it on very good authority that recurring relationship and connection problems always have deeper reasons, and until those reasons are discovered the problem(s) will not be solved.

You need to keep working with yourself and your partner at looking for the root of the issue(s). It is in your best interests and in the best interests of your relationship to get help with this. Get a good therapist or a relationship coach. If you want to schedule a one-on-one session with me – as I am a relationship coach – I will be glad to help you. I specialize in quickly going directly to the root of relationship problems. Contact me to get started or just to get more information.

If you honestly want to save your relationship, if you want deep intimacy and connectedness, don’t skirt the issue(s) and try to get along. Instead delve deeply into the issue(s) in your relationship and find out what’s at the heart of the problem. Only then can you and your partner truly try harder and succeed at happily staying together.


Chelsea August 1, 2011 at 9:29 am

Hello . I met my boyfriend in september 2010 and we were good friends then we started dating in december and made it official we were going out in january 2011. The first 4-5 months were fantastic it was like we were the only 2 people in the world! :) but on the 27th july 2011 my boyfriend met a mate of mine who in the past has tried to take my bf :L and for that I cannot trust her but he met her on that night and she was always looking at him and we were all sat on the sofa watching a film and she had her feet on top of his and my bf was bouncing hers :S i don’t know eather thats just playing or flirting it’s been playing over and over again in my mind and i just dont know what to do :L , and after that night I know i cannot trust my mate for that now ever! and also i feel im losing trust in my boyfriend . I want things to go back to the way they sed to do it. I suffer from paranoia which isnt good and i aslo have trust issues :L. Thankyou x

Love Coach Rinatta August 1, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Dear Chelsea, thanks for your question. Please go to my Q&A website, http://www.asklovecoach.com/asklovecoach, to ask your question.

devina June 14, 2011 at 11:45 am

hi there i was with my boyfriend for 2 n half years we have a lovely little boy together,but cracks in our relationship got worse the rows got bigger i have a temper problem which im going to see a councellor about and sort out my issue were on a trial break-up for a month he says he feels a bit of love for me n has very strong feelings for me but he thinks in the long run not to try again but he is hurting like me i love him so deep should i wait around for 3weeks n see can he fall for me again or just up and go wit my son?

Jasmine March 11, 2008 at 8:17 pm

I’ve patch with my boyfriend after few months , we used to be tgt for 11 months . But now , when we patch everything seems so different . He says he still love me , but the right feeling isn’t there & he just like don’t have the right feeling for this love , & he says like after 1 month , if he still like cannot have thr right feeling for this love then we’ll go our seperate ways . I wonder what to do , that after one month . He’ll might realise he loves me & won’t leave ?

Marissa February 4, 2008 at 9:06 pm

I been with my boyfriend for 5 year this feb 14th… i been suffer with him for 4 and half years when we were on and off relationship because of our agure with money and babysitter, and no fun to do… when we have big fight when He decide to leave to cool off when last time he gave me beautiful Promise rings last christmas 2007 i was excited wore once but he came to me and cause more worse agure again again i cant believe it and He want that ring back and took it back to the store and got money back and He decide stop by tattoo and did got new tattoo for 300 dollar instead mine’s rings… he seem not care what i will do… my conrcen if he do that again with that ring i will not take that again anymore will it help him to expect if i said no with rings again? i dont know how to save our relationship… how it work? I m not sure experience of this smile! Thanks marissa

Heather June 24, 2007 at 8:28 pm

Hello, I live in Toronto, fell in love (3 yrs.) and was engaged to a man in Fla. and lived with him for 6 months down there. I returned to Canada after thinking about my own son’s crisis with the law, without discussing things with him. After my pleading he took me back. I then, while at home, met another man, Canadian, and took up with him, not really planning to leave the American. There was quite a delima within me, it was a big mistake I made leaving him, after we broke up I’ve wanted him back since and the feeling never went away. He is with a woman he met online from the Philipines, he’s visited her at least twice. Is there a possibility to have this man back in my life?

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