Relationships can sometimes reach a point where it feels like all hope is lost. During these challenging times, it’s common for one or both partners to wonder if the relationship can be salvaged. As a relationship coach, I often advise the partner seeking help to look within themselves and take responsibility for their own actions and behaviors within the relationship.
It’s important to recognize that both partners contribute to the dynamics of the relationship. While it may be easy to identify the harmful behaviors of your partner, it can be more difficult to see your own contributions to the relationship issues. However, until you acknowledge and work on your own dysfunctional behaviors, you may carry them into future relationships as well. It’s not effective to leave a relationship without addressing your own part in the relationship system, unless there is physical abuse involved. The right time to consider leaving is when you have learned how to prioritize your own happiness, regardless of your partner’s behavior. This involves taking 100% responsibility for your own feelings and needs and learning how to respond to your partner in a loving and supportive manner that aligns with your own well-being.
When one partner is willing to seek coaching and work on their inner self, it can have one of two outcomes. Either the other partner responds positively and becomes more open to healing the relationship, or the relationship may become more distant and challenging. It’s important for both partners to be okay with either outcome and let go of attachment to the outcome, focusing instead on the process of personal growth and self-care.
Let’s take an example of Craig, who is unhappy in his marriage due to his wife Gloria’s anger and judgment towards him. Craig sees himself as a victim of Gloria’s behavior, blaming her for his unhappiness. However, Craig is also an active participant in the relationship system. He tends to comply with Gloria’s anger in an attempt to control her behavior, giving up his own needs and desires. Craig believes that being a “nice guy” will control Gloria’s anger, but this only leads to resentment and distance in the relationship. In order for Craig to break this cycle, he needs to have the courage to speak his truth without blame or judgment and take loving actions based on his truth, even if it means risking the possibility of losing Gloria.
So, can this relationship be helped? The answer is maybe. It depends on each partner’s willingness to do their own inner work and take responsibility for their own actions and behaviors within the relationship. It requires self-reflection, personal growth, and learning how to prioritize self-care while also being loving and supportive towards your partner. If both partners are willing to put in the effort, there is a possibility for positive change and healing in the relationship.