I get a lot of questions on here from women who are at their wit’s end. They are in relationships with men that they describe as one-sided or unloving. They list all of the things they are not getting, follow that with the declaration that they love him and then they ask me what to do.
It’s almost impossible to tell someone what to do without know who they and their man are. I think about it a lot because I feel their pain and do so which to give them guidance. I think more than anything else I would like to say the following to the women who write here from this dark and desperate place:
- There is no one thing anybody can do or say to make another person change. You teach people how to teach you with actions and consistency over time. It does not mean that it is your fault that you are not treated well. Quite the contrary, people are responsible for hurt they cause others. Those who take advantage of those who they claim they love are people I have a hard time respecting. The thing is what can you do about it?
- Typically words are not enough. They are a necessary component to communicating needs but that has to be backed up with your own sense of strength and actions consistent with what you want. However, when you do talk you must do so at a time where there is no argument and you are not upset. When everything is okay you can come at your concerns calmly and with a request. A specific one. Here’s an example “When you do x it makes me feel like you don’t love me. Could you instead do y?”
- Don’t allow the situation to devolve into an argument. If he goes there tell him “I se you are angry and that is not my intent. We can talk about this later when we can both approach this as adults.”
This is just the beginning. There is a whole lot to changing a dynamic between 2 people.
My book Making Marriage Work, (you can get it on Amazon or at local book stores) discusses a lot of this stuff in detail and it is not just for married couples. It is for people who want to better manage relationships.
I can’t re-write it here. (It took me 2 years to complete) I can only get you started and scratch the surface. I’ll come back to this issue in a later post.