Is It Too Late To Save Your Relationship?

Written by Christian Carter |  17 Comments

I have been seeing my boyfriend for a year and a half and we have a great relationship on all levels (intellectually, physically, etc).However unfortunately we have been ‘head-bashing’ over a certain problem that keeps resurfacing in our relationship and now it has literally come to a point where he wants “time out”. I have a problem trusting him and want to always control situations. I have constantly been giving him nonsense when he socialises with his female friends, and have an insecurity that he will leave me. It has been very strenuous on him and he actually told me this morning that he wants to be with me but he no longer knows what to do and wants time out of this relationship…

I finally did something right this morning when speaking to him(after reading your last email on control), I just listened and said that I understood. He said we will discuss it further this evening. I am SO LOST! I don’t know what to do to fix this now, and am not sure if this is ‘fixable’. I REALLY LOVE him and he loves me, but it has been carrying on for so long he doesn’t want to hear excuses anymore.

PLEASE HELP me. What can I do to make this work?

I will be forever grateful for your response!

- L.J.

Ok, I’m going to have to pull out the hammer here because you’re doing the worst of all things-

Using your fear and neediness to justify hurting yourself and pushing your guy away.

Here’s what I want you to do…

Please go to the nearest mirror, look yourself dead in the eyes, and then slap yourself hard across the cheek.

Oh, and make sure your boyfriend is watching too, so you can then turn to him, freak out and cry, and then blame him for “making you do it”.

And when he responds by saying, “But you just slapped yourself”…

I want you to freak out even more until he starts to think that something is going really and truly wrong with you in the head.

AND THEN… I want you to get even more upset because now he thinks you’re crazy… and act even more crazy and emotional as you wonder, “What did I ever do to make him not want to be around me and doubt our future together?”

Once you do all this, then you should be able to recognize that this has roughly the same effect with your boyfriend as your current thinking and behavior.

Follow me here?

Good. Now let’s get down to it.

I want you to understand that your fear and jealousy is NOT going to go away, EVER, until you decide to get this part of your life handled.

The reality right now is that no matter how good your relationship with a man might be, or how much reassurance you scream and cry to try and get him to give you… it will NEVER be enough for you because your mind will find a way to freak you out and ruin things for you.

These same insecure, needy, negative feelings that drive men away are going to keep coming up over and over in place after place until you are ALONE again.

Here are a few important questions you need to consider right now:

How do you think all your negative emotional fears and frustrations are affecting the man in your life?

And how do these make him think and feel about you and your relationship?

And what would he tell you and ask you for if he wasn’t afraid of freaking you out, and was open and honest?

*Hint- learning to listen and understand a man’s feelings is also a huge part of creating a strong relationship that meets BOTH of your needs.

The good news is that your situation isn’t hopeless or “unfixable”.

But first, I want you to realize a few important truths about men and the common reasons why they leave relationships with women they like or love…

Reason #1: The “Pleasure Principle”

Men, and women, generally want to FEEL GOOD in their lives.

And they want to have the people around them be a source of pleasure and comfort and support.

Yourself included.

When you are constantly freaking out on a man for what it is about him that freaks you out, you quickly turn into one of the people that it DOESN’T FEEL GOOD to be around.

And this has a huge impact on whether or not he wants to invest more time, effort and energy in you and your relationship.

Or if he will decide to give up on trying to fix what’s going on with you so you can both feel good together.

Reason #2: Emotional Experience And The Future

For a man in a relationship, the ways a woman acts in the “little” situations become indicators of how she’s going to respond when things really are tough in the future.

So if a woman is consistently negative and emotional… and can’t get herself together even when a man tries to explain things and comfort her… then a man isn’t going to think that things could be any better in the future together.

Reason #3: Lost Feelings Of Attraction

Love can be important to a man.

But just like a woman, if he doesn’t also keep experiencing the exciting and addictive feelings of CONNECTION and ATTRACTION with the woman he loves… then eventually EVERYTHING ELSE starts to not matter.

When a man doesn’t FEEL that deep level of connection with a woman, at least every so often to remind him of why he’s with her, then he’ll forget why… and the relationship will become just a whole bunch of “work” to him.

Whenever he thinks of his girlfriend, he’ll think of all the problems, frustrations, and negative emotions and experiences… and he’ll see a future and a commitment as something that will make him LESS SATISFIED in his life.

Often times when women are feeling distance or trouble in a relationship, they’ll try to “talk” to a man and work on “the relationship”.

Big mistake if you want to turn things around.

For a man, he wants to do things together (not talk) to know his relationship is working.

Creating a deep level of connection and sharing the attraction you have is one of the most powerful and important keys to giving a man his own reason for wanting to be with you, no matter what.

Reason #4: The “Neediness” of Codependence

A man wants to be with a woman that brings something better to his life, not take away his time, energy, and emotional “stability”.

So when a woman doesn’t have much going on for herself in her own life a few things happen.

First, she focuses on her relationship too much as her source of happiness or unhappiness.

You can tell when you’ve done this in your relationships in the past when you’ve said things like:

“I can’t believe how I didn’t hardly ever see any of my friends while we were together.”

…or

“I can’t believe I let him control me that way.”

…or

“I feel so stupid for wasting so much relationship, when I could have been doing things for me and my life.”

The reality is that no man and no relationship is capable of being everything to a woman.

And no relationship requires that you sacrifice all your time, life, and energy for it… no matter how much it seems that way.

But our relationships can “trick” us into believing that they need all of our time and attention just to survive.

Not true.

In fact, the way this works is completely COUNTERINTUITIVE.

Often times men leave women because they see that she depends too much on him and has lost her own sources of happiness… and this not only looks and feels “needy” to a man, but it keeps the woman from having much to bring into the relationship and add to their lives together.

Reason #5: “She’s Trying To Fix Me…”

Every few weeks or months I come across someone who says or alludes to the idea that “people don’t change.”

Wrong.

People often change their state of mind in an instant.

Especially from happy to sad.

Of course, changing perspectives, opinions, or beliefs can take a bit longer… but these change quickly too.

A man can and will “change” and compromise for a woman.

It’s a fact.

I see it all the time where men let go of their “bachelor lifestyles” for one special woman, and change a ton about their social lives.

But this only happens when a man has HIS OWN REASONS to change.

It NEVER works, or lasts, if a man simply tries to change for a woman, or for the sake of the relationship.

There’s a rule I like to use in my life when ever I come to a situation where I’m trying to align my own desires or goals with someone elses-

“All motivation is self-interest”

In other words, if you’re trying to create a great situation with a man, you’re going to need to understand what HIS REASONS are going to be for doing the work on his end to make it happen.

But lots of women try and get a man to change by showing a man how it affects THEM, not him.

This is the exact opposite of understanding that people are motivated by the things that THEY WANT, and not what others feel and want.

It takes some maturity to accept that other people (men) have their own unique way of seeing things and wanting what they want. (to stay and work things out, or not)

But once you learn to accept these things and start to work with them instead of against them, life gets a whole lot easier.

And a whole lot more fun.

So those are 5 of the most common reasons band situations about why men leave women and relationships.

One of the most important things underlying all these 5 reasons is the EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE that you create with a man.

I think of the emotional experience that you share with a man in your relationship as the door through which your relationship will either open up and move forward…

Or on the other hand, as the barrier that causes a relationship to stay shut and go nowhere.

And I look at COMMITMENT as a man and a woman agreeing to open the door together and walk through it.

But the truth is that men don’t COMMIT for the same reasons most women do.

They don’t think about, talk about, or want to walk through the door the same way most women do.

That’s why the “process” by which most men commit is different.

For most women, there’s often a kind of tension and resistance built into moving forward in a relationship with a man.

And I’m not just talking about the spoken words that make a commitment… but about the “emotional commitment” a man has inside with you.

If a man is deeply committed to you and your relationship on an emotional level, then any “issues” you run into are just going to be “bumps in the road” to him. And he’ll be confident, comfortable, open, and secure with you in working them out.

But if a man ISN’T “emotionally committed” to you, then each and every little problem is going to cause him to get irritated, frustrated, and have him wanting to blame you and withdraw.

Which is, in turn, going to make things much less CERTAIN for you in your relationship.

I’ll talk to you again soon, and best of luck in life and love.

Your Friend,

Christian Carter

Categories : Keeping Men Around

Christian Carter is a leading advisor to women on dating, relationships, connection and love. An expert in psychology, communication and behavior, Christian Carter has developed foundational concepts that help women understand men, dating and relationships. Visit Christian's official website, by clicking here.

17 Comments

  1. Batrice Smith says:

    So true. These are issues i have in my relationship. I am everything you described. But, It seems though he has already reached the stage of unhappiness. On quite a few occassions, he thought he hung up his phone. I heard him saying to himself “why am I waisting my time? Of course, I didn’t mention that I heard him, but I always tried to fix it. Do I discuss with him that I realize my errors or do I just show action of becoming less needy and insecure?

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  2. yvette says:

    Hi my name is Yvette.. How do I save me and my boyfriend’s relationship? I don’t know how to open up to him and its scares me… Is it that I’m not comfortable with him period?

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  3. lea says:

    2 years ago, i meat a guy, who i felt in love with him, and since there i was trying to in his heart, and now i am desperate although since 2 weeks he confessed that he loved me. this guy has a commitment fear, he is now 27, and he dated many girls, sometimes several ones in one time, but without falling in love, or promising anyone of them anything, and it was just for sex. We didn’t have sex, and maybe this is what meade me different for him, because i was always trying to making him see, the person that i am. in those 2 years, we dated, we broke, tried to be friends….He tried to change, and to me only with me, but the temptations was 2 big for him and he failed so he broken up. since 1 moth we came back in contact again, he confesses that he love me, and he told me he his dating 3 in the same time, and that he can’t let them go, neither seeing me in the same time, and that he feels that has trying so hard to stay away for me, since i am 26 and he doesn’t want me to be attached to him, since he don’t want to get married, and i should. For him, i am a hard person, with obligations and commitment, and he prefer to give him on us, for the pleasure of sex, with a girl who accept without conditions. He is running away from me and his feelings…

    Please tell me what to do, i am deeply in love with him, and i really want to get him back, make him see clearer, make him understand that love is very important in life. we have everything me and him….

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  4. Cheryl says:

    I have read some of your books, I have been married for almost 26 yrs and I Love my husband becuase he has given me these years, But I am not truly in love anymore ,Should I stay and tuff things out and pretend I am in love , I have one son age 19 almost but somehow I can’t find the words without hurting my son and this is why I am still in my marriage ,My Husband has always been good to me but I guess I am just looking for more in my life…..Please advise your opinions .

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  5. Michelle says:

    oh my goodness that is so true…
    “But if a man ISN’T “emotionally committed” to you, then each and every little problem is going to cause him to get irritated, frustrated, and have him wanting to blame you and withdraw.

    Which is, in turn, going to make things much less CERTAIN for you in your relationship.”

    This is what I just..only weeks ago experienced with a guy I’d dated for 10 months. Every 2-3 weeks there was a huge blow up that I could almost feel erupting prior to it. No matter how I’d try to avoid it-Kablam-there hed go flying off the handle over some stupid reason. There I was thinking “what did I do?”, Oh my goodness on several occasions I even apologized and felt that perhaps I should not have asked him to come over more often or for us to spend more time in church…But, in a nutshell, Christian you nailed it.

    This man was and is not emotionally attached to me.
    Well what happened in my case was that after the final blow up we did not speak for a week or two then I approached him and returned his personal items from my apt.
    He then began to text/call on occasion with conversation for a “friend”. By the way he & I were in a committed relationship until I gave him his things.
    So one night during one of his sporadic calls I asked him “what did he want from me?” and his reply was simply-”I dont know”.

    My heart sank and I said , well, thats my answer. He said ” What?” I explained what I was looking for and told him that if he wasnt interested in that that I was cool with it…but I’m looking for something else.
    So We got off the phone and he called me later that night while I was in church. After the church service I called him back but got no answer, so I left a kind heartfelt voice mail message…that was 3 days ago.
    I wont lie–Im in love with this guy. But I think he needs time to think, date others or whatever….I know he cares for me but the whole roller coaster emotional tyriads and then he dissappears is no foundation for a long term stable relationship.
    So..Mr. C what do you think…am I just another impatient and dumb female who has just scared of a good potential man with issues, or right on track!!

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  6. Gina says:

    Hi Im Gina and I have let my boyfriend push me to the worst and I cheated on him. I confided my infidelity to him and it crushed his heart.Of course he decided to stay and try make this work but i see a difference and now need to get back the trust in him…Everything about him is different towards me it is like he doesnt care or even have much Love for me anymore..Everything turns into an argument but I ask why stay with me then. I will never get back the trust but I do Love Him and apologized OVER OVER AND OVER…What do I do? Or do I let hime go and be the one to say we need space?

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  7. FRancesca says:

    I have been seeing a guy for about 3 years. things have been going well in the start but i think i ruined it by being jealous and then we have always played games with each other and go on dates to make each other jealous sounds so stupid. is there any hope i can turn this around. i realized lately i havent been nice to him or pretended i cared can i turn this around?

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  8. Ana says:

    I’ve been with my boyfrienf for about 9 years, we have a 2 year old. This year we almost seperated, I found out he cheated on me with a client,it’s been very hard for me, but I do love him and want my family together. Is it worth it?????????

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  9. hi my name is natalie says:

    my boyfreind sometimes can get mad at me for knowdo to keep him reason i love him so much but what can i o

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  10. ana says:

    Hi i have been with my bf for * years last year he cheated on me and evrything went down hill from there. we have been off an on for the past year but just recently got back together and have been on for about 4 months everything was going good he changed he was so loving but nothing was dealt with i felt like i just had to forget about it to make this better for our family. Now it is not going good i asked him some questions and he said i was not considerste cua i asked him before bed and that pissed me off because i thought why didnt he care about my feelings. anyways since then it hasn’t been good i don’t want to have regret if i leave him but then again he cheated on me so its not like he is a good guy once a cheater always a cheater right.

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  11. sandra says:

    hi this is sandra i hv been in relationship fr last 10 yrs its a long distance relationship it always happend that whenever i want him he is never with me i know he is not the one who wil cheat on me but whenever we have difference we are not in touch fr months togather he is in contact with my friend whom he calls her only sister and she is married in this process i had become close to my colleague which he came to know later i know it was my mistake but i always wanted somebody to talk to me to share my happiness and feeling which i never got from this guy we have always been in touch on mail we used to chat but i just want to know that am i at fault fr going into a relation wz my colleague i was only a friend to my colleague we didnt have any physical relationship but since my guy came to know abt this he is so angry wz me he blames me for everything for cheating on him he always says whenever i am angry with you i am sure you will get close to another guy after all this when i was not well last one year i came to know i have cancer i am totally cured but now i dont feel i should live if he is not in my life i never had happiness in my life whenever happened between me and my guy he is the only one i love and he doesnt want to keep any relation with me i dont want to live please help

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  12. Linda says:

    WOW !! Why are you the smartest person on the PLANET! It has been MANY MONTHS since my relationship ended. I came out of that thing bruised, angry, sad, and so CONFUSED. I still think about it all the time because I feel like it was all my fault and that I am doomed to repeat it, and for that reason I have not been in a rush to jump into any other relationships. This article was almost like an epiphany. I mean, I don’t know how many times I’ve thought about it and talked with people about it… it usually gets me NOWHERE when I try to talk it over and ask people for advice about what to do. Most of the things I learned from the relationship I had to figure out by myself, through books or a lot of self-analysis. I may sound obsessive but the truth is that I am SO VERY afraid the events will repeat themselves, and as you so eloquently stated in this very article, apparently they will. My question is this: how on earth do I resolve these issues of jealousy and insecurity? Yes, I understand that I am insecure, but how on earth do I get over this. I feel like it is part of me now, like it is something innate that I cannot control. Seriously, how do I stop being needy and freaking out?

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  13. Tiffany says:

    Yep, He used to be emotionally attached and treat things as “bumps in the road” that he was readily willing to work through. Unfortunately, I was too caught up in my own idiocy to recognize that. Instead I kept being emotionally unstable and untrusting–waiting for him to leave me. Now he is still with me, but we are literally hanging by a thread. I have done things for him lately to show my affection both emotionally, sexually, and by giving him random surprise gifts. I feel like a fool though because he appreciates all this, but I know he is no longer emotionally attached at this point. If I mess up on one little thing, he will withdraw further and perhaps leave forever. He asked me where the confident, independent, attractive woman that he fell in love with went. This was a wake up call. I wondered the same thing myself. Now I am giving him TONS of space. I don’t call him or text him, i let him do all of that. I make my own plans and am actively pursuing my old hobbies that I stupidly abandoned. That’s how you stop freaking out. You distract yourself and come to a point where you can go on without him if it came to that. By showing the true person that you are, an independent, beautiful, strong woman, he will come back to you and remember why he’s there.

    I wish I would have read this article a month ago.

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  14. Ziamond says:

    Okay me and my boy friend been together for three years . We have a serious problem. He thinks I’m charting on him and I’m not he gets mad because a random number text my phone once they had the wrong number. The he going to say oh call me back when you done texting the other number. Then it’s like he likes making me feel bad it’s crazy. Then when idk t want him talking to me because he was being a butthole, then he say of you texting other guys now. Then he gets mad. He get mad at me over the stupidest things ever. Then when we are on the phone we talk for awhile then it’s silent. I want to talk to him I have everything to talk about but when he is on the phone I can’t speak I’m just speechless . I want to talk to him but I can’t like what is my problem. I’m soooooo in love with him it’s crazy. I just want out relationship to get better and grow stronger. Any advice or help..! Please..!

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  15. Trice says:

    Me and my boyfriend are extremely head over heels for one another …. I never tell him i think hes cheating , but in my mind i think he is so that causes me to be mood with him. hes still very happy, but i know eventually that will change so as of now im going to be better for me and our relationship

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  16. Christina says:

    i’ve been in a relationship with a guy for 11 years and i’ve noticed that he has completely changed on me i don’t get the same feeling from him any more, sometimes when i say i love you to him he doesn’t say it back sometimes i feel alone like he doesn’t feel the same way about me i feel for him what can i do to get him to notice me again?

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  17. Linda says:

    Yeah deffinately. I’ve been with this guy off and on for four years and this time around we’ve been together 6 months… seems like everything is going wrong &nd like every girl he texts is a threat. He’s cheated before and it scares me. i don’t know what to do. i’m about ready to give up but i love him so much that i might tear me apart.

    Help

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