Does Your Partner Refuse to Work on Your Relationship? Try These Tips


Are you having challenges with your relationship?

If you think that your relationship may be falling apart and needs mending, it’s better to take action before your relationship tears you down and it is too late to restore it.

Do you feel that at this point, it is just a lost cause? Take heart! There are strategies you can use to strengthen your relationship anyway! Find out how to move forward even if your partner is reluctant to join you or work on the issues together.

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Few things are as frustrating as feeling like you are the only one working on your relationship. Many people think that once you pick your partner, the work is done and you will live happily ever after. Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth.

It is very easy to become complacent in a relationship and dismiss or overlook little problems that can potentially grow into major difficulties. Let’s face it, many people are very uncomfortable with conflict and don’t know how to manage it.

Instead of dealing with issues as they arise, they get swept aside until they become so big they explode. But here’s the thing. Not everyone has the same idea about what problems exist. It is very possible your partner is oblivious to what you consider to be worthy of relationship review and discussion. Having a disagreement about the severity of a problem is different than not wanting to work on the problem and requires a different strategy. We are examining what to do when there is a lack of co-operation.

So if you’re struggling to work on your relationship without your partner’s cooperation, these ideas may help:

First of all, stay calm. Managing your emotions will help you to think rationally and stay in control. That way, you’ll be able to deal with the facts of the situation instead of being lured into irrational behavior.

1. Evaluate your situation. Ask yourself how your relationship is affecting your life and if you are able to accommodate the differences and difficulties. Sometimes, it is necessary to step away and reassess the quality of your relationship. Is the damage repairable?

2. Speak up. Do you feel like you rarely get to talk about what’s going on with you? Let your partner know that you enjoy listening to them, but you need to feel your interests and activities have value too.

3. Face conflicts. If a controlling relationship is wearing you down, you may feel like it’s safer to stay silent and avoid disagreements. Unfortunately, that will cause more resentments and misunderstandings. Try to resolve your conflicts respectfully instead.

4. Be honest. It is easy to overlook how you contribute to relationship difficulties. Where can you make improvements to your thinking and behavior? All positive change will come from yourself first if your relationship is going to change. Is there anything more your can do?

5. Understand your options. Regardless of what your partner does, you are in charge of your own decisions. Are your choices and actions aligned with your values? Every action has a consequence and a cost. Make sure you consider them carefully.

6. Seek counselling. If you’re having trouble making progress on your own, joint counselling may help. You can also benefit from seeing a therapist on your own if your partner resists.

7. Start therapy without them. You can start couple’s therapy even if your partner refuses to come with you. Any changes you make to yourself will affect your relationship. Your partner may become curious about changes you are making and decide to join you.

8. Reframe your arguments. One of the most common complaints among couples is that they seem to have the same arguments over and over again with no resolution. It takes two people to argue but only one to make a change. How can you look at things differently? If your partner wants to argue, you can refuse to participate unless you both get to discuss solutions. Disengaging is different than indifference. Be sure to communicate your concern and your care before you walk away.

9. Keep building connection. Your partner may not want to talk about, or deal with, your relationship issues, but they may still be willing to join you in a favorite activity you both enjoy. Positive shared time nurtures your relationship. It will be easier to deal with the difficulties. Try to keep things in perspective. How much quality time do you spend together?

10. Encourage intimacy. A controlling partner may be trying to cover up their own insecurities. Reassure them by demonstrating your commitment and trustworthiness.

Develop rituals that draw you closer together. If you are experiencing anger that prevents you from feeling intimate, it is your responsibility to find positive ways to release your anger and resentment.

Relationships require ongoing work and commitment. If your partner doesn’t want to work on your relationship, these techniques might help you cope during a difficult time. Remember to be solutions focused rather than problem driven.

The only change you can control is your own. As difficult as it is to experience an uncooperative partner in a relationship, there are many changes you can make that will improve your outlook and experience. Make sure you implement small changes before taking drastic action. You just may avoid disaster.

​Everyone wants a healthy relationship. If for any reason at all, you feel that this is not within your reach, don’t worry. You can download the ten tip infographic I have prepared. I hope it helps. Feel free to reach out if you would like personal assistance. I am always happy to help.