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finding appropriate tools to make our relationship enjoyable and sustainable

Published on January 3, 2012 by

I am a 34 year single mother of 2 girls, 9 and 2 years old. I am dating a 40 year old divorced guy who is staying with his 14 year old daughter.

Just like any relationship, we have our differences there and there with my partner but we are generally getting along well. My challenge with the relationship is that every time we have our differences with my partner he always remind me of his requirements or insist that I am accusing him when I raise my concerns. I have told him before of this and he said he was not aware that he does that. I found this kind of behaviour as a total turn-off and find him to always threaten the relationship. Although he behaves like this, we do discuss the problem and move on.

Last month he had been to Australia on a business and on his return things were not going well. I informed him that his behaviour was different and I felt like I was on the list of things he wanted to see when he came back. We never talked for days until I initiated to break the tension and asked him what he wished to say in response to my concern. The end results were not good - he took me back to his statement where he indicated that I was accusing him which let to us breaking up.

In general he is a loving, caring and supporting man and I love him for that. I could not accept the break off and asked him to consider the second chance for both of us, which he did.

I am a soft person by personality and don't like to apoligise for things I did not do. He has previously indicated to me that I do not initiate conciliation and I always wait for him to humble himself to solve matters.

I am now in a situation where I am asking myself if the relationship will work out or I should have accepted the break-up and move on with my life without him - I am confused. I do love him and I do not think that just one avoidable thing can lead to a relationship to be broken. I am scared of what's the second chance holding for me but I love this guy without no doubt.


Since the way you two are communicating with each other hasn't been working, and hasn't changed for the better, I would tell him that you want to build a future together, and in order to do this, you want to attend couples counseling together. Therapists can give you two the communication skills that will work. It's also good to listen to an impartial third party, who will probably point out that accusations get you nowhere. You also may want to get some library books on better communication, and read them together. Men are From Mars and Women are From Venus is a book that some counselors recommend. Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

I think you are write to be concerned about the future of this relationship. Additionally, do not apologize for something you did not do. In order for a relationship to work in a healthy way the couple needs to be able to talk through differences without blaming, accusing, name calling, or other verbal violence. The issues you bring up are important and should not be ignored!

I would suggest you find a couples counselor to work through these issues. Through that process you will find out if you both can change destructive habits and develop a healthier and more intimate relationship. I do couples counseling and coaching and if you are not geographically located close to me we can do online coaching. Let me know if I can be helpful.

Dear Larry, thank you for responding to my message. We do have a counsellor but we only went for two sessions due to my illness we could not continue. My partner then had commited to take full responsibility of consultation costs but I am now skeptikal to ask to go back to the cousellor as I cannot afford the costs.

Secondly, in your response you are indicating that we can do online coaching. Does this mean he will need to be part of it.

Dear Safire1023, thank your for your response. When I first met my partner he indicated that his ex-wife used to abuse him physically and make accusations of having extra marital affairs. Do you think he is still holding on to that? I strong feel that he is still angry with himself for letting that happen to him and he has not healed from that situations, he is still holding on to the past. Everytime, I mean everytime, I raise I concern he does not listen to what I am saying instead he will conclude that I am accusing him. Two years after his divorce he met someone whom he married and he divorced for the second time a year later. He indicated that the course for divorce was that they did not have mutual interests, same visions and goals in life. Am I being paranoid to think that I am getting myself into trouble by commiting to him given his bahavior and his background. I did not want to judge him by his previous marriage life but I think it's another thing that should concern me.

Couples counseling is the best approach to save the relationship. If you both attend and both change and grow there is hope.

Coaching and teaching you effective relationship strategies would help you immensely. You'd do relationship more satisfactorily, love yourself more and probobly end dysfunctional relationships quickly.