Love, Self

What To Do If You're Unhappy In Your Relationship — But Your Partner Is Fine

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how to tell your husband unhappy relationship problems

Are you unhappy in your relationship and want your partner to go to counseling with you, yet he refuses? The majority of the work I do is with women who say they're in unhappy relationships. They want their partners to change and are frustrated because he doesn't see the need for it. This is when the real work begins!

Whenever you are stuck in an unhappy relationship and facing relationship problems, common sense would dictate that you need to have your partner's cooperation to “fix” things. But that is not necessarily true.

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Imagine you find yourself in a relationship where you recognize something needs to change. You raise the issue with your partner and tell him you're unhappy, and he just doesn’t get it. Your husband or boyfriend thinks everything is fine. He doesn't see the same relationship problems that you do.

You are completely shocked and don’t know where to go from there. How can you “fix” the relationship without your partner’s help?

If there’s something you don’t like about your relationship and your partner doesn’t see it as a problem... then who has the problem?

In a common sense kind of way, you may think, “Well my partner has the problem! He's in denial!” However, it’s you who actually has the relationship problem since you are the one who's not happy. Thus, you have the subsequent responsibility to find a solution to your unhappiness.

Let's say you’ve identified the source of your unhappiness and shared it with your partner. He says there’s no problem with your relationship, and you’re still upset. Want to know why? You’re upset because you want him to do something he is not doing or to stop doing something he obviously wants to do. You want your partner to change — not the other way around.

Once you’ve accepted that you are the one with the problem in your relationship, you have a few viable options.

Here are three ways to fix the problems in your relationship when you're unhappy:

1. Change it.

You can change the situation. One way to change the situation that's making you unhappy is to come up with a better way to get your partner to do what you want him to do. Maybe you haven’t asked enough times, threatened enough or found the proper bribe to motivate him. Keep trying those tactics, if you want to insidiously chip away at the foundation of your relationship.

A second way to change the situation is to change yourself in the situation. Instead of threatening, nagging, bribing or complaining, you might want to try being more supportive by listening to his perspective on the situation. You may never agree with his viewpoint, but simply attempting to understand how he sees it can be an extremely helpful exercise.

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2. Accept it.

Sometimes in relationships, when your partner does something that bothers you, it takes on the annoyance level of a chirping smoke detector low on its battery or a leaky water faucet when you are trying to fall asleep. Overall, these sounds are not such a major big deal. They are small blips on the radar screen of your life. But given the right (or wrong) set of circumstances, they become major problems, taking on monumental importance in your relationship.

However, with some objectivity, you realize for all the hundreds of things you love about your partner, this is just one thing you wish he’d change. If that’s the case, then acceptance might be your answer.

When you choose acceptance, you have to give up any anger, pain, and resentment around the issue. You genuinely decide this is an issue that is no longer going to bother you. You may even look at it as your partner giving you an opportunity to practice patience, forgiveness, or unconditional love.

3. Leave it.

Your final option is to leave. Sometimes what you realize is you have found a deal breaker. If your partner won’t change and you can’t live with things the way they are, you may want to consider leaving. However, unless you are in physical danger, I usually recommend trying the other options first. Once you make the decision to leave, it’s difficult to rescind that decision.

But no matter the outcome, you have taken control of you and your own unhappiness instead of insisting your partner must change in order for you to be happy. Do you really want to be at the mercy of another person who doesn’t even recognize the source of your unhappiness as a problem? No. Take back your life. Create your own peace and happiness. It’s not outside of you. It’s right within your grasp.

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Kim Olver is an author, speaker, and presenter. To learn how to ride this emotional roller coaster called divorce, contact her at Relationship Center for your free coaching session.