Does your partner make promises that they don’t keep? Maybe he promises to stop spending money, but then the credit card bills keep coming in every month — higher than ever before. She swears that she won’t drink again. However, you come home from work, and she is drunk yet again. He cheated again and promised to get help. But, when you bring up marriage counseling, he balks. Do these scenarios sound familiar? If so, then you are probably wondering what it means for your relationship when your partner won’t change. Many people believe that issues will go away with time or that their partner will change if they ask enough. Unfortunately, this is hardly ever true. When a partner says one thing yet does another, it erodes trust and intimacy in a relationship. So, what can you do when your partner acknowledges a problem and promises to work on it — yet never follows through? Here are some tips from the therapists at Relationship Therapy Center.
Evaluate What You Want
If your partner won’t change, the first step is to accept that you cannot force them to change. The only person that you can change is yourself. You must decide how you will handle their behaviors. Ask yourself these questions to help guide your decision:
How long can I stay in this relationship if things don’t improve?
Can I live with these behaviors or are they deal breakers?
What will happen if you stay? How do you think the problem will affect you emotionally?
Talk With Your Partner
It is important to understand that your partner may be as unhappy and frustrated with things as you are. They may want to change but need the extra support — especially if they are dealing with a tough issue like an addiction.
Have an open and honest conversation about your concerns and what you want in the relationship. Tell your partner exactly what you need. Try to find out how you can help your partner meet your needs. Come up with solutions, such as going to marriage counseling together or seeking treatment for a gambling addiction. Maybe you could reach out for marriage counseling or call a substance abuse professional to ask how you can help support your partner.
Establish Firm Boundaries
After you have talked with your partner about your concerns, you must set clear boundaries. You must make clear to both you and your partner what things you cannot live with. Accepting destructive behaviors is not healthy for you or your partner. You have decided what things you can and cannot tolerate.
You have made your needs clear to your partner. If you are not getting what you need in the relationship, then it is time for you to walk away. If your partner says that they will change but then does the same thing again, they are not willing to change.
It can be helpful to go to couples counseling in Sacramento, even if your partner will not attend. Here are some more signs that it is time to get help. Roseville marriage counseling can help you clarify your plans for the future and work on setting and maintaining clear boundaries. We can also help you improve your relationship even if you come in by yourself. Read more here.
Nancy Ryan, LMFT specializes in working with individuals and couples who want deep, satisfying relationships with themselves and their partners. She works with couples who are ready to stop the destructive patterns and want to build the love, friendship and romance back into their partnership.