How To Fight For Your Relationship

how-to-fight-for-your-relationshipLately, I’ve been getting more and more emails from men and women who say my advice has helped them move things to a point where they are in regular contact with their ex, and things even seem to be heading towards getting back together. But for some unknown reason, their ex is still confused about how they feel and what they want. Many of the emails are asking me whether in such a situation one ought to be trying to get back together with their ex or just give up. One person asked me if it’s even possible to fight for the relationship and at the same time allow it to happen naturally.

When it comes to relationships, there is having a relationship with someone and there is struggling to hold on to a relationship you want.

What’s the difference?

If you take an object and wrap your hands around it tightly, what you are doing is communicating a desire to possess what you’re holding on to. The (this is mine) energy going into holding tightly signals the need to control. It also signals fear of losing what you have in your hand. Though the fear can be disguised as “I love him/her very much“, the reactions are not — anxiety, worrying, over-analyzing, neediness and clinging.

But if you open your hand palm up with the object resting on it, you are not holding on to it possessively and you are not controlling it in anyway. You are allowing it to rest on your palm without any effort on trying to hold it. Because there is no fear involved, there is no anxiety, worrying, over-analyzing and clinging.

I would make the same distinction between “struggling to hold on to a relationship” and  “having a relationship with someone”.

The energy that goes into “struggling to hold on to a relationship” is one of fear, anxiety, worry, possessiveness, control, aggression and sometimes even hostility. And you wonder why despite your trying so hard to make the relationship work, make the other person feel loved and/or manipulate (try to make them jealous, using guilt or ultimatums), it always backfires on you.

The energy that goes into “having a relationship with someone” on the other hand is one of openness, friendliness, generosity and being willing to let go if you need to, which is what an open palm symbolizes.

So when you say, “I love him/her so much and I’m willing to do anything to fight for our relationship“, ask yourself if your palm is wrapped so tightly around the object of your desire, or if the object of your desire is resting on an open palm.

If you are with someone who is struggling with his or her feelings for you; on one hand seems to want to be with you and on the other hand acts like they want out, it’s because you are holding on too tightly. Open your palm with the spirit of openness, friendliness and generosity — and be willing to let go if you need to.

But here is the tricky part: Just telling someone you are not going to hold on tightly and are letting them go isn’t going to convince them that you are no longer going to be clingy, needy, controlling or possessive. In fact it will probably backfire. They may think you are breaking up with them and may rush to end the relationship before you end it, or they may think you are giving up on trying to make the relationship work.

The best way to show that you are indeed letting go your tight grip and struggling energy, is to walk the walk with the spirit of openness, friendliness and generosity. That is love with all your heart, but be willing to let go.

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  • I thought everything was going to be better because of the time apart, 3 months of NC. Since we have been back we’re fighting to exhaustion. I’ve tried everything to stop fighting with him but he knows which of my hot buttons to press. We love each other very much we just can’t stop fighting. My question is this, is this relationship worth fighting for or do I need to just let things go?

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    • Contrary to what most people believe, just time apart doesn’t change anything. What would have changed things for the better would have been for you to learn skills for stopping disagreements before they escalate into a full-on fight

      I don’t think it’s too late for you to do just that.

      If after following the steps you need to take to stop a fight before it starts, you are still fighting, it’ll probably be best to turn in your fighting gloves and go your separate ways.

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  • From our very first date my ex told me she knew I was ‘the one” and told me she loved me only 5 days into a relationship. We spent every single night together and were very honest with each other. But 3 months into the relationship I noticed her pulling away. She didn’t respond to my texts and always had excuses why she was not able to see me. I was confused and deeply hurt and one day I showed up at her house and there she was entertaining another guy after telling me she needed to sleep early because she had to be up early for work the next day. I stormed out of there and didn’t speak with her for 6 weeks. She called me insistently asking for my forgiveness and I told her I can forgive her but she has to earn it. A couple of days ago I found her profile on a dating website she had posted only a few days earlier. I confronted her about it and she said she didnt want to talk about it. I love this woman and want to fight for her but I don’t know what to do.

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    • I admire your capacity to put up with her infidelity, but in this I don’t think that there is anything you can say or do that’ll stop your ex from “looking” elsewhere for whatever it is she is looking for.

      She needs to deal with her issues before she can be in a healthy relationship, and you need to face the reality of what’s really going on.

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  • This site is really helping. This is our third breakup. The first time we broke up, it lasted only a week and we got back. The second time, slightly over a month. This last breakup I told her I dont want the old relationship and that we should take it slow and date again. The breakup happened because we were constantly arguing. We both said some hurtful things to each other but have since made amends. Progress is slow but I’m not the type of person to give up and want to walk away without knowing that our story is done.

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  • My ex broke up with me because she felt the “spark” was gone. She also said she wasn’t happy with me anymore. I genuinely believe that she still loves me but her fear being hurt again is holding her back. What do I do to help with her fear?

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    • If you genuinely believe she still loves you, then work on igniting the “spark” again, instead of acting like it’s about her, not you. If someone says YOU are not turning me on anymore, its about YOU.

      You can get that “spark” back, but you have to work on it.

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  • It’s both my issues and he cheated on his ex with me. He says although it is not an excuse, he was unhappy for a very long time when I came along. He’d never do it to me, he’d rather end the relationship than hurt me like that. The woman he was texting was his friend’s ex asking for his help reconciling them. I confirmed it with his friend.

    I need to work on my insecurities. I was wondering if you could help me. I’m very encouraged by you advice and think that I can learn a lot from you. How do I go about setting up coaching with you?

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    • I would love to work with you, but personal work is not one of my strengths. Struggling relationships and getting your ex back… that’s what I’m good at.

      Best to be honest, right?… (:

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  • Two weeks ago I was making much progress with my ex. We were even talking about trying the relationship again. Then I made one stupid mistake. I looked at his phone and saw a text from a woman he had been texting for sometime. I confronted him about it and we had a fight. Now he says he’s not sure about us. We broke up because he said I didn’t trust him. We still text each other but he is distant now. It was wrong to look at his phone but I would not have known about the other woman had I not. I’m beginning t think that he was stringing me along and now wants to get rid of me to date the other woman. Just so you know, we’re in our 50s.

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    • He’s distant because he just realized that nothing has changed. You still don’t trust him. May be you have good reason not to, but doing exactly what made him breakup with you in the first place doesn’t help.

      Ask yourself: If I think he’s stringing me along, then why am I still trying to get him back?

      Sometimes your issues can cloud your judgement and make you see things that aren’t there. But sometimes, there is really fire where there is smoke, especially if he’s done things in the past that have given you good reason not to trust him.

      In short, you are the only one who knows what’s really going on in your relationship, and the only one who is best positioned to know what’s best for you.

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  • Yangki, it’s has been a while since I was here. I was actually thinking about you and how you helped me get back with my ex and want to update you on where we are. We are still together, a few ups and downs since we got back together but we were able to work things out without breaking up. We both still struggle with being emotionally vulnerable but I think we are in a better place than we were a couple of months ago. Your advice helped and I wanted to come back and thank you. Please keep up the good work.

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  • I am in a similar situation, but kind of different. She pulls me in with promises and hope then disappears for 2 -3 days with no explanation. She says she doesn’t want to raise my hopes because right now she doesn’t know what she really wants. I am really starting to wonder whether this is even worth pursuing. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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    • 1. I think that she’s honest when she says she doesn’t know what she wants and doesn’t want to raise your hopes.

      2. It’s also possible that when she says or does certain things, you misinterpret it to mean more than it really means.

      3. Her disappearing for 2 -3 days with no explanation is not good for any kind of relationship she may want in the future, but may be that’s the only way she knows how not get your hopes up.

      4. By being upfront with you, she’s leaving it up to you to decide whether to pursue the relationship any further — or not.

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  • Thanks for the advice. My bf and I recently broke up. We didn’t have contact for about 2 weeks but eventually I contacted him and we’ve been communicating regularly and hanging out. He says he doesn’t want a relationship, but that’s where I’m getting confused. When we got back in contact, he told me he always wanted me in him life and I haven’t asked him to get back together. The only time I mentioned the old relationship was over a week ago and he stopped responding for a day. I asked him why he was not responding and he said didn’t want to talk about the past. Am I safe in saying he’s confused about his feelings for me?

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    • I wouldn’t say he’s confused about his feelings for you, more like he knows he still has strong feelings for you but is not sure if he wants a relationship with you.

      That’s a good thing and a bad thing at the same time.

      What’s bad about it is that he may have serious doubts about a relationship with you.

      What’s good about it is that 1) his feelings for you are still strong and 2) he is open to communication, and that means you can uncover what his concerns and doubts are, and try to show him that things can be better.

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  • I’m confused. My ex and I broke up in September and 2 weeks later he was dating again. After less than a month he broke up with her but then got back together after a few weeks. When they were broken up he started texting me and we sometimes talk over the phone. I know he still loves me but I’m not sure if he’s just checking in on me – or if it’s more for him. I tried the no contact rule and I was doing great until he started texting me. I don’t know what to do. Should I leave him alone and make him miss me or should I continue contact with him?

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    • It’s up to you if you want to leave him alone/move on or try to get him back. In my opinion, decisions about your life and heart should not be outsourced. To help you make your OWN decision, here are some questions you should ask yourself…

      1) How do you feel that he broke up with the other woman and got back with her, but didn’t do the same with you?
      2) How important are you to him… be honest with yourself. Is he going to miss you when he is already with someone else?
      3) Are you choosing to move on because you feel frustrated or because this is what you really want to do?

      A decision that is true to who you are and how you truly feel, is the RIGHT decision — at the time.

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