Are you trying to speak to your partner about a change you need but he doesn’t want to talk to about it?
Does he refuse to acknowledge the problem?
This is the issue this article will deal about: what to do when your partner refuses to cooperate.
Note: I will write with “he” as the one who refuses to listen because it’s more common.
But the article is valid in either case.
When Your Partner Refuses to Cooperate
When your partner refuses to listen and cooperate is a bad sign for your relationship.
He might stonewall, fail to see the problem or repeat that “things are good”.
They are all signs of the same issue.
For this article, I will assume that you are holding your side of the relationship. And that his refusal to listen is not a fair response to you acting our discussing the issue with accusations and shouts.
Now, in that case the issues might be four here:
- You don’t communicate properly the issue is causing you pain
- He does not care enough about your or the relationship
- He cannot change
- The issue is too important for him to change
To make sure it’s not number one, here is your first question:
OK, you know my issue now. I would like to ask you: on a scale from 1 to 10, how much do you think this is important to me?
If he does not answer 9 or 10, you might have had a communication problem all along. If he answers 9 or 10, then we need to dig deeper.
Why Your Partner Withdraws
Now there can be many reasons why your partner withdraws.
Some of them include:
He is uncomfortable with feelings
Some men are not yet well developed when it comes to emotional intelligence. They are not good at understanding their feelings, they are not good at understanding your feelings, and they are not good at talking about feelings.
I know I was one of these guys.
And I am also the proof that people can develop emotional intelligence.
However, that will not happen with nagging.
And unless you are very skilled at helping him along the path, it might take time. But, unluckily, you can’t be sure he will ever change.
The funny thing is that he might actually want to be with you. And he might be heartbroken if the relationship were to end.
But he just doesn’t know any better.
Here are your two options:
- Wait and hope
- Move on
He does not care enough
He might not care enough about your or the relationship. It’s better to realize this as soon as possible or you are wasting time with him.
In some other cases, he will only realize later that the relationship was important and he will be sorry about it.
Possibly coming back to beg you for another shot.
This is a major sign of insecurity but you can consider taking him back.
The issue is too important for him
If an issue is extremely important for you and extremely important for him you are dealing with one of the unsolvable issues in relationships.
Unsolvable issues don’t have to undermine a relationship… Unless they are key to both of you and you both stand on opposite side of the spectrum.
If you realize that it’s something that is hugely important for both of you and you just cannot reach a compromise, then you might be forced to split up.
Examples of the most common biggest relationship issues include:
- Having or not having children
- Spending time with family or not
- Monogamous or non monogamous relationship
Deciding What to Do
These are a few scenarios that will help you decide on what to do?
Does your partner fail to see or admit that you are suffering and/or the relationship is too bad for you?
If the relationship is becoming too bad for you to stay in and your partner fails to acknowldge your pain, then you are with a partner who is either an abuser, a power hungry, a sociopath or simply a “normal man” who who refuses to compromise.
In either case, this person does not have you best interest or the best interest of the relationship in mind.
And the problem is only likely to get worse over time.
If not exactly this problem, then it will be another one. It’s the attitude that is not conducive to a happy and fulfilling relationship.
You’ll probably be happier if you left.
Does he admit the problem but he is unwilling to take action?
This is slightly better than the above, albeit for all that it concerns you, it doesn’t change much.
In this case, you should make sure that you explore his rationale. Why is he unwilling to take action?
Does taking action go against his beliefs, values, or are you dealing with something that is too important for him?
If that’s the case, then the next question is: how really important is the issue for you? Could you live without solving this issue?
This will require introspection from your side.
If you cannot reach an agreement on something fundamentally important for you, then in the long run you will be better served by splitting up.
If on the other hand you realize that your relationship is more important than the issue, that’s a good sign that the rest of the relationship is really good.
And you might want to accept the problem stick with him.
He listens, agrees there is problem, promise to do something about it but does nothing about it
This might actually be worse, much worse than either of the above.
You might be dealing here with a liar or with someone who will take all your time and deliver nothing.
Here is what you do then: you talk to him again, you come up with a proposal and resolution he agrees on…. And then you write it down. You write down his promise with a date.
Then sign it.
If it’s already been a few times that he promises without a change, make that date as short as possible.
Tell him that it’s not a threat to end the relationship, but something that you simply need because it’s important to you and he has already failed to do anything about it.
If by the time the deadline arrives he has still not done anything, now you must split up.
He has given you enough proof that this is not a man you want to tie yourself with.
He acknowledge the problem, wants to change, but isn’t able to
Now you got two out of three here. Two very good positives and one last hurdle.
But two out of three means little if you can’t get across that last one.
Try different methods for changing, try Tony Robbins, try little by little, try therapy.
Have you already tried to let it go?
Sometimes our first reaction is that of wanting to change our partner. But rarely if ever do we consider changing ourselves.
It’s worth considering if you are able to let it go.
It might seem a silly recommendation, but more than once I completely changed my attitude after I decided to stop caring about something. Or to start looking at something from a different light.
Give it a try.