7 Ways to Know Your Relationship is Worth Fighting For

Some relationships are worth fighting for; others are better off broken. How do you know if your relationship is worth fighting for? These seven tips will help you see your relationship more clearly and decide if it’s worth the time and energy it’ll take to rebuild your love. I also included three stages of love, so you can see what stage you may be in.

“I know that love changes and there are different phases of love,” says Toni on When You Don’t Feel Physically Attracted to Your Husband. “But how do you know if you’re in a normal slump or if your relationship is over? My wife is changing, going through some emotional stuff that is making her withdraw and pull away from me. Part of me thinks this is a normal stage of our marriage, but part of me wonders if things will ever be the same. So how do you know if a relationship is worth fighting for?”

Here’s one of the best ways to know if you should fight to save your relationship: you’ve done a “reality check” on your marriage. You know the difference between fairy tale love and true love. And, you know your own self. Below are some of the most common deceptions and myths about relationships, to help you see whether or not fighting for your relationship or throwing in the towel is the best route to go…

If your spouse is emotionally or physically difficult to reach, you may feel anxious or afraid. You might be worried that your relationship has changed or that he doesn’t love you anymore. While you’re struggling to decide if your relationship is worth fighting for, remember that all love relationships go through periods of distance and closeness, disconnection and attachment.

One of the most important tips on how to love someone who is emotionally unavailable is to stop trying to change or fix him. Let go of the illusion that your love will open your husband or boyfriend up, that your emotional depth and commitment is enough to save your relationship. Hold tight to the fact that even though love changes, you can change with it! You can discern whether your relationship is worth fighting for, and you can take steps to rebuild your love.

Is Your Relationship Worth Fighting For?

I’ve divided this article into two parts:

While you’re reading through these stages and signs, remember that you won’t find precise formulas or specific solutions. Every relationship is different and unique. I can’t tell you if your relationship is worth fighting for because you know your relationship better than anyone.

It is a difficult decision to make – especially if you have children or other investments in your relationship. Take your time, listen to your heart, and hold on to the peace that surpasses all understanding. Know that you can trust God – or whatever you conceive your Higher Power to be – to bring you through this stage of your life.

3 Stages of Love

“A relationship is like a shark. It has to constantly move forward or it dies.” – Woody Allen.

The First Stage of Love: Romance and Chemistry

Romantic love is driven by testosterone and estrogen; it creates strong physical attraction and sets the stage for emotional attachment. In this stage of love, endorphins soak your brain and you’re immersed in intense pleasure. The last thing you’re wondering about is whether your relationship is worth fighting for, because you know your man is perfect, ideal, made for you. In the romance phase you feel exhilarated and even “high” (similar to the feeling you get after eating melt-in-your-mouth dark chocolate or enjoying a great workout. Endorphins!).

The Second Stage of Love: Physical Attraction and Power Struggles

The “lovesick” phase is characterized by a loss of appetite, less sleep, and daydreams about your new love.

How to Know Your Relationship is Worth Fighting For
How to Know Your Relationship is Worth Fighting For

In this stage of romantic love, the hormones dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin are racing through your body and brain. You’re also trying to shape your lover into your ideal partner – which is where the power struggles come in. You’re becoming more realistic, and you and your boyfriend are working through everyday issues, such as which friends to spend time with or how to make relationship decisions. Even thought the initial intense chemistry is wearing off, you can confidently see the signs your boyfriend loves you.

The Second Stage of Love: Emotional Attachment and Acceptance

In this phase of love, you’re aware of both positive and negative traits in your boyfriend. You decided you want to build a life together – get married, invest in homes and cars, have children. Confrontation is most likely to occur in this stage of love (though if you’re authentic and honest, it’ll also happen in the second phase). You and your partner might start wondering how to know if your relationship is worth fighting for. Should you stay committed to a healthy love relationship or call it quits?

One of my favorite books about relationships is ScreamFree Marriage: Calming Down, Growing Up, and Getting Closer. In it, Hal Runkel shows couples how to stay calm while dealing with intense marital conflicts. He reveals the key to creating and enjoying a deep, lifelong connection in marriage, and why your relationship is worth fighting for. It’s an awesome book for couples to read together, or for individual partners to work through on their own.

7 Ways to Know if Your Relationship is Worth Fighting For

Perhaps reading through the 3 Stages of Love has shown you that your relationship is worth fighting for. That’s great! Get a book such as ScreamFree Marriage, and start learning how to save your love.

If you’re still confused and unsure, you may need to sort through your beliefs about relationships. All couples have preconceived notions about love and marriage, and some of those ideas are unhelpful and even destructive.

The following seven facts about relationships will help you know if your relationship is worth fighting for…

1. You know that a relationship can’t bring you lasting happiness

How to decide should I stay or go

“Current relationship studies explode the belief that relationships bring lasting happiness and are a panacea for all that ails us,” write Judith Wright and Bob Wright in The Heart of the Fight: A Couple’s Guide to Fifteen Common Fights, What They Really Mean, and How They Can Bring You Closer“While relationships may boost happiness for a short time, they don’t lead to long-term fulfillment and intimacy.”

Do you expect your husband to change your level of happiness? Then you’ll be disappointed. When you’re trying to figure out if your relationship is worth fighting for, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a man or a relationship can or will make you happy. The only source of lasting peace and joy is the flow of divinity that is constantly humming above and around and through you.

2. You love who you and your husband are becoming as a couple

You know your relationship is worth fighting for if you’re in love with the idea of who you can be together, as a couple. Are you able to support each other as you both reach towards your ideal selves – both together and as individuals?

When you interact with your boyfriend or husband, are you encouraging him to become a better version of himself? In the healthiest relationships, both you and your partner push each other to be your best selves. You support good choices, healthy habits, successful lifestyles, and satisfying activities outside your relationship. You know your relationship is worth fighting for when you have the potential to be united and connected as a couple who wants to be better, love deeper, and spread joy and peace in the world.

3. You have rejected the idea of a “soul mate”

Relationship research shows that believing in and looking for a soul mate actually makes it more difficult to experience an intimate love relationship. A romantic ideal of the perfect partner – someone created just for you – will stop you from fighting for your relationship when the going gets tough. And the going will get tough. All couples go through relationship problems and dry spells.

The healthiest couples no longer search for tips on how to know if their relationship is worth fighting for. They’ve committed to learning and growing together, to resolving conflicts as they arise, and working on themselves and their relationships.

4. You aren’t hooked on the myth of compatibility

“Happy couples are no more or less compatible than unhappy couples,” write the Wrights in The Heart of the Fight. “Compatibility is transient; it comes and goes, and no couple is compatible all the time. Couples in blissful relationships work with their differences – and grow from them.”

Your relationship is worth fighting for if you share deep sense of meaning and purpose with your husband.Your relationship is worth fighting for if you have common values and a dedication to growing healthier emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Your relationship is worth fighting for if you aren’t distracted by the myth that you have nothing in common, and you’ve learned how to stop going back and forth in your relationship.

5. You know chemistry isn’t what counts in a relationship

The first stage of love is often fueled by passion and chemistry, feeling madly in love and out of control in a wild meeting of hearts, souls, bodies and spirits. This isn’t true love. This is a chemical rush, and it is fleeting. Chemistry and energy that flares quickly and burns brightly will die a quick and flaming death.

Here’s one of the best tips on how to know if your relationship is worth fighting for: you love your boyfriend or husband but you aren’t obsessed by him. You don’t feel lovesick or preoccupied by thoughts of him all day long. You feel supported and encouraged, and you know you’re supporting him and encouraging him to be his best self. You know your love is worth fighting for when you have built a strong relationship that is founded on healthy communication, conflict resolution, and joyful and painful experiences together.

6. You aren’t focused on feelings of physical attraction

“Who we are attracted to isn’t necessarily who is best for us and in fact, is often the opposite,” write the Wrights. “It’s an automatic response to people who unconsciously represent aspects of our relationship with our parents. The stronger the attraction, the more they represent either that quality itself or its mirror image.”

For example, if you had a distant father you may find yourself attracted to an emotionally unavailable man. If you had an abusive father you may be attracted to passive men. Our early relationship with our parents determines who we’re attracted to as adults. If you’re wondering how to know if your relationship is worth fighting for, you might look at the deeper issues that attracted you to your partner.

7. You know you need more than love to build a life together

One of the biggest myths about relationships is that love is all you need.

7 Ways to Know if Your Relationship is Worth Fighting For
7 Ways to Know if Your Relationship is Worth Fighting For

If you believe a great relationship develops just because two people fall in love, then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment! Even the healthiest most loving relationships need to be fought for. Real love doesn’t mean you won’t have issues to discuss or that you’ll never be hurt by your boyfriend or husband.

Real love means you’ll have to work on your relationship. No matter how much love and chemistry you feel for someone, you’ll still have to put time and effort into your relationship. If you’re wondering how to know if your relationship is worth fighting for, you need to let go of the myths and fairy tales about romance. Learn what true love really is.

Before we wrap it up – and before you tell me if your relationship is worth fighting for – let’s quickly review a few quick tips for a healthy, strong relationship.

4 Tips for a Loving Relationship

“Relationships – of all kinds – are like sand held in your hand,” said Kaleel Jamison. “Held loosely, with an open hand, the sand remains where it is. The minute you close your hand and squeeze tightly to hold on, the sand trickles through your fingers. You may hold onto some of it, but most will be spilled.”

A relationship is like that. Held loosely, with respect and freedom for the other person, it is likely to remain intact. But hold too tightly, too possessively, and the relationship slips away and is lost.

1. Focus on the things you can control

Your attitude, your behavior, your words, and your energy are all things you have control over. If you want something to change in your relationship – and if you’re fighting for your relationship – then focus on your own attitudes or actions. Don’t try to change your boyfriend or force your husband to be something he’s not.

2. Express yourself honestly and kindly

Learn healthy ways to express your disappointment, anger, or frustration. Be honest and authentic, kind and loving. If you aren’t sure what you think and feel, take time to connect with yourself. Connect with God. Pay attention to what you’re happy and sad about.

3. Grow towards your boyfriend or husband

If you’re committed to fighting for your relationship, then learn how to build healthy communication patterns. Focus on spiritual and emotional growth, and always remember why you fell in love with your husband or boyfriend. Think about the traits you were once attracted to, and work to revive those old feelings. Don’t forget who you fell in love with and why you’re with him.

4. Own both your positive and negative feelings

Your partner can’t “make” you feel anything If you feel unfulfilled in your life or overwhelmed by relationship problems, look at your dreams and goals. Are you pursuing the life you were meant to live? Are you following your heart? Develop your personality, mind, and spirit. Figure out what will make you happy in this phase of romance, and start creating the life you were meant to live.

Love isn’t just a vehicle that brings happiness and contentment to your life (or frustration and anger!). Love is a living, dynamic creature that changes, grows, and needs attention…and you must nurture it.

What do you think – is your relationship worth fighting for? Feel free to share your thoughts below. Expressing your feelings may help you decide if what to do.

In peace and passion,



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35 thoughts on “7 Ways to Know Your Relationship is Worth Fighting For”

  1. At what point do you determine God’s will is for relationship to be over when you thought it was His will to bring you together? I have been with my husband for 10 years. The man I know now is not who I was drawn to by the hand of the Lord in the beginning. Over time he has revealed himself to be abusive, hypercritical, destructive, narcissistic, and an overall nightmare of a person behind closed doors. I am always the one at fault, always to blame, never doing it right, stupid, fat, lazy, moron, and a slew of countless other heartbreaking words. I have truly felt that despite all this God has brought us together and have tried to put on a brave face. Now as though he must perform his final act of emotional abuse, he says he is leaving. At what point do I let go and stop trying? Does God want me to try? Does he want this person to leave?

    I feel so desperately alone.

    1. Don’t be afraid to leave him. You can do It! My mother raised 5 children without my dad after he abusing her physically and mentally he left her and us and she has blossomed. It wasn’t easy for her but she has grown into a beautiful woman and found a man not to make her happy but because she loves him and she knows her worth. You don’t deserve to feel like you have to put on a brave face, sometimes acknowledging that he’s breaking you which is better than acting like it’s only the NOW and that it’ll change.

  2. HI I’m am struggling. My husband and I have been together for 29 years. Our marriage was typical, marriage, babies, both of us working trying to make it work with no family to lean on. As time went on we became disconnected. I worked the weekends as a flight attendant and my husband worked Mon thru Fri. We didn’t have time or we didn’t make time for us. I thought ok this is our life to make it work for our schedule but eventually years down the line it took it toll. We became disconnected. I am pretty secure with myself except that I never communicated my feelings or did my husband. So in time our boys grew older I was the one who did all their activities, church, baseball, school, events etc. while my husband worked. It got to the point of not speaking to ech other nicely sometime Nick picking and him taking up training for marathons so he was training a lot. I thought the it would get better s the boys got older and we could leave them and start going out nurturing our marriage but we didn’t appreciative. Then I found out he was having an affair Jan 2017. I confronted him he denied and I showed him the proof. We talked I forgave him and I said I will look for counseling. I felt we reconnected now I look at it and maybe it was me because we became intimate again and I felt emotionally connected and thought he was too. I tried to find a female counselor because my husband was abused severely as. Child by an uncle and I knew he felt better with a female. I couldn’t and made an appt with a male who basically said our marriage was toxic and he can help us but not with a 3rd party involved. We left and he said he didn’t like him. A friend of mine who is a therapist told me you can’t fix your marriage until your husband fixes himself with his past. So we did counseling separate and Insat back patiently while he opened up to his counselor about his abuse. Almost that entire yr 2017, he was here at home and things felt good but our communication expressing ourself was not great. He was still in the affair and in April I knew he saw her he admitted and said he wasn’t sure I Reacted and said fine let’s talk to the boys 17 & 15. We cried spent the next day as a family and went back into our routine. He is a truck driver so during the week he was on the road and calling me everyday, I thought ok but then again in Oct he did it again he said he or she called him and probably they spent time together. I told him he needed to make a decision. He said he couldn’t. I asked him to leave. He picked his things on a Sat while I was working and I came home to everyone of his gone. He said he will live in his big rig. We cried and he left. We spent time Super Bowl Sunday and he ended up spending the night we were intimate. He had to work so he woke up at 4am and said he didn’t want the night to end. I felt that was real. He didn’t call me all week. I asked him to meet me on the we home from work and said you obviously don’t want our marriage so I’ll give you what you want. Divorce. 2 weeks later he drew up papers online instead of hiring an attorney to see us financially. I was in shocked and disbelief. I feel and every time we met to talk he would cry bring up his childhood trauma that he is running because he doesn’t know how to deal with things he admitted he has always runs away . I also believe he is pushing me away intentionally because of the guilt and shame of what he did to our family and he never has dealt with the guilt and shame he endured as. Child. There is so much I still could add but he still has the papers and is pressuring me on them. I set boundaries and sled him not to come here when I’m home to spend time with the boys. I feel we could save our marriage but he is running. I’ve skied him if he is with her he said yes but sometimes I feel he is lying. I think he is depressed. Is it me not accepting I’ve sled him if he really wants to do this and he said why are you asking me this now. Then he gets frustrated and leaves the conversation. I know it’s up to him to fight he knows how I would do anything to fight. I know I can’t fix him should I sign the papers and let it go? I’m afraid to throw this away when I know if we could just get the therapy needed we could try and save this.

    1. Colleen,
      Your story sounds just like mine. My husband endured years of physical and emotional abuse by his mother and father and then at age 12 was sexually abused by a student teacher (although he doesn’t see it that way as he was a willing participant with her). He had an emotional affair with a long distant co-worker. I found out by total accident, but he had been acting distant for over 1 year and I couldn’t put my finger on it. This was during our 29th year married. We now have been married 30 years. We each have our individual counselor and are seeing a marriage counselor. He says things like I could live alone, I am not sure I want to be married, it’s what I want for myself. I found another picture of the girl on his phone after he said it was over, I felt like I was having a heart attack. Our kid is in college too and I think that’s when it started, I think he was depressed when she left home. We also worked hard, both full time jobs with me doing most of the child activities. I feel so alone, I have tried but he can’t even hug me. So I am trying to work on myself with my counselor and am thinking about going back to school. He says he needs time, but I don’t know how much time I can give him. If I wait, the outcome may still hurt me. I wish you all the best in your situation. I just felt so compelled to write as your story is so much like mine.

      1. Pam,

        I am in a similar situation. It hasn’t been as long as your marriage. My husband left me just a few days ago to be with his long distance co-worker. But I still want to try to work on it. I am definitely going to better myself wether he comes back or not. So I will be in a better place.

        I have read that getting support and information from someone going through similar situations is the best. How are things going for you so far?

  3. Hai I coupled up with my boyfriend for 5 months now .. he was very excited bout our relationship at the start but now I feel like he don’t have the same excitement anymore.. the first 3 months he had time for me but now he gives so much excuses that he is been busy with work.. lately we don’t have constant communication like before.. when we couple up he was so into me , we talk like normal couples do we text each other often but then there is a sudden gap falls between us … I have talked to him bout this and all he said was he is too busy with work and so many things keep coming up till he don’t have enuf rest on his own … There was once I told him that I don’t mind to step back from this relationship cz I felt I’m too clingy n need attention from him but all he say was he loved me and do not wan a breakup from me so I continue to understand his situation.. but then the routine starts again we don’t text often or even call … I’m really confuse as this relationship seriously making me feel so uncomfortable cz I have other things to focus on too … wat should I do now ??? Pls help me with some advice on how I should proceed further …

  4. Hi, me and my boyfriend know each other about two month, at first, he is a happy type of guy, early stage of our relationship are great, but then, he lost his job. Started from that, he start to think he is not good enough for me, he less communicate with me even I tried to convince him that I understand his situation. He even sound unhappy when I called him, when I tried to give him some life advice. I only want to helps him, make him feels better, but the more I did, the more I feels that he push me away. When I text him and tells him I would like to give him space and time, so then if he wants me, he can contact me, I can wait until he really feels good about his life. So, I stopped texting or call him, but the next 2 days, he start to text me back, like there is nothing happens. We are in long distance relationship. All i heard is he wants me to be near him, to be there for him. So, i decided to meet him in another few days. Till today, he still send me good morning text, ask how is my day, but he avoided to talk about his life. Then, I just follow his mood, if he text me, I will respond, if not, I just let he look for me first. Is it the right thing to do? Am I to clingy cause he less communicate with me till makes he feels uncomfortable or am I pleased him a lot till I didn’t care about my own feelings? What should I do? Should I told him I was upset the way he push me away when I tried to help him? Will it makes he feels more bad about himself? I’m lost. What should I do? Help me.

  5. Hello,
    I’ve been I a relationship with my bf for 7 months now. We were high school sweethearts and even whsn we werent together back then, every time we would see each other out, we would need up together again, or spend the night talking or catching up.
    Fast forward 21yrs. He married, I moved away. I moved back 9 yrs ago and one night 6 yrs ago, we met again at a dance. ( pls hold judgements) he was still married; however, when we seen each other from across the room, it was like we were back in high school. No words were spoken, we went outside and talked for hours. We exchanged #’s that night and have been randomly texting ever since.
    8 months ago, we decided to have a drink together and that is when it all started.
    He told his wife that he was leaving her, he moved out, got his new place and we have been together ever since.
    I truly think that we were meant to be together. The one of my complaints is that I feel like I never see him he works all the time. And when he does come over, I have to compete with him and sleep. I know he loves me, we have an amazing line of communication as we have both cried on each other’s shoulders many times.
    Since he is going through a separation, he says he can’t have anyone seeing us together as it will just make it worse for him financially with the separation, and he also has 2 kids.
    He said for me to be patient, and I have been….but it’s hard not being upset when your boyfriend won’t even come into a grocery store with you in fear that someone might see us together.
    Am I being too sensitive, or am I justified in saying that 1. I want more of your time
    2. I want to be seen with you. Not just on a trip where no one can recognize us.
    Is this relationship worth fighting for?
    I love him and I don’t want to lose him, but I can’t do this if this is what my future is going to be like.

  6. When you talk to your partner, what does he say? Describe how your relationship with him has changed, and how you would like it to be. The more insight you have into him — and to your own self — the more easier it’ll be to decide if your relationship is worth fighting for. And, you’ll also discover specific ways to fight to keep your relationship alive if you are clear on what’s happening with your partner.

    What does he say about how you and he are doing?

  7. Hello,
    I’ve been with my man now for over 5 months. Things started out amazing…but as of late, I am starting to feel like a 4th or 5th wheel. First comes work, then his kids. Then other things…then maybe me. We don’t go anywhere or do anything. I feel like he only comes to see me when he has a minute. When i want him to make time for me.
    He said the other day that he doesn’t want us to get I a rut. And I really think he meant that we are in one.
    I have been closed off since that conversation…barely answering his texts and not making myself available for him.
    I still live him and want to be with him….but I need him to understand that I’m not someone that you go see if you have time…im someone you make time for.
    How do I get him to see me like he did a few months ago?

  8. My husband and I have been married 10 years, we have a wanderful son. We have always loved each other and were extremely supportive and respectful to each other. He was the best husband in the world, lived me like crazy, did evrything I wanted and supported every single idea of mine. Together we went though a lot of things, starting with robbery, poverty, and ending with losing our second kid at the seventh month of pregnancy. A year ago we moved to other country, I left behind everything- falily, friends, job, career. Once I found an awful conversation with his ex employee, something like, “can you call me my love” and the other ” sure my only love” etc..I was shocked. The woman was not in our country and that was the only thing that kept me back from going away, together with his sorry and his love.
    Things became better and better. We created a good business during 3-4 months.We loved each other even more, at least it seemed so. Then one day I found photos of other girl in his phone. That was another stress I got from him. When I ried to ask him who she was, he first told me that he didn’t know her and she just sent her photos via instagram, then he said that it was just for work, but, as I am jealous and I donot trust him, he lied to me. And immediately next day, he said that he is going to leave me. No other woman exist, this is just because of us. I was trying to make our relationships better, but I do not get enough emotions from you and you are weak and I canot live with you anymore. Left us with our son and went away. Meanwhile I found out that he is sending flowers to that girl to Russia every other day., spends huge amounts of money on this. When I asked him, he said that this is his personal affair and that we are divorced, but when his brother asked him, he said no no other woman exists between us. I keep on checking his whatsapp and viber and he is talking to her 24 hours long. Felt in love???? at the age of 36??? so seriously?? What about our love. A month ago he told me that I loves me like a crazy. We drove to sea 3 hours holding each others hand and kissing.. What happened? How to overcome this?? How to start living again?? How to start seeing my future, How to stop crying all days long???

    1. Hello Milla how are you doing? I hope you are well. I just came across your comment and my heart goes out to you. Know that I am praying for you. Trust God I know that thats so cliche but only God can heal us, restore our peace and joy. May the Lord bring ls comfort and healing to you now in Jesus’ name!

  9. I think your relationship is worth fighting for if you see signs that both of you care enough to work towards rebuilding your connection. There are a lot of factors that determine if a relationship can be saved… But sometimes we can’t even see those factors until later.

    I can’t predict if your relationship is worth fighting for, but I did recently read a book that discussed when to give up hope for a relationship. I wrote about his tips in this article:

    5 Signs You Should Give Up Hope in Your Relationship

    Read it, and let me know if you think there’s hope for your relationship…


  10. We used to have a conversation before. Meet each other every other day. But since rhe suddenly change. He did not even greet me like he used to be. For example “morning greetings” so it makes me wonder what’s wrong? Then i texted him like what’s going on? Is there’s something i need to know? And he said like im just si stress at work, mainly work. I will explained it to you once we meet. So im thinking now that is it ok if i initiate the date? He knows that i want a quality time. In the beginning of our relationship i told him and seems he didn’t act his words now. What should i do? Do i need to stay?

  11. My fiancé and I just bought a home together after selling both of ours to build a life together. I have been dealing with quite a bit of change and uncertainty in regards to career, past friendships, and attempting to use our relationship as a focal point to work on and progress allowing all else to be paused in attempt to find balance. A friend came to visit and somehow talking led to a ton of wine including being in the sun resulted in me passing out leaving my fiancé to find me on my living room floor. He feels betrayed that I was willing to share all my concerns with a friend and not him as well as put our new home in jeopardy including our 2 fur children passing out while all was unlocked and open. He now says we are done, he cannot trust me, I became something he never wanted for how could I allow myself to have lost control like that. I have apologized profusely and know I made a huge mistake. All I ask is for a second chance to prove I am not my mistake but he feels this action is unforgivable.

  12. Really helpful. Thank you for giving me an idea about this. Well, I guess if it is no longer worth fighting for, there is no need to cage yourself from a toxic relationship. You just have to learn how to let go.

  13. TIA- I have been in the same relationship for 4.5 years. When we started I was carless;due to a car breakdown, I was also fresh out of a relationship and my now current Fiance was persistent. He seemed a nice person so I took a chance. Throughout the years we have had our ups and downs. At one point I found a hidden FB page that he had and of course we had our little break for that; then I found out that he had been having phone conversations with the mother of his first child who passed away 2 years ago. I, once again forgave him because he swore it was only about the case update. Everytime we argue, he goes too far, and I just bite my tongue. He always switches whatever we r fighting about to me having someone else(which I have never cheated). And he tells me things like Im sick of you or Get out of my face( only during an argument) We each have 3 kids so he has always tries to pay child support but he always seems to find the imperfections in my kids; while he treats his kids like royalty. When ever I call him out on it, he gets super offensive; saying that I am comparing and that I have a problem with his kids, I always respect them and treat them like my own, but he makes it hard to see the fairness. He got laid off from his job 1.5 years ago and has since been not too worried about making ends meet. It took him about 5 months to find a job; meanwhile I had to maintain the bills, So he wasnt paying child support and got way behind. Instead of going out and looking for a job; he would lounge around all day or just run some errands. He then got a job; but insisted that he was feeling too sick to work. Doctor said he was fine though. So now we r down to one vehicle because he couldnt pay his; He is now at a different job; where he sits all day, but gets paid $250 a week; if he goes every day after taxes and CS get taken out. We live with my mother in her small home and I am trying so hard to move us into our own place… Right now I pay most of the bills including my vehicle , phones , cell phones, cable,internet, and most imprtantly Groceries. He seems to have no intensions of trying to look for another job or moving out or anything an adult needs to do. Im ready to give up now… Am i wrong for feeling this way?

  14. I love my boyfriend. 3 years together. I’m 21 and he’s 23. I have no ring, no apartment with him. We spend 4 to 5 days a week together. I cannot get over my insecurity about our future. I want it more than anything. He’s an introvert, a good guy. Loyal, stable, dependable, sweet, and hilarious. Hes seen many divorces in his life. He doesn’t want to lose me, but I am having the hardest time staying when he won’t talk about a future. He makes jokes here and there, says he wants to marry me someday. But can I take him seriously? I am scared of being in love. I’m afraid of hurt. And I took a chance, broke up with him several times in the beginning because I didn’t feel that he loved me. He has stayed through all of it. Irritated at times sure, but he’s here. I can’t shake this feeling that he doesn’t love me enough or that he still isn’t sure about me when I am sure. I’m afraid to let control go because I don’t want to lose him. I have obsessively trying to fix this feeling. And he doesn’t understand, and gets defensive and hurt/sad when I bring it ip. I want to know what to do. Our families love me, and love him together, as people. Hugs and love yous are exchanged frequently. He’s not a romantic guy, he’s pratical, hard working, independent that’s also why I love him. He’s vocal about his feelings sometimes but not often. I crave reassureance because I’m so scared to lose what we have. I’ve become a much better person since I have been in his life and I tell him how much he means to me. I don’t hear those words from him. He’s not vocal. He may say I love you, you’re sexy, beautful. But nothing beyond that. He’s just so different than me which is why I liked him in the first place. Why am I so insecure? Why is there no future talk? And he says he wants to do all these things eventually, but I feel he’s unsure. Is it me? Him? I’m just plain hurting. Sometimes he says things that wound me. Like I don’t like cuddling, then 2 days later he’s wrapping his arms around me. It’s so confusing. And I know we’re young. But I know I want this.

  15. Hi, I met my husband at 19 very soon after a 4.5 year realationship with a childhood sweetheart. I wanted to discover who I was – We dated which was fun but not for long as 5 months in I discovered he was having an affair – I fought for him for my self esteem but realised I was still suffering and I couldn’t forgive him. I then fell pregnant with his baby – it was a struggle deciding what to do but in the end I decided that I was going to keep the baby and he decided to support me – I gave him the chance and he has proved him self. We had another baby and got married but I’ve always been unsure weather I genuinely love him or I just make the best out of the situation. I feel trapped, suffocated and unable to escape because I don’t want to break my family up and realise I don’t have anything to complain about other than my lack of emotional intimacy with him. I’ve never felt how I did for my first love ever again and often think about him even though I don’t think he could give me what my husband does. But I knew I loved him…

  16. Thank you for writing this article but I’m still left needing personal advice. My husband and I have been together for 13 years and married for 8. We have been through infidelity in our marriage during my last pregnancy. We have 2 children together and I’m pregnant now. He also has a daughter when I met him. We have been rebuilding our marriage since the infidelity or at least trying to. We have also been dealing with him and his daughters mom texting and talking often and sometimes about inappropriate things. I don’t think it’s appropriate when it has nothing to do with their daughter. All this is leaving me emotionally drained and I’m so tired. I love him dearly but love just isn’t enough. I need to feel respected, appreciated, and safe in my marriage. Can you please share any insight because i’ at my breaking point. I feel like I have stayed and tried but he’s not showing the willingness to just do the right things.

  17. Dear Dammy,

    It sounds like you and your boyfriend have different ideas about how much time you should spend together, how often you should see each other, and what to expect from a relationship.

    I get the impression you’ve given your relationship a lot of thought. You love your boyfriend, but you aren’t fully happy with him. You can’t change your boyfriend…and ever more importantly, he doesn’t want to change. So either you accept your relationship exactly the way it is, or you change your expectations of your boyfriend.

    What do you think you should do? Take a deep breath, and allow your wisest and smartest self to lead the way. And, pray for courage and strength to follow your intuition even if you know it’ll be painful and scary at first.

    What is your heart telling you to do?

  18. Thanks for this article
    I need your advice.
    I am 21, been dating a guy since I was 15. We always discuss our future, children, marriage, finances, but lately I feel like I’m the one putting effort into our relationship. He is an entrepreneur so he is always busy. I feel alone in this relationship, I have had this discussion with him and he keeps telling me that he is trying.
    Today , I spoke about how we should work on communication and he said I’m too needy and I need to get used to the fact that we cant always talk cus we are both busy people.
    We are in love. But I don’t think I can keep up with this.

  19. Dear Julie,

    It sounds like you’ve put a lot of thought, time, and energy into trying to figure out if your relationship is worth fighting for. You know your struggles well, and you can see your husband’s strengths and weaknesses. You know your marriage better than anyone…and you are the best person to give advice on your own relationship.

    What are your options?

    I encourage you to write down every possibility you can think of, from reconciling with your husband to calling a divorce lawyer. Don’t just shortlist your options; instead, actually write through each possibility until you can’t think of more to write about.

    Writing through your options will help you discover what you really think and feel – and it will help you decide if your relationship is worth fighting for.

    My impression is that you’ve been thinking about this for a long time. So you tell me…which option seems like the best decision for you in the long run?

  20. I have been with same man for 20 years, married for 14 years. We have two young children. We met in school and get together after being on rebound. He was also the first man I had slept with and he was my first serious boyfriend. Fast fwd some years and I realised I was unhappy in my marriage. I felt alone. He never wanted to talk. Always said later and then later never came. We would fight and bicker constantly. I wanted him to do things and he preferred to be left alone. Over years fights got physical, and would end with punch or slap. But I never thought of it as abuse Bec I felt I pushed him to it with verbal abuse and it wasn’t like I ended up in hipsital. Growing up I had seen this with people around me and thought it was acceptable for man to show who’s boss….In beginning I would fight back but then stopped. I don’t remember feeling happy with him, or him making my laugh, holding hands or kissing etc. the only show of physical attention was in the bedroom. I didn’t want to have sex Bec I felt emotionally disconnected from him. Or I felt the experience was cheapened when not longer after we would be fighting again. But I felt with two young children I have no choice. We tried counselling more than once. But neither of us worked on it. I tried, but gave up when I saw he wasn’t committed to it. I tired other things, like books, suggestions I read online etc. but always seemed to me making the effort.
    Aside from this, he is a wonderful father, helps me with laundry and cooking and is generally a good guy. All heavy stuff like planning our future falls to me. Over years I got tired of trying, and each fight wore me down, eroded whatever weak foundation we had. From outside looking in, I should be lucky to have a husband like this. From inside it feels like I am trapped, ridden with guilt at breaking his heart (I know he loves me) and my family unit. I’m scared, I don’t feel I love him enough to try again. I’m scared of making a mistake. Recently he refused another round of counselling saying he knew what he must change. For me, I have done my own self awareness courses, I realise I needed to be responsible for my own happiness, and I know I had unhealthy argument styles. But knowing all this doesn’t make me want to go back and try, other than feeling sense of duty to do that. I’m stuck. I don’t know whether to leave a good man who doesn’t help me be a better version of myself, or to go back and try again. I forget to add we have been seperated for 18months, we work well together re the girls. But I don’t feel love, I feel mostly indifferent to him or I feel guilt. There wasn’t a strong foundation to start with.
    My guilt is also Bec I had an emotional affair with someone who wants to marry me. And seems committed. My husband found out about it, still willing to forgive me, but I wonder at what price. I ended that relationship Bec I want to make this decision without bias. But I’m stuck. I appreciate any advice.

  21. Oh April, darling girl, will you read everything you said about your boyfriend? Please scroll down and read it out loud. Listen to what you are saying.

    And, tell me why you think your boyfriend will change. Look at what he does — look at what he DOES and do not believe what he says. He is talking talking talking, and talk is cheap. He is telling you exactly what sort of man he is by doing what he is doing, and you are ignoring all the warning signs.

    You’re following your heart because you’re in love. You are so sweet and kind, and you want to believe that your boyfriend will come through and be a decent guy. You want to believe your relationship is worth fighting for.

    Stop giving your boyfriend money — and do not rent a flat with him! Please listen to your friends and family. I know they are telling you to get out of this relationship.

    You are not overreacting. Your gut instincts are trying to save you. Your smart brain and your perceptive intuition and your clear eyes are telling you the truth: your boyfriend needs to grow up a lot before he’s ready for a live-in relationship.

    If your boyfriend never changes and you’re living with him, what are your options?

    What would happen if you let go of this relationship?

    Listen to your own gut instincts, and re-read your own description of your boyfriend. You are smart, April, and you deserve better than this.


  22. Thank you for this article. It’s made me re think a few things but I’m still unsure. I am 22 and have been with my partner just over 1 year now so I know it’s still early stages. I’m just worried I’m spending too much time and getting emotionally deeper involved with the wrong person. I am starting to despise all aspects of his traits and habits and I know I have no control over changing him though I have tried my hardest to support him. He is 24 and plays in a pool league every Wednesday but since I have known him he will get uncontrollably drunk every pool night spend ridiculous amounts of money and misses work the next day/few days. In the past 2 months he has been fired from 4 different jobs due to his attendance. This has left him homeless and he has been staying with me at my nans house. He is currently jobless and very low on money, yet still out at the pub spending money he doesn’t have and will stumble home at silly hours of the morning disturbing my nan who has to wake early for work. He keeps telling me he’s going to stop being so reckless yet does the same thing every week. We are planning to get a flat in the new year as my nan is selling the house but I am worried he will be unreliable and drag me down with him leaving me homeless. He makes me feel unstable, unsafe and overall worry for our future. He is not invested in his own life let alone our relationship. His only priority is his pool nights and I don’t see this changing. I love him so much and I know he loves me too. I am just really torn as to wether I should hang on to the relationship or not. I used to think he was just going through a rough patch and always helped him with money and food and just keeping him feeling optimistic about our future. Now I realise he is just lazy and messes up every good opportunity he gets and I feel like he’s taking advantage of my support and relying on it. I can’t help him anymore, it’s up to him. I’m just getting sick of it but worried I’m overreacting. Any advice would be great

    1. Hi April,
      In my opinion, I honestly think that you should move on hunni, you sound like a perfect gf, but it seems like your bf is taking advantage of you. I wouldn’t suggest you moving in with him, as you can already see, you’ll be the only one paying the bills sweetie, and that’s hard on 1 person when you have a partner that should be willing to change and help you out. By changing, I mean growing up and keeping a job, instead of losing every job, due to him drinking too much on pool night which is every week?! I was in a very similar relationship in my early 20s, I had myself together, was buying my own house, and I was also a single mother of 2 boys(which loved him to death), and he kept losing jobs, and thought since he helped me by babysitting while between jobs, that he wasn’t gonna look for another job. I didn’t argue with him about him, instead, I tried to allow him time to find/pursue a good job, one that he’d enjoy and wouldnt want to lay out. One where he’d grow, and better himself,finally he did find one, after 7 months of really not even looking, it landed in his lap. Lucky! He applied and was hired on the spot,started the next day, he seemed happy with it, was working daily. Ok 2 weeks into his job, I lost mine due to my client/patient passing away, I worked for myself, not a company, therefore couldn’t collect unemployment. Long story short, after me supporting him and my kids for over a year, my mortgage was over due($459),then came all the other bills, instead of trying to help me pay anything at all, he left me, so I ended up losing my home, credit got ruined, and we woulda been homeless if my Dad wouldn’t have moved back to NC from Fla and allow my kids and I to move in with him. Idk you personally, but you seem like an amazing lady who has it together and deserves so much better, sweetie! I wish you the best, pray to God about it and allow him to lead you the right way, because he will, you just have to listen!

  23. This was great but I’m still wondering in what situation I am at. Hopefully someone can help!
    I met my ex my second year of college and we hit it off imediatly. At first I wasn’t attracted to him, but the more I got to know him the more I became interested. We hung out a few times then I decided I didn’t really need a man in my life, but he chaced after me for about 3 months. I decided to give it a chance because I actually did like him, I was just scared to loose focus on school. After, he gave me the best three months of my life. He cared for me, surprised me and did make me feel amazing. I felt all the things this article talks about; I never wanted to change him but definately help him out to become the better version of him self. The worst part is that knowing that I could do that for him, was what made me the happiest. After those three months he went abroad for a semester and we still kept in touch, but I wanted to give him space and enjoy his time abroad. Thinking that he would take this time to “find himself”, he instead was falling for someone else abroad. However, I had no idea and continued to talk to him once in a while.
    When he got back, I never heard from him. Things were defintaely a little weird. After summer, I decided to contact him to see what was up but he seemed distant and I knew something was up. Up until a few weeks ago we hung out like the old times and he told me about his new love ( that lives all the away across the world). He told me he continued to think about me and miss me, but that he had to stay away to avoid cheating. Although I understand that, a part of me feels like I can get him back eventually. I hate to say this, but I love him and would do anything to be back with him. I just need some help analyzing the situation and understanding if I’m just blinded by love.

  24. Hello Lucia,

    I can’t tell you if your relationship is worth fighting for, but I do have a few questions for you:

    What is it about you that makes your boyfriend’s mother think she can call you fat or tell you that your cooking is bad? She sounds like an inconsiderate, mean woman who likes to bully people. You can’t change her, but you can change how you respond to her. Bullies are only mean to people who let them be mean. Bullies are rude to people who don’t have boundaries, who don’t know how to stand up for themselves.

    I don’t mean to pick on you or say it’s your fault – that’s not my intention. I just know that people treat us the way we allow ourselves to be treated. What makes your boyfriend’s mom think she can talk to you that way? Go beyond the “she is this and that”, and try to dig into the reasons you’ve allowed her to insult you. That’s where the gold and growth is, because you have power over yourself! This is a great opportunity for you to learn more about yourself, become stronger, and learn how to set boundaries to make her treat you better.

    Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud and John Townsend is an excellent book for this sort of thing.

    Do you love your boyfriend enough to put up with his mom for the rest of your lives together? Be honest with yourself. You don’t have to answer here in public, but tell yourself the truth. It’s okay if you don’t think he or your relationship is worth it! Relationships are hard enough without external pressures and stresses.

    Are you prepared for the possibility that your boyfriend may revert back to his old ways? Sustaining changes we make in our life and relationships is really hard, and we often “fall off the wagon.” Don’t prepare your boyfriend to fail or expect him to go back to the way he ways, but be open to any possibility.

    Here’s another article that may help:
    How to Stop Your Boyfriend’s Mother From Ruining Your Relationship

  25. This article is just what I needed today, Ive been with my boyfriend for 3 years going on 4. Our relationship is very strained by his mother. For the past year of our relationship she has been extremely disrespectful to me. For example, she calls me fat or tells me my cooking is bad. She is also very much involved in everything we do. She calls at least 4 to 5 times a day and it’s always to ask him to do something for her like putting out the trash or mixing ingredients together for a meal. He always answers and does what she asks and he never says anything when his mom is disrespectfull to me. He even lies about being with her sonetimes. He also sleeps in the same bed with her every night at 24 years old! I ended up breaking up with him for 4 months. We talked about the problems and he said he would change just to work things out. He has talked to her about the calling and the disrespectful behavior towards me. He even moved out. The only problem is she still calls him to get him to come over all the time but he doesnt and he still has a bit of an unhealthy attachment to her. Im getting tired of it and I just ready for all of it to be put to an end. I just cant imagine the rest of my life like this so I just want to know if this relationship is worth fighting for.

  26. Dear Victor,

    It sounds like you’re doing what you can to save your marriage – you really are fighting for your relationship! And, you’re working on getting stronger emotionally and spiritually.

    Honestly, I think you’re on the right path. Keep moving forward, keep going to your marriage classes, and keep your eyes focused on God. Don’t give up on Him, and don’t give up on yourself. Don’t give up on your marriage, either, especially if you want to restore it! Saving a marriage – and fighting for a relationship – is a process. It takes time to grow and heal, to work towards one another.

    Give yourself time to heal, and give your wife room to breathe. If you and she are meant to be together, you will find your way back. Keep working, keep moving forward, and keep fighting for love.

    Here’s another article that may give you an idea or two:

    What to Do When Your Wife Isn’t Happy

    I wish you all the best as you work towards saving and restoring your marriage.


  27. Hi
    Thank you for your article.
    My story is difficult
    , my name is Victor married for 23 years and have to boys now men.
    My wife still married to me we live in the same house separate rooms and I’m aware of her relationship with another man.
    I have enrolled in a marriage class, working on changing me both physically and mentally.
    I understand I’m a big part of why she was driven to go outside the marriage. I love her with all my heart and want to salvage my marriage. I’m working on the 31 day prayer for my wife, we still work out together. Pack her lunch every and love her unconditionally regarding of my situation. I often get mix feelings from her sometimes she cares and needs time to figure out her mess. Some times she only sees me as a friend and the father of my kids. She feels she has no connection or spark towards me. I’m on a 50/50 chance per our conversation of getting back together. She is taking a year break and then see if she will consider working things out. At times I want to explore and throw in the towel. I don’t know how long more I can take. I don’t want to do anything reacting on my feelings. Any advice will be helpful.
    Thank you and love to hear back from you soon.

  28. Hi,
    Thank you so much for your amazing article, it was very clear and straight to the point.
    I’m 29 and my husband is 11 years older than me. I met my husband 3weeks after I broke up with my 4.5 years ugly relationship with an egoistic boyfriend. My husband was born in the middle east, but never lived there, he moved to the USA and had to start his life all by himself away from all his family when he was only 14 years old and got adopted into a Jewish family. It’s been 2 years that we are married, but never had the money or time to figure out a date to have the celebrations. My family was really forcing us to get married before we move in together, so we took care of the marriage certification over our lunch break and now every day goes by I keep questioning myself whether I should stay and fight or leave? We’re so opposite of each other, we don’t like the things we like. Our hobbies are different, but business wise, we can always push each other and making us a better person.
    I am so lost BC I’m so new to all these marriage laws 🙁
    Please help me if I should stop worrying and just work for everybody tells me the first couple yr are always the hardest or just leave bc I’m always crying in my alone time 🙁

  29. Dear Mona,

    Thank you for sharing your experience here – it sounds like your marriage is difficult, and you are unhappy with your relationship. I don’t blame you – especially since you expected things to be different after you married him! I am sorry you’re going through this.

    The most important thing is to build a support network of people who you can lean on. I know you feel alone, like you have nobody here…and that’s why it’s so crucial to reach out and connect with people who can support and walk alongside you through this journey.

    Connect with people through church, community groups, and even your work if possible. Call a local women’s resource center and ask what type of support they offer.

    You don’t have to stay in a relationship that’s not worth fighting for. It won’t be the easiest thing you ever do – but I know you can do it! You are strong, and you can tap into a higher source of inner wisdom and power that will help you get through this.

    Here’s an article that may help:

    How to Leave Your Husband if You Have No Money

    You can do this. Whatever you need to do in your life, you can do it! Especially if you reach upwards and inwards for the strength you already have.

  30. Hello, I’m from south america, i was in a long relationship, after 7 years we’ve been together. But I don’t know if our relationship is worth fighting for, he’s from usa and be brought me here to be married … i was so happy because finally i have a “happy” family with him …. now after 3 years of marriage, but every day is worse. We have a lot of fights, we don’t make love , he don’t kiss me, and almost never we have a conversation. He cheats on me, he lies and he’s rude. He has so much bad energy but I’m still with him. I’m a lawyer in my country, I am 33 years old. Here I work in sales and don’t make enough money to leave him. I really tried with the marriage and he don’t understand nothing. I’m very tired and alone, I don’t have any friends, no money, no kids, my family is in different country… does somebody have an idea if I should fight for this relationship…