Social Question

silenceiswar's avatar

Tips on saving a relationship?

Asked by silenceiswar (125points) March 24th, 2011

If someone gives their time, love and support to someone, but the other person only takes and never gives…what should you do?

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54 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Run away.
Light your feet on fire if you’re not moving quick enough ;)

SpatzieLover's avatar

Married? Unmarried? Length of time?

Nullo's avatar

More seriously, communication.

optimisticpessimist's avatar

It does not change. So, if you are happy with that arrangement, go for it. If you are not, you gotta go.

silenceiswar's avatar

Not married….personally, I don’t believe in marriage. Together for about four months now.

janbb's avatar

Get out while you can.

silenceiswar's avatar

What if they can’t let go of that person?

Nullo's avatar

Restraining order? Much of our technological and social development has been towards one kind of isolation or another. I do not doubt that clever and timely interpositions will suffice to distance yourself from the rest of you.

janbb's avatar

Can’t let go – why?

silenceiswar's avatar

@Nullo LOL. no.

@janbb Deeply in love.

JmacOroni's avatar

I’m probably going to sound like a jerk, but I mean this in the nicest way possible… 4 months is not enough time to be “deeply in love,” in my opinion. That is still a period where there is a lot of infatuation and lust swirling around a new relationship. Love develops over time. If you are having this much trouble 4 months in, I have to suspect that it is not going to work long term unless you are both willing to make major changes.

Blackberry's avatar

You can’t save those kinds of relationships.

silenceiswar's avatar


I’ve never been in love, nor have I ever been extremely infatuated with anyone in my life. This feeling is completely new, so I assumed it’s love….but then again, you know what they say about assuming – it makes an ass out of you and me.

JmacOroni's avatar

@silenceiswar I hate to say it, but I think the advice you received above is completely right. Sometimes it is best to accept that something isn’t meant to be. This is really early in the relationship to be experiencing this kind of turmoil. It isn’t easy to walk away from anyone that you care about, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t the best decision.

silenceiswar's avatar

@JmacOroni I completely agree. :) Thanks.

JmacOroni's avatar

@silenceiswar good luck & hope it all works out for the best, however that may be. :)

stardust's avatar

Walk away. Or get used to the whole emotional rollercoaster business.
It may feel like the hardest thing to do at the moment, but better now than down the line

chyna's avatar

Love shouldn’t be and isn’t that hard. Especially this early into a relationship. Love is give and take. It’s never 50/50, but there is give from each side and it seems you are doing all the giving. It’s easy to sit here and tell you to dump this relationship, but in reality it will be very hard since you are feeling such an attachment already. But I think there will be no changing this relationship and you will be hurt no matter if it is over with now or later. Getting it over with now will just save you more heartache and start you sooner on your way into your next, and hopefully more fulfilling relationship.

6rant6's avatar

I’m sorry, but this description of a relationship I hear so often – and usually from the outside I can’t see the difference in how much the two parties give.

I think people have an inclination to say, “What I give is really giving, but they just do what they want to do and although I may benefit from it, my partner is not giving”. You ask what if the mistreated partner can’t leave; the answer obviously is that they are getting something. I know sometimes I complain about what I do in the relationship and my partner retorts, “But you like to do that!” (Not saying I don’t get out as least as much as I put in – just an illustration.)

Anyway, this seems one of those questions phrased so that it can only validate one position, and not really get any useful answers. Just crap like mine.

wundayatta's avatar

Have you told your lover how you feel? Have you asked for anything specific? If not, then your partner may not know. If your partner doesn’t know what you want, how can he or she give it to you?

One of the hardest things for first timers to understand is that relationships are hard and they require a lot of communication. Sometimes people feel they are so in love that they can read each other’s minds. It isn’t so.

When you say you give and your partner never gives, what do you mean? What do you want that you are not getting? What are you giving? Do you feel like you are being cheated somehow, or taken advantage of? Have you already decided you want to get out of the relationship and you’re just looking for confirmation of that?

You really haven’t given any information at all about your situation. It’s impossible to give useful advice based on this information. People will try, because they want to be nice, but I wouldn’t trust such advice.

Provide information about what is really going on, and maybe you’ll get some helpful advice. The advice might actually try to help you save the relationship instead of telling you to chuck it.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Me, I would let that person go, even painfully and let myself be available to someone who reciprocates.

Are you saying after 4 months you are now deeply in love with someone who doesn’t give a fig about you? I can’t see why you think there’s anything to save.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Four months is still the breaking in period. If it’s bad now, it’s only going to get worse. You could always get a green sweatshirt, pin a little plastic daisy over your heart, and have “WELCOME” printed across the front, if you want to be a doormat for someone.

Seriously, it’s only hard to move on the first few weeks. You don’t have any real time invested in this relationship. Yet. It’s only going to make you angry as time moves on.

silenceiswar's avatar

Well, I take the time to do things she likes. I’m always doing little things that I know will make her happy. I leave her little notes sometimes, buy her flowers just because, make dinner for her…things like that. We were friends before we started dating. Anytime I ask her to do something that I like, she never wants to. I had this dinner party to go to and she never showed up. I had asked her a few weeks before, and she said she was going with me. The reason I fell in love with her is the fact that she really understands me. She is one of the very few people who I can truly talk to. I know for a fact that she loves me, that isn’t a problem. I just don’t understand why she does this to me.

wundayatta's avatar

I think it would help if you talk to her and tell her what these things mean to you, and how you feel when she doesn’t do things. You might also tell her you do expect these things. This could just be a matter of difference in style. Or she could be disorganized. Or it could be just who she is.

But you’ve got to work with her on this. Otherwise, you have this love and these horrid feelings too. I think you should also get a book about codependency.

Kardamom's avatar

@silenceiswar Honey, she doesn’t understand you and she doesn’t much care about your feelings either. She’s demonstrated that rather dramatically and rudely by not showing up at the dinner party. I hope she had one heck of a doozy of an excuse (like a death in the family, she hit a person with her car, or the President of the United States dropped by). And the fact that she said that she doesn’t want to do any of those sweet little niceties for you is a big blazing red flag of hurt for your future if you stay with her (and she doesn’t change dramatically). People rarely change dramatically.

I don’t believe that she is the only one of the very few people who you can talk to either. She’s just the one who happens to be in the closest proximity to you because you guys are supposedly dating. You probably don’t talk to other females right now, because you’re in a “relationship” with this particular one.

Before you met her, I’m guessing that you had a few sad or unpleasant experiences with a few women, but until you’ve sat down with 10 or 20 women, don’t say that this lady is the only one that you can talk to and have them truly understand.

Most females love to talk, and listen to men talk to them. I’m guessing that you found this particular woman, she listened and you fell in love, hook line and sinker without really knowing her too well. After you got together with her, you stopped even attempting to talk to other women. Which I will give you credit for (for being a thoughtful boyfriend). But being a thoughtful boyfriend is being lost on this girlfriend.

One of the other Flutherites who shall remain nameless, said something really smart on another thread. That there is “no one right person for anyone, there are lots of right people for everyone.” But unless you are willing to stop pursuing the ones that aren’t good for you (and this one doesn’t sound promising at all) and look for another person who will fit the bill a little bit better, then you are doomed. Not every person is going to be a perfect match for anybody, but there are a lot of lids that will fit a lot of pots.

If you do break up with this current girlfriend and you start looking for new female companionship, be very open and honest (and brief) with them about how you have been hurt, and be very careful about how much you repeat the sad story over and over. Even a good woman who loves to converse with a man will get very tired of hearing about the last woman/women and how painful those situations were. Just be up front and tell them that you are looking for someone who likes to talk about feelings, and share emotions and do sweet romantic things. And that you are looking for someone really compatible (whatever that means for you)

I know that you really love your current girlfriend, although I’m having a hard time understanding why. You don’t sound like you have very compatible relationship. She might have been quite a bit different (or you just thought she was) when you were just friends, but now that she is your “girlfriend” she isn’t treating you the way you deserve to be treated.

Love is indeed something that you have to work at (you have to put in the effort and you have to maintain a good relationship and not become lazy or compalcent, you have to have excellent communication skills and so does your partner) but a good relationship should not be difficult or hard or excruciating.

If I were you, I woud break up with her immediately and start looking for someone else. But if you can’t do that (right now) you should definitely sit down with her and let her know that you think something is missing from your relationship (the normal give and take that most couples share) and you feel like she doesn’t go out of her way to do the little things that would make you happy (give her the examles that you gave us). Then try to find out why.

If you can get her to explain her feelings (or her reasons), you can always come back on Fluther and let us know what she said. You are less likely to be able to read between the lines right now, because you are suffering. Between the collective, we’ve been there, done that, got shat upon and came out the other side to tell about it. We’re here for you.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@silenceiswar Actually what you just described here: I take the time to do things she likes. I’m always doing little things that I know will make her happy. I leave her little notes sometimes, buy her flowers just because, make dinner for her…things like that. We were friends before we started dating. Anytime I ask her to do something that I like, she never wants to.

Is a difference in LOVE LANGUAGE

You like sound like a gift giver. She sounds like she is absolutely not.

It can all be good, but at only 4mos in you have to decide how much effort this relationship is worth. If you want it to work, talk to her and express your frustration.

If you both read The 5 Love Languages and follow through with a bit of counseling, you could both be happy with your relationship.

My husband is a words of affirmation/physical touch man…I am a gift giver/acts of service gal. We’ve been together for 14yrs. It took a while (maybe 2yrs in) before we realized this core difference. We learned together. That’s part of giving of yourself to the person you love.

Bellatrix's avatar

Relationships are about give and take, but they are rarely equal and the person giving and taking is likely to change over time and then change back again. Right now, she has all the power in this relationship. You (figuratively speaking) are running after her, pandering to her every need and she is letting you do it. Perhaps if you stopped doing all those things for her and got on with doing the things you want and let her join in or not, the angst you feel will lessen. She may also start to feel she has to put more into the relationship if she doesn’t feel you are a doormat she can walk on. Not being harsh here, but if she knows she can treat you like crap and you will be there wagging your tail, she is going to keep doing it until she gets bored and moves on. So, pull back and see what happens.

Also, if you choose to give to your partner, give because you want to and not because you want something in return. Don’t be a martyr about it though. That “oh I do so much for her and get nothing in return” story will only work for so long. If you don’t like it, do somehting about it. For instance, if you want her to do something, tell her what it is you want. Tell her you were upset she didn’t show up for your friend’s dinner party. At least then there can be no confusion. She can’t say she didn’t know what you wanted from her. You will have been straight about it.

As @6rant6 said though, you are getting something out of this relationship, that is why you stay. So, are you getting enough? Is whatever it is that is keeping you there now sufficient to make you want to remain in this unequal partnership? Or do you feel enough for her to see if you can equal up the situation and see what happens? Or of course you can just walk away or perhaps you are one of those martyr types who like to give and give and then keeping going on about how much you give.

silenceiswar's avatar

I am definitely NOT a martyr. It’s just that she doesn’t do anything at all. But I will definitely take the “pull back” advice. I think I can make this work…we shall see. ;)

Bellatrix's avatar

It just might work @silenceiswar. I call it the pushme/pullyou dance. If you think back over girlfriends you have had, have you had one who was besotted with you? Who would do anything you asked? If you have, and I have been there, I bet at first it was quite nice to have this person who would meet your every need, but it gets really boring very fast and I know I didn’t have great respect for them. Those relationships certainly didn’t last. There was no challenge for me. And don’t get me wrong here, I don’t think relationships are about game playing but I do think you have to maintain your own self respect and not give everything to your partner. Let her do some of the work and if she chooses not to, you didn’t really have her anyway. Sad but true. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

silenceiswar's avatar

Thanks. lol
I will. :)

SpatzieLover's avatar

@silenceiswar Wait! I’m so confused now. You just wrote a question about instant messaging with some girl for the past month until early in the AM ...then this question about your four month relationship?!

Could it be that your girlfriend doesn’t take you seriously, because you aren’t being serious?

john65pennington's avatar

Sometimes, you can do too much for a person. Its like being a puppet. Pull the little string and I’ll dance for you, I’m your puppet.

Back off of the gratuities that you are now giving her. She will come around and ask what is wrong. Then, should be the time you have a heart to heart talk with her.

I hate to say this, but could it be that you love her more than she does you?

Kardamom's avatar

As per @SpatzieLover comment. Ricky! I think you got some splainin’ to do.

I know you are young and things are different than the way they were when I was in high school, but it does seem a little odd that you would be texting one girl, while you are the boyfriend of another girl. I’m not going to jump to conclusions, just give us a little clarification as to what’s happening.

If I was the “girlfriend” I’d be royally pissed to find out that you were texting other girls into the wee hours of the morning.

This doesn’t change my advice about the “girlfriend.” But I think you need to set the record straight here.

JmacOroni's avatar

Not to mention sending a PM to someone on Fluther, to the effect of “if it doesn’t work out, you and I should get together.”
Between trying to understand the language of love for your IM friend, and that PM, I’m not seeing the behavior of someone that gives their all to a relationship with a person they are “deeply in love” with.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@JmacOroni Holy shit batman!

SpatzieLover's avatar

@SpatzieLover stepping away to make popcorn…will bring more bowls for all

silenceiswar's avatar

whoawhoawhoa. lol wait. i’m not the only one who uses this account! i’m a good guy! honest!!

silenceiswar's avatar

Just playing. ;)

Bellatrix's avatar

Raises an eyebrow and looks @silenceiswar over the top of my specs…really? That’s the best you can do???

Takes back shovel… use your hands to dig yourself out of this one.

silenceiswar's avatar

No, I’m completely serious. I’m embarrassed that it looks this way.

listener's avatar

Do not go away just yet,you should exercise patience and understanding. Walking away from a difficult situation in a relationship is the reason why there are so many married couple getting divorced. Wait a little while, just make sure you make her or him understand that they are just part of your life and not the whole part of who you are.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I’m Back!

So who else uses your account?

Lemme take three guesses:
Your 18yr old cousin?
Your little bro?
Your alter ego?

wundayatta's avatar

WHy would anybody share a fluther account? It’s not like accounts are hard to come by.

6rant6's avatar

Like sharing dental floss.

Bellatrix's avatar

@6rant6, that’s not nice. Given they are sharing, you would think they would collectively have managed to accumulate more lurrrrrrrrrrrve. Sheesh doing as well as the Aussie cricket team in terms of runs on the board.

silenceiswar's avatar

No, my friend wanted to ask ONE question. That’s all.

Bellatrix's avatar

Well I hope what you are saying is true otherwise you are being very silly. You have my advice on ‘your’ question anyhow. Hope it works out for you.

silenceiswar's avatar

Thanks for the answers. :]
I’m being honest…take it or leave it.

Kardamom's avatar

If you really had a “friend” asking a question, you could have said so. Other Fluthers have done that and said something like, “My friend Bob has a problem with…). Because you didn’t say that, it makes you suspect. Sorry.

silenceiswar's avatar

I didn’t realize that was a rule. But thanks.

Kardamom's avatar

It’s not a rule, but if you go on Fluther and pass off “other people” as yourself, you really can’t expect anyone to take you seriously.

No one has any problem if you use your account and simply say that someone else is on there asking a question, but if you don’t clarify that fact, it makes it appear as though you are making shit up. That should be common sense.

Because you didn’t clarify that and kind of made a joke out of it, and then made a joke out of “propositioning” @JmacOroni, and I still don’t know if there was a “friend” asking a question or not, I can only guess that you are involved with one girl, while at the same time, trying to hook up with another girl by texting her in the middle of the night. None of this is cool.

You are the only one that can clarify this situation to us. Want to give it a try?

silenceiswar's avatar

That’s what I am trying to do. That’s all. What else would you like me to say?

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