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Esedess's avatar

Can a relationship that's been struggling for 2+ years be fixed?

Asked by Esedess (3310points) February 27th, 2014

We’re into our 5th year together and the past 2–3 have been an almost constant struggle to be ok. That’s not to say there weren’t happy times, of course… But it feels like much of it has been, and continues to be spent trying to “fix” the relationship. In that time, we’ve both said and done things which, to the best of our forgiveness, have compounded issues and now further hinder our efforts.

She is more than willing to work on it as we always have. But now, I feel so utterly exhausted and consumed by this seemingly futile effort that I’m ready to call it quits. The stagnation, depression, stress, and lossing parts of myself that has resulted cannot be endured another year. (at least that’s what I tell myself)
My analogy of the matter is that we’re like a painting that’s just become way too cluttered and messy; and here we are trying to fix that mess by adding more paint. How long would you sit and try to fix a ruined painting? You could spend your whole life trying to fix a bad painting only to never create the masterpiece(s) that would have followed. At what point do you just grab a nice fresh canvas, and start a new painting?

My question, is for those with experience.
Were you ever able to fix a relationship after so much trying? Was it worth the wait and effort?
Did you think it fixed, only to find later it wasn’t, and never would be, and ended up having to walk away after all?

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14 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

is this with the same woman you said that you did not love in Feb.2012?

If so, for both of your sakes, I would end it. Two years of joylessness? Why add another dreary day to that?

GloPro's avatar

No, I’m sorry, it cannot be fixed. More time has been spent unhappy than happy, which is an indicator that despite being wonderful individuals, you are not meant for one another.

Coloma's avatar

If you’re feeling this exhausted it is an omen that it is all too much IMO. Whenever we start feeling physically effected in a relationship you have already crossed a line. You’re the only one that can know what you need to do for YOU. When a relationship is at the sacrificial lamb stage you have already been bled out. Not a good sign.

JLeslie's avatar

I was ready to say absolutely it can be fixed, but after readin the Q @gailcalled linked I think you should break up. You never really were into her. When couples go through difficult times, sometimes it does last years they can eventually findntheir way back sometimes, bit there is no back for you. You don’t have the underlying love and attachment to reference, to remember, to want back, to reframe your thoughts about her.

Cruiser's avatar

2 years ago you said “she’s completely infatuated/in love with you and I’ve never felt “in love” with her.” You are doing her no favors by stringing her along and using her love she has for you. Let her go so she can find a man that will return the love she deserves in return.

You are here seeking permission to finally break up with her and call it quits and you have my permission.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

I agreed with the other answers above me, and then I thought, 2+ years? It MUST be fixable if both people continue that long trying to fix it. If you both want a fix for what ails your relationship, then what you need it to quit “Adding paint”, and find the right way to freedom and happiness. The people who have relationships that last for decades, and get standing ovations are the people who say, “Fuck the stupid stuff, we can make this work.”
Make a plan. Don’t worry about passion for a whie. Passion starts relationships, and wars. After you make a plan for happiness, and follow it for a while, if things get going better, then add some passion. Passion is the spice of life, not the main course. Focus on what must be, then sprinkle in a little fire now and then.

ibstubro's avatar

I go with the majority here. You have my permission to end it, as well.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@Esedess ” I feel so utterly exhausted and consumed by this seemingly futile effort that I’m ready to call it quits. The stagnation, depression, stress, and loosing parts of myself that has resulted cannot be endured”

Haven’t you answered your own question? You’re in a relationship that’s making you depressed and despondent, and that’s taking all the joy out of your life.

It’s never easy to leave a long-term relationship; love is stubborn and enduring. I’ve known people who actually moved, to far-away cities, just so that they could make clean breaks and start living again. None of them regretted having done so. It’s difficult to describe the relief and satisfaction of finally being free.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Possibly, but what’s the point? I agree with the comments above. The end is near.

Cruiser's avatar

@elbanditoroso Yep…put a fork in it.

anniereborn's avatar

If for some reason you really do want to try and save this for ‘some day’, I think a separation is in order.

KNOWITALL's avatar

You know, I compared my marriage to your relationship when I read your Q. The difference is that I love my husband with all my heart, we love to laugh together and have fun together, and although we’re not perfect and we occasionally fight, those times are very rare and short-lived.

To make it through the rough times, you need to geniunely like and love each other, and built a solid foundation on those emotions. It sounds like your foundation is built on sand and if you didn’t love her then, don’t love her now, you are really doing yourselves a disservice.

Imagine meeting the girl of your dreams tomorrow and losing her because you’re wasting time trying to fix something that is just not fixable. How sad would that be? Move on, stay friends if you can, and go find people that make you HAPPY, and look forward to another day spent with them, making THEM happy. For me, a good relationship is one where each person tries to outdo the other showing them how much they love and care for them.

SadieMartinPaul's avatar

@KNOWITALL “To make it through the rough times, you need to geniunely like and love each other, and built a solid foundation on those emotions.”

You’re absolutely right. Every relationship has rough patches. The real question is whether those difficult times are acute or chronic.

Kardamom's avatar

For this particular relationship, I would say no, it can’t be fixed, because there really never was a real relationship in the first place, to be broken or wrecked.

You may like this woman (or even love her as in the way that one loves humanity) but you aren’t in love with her, and if you haven’t fallen in love with her by now, you never will.

You are carrying on, partly because of convenience, partly because you are trying to do the right thing, partly because you feel like you’ve been together for so long that you don’t want to throw it all away.

None of those things matter at this point, because you aren’t and never will be compatible with this particular woman. It’s not fair to this lady, that you have continued to stay with her, not loving her, because you have not only wasted your own time, you’ve wasted her time too.

If and when you break up with her, she is going to be hurt and devastated. Know that now, it is inevitable. But it will only be worse for her, the longer you drag this out. She might need to seek some mental health counseling after you two break up. Maybe you could talk to her parents or other person she is close to, if you think she might need some help.

Do your best to be as kind as you can when you break up with her. Have some type of a plan in mind. Have a place to go, immediately, then gather your things and go.

After you break up with her, you might need a few sessions with a counselor as well, just to find out more about yourself, what you really want in life, how to create better situations for yourself to find someone you are compatible with, and how to break old and un-helpful habits.

Don’t allow yourself to break up with her, start feeling doubts, and then attempt to get back together with her. DO NOT DO THAT. Because, if you do, it will ruin her.

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