9. Think you. In case you haven’t noticed, all these suggestions involve you, not the other guy. The stance that most couples enter counseling with is: "I have a problem with you and as soon as you change (or I or the therapist can get you to change), I’ll feel better." This doesn’t work. All you both wind up doing is fighting over who should change, creating a futile power struggle. 
Big or small, you have a few options. You could try and sort this out on your own (you’ve probably already tried that); do nothing and see if it somehow gets better (probably not), or you could take the plunge and go see a professional – a couple therapist (a decidedly better if somewhat scary idea). The therapist has a leg up over the other options in a few ways. One is perspective – she is looking at your relationship from the outside, rather than in the emotionally stuck middle that you are undoubtedly in. Not only does this make it easier for her to be a voice of reason and reality, but she can also see the greater gestalt that, up close, you cannot. But the other big advantage is that she probably thinks about relationship problems and solutions a bit differently than you might. 
Four days ago, we were having an argument again, and this time he started telling me that he didn’t know if we were both going in the same direction, because he didn’t see me fighting for what i wanted in life, and he wants someone who can walk by his side and not behind him (he’s almost done with college, has a job and has a football career… and me, well… im still in college, but thats all i do for now)…

Erika, thank you for that. After a 13 year horrible marriage and another 2 year relationship, I felt broken. I am seeing a guy who has been through something similar. He has told me he has a hard time expressing feelings. Now, he is pulling a way a little. I feel depressed, as if I am not good enough. But your response, helps me to realize: Slow is good and he and I both need time. When we are together, things are fantastic. I will give it time and see what happens.
I was with my ex for 1 year and 3 months. Before our one year anniversary he told me he doesn’t feel the same way about me as he did before. He just said he fell out of love with me. I begged for him to stay and he stayed with me. Our relationship seemed fine but then in January he became super distant and I had a feeling he cheated on me so I asked him and he was honest about it. We broke up for a day then we got back together and on February16th he broke up with me. Almost every time I saw him before that I made the mistake of trying to figure out why he didn’t love me and how to fix it. I kept asking him serious questions and answers to fix the problem. I thought it would magically make him love me again. After he broke up with me I begged for him to stay for about a week and I am now trying no contact. Will no contact work? Should I just give up? Is it too late? I love him do much
I am delighted that you have heeded my advice. I have read the list you have constructed and I am pleased to tell you that I agree with it. Communication helps a relationship grow stronger. Along with that, it is very important to spend time with each other. I highly appreciate your gesture of talking to me about the list. With it, you and your boyfriend will be able to go a very long way. As for the matter of a relationship consisting of two people I greatly admire the last line you have written. It is vital to keep certain issues and matters amongst yourselves. My best wishes to you both.
Every single woman on the face of this earth wants to feel wanted. They want to feel protected and cared for. One of the things I have always been impressed with is how caring women can be. Any girlfriend I have had is always there to remind me when important stuff is about to come up. While most men may be a little annoyed with the constant reminders I am not. I kind of like that there is someone out there watching out for me.
I have been wondering how to make him love me again, realise he made a mistake and give a second chance. It is even harder as he is in another country. Plus, I really don’t think the NC rule would work on him, because I have been the one who asks question in our relationship, who kept the conversation going when we lived apart for a few weeks. I believe if i implement it now, it will just give him the opportunity to move on, to forget me, because he has a lot going on otherwise (studies, friends, handball, parties…). Did i also ruin my chances by begging for it so much?
My vibe was affected by stress of school and radiated out into other areas of my life without my realizing…granted my ex never communicated how I was making him feel, but the breakup made me realize what had happened and how i can get those stress levels down and vibe up…I am prepared it is too late…he will never be able to share those vibes. But if he doesn’t hes also missing out because I feel good, a little sad it didn’t work out, but good overall.
The therapy mantra is that the pattern is more powerful than the people. (Try sitting in someone else's seat at dinner tonight and see what happens – just make sure all the knives are out of sight). So rather than wasting your time worrying about who is right, use it to try and decode the dysfunctional pattern. Once you do, change it. A good way to do that is to talk about it (the pattern) rather than the people: "I notice that a lot of times that when if I ask if you could pick up your socks you say you will but then don't, and then I get annoyed and nag you and then you blow up. I'm wondering if we can do this differently." But even if you can't do that, for whatever reason, just try changing it and if you can, let the other person know your intentions: "I'm doing this because I'm worried that ________." The beauty of patterns is that if you hold your ground, the pattern has to change. You, all by yourself, become the change agent of the relationship. Certainly a good and important start. 
My last boyfriend had a pattern of pulling away. He’d say he was busy or overwhelmed with work, or sick, but he wouldn’t let me come over to help. I believed him and I believed in myself, so I didn’t let this bother me too much. One day, though, I snapped and yelled at him: “Why don’t you just let me come over? You say you want to move in together next year but you won’t even let me bring you soup when you’re sick? Just let me in!” It was then that he confessed. He had been binge drinking… Read more »
My girlfriend and I have been together for 15 months and we are facing a major problem. I just want to start off with saying that she’s the one that recommended me to ask you for advice because right now, I am pretty much confused to do at this point. My girlfriend has told you about what she did when she went over to that guys house and about another guy who is a co-volunteer that volunteers at the nursing home as she does. I have gotten numerous screenshots about she herself committing to what she have done, which is cheating. I also have her best friends claiming those that she did do those things. When i confronted her for the first time she only told me one third of it. Again i find there’s more to the story from her friends. Again i try confronting her and now she told me 2/3. You know where I’m going with this. Anyway now that everything has been cleared out, i asked her why. She told me “i just said all those things because out of anger”. But then i asked her why would she say that. She was angry at me at the time when this occurred so i would understand that she could be saying this out of anger but why not clear this out with her friends? Plus this been hidden for 6 months so why this long? Also one of my friends saw her but they said nothing was happening, just her and this guy in the park talking. I let that go. Then another friend who is currently dating one of her ex-best friends told me that she told him about her cheating. I asked him why would she say that and he said that she was claiming to hurt me by the way is not because she kept it hidden. I asked her about that too and she claims the something, it was out of anger she said all those things to hurt me. This situation happened throughout last summer. I admit that i did not reply to her text for 2 days and keep making her feel bad but i always made sure to make up for that. Now we are trying to work things out but I’m still something sort of confused what to do, so that’s why i writing to you for some advise.
Although this article gives you the basic outline for how to fix a relationship, it's certainly not an easy journey. The Power of Two Online provides detailed activities, videos and worksheets to help you learn and practice the skills you'll need to succeed. And, Power of Two members get the support of a real Power of Two marriage and relationship specialist to help answer your questions and support you along the way.
Take responsibility for your own thoughts and actions without making value judgements – blaming and harshness only serves to make you more emotional. Learn to accept your own failings and inadequacies (if you really must use judgemental words). I think you’ll also benefit from reading my articles on how to deal with criticism and how to deal with rejection.
Thanks for your comment. The only thing I would "call out" about this is when you say if they want you no matter the circumstances, you know it. The reason being is because he has proven it to you over time. He is not in a vulnerable state and also going through a lot. Typically a man under financial stress and job stress takes a significant toll on his ego and self-dignity. It's a different stress. Losing someone you welcome support because he had no control over it. Now, the other stuff he possibly did and is having a significant amount of guilt. What I would suggest is that you step back a bit and let him reach out when he is ready. I do believe checking in with him from time to time is good and not let your ego get the best of you. Be positive in your time and conversations with him right now. Do not input any additional stress and let things progress naturally. Show him that you will support him even if that's giving him some time to breathe. You will find out the answer. I would encourage you to also book a session with me here so I can give you exact tailored advice for your situation. https://www.apolloniaponti.com/private-coaching-2/
Hi Lauren, this couldn't have come at a more perfect time for me. My boyfriend of 7 years, broke up with me a week ago. I have read most of the Mars Venus books and am currently reading Mars and Venus: Starting Over. I'm not ready to give up on the relationship, he is my everything. He claims, he's afraid of commitment and that I can't make him happy for the rest of his life, but also claimed I'm perfect and don't need to change at all. Gave me the "it's not you, it's me" thing. I still have hope that if I give him his space he will change his mind and I'm not to the point where I can think about him not changing his mind, that is too hard. I have broken down and texted him a few times and told him how I was feeling. I stopped talking to him over the weekend and on day 4, I woke up to a text from him. It wasn't anything about us, just a video of a silly dog. I guess I'm just trying to figure out if he still cares? Is it just the friendship he misses? He claims I'm still his best friend. I can't be friends with him, I'm still in love with him. I know every situation is different and you ultimately can't tell he what he is thinking, but I guess do you think if I give him his space, he might come back? ...
The next thing that you need to do has nothing to do with your ex directly. You need to work on yourself. Get to the gym, start running, find something new. Get new friends, and change up your life. You have to do this, so that the point where her friends chime in to see how you’re doing, they’ll relay to her that you’re actually not sweating the break up. Also, you’re going to actually help yourself, and perhaps find a way to your next relationship. You’ll be surprised by this completely.
My partner and I have been together a little over two years but recently broke up (he broke up with me) and I want to follow all these rules, as I believe I am strong enough to do it and I absolutely want him back however we do currently live together and study at the same school. I’m living in a new town and don’t have any family or friends here so providing space is hard. What do I do???
The good news is not only is this common—but there’s a way to handle this tricky situation effectively. After all, when you first enter a relationship, there’s sure to be plenty of new boyfriend advice from your friends, your family and your co-workers. But of all of these words of wisdom, the one you want to take the most seriously are the tactics that stop a man from withdrawing from your relationship. How come? As experts explain, sometimes the way a woman communicates her feelings to her partner may make him distance himself even more.

I also want to add that this isn’t the only reason a man will lose interest, it’s just the most common and most misunderstood one. The problem is most people don’t accurately define what the problem is. It gets written off as the woman being too available and not making him chase her. That is not really what’s at play here. Being available isn’t the issue, the issue is really not being present. It’s an issue that comes from seeking validation through a relationship rather than in your life.
Hi, my ex broke up with me a while ago. We went full no contact for about 8 weeks and then he finally texted me to catch up. We talked for about a month, hooked up a couple times, and he was treating/talking to me as if we were a couple. I want to get back together. So I’ve told him I still have feelings for him and eventually want to get back together. I know he still has feelings for me but he says he doesn’t know what he wants (We’re also doing long distance so this is a big reason of why he doesn’t know). I told him a week ago I can’t be just friends anymore so I went into no contact again. Was this the right move? I want him to realize he does want to get back together and be more that friends. Should I have just stayed friends and waited? Or was it smart to go no contact again!!
I hope that women or men in the world don’t apply this article to their relationship. If someone distances themselves from you then they just don’t want to put effort into it. Therefore, it’s best to get away from that person as soon as possible. There are many others that will show 10 times the effort. Don’t fall into this social construction that, if your partner distances themselves, just act like everything is okay and force yourself to be happy with them.
Hi, so my friend of 6 years confessed he has a crush on me and likes me. We’ve had agreed on getting to know each other on a romantic level. The sexual attraction is really intense with us that we slept twice but ever since we’ve not talked much and now I feel distant from him. I’ve been wanting to talk to him but he only hangs out with me in groups and avoids being around me much. I haven’t told him yet that I like him too but I did mention that I’m pursuing him when we last slept.
This is absolutely no excuse for you to be cheated on. Your independence is important and if he wanted the attention he should have spoken to you about this before he cheated instead of cheating and then placing blame on you. This is narcissistic behavior and I encourage you to stay strong. If you need further help you can reach out to me for a private coaching session here so I can guide you towards working through this. https://www.apolloniaponti.com/private-coaching-2/
This angers her and she swears to “make you pay.” Of course, we all know that women are emotional creatures so around day 14 into no contact you get another message from her. Except this time instead of a generic “hey” it is an emotional message and you are really tempted to respond to it but you don’t because you are sticking to your original plan.
Hi Kahealani. Thank you for taking the time to read Why Men Pull Away. I think you should pull back and not try to get him to take notice right now. If he doesn't want to be involved in the kids lives, then you have your answer. I think pull back and keep things really easy going and civil/ friendly if you do ever see him, because remember you guys have kids together so just think about them. How do you want them to perceive their mom? I would suggest really doing some work on yourself and focusing on building a great life for yourself and your kids. You can absolutely do this!! Heal from this relationship and past relationships. You have to fall in love with yourself first before someone else can love you. Good luck! You can do this.
I was just so hurt and broken hearted, felt empty.. it’s such an un bearable pain I’m going through. When I went home obviously I texted him saying don’t hate me I still love you I just wanted to do a nice thing he said he didn’t hate me and then I texted him something saying I made things harder for myself and then he didn’t reply. I then texted him again a while later and said can I ring you it’s important. I rang him and said I think you need to give it some more thought if I did mean something to me and he got annoyed and said you need to accept it, stop texting and ringing me. So that was the end of that it’s been a few hours since I’ve spoken to him. I can’t stop thinking of him, the thoughts of him going off with another girl so soon is killing me so much.
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