I found this article one of the best in a very long search I had been doing. Hope it will be helpful for me to help repair my relation with someone whom I extremely care about but made her angry with a useless conversation. I never intended to hurt her but I did. I am hurt too but cant let her remain angry. This post might get helpful in getting me rid of this state.
Thank you for reading this article and I am glad you found it interesting. There are several reasons why a man pulls away and stops contact suddenly without giving you any explanation. The important thing now, is for you to take time and reflect on this relationship. This time is for your personal growth and to rebuild your confidence. You are on the right path by working on your self and learning that you deserve so much more. I know that you truly care for him, because as you stated you have allowed him into your life several times. Keep busy and focus on what you need and try something new. I am not sure if you will ever understand why he became all talk and no action. Take this experience and grow from it so that you can have the healthy relationship you so deserve.

Take responsibility for your mistakes. Avoid making excuses, blaming your partner, or dismissing the affair as “a one-time thing.” In order to ask for forgiveness and begin moving on you need to take ownership of your infidelity. By taking a good, hard look at yourself you can eventually realize what made you decide to cheat and find ways to avoid making the same mistake.[8]
Found out a guy who I was secretly in love with for 9’years also had feelings for me. He reached out to me first and we connected immediately (even though We had been aquentinces) . Intense chemistry, he was telling me within weeks that he was falling for me, that he would go through his horrible divorce all over again of it meant being with me, how beautiful I am, how refreshing it is to have someone who gets his large family and who already knows them, included me in days with his daughter, we slept together 2x, he would… Read more »
So, when we just recently broke up, we talked about a lot. He was bawling his eyes out the entire time. I could clearly see how much this was tearing him up. He’s explaining to me all these reasons that just don’t add up with how the actual relationship was. We were happy. We were best friends. we were so in love. We talked about out future together, moving out, getting married, careers. I have a connection with him who I don’t have with anyone else and its impossible for me to see me having that with anyone else. I could go on and on and on.

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/
It’s actually not a horrible text. I mean, I am sure if a girl I really liked told me that she loved cuddling with me I would be over the moon but the truth is that this text could be so much better. If you are going to be talking about an aspect of your old relationship with your ex girlfriend I want you to pay attention to the details and that is something that this text lacks.
Hi Ray! Thank you very much for the male perspective. I am dating a man who is 11 years older, I’m 26 and he is 37. He works out in the ocean and a lot of times we have minimal conversation via text/call. But when we are together everything is great and we get along very well. When he doesn’t have to wake in the wee ours or work out of town, he is with me every single weekend. We have been together six months and I have met all his close friends and friends kids. I have done well so far in respecting his space. When he’s a weekend with his guy friends, I am understanding and just ask him to contact me once when he is back in town so he feels he is not missing out on what he loves. However, this past weekend he had a sailboat race on the weekend which he let me know in advance and we had plans for friday night. He reached out friday night saying that turns out he had to be at the venue in the wee hours so he would not be able to make our plans. I was emotionally unstable that weekend due to some work stress and family leaving so I needed him the most that friday. I did not think of my actions and instead of politely rescheduling for Monday, I blew him up – sent him various texts showing how I did not appreciate he canceled although it wasn’t his fault. I called numerous times in the weekend and texted many times while he was supposed to have time with his friends in the tournament. On Sunday I was so desperate that I passed by his house. His roomate was there and told me he hand’t come home yet. Since I blew him up friday, I have had no response to any of my texts nor has he answered any of my calls. I am very afraid that I scared him away and threatened his freedom. I also came out as desperate for going to his place. Today is Wednesday and I hadn’t reached out till Sunday. I sent him a very short/casual text apologizing for taking out my stress on him and for not letting him have his space, to which I got no response. I am going to wait a few days and hopefully he will come around, as our relationship has matured and he’s told me how much he cares for me. Did I blow this up completely since it has been 4 days with no response?

Not using the right word could prove to be dangerous in a short message. This can be misinterpreted especially if your ex resents you or if you were harassing them during the breakup. Each of your words have to be well thought out; just like as if you were writing a letter. Text messages aren’t always clear; whether you text ex back or they text you!
Keep him on his toes a little to make him wonder where you stand sometimes. Asking him what he is doing every minute of every day and planning things to do without giving him the opportunity to say yes or no can be signs you are becoming clingy and falling too easily for him. As we all know, it should be a mutual chase between the man or the woman. If the balance is off, it becomes too easy for him to take you for granted.

My so called boyfriend lived away from his home for 15 years. Since September he decided to come back home and create a new life here, which i get it’s not easy at all. Meanwhile we met 1 month ago and everything was going perfect we met every day and talked all the time when we weren’t together he even told me that I was helping him not to give up and get back where he used to live.
The day we broke up, we went out fishing with two friends and it was really cool, and we went to see some of his friends play handball ( which is a very important part of his liife, but i have never played, so don’t really care, but I wanted to make the effort for him and to be with him). I was doing so good until he decided to go play ball with his friends during half time, leaving me alone on my chair, while I had come to be with him. There were two people I had talked to before close by ( which was his excuse to leave me) but they were talking the foreign language and imagine how hard it is to engage in the conversation when you don’t know what it,s about and you need to switch language… So i got mad at him and told him it wasn’t cool to leave me on my own.
Keep him on his toes a little to make him wonder where you stand sometimes. Asking him what he is doing every minute of every day and planning things to do without giving him the opportunity to say yes or no can be signs you are becoming clingy and falling too easily for him. As we all know, it should be a mutual chase between the man or the woman. If the balance is off, it becomes too easy for him to take you for granted.
Everything was going very fine, and suddenly he messaged me that he doesn’t even want to be with me anymore because he doesn’t feel for me the same way he did. Everyday he was like, he is not going to come back and all. When i came from my home to my college, he is also in the same college, we met again, but still he was like doesn’t have feelings. We spent time as he was clearing the facts that he doesn’t feel for me but still care for me. We shared some intimate moments and he is like that was only one moment, that’s it. How come feelings got vanished suddenly. We never fought and I supported him a lot in every aspect. i have tried so many things to save this relation.

These men who pull away have an avoidant attachment style. Read ‘Attached’ by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller and ‘avoidant, bad boyfriends’ by Jeb Kinnison. After reading these I realised that I’d been unhappily married for over twenty years to an avoidant man. I’ve since met someone with a secure attachment style and the difference is night and day. Unfortunately most secure men pair off youngish so the dating pool is disproportionately full of avoidant men. DO NOT MARRY one you will be miserable.
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.
Why don’t you advise sending the man a brief text that recognizes he needs space and give him the time and space he needs? The guy I’ve been seeing for almost a year got fairly emotional one night and finally made a commitment to me. I think did, anyway. Lol But the very next day he became a bit cold and distant. I’d get brief replies to my texts, but that was it. I also know he’s dealing with some personal things as well. I texted him, told him I felt he was going through a few things and needed space. He replied with a Thanks! which confirmed my thoughts. A few days later, I texted him again, told him I missed him, (shows I’m not upset) but I understood he needed space and told him to take all the time and space he needs. (Shows understanding and willingness to allow him to do his thing) I also told him that if he ever wanted to know how was feeling or how I felt about him to listen to a specific song and ended the text with some sweet words. (To reassure him and to hopefully give him an earworm to keep him thinking about me and make him miss me.) Then nothing more. No texts. No calls. Nothing. My plan is to keep busy and let him contact me.
For the last 3 yrs I was the one who reach out to him every time he leave, now I am applying the no contact, is been 2 weeks, is been hard but I told myself I will have to keep my ground for at least 3 months before I consider reaching out to him. Do you think he will reach out to me this time around? if so, any idea after how long he will reach out to me? I think I may got him used to me giving in all the time.

Show him that being with you is a fun, positive experience. When he sees that you didn’t let your emotions overrun you and senses that you didn’t place such a high importance on his actions, he’ll be motivated to stay close and connected with you. He’ll recognize that he’s with a woman who respects his needs while taking care of her own feelings. And he’ll appreciate that you didn’t blame or criticize him.
A week ago my boyfriend of 7 years told me that he wasn’t in love with me anymore. That he still cared and loved me but that he wasn’t happy and the spark was gone. He was my whole world, this has been the hardest thing I have ever done. The problem is that we have to still share an apartment together for another month until I can get my own. I have been trying to stay busy and thinking positive thoughts. But it’s hard when you still have to see him.
Well, let me just say this. Having an intense conversation with your ex right after a breakup is not a good idea. In fact, I think it is one of the dumbest ideas there is. Now, I do realize that logically you may realize that this is the case but when you are actually in a situation that you have so much invested in it is hard to take a step back and think logically.
For the last 3 yrs I was the one who reach out to him every time he leave, now I am applying the no contact, is been 2 weeks, is been hard but I told myself I will have to keep my ground for at least 3 months before I consider reaching out to him. Do you think he will reach out to me this time around? if so, any idea after how long he will reach out to me? I think I may got him used to me giving in all the time.
It’s easy to hurt your chances of ‘’ACTUALLY’’ getting your ex back if you do not have a plan to follow or the correct guidance, not to worry though, that’s what I’m here for. After a breakup, most people are often hurt, confused and emotionally drained. These are all common feelings that any human will go through when releasing a loved or dear one and especially when you feel that you have to stay away, which is not always the case. Playing your cards correctly from the beginning gives you a huge advantage. Make sure you have some sort of actual plan. Receiving good advice and tips from others always helps clear confusion and helps give you a sense of direction. Sometimes you need an outsiders perspective on things to see things from a different point of view.
He broke up with me last Monday after 1 year and 3 months, for me it was the happiest time of my life and we never fought and had a happy and loving relationship. Reading this has really helped me as I’m going into my second week of NC tomorrow. I genuinely think we both needed a break but I’m not going to sit here and believe that we’re gonna get back together I’m just going to do my 4 Week Detox, then go from there. Wish me luck . X
This man is clearly into you, romantically, emotionally, physically, and intellectually. He’s making that clear with his words and actions. He is making an effort to connect, to spend time with you, and is public with his interest and affection. I think you are getting in your own way. It sounds like you need to re-evaluate your expectations of what love/attraction/romance should look like . You say:
If a man is honest and tells you he does not want a relationship, then as a woman you should honor his truth in telling you this and take a moment to reflect and understand that you may need to pull away. Not to mention, if he also gives you the popular one-liner by saying, “I’m just seeing where things go,” proceed with caution. This is not a committed answer, so why would he want to commit to you? This is just an answer to lure you away from the truth in hopes to keep you around for what he is in search of pleasure and attention.

It is best to look at response time as a gauge of how interested the other party is in what you are saying (just like word count.) For example, in my book, I give an example where I was texting a girl and I responded to her texts every few hours. Based on that you can assume that I am not very interested in what she is saying. However, if I was texting a girl that I was very interested in and I responded to her texts every few minutes then I am definitely engaged in what she is saying.

Broke up with girlfriend after over 2 years together. We had some issues and had been to relate but finished counselling positively. Change of job had me move towns. She followed me 2 months later when she also had new job. My job fell apart and I had to quit just as she relocated. I then got work elsewhere on temporary basis but it went on for 9 weeks. We barely saw each other saw each other. I felt pulled work wise away from her and I allowed it to happen. We split. I was in denial for a month or so. When realisation hit I was heartbroken. I’ve tried emailing to say I want to get back together but she’s said she’s not in love with me and we have no future and that she wants space to heal.. I love her so much. I’ve written a heartfelt apology for hurting her but she won’t respond. I just don’t know what to do. I think she’s built up her barriers and is determined to put me in a box and ignore me. What do I do? I’m so very sad, really love her and can see all the ways we could have a really good relationship but if are doesn’t….


Skip the drama, the playing victim, the manipulation. Again, be adult. Think about you, what you can do to fix the problem. Yes, do your best to let the other person know what you need and what (s)he can concretely do to make things better, but then get to work. Buckle down and do what you can to make the situation and problem better without keeping score, tallying up martyr points, without any expectations of the other. Again, since the focus is on changing patterns, if you do your part the best you can, things will begin to change. 

So many women come to me and say “Apollonia, he was so into me in the beginning.” This could be a sign of a man getting the thrill from the chase and simply getting bored easily. This type of man I call “the snake”. This man will call you daily, text you hourly, and talk about how beautiful you are and how happy he is to have met you. He might even go that extra mile and mention that he’s looking for a relationship. But the difference with this relationship is that he is all in, right away, and it seems to good to be true. What I mean by “all in” is that it’s hot and heavy early on, and sometimes you feel like you can’t even catch a breath. You might get excited and think oh my, he is so amazing, but let’s examine his actions. In the end, it fizzles out as quickly as it began. As we are talking about why men pull away and what to do, let’s analyze these common things:
I can understand that he’s too young to be in a relationship and that he’s not ready. He also said he wanted to experience having sex with other girls on his “lads holiday”. I was the first girl he was properly involved with, first relationship, first girl he had sex with. On the other hand, I have experienced having sex with other boys before I was with him, this was also my first relationship.
im doing the same thing you’ll do now your not alone i know it hurts but that what u should do, let him lose you and thinks hes a failure dont allow him to think he can play with your feelings, your not his toy if he cant decide what he wants then leave him to grom up and make decisions in life, hes immature and you did the right thing your so smart of going no contact and standing on what you want bravo, now do not let him take advantage and decide what he wants do what you want, you want him as a bf he didnt respect that he wants friends you dont so bye to him and lifes always comes around believe me one day he’ll come begging to have you back.
Understand the breakup. What did each of you do to contribute to the breakup? Most relationship troubles do not crop up unexpectedly, but build up over time. The odds are good that it wasn't a one-sided problem and that there were signs that it was coming. Take some time and do some soul searching before you attempt to get your ex back. You want to make sure you are not wasting your time or energy on something futile.
According to research, the number one cause of the breakup of romantic relationships is failure to communicate. If your relationship was otherwise happy, this problem can often be fixed by setting clear expectations and openly discussing frustrations before things explode in a big fight. Other issues can be harder to overcome, like infidelity or jealousy; but with work and counseling, even these types of issues are possible to work through.
If you are looking for a quick fix or some quick ideas for initiating contact via text, be sure to keep the language casual. Treat him like a friend that you just want to grab a quick bite or coffee with. Would you put so much pressure on wording a text to hang out? Give him the same lack of attention to detail. Keep it casual, cool. Maintain a good vibe and exude confidence in your indifference.
Offer to take him out to dinner on your dime. Don’t mention your emotional melt down. He doesn’t want to hear it. Make yourself humble and be grateful that he even wants to spend time with you. If you show him genuine remorse and he see this you might have a chance as long as he thinks you will never do that again. Goodluck you’re going to need it.
Another frequent error is wanting to talk constantly about the past in your messages. You have to stop focusing on your nostalgia and on what you’ve experienced together. You ex needs something else. It’s of course tempting to send a little message saying, “I miss you,” “I love you,” or “My feelings for you are still strong.” Truth be told, during this stage these types of things can damage your odds of success so refrain from sending them.
Hi. I dated this guy last year , but unfortunately it didn’t work out between us cause I was unreachable and shy. We pretty much texted the whole time and met a few times. I fell for him and he said he had feelings for me too . But all of a sudden he wanted to be just friends. We had 5 months long an emotional relationship/friendship and 5 months a non-emotional one. I kinda acted out there. He started giving me less atttetion day after day and we started fighting every now and then and I got super jealous when he talked about this other girl he liked. Eventually he called the friendship off. I asked him to block my number and social accounts so we wouldn’t have contact . It’s been 4 months now and I miss him everyday. I’m madly in love with him . Haven’t heard of him for 4 months and I want him back. I can’t get over him being gone from my life. Please help. What should I do ? Why am I feeling this way.
Try answering these questions: Do you miss your ex, or do you miss having a boyfriend or girlfriend? Did he or she make you feel better about yourself, more secure in the world, and happier? Do you imagine yourself with this person in the long-term, even when the excitement of being in love has worn off and you are stuck in the daily routines of life? If you are only missing the security of having someone and the excitement of a dramatic relationship, you can find those things with someone else in a healthier, more stable relationship.
Depending on how things ended, there may be a pretty high chance that they don't want to hear from you — but of course there is also the possibility that they miss you too and have secretly been hoping you would reach out. If you've decided to take a risk and put yourself out there, you should first be clear on what you honestly want and how your last interaction with them played out. If getting back together is your goal, and the last conversation you had was an intense fight, then you're going to want to use a much different approach than if the split was mutual and you just want to be friends. Here are five texts to send to your ex if you want to start talking again.
We texted incessantly for a month and went on our first date to an ice cream festival called The Scooper Bowl. I missed the train, and we kissed. We began a summer fling where we’d walk around Boston holding hands, eating pizza, and watching TV cuddled up on her couch. She made that summer in Boston perfect. It was only two months, but it was unfiltered romance.
Your articles always leave me teary-eyed, Renee. They are full of brilliant and compassionate insights. You speak of being authentic, you speak of trusting in the infinite perfection of the universe to give back what we put in. You speak of having a pure open hearted connection and leaving our fears at the door. This article made me cry. And I think it’s because it rang so true. We all want to be admired and trusted. I feel like whenever a man fell in love with me, it was after he revealed something shameful to me and I just accepted… Read more »
Know that it can take a long time to rebuild trust after cheating. Once one partner loses faith in their partner it can take years to regain the trust that was lost. Any time a cheating partner leaves the house meets up with coworkers, or texts someone new, feelings of jealousy and distrust are natural. Be prepared to work hard, and for several months, to rebuild trust after an affair.

What I am going to share with you now is the most common reasons being men’s disappearing acts! As you read through this article, it’s essential that you understand that men are natural born hunters who enjoy the chase. If he is interested in having you as his girlfriend, he will show you this with his actions. Be careful to never settle for a man that isn’t giving you 100% with his actions but is saying everything with his words. This is where a lot of women run into trouble in their search for a good man. Pay attention to his actions more than his words.
big problem here. my ex and I have been broken up for about 2 years. HOWEVER none of his relationships have progressed into anything and have always ended horribly. we have maintained contact since but I was the one who first initiated no contact and he always broke it. I sent him an apology letter in the mail and he and I eventually got back together after our neighbor had a talk with him. my ex suffers from "lone wolf syndrome". he hates any kind of attachment, is extremely stubborn and doesn't like anyone telling him what to do. one common thread is he always comes to me when his relationships fizzle out. I have no idea why because I have always maintained that I agree with being friends with him (since we broke up he insists he just wants to be friends but I HATE IT) and I strive to be the best one he has. I try to build him up and make him feel like he's doing the right thing with his life (when he gets down) and he has been helping me out too. even this past memorial day we had a REALLY good time with my friends (I introduced them to him because he had been feeling down). but recently he's fallen back into his shell because of some really stressful things going on in his life. I had texted him to see if he had wanted to come over and hang out to get away from it and he didn't text me at all. TWO WEEKS passed and I barely heard anything from him other than seeing he had been online. so I texted him saying I felt hurt and neglected and he responded with "I'm sorry you feel that way, I just want to be friends" now I can't stop thinking about what he said and I want to get OUT of the dreaded friendzone and get back to being his girlfriend. advice please! thank you :)...

√We’ve contacted each other only a few times since the breakup. Recently he called me after 10:00 pm to chat since I was going away to work out of town. I missed his call so i called him back about an hour& 1/2 later. He called again to wish me happy birthday Early in the a.m. I picked up and the convo was nice. He’s pulled back tho now. Deliberately I feel…or moved on… Whatever the case,I don’t know how to deal with my feelings.I want to contact him but I don’t know if I should. I’m in paint from missing him and not having the guts to tell him. I’ve gone out with one other guys since then and even worked a lot,still he stays on my mind.
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)…

Let him go for the time being. If he really likes you, he will come back. Meanwhile, focus on yourself — exercise, go out with your friends, see your family, have a hobby etc. It takes your mind away from this guy and also strengthens you as a person. If he doesn’t come back, you just move on and become a better version of yourself. If he comes back, then you can re-evaluate if you actually want to be with this guy. The “pull away” downtime is good for both of you.
I found this article one of the best in a very long search I had been doing. Hope it will be helpful for me to help repair my relation with someone whom I extremely care about but made her angry with a useless conversation. I never intended to hurt her but I did. I am hurt too but cant let her remain angry. This post might get helpful in getting me rid of this state.

You begin interacting with the thoughts in your head rather than with the person in front of you. Rather than trying to learn who he is and what he’s about, you look at his behavior and the things he says as a means to measure how he feels about you… and whether you’re getting closer or further away from your goal of having a relationship with him.


Hi Lauren, i had recently bought the book men are from mars and women are from Venus, it has brought me to try and discover more wonderful information on your page. My boyfriend of three years had recently just left me about a month an a half ago, we had just moved in together and were only living at our apartment for 2 months before he decided to lay the break up on me. He says he needs to find himself and his happiness, this term is still so confusing for me when things for the past three years were going so well. and just 2 weeks before he broke up with me he had talked about marrying me wanting to spend the rest of his life with me. as soon as he left the apartment and packed his things he doesn't want to see me or doesn't really talk to me and whenever we do talk it always ends up in the both of breaking down crying because its so sad. he has told me that he still loves me deeply and cares about me but doesn't want to be in a relationship right now. I have no idea really what to take from all this, i know that i may have smothered him to much in the relationship but at the time i did not know what i had been doing i do know that i some how contributed to this traumatic event. but he is making it seem like its totally over and he is just cutting things cold turkey. i never seen this break up coming and he said to me that it just happened and he didn't even realize he was going to do it. after three years of being together hes acting as if he doesn't even know me. i just need some advice of insight on what might be happening to him or me right now for this to take place? ...
You should investigate whether he is not being loving or interested, or if he’s just not doing that in the way that you expect or are used to. You may have unspoken expectations or fantasies of what a relationship should look like, and your projections are getting in the way of appreciating the good relationship you actually have. It sounds like you might have different love languages as well, where you need a lot of verbal affirmation and maybe that’s not his strong suit. That is something you can discuss with him and ask for more of. You can tell him what’s working for you and what’s not, or that you’re unsure whether he’s into you romantically despite all the evidence, and try to hear and understand where he is coming from.
Show him that being with you is a fun, positive experience. When he sees that you didn’t let your emotions overrun you and senses that you didn’t place such a high importance on his actions, he’ll be motivated to stay close and connected with you. He’ll recognize that he’s with a woman who respects his needs while taking care of her own feelings. And he’ll appreciate that you didn’t blame or criticize him.
He was posted back to his hometown almost two weeks ago to stay indefinitely. Now first week he moved we were fine, but one day I asked him if he wanted to eat dinner with my mom (we discussed this before he left and he had no issue) and he told me “we weren’t at that part in our relationship, when parents get involved it’s a huge deal” I responded that he should forget I mentioned it and that him saying that informs me of a lot. He responded “oh come on! You should know we aren’t at that level” I won’t lie I was kinda upset so I didn’t respond. Now is been 5 days.. He hasn’t text me to see if I’m alive or anything. And I haven’t text him because if he called it quits I don’t want to give him the satisfaction of going looking for him..
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. 
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