How Long Should I Try To Work On The Marriage If My Partner Is Unwilling To Try?

How Long Should I Try To Work On The Marriage If My Partner Is Unwilling To Try?

Maybe you’ve been unhappy in your relationship for a while but your partner seems unwilling to do anything to improve the situation.  It can be so hard to know what to do.  You can feel so incredibly stuck.  

I can be even worse if you’ve experienced a significant hurt.  Maybe they don’t know know how to be there for you emotionally or physically when you need them most.  

Maybe there’s been betrayal like an affair.  Maybe you’ve considered looking outside the marriage for comfort.  If you have then READ THIS.
But the question we get quite often in our marriage counseling private practices is, “how long should I try to work on things before it’s a hopeless case?”  Other questions we get are…”am I crazy for wanting to work on things?” Or “Is my partner a Narcissist just trying to hurt me?”

In our years of experience counseling couples we’ve identified several types of people, and situations couples find themselves in, when they have to decide if they should leave their spouse or not.

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How to Rekindle the Romantic Love When It’s Lost

Simply put, do new, exciting, and different activities together. Exciting experiences enhance feelings of attraction. 

When you do something with your spouse that gives you a feeling of danger, it stimulates adrenaline. Adrenaline as psychologist have pointed out, makes us feel closer and more romantic with our spouse. 

Doing new, exciting, and different activities elevates the level of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is the chemical associated with romantic love. Research has pointed out that couples who do exciting, adrenaline pumping activities as compared to less stimulating, more normal, average activities together have increased feelings of happiness and more intense feelings of romantic love. 

This can work even if you are the only one trying to work on the relationship. You should invite them to join you in something risky and exciting. Maybe travel over night or out of the country, go bungee jumping, river rafting, or trying a new restaurant, doing something at the last minute to a sports game or to the theater, or swimming after the sun goes down. It is important to understand that anything rousing and unusual has the potential to trigger romantic love. 

Here are some more ideas: 

  1. seeing something on the side of the road and pulling off to go explore
  2. going to the gun range together 
  3. swimming in the backyard at night
  4. a last minute trip
  5. instead of the normal movie and dinner, put a sheet up in the backyard and watch a movie in the moonlight.

There are literally hundreds of ideas if you use your imagination!  It just needs to be exciting, new, and different to recapture the feelings of romantic love.

It is always important to seek counseling to help with this process.

Do you like what you’re reading?  You can use this information and share this blog post just as long as you include the following statement exactly as you see it below at the end of your post:

“Brad Robinson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and an expert in infidelity recovery in Tulsa, OK. Together with his wife Morgan Robinson they teach people about how to understand and overcome infidelity and how to make their marriage thrive even after betrayal. You can learn more about their work by visiting


When Pursuing Your Spouse Can Push Them Away

Part Three: WATCH & WAIT The 3 step process developed by Michele Weiner-Davis we have been talking about in the last 2 newsletters that outlines the importance of 1. Stopping the Chase, 2. Getting a Life, and 3. Waiting & Watching is not for everyone. It is important to clarify that this 3 step process can help you save your marriage from divorce IF:
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How To Get Busy Getting Back To Life When Your Spouse Has Left You

How To Get Busy Getting Back To Life When Your Spouse Has Left You
Part Two: GET A LIFE The 3 step process we talked about in the last newsletter 1. Stop the Chase, 2. Get a Life, and 3. Wait & Watch is going to save you from becoming a statistic. We talked about when your spouse is leaving or has already left and how most people pursue, reason, chase, beg, plead, and implore the other the stay when they are faced with this life altering moment. This is normal, however, so is divorce. We all know the staggering statistics about divorce in Oklahoma and how we rank number one in the nation when it comes to divorce. In this newsletter we will talk more about stopping the chase and getting a life. Sticking to this process can make or break your marriage at this point so it is very important to stick with it even though it is hard and could be the hardest point in your entire life.
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Part One: STOP THE PURSUIT If your spouse has told you in no uncertain terms that they are leaving, they’ve mentioned that separation is the best thing right now, they would like a divorce, maybe they’ve already filed for divorce, or maybe you sleep in separate rooms and have virtually no contact. One of the first thing that likely runs through your mind is "oh no, is this the end?" The answer is "no" it's not over. You AND your relationship are not hopeless or helpless. This technique we are going to talk about for the next couple of posts is known as the Last-Resort Technique and was coined by a lady named Michele Weiner-Davis. Here is the formula:
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