In the past, I seem to have had fundamental differences with several of my partner’s on how much effort is enough in the relationship – as in when are the problems too big to solve. I always thought that these guys never worked hard enough, never wanted to look at their problems and instead hoped that the next relationship will be less problematic.
It is probably not that all men are like this, but it is more that the men that I have been attracted to have been like this. There is probably a reason for that.
I think some of my efforts have been motivated by my deeper level of dissatisfaction with myself and my thoughts around there never being anyone who finds me acceptable as I am. So there has been a dysfunctional part in my patterns with these guys.
Being aware of this dysfunction has made me question my ideas on how much work or effort one should invest before giving up. It has also made me understand things on a new level.
I think there can be basic incompatibility between people. This is definitely not something where I would encourage effort. I have been together with guys who obviously wanted to be together with another person with a different personality. The fact that I somehow wanted to mold myself into a different person shows quite well my deeper issues.
But then there are certain dysfunctions that people have. For instance my ex was deeply insecure about his attractiveness. In my opinion it was his personal issue which he should have worked with. I was willing to help him with that, but I always thought that he somehow secretly hoped that this would not be an issue in another relationship. He sure blamed me for not being more sexually active and all the other things. Well, guess what? – my ex is feeling even more insecure now that he is single and can spend hours complaining to me about his insecurity.
The latter case, if you have such issues and dysfunctions in relationships I think it is quite obvious that you should work on them. Not even for the sake of relationship – but for yourself. You walk away hoping it will be all different with a different person, but it probably will not be. Surely, I also made some critical comments to my ex after he put on some weight and did other things that probably contributed to his insecurity, but I was never the reason why he felt insecure. For him it was just easier to ignore the work that he needed to put in to address this issue of his and blame me.
So for me when you have some bigger dysfunctional patterns you definitely should work on them. I think it is also reasonable to be willing as a partner to support and encourage this work. Naturally there are certain boundaries as in if your partner is a drug addict and spends all your salary on drugs you might want to question your choice to be together with this person. However, otherwise I think it is reasonable put in efforts from both side to work with such issues.