You’ll Never Be Happy In A Relationship If You Don’t Address This First

Most people cite a number of reasons for why a relationship didn’t work out.

Do any of these sound familiar:

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“We fought all the time.”

“He cheated.”

“She was too possessive.”

“We didn’t know how to communicate.”

“We were incompatible.”

“We just grew apart.”

After working with couples for over 50 years, I’ve heard all these. And the majority of these people go on to be unhappy in their next relationship.

That’s why, if you’re in a relationship now and things have gotten so bad that you think you might be better off with someone else, you need to pay close attention to what I’m about to tell you.

The Common Denominator In All Your Relationships

The statistics are pretty grim:

About 41% of first marriages end in divorce. So do 60% of second marriages and 73% of third marriages.

Why is this?

Shouldn’t people get better at picking someone who is better for them?

The answer is that it’s not about the partner you choose. It’s about the person you take with you.

And that’s you.

You bring your issues from relationship to relationship, which means you’ll go on to recreate unhappy circumstances with someone else.

And the biggest issue we all bring—and the one that can and will bring a relationship down—is self-abandonment.

What Self-Abandonment Is And How It Starts

Self-abandonment is what happens when you make someone else responsible for your feelings and sense of self worth.

You’re essentially looking to someone outside you to take away your uncomfortable feelings and make you feel okay.

We are all prone to this, and it starts in childhood.

See, you came into life expecting to be loved. But if your parents or caregivers didn’t know how to love, or see who you are in your beautiful essence, then one of two things happened:

  1. You realized these people didn’t know how to love you. You understood that they were just limited in their ability, but you knew this didn’t mean anything about you. You were aware that whether or not someone loved you and cared for you was no reflection of your worth. You were confident in yourself, even in the face of rejection.

More than likely, however, this didn’t happen. Instead, like most of us, this happened:

  1. You concluded that there must be something wrong with you.

And So We Search For Love And Acceptance

Even if you had very loving parents, you would have experienced some amount of pain. We all have, because no human being can provide 100% love for us all the time.

And if, when you didn’t feel the love, you decided there was something wrong with you, then you started feeling very uncomfortable feelings—depression, anxiety, emptiness, and anger.

These are big feelings your little body didn’t know how to handle. Back then, you coped by doing what kids and teenagers do: either rebelling or conforming as a way to get attention and love.

Then you grew up and discovered something amazing called romantic love. “Aha!” the little child inside you thought, “THIS person will give me the love I didn’t get.”

Woman kissing smiling man on cheek

How Trying To Control Is Wrecking Your Love Life

In searching for the perfect partner, what you’re really doing is looking for someone to give you the perfect love your parent never could. You think that if you can just get your partner to give you this perfect love, you’ll always feel okay.

And this belief causes you to behave in destructive ways.

Because you’ve self-abandoned and abdicated personal responsibility for your feelings, you feel an urgency to make sure your partner gives you what you’re not giving yourself.

So you go into control, and not always in the ways you might think. Control can show up in the form of being overly nice and accommodating, or in being possessive and hyper vigilant. You can control by being overly compliant and by caretaking.

In each of these cases, you’re trying to make sure the other person doesn’t reject you. You think that by doing all these things, you won’t experience all the feelings that go along with believing you’re not lovable.

When Two People Haven’t Healed Their Self-Abandonment

You attract according to your level of self-abandonment and self-love.

Therefore, in a troubled relationship BOTH people have unhealed self-abandonment, and their problems stem out of control—on BOTH sides.

In trying to get love and avoid pain, both partners will engage in a variety of controlling behaviors that can inevitably lead to fighting, disconnection, and infidelity.

As each partner tries to get love from the other, they end up pushing each other away, creating even more anxiety, emptiness, and anger.

So it’s very important to learn how to create our own sense of worth rather than giving that power to your partner.

When you make your partner responsible for making you feel okay, you’re going to “pull” on your partner. You will place an impossible burden on them to take away all your uncomfortable feelings. As a result, they will feel pressured, smothered, and controlled.

And even if your partner does try to love you, there’s nowhere for that love to land. Because if you don’t love yourself first, you will not be able to fully receive someone else’s love. You won’t feel worthy of the love you so desperately want.

Your love for yourself provides the foundation for their love to land in your heart and soul.

Healing Self-Abandonment And Finally Finding The True Expression Of Love

We cannot connect with others when we’re disconnected from ourselves.

And we cannot share love with others when we’re not loving ourselves.

But when you realize that you’re the only person who can truly make you feel okay, you welcome the opportunity to take responsibility for your feelings. You make it your job to feel good, which in turn takes the pressure off your partner to make everything right.

As if by magic, even long-standing problems melt away as your need for control disappears.

This is my life’s work, and it’s the work that has helped couples in crisis completely transform their relationships where traditional therapy has failed.

Now I’ve partnered with Flourish so I can help people like you heal your hearts, and experience an overflowing level of joy and passion in your relationships again.

Dreamy Eyed Content Couple Hugging

When you subscribe to our FREE Relationship Advice Newsletter, you get access to an accomplished community of carefully selected experts (like me!) giving you our best insights and strategies to overcome any relationship challenge. You’ll learn:

  • How to heal self-abandonment so that you are no longer engaging in controlling behavior that creates problems in relationships
  • The 5 skills of happy couples and the specific behaviors, attitudes, and actions you can take to turn any relationship problem into an opportunity to get close and stay close
  • How to recreate the euphoric joy you experienced when you first fell in love
  • The secret to passionate, life-affirming love making that makes decades of marriage feel new and exciting again
  • The biggest causes of conflict in a relationship, and how to eliminate this destructive pattern once and for all
  • Simple techniques to strengthen your bond that take no additional time and can be incorporated throughout the day
  • How to communicate so each person feels heard, understood, and safe

I’ve spent the last 50 years (yes, 50!) counselling couples to completely transform their relationships into joyous, passionate, satisfying love affairs…even if they’ve struggled for years.

When you learn to fill yourself up with love and you create your own sense of worth, something magical happens—you naturally want to share this love with your partner. No longer in a state of neediness, you just want to give. When two people come to a relationship like this, it’s the greatest joy in life.

You too can experience this joy; all it takes is the right tools and information. I hope you will subscribe to our free newsletter. Why spend one more day in a relationship that’s anything other than overflowing with love?


Margaret Paul

Fall Deeply In Love All Over Again

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