When Hope is Not a Suitable Strategy for Fixing Your Relationship

Tell me if this sounds familiar…

  • “I’m hoping he/she changes their mind and wants to get married”
  • “I’m hoping he/she will want children one day”
  • “I hope he/she finds that great job they are always talking about”
  • “I hope he/she realizes how great we are together and comes running back”
  • “I hope, I hope, I hope.”

Hope is a wonderful component to our human experience: hope for the world and for mankind. However, when it comes to relationships, relying solely on this ubiquitous word called hope is risky.

Once hope is dominating your strategy for fixing your relationship, you’re basically asking the universe or a higher power to change the mind/characteristics of your partner. Let’s repeat that so it hits home. Are you asking a higher power to CHANGE your partner in some way shape or form, from what they are currently telling you or showing you? Now ask yourself does this sound realistic? Deep down somewhere in your gut, your intuition already truly knows the truth.

1. Let go of control

We get hung up on personal agenda’s at the start of a relationship, which causes us to sometimes disregard facts given to us by our significant other. When you start any relationship there is always the discussion of “Well what do you want in a partner? What are you looking for? Do you want to get married?” etc… you know the rest. So I’m sure at some point in the “honeymoon phase” of your budding relationship these questions came up. Were you listening? Recall exactly what your partner said, not your interpretation. Write down what your personal agenda was when you met and does that still match up to your ideals now?

2. Acknowledge the facts

Are you hearing what your partner is communicating to you? Observe if their words match their actions. People will show you exactly who they are; listen, watch, and learn. Are they showing up for you? Do their actions mirror their words? Are you constantly worried that they won’t hold to their promises even to the little ones, such as dinner plans, date nights, intimacy? Be an observer in your relationship, act as if you were simply an outsider looking in, collecting raw data. What would your findings be?

3. Obtain clarity

Do you stay awake at night hoping things will get better, things will change, thinking this time will be different? That’s where hope is keeping you stuck. At some point we need to hear the words spoken to us. The ones that may start with “Look I am too old for more kids, not interested in marriage, not willing to move, not ready to settle down, not financially ready…”

I mean the list can go on and on, but those words have been said, so don’t try to push it or wish it away. Or my favorite: “hope” it into existence.

When your partner speaks their truth, listen. I mean really listen no matter how hard those words may be to hear. The hardest things in life are sometimes the simplest this includes the art of listening.

4. Know when to walk away

The best thing to do when you reach that pivotal point in a relationship, where you both are not on the same page, is to know when to call it quits. Ask yourself if you are hoping for something to shift within your partner that is out of your control and possibly theirs? Go through these 3 steps above and ask yourself “Am I hoping” my relationship will work? It’s hard to come face to face with the reality that you’re hoping a relationship into existence. The best practice is to recognize what isn’t serving you, accept what is, and move forward with your life.

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2 Responses

  1. Thanks for this. It has brought an awareness to myself that I have been hoping for a very long time that my partner will get help with his drinking. But his actions in hindsight no matter his good intentions don’t match his promises. So I have to make some tough decisions. This is hard when there are children involved so you keep hoping for their sake that things might change.Thanks again.

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