How To Tell If You Aren’t Putting Enough Effort Into Your Relationship

We have all heard about men who married women who just walked out the door. In many cases, it came as a shock to the men who were left. They knew they weren’t putting in much effort, but they never thought it’d be bad enough to make the girl want to leave them.

Regardless of whether or not they saw it coming, the realization that they have been left behind can be a devastating blow to their self-esteem and sense of security. They may feel rejected, unlovable, and like they have failed as a partner.

It’s the type of “blindside” that everyone but the person getting the papers sees coming. However, it’s also the most preventable of all breakups.

If you want to keep your romantic relationship happy, you must ensure that you’re putting effort into your relationship adequately.

There are many ways to put effort into your relationship, including spending time with your wife or even helping out with chores. If she’s stuck doing all the work, she will leave. But how do you know if your relationship is ailing?

Putting in effort is part of essential relationship maintenance.

Every single thing in life requires maintenance to continue working well. A relationship requires you to be there for your partner when they need them and sometimes when they want you there. This is true regardless of whether we’re talking about friendships or love.

A healthy relationship will mean you offer emotional support, emotional labor, and care for your partner’s well-being. If you don’t want to put effort into a relationship you’re in, you might not be ready for a relationship–and that’s fine.

Your well-being should be aware that you are not ready to partner in a relationship. Sometimes, you must say no to dating for your mental health and focus on yourself instead.

Signs you are not putting enough effort into your relationship

Contrary to what others may tell you, healthy relationships never end at random.

Unless your partner has serious communication issues, there will be indicators that your relationship is suffering.

These warning signs can indicate that you need to put more effort into your relationship… before your relationship fails and you end up single.

1. Your partner has tried to talk to you about their needs in the relationship

Most women do not talk about their needs until they feel the situation is dire or when their partners repeatedly ignore them. It’s not easy for women to speak up about their needs.

If your wife or girlfriend has been explicitly asking you to offer support, help with chores, or increase your physical touch, listen to them. This is a sign that your partner feels like you’re making little effort and that they are unhappy with you.

If she’s gotten to the point of crying, asking for couples therapy, or even getting family involved, you’re on thin ice. She is likely considering leaving the relationship.

2. You had a rough feeling that your relationship was going through a slump, but you haven’t done much to fix it

As men, we’re not dumb.

We can tell when the energy seems to have changed in a relationship. It’s hard to explain in words but hard to ignore in real life.

It feels like there’s a tension or a silent slump that neither you nor her want to address.

Relationships are one of those few moments where listening to your gut makes much more sense than just looking at what is happening around you.

People tend to be averse to admitting that things are really bad, so if you want your relationship to flourish, address issues as they come.

You have to address issues making her interest wane at a certain point in a relationship. If she’s been left to do most of the work in the relationship, it may be time to gain the upper hand in your relationship by preventing her from feeling even more alienated and resentful.

The sooner you start talking about what’s making the relationship tank, the sooner you can turn it around.

3. When you come home, you are on the couch while she’s still working and putting things away

People have this weird tendency to think that women should do most of the housework or that it’s okay to make a pattern of ignoring chores, knowing your wife will do it.

A once-in-a-while relaxation session is fine, but if your wife is constantly working when you’re near her, this is not okay.

A good relationship is a give-and-take, and it’s also reasonably even in terms of responsibility.

Those little moments you offer your wife rest show her that you care about her needs. If you stopped picking up or doing your laundry, chances are you need to put more effort into your relationship.

4. Trying to put in more work seems exhausting, even if you aren’t doing much

Does the idea of doing more make you feel sick to your stomach?

If so, this might signify that you’re unhappy with your relationship or depressed in general. It also could mean that you’re complacent.

You feel like you’ve done everything and know everything about your partner as a person. You feel like you’ve put in the courtship, and now it’s just time to skate on by.

Unfortunately, that’s not how relationships work.

Women who feel like men have started to ignore them will often seek out a new relationship. They never want to be with someone who takes them for granted.

5. You’ve forgotten important dates or done nothing on a major holiday

There are certain things happy relationships customarily involve, and one of them involves celebrations on significant dates like your birthday and anniversary.

If you forgot the actual date of your anniversary or didn’t do anything for Valentine’s Day, you shouldn’t be surprised if your partner is upset.

Women want to be celebrated, even if it’s just on meaningful dates like birthdays.

If you don’t spend time trying to make those days memorable, it will likely damage your long-term relationship significantly.

6. Your sex life with your partner is nonexistent

Dead sex life is never a good sign.

If you’re not attracted to your partner and try to avoid physical intimacy with them, your partner will notice, and their feelings will be hurt. If your wife has tried to talk to you about the lack of emotional or physical intimacy before, you’re not making enough effort to keep her happy.

A dead bedroom tends to mean one of several things:

  • You deny your wife or girlfriend sex, making her feel lonely and unattractive.
  • Your wife is busy picking up after you and mothering you, to the point that she no longer feels like a lover and has lost attraction to you.
  • Your wife or girlfriend is overworked and burnt out.
  • The sex you have provided involves little to no consideration for her interests or needs.
  • Your wife is cheating.
  • Your wife has already checked out, and the romantic connection between you two died.

Unless a physical health issue prevents your sex life from working out, you may need to put more effort into your relationship.

A happy relationship is a sex-filled one. Now would be a good time to look at your relationship and figure out how to put things back on track.

Dead bedrooms can also happen as a result of bad self-esteem. If you’ve noticed your wife is depressed, you may need to encourage her to gain more confidence or try to make her feel romanced.

7. Date nights and PDA stopped

A relationship is about date nights, romance, and being a partner.

Ask yourself when the last date nights were in your relationship. What about public displays of affection, too? Did it start to get hard even to say things like “I love you” to her?

If so, be careful.

A lack of effort in a relationship can cause your relationship to go from romantic to friendship-like.

8. Friends have warned you that you must do more to make your relationship work

Generally speaking, friends are not going to be the ones to interfere with your relationship unless they are really concerned for your well-being.

If they see something going wrong with your relationship, they may start to give you unsolicited relationship advice.

Believe it or not, friends who genuinely care about you will want to see you manage your life well. If they notice your wife is unhappy, they might mention it to you and even ask if you’re spending time with her.

If you’ve had your friends warn you about past relationships, you might need to listen to them if they say you need to spend time with your current partner.

They don’t want to be the bros who have to sit next to you at the bar while you drink away the hurt.

What do you do if your relationship suffers from a lack of effort?

Honestly, this is an excellent moment to ask yourself whether you want to continue the relationship first.

A lack of effort in your relationship can mean that you are bored or that your feelings for her have faded.

Ask yourself, are you genuinely happy with your wife? Are you okay with putting in more work to make the person you’re with happy?

Is this how you envisioned your family life? If you are unhappy, you owe it to your well-being to be honest with yourself.

The most obvious answer is that you must start putting effort into your life again.

If you’re unhappy in your relationship despite your efforts, it’s time to break up.

Okay, easier said than done, but the truth is that spending time with a woman you don’t want to be around isn’t going to be easy or beneficial to you.

Over time, you will grow to resent her, and your mental health will start to suffer as a result of it.

Your needs matter too. If the effort you’re putting in doesn’t feel worth it, now would be a good time to talk about a breakup.

Leaving your partner means you are freeing up that position for someone better suited to you.

If you feel like you may need to get the relationship back on track, it’s time to address it head-on.

Your relationship could also have floundered. You may feel overwhelmed, burdened by life situations, or even unappreciated. If you still want to try to salvage the relationship, you might have a chance to do so.

This will require you to channel your masculine side to take the lead here. The best way to start is to take time over dinner to talk to your wife about how you feel about the relationship.

Set aside a time to talk to her about how you are feeling. Take accountability for not putting effort into the relationship, and tell her that you want to do better. Then, explain what you need from her to make things work.

From there, she knows what she needs to do. If she doesn’t follow through or refuses to talk about it, you will have to break up. A relationship will never work if only one person’s putting effort in.

Make sure to explain to her that the relationship breakdown is not entirely her fault, and tell her how much you love her. You do not want to have accusatory language in your talk since it can put her on the defensive.

If you have reason to believe that your lack of effort is tied to mental illness, address it.

Depression and anxiety take many different forms. One of those different forms is inaction or a lack of effort in the relationships that matter to you the most. Many men tend to put less effort into everything when they are depressed.

If you have been having a hard time getting joy out of things, feeling panicky or agitated, or experiencing recurring worries about your deepest fears, it may be time to look into mental health care.

Being depressed or anxious is not your fault, but your responsibility is to face things head-on. It’s not just about your relationship, either. The effort you put into getting your mental health in order will pay off with a happy relationship, a better work life, and more.

Understanding what putting in effort looks like is just as crucial as actually trying to fix things.

Putting in effort takes many different forms, much like what it means to be a good cook. You need to take a look at the following areas and ask yourself if you have been committing to these:

You need to put in effort around the home.

No, housework isn’t wife work; it’s life work. To be a functional adult, you need to pick up after yourself. This is part of being an adult, not just a man. Women don’t respect men they need to mother and clean up after.

It’s a biological thing. Women are wired to be repulsed by their children, including those who act like a child in their roles. If you have been quietly passing the buck to her, you should not be surprised if your relationship isn’t as hot as it once was.

Studies show that men who do more chores also have more active bedrooms. If you’re slacking, it’s time to start washing some dishes and folding some laundry.

Keep your own needs in focus.

A wise man once said you can’t set yourself on fire to keep others warm. If you are flailing in the throes of mental illness, you will not be a good partner. If you are dying from obesity or dealing with addiction, you must sort yourself out.

Part of what makes a man a man is how he takes care of himself. If you are falling apart at the seams, you must take charge of your self-care. At times, the most loving act of self-care can also be pulling the plug on a relationship with someone who doesn’t love you.

You must also put in the effort with kids if you have them.

Your children aren’t just hers to watch. They are also your kids. One of the leading complaints of new moms (and moms who are about to divorce their spouses) is that their partners clamored for a kid and then offered little effort to raise them.

Many married moms complain about feeling like they are single moms simply because they don’t get help with the kids their partners helped create. Guess what happens after that? Simple: divorce.

This doesn’t have to be much. It can be letting your wife sleep in while you prep the kids for school. She’ll love you for it, I promise.

Putting effort into a romantic relationship also means you have to romance her.

Here’s where a lot of men tend to drop the ball. Once you’ve been together for a certain number of years, it’s easy to assume that you’ve got her and she’s not going anywhere. So, you don’t date her anymore. You don’t romance her. Maybe you don’t even bother to compliment her.

Most of us assume that comfortable quiet is fine. For women, this is a sign of a lack of effort that can butcher their self-esteem. Women need to feel like they have emotional support and are treasured by their partners.

Women want to feel cared for and safe in their masculinity. So, it would be best if you took the lead.

If you stopped dating your wife, start dating her again. Otherwise, her feelings for you will falter and turn into resentment. If she wants to try couples therapy, you should allow it.

If your wife has problems with your relationship, listen to her. Stop making assumptions about what she needs.


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