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This question is posed for a friend whom I told about this site....


She feels taken for granted by her longtime boyfriend of five years. She said she loves him but she feels like he doesn't really invest much in the relationship because she thinks that he takes for granted she will always just be there...no matter what. She had a big fight on the phone with him in front of me today....and I told her she might want to post for advice here.


I don't really want to advise her,because I really just DON'T know what to say to her right now. Five years is a LONG time to just throw away with someone, but at the same time I don't want her to feel like she's just spinning her wheels with this guy either.


Is there any advice I can offer her? Should she do NC with him? Should she break up wtih him?


She told me their biggest issues are that she puts more effort into the relationship than he seems to....and he just seems to "coast" along. Like he could take it or leave it. She just wants to feel more "loved"...and wanted. not just a convenience.


Can this relationship be saved? Any advice on what SHE can do differently

to help the situation? Thanks guys!

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She should talk to him about it. She may be surprised by his answer. He might agree to try harder or he may say that from his perspective he already is doing more than she is.


The best thing in these situations is to talk about it. No strategies, games or plans to make him change. Just honest and open communication.

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I would say that it is very common for guys to take their girlfriends for granted. I was told by my ex that I did it and was not even aware of it. I will only speak for myself, but sometimes I just don't hear things or I get defensive when they are brought up the wrong way. I am sure this woman has told him things repeatedly, but he is probably not grasping the seriousness or absorbing what she says. I think she should ask him to set aside some time to talk. She needs to put together a very constructive discussion to let him know exactly what he is doing, how it makes her feel, and the potential results. She needs to be very careful not to attack him and put him on the defensive. I look back and if my ex sat down and talked to me about the seriousness of the situation, I would have responded better. She used to either bring stuff up while we were drinking or after the fact. The reality is that once you break up with a guy, he comes running back and it is too late. Somehow she has to convey to him the seriousness with out threatening him. I say that after the discussion, if he does not respond well, she just say ok I need some time to think about things. Most likely he will not respond well and will need some time for things to absorb. I would suggest that she does not break up with him, but just leave and say she needs to do some thinking and that is all. After that, she should either go lc or nc for a few days to let him know the seriousness. Most likely he will realize the severity and address it. If not, then she should be ready to move on because he just is not into her enough anymore and just to stupid to see the truth. Keep us posted.

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Well....from what I understand she HAS told him how she feels...and things are OK for a while, then it goes right back to the way it was...hence her reason for thinking he just doesn't care, or takes her for granted. I asked her if she has EVER gone ANY length of time with NC in all this time...and she said no. Not more than maybe 2 weeks......so would doing very LC, or NC be the right option in this case? I assume he just always expects her to be there...and maybe her NOT being there will open his eyes?

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If she has told him and he doesn't get it then maybe she should - but she should tell him why.


Ditto - if she has tried fixing things but he isn't trying as hard, and she isn't getting her needs met... she should leave him. And tell him why she's doing NC. It's been 5 years - she should be up front with him.

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I still think she should have one final serious talk with him. If he no longer wants to be with her, then it is better to find out now and move on. I would guess this guy is just comfortable and maybe not happy in the relationship. This does not mean he does not love her. Maybe not contacting him for a few days would give him the breathing room he needs. It is easy to take people for granted when you don't know what life would be like with out them. Maybe he needs to see what life is like with out her.

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Thanks Annie...She said she just thinks they hit a rut, and he doesn't think he has to "win" her anymore, so he just lets HER do all the "work" in the relationship. Do you think doing NC will help? I think if nothing else it will aloow HER to see if she even still wants this "relationship"....

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Well... taking a step back may be a good idea.


I'm a big fan of John Gray's Venus and Mars books. In his book, "mars and venus on a date" he pretty much says that if you are unhappy with how things are going, better to step back to an earlier stage. In fact, the scenario you describe is quite common - Gray says that it happens all the time, the woman just gives up and moves on, and then the man starts pursuing her again.


Instead of being so drastic, she can try to "detach" a bit from him, and maybe try to get some distance to think instead of going full on NC.


The stages are:


1) Attraction

2) Uncertainty (when you are dating several people but are unsure if this is a person you want to be with for a long time)

3) Exclusivity

4) Intimacy

5) Engagement


So, I don't know where she is at, I'm presuming 4 or 5. She shouldn't go out and start dating new men (stage 2), but maybe go back to stage 3. Where she is still dating only him, but maybe being a bit aloof and keeping her eyes open....


I don't know if any of this helps.....

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I know how hard it must be for her, I am kind of going through the same thing. I would just tell her to maybe try NC during the week and then maybe LC on the weekend. It will be hard, but this has worked some for me. I have started to notice the things I miss more about my ex and I wish every day that she will come back, but I have also started to do some things that make me happy and I am noticing new things about myself. Tell your friend good luck. I know how hard it can be.

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Thanks for all the replies guys...


I called and spoke to her for about half an hour this morning. She sounded a little better. I told her I posted here about her dilemma, and she has already talked to him. Basically he says he DOES care about her, but he feels like she "pushes" her feelings onto him. I guess like Natalie said...maybe she creates 'drama' to see what he will do. It ends up creating problems.So I suggested she tell him she is going to take some time 'off' from the situation and see what she wants to do. He agreed....so that's where things stand now.


She is just curious what kind of time frame she should do this for..I suggested a couple weeks...but she thinks thats not going to make a big difference. What do you guys think?



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