It isn’t uncommon that I have a couple in my office that is struggling, and one or both partners are so worried about, upset with, or hurt by the other that they really want the other to apologize, fix things, and change. Unfortunately, what can sometimes happen is that one or both partners begins to try and force, coerce, or demand the other to do what they want in an effort to make things better or right in their relationship. Even worse is when one partner begins to try and do the work that the other needs to be doing for themselves. This can be detrimental to the relationship and create additional barriers and frustrations.
What is most critical to healthy relationships is recognizing which part is yours, and which part is not. Whenever one partner is trying to control the changes that they want the other partner to have happen, they have lost control of their own self. Such can feel frustrating and helpless.
What is more productive is to look at what you have control of in your relationship. Which part is yours? Which part is not?
What positive changes you can make? Could you practice taking better care of yourself? Could you create healthier boundaries? Do you need to learn how to better express yourself and honor your thoughts and feelings? Focusing on your own changes and shifts in your relationship will always be more helpful and positive.
By allowing each other to work their own part of the struggles, both gain skills and confidence in their ability to do hard things and create positive change. This benefits the relationship when you have common goals and then work together as a support system for desired changes.