When You Tried Everything But Your Relationship Failed

No matter how hard you tried, your relationship seem destined for failure. In our world – this heartbreakingly beautiful, fragile earth – it is not true that love conquers all. How do you move on when you tried everything to save your relationship, but it failed? These tips are inspired by a reader’s question.

“We’ve only been dating for six months, but I developed very strong feelings for her,” says Darren on How to Heal Your Heart Without Relationship Closure. “She has made me feel something I’ve never felt before. The other day she told me she can no longer be my girlfriend. She just wants to be just friends because she has lost her emotions towards me. She says, ‘How can I love you when I don’t love myself?’ She was extremely upset when she broke up with me and I feel that it just was not her breaking up with me but the depression that has overtaken her. I want to try everything before this relationship fails. Is there anything I can do to save our relationship?”

If your relationship failed because your partner couldn’t or wouldn’t commit to you, what can you do? Accept and respect her words, wishes, and choices. In fact, I admire this man’s girlfriend for realizing that she doesn’t love herself. She is 100% right: she can’t be part of a healthy, growing, good relationship if she doesn’t value herself. How can she truly love a boyfriend or husband if she doesn’t love herself? Not only did she recognize this truth, she expressed it to her boyfriend. This is huge. No wonder he loves her, and is heartbroken that their relationship failed.

The truth is difficult to accept. But, the truth will set you free.

Accepting a Relationship Failure After You Tried Everything

One of the best ways to cope with a failed relationship is to understand what happened. Darren’s breakup made sense; his girlfriend was not in an emotionally or spiritually healthy place. She felt unable to put energy, emotion, time or effort into building a strong relationship. No matter what Darren did or how hard he tried, the relationship would not succeed. She wasn’t ready or willing to be in a relationship because her heart, mind, soul and spirit were not ready.

Coping With a Relationship Failure After You Tried Everything
You Tried Everything But Your Relationship Failed

Why did your relationship fail? Maybe it was a health issue or mood disorder. Maybe it was a family death, job loss, move to another city, or even the death of a pet. These events can bring deep pain and unresolved grief to the surface…and they can cause relationship failures even when everything else seems perfect.

Regardless of why your relationship ended, remember that you are only half of a whole couple. Does your other half have the fortitude, time, energy, or ability to work on saving your relationship? If not, it’s better to break up or separate. Maybe you’ll get back together or reconcile. Maybe you won’t. Either way, you get to choose whether you will live in freedom and peace.

Accept that it is impossible to “make” someone happy

“I did everything I could – I tried so hard to make her happy,” says Darren.

No matter what you do, you can’t make another person happy. She has to find happiness within herself – she has to be her own source of fulfillment, peace, security, and self-esteem. And that’s only part of the truth. The whole true is we need more than ourselves and other people to make us happy. We need to feel emotionally and spiritually connected to God, who is our creator and source of life. The deeper your relationship with God, the more access you have to joy, peace, freedom, healing, compassion, and a full life.

It is impossible to make someone fall in love and stay with you. Sometimes our partners make decisions about love and life that baffle, hurt, and shock us – and it’s not because we failed to make them happy. Sometimes what’s going on in their minds, hearts, and souls is beyond our relationship, beyond our love for them.

Try not to take the breakup personally

“I felt she was my soulmate and in the beginning of our relationship she felt the same way,” says Darren “Will she ever regain her feelings for me? I want her to get better and I care about her a lot. She cares about me a lot, too. But it just shatters my heart that she has lost feelings for me when I continued gaining feelings for her. I tried to tell her I would do anything to save our relationship but she just couldn’t hear me. What can I do now?”

Let her go. She needs to get emotionally and spiritually healthy. It’s painful to give someone you love space, but it’s the most important gift you could ever give. Separate her reasons for the breakup from who you are as a person. This relationship failure is the best thing that could ever happen to you and her right now. She needs this time and space to get healthy. And so do you.

Read 5 Ways to Get Healthy When You’re on a Relationship Break.

Learn about the reasons your relationship failed

Darren’s girlfriend broke up with him because at that point in her life the depression was too crushing and overwhelming. She loves him but couldn’t find the emotional strength to be in a relationship. Depression causes chemical changes in the brain that change who people are and how they respond to relationships, love, life, and everyday experiences.

A practical tip for accepting a breakup – especially when you tried everything to save your relationship and feel like a failure – is to learn about the issue. Why did your relationship fail? If there is a specific reason or cause, such as health problems, addictions, gambling, death or even political arguments, learn what your partner is experiencing.

Allow the break up and separation process to unfold naturally

 “I haven’t texted her since the breakup, but she has texted me every day,” says Darren. “It kind if gives me mixed signals, you know? We are both in college and actually have a class together, so it’s not like we are never going to see each other. How do I let her go when I see her all the time and love her so much? I still want to keep trying to save us and fix our relationship. I want things the way they were.”

There are no right or wrong ways to break up with and let go of someone you love. It depends on you, your ability to handle contact, your history with love and loss. Take one day at a time. One interaction, one moment at a time. You will have to feel your way through the breakup. You will have to release control, to surrender to whatever is happening in front of you. This doesn’t mean accepting things you can change.

How will you accept a failed relationship after trying everything?

Darren asked many questions that will only be answered when they are lived. In other words, you have to literally go through and accept this relationship failure before your heart heals and you move on.

“When people overcome depression, do their feelings come back?” asks Darren. “That is, will my girlfriend feel what she used to feel for me? Will there be any hope for us in the future? I still want to save our relationship because I love this girl and she is everything I could ever ask for. It just scares me to know she doesn’t feel emotions for me, and there might not be an ‘us’ in the future.”

Whether or not a relationship is really, truly over depends on many things. An emotional health condition like depression is curable, or at the very least manageable! Many people learn how to live with it and/or manage health problems with medication, therapy, or a combination of both. There is no magic way to see into the future or know if your past efforts to save your relationship will make a difference next month, or even next year. All you can do is grow forward, toward your own healing and peace.

How do you feel – what does this mean to you? How will you accept the failure of a relationship you still want to try to save?


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7 thoughts on “When You Tried Everything But Your Relationship Failed”

  1. I am married for 3 years known my husband for almost 10 years. I have been with him through his cancer. In 2015 an 2016. I lost my job during that time to. Its been very tough. But I stood by his side. Sat up at night during his worst. He became better found a job and all become better. But a month ago we had a fight about a small issue. And he packed his bags and left to stay with his x in laws. After that I tried everything. We got back together but he didn’t move back. I tex him inspirational message. Going out of my way to see him. I do everything to win him. But to me it feels like i am the only one trying to work on our marriage. And now i am so tired off trying. I was there when he had nothing. And now I’m just not good enough.

  2. I had a very terribl marriage I had a husband who was very insecure with five kids treats my children bad an cheats and brags and laughs when I cry not loveing at all three children and he doggged me I was dum an blind

  3. I started dating someone recently and we hit off completely. We were falling completely head over heels in love when her mother was diagnosed with early dementia. I feel like she then dropped me like a dead weight. All of the reading I’m doing is that she is going through the most difficult time in her life with caring for her mom, not to mention she’s a single mother herself. My head completely understands what she’s going through, but I’m utterly heartbroken. I’ve tried to be supportive, understanding, and offer resources (without advice). It’s been a month and I haven’t even dared asked to see her. But she has pushed me away saying there is no time for a relationship in her life now. Sometimes she thanks me for my support, sometimes she’s mean to me. Sometimes I think she’s right. Sometimes not. I am hurt and confused, and don’t know if I should remain in the background giving her space and support, or move on. I want to be there for her in any appropriate way. But it hurts. Thanks for any wisdom.

  4. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Sarah,

    Thanks for commenting, and I’m so glad this article helped you. It sounds like your boyfriend has been through a lot, both health wise and in his relationships. And if someone you love is going through something, then so are you!

    It’s so sad when health problems (depression, chronic illness) or family problems make a relationship fail. Sometimes love really isn’t enough, and no matter what you do, you can’t make a relationship work.

    I wish you all the best in the future, whether it’s reconnecting with your ex boyfriend or moving on into a new chapter of your life.


  5. Hi Laurie,

    I’ve just read this article and it’s been really helpful and comforting for me. My boyfriend broke up with me 5 months ago having gone through several months of depression. We were together for 18 months, both in our 30s, fell in love from our first date. He is a kind and good man, who I adore but depression sucked the life out of him. He asked me to move in with him at the end of last year I think this triggered the depression to come back (he had had depression previous to meeting me). I think it was the combination of a big life change plus he had been in an emotionally abusive 7 year relationship before me…during which time he had been depressed and he told me she would laugh at him when he was low and belittle him. He used to be a professional sports man and to most people seems confident and gregarious but during this abusive relationship he said he became someone he didn’t like i.e weak. In contrast our relationship was happy and healthy but when the depression hit he became low, tearful,withdrew from all his friends. He tried medication and counseling neither of which worked initially. He was then put on a second lot of anti-depressants and came back to life. This was short lived as he suddenly stopped taking the medication, had a huge crash in mood and broke up with me saying he loved me but why couldn’t spend every minute of every day with me and he loved me but why couldn’t he express his feelings…all horribly illogical and distorted. I then saw him 3 weeks later and he was like a different man, cold and almost hostile. He told me the pressure he had been feeling was trying to love me….I challenged him on it and asked if he could feel any emotion about anything, to which he replied ‘no’ but that he was totally rational. It was awful…when well he is kind and sensitive it was like something in him was disconnected.

    This was 5 months ago. I’ve sent him the odd text just really saying hello which he occasionally replies to. I suggested meeting up for a coffee just to say hi but he said he didn’t think it was a good idea… I heard from his sister-in-law she felt he was naturally coming out of the depression but that he was very confused and not exactly ‘skipping off the sunset’. I suspect his mood has lifted after so many months of deep depression but I don’t believe he is ‘well’. It’s been a very tough time and ultimately I still love this man very much. To watch someone suffer depression is terrible, not least to see their distorted thinking about themselves and about those closest to them. I now understand a lot intellectually about the illness but emotionally it’s very hard to bear. I do believe his loves me but as you explained so well in your article he simply can’t feel those emotions, it’s like the wires were literally pulled out over night. I don’t know what the future will hold and right now the focus is on me and ensuring that I am happy and healthy but I love this man deeply and hope that with time he won’t be scared of interaction with me and can let me back in and more importantly allow himself to connect with his emotions. It’s a tough road but I am grateful for your insightful article as it gave me a lot of validation in my feelings in my own situation.



  6. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen


    Thanks for taking the time to comment! Again, I am really sorry your relationship failed…but you can rest assured that you tried everything to save it.

    You did – and are doing – what you could.


  7. Oh my, thank you so much Laurie, this means a lot that you wrote this. its does help a lot in the mist of things and i’ll defiantly be reading this over when I’m feeling down. you have helped me see this from a different perspective, really thank you,