How To Fix A Relationship You Ruined And 8 Mistakes To Avoid

Steffo Shambo

Updated on Aug 11, 2023
how to fix a relationship you ruined

It’s not easy to admit, but if you’ve clicked into this article, you’re looking to be a man of integrity by learning how to fix a relationship you ruined. 

The mistakes men make with women correspond to what men complain about most in their relationships.

According to the Gottman Institute, with the backing of 3 decades worth of research studies on relationships, the two most common complaints men have when it comes to women in a relationship are:

  1. Too much fighting, and
  2. Not enough sex.

Sometimes they are both parts of the same problem.

This article will end the fighting and reignite passion and sex to fix even the seemingly most ruined relationship.

How do I start over a damaged relationship?

couple arguing while sitting on a brown leather sofa

Men, it’s time to be brutally honest and identify and learn from mistakes.

This honesty allows the man to gain peace of mind. 

And peace of mind is essentially what the masculine wants – it reflects the masculine’s fundamental principle of wanting freedom.

That is the ultimate dream: to be free, both in life and without problems.

That is pure masculine bliss!

This core value of freedom is visible everywhere.

We see it in politics when men try and solve major problems.

We see it in movies such as Braveheart when William Wallace was given the chance to live if he were to beg for mercy but instead chose to scream “Freedom!”

Here is the basis of masculine thinking – we would rather die than lose our freedom.

8 mistakes to avoid when learning how to fix a ruined relationship

8 mistakes to avoid when learning how to fix a damaged relationship

Many of these mistakes will surprise you as they travel deep into what’s actually causing the disconnect between you and your partner.

Mistake #1: Not understanding masculine and feminine energy 

To avoid confusion, I’d like to quickly point out that masculine energy and feminine energy do not equal man and woman.

When I talk about masculine energy, it is an embodiment of yang energy quality, with feminine energy being the yin energy quality.

They do not pertain to any specific gender. However, both men and women have these two energy qualities. And it’s essential to learn how you and your partner interplay in these energies to find balance when seeking ​​how to fix a relationship you ruined.

The most politically correct way we could accurately describe the couple situation in this article is that this is the dynamic between a couple where one of the persons embodies a predominantly Yang energy. The counterpart embodies a predominately Yin energy.

Mistake #2: Trying to please her by giving her freedom

Because the masculine’s strongest desire is to attain freedom, he naturally tries to drive that same desire onto his partner. The masculine men will also expect that freedom is what the feminine desires. That, however, is not the case. The feminine core value is connection. 

Women feel free when they feel connected to you.

The masculine tries to please his partner by saying things like 

“Hey babe, how about you do whatever you want, and I’ll do whatever I want?”, or 

“Don’t tell me what to do. I never tell you what to do.”

 And the worst one yet, “just look at it the way I see it, and it should all be fine.”

You focus on fixing her rather than trying to connect and understand. Why? 

Because in fixing things, we free ourselves from problems. But trying to fix her will never work when building a healthy relationship. Fixing the problem bypasses the emotional level, invalidating her feelings through logic.

This attempt pulls her into a masculine mode and places unrealistic expectations on her. However, it is essential to understand that this is all done with good intentions. The masculine thinks that fixing her will improve things since that is how it works for him.

So, what should we do instead of trying to fix her?

First, understand that the masculine and the feminine have different core values and that her primal value is connection while his is freedom.

Your partner will feel less connected to you by trying to give her freedom and not connecting with her. Furthermore, as a result of your trying to impose freedom without connection, she will feel less free – the exact opposite of what you want.

This will result in her feeling upset and angry, making us feel trapped by a seeming out-of-control, tense situation. If you’ve ever been in this situation, leave a “hell yes” comment below!

When a woman feels connected to her partner, she feels free. In this article, I’m going to teach you to achieve this! First things first, practice connecting before correcting!

Guys, when you find yourself in a tense situation, watch out for these signs:

  • Watch yourself offering her your perspective or your logical solution.
  • Watch her body language for signs that she might be disconnected. These include tension, rigidity, frowns, a sense of being shut down, arms crossed, and looking away.
  • Practice mindfulness – notice your automatic reaction to try to correct her, and take ownership over your part. By being mindful, you can step back and say, “honey, I totally see that I’m trying to fix you right now.” Know that rebuilding trust will take time.
  • Learn how to diminish the tension with lightness, play it off, and laugh. Make her giggle by being silly or making light of the situation or yourself. Playfulness will evaporate the tension. Of course, this requires that you step away from your reactive mood and try not to take any of it personally. Remember that she is only upset because she does not feel connected to you, simple as that. It is usually not related to why she is arguing. Learn to see through this and look at the lack of connection instead.
  • Take these 14 creative steps to repair your relationship that doesn’t even require talking.

The relationship expert John Gottman points out how crucial it is to understand this difference in our core values.

He said: 

“How a man understands a woman’s emotions and responds to them will determine everything in the rest of his life. That’s the bottom line.”

Mistake #3: Challenging her to be “better”

Men love a good challenge.

It often awakens a spark of zest and ferocity for life. We rise to challenge and compete.

Women, meanwhile, do not because men and women are wired differently.

Again, here we are talking about the couple dynamic mentioned at the beginning. Women can, and in fact, thrive in trades and spaces traditionally viewed as masculine. Take, for example, the corporate world or high-competition sports. Again, it has nothing to do with gender.

But a person with predominantly feminine energy working in masculine spaces might find themselves feeling burnt out faster and needing rejuvenation since these spaces are created for and by people with predominantly masculine energy.

However, we must accept that since we can rise to the challenge, so can the feminine energy.

Man is socialized to value outcome over long-term relationship building.

Therefore, he makes one of the biggest relationship mistakes by trying to improve his partner. He pushes her to succeed and even though that might seem like the logically right thing to do, it tends to come off as criticism. 

She may feel that nothing she does is good enough and that he is constantly expecting perfection. 

broken heart shaped cookie on a red background

Doing this with other relationships, such as your male friends, is excellent and can help you grow and inspire each other from that challenging push. But when it comes to women, it’s a different story – it crushes the intimacy that you’ve worked so hard to build.

To create that deeper intimacy that both partners so desire, we cannot treat our partners the same as we may our buddies.

Men may not even realize they’re doing this. Instead, they subconsciously ascribe their partners to high standards and firm boundaries that they themselves follow – to be better and do better.

Mistake #4: Not actively supporting her interests

Start a new leaf by understanding that she rises with praise.

Too many men make the same mistakes by not taking an active role in supporting their woman’s interests, the things that excite her and keep her spark alive. Don’t challenge her to succeed at things; instead, go the extra mile to encourage and praise her effort in those pursuits.

We can do this through communication by being curious and engaging her with questions about it. But when exploring how to fix a relationship you ruined do not offer your solutions and critiques unless she asks for constructive feedback.

Once you start doing this, you’ll notice almost instantly how your partner lights up, and you will begin fostering connection which ultimately is what you wanted.

Black couple talking in their living room

Men wither away and lose a sense of their masculine aspect without challenge, so it’s still important to have that in your life as a masculine person.

But instead of placing that responsibility on your woman to fulfill, you need to rely on other masculine energies – probably amongst your close friends. That is crucial for a man to stay mentally healthy, whether in a new relationship or a long-term partnership.

Mistake #5: He doesn’t allow himself to make mistakes

Masculine identifies with doing. He wants to provide and fix things.

Throughout history, it has been a big part of how men identify with themselves.

So, it’s pretty ingrained in the collective subconscious and behavior of the masculine.

Fear of failure scares men the most – that he does not amount to anything and is not helpful to her or their tribe (family).

To add, we have some men who distance themselves from their feelings.

Tumultuous moods are sure to follow, which can get pretty overwhelming. Disappointment, fear of screwing up, and fear of making mistakes arise because we never learned how to process those feelings.

If a child does not learn the ability to process these feelings, it tends to grow into adulthood as well unless we make an actual proactive change to that pattern.

Men need a kind of support system for owning those feelings and truly accepting them as they are.


Boost your confidence, master your sexuality, and find your purpose.

So you can reignite the passion in your relationship or attract your perfect woman.

Mistake #6: Sees vulnerability as a weakness 

We need to talk about the socially programmed idea that vulnerability is considered a weakness and a feminine trait.

So, if you show your emotions, cry or talk about stuff that makes you vulnerable — you’re a weakling, a wuss, or even “being a girl.”

Boys are programmed early on to believe they are not man enough if they show emotions. Believing that false narrative of what ‘a real man’ weakens his control over fixing his love life.

The more time that passes, the harder it is in their future to undo years of this false narrative and live with it.

We are lucky to be living in a time where it is becoming acceptable for men to start connecting with their feelings.

However, this doesn’t make it easy for men to forgo everything they have been socialized to believe.

Although some men are still learning to be vulnerable when it comes to processing their emotions, the first step is to spend time becoming aware of this ingrained concept of vulnerability being a weakness.

Everyone makes mistakes and has feelings. However, if you don’t feel like this applies to you because of what you’ve been told your entire life, it’s common to build walls around yourself, causing high levels of anger, suppression, and resistance.

You might also fear losing status since a man’s status is traditionally considered a key ranking factor in tribes. So in the natural way, the higher the ranking, the better off he was to procreate with women.

So, we have a built-in survival program to protect our status and image, ensuring we are not seen as weaklings.

Mistake #7: Stonewalling is one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse

Stonewalling causes disconnection and conflict. In times of emotional turmoil, men tend to go silent and check out – not engaging in conversation, simply waiting for her storm to pass.

This is not only toxic for himself but also for any relationship that he may have.

toxic danger warning sign

This is what John Gottman, in his relationship advice, calls stonewalling and is one of the “four horsemen of the apocalypse.”

Stonewalling robs men of critical aspects of both nature and the human experience.

It has nothing to do with gender but everything to do with being human.

Us men are constantly barraged by ideas of what masculinity is or isn’t, particularly when we are growing up.

It can be confusing and doesn’t get any better with a lack of mentorship or proper parental guidance.

Traumatic experiences are tucked away in our shadows.

Did you know that one out of six boys has been sexually abused?

These kinds of experiences result in withdrawn, confused young boys.

Mistake #8: Hiding from past hurt

The confusion and anger do not necessarily have to stem from sexual assault or abuse.

It can also stem from a seemingly simple and ambiguous thing like being punished by parents or told that no matter what you do, you aren’t good enough.

Imagine a boy trying to help his father in the garage and accidentally handing him the wrong tool.

Instead of brushing it off, the father starts screaming and shaming him for it. The father may be frustrated by a long day at work and decides to take it out on the boy.

The child isn’t able to comprehend this.

All he wanted was to help and impress his dad — supposed to be one of his dearest family members — and when he got dismissed and punished for trying to help, he felt utterly crushed.

Incidents like this can result in scarring memories that propel the boy to grow into a man who views mistakes as unacceptable to never feel like that again.

Without the proper knowledge, he carries that forth in later years and into his adult relationships. He attempts to apply the same trauma of not knowing the right tool to use in his relationship means he is beating himself up. It is a recipe for a damaged relationship.

We cannot hope to heal our past by putting on a mask and ignoring our problems.

When figuring out how to fix a relationship you ruined, what is ultimately needed is to dismantle the mask. And in the end, that is what it is – a mask.

One which does not represent who he truly is.

It takes a lot of courage to allow himself to feel the pain and emotions behind this mask.

So, what can the adult man do instead?

First, understand that your defenses are cover-ups for your vulnerability.

These mechanisms can take a long time to understand and can be challenging to discover because we identify with our defenses and think they are valid.

“I have the best of intentions,” is a defense mechanism.

Spend time identifying these mechanisms and see why they were helpful in the past. Then, learn about them and accept them.

While they may have been created as a coping strategy when you were young, they no longer serve you in adulthood.

Thank these mechanisms for saving you during your rough times, and at the same time, let them go and be free.

Understand that these mistakes men make do not define you.

You are a human being, and you will make mistakes. It is how we learn. So accept and own it, and, on the opposite end, apologize sincerely when they happen.

Healing your shadow will make you a more attractive person

couple having a wonderful breakfast

Incidentally, owning your past and mistakes makes you more attractive to women.

You show them the real side of you; there is nothing more real than the truth.

Women enjoy honesty since it makes being connected much more straightforward and does away with trust issues.

Her being upset shouldn’t be about you since it rarely ever is. So do your best not to take on full responsibility for every misgiving.

Even if she is blaming you, try identifying why she is upset rather than engaging in pointless arguments.

Her wounds and her sensitivity are aspects that were part of her long before you came into the picture.

So, don’t make it about yourself, even if it’s directed towards you – see through it.

The best way to do this is to go through your stuff first and figure it out.

Of course, it is important never to point out that you know the situation isn’t really about you.

Don’t say, “This isn’t about me, it’s about…..” That is a surefire way to escalate things further and does nothing to build your partner’s trust.

Keep this knowledge to yourself. Then, sit her down, and take the lead. 

Ask for permission to communicate about this matter in a safe non-triggering space when you’re both feeling connected and happy in each other’s company.

Be genuinely willing to grow, learn, and take baby steps to heal the connection. Then, take action to repair it before you are left in a truly broken relationship. See if that will bring more freedom to you and your partner.

Remember, if you want to get through conflict – practice connecting before correcting!

The consequences of mistakes men make

Okay, so now we’ve explored the common mistakes; what are the likely consequences?

These mistakes cause chronic disconnection, which leads to more fighting and less physical intimacy.

This brings us back to the beginning of this article, where I mentioned men’s two most common complaints.

And consequently, that peace of mind and freedom you wanted has gone up in flames.

So there we go – the three big mistakes men make with women and how to deal with them.

If you’ve ever experienced these dynamics in your life, I would love to hear from you! Leave your story in the comment section below. 

Do you want more?

Want more, to go deeper, and are serious about healing these mistakes?

Then it’s time to master your core masculine energy. 

To make this your reality consider joining my mentorship program, The Tantric Man Experience, where I coach you in transforming these aspects of your shadow in only 9 weeks.

If this speaks to you, watch this free online training for men.

At the end of the training, you will learn about how you can apply for the program. Please be aware that I only work with achievers who are 100% committed, so not every application will be approved.


Can a ruined relationship be fixed?

Yes, a relationship that you feel is worth saving can be saved. However, when learning how to fix a ruined relationship, it just takes one partner to salvage the relationship. 

What is the biggest mistake in a relationship?

The biggest mistake in a relationship is assuming how your partner thinks or feels — about anything! Relationship mistakes would be far fewer if we took the time and effort to hear our partner’s honest experiences.

Are mistakes normal in a relationship?

Yes — to err is human. However, it’s how you recover from your misgivings that is critical.

What are signs that a relationship is failing?

A lack of trust and communication are signs that the relationship is failing. Also another significant sign is when the sex life no longer meets the needs and desires of both partners.

Does space help a broken relationship?

No — many relationship experts will recommend space or relationship breaks, but this only allows the hurt and the problems to worsen over time.

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Steffo Shambo

Steffo Shambo

Men's Tantric Relationship Coach

I am the founder of The Tantric Man Experience™, a pioneering transformational coaching program for men. With over 1500 hours of certified tantra training in India and Thailand and 7 years of experience helping hundreds of men worldwide save their marriages and reignite passion in their love lives.

I have over 8 million views on YouTube and have been featured on VICE and Newstalk Radio for my life’s work - helping men unleash their full masculine potential.

My holistic FLT method seamlessly integrates ancient tantric philosophy with my modern expertise in relationships, sexuality, dating, and men’s health.

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