Many years ago, a woman went to the village spring to get water for the day. She took her young daughter with her. She was so glad that her daughter was finally big enough to help her with this daily task.
When they got to the spring, the woman knelt down and looked her daughter in the face and told her what to do. “You hold the bucket very still. I will lean down to the spring, use the ladle, and fill up the bucket.” Her daughter nodded, excited to be helping her mother.
The mother then started using the ladle to pour fresh water into the bucket. With each movement, she heard the water splash into the bucket. After a while, she asked her daughter if the bucket was full. Her daughter answered, “No Mama,” so she kept filling. After many more minutes, she asked if it was full and the answer came, “No Mama.”
The woman then straightened up, gently took the bucket from her daughter, and looked inside. The bucket was totally empty! She turned the bucket over and looked for a hole, but there was none. She was so upset and disappointed, and her daughter asked her what was wrong. She asked her daughter what had happened to the water. Her daughter answered with an adorable grin, “I poured it out and watched it trickle back into the spring. It looked so pretty glistening down the rocks, that I couldn’t stop.”
The woman then gently explained to her daughter that this was not going to work because they needed a full bucket of water for the day. Her daughter then understood, and held the bucket still while her mother filled it and they walked home.
Isn’t that a sweet story? All the mother had to do was to tell her daughter the purpose of the water and the daughter understood, and stopped pouring out the water. But some people don’t work that way at all.
A refusing cheater wants his/her emotional bucket filled at all times, but he/she doesn’t do anything productive with the emotional energy it took to fill the bucket. Instead, he/she just likes to pour out your hard earned efforts on the ground because it is amusing to look at them. But he/she has no motivation to do anything different.
So the answer to the question is yes, the spouse of a refuser can keep trying. But eventually he/she will realize that their hard efforts are being wasted. A normal person will then stop wasting efforts on someone who does not value his/her efforts.