He spends most of the day on the computer playing online games. Doesn’t listen to a thing I say most of the time. When I confront him with the problem, he gets upset, cries like a two year old and then says he’ll change. Any behavioral change lasts a total of 3 days, max, then reverts. He’s terrible in bed. Won’t learn, won’t take advice on how I like things, won’t make any effort to doing ANYTHING other than what he’s used to.
Where and how do you start getting healthy and letting go? You try different things until you find what works for you. Maybe a marriage counseling program will help. Maybe you need to do something, such as changing your life — perhaps by moving to a different city, traveling, or getting individual counseling. Some people find physical spa treatments helpful, or alternative therapies such as reiki or energy healing.
If we're not conscious about it, a simple criticism like "you're not good at loading the dishwasher," can evolve into "load the dishwasher this way." Suddenly, we're meticulously telling our husbands how to do everything, which, according to Weks, can leave a man feeling backed into a corner. "You don't realize how controlling you are with him and over time, this chips away at his masculinity," she told me. "Being a good woman is not enough. In order for him to feel good, he must be able to feel like a man around you."
Sometimes, we offer help in a way we think would feel helpful for us, when really, our partner might need something completely different. For example, offering to give your partner space to process their unhappiness might be the opposite of what they'd like; they may want company. The point here is to ask how they would like to be supported and to do that.
Then, breathe deeply and ask yourself if there's a bit of good will to work with. If so, you may want to throw down the gauntlet and demand change. You never know. I remember one woman who threatened to leave; it led to over twenty years of sobriety for her husband. Most successful cases are less dramatic. Couples get into therapy, start to enjoy each other again and begin to let go of past hurts.

But even if it’s just moodiness, resilience is such a key and under-discussed point for a long-term relationship. Life and relationships aren’t always easy. What’s going to happen in the future when your toddler goes through the Terrible Twos, or money is tight, or someone goes through a rough career transition? While I fully acknowledge some people need space to process stress, but if you’re in a partnership, you can’t just sequester yourself away for a few days and leave your partner possibly high and dry with the mess. If Katie’s boyfriend doesn’t change — and I think she needs to make that assumption, judging from her letter — is this acceptable to her? Only she can make that call, but it sounds like it’s not.
Develop the habit of solving problems in your marriage - financial problems, family problems, emotional problems, sexual problems, business problems and you will be able to stop your husband from cheating. See your husband's cheating as an opportunity to grow the marriage. See it as a challenge to modify your attitude and behavior positively. Change if you must, modify the way you handle your marriage, discard old philosophy that is not giving you the right results in your marriage for new ones. The moment you are able to change yourself, your husband and everything else in your marriage will change. You will be able to stop your husband's cheating without a fight. Take this to heart and change yourself and everything else will change. Try it.
What’s happened as a result has been brilliant. I started tuning much more actively into my husband — prioritizing him, touching him regularly (holding his hand, sitting very close to him, hugging him, rubbing his shoulders, etc), more actively praising and appreciating him, and — crucially — not letting my ego get the best of me and not letting my need to be right lead to Armageddon. As a result, I have managed to bring out the best in my husband.

He resents you for having an affair. Plain and simple. It appears he is avoiding dealing with these feelings, which is leading him more and more into a downward spiral. The fact that he moved out, is indicative that he is involved with someone else (there's no reason he would need to move out to be depressed, he can do that at home). He needs to see a therapist, and start dealing with these issues instead of avoiding them.
I remember when my ex-husband came home from work and stated seriously, “we need to talk.” I wasn’t expecting the conversation that followed, and later as I sat alone crying I wondered what I had done, and also what hadn’t I done right. I racked my brain trying to pinpoint the cause of his words that rang in my ears. His words of, “I’m not happy anymore.”

Just adding my 2cents… My 19yr old marriage has had a fork in it for quite some time. I’d gotten to a point of marital ambivalence and realized I was never going to love him and I’d never have the relationship I wanted with him. I was young and insecure when I dove into an extremly verbally and emotionally abusive marriage. I spent over 10yrs meeting his needs and doing what I was told. (take my boots off, get me another plate of food, why can’t you keep this house clean you skanky B…, Your wortless piece of sh**) It was pretty bad for me and the kids. But I believe a person can change if they want to bad enough. And I believe he’s in the process of real and permanent change but I could care less. I checked out emotionally a very long time ago with no desire to check back in. The bullet has left the gun but my finger is still on the trigger.

Learn to show unselfish love to your husband. Love can be measured. If you truly love your husband and you show it all the time, he will be able to compare your love with those of other strange women and will be afraid to take the steps that may eventually consume him and the family. You can display this by resolving your marital problems in the spirit of love.
Married almost 11 years, the entire marriage has been rocky, in and out of counseling. Brady bunch family, married into her and her 16yo daughter with my 4yo daughter, had a daughter together. Was told early on I have no say with her daughter, daughter is grown now and married. Was told frequently I suck as a husband, father etc and was routinely threatened with divorce when I raised any issues over the years. I have often thought of leaving (escaping) but haven’t because I don’t want to hurt kids or then I have thoughts of did I try hard enough, do everything I can. Btw she was diagnosed before she met me with anxiety and depression. I am a neat and organized man raised by my mother and grandmother – only child – raised the old fashioned way – had a step father who was nice at times but more times than not was an ass to my mom. As for my marriage, the threat of divorce has been there for duration, also my wife has diagnosed me over the years with bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, narcissism, passive aggressive and several other ailments, all of which I’ve researched to understand if there was any evidence of that fact. I’ve sought the help of counselors to gain clarity, gone to church, in couples therapy right now using Gottman tools to help and nothing seems to help. When we argue she ends up winning or dominating the conversation, when conversation gets tough and she doesn’t like what she is hearing, she says I’m reaching my limit and then says we need a pause and will pick this up later, then it’s awkward silence and avoiding until we address it again or sometimes we just drop it. We spend much of our non working hours out pursuing personal interests and occasionally join up for kids sports events. She dominates the relationship with our daughter we had together, I’m pretty much cut out of parenting her and only allowed freedom of parenting of my daughter who is now 16. Obviously I’m looking for answers and trying to figure out what to do. I want to be happy and have peace in my life – I’m tired of chasing my tail around in circles. I’m a good honest caring man who loves and puts his family first. Cleans the house, folds laundry, cooks dinner, makes kids events, works 50 hours a week and trying to hang on to this marriage for self, wife, kids. Insight welcome.
I have been married to my wife for 22 years this year. She and I have had a very up and down life together. she told me when we got married she wanted to stay home and raise children. I agreed. Now we have a 17 year old and a 9 year old. She has never had to work, and my job has been high stress and full of disappointments as I have strived to make enough for us to have the lifestyle we both say we want. I have been wrongfully terminated three times (proven in court). I have really struggled to rebuild my career but being in a public position has been very strenuous. As a longtime CEO and now private consultant in the public sector for the past 6 years my economic stress has been huge. I gained a 100 pounds over the years. So in 1999, my wife had an affair with a man, while I was working on the road to make enough money to take care of my family and find a way for us to relocate together. I was devastated. We did go to marriage counseling and our marriage survived this very hurtful situation. I found out she blamed me for the affair, saying our life had taken a toll on our emotionally and she thought she needed to jump ship to find economic security. I relocated us and then again to another state. So we reconnected and had our next little one. Now we have a second home in a well known lake community about 2 hours from our home. She over the past three to four years has taken to going there on her own because she is on a local talk show and says doing that gives her purpose and makes her happy. I usually have to stay behind and work and take care of the kids when she goes there. She gets no pay for the show, it is quite popular and she goes out usually when she is there with her local girlfriends some married, some divorced and some just barfly’s in their late 40’s looking to hook up and be told their sexy. She has gotten into several situations where either a friend has texted me seeing her out with the girls and other men and been suspicious and so on. I have told her repeatedly if you put yourself in these situations sooner or later something bad will happen that will affect us negatively. She thinks I don’t trust her and she loves to dance and have fun. She thinks I am being overly paranoid. She also says she has not been attracted to me because of my weight and that is what has been keeping us apart and less than intimate. She says she loves sex and she is always used to being the center of attention, she is still in great shape and gorgeous even at 49. She gets hit on all the time by men and she seems to enjoy the third party attention and affirmation of her sex appeal still. So then 6 months ago I find out she has been having another cyber affair over facebook and she hooked up with this guy in our lake town to have dinner and chat… she says nothing happened. He is the brother of one of her closets friends who comes over every week to have dinner with us as she just got divorced herself. Our two sons are friends and play baseball together. So I confronted her about all this and she just said, It was stupid I don’t want out of our marriage and she says she ended it. I even found a card he sent her where he said, he felt their meeting had brought them to a new level in their relationship. So I went on a diet and have lost about 50 pounds thus far. Things seemed better, then she went over to the lake house this past weekend with a married girlfriend that was visiting from out of town, who has been her friend since childhood. They went to the bar with the girls, my wife got so drunk she couldn’t drive and was talking to some 20 something man for a longtime and being very confrontational. She drinks at least a couple glasses of wine per day she says it keeps her sane in my high stress and uncertain world of finances. I got behind on our taxes after 2008 and dug a big hole and have been negotiating with the IRS to find a way to settle them. Being self-employed is hard to keep them current and pay for everything. Everytime I confront her about how her going out makes me feel really insecure she just says I am holding onto the past and that I think she is a whore and/or slut, and she has done nothing wrong. I wish I could believe her, but I just can’t get 100% comfortable with this lifestyle or trusting her again. She has broken my heart now two times. Somehow I still love her. I love our family and I don’t want to break it up. But this is killing me and she always places the blame on me for all circumstances and then says this is what gets her stressed out. I am just lost. I don’t know what I should do, or how I can get our relationship back on track or whether she really wants to do so. Everytime we fight she says after our son graduates we are over. That just makes my heart sink… then later she will come back and say, I was just mad, I didn’t mean it. I don’t want our marriage to end. But it happens again always and it did last night as well. This time I just said, “You created this situation, I am not willing to accept the blame for it, and I can see our attorney next week and end this if that is what you want?” Then she says I threatened to divorce her and it is my fault again. I can’t get her words out of my mind I am fat, she is not attracted to her and when we are intimate she has to hold her breath or she says I nearly crush her until she can’t breath. Now I am a big guy. 6’3″ and 280 pounds still and most women find me attractive. Even her girlfriends say they would kill to have her life. Many of them have told me that they think she is crazy to not be truly happy she has a kind, loving and caring man in her life that treats her like a queen and never berates her, or abuses her mentally or physically. I try to make everything our family needs come true… I work really hard, but I also attract a great deal of public detractors due to my public life by way of bloggers and web postings. I am a public speaker, author and public sector consultant engaged in negotiating deals between local governments and businesses that want to expand or relocate to a new area and create jobs. I have been doing this for 22 years since we first married. I don’t have any other knowledge of how to make enough to pay our bills. I feel trapped, confused and don’t know if my marriage is salvageable and/or whether I should keep trying. I have suggested that we go to a counselor again, but she says no, that is not what she needs. So, long story but I am totally at a loss for what direction I should choose.

Me an my husband have been married for two years now, we have a wonderful, healthy one year old together. My problem is, he’s quite a mommy’s or should I say grandmas boy. Before we got married he lived with his grandparents where his grandma did everything for him. She cooked, cleaned, did his laundry, made his bed, an waited on him hand an foot. Now that we are together I don’t mind cleaning, cooking, or any other house chores, but he expects me to do them without any help. I don’t get off work till 8pm an he cooks dinner alot I will admit that. He acts like I never do anything, he tells me if I only worked as hard as he has to. Mind you I’m a caregiver taking care of two different clients, an he is a cable guy. He tells me all the time I don’t care about the things he does for me, but I feel the same way. I’m to my breaking point I can’t take his put downs an him saying my job means nothing. I don’t want to leave him, but something has to change.
You describe a difficult situation. I don't think anyone can CONTROL their emotions but I'm convinced they can INFLUENCE them (by which I mean work to make them more positive—but not by simply deciding to make them more positive). All human beings have executive functions that can, most of the time, mute the effect of negative emotions on behavior (e.g., we can get angry but choose not to yell or hit).
I read your article, I understand that no one can tell me when I’ve had enough. But Iam 38 , with 5 kids. I have a 20 year old son who is expecting his 1st, with his gf, I have 13 year old triplet daughters, and a 12 year old son. My husband and I have been married 16 years, he has also been “married ” to the military for 17 years. We are an active duty family. Yes I say we, I’ve watched him pack up for 6 different deployments, some almost broke his soul. Anyway… the loves not there. I reach out to touch him, and he dosent return the favor, we used to snuggle in bed, when one person would move or shift, the other followed, now I usually sleep with a body pillow so I can have comfort. I need help or get sick, I have to do it alone, it was one thing when he couldn’t be here, but now he chooses not to be. He says basically that everything that happens, is my fault. I look at this man, and it’s not just the children I gave him, or saving his life a few times, but everything he took, stole, robbed and broke me of. I try to hold on, part of me dosent want to be in that 78% marriage fail rate, or the fact if we fail, did I f*$k up? But Iam tired. Lonely. Dissapointed. Lost. Hurt and angry. Where did I get so weak. How can I hold on for just a few more years till our kids are out of the house. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

That you for writing this article. I am a 30 yr old woman who has been in a commonlaw relationship for 10 yrs. We have 2 kids together. My significant other had an emotional/physical i dont know affair with our neighbour who is 20! I recently lost my job and sitting here in this house with that #$%&* next door is hard to take. I find i have more and more time to think about the relationship each day and i have become very self-isolating and depressed. I have contiplated suicide too often to count in the last few months. The only way i see moving on is by leaving him. I tried to leave, made arrangements for an apartment and told him I did so. He managed to beg me into staying. My life has come to a halt. I want to go back to school and become a naturopathic doctor someday. When he says he loves me i can not think of anything to say..the words are not there. He thinks this year would be a good year to get married, i told him it aint happening unless he comes clean about what happened with the “child” next door. I dont think that is going to happen anytime soon. I need to get out of this relationship before I turn into some depressed raging bitter old wife someday..
Why is it that in the beginning, we don’t get bothered that much about things that later in marriage drive as crazy? If you think it’s because back then you were unrealistically in love, then remember, how many times did you hear people who lost someone saying how they would give anything to be around things that once were so annoying to them. What is that telling you?
Full disclaimer upfront: Nothing can make a relationship last with somebody who doesn’t want it to last. These tips will not prevent arguments, infidelity, or other problems, but they can help foster a healthy environment and productive partnership. Clear communication, openness to new experiences, and respect for your partner are key if you want to build a lasting, loving relationship.
Okay, so maybe you and your husband aren't experiencing any conflict. You aren't nagging him. You aren't arguing. Actually, come to think of it, you aren't doing much of anything — even getting it on. This might seem like no big deal, but couples coach Lesli Doares, host of Happily Ever After is Just the Beginning on Web Talk Radio, says this could spell trouble in paradise. "It isn't just that most men have a higher sex drive," she told me. "It's that this is a way for men to open up emotionally. Sex releases oxytocin, the bonding hormone, so not being physical can create distance. It also can result in feelings of rejection which can lead to feeling unloved."
But if you look at Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, possessions are at the bottom. We need certain things to survive - food, shelter, clothing, but after that possessions don't actually increase the meaningfulness of our lives, and we need to start looking elsewhere: friendships, intimacy, and goals that serve a greater good beyond our own self interest.
Evan, I’m de-lurking to say this post is BRILLIANT. Thank you a million times over for this! I’ve been feeling sad since dumping a moody guy last month, and this is just what I needed to hear. You’ve helped me feel so much better about my decision. I hear a lot of my male friends complain about dating women who are “downers,” but rarely do I hear my female friends complain about moody men, so I was torturing myself about dumping this guy. I wanted to believe he’d snap out of it, but he didn’t, so… goodbye and good luck to him. Thank you, Evan, for your perspective as someone who has “been there,” and thank you for reminding women that we deserve better.
Iam also in the same boat , my husband told me few days before that he loves me but not in love with me . It's killing me from inside , he never made me realised that he is not happy with me , I always believed he loves me so much , I was completely satisfied with my marriage .iam very broken now , don't know what will happen in future , I asked him if he has some affair , but he is not telling me anything . I love him so much , it's shocking to hear all this from him .
"People do not experience love in the same way, and if you're not speaking your partner's 'love language', that can result in great unhappiness. Dr. Gary Chapman detailed the five different love languages to help couples learn and speak the language of their spouse — those languages are quality time, acts of service, words of affirmation, physical touch, and gift giving. Learning to speak a partners' love language has saved many marriages." —Kim Olver, relationship coach and author of Secrets of Happy Couples
Notice that nothing about that response was accusatory.  It’s so tempting to ask him where you couldn’t meet his impossibly high standards but try very hard to resist this urge.  Because he has approached you and been very honest with you.  This gives you a chance to fix things before they get worse.  And although I know that it may not feel like it right now, this is a definite advantage and you truly can fix this.  I hear from so many women who have already been served divorce papers or whose husband has already left the home.  This isn’t the case here and these are very important distinctions.
Me an my husband have been married for two years now, we have a wonderful, healthy one year old together. My problem is, he’s quite a mommy’s or should I say grandmas boy. Before we got married he lived with his grandparents where his grandma did everything for him. She cooked, cleaned, did his laundry, made his bed, an waited on him hand an foot. Now that we are together I don’t mind cleaning, cooking, or any other house chores, but he expects me to do them without any help. I don’t get off work till 8pm an he cooks dinner alot I will admit that. He acts like I never do anything, he tells me if I only worked as hard as he has to. Mind you I’m a caregiver taking care of two different clients, an he is a cable guy. He tells me all the time I don’t care about the things he does for me, but I feel the same way. I’m to my breaking point I can’t take his put downs an him saying my job means nothing. I don’t want to leave him, but something has to change.
"Each partner should be able to find three things they are grateful for each day about their partner and share it with them. Whether it's gratitude for working hard, cleaning up the house, or taking care of the children, complimenting your loved one leads to increased positivity in the relationship. If they can't think of three things, this is a red flag they are unhappy."  —Kimberly Hershenson, individual and couples therapist based in NYC

Hello. I am 38 years old. I have 3 children, 2 from a previous relationship. My husband and I have been together for 13 years and married for 8. We started out as friends. There was no question when you saw one, you saw the other. As time went on, before we got married….I realized something was different. I did some looking and he was having intimate conversations/infidelity with anther woman. I was broken at that moment. He begged me to marry him and it would be better, how dumb. Then here comes my son..that was 10 years ago and he is so distant and none caring. We dont have that same connection. He doesnt care what I say financially, socially, or anyway. I received a STD a few months ago in which he informed me could have come from the toilet seat!! I squat/stand!! I am also a nurse?? He continues to insult my intelligence daily. I am a God fearing woman, but he pushes me daily into something mentally that I dont want to do. He often brings up the fact that we only have one child together. He brings up what my children dont do..This man does nothing in house or not. Granted he does have a job, but in the past year he acts as though I am using him or something. We wash his clothes, pick up behind him. we cook and he may eat or not. He attends church every Sunday and takes the kids. I am not a saint by no means!! I am a woman who knows what I have to do daily. I have no time for foolishness. I get tired, I have no outlet…I have no husband I can talk to or confide in, he’s gone. He lies. Goes places and swears he’s with the guys. I cant express my feelings because the first thing he says is, “what about me”, “I feel the same way”, “Noone listens to me so I dont say nothing”. So what? I have been divorced once, but in this instance my exhusband has now come out!
Is your marriage worth fighting for, or is it over? I don’t know the answer, but I do believe that you can save your marriage if you try. You can’t change your husband, and you can’t stop him from ending your relationship…but you can change how you respond to him. This doesn’t mean you let him walk all over you, or you force yourself to become someone you’re not.
This is the oldest trick in the book. Why do we start a relationship hoping a man is going to change? It’s important to accept your boyfriend for who he is, in the flesh. If you fell in love with your idea of him, and not the real him, that’s not his fault. If you are pushing him to do things he doesn’t want to do, it’s not going to make him happy.
Make His Favorite Meal: Surprise him with his favorite meal, or if you are not the cooking type, take him to his favorite restaurant. The key here is to drop little hints and build his anticipation. That way his excitement will be high when you surprise him. Having his favorite food with his favorite person will make him happy, and he will be impressed at the thought and detail you put into it.
On the issue of why did it took so long.  One possibility could be that he has a one dimensional sense of humor.  I have a friend that I thought was hilarious when I first met him.  But over time I noticed it was the same jokes over and over again.  It started to become predictable and not so funny.  I guess it would kind of be like dating a guy that never graduated potty jokes.  Might be funny at first but starts getting old after a while.
Dr. Fran Walfish, a Beverly Hills-based family and relationship psychotherapist and author of The Self-Aware Parent, describes a potentially troubling scenario in which one partner exercises control over the other. This is especially problematic if "one partner feels over-controlled by the other spouse, and has made great attempts to verbalize his or her feelings and feels defeated because his or her expressions and words are not validated," says Walfish. One way this issue might present itself? If a spouse controls the finances of the family, and prohibits the other partner from having their own credit card or checking account.
×