But sometimes, things take a turn and all of that reassurance and security can go out the door. If something seems off, that's an issue. Your significant other is supposed to love you and make that clear with communication and action. You shouldn't be up at night wondering if your partner actually likes you or you wasted all of those highly-inspired pins on the wrong person.
"So Sheila, at work, is having this really awful thing with her ex," he says, a little too sympathetically. You nod, also sympathetically, because you know that Sheila has been having digestive problems and had to go gluten-free, and also that Sheila's aunt with whom she was really close died last month, and...hold on. Why do you know so much about Sheila At Work? An overly enthusiastic friendship with a so-called work wife may not translate to actual nookie in the actual conference room—after all, you don't mind him having female friends—but it could suggest that something is lacking from your relationship that he is looking for somewhere else. And he may not even know it himself. But when he seems to have more sympathy for the ongoing sagas of Sheila At Work than he does with your own various ordeals, that's more than being a concerned colleague. That's a "We need to talk" memo.
It is important to address your unhappiness as soon as possible, according to licensed clinical psychologist Willard F. Harley, Jr., in the article "When Should You Tell Your Spouse, 'We Have a Problem,'" on the website, Marriage Builders. "Don't let your problems build up before you find solutions," he says. Easily resolvable issues can become major problems if you hide your feelings for too long. Although it is important to get your general message to your husband, before you talk to him think about what, specifically, is making you unhappy. For instance, if your husband expects you to be a stay-at-home mom but you would like to work, tell him. Using specifics will give you and your husband an idea of what steps to take to make you feel more satisfied.
Two things occurred to me while reading your story. One is that you have to remember that your husband is a man, not a little boy. You need to let go of the need to take care of him. He’s not your child, and he will deal with your leaving the best way he knows how. You can’t control how he’ll cope — and it’s not your job to make life as smooth as possible for him! Your job is to make the best decision for you and your marriage. And sometimes the best decisions are the most painful.
If it was bad enough I would up and leave – my kids come before any spouse. If he was putting such pressure and demands on me to the point I couldn’t protect or look after my kids properly I’d ditch him in a heartbeat, even if it was because of a terminal illness. But admittedly I’m ruthless and the only thing I love more than myself is my own kids. People with more heart than me might stay and look after their spouse too – to me the children’s needs must come first. Whatever is best for them is what I’d do (I think it’s unlikely to come to the point that I’d have to leave though… there would be a support network of family members to help before it got to that stage… but if it ever DID get that bad I’d be prepared to do it).
Im so confused. After 26 years of marriage I feel Im done! We have been through so much and Im not a saint. But Im tried of carrying all the responsibility and burdens of our life. He is medically disabled and not capable fo doing somethings but he uses it as an excuse to do hardly NOTHING!! I do all cleaning, planning, pay of the bills and making sure everything to done. Not to mention a have a full time job and a wonderful grandbaby! I have come to realize that Im doing anything very well and so frustrated with him and self destruction. His depression is deep partially because of disabilities. I have lost both of my parents because of self destruction. I cant watch another love one lose or take their life. so lost…..
I try my best to fix our problems, I’ve been trying to change my behaviors to make things better, but it’s a one way street. He refuses to acknowledge that there is anything wrong with him – he’s just perfect. His ignoring of me, lack of sexual activity, never leaving the home together unless it’s to drop the kids at daycare has driven to the edge and over it! I’ve been in various counseling sessions – not that any of that worked. I have also read the ‘How to leave your husband.’ article, it makes sense, and sounds so easy – but clearly it isn’t. No money, no place to go, and the kids?
Omar Khayyam said, “A person will like everything, even the flaws, of their beloved, but will be annoyed at the perfection of those whom he does not love.” For a truly loving man, you are always beautiful, even with messy hair and even in your oversized nightgown. He will not notice that you have gained a couple of extra pounds after the winter holidays if you do not say it yourself. But if your man constantly tells you to go to the gym or hints that you need plastic surgery, do not rush to indulge him. It is most likely that it’s not your appearance that doesn’t suit him but you yourself. And even if you lose weight, he will find other faults in you.
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.
During that time I suspected many times that he was also seeing other women. I found snippits of evidence and I almost left him a few times but he always had an explanation for what I’d found and swore he was telling the truth. He would even get angry that I would accuse him. I told myself that even if there was no proof, next time there was even a whisper of something dodgy I would leave. Everything seemed ok for a couple of years so we got married. I thought I would be more secure with him once we got married, and then we had a baby and I started to feel even more like things were going right … until that familiar feeling that something was wrong returned … followed by a new secret password on his computer and a constantly locked shed. I KNEW something was wrong but I couldn’t find any evidence. When I demanded him to unlock the shed or remove the password he got furious and said that I was in the wrong to snoop. I remembered my vow to myself but now I had a son to think about.
Before I go any further, allow me to acknowledge a few things: unhappy and moody are not exactly the same. “Moody” sounds temporary, where “unhappy” is chronic. Then again, if your boyfriend consistently finds himself in a bad mood, I’m not sure how different it is from being unhappy. If it sounds like I’m familiar with the condition, it’s because, from 20-30 years old, I was always somewhere between unhappy/moody/anxious. I dated a LOT in that time and while there were many stretches where I could get by on charm, I could never mask my perpetual dissatisfaction with my career. Women would take a chance on me, but either I was a total downer or I was so unhappy that I’d choose an unsuitable woman just because she was there. Both are recipes for failed relationships.
my husband when he came out of his cave came out like a grizzly bear willing to tear heads off when he was not allowed to have his way over time off , job choice and shift choice by seniority I have seen him break a mans back against a light pole because he was hounding my husband to work a fourth eight hour shift inhis place and let the man take us to a concert, I have seen my husband talking to four men about pulling his bid and when they said he could either go in under his own power and remove his bid or they would carry him in and the result would be the same he would remove his bid, My husbands answer was to grin and tell them to take whoever was whose wife , he could not tell the relationship or the way it worked with gay men and they could get off his porch, off his property and out of his face or he would kill them where they stood, then when the county commissioners son took the bait and the first swing it gave my husband all the rea, My husband paced around for onewson he needed to leave all four in bad condition heading for a trauma care to be placed in a critical care unit.
Maybe you did not understand… My wife is talking to 3 of my ex’s girlfriends and one is when I was in my 20’s… I am 42 now and my wife 39… Why is she talking to them it is immature… I am a liar now and I hear this because of the ex’s and it’s sad for me… I left my wife Dec 2016 and it did hurt a lot cause I did truly love her… I could not deal with the talking about my ex’s each night etc… I was feeling so bad that I had to think about my health first… I am never right she is and nothing I do is ever right… So I had to leave that situation… Why are people this way and it seem like they can’t see it…
1. You want a partner who gets the joke. This is a non-negotiable. If you think you’re funny, you’d better be with someone who actually agrees with you. My former writing partner had a girlfriend who thought he was cute and smart, but didn’t find him funny at all. This drove him crazy, since he thought being funny was one of his most valued traits.
Depending on if you're a stay-at-home mom or work yourself is all relative. If you stay home with the kids during the day, make sure your home is inviting when you're husband is almost home. Pick up the little things. Of course, it can't always be perfect, but try to make home as relaxing as possible. Don't pass the kids off immediately when he walks in the door. Let him unwind. If you work as well, share responsibilities when you get home, or do the things you know he dreads the most.
If your boyfriend is trying to change the way you behave or the way you are in general that definitely means that he`s unhappy in your relationship. If you don`t feel like making any changes, let him know about it. If he gives an ultimatum, do you really want to be with such a person? Love yourself, respect yourself and don’t allow anyone, including your man, ruin your individuality. Discuss things both of you want to change and think about what each of you can do to improve your relationship without making a sacrifice.
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.
something I forgot to add about how I made myself better was focusing on smaller accomplishments. I can't save the world, but I can make my little corner of the community better. I also focused more on not trying to make others happy in and of itself. Others had expectations for me, but those were not mine. I stopped caring so much about what others defined as success. Especially, what family wanted from me. I am /r/childfree, and happy about it. It took a while for my parents to realize they were not getting grandchildren from me, and for them to be OK with it. No guilt on my part.
I’m glad to see how marriage has evolved. It used to be much more transactional — happening principally to foster economic benefits or social standings or to produce children — but nowadays people typically choose to commit themselves legally to each other for far more noble goals. More and more people marry with the intention of experiencing lasting love and companionship.
But you did none of those things that my ex did. You tried. You talked to your boyfriend. You discussed these issues with him. You say you tried to get him to seek out help. I would’ve been so thankful if my ex had treated me like you treated yours. And I would’ve probably responded with positive changes. The fact that your ex didn’t, means you did the right thing by walking out. There’s only so much you can do to help your partner heal when they are not cooperating in any way. I wish you quick recovery and complete healing in getting through this post-breakup stage, which is indeed very hard.
After confronting him, he told me he needs time and space to think if he wants to be in the relationship… he has been arrogant towards me and insensitive too… I went to talk to him, telling him we are about to make a big commitment for a house and it will be a new beginning something we can focus and it will be so nice… and i’ve asked him to text the girl to tell her that they need to end the friendship but he refused… i was hurt again…
The Magic of Intimacy: Intimacy brings lovers together and renders us vulnerable. When we are intimate, we feel empowered but we’re also at the mercy of the one we love. Intimacy evokes a powerful mix of emotions – we feel vulnerable, yet valued and embraced. When you experience intimacy, it acts like a field in the world of physics, where all the rules of regular relationships change.
But here’s the problem. We’ve not been intimate since I feel pregnant shortly after our marriage. We’ve cuddled but nothing more, he barely even kisses me. I know he still loves me and would never cheat but I’ve become much more strong and independent in the past three years. I have a great set of friends, my family issues have settled down and my career is going well. I feel confident as a Mother and often had periods when I’m home alone and no longer feel I miss my husband when he’s not around. I became curious about how he was coping without Sex, I knew he must be taking care of himself but I couldn’t help but wonder what else he was doing. I started checking up on his internet use and found he was checking out a porn site. Nothing serious just photos. Years earlier when we were going through a dry spell I found a stash of mags, which I confronted him about, he was so sorry and I’ve never seen any evidence of such activity since. But finding this website really upset me, not because I’m a prude, I get that men are visual and often enjoy porn, it’s that he’s using it to satisfy himself instead of having a healthy relationship with me that bothers me so much. I final found the courage to bring it up with him and told him I feel completely disconnected from him and don’t want to spend the rest of my life in a sexless marriage. He’s promised to change and apologised for making me feel bad but I’m really not sure I feel enough for him anymore to keep trying.
@rollercoaster_love,seems he is on top of the introvert chart.People who dont talk so much snap ones in a while.This also happens to highly intelligent introverts.They assume you will be smart enough to know the right things to do without making so much noise about it.Sometimes they may be wrong because like you rightly said “you are not a MINDREADER”
In defense of Steve, I would say practical advice depends very much on personal circumstances. I identify totally with the sentiments of the article but I’m in no way like “Kevin”. I know my default happiness is internal, but my ways of reconnecting to it will be different to Kevin. The men’s work you do depends on who you are and how far you are from where you want to be.
What about a spouse who suffers from depression and refuses to get the help he needs. A father of 3 young children who is saying hurtful things to his 4 year old son? He jumped out of our van with the kids inside because he didn’t want to have a discussion. He was on meds for 6 weeks in winter of 2010 and went off, saying the doc said to (she’s my doc too and we have spoken and she recommends meds for a year) I’ve given him a year to try to go on his own terms but with attacking our son verbally that has challenges from a premature birth I refuse to watch him destroy our childrens lives because of his unwillingness to get the help he needs. His parents are concerned about him as well. I’ve just ordered some self help books recommended by a psychologist friend. I have definately fallen out of love with him. This has been going on for 4 years, seems he sort of lost his mind when I became pregnant with twins. Any suggestions??? My doctor said often the non-depressed spouse has to leave or ask the spouse to leave before they will finally get help but often they still won’t get the help they need.
OK, so I'm not saying your partner is picking up new hobbies because they're unhappy. It's 100 percent healthy to have side projects, and to do things alone. You might want to worry, however, if it seems like they're using these hobbies as a way of escaping the relationship. "If they are not finding happiness in your relationship, they will try finding it in other aspects of their life," Bizzoco says. And that's not OK.
It's extremely difficult, if not impossible, to disentangle our mood from a loved one's mood without swinging too far in the other direction, becoming disinterested and emotionally cut off as a means of self-preservation. Living with an unhappy person is, in many ways, like living with someone who's ill: the illness is theirs, but the experience belongs to the caregiver as well. Thinking of a loved one's unhappiness as an illness brings to mind some points I made in an earlier post, The Caregiver's Manifesto, that, in modified form, may apply:
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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.
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.
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.
When you say your "I dos," you're making each other your top priority above anything and anyone else. When you lose that essential part of your marriage, you can lose the person that once meant the world to you. If you're not making your husband a priority in your life anymore — or if he's not making you his — it's going to be really hard to stay a solid unit. Try going back to prioritizing your time together, each other's feelings, and each other's goals to get back into a healthy place before it's too late.