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A patient of mine has a mentally ill brother who's depressed and anxious, as well as manipulative and stubborn. He often refuses to take medication that's helped him in the past and as a result often ends up lying at home in his bed, unwashed and unkempt, for days at a time. When my friend discovers him in this state, she tries various things: taking him to the ER (which she's learned leads nowhere), contacting his therapist (which sometimes helps, sometimes not), and even walking away, both figuratively and literally. She struggles with how much she may be enabling his behavior and with how unhappy his unhappiness is making her. She vents to me on occasion, and I try to walk a fine line between encouraging her not to give up on him and supporting her decision to protect herself emotionally. Recently, he had a particularly bad episode and it got me wondering: how can we best manage the unhappiness of people we love?
My husband is a really great guy and father, unless your married to him. Friends, family members, hell, the person down the street gets more priority in the line of importance than I do. We have never been on a honeymoon, or go out of town together. I can count the number of times we have gone out to eat together on one hand, and that includes before our son was born. He is now 5. I have come to the conclusion that he must be embarressed to be seen with me or something. I have stayed married for our son, but I have finally decided that I am finished. I am going to file for legal seperation next month and move on with my life. I am pretty sure that there is someone out there who may actually aknowlege that I exist. If not, I would rather be lonely by myself, than be lonely with my husband sitting next to me.

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When you're together, you order the same Chinese food every time (same places, same dishes, same greasy packets of mustard no one uses). You select movies from the same Netflix ghetto (Romantic Comedies Based on Foreign Films with a Dark Twist Recommended for Jane & John) every weekend. "He never wants to try anything new," you complain to a girlfriend, only it's not quite true, is it, because when he's with his friends he'll try anything, from windsurfing to kale. In a romantic relationship, there is, or at least should be, the profound joy that comes from being known; that familiarity, though, can make a body feel loathe to change, afraid of eye rolls or "You do not!"'s from those closest to him. There needs to be room, in your relationship, in every relationship, for him to say, "This is going to sound crazy, but maybe we could..."
I read through your article and it stands out for me amoungst the others I’ve read. My husband is a good man, doesn’t cheat, and he still loves me, but I don’t love him. We have been married for almost 2 years and together for 4. We got married when I was 18 and he was 23, so we are 20 and 25 now. I think we just got married way too young and I see that now. I felt love for him after we first started dating, but I think I was in love with the idea of him and marriage and I wasn’t actually ever in love with him. I find myself constantly asking myself “Why did I get married?” and I also find myself entertaining the idea of an affair. We have stopped being intimate. When we were intimate, I rarely felt anything. He is such a good man, and I do still care for him very much, but its not in the way a wife should care for he husband. I have no idea what to do. I try to explain to him that I am unhappy in our relationship and I no longer want the same things that I used to and it goes in one ear and out the other. He loves me very much, this I know, so I’m afraid of hurting him to the point where he will never find happiness again. Yes, I know, I’m very young, but this is one of the many things that has gone into the ruin of my marriage. Please help me. Thank you.
I’m thankful to have found this in good timing as it’s exactly what my confusion needs. My guy just shut me out last week and I was in complete silence and darkness for 3 days. Finally, I pleaded with him in a text msg to say something, anything because I was trying not to worry about him. He responded with an apology and said he needs time to work on himself. I accept and respect this and I’m giving him his space. But why is it on us women to understand and accept whatever his terms are? Can’t it be understood that we as women want to help? Maybe giving him space is the only way to help? This makes me feel worthless when my natural role is to offer him comfort and nurture him. When does my role count for anything? When HE feels ready? Is this all about HIM? I guess it is when real love forgets “self”… I won’t sit around and wait for him but I won’t forget about him, either. May clear and calm thoughts be with you all!

I have been married for five years, with my husband for twelve years. I’m not really sure if we should stay together or not. Last year I left him for three months then came back and now he says “he is just waiting for me to leave again”. We have been having the same fights for 12 years. They are- I don’t clean the house the way he thinks I should and I don’t have sex with him enough. I am not happy in our marriage but I feel like I’m stuck. We have a 10 year old and twin 3 years olds, I don’t have a job or a place to go. I have no friends and I can’t stay with my mom(she has her own issues). Everything inside me is screaming that in order for me to be happy I have to get away from this marriage, but I feel like I can’t. I’m scared that I will not be able to take care of my kids. I am also afraid that he won’t let me take the kids. He has never been physically abusive but recently when we start arguing he threatens that he will get violent with me, so now I’m scared of that too. I feel like I keep coming up with reasons not to leave. I know that it will be hard but how do you leave someone and keep your sanity at the same time?


Me and my boyfriend have been going out fpr 4 years and he broke up with me because im to contolling because he has asked me for space in the past but i didnt give it to him because i was afraid.of loosing him and clingy. I love him alot and dont want to loose him but he tells me he doesnt want me to fight for him because its to late fot that! He stood me up and told.me he doesnt want to see me anymore and everything between us is over☹️ we haven't had "no" contact for the past week. I dont kmow how to get him back amd i definitly dont want to loose him because i love him& been through so much with him already :/
In addition to focusing on what is making you unhappy, let your husband know what would make you feel better. For example, if you miss spending time with your girlfriends, tell your husband that a monthly girl's night out would make you happy. Likewise, letting your husband know what you need from him, such as thank yous, affection or time alone can give you a starting point to fix your unhappiness. You may need to take time to list the things you need to make yourself happy before talking to your husband, or you may find yourself stuck during the conversation.

I think you need to figure out why you cheated on your husband, and why you feel so bad about yourself. And, your husband needs to figure out why he’s willing to stay married no matter what you do! Once you both gain some insight into your own persoanlities and choices, then you can focus on whether it’s time to end the relationship or save your marriage.


I read this with an open mind and heart and I had a guy I loved dearly he was very moody, and he ran hot and cold. what  eventually happened was I had to let go he refuse to  get help and all he was doing was dragging me in his funk, I could not do it. I love him still to this day, but I love me MORE!! YOU can’t fix, repair or coddle anyone with severe issues, it’s not your job, he found someone and married her did he get the help he needed.. NO!! it;s such a vicious cycle..
I totally agree, Brian. I think that “getting” the same kind of humor is very important — at least to me. I was watching The Big Lebowski (which I think is hilarious), but he didn’t think the movie was funny at all. He wasn’t into nuanced or satirical comedy. He liked the kind you get with canned laughter on sitcoms. Nothing wrong with that. It’s just that we weren’t on the same wavelength at all and it was a deal breaker for me because we were polar opposites when it came to our senses of humor.
I think your advice is good, here, and if a man can achieve loving himself, and being happy within himself without validation, then that’s great, and that’s what he should do. I’m not absolutely sure what form this validation takes, but I’m assuming it’s largely through sex, at least that’s how it comes across to me: that a man like this may want perhaps-too-frequent sex from his wife in order to maintain his masculine ego. If this is the case, and maybe even if it isn’t, it makes me think of how this need for masculine validation is a product… Read more »

 Know That He Might Be Unhappy In Another Area Of His Life:  The men in this situation don’t come right out and say this of course.  (Sometimes, they don’t even realize it themselves.) But it’s often very easy to read between the lines.  It’s not uncommon for this whole “I’m not happy” business to come at a time when he’s otherwise struggling.  Perhaps he has lost his job.  Maybe he is going through a serious lifestyle change.  Or perhaps something is happening with his extended family.  Whatever the reason, it’s very common for a man to take a problem that has nothing whatsoever to do with his marriage and then to project that problem onto the person who is most convenient or who is the closest to him.  And that person is often his wife.
What if your doing all the above and more like telling him if he dont want to work then don't stay home I'll work two jobs if needed. He does that for few months then complains about being home all the time so he gets a job then complains about working. I cook dinner and always serve him first no matter if he has a job and works or if hes sat around playing xbox for months. My kids are all teens one is a new mom. They arent his. We have no children together. He says he hates my kids and talks about how my daughter is stupid fot having a baby at 17 maybe not wise choice on her part but shes not stupid. He complains about them not doing what there told around the house but he dont do anything either. I am constantly complimenting him on how handsome he is how smart and wonder he is no matter how down he is on himself. I am constantly rubbing his arms neck back legs with just my fingertips cause thats his favorite thing. I do sexual things ive never done before cause he likes them. He tells me im the best wife ever best hes never loved anyone like me that he never wants to lose me but yet hes always saying i cant do this i hate my life im tired of this and that.... i give up!
I dated this girl once who was very into verbal jousting – you know that thing you do where you tease each other, even nonsensically, before you kiss? The problem was, she liked to keep going and I would have to have a riposte for every cute little jibe. Then she would respond with something else and I would have to have yet another comeback, and it would go on like this. I found the game exhausting, but she got off on it. We didn’t last very long, but I guess she needed to find someone who could “keep up” as Evan puts it.

How to get over someone you have to see everyday?My long-term boyfriend told me that my mental health has affected him and he just wants to be friends as though nothing more ever happened. This really hurts me. What should I do?Can or should I ask my significant other to stop talking and to not associate with his ex? If so, how? How do I know if I'm in a toxic relationship?Why are we fighting over small and stupid things?What to do when you feel you are not good enough for someone?He said I was perfect for him, but he chose someone else?I regret breaking up with my ex. What should I do?How to get closure from my ex? I feel I need it.I love two different people. What should I do?


When you talk about his friends, point out their good qualities, and it will build positive relationships between you and them. If your boyfriend feels like you don’t like his friends, he will feel like he has to choose between you and them, and that is not a fun feeling. So keep him happy and if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
Try your hardest to focus only on the negative parts of the marriage.  I am sure there were red flags from Day 1.  Of course, there was also the time he drove an hour to meet you for a half hour, or sent you that funny email, or when he first told you he loved you.  But those things pale in comparison to all the crappy stunts he’s pulled, so do your best to erase the positive incidents from your memory entirely.  What good could it do to lead with the positives anyway?  You’re trying to get through to him here, and the best way is to emphasize what a complete mistake this marriage was in the first place.  Wait till you see how hard he tries to fix things once you’ve told him they are entirely unsalvageable!
How offensive that this has become a gender war for the men commenting. You guys are feeling sorry for yourselves? One guy because he cheated and can’t stand to think she would even kiss a guy and the other guy jealous cause she won’t OBEY your dresscode? Get real! Peter, maybe she wants to get back at you and maybe she is just trying to find out if she is still sexy. A woman who is cheated on starts to feel insecure, maybe that is why she with holds sex in the first place. Or maybe you’re not doing it the way she wants. If you want her to stay, you will have to forgive her just as she forgave you. Let her know sex should be just as pleasant for her as it is for you, then she might respond to you better.

@happy in marriage. I think to post something like what you have on a thread like this is completely out of order and I HOPE you get to read this. Most of the people on here did not choose for their relationships to end? How SMUG of you to come on waxing lyrical about children from two parent families much better off that from broken homes etc? yes, in the ideal world, two parents are far better, but if you have taken the time to read a lot of these posts you will see that most of the parents are ‘single’ already with an estranged/diengaged/abusive or non-commited spouse. surely in cases like this, a single happy parent is better than two miserable ones?

When someone's no longer taking their relationship seriously, they're more likely to drop all the responsibility that comes with it. So no, you're not crazy for worrying about your partner's sudden lack of accountability. "If your partner starts breaking promises or does not keep their word and does not seem to offer you more than a simple, 'I’m sorry,' this is a sign that they may not be happy in your relationship because they stop caring about how you feel," Rappoport says.
I have been married for 2 years and I met my husband at church. He was such a wonderful and amazing man that after dating for 7 months we got married. Once we moved in he changed so much… I get it once you move in together you get to know the REAL person you married. But mann did he show me who he really was. After having 2 kids we no longer have communication, happiness or sex. Its heartbreaking to be taken for granted and knowing you love that person but he did tell me straight to my face he is no longer happy nor gets excited about me.
“When we communicate in this state, we are truly mean,” writes Ellie Lisitsa in The Four Horsemen: Contempt on The Gottman Institute’s blog about strengthening relationships. “Treating others with disrespect and mocking them with sarcasm are forms of contempt. So are hostile humor, name-calling, mimicking, and/or body language such as eye-rolling and sneering. In whatever form, contempt is poisonous to a relationship because it conveys disgust. It’s virtually impossible to resolve a problem when your partner is getting the message that you’re disgusted with him or her.”
You gravitate towards people and things that make you the most happy. When your husband chooses to spend more time with his friends, working on his car, or doing some other activity than with you, it might signal that he is unhappy with you for some reason. He may be upset with you for some reason and isn’t talking to you about it because he doesn’t want to deal with the argument that will result from it.
Thank you- I will definitely check out the marriage manual. My husband has a good relationship with his parents, and I have said in the past that I love them as if they were my own ( they treat me like a true daughter). I think he might just be scared that our marriage is failing. I am glad ge told me now, as opposed to when it might have been too late. I think the rest of the week will be a indicator of how we can overcome this obstacle.
I don’t think so, and I chance to say it’s a warning sign that the person’s selfish actions reveal a desire to be single again. Lying and hiding these actions may show shame, and desire to repair, but it can also illuminate the partner’s unwillingness to change, stop, or be responsible any longer. A desire for the other spouse to find out about the actions, and leave them first in a bid to avoid responsibility. It may seem rare or covert, but I know so many couples who have experienced this! The selfish partner appears sorry, but then once ordered to pay child support or repay absconded money,
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.

If you try to change your boyfriend, he will feel pressure and it won’t keep him happy. If you focus on what you like about him, and his good traits, it will build confidence in him, and help him develop in positive ways. I’m not telling you to inflate his ego and ignore things that really bother you, but accept that no one is perfect, not even yourself.
Men hate complaining so they are better off saying nothing at all. Perhaps he doesn’t want to hurt your feelings or he hopes he’ll cope with his unhappiness alone. He keeps silent and looks thoughtful. Men tend to think over the current situation that bothers their mind. You may ask what`s going on but I bet he`ll not answer. Give him some time to put his thoughts in order and handle his problems on his own.
A lot of single and married women today believe that marriage is a means to an end – that all their problems will magically go away when the love of their life places a ring on their finger and they finally say “I do.” There is also an underlying expectation that the men in our lives will keep us happy at all costs. But despite the cues we get from the media, in fairy tales, and from those we believe are so happy around us, your relationship is not meant to keep you happy. Yes, your man should make you happy, but that is not the sole objective. We should be taking another path to happiness in our relationship – one that is more likely to get us where we need to be. This doesn’t begin with fixing our man, but with fixing our own hearts. Here are six things to do when your man can’t make you happy.
I think a lot of guys get to this point simply via time. Time passes, everything seems to stay the same, not getting better but not getting worse. And, then something minor and seemingly insignificant happens: your favorite pair of pants are now too tight, someone at work whom you like or crush on makes a joke about your bald spot, you get a younger boss or get passed over for a promotion. You see my point?
It takes patience to develop a strong relationship, and if you pressure your boyfriend to move in together or get engaged, chances are he will feel like you’re forcing him. It’s best to let things happen naturally and realize that if you get along, that’s all that matters and if you don’t get along, moving in together isn’t going to solve that problem.
While conflict is inevitable in any relationship, it doesn't mean that if you or your spouse is currently unhappy, the marriage is doomed. "If someone is unhappy, it is a great wake up call and a chance to create a new marriage by investigating the old," explained Hope. "If you learn to embrace pain and conflict as a spiritual push for greater potential, then you won't freak out in times of madness and conflict."
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