What if your husband is an alcoholic and lies to you about it every chance he gets? He makes you feel like you are stupid for thinking he’s been drinking again? He is mean and belittling to everyone in the house? Puts everyone’s lives in danger by lying and drink driving? He doesn’t respect or value your opinion even when sober and treats you like one of the children? Or, what if you have considered suicide as a way to get away from him? Are those signs your marriage is over?
Hi FK, It’s one thing to get married with the expectation that our partner cares about us and our happiness and totally another thing to get married because we DEPEND on them for our feelings of worthiness and happiness. In the first case we are in control of our expectations and boundaries and in the second, we are trying to be in control of our partner. Self reliance requires us to accept responsibility for our own happiness and not hold others accountable for it through abdication. Of course, the concept of “self reliance” and its importance can be up for… Read more »
According to Cole, there are four behaviors that are super-destructive to relationships. If one or more is present in your relationship, you could be on the fast track to loveless-ness (if you're not there already). Every time you criticize your partner — by attacking, blaming, and putting the fault on them by flinging negative statements like "You're always running late," or "You never do anything right" — you corrode your connection. By being defensive and refusing to accept responsibility, or attacking in response to feedback from your partner, you chip away at the trust and goodwill in your marriage. If you have an attitude of contempt, and call your partner names or make stinging, sarcastic remarks, you imply that you're superior and your partner is defective. And every time you stonewall one another, or emotionally shut down instead of openly addressing the issues, you create more distance and dishonesty, rather than openness, communication, and love. If any (or all) of these sounds familiar, schedule couples' therapy to discuss why you do these things — and how you can fix them.
When people have exciting news to share or even just need someone to talk to, they typically speed dial the person closest to them. If that used to be your spouse but is now someone else — whether that's a girlfriend or another man — it's a clear sign you're not in the happy marriage you used to be. "Research shows that in healthy marriages, couples celebrate each other's successes. If you're turning to [someone else] first in good times and bad, then you're replacing your husband emotionally and avoiding addressing what isn't working with him," says Dr. Paulette Sherman, psychologist, director of My Dating and Relationship School and author of Dating from the Inside Out. Try putting your husband into your #1 spot again. If you're not getting the support you need — or you don't even want it in the first place — it might be time to sit down and have a serious discussion about your relationship.
Optimism has magic in it. Looking for beauty and truth and what is right has magic in it. No matter where you are, you can find something about that place that is beautiful, true or good, even if it is simply the lessons you are able to learn there. Look for what is RIGHT about where you are. No matter what situation you are in, there is something good to find inside of it. Look for what is RIGHT about a situation. No matter who you are with, you will be able to look in their eyes and see their value, finding something wonderful and good in that person. Look for what is RIGHT about others.
Me too. But “disappointment” isn’t a value nor a boundary. What is a non-negotiable value of yours that precedes your disappointment? What decision would you make as a result? What consequences are you willing to face when your boundary for your relationship values is crossed? What invitation could a man/woman make to their partner to address the situation without blaming them? Self-reliance is all about owning our responsibility for our own initiative – without dependence on the outcome.

"Children add a lot of positives to a person's life, but they can also add a lot stress, including decreased intimacy in the relationship. When children come first, the loss of the marital relationship can be very painful. It isn't easy to maintain that happy physical and emotional connection to your partner when there are baths needing to happen, meals needing to be cooked, and toys needing to be picked up." —Hershenson

Thank you for your article, there are so many questions that go through your head when you are contemplating divorce. Your article put a lot of things into perspective for me. After 26 years of marriage to a really good man, I'm just not sure I love him the way I should anymore and I think he is equally feeling the distance between us. I truly thought he was my forever (if that even exists) and it is so hard to make that final decision to leave. Addictions are the biggest problem, gaming, pornography, etc. and it is really the emotional emptiness that hurts the most. Trying to understand why someone becomes so addicted to things (so easily) is frustrating for me. I've tried to listen and understand his problem, but it just seems like a weakness more than an illness to me. For anyone going through this, I feel empathy, it is honestly the hardest thing I've ever been through in my life--and I haven't even filed for divorce yet. Thanks again for the article.
Hi, i have been married for 8 years now,have 2 girls,left my people,country and friends to come and live in another continent and have a life here.Iam not working for the sake of kids as they have no one to take care of but my husband never liked it.He is a very good person otherwise provider and a good father. we never fight like shouting etc but we have no intimacy between us for last few years.I am now so bitter now that i don’t know what to do ,I tried so many time but the response is always very indifferent.I
The only good life experience that I received from marriage was seeing my 3 kids born and growing. Add a dog to the mix. Lose a job. Get slapped with depression and a wife lacking the necessary support to her man and now you have a man that is no longer interested in being with her anymore. I do deep down inside care for my wife, but I have reached the end with respect to the criticism and the nagging regarding how we try to raise our kids. Also, there is a lot of the word “I” that comes from my wife’s pie hole during conversations with a marriage counselor and all I can think of is that I am married to myself.

@lonelyinacrowd. Yes, i hear you and i am in the same boat. Five children and here I remain. Fot their sakes! We have been in seperate rooms for 4 years now and just for the record, that affects the kids just as much. I worry about the impression we are making on our children by leading these seperate lives under one roof. Kids are so perceptive at all age levels. My four year old came home from a playdate at her friends house and bursing through the door she said in disgust :’mom, guess what! Kate’s mom and dad SHARE a room’ (she of course thinks thats its appalling bad luck to have to share as in our house, it is an eldest child’s privilege to have their own room)
Nothing makes a man ready to listen to how dissatisfied you are like hearing how your friend Jessica’s husband takes care of the kids every Saturday for the whole afternoon while she trains for a triathlon.  Obviously he will commiserate with you over the injustice that Jessica, who despite her athleticism is not even that hot, has a better husband than you have.  He might even be so overcome with sympathy that he walks directly out of the house.  Don’t worry, I’m sure he is headed to buy you flowers to make up for his stupidity and selfishness.
Your boyfriend not trying new things with you doesn’t necessarily mean he is unhappy with your relationship, as you have already created intimate rituals you both love and feel comfortable with. But it could definitely be a sign that he is no longer satisfied with the things you are doing together, and he feels the need to try something new… And his buddies are the ones he chooses to do those new things with…
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…
I have been married to my husband for 8 months. We didn’t rally resolve alot of our issues before we got married. I thought once we were married and living in the same house things would change. He always thinks everyone is attacking him, when other people come up with ideas he doesn’t think of or that might be more practical. When it comes time to making major financial decisions, we will ask my parents for advice, and then when their advice is different than his but more practical and includes things we didn’t think of, or includes ways to keep us from spending unneccessary money, he flipps out. He came from a dysfunctional family, and I am very close to my parents. I have always trusted them so I seek out advice from them on things I have not experienced. My husband never could trust his parents and has a lot of unresolved issues in the ways he was raised, that he has a problem accepting advice or trusting anyone other than himself, including me. I can’t live like this. I am extremely unhappy. He has made comments on his perception on how my parents feel about him, he twists things around that we say, and makes it like we are all attacking him and out to get him, that it’s three to one, when it comes time to asking them for advice. He never follows through on anything I ask him to do at home. He can’t take care of little things in the house that are his responsiblity, and then I have to do them. He tells me he has a problem with procrastination, and he has been telling me that for 4 years since we met. He has’t changed. He is not going to change his ways of thinking when it comes time to my parents, or the way I feel about things. We always fight when it comes time to major issues. I don’t trust him, because he has lied to me and made major mistakes since I met him that keep happening. He never follow-s through on things he says, or on changes he claims he is going to make. I feel he lets me down alot. He pratically commands that I trust him. I feel trust is something that is earned. Also, my husband doesn’t go to any lengths to make me feel special. I pratically have to beg him for intimacy. I have to create the romance in our relationship, he never does. From all of this and feeling very lonely, I feel I am getting near the end of what I can deal with in this marriage. I have given him 4 years since we met to change things. He is 35 and should be a man at this point. He is telling me he needs to learn how. I can’t wait to have my needs taken care of in this marriage. Just because he diddn’t have parents like I did and didn’t have a father to learn how to be man, I don’t feel it’s my respnsibility to fix him. I am feeling worn out and that no matter what I cannot get through to him. Nothing changing, it’s just gettting worse. I feel like divorce is the only option.

"If your partner is nitpicky and cranky at the smallest thing, they are likely unhappy and often not saying anything directly," Carlyle Jansen, author of Sex Yourself: The Woman’s Guide to Mastering Masturbation and Achieving Powerful Orgasms , tells Bustle. "It could also be a more general unhappiness or work dissatisfaction, but I find that if someone is more cranky about the partner's behavior than other life circumstances, that is a good indication of them being unhappy in the relationship." Whether they're taking general life unpleasantness out on you or they're actually miserable in the relationship, this requires a check-in before things spiral out of control.
Nicole I’m sorry you’re going through that episode but believe you’re going to get past it. I know it hurt but it seem hard now to let him go but it’s best that he stay gone instead of coming in and out of your life. Now that would be a major set back towards healing. Take deep breath long walks and trust in God. He is the only one who can lift your pain
Josie, I feel the same exact way. My boyfriend who I trusted the most in the world completely shattered all of my dreams. Everyone thought we would be together forever. Our friends always jokingly fought over who would be best man at our wedding. His family became mine, and mine became his His dad would always say to us “don’t let this love go, it’s the real deal.” His mom would introduce me as her daughter-in-law. We discussed marriage, and rings, and where would build our life together. In august he went to a wedding for a friend and called me after and said “I cant wait to marry you.” We’ve talked about marriage, family, adventures, everything together. For years we built our life and created shared dreams. And like a fool I believed him. Not even 3 weeks after that wedding he tells me that he is having doubts, needs space, doesn’t think we’re going to make it. He pulled the rug right out from underneath me. It’s been nearly 3 months and everyday I still sob. I keep asking myself how could this happen. I found out that he slept with one of his best girl friends, and I don’t think he’s ever coming back to me. I’m so devastated. I don’t know how to let go or move on — and I don’t want to. I still want to be with him, marry him, have the life we dreamed of having together. I am still so in love with him and still feel so connected to him. I don’t want to be a distant memory in his mind. Everyone keeps telling me that he saved me a world of pain later in life by showing me who he truly is now as opposed to when we’re married with kids and winds up walking away. They say that I’ll find someone that is so much better than him. But I don’t want that. I want him. I want my boyfriend back. I want him to chose me, and love me. And there’s nothing I can do to make that happen. It’s so devastating.

"Sometimes you just have to ask. Instead of discussing their unhappiness, people may let conflicts and resentments fester. Keeping silent about a perceived inequity or accepting behaviors over and over that are troubling may seem like one is being a good sport or taking the good with the bad. But speaking up is the only way to maintain true intimacy and closeness." —Singer
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every single time my husband and i argue he wants to leave me or he hates me and hes disgusted with me. just recently his father passed and said he didn’t want me to attend the funeral not once but at least 5 or 6 times;he never understands how i feel when i try to explain something or why im upset..im a student so i have no job or money i want to leave him but i feel trapped i really do love him but if has told me he wants to leave over and over again hes even though about suicide and that makes me feel ill! how can i stay with someone that feel this way let alone spill there true feelings to me when hes angry its funny cause i don’t feel warmth from him but when were arguing i get a lot of heat
I feel for a lot of you on this blog because I have been through it too and even though I have been seperated 17 months now I look at things in a new perspective. I was married for 23 years and with him for 27 we were high school sweethearts and I can tell you, that things might get better for a bit but it will always come back. I kicked him out on our wedding anniversary and since that day I have been through so much hurt as I found out that he is a drug addict and wonder why our marriage did not work out. He was lying and sneaking all the time and also I was mentally and phically abused for years. I put up with it my whole life because he made me feel I could never do better in life without him and when you are constantly put down it is the way your programmed to think. Since we split his drug use becaome way worse, he would steal from the house and do very evil tings behind my back. He even lost my house as he did not let me know that the mortage was behind and 5 days before last christmas I had to vacate my home with my two year old grandson that I am raising. There hass been so many games done to me that it almost makes me puke but I can tell you that I have loved him so much for the entire seperation, but two weeks ago something happened to change my mind and I dont even know what it was. All the sudden I dont have the same feelings for him and I am not calling him much anymore. I have wanted him to come back to me but I think that it is because he mentioned that he wants to work things out with me and I really dont know how to feel about that. All I can tell you is that my feelings are not the same. I think that I have fonally gotton over this hurt and I forgive him for everything. We shared our whole lives together and its over and I dont think that we can repair it. I know that I pay for my own things now and I am raising my grandson and really I have come to terms with that I dont need anyone as a partner. Sure I could have got someone else in my life but I never wanted to hurt anyone because I know that If I got another guy that I would drop him like a hot potatoe as soon as my ex wanted to come back, never wanted to involve anyone else. I thought that when he was done his drugs that he would come home. Problem is I dont think at this point I want him back. I realize that he loved me chasing him, texting him and calling him and the more I dont do it the more it intises him to see what I am up too and why I dont call. I am tired of the game as it has consumed my well being. You cannot change anyone ever. For awhile they may change but as they say you cannot change a tigers stripes and I believe that is the truth. I never wanted to ever be alone, but I asked myself do I really want to live like that again ang the answer is definately not. I dont want to raise my grandson in a fighting home, i did that with my kids and I was wrong for it. Good luck to all and remember if your not happy get out of it, dont waste your life you only have one. It is not worth it in end. I didnt want to be 80 years old rocking in my chair wishing i still did not have to live this life. Anyone can do better for themselves, sure they might not have as much but I can tell you now that I am not with him I can make sure I have things as he is the one who always cost a crap load of money..there is so much to my story but I cant tell it all it would take forever. Good luck everyone.

What does your post have to do with having a moody bf? Do you have a bf? I don’t think so because  I sense a veiled attempt to relay that you think the guy you mention should dump his gf for you. I wonder what would happen if he did? Maybe you’d be subject to whatever treatment she’s getting, then you’d be sorry. Or at least discover the empathy for gf that you’re lacking now.

My husband and I have known each other for 20 years, and been married for the past 8. We have two adorable children who we both cherish. Since having the kids though, 5 years ago, our marriage has become unbearable. My husband has been through serious issues which led to depression, and has to his own belief, now dealt with the issues. During the time of his issues, he had two incidents, at least that I know about, with other women, and over the past 8 years with his behaviour, my trust has been stripped away and I am left with no trust in him whatsoever. He now continues to tell me he wants the marriage and he is in love with me, but I find it hard to believe when after 2 years of trying to work things out, we are still no further along than when we hit rock bottom 2 years ago. He continues to be thoughtless, and my anger and emotions hit sky high every time he stuffs up. I know I should be forgiving, but I find it harder and harder these days. I have told him I hate him and that I want him out. I cannot ever see a loving future between us, and I hate the kids seeing me this way. Also our intimacy has completely gone out the window. We have not been intimate in almost 3 years. It’s so depressing. Although I want the marriage ended, I can’t help thinking “Would I be so angry and upset and emotional, if I no longer cared?” Any advice on whether I should give him a go for the thousandth time, or just cut my losses and run?


"Often -- but not always -- women nag because men don’t follow through. How many times have you had a conversation about doing something and he commits to doing it and never follows through? Often, I'm guessing," she said. "Women feel caught in the middle: You continue to try and talk to him and address the issue but it goes nowhere. He interprets your request as nagging. You want to believe him but his promises go unfulfilled."

What’s the difference between infidelity as a sign your marriage is over versus infidelity as a turning point towards a healthier, stronger relationship? You and your husband’s intentions for your future. Cheating in and of itself won’t necessarily end your marriage…it’s how you and your husband clean up after the infidelity that determines if you’ll stay together.

Too often these women — even the strongest, smartest, most independent of them — weirdly believe that if they inflict enough pain back onto their partners or exact enough control of them, they’ll suddenly get with the program. Instead, the opposite usually happens. Their partners — not feeling loved enough and tired of feeling nagged, controlled, and criticized — do the opposite. They withdraw and tune out. And the cycle of drama and dysfunction only becomes more vicious and protracted.


If you often imagine a happy (happy is the key word here) future without your partner, that's a major sign that things aren't right. This is a part of the emotional detachment process, during which you may try to convince yourself that you don't care anymore so that the eventual separation feels less painful, says relationship therapist Jamie Turndorf, Ph.D., author of Kiss Your Fights Goodbye. "Detaching psychologically by fantasizing about having an affair or making plans for the future that don't include your partner can all be signs that you've fallen out of love," says Turndorf. "It's as if the mind has pulled its own plug so our hearts won't suffer as much when the relationship ends." If you notice this mental pattern, take it a step further to see if the fantasy holds weight. Gadoua suggests checking out real apartment listings online, and paying attention to how you feel. "It'll give you another layer of reality, which can then help you know what the right next step is," she says. As you click through, check in with your emotions. If excitement or relief is your prominent emotion (rather than fear or apprehension), it may be a sign to acknowledge that there are serious problems in your marriage. "But before actually taking steps to leave, see if there are things you can — or want — to do to work on the relationship," says Gadoua. That way, if you ultimately decide to leave, "you can do so with some peace of mind," she says. "It's never easy to end a relationship, but having lingering regret that you could have done more can make the decision harder."
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