As the old saying goes, labels are for soup cans. That's true, but if you started a relationship with the goal of becoming a couple, including the dreaded labels like "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" or "wife" or "husband," and communicated that much from the start, then your significant other should be ready to at least discuss why or why not they want to be labeled as such.
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.
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.

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
In some of the comments, women have been very negative. The article states men are wired deferantly. When a man does something good, thank him, tell him IN SIMPLE WORDS, with a smile, how much you appreciate or love whatever he did. IE... When he does take a shower, hug him up look him in the eyes and tell him how good he smells, how you love when he's smelling all fresh and clean. If you tell a man what pleases you, he will do it again!
My patient found herself thinking about detaching from her brother frequently, and in fact would do so for long stretches of time. But then she'd learn he'd locked himself in his house for days and couldn't stop herself from being drawn back into his life. After this last episode, however, she found herself more focused on maintaining a safe emotional distance. She still cared, she confided to me, but had come to a new understanding about her limitations. She knew some part of her brother still wanted to be happy, but it seemed covered up by a part that reveled in misery. She would keep tabs on him, she decided, and intervene when he seemed in real danger, but she refused to continue suffering on account of his suffering. Which for her meant allowing him to suffer alone.
I am the woman who loved him, supported him, and put up with him for well over two years.  I am the woman who kept coming back after he broke up with me. I am the woman who compensated and paid for everything because he couldn’t get a job. I am the woman who was there for him 24/7.  His family, of course, was on the other side of the country.  One of his siblings did say “we have always known there was something off about him, thank you for loving him enough to figure it out”, but then he was bullied by the rest of the family. So there was zero support coming from anyone.

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.
I think the “sense of humor” argument is actually different from other traits.  The reason is finding someone with the same sense of humor is like finding someone that’s on our “wavelength.”  People can have radically differing opinions on politics, religion, philosophy, etc.  and can at least agree to simply not talk about those things.  This can work, but our sense of humor is such a core personality trait.  It’s really a big part of who we are.  Now does your partner have to actually be funny?  No.  They do have to have the same sense of humor, though.  I don’t think they need to make you laugh but they have to be able to laugh at the same things you do.  Now back to types of humor.  I agree with what Evan said that Kelly seems to be looking for a personality type that might not be positive i.e. a narcissist.  A good sense of humor should always involve at least a degree of self deprecation. 
My husband says he is not happy is something that many wives find themselves saying after they've been married for a time. When you love a man and he confesses to you that he's unhappy it puts you in a very difficult situation. Naturally you're going to wonder about what his next move will be. Whenever a husband feels unfulfilled in his marriage, separation and eventually divorce is going to be a constant threat. It's incredibly difficult to live in a situation like this where you're never really sure of what his intentions are. If you truly love your spouse and you want to keep your relationship together, you can make that happen. In fact, you actually have the ability to create a stronger, more loving connection with your husband.
you have to build up confidence and feel worthy without getting validation from another person. of course everyone wants their spouse to feel attracted to them but don’t base your sole confidence on whatever positive or negative comments ur wife may feel or say towards you. you have to learn to love and accept yourself before anyone else ever will. whether you feel over weight or not you still carry yourself like you are the man you wish to look like, until you loose the weight. oh yea don’t feel like having money is going to make everything better. money cant buy true love, friendship, or confidence. love who u are and evryhting will hopefully line up for you. good luck
If your guy doesn`t text you as much as he usually did, he may be just taking a break. While you shouldn’t make a drama out of this, try to figure out why he needs that break. He may have problems at work, at college or some family issues. If everything is fine yet he doesn’t call or text you during the day, maybe your man isn’t interested in you and your relationship overall.
Hi, I’ve been married to my wife for 5 years and together for 7. We have 2 amazing children, life got in the way and we were not around for each other enough but still knew we loved each other. My wife went off sex after the birth of our first born. 6 months ago cheated while away on a hen do. States was nothing more than a kiss, but send messages and photos when came home for a period of weeks. She says she’s 50/50 and doesn’t know what she wants. 6 months later she still texts this man, stating it’s just a friendship now, and still won’t commit, says 50/50, and won’t be physically intimate (not even cuddling on sofa/in bed). Am I wasting my time? Can she come back to me or should I now walk?

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…
It’s popular among Christian literature for women to discuss the types of wives we should be, and the actions we should take to help ensure a happy husband who doesn’t stray. I can get along with that to some extent. I’ll admit that I shave my legs every day, and that I dress nice and put on makeup more for my spouse than I do myself. I mean, it makes me feel good, but it also makes me feel good to look appealing for him. 
My husband and I have been together for a little over 3 and half years and we’ve been married for a year and 3 months. Things have not been going well for quite some time. For the last 3 weeks we haven’t even been living together. He clearly has anger issues, he always has, but they have progressively gotten worse and worse. When we first met he had a lot of dependency on alcohol, he asked me for help to stop drinking and for a while he had it under control, but the last few months he has been returning to his old habits. He is constantly accusing me of cheating, to the point of literally saying it everyday. But this is just insane, because his jealousy is so bad that I only go out with him. I avoid girl’s night and me time to avoid horrendous fights. He’s constantly threatening me that he’s done, he wants a divorce, etc, but then shortly after begs for forgiveness. It has become a vicious circle. It seems as though he begs for forgiveness because he realizes everything he has to give up, I’m the bread winner in the relationship, I take care of all the bills and if he doesn’t stay with me he has to go live with his parents. Did I mention I’m 25 yrs old and he’s 30, it’s an awful lot of pressure because I take care of everything. His fits of anger have actually gotten to the point of truly scaring me, he starts punching and hitting things, it’s really bizarre. He has these ups and downs that remind of someone that is bi-polar. The sad part is as much as I’ve always loved him and part of me has always known that I made a mistake. Ever time my mind is made up and I’m ready to throw in the towel he somehow sucks me back in. As soon as I start to change my mind wondering if we can make it work, he acts like a crazed maniac, thus reminding me of why I want out. Like I mentioned earlier it’s a vicious circle and happens like clock work now. I believe the right thing for me to do is move on, but I can’t seem to make that happen. Since I keep getting drawn back in I start to wonder if I’m giving up to soon. But I’m so tired of fighting, being hurt, let down, you name it. I mean my husband actually talks bad about me behind my back, that can’t be normal, right? Unfortunately there are so many more issues I haven’t even touched on, but I’m hoping that with the information I have given you might be able to provide me with some insight into how to handle this and the direction I should be headed!
My husband has cheated on more than 5 times since we got married3 years. He even done it while I was sick in the hospital due to our first child.These were not one night stand type of thing. He had emotional affairs(as far as I know, I highly suspected that he was also intimate with at least two women). Each affair lasted at least for 3 months. I have attempted to leave the marriage several times, but each time, my family and friends mediated us( I’m from a tradition were divorce is highly discouraged). Our last fight was November,2011.He denied the affairs each time and made me look like I was paranoid. He is always dismissing the situation and it’s always the same answer: were are “just friends” ,nothing is going on, “it’s not what it seems”. The ladies are all his coworkers…he is a contractor so he takes a new contract every few months and that’s when he starts the affair. He met the current woman he is talking to February,2012. I suspected he was at it again but I was afraid of finding out about it so I was avoiding it till yesterday, when he handed me his cellphone to check he’s new apps. I check his email and my worse nightmare come to life! He has been communicating with this lady at least 20 times a day! Note: She was let go of the company last week and he was still communicating with her, he even told her that he had a dream of her and asked her how she was doing.

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.
When we had a big fight just this MArch, it was so hard to reconcile because of our situation. He was there and I am here. He doesn’t want to talk to me, or to my son. He doesn’t want to solve the problem! The situation stayed like that for almost a month. Without communication. Then he came home because he had an accident. I thought we would be make peace then. But he blamed the accident on me. He doesn’t want to connect with me anymore, though he said he would try. We had a big fight at home and he finally said that he doesn’t want to fight because the children will be affected. When I asked him if he still loves me, he said “I don’t know” and he was angry for making him answer that and he said he needed time. When his sick leave was over, he left again for work.
This is what has been happening with me. I’ve been married for a little over a year my soon to be ex has only talked twice about our relationship issues and this is only after she left twice and we worked everything out. But that’s the only time she has talked to me about our relationship. She was never willing to talk but those two times. We have had many issues that needed to be talked about but she refuses she calls me every thing in the book and belittles me she will text me saying all this but refuses to sit down and talk about our issues. Example of her getting mad: I would ask her a question she would reply saying you’re an idiot why would you ask that you’re stupid and it was a simple question like do you still want to go town this weekend. One other example I was making supper I was cutting an onion she say why you cutting that onion like that I say that’s how I was taught she say that’s stupid you’re a moron. I have spoiled her I helped with cooking cleaning laundry do all the yard work but nothing is ever good enough and one minute she is all good and the next she is pissed over stupid things. She has left again my question is should I just say screw it and justhave nothing to do with her?
On a related note, what are your goals as a couple? Do you have a compatible vision for your future? If you want a four million dollar home with an ocean view and your husband wants a wee cottage in the forest, then you both may feel less committed to your marriage. Why? Because you want different things in life. If your husband wants six children and you’d rather be childfree, then you may have to work harder on overcoming the signs your marriage is over. To keep your marriage strong, you need to agree on your vision as a couple or family – and put each other first.

He told me during the "talk" that he is afraid to introduce anything new or spontaneous into our reltionship because he can't know how I will react. I might get angry or resent him for offering advice or being better at something than I am. I tried to tell him that he can't assume things like that, and to call me out when my reactio is unwarrented, but he shuts down and then feels guilty for bringing it up to begin with.
Remember when you and your husband first starting dating? You were the carefree woman who laughed and flirted? Life's stress can really take a toll on a relationship, and sometimes we forget to laugh. Flirt with your husband. Tell stupid jokes. Reminisce about funny things that happened. Life can't always be fun and games, but let it be sometimes. Keep the humor going between the two of you and keep things funny and fun.
Speaking of friendship, a person told me once how they regret the lack of lighthearted conversation between him and his wife. They’ve been together for a while and he felt like all they ever talked about was the kids’ schools and various appointments and the “To Do List.” He said that they needed to make time for nurturing their romantic relationship because it felt like it was becoming nonexistent.
I gave up my whole life -left my job, family and friends to move to another country to be with my husband. So while in his country I was using his laptop and found a few women’s pictures that were very provocative. I managed to get into his email and found many messages he had been commnicating with women before I came. I confronted him and it was the same answer. I, however, forgave him.

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!
We married 18 years ago (coming up shortly), were both each others first partners. Just simply fell in love and married. Marriage worked quite well, we never had any of those “standard” problems: we were both frugal with money, modest, faithful to each other, were not too much into this “great sex” thing that you can read in magazines or on the internet. We had a lot to talk about, joking all the time and had two children. She is a great mother and role model. Basically, everything I would want in a wife. However, a nagging issue that was not addressed from the outset was our relationships with each other’s families. The funny things about this is that we are immigrants and our families do not even live in the same country. She never hid it that she hates my family even though she never spoke to many of them nor they ever visited us. She even went that far to teach kids how their cousins are bad kids even though she never met them! (BTW, they are valedictorians in their schools, but that is not the point). This issue surfaced when her mother visited here, which turned out to be a weird experience for me. They were literally fighting about everything and her mother went home crying. She vowed never to talk to her and her father again, which she did. This was quite a surprise to me given that when we dated, it looked like a very healthy family to me. Both her parents adored me, so to this day, I am not sure what happened between them. This was 11 years go, fast forward three years ago, we had not had sex for 11 months. She chose to sleep with kids who she adores. I did not press the issue, which is the first problem in our marriage. We just do not communicate well. When I occasionally mentioned this, she would cite work, being tired, kids love it etc etc. When I offered household help, I could never get it right; there is always too much water on the counter, a spot on the dishes etc… To this day, I do not know what triggered this, but this turned out to be beginning of all the current troubles. Things turned to worse when her father died. I tried to help with grieving and offered to talk how to help financially with the funeral and all (which she did not attend, btw) etc. She just clammed up, did not want to talk to me at all. At that time, I was simply fed up and primed myself to the biggest mistake of my life. I basically opened myself to respond to whatever romantic oppportunity came along. Not seeking, just responding. Unfortunately, it did. An aggressive woman approached me at a meeting and we started chatting over the email. I kept my composure not to do anything physical, zero (not a touch). Nevertheless this would basically amount to cheating. This went on for about three weeks. As life would have it, she found the emails and one text message and was devastated. I stopped immediately, but we never talked about it more. So, in the books, this went as my being a cheater. Nothing about lack of sex for the past whole year or any other reason why I was shut out (this is not an excise for what I did). She did offer to go to counseling back then, but I refused, because I knew that what I did was a mistake and I stopped and promised never to do anything stupid like that. No need for someone else to tell me that. Now, the part that scares me the most. In the meantime, it looked to me she forgave me, but only on the surface. We would have sex, but out of nowhere she started using lubricants. We would never kiss, or any other foreplay. She simply refused me to satisfy her in any way. So, it felt like I was raping somebody,which I mentioned to her several times. Response was always be happy that you get something, many men do not even have that. After sex I would have this guilty sinking feeling I am hurting her and I just could not take it any more. I can’t physically hurt the person I love! I started being frustrated and wanted to talk about what is going on. She refused most of the time then on occasions would mention my “affair”. Then, since the end of last year she again began refusing sex. We are back to being close to breaking our “record”. She does not even want me in bed, trying to stay as far away as possible. Any attempt on any kind of touch (even holding hands) is met with a violent negative response. She began to be frustrated with taking care of children, constantly mentioning how she does everything and not being appreciated, how she wishes to go on vacation somehwere by herself, just to be alone etc etc. I began breaking down and started saying that I will leave her if she does not at least want to talk to me. All to no avail. I guess, this is another mistake; don’t say it if you don’t mean it! But, again, when things build up inside, some sort of outlet must be found. Now, to top it all off, I found out that she posted her profile on a dating site and to my direct question whether she is dating anyone responds “if I did I would be much happier”. She also started posting provocative pictures of herself on Facebook. Of course, she blocked me from viewing her profile, but I have friends who showed me those pictures. All in all, our life now consists of her sitting behind computer, closing windows as soon as I am around, locking it when leaving for a while, while I desperately try to establish any kind of communication and live in frustration. Our family life has basically disappeared. No more family outings (we take children out separately), no family vacations, no friends over. She has established a new circle that consists mostly of divorced women who claim to have great sex life and are showing off their much younger lovers with great bodies. All of a sudden, I need muscles, great six packs etc. Divorce has become a viable option for her, which is a complete turnaround from when we met, when she was always apprehensive of anyone who divorced and I had to give up a male friend who divorced.

I know that we are good together, I know that we both love each other deepy, but we are in a rut and I dont know how to get out of it. I want to be that fun, care free girl that he fell in love with and stop harping on the little things that he does wrong, but its so hard when I am hurting so much. I would just like some advice on ways that I can get us to be closer again, and eliminate the drama from our relationship. We enjoy each others personalityies and sense of humor. We are wildly attracted to each other. We are best friends, I just dont know how we got to this point and I am desperate to get out of it.

I am here to testify on how Dr Stanly help me to bring back my ex-boyfriend who left me 3 months ago. I got his email on the internet on an article how he had help so many people to get their ex partner back with spell, so i emailed HIM and told my problems to him and he gave me an assurance of getting my boyfriend back within 24hours and to my greatest surprise my boyfriend came back to me after 24hours of casting the spell.

If you are going to be a big enough idiot that you are going to deny your reality and not seek the help you need, I am not going to be a big enough idiot to go down in flames with you.  Doesn’t matter if it is mental illness, addictions, or cancer. I know that may sound harsh, but again, I will not sacrifice my life for someone who will not help themselves.  This is the only life I have!

I have to agree with John — he brings up a good point. How did it take OP over a year to figure out that her boyfriend isn’t as funny as she’d like him to be? Why was unfunny okay for a year and is suddenly a deal-breaker now? Either way, like a few people said above, when in doubt, don’t. If, for whatever reason, OP is having doubts about her future with the guy, then maybe they don’t have a future. It’s just that, “he’s not funny” sounds like an excuse in this particular case.


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 »
×