The only common thing throughout this whole thread is the fact that, somewhere along the way, someone has lost their love for their partner. Any loss painful and scary as we all fear the unknown. We all fear being unwanted, unloved and un-needed. We are all unsure of what step to take next. My only advice (for what its worth) to each of us, is dont do too much at once. Take tiny steps and only make small changes at time. Look after yourself, allow yourself to grieve the lost relationship (they say the negative feelings are better out than in) and then start looking for a way to take yourself forward through whatever it is you need to go through.
Very well put Lily.  I have an ex boyfriend who had me rolling on the floor with laughter at times.  The exBF still calls frequently and makes me laugh. However, he is an alcoholic and unfortunately I have found many of the comedians are.  The ExBF does turn his humor on me during disagreements, which is what I mean by calling him unstable.  He also would occasionally heckle absolute strangers which I found humiliating and immature. So even though 70% of the time he was amazing and kind.. the rest of the time I wondered if he will embarrass me or tease someone of a more delicate constitution than I have, like my children.  I decided that he was a liability and untrustworthy although still there is no one who is more fun or knows me better or loves me more than he in the world.  He simply was out of control of himself part of the time.
Well, I just broke up for the fourth time with a guy who would stay with me because he thought I had the whole thing going as in, the perfect girl for him, the one. He stayed because he wanted things to magically work (as in no efforts on his part) because he didn’t want me going off with someone else, since I was so perfect for him. But he was not happy. Like, what..? Anyway.
and I so badly want my marriage to work, not just for myself and my wife but my kids as well. My wife had a hard childhood. Her dad left when she was 10 and wasn’t involved in a good way until 8 years ago when his dad died and he told her he wanted to “make-up” for all the old wounds. Around the same time my wife went though depression. There were times she couldn’t get off the easy chair in our living room for days. She went to counciling and did the antidepressant thing and her therapist helped her decide she needed to go back to work. She had been a stay at home mom by her own choice for 12 years. She is a well paid professional in the medical field and was able to find a great, high paying job that she really likes right away. Almost as soon as she went back to work, she started spending more and more time there and with her “new friends” she works with. I have tried to be supportive and have left my job early to pick up the kids so she could stay late, go out with her friends, etc. At the same time she stopped having sex with me. We’ve been intimate maybe 5 times in the last 5 years and up until then had what she described as a great sex life. I’ve tried to find out what she wants or needs but she can’t tell me other then “not me”. Last week she told me that she is unhappy and that “part of me wants to stay and work things out, part of me doesn’t”. I asked her to read Mort Fertel’s book and do “Marriage Fittness” with me and she has read the first couple chapters but isn’t really committed. Our house has become quite messy due to her being unwilling to clean or cook dinner and she asked me to help get things more orginized and we have started that. The problem is she hasn’t changed any of her behaviors and comes home and just goes into a shell and finds ways to get me upset. Then she says something like “Well, that attitude just makes me want to read that book and work on things sooo much”! She only talks about her work and her friends from work and when I try to talk about anything else she withdraws and is uninterested. It’s been 8 years of her being withdrawn from me and 5+ without sex or affection. Now that I know she actually is at the point that she wants to end our marriage as much or more then save it, I’m having trouble being patient. She has totally ruled out going to councilling or therapy (it doesn’t work and is a waste of time and money) and while she agreed to “read” Mort’s book she hasn’t agreed to do anything and when I asked her what she thought of the part she has read she said “Well, I guess I can see what he’s talking about…” which isn’t making me think she will do anything but read the book. While for the last 15 + years I was the sole income earner, right now I’m not making any money due to the firm I was with closing after 9 years there. I’m working with a start-up and I hope that I’ll be making just as much or more then I had been and she does and we have savings so money isn’t yet a big problem but she is worried about it and I know she doesn’t like making the money. When I asked her what she needs she has said the biggest thing is she wants to move from our house to a better, bigger one so she probably feels that because I’m not yet making the money I had been that will be delayed but again, (It’s only been about 4 months since I lost my old job) she doesn’t have a reason to doubt I will be back to making good money again soon. I’m starting to feel “Why should I go into debt for 30 years with someone who isn’t going to even try to fix our marriage. There’s more of a chance that all that will happen is I’ll lose everything in a divorce”. I don’t know what to say when I’m told how wonderful I am and how it would be easier if I was an awful husband, father, etc. I feel so damn helpless and I know that sooner rather then later I’m going to hit a point where I can’t take it any more. I really am afraid that the woman who said before we got married “I don’t believe in divorce. When I get married it’s forever and will work to fix any problems to see to it”! is going to leave and destroy my family. I would appriciate any help you can give. Thank you.
From a woman’s point of view, you need to get out. For the sanity of yourself, and your children. Your wife has little to no respect for you, and from what you’ve said, herself. Her values are also not anywhere near in line with your own, as she believes that her actions are justifiable. I once was the woman who took advantage of wonderful, goodhearted men, and who cared about nothing more than having my ego fed. It is impossible to be in a relationship with a selfish person, unless you are a glutton for neglect and abuse. The fact that she is taking no responsibility for her actions, and manipulating you in a way that is intended to make you feel guilty for her wrong doings, also validates the fact that she is not only out for her own self indulging ways, but also that she has such little respect for you that she sees you as nothing more than a pawn. With you, she can have the upright lifestyle. Successful husband, children, home.. but because of your leniency in letting her manipulate you, she can also have her second life, for those she doesn’t mind displaying that too. I am not for divorce, at all. I believe that a couple must do everything in their power to rectify their marriage, ESPECIALLY when children are involved. However, there comes a time when you must stop slamming your head against the brick wall and accept that there is sometimes no way of changing a person, or their priorities. I suggest you file for divorce, and allow your wife to live the life that she seems to gravitate too. Remain an excellent father, for it seems you are the one who is most levelheaded and who your children must rely on, and move on. Those with a good heart, must be paired with someone who nurtures that heart, not destroys it. I know you may not yield to my advice, I was once the person on the victim side of an unhealthy relationship, but once you get out, you will be free of the emotional strain that this woman holds on your life. I wish the best for you, and for your children. All I ask is that through the process of divorce, if you choose to take that route, do not let anger or resentment rob you of the dignity and respect you deserve, from all parties.. most importantly your kids.

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.

My prayer is that you find strength, courage, and peace. May you find a good place to live, and may you connect with friends and family who are supportive and compassionate. I pray for everything to go smoothly as you and your boyfriend make decisions, and for a new home and other practical parts of moving to fall into place quickly and easily. I pray for healing for you and him, and for wisdom as you parent your child after this breakup. May you find faith, hope, and even joy in your future! I pray for all good things for you, for your child, for your life and future relationships.


If your relationship has become one big boring routine, that's not good. If you guys always do the same thing - get food at the same place, watch TV, see a movie or lay in bed - it's a sign that something is wrong. You need to switch things up in order for there to be excitement. It's easy to fall into that pattern, but what matters is how you get out of it. My boyfriend and I do the same thing a lot during the week, but on weekends we try to have special date nights. We also always try to go on little vacations or go skiing. If you're not doing this stuff, it's probably because you're really bored.

As I’m sure you’ve heard before, relationships experience ups and downs and this is completely normal once you’ve been with a person for a long time. Realizing my husband is unhappy is never a good feeling but it can serve as a doorway to a happier and stronger marriage. Think about it, the moment you realize what’s making him unhappy, you learn about an element that you can bring into your marriage, or repair, that will make your bond stronger and in turn make both of you feel more fulfilled.


He spends most of the day on the computer playing online games. Doesn’t listen to a thing I say most of the time. When I confront him with the problem, he gets upset, cries like a two year old and then says he’ll change. Any behavioral change lasts a total of 3 days, max, then reverts. He’s terrible in bed. Won’t learn, won’t take advice on how I like things, won’t make any effort to doing ANYTHING other than what he’s used to.
First off I love CAPS myself but yours are too much. Use the caps lock in the other direction. With that said are there things going on that you did not speak of in your relationship? Is there sex and romance on a regular basis? Is their intimacy do you hug,cuddle,kiss,scratch and rub each others backs often? Is there physical intimacy and if not when did it stop? Was it ever there?
Have you thought about individual or couples counseling? Even if your husband refuses to go, it’s a great way for you to figure out what you should do and if you can help him see how serious your marriage issues are right now. Talking to a counselor — even without your husband present — can be a great way to see things clearly and objectively. Which, in turn, can help you decide whether your marriage is over or just going through a rough stage.

I don’t want to sound like I have no sympathy for your boyfriend. Life can be tough, especially in light of thwarted dreams, unrealistic expectations, financial instability, flimsy support networks, and run-of-the-mill insecurities. But not everyone deals with things in the same way; and, whether we like it or not, this stuff matters. There are some people who will give up online dating if one email is not returned or give up on relationships just because the last one went bad. Even if this is somewhat “normal,” it’s certainly not a healthy trait. Not for the anxious/moody person, and not for the poor soul who has to be the strong, patient partner. When your boyfriend is unhappy, it’s only normal to want to pull him out of it, to want to flip a switch in the back of his head to get him from pessimist to optimist. Furthermore, when he’s at his worst internally, that’s also when he’s a terrible boyfriend. He obsesses, stays at home, stews in his own juices, and builds up stories about what’s wrong in the world that may not accord with reality. Not only that, but such a boyfriend has nothing to give to the relationship because he’s always dealing with his own mercurial moods.
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.

I am one of those people to whom lack of a sense of humor is an absolute deal-breaker. But it doesn’t have to be my exact kind of humor, or my family’s kind of humor. What I won’t compromise on, though, is the man’s ability to laugh at himself and at whatever life throws at us. Without this ability, he’ll fall apart on me at the first sign of difficulties. I dated one unfunny guy, shortly after my divorce. He was opinionated and had anger issues. I guess when you cannot laugh at things, you have to compensate for it in other ways, i.e. by yelling at them. To paint you a picture, once we were out at a restaurant, and he got quite agitated because, wait for this, Billy Joel had married Christie Brinkley for her looks, then dumped her for a younger woman when she got old. He was angry! He was shouting. People stared. We didn’t last very long. He wanted to be exclusive, but I just couldn’t do it. He was okay in other regards, decent looks, similar tastes in art, same politics and religion, good education, good income, responsible father, you name it. But because he found absolutely nothing in life funny, it was impossible for me to date that guy. Life can get pretty damn horrible at times, and, if you cannot laugh at it, you’ll make things even more horrible both for yourself and for those around you. This is where I draw the line, humor-wise. He doesn’t have to be a top-rated comedian, though. We can go see a top-rated comedian together if we want to.


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Jackie H – When I start having to make a pros and cons list, I know it’s time to go.  Once I start dissecting a man in that way, I’ve already lost respect to the point that I can pick him apart like nobody’s business and I already know that the cons list will be long.  Why even bother?  Additionally, I think that, unless the writer is experiencing some other issue, why is she even bringing up, “He’s not funny”?  If they have a good comfort level with each other, that’s what really matters.  It’s seems a mute point to attack him for being not funny enough at this point in the relationship, and imho, like she’s ‘looking” for a reason to leave.  Funny “enough” is one of those things you look at up front, during the dating phase, and if she thought he was funny enough up front, why is she dissecting him like this now.  This says to me there is a larger problem which has nothing to do with “funny” enough. What she’s really saying is that he’s not “enough” of something else….  I like funny but life, in an of itself, is serious business.  And if he is taking care of business, why even go there?  If “is he funny enough” a serious consideration, then no wonder I have such a hard time dating.  Maybe I’m just taking the wrong stuff into consideration.  But hey, if I’m going for really funny, then just give me the best looking guy in the room too!  Geez, at this point, I’d take cute, kind, attentive and caring, a decent job, no big baggage, and someone who actually wants to get to know me with enough chemistry to make some smoldering happen.  That apparently is far too much to ask these days.  If I want some funny, I’ll YouTube my favorite old Eddie Izzard skits. 
You’ve noticed that something doesn’t feel right between you and your husband… He seems different, less present, and maybe doesn’t even seem like the person you married at all these days. Your intuition tells you something is up and you’re realizing that your partner is unhappy. It’s unsettling feeling of course, but once you pinpoint what exactly is bothering him, you’ll be on your way to fixing the problem.
The OP has every right to want a guy that makes her laugh if its that important to her. My only question to her would be to why does she wait until the relationship has reached LTR status before she lowers the boom on these guys? She should know after a few months if this is a deal breaker for her and then move on without too much being invested by the guy or her. She probably knows the guy has an expiration date but dangles him along. Not cool. Its OK to be superficial or wanting a specific quality. Just declare it early on instead of 12 months in or whatever timeframe defines LTR.
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 thought my partner was the one. Cheesy as hell right! I went back home to visit my parents for a month. He was supposed to come but made up excuses like he couldn’t get time of work, money ect. He broke up with me a week after being home over the phone while I was on the other side of the world literally. It was so hard going back knowing I had lost my house, cat everything. I had to live at a friends house until I found my feet again. He asked my to find a house in another state! Which for some stupid reason, I did!!? He new he wanted to break up with me before I left. He couldn’t give me a reason. Nothing. It was just because. It took him over a month to tell me some sort of reason. But still to this day tells me how much he loves me how much he wants to see me and every now and then reminds me we will never be together. He told me today he slept with someone else. It killed me inside. I’m numb, confused and so so hurt. Who new your actually felt pain when your heart gets torn to spreads. I find my self reading this artical and I think what the fk was I thinking chasing someone who doesn’t love me the way I deserve to be loved. Great article.
I have been struggling in my relationship for seven months. I have been in this relationship for almost three years common law and we have a 1.5 year old daighter. We each have a six year old from previous relationships as well. I know I’m settling. He’s brought major financial problems on this home – thankfully we have nothing joint in our finances so it was all in his name- but then I still have to overcompensate on the bills to make HIS half ends meet. He’s proven to be a pathological liar, after this long he still doesn’t accept my six year old son as his own- even though I have fully bonded with his six year old daughter, so much that I have a friendship with his ex. He goes through cycles of atleast 3 days a month where he won’t talk to me not even to respond in small talk- like I don’t exist and he plays mind games this entire time. He’s ripped me off $4000 and now he’s drug himself so far down he can’t really even cover his bills. I’ve almost left multiple times ( actually he’d be the one leaving cause he can’t afford this home) but keep giving him ” one more chance”. I’m not sure if I’m delusional thinking maybe one day he’ll come to the end of himself and grow up and that things will get better. But I’m finding mySelf feeling more trapped and unhappy. 90% of what has kept me here is my daughter I have with him . What do I do? How do I kick someone out that has nothing? How do I avoid being manipulated into giving him another chance ? How do I protect myself from his vindictiveness after I do end it ? Please, any advice will do. Of course there are so many other details but there isn’t enough time or space.
I’m so sorry to hear that you went/are going through this. Hopefully you’ve found some peace since you posted this. I am going through something very similar and it feels like someone just keeps punching me in the chest. I havent eaten or slept more than a few hours in nearly 6 days and I’m honestly amazed I’m still functioning at all. I loved this man with all of my heart. I stood by him through thick and thin, through an alcohol addiction and rehab and subsequent court issues for a DUI. He has been sober 5 years now so I feel like I contributed positively to his life. He made me feel more loved than I have ever been, and then suddenly last Wednesday he tells me hes done. There is nothing left, he doesnt love me anymore. How?? What did I do wrong? I never lied or cheated. I tried to show him appreciation for all the things he did for me. I kept house as best I could and formed close relationships with his family. How do you just suddenly unlove someone like that?? I am reeling at the loss and he is being quite cruel about me hurrying up and moving out, though I havent even found somewhere else to go yet. I feel like an ax came down and just severed us because I cant understand how he can just erase a 6 and a half year relationship like that. How can he just stop loving me? It is beyond my comprehension. To say I feel lost is an understatement.
I am going through a similar situation. I met my boyfriend 5 years ago right before my last year in college. We began texting and talking on the phone every single day non-stop! The chemistry was crazy! I had never experienced such a connection with anyone like that before. Long story short, we started an official relationship and were inseparable. After I graduated from college, we shortly moved in together with a goal of marriage in the near future. Once our daughter came, things got worse. There were arguments after arguments. Then I began to notice we were stuck in a cycle. A cycle of arguing for days at a time, then we would have a week or two of good terms. At the beginning of this year we were having a conversation about our futures. He told me marriage was in the near future. Now all of a sudden he tells me I’m not on his level, I’m not the one for him, and he doesn’t know if he wants to continue with me. I feel so numb. I’m hurt and don’t know what to do. Not only for myself but for our daughter. I often wonder what she would think if we did end our relationship. I just don’t know what to do at this point.

My husband has told me that in addition to not being happy anymore, he is "emotionally involved" with another woman. I know who the woman is and considered her a friend. (BTW- my husband is technically this woman's boss, they work together) He says he feels a connection to her that he has never felt before and can read her emotionally, and he can't do that to me. This woman feels the same towards my hubby and is divorcing her husband (I just found this out). He spoke of several events in our lives where I may not have been happy, or had sacrificed my happiness for his (In my opinion, anyway). I think he basically is trying to get me to be the bad guy. I told him that until he is happy with himself, we can't determine how our marriage will be affected. I am trying to get him to talk to somebody, on his own, as I am. If we are both happy with ourselves an our marriage is still not working, that's the time to look at the next steps.


known my wife 50 yes been married 43, Can’t stand to talk to her,eat with her be around her.I have so much animosity toward her I get ill just looking at her. For the last 20yrs its like talking to wall.She never does what she says she will do. I feel like i have been beating a dead horse.Try everything to save marriage but nothing has worked So now I have shut down.We are just existing together.We got married at the age of 21 me and her 19.Tried to have affair felt to guilty could not perform.No sex or contact of any kind just passing time. Lord how it ever get this screwed up.

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.
@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?

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.


Don’t fall into the trap of believing you only have two options: staying married and staying unhappy, or getting a divorce and getting happy again. If you’re feeling scared and sad because of these warning signs your marriage is over, then perhaps you’re ready to go beyond that false choice (“Do I divorce so that I can find happiness again, or do I keep the family together and remain unhappy?”).
“If you find that you are your husband are critical of each other, don’t assume your marriage is doomed to fail,” writes Lisitsa. “The problem with criticism is that, when it becomes pervasive, it paves the way for the other, far deadlier [warning signs of unhealthy marriages].  Criticism makes the victim feel assaulted, rejected, and hurt, and often causes the perpetrator and victim to fall into an escalating pattern where the first horseman reappears with greater and greater frequency and intensity.”

If you've given up fighting, but feel further away than ever, it's a sign that you've reached a crossroads. "If there's a fight and the couple doesn't talk about what happened, or becomes gridlocked in their position and refuses to listen to their partner's perspective, that's not good," says Cole. However, you might still be able to turn it around. "Unresolved conflict can fool us into thinking that our love is lost, when it's actually only buried beneath the ashes of smoldering resentment and anger," says Turndorf. In other words, the love could still be there, but you just can't access it. To get back in touch with those feelings, turn toward your partner emotionally —which creates closeness and connection—rather than ignoring them or responding negatively, which creates distance and disengagement. "Fights can lead to greater intimacy if the couple processes the fight and repairs the relationship," says Cole. It's up to you to decide whether you've got it in you to turn toward your husband and give it one last go, or whether you've maxed out your ability to keep fighting for your relationship.
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