I too am in the same position, I see the signs my marriage is over. I’ve been with my husband for 12 years but am only 26 yr’s old. I started dating my husband at the age of 14 he is 9 yr’s older than me. We have two kids a 9 yr old and 4 yr old. I try to stay positive because of them but I just no longer feel that emotional aspect towards my hubby. I don’t feel love for him even when we have inter course it’s just not there. I am just wondering since am only 26 and been with him since 14 I jumped to soon. He’s a wonderful person very working, what ever I want I get, but the love from me to him is no longer there. It bothers me when he touches me or hugs me or kisses me. I don’t know what he will do if I decide to separate he’s not a strong soul very low self esteem person.

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.
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 have asked him numerous times to go to marriage counseling, even telling him once that I thought he should go to anger management. Sadly, he has no respect for therapy or therapists in general...the derogatory comments make me sad. Since I majored in Psych and Education, I asked him what he respects about me, since he makes fun of my Educ background and he doesn't believe in or respect Psych. He told me he respects the way I raise our daughter and my baking. During that discussion, I told him I was going to go to counseling one way or another. We had a stare-down and he asked me why I thought I needed to go. I told him I just did. I emailed him a passage on psychotherapy and wrote: You asked me why go to counseling, here are some thoughts. I will be making an appointment to go hopefully this week and would love it if you want to join me, but understand if you don't want to. If nothing else, I want to get my ducks in a row so I can raise our daughter in the best way possible! Let me know if you'd like to come with me...A week ago, I told him I went to my first counseling session and I'd love it if you want to join me for the next one. He said, Haven't we already had this conversation? I said, yes. I just wanted to let you know that I went. He said, Great. What's this going to cost us? I then told him I had 5 free sessions and then we'd have to pay, then I chatted with our daughter and that was the end of that...
Do I believe I made mistakes in that relationship? You betcha! Was I the best wife I could have been? Absolutely not! And for that I am sorry. But I also had to understand that all the blame could not be placed on my shoulders. Sometimes, often times, that’s what we women do. We take the blame for bad situations, and we wonder what we could have done to prevent them. 
These exact thoughts went through my head too. Having been through a bad marriage, where my husband got angry, distant, and resentful any time we hit a rough patch – and as a young, low income family with two children, one with Aspergers and the other one with ADHD (both undiagnosed until they were 12), we had a lot of those – I completely agree. The only way to start a family is to start it with someone you can count on, who will support you and carry their weight, who won’t let you down or check out on you emotionally when things get hard. Otherwise you’d be doing a huge disservice to yourself, your future family, and your future children.
It's difficult to say what is going on with your husband based on what you have posted here. Your husband's response could mean a lot of things and it is very important that you get to the bottom of this. I'm not trying to sound condescending, honestly...it's just that I have been in almost the exact same situation as you...a little over a year ago. My original post would have sounded very similar to yours here.
It's normal to feel a twinge of jealousy whenever you think about your single friends going out there and doing whatever they want, talking to different guys and flirting with anyone without guilt. But if you feel that way most of the time, that's a sign that you're looking for something different than what you have. Pay attention to how often you feel jealous of their lifestyle.

Wow, a lot going on here. My sense is that your husband may be depressed (or at least dysthymic) and that a lot of his negative thinking flows from that. Or, if not depressed, significantly unhappy, as he says himself. There may be one thing, or just a few things, that have landed him there that he either hasn't acknowledged to you, or hasn't even acknowledged to himself. Resetting expectations is a powerful technique to enhance resilience and reduce suffering (I discuss it at length in my book, The Undefeated Mind), and can be done without it meaning that "the world has won." That he's had 6 jobs in the last 13 years and that you sense he's always been "searching for something and simply not finding it" suggests he may be trapped in what Buddhism calls the world of Hunger. At the heart of this state of life lies a belief that if only we could fulfill our desires (whatever they happen to be) we will find long-lasting happiness. But of course, no desire provides that, so such people find themselves trapped feeling continual dissatisfaction with life in general. If he hasn't tried therapy, I'd strongly suggest it. He may have reconciled himself to life of minimal enjoyment, but you clearly haven't. If he won't do it for himself, perhaps he will for you and your daughter. Good luck.


I have been married for 16 years now and finally at my wits end with my wife. I do about 90% of the cooking, finances, cleaning, yardwork, grocery shopping, house/car maintenance, mowing, flowerbeds, helping kids with homework, etc. You get the picture. She is a slob, depressed and chooses to do nothing most of the time around the house (unless it is reading a book or playing video games—DUH!) although she does work full time and we have 2 children whom I love dearly. I am so tired of not getting the help I deserve from her. Did I mention that I worked on my Master’s degree and PhD also while working full time? She chose not to finish college and doesn’t want to go back…too much work for her I guess? I average around 100 hours per week (due to my PhD) and she works 40. Yet I get to do all the above items….I went into this marriage as a 50/50 split to share responsibilities and committments yet get very little from her at all. Have you ever fell asleep standing up, leaning over a dryer at 2 am because your partner wouldn’t do the laundry but she would read a book??? A romance novel to boot???? I have left the bathroom in our Master bedroom go uncleaned for the last 9 months to see if she would clean it….not a chance…she wiped out the sink and the toilet seat with a cleaning wipe and that was it. Amazingly it is OK with her. She doesn’t get dirty = germs which = people get sick more often. Her clothes are piled all over the room, she will walk out of the kitchen without thinking of doing the dishes or even wiping the counter after she messes it up. The new car we bought is constantly a disaster (so is our home) and she NEVER attempts to clean it, wax it or even take care of it. It is just over and over the same thing. I usually have to get up the next morning early and clean up everything prior to feeding my kids–which she won’t do most times “find yourself something to eat” is what normally comes out of her mouth. Weekends are a terror to me….she stays in bed until 9 or 10 am and watches TV most of the day…while I clean, have to work at the University, mow, shovel snow, etc. Can you believe what a completely non-caring self-centered individual she is?? This is the kind of lunacy that I have put up with for the last 16+ years and I am just so done with this. I am worried about my kids, whom I love dearly, and how this will impact them as well as the house being unfinished and not ready to sell yet – which it will most likely have to be since I sunk a large part of my assets into it for the down payment (she added none of her money for it). She is depressed but I am the one that is always to blame and I am SOOOO tired of it. Sex is infrequent if ever (have went as long as 8 months without her doing anything and we now are at 3 months and counting, once a month lately is a miracle)…We see a marriage counselor but that is just fingering pointing at me again and again and again. She tries a little to change but goes right back to her old habits very quickly. She never completes the change. What am I supposed to do and where can I find a woman who is caring, respectful, and wants a husband who will share the burden 50/50, not complain about it, is active, highly intelligent and deeply cares about a partner that they are in love with???? I am to the point that I have stopped caring about her and rarely have anything positive to say about her, to her or for her. I have lost my sex drive for her and really don’t care to have sex with her anymore. She has caused so much hurt and anxiety with her “not doing it ” attitude (I realize that this is linked to the depression also – which is permanent post partum and will most likely never get any better). I am the one with the “problem” —HUH???? OMG I will go insane if I hear that again at the counselors office. What can I do? All I want is a nice, caring, share the burden with me, wife that appreciates a good relationship and is willing to care about the family, house and us???? I apologize for the poor grammar, spelling errors and the associated but I am just so fed up with it!!!
Initially I did not tell my daughter why we were separating but when I did tell her, she seemed relieved and said we “fought all the time” which I don’t think was true but there was tension. Her father wanted to pretend that it was a mutual decision & we would still be good friends – I tried this for awhile but realized she needed to know why I was so particulalry upset by the whole thing and I told her. I want her to know that these things happen because of choices we make and the devestation that they cause. I want her to be able to make other, better choices in her relationships. And believe this is only possible if she confronts them honestly.
"Can you recall a time when you weren't feeling like your best self or perhaps a time when you were questioning whether you should stay or flee, hide or speak up?" Chelsea Leigh Trescott, a breakup coach, told INSIDER. "Start there. It will show your significant other that there is no shame to be feeling how they are feeling, and it will offer them hope that hey can bounce back."
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.
Great article Steve, one of the best I have read so far on GMP. It applies to more than just marriages, it includes all depending on others for happiness. One of the consequences that can flow from going the change route to be responsible for your own happiness is that it can mean the end of your relationship which may have been a reality regardless. To minimise the risk of this you need to consider how you will effectively communicate your change needs with your partner and be prepared for negotiation around a win win solution. This also might require… Read more »
My boyfriend of 5 years broke up with me days before my birthday. He said, he is unhappy and that we know we love each other but we are not inlove anymore. We moved abroad to have a fresh start, cause last year he broke up with me too for 3 months at that time the relationship was in a long distance. But he chase me back and here we are now. Only 7months abroad something a new life, living in together. I asked him is there someone else so many times, at first he said none, 3 weeks after I found out he was already cheating while we were still together and before he broken things up with me with A YOUNGER GIRL at work. The day i confronted them, dont get me wrong, i still get them the respect even they did me wrong, he said he was going to tell me that night but I just knew or had proof already. I was so crashed but i know i still love him, i couldnt even hate him, he was doing her and doing me too. He said he has his reasons why he did that. But for me, you cheated. It shouldve hurt less if you didnt, upto this day he says that he has reasons why he had done such. He already moved out of our apt and chose her infront of me. I can’t explain the feeling i have. I didnt believe it until I saw it, i always tell myself he can’t do that to me but I was wrong. The person that i love so much did it and it hurts like hell.
Our instincts can often tell us first when a relationship just isn't working — but we don't always trust that voice, says couples therapist Susan Pease Gadoua, co-author of The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels. "We often ignore our gut instincts because that voice is very quiet and calm, unlike the internal voice in our heads that thrives on high drama." We're trained to trust logic in many areas of life, so when a niggling feeling ("Am I really still in love with this person?") presents itself, it's hard to pay attention to it because there aren't any hard facts or rational reasoning. Drill down on that initial instinct and ask yourself more specific questions. If you find your responses are things like, "I don't feel safe to express myself, I don't feel respected and haven't felt happy in a long time," that's a sign that things have gone awry — and you shouldn't ignore it. "The truth doesn't go away simply because we don't want it to be there; that voice stays in the background and weighs on you," says Gadoua. "Getting quiet within is key to being able to hear instincts. And like a muscle, the more you trust your gut, the easier it becomes to decipher that voice — which comes from your heart — from the voice in your head."
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