Evan, this is very timely for me!  I wrote about the bf with undiagnosed Aspergers.  The relationship became pure hell.  I was the only one trying to work around his disorder, and the drama and depression that comes with it, he refused to acknowledge he even had it, and when I tried to talk to his family about it they got mad at me!  Everyone wanted me to just accept him as he is, because that is the way “God made him and God loves him”.  I have three things to say about that:  1) I am not God, I am a person with my own needs, desires, and issues 2) I was getting completely worn out trying to tap dance around the disorder and I was starting to feel like I was going nuts myself, and 3)  God helps those who help themselves.  I am not saying he is not worthy of God’s love or my love.  I am saying, he is not worth sacrificing MY LIFE and MY HAPPINESS for. 
Think about ending things with your boyfriend. How do you feel? If you feel sad and heartbroken, okay. But if you immediately feel a sense of panic like, "But what would I do? Who would I hang out with? Then I'd be the only friend without a boyfriend. Who would buy me a Christmas gift? When would I meet someone new?" that's not okay. That means you're with this person because you don't want to be alone.

Recently my husband and I have brought some issues to light. We have been together 13 years, married 12. We were young and I had a 3 mo old daughter when we met. I fell in love with him because of the way he was with her. Recently, in a very relaxed conversation, he reveiled to me that he “thinks this sounds bad” but he believes he fell in love with me becuase of her. I dont have a problem with that. But now he thinks he loves me very much but isnt in love with me anymore. Personally, I dont know the difference. He says he loves me every night before we go to bed, and every morning before he leaves for work, as well as every time we talk on the phone, before he hangs up. And if I say it to him when around the house, he always says it back. He usually kisses me good night and good bye. So I think there is love there, and after so many years of being together you just fall into a rut. But…….. there are problems and I am not sure, when put all together, if I should be worried. He has always had this thing with joining dating sites online. He says he is just looking and that you have to become a memeber to see them. He says he doesnt get attention very often and it’s nice to see if someone responds. That he never returns their messages and would never act upon it. He has acutally kept this very open with me. From the beginning. I truly do understand where he is coming from. In my line of work, I am with guys all the time. So there is attention. I share all these stories with him so that he doesnt think I am hiding anything. I have never done anything inappropriate with anymore, nor have i wanted to. He is the only guy I have wanted in that way since I have been with him. In his line of work, there is no one else to give him this attention. WE all like to feel that we are still desireable and I know how that feeling lacks after being in the same relationship for years. But lately, I have had an issue with it and when I try to talk to him about it, he tells me (now mind you very calmly and never upset with me about it) that he never ever as any intention of acting upon it, it’s just nice to feel like someone is flirting with you. He is a very good looking guy and gets flirted with when we go out but he doesnt notice it. So I really do understand that need and want. Plus he reminds me that we made an agreement in the beginning that if either one of us felt things were moving towards a path that we were going to be unfaithful, then out of respect, we owed it to the other party to tell them beforehand. (He had been cheated on a few times prior to me and it really hurt him) Then I feel bad for bringing it up. But then he points out the fact that I need to start doing my own thing. We have 3 kids and i do absolutely everything for them. They are each very involved in school activities and friends and I never tell them no. So between running them around and my work I feel unappreciated and taken for granted. He says that if I had a few female friends that I could go out with and get away from the house I would feel better. That my life is not the kids and him, that I need time for myself. That i have become bitter and some people that he introduces me to read in my body language that I dont want to be there and so later on he feels embarassed and he apologizes to them for that impression and tells them that I am really not that way, that I am a very nice person, just hard to get to know. He does have a point. I only define myself as his wife and their mother. I have nothing else. And it is my own fault, I have made it that way. He says he thinks I am miserable and just dont know it. I think he has a point. But then here comes the fact that right now, becuase of everythign else, i am dealing with some real insecurity issues. I dont feel any emotion from him lately. I have tried to initiate being intimate these past few nights, with nothing but cuddling from him. I end up crying myself to sleep. I ask, if he really isnt interested and he says he really is just very tired. He recently got promoted at his job, so he leaves at 4:30 in the morning and gets home anywhere from 7:30-11:00 at night. He is exhausted and I can see it, becuase he sits on the couch within the first 5 mins of being home and falls asleep before the kids get a chance to tell him how their day was. He says that I am making a little thing into a big thing lately because I am being so emotional. Which is not like me. We use to joke that we had a really different kind of relationship. We werent really mushy, we joked in what othes would think would be mean ways. We use to tell people we had a love hate relationship. That we love to hate each other, but then we would laugh and he would kiss me and they knew it just worked for us. He had such a hard up bringing that he doesnt get very emotional, it’s almost like a wall. And i was ok with that until recently. It seems like he hasnt changed the way he treats me, but I see it now as a lack of emotion. That I am making subtle hints that I just need him to come up behind me and hug me, just to show me he’s still there, but he doesnt notice this. I want to talk to him but feel like I am beating a dead horse (for lack of a better term). We’ve never really had communication problems so I dont know why it is so difficult for me to talk to him now. I dont knwo why I feel so insecure now. I think if i just felt like i had some reassurance on his part. And when I brought that up the other night, he said, “I come home to year every night. I love you and the kids. I just want you to stop being so derogatory on the outside. Show what’s on the inside.” He even said that maybe he has started to pull away a bit becuase he sometimes doesnt know what kind of mood I am going to be in. and that does push him away sometimes. He does have a point there. He is the kind of guy that is always perkey, the glass is always half full with him. He says things are uncontrolable and you just have to go with the flow. I tease and call him a con artist sometimes, because he always seems to have everyone eating out of the palm of his hands. And I other the other hand, am the pessimistic one. I always prepare for the worse so that I wont be let down. Always been that way. But now it seems to be causing a drift between us. I feel I really need to change this behavior or I will loose him but on the same token, i dont want to feel like I have to change all of me to make him fall in love with me again. I dont feel I am the only one that has things to work on. And when this was all brought up, there was no yelling and he wasnt mean. I was crying, of course, because I didtn know he felt those things, and all I wanted was a hug but that didnt come. A year or two ago I wouldnt have thought anything of it, that’s just him, always has been. But now i feel like I really need the emotion. But it’s not fair to ask him to change. I need to know what I can do to change this, to make my marriage strong again. To make me believe that he still loves me. I want to feel that he isnt just around becuase of the kids, that he wants to be with me. Does it sound like our marriage is over? Does there look like there is any hope? What can I do to help to change things? How can I talk to him without feeling sick to bring it up? How can I get us back to where we were a few years ago? Is there any hope for us? I love him very much and am becoming sick imagining him leaving me. He hasnt said he is or wants to, but from some comments lately, I think he is just content and I want him to be happy. Does that mean I have to let him go?
June 23, 2012 at 9:32 pm I know how you feel. I have been married almost 28yrs to my highschool sweatheart and just yesterday came to the end of my rope and told him to move out. He has changed so much over the past few months that i just could take anymore. Our daughter (27 and 19) and i have begged him to get help but he just won’t. He has lost almost 50 pounds (not in a healthy way), is buying hipster clothes, walks around in a daze and goes from jekyl to hyde in a flash. We can’t decide if he is having severe depression with mania or simply a midlife crisis. I’ve tried talking to him and it’s always the same “I don’t know” answer for everything. He does say he still loves me and is still in love with me but we don’t communicate at all. I told him I feel like I am married with a husband but am all alone and he said “but i’m here all the time”. Well his body is but he’s not and i told him so and again just silence with the hands in the air. He no longer states how miserable he is only that he doesn’t know anything (what he’s doing, what he wants, etc). So after months of trying and crying I’ve decided it’s up to him. One of our cat’s just died, my 80yr old mother has probable cancer again and I struggle with bipolar and diabetes (insulin pump) myself. Needless to say I have enough on my plate and I can honestly say I tried! During a six week therapy course we were told about co-dependent relationships. This may or may not apply, but you don’t go down on a sinking ship. Sometimes, In my case (since I see a therapist and take meds) it was a matter of saying to my husband “I’m riding the train to wellness, your welcome to come along, if not, have a nice life”.
Before I go any further, allow me to acknowledge a few things: unhappy and moody are not exactly the same. “Moody” sounds temporary, where “unhappy” is chronic. Then again, if your boyfriend consistently finds himself in a bad mood, I’m not sure how different it is from being unhappy. If it sounds like I’m familiar with the condition, it’s because, from 20-30 years old, I was always somewhere between unhappy/moody/anxious. I dated a LOT in that time and while there were many stretches where I could get by on charm, I could never mask my perpetual dissatisfaction with my career. Women would take a chance on me, but either I was a total downer or I was so unhappy that I’d choose an unsuitable woman just because she was there. Both are recipes for failed relationships.
I choose to serve my husband, and I’m eager to please him in our marital bed. I rarely say “no” if you know what I mean. I do work at my marriage, and I do work on myself to be the best wife I can be, but I also know that the outcome of our relationship doesn’t simply rest on my shoulders. He is responsible as well. And if he’s not where he needs to be in life then no amount of smooth legs, makeup, or hot sex can change that. 
Married almost 11 years, the entire marriage has been rocky, in and out of counseling. Brady bunch family, married into her and her 16yo daughter with my 4yo daughter, had a daughter together. Was told early on I have no say with her daughter, daughter is grown now and married. Was told frequently I suck as a husband, father etc and was routinely threatened with divorce when I raised any issues over the years. I have often thought of leaving (escaping) but haven’t because I don’t want to hurt kids or then I have thoughts of did I try hard enough, do everything I can. Btw she was diagnosed before she met me with anxiety and depression. I am a neat and organized man raised by my mother and grandmother – only child – raised the old fashioned way – had a step father who was nice at times but more times than not was an ass to my mom. As for my marriage, the threat of divorce has been there for duration, also my wife has diagnosed me over the years with bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, narcissism, passive aggressive and several other ailments, all of which I’ve researched to understand if there was any evidence of that fact. I’ve sought the help of counselors to gain clarity, gone to church, in couples therapy right now using Gottman tools to help and nothing seems to help. When we argue she ends up winning or dominating the conversation, when conversation gets tough and she doesn’t like what she is hearing, she says I’m reaching my limit and then says we need a pause and will pick this up later, then it’s awkward silence and avoiding until we address it again or sometimes we just drop it. We spend much of our non working hours out pursuing personal interests and occasionally join up for kids sports events. She dominates the relationship with our daughter we had together, I’m pretty much cut out of parenting her and only allowed freedom of parenting of my daughter who is now 16. Obviously I’m looking for answers and trying to figure out what to do. I want to be happy and have peace in my life – I’m tired of chasing my tail around in circles. I’m a good honest caring man who loves and puts his family first. Cleans the house, folds laundry, cooks dinner, makes kids events, works 50 hours a week and trying to hang on to this marriage for self, wife, kids. Insight welcome.

"Taking time to regularly cuddle, touch, and show love and affection for your partner stimulates chemicals in the body like oxytocin and dopamine, which foster feelings of attraction. Without that feeling of connectedness, a divide can form, which can lead to unhappiness. Even a short amount of intimate time daily with your sweetheart can really keep that bond strong." —Antonia Hall, psychologist, relationship expert and author of The Ultimate Guide to a Multi-Orgasmic Life
In defense of Steve, I would say practical advice depends very much on personal circumstances. I identify totally with the sentiments of the article but I’m in no way like “Kevin”. I know my default happiness is internal, but my ways of reconnecting to it will be different to Kevin. The men’s work you do depends on who you are and how far you are from where you want to be.
Every human heart is like a vessel. It longs to be filled to full capacity, but it can only be filled satisfactorily by the love of God. If your spouse’s heart is not complete by a relationship with Jesus then they will always be lacking. For a time they may try to fill that void with you, and when that doesn’t work they may try to fill it with pornography or even with another woman. This is not your fault, and we as women must realize this. 
i am also very confused about how to tell my husband the marriage is over. he was laid off two years ago, and soon after his depression got worse. now he doesn’t seem to care about life anymore, he is always outside in the garage doing who knows what. i stay in the house and keep very little contact with him. i gave up for some time now trying to help him with his depression which has turned into severe depression. it has been over 17 years since we kissed as a couple. sex is completely gone. i feel i am dying from the inside out. i used to try to find places or doctors where he could go to get help for his depression but he never went. he is going now and has been going to see a phsyquiatrist and counselor, however, i just don’t see him as i did before. he has changed so much, i lost all respect for him. we almost lost our home because he couldn’t go look for a job because of his depression. i want to stay out as much as i can after work just so i don’t have to come home. our kids are older and on their own. please what should i do. i can’t leave him with no income. the guilt is so great, i feel i should stay and take care of him because of his depression, but at the same time i cry because i want to have a life of my own. i would like to find a man who would love me and make me feel special. I am so tired of having to take care of someone who doesn’t even notice me. I am starting to resent him, we don’t sleep together anymore. we don’t do anything together anymore. we have been married for 22 years.

I would have gone to the ends of the earth for this man and stayed forever, if he had been willing to work on his issues.  But in the end, you cannot force a grown man to do that if that is not what they want for themselves.  Should you subject yourself to yet more emotional torture and hurt whilst they spiral ever downwards?  What is the use of two people’s lives being destroyed? Very often it is the tough love in this world that has motivated those people to get help and improve, not the silent suffering of those they love.  Moreover, I don’t believe people with serious issues necessarily want to hurt those close to them – so I actually think calling a halt to the madness can be a kindness for all.
Depending on if you're a stay-at-home mom or work yourself is all relative. If you stay home with the kids during the day, make sure your home is inviting when you're husband is almost home. Pick up the little things. Of course, it can't always be perfect, but try to make home as relaxing as possible. Don't pass the kids off immediately when he walks in the door. Let him unwind. If you work as well, share responsibilities when you get home, or do the things you know he dreads the most.
Wedded bliss, it seems, belongs in story-books. But interestingly, the most recent statistics reveal that divorce rates in the UK are falling. A report by the Office for National Statistics shows the number of divorces in England and Wales in 2009 (the latest year published) was 113,949, a 6.4 per cent decrease since 2008, when there were 121,708 — and the lowest since 1974.
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.
Me and my boyfriend have been together for 1 year, we don’t live together in the same place, we are in a long distance relationship. I don’t think my boyfriend wants me anymore. At first we used to meet every week, we were happy in love but now that love is gone he doesn’t want me to visit him. He is digging in my past n other people tells him lies about me especially male people, if I call him he is not answering my calls and if I don’t call him its a problem. My boyfriend accuses me of have an affair when he’s not around (which is not true). So I wonder if my boyfriend want to breakup with me or what because now its a long time since we saw each other again.Advice me please.
I see also that you have only been married for 5 years! A lot of the posts on this thread are from marriages over 15 years (mine included) – I hate to burst your bubble @happy in marriage, but I was also happily married just 5 years in. Lets hope you can hold onto your perfect life over the next decade as well. but honestly, before you come parading your smugness, on a thread that is full of real people’s pain – just stop to think for a moment. NONE of theses marriages started off wrong, they were all just as perfect as yours in the begining.
Yep when I found out at 5 weeks I told my OH (other half) and he was not happy! I was on contraceptive pill but I know I missed a few on holiday etc and I had warned him. But still wasn't expecting to get pregnant (denial!). He blamed me and told me I had to get rid of it, I was devastated at how harsh he was as its totally out of character for him. Ignored me for a few days and then slowly started to accept that I was keeping it with or without him. He now regrets his behaviour so much , I'm nearly 16 weeks. He's totally inlove with the baby and treats me like an absolute princess. He is beyond excited and has even been dropping hints about an engagement at Christmas and has asked me to move in. Some people just take time xx
Loyalty to your partner is a tricky issue, especially when they show weakness. Humans are not so far removed from the laws of the jungle. The best I can say is to treat others the way you want to be treated. Don’t be a self sacrificing altruist if that is not who you are or who you present yourself to be. That should lessen the guilt. That said, I’d feel depressed if I abandoned someone like that. And later in life, if I were to fall into similiar circumstances, I might  experience an intense insecurity or paranoia about having my partner do that to me. It might add to my moodiness, further exacerbating the situation until the prophecy is self fulfilled. That would be karma transmitting my suffering. We live in a society. We share the consequences of everyone’s actions. I don’t understand it when people say that happiness is an individual responsibility.
I agree with Brian, too. All my life, I would hear that women want men with a sense of humor. That always puzzled me, as I never found that I cared about that myself. Then, I was reading an article by another male dating advisor, I think linked from this site, and I got it. He was explaining how women are emotional beings, and when they say they want a man with a sense of humor, they’re really looking for an emotional connection. Aha! I could now relate to my own version of that: I always valued being friends with guys, so much so that sometimes when there was a guy I liked, I would envy his female friends more than his girlfriend–if their relationship appeard to me to be superficially based.
"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.
I have also felt the need for external validation, but for my social skills rather than my happiness. When I was young, I was thought of as socially awkward. I never fully believed that, but I also knew I had no evidence to prove otherwise… because outside of my family, I was just not good at getting what I wanted from other people. And so, I became highly dependent on others’ validation for both confirmation and development of my people skills. Every rejection and “no” felt like more than just an ordinary setback. I came to see other people as,… Read more »

One warning sign would be that your relationship is totally sexless, says sex and relationship therapist Megan Fleming, Ph.D. — or if you're having sex less than 10 times a year. After all, she says, it's intimacy that separates a romantic relationship from all other sorts of relationships you might have. "When that's going out the window, it's a really big red flag." Jane Greer, relationship therapist and author of What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship, says that a lack of visible physical affection — like kissing or hugging — is also indicative of a real problem.
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