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.
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.
A patient of mine has a mentally ill brother who's depressed and anxious, as well as manipulative and stubborn. He often refuses to take medication that's helped him in the past and as a result often ends up lying at home in his bed, unwashed and unkempt, for days at a time. When my friend discovers him in this state, she tries various things: taking him to the ER (which she's learned leads nowhere), contacting his therapist (which sometimes helps, sometimes not), and even walking away, both figuratively and literally. She struggles with how much she may be enabling his behavior and with how unhappy his unhappiness is making her. She vents to me on occasion, and I try to walk a fine line between encouraging her not to give up on him and supporting her decision to protect herself emotionally. Recently, he had a particularly bad episode and it got me wondering: how can we best manage the unhappiness of people we love?
This is the oldest trick in the book. Why do we start a relationship hoping a man is going to change? It’s important to accept your boyfriend for who he is, in the flesh. If you fell in love with your idea of him, and not the real him, that’s not his fault. If you are pushing him to do things he doesn’t want to do, it’s not going to make him happy.
If you're connected and intimate with your partner, you’re going to notice when something is off-track. There is always a caring way to address this: Without being defensive or combative, say, “I’ve noticed you seem a little off. What’s happening for you?” Showing concern and stating what you see happening may be just the thing to get whatever is causing the unhappiness out into the open. You’re basically creating a safe environment for your partner to share.
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?
If leaving is not an option because of your pregnancy or beliefs, then you need to figure out how to be happy in your marriage situation. I guess that means not expecting your husband’s family to change, and deciding that you want to stay married and raise your children in his parents’ home. If you can’t leave, and you can’t change your husband or his family, then you need to change yourself so you can be happy.
A sign that your husband is unhappy is if he shuts down and doesn't seem to care about anything. If in the past the two of you used to argue about something, but now all he does is shrug and say "whatever," this could be a sign that he has given up and no longer feels emotionally invested in the marriage. Going hand in hand with this is that your husband might appear to have no life left in his eyes or spirit in his voice.
There are some people (often mathematicians), who I say something to, and I think, “Oh my gosh, that HAS to make you laugh or at least smile”, and it doesn’t. That instantly creates a ton of distance. Not only could I not date such people, but I couldn’t be close friends and I don’t feel particularly comfortable in their presence, because were not “on the same wavelength.”
I encourage you to talk to a counselor. You don’t need your husband to agree to go to couples counseling for you to get emotionally healthy! A counselor will help you sort out all the questions and miscommunications and problems you’re having…and he or she will help you see what direction you should go in. A counselor can also help you see your husband’s personality more clearly, which can help you decide if your marriage is truly over, or if there’s hope that you can save it.
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.
He Might Mean That Some Aspect Of The Marriage Is Falling Short:  Often men will offer you vague, sweeping statements about your marriage when in reality, they aren’t happy with one or two aspects of it that have become very problematic.  And there are many possible causes of this.  Just some examples are not enough intimacy, differences about money, him feeling as if he is tied down or doesn’t have enough autonomy in his life, or him feeling like marriage isn’t what he expected.

well fast forward to now, we separated in 2010, i moved to SC in 2011, i came home because i love no one like i love him, he keeps swearing that we are gonna work on this but every week the kids are (again) subjected to witness an unhealthy exchange between their parents, he calls me out of my name when he talks about me cheating, we have had some fights-i have had to be rushed to the hospital because i have fainted from arguing or being constantly badgered about my past sex life (i have congestive heart failure & type 2 diabetes)! he is an alcoholic & 6 1/2yrs younger than i am. now we are supposed to be moving in another apartment starting fresh & he tells me that his soul doesn’t agree with me-thats new! he has always said that he doesn’t trust me-even before i cheated! so last night he says he can never be proud of me or our marriage! smh-i don’t know what to do! i just know life can’t possibly be this miserable-i was happier when we were separated!


When you're together, you order the same Chinese food every time (same places, same dishes, same greasy packets of mustard no one uses). You select movies from the same Netflix ghetto (Romantic Comedies Based on Foreign Films with a Dark Twist Recommended for Jane & John) every weekend. "He never wants to try anything new," you complain to a girlfriend, only it's not quite true, is it, because when he's with his friends he'll try anything, from windsurfing to kale. In a romantic relationship, there is, or at least should be, the profound joy that comes from being known; that familiarity, though, can make a body feel loathe to change, afraid of eye rolls or "You do not!"'s from those closest to him. There needs to be room, in your relationship, in every relationship, for him to say, "This is going to sound crazy, but maybe we could..."
In fact, when you cry, the only thing a man wants to do is run away and not see it. But if he loves you, he will pull himself together and do everything he can to try to comfort you even if the reason you’re crying seems trivial to him. He will calm down only when you start smiling again. However, if he doesn’t love you, then your tears will be just one more reason to get angry at you.

My man is just irritating me.. he goes through my personal emails and messages behind my back.. and he did the same last sunday and he came home in the afternoon and he started asking me if i am keeping any secrets from him and i said no! and i started beating me up and he said i told you to cut contacts with your Guy friend and now i found out that you still sending each other emails and going out together for lunch and drinks. and to think i am not cheating the guy is my friend and we have been friends for years now, even before i met him. Now i really want to move out and find a place of my own cause i can’t seem to find happy even when i try. i just feel like i am i a prison of some sort. and financially he is not even helping in anyway. he is a bad money spender he would spend all his money and expect me to borrow him mine and when i tell him i can’t he turns it into a big issue. and i can’t take it anymore. at first i used to help him financially because i thought something positive will come out of it but no! every month he finds some sort of a project which he will spend his money on and and i will be the one facing all the expenses, and groceries in the house and on top of that he will come to me asking for some cash and most of the times he doesn’t bring it back unless i actually tell him about it over and over .I really don’t see us together in the next year. really. Please advice if i am being irrational
My husband and i got Married last year and we have been living happily for a while. We used to be free with everything and never kept any secret from each other until recently everything changed when he got a new Job in NewYork 2 months ago.He has been avoiding my calls and told me he is working,i got suspicious when i saw a comment of a woman on his Facebook Picture and the way he replied her. I asked my husband about it and he told me that she is co-worker in his organization,We had a big argument and he has not been picking my calls,this went on for long until one day i decided to notify my friend about this and that was how she introduced me to Mr James(Worldcyberhackers@ gmail. com) a Private Investigator  who helped her when she was having issues with her Husband. I never believed he could do it but until i gave him my husbands Mobile phone number. He proved to me by hacking into my husbands phone. where i found so many evidence and  proof in his Text messages, Emails and pictures that my husband has an affairs with another woman.i have sent all the evidence to our lawyer.I just want to thank Mr James for helping me because i have all the evidence against my Husband  in court.
Second, you might consider leaving our husband on a trial basis. Move out, give yourself and him a chance to figure out if your marriage is over. The time and distance might do you both good. Sometimes it’s difficutl to see what big life decision we should make when were in the thick of it all…but stepping out of our marriages through a separation can bring clarity and objectivity. And, that clarity can help you know if it’s time to end your relationship.
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.
Actually, it can be, if you make it that way. But, if you do so, be sure that the only thing your couple will think about is how to break free. If we want a marriage based on love, not fear, we should leave the space for both of us to breathe and expand. Freedom doesn’t mean doing whatever comes to your mind. You two know what is a part of your deal. But you want your husband to respect the deal because of love, not because he has no other options. Don’t make him choose between you and everything else. Love gives us wings, fear tides us in chains. You choose which one you’re gonna base your marriage on.

Kathleen, I admit the first paragraph of your comment struck a chord. Last summer, my boyfriend of two years walked out on me, out of the blue – just told me at the end of a weekly date night that he was leaving, handed me all my things from his apartment, that he’d packed before he left home that evening, and I only saw him once since that day. The only indication he’d given me was three days before he left, when he said “you were not happy last night”. Last spring, i.e. 3-4 months prior to that, I had a loss in my close family, my workload around the house doubled, then I changed jobs and my new job was harder than the one before it, and took a while to adjust to. Things got easier by the end of last year, but in the summer, I was completely exhausted from having all that new workload on top of trying to meet my ex’s many needs. I was still happy for the most part, just very tired and more irritable than my usual easygoing self. I admit that I still feel disappointed with him that he couldn’t wait for the hard times to pass, offer help and support, or even tell me that I had changed and ask me to get help (since I was too tired to even notice). Instead, he just walked out when I needed his help the most, because, after two years of making him happy and meeting his needs, there came a brief period of time when I couldn’t, and he just refused to put up with that. I still feel that he betrayed me, violated my trust in him, and let me down. I used to respect that man a lot and I don’t think I will ever be able to anymore.

I read this with an open mind and heart and I had a guy I loved dearly he was very moody, and he ran hot and cold. what  eventually happened was I had to let go he refuse to  get help and all he was doing was dragging me in his funk, I could not do it. I love him still to this day, but I love me MORE!! YOU can’t fix, repair or coddle anyone with severe issues, it’s not your job, he found someone and married her did he get the help he needed.. NO!! it;s such a vicious cycle..


Hi i have been married now for 10 years I was married at 19 My husband and I have 2 great children but that seems like the only thing we have in common anymore. It seems like all we do is fight. I know I love him but not sure if it is a love of a spouse or more like a love of a brother. He works supports me and the girls he doesn’t cheat but has the most awful attitude anymore I don’t know if I want to leave or try and work it out sometimes I feel like i wish he would not come home for work Please help I am so confused
I agree with Evan’s assessment but also want to bring another question to the table after reading her letter.  Humor is important, and it’s obviously very important to the letter writer, but could it also be her way of providing herself with an ‘out’?   She mentioned that she ended her previous long-term relationships.  Could her current relationship be great and heading towards the next phase and that’s what’s causing her to all of the sudden focus intensely on his ‘lack of humor’?   I did this to my relationships to sabotage them from moving forward because I was too nervous, unwilling, etc. to risk going there.  Thankfully I realized that before it was too late and am in a great relationship now because of it.  But before, when it started getting serious, I’d start focusing on something that all of a sudden became a ‘deal-breaker’ that wasn’t one before.
Married for 45 years, husband cheated with same woman for 16 years. Been to counselling, numerous chats, still together, but a lot of joy has gone out of my life. He is still working long hours, and now working away overnight 2 nights/3 days a week and I am home, with arthritis, dwelling sometimes on the deceit and lies I have encountered over the years, with him messing with my head making me feel neurotic when I wasn’t. I have lovely holidays, beautiful home, possessions, jewellery etc and I still have this terrible emptiness inside me. We are together because deep down we still love one another and have 50 years together. Sometimes I feel trapped because I couldn’t leave him and be happy at the expense of his unhappiness. He says he is happy but I don’t know if he can be. Any advice.
“Criticizing your partner is different than offering a critique or voicing a complaint,” writes Lisitsa on Recognizing Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, and Stonewalling. “The latter two are about specific issues, whereas the former is an ad hominem attack: it is an attack on your husband at the core. In effect, you are dismantling his whole being when you criticize.”

Speak at length about your history of successful relationships prior to this one.  Expound about how self-actualized you are due to your six months of therapy in the college counseling center ten years ago.  I mean, you showed up to at least half the appointments.  Except over summer break.  You have even read some stuff about relationships on the internet.  So, you know it’s not you that is at fault for your unhappiness, unless you’re “too nice.”  It is him that is to blame, entirely.  Bring this point home using a loud voice and some well placed finger pointing, so he has no doubt about his complete responsibility for 100% of your dissatisfaction.  You should only have to sit back and wait now.  The handwritten letter expressing his sorrow and regret for unilaterally ruining the marriage should be forthcoming tomorrow.


Just for get everything just think about ur kid and become something for ur kid maybe ur husband loves u there might going on something in his mind when his mind is fresh he will come back to u trust him that's all and do something in ur life u can take online classes to become something ur child will be soooo much proud of u if u become something in ur life good luck in ur new life god is with u always
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.
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