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 »

While it's healthy to go out and see your own friends, these people shouldn't take preference over your relationship. "If your partner always seems to have other plans and doesn't include you, it's a red flag that they aren't happy," Hershenson says. Speak up if your SO seems to care about their social life than what's best for you/the relationship.
That sounds way easier than it was. It was hard. It was agonizing to walk away from a relationship that brought so much happiness, peace and contentment in my life. It’s hard to give up those dreams I had with my ex: the children I was going to have, the life we were going to lead. I come from a family with a depressed parent, and it was HARD for me to break my pattern of “caretaking” and co-dependency and taking on all the responsibility. I feel sad to lose someone I love, angry at him and myself, guilty for “abandoning” my boyfriend. And yet I’ve seen up close from my own parents what Julia is 1.1 says:  if they can’t take responsibility and take care of themselves, there’s little hope of having a functional relationship until they do. And I’ve done so much work to get to a happy, contented point in my life that I can’t give that up now, just to hold onto a relationship that isn’t meeting my needs.
I’ve forgiven him. I brought dysfunction in to this marriage also (codependency). I spent over 13years trying to change him (there’s the codep. in me lol) He’s a product of his childhood as am I. But that doesn’t make it hurt any less and doesn’t mean we have to stay in the marriage. I’m no longer angry or hurt. Nor do I feel shame or guilt for how I feel towards him now. Mentally I’ve made peace with what’s happened. I taught him how to treat me and I enabled him. But there’s simply been too much damage. I have no desire to even think about liking him. I’m investing all my energy on my recovery and attempting to help my 12yr old son learn healthy ways to deal with his negative emotions. I’ve got a long way to go. I continue to tell myself “progress not perfection”
Me and my boyfriend is going this right but he don’t want me to but he unhappy with himself and us then he said it because it don’t have nothing but I’m doing everything I can to get on my feet to help that same way so it not doing all him self but I don’t help with what lil money I do get… I just don’t understand what going it almost been two years for us n alot has happen but was in the first year….. Need some help to save it…..
I feel for a lot of you on this blog because I have been through it too and even though I have been seperated 17 months now I look at things in a new perspective. I was married for 23 years and with him for 27 we were high school sweethearts and I can tell you, that things might get better for a bit but it will always come back. I kicked him out on our wedding anniversary and since that day I have been through so much hurt as I found out that he is a drug addict and wonder why our marriage did not work out. He was lying and sneaking all the time and also I was mentally and phically abused for years. I put up with it my whole life because he made me feel I could never do better in life without him and when you are constantly put down it is the way your programmed to think. Since we split his drug use becaome way worse, he would steal from the house and do very evil tings behind my back. He even lost my house as he did not let me know that the mortage was behind and 5 days before last christmas I had to vacate my home with my two year old grandson that I am raising. There hass been so many games done to me that it almost makes me puke but I can tell you that I have loved him so much for the entire seperation, but two weeks ago something happened to change my mind and I dont even know what it was. All the sudden I dont have the same feelings for him and I am not calling him much anymore. I have wanted him to come back to me but I think that it is because he mentioned that he wants to work things out with me and I really dont know how to feel about that. All I can tell you is that my feelings are not the same. I think that I have fonally gotton over this hurt and I forgive him for everything. We shared our whole lives together and its over and I dont think that we can repair it. I know that I pay for my own things now and I am raising my grandson and really I have come to terms with that I dont need anyone as a partner. Sure I could have got someone else in my life but I never wanted to hurt anyone because I know that If I got another guy that I would drop him like a hot potatoe as soon as my ex wanted to come back, never wanted to involve anyone else. I thought that when he was done his drugs that he would come home. Problem is I dont think at this point I want him back. I realize that he loved me chasing him, texting him and calling him and the more I dont do it the more it intises him to see what I am up too and why I dont call. I am tired of the game as it has consumed my well being. You cannot change anyone ever. For awhile they may change but as they say you cannot change a tigers stripes and I believe that is the truth. I never wanted to ever be alone, but I asked myself do I really want to live like that again ang the answer is definately not. I dont want to raise my grandson in a fighting home, i did that with my kids and I was wrong for it. Good luck to all and remember if your not happy get out of it, dont waste your life you only have one. It is not worth it in end. I didnt want to be 80 years old rocking in my chair wishing i still did not have to live this life. Anyone can do better for themselves, sure they might not have as much but I can tell you now that I am not with him I can make sure I have things as he is the one who always cost a crap load of money..there is so much to my story but I cant tell it all it would take forever. Good luck everyone.
When someone's no longer taking their relationship seriously, they're more likely to drop all the responsibility that comes with it. So no, you're not crazy for worrying about your partner's sudden lack of accountability. "If your partner starts breaking promises or does not keep their word and does not seem to offer you more than a simple, 'I’m sorry,' this is a sign that they may not be happy in your relationship because they stop caring about how you feel," Rappoport says.

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.
Nicole I’m sorry you’re going through that episode but believe you’re going to get past it. I know it hurt but it seem hard now to let him go but it’s best that he stay gone instead of coming in and out of your life. Now that would be a major set back towards healing. Take deep breath long walks and trust in God. He is the only one who can lift your pain
Steve Horsmon is a Certified Professional Life Coach and owner of Goodguys2Greatmen Relationship Coaching in Livermore, Colorado. He has appeared on local television, blog radio, telesummits, and podcasts all related to maintaining healthy relationships. Steve provides intensely personal, action oriented coaching services for men. He provides 1-on-1 coaching, private retreats and workshops designed to give men new knowledge, skills and mindset to achieve their relationship goals. He is a committed, lifelong mentor who teaches his clients to discover their masculine power, take bold action and create the life they want. He has written articles and guest blogs for numerous relationship and expert websites including his own blog. You can connect with him via  Facebook too.
We have been married for 10 years. we dated for a year, I am in second marraige, he has had four, which I found out by suprise in this past year. 4 months after we were married I was shocked to find out he had accepted over 100,000 a bills from his ex wife who had kicked him out and he was still paying her credit cards for 8 years. I was livid. Needless to say the trust was broken right away and our life became very difficult. My husband is great with words of agreement, but breaks any agreements we make. If the temperature get a little “hot” in the house the agreement is gone or he “doen’t remember.” We have not had sex for almost 3 years. He is one to try for a few times and if it doesn’t work…he’s gone. He spends ,most of his time in his office upstairs. We are older, 59 and 75, I detest being around him. He is retired and the economy does not afford a job for someone my age who cannnot be on their feet all day. We watched the movie fireproof separtely and he tried for 3-4 times and when it did not go his way he retreated. I have been in counseling for years and when suggested for us both to go he decided to go to his own counselor…alone. No suprise. He lives vicariously through me, has no hobbies, friends, interests and quite frankly I have exhausted my efforts, marraige suggested readings etc. He takes no accountability for his neglect or “conditional” effort. He will not read a book because he had to read a lot 40 years ago. the front of “looking good” has become weary and I have become very angry and short fused. I believe the marraige is over, we cannot afford to split. What to do… He is helpful if I ask him and remind him and remind him again. He is responsible with payments and watches tv and surfs the net. He has needed a hearing aid for 7 years and will not get one, (too stubborn)that has been very difficult. His mom passed last year and for te yeas she was here in the city. She was his priority and that was made very clear. we have no birthday, anniversary celebrations, get aways. We can’tbe in a car together or there is complete silence. He has and has not had dreams, goals for our future since I met him. He just said what was neeed for me to hear and it was much mistruth. Looking for counsel.
Me and my husband are best friends/soulmates. We have been married for 16 years and talk about things all the time. To my horror a few weeks ago i found out that he did not go on the business trip that he told me he was going on, he checked into a hotel and spent a couple of nights on his own, he worked during the day, to think about his future. He did not expect me to find out, he wanted to look at his life to see if he needed to change anything in it, life’s too short and all that. You can imagine i was mortified and have found it really hard to believe him now, i feel i am constantly checking up on him, asking him questions. He goes out once a week with his friends and comes in at 2am, i have asked him if there is anyone else and he says no, why do i jump to that conclusion he says. We have been really good friends and confidents but the love life has not been really there for years now, i have talked to him about it and he said that if both of us are happy about the lack of sex then that is fine. To be honest, i lost my mojo years ago too, only occasionally i feel like it, if i initiate sex, he never turns me away but he never initiates it ever himself. How long do i carry on with the questions/mistrust etc? It is tearing me apart, i feel like i am obsessed with where he is and who he is with, he knows i am upset about it but still goes out regardless. We do go out as a couple on other nights too.
Where shud i start, so unhappy.. been married nearly 3.years.. he doesnt care ALWAYS teln me he wants to leave etc.. we have a lil two years old boy… My lil boy is my happiness… My husband doesnt understand or care, he says its alrite to chat to girls on facebook to leave comment as long as he dont see them, but he did last year n was lying until this addmitted he really was seeing dat bitch.. he i although he left me n my baby for 3weeks alones saying he dont care about any other girl, but he dont me first either…. Our sex life can be boring, he doesnt kiss me on my lips, he flirt with me or asks me to wear sexy clothes for him.. we have lotsof arguements, its him n his stupid project he is an animator, he always put his family first then his work last me n our baby.. its like im NOT HIS FAMILY just agirl he calls wife… He doesnt know the meaning of wife n child.. sometimes i just want to phone my ex n go with him far, coz he made happy alot, we seperated coz of family crisis… My husband loves european girls, even though im not bad looking girl much better looking then him lol i just want a man to love me for me, not tel me he is embarrassed by me coz i havnt been to uni as if im illitrate, which im NOT.. he comes late, if iask how come ur late,he tells me im taking his freedom away from him,he tells me, he dont owe me anything.. i dont trust him at all.. his family also brainwash his mind about me, they think they r sooo good coz been to uni n have careers, life is not all about education n treat others like nothing n be ignorant.. sometimes when we have fights he phones his mum, that really ANNOYS ME coz a man nearly aged 40 phoning his,mum!!wat a joke!! Im 28.. destiny is cruel to have met him.. he is sooo cold n heartless.. although he doe buy me clothea,n put me in gym n bought me a car, wen we have arguements brings al to my face.. basically he says,being married dont mean he has to listen to his wife, he can come home weneva he wants, n as da wife shudnt have da right to ask him any questions,chats to any girl on facebook even if flirting etc.. So many other things. I cant stand his family, his family dont like me either,i have done NOTHING to them rather its them that phoned me cussed me… Coz if him moaning to them.. sometimes i want him to leave then i think to myself, how will i cope financially with a baby… He wont help me with baby, even now most times i feel like single mum… He is totally opposite in what i want in a man..
The truth is, men are mostly taught to “man-up” and deal with our own emotions. We aren’t told how, when and where to release them or to deal with them in a healthy manner. It’s basically just “stop acting like a little b*tch and get over it”. And sometimes the issues that men go through are much DEEPER than just a momentary emotion, because some dudes are dealing with severe mental problems, but because mental illness is such a taboo topic (especially for BLACK men), it becomes a subject that gets overlooked.
No stress to look good all the time. You could stress out about how you look and let a man judge you for what you wear or what you look like without makeup. Or, you could say screw it and realize how happy you are wearing whatever the hell you want. Without a man, you could spend a week in the same clothes without a shower if you want. I don’t recommend that, but you get what I mean. You get to dress for you, not someone else.
I think a lot of guys get to this point simply via time. Time passes, everything seems to stay the same, not getting better but not getting worse. And, then something minor and seemingly insignificant happens: your favorite pair of pants are now too tight, someone at work whom you like or crush on makes a joke about your bald spot, you get a younger boss or get passed over for a promotion. You see my point?

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.


As a matter of fact he almost has. I mean, read your own words, ” Am just devastated. What is wrong with me? Am I not beautiful enough?”. Self esteem issues dear. Yours is at a dangerously low level and he knows it. He’s using it against you. You need to dump that weasel and start working on your self esteem. Make sure that it doesn’t depend on how other people treat you. Once you achieve that no one will ever play you like this again and get away with it.
I have to agree with lonelywife. I was happily married up until the 8th year and I dont know what happened. Its like I woke up oneday and my marriage and life are in shambles. I was married prior to another man for 3 years – who abused me physically and mentally. I left him because CPS threated to take my son away if they got another call for domestic violence. Then I met my current husband – who was my knight in shining armor to save and protect me. He raised my son from my prior relatioship and we have had one together since then. Hes commited infidelity a few times to me (that I have rock solid proof of – there could be more that I dont know about). bUt i felt we could work throught it. Now.. I feel alone. I work 2 jobs, take the kids to school/daycare, pay all the bills etc. I go through my routine everyday and there is no time with my husband. He doesnt participate in anything. I am hopeless. I keep having dreams that I am hanging in the closet by shoe strings and my family keeps walking by me like Im not there. Its very sad. I am very sad and loney.

Bring those things back or better yet, revamp them! If you liked doing something like having picnics, set aside a weekend for yourselves where you could go camping or rent out a little cabin. It can be just the two of you, in nature, and you can have fun rediscovering each other. You could also just set aside one evening every week as Date Night and do your best to think of something fun and a little different for each time!
I KNOW WHAT EVERYONE IS FEELING AND STATING MY HUSBAND OF 21 YEARS DECIDES ONE DAY HE WANTS A DIVORCE HE NEEDS TO FIND HIMSELF AND MAKE HIS DREAMS N HOPES COME TRUE I CAN HONESTLY SAY I WAS THE BEST WIFE I DID IT ALL AND WORKED MY ADVISE TO ALL IS STOP TRYING TO GET THEM BACK THE TEXTING GIFTS NOTES EMAILS ETC DOESNT WORK SAYING AND APPRECIATING THEM DOESNT WORK THE MORE YOU DO THE LESS OF A POSITIVE RESULT WILL OCCUR BEEN THERE DONE THAT I AM NOW LIVING FOR ME LIKE EVERYONE SHOULD LIVE FOR THEMSELVES FIRST THEN SEE WHAT HAPPENS !

Notice that nothing about that response was accusatory.  It’s so tempting to ask him where you couldn’t meet his impossibly high standards but try very hard to resist this urge.  Because he has approached you and been very honest with you.  This gives you a chance to fix things before they get worse.  And although I know that it may not feel like it right now, this is a definite advantage and you truly can fix this.  I hear from so many women who have already been served divorce papers or whose husband has already left the home.  This isn’t the case here and these are very important distinctions.
Obviously I don't know your situation, but it sounds like it truly sucks. I don't know your background. What made you fall in love, how well did you know your husband before your married, why did you marry, etc. I'm sure that your husband loves you very much but he has clearly lost his way. I don't know why he seeks solitude but there may be a better reason than you suspect. I don't know why he is emotionally detached but I'm sure that it's not your fault and that the reason is anything other than what you might imagine it to be. All that being said, and giving him the benefit of the doubt, you need to go together to see a marriage counselor as soon as possible. They speak to lots of couples in similar situations and I believe that they can help you find out why your husband acts the way he does and how to help. You both need to focus on strengthening your relationship. This effort should take priority over your kids. They need you two to love each other and be happy together because you are their model of true love.

“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.”


Offer your support and listen if he wants to talk. Provide your boyfriend with an outlet for his moodiness, such as a night with the guys or a day that he can spend doing something he enjoys without interruption. Suggest that you participate in a recreational activity together several times a week, as this can ease your boyfriend’s stress and anxiety.

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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