I think your question, Katie, is good snapshot of most questions I get on this blog: some form of “I’m dissatisfied with my boyfriend. Should I stay or should I go?” The thing is that he may have the biggest heart in the world, but if he’s perpetually unemployed, a serial cheater, a drug addict, a commitmentphobe, or a terrible communicator, it really doesn’t matter how much you love him. I would say the same thing about a guy who is depressed. It’s not that he’s not worthy of love, but at a certain point, you have to ask if this is the life you want to lead: waiting for days for him to emerge from his self-imposed cocoon while you try to act like everything’s normal. I think there are enough quality people out there who are NOT this way that you don’t have to accept that from a relationship. I’ve written this before and gotten a little bit of blowback on it.
Men hate complaining so they are better off saying nothing at all. Perhaps he doesn’t want to hurt your feelings or he hopes he’ll cope with his unhappiness alone. He keeps silent and looks thoughtful. Men tend to think over the current situation that bothers their mind. You may ask what`s going on but I bet he`ll not answer. Give him some time to put his thoughts in order and handle his problems on his own.

One option is to give yourself what your husband can’t give you. For instance, he is not there for you when you’re sick or stressed out. It’s all about him, because he’s selfish. So you need to accept that he can’t give you what you need, and you have to find ways to give yourself the love, compassion, and kindness that you need. Maybe that means making friends who will nurture you, or listening to music that makes you feel better, or writing your feelings down.


Hello my friend. It seems that social skills seem to be a problem with many people. I used to have those problems. The truth is that they are truly “skills”. You have to build confidence around approaching others and general conversation. This can be done with a simple excersise: next time you go on the street, say hello to every person that you see. It may be nerve racking at first, but after a while, it will ease your overall anxiety around approaching people. I highly recommend reading “how to win friends and influence people by dale Carnegie” if you… Read more »
Well I'm in a similar situation... I've been with my boyfriend since late 2009 (we recently celebrated our three year) but for the past couple of weeks we've been argueing like crazy. I do admit I am the type that can come off as needy or smothering, and I am trying my best to work on that issue as I know that it pushes him away over time. Recently it's become so bad that he's tried to end things with me on a couple of occasions because he is not happy with me. However we are now at a point where he thinks its best if we "take things slow" by maybe giving each other more space for a couple of weeks. He says he still wants to work things out between us. I don't know what to make of it. I'm not sure if he's being genuine about wanting things to work, or if he's just doing this so that he doesn't hurt my feelings. Any insight would be appreciated!
If you're settling, you probably know you're settling - but you're constantly in denial, trying to convince yourself that things are fine. So, when you feel particularly unhappy with your relationship, you do things like remind yourself that it could be worse. Your boyfriend treats you fine. He's there for you, he's a good kisser. Yeah, he does some stuff that bothers you, but it could be worse, right? Do you really want someone thinking of you and being like, "I guess it could be better, but it could also be a lot worse." Didn't think so.
Very well put Lily.  I have an ex boyfriend who had me rolling on the floor with laughter at times.  The exBF still calls frequently and makes me laugh. However, he is an alcoholic and unfortunately I have found many of the comedians are.  The ExBF does turn his humor on me during disagreements, which is what I mean by calling him unstable.  He also would occasionally heckle absolute strangers which I found humiliating and immature. So even though 70% of the time he was amazing and kind.. the rest of the time I wondered if he will embarrass me or tease someone of a more delicate constitution than I have, like my children.  I decided that he was a liability and untrustworthy although still there is no one who is more fun or knows me better or loves me more than he in the world.  He simply was out of control of himself part of the time.
After getting home from a long day of work, do you and your spouse immediately go your separate ways? And when you're at parties, do you tend to drift apart and do your own thing? If you'd rather be alone than with your husband, it probably doesn't seem like there's much of a point in being in a relationship in the first place. Getting a little time apart is one thing, but the trouble really starts when you'd rather be apart.
Two things occurred to me while reading your story. One is that you have to remember that your husband is a man, not a little boy. You need to let go of the need to take care of him. He’s not your child, and he will deal with your leaving the best way he knows how. You can’t control how he’ll cope — and it’s not your job to make life as smooth as possible for him! Your job is to make the best decision for you and your marriage. And sometimes the best decisions are the most painful.
Examples of this behavior are “when everything seems like it's going great and then they all of sudden don't return any of your texts, or wait five-plus hours before texting you back when you usually text constantly, or you don't set the next date plan for a week, or not at all even, and your typical relationship modus operandi is to always have the next date planned at the end of the previous one.”
First and foremost, we must realize that everyone is ultimately responsible for their own happiness and simultaneously that everyone exerts a powerful influence on the happiness of those around them. A study by a former colleague, Nicholas Christakis, suggests that we influence the happiness of people close to us physically as well as the happiness of people close to us personally up to three degrees of separation (meaning not just the friends of our friends but their friends as well). How might this influence come about? Not by the advice we give or the action we take to try to make others happier but simply by being happy ourselves. Emotions, it turns out, are as contagious as infectious diseases (possibly as a result of the mirror neuron system). Some of us seem to be more contagious than others and some of us especially susceptible to being "infected" by others, but most of us have had firsthand experience in bringing others up or down with our moods and in being brought up or down by the moods of others.
Just recently out of nowhere-my b.f. stopped talking to me for 2 weeks as if I did something wrong. I was perplexed to say the very least. I couldn’t figure it out. This isn’t the 1st time this has happened- but usually after a few days he shakes it off and all is right in his world (which he shares w/ me). I’m Obviously seeking out some kind of answer to what I need to do in my situation& the bottom line is…that I need to put my needs first. I have my own issues that I’ve swept under the rug for so many years. KI’ve been so busy trying to make him happy that my needs were not addressed. I’ve ignored and neglected myself & I’m really starting to feel it. I Feel that if I lead by example & begin my quest to a healthier me- then he may just follow in my footsteps. If not…then I really have no choice but to leave him behind….which would really break my
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.
Did you just type, “He will break up with me when he goes through my phone and realize a guy texted me. Just recently, I went to the house and the while place was locked but he was inside with a woman. I went to the back where the bedroom window is and I heard him talking with a woman. I called and he told me he’s not home. Am just devastated”? You need to dump that psycho before he breaks you.
In addition to focusing on what is making you unhappy, let your husband know what would make you feel better. For example, if you miss spending time with your girlfriends, tell your husband that a monthly girl's night out would make you happy. Likewise, letting your husband know what you need from him, such as thank yous, affection or time alone can give you a starting point to fix your unhappiness. You may need to take time to list the things you need to make yourself happy before talking to your husband, or you may find yourself stuck during the conversation.

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.
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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.
It may be time to accept that he can’t love you the way you want to be loved. Your boyfriend isn’t ready to be in a relationship with you. It’s harsh, but he texted or told you that he doesn’t want you in his life anymore. He doesn’t love you, and you have to accept that he is not the one for you. If your boyfriend doesn’t have love for you in his heart, you have to allow him to have his true feelings. You have to accept your relationship, and be honest about your future. It hurts, but it’s the best way to move forward with a boyfriend who doesn’t love you the way you want to be loved.

Thank you for your article, there are so many questions that go through your head when you are contemplating divorce. Your article put a lot of things into perspective for me. After 26 years of marriage to a really good man, I'm just not sure I love him the way I should anymore and I think he is equally feeling the distance between us. I truly thought he was my forever (if that even exists) and it is so hard to make that final decision to leave. Addictions are the biggest problem, gaming, pornography, etc. and it is really the emotional emptiness that hurts the most. Trying to understand why someone becomes so addicted to things (so easily) is frustrating for me. I've tried to listen and understand his problem, but it just seems like a weakness more than an illness to me. For anyone going through this, I feel empathy, it is honestly the hardest thing I've ever been through in my life--and I haven't even filed for divorce yet. Thanks again for the article.
I was speaking with one of my homegirls this weekend and she was telling me about how she’s on the verge of breaking up with her man. When I asked her why, she stated that he didn’t treat her the same way he use to back in the days. Apparently, when they first got together he was happy, energetic and just loved to be around her 24/7. but now he seems distant, distracted and somewhat emotionally unavailable. My next question to her caught her completely off-guard (which was surprising, because I thought it was a fairly easy and expected question): “What’s wrong with him?”

"So Sheila, at work, is having this really awful thing with her ex," he says, a little too sympathetically. You nod, also sympathetically, because you know that Sheila has been having digestive problems and had to go gluten-free, and also that Sheila's aunt with whom she was really close died last month, and...hold on. Why do you know so much about Sheila At Work? An overly enthusiastic friendship with a so-called work wife may not translate to actual nookie in the actual conference room—after all, you don't mind him having female friends—but it could suggest that something is lacking from your relationship that he is looking for somewhere else. And he may not even know it himself. But when he seems to have more sympathy for the ongoing sagas of Sheila At Work than he does with your own various ordeals, that's more than being a concerned colleague. That's a "We need to talk" memo.

So, divorce is the logical exit, kids or not for both of us. It has been the case for at least 8 years. I gave it my best shot and I choose to believe she made an effort too. It just seemed to be doomed in the end. We will be going our separate ways soon. The children are aware of the difficulties and have been told of what is coming. They seem settled with the idea although they will notice lifestyle changes when I move out.


Some couples consider the "D" word -- Divorce -- off limits. If you and your husband have never thrown the "D" word around in an argument, but your husband starts to use it more frequently now, this is symptomatic that he is unhappy in the marriage. The fact that he uses the "D" word could indicate that he has given the possibility of divorce some thought, so it is best to confront him on what he is thinking.
Me and my boyfriend have been going out fpr 4 years and he broke up with me because im to contolling because he has asked me for space in the past but i didnt give it to him because i was afraid.of loosing him and clingy. I love him alot and dont want to loose him but he tells me he doesnt want me to fight for him because its to late fot that! He stood me up and told.me he doesnt want to see me anymore and everything between us is over☹️ we haven't had "no" contact for the past week. I dont kmow how to get him back amd i definitly dont want to loose him because i love him& been through so much with him already :/
Having a solid communication is the key element of every relationship. Unfortunately, our true communication is often contained in that which is unspoken. We change communication for manipulation. Things like silent treatment or expecting others to read our minds can only be used for the purpose of torturing our partner and ourselves also. We were given words to communicate with, not crystal balls. And when we say something, we should really mean it and stand behind it. There’s no need for nagging. If you are consistent and keep your words and actions in alignment, if you take your own words seriously, that’s the way your husband’s gonna understand them too.

Make His Favorite Meal: Surprise him with his favorite meal, or if you are not the cooking type, take him to his favorite restaurant. The key here is to drop little hints and build his anticipation. That way his excitement will be high when you surprise him. Having his favorite food with his favorite person will make him happy, and he will be impressed at the thought and detail you put into it.
If you often imagine a happy (happy is the key word here) future without your partner, that's a major sign that things aren't right. This is a part of the emotional detachment process, during which you may try to convince yourself that you don't care anymore so that the eventual separation feels less painful, says relationship therapist Jamie Turndorf, Ph.D., author of Kiss Your Fights Goodbye. "Detaching psychologically by fantasizing about having an affair or making plans for the future that don't include your partner can all be signs that you've fallen out of love," says Turndorf. "It's as if the mind has pulled its own plug so our hearts won't suffer as much when the relationship ends." If you notice this mental pattern, take it a step further to see if the fantasy holds weight. Gadoua suggests checking out real apartment listings online, and paying attention to how you feel. "It'll give you another layer of reality, which can then help you know what the right next step is," she says. As you click through, check in with your emotions. If excitement or relief is your prominent emotion (rather than fear or apprehension), it may be a sign to acknowledge that there are serious problems in your marriage. "But before actually taking steps to leave, see if there are things you can — or want — to do to work on the relationship," says Gadoua. That way, if you ultimately decide to leave, "you can do so with some peace of mind," she says. "It's never easy to end a relationship, but having lingering regret that you could have done more can make the decision harder."
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