Scientists have proved that a man is able to listen to a woman attentively for only 6 minutes. That’s why, ladies, the next time you plan to have a conversation with your beloved, keep it short. The topics on which it is very difficult for a man to concentrate are unfamiliar people, celebrities, shopping, fashion, and diets. If possible, it’s best to discuss these types of things with your friends.
If you are going to be a big enough idiot that you are going to deny your reality and not seek the help you need, I am not going to be a big enough idiot to go down in flames with you.  Doesn’t matter if it is mental illness, addictions, or cancer. I know that may sound harsh, but again, I will not sacrifice my life for someone who will not help themselves.  This is the only life I have!
Changing how you respond involves taking a step back, and carefully considering what to say and do. I found it helpful to talk to a counselor, because I didn’t know what my “triggers” where, and how my behavior affected my husband. If you need help with your marriage, I encourage you to talk to a counselor, and get an objective and balanced perspective.
When people have exciting news to share or even just need someone to talk to, they typically speed dial the person closest to them. If that used to be your spouse but is now someone else — whether that's a girlfriend or another man — it's a clear sign you're not in the happy marriage you used to be. "Research shows that in healthy marriages, couples celebrate each other's successes. If you're turning to [someone else] first in good times and bad, then you're replacing your husband emotionally and avoiding addressing what isn't working with him," says Dr. Paulette Sherman, psychologist, director of My Dating and Relationship School and author of Dating from the Inside Out. Try putting your husband into your #1 spot again. If you're not getting the support you need — or you don't even want it in the first place — it might be time to sit down and have a serious discussion about your relationship.
Thank you all with the replys they are so encouraging. My live in boy friend of 6 years just told me about a week ago that he is Not happy anymore and we are not going anywhere. So I’ve been wondering why is he still here. And is this just something that will pass. I’m confused as to why he is still here. I know He is Not cheating. I work I pay bills I cook when I’m not too tired from work I clean do laundry so I know its not me..

When your partner is unhappy, they might start to change their habits, and the amount of time they're spending with you, BetterHelp telehealth counselor and psychologist Nikki Martinez tells Bustle. If this has happened lately, don't panic, but maybe take caution, depending on your specific situation. "While this can change in any relationship," she says, if it's a sign of discord, you'll notice the decrease.
We were married in 2007,its was an arranged marriage in India but settled in Melbourne, Australia.we had a baby this 2011 July. This March 2012 I discovered my husband has been seeing another woman. And then in a month I discovered that he was trying to bed more women when I was overseas with my lil son.one if them is still a mystery cos she has never told me wat hapned
What’s happened as a result has been brilliant. I started tuning much more actively into my husband — prioritizing him, touching him regularly (holding his hand, sitting very close to him, hugging him, rubbing his shoulders, etc), more actively praising and appreciating him, and — crucially — not letting my ego get the best of me and not letting my need to be right lead to Armageddon. As a result, I have managed to bring out the best in my husband.
A year later, I still wake up crying and enraged. Because I moved to another continent for his (what I thought was ) temporary job, I am far from my community of close friends and my family. I have a few good friends here but not like at home. In talking with other single moms, I have chosen to stay out of the court sytem. I will seek a property settlement first and then in a year (at almost 50 years old), try to make it happen to finally GO HOME , with my daughter. And even then, I know it will not be easy. She will be in her mid-teens by then and I will be bringing her up on my own. But, then it will be up to her father to decide what his priorities are. This is not the life I wanted for me, for her, for any of us. I never, never would have done this to him. NEVER!
Wonderful, God-inspired words that speak straight to the heart of so many women including myself. Regardless of the state of your marriage, as women we are nurturers, ‘fixers’, and as you said, often carry the heavy burden of our husband’s happiness solely on our shoulders. When things don’t go as planned, it’s a hard pill to swallow. Thank you, Brie, for reminding us that this burden is not ours to carry. God instructs us to love, pray for and be a help-mate to our husbands. The rest is up to him…
I like this inspirational article! My husband of almost 12 years of marriage, is has been having an affair for 3 years. I am devastated and hurting so bad. My husband told me that he is so unhappy and doesn’t like himself, life and me. Out of respect of my marriage and my promise to God, I stuck by my husband despite his constant lying, arrogance, rages, jealousy of me, meanness, convenient part time dad, disrespecting me to the point that his talk and actions are considered emotional and mental abuse. I know I did the best I could in our marriage! I do realize that my husband has to own his issues and they are not mind. God will get me through this, however I am hurting so bad!!

He gets angry if/when it becomes clear that I don’t trust him. But, he makes no efforts to help that either. He’s just mad about it. He may gripe about the way I do something but he offers no solutions, or alternatives. It’s kind of like, “if you do it like that, you’re stupid.”, and my natural response is “really? how should I do it?” to which his reply is “I don’t know, but not like that.” That isn’t an actual converstaion, it’s just that’s how it feels.
3. You’re overvaluing a specific type of humor. In your words, “I love the challenge and excitement that witty banter provides me.” Marriage isn’t about challenge and excitement. It’s about kindness, comfort and selflessness. If your boyfriend has these qualities, you may want to learn to appreciate him instead of constantly lamenting that he doesn’t do stand-up on the side. When you said your exes have “never been the “life of the party,” making me “double over in laughter,” I could probably intimate that it’s a good thing. Life of the party guys may be charismatic, but they are often narcissistic, players, liars and inauthentic. Not all of them. But guys who command attention often don’t leave much air for everyone else to breathe.

So you love him, you are not happy, he does not understand you nor your feelings. I think it's time you move on. I know it's as hard for you to acknowledge the fact as easy it is for me to point it out here. But believe me, it's the best thing to do. Love is way overrated and people misunderstand it a lot. If you are not happy all the time then it is not love. It just can't be. I strongly suggest you to move on and explore other areas of life. Don't feel bad if your love failed you. It's just a very small chapter in your life. Don't spoil the whole book just because of one torn page. You are the author. Fill it in and move on. Good luck :)
As we mentioned earlier, women consider that having a partner is the greatest reward for a man. Finally, they care about the house and the children. Unfortunately, men with time, begin to feel less and less cared by their wives. They want women to be their supporter and partner and give something to them. But certain habits are hard to change, so there is a need for sincere conversation and understanding. You want him to keep saying that you are great, but when have you told him the same thing?
If we're not conscious about it, a simple criticism like "you're not good at loading the dishwasher," can evolve into "load the dishwasher this way." Suddenly, we're meticulously telling our husbands how to do everything, which, according to Weks, can leave a man feeling backed into a corner. "You don't realize how controlling you are with him and over time, this chips away at his masculinity," she told me. "Being a good woman is not enough. In order for him to feel good, he must be able to feel like a man around you."
After confronting him, he told me he needs time and space to think if he wants to be in the relationship… he has been arrogant towards me and insensitive too… I went to talk to him, telling him we are about to make a big commitment for a house and it will be a new beginning something we can focus and it will be so nice… and i’ve asked him to text the girl to tell her that they need to end the friendship but he refused… i was hurt again…
Are you unhappy in your marriage?  Does your husband just not understand you?  Has nothing you’ve said gotten through to him?  Here are some novel ways to open his eyes to your pain and suffering.  Below is a guaranteed Five Step Plan to get your husband to take full ownership for all of the marital issues and apologize accordingly.  Because you deserve it. (PS. This is a SATIRE!  If you want real help communicating with your husband, read other posts on this site, or my book!)
Scientists have proved that a man is able to listen to a woman attentively for only 6 minutes. That’s why, ladies, the next time you plan to have a conversation with your beloved, keep it short. The topics on which it is very difficult for a man to concentrate are unfamiliar people, celebrities, shopping, fashion, and diets. If possible, it’s best to discuss these types of things with your friends.
The one thing I feel for you in this situation is you did not have a friend of family member who would grab you by the shirt and smack you upside the head and tell you to grow a spine! You should have divorces her after the 1st infidelity and taken your kids with you! She even talked you into admitting your affair and not mentioning her many, you got suckered!
Communicate with your boyfriend. If all the signs are there, direct communication is the only avenue. Ask him if he is happy. Sometimes his response to the question might be all you need. If he is sincerely confused you would ask him such a question, he is probably happy in the relationship. If he tells you he is happy and asks you why you think he isn't, take his concern as a positive response.

When you are looking for ways to enjoy your husband, even running the simplest of errands together can provide an opportunity for some fun. When our kids were young, Steve and I would wait until the little ones had gone to bed, and then leaving them in the care of their older sister, we would sneak off to a 24-hour home improvement store. Steve was doing yet another remodel of our home, so there were frequent purchases to be made. This meant we had little money to spend on dates and less time than usual for Steve to devote me.

Thank You Mohammed "cyberspyne@gmail .com" for the job well done. I just gave him a trial and i confirmed his good work , I gave him a job to hack my husband phone and he was able to hack his phone and each time my husband has a call my phone ring as well and i was able listen to every call he either makes or receives, ICLOUD, WHATSAPP,EMAIL ACCOUNTS and FACEBOOK ACCOUNTS. I know there are lots of people out there looking for proof and evidence about one thing or the other. Be open and real with him so he can even be at the best of his service to you. I belief he can do anything related to hacking. Do contact him by email on cyberspyne@gmail .com a trial would convince you trust me.


Everyone deserves to be happy.  You determine what happiness means to you.  My definition of happiness is to be with someone who accepts me just as I am (as I do the same) and who shares my excitement and passion for life.   Define what happiness means to you and then go after it.  Create your own happiness with someone who shares your life goals, not spoils them 🙂
My husband has been struggling for a while now. Probably a couple of years that I know of. I told him that if he needed to take some time away from his regular life to try and figure things out for himself, I would support him in that. Well....he thanked me and found a place to stay next month. Alone. He will still go to work, but be away from all other aspects of his routine home life.
I think your advice is good, here, and if a man can achieve loving himself, and being happy within himself without validation, then that’s great, and that’s what he should do. I’m not absolutely sure what form this validation takes, but I’m assuming it’s largely through sex, at least that’s how it comes across to me: that a man like this may want perhaps-too-frequent sex from his wife in order to maintain his masculine ego. If this is the case, and maybe even if it isn’t, it makes me think of how this need for masculine validation is a product… Read more »
I’ve tried three approaches. 1) Loving, supportive husband offering ‘it’s okay, try again’ attitude for quite a while. Result: She is happy, I’m not b/c things don’t get done. 2) Ignore how bad it is. Result: She is fine, I’m not. Things don’t get done. 3) I communicate how she is not measuring up to her responsibilities. Result: She either gets extremely defensive, mad, or says ‘I don’t want to talk about it.’ Eventually we do and SOMETIMES she accepts and things get better. And when I say better, I mean I set SMALL goals for her in hopes she’ll master them to help her to new ones. She’ll do those small goals for a week or two, month max. Example is when you sweep you have to put the stuff you sweep into the trash and not just leave it in a pile for months. But inevitably, she returns to her base behavior. She suggested therapy to help her move away from her abused past so we agreed to pay out for a year of it. Now she’s not in it and has basically dismissed the goals/rules the counselor told her to keep. When we talk about any issues in our marriage she gets extremely mad and defensive. I’m not a perfect man and am open to criticism and self-improvement, but I provide for my family the best I can, keep them safe, and am trying to help. Frankly, I don’t feel like she’s pulling her own weight. If she knows she’s in trouble or did nothing that day, she’ll try to hide that fact by various means. Lies, kisses, sex, playing ignorance, etc… Sometimes I feel like our ‘marriage’ was a means to an end b/c I am nice and she knew I could provide for her so she made up a personality to escape the hell hole she came from (and it was a hell hole) but now reverted to a past self. What do I do? I thought a husband and wife were supposed to ‘work’ together and put the needs of the other above themselves. Any guidance would be appreciated.
It’s not always a denial issue.  Many people who struggle with depression – and I are one – think “this too shall pass” and that they will somehow snap out of it.  So before you call anyone an “idiot”, walk a mile in his/her shoes.  You don’t want to sacrifice your life for them, so be it.  Don’t.  But don’t try to paint it as a character issue.  Because so many people view as such, those who struggle with depression often feel ashamed or embarrassed that they need help and can’t just snap out of it.
This is exactly what me and my sweetheart are going through. I realized after at first going off on him about exactly the same things like just being completely different and how much things have changed and I went down the line of accusing him of wanting other women because I thought maybe it was something with me he didnt find desireable anymore (me going through my own feelings) but as we exchanged words i realized that he was really struggling with himself. I know he isn’t happy with his weight and he left a long verbal and mentally abusive relationship. I backed down and begged him to give his self more time just for him and to go to the gym since its one of the main issues he has. I didnt realize just how much he’s putting himself through and carrying that around. Didnt realize the damage being done. I let my feelings go because I know he needs me more than anything right now. I love him a great deal and even that doesn’t begin to express my love for him. I know I’ve found my husband and I’m not afraid to give him more of me than he can give back to me right now so he can be exactly who god set out for him to be.
I don't think he is or would have an affair. I think that he still wants to try to have a sucessful and happy marriage, but neither one of us is certain how to accompllish it. He doesn't like to share his feelings with me until he can't handle them anymore. He told me that at the point when he finally does tell me, he says he is never sure how I'll react. After he tells me, he says he ends up feeling guilty ( I'm a very easy crier) and then wishes he had kept his mouth shut. I do have depression, and have been this way since we met, so this is nothing he didn't know. He also expressed that he's been feeling very cynical and angry towards me for reasons he can't explain. For example- I am directionally challenged (driving directions). On a recent trip he got mad that I had us going in circles. When I told him that getting mad at me was not going to make me better at reading a map, he took the map and curtily showed me where we were, etc. He used that recent experience as an example of how his attitude toward me has changed. I just don't know what to do. He's right- personalities don't change, and I now realize that our relationship isn't where it was two years ago. I love him so much and am ready to fight (figuratively speaking) to make our marriage stronger from this experience. 

The first thing you should do before speaking to your partner is finding out why you are unhappy. Once you are able to tell your boyfriend you are unhappy, you two can talk about what has to be done in order for you to be happy. You may catch your partner off guard when you bring up the situation, so try to be the bigger person and avoid getting into a big fight. Make sure not to leave anything out when you have this conversation as you want your boyfriend to fully understand what led to this. After everything is out in the open, ask your boyfriend what he wants, tell him what you want, and get closure. Don't let this situation drag on for months, find a solution as soon as possible.
Have you ever been spoken down to? How does it feel? Not good, right? If you think you are the smartest person since Einstein, and insult your boyfriend’s intelligence on a regular basis, even if it’s in a playful way, it really won’t make him happy. Often that is just our ego barking, needing to validate itself as being so great, but it actually makes us look arrogant and isolates us from people.
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.
If your married and you go and listen to your Husband’s ex’s what is this a sign of??? My marriage is about to end and my wife has let my 3 ex’s into our marriage… She said that she was a woman of GOD but who does this… Do you find this action immature at some point… Then she did bring in baggage from an early marriage etc… We could never talk after she started talking to them… She said it was better to talk with them than me… So I left the house… She has 4 kids that I was taking care of that were not mine… She never looked at this… Each night was about the ex’s etc… I grew tired of this abuse and I felt it was time to move on… Then the looking in my phone… Then asking me why I don’t cheat on her etc… When her ex’s all 3 did cheat on her… Give me your thoughts please of what is wrong with her because she thinks she is perfect and nothing is wrong with her… I am the problem…
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.

"A change in habits is one of the first signs of relationship issues. It can indicate unhappiness, personal stress, even cheating — but it could also indicate a number of other things, so don't jump to conclusions. If there are any significant changes, discuss them with your partner to determine what's behind them." —Sarah E. Clark, licensed marriage and family therapist, relationship expert, and co-founder of Idealationship
If you cannot identify any specific parts of your relationship that make you unhappy, you may be dealing with a larger problem. In such cases, it might be a good idea to involve a couple's counselor, suggests Jeanne Segal and Melinda Smith in their HelpGuide.org article "Relationship Help." If you are struggling with personal issues or with your mood in general – not just your marriage – let your husband know what you are experiencing. For example, frequent crying, insomnia or not enjoying the things that you used to may point to a broader issue. Once your husband understands how you're feeling, he may be able to help ease some of your daily burdens, as well as help you find a health care provider to help you deal with these issues.
If you want to stop your husband from having an affair, you need to learn how to make him think of you always. This means you need to look for new ways to keep the passion and romance burning like wild fire. Make him to desire you always even when he is at work. Make him to even want you around him during lunch break and every time he is less busy.
My husband and I have been together for a little over 3 and half years and we’ve been married for a year and 3 months. Things have not been going well for quite some time. For the last 3 weeks we haven’t even been living together. He clearly has anger issues, he always has, but they have progressively gotten worse and worse. When we first met he had a lot of dependency on alcohol, he asked me for help to stop drinking and for a while he had it under control, but the last few months he has been returning to his old habits. He is constantly accusing me of cheating, to the point of literally saying it everyday. But this is just insane, because his jealousy is so bad that I only go out with him. I avoid girl’s night and me time to avoid horrendous fights. He’s constantly threatening me that he’s done, he wants a divorce, etc, but then shortly after begs for forgiveness. It has become a vicious circle. It seems as though he begs for forgiveness because he realizes everything he has to give up, I’m the bread winner in the relationship, I take care of all the bills and if he doesn’t stay with me he has to go live with his parents. Did I mention I’m 25 yrs old and he’s 30, it’s an awful lot of pressure because I take care of everything. His fits of anger have actually gotten to the point of truly scaring me, he starts punching and hitting things, it’s really bizarre. He has these ups and downs that remind of someone that is bi-polar. The sad part is as much as I’ve always loved him and part of me has always known that I made a mistake. Ever time my mind is made up and I’m ready to throw in the towel he somehow sucks me back in. As soon as I start to change my mind wondering if we can make it work, he acts like a crazed maniac, thus reminding me of why I want out. Like I mentioned earlier it’s a vicious circle and happens like clock work now. I believe the right thing for me to do is move on, but I can’t seem to make that happen. Since I keep getting drawn back in I start to wonder if I’m giving up to soon. But I’m so tired of fighting, being hurt, let down, you name it. I mean my husband actually talks bad about me behind my back, that can’t be normal, right? Unfortunately there are so many more issues I haven’t even touched on, but I’m hoping that with the information I have given you might be able to provide me with some insight into how to handle this and the direction I should be headed!
“My boyfriend of 5 years broke up with me days before my birthday,” says Mandy on 5 Healthy Ways to Cope When You Miss Him. “He said he is unhappy and that he’s not in love with me anymore. We moved to a new city to have a fresh start, cause last year he broke up with me for 3 months and we wanted to start over new. I still love him but I know I have to accept that he doesn’t want me anymore. My boyfriend was my life and I can’t even hate him. I can’t explain the feeling I have. I’m numb. I can’t believe it because I love my boyfriend so much. I don’t know why he doesn’t want me but I know I will have to survive.”
My bf and I have been fighting quite a bit lately. We both are tired of it. But I try and talk to him about our problems so our relationship gets better but he isn’t one to communicate about that. Which only makes it harder to work things out. He then said that he’s not happy with me because all I do is fight with him. Which I do because he never talks about our problems like I said earlier. I then asked why he is with me and he said because he hopes I grow up (as in me not fighting with him) and because he loves me. I just don’t know why he would be with me but not be happy. I then text him this morning telling him that if he’s not happy then break up with me. And then he goes on saying he never said he wasn’t happy.ugh guys can be so confusing.

In my day to day, you know, get up, shower, brush my teeth, get dressed, go to work… the issues don’t seem overly huge. When it seems all wrong to me is when I have the urge to call my 17 year old and tell her not to go home after school. This is because I haven’t been around him and seen for myself that he’s not in that other part of himself. He was really mean to her one day while I was not at home and I’ve never forgiven myself for not protecting her from that. He apologized to her and we had about 2 weeks apart and she seems okay now but I can’t get it out of my mind.
A couple weeks back my boyfriend of 4 years dumped me because he was so unhappy. I didn’t notice any differences in behavior. If anything he was doing the same sorts of things he always did. And was loving and sweet to me! But he’d switch between saying “unhappy with us” and “I’m unhappy with myself” for the reasoning to end it. We had some issues and less than pleasant times but I feel that’s any couple. I think real love is being understanding and supportive of each other and what the other needs, how each other is. A mature relationship and people in general should be able to talk if there are certain feelings. He’d let his feelings of unhappiness remain without openly talking much, and also push them aside actually. Because he’d tell me he’d act or “force” himself to do things couples do. And that’s not right either. People need to be able to speak of things and how they really feel. But that does take two people! If a man is set on his unhappiness and wanting to be alone or with out you, despite what you could ever offer him, it’s not you.
I’m 31 years old and I’ve been with my boyfriend for over a year. We both feel that communication and respect are most important in a relationship and have many shared interests. My boyfriend is an amazing listener. He’s kind and caring, treats family and friends well, and has a calm yet serious personality that complements my emotional personality, which flusters easily.
Me and my husband have been together for 12 years and married for 6 we have 2 children we have hit a really rocky patch, he was working 18 hours shifts no intemacy and i had a gambling problem. this week i have caught him cheating he has been leaving and coming back for the last month and in that time he formed a relationship with a local know marriage wrecker she prays on relationships that she knows are going through tough times. i initially threw him out, but i have taken him back but i am struggling with the images, im struggling with all the lies that has been told, and i am struggling with the fact that he is defending her. I really love him and i want to get us through this, but im not sure how to re build our relationship?
I think you need to figure out why you cheated on your husband, and why you feel so bad about yourself. And, your husband needs to figure out why he’s willing to stay married no matter what you do! Once you both gain some insight into your own persoanlities and choices, then you can focus on whether it’s time to end the relationship or save your marriage.
This may seem like an obvious statement, but very important. I'm not just saying have sex a couple of times a week. Be totally invested in the act as much as possible. Sex is a very important and essential act to men. Show him you love him by loving on him. Get into the act and set your insecurities aside. This is the man you said your vows to and are going to spend the rest of your life with. Explore each other's bodies and have fun. Try to initiate sex some of the time as that will spice things up and make your husband even more excited for some fun in bed.
Three years ago, when my daughter was around 7 months old, I felt like I was having an identity crisis. I was on summer vacation from work, and I spent each day caring for our daughter all day. On top of that, I had volunteered to babysit a younger cousin of mine and have him spend the summer with us so that he could go to summer camp during the day and get tutoring from me in the evenings. After a while, each day felt the same-breastfeeding, cooking, cleaning, tutoring. I felt like all I was doing was making everyone else’s life easier, while losing a part of myself in the process.
I’m thankful to have found this in good timing as it’s exactly what my confusion needs. My guy just shut me out last week and I was in complete silence and darkness for 3 days. Finally, I pleaded with him in a text msg to say something, anything because I was trying not to worry about him. He responded with an apology and said he needs time to work on himself. I accept and respect this and I’m giving him his space. But why is it on us women to understand and accept whatever his terms are? Can’t it be understood that we as women want to help? Maybe giving him space is the only way to help? This makes me feel worthless when my natural role is to offer him comfort and nurture him. When does my role count for anything? When HE feels ready? Is this all about HIM? I guess it is when real love forgets “self”… I won’t sit around and wait for him but I won’t forget about him, either. May clear and calm thoughts be with you all!
I’ve been in a relationship for 14 years and married for 5 of those years. We have 3 children we both adore and our priority. For the past 3 years I’d say our relationship has been a rollercoaster; we get a long great, we communicate, spend time together then something snaps; either because I didn’t do something, or did it wrong or did something I did but wasn’t suppose to do. He will get really angry and blame me for whatever it is. He thinks I am a mindreader. He goes thru this atleast 2x a year; this last time he said he had enough and was going to be moving out. I didn’t think he would because of the other times we would have fights like this in the past. Now he really left; I am so hurt and heartbroken. How do I accept this is the end? How can I carry on without him? He is the love of my life!
Don’t fall into the trap of believing you only have two options: staying married and staying unhappy, or getting a divorce and getting happy again. If you’re feeling scared and sad because of these warning signs your marriage is over, then perhaps you’re ready to go beyond that false choice (“Do I divorce so that I can find happiness again, or do I keep the family together and remain unhappy?”).
One way to distinguish between a run-of-the-mill marital rut (where you've, say, fallen into boring routines and don't have much sex anymore) and a loveless marriage is to ask yourself how long the situation has been this way, and whether it's been steadily worsening. "Most couples go through rough times, but if the difficulties last more than two years, with no sign of relief, I'd recommend seeking professional help," says Gadoua. And sooner is always better to avoid passing the point of no return. "It would be ideal if we could tune into our longings and needs well before we get to the point that the love we once had is dead," says Cole, who notes that the average couple waits six years from the time they recognize relationship problems until the time they try therapy. By then, it's often too late — the problems in the marriage can corrode it to the point where it may be unsalvageable. So play it safe and consider scheduling a therapy session if you're struggling.
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