We are brought up with the expectation that men are supposed and expected to be pursuers. Not every woman will go after a man who “goes to the mountain like a lion” to paraphrase DJ (from another discussion). Or rather, not every man will have a woman following him there. So we just disqualify ourselves from the available gene pool. I think that “self-reliance” mostly is about the definition we put in the word. Not ever listening to advice or suggestions, and/or bulldozing other people for having different opinions, is also forms of self-reliance. Sure, I don’t need a spouse… Read more »

I am 20 years old i had an arranged marriage when i was 19. i’ve been married to my husband for 10 months and never had any contact with him before marriage. the problem is we are living with his parents and i do not get along with them, they have said to me on a numerous of occassions go home. i do everythng for them cook, clean iron etc. they don’t appriciate anything i do.as for my husband he’s always away at university and i hardly get to see him he also works.
A happy partner will be down to talk about their day, and will be an open book when it comes to sharing their problems. That's why it's not a great sign if your SO is suddenly all clammed up. "If you ask your partner how they are doing and the answer is 'fine,' this may show they are unhappy in the relationship," Hershenson says. "Not wanting to communicate and lack of communication are not good."
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.

I started a post and it posted before I was done, so… Again, I am sorry for all the hurt everyone here is going through, but I wanted to tell my story as well. First, I married a young girl straight out of high school. We were good friends, party buddies with benefits you might say. Anyway… She dropped out of school her junior year, we got married and I joined the army. The marriage was doomed from the beginning. We even fought on our wedding day and probably everyday after that. I came down on levy to go to Germany and soon after I got there, she made it aparent to me that she didn’t want to follow me over there. We had just had a baby boy and now I’m several countries away unable to see my son or mend a marriage. I soon found out that she had quickly shacked up with another guy and got pregnant by him with a little girl while we were still married. I told her I would raise the girl as my own if she would just come to me, but shortly after the birth of the girl, she was pregnant by him again with another boy. I couldn’t take it and she had said she wanted a divorce so I gave it to her. That being said, let’s move to the present. After returning from Desert Storm in Iraq and getting out of the Army, I soon met a beautiful and wonderful young woman. We fell in love and were married within 6 months. She is a wonderful person, very good mother and great Christian. We never had much and have always pretty much lived hand to mouth, but somewhat comfortable. She always seemed so in love with me. We have now been married 20 years and have had a few ups and downs, but for the most always had a great marriage. Since we married, I started developing several different illnesses following Desert Storm and they have really taken a toll on my physical ability to maintain a job and my Dr told me that I no longer had any business working and that I need to focus on my health. I am awaiting disability because of my decline in health. I have always been the bread winner in the family great fully. Both my wife and I are college educated and she has continued to go to college. Our beautiful daughter just graduated last night from high school and is getting ready to go to college. Over the past 2 years, my wife and my daughter have been spending a lot of time behind closed doors in my daughters room laughing and joking the whole evenings through. I’m never invited, my wife rarely talks to me any more unless I bring up a conversation and I have noticed over the past approximately 3 years, she has never initiated sex and when I want to make love, she either always has a head ache or nauseated or just does it to shut me up from trying to be persistent. Before, we always had a great passionate sex life now it seems like its just a chore for her. And also recently she has quit giving me any more than a peck for a kiss. She was always a passionate kisser before. I know she has a busy schedule as a school teacher, cheer leading coach, college student, mother and active church member. She says she loves me in passing, but I feel she no longer shows me that she loves me. There is no longer that twinkle in her eyes when she looks at me, she never flirts with me. There’s never that little pinch on the butt or slow kiss on the back of the neck or any other kind of play at all any more. I don’t think she is having an affair unlike my first wife, but I think maybe she has fallen out of love for me. Though she says she loves me and gets angry when I ask her if she does, I think she “loves” me, but is not “in love” with me. I wouldn’t cheat on her, but I still am a sexual creature and have to have that feeling of being looked at with “sex crazed eyes” or like Prince Charming. I’ve tried doing more things with her that she likes, but when I ask her to do things with me that I like (besides sex) she just says we just down have the same interests. I don’t want a divorce, I want the desire that my wife once had for me to return. I’m not the well built GI Joe boy toy that I used to be when returning from the army and am missing nearly all the beautiful hair that I had when we met, but I am the same person and I think even better. I have tried to change over the years to become more of whom she wanted me to be. I gave up smoking, drinking, cussing, came to know the Lord but it just doesn’t seem to be working she seems more distant now than ever. Is she wanting out or what can I do to return the spice to our marriage ?
I have been married to my wife for 22 years this year. She and I have had a very up and down life together. she told me when we got married she wanted to stay home and raise children. I agreed. Now we have a 17 year old and a 9 year old. She has never had to work, and my job has been high stress and full of disappointments as I have strived to make enough for us to have the lifestyle we both say we want. I have been wrongfully terminated three times (proven in court). I have really struggled to rebuild my career but being in a public position has been very strenuous. As a longtime CEO and now private consultant in the public sector for the past 6 years my economic stress has been huge. I gained a 100 pounds over the years. So in 1999, my wife had an affair with a man, while I was working on the road to make enough money to take care of my family and find a way for us to relocate together. I was devastated. We did go to marriage counseling and our marriage survived this very hurtful situation. I found out she blamed me for the affair, saying our life had taken a toll on our emotionally and she thought she needed to jump ship to find economic security. I relocated us and then again to another state. So we reconnected and had our next little one. Now we have a second home in a well known lake community about 2 hours from our home. She over the past three to four years has taken to going there on her own because she is on a local talk show and says doing that gives her purpose and makes her happy. I usually have to stay behind and work and take care of the kids when she goes there. She gets no pay for the show, it is quite popular and she goes out usually when she is there with her local girlfriends some married, some divorced and some just barfly’s in their late 40’s looking to hook up and be told their sexy. She has gotten into several situations where either a friend has texted me seeing her out with the girls and other men and been suspicious and so on. I have told her repeatedly if you put yourself in these situations sooner or later something bad will happen that will affect us negatively. She thinks I don’t trust her and she loves to dance and have fun. She thinks I am being overly paranoid. She also says she has not been attracted to me because of my weight and that is what has been keeping us apart and less than intimate. She says she loves sex and she is always used to being the center of attention, she is still in great shape and gorgeous even at 49. She gets hit on all the time by men and she seems to enjoy the third party attention and affirmation of her sex appeal still. So then 6 months ago I find out she has been having another cyber affair over facebook and she hooked up with this guy in our lake town to have dinner and chat… she says nothing happened. He is the brother of one of her closets friends who comes over every week to have dinner with us as she just got divorced herself. Our two sons are friends and play baseball together. So I confronted her about all this and she just said, It was stupid I don’t want out of our marriage and she says she ended it. I even found a card he sent her where he said, he felt their meeting had brought them to a new level in their relationship. So I went on a diet and have lost about 50 pounds thus far. Things seemed better, then she went over to the lake house this past weekend with a married girlfriend that was visiting from out of town, who has been her friend since childhood. They went to the bar with the girls, my wife got so drunk she couldn’t drive and was talking to some 20 something man for a longtime and being very confrontational. She drinks at least a couple glasses of wine per day she says it keeps her sane in my high stress and uncertain world of finances. I got behind on our taxes after 2008 and dug a big hole and have been negotiating with the IRS to find a way to settle them. Being self-employed is hard to keep them current and pay for everything. Everytime I confront her about how her going out makes me feel really insecure she just says I am holding onto the past and that I think she is a whore and/or slut, and she has done nothing wrong. I wish I could believe her, but I just can’t get 100% comfortable with this lifestyle or trusting her again. She has broken my heart now two times. Somehow I still love her. I love our family and I don’t want to break it up. But this is killing me and she always places the blame on me for all circumstances and then says this is what gets her stressed out. I am just lost. I don’t know what I should do, or how I can get our relationship back on track or whether she really wants to do so. Everytime we fight she says after our son graduates we are over. That just makes my heart sink… then later she will come back and say, I was just mad, I didn’t mean it. I don’t want our marriage to end. But it happens again always and it did last night as well. This time I just said, “You created this situation, I am not willing to accept the blame for it, and I can see our attorney next week and end this if that is what you want?” Then she says I threatened to divorce her and it is my fault again. I can’t get her words out of my mind I am fat, she is not attracted to her and when we are intimate she has to hold her breath or she says I nearly crush her until she can’t breath. Now I am a big guy. 6’3″ and 280 pounds still and most women find me attractive. Even her girlfriends say they would kill to have her life. Many of them have told me that they think she is crazy to not be truly happy she has a kind, loving and caring man in her life that treats her like a queen and never berates her, or abuses her mentally or physically. I try to make everything our family needs come true… I work really hard, but I also attract a great deal of public detractors due to my public life by way of bloggers and web postings. I am a public speaker, author and public sector consultant engaged in negotiating deals between local governments and businesses that want to expand or relocate to a new area and create jobs. I have been doing this for 22 years since we first married. I don’t have any other knowledge of how to make enough to pay our bills. I feel trapped, confused and don’t know if my marriage is salvageable and/or whether I should keep trying. I have suggested that we go to a counselor again, but she says no, that is not what she needs. So, long story but I am totally at a loss for what direction I should choose.

I don’t know where you live, but one thing that helps women no matter where they are is a strong support network. Talk to the women in your life: your sister, mom, friends, neighbors, or even your husband’s family members if they’re open to you. The best way to figure out if you should leave your marriage (or just your husband’s family) is by reaching out for support in person. You might be able to stay with a friend or family member while you figure out if you should leave your marriage.
It is important to address your unhappiness as soon as possible, according to licensed clinical psychologist Willard F. Harley, Jr., in the article "When Should You Tell Your Spouse, 'We Have a Problem,'" on the website, Marriage Builders. "Don't let your problems build up before you find solutions," he says. Easily resolvable issues can become major problems if you hide your feelings for too long. Although it is important to get your general message to your husband, before you talk to him think about what, specifically, is making you unhappy. For instance, if your husband expects you to be a stay-at-home mom but you would like to work, tell him. Using specifics will give you and your husband an idea of what steps to take to make you feel more satisfied.

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I have been married for almost 30 years. 11 years ago, my husband cheated on me. While we have tried to put things back together, I feel it has been a one way street. I know that since that he has not physically cheated, however I have found out that he has lied to me once again. He works very hard, and our lives right now are very stressful. I found out that he has been talking to a young woman for the last 3 months. She is an escort for a call girl service. He said that he knew talking to her was wrong, and has since stopped. He said it was a friend of one of his workers and she called on his cell because the worker’s cell was shut off. My husband swears to me that he wants to put all of this behind us and start all over. He says he feels differently now and wants to build a better future for us. He says that he promises to be the husband he should be. He went out of town on a business trip right after all of this happened. Yes, I know it is for work, because he stayed with a business partner and his wife who happen to be a friend. My husband is coming home tonight and I really am not sure if I should give him another chance. I have nowhere to go and no money to survive by myself. Any ideas?
I’ve been married 10 years. We have a beautiful daughter a handsome little boy. I feel really disconnected from my husband, and our love life is almost non-existent. I don’t know what to do. I love my husband and I want to make it work for the both of us and our kids, but I don’t feel like I’m getting what I need from him in order to feel loved and secure in this relationship. I think he may be seeing someone else, but I don’t know for certain. I’m at a crossroads and I don’t know what to do!
Do I believe I made mistakes in that relationship? You betcha! Was I the best wife I could have been? Absolutely not! And for that I am sorry. But I also had to understand that all the blame could not be placed on my shoulders. Sometimes, often times, that’s what we women do. We take the blame for bad situations, and we wonder what we could have done to prevent them. 

Time went on and I tried. Counselling, relationship courses, religion, mental breakdowns. And then I worked painstakingly through "Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship" by Mira Kirshenbaum. Getting out was the hardest thing I have ever done - to intentionally break up a home and shake the foundation beneath my children's feet made me wilt and doubt everything about myself. But the result is beyond expectation - I had forgotten what normal and happy was. Now I remember and my children remember and laugh with me.


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.


It's normal to feel a twinge of jealousy whenever you think about your single friends going out there and doing whatever they want, talking to different guys and flirting with anyone without guilt. But if you feel that way most of the time, that's a sign that you're looking for something different than what you have. Pay attention to how often you feel jealous of their lifestyle.
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 !

At some point in our lives, we have realized that most men lean on a fragile ego. This is what makes them vulnerable to a few words of appreciation. We recommend that use the words of appreciation like thank you when they do anything for you, even the smallest tiniest things. If you want to receive more of that behavior, this is the way! Relationships and affection are part of a healthy lifestyle. You have to express appreciation at all times when that guy who drives you crazy does something for you. Believe it, they will love it.
Whether it snuck up on you over the course of a few years, or it dawned on you suddenly one night, I have to say — it's great that you noticed. Not everyone picks up on problems in their relationship, or takes the time to assess the situation. Even your partner might not realize they're projecting negative vibes, or that they're unhappy. So consider it a step in the right direction that you've realized something's wrong.
There are great women out there and great relationships that have been built. I feel that with the lack of time that is spent on each other in a relationship due to career interests and working all the time; marriage just dwindles down to staying together for our kids. Emotionally manipulative and to spend the rest of my life trying to figure the emotional puzzle out…no way. Life is way too short to live in misery and having to be attached to the opposite sex. I have to re-build myself again for I just have no interest in continuing on in this relationship. I don’t regret the time spent for there were good times. We rarely argued and were never verbally abusive. One thing I can state is that my wife is a controller and I just have had enough with being the 4th child in our Family. I don’t want to be married to my mother anymore:) I have lost an emotional attachment to my wife and I understand that it is important for her when it comes to a relationship that I just cannot provide.
Can't remember your last date night? If you're not planning any important or special events together on top of not spending time together in general, that's not good news for your relationship, says Greer. Make an effort to get a couple outings on the schedule — maybe a movie night or a dinner at your favorite spot — and see if you can rekindle the flame. Marriages take work, and putting in the effort on things that bond you as a couple is part of that.
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