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 »
I have been married for five years, with my husband for twelve years. I’m not really sure if we should stay together or not. Last year I left him for three months then came back and now he says “he is just waiting for me to leave again”. We have been having the same fights for 12 years. They are- I don’t clean the house the way he thinks I should and I don’t have sex with him enough. I am not happy in our marriage but I feel like I’m stuck. We have a 10 year old and twin 3 years olds, I don’t have a job or a place to go. I have no friends and I can’t stay with my mom(she has her own issues). Everything inside me is screaming that in order for me to be happy I have to get away from this marriage, but I feel like I can’t. I’m scared that I will not be able to take care of my kids. I am also afraid that he won’t let me take the kids. He has never been physically abusive but recently when we start arguing he threatens that he will get violent with me, so now I’m scared of that too. I feel like I keep coming up with reasons not to leave. I know that it will be hard but how do you leave someone and keep your sanity at the same time?
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.
I am my new husbands 4th wife. He has a handicapped son that lives with us, the son is now 28 years old, he is agressive and my husbands feeling of guilt means that he has to go out of his way all the time to give his son a normal life, he runs around like crazy to make him happy, i am therefore a very close second in his life, not first. When we got married i had no idea that things would turn out like they are, i love my husband and i am sure that he loves me. Problem is, we have almost no signs that we are married. I have slept alone in our bed for the last 6 years, he has to sleep with his son for security (medical) purposes. We do not share a dinner table and we seldom do things together, when we do have a chance to talk, he will fall asleep on the couch. We differ 18 years, i understand that he is tired, i also work and are tired too. My husband does not like my oldest son and to the degree that i had to move my son to live with my sister. I feel like all the dreams of love and intimacy of family will never be a reality for me again. I am very lonely and my heart breaks for my son and rebellious things that he starting to do. I have never used anything as escape and recently found that a few glasses of wine each night helps to dimm all the emotion.. we are bringing the ugliest out of each other, i some days don’t even recognise myself and are starting to believe my husbands bad words against me, and then he brings me tea every morning, he never skip, no matter how bad the fight was. We mostly fight about how he treat or speak to my boys. Our daughter are in the middle of this all, she does not deserve this. We have talked about divorce and then he threatens to take our daughter, and then the next morning he brings me tea again. This has been going on forever. Please advise on what you think i should do?
Klapow also told me that some men have a hard time realizing that in successful marriages, people continue to evolve and change but within the context of someone else. "Men often want to go about life at their pace. Learn, grow, change (or not change) as individuals," he explained. "What they don't understand is that their growth or lack thereof has a direct impact on their partner. Often men find themselves being forced to finally grow up and they don't like it. They love their wives but they want their lives to be the same."

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.
Men can be sometimes so hard to decode and it can be a problem because we all want to make our man happy. That is why I honestly recommend this amazing book by James Bauer that literally changed my life. Believe me, after reading this you will both get so much closer and, hopefully, will end up tying the knot. That is what happened to me and my man!
Try to determine the cause of your boyfriend’s mood. Ask him if he had a bad day at work, a fight with a friend or if he lost something important to him. Learning the cause behind his mood is the first step to dealing with it. Don’t be offended if he doesn’t want to talk. He may not answer, but just asking shows him that you care and gives him an invitation to talk when he’s ready.
While you’re reading through these thoughts, remember that you are the expert on your relationship. You know your husband better than anyone, you know yourself, and you know how your marriage has changed through the years. Don’t let a relationship article take away all your hope for a happy, healthy marriage! Millions of relationships get pulled from the brink of divorce court every year by couples who are committed to rebuilding their marriages.
Me and my boyfriend have been together for 1 year, we don’t live together in the same place, we are in a long distance relationship. I don’t think my boyfriend wants me anymore. At first we used to meet every week, we were happy in love but now that love is gone he doesn’t want me to visit him. He is digging in my past n other people tells him lies about me especially male people, if I call him he is not answering my calls and if I don’t call him its a problem. My boyfriend accuses me of have an affair when he’s not around (which is not true). So I wonder if my boyfriend want to breakup with me or what because now its a long time since we saw each other again.Advice me please.
When a man thinks, “What would make me motivated to work on my marriage?” the first thing that pops into his mind is “if I felt my wife was either physically repulsed by me or was trying to manipulate me using sex.”  This tactic will springboard your husband into action.   Hasn’t it worked thus far to change his behavior for the better?  Oh.  Well, it will work this time for sure.
If you want to stop your husband from cheating, you must devise a good plan for your marriage. No marriage can succeed without a plan. Building a marriage is like building a house; you must have a burning desire to make it work. You need to develop a plan for the marriage and every day sit down with your spouse and show him your plan. During this time, let him see the cost involved in building a successful marriage, taking care of the home and the kid's education. Soon, your husband will realize the cost of his cheating and will discover it is not worthy to be spending money and time outside on strange women when the one he is married to is a better planner and organizer.

"The biggest mistake I see women doing in their marriages is showing a lack or admiration and respect for their husbands," international dating and relationship expert Megan Weks told me in an interview. "If you want him to be happy, feel loved, and feel sexually attracted to you, he needs to feel admired. He is not going to tell you this and he may not even be able to pinpoint the problem, but if you are doing and saying things which beat him down instead of build him up, you are asking for your man to be unhappy in the marriage."


Yep, you heard me right, call him out when he is wrong. Don't let him walk all over you. Be the strong, independent woman he fell in love with. Don't bend over to anything he says just to make it easier for his ego. Men like it when you call them out in a respectful manner. Explain to him what he has done wrong and try to not make it personal and tear him down.

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If your relationship has become one big boring routine, that's not good. If you guys always do the same thing - get food at the same place, watch TV, see a movie or lay in bed - it's a sign that something is wrong. You need to switch things up in order for there to be excitement. It's easy to fall into that pattern, but what matters is how you get out of it. My boyfriend and I do the same thing a lot during the week, but on weekends we try to have special date nights. We also always try to go on little vacations or go skiing. If you're not doing this stuff, it's probably because you're really bored.

Full disclaimer upfront: Nothing can make a relationship last with somebody who doesn’t want it to last. These tips will not prevent arguments, infidelity, or other problems, but they can help foster a healthy environment and productive partnership. Clear communication, openness to new experiences, and respect for your partner are key if you want to build a lasting, loving relationship.
I was reading your blog and your patient's brother sounds so much like mine. It's so frustrating and heartbreaking, especially when there are children involved. I try to maintain some distance but it never works out. HIs kids or my mom beg me to do something, go see him, try to get through to him, help him somehow.I just keep getting frug back into his mess.
I have even chatted with you name it and I have done it. Been there done that. Things online are virtual as long as they stay online. The internet is a fairytale land where people can be who they want to be or can’t be in real life. In some cases some are delusional enought to believe it all. When it comes to real life meetings that’s when things change. If you are not ready to stand on your own two feet with money in pocket,a job,and a place to move to, I would not be thinking of leaving. I would be thinking of becoming independent enough to get to your destination beyond the door. As thin as your husbands excuse is, it might actually be true and harmless. In any case visualize your life seperate and independant. If this works for you and you can do it then have at it. Just be prepared by thinking about it because many believe once you move out there is no moving back in.

So I just recently found out I'm 5 weeks pregnant with my first child. My boyfriend is freaking out over the situation, he keeps saying it's not a good time (It's never a good time to have a baby) and he doesn't want me to keep it. I've tried talking to him, but it usually turns into an argument. I haven't told my family I'm pregnant yet so I dont really have anyone else to vent to about this.
My wife and I have been together for 3 years. We rushed into things (met and married within a year). We have a 2 year old and a child on the way. I’m concerned that we’re growing apart. Some background on her: She doesn’t have much of an education, comes from an impoverished and (extremely abusive) family, lacks a lot of motivation for even daily chores (picking up after oneself for instance), and relegates her time to being on the phone at the expense of properly caring for our child. When I met her, she worked hard to try and support her family (basically they light money on fire and can’t afford food b/c of mismanagement). After marriage, she’ll lay about the house making sure our “child is still alive” (she’ll plop the kid in front of the TV for MUCH longer than we agreed was healthy and nap much longer also to what we agreed upon. She’ll then lie about it). The home is largely neglected: cockroaches, flies, and mice don’t bother her (neither does mold, bacteria, or giant mounds of dirty laundry and stuff cluttering the floor. And this is with me picking up after myself –and our child when I have time–). Before people jump on my back, when we met she expressed her undying wish to be a stay-at-home mom more than anything in the world. I work two jobs to make that happen. I manage our funds, health, food, utilities and keep her up to date with it all as I’m teaching her how I’m managing money and such. She shows a lack of motivation to fully involve herself with our child, has a terrible habit of lying, no motivation to manage the house, and doesn’t really manage her own hygiene. Further, I feel like she just doesn’t care that much about it. This is compounded by stubbornness that eventually costs big bucks when she neglects her health and then she needs surgery or something costing us thousands rather than pennies if she kept up with herself.
If your husband stops displaying interest in you on a physical and emotional level, this can be a sign that he is unhappy. Consider some of the behavior patterns your husband used to display and compare them to the way things are now. If he no longer initiates intimate relations, or seems uninterested in talking to you about your day, then something has changed.
Reading all in an effort to know how to talk to an adult daughter. She said she was diagnosed with chronic low grade depression. Sometimes it is hard to be around her. She finds slights where there are none. One of her brothers said he does't know how to act around her, that it is like walking on eggshells. She throws a lot of "nasties" at me; thinks it is ok to criticize me in front of others, etc. Mostly, I have not responded but since I low my youngest son, her behavior overwhelms me. Lately, it has gotten to the "straw that broke the camel's back". I would like to sit her down and tell her how this affects me but am concerned how that would in turn affect her. We all hurt since I lost my son. He was a loving, affectionate, kind person; it is as we lost the sunshine coming into a room. Saying that because I think that is affecting my former tolerance. Any good advise out there? Thanks.
Married almost 11 years, the entire marriage has been rocky, in and out of counseling. Brady bunch family, married into her and her 16yo daughter with my 4yo daughter, had a daughter together. Was told early on I have no say with her daughter, daughter is grown now and married. Was told frequently I suck as a husband, father etc and was routinely threatened with divorce when I raised any issues over the years. I have often thought of leaving (escaping) but haven’t because I don’t want to hurt kids or then I have thoughts of did I try hard enough, do everything I can. Btw she was diagnosed before she met me with anxiety and depression. I am a neat and organized man raised by my mother and grandmother – only child – raised the old fashioned way – had a step father who was nice at times but more times than not was an ass to my mom. As for my marriage, the threat of divorce has been there for duration, also my wife has diagnosed me over the years with bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, narcissism, passive aggressive and several other ailments, all of which I’ve researched to understand if there was any evidence of that fact. I’ve sought the help of counselors to gain clarity, gone to church, in couples therapy right now using Gottman tools to help and nothing seems to help. When we argue she ends up winning or dominating the conversation, when conversation gets tough and she doesn’t like what she is hearing, she says I’m reaching my limit and then says we need a pause and will pick this up later, then it’s awkward silence and avoiding until we address it again or sometimes we just drop it. We spend much of our non working hours out pursuing personal interests and occasionally join up for kids sports events. She dominates the relationship with our daughter we had together, I’m pretty much cut out of parenting her and only allowed freedom of parenting of my daughter who is now 16. Obviously I’m looking for answers and trying to figure out what to do. I want to be happy and have peace in my life – I’m tired of chasing my tail around in circles. I’m a good honest caring man who loves and puts his family first. Cleans the house, folds laundry, cooks dinner, makes kids events, works 50 hours a week and trying to hang on to this marriage for self, wife, kids. Insight welcome.

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.
But even if it’s just moodiness, resilience is such a key and under-discussed point for a long-term relationship. Life and relationships aren’t always easy. What’s going to happen in the future when your toddler goes through the Terrible Twos, or money is tight, or someone goes through a rough career transition? While I fully acknowledge some people need space to process stress, but if you’re in a partnership, you can’t just sequester yourself away for a few days and leave your partner possibly high and dry with the mess. If Katie’s boyfriend doesn’t change — and I think she needs to make that assumption, judging from her letter — is this acceptable to her? Only she can make that call, but it sounds like it’s not.
"A major source of unhappiness is taking the focus off the relationship and putting it on cruise control to focus on careers, children, extended families, and community work instead of shared time together. Couples need to keep an active engagement with the romance, friendship, and fun that led them to their initial attraction and excitement about being together. They can't assume that connection will remain unless they put time and energy into keeping it alive." —Jefferson A. Singer, Ph.D., co-author of Positive Couple Therapy, Dean of the College of Psychology, Connecticut College
See if they take your requests seriously. If they don't make continued effort over a period of a month. Ask them if they have decided that they cannot or will not make an investment in the way you have asked for. If they say yes, then ask if there was some misunderstanding or information they lacked to make progress. If they say yes then revisit that discussion. If no (or if that lack has been addressed) then ask them if there is something they would like to tell you about their needs that perhaps you might not be meeting (remember this is key: you want to raise the standard of your relationship not of one partner’s relational skill set).
My husband is not interested in having sex with me anymore. When there is a fight, he always says” Isn’t it enoough for me to bear you and bear your big mouth” He repeats this comment a lot. He is not interested in going out with me and children as we used to be in the past. I take the children all by myself. He comes from work and he is on facebook till very late at night. when I approach him for intimate relationship, sometimes he says I am tired. I am the one who always approach him In my country it is not easy to ask for a divorce. I have kids. He spends money on them. I don’t think I am going to have another relationship with anybody. How am I going to save this marriage? He has changed.
Last night we went out and really didn’t drink much at all. I was clear and sober through the entire night, and I thought he was too. We went to a couple of bars, had one drink at each, and moved on. When we got to the last one, my husband decided that we should have a shot of something, but I am not sure what it was, I was busy loading the jutebox with Christmas music. After the shot, I got a mild buzz, so I figured he did too. We left the bar and walked toward home. On the way home, it happened again. He started screaming at me about something having to do with my son and I walked away. I had no interest in another fight. He yelled at me to get out of his house and that I was not taking my son. I yelled back at him not to worry, I would and as he has no rights to my child, I would be taking him with me. My son, by the way, was at hhis grandmothers house, where he goes every Thursday and every other weekend for visitation with his grandparents and his father. My husband ran up behind me, grabbed me by my hair, and dragged me about a half a block back, telling me that I was not going back to the house, I was not welcome. He did this twice. Being that I was now in pain, I screamed for help both times, to which he replied that there was noone to help me. I called his sister, whose house it is that we lived at. By this point I was hysterical. When he realized who I called, he cussed at me and stormed off toward the house. I started walking the other direction, with the idea in my head that I would walk the 15 miles it was to my son’s grandmother’s house and sleep in the boat she has on the lawn. My sister-in-law came and picked me up, taking me back to her house. She told me to go to bed and lock the door, he would sleep on the couch. Now it is morning, he is alseep on the couch, and I am still angry that he had the nerve to threaten my relationship with my child. I am also a little scared, he had never put his hands on me before. I don’t know what to do. Any help would be appreciated.
If your husband's behavior is the reason behind your unhappiness, talk about it in terms of how it affects you rather than placing blame. One effective way to do this is through "I" statements. For instance, you say to your husband, "I feel lonely when you stay out late every night." This may help your husband see things from your perspective. In contrast, if you say something like, "You're so selfish for staying out all the time," your husband may feel attacked and be less receptive to your concerns.
According to Steve Harvey, the author of the popular novel Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, “A man’s love is expressed in three forms: he declares his rights for you in public, protects, and takes care of you.” However, a part of this saying can be doubted because, in our time, not all women need to be provided for or protected by men. What they definitely need is love. Unfortunately, sometimes women tend to see love when it’s not really there.
When you're together, you order the same Chinese food every time (same places, same dishes, same greasy packets of mustard no one uses). You select movies from the same Netflix ghetto (Romantic Comedies Based on Foreign Films with a Dark Twist Recommended for Jane & John) every weekend. "He never wants to try anything new," you complain to a girlfriend, only it's not quite true, is it, because when he's with his friends he'll try anything, from windsurfing to kale. In a romantic relationship, there is, or at least should be, the profound joy that comes from being known; that familiarity, though, can make a body feel loathe to change, afraid of eye rolls or "You do not!"'s from those closest to him. There needs to be room, in your relationship, in every relationship, for him to say, "This is going to sound crazy, but maybe we could..."
That's step one. Step two is actually doing something about it, before you worry for one more second — and before things get worse. "Use these signs as an invitation to have a conversation," author and life coach Kali Rogers tells Bustle. "Asking questions about the behavior, 'Are you stressed? Can I help?' or asking for what we want, 'I'd like to hold hands more' is a better use of your time." It may feel awkward, but it's important to open those lines of communication so you can figure out how to handle this, together. Here are some more signs you might want to address.
One of the most infuriating and confusing things someone you’re dating can do is to play the hot and cold game. One minute they’re all over you, the next they’re a puff of smoke. Back and forth, back and forth, until your head explodes. Can you tell I’ve had some experience with this? Anyway, according to Senior Matchmaker and Dating Coach Lori Salkin at SawYouatSinai.com, these seemingly inexplicable shifts in behavior are a sign that they are unhappy. "[It] likely means something in their feelings has changed and they are working on trying to figure out their feelings and what to do about it before telling you and ending the entire relationship," she says.

What is most concerning about your situation is that you report, and even seem to be, feeling depressed. Depression robs people of their energy and hopes, kills their sex lives, and makes them feel hopeless. My suggestion to you is that you seek the help of a psychotherapist so that you can feel better before you make any life altering decisions. I say this because your reaction to your husband may have more to do with depression than anything else. The best way to determine what is bothering you is to seek help. Perhaps you and the therapist can direct you towards anti depressant medication. In any case, you need to feel better and think more clealy before deciding on separation and divorce. You could even talk to your medical doctor, tell him what you are experiencing and he may either put you on anti depressant medications or refer you for psychotherapy.

That's step one. Step two is actually doing something about it, before you worry for one more second — and before things get worse. "Use these signs as an invitation to have a conversation," author and life coach Kali Rogers tells Bustle. "Asking questions about the behavior, 'Are you stressed? Can I help?' or asking for what we want, 'I'd like to hold hands more' is a better use of your time." It may feel awkward, but it's important to open those lines of communication so you can figure out how to handle this, together. Here are some more signs you might want to address.


When you first started dating, your partner thought everything you did was adorable (or at least tolerable), but now you can’t even breathe without them nitpicking you. Yeah, chances are your partner is just generally unhappy in the relationship and are taking it out on you. Carlyle Jansen, author of Sex Yourself: The Woman’s Guide to Mastering Masturbation and Achieving Powerful Orgasms, told Bustle that this may be the way they are expressing their unhappiness without having to do it directly. "It could also be a more general unhappiness or work dissatisfaction, but I find that if someone is more cranky about the partner's behavior than other life circumstances, that is a good indication of them being unhappy in the relationship,” she says.
Are these rules and changes familiar to you? Is his parents’ marriage like this? Did something change in his life short after your wedding? Honestly, have you seen any sign of these trades of his personality before the wedding? If your chemistry is so amazing, what kind of hurt and time is he talking about? What is he talking about :0)? After reconciling not too long ago, what is causing the problem now? The old stuff?
And sweet to me. After living together out of college he didn’t have a job and I did. I helped provide for him . Then he got a job and we both held down the house and bills together. I quit my job and got another one after 2 weeks. Then he lost his job. We have Soo many bills. I am losing interest in him. He has gained a lot of weight, he doesn’t clean (just dishes ). Also when we go out on dates he is yawning and not talking to me. I feel like he is bored with me. He likes to stay in the house all
Hello I have a story to share with everyone who is currently having issues in his or her relationship. I was faced with a serious problem at a point in my relationship,I am married to a man I started dating at a very tender age. It was rosy at the earlier stage we got married in 2007,we had our first kid a year later....things were working out fine..but something happen at some point that almost wrecked our marriage,he started staying out late,coming home with a lot of stains and all sorts of women fragrance on him and spend weekends in a hotel with ladies of different sizes and so on....I tried all I could to talk to him but wouldn't listen. I saw a counsellor who I thought could help all to no avail. I felt it was wrong to disclose my family issues with other people but the moment I did there was a solution...I met an old friend back in high school whom I talked to she said she had similar problem in the past,that a certain man helped her by doing some spell stuff which I decline initially...to cut the long story short,I gave it a try at the end of the whole spell casting process and prayers,bath it worked. Am happy with my man now and we having a splendid reunion. Contact this address to get help also,palomaspelltemple@yahoo.com. Am recommending this to you because it helps.

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?
"Sharing bucket lists, and making them together, is a great way to get to know each other," Masini told INSIDER. "When your bucket lists are compatible, and you can see yourself supporting your partner's bucket list wishes, and you see them supporting yours, you're in a relationship that can go the distance. But, if you and your partner think each others' bucket list wishes are crazy and don't have a place in the relationship — then this isn't 'the one.'"
I am a 60 year old female who has been married for 27 years. Six years ago I was let go from my job after 18 years of service (I worked with my husband). A year later I became really depressed and physically ill. I was later told that I had Major Depressive disorder and fibromyalgia. It was at this point my marriage troubles started. My husband began coming home from work each night and verbally abusing me to the point that I had considered suicide. Fortunately I got help through a therapist about that but my husband continued to berate me with words like your not sick just lazy, (the list goes on). Tried lots of marriage fixing such as counseling, (he would not go) to exercise, yoga etc. Fast forward to the present. I got on a new medication and following the advice of my therapist started going out with friends more and during one of these outings I got the chance to start working doing promotion work within the music industry. During this work I made new friends and one of whom I became fairly close with advised me to try again with my marriage. Oh my husband gives me such a hard time about my new found job and friends. I now see that what I want out of this prison called my marriage but I am fearful about being alone at my age. What will happen if I get really sick again or just end up being alone all the time, I’m scared and need advice from someone who is not so close to the trees, if you get my drift. Signed Really confused.

"The biggest mistake I see women doing in their marriages is showing a lack or admiration and respect for their husbands," international dating and relationship expert Megan Weks told me in an interview. "If you want him to be happy, feel loved, and feel sexually attracted to you, he needs to feel admired. He is not going to tell you this and he may not even be able to pinpoint the problem, but if you are doing and saying things which beat him down instead of build him up, you are asking for your man to be unhappy in the marriage."
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