DJ, thank you for the acknowledgement. I really appreciate it. I’m almost ashamed to admit I wasn’t really hit that hard in the breakup. I relocated across the country when we moved in together, so I got out of touch with most of my old friends over time. But we both worked full-time, we weren’t married and didn’t have kids so there were no real financial issues. I’ve got new outlets for my hobbies, and new friends over time, so I’m really doing fine today. Except for the “emotional connection” part. After a long-distance relationship for over a year before… Read more »
I’ve been in a relationship for three years now. I’m currently 19 years old. At 16 I fell in love with the most amazing man. In the months before we met I had been experimenting with drugs, ecstasy. I had become highly addicted (a couple pills a day). I needed help. At my rock bottom he saved me. I sobered up. Unfortunately, in the months following I started having extreme panic attacks, which I blame on my previous drug use. Due to this I was hospitalized. I wanted to die. I was put on Prozac for depression. But even through all that he remained my biggest fan. In the year following this things were wonderful. We’d talk for hours. Three months after my 18th birthday and four months after his 21st birthday we were married. We had a small wedding at my parents home. Sadly, one month after getting married the physical abuse started. He pushed me onto the floor then he’d throw things at me it quicky escalated from there. The break down of our relationship blame on the fact that I was working two jobs at the time I was at work an average of 13 hours a day. I was also a full time college student. He worked a hard labor job. We were always tired and never saw each other. At the time we were living at his dads house. Eventually I could not take it anymore. I moved out and we were separated for three months. During our “separation” we saw each other almost everyday. We remained intimate. Eventually we reconciled. We got an apartment together and everything was great. It felt like a fresh start. But before the ink was even dry on the contract I found out through his Facebook that he had been denying to random girls and old girlfriend that he was even married! He even went as far as to tell an ex he loved her and that if she would of still lived in our hometown he would married her instead of me. She in turn told him she didn’t care if he was married and sent naked pictures through email. I feel apart and packed my things. Somehow he convinced me to stay. During our separation I also turned to a guy that I had a past with. We had been friends through out the years and I wanted a man’s point of view on who was right and wrong on certain arguments that my husband and I have had. That’s was all. He developed feelings for me. Out of fear that my husband would think wrong of me I deleted all messages and denied everything. It was the worst decision I ever made. Eventually he found out and to this day he swears I had an affair. I DID NOT. After this our relationship went even further down hill. He started smoking meth. He has had this addiction for about six years. Which I thought was under controlled but obviously not. By this time we had been married ten months. He wasn’t sleeping at all. He became very paraniod and violent with me. One night he had me cornered in our kitchen. He was hitting me on the head. After months of abuse I finally had enough. He was wearing a shirt I had bought him. It was his favorite shirt. I decided I’d cut a hole in it so he could never wear it again. In the process I got a small cut on my hand and his. He slapped me harder then I had ever been hit in the face. Two minutes later the police was there. We both tried to down play each others involvement but it didn’t work. We were both arrested for domestic abuse. After bailing out I wanted to get help for him. We dropped our lives and moved to California with his mom. While we were out their we reconnected. He sobered up. Soon we moved back home. The problems and struggles of daily life got to us once again. We still haven’t been able to rebuilt any trust. At this time we have been married one year five months. The physical abuse is still going on. He is extremely remorseful after he hits me. We no longer sleep in the same bed, we are rarely intimate, we have as little communication as possible and he also refuses to delete naked pictures from his email! I dont know what to do I love this man. I feel that he is depressed. I feel like a prisoner in my own home. I want to help him. I love him with all my heart and i know deep inside he is a great man. I feel that their is love for me as well in him. In my comment I know it seems I am placing all blame on him but I have many faults of my own. I’m not ready to give on my marriage I need advise! I do not have money to get professional help. Any comments welcomed.

Wow, a lot going on here. My sense is that your husband may be depressed (or at least dysthymic) and that a lot of his negative thinking flows from that. Or, if not depressed, significantly unhappy, as he says himself. There may be one thing, or just a few things, that have landed him there that he either hasn't acknowledged to you, or hasn't even acknowledged to himself. Resetting expectations is a powerful technique to enhance resilience and reduce suffering (I discuss it at length in my book, The Undefeated Mind), and can be done without it meaning that "the world has won." That he's had 6 jobs in the last 13 years and that you sense he's always been "searching for something and simply not finding it" suggests he may be trapped in what Buddhism calls the world of Hunger. At the heart of this state of life lies a belief that if only we could fulfill our desires (whatever they happen to be) we will find long-lasting happiness. But of course, no desire provides that, so such people find themselves trapped feeling continual dissatisfaction with life in general. If he hasn't tried therapy, I'd strongly suggest it. He may have reconciled himself to life of minimal enjoyment, but you clearly haven't. If he won't do it for himself, perhaps he will for you and your daughter. Good luck.
My bf’s moodiness came out after 3 months. I was shocked thinking “what is this? ?”. Then it happened more and more often. Walking on eggshells. .he does go to therapy but unfortunately I don’t think it works. He had a traumatic childhood. He acknowledges he’s depressed and takes medication but he will not admit to being moody. I’m so happy go lucky and laid back that at first I just thought I could pull him out of his moods no problem. But after a while it became exhausting and I realized this was his job not mine. It’s tough-never really goes away. I do love him but if I had known this from the beginning I’d have moved on. Also he wants me with him 24/7. So giving him space doesn’t even work.
The OP has every right to want a guy that makes her laugh if its that important to her. My only question to her would be to why does she wait until the relationship has reached LTR status before she lowers the boom on these guys? She should know after a few months if this is a deal breaker for her and then move on without too much being invested by the guy or her. She probably knows the guy has an expiration date but dangles him along. Not cool. Its OK to be superficial or wanting a specific quality. Just declare it early on instead of 12 months in or whatever timeframe defines LTR.
Omar Khayyam said, “A person will like everything, even the flaws, of their beloved, but will be annoyed at the perfection of those whom he does not love.” For a truly loving man, you are always beautiful, even with messy hair and even in your oversized nightgown. He will not notice that you have gained a couple of extra pounds after the winter holidays if you do not say it yourself. But if your man constantly tells you to go to the gym or hints that you need plastic surgery, do not rush to indulge him. It is most likely that it’s not your appearance that doesn’t suit him but you yourself. And even if you lose weight, he will find other faults in you.
I think the “sense of humor” argument is actually different from other traits.  The reason is finding someone with the same sense of humor is like finding someone that’s on our “wavelength.”  People can have radically differing opinions on politics, religion, philosophy, etc.  and can at least agree to simply not talk about those things.  This can work, but our sense of humor is such a core personality trait.  It’s really a big part of who we are.  Now does your partner have to actually be funny?  No.  They do have to have the same sense of humor, though.  I don’t think they need to make you laugh but they have to be able to laugh at the same things you do.  Now back to types of humor.  I agree with what Evan said that Kelly seems to be looking for a personality type that might not be positive i.e. a narcissist.  A good sense of humor should always involve at least a degree of self deprecation. 
I know exactly what this woman is talking about.  I’m dating a man where I feel like I’m losing my skill at bantering, and frankly, I find his ‘humor’ often to be not very complimentary.  I want someone who ‘gets’ me and vice versa.  Otherwise, it’s an awfully long time to live day in and day out with someone and/or needing to get this ‘need’ met from outside the marriage (and I don’t mean CHEATING).
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.
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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!
I found this post interesting. I am a stay at home mom (I only work a few hours a week). My husband is a good, moral, decent man. That will never change. But he used to be loving, caring, affectionate and helpful and that definitely changed. That being said, I try to take my job as a stay at home mom seriously. I do not expect him to do any “female” chores. Beyond being our sole financial support, he maintained all cars, the lawn, the trash and any major home renovation. I do the smaller ones. I’m not perfect, but I do my jobs. If I am down sick for 2 days, the house becomes an absolute h*ll hole. He has stopped even picking up after himself. I don’t say a word. But numerous times, during a bad argument he has complained that I do nothing. This not only hurts my feelings but it’s like “why am I even bothering?” And then it makes me question myself if I really am not pulling my weight. I mean, I really do try. But yes, sometimes I don’t get all the laundry done. Or maybe 1 day it’s the dishes and the next its a bathroom. I mean, I have many chores….and most days I would say I get 90% of it done. So each day there is something new that I didn’t get to I guess. He said it wouldn’t be acceptable at his work for him to not get everything done and he resents the fact that I don’t have anyone I have to answer to but he does. I don’t know. I just start to feel like I am failing. Some of these women seem to have it so together. Makeup done, not a hair out of place, kids beautifully dressed, house immaculate…I can’t seem to get there. And constantly feel bad.
my questions? how can i continue to waffle? how do you know when it’s truly over? when you feel like you’ve failed, when you’re not sure if there’s anything left to save? and when your son (my son lives with me – is planning to move out, but has made it very clear that he hates the man I married – not because of my husband’s treatment of him, but because of the way my son has seen and heard my husband treat me) despises your husband? how do you forgive and move past?
A lot of single and married women today believe that marriage is a means to an end – that all their problems will magically go away when the love of their life places a ring on their finger and they finally say “I do.” There is also an underlying expectation that the men in our lives will keep us happy at all costs. But despite the cues we get from the media, in fairy tales, and from those we believe are so happy around us, your relationship is not meant to keep you happy. Yes, your man should make you happy, but that is not the sole objective. We should be taking another path to happiness in our relationship – one that is more likely to get us where we need to be. This doesn’t begin with fixing our man, but with fixing our own hearts. Here are six things to do when your man can’t make you happy.
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At this moment, I am still ready to move on, but again, the fault is mine!! “If you want to stay with me it is OK, otherwise I can’t stop you from leaving” are the actual words”. It is difficult to equalize the things we did to each other, but I cannot forgive her now only to plot how to hurt her bad down the road. This is what she did to me. In her defence for my presenting the evidence, my “affair” constantly came up. She still refuses therapy and I am at a breaking point. She still claims she has not done anything wrong and I guess according to Laurie’s article this smells like the end. I refuse to believe that, but I guess it is a matter of time before more truth smacks me in the face and wakes me up from this illusion that I live in.
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.
It’s up to YOU to make you happy. You can’t rely upon anyone else to make you happy. You’re just setting yourself up for disappointment. Besides, it’s time to take responsibility for yourself. If you’re not happy with you, you’ll never be happy with a man. Take some time to focus on figuring out what makes you happy. A man can only add to your happiness. He can’t be the entire basis for your happiness.
Being Mary meant that my very first priority wasn’t my husband, or even my daughter. My first priority was spending time with Him. I realized that the better the quality of time I spent with Him, pouring out my heart, and listening in return, the more I felt satisfied.  I felt centered. After that, no matter what happened later on in the day, my thoughts and emotions were anchored and things didn’t feel so overwhelming.

“It may be difficult to face the issues that you and your spouse are struggling with, but research suggests that couples who can manage to stay together usually end up happier down the road than couples who divorce,” writes Dr. Deborah Hecker on Should You Divorce or Save Your Marriage? “If partners choose to invest in their relationship and make needed changes instead of repeating their mistakes, they might be able to avoid an unnecessary divorce. And if they do finally decide to divorce, their personal work in couples therapy might increase their chance of a successful marriage next time.”
On the issue of why did it took so long.  One possibility could be that he has a one dimensional sense of humor.  I have a friend that I thought was hilarious when I first met him.  But over time I noticed it was the same jokes over and over again.  It started to become predictable and not so funny.  I guess it would kind of be like dating a guy that never graduated potty jokes.  Might be funny at first but starts getting old after a while.
My husband has a do as I say not as I do attitude and he hits me anytime he feels he is losing the fight. Later he says that I deserved it. In all fairness I do say some pretty ugly things to him so I can see why he hits me. What makes me angry is that he has a victim complex and makes everything my fault. I accept that I was ugly to him but he never accepts that he was ugly to me. He always says you made me hit you and things like that. I am at the point where I am starting to hate him but leaving is not an option since we moved 1200 miles away for me to go to school. All my family thinks he’s a jerk and I don’t have contact with his family but I know they just placate him.

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 think it's very important for people to recognize that there are very few things that cannot be worked on in a relationship, and even repaired and resolved," Walfish says. (Think about how many couples can even work past cheating). But if a partner isn’t willing to work on improving your relationship, that’s a clear sign of trouble. After all, she says, "working on a relationship requires two willing participants. That means both partners have to be open to looking at their own stuff."
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