In defense of Steve, I would say practical advice depends very much on personal circumstances. I identify totally with the sentiments of the article but I’m in no way like “Kevin”. I know my default happiness is internal, but my ways of reconnecting to it will be different to Kevin. The men’s work you do depends on who you are and how far you are from where you want to be.
Inevitably, there will be bumpy times in your relationship. If it has come to a point that you're not sure where to turn, try your hardest to make things right. This doesn't mean endlessly talk about what you should be doing, do it! Schedule the counseling session. If you truly love your husband and want to make things right, don't always expect him to make the first step.
At last (six months after my son and I moved here) he’s left her but we are far from a happy family. He expects things to click back into place. He wants us to watch porn and have the crazy fun all night sex we used to … that seems to be all he wants! He refuses to throw away possesions he’s gathered since living with her (mainly clothes which are totally out of character to who he used to be). I tell him they upset me and he shouts me down, getting really angry, and tells me that she wasnt even with him when he bought them. He is being really insensitive towards my feelings. I have had to be the one to lean, compromise and sacrifice through our whole relationship and he cant even sacrifice some possessions. I know, from reading her blogs and things that he admitted, that he used to bend over backwards for her. I ask him to do a few favours and he says I’m demanding and gets angry. He constantly tells me he loves me and that we’re soulmates and he tries to be affectionate with me (though I’m becoming less and less responsive to this). But his actions tell a different story. I’m off sex with him – I still do it but nowhere near the standards we are used to, at times I feel sick. I dont love him anymore but when he says he loves me I say it back because when I’ve tried to end it with him or discuss our problems I get just anger or empty promises and my mind cant cope with that again. Through all this torment I have been in states of nervous hysteria. I have harmed myself and wished myself dead (although I didn’t contemplate suicide because of my son and a belief that I am worth a shot at life). So after this very, very long story I’ll get to the point. I realise that I have to leave him. Like I said, I’ve tried to several times over the last six months. But he begs me. He tells me that all we’ve been though cant be in vain … at last we can be happy. He tells me he will be dead inside without me. He threatened to close our business (he wont sell it even though it’s worth while finacially – he’d be ‘in no fit state to deal with it’). He said he’d move back to the UK and that I wont be able to stay here because I wont get any benefits and wont be get any financial support from the government and I wont get a job because of the language barrier – he knows how much I like it in this new country, and how good it is for our son who is really settling in well here – he is using this as leverage. I am in unfamiliar territory and, although I have made good friends here, I feel very alone. My family are a short plane journey away but I’ve never caught a plane alone – I am Not At All independant, as I’ve always depended on him and allowed him to make the decisions (mainly because he would shout me down if I tried to do otherwise). I am also feeling so much guilt about what I am taking away from my son – I always wanted him to have a normal happy family. And I feel guilty that I’m taking my husband’s son out of his life – I will always give him as much access as he wants (and he knows that) but I know that not saying good night to him eveynight will cut him up. So much guilt, so much self doubt … and I feel so so tired and weak. I dont have it in me to confront him again but I cant stay.
Invite your boyfriend out for a special night. Choose something he enjoys doing and follow it with dinner. Be yourself and make the date romantic. Watch his reaction. Look for disinterest or an eagerness to end the date. If he doesn't respond to something you've set up specifically for him, there is something going on. It may not be that he is unhappy, but taken in the context of other signs, it's a good bet he might be.
Detach with love. Sometimes people are simply toxic by nature, a fact that often dawns on others around them only after time. Sometimes people refuse to take steps to make themselves feel better. As a result, sometimes you have to love them from a distance. This can be an intensely difficult decision, but sometimes it's the right one. Give yourself permission to entertain the thought and consider it seriously if consider it seriously you should.
Evan, this is very timely for me! I wrote about the bf with undiagnosed Aspergers. The relationship became pure hell. I was the only one trying to work around his disorder, and the drama and depression that comes with it, he refused to acknowledge he even had it, and when I tried to talk to his family about it they got mad at me! Everyone wanted me to just accept him as he is, because that is the way “God made him and God loves him”. I have three things to say about that: 1) I am not God, I am a person with my own needs, desires, and issues 2) I was getting completely worn out trying to tap dance around the disorder and I was starting to feel like I was going nuts myself, and 3) God helps those who help themselves. I am not saying he is not worthy of God’s love or my love. I am saying, he is not worth sacrificing MY LIFE and MY HAPPINESS for.
Hi, my husband and i has only been married for 6 months when he started cheating on me, before that we were in a long distance relationship for 5 years, he was overseas while i lived in Australia and I have waited long time for us to be finally together. I’m his second wife and i thought that things would be different for us. From the tme i found out about the cheating which is through social media chatting, I hid it from all the people including my family for i was protecting him until such time that he emotionally abuse me and went his way to see her and commited adultery.
You're in a tough spot. The thing about enabling behavior is that superficially it makes things easier, so people who enable remain attached to doing it. If you decide you shouldn't enable your mom's behavior (and I'm in no position to judge one way or another) it seems to me the key would be becoming confident enough in that decision (out of a genuine and well-considered belief that enabling her behavior isn't in her or your best interests) that you simply—without ever needing to discuss it—stop enabling her behavior. Such a change would of course be met with resistance that you'd need to be prepared for, which is why you must first be absolutely convinced your decision is the right one and then calmly stick to your guns (keeping your own emotions at bay would be key). Good luck.
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.
I agree with Cathy, Aly. You struck a deep nerve for something. I am so sorry. I have just realized my husband of almost 30 years was not the man he pretended to be either. And he pretended the entire marriage, while rejecting me to the point I have been in what is considered a sexless marriage. I was a beautiful, happy, intelligent girl once but now that I am ill and old he told me he is a sex addict, that he has fantasies about every women I’ve ever been close to, that he took my (soon to become) best friend for sex the day before our wedding and the reason his suit was not ready was because he wasn’t planning on going through with it, that he wanted to leave me for her for the first 3-1/2 years of marriage… when his ‘first’ disclosure got past 6 women and he mentioned how full of life and energy my granddaugther was I exploded. She is/was 6 years old at the time. He goes after anything with a pulse and is one of the guys that masturbate in public hoping to get caught — even in areas with children. However, I thought he was a shy, sweet, creative and gentle man who would never harm a soul and didn’t have a dishonest bone is his body. He has enjoyed letting me know what a fool I was… then he retreats and becomes the person I thought he was, but this is only because he hasn’t gotten his next victim lined up. After I realized something didn’t feel right (illness can bring incredible clarity) then he took his mask off, and he was an insect wearing an Edgar suit. Truly evil, manipulative and cunning — not one bit like who I believe for my entire adult life. My shock just can’t settle down.
My husband also told me that he wasn’t happy in our marriage. Unfortunately, I took no action and didn’t take this all that seriously. As a result, we separated and almost divorced. I wish I had handled it differently because I had a lot of catching up to do. Luckily, I finally stumbled upon some strategies that worked. If it helps, you can read the whole story on my blog http://isavedmymarriage.com
Me an my husband have been married for two years now, we have a wonderful, healthy one year old together. My problem is, he’s quite a mommy’s or should I say grandmas boy. Before we got married he lived with his grandparents where his grandma did everything for him. She cooked, cleaned, did his laundry, made his bed, an waited on him hand an foot. Now that we are together I don’t mind cleaning, cooking, or any other house chores, but he expects me to do them without any help. I don’t get off work till 8pm an he cooks dinner alot I will admit that. He acts like I never do anything, he tells me if I only worked as hard as he has to. Mind you I’m a caregiver taking care of two different clients, an he is a cable guy. He tells me all the time I don’t care about the things he does for me, but I feel the same way. I’m to my breaking point I can’t take his put downs an him saying my job means nothing. I don’t want to leave him, but something has to change.
"Often -- but not always -- women nag because men don’t follow through. How many times have you had a conversation about doing something and he commits to doing it and never follows through? Often, I'm guessing," she said. "Women feel caught in the middle: You continue to try and talk to him and address the issue but it goes nowhere. He interprets your request as nagging. You want to believe him but his promises go unfulfilled."
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 recently told my husband of a little over a year (we’ve been togehter 5 years total and have a 2 year old together) that I wanted a seperation. I’m not happy with our marriage and I havn’t been for a long time I don’t believe we should ever have gotten married but at the same time I love him and I’m so scared that I will change my mind. I work full time, go to school full time and take care of our daughter most of the time while he works at a restuarant as a server about 20-25 hours a week making little to know money (and he’s 6 years older). I’m tired of not only carrying the financial burden but of nothing being good enough. Nothing I do seems to be right for him I don’t clean or cook enough. We also are barely ever itimate I’m in my early 20’s and would like to have regular intercourse with my husband and it’s gotten to the point where I feel like I have to beg him to be with me and even when we are he acts like it’s a treat. I’m so scared that somehow he will talk me into staying with him (b/c he can not support himself), but on the other hand he is the father of my child and I don’t want to abandon him to be homeless (he has no family here). I just don’t know where to draw the line? When does it become him taking advantage of me? and how do I prevent him from talking me into staying especially when I KNOW that it would be bad?
I’m sorry to tell you . This but your marriage is over and has been for 16 yrs. He does not love you he comes home because he made a commitment he broken a huge bulk of it but . He cant seem to move on he has to hear from you that hes no longer need it then he would leave . But honestly he does not love you …. Love is kind faithful and true theirs no lies or deceit in it so stop making up excuses for him . Now Im married Im a christian My husband never love me but I married him because I did I could not sed myself with anyone else he complete me so I turn the other cheek but Im not in no way delusion to think he cares. I will never divorce him. But he wants out I would let him go . Im a christian I do not beleive in divorce so I would only marry again if he dies
One of the most important things to do here is to communicate with him. Invite him to share his feelings with you and be open to criticism. Remember, this is exactly what will help you to pinpoint what is needed right now. When communicating with your husband help him to feel at ease and know that he shouldn’t be afraid of communicating with you about these things. Show him you’re in tune with his emotions, and you’re there to do what’s in your power.
I don’t want to sound like I have no sympathy for your boyfriend. Life can be tough, especially in light of thwarted dreams, unrealistic expectations, financial instability, flimsy support networks, and run-of-the-mill insecurities. But not everyone deals with things in the same way; and, whether we like it or not, this stuff matters. There are some people who will give up online dating if one email is not returned or give up on relationships just because the last one went bad. Even if this is somewhat “normal,” it’s certainly not a healthy trait. Not for the anxious/moody person, and not for the poor soul who has to be the strong, patient partner. When your boyfriend is unhappy, it’s only normal to want to pull him out of it, to want to flip a switch in the back of his head to get him from pessimist to optimist. Furthermore, when he’s at his worst internally, that’s also when he’s a terrible boyfriend. He obsesses, stays at home, stews in his own juices, and builds up stories about what’s wrong in the world that may not accord with reality. Not only that, but such a boyfriend has nothing to give to the relationship because he’s always dealing with his own mercurial moods.
Stop by the grocery store or bakery on your way home and pick up his favorite treat. Book a weekend away together. Give him a massage when he gets home. It's not always the job of a man to do these kinds of things. As a dedicated wife, you must surprise your husband and remind him of the fun woman he fell in love with. Believe me; he will appreciate the gesture and be thrilled that you did something so thoughtful.
How can you tell your partner is not thrilled about being together? What are the clues that he or she is unhappy in your relationship? Though there are some outright hints, sometimes it can be tricky to tell. Secret unhappiness in a relationship is totally scarier than obvious grief, because it could be happening and you might not even know about it. Freaky! As they say, we are most scared of the things we cannot see. Or the only thing we have to fear is fear itself, whatever.
If you've given up fighting, but feel further away than ever, it's a sign that you've reached a crossroads. "If there's a fight and the couple doesn't talk about what happened, or becomes gridlocked in their position and refuses to listen to their partner's perspective, that's not good," says Cole. However, you might still be able to turn it around. "Unresolved conflict can fool us into thinking that our love is lost, when it's actually only buried beneath the ashes of smoldering resentment and anger," says Turndorf. In other words, the love could still be there, but you just can't access it. To get back in touch with those feelings, turn toward your partner emotionally —which creates closeness and connection—rather than ignoring them or responding negatively, which creates distance and disengagement. "Fights can lead to greater intimacy if the couple processes the fight and repairs the relationship," says Cole. It's up to you to decide whether you've got it in you to turn toward your husband and give it one last go, or whether you've maxed out your ability to keep fighting for your relationship.