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 »
My husband has been struggling for a while now. Probably a couple of years that I know of. I told him that if he needed to take some time away from his regular life to try and figure things out for himself, I would support him in that. Well....he thanked me and found a place to stay next month. Alone. He will still go to work, but be away from all other aspects of his routine home life.

Hi, thank you for your article. The signs you have pointed out here have been happening to me and my husband. We are 5 years married. He is not with us always because of his job and he only gets home every other month or two months (and only stays 1 week). Before our big fight, we have a very smooth sailing relationship. Always calling, texting. But last year I got pregnant with our 2nd child and I wasn’t able to go to him (the place where he stayed, and where he worked). I think that was when it all started (when everything has fallen apart).
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.
just tell him, be honest, if its something his doing than he can work on and you think you can be happy again well than tell him that...if its just you dont want to be with him at all tell him...its hard but people break up with there boyfriends and girlfriend every second or people get dumped every second thats part of life and thats part of dating, he will move on. dont be mean about it, dont make it harder for him than it already will be...but hey you never know maybe he feels the same way and it will be mutal and easy for both of you...
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The only common thing throughout this whole thread is the fact that, somewhere along the way, someone has lost their love for their partner. Any loss painful and scary as we all fear the unknown. We all fear being unwanted, unloved and un-needed. We are all unsure of what step to take next. My only advice (for what its worth) to each of us, is dont do too much at once. Take tiny steps and only make small changes at time. Look after yourself, allow yourself to grieve the lost relationship (they say the negative feelings are better out than in) and then start looking for a way to take yourself forward through whatever it is you need to go through.
Hi, I’ve been married to my wife for 5 years and together for 7. We have 2 amazing children, life got in the way and we were not around for each other enough but still knew we loved each other. My wife went off sex after the birth of our first born. 6 months ago cheated while away on a hen do. States was nothing more than a kiss, but send messages and photos when came home for a period of weeks. She says she’s 50/50 and doesn’t know what she wants. 6 months later she still texts this man, stating it’s just a friendship now, and still won’t commit, says 50/50, and won’t be physically intimate (not even cuddling on sofa/in bed). Am I wasting my time? Can she come back to me or should I now walk?
There are few things like knowing that the person you're with just wants to be with you. When you feel solid and reassured by the level of love and communication in your relationship. There's no worry or stress about getting ghosted or cheating and your only worry about your partner is whether or not they've noticed that you're actively building and expanding your wedding board on Pinterest.
Life’s about more than just finding a man. Life is this great journey and it’s not about finding a man. Some of us will find a man along the way and it’ll add to our happiness. Others will stay single and other things will make them just as happy. You can be happy with or without a man. It honestly doesn’t matter. As long as you’re being true to you, you’ll end up happy.
Communicate with your boyfriend. If all the signs are there, direct communication is the only avenue. Ask him if he is happy. Sometimes his response to the question might be all you need. If he is sincerely confused you would ask him such a question, he is probably happy in the relationship. If he tells you he is happy and asks you why you think he isn't, take his concern as a positive response.
But if we all get out of our own egos for a little bit and stop defending our worldviews, I ask you: if you had a choice between a partner who was anxious/moody/depressed and one who wasn’t, why would you choose anxious/moody/depressed? When I was feeling that way, believe me, I felt chagrined when women would pull away from me. But now that I’m on the other side, I can completely understand why they did.
If you're hoping to build something long-term, it's important that you plan a little bit together or be willing to cooperate and remain flexible. If your partner discusses their own future and doesn't imagine you as part of it then they're probably not planning on building a future with you. This could mean marriage, kids, or even just your bucket list.
My husband has been unfaithful. I learned last year that he was. He says he love me and want our marriage but, he is still with his mistress & denies it. We have never had locked phones. And I have never seen his phone down in a year. It’s always on him. He lies & the cheated has affected his company because of the lack of work. I have no clue what to do. He never shows me any different. Other that I don’t make him feel special, but I do anything he asked. Now I am at the last rope. We have 3 young children & i am searching for work incase of the worse. Does anyone have any advice. Plus he says he depressed. And need me, but it’s the same thing over & over.
After almost 7 years on and off and 2 kids later I find myself being told I’m not wanted anymore not in love with. I’ll be the first to admit our relationship was very rocky we started off inseparable every moment we wanted to be around each other I became pregnant with our son 9 months in and then I saw a change in my partner he was fighting a drug addiction to synthetic marijuana,we began to crumble fighting physically,verbally all the time. By the time he was able to kick his drug addiction he had completed 6 months In jail and at this time I have another child our beautiful daughter and had been struggling to make ends meet with out him I danced to provide for myself him and 4 children. through all this I lost custody of my children due to family violence between us two right before he was incarcerated. I lost myself and quickly spiraled out of control of my life. Around the same time I found out my partner was never faithful during the time we were together even at times turning to Craigslist. To say the least I’m still shocked. While he was gone I too turned to other men and decided to be honest with the father of my kids probably the worst thing I did,it cost me my trust no matter how bad of things so many times he cheated nothing could compare to me doing it. When he got out we gave it another try both agreeing to forget the past. He never kept his word everyday it was thrown in my face somehow so I seeked happiness in another man for 2+ years in the mix of us not being together he hears about me and at the time boyfriend being at a local fast food joint and aggressively shows up trying to fight and throws me in a car shortly after the father of my kids house is shot at about 30 times by the grace of God no one was hurt. I’m blamed for that happening when I had nothing to do with it that’s one of the reasons he claims he doesnt want me anymore. Needless to say we separated and got back together continuously. We recently moved into a fresh start apartment just the two of us where we both agreed once again to forget the past because we “love” eachother and finally pick up and be happy. I did everything to try and make us work but he says ” karmas a bi $#@ and he can’t forgive me,he no longer loves me and doesn’t want me” I live with him because I have no family/friends or anywhere to go. I know he hates that I’m here but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t heartbroken I love this man he is my only family,friend and Person I want to be with. I don’t know what to do. Fight for my heart or Let go
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. 

Despite the straying of your spouse you are still beautiful, and just because he doesn’t want you, this doesn’t make you undesirable. You’re still a beautiful child of the King. You’re an injured bird, but this doesn’t mean you can no longer fly. You can heal, and you can move forward in your marriage. You can move forward in forgiveness, and you can have a wonderful relationship. 
A Marriage Repaired: You can take on your marriage, improve yourself, deal with your children; or look realistically at divorce. There is dignity in making it work. And, there’s dignity in starting fresh for the right reasons. Take a look at Harville Hendrix or John Gottman's work on rehabilitating a marriage. For many, it can be done. Take an active role.

After almost 7 years on and off and 2 kids later I find myself being told I’m not wanted anymore not in love with. I’ll be the first to admit our relationship was very rocky we started off inseparable every moment we wanted to be around each other I became pregnant with our son 9 months in and then I saw a change in my partner he was fighting a drug addiction to synthetic marijuana,we began to crumble fighting physically,verbally all the time. By the time he was able to kick his drug addiction he had completed 6 months In jail and at this time I have another child our beautiful daughter and had been struggling to make ends meet with out him I danced to provide for myself him and 4 children. through all this I lost custody of my children due to family violence between us two right before he was incarcerated. I lost myself and quickly spiraled out of control of my life. Around the same time I found out my partner was never faithful during the time we were together even at times turning to Craigslist. To say the least I’m still shocked. While he was gone I too turned to other men and decided to be honest with the father of my kids probably the worst thing I did,it cost me my trust no matter how bad of things so many times he cheated nothing could compare to me doing it. When he got out we gave it another try both agreeing to forget the past. He never kept his word everyday it was thrown in my face somehow so I seeked happiness in another man for 2+ years in the mix of us not being together he hears about me and at the time boyfriend being at a local fast food joint and aggressively shows up trying to fight and throws me in a car shortly after the father of my kids house is shot at about 30 times by the grace of God no one was hurt. I’m blamed for that happening when I had nothing to do with it that’s one of the reasons he claims he doesnt want me anymore. Needless to say we separated and got back together continuously. We recently moved into a fresh start apartment just the two of us where we both agreed once again to forget the past because we “love” eachother and finally pick up and be happy. I did everything to try and make us work but he says ” karmas a bi $#@ and he can’t forgive me,he no longer loves me and doesn’t want me” I live with him because I have no family/friends or anywhere to go. I know he hates that I’m here but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t heartbroken I love this man he is my only family,friend and Person I want to be with. I don’t know what to do. Fight for my heart or Let go
I have been married for 25 years and have two grown up children who live at home. The first ten years were great, then my husband had a serious drink problem. We lost everything, he got help and sobriety came and I soldered on. I know he went through a lot, we all did. We lost everything, my feelings of self worth and feeling special diminished. We lost our home and everything. During that period, he changed as a person. One day I found out he was dabbling again with alcohol, so I took my kids and left. I went away for a year, he searched for me and I returned living in a rough area in a council house it was tough. I loved him and wanted it to work, maybe because I wanted to think he wanted me more so that a bottle of vodka. Anyway, we have moved about a lot trying to get back on our feet but financially it's always a struggle. I feel so unhappy, we work, talk and that's it. No excitement, fun and not much laughter. I just feel I can never trust him, as I know he has lied to me a few times. He told me he had given up smoking and he hasn't. How can I trust a man that cannot tell the truth, how can I love someone who doesn't love me enough to be honest. Our sexual relationship died many years ago, and not have a sexual relationship for over ten years makes me feel less of a woman. I have never strayed, but I just want to be happy overall. I just don't know what to do. I can't afford to live on my own, I am in a country with a visa but no savings. I feel I have no way out. I need to find myself, before I get lost.
As the novelist and essayist Charles Baxter put it in his book Burning Down the House, "People in a traumatized state tend to love their furniture." It's almost as if we're gathering things to bolster against loneliness. And there's a study to confirm the same rule applies to marriage: Margaret Clark, a professor of psychology at Yale, found that "people who attach more value to their possessions may be less secure in their personal relationships than those who put less value on material goods." A large-screen, 3D-enabled television isn't complicated. A shiny new tablet won't expect too much.
I am hoping that by typing out my woes I will be able to come to a decision on what I should do. In my relationship of 5 1/2 years when it is good it is very very good but when it goes bad it is awful. Currently we do not live together as I have had to move to another town to support youngest sons education. Organising to do this was fraught with difficulty. Lots of sulking and accusations of you don’t love me etc. In the end I just went ahead and did it. My husband is not my son’s father. After I told him that he was an abusive man and I was not going to put up with it any longer he went and got some counselling. It seem to help. Things have been good, not ideal but good until this weekend. We had an argument and one of the things he said to me “when it comes to the important thnings we just can’t communicate about it”. He also said that “you have a really long memory and that he has no doubt that what we were arguing about will come back to haunt him”. The thing is that what we were arguing about I agreed with the decision that had to be made. That was the Friday night. Saturday night I ring him up and after the usual pleasantries he launched into a tirade and said that he was going to this, this and this. He then said that he guessed that there wasn’t much else to talk about and hung up. I was stunned and realised that things haven’t really changed at all. The only difference being that because we have been separated and because we haven’t been living together it has lessened the impact of negative behaviour. Now I know logically I should ring him back and say that I understand that the decision needed to be made and i am not disagreeing with him but I don’t like the way he went about it. This decision is extremly difficult and emotional for me and he has not acknowledged that in any way. I always feel that it is me trying to make right with him. Also I have a chronic health condition and have been told to minimise stress as much as possible. It is all about him and his money. I guess what saddened me most is that I have realised that he hasn’t actually changed at all, it has just been sleeping. I am scheduled to move back with him beginning of next year but now I am wondering if it is going to be right for me. Perhaps this blow up over the weekend is a message to me.
“If you find that you are your husband are critical of each other, don’t assume your marriage is doomed to fail,” writes Lisitsa. “The problem with criticism is that, when it becomes pervasive, it paves the way for the other, far deadlier [warning signs of unhealthy marriages].  Criticism makes the victim feel assaulted, rejected, and hurt, and often causes the perpetrator and victim to fall into an escalating pattern where the first horseman reappears with greater and greater frequency and intensity.”
my husband and i have been married for nearly 5 years and for the past year things have been awful. he is unemployed and drinks all the time. he puts his friends and social life above what is best for us. since we have been together, he has blown all of our savings and now we are living on next to nothing. he doesn’t seem to care at all about our financial situation or how we can fix it…just wants to hang out with his friends and drink. we have two small children that i do 90% of everything for, while working, trying to take care of the house and the budget. every time i bring up our relationship and how we should work on things, he just says that we need a vacation and that we have no problems. i could talk to him until i’m blue in the face about our issues and he just brushes it off or says he doesn’t care how i feel. the thought of sex with him honestly disgusts me at this point. i am not attracted to him at all anymore. i don’t know what to do. a part of me still loves him very much but i have lost almost all respect for him. please help me figure out what to do. thank you.
i have been married for a year and we have a 18 month old son together. in the past my husband had been talking to his ex and he had her phone number he had also been talking to girls saying he would rather be with them then making money for his family and he kept telling girls how beautiful they are but he wasnt telling me that i was pretty. we had signed divorce papers and i kissed a coworker which i told him about and i apologised many times he brings it up a lot. recently i had an ectopic pregnancy and that caused some stress and while i had it he shoved me and i fell and broke a pack and play and got injured the police were called and we didnt see eachother for a week we decided to stay together but we argue all the time and when hes not at work which is 5 hours a day he is always sleeping or on facebook or watching tv we barely even speak and he barely spends time with me or our son. i dont know what to do anymore ive told him how i feel but nothing changes.
If your partner is pulling away, they will tend to go out alone more than they used to, New York–based relationship expert and author April Masini tells Bustle. Keep your ear to the ground, she advises. "Whenever you see a change in behavior, something is up. And when that change excludes you, your partner is either planning you a surprise party, or, more likely, spending time away from you because he’s not happy when he’s with you in the way that he wants to be." Again, talk about it before it's too late.

This wasn’t the man for you. He was an experience, a chapter of your life. How do I know he’s not the man for you? Because he doesn’t want you in his life anymore. Because you’re searching for tips on what to do when your boyfriend doesn’t love you anymore. He told you he’s not the man for you, maybe with words or maybe with actions. Maybe he told other people he’s finished with you. You need to listen to him, believe him, and let him go.
As completely freaked out and scared as I was, I immediately began talking to a few close women friends. I opened a bank account in my own name and had all of my pay checks deposited there and I made arrangements for my daughter and I to stay with a friend for a few weeks while I looked for place to live. I live in a city that is one of the most expensive places in the world so was very concerned I would not be able to afford an apartment for my daughter and I, but eventually got something but every year I am confronted with rent increases and increasing utility bills – so, the current sitation is not sustainable. I asked for and got a promotion at work. I applied for government help as a single parent and get a little bit every two weeks.
Premarital Cycling. Dating, then breaking up, then getting back together before marriage predicts lower marital quality and stability. This is common in relationships, but it doesn’t mean it’s good for them. This kind of instability early on sets a precedent for how open partners can be with each other. i.e. “If I talk about this with him/her, he/she will get overwhelmed because last time I brought something like this up, he/she needed a break from me. I’ll just keep it to myself.” This is a dangerous pattern to fall into. It’s important to feel safe and secure in a marriage for it to stay healthy and have longevity.
I don’t know if it’s a sign your marriage is over, for many reasons. First, only you and your spouse can make this decision! Second, some married couples vacation separately and say it’s what keeps their marriage healthy and happy. Third, does your wife even want to vacation with you? Maybe she doesn’t enjoy it either! And fourth, how is your marriage outside of your vacations? If you’re both happy with your relationship all the time except for when you’re on holidays, then maybe it’s just one of those quirky things in your relationship.
Look for signs your boyfriend isn't happy. These signs include a sudden lack of interest in intimacy, frequent desire to be alone, inattentiveness toward you, insensitivity to your feelings, or frequently engaging in activities without you. These may be signs of something else going on in his life, but they are likely signs his feelings for you are changing.

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 »
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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.

I’m the type of person to over-analyze and question everything in life. I realize I cannot change my boyfriend’s sense of humor. I’m not getting any younger and hate the thought of breaking off an otherwise great relationship. The stress on me from constantly questioning a future decision to marry my boyfriend is not helpful toward furthering what could be an amazing relationship. How do I find a way to shake this nagging feeling that marrying him may be a wrong decision because of our humor gap? Or is this difference in our senses of humor a deal breaker? Thank you for a new perspective. –Kelly
I feel for a lot of you on this blog because I have been through it too and even though I have been seperated 17 months now I look at things in a new perspective. I was married for 23 years and with him for 27 we were high school sweethearts and I can tell you, that things might get better for a bit but it will always come back. I kicked him out on our wedding anniversary and since that day I have been through so much hurt as I found out that he is a drug addict and wonder why our marriage did not work out. He was lying and sneaking all the time and also I was mentally and phically abused for years. I put up with it my whole life because he made me feel I could never do better in life without him and when you are constantly put down it is the way your programmed to think. Since we split his drug use becaome way worse, he would steal from the house and do very evil tings behind my back. He even lost my house as he did not let me know that the mortage was behind and 5 days before last christmas I had to vacate my home with my two year old grandson that I am raising. There hass been so many games done to me that it almost makes me puke but I can tell you that I have loved him so much for the entire seperation, but two weeks ago something happened to change my mind and I dont even know what it was. All the sudden I dont have the same feelings for him and I am not calling him much anymore. I have wanted him to come back to me but I think that it is because he mentioned that he wants to work things out with me and I really dont know how to feel about that. All I can tell you is that my feelings are not the same. I think that I have fonally gotton over this hurt and I forgive him for everything. We shared our whole lives together and its over and I dont think that we can repair it. I know that I pay for my own things now and I am raising my grandson and really I have come to terms with that I dont need anyone as a partner. Sure I could have got someone else in my life but I never wanted to hurt anyone because I know that If I got another guy that I would drop him like a hot potatoe as soon as my ex wanted to come back, never wanted to involve anyone else. I thought that when he was done his drugs that he would come home. Problem is I dont think at this point I want him back. I realize that he loved me chasing him, texting him and calling him and the more I dont do it the more it intises him to see what I am up too and why I dont call. I am tired of the game as it has consumed my well being. You cannot change anyone ever. For awhile they may change but as they say you cannot change a tigers stripes and I believe that is the truth. I never wanted to ever be alone, but I asked myself do I really want to live like that again ang the answer is definately not. I dont want to raise my grandson in a fighting home, i did that with my kids and I was wrong for it. Good luck to all and remember if your not happy get out of it, dont waste your life you only have one. It is not worth it in end. I didnt want to be 80 years old rocking in my chair wishing i still did not have to live this life. Anyone can do better for themselves, sure they might not have as much but I can tell you now that I am not with him I can make sure I have things as he is the one who always cost a crap load of money..there is so much to my story but I cant tell it all it would take forever. Good luck everyone.
Sure, it would be nice every once in a while, but realize that men are wired differently than us. What we are thinking in our head that he should do is almost always not what he is going to do. Realize that all those romantic movies are most likely written by women. Don't let your expectations exceed your reality because you've been watching too many romantic comedies and reading too many books.

Hi, I’ve been married to my wife for 5 years and together for 7. We have 2 amazing children, life got in the way and we were not around for each other enough but still knew we loved each other. My wife went off sex after the birth of our first born. 6 months ago cheated while away on a hen do. States was nothing more than a kiss, but send messages and photos when came home for a period of weeks. She says she’s 50/50 and doesn’t know what she wants. 6 months later she still texts this man, stating it’s just a friendship now, and still won’t commit, says 50/50, and won’t be physically intimate (not even cuddling on sofa/in bed). Am I wasting my time? Can she come back to me or should I now walk?


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 »
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