"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."

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


Since last year i struggle to feel secure as he cheated on me and i couldn’t feel reassured… we fought lots in front of the kids. He is Bipolar 2 and 2 months ago he tried to commit suicide and i was by his side through everything… We still had issues afterwards because i felt this could have made a difference and made us grow closer but nothing. 2 weeks ago we had a big fight because he didn’t want to answer a question about money and again i’ve asked him a straight forward question where the money came from and he didn’t answer me, he just said from his account. I felt hurt because he used to blame me because of our finance.. i spend too much etc and that’s why at times he keeps money aside for me not to know..
He'd started to act grumpy again and we talked about it, but he said he had no time to see a counselor. Then Sunday he said he was going to hang with a buddy. I don't know why, but I got a really bad feeling, so I drove to where he said he was and he wasn't there. I called him and he made up a lie, and then another one and another one. He was willing to drive drunk to try and cover up what he was doing even. I went home and he went home. He cried and said he'd been doing coke that day and didn't want me to know. He said he had lied about it several times lately and felt terrible.
Further to suggesting some help, we may be called on, in some cases, to shoulder a little more of the load while our beloved gets themselves in order. If this is you, then realise that it’s for a short amount of time (hopefully) and that it’s all in service of the relationship's long-term happiness. And remember: they would do it for you, if the shoe were on the other foot.
This is probably one of the most obvious statement, but often the hardest to do. If there is something your husband does that drives you crazy, let him know, in a calm matter of fact way. Don't constantly be on his case for something. Especially something he can't immediately change. Nagging causes annoyance. Annoyance eventually causes resentment. Let him know why his actions are making you upset and annoying you. Being clear about what kind of behavior bothers you will help him be more accommodating and conscientious.
For many of us, survive until tomorrow may be the closest we get to a mission statement. But once we have the basics of survival managed, we need something bigger to ground our lives in. In our twenties and thirties our goals are often 'find a job, find a partner, raise children, provide for our family.' These are very praiseworthy goals, but what happens when the kids leave home and the mortgage is paid off? That's when we find out that we never had any bigger mission.
You mentioned someone going through a period of suffering in their life that they need time to get through (so this suffering is not permanent) and individuals who might have frequent dips in mood. I have a question about individuals who have a condition they have been affected by for a long time and will probably stay with them for the rest of their life. My mother has had what appears to me to be borderline personality disorder and/or bipolar disorder for the past 23 years since I was born. How much responsibility is placed on the person for their behavior who has difficulty controlling their moods? My mother can obviously control her behavior around strangers (maybe she is around strangers in times of better mood), but I see her take out her emotions, problems, aggressions in private on her caregivers (my grandfather and grandmother). She is not able to take responsibility for her actions at all and is not expected to by her caregivers. Is this appropriate? Is it appropriate to forgive her behavior in every instance? Or to hold her accountable for her actions? Should her rude behavior, explosive emotions, inability to listen be excused as something she has no control over? Or should the person be held accountable for certain aspects of her behavior? This is difficult for me to deal with because my emotions in response to her behavior when I am around her get discounted by my grandparents because they use the model where she "is not able to control herself at all so she must be forgiven in all circumstances". Is this model of forgiving every circumstance appropriate? Thank your for your response.

If you have been in a relationship for months or years, you probably take your partner for granted and don’t pay any attention to his feelings. Of course, not all of these signs means it’s time to break up. Maybe your man simply need some help and inspiration to cope with his problems but doesn’t know how to tell you about it. Do you feel like your man is unhappy with you?

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.
I think your advice is good, here, and if a man can achieve loving himself, and being happy within himself without validation, then that’s great, and that’s what he should do. I’m not absolutely sure what form this validation takes, but I’m assuming it’s largely through sex, at least that’s how it comes across to me: that a man like this may want perhaps-too-frequent sex from his wife in order to maintain his masculine ego. If this is the case, and maybe even if it isn’t, it makes me think of how this need for masculine validation is a product… Read more »
I’ve been with my guy for a few years. His is my best friend, and I can honestly say I love him. Lately I haven’t felt happy. We are in a long distance relationship, and the last few times I got to see him I was not as excited as I was in the past. The thought of breaking up with him makes me feel sick sometimes, and the explaining to everyone would be exhausting. I look at my siblings and see how happy they are with their significant others. Sometimes I feel like I don’t look at my guy the way I see other couples look at each other.
"People often think about the status of their relationship and where it's headed at the beginning of the relationship, but those conversations shouldn't stop. Not being on the same page when you're committed or married leads to unhappiness and divorce. Marriage is a big job. Don't say 'We'll figure it out later.' Later means never or when it's too late." —Darius Russin, M.D., M.B.A.
"In my job as a divorce mediator, often a spouse wants to tell me the whole backstory to their divorce. But I can tell you what really happened — in every divorce, someone (but usually both people) feels dismissed, discounted, disrespected, or devalued. These are major indicators of unhappiness." —Elinor Robin, PhD, Divorce Mediator with A Friendly Divorce in Gainesville, FL
Peter I agree. Infidelity is a symptom and not a cause. Any good relationship is built on communication. For those guys out there who think that your wife’s complaints about “we don’t communicate” or “you don’t understand” are just traits of a woman, go home tonight and find out were the hell things went wrong – FAST. If she has given up on trying to communicate with you, this is your sign. Without communication, your marriage is a ticking time bomb – because every storm becomes more difficult to weather and when the big one hits, you won’t be able to put things back together. A lack of communication ultimately divides a couple and they seek out those who do communicate with and understand them. I cheated on my wife (via text) while she was really sick – I let my jealousy of her supportive friends blind me to everything which should have been important – like focusing on my wife. As a result, my wife fell in love with her supportive friend and is now on the way out the door. She is trying to give me a chance, but our communication was so poor that all I could do is hurt her more as I continued to fix all the wrong things. My family is gone. My life is over. I cannot forgive myself. I want to kill myself. Please don’t learn from my mistakes. Everyday I wake up, I search for reasons to stay alive, but I am running low on excuses – my current motivation is that I would feel like such a coward for not manning up to the consequences of the hurt I put her through and I cannot leave my son. She is all that I have known for the last 10 years. I love her soo much. I love my son soo much. She deserved soo much better. Please don’t learn from my mistakes.
At the same time, my husband and I started working on PureCouples. We launched the website in 2016, and I started blogging about marriage and relationships more regularly. Blogging made me feel like I had something to contribute to the world beyond changing diapers and doing laundry. People across the world read my blog and found it helpful, and more importantly, I loved the feeling of satisfaction I got from writing. Writing made me feel like my world had clicked into place.
I’ve tried three approaches. 1) Loving, supportive husband offering ‘it’s okay, try again’ attitude for quite a while. Result: She is happy, I’m not b/c things don’t get done. 2) Ignore how bad it is. Result: She is fine, I’m not. Things don’t get done. 3) I communicate how she is not measuring up to her responsibilities. Result: She either gets extremely defensive, mad, or says ‘I don’t want to talk about it.’ Eventually we do and SOMETIMES she accepts and things get better. And when I say better, I mean I set SMALL goals for her in hopes she’ll master them to help her to new ones. She’ll do those small goals for a week or two, month max. Example is when you sweep you have to put the stuff you sweep into the trash and not just leave it in a pile for months. But inevitably, she returns to her base behavior. She suggested therapy to help her move away from her abused past so we agreed to pay out for a year of it. Now she’s not in it and has basically dismissed the goals/rules the counselor told her to keep. When we talk about any issues in our marriage she gets extremely mad and defensive. I’m not a perfect man and am open to criticism and self-improvement, but I provide for my family the best I can, keep them safe, and am trying to help. Frankly, I don’t feel like she’s pulling her own weight. If she knows she’s in trouble or did nothing that day, she’ll try to hide that fact by various means. Lies, kisses, sex, playing ignorance, etc… Sometimes I feel like our ‘marriage’ was a means to an end b/c I am nice and she knew I could provide for her so she made up a personality to escape the hell hole she came from (and it was a hell hole) but now reverted to a past self. What do I do? I thought a husband and wife were supposed to ‘work’ together and put the needs of the other above themselves. Any guidance would be appreciated.
Jackie H – When I start having to make a pros and cons list, I know it’s time to go.  Once I start dissecting a man in that way, I’ve already lost respect to the point that I can pick him apart like nobody’s business and I already know that the cons list will be long.  Why even bother?  Additionally, I think that, unless the writer is experiencing some other issue, why is she even bringing up, “He’s not funny”?  If they have a good comfort level with each other, that’s what really matters.  It’s seems a mute point to attack him for being not funny enough at this point in the relationship, and imho, like she’s ‘looking” for a reason to leave.  Funny “enough” is one of those things you look at up front, during the dating phase, and if she thought he was funny enough up front, why is she dissecting him like this now.  This says to me there is a larger problem which has nothing to do with “funny” enough. What she’s really saying is that he’s not “enough” of something else….  I like funny but life, in an of itself, is serious business.  And if he is taking care of business, why even go there?  If “is he funny enough” a serious consideration, then no wonder I have such a hard time dating.  Maybe I’m just taking the wrong stuff into consideration.  But hey, if I’m going for really funny, then just give me the best looking guy in the room too!  Geez, at this point, I’d take cute, kind, attentive and caring, a decent job, no big baggage, and someone who actually wants to get to know me with enough chemistry to make some smoldering happen.  That apparently is far too much to ask these days.  If I want some funny, I’ll YouTube my favorite old Eddie Izzard skits. 
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.
The most cliched term in most women’s online profile is “I want a guy who can make me laugh”. I’m dying to know what percentage of boyfriends and husbands actually make their significant other “laugh” and how often?? How is it measured? How many years am I going to have to keep coming up with “new material?” Since when did we all have to become Jerry Seinfeld to find and keep a woman? I’m almost 99.9% sure no woman has ever rejected ME because I’m not funny enough. Every guy just can’t be that funny and /or entertaining as well as educated, tall enough, good looking enough, income, job title, yadda, yadda, yadda…………. Where does it end?
          No matter how much my husband affirms me and does loving things, I will feel empty if I’m not connected to my Creator. My relationship with God is where I get my sense of self. It’s in His presence that I recognize who I am. When my heart connects with His, I find unconditional love and fulfillment. I recognize that my life here isn’t by chance, but that everything I am and do matters to my Father.
Our instincts can often tell us first when a relationship just isn't working — but we don't always trust that voice, says couples therapist Susan Pease Gadoua, co-author of The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels. "We often ignore our gut instincts because that voice is very quiet and calm, unlike the internal voice in our heads that thrives on high drama." We're trained to trust logic in many areas of life, so when a niggling feeling ("Am I really still in love with this person?") presents itself, it's hard to pay attention to it because there aren't any hard facts or rational reasoning. Drill down on that initial instinct and ask yourself more specific questions. If you find your responses are things like, "I don't feel safe to express myself, I don't feel respected and haven't felt happy in a long time," that's a sign that things have gone awry — and you shouldn't ignore it. "The truth doesn't go away simply because we don't want it to be there; that voice stays in the background and weighs on you," says Gadoua. "Getting quiet within is key to being able to hear instincts. And like a muscle, the more you trust your gut, the easier it becomes to decipher that voice — which comes from your heart — from the voice in your head."
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