When we first met and the first year of our relationship, up to the first few months of the marriage were wonderful… but as soon as we got married he stopped caring… about much of anything really. He doesn’t shower like he should and smells horrible. Doesn’t take care of most personal hygiene. Refuses to partake in housework. Refuses to leave the house for anything. Didn’t shave for a month recently. Only did it because his MOTHER told him to. I’d been getting on him for weeks about it because even not trimming it looked sloppy.. but he didn’t bother. Doesn’t care about his appearance at all. It’s like he stopped needing to make an impression once he got married.
and I so badly want my marriage to work, not just for myself and my wife but my kids as well. My wife had a hard childhood. Her dad left when she was 10 and wasn’t involved in a good way until 8 years ago when his dad died and he told her he wanted to “make-up” for all the old wounds. Around the same time my wife went though depression. There were times she couldn’t get off the easy chair in our living room for days. She went to counciling and did the antidepressant thing and her therapist helped her decide she needed to go back to work. She had been a stay at home mom by her own choice for 12 years. She is a well paid professional in the medical field and was able to find a great, high paying job that she really likes right away. Almost as soon as she went back to work, she started spending more and more time there and with her “new friends” she works with. I have tried to be supportive and have left my job early to pick up the kids so she could stay late, go out with her friends, etc. At the same time she stopped having sex with me. We’ve been intimate maybe 5 times in the last 5 years and up until then had what she described as a great sex life. I’ve tried to find out what she wants or needs but she can’t tell me other then “not me”. Last week she told me that she is unhappy and that “part of me wants to stay and work things out, part of me doesn’t”. I asked her to read Mort Fertel’s book and do “Marriage Fittness” with me and she has read the first couple chapters but isn’t really committed. Our house has become quite messy due to her being unwilling to clean or cook dinner and she asked me to help get things more orginized and we have started that. The problem is she hasn’t changed any of her behaviors and comes home and just goes into a shell and finds ways to get me upset. Then she says something like “Well, that attitude just makes me want to read that book and work on things sooo much”! She only talks about her work and her friends from work and when I try to talk about anything else she withdraws and is uninterested. It’s been 8 years of her being withdrawn from me and 5+ without sex or affection. Now that I know she actually is at the point that she wants to end our marriage as much or more then save it, I’m having trouble being patient. She has totally ruled out going to councilling or therapy (it doesn’t work and is a waste of time and money) and while she agreed to “read” Mort’s book she hasn’t agreed to do anything and when I asked her what she thought of the part she has read she said “Well, I guess I can see what he’s talking about…” which isn’t making me think she will do anything but read the book. While for the last 15 + years I was the sole income earner, right now I’m not making any money due to the firm I was with closing after 9 years there. I’m working with a start-up and I hope that I’ll be making just as much or more then I had been and she does and we have savings so money isn’t yet a big problem but she is worried about it and I know she doesn’t like making the money. When I asked her what she needs she has said the biggest thing is she wants to move from our house to a better, bigger one so she probably feels that because I’m not yet making the money I had been that will be delayed but again, (It’s only been about 4 months since I lost my old job) she doesn’t have a reason to doubt I will be back to making good money again soon. I’m starting to feel “Why should I go into debt for 30 years with someone who isn’t going to even try to fix our marriage. There’s more of a chance that all that will happen is I’ll lose everything in a divorce”. I don’t know what to say when I’m told how wonderful I am and how it would be easier if I was an awful husband, father, etc. I feel so damn helpless and I know that sooner rather then later I’m going to hit a point where I can’t take it any more. I really am afraid that the woman who said before we got married “I don’t believe in divorce. When I get married it’s forever and will work to fix any problems to see to it”! is going to leave and destroy my family. I would appriciate any help you can give. Thank you.
There comes a point in every man's life when he realizes he is not going to save the world, cure cancer, win an Olympic gold medal, score with the insanely hot supermodel, be an astronaut. We see nothing but a downhill spiral and very little to show for it. Sure, we have a house, a wife, a couple of vehicles, some savings, and we are responsible adults. But, when we were younger we were told about all the things we were going to do. That stuck with us. We did not accomplish any of those things.
I’m thankful to have found this in good timing as it’s exactly what my confusion needs. My guy just shut me out last week and I was in complete silence and darkness for 3 days. Finally, I pleaded with him in a text msg to say something, anything because I was trying not to worry about him. He responded with an apology and said he needs time to work on himself. I accept and respect this and I’m giving him his space. But why is it on us women to understand and accept whatever his terms are? Can’t it be understood that we as women want to help? Maybe giving him space is the only way to help? This makes me feel worthless when my natural role is to offer him comfort and nurture him. When does my role count for anything? When HE feels ready? Is this all about HIM? I guess it is when real love forgets “self”… I won’t sit around and wait for him but I won’t forget about him, either. May clear and calm thoughts be with you all!
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.
There are some people (often mathematicians), who I say something to, and I think, “Oh my gosh, that HAS to make you laugh or at least smile”, and it doesn’t. That instantly creates a ton of distance. Not only could I not date such people, but I couldn’t be close friends and I don’t feel particularly comfortable in their presence, because were not “on the same wavelength.”
"A major mistake I see couples making that leads to great unhappiness is not listening to each other. It's such a simple thing, but it's so important. Ask them how they feel and then listen without interrupting (even if you're dying to interrupt them). Build in uninterrupted time with each other, sans phone, kids, and TV. Then repeat back to them to ensure they feel heard and that you accurately heard it." —Durvasula
It's normal for the intense of excitement of a new relationship to wane over time. But that doesn't mean your partner should be apathetic towards you. As Bizzoco says, "It [might] seem as if getting to see you or be with you has little importance to them." You might also notice a little less excitement in their eyes, and it can hurt. So be sure to speak up.
To counteract this impulse, remember that suffering is necessary for growth (I'm not pointing this out to rationalize suffering, but rather to suggest our focus should be on using it as a catalyst). If we can resist the impulse to treat suffering like a fire that must be extinguished immediately, we can consider with a clear mind how to best respond to the unhappiness of the ones we love. But if instead we give in to our impulse to take over responsibility for someone else's suffering, we may find ourselves cheating them out of an important growth experience. True happiness comes from strength. If we solve every problem for the ones we love, how will they ever learn to solve problems themselves?
 Know That He Might Be Unhappy In Another Area Of His Life:  The men in this situation don’t come right out and say this of course.  (Sometimes, they don’t even realize it themselves.) But it’s often very easy to read between the lines.  It’s not uncommon for this whole “I’m not happy” business to come at a time when he’s otherwise struggling.  Perhaps he has lost his job.  Maybe he is going through a serious lifestyle change.  Or perhaps something is happening with his extended family.  Whatever the reason, it’s very common for a man to take a problem that has nothing whatsoever to do with his marriage and then to project that problem onto the person who is most convenient or who is the closest to him.  And that person is often his wife.
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We moved past that and again yesterday I was on FB using his because I don’t have my own account. I found some very hurting conversations he’s been having with women before I arrived and even now he tries to speak to them -most of the conversations are from before and leading to the months I arrived. Please help me I don’t know what to do. We got married legally but are having a wedding celebration next month and I’ve been tears since yesterday. I spoke with him and he assured me again that he didn’t meet these women -said he is sorry cried and so forth but I don’t know. Please help me, please. I don’t know what to do. I just want to walk away and go back home. Please help me.
My problem is I’m not able to reason with her at all over the last few years, only if it’s in line with what she thinks is right. I’ve reached a point where I can’t go on arguing over stupid things because it’s at the point that I can’t deal with it and I don’t even care if my life ended. I have some health issues as well. By no means am I saying it’s always her fault, but I’m sick of it. If she told me to leave I would just to have a piece of mind. She doesn’t want me to have a dog, which I’ve had in the past,she gets upset over basically nothing and has an attitude till I apologize for something that wansnt even my fault. I’m not perfect by any means. This is a a very SMALL idea of want I have to deal wIth daily.
I found out my husband was talking to his ex behind my back a few weeks ago and he knows how I feel about this person based on things she has done in the past to try to get between us. So, in some of the messages I saw, he had sent her a meme and said he loved her. She also sent a picture to him of her legs with the statement….here are a picture of my legs finally with an emoji wink and his response was…about damn time. She also sent him a picture of a house where they used to live just to ask him if that was the house they used to live in. When I asked him about this, he said he does still have a love for her because they have kids together but he is with me. I however am having a problem getting over this because in our entire marriage, 10 years, he has never sent me anything out of the blue like this to let me know he is thinking of me like he did with her. We got into a tiff and when I tried to call him he didn’t answer. In the past when he was mad, he would ignore me and not answer my calls which I figured he was doing again which just made me more angry so I continually called him. I also texted him expressing my feelings. He finally texted back and said he can’t handle my level of crazy anymore. I called him and he said I was crazy because I called him so much…even after I tried to explain this his is pattern when he is mad at me which I figured he was. He then told me I needed to get on medication because I needed and he can’t deal with me anymore. I did find out that he did respond to my text but it failed to go through…because I didn’t get this text is why I began going overboard with my phone calls. However, I do know what I did was wrong but I don’t think is justifies name calling. When I asked what he meant when he said he can’t do this anymore, he said he wasn’t saying anything at this time as far as what I can’t do this anymore means.. This is what he does when we get to this point. He tells me he doesn’t care about my feelings and I bother him. I know what I did was wrong but I don’t think I deserve the name calling or made to feel like I nor my feelings matter. I did comment that it would be nice to receive things like him like he does do other people and his response….keep accusing me and you will see what happens,,,,
Close to 20 years of marriage this Nov. Afraid to let go and start over. Discovered text messages last year and uncovered his infidelity. He swears no physical relations, but I don’t believe him.Trust is gone, no romance. He likes to go out to dinner, but I find he only wants to go in our geographic area. We use to go to all parts of town for years. Keeps family info limited and now his friends as well. I feel I’m totally isolated from his world. Comes home every night, but we’re like room mates co-existing. Nothing in common. I feel I want to take my daughter and start a new life. I’m realizing that I think he’s preparing to leave me. He told me this weekend that I deserve to be happy and be with someone who enjoys what I like (church, museums,music, dancing).My life was raising the kids, caregiver for parent who passed away, working/going to school nights. Now Kids are 20 and 13. He’s not physically abusive gets moody, nasty attitude/comments and terrorizes the dog. Sneaks alcohol in beverages every evening. Light bulb has come on and I believe he too is unhappy. He’s comlacent and stinnnngy, I believe he would rather suffer than pay child support.
There have been times that I have just cried while we were having sex because I felt cheap. It seemed like I felt guilty, almost like cheating on myself. I hope that makes sense. Then last night, I just felt nothing during sex. I can’t make myself get into it. I did that for awhile, I was able to make myself get into the physical part of it, but I can’t do the staring longingly thing anymore. I don’t feel it anymore.

“Criticizing your partner is different than offering a critique or voicing a complaint,” writes Lisitsa on Recognizing Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, and Stonewalling. “The latter two are about specific issues, whereas the former is an ad hominem attack: it is an attack on your husband at the core. In effect, you are dismantling his whole being when you criticize.”
Thank you for this. I think that is my problem. I have looked for everything that is wrong. I am going to do my best to hold my high and just keep pushing until I can do better. I am just angry with myself for over looking the signs with I first started dating my husband. I guess I need to forgive myself for believing in him. For giving him the benefit of the doubt.
I have been married to my husband for 8 months. We didn’t rally resolve alot of our issues before we got married. I thought once we were married and living in the same house things would change. He always thinks everyone is attacking him, when other people come up with ideas he doesn’t think of or that might be more practical. When it comes time to making major financial decisions, we will ask my parents for advice, and then when their advice is different than his but more practical and includes things we didn’t think of, or includes ways to keep us from spending unneccessary money, he flipps out. He came from a dysfunctional family, and I am very close to my parents. I have always trusted them so I seek out advice from them on things I have not experienced. My husband never could trust his parents and has a lot of unresolved issues in the ways he was raised, that he has a problem accepting advice or trusting anyone other than himself, including me. I can’t live like this. I am extremely unhappy. He has made comments on his perception on how my parents feel about him, he twists things around that we say, and makes it like we are all attacking him and out to get him, that it’s three to one, when it comes time to asking them for advice. He never follows through on anything I ask him to do at home. He can’t take care of little things in the house that are his responsiblity, and then I have to do them. He tells me he has a problem with procrastination, and he has been telling me that for 4 years since we met. He has’t changed. He is not going to change his ways of thinking when it comes time to my parents, or the way I feel about things. We always fight when it comes time to major issues. I don’t trust him, because he has lied to me and made major mistakes since I met him that keep happening. He never follow-s through on things he says, or on changes he claims he is going to make. I feel he lets me down alot. He pratically commands that I trust him. I feel trust is something that is earned. Also, my husband doesn’t go to any lengths to make me feel special. I pratically have to beg him for intimacy. I have to create the romance in our relationship, he never does. From all of this and feeling very lonely, I feel I am getting near the end of what I can deal with in this marriage. I have given him 4 years since we met to change things. He is 35 and should be a man at this point. He is telling me he needs to learn how. I can’t wait to have my needs taken care of in this marriage. Just because he diddn’t have parents like I did and didn’t have a father to learn how to be man, I don’t feel it’s my respnsibility to fix him. I am feeling worn out and that no matter what I cannot get through to him. Nothing changing, it’s just gettting worse. I feel like divorce is the only option.

Why is it that in the beginning, we don’t get bothered that much about things that later in marriage drive as crazy? If you think it’s because back then you were unrealistically in love, then remember, how many times did you hear people who lost someone saying how they would give anything to be around things that once were so annoying to them. What is that telling you?
But even if it’s just moodiness, resilience is such a key and under-discussed point for a long-term relationship. Life and relationships aren’t always easy. What’s going to happen in the future when your toddler goes through the Terrible Twos, or money is tight, or someone goes through a rough career transition? While I fully acknowledge some people need space to process stress, but if you’re in a partnership, you can’t just sequester yourself away for a few days and leave your partner possibly high and dry with the mess. If Katie’s boyfriend doesn’t change — and I think she needs to make that assumption, judging from her letter — is this acceptable to her? Only she can make that call, but it sounds like it’s not.
I guess the question here is as the topic suggests: “Is my marriage over?” Are these all signs that she is heading for the exits and as soon as good opportunity comes along she will leave me? Is she just going through midlife crisis? Till some of these questions are resolved, I am destined to a life without any kind of love, communication, being called scary monster etc, let alone any sex. A corollary question is ” Should I be heading for the exits? I do love her (she would chuckle on this one) and just cannot imagine my life after divorce. Also, the idea that my girls will have another “father” simply devastates me. On the other hand, I am 46, not exactly the time to go out and build again something useful and stable. To say that I am depressed is understatement. Many times I contemplated suicide, even thought of how to write the final letter
“I want out of my marriage and can’t figure out why I can’t just be happy with this great guy,” says Donna on How to Live With a Husband You Wish You Never Married. “My relationship is safe and comfortable; he’s my best friend. But at what point is he supposed to move beyond my best friend and be my partner? I’m not sure we’ve ever had that connection that seems so vital to me. He disagrees. It would almost be easier if I had tangible reasons for wanting to leave (abuse, anger, neglect). All I have is saying that I’m just unhappy even though he’s a great guy. He doesn’t take care of himself like I wish he would, but he’s still a good husband. I feel like such a failure because I can’t just be happy with what I have.”

If we're not conscious about it, a simple criticism like "you're not good at loading the dishwasher," can evolve into "load the dishwasher this way." Suddenly, we're meticulously telling our husbands how to do everything, which, according to Weks, can leave a man feeling backed into a corner. "You don't realize how controlling you are with him and over time, this chips away at his masculinity," she told me. "Being a good woman is not enough. In order for him to feel good, he must be able to feel like a man around you."
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