This one works best if you can think of no way that your own upbringing contributes to the current marital difficulties.  Men love to be the sole screwup in the relationship.  It really lights a fire under them to change.  If you want to be even more effective, compare him directly to whichever of his parents you find the most dysfunctional.  Even better if you know this is the parent with whom he has the most difficult relationship currently.  By tomorrow you should have a dozen roses and a poem.
"Children add a lot of positives to a person's life, but they can also add a lot stress, including decreased intimacy in the relationship. When children come first, the loss of the marital relationship can be very painful. It isn't easy to maintain that happy physical and emotional connection to your partner when there are baths needing to happen, meals needing to be cooked, and toys needing to be picked up." —Hershenson
"If your partner is nitpicky and cranky at the smallest thing, they are likely unhappy and often not saying anything directly," Carlyle Jansen, author of Sex Yourself: The Woman’s Guide to Mastering Masturbation and Achieving Powerful Orgasms , tells Bustle. "It could also be a more general unhappiness or work dissatisfaction, but I find that if someone is more cranky about the partner's behavior than other life circumstances, that is a good indication of them being unhappy in the relationship." Whether they're taking general life unpleasantness out on you or they're actually miserable in the relationship, this requires a check-in before things spiral out of control.
My boyfriend and I have been together for 4 years, we have definitely had our ups and downs but throughout everything we’ve always stuck by each other’s side. About a month and a half ago he told me that he wanted to take a break from our relationship so that he could take some time to work on himself & I was 100% okay with that, but eventually it was revealed that he’s been having doubts about our relationship because I’m younger than him (2.5 year age difference) & there’s also this girl that he has like me for some time now that he wants to talk to. I know he has some strong feelings for this girl because anytime we’re remotely close to getting back together he runs into her (they go to school && work together) and totally second guesses our whole relationship. It hurts me because I want to be with him for the rest of my life, but I know deep down he really wants the other girl. I’ve asked him several times if he would rather be with me or her & he always says “I don’t know.” That tells me that he doesn’t really want me anymore because how could you even compare a 4 year relationship to a crush? I’m just really in a sad place right now because I feel like our relationship is over. He still tells me he loves me and tries to act like we’re still together but I know that it’s her that he really wants. I’ve told him to go be with her because I know that’s what he really wants and I love him enough to let him go so that he can be with someone who is everything that he wants and more. He tells me he won’t do it because he doesn’t want me to get involved with anyone else. I just don’t know what to do anymore. He’s literally my best friend and I have no one else that I can talk to about our relationship. I really don’t want to leave him.. I want us to be happy together again.
The OP has every right to want a guy that makes her laugh if its that important to her. My only question to her would be to why does she wait until the relationship has reached LTR status before she lowers the boom on these guys? She should know after a few months if this is a deal breaker for her and then move on without too much being invested by the guy or her. She probably knows the guy has an expiration date but dangles him along. Not cool. Its OK to be superficial or wanting a specific quality. Just declare it early on instead of 12 months in or whatever timeframe defines LTR.

Make His Favorite Meal: Surprise him with his favorite meal, or if you are not the cooking type, take him to his favorite restaurant. The key here is to drop little hints and build his anticipation. That way his excitement will be high when you surprise him. Having his favorite food with his favorite person will make him happy, and he will be impressed at the thought and detail you put into it.
ive been with my boyfriend for 4 yrs we have a beautiful 1 yr old daughter & well lately he spends all day everyday outside in the garage watching tv & he doesnt care abt spending anytime with me & when I go tell him that its wrong that he is always outside and he doesnt spend no time w/me he tells me I bitch alot he nvr wants to listen to me & tells me to leave…& when I ask him if he’s tired of me & he says yes idk wat to do anymore ;(

After confronting him, he told me he needs time and space to think if he wants to be in the relationship… he has been arrogant towards me and insensitive too… I went to talk to him, telling him we are about to make a big commitment for a house and it will be a new beginning something we can focus and it will be so nice… and i’ve asked him to text the girl to tell her that they need to end the friendship but he refused… i was hurt again…
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..
I read through your article and it stands out for me amoungst the others I’ve read. My husband is a good man, doesn’t cheat, and he still loves me, but I don’t love him. We have been married for almost 2 years and together for 4. We got married when I was 18 and he was 23, so we are 20 and 25 now. I think we just got married way too young and I see that now. I felt love for him after we first started dating, but I think I was in love with the idea of him and marriage and I wasn’t actually ever in love with him. I find myself constantly asking myself “Why did I get married?” and I also find myself entertaining the idea of an affair. We have stopped being intimate. When we were intimate, I rarely felt anything. He is such a good man, and I do still care for him very much, but its not in the way a wife should care for he husband. I have no idea what to do. I try to explain to him that I am unhappy in our relationship and I no longer want the same things that I used to and it goes in one ear and out the other. He loves me very much, this I know, so I’m afraid of hurting him to the point where he will never find happiness again. Yes, I know, I’m very young, but this is one of the many things that has gone into the ruin of my marriage. Please help me. Thank you.

It can sometimes be difficult to know if a boyfriend is happy, particularly if your boyfriend isn't skilled at communicating. Since both parties in a relationship need to be happy for the relationship to stand a chance for long-term survival, you should approach your boyfriend if you feel he may not be happy in the relationship. While there is no way to fully know if your boyfriend is happy, there are signs to look for to help determine the state of your relationship.


I have asked my husband how best we can end it (without affecting teh kids too much) and he has ingorned my requests. I have also spoken with him and assured him that the kids and I will be fine without him – I have told him that I release him from his wedding vows – that I want him to go off and find someone to be happy with (I really want to see him happy – just not with me) and STILL he wont go. I know life is convenient here for him as his laundry and cooking is done. If I stop cooking for him, that would be mean-spirited of me (espeically in front of the kids) – – its not even as if our meals are family time as he comes to teh table, opens a newspaper or book and reads anyway. he has never been emotionally available for any of us. I have had enough and cant see a way of ending it! (He of course, thinks I am derraanged and that it is a ‘control’ game – he thinks that I am withholding sex as a kind of punsishment) – i feel I cannot just have sex with strangers!
Wow. He cheated,not once but twice. We have been married it would have been 6 years 8/25. I do not know for sure what happened except that I went back to school, and could not give the 100% attention I always gave. I do get snappy when I cant meet his needs, he said this was part o it. But I have been a loving and dedicated wife partner for our entire relationship, I always was able to let him know when something bothered me. But he couldent come to me, he sought attention and help from anther, when she rejected him he ran to another to spite her, neither got hurt in the process, just me. He came back 3 times, and left just as fast. Now he asked for a devorce, in a letter, not even face to face. Coward. I deserved better
I think your question, Katie, is good snapshot of most questions I get on this blog: some form of “I’m dissatisfied with my boyfriend. Should I stay or should I go?” The thing is that he may have the biggest heart in the world, but if he’s perpetually unemployed, a serial cheater, a drug addict, a commitmentphobe, or a terrible communicator, it really doesn’t matter how much you love him. I would say the same thing about a guy who is depressed. It’s not that he’s not worthy of love, but at a certain point, you have to ask if this is the life you want to lead: waiting for days for him to emerge from his self-imposed cocoon while you try to act like everything’s normal. I think there are enough quality people out there who are NOT this way that you don’t have to accept that from a relationship. I’ve written this before and gotten a little bit of blowback on it.
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.
Ladies, a man won’t be happy WITH YOU, if he’s not happy WITH HIMSELF. And as much as that seems like a simple concept, what most women don’t understand is that the concept of “happy” is one that changes ALL THE TIME. When a man has feelings of inadequacy, regardless of what’s causing it (money, body-issues, depression, etc.), he can find himself unable to reciprocate the love YOU have for him. This does NOT mean he no longer loves or respects you, it just means he is FAR too unhappy with himself to engage in loving you the way you deserve. And the WORST thing you can do is accuse him of NOT loving you, because this is the moment he needs you the most.
My husband is a really great guy and father, unless your married to him. Friends, family members, hell, the person down the street gets more priority in the line of importance than I do. We have never been on a honeymoon, or go out of town together. I can count the number of times we have gone out to eat together on one hand, and that includes before our son was born. He is now 5. I have come to the conclusion that he must be embarressed to be seen with me or something. I have stayed married for our son, but I have finally decided that I am finished. I am going to file for legal seperation next month and move on with my life. I am pretty sure that there is someone out there who may actually aknowlege that I exist. If not, I would rather be lonely by myself, than be lonely with my husband sitting next to me.
Thank you all with the replys they are so encouraging. My live in boy friend of 6 years just told me about a week ago that he is Not happy anymore and we are not going anywhere. So I’ve been wondering why is he still here. And is this just something that will pass. I’m confused as to why he is still here. I know He is Not cheating. I work I pay bills I cook when I’m not too tired from work I clean do laundry so I know its not me..
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...
I see you are on this page frequently, so I thought I would ask you for help here. I wrote a lengthy comment on the page dealing with difficult parents, and I desperately need some help or advice. I don’t know what to do…it’s going to ruin my marriage and/or my life soon. Please read it and see if you can help me at all. I would greatly appreciate any insight you may have. I’m desperate!!!

Nicole I’m sorry you’re going through that episode but believe you’re going to get past it. I know it hurt but it seem hard now to let him go but it’s best that he stay gone instead of coming in and out of your life. Now that would be a major set back towards healing. Take deep breath long walks and trust in God. He is the only one who can lift your pain
Yes ill admit after begging and pleading over the last 16 months I know I resent him now! He and I are good looking people we are in our late 20s and I truly am falling out of love with him now. He has been the love of my life for 8 years and he can’t stand the act of making love to me. BTW there is no way he is cheating on me. He says he wants to work on things but he hasn’t tried, then he says I should be trying too. Is that not what I had been doing for over 2 years!!! It’s like he feels it coming to an end but he is brainwashing himself to believe its my fault we don’t have sex
I remember how difficult those days of raising little ones were. I recall how Steve would attempt to bring a jovial atmosphere into our home only to have one of the kids spill their milk at the table, causing more work for me, as I so rudely chided. Even as my harsh words were leaving my lips, I would immediately regret them. My poor husband didn’t stand a chance with my hormonally imbalanced, sleep-deprived disposition.
Unlike the previous signs, this one is a bit more subtle, but if you find that your relationship has seemed to stall out, Salkin recommends taking a close look at why that may be. According to her, relationships should progress at a natural pace, going from usual romantic dates to slowly meeting friends and families and going on vacations together. She warns if this isn’t happening, “it's likely that someone is not happy in the relationship, which is preventing it from growing, and that person has some reason they are holding back from allowing it to grow.”
Wonderful, God-inspired words that speak straight to the heart of so many women including myself. Regardless of the state of your marriage, as women we are nurturers, ‘fixers’, and as you said, often carry the heavy burden of our husband’s happiness solely on our shoulders. When things don’t go as planned, it’s a hard pill to swallow. Thank you, Brie, for reminding us that this burden is not ours to carry. God instructs us to love, pray for and be a help-mate to our husbands. The rest is up to him…

my husband when he came out of his cave came out like a grizzly bear willing to tear heads off when he was not allowed to have his way over time off , job choice and shift choice by seniority I have seen him break a mans back against a light pole because he was hounding my husband to work a fourth eight hour shift inhis place and let the man take us to a concert, I have seen my husband talking to four men about pulling his bid and when they said he could either go in under his own power and remove his bid or they would carry him in and the result would be the same he would remove his bid, My husbands answer was to grin and tell them to take whoever was whose wife , he could not tell the relationship or the way it worked with gay men and they could get off his porch, off his property and out of his face or he would kill them where they stood, then when the county commissioners son took the bait and the first swing it gave my husband all the rea, My husband paced around for onewson he needed to leave all four in bad condition heading for a trauma care to be placed in a critical care unit.
Sometimes, as a woman, we can forget how vulnerable our man is. Make sure you tell him you love him, often. Just as we like to be told we are loved and cuddled, men like to be reassured with the same. Make sure he knows how much he means to you. Men want to feel loved and wanted, even if they don't always show it. Reminding him of how much he means to you is a heartfelt gesture that will make him feel wanted and loved.
Hi Henry, thanks for your thoughts. You asked: ” Where is the part about “happy husband” in this saying?” First, “happy wife, happy life” is an invention created to confuse you. It’s not true and it’s a unhealthy perspective for both parties. Therefore, there is no “happy husband” equivalent except for “Happy man, happy husband.” Relationships tends to self-destruct when one or the other partner puts the responsibility for their happiness on the other. It’s an impossible task, but we try anyway. “If you REALLY loved me you would find a way to make me happy”. Happiness is not given… Read more »

Your boyfriend not trying new things with you doesn’t necessarily mean he is unhappy with your relationship, as you have already created intimate rituals you both love and feel comfortable with. But it could definitely be a sign that he is no longer satisfied with the things you are doing together, and he feels the need to try something new… And his buddies are the ones he chooses to do those new things with…
I dated my wife for two years, prior to marriage. Been married for 8 years now. We have 1 beautiful daughter, and bought a house in the city she has always wanted to live in. I have provided, supported and never asked anything of her that wasnt unreasonable. We have never had any problems till recently. I just got out of a job, that has supported us for nearly 8 years, and have had a two month slump in work. But I am now back on my feet, providing, supporting, and not once did we get behind. She got stressed and found support, and eventually started an emotional relationship with another man. Long story short, I gave her an ultimatium, end it or I leave. She ended it, but claims she has nobody to talk to, wont look at me, talk to me, and cant be in the same room as me. She is now bashing me to close friends, and blowing things way out of proportion. I am lost, confused, and still in love with her. But I cant live like this. She refuses any counseling, and says to leave her alone, but doesnt want to leave. I need help.

Second, you might consider leaving our husband on a trial basis. Move out, give yourself and him a chance to figure out if your marriage is over. The time and distance might do you both good. Sometimes it’s difficutl to see what big life decision we should make when were in the thick of it all…but stepping out of our marriages through a separation can bring clarity and objectivity. And, that clarity can help you know if it’s time to end your relationship.
As we mentioned earlier, women consider that having a partner is the greatest reward for a man. Finally, they care about the house and the children. Unfortunately, men with time, begin to feel less and less cared by their wives. They want women to be their supporter and partner and give something to them. But certain habits are hard to change, so there is a need for sincere conversation and understanding. You want him to keep saying that you are great, but when have you told him the same thing?

"Sex can be a major source of unhappiness in a marriage. Married folks often make the mistake of having sex only in bed in their bedroom, which turns it into a very routine and monotonous act. They can also often blame each other for being different in bed. But I find that different sexual personalities make the best couples. Instead of getting frustrated, they need to put things in perspective and work together to find a solution that makes them both happy." —Svetlana Kogan, M.D.
I met my husband when I was 20 and we’ve been together 13 years, married 3 and have a two year old son. Right from word go we had issues with intimacy, so much so that I cheated on him early on, I didn’t hide it from him instead told him I wanted to break up as I didn’t believe we were right for each other as he showed such little interest in my sexually. He apologised, told me he adored me and asked for another chance, he said it was just the way he was but asked if I really just want a relationship based on the physical. That really struck home with me as I’d often felt the guys I’d dated before were more interested in sex than me as a person. So I gave him another chance and though we had ups and downs we grew to be great friends, but never great lovers. But whenever we were apart I missed him terribly and so felt it was worth working at. I also had a lot of emotional turmoil with my family during those years and at times felt very alone, he was always my rock and made me feel validated and loved – he’s always so proud of my achievements and quick to tell others how great I am.
I just got married a second time five years ago to the same person . But I really thought he loves me but I have to beg for sex, I dont get anything on my birthday, christmas, valentine, or any other holiday. He lies all the time and plays video games all day and tonight if doesnt have to work. I am just a problem , I ask him is there problem but no answer but no. I feel like a doll, smile I feel hurt and abused . maybe one day someone will love me for who I am. I am run down and cant take to much more . I just what a life!!!
If they can't sit through a conversation about their intentions and goals, it might mean that they're not willing to commit to you or they don't envision the same kind of future that you do. This is totally fine, but you shouldn't be planning a future around someone who doesn't want a similar one, especially because, according to science, the clock is ticking.
A lot of single and married women today believe that marriage is a means to an end – that all their problems will magically go away when the love of their life places a ring on their finger and they finally say “I do.” There is also an underlying expectation that the men in our lives will keep us happy at all costs. But despite the cues we get from the media, in fairy tales, and from those we believe are so happy around us, your relationship is not meant to keep you happy. Yes, your man should make you happy, but that is not the sole objective. We should be taking another path to happiness in our relationship – one that is more likely to get us where we need to be. This doesn’t begin with fixing our man, but with fixing our own hearts. Here are six things to do when your man can’t make you happy.

I have a husband who has been hard to please. We have been married for 20+ years. Everything I do has an "ulterior" motive in his mind. I don't think I can even get into the whole of this to give anyone a good perspective of what I am dealing with. He was married to a woman for maybe 2-3 months. I'm not sure why he married her as she cheated on him before they were married and he still married her - then shortly after they got married she cheated again and he kicked her out. After they were split for like 2 years we started dating and got married. He has really old-fashioned thinking which at times is nice and at times it is very stressful. Anyway - if I even talk to another man he gets a little ridiculous. Recently we had a friend who lost a spouse and our children were really good friends. They (the children) have been over a lot since that happened and my husband has blown that whole thing into he is interested in me. To the point of starting arguments about it in the middle of the night. when I am sound asleep - he will wake me up - what's wrong - I know there is something wrong. I can't even talk to him anymore - even social media posts he twists into a new dimension of meaning something entirely different. I am probably going to block him from my social media posts to put a stop to that. I walk on eggshells. He gets my phone and reads my text messages and has found nothing - but still swears there is something there. The way he thinks is the only right way and if you try to show him something different it can often make him angry. I feel like a caged bird and I feel like he is smothering me and the whole situation is making me very unhappy. I try to be happy even when things are going wrong - I deal with it and move on. He complains and puts everyone around him down and blames them even if they had nothing to do with it. He can control himself around his own family and around people he thinks a lot of. He will brag us up to those people, but if my Mom is around or if someone he has decided he doesn't care for is around he is downright hurtful and rude. What is odd - is it's ok if he does it - but if you would turn around and do the same - he would be telling you about it. He has good qualities - he is a hard worker and a good provider. And what I have just explained is just a mild overview, nowhere near a thorough explanation. My main question is how do you give yourself space from a person like this when you are married with children still at home living in the same home? I am self-employed but I don't feel I can support myself without getting a job which would probably mean I would need to quit my business as I would not be readily available for appointments. I love your advice - and I think it would work great for a more removed relative or friend - but how do you make it work for someone you live with who seems at times irrational.

Me and my boyfriend have been going out fpr 4 years and he broke up with me because im to contolling because he has asked me for space in the past but i didnt give it to him because i was afraid.of loosing him and clingy. I love him alot and dont want to loose him but he tells me he doesnt want me to fight for him because its to late fot that! He stood me up and told.me he doesnt want to see me anymore and everything between us is over☹️ we haven't had "no" contact for the past week. I dont kmow how to get him back amd i definitly dont want to loose him because i love him& been through so much with him already :/

The feeling of being head over heels in love is powerful. So powerful, in fact, many couples forget that being married, or at least having a successful marriage, goes beyond just being in love. Klapow explains that men often don't realize marriage isn't an addition to their life, but really a call to change their life. "This takes a while but sets in hard — that marriage means your life changes," he said. "Men have a hard time accepting this."
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