Detach with love. Sometimes people are simply toxic by nature, a fact that often dawns on others around them only after time. Sometimes people refuse to take steps to make themselves feel better. As a result, sometimes you have to love them from a distance. This can be an intensely difficult decision, but sometimes it's the right one. Give yourself permission to entertain the thought and consider it seriously if consider it seriously you should.
My wife and I have been together for 3 years. We rushed into things (met and married within a year). We have a 2 year old and a child on the way. I’m concerned that we’re growing apart. Some background on her: She doesn’t have much of an education, comes from an impoverished and (extremely abusive) family, lacks a lot of motivation for even daily chores (picking up after oneself for instance), and relegates her time to being on the phone at the expense of properly caring for our child. When I met her, she worked hard to try and support her family (basically they light money on fire and can’t afford food b/c of mismanagement). After marriage, she’ll lay about the house making sure our “child is still alive” (she’ll plop the kid in front of the TV for MUCH longer than we agreed was healthy and nap much longer also to what we agreed upon. She’ll then lie about it). The home is largely neglected: cockroaches, flies, and mice don’t bother her (neither does mold, bacteria, or giant mounds of dirty laundry and stuff cluttering the floor. And this is with me picking up after myself –and our child when I have time–). Before people jump on my back, when we met she expressed her undying wish to be a stay-at-home mom more than anything in the world. I work two jobs to make that happen. I manage our funds, health, food, utilities and keep her up to date with it all as I’m teaching her how I’m managing money and such. She shows a lack of motivation to fully involve herself with our child, has a terrible habit of lying, no motivation to manage the house, and doesn’t really manage her own hygiene. Further, I feel like she just doesn’t care that much about it. This is compounded by stubbornness that eventually costs big bucks when she neglects her health and then she needs surgery or something costing us thousands rather than pennies if she kept up with herself.
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.
In some of the comments, women have been very negative. The article states men are wired deferantly. When a man does something good, thank him, tell him IN SIMPLE WORDS, with a smile, how much you appreciate or love whatever he did. IE... When he does take a shower, hug him up look him in the eyes and tell him how good he smells, how you love when he's smelling all fresh and clean. If you tell a man what pleases you, he will do it again!
Absolutely right, Arakiba. And our lack of emotional confidence shows up in many ways and places. It seems to be most triggered in our intimate relationships where we’re not getting our most urgent needs met. The specific ways men and women express that pain are very, very different. I teach men how to break through that pain and create what they want instead.
I started a post and it posted before I was done, so… Again, I am sorry for all the hurt everyone here is going through, but I wanted to tell my story as well. First, I married a young girl straight out of high school. We were good friends, party buddies with benefits you might say. Anyway… She dropped out of school her junior year, we got married and I joined the army. The marriage was doomed from the beginning. We even fought on our wedding day and probably everyday after that. I came down on levy to go to Germany and soon after I got there, she made it aparent to me that she didn’t want to follow me over there. We had just had a baby boy and now I’m several countries away unable to see my son or mend a marriage. I soon found out that she had quickly shacked up with another guy and got pregnant by him with a little girl while we were still married. I told her I would raise the girl as my own if she would just come to me, but shortly after the birth of the girl, she was pregnant by him again with another boy. I couldn’t take it and she had said she wanted a divorce so I gave it to her. That being said, let’s move to the present. After returning from Desert Storm in Iraq and getting out of the Army, I soon met a beautiful and wonderful young woman. We fell in love and were married within 6 months. She is a wonderful person, very good mother and great Christian. We never had much and have always pretty much lived hand to mouth, but somewhat comfortable. She always seemed so in love with me. We have now been married 20 years and have had a few ups and downs, but for the most always had a great marriage. Since we married, I started developing several different illnesses following Desert Storm and they have really taken a toll on my physical ability to maintain a job and my Dr told me that I no longer had any business working and that I need to focus on my health. I am awaiting disability because of my decline in health. I have always been the bread winner in the family great fully. Both my wife and I are college educated and she has continued to go to college. Our beautiful daughter just graduated last night from high school and is getting ready to go to college. Over the past 2 years, my wife and my daughter have been spending a lot of time behind closed doors in my daughters room laughing and joking the whole evenings through. I’m never invited, my wife rarely talks to me any more unless I bring up a conversation and I have noticed over the past approximately 3 years, she has never initiated sex and when I want to make love, she either always has a head ache or nauseated or just does it to shut me up from trying to be persistent. Before, we always had a great passionate sex life now it seems like its just a chore for her. And also recently she has quit giving me any more than a peck for a kiss. She was always a passionate kisser before. I know she has a busy schedule as a school teacher, cheer leading coach, college student, mother and active church member. She says she loves me in passing, but I feel she no longer shows me that she loves me. There is no longer that twinkle in her eyes when she looks at me, she never flirts with me. There’s never that little pinch on the butt or slow kiss on the back of the neck or any other kind of play at all any more. I don’t think she is having an affair unlike my first wife, but I think maybe she has fallen out of love for me. Though she says she loves me and gets angry when I ask her if she does, I think she “loves” me, but is not “in love” with me. I wouldn’t cheat on her, but I still am a sexual creature and have to have that feeling of being looked at with “sex crazed eyes” or like Prince Charming. I’ve tried doing more things with her that she likes, but when I ask her to do things with me that I like (besides sex) she just says we just down have the same interests. I don’t want a divorce, I want the desire that my wife once had for me to return. I’m not the well built GI Joe boy toy that I used to be when returning from the army and am missing nearly all the beautiful hair that I had when we met, but I am the same person and I think even better. I have tried to change over the years to become more of whom she wanted me to be. I gave up smoking, drinking, cussing, came to know the Lord but it just doesn’t seem to be working she seems more distant now than ever. Is she wanting out or what can I do to return the spice to our marriage ?
Inevitably, there will be bumpy times in your relationship. If it has come to a point that you're not sure where to turn, try your hardest to make things right. This doesn't mean endlessly talk about what you should be doing, do it! Schedule the counseling session. If you truly love your husband and want to make things right, don't always expect him to make the first step.
If something comes up with his work schedule and he has to stay for a late meeting, don't freak. Yeah, sure, he missed dinner (again), but at least he is calling and letting you know. From time to time, things will come up where you will be disappointed. Don't overreact, take a deep breathe and understand. Try to not take things personally, as your husband is already stressed out enough from those types of situations.

"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


7. Don’t talk behind his back: All couples are bound to encounter some difficult times, but airing your dirty laundry is usually a bad idea (unless your partner is abusive or doing something illegal or dangerous, in which case you should definitely seek the help of a third party). If you have run-of-the-mill relationship drama, ranting to your friends and family will often make things worse. Remember, just because you can forgive your man, it doesn’t mean they can. If you plan on working past it, keep it to yourself.
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."
On a related note, what are your goals as a couple? Do you have a compatible vision for your future? If you want a four million dollar home with an ocean view and your husband wants a wee cottage in the forest, then you both may feel less committed to your marriage. Why? Because you want different things in life. If your husband wants six children and you’d rather be childfree, then you may have to work harder on overcoming the signs your marriage is over. To keep your marriage strong, you need to agree on your vision as a couple or family – and put each other first.
"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.
It hurts. Infidelity hurts, betrayal hurts, and broken relationships hurt. But what really hurts is when as a woman you allow these situations to affect how you view yourself. When you allow an indiscretion to change the way you see yourself, and this view is in opposition to how God sees you then you are wrong. When you allow these hurts to change you, and you carry them like extra luggage then you are acting in error. You are acting like 90% of the female population, but you are still wrong. 
I see also that you have only been married for 5 years! A lot of the posts on this thread are from marriages over 15 years (mine included) – I hate to burst your bubble @happy in marriage, but I was also happily married just 5 years in. Lets hope you can hold onto your perfect life over the next decade as well. but honestly, before you come parading your smugness, on a thread that is full of real people’s pain – just stop to think for a moment. NONE of theses marriages started off wrong, they were all just as perfect as yours in the begining.

But here’s the problem. We’ve not been intimate since I feel pregnant shortly after our marriage. We’ve cuddled but nothing more, he barely even kisses me. I know he still loves me and would never cheat but I’ve become much more strong and independent in the past three years. I have a great set of friends, my family issues have settled down and my career is going well. I feel confident as a Mother and often had periods when I’m home alone and no longer feel I miss my husband when he’s not around. I became curious about how he was coping without Sex, I knew he must be taking care of himself but I couldn’t help but wonder what else he was doing. I started checking up on his internet use and found he was checking out a porn site. Nothing serious just photos. Years earlier when we were going through a dry spell I found a stash of mags, which I confronted him about, he was so sorry and I’ve never seen any evidence of such activity since. But finding this website really upset me, not because I’m a prude, I get that men are visual and often enjoy porn, it’s that he’s using it to satisfy himself instead of having a healthy relationship with me that bothers me so much. I final found the courage to bring it up with him and told him I feel completely disconnected from him and don’t want to spend the rest of my life in a sexless marriage. He’s promised to change and apologised for making me feel bad but I’m really not sure I feel enough for him anymore to keep trying.
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?
Think about ending things with your boyfriend. How do you feel? If you feel sad and heartbroken, okay. But if you immediately feel a sense of panic like, "But what would I do? Who would I hang out with? Then I'd be the only friend without a boyfriend. Who would buy me a Christmas gift? When would I meet someone new?" that's not okay. That means you're with this person because you don't want to be alone.
If you want to stop your husband from cheating, you must devise a good plan for your marriage. No marriage can succeed without a plan. Building a marriage is like building a house; you must have a burning desire to make it work. You need to develop a plan for the marriage and every day sit down with your spouse and show him your plan. During this time, let him see the cost involved in building a successful marriage, taking care of the home and the kid's education. Soon, your husband will realize the cost of his cheating and will discover it is not worthy to be spending money and time outside on strange women when the one he is married to is a better planner and organizer.
One of the biggest predictors of a happy marriage is how healthy each partner is, emotionally and spiritually. The healthier you are, the better your relationships are. If your husband is a good man – emotionally and spiritually healthy – and yet you’re struggling with boredom, lack of fulfillment, and unhappiness in your life and marriage…then the answer is within you.

Often, men become withdrawn because their life isn't what they anticipated it would be. If you feel this may be a contributing factor in how your spouse is feeling, create new experiences for you two to share in. Surprise him with a week away or arrange for him to participate in something that he loves to do, whether it's working out at the gym or restoring an old car. Sometimes when a man has something new and exciting to focus on, it will change his entire attitude and you'll start to see his sunny disposition shining through again.
Bring those things back or better yet, revamp them! If you liked doing something like having picnics, set aside a weekend for yourselves where you could go camping or rent out a little cabin. It can be just the two of you, in nature, and you can have fun rediscovering each other. You could also just set aside one evening every week as Date Night and do your best to think of something fun and a little different for each time!

He Might Mean That Some Aspect Of The Marriage Is Falling Short:  Often men will offer you vague, sweeping statements about your marriage when in reality, they aren’t happy with one or two aspects of it that have become very problematic.  And there are many possible causes of this.  Just some examples are not enough intimacy, differences about money, him feeling as if he is tied down or doesn’t have enough autonomy in his life, or him feeling like marriage isn’t what he expected.


In my day to day, you know, get up, shower, brush my teeth, get dressed, go to work… the issues don’t seem overly huge. When it seems all wrong to me is when I have the urge to call my 17 year old and tell her not to go home after school. This is because I haven’t been around him and seen for myself that he’s not in that other part of himself. He was really mean to her one day while I was not at home and I’ve never forgiven myself for not protecting her from that. He apologized to her and we had about 2 weeks apart and she seems okay now but I can’t get it out of my mind.

As I’m sure you’ve heard before, relationships experience ups and downs and this is completely normal once you’ve been with a person for a long time. Realizing my husband is unhappy is never a good feeling but it can serve as a doorway to a happier and stronger marriage. Think about it, the moment you realize what’s making him unhappy, you learn about an element that you can bring into your marriage, or repair, that will make your bond stronger and in turn make both of you feel more fulfilled.


It's difficult to say what is going on with your husband based on what you have posted here. Your husband's response could mean a lot of things and it is very important that you get to the bottom of this. I'm not trying to sound condescending, honestly...it's just that I have been in almost the exact same situation as you...a little over a year ago. My original post would have sounded very similar to yours here.

Be the woman he knows sitting at home on the couch. This doesn't mean you need to belch in public or walk around in your sweatpants all the time. This just means you don't have to put up a front for the ladies in your child's class or act snotty in front of his friends. You are who he fell in love with, so you should never feel like you have to be someone else. Be respectful and courteous when you are both in public, but don't try to hide who you are. Having that strong sense of self and high levels of self-confidence are what made him attracted to you in the first place.
"Wife" and "independent woman " seems to be a contradiction BUT..anyway, one point is good to remember(just my opinion) is that if you're too proud (stephanie) or lazy to do these things, there is a woman somewhere watching and waiting. She do these things for him. She is at his job, church golf resort, gym. she's your best friend or even your relative. I think women have an instinctive way to tell that a man isn't being taken care of at home. Get rid of pride and take care of your man.
After making us spend our savings on him in rehab several times, taking him to school and dropping out (5 in total), going to prison and countless other miseries, us, our family decided to dump my brother and purge him out of our lives. We needed to do that for our own sanity. He started to affect our work, I for one would wake up and cry for hours. It was terrible his addiction to drugs and all. In the end he went to live far far away and after 4 long years of suffering not being able to buy food, live or anything he came and he was reformed. We all thought it was one of his silly apologies to get us to take him back only to go through the same cycle but this time he has changed after 10 years. He is back doing is A levels, the oldest in his class but next year he will go to uni and he has changed. We still do not believe it so we approach cautiously lest we get burnt again!

Me too. But “disappointment” isn’t a value nor a boundary. What is a non-negotiable value of yours that precedes your disappointment? What decision would you make as a result? What consequences are you willing to face when your boundary for your relationship values is crossed? What invitation could a man/woman make to their partner to address the situation without blaming them? Self-reliance is all about owning our responsibility for our own initiative – without dependence on the outcome.


"A small indication that your partner is unhappy in your relationship is a trending inability to communicate," clinical hypnotherapist, author and educator Rachel Astarte, who offers transformational coaching for individuals and couples at Healing Arts New York, tells Bustle. Of course, everyone gets moody sometimes; this is something different. "We all have moments and moods," she says. "'Trending' means this has gone on for over a few days." This is one case of #trending being a bad thing.

I have to agree with John — he brings up a good point. How did it take OP over a year to figure out that her boyfriend isn’t as funny as she’d like him to be? Why was unfunny okay for a year and is suddenly a deal-breaker now? Either way, like a few people said above, when in doubt, don’t. If, for whatever reason, OP is having doubts about her future with the guy, then maybe they don’t have a future. It’s just that, “he’s not funny” sounds like an excuse in this particular case.


HELP! My Husband told me a few months ago that He loves me but isnt happy and hasnt been for over a year. I dont know what to do. I never saw any of the signs. Im 24 and hes 33. i always wondered y the sex started coming so seldomly. like once every 3-4 months now were going on 6months. He work si dont. i stay home with our 4 year old. I make sure the house is clean. set his clothes out for day and night. do laundry cook dinner serve him his plate so that he doesnt have to do it all. i pamper him i guess is the word. rub his feet tell him that he is handsome and sexy all the time. but.... i never get any attention at all! every day i cant wait till bed time because thats the only time he holds me. ive tried everything to get him happy again, being nicer then giving space, but nothing works. Im at my witts end! he doesnt want counseling, he doesnt want to try ANYTHING. im completely and hoplessly stuck. i dont know what im going to do... HELP PLEASE.... im desperate.

Wedding vows are nothing but a joke. There are no more “in good and bad times” or the “in good and bad health” anymore. I feel that being married is nothing but a complete joke from my perception and experience. I guess you have to be a really good sales person in order to have a good relationship today. Bottom line is that we are all made to be single thinking human beings in the first place. Yeah, it is a swell idea to meet someone…get married…spit out a couple of pups…work yourself to death…spend less and less time with each other…grow apart…stop communicating…goto a gosh forsaken counselor…and as a result…yeah.

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It is important to address your unhappiness as soon as possible, according to licensed clinical psychologist Willard F. Harley, Jr., in the article "When Should You Tell Your Spouse, 'We Have a Problem,'" on the website, Marriage Builders. "Don't let your problems build up before you find solutions," he says. Easily resolvable issues can become major problems if you hide your feelings for too long. Although it is important to get your general message to your husband, before you talk to him think about what, specifically, is making you unhappy. For instance, if your husband expects you to be a stay-at-home mom but you would like to work, tell him. Using specifics will give you and your husband an idea of what steps to take to make you feel more satisfied.
Sex to my husband is physical release. I won't go into specifics. He's never recognized me on Mother's Day. He says I am not his mother. Anniversaries, nothing. Christmas, birthday's? Nothing. He never tells me he loves me. He was attracted to me based on my looks. We've been married 36 years and I have kept my figure and as much of looks as is possible at 57 years old. He was very jealous for the first 20 years of marriage. I spent a lot of time trying to convince him through my actions that I loved him and would never leave him. Jealousy is an ugly thing. He has spent more time and money on hunting than for me. I once said your sons, our sons, mean more to you than I do. He looked at me dumb founded and said "Of course." Any suggestions on my part to do something together were ignored or filled with broken promises. He doesn't cheat on me, works hard, the usual good man on the outside, but he cares not one bit about my feelings. If I feel I am going to cry, I go off to another room so he won't see. This would make him mad. But I've stayed. I tried to leave different times, but I let him talk me into coming back. Now I am stuck. I am raising our infant grandson because my son is in prison and the baby's mother is on drugs. I try not to be bitter. I pray that I won't be a bitter old woman. But I am a sad woman.
First off I love CAPS myself but yours are too much. Use the caps lock in the other direction. With that said are there things going on that you did not speak of in your relationship? Is there sex and romance on a regular basis? Is their intimacy do you hug,cuddle,kiss,scratch and rub each others backs often? Is there physical intimacy and if not when did it stop? Was it ever there?
If not, the quickest way to change your life is to forgive that parent, because you are half your mom and half your dad, the parent you are angry at is the part of you that you loath as well. I know this sounds so matter of fact, but it is a huge weight off if you can do it. Lastly, your marriage, you love him. I am not here to necessarily promote our book, but we did write a book The Marriage Manual available at http://www.themarriagemanual.com and the part for you is all about how to talk to your husband so he will WANT to talk to you.
I have been with my husband for 5 years now and just a couple months ago I found out he cheated on me with his coworker. When I confronted him about his infidelity he stated it was my fault for going through his phone and discovering that he has been cheating. Since then he distances himself from me and refuses to cut contact with her. When I ask him why won’t he stop talking to her he tells me he doesn’t want to hurt her feelings. I go out of my way to make things right again and he clearly doesn’t not even try but he says he still loves me and wants to be with me.
We all know that an affair do not start without a reason. It usually starts when your marriage is lacking something. To stop your husband from having an affair and save your marriage, you must ensure you meet his sexual and emotional needs. Do not make him desire sexual intimacy and pleasure from another woman because of your lack of energy, creativity and spontaneity.
Before I go any further, allow me to acknowledge a few things: unhappy and moody are not exactly the same. “Moody” sounds temporary, where “unhappy” is chronic. Then again, if your boyfriend consistently finds himself in a bad mood, I’m not sure how different it is from being unhappy. If it sounds like I’m familiar with the condition, it’s because, from 20-30 years old, I was always somewhere between unhappy/moody/anxious. I dated a LOT in that time and while there were many stretches where I could get by on charm, I could never mask my perpetual dissatisfaction with my career. Women would take a chance on me, but either I was a total downer or I was so unhappy that I’d choose an unsuitable woman just because she was there. Both are recipes for failed relationships.
This is to “Am I Being Unrealistic?” I think you have been very strong. I don’t think you have to stay in this relationship and I don’t know how healthy it is for the children. As far as God is concerned, I know he doesn’t want us to be in a relationship where one is not being faithful. If it was me, I’d want out unless my spouse was willing to seek counseling. But that is me, I look at everything the way I think God would see it. I hope you can find peace. It sounds like your lifestyle is quite nice yet costing you a lot in more than one way. I wish you the best.
Well it is of no surprise the outright majority will be females who have been wronged by males. I myself am in a different circumstance. I have tried to push ahead in life with my relationship, for the pure fact that we have two children and it seems to be the morally right and socially acceptable thing to do. However, I am ending it….for the pure fact that I do not love this woman as one who needs a partner they can trust, should. It is to no fault of her own, she could not see what the relationship needed, and had instead focused on what articles like this had listed. Communication is paramount, but as much as everyone thinks they know, it is a two way street and listening is skill that we as humans must learn.
While it's healthy to go out and see your own friends, these people shouldn't take preference over your relationship. "If your partner always seems to have other plans and doesn't include you, it's a red flag that they aren't happy," Hershenson says. Speak up if your SO seems to care about their social life than what's best for you/the relationship.
Many women stay in relationships longer than they should because they tend to put the needs of others before their own. And since women often naturally take on the role of caretakers, they can lose parts of their own identity — and a sense of their own needs — in the process. "In order to face her relationship unhappiness, a woman needs to stop distracting herself by putting other people's needs ahead of her own," says Gadoua. "Doing this can be a way of avoiding her own painful truth." So if you find yourself getting unnecessarily involved in a fight between your mother and sister, or you're always rushing around trying to make other people's lives easier, it might be time to take a hard look at your own relationship.
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