If your partner is suddenly argumentative, it might be due to excessive stress at work, or a side effect of their depression or anxiety. But it could also be due to their unhappiness. "When a partner is unhappy and can’t find a way out of the relationship, they will turn to creating a problem that isn’t there," relationship expert Lori Bizzoco tells Bustle. "Your partner may try picking fights over little things and making a big deal out of them."
Notice that nothing about that response was accusatory. It’s so tempting to ask him where you couldn’t meet his impossibly high standards but try very hard to resist this urge. Because he has approached you and been very honest with you. This gives you a chance to fix things before they get worse. And although I know that it may not feel like it right now, this is a definite advantage and you truly can fix this. I hear from so many women who have already been served divorce papers or whose husband has already left the home. This isn’t the case here and these are very important distinctions.
Try your hardest to focus only on the negative parts of the marriage. I am sure there were red flags from Day 1. Of course, there was also the time he drove an hour to meet you for a half hour, or sent you that funny email, or when he first told you he loved you. But those things pale in comparison to all the crappy stunts he’s pulled, so do your best to erase the positive incidents from your memory entirely. What good could it do to lead with the positives anyway? You’re trying to get through to him here, and the best way is to emphasize what a complete mistake this marriage was in the first place. Wait till you see how hard he tries to fix things once you’ve told him they are entirely unsalvageable!
I am sorry that is happening to you. As I read your story, I was compelled to tell you that you need to get out of that relationship. YOU deserve so much better and need to be treated with respect. Walk away. The first step is hard. You need to do this for you or you will be miserable… Trust me. Good luck in your decision but you do deserve a lot better.
Thanks for the kind words… but I really don’t think this is the issue I’m talking about. I’m talking about performing “being a socially skilled person”, and how dependent this performance really is on external validation, and the decisions of others going your way. The fact is, we hold ourselves responsible for others’ feelings and reactions… something we really have no control over. Part of why we do this is surely the service industry: everyone in customer service gets the message early that customers’ negative feelings are always our fault. But we also have an overarching narrative about personal responsibility… Read more »
“If you find that you are your husband are critical of each other, don’t assume your marriage is doomed to fail,” writes Lisitsa. “The problem with criticism is that, when it becomes pervasive, it paves the way for the other, far deadlier [warning signs of unhealthy marriages]. Criticism makes the victim feel assaulted, rejected, and hurt, and often causes the perpetrator and victim to fall into an escalating pattern where the first horseman reappears with greater and greater frequency and intensity.”
I admit not bringing up the topic again at this point because of my own lack of courage. I am not in an environment where I can sit down with my grandparents and have a discussion about my attitude and their attitude about my mother's behavior and illness. It seems to be treated as a taboo subject. I agree that I have been enabling her behavior more than I should out of my own fear of being reprimanded by my grandparents while I am staying in the household. I try to stand up when I can but I place myself in a position where I pick and choose which of my mother's behavior is acceptable and which isn't based on the belief of my grandparents instead of my own. I am struggling to redefine her illness for myself instead of using the model of my grandparents. It is difficult to be in a situation where standing up and saying we are enabling her behavior is actually seen as the disruptive behavior. I am told that by standing up to her that I am the one creating trouble and causing them problems (because they allow her to run back to them and complain and cause tantrums). So I submit out of my own fear that I am making the lives of the caregivers more difficult. Unfortunately I think they are making it difficult for themselves by allowing her to complain to them and enabling her behavior. I do not know what to do in this situation.
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.
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.
One way to distinguish between a run-of-the-mill marital rut (where you've, say, fallen into boring routines and don't have much sex anymore) and a loveless marriage is to ask yourself how long the situation has been this way, and whether it's been steadily worsening. "Most couples go through rough times, but if the difficulties last more than two years, with no sign of relief, I'd recommend seeking professional help," says Gadoua. And sooner is always better to avoid passing the point of no return. "It would be ideal if we could tune into our longings and needs well before we get to the point that the love we once had is dead," says Cole, who notes that the average couple waits six years from the time they recognize relationship problems until the time they try therapy. By then, it's often too late — the problems in the marriage can corrode it to the point where it may be unsalvageable. So play it safe and consider scheduling a therapy session if you're struggling.