Great article Steve, one of the best I have read so far on GMP. It applies to more than just marriages, it includes all depending on others for happiness. One of the consequences that can flow from going the change route to be responsible for your own happiness is that it can mean the end of your relationship which may have been a reality regardless. To minimise the risk of this you need to consider how you will effectively communicate your change needs with your partner and be prepared for negotiation around a win win solution. This also might require… Read more »
If somehow this Five Point Plan fails to work for you, and I can’t imagine how it would, there may be some last ditch tools at your disposal.  For example, introspecting about what it is in you and your upbringing that have gotten you to this place.  Thinking about what you can do better as a partner and team player in the relationship.  Leading with positivity and affection whenever remotely possible. And, of course, couples counseling.
He told me he has incredibly high expectations for the world and the world simply doesn't meet them. He feels that he needs to hold people accountable to higher expectations and believes the world is "dumbing down", going to a more mediocre way of thinking. After he said that, I asked him why he doesn't change his expectations, if he knows no one will live up to them, wouldn't having lower expectations and having people meet them make him happier? He told me perhaps, but he is unwilling to do that because then the world would win, and he wouldn't be keeping his beliefs. Aaargh!
If you are in a relationship, it’s really important to learn how to tell if your boyfriend is not happy. Often, unhappiness turns into anger and resentment and in the long term, it can really damage your relationship. Just watch out for all those signs that indicate you that your partner is unhappy, so you’ll be able to save your relationship and even increase the intimacy in it. Because men do not excel at expressing themselves openly, try to look for signs of discontent, so you’ll be able to work on those issues and solve them. Here are a few helpful tips on how to tell if your boyfriend is not happy:
"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."
Like Kathleen #3, at some point, you just have to look at this and say “if I stay, this is the life I am agreeing to, and I need to be ok with that”……I started feeling like a battered wife.  He would have his meltdowns, tell me I was not being a good enough girlfriend for him and everything was my fault, break up with me, then call me shortly afterwards and want to “work it out because he loves me”.   With every breakup, I would lose sleep, lose weight, have trouble concentrating at work.  The cycles were coming faster and faster, with less breathing room in between. The bad times were far outweighing the good times.  I finally gave him an ultimatum, and told him he needs to acknowledge he has this disorder and work WITH me on it, I am done being the only one accommodating it.  He and his family all got mad at me, how dare I “diagnose” him!  I am not a doctor!  I did have him take several tests that all indicated a very high likelihood, and I read several books on it…and guess what, for those who have it borderline, they may go their whole lives being undiagnosed until a wife or a girlfriend figures it out.  People just think he is odd or quirky.  The SO lives it with him every day, and she starts to see the patterns and seeks answers.
Me and my boyfriend have been going out for 4years and he says im contolling and he is unhappy now and he doesnt want to fix anything he just wants to end it. I love him alot but he isnt even trying to work it out or giving me a chance. He says he has waited for me to change and he sees that im the same person and he is done waiting. We use to talk about getting married and now he tells me he doesnt see us getting married. I dont want to loose him and i want to fight for him and he sees he doesnt want me to fight for him because its to late for that.

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.


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.

I’m not completely sure what will happen between me and my current (and first) boyfriend but he I moody and so far I have been trying to understand and be kind to him, I’m not planning on leaving him… at the moment.. I just instead decided to try and help him out, because I still love him, even when he bring me down.. because I honesty know how hard it is to try and cope when you have mental illness, I myself have very bad anxiety but I’m getting help for it. I also am starting to believe that my loved one was in a sense..”dumped” the same way I notice quite a few of you ladies have chosen to with your moody guys.. I just don’t want to do that to him! Because I wouldn’t want someone to give up on me! I find fulfillment from helping someone out anywas, I also take it from my Christian faith, giving love unconditionally.


If you want to stop your husband from having an affair and save your family finance, you have to cultivate a generous disposition. While occasional giving to your spouse can produce moments of happiness, a generous disposition can engender a state of happiness. Generosity can be expressed in many ways. One of the best ways, and often the most appreciated, is when you give yourself completely to your partner.
No one in his right mind actually wants to argue. You know what's more fun to do with your partner than to argue? Going to see the worst band in the world play outdoors during a hailstorm. Eating undercooked, badly seasoned experimental risotto. Almost anything, really. But in a healthy relationship, your partner will at least listen to what you are saying, rather than just focus on how annoying and repetitive the argument is. It might seem like he's doing you both a favor by cutting your fight short—but it might also mean he just doesn't care enough to figure out what you're really upset about, or to work together toward a solution, so that, possibly, you won't have to have the same annoying, repetitive, truncated argument next week.

But that's not your best bet: "Staying in a seriously unhappy marriage can have long-term effects on our mental and emotional health," says Carrie Cole, a couples therapist and Master Certified Gottman Therapist by the Gottman Institute. Research shows that people in bad marriages usually have low self-esteem, struggle with anxiety and depression, and have a higher rate of illness than those who don't. People feel sad and grieve when they decide to let go — but people who divorce do recover emotionally, and Cole says most find new relationships. In fact, "one statistic reported that 85 percent of those who divorce remarry within five years," she says.
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