In my own experience, when I allowed my circumstances to dictate my joy, my family was destined to ride with me on the roller coaster of my emotions. I did not become a joyful wife and mom until I learned the importance of spending time in prayer and daily Bible study. In other words, I needed to look to God. I could not expect Steve to give me a life free from difficulty so I would be happy. I could not ask him to do for me what only God can do.
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.
The best route may be to figure out WHY you’re not happy with your husband. You obviously respect and care for him…but you may not be “in love” with him. The thing is, we can’t always feel those passionate love bonds! Husbands and wives can’t possibly sustain the excitement of the first blush of love. They wouldn’t be able to go to work or cope with other aspects of life. So, maybe you don’t love him as a husband right now….but, in most normal healthy marriages, those feelings come and go. Feelings of romantic love do not remain constant.
I believe you Scott and I’m a woman. Mine won’t take meds or even go for counseling. He has Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder and living with him is a LIVING NIGHTMARE…NOTHING IS EVER GOID ENOUGH OR HIS FAULT…I CANT TAKE IT….AND THIS COMMUNICATING CRAP….YOU CANT COMMUNICATE WITH SOMEONE WHO LIES TO YOU AND THEN TELLS YOU THAT YOU MADE HIM DO IT!! HANG IN THERE AND TAKE HER MONEY AWAY…NO JOB…NO MONEY…SHE HAS TOO MUCH TIME ON HER HANDS!
When you're together, you order the same Chinese food every time (same places, same dishes, same greasy packets of mustard no one uses). You select movies from the same Netflix ghetto (Romantic Comedies Based on Foreign Films with a Dark Twist Recommended for Jane & John) every weekend. "He never wants to try anything new," you complain to a girlfriend, only it's not quite true, is it, because when he's with his friends he'll try anything, from windsurfing to kale. In a romantic relationship, there is, or at least should be, the profound joy that comes from being known; that familiarity, though, can make a body feel loathe to change, afraid of eye rolls or "You do not!"'s from those closest to him. There needs to be room, in your relationship, in every relationship, for him to say, "This is going to sound crazy, but maybe we could..."
When you say your "I dos," you're making each other your top priority above anything and anyone else. When you lose that essential part of your marriage, you can lose the person that once meant the world to you. If you're not making your husband a priority in your life anymore — or if he's not making you his — it's going to be really hard to stay a solid unit. Try going back to prioritizing your time together, each other's feelings, and each other's goals to get back into a healthy place before it's too late.
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.
If it was bad enough I would up and leave – my kids come before any spouse. If he was putting such pressure and demands on me to the point I couldn’t protect or look after my kids properly I’d ditch him in a heartbeat, even if it was because of a terminal illness. But admittedly I’m ruthless and the only thing I love more than myself is my own kids. People with more heart than me might stay and look after their spouse too – to me the children’s needs must come first. Whatever is best for them is what I’d do (I think it’s unlikely to come to the point that I’d have to leave though… there would be a support network of family members to help before it got to that stage… but if it ever DID get that bad I’d be prepared to do it).

Alex says to be prepared for resistance to any changes you make - I respectfully say that's a huge understatement. Be ready to lose your entire family when you make changes in how you relate to your mother. Sounds dramatic, I know. Maybe you won't lose them all. I still have an uncle, an aunt, and a cousin who exchange holiday and birthday cards with me. But if you do lose them, considering how your grandparents and mother already invalidate your feelings, you might find the loss to be not as great as you feared.


we have been together for 17 years and married for 14, yes after time we did not value you each other, and our marriage became a chore when i found out he was on a chat site. he told me then he was not happy but only after i found out he was on the chat site. but never before that, i have found messages and pics on his phone. i literally have to sneak his phone when he has passed out as he keeps that phone so close to him he never lets it out of his site even if he goes to the loo. he told me he wanted a divorce with a sms message> but still wants me only for sex……. i just give in because I love him.
OK, so I'm not saying your partner is picking up new hobbies because they're unhappy. It's 100 percent healthy to have side projects, and to do things alone. You might want to worry, however, if it seems like they're using these hobbies as a way of escaping the relationship. "If they are not finding happiness in your relationship, they will try finding it in other aspects of their life," Bizzoco says. And that's not OK.
So ladies my point is this: Sometimes when your man seems distant or unusually emotionally unavailable, it’s NOT necessarily because he cheated on you, he’s falling out of love with you or because he’s upset with you. Sometimes, it’s because he’s just going through some bullsh*t that has him unhappy with HIMSELF. So before you just begin attacking him for not giving you the attention and love you want, you might want to check to see if there’s any serious issues HE’S dealing with right now. The truth is, a man can’t fully LOVE you, if he doesn’t completely LOVE himself.
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.
3. You’re overvaluing a specific type of humor. In your words, “I love the challenge and excitement that witty banter provides me.” Marriage isn’t about challenge and excitement. It’s about kindness, comfort and selflessness. If your boyfriend has these qualities, you may want to learn to appreciate him instead of constantly lamenting that he doesn’t do stand-up on the side. When you said your exes have “never been the “life of the party,” making me “double over in laughter,” I could probably intimate that it’s a good thing. Life of the party guys may be charismatic, but they are often narcissistic, players, liars and inauthentic. Not all of them. But guys who command attention often don’t leave much air for everyone else to breathe.
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.

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I’ve forgiven him. I brought dysfunction in to this marriage also (codependency). I spent over 13years trying to change him (there’s the codep. in me lol) He’s a product of his childhood as am I. But that doesn’t make it hurt any less and doesn’t mean we have to stay in the marriage. I’m no longer angry or hurt. Nor do I feel shame or guilt for how I feel towards him now. Mentally I’ve made peace with what’s happened. I taught him how to treat me and I enabled him. But there’s simply been too much damage. I have no desire to even think about liking him. I’m investing all my energy on my recovery and attempting to help my 12yr old son learn healthy ways to deal with his negative emotions. I’ve got a long way to go. I continue to tell myself “progress not perfection”
My husband and I have been together since we were 17. Things haven’t always been good. We have had a lot of challenges in life. We were teen parents and then got pregnant again with twins and lost one. My husband has been unfaithful since we got together 6 years ago. It isn’t a one time occurance. He has cheated on me 7 times in the last 6 years. We got married in 2011 and he has cheated on me twice since then with the same girl. After the first time he said he realized what he wanted and that he knew nothing was worth losing what he had. But, he cheated on me again with her. We were very sexually active until i found out the first time, then we just started having sex again when i found out about the second time. I am very confused about everything. He says he wants to be here, and that i am all he wants and he will prove himself to me. But, things have changed drastically. When we first decided to work things out he was sweet, always wanted to be close kissing me and wanting to please me and telling me constantly that he will prove himself. Now, he doesn’t tell me that this is where he wants to be or show me that he is happy. We recently celebrated our anniversary and i got him a card and told him how much i appreciate him and that i am glad he is my husband. He on the other had got me nothing and didn’t act like it was anything special. I have asked him to go to counseling but he tells me that he refuses to and if thats what it takes to fix our marriage then he is leaving. I have already told him that if he cheats again it’s over. I don’t know what to think about our marriage.
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.

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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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