A Marriage Repaired: You can take on your marriage, improve yourself, deal with your children; or look realistically at divorce. There is dignity in making it work. And, there’s dignity in starting fresh for the right reasons. Take a look at Harville Hendrix or John Gottman's work on rehabilitating a marriage. For many, it can be done. Take an active role.

Evan, this is very timely for me!  I wrote about the bf with undiagnosed Aspergers.  The relationship became pure hell.  I was the only one trying to work around his disorder, and the drama and depression that comes with it, he refused to acknowledge he even had it, and when I tried to talk to his family about it they got mad at me!  Everyone wanted me to just accept him as he is, because that is the way “God made him and God loves him”.  I have three things to say about that:  1) I am not God, I am a person with my own needs, desires, and issues 2) I was getting completely worn out trying to tap dance around the disorder and I was starting to feel like I was going nuts myself, and 3)  God helps those who help themselves.  I am not saying he is not worthy of God’s love or my love.  I am saying, he is not worth sacrificing MY LIFE and MY HAPPINESS for. 
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.

Me and my husband were great to begin with now he just cannot be bothered with anything to do with me at all. He is all for our daughter and leaves me out completely. He is also sneaking out late at night. i still love him but this is hard to take. We have been together seven years and I’m only 26 I don’t wanna be a divorcee in my twenties!!!!! please help!!!!

Close to 20 years of marriage this Nov. Afraid to let go and start over. Discovered text messages last year and uncovered his infidelity. He swears no physical relations, but I don’t believe him.Trust is gone, no romance. He likes to go out to dinner, but I find he only wants to go in our geographic area. We use to go to all parts of town for years. Keeps family info limited and now his friends as well. I feel I’m totally isolated from his world. Comes home every night, but we’re like room mates co-existing. Nothing in common. I feel I want to take my daughter and start a new life. I’m realizing that I think he’s preparing to leave me. He told me this weekend that I deserve to be happy and be with someone who enjoys what I like (church, museums,music, dancing).My life was raising the kids, caregiver for parent who passed away, working/going to school nights. Now Kids are 20 and 13. He’s not physically abusive gets moody, nasty attitude/comments and terrorizes the dog. Sneaks alcohol in beverages every evening. Light bulb has come on and I believe he too is unhappy. He’s comlacent and stinnnngy, I believe he would rather suffer than pay child support.
My plan is to catch them in act and confronted. I wanted to know how long has this been going on and why. I will ask her what she is planning to do with it. If she still wanted to carry on with the guy, then I have to divorce and take custody of my son and move on life. But thinking about it makes me feel like vomiting. I do really love her so much and can’t bear leaving her. What should I do?
A patient of mine has a mentally ill brother who's depressed and anxious, as well as manipulative and stubborn. He often refuses to take medication that's helped him in the past and as a result often ends up lying at home in his bed, unwashed and unkempt, for days at a time. When my friend discovers him in this state, she tries various things: taking him to the ER (which she's learned leads nowhere), contacting his therapist (which sometimes helps, sometimes not), and even walking away, both figuratively and literally. She struggles with how much she may be enabling his behavior and with how unhappy his unhappiness is making her. She vents to me on occasion, and I try to walk a fine line between encouraging her not to give up on him and supporting her decision to protect herself emotionally. Recently, he had a particularly bad episode and it got me wondering: how can we best manage the unhappiness of people we love?

"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.
Relationships are delicate, complex, and always changing. Some marriages last 70 years, some last 72 days (looking at you, Kim)—and while neither of those options is necessarily right or wrong, most people enter a relationship hoping it will last a long time, if not a lifetime. There is no one-size-fits-all secret to a lasting, happy, and faithful relationship, but there are some general guidelines.
One option is to give yourself what your husband can’t give you. For instance, he is not there for you when you’re sick or stressed out. It’s all about him, because he’s selfish. So you need to accept that he can’t give you what you need, and you have to find ways to give yourself the love, compassion, and kindness that you need. Maybe that means making friends who will nurture you, or listening to music that makes you feel better, or writing your feelings down.
The one thing I feel for you in this situation is you did not have a friend of family member who would grab you by the shirt and smack you upside the head and tell you to grow a spine! You should have divorces her after the 1st infidelity and taken your kids with you! She even talked you into admitting your affair and not mentioning her many, you got suckered!

If you are going to be a big enough idiot that you are going to deny your reality and not seek the help you need, I am not going to be a big enough idiot to go down in flames with you.  Doesn’t matter if it is mental illness, addictions, or cancer. I know that may sound harsh, but again, I will not sacrifice my life for someone who will not help themselves.  This is the only life I have!
The question of how to make your husband happy obviously isn't an easy one to answer. It's going to differ from person to person. You need to begin by trying to determine what it is that is at the root of his sadness. Obviously talking with him is the route to take but you need to be mindful of how you approach this subject. Simply sitting down with your spouse and asking him point blank why he's sad, isn't the best way. He'll likely tell you that he's fine and won't share anything with you. The reason men do this is quite simple. They don't like emotional confrontations and if part of their discontent is connected to you, they know that you'll react strongly. That's why you need to be more approachable, and understanding when it comes to sharing feelings. Show your husband that you want to be accepting and helpful. When he does share small details about his day with you, don't take offense if they involve you. Listen attentively and then tell him that you're grateful he was so honest and that you want to learn from your mistakes.
Communicate with your boyfriend. If all the signs are there, direct communication is the only avenue. Ask him if he is happy. Sometimes his response to the question might be all you need. If he is sincerely confused you would ask him such a question, he is probably happy in the relationship. If he tells you he is happy and asks you why you think he isn't, take his concern as a positive response.
@HappyInMarriage I, too am young in my marriage (3 yrs) and have lots of “broken families” in my family tree. But unlike you and many other people who think marriage should always be “saved”, I think the most important thing is the QUALITY of the relationship. My parents have a better quality relationship when they are apart, and I was relieved when they divorced. Not only that, I have many extra siblings from new marriages they formed who mean the world to me and have a much larger family because of all the “broken” marriages. People change, make mistakes, etc and who are you or anyone else to tell people that you know what is best for them and their family? Sometimes staying together is not the best option for the health of the relationship. Sometimes a “broken” marriage can lead to greater joy in the family and new relationships and a bigger family.
My man is just irritating me.. he goes through my personal emails and messages behind my back.. and he did the same last sunday and he came home in the afternoon and he started asking me if i am keeping any secrets from him and i said no! and i started beating me up and he said i told you to cut contacts with your Guy friend and now i found out that you still sending each other emails and going out together for lunch and drinks. and to think i am not cheating the guy is my friend and we have been friends for years now, even before i met him. Now i really want to move out and find a place of my own cause i can’t seem to find happy even when i try. i just feel like i am i a prison of some sort. and financially he is not even helping in anyway. he is a bad money spender he would spend all his money and expect me to borrow him mine and when i tell him i can’t he turns it into a big issue. and i can’t take it anymore. at first i used to help him financially because i thought something positive will come out of it but no! every month he finds some sort of a project which he will spend his money on and and i will be the one facing all the expenses, and groceries in the house and on top of that he will come to me asking for some cash and most of the times he doesn’t bring it back unless i actually tell him about it over and over .I really don’t see us together in the next year. really. Please advice if i am being irrational

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.
When your husband comes home from a day at work, do you give him a warm welcome, or do you greet him with a list of things that he didn’t do or that he didn’t do right? You both have every right to feel overwhelmed and tired from life’s stressors, but remember: You’re in a partnership and you should both be lifting each other up. By doing the opposite, you suck the energy out of the relationship and out of the bond between you.
my hubby and i have been together 2years but out of the two we have only been married for a year. we started out as friends becaues i have 2 older children. then after we got married long come our newborn and then thats when i started to see the long hrs he put in at work and than the change to myself and my 2 older children .he and myslef don’t speack much anymore to one another or look at one another like we did before. his attiued to my children have changed. need help understanding what to do or how to feel about this.
If you feel your man might be growing unhappy in your relationship, I suggest you sit down and talk to him. Lay it out on the table and tell him, to be honest about how he really feels. At the end of the day, you could be worried about nothing. However, a sudden change in behavior is rarely ever a good sign in a relationship. So you have every right in the world to wonder what’s really going on.
My husband and I have been together over 20 years, married for 16. We have a 6 year old son. A few days ago I clicked on one of his Instagram followers and saw a beautiful women who had a bunch of lingerie pictures posted. I noticed that my husband had “liked” every single one of them. This really struck a jealousy cord. He hasn’t even “liked” all of my Instagram pictures! I worked through the emotions of insecurity and actually read online about how I should tell him that it bothered me that he liked her pictures. Honestly I didn’t think he wanted to cheat or anything, it just hurt my feelings.
Close to 20 years of marriage this Nov. Afraid to let go and start over. Discovered text messages last year and uncovered his infidelity. He swears no physical relations, but I don’t believe him.Trust is gone, no romance. He likes to go out to dinner, but I find he only wants to go in our geographic area. We use to go to all parts of town for years. Keeps family info limited and now his friends as well. I feel I’m totally isolated from his world. Comes home every night, but we’re like room mates co-existing. Nothing in common. I feel I want to take my daughter and start a new life. I’m realizing that I think he’s preparing to leave me. He told me this weekend that I deserve to be happy and be with someone who enjoys what I like (church, museums,music, dancing).My life was raising the kids, caregiver for parent who passed away, working/going to school nights. Now Kids are 20 and 13. He’s not physically abusive gets moody, nasty attitude/comments and terrorizes the dog. Sneaks alcohol in beverages every evening. Light bulb has come on and I believe he too is unhappy. He’s comlacent and stinnnngy, I believe he would rather suffer than pay child support.

Relationships are delicate, complex, and always changing. Some marriages last 70 years, some last 72 days (looking at you, Kim)—and while neither of those options is necessarily right or wrong, most people enter a relationship hoping it will last a long time, if not a lifetime. There is no one-size-fits-all secret to a lasting, happy, and faithful relationship, but there are some general guidelines.


Even though it solves nothing, I have Google and read over a thousand things like this. Because I’m lost and pissed off at myself for being lost. We dated for a year and 3 month, and I thought “this is it, he is the one for me”. It’s been long distance and I was finally getting everything in order for me to move across the world so that we could be together. And then, the breakup. He doesn’t know what he wants, he’s not sure if he will always feel this way, and finally today, to give myself so sort of closure, I told him that if he truly doesn’t love me anymore: say it. He did. So now I’m here, broken hearted and confused. But also, empowered and excited for the future even though I can’t stop crying. I have no idea where life will lead me next and of course I’m sad because I still love him. But mostly, i am grieving for the fact that I really believed this man, who hurt me this bad, was going to be the person I’d spend my life with. I’ve written down why he was wrong for me and I’m carrying it with me everywhere I go. He was emotionally closed off. We had a poor sex life. He was half a world away most of the time. I have my life planned and I know what I want. It’s not him, it was never him and if I can remind myself that enough I know I’ll be okay in time. Stay strong ladies, we don’t deserve anyone who doesn’t see our worth.
Our instincts can often tell us first when a relationship just isn't working — but we don't always trust that voice, says couples therapist Susan Pease Gadoua, co-author of The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels. "We often ignore our gut instincts because that voice is very quiet and calm, unlike the internal voice in our heads that thrives on high drama." We're trained to trust logic in many areas of life, so when a niggling feeling ("Am I really still in love with this person?") presents itself, it's hard to pay attention to it because there aren't any hard facts or rational reasoning. Drill down on that initial instinct and ask yourself more specific questions. If you find your responses are things like, "I don't feel safe to express myself, I don't feel respected and haven't felt happy in a long time," that's a sign that things have gone awry — and you shouldn't ignore it. "The truth doesn't go away simply because we don't want it to be there; that voice stays in the background and weighs on you," says Gadoua. "Getting quiet within is key to being able to hear instincts. And like a muscle, the more you trust your gut, the easier it becomes to decipher that voice — which comes from your heart — from the voice in your head."
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