"People mistakenly believe that they shouldn't ask for what they want from their partner, when in actuality it is the best way to communicate and get what you want from your relationship. Your partner shouldn't expect you to meet all their needs—expecting someone to 'complete' you is a romantic idea but not a healthy one. But healthy couples do work together to make sure the most important needs are being met." —Clark
Make a list of the positive qualities you have that you are proud of and that he is lucky to have you for. Magazines have encouraged women to compare their looks to other women in a very biased way. If you find yourself asking how you look often, it will come off as desperate. Men love a woman that is confident with who she is naturally, and you have no reason to obsess over how you look.
Despite this we resolved to try to remain together for the sake of our children. At least that is what I read into the situation. In reality it was another avoidance tactic on both our parts. Avoiding the very obvious point that the marriage had been dead for years. We were no longer friends let alone lovers. Despite the agreement to try, and for her and I not to stray, the infidelities continued on her side. Random men picking her up in some cases, others found for her by her friends.
Who doesn’t enjoy a compliment from their partner every now and then. It reinforces why you’ve chosen each other and helps create a sense of security. Surely they can only mean good things, right? Well… according to Salkin, sometimes compliments can actually be warning signs that your partner isn’t happy, especially when they start to feel a little off . She explains that when your SO starts giving you compliments that are unnatural or just too much, “for example, he or she tells you how perfect you are and how he or she doesn't deserve you” that it may actually be a “a backhanded foreshadowing that something is up and that they're looking for you to break up with them.” Confusing, right?
Our relationship started on a very shaky grounds. When we met we were both in relationships – mine wasn’t serious and I ended it immediately. He, however, was living with a woman who he’d been with for (I forget but maybe 5-8 years) and whom he had a son with. Had I met him now I’d have backed off but I was 16 and admit that I didn’t much think of the other woman – he told me that the relationship was practically over anyway, that they were always splitting up. So I believed him when he said that he had split up with her. He in fact had just told her that he wanted to get his own place for a while, but didn’t end the relationship. We moved in togehter; he went away almost every night to say goodnight to his son – me feeling like a homewrecker never questioned that. She turned up one day and the truth came out. Both she and I were devastated – I told him it was over. He begged me not to leave. We had (and still have) a very strong, profound spiritual connection so I stayed. He told me how his son had problems and that his commonlaw wife had major depression and he couldn’t bring himself to leave them so, in my naive young way, I agreed to him staying with her until she was strong enough to be without him – telling myself that we were soulmates and this was just how it was fated to be. Five years passed with me living behind closed curtains for the first half of them – and even then it only ended because the poor woman found out about us. Luckily she was strong enough … Very strong enough to deal with it. I have huge regret – not just because I disrespected myself but also because I disrespected her (although I did think of her, and feel so much guilt the whole time, I was always assured this was the best was to do things – I still belive that he genuinely thought that it was, his intentions were to not hurt her).
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.
Initially when I asked her that she just blew it off quickly and said “I don’t know, but he needs to stop acting like this or else I’M OUT!”. So I made sure to ask her ONE more time to really emphasize the fact that I wanted a legitimate answer. When I did that, her indifference immediately turned to outrage as he wondered why the HELL I was “taking up for him” when she was the emotional victim of his actions. She mumbled something about “men not understanding” and just immediately changed the topic, so I obliged and we began talking about something unrelated. But I really wish we could have let that conversation play out, because there’s one gross misunderstanding some women have about men that I really wanted to clear up for her.
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.

Thank you, Alex, for your prompt response! Yes, I can see in my husband a world of hunger...never quite getting what he wants to make him happy. Sadly, I haven't helped - he wants to spend a lot of money on a new recliner so he can read his books. I ask him if it will make him happy, and he says yes, and alas, of course, in due time, it does not, which really shouldn't surprise me.


i am also very confused about how to tell my husband the marriage is over. he was laid off two years ago, and soon after his depression got worse. now he doesn’t seem to care about life anymore, he is always outside in the garage doing who knows what. i stay in the house and keep very little contact with him. i gave up for some time now trying to help him with his depression which has turned into severe depression. it has been over 17 years since we kissed as a couple. sex is completely gone. i feel i am dying from the inside out. i used to try to find places or doctors where he could go to get help for his depression but he never went. he is going now and has been going to see a phsyquiatrist and counselor, however, i just don’t see him as i did before. he has changed so much, i lost all respect for him. we almost lost our home because he couldn’t go look for a job because of his depression. i want to stay out as much as i can after work just so i don’t have to come home. our kids are older and on their own. please what should i do. i can’t leave him with no income. the guilt is so great, i feel i should stay and take care of him because of his depression, but at the same time i cry because i want to have a life of my own. i would like to find a man who would love me and make me feel special. I am so tired of having to take care of someone who doesn’t even notice me. I am starting to resent him, we don’t sleep together anymore. we don’t do anything together anymore. we have been married for 22 years.

This is what has been happening with me. I’ve been married for a little over a year my soon to be ex has only talked twice about our relationship issues and this is only after she left twice and we worked everything out. But that’s the only time she has talked to me about our relationship. She was never willing to talk but those two times. We have had many issues that needed to be talked about but she refuses she calls me every thing in the book and belittles me she will text me saying all this but refuses to sit down and talk about our issues. Example of her getting mad: I would ask her a question she would reply saying you’re an idiot why would you ask that you’re stupid and it was a simple question like do you still want to go town this weekend. One other example I was making supper I was cutting an onion she say why you cutting that onion like that I say that’s how I was taught she say that’s stupid you’re a moron. I have spoiled her I helped with cooking cleaning laundry do all the yard work but nothing is ever good enough and one minute she is all good and the next she is pissed over stupid things. She has left again my question is should I just say screw it and justhave nothing to do with her?
me and my husband got married in 2010, after we met in 2009 we got engaged pretty fast but he was the perfect guy he did everything then he changed after a couple months, I try to be the perfect wife but I find myself sometimes paying all the bills all the house work and my daughter the outside work.he become insensitive and says disrepectful comments bout me to my kids.a woman emailed me over facebook and called me and a few months later my kids found out he was talking to another woman and I told him about it he said he wasnt then a few months later I find pics and sexual texts from his ex now he says he’ll change but hasnt an continues to talk to ex and be disrespectful I want to be with him but from what i understand he’s been lik this with every woman he’s been with I continually forgive him in hopes he’ll change for me lik I for him. I dont kno what to do. Should I leave him??
Oh, as I read all of these comments, I am struck by how much so many of us are struggling with our relationships. My marriage of 20 years ended last year when my husband decided he was in love with one of his students and wanted to make a life with her. The two of us and our daughter had moved across the world for his temporary job and now I feel used and trapped! When I found out about this (no, he wasn’t honest about it, I found out accidentally)and he said he wanted us to live together as a family until I “got on my feet” and until he figured out what he was doing in this other relationship,I knew I couldn’t do that. I knew it because even when he was supposedly in our marriage, even at the best of times, he was not very giving or open emotionally and quite happy just working. I knew there was no way he could be present in any kind of relationship with me if he was falling in love with someone else!
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.
I don’t know if anyone will read this but I feel so alone the last 2 weeks that this is the best I can do. My first serious relationship ended a week and a half ago. The man I first moved in with, first went on vacations with, got a cat with, and planned my life with. There were no real indications that this was coming, we had been slightly more distant the last two months but we were both very stressed by out individual troubles so I didn’t think much of it. I came home one evening to my boyfriend telling me it was over. My entire world that I had just built on my own was shattered. I had a home I loved in a town I loved, I had my own cat, my new second family, my boyfriend, and I was finally starting school. And it was all gone because he decided he didn’t want me anymore. He didn’t think we were right for each other in the long run. But I did. I so saw my life with this man and he didn’t see it back.. I am completely grief stricken and I can barely bring myself to do the things I have to do. I struggle so much with getting through the day and I’m embarrassed of my inability to “fake it till I make it”. I feel like my sadness is a burden to others and that I’m just negative to be around. But I can’t hide how utterly distraught I am. I wish I could start feeling better, but I just cant. My brain always reverts back to our love and what I can’t have anymore. I wish and dream that he will take me back and that makes me even more embarrassed. I wish I could just accept that we can never be together and just move on. But I miss him so much.

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.
If your partner is pulling away, they will tend to go out alone more than they used to, New York–based relationship expert and author April Masini tells Bustle. Keep your ear to the ground, she advises. "Whenever you see a change in behavior, something is up. And when that change excludes you, your partner is either planning you a surprise party, or, more likely, spending time away from you because he’s not happy when he’s with you in the way that he wants to be." Again, talk about it before it's too late.
My husband has told me that in addition to not being happy anymore, he is "emotionally involved" with another woman. I know who the woman is and considered her a friend. (BTW- my husband is technically this woman's boss, they work together) He says he feels a connection to her that he has never felt before and can read her emotionally, and he can't do that to me. This woman feels the same towards my hubby and is divorcing her husband (I just found this out). He spoke of several events in our lives where I may not have been happy, or had sacrificed my happiness for his (In my opinion, anyway). I think he basically is trying to get me to be the bad guy. I told him that until he is happy with himself, we can't determine how our marriage will be affected. I am trying to get him to talk to somebody, on his own, as I am. If we are both happy with ourselves an our marriage is still not working, that's the time to look at the next steps.

Then, breathe deeply and ask yourself if there's a bit of good will to work with. If so, you may want to throw down the gauntlet and demand change. You never know. I remember one woman who threatened to leave; it led to over twenty years of sobriety for her husband. Most successful cases are less dramatic. Couples get into therapy, start to enjoy each other again and begin to let go of past hurts.
If you confront her it will only lead to a heated exchange and a forcing of her hand. This route never really goes well. My opinion is to ignore the entire subject and stop trying to find out more. I mean this with all sincerity. I forced the issue and lost twice before. Maybe I am an expert? In any case don’t be rash and make any descions without looking very hard and long down the road of possibilities. Things never turn out well when you force someones hand. Forgive and move on or realize that you will be giving up everything you know as your life today. Proabbly your house if you own it at the very least the place you currently live. You will be starting over nearly from scratch. Don’t even think of harming her in any way as the law will have you as their prime suspect no matter what. Worse case scenario is you think you are smarter than 30,000 people and off your wife. The law catches you and your son has no momma and no poppa. DON’T DO IT. Forgive and forget any of it happened and pray to God for a marrage fix without ceasing. Best advice you can’t buy.
It can be difficult for men to work all day, come home and then be a part of all the business that goes on in the household. Sometimes when the woman of the house makes all of the decisions, the man can feel left out and feel like just a monetary provider. It’s important to include your husband in the household decisions being made surrounding the finances, children, and other important matters. You can leave all the minor decisions out, such as what type of laundry detergent you should buy.
@lonelywife I’m sorry to have upset you, I didn’t mean my comment as a smug or I’m better than someone else type comment. I meant is as a push towards taking every effort to stay together – not for people with abusive partners- absolutely not, they should protect themselves emotionally and/or physically. I am on here because I just found out about my family member that revealed their marriage is just a piece of paper now and they are living separately under the same roof. They are actually good friends and seem fine with it but have children – and I think they just missed out on date night (which they did) for 5 years and could give themselves a second chance. That is why I was searching out for information on marriages and divorce. I just know my parents and my husband’s parents have been together for over 30 years each and they went in ups and downs, it wasn’t all perfect of course, but they are still happy they are together through everything. Love is a funny thing, and some people have what it takes to be life long partners and there are a lot of benefits to that for themselves AND their children – and then there are people who just aren’t good together period. I just think people in our generation are getting too caught up in what makes them happy in the moment without really valuing what they have built thus far together and the long term future – especially if they are having fun meeting someone new without giving their marriage a full chance. Hope you understand where I was coming from now.
Flirting is very good for relationships. This is a great tool to revive feelings and overcome routine when you have been together for a long time. Text messages, intriguing hints, playful photos — all this helps rekindle mutual interest, as in the first days of the relationship. Of course, it is very important that both partners actively respond to each other’s advances.
But if we all get out of our own egos for a little bit and stop defending our worldviews, I ask you: if you had a choice between a partner who was anxious/moody/depressed and one who wasn’t, why would you choose anxious/moody/depressed? When I was feeling that way, believe me, I felt chagrined when women would pull away from me. But now that I’m on the other side, I can completely understand why they did.
I encourage you to talk to a counselor. You don’t need your husband to agree to go to couples counseling for you to get emotionally healthy! A counselor will help you sort out all the questions and miscommunications and problems you’re having…and he or she will help you see what direction you should go in. A counselor can also help you see your husband’s personality more clearly, which can help you decide if your marriage is truly over, or if there’s hope that you can save it.

Often, however, the people we love behave as if they don't want to feel better. They want to wallow, or are so debilitated by their suffering they can't even get out of bed—like my patient's brother. Sometimes the unhappiness of the ones we love is like a black hole, threatening to pull us into darkness ourselves. How can we orbit around such a strong negative force without being crushed by it ourselves?
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.

So, you need to figure out if you’re just going through the normal ups and downs of marriage…or if you’re truly not in love with him. How do you do that? You could try individual counseling, couples therapy, or even Mort Fertel’s “alternative to therapy” (a friend of mine LOVES how Fertel coaches marriages — his ad is at the end of my article above).

Men hate complaining so they are better off saying nothing at all. Perhaps he doesn’t want to hurt your feelings or he hopes he’ll cope with his unhappiness alone. He keeps silent and looks thoughtful. Men tend to think over the current situation that bothers their mind. You may ask what`s going on but I bet he`ll not answer. Give him some time to put his thoughts in order and handle his problems on his own.

When something comes up in life, whether that's a work event or any accomplishment and your partner isn't the first person you're sharing it with — or one of the firsts, Fleming says that it may be that "you prefer to get your needs mets outside the relationship." To that end, Greer points out that not having any meaningful conversations aside from "rudimentary conversations about chores and things that need to get done" is a warning sign that your relationship is not in a good place.
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