Three years ago, when my daughter was around 7 months old, I felt like I was having an identity crisis. I was on summer vacation from work, and I spent each day caring for our daughter all day. On top of that, I had volunteered to babysit a younger cousin of mine and have him spend the summer with us so that he could go to summer camp during the day and get tutoring from me in the evenings. After a while, each day felt the same-breastfeeding, cooking, cleaning, tutoring. I felt like all I was doing was making everyone else’s life easier, while losing a part of myself in the process.
Though distance can be gradual, as other experts have said, "a hint that your partner is unhappy is when they suddenly become distant," Cecil Carter, CEO of dating app Lov, tells Bustle. Then again, such a phenomenon might not be about you. "This isn’t a silver bullet; people become distant for other reasons, so it’s important to talk about the change in behavior before you assume they are unhappy," he adds. When in doubt, talk it out!
Married almost 11 years, the entire marriage has been rocky, in and out of counseling. Brady bunch family, married into her and her 16yo daughter with my 4yo daughter, had a daughter together. Was told early on I have no say with her daughter, daughter is grown now and married. Was told frequently I suck as a husband, father etc and was routinely threatened with divorce when I raised any issues over the years. I have often thought of leaving (escaping) but haven’t because I don’t want to hurt kids or then I have thoughts of did I try hard enough, do everything I can. Btw she was diagnosed before she met me with anxiety and depression. I am a neat and organized man raised by my mother and grandmother – only child – raised the old fashioned way – had a step father who was nice at times but more times than not was an ass to my mom. As for my marriage, the threat of divorce has been there for duration, also my wife has diagnosed me over the years with bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, narcissism, passive aggressive and several other ailments, all of which I’ve researched to understand if there was any evidence of that fact. I’ve sought the help of counselors to gain clarity, gone to church, in couples therapy right now using Gottman tools to help and nothing seems to help. When we argue she ends up winning or dominating the conversation, when conversation gets tough and she doesn’t like what she is hearing, she says I’m reaching my limit and then says we need a pause and will pick this up later, then it’s awkward silence and avoiding until we address it again or sometimes we just drop it. We spend much of our non working hours out pursuing personal interests and occasionally join up for kids sports events. She dominates the relationship with our daughter we had together, I’m pretty much cut out of parenting her and only allowed freedom of parenting of my daughter who is now 16. Obviously I’m looking for answers and trying to figure out what to do. I want to be happy and have peace in my life – I’m tired of chasing my tail around in circles. I’m a good honest caring man who loves and puts his family first. Cleans the house, folds laundry, cooks dinner, makes kids events, works 50 hours a week and trying to hang on to this marriage for self, wife, kids. Insight welcome.
That sounds way easier than it was. It was hard. It was agonizing to walk away from a relationship that brought so much happiness, peace and contentment in my life. It’s hard to give up those dreams I had with my ex: the children I was going to have, the life we were going to lead. I come from a family with a depressed parent, and it was HARD for me to break my pattern of “caretaking” and co-dependency and taking on all the responsibility. I feel sad to lose someone I love, angry at him and myself, guilty for “abandoning” my boyfriend. And yet I’ve seen up close from my own parents what Julia is 1.1 says: if they can’t take responsibility and take care of themselves, there’s little hope of having a functional relationship until they do. And I’ve done so much work to get to a happy, contented point in my life that I can’t give that up now, just to hold onto a relationship that isn’t meeting my needs.
From a woman’s point of view, you need to get out. For the sanity of yourself, and your children. Your wife has little to no respect for you, and from what you’ve said, herself. Her values are also not anywhere near in line with your own, as she believes that her actions are justifiable. I once was the woman who took advantage of wonderful, goodhearted men, and who cared about nothing more than having my ego fed. It is impossible to be in a relationship with a selfish person, unless you are a glutton for neglect and abuse. The fact that she is taking no responsibility for her actions, and manipulating you in a way that is intended to make you feel guilty for her wrong doings, also validates the fact that she is not only out for her own self indulging ways, but also that she has such little respect for you that she sees you as nothing more than a pawn. With you, she can have the upright lifestyle. Successful husband, children, home.. but because of your leniency in letting her manipulate you, she can also have her second life, for those she doesn’t mind displaying that too. I am not for divorce, at all. I believe that a couple must do everything in their power to rectify their marriage, ESPECIALLY when children are involved. However, there comes a time when you must stop slamming your head against the brick wall and accept that there is sometimes no way of changing a person, or their priorities. I suggest you file for divorce, and allow your wife to live the life that she seems to gravitate too. Remain an excellent father, for it seems you are the one who is most levelheaded and who your children must rely on, and move on. Those with a good heart, must be paired with someone who nurtures that heart, not destroys it. I know you may not yield to my advice, I was once the person on the victim side of an unhealthy relationship, but once you get out, you will be free of the emotional strain that this woman holds on your life. I wish the best for you, and for your children. All I ask is that through the process of divorce, if you choose to take that route, do not let anger or resentment rob you of the dignity and respect you deserve, from all parties.. most importantly your kids.
Well it is of no surprise the outright majority will be females who have been wronged by males. I myself am in a different circumstance. I have tried to push ahead in life with my relationship, for the pure fact that we have two children and it seems to be the morally right and socially acceptable thing to do. However, I am ending it….for the pure fact that I do not love this woman as one who needs a partner they can trust, should. It is to no fault of her own, she could not see what the relationship needed, and had instead focused on what articles like this had listed. Communication is paramount, but as much as everyone thinks they know, it is a two way street and listening is skill that we as humans must learn.
I think a lot of guys get to this point simply via time. Time passes, everything seems to stay the same, not getting better but not getting worse. And, then something minor and seemingly insignificant happens: your favorite pair of pants are now too tight, someone at work whom you like or crush on makes a joke about your bald spot, you get a younger boss or get passed over for a promotion. You see my point?
"Wife" and "independent woman " seems to be a contradiction BUT..anyway, one point is good to remember(just my opinion) is that if you're too proud (stephanie) or lazy to do these things, there is a woman somewhere watching and waiting. She do these things for him. She is at his job, church golf resort, gym. she's your best friend or even your relative. I think women have an instinctive way to tell that a man isn't being taken care of at home. Get rid of pride and take care of your man.
Hi i have been married now for 10 years I was married at 19 My husband and I have 2 great children but that seems like the only thing we have in common anymore. It seems like all we do is fight. I know I love him but not sure if it is a love of a spouse or more like a love of a brother. He works supports me and the girls he doesn’t cheat but has the most awful attitude anymore I don’t know if I want to leave or try and work it out sometimes I feel like i wish he would not come home for work Please help I am so confused
Hi. I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost two years. We’ve always been having ups and downs but always come out on the other side. I think he is an amazing person and I admire him a lot. We both have very strong personalities and this is really our first adult relationship. I’ve grown to love him. A lot. In spite of all our issues. I wouldn’t want him out of my life. Since recently he’s been miserable to me. Always agitated and frustrated. When I confronted him about it he said hes hurt by all our arguments and he sees that when he looks at me. This makes me very sad. I work with him and I can’t imagine going to work everyday and working side by side with him and he feels this way. He said he feels like he’s in relationship with someone he doesn’t want… I don’t know him like this and I have no clue what to do. I want to save my relationship and help him to forgive me. I do love him. And I don’t want to lose him. I don’t know if I’ve been my best and fairest with him. And I feel guilty when I know I’ve hurt him. I’ve loved the life I’ve had with him and I truly can’t stand to see him miserable. I want to do something about it. I treasure him and I want to build back our relationship. Please help me
The second thing that occurred to me is that you may be making excuses to stay where you are. Sometimes we’re afraid to make big changes in our lives, or tackle big confrontations with people, so we revert to “protecting” them….when we’re really just protecting ourselves. I don’t know if this is what you’re doing, but it is something to be aware of.
Hi and thanks for your site. I love it! I’ve been married going on 3 months but have been with my husband for 2 years prior to marriage. I don’t know where to begin. I feel like I am going crazy and I don’t know what to do. I feel that my husband is a good man but we have a lot of issues to work on. I came from an abusive household but my husband didn’t. we both very bad tempers and there has been a lot of mean words said and physical violence on both of our parts. Whenever we argue my husband always brings up my childhood to deflect what it is that I have a problem with even though I’ve asked him not to do this. For example, he works long hours 6 days a week while I go to school 5 days a week 6 hours a day and do all of the household chores including laundry, cleaning, dishes, grocery shopping , and I always have a hot meal prepared for him when he gets home plus getting up early in the morning to make him breakfast and a lunch for work. He does absolutely nothing but work. On his day off he spend 12-16 hours playing videogames. When I asked him when we would spend time together he told me that he wanted to have fun and was playing the game. I asked if he meant that playing a videogame was more fun than hanging out with me and he said yes. Then he proceeded to put me down for not doing the laundry in a timely manner.
i had a love marriage, i went against my parents and my husband went against his parents. it has been 4 years. recently he has just stopped caring about me. he fights, says hurtful things, never ever apologises or tries to make up after we have an argument. it is only me who has to keep my anger aside and approach him, always. when he fights, he just leaves me alone for hours without telling me where is he going or when he will be back. sometimes he becomes so angry that i have to cry in his feet to make him stop. he hits himself when he is angry, and very voilently. it scares me. despite repeated requests and promises, he always starts beating himself if i argue with him. these days he even threatens that he will start beating himself if i dont agree to him. although he has never hit me, or cheated on me, its his lack of care for me and my feelings that just kills me. i had an abortion and he never called me from his office to ask if i was ok. even when i was bleeding with abortion, he never offered me help in household chores. when i confronted him about these issues, he said things like, “no no, i love you and all. i cant divorce u. i’ll die if you leave me. i have no one, my parents left me and if u also leave, i have nothing left.”
I love this. It’s hitting home for me now and like to hear how important it is to communicate concerns as a way to be there for your significant other. My boyfriend didn’t leave me, but was unhappy with my unhappiness. Had I known his feelings earlier, I would have changed. All the while I was unhappy, I didn’t realize it. Now my boyfriend seems to be in the position I was a few months ago. While I entertain the thought of leaving him, I’m now reminded by your response that I need to voice my concerns first!
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.
When we were supposed to marry for life – life expectancy was only till about 40 or 50. Now we have extended our life expectancy till our 80s at least but no-one has reviewed the wedding vows, lol. We are still expected to live with the same perosn although we have DOUBLED our life span! Crazy! We are all entitled to a second chance now for our ‘second half’ of life – for all our sakes! xx
@lonelyinacrowd. Yes, i hear you and i am in the same boat. Five children and here I remain. Fot their sakes! We have been in seperate rooms for 4 years now and just for the record, that affects the kids just as much. I worry about the impression we are making on our children by leading these seperate lives under one roof. Kids are so perceptive at all age levels. My four year old came home from a playdate at her friends house and bursing through the door she said in disgust :’mom, guess what! Kate’s mom and dad SHARE a room’ (she of course thinks thats its appalling bad luck to have to share as in our house, it is an eldest child’s privilege to have their own room)
You know him well so you can instantly recognize when he`s in a bad mood. If he looks sad then he`s not happy and that`s clear. We all have those mood swings, but not each day. If your man is in a bad mood every single day and you can’t do anything to boost his mood, it’s a warning sign. Find out the reason and try to help your man cope with rough times. If it’s you who spoils his mood, then probably it’s time to leave him alone.
I am having a very serious issue. I met my husband online and after developing a good relationship, I met him in person. After 2 years of courtship we recently got married. He is very patient, understanding, kind- hearted guy. But, I am not at all happy with him. He is everything a girl wants, that’s what my friend says, but I think he is not made for me.
I am hoping that by typing out my woes I will be able to come to a decision on what I should do. In my relationship of 5 1/2 years when it is good it is very very good but when it goes bad it is awful. Currently we do not live together as I have had to move to another town to support youngest sons education. Organising to do this was fraught with difficulty. Lots of sulking and accusations of you don’t love me etc. In the end I just went ahead and did it. My husband is not my son’s father. After I told him that he was an abusive man and I was not going to put up with it any longer he went and got some counselling. It seem to help. Things have been good, not ideal but good until this weekend. We had an argument and one of the things he said to me “when it comes to the important thnings we just can’t communicate about it”. He also said that “you have a really long memory and that he has no doubt that what we were arguing about will come back to haunt him”. The thing is that what we were arguing about I agreed with the decision that had to be made. That was the Friday night. Saturday night I ring him up and after the usual pleasantries he launched into a tirade and said that he was going to this, this and this. He then said that he guessed that there wasn’t much else to talk about and hung up. I was stunned and realised that things haven’t really changed at all. The only difference being that because we have been separated and because we haven’t been living together it has lessened the impact of negative behaviour. Now I know logically I should ring him back and say that I understand that the decision needed to be made and i am not disagreeing with him but I don’t like the way he went about it. This decision is extremly difficult and emotional for me and he has not acknowledged that in any way. I always feel that it is me trying to make right with him. Also I have a chronic health condition and have been told to minimise stress as much as possible. It is all about him and his money. I guess what saddened me most is that I have realised that he hasn’t actually changed at all, it has just been sleeping. I am scheduled to move back with him beginning of next year but now I am wondering if it is going to be right for me. Perhaps this blow up over the weekend is a message to me.
I also encourage you to call a local distress line or women’s help center. You need to reach out for support — and I’m so glad you reached out here! But, you need in-person support to help you figure out the best thing to do with your life right now. And, that support will help you stay committed to whatever decision you make about leaving your marriage or staying with him and working things out.
I fell in love with a boy in another religion when i was 18 years old.now iam 25.we both are of same age.im his third girlfriend.he promised me that he wil love until his last breath.but our relationship has a lot of problems.i cannot think of another man in his place.i love him so much that i cant live without him.i have told him many times that how much he mean to me as a boyfriend, but he stopped talking to me now..i cant think of even a second without him.he too said that he loves me so much.but things are getting different.we both are at different states.we see twice in a year since this relation started.now he is pursuing mba.he joined his new college last year.there he got lot of friends.
Wonderful, God-inspired words that speak straight to the heart of so many women including myself. Regardless of the state of your marriage, as women we are nurturers, ‘fixers’, and as you said, often carry the heavy burden of our husband’s happiness solely on our shoulders. When things don’t go as planned, it’s a hard pill to swallow. Thank you, Brie, for reminding us that this burden is not ours to carry. God instructs us to love, pray for and be a help-mate to our husbands. The rest is up to him…
If you've given up fighting, but feel further away than ever, it's a sign that you've reached a crossroads. "If there's a fight and the couple doesn't talk about what happened, or becomes gridlocked in their position and refuses to listen to their partner's perspective, that's not good," says Cole. However, you might still be able to turn it around. "Unresolved conflict can fool us into thinking that our love is lost, when it's actually only buried beneath the ashes of smoldering resentment and anger," says Turndorf. In other words, the love could still be there, but you just can't access it. To get back in touch with those feelings, turn toward your partner emotionally —which creates closeness and connection—rather than ignoring them or responding negatively, which creates distance and disengagement. "Fights can lead to greater intimacy if the couple processes the fight and repairs the relationship," says Cole. It's up to you to decide whether you've got it in you to turn toward your husband and give it one last go, or whether you've maxed out your ability to keep fighting for your relationship.