I have no idea where to begin or how to fix my marriage. I’ve been married 20 years to man who I feel as though he only loves me when I’m loving him the way he wants me to love him. I feel as though he only gives me attention when he has a buzz on. He drinks everyday and when the buzz sets in it’s “Hi hon how are you?” Otherwise he’s sullen and sits in front of the TV. I didn’t even get a card for our 20th anniversary. Whenever we go anywhere or do anything he ends getting drunk and lecturing me and chasting me and telling me I’ve failed him as his wife and mother of his children. I know that I’ve been emotionally abused by him and over the years I became so sad and depressed and just recently I made plans to end my life but b/c Ilove my children too much I couldn’t go through with it. I told my husband how I went to the cemetery to buy a plot for me and he never even put his arms around me. I’ve spend many nights and days crying, depressed, I’ve been to therapy, bought self help books, tried medication and then I found exercise and emotionally I’m feeling better. He would complain that I wouldn’t get up on the weeknds and go for a walk with him but now that I’m walking I asked him to come with me, he doesn’t go with me. Now I’ve turned into the abuser, I don’t talk to him I just go about my day as though it’s only me and my kids. I have more fun with my kids than I do with him. There’s no passion when it comes to sex. I never hear anything good about myself only the things that I don’t do for him and how I make him miserable and don’t support him. I’m afraid if I leave I’ll be even more depressed but if I stay all I’m doing is adding to my misery. I have more sad memories of our time together than I do of good ones. I think I can hold my head up high and walk away with dignity but at the same time I have empathy for him (which he doesn’t me for) yet I’m confused, hurt, angry and don’t know what to do. How do I fix this?
Hi Henry, thanks for your thoughts. You asked: ” Where is the part about “happy husband” in this saying?” First, “happy wife, happy life” is an invention created to confuse you. It’s not true and it’s a unhealthy perspective for both parties. Therefore, there is no “happy husband” equivalent except for “Happy man, happy husband.” Relationships tends to self-destruct when one or the other partner puts the responsibility for their happiness on the other. It’s an impossible task, but we try anyway. “If you REALLY loved me you would find a way to make me happy”. Happiness is not given… Read more »
"When we think of communication, we think of talking," Astarte says. "That's not necessarily the case here." Plus, "talking" isn't just done with the mouth. "Communicating is done with our bodies as well as the vibes we send out to our partner," she reminds. "If you once had an in-joke or a couple ritual (e.g., Sunday coffee in bed) that has fallen away, it maybe time to raise the topic (lovingly) with your partner." Always, always with love.
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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!
I was reading your blog and your patient's brother sounds so much like mine. It's so frustrating and heartbreaking, especially when there are children involved. I try to maintain some distance but it never works out. HIs kids or my mom beg me to do something, go see him, try to get through to him, help him somehow.I just keep getting frug back into his mess.
"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.
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.

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?
If we're not conscious about it, a simple criticism like "you're not good at loading the dishwasher," can evolve into "load the dishwasher this way." Suddenly, we're meticulously telling our husbands how to do everything, which, according to Weks, can leave a man feeling backed into a corner. "You don't realize how controlling you are with him and over time, this chips away at his masculinity," she told me. "Being a good woman is not enough. In order for him to feel good, he must be able to feel like a man around you."
It doesn’t matter what you think about him or how much love you gave him. You’ll never change him, make him healthier, or get him back. Don’t chase him or beg him to come back to you. It hurts, but you can’t have the relationship you wanted. It’s as simple – and as terrible – as that. He doesn’t love you the way you love him. No matter what you do, you won’t change his mind or make him love you.
Think about what your conversations are like. Can you talk to your boyfriend like he's your best friend? Do you share secrets, talk about your dreams, discuss the things that really make you sad, get into passionate discussions? If so, that's great! But if your conversations are boring and strictly about gossip, work, school, your parents or movies and there's no depth to them, that's not a good sign. You should connect to the person you're dating on a deeper level then just talking about what's going on in your lives.
It is frustrating when you’re doing everything you can to be a good husband, and yet you’re treated badly and betrayed. I don’t know your situation and I’m worried that you mentioned taking your own life. I don’t know how to help you, other than to encourage you to try to find people in your own situation. A support group for dads or separated men, perhaps? I don’t know what you need.

Learn to forgive your marriage mate freely. Nowadays, forgiveness is often pushed aside; women prefer getting even with their husbands over showing mercy. The result? The push their husbands farther away from them into the waiting arm of another woman. If you want to become more forgiving, start by taking an honest look at yourself. Do you not upset your husband at times? And do yo not appreciate his forgiveness? So why not be generous at extending mercy to him?
A happy partner will be down to talk about their day, and will be an open book when it comes to sharing their problems. That's why it's not a great sign if your SO is suddenly all clammed up. "If you ask your partner how they are doing and the answer is 'fine,' this may show they are unhappy in the relationship," Hershenson says. "Not wanting to communicate and lack of communication are not good."
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.
Thank you for this. I think that is my problem. I have looked for everything that is wrong. I am going to do my best to hold my high and just keep pushing until I can do better. I am just angry with myself for over looking the signs with I first started dating my husband. I guess I need to forgive myself for believing in him. For giving him the benefit of the doubt.
Just adding my 2cents… My 19yr old marriage has had a fork in it for quite some time. I’d gotten to a point of marital ambivalence and realized I was never going to love him and I’d never have the relationship I wanted with him. I was young and insecure when I dove into an extremly verbally and emotionally abusive marriage. I spent over 10yrs meeting his needs and doing what I was told. (take my boots off, get me another plate of food, why can’t you keep this house clean you skanky B…, Your wortless piece of sh**) It was pretty bad for me and the kids. But I believe a person can change if they want to bad enough. And I believe he’s in the process of real and permanent change but I could care less. I checked out emotionally a very long time ago with no desire to check back in. The bullet has left the gun but my finger is still on the trigger.
2. You want a partner who can keep up. Not only does your partner have to appreciate your humor, he has to be able to get the joke. If you have to explain yourself all the time, or there are long silences where he doesn’t see what you’re laughing at, I would think twice about the relationship. This is exactly why I never dated someone from a foreign country; I’m not xenophobic, they just rarely got my New York Jewish sarcastic brand of humor.
I am one of those people to whom lack of a sense of humor is an absolute deal-breaker. But it doesn’t have to be my exact kind of humor, or my family’s kind of humor. What I won’t compromise on, though, is the man’s ability to laugh at himself and at whatever life throws at us. Without this ability, he’ll fall apart on me at the first sign of difficulties. I dated one unfunny guy, shortly after my divorce. He was opinionated and had anger issues. I guess when you cannot laugh at things, you have to compensate for it in other ways, i.e. by yelling at them. To paint you a picture, once we were out at a restaurant, and he got quite agitated because, wait for this, Billy Joel had married Christie Brinkley for her looks, then dumped her for a younger woman when she got old. He was angry! He was shouting. People stared. We didn’t last very long. He wanted to be exclusive, but I just couldn’t do it. He was okay in other regards, decent looks, similar tastes in art, same politics and religion, good education, good income, responsible father, you name it. But because he found absolutely nothing in life funny, it was impossible for me to date that guy. Life can get pretty damn horrible at times, and, if you cannot laugh at it, you’ll make things even more horrible both for yourself and for those around you. This is where I draw the line, humor-wise. He doesn’t have to be a top-rated comedian, though. We can go see a top-rated comedian together if we want to.
May you experience recovery, healing, peace and love in your relationship. May you find life in your marriage, sparks of love in your soul, and sprouts of health in your emotional, physical, and spiritual relationship with your husband. I pray that God revives your marriage and performs a miracle in your relationship with him. May you find practical, healthy ways to deal with these signs your marriage is over – and may they become a ghost of the past.
I dated my wife for two years, prior to marriage. Been married for 8 years now. We have 1 beautiful daughter, and bought a house in the city she has always wanted to live in. I have provided, supported and never asked anything of her that wasnt unreasonable. We have never had any problems till recently. I just got out of a job, that has supported us for nearly 8 years, and have had a two month slump in work. But I am now back on my feet, providing, supporting, and not once did we get behind. She got stressed and found support, and eventually started an emotional relationship with another man. Long story short, I gave her an ultimatium, end it or I leave. She ended it, but claims she has nobody to talk to, wont look at me, talk to me, and cant be in the same room as me. She is now bashing me to close friends, and blowing things way out of proportion. I am lost, confused, and still in love with her. But I cant live like this. She refuses any counseling, and says to leave her alone, but doesnt want to leave. I need help.

After confronting him, he told me he needs time and space to think if he wants to be in the relationship… he has been arrogant towards me and insensitive too… I went to talk to him, telling him we are about to make a big commitment for a house and it will be a new beginning something we can focus and it will be so nice… and i’ve asked him to text the girl to tell her that they need to end the friendship but he refused… i was hurt again…

Full disclaimer upfront: Nothing can make a relationship last with somebody who doesn’t want it to last. These tips will not prevent arguments, infidelity, or other problems, but they can help foster a healthy environment and productive partnership. Clear communication, openness to new experiences, and respect for your partner are key if you want to build a lasting, loving relationship.
What if your husband is an alcoholic and lies to you about it every chance he gets? He makes you feel like you are stupid for thinking he’s been drinking again? He is mean and belittling to everyone in the house? Puts everyone’s lives in danger by lying and drink driving? He doesn’t respect or value your opinion even when sober and treats you like one of the children? Or, what if you have considered suicide as a way to get away from him? Are those signs your marriage is over?
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.
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