“It may be difficult to face the issues that you and your spouse are struggling with, but research suggests that couples who can manage to stay together usually end up happier down the road than couples who divorce,” writes Dr. Deborah Hecker on Should You Divorce or Save Your Marriage? “If partners choose to invest in their relationship and make needed changes instead of repeating their mistakes, they might be able to avoid an unnecessary divorce. And if they do finally decide to divorce, their personal work in couples therapy might increase their chance of a successful marriage next time.”
So, my question is, where does that leave my daughter and me? I want more than anything for him to be happy and for us to be a happy family, but I worry about the fragility of my daughter's happiness if she is around a perpetually unhappy father. He has told me that she is calms him down...What is my best coarse of action to protect my daughter from unhappiness?
My ex-husband had a long term affair with a woman from work for several years. He had a baby with another women when we were only married for two years. He never cooked or cleaned until a coworker started cooking lunch for me, after 20 years of marriage, no matter how often I asked him. Then he accused me of having an affair with the coworker who prepared lunch for me and told all of our friends that I was having an affair. He put antifreeze in the water bottle I keep in the refrigerator to drink after my walk. When I confronted him he grabbed the water bottle out of my hand and the antifreeze and left the house. When he came back he did not have my water bottle or the antifreeze and told me no one would ever believe me. Many times I received calls from work or from his sister wondering where he was and lecturing me on how he was being irresponsible by consistently being absent when he was supposed to be there. He never gave me or the kids a gift for Christmas or our birthdays and charged lingerie from Victoria Secrets to our joint account. He also took all the money saved from our 20 year marriage and put in a his own personal account. He took the money from our brokerage account as well and I was unable to find it. He took all the money from our kids college funds and spent it. I would say these were pretty good signs that the marriage was over before it even started. It was a shame it took me 20 years to wise up.
I agree with Esther Perel on one thing: we do need to receive fulfillment from our daily lives, or else we end up unhappy. But the remedy isn't for us to go from person to person looking for the next high. There’s no way another human being can bring us complete happiness; they're just as flawed as we are! God intends for us to find fulfillment in living a life of intimate communion with Him.
Don’t fall into the trap of believing you only have two options: staying married and staying unhappy, or getting a divorce and getting happy again. If you’re feeling scared and sad because of these warning signs your marriage is over, then perhaps you’re ready to go beyond that false choice (“Do I divorce so that I can find happiness again, or do I keep the family together and remain unhappy?”).
It's difficult to say what is going on with your husband based on what you have posted here. Your husband's response could mean a lot of things and it is very important that you get to the bottom of this. I'm not trying to sound condescending, honestly...it's just that I have been in almost the exact same situation as you...a little over a year ago. My original post would have sounded very similar to yours here.
And just a word on sarcasm. I discovered the rush of sarcasm in my teens. I had a sharp, witty, sarcastic comeback for everything. I have to say I was a bit full of myself in that area. I thought being able to have a comeback for everything actually had value. One day my sister told me that what I had said didn’t make her feel good, she asked me if I ever stopped to think about how those remarks affected other people. I had never stopped to think about that, but I did then. Sarcasm is “humor” with an ugly twist, tread lightly.
my questions? how can i continue to waffle? how do you know when it’s truly over? when you feel like you’ve failed, when you’re not sure if there’s anything left to save? and when your son (my son lives with me – is planning to move out, but has made it very clear that he hates the man I married – not because of my husband’s treatment of him, but because of the way my son has seen and heard my husband treat me) despises your husband? how do you forgive and move past?
I am my new husbands 4th wife. He has a handicapped son that lives with us, the son is now 28 years old, he is agressive and my husbands feeling of guilt means that he has to go out of his way all the time to give his son a normal life, he runs around like crazy to make him happy, i am therefore a very close second in his life, not first. When we got married i had no idea that things would turn out like they are, i love my husband and i am sure that he loves me. Problem is, we have almost no signs that we are married. I have slept alone in our bed for the last 6 years, he has to sleep with his son for security (medical) purposes. We do not share a dinner table and we seldom do things together, when we do have a chance to talk, he will fall asleep on the couch. We differ 18 years, i understand that he is tired, i also work and are tired too. My husband does not like my oldest son and to the degree that i had to move my son to live with my sister. I feel like all the dreams of love and intimacy of family will never be a reality for me again. I am very lonely and my heart breaks for my son and rebellious things that he starting to do. I have never used anything as escape and recently found that a few glasses of wine each night helps to dimm all the emotion.. we are bringing the ugliest out of each other, i some days don’t even recognise myself and are starting to believe my husbands bad words against me, and then he brings me tea every morning, he never skip, no matter how bad the fight was. We mostly fight about how he treat or speak to my boys. Our daughter are in the middle of this all, she does not deserve this. We have talked about divorce and then he threatens to take our daughter, and then the next morning he brings me tea again. This has been going on forever. Please advise on what you think i should do?
If you think they're at a loss for words, you can always spur the conversation or turn it into some sort of game. The key is interest, not so much the content or the topic. Seriously, it can be something that seems really boring, but as research has pointed out, "couples build intimacy through hundreds of very ordinary, mundane moments in which they attempt to make emotional connections." You've got to build somehow, even if it is just by asking someone's favorite color.
He'd started to act grumpy again and we talked about it, but he said he had no time to see a counselor. Then Sunday he said he was going to hang with a buddy. I don't know why, but I got a really bad feeling, so I drove to where he said he was and he wasn't there. I called him and he made up a lie, and then another one and another one. He was willing to drive drunk to try and cover up what he was doing even. I went home and he went home. He cried and said he'd been doing coke that day and didn't want me to know. He said he had lied about it several times lately and felt terrible.
My husband suggested that I start spending more time alone with God. So I did. At first, I found it hard to pray. I found that I lost focus easily and my thoughts wandered. But after a while I started just talking out loud to keep myself awake. I started journaling my thoughts and prayers, and reading Bible stories in the Gospels. And I found myself in the story of Mary and Martha. I realized that I was Martha, scurrying around, trying to make sure things were perfect for everyone else, when God really just wanted me to focus on being Mary.
But when I finally began to focus on me (the one person whose thoughts/actions/behavior I do have control over) I realized what a good therapist can do: help me clarify my own thoughts. Recognize my own cognitive distortions. Understand my own emotions. Modify my own behavior.....well -- it's been far harder than I ever thought, but it's also been far more beneficial - in more ways - than I ever imagined.
6. Trust him: We know rom-coms taught you that men are incompetent horndogs who turn into drooling cavemen around even mildly attractive women, but please remember to respect your partner’s intelligence by not falling for this shit. Do not hound him about his cute co-worker, neighbor, or friend. Insecurity is a major boner-shrinker, and unwarranted lecturing, snooping, and accusing are sure to get you nowhere. If you have any legitimate concerns about cheating, a respectful and honest conversation is usually the best place to start.
This sounds just like everyone else, things were good, then changed to bad…He doesn’t cheat on me, or hang out with his friends too much – as a matter of fact he stays right here almost 24 hours a day. We have 3 kids, which is why I haven’t left to date. If we were to split up he would move back near his family which is 8 hours away – a little hard for my kids.
Me and my boyfriend have been together for 1 year, we don’t live together in the same place, we are in a long distance relationship. I don’t think my boyfriend wants me anymore. At first we used to meet every week, we were happy in love but now that love is gone he doesn’t want me to visit him. He is digging in my past n other people tells him lies about me especially male people, if I call him he is not answering my calls and if I don’t call him its a problem. My boyfriend accuses me of have an affair when he’s not around (which is not true). So I wonder if my boyfriend want to breakup with me or what because now its a long time since we saw each other again.Advice me please.
Hello! My husband and I will be married 18 years in May. I can honestly say that I don’t know if our marriage has ever been ideal, or a good marriage. My husband will admit that he is a very selfish person, as I know many men/women will say this, he will also tell you he has addictive behaviors, no drugs or alcohol,but gambling, and video games are his addictions. Our marriage,to me and some who are around us, will say is based solely on what my husbands wants/needs are. I have never been the first priority in his life, in my opinion. Example: When I was pregnant with our eldest child, I was working 12 hour days. He was home for a couple of weeks because his back was injured,but was medicated and fully capable. I came home from work with feet swollen and exhausted, and I just wanted to soak my feet. I walk in the door, and he comes out of his “man Cave” and asks me what is for dinner. I got a can of soup out slammed it on the counter and said there you go, and went for a walk. No he didn’t come after me. I was so angry that when I went back in the house I went to bed. He holed himself in his video games then and is still to this day. There are so many other times/examples of basically the same thing. We aren’t, and really have never had a truly intimate relationship…to me it seems like a chore to him. He freely admits this. At one time, about 10 yrs. ago he told me he didn’t find me attractive anymore because I was to fat. (I have now lost 50 lbs. and weigh just slightly more than I did in high school which was 154, that truly has no bearing on the situation in my opinion) It is not for lack of trying on my part, I have gone so far as texting things to him. I have been pushed away, he says the kids are home I don’t want them hearing, and many other reasons. I have thought, is he cheating, and even most recently is he not interested at all. He is now overweight, takes high blood pressure meds, and says he has no self confidence. He is not an active participant/husband but rather to me, it seems like I have another child. I have to ask him to help around the house, while he plays his video games usually 5-6 hours a night(this is an every day,every year occurrence) He is depressed, gambled a lot of money away that we don’t have, lost his father, and in my opinion, he feels he lost his mother as well. His mother has been a mother who loves him, but didn’t raise him to be a man/husband. She did everything for him, I just took over when we married. At counseling I brought up that he smokes in the house when I leave when I have asked him not to. The counselor asked him why he does this, is it like “mom” says don’t do it, so you do it anyway? he said yes. He told her the children don’t listen to me, and she said you don’t listen to her so why should they. You don’t think they children listen to her, but actions speak louder than words. Our children our great children, have very busy lives, and our great students…but they will tell you that there mother is not happy and they don’t like it. When he gambled I am the one who found ways to pay the debt, not him. He owns the fact that he gambled but has done nothing to render the situation. I feel instead of playing games for 5-6 hours, he should get another job to pay for it. When I say I have a husband who is more like a 44 year old child I truly mean it. I do everything from paying the bills to deciding what to have for dinner. He tells me he loves me, and I don’t doubt it. I think his love for me is in a motherly way and not a wifely way. He says my expectations are to high for him. The counselor said to him, you are just a big kid aren’t you…laughing he said yes…she said I think you need to think about what I just said. Your wife wants a husband and a partner, to be a couple, not a 44 yr. old child. My expectations are this..Be my husband, my partner, my co parent, my friend, something other than what he is and has been for a very long time.
In the meantime, we're just going to have to trust our guts, and do some communication-related adulting to make sure everyone is happy and satisfied in the relationship. However, that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of clues to help you on your way. After all, the more skilled you are at picking up your partners cues, the better you will be at maintaining the health and well-being of your relationship. So, if you want to get ahead of the game, here are six things to watch out for, according to the experts.
"Often -- but not always -- women nag because men don’t follow through. How many times have you had a conversation about doing something and he commits to doing it and never follows through? Often, I'm guessing," she said. "Women feel caught in the middle: You continue to try and talk to him and address the issue but it goes nowhere. He interprets your request as nagging. You want to believe him but his promises go unfulfilled."
I have been married to my husband for 8 months. We didn’t rally resolve alot of our issues before we got married. I thought once we were married and living in the same house things would change. He always thinks everyone is attacking him, when other people come up with ideas he doesn’t think of or that might be more practical. When it comes time to making major financial decisions, we will ask my parents for advice, and then when their advice is different than his but more practical and includes things we didn’t think of, or includes ways to keep us from spending unneccessary money, he flipps out. He came from a dysfunctional family, and I am very close to my parents. I have always trusted them so I seek out advice from them on things I have not experienced. My husband never could trust his parents and has a lot of unresolved issues in the ways he was raised, that he has a problem accepting advice or trusting anyone other than himself, including me. I can’t live like this. I am extremely unhappy. He has made comments on his perception on how my parents feel about him, he twists things around that we say, and makes it like we are all attacking him and out to get him, that it’s three to one, when it comes time to asking them for advice. He never follows through on anything I ask him to do at home. He can’t take care of little things in the house that are his responsiblity, and then I have to do them. He tells me he has a problem with procrastination, and he has been telling me that for 4 years since we met. He has’t changed. He is not going to change his ways of thinking when it comes time to my parents, or the way I feel about things. We always fight when it comes time to major issues. I don’t trust him, because he has lied to me and made major mistakes since I met him that keep happening. He never follow-s through on things he says, or on changes he claims he is going to make. I feel he lets me down alot. He pratically commands that I trust him. I feel trust is something that is earned. Also, my husband doesn’t go to any lengths to make me feel special. I pratically have to beg him for intimacy. I have to create the romance in our relationship, he never does. From all of this and feeling very lonely, I feel I am getting near the end of what I can deal with in this marriage. I have given him 4 years since we met to change things. He is 35 and should be a man at this point. He is telling me he needs to learn how. I can’t wait to have my needs taken care of in this marriage. Just because he diddn’t have parents like I did and didn’t have a father to learn how to be man, I don’t feel it’s my respnsibility to fix him. I am feeling worn out and that no matter what I cannot get through to him. Nothing changing, it’s just gettting worse. I feel like divorce is the only option.
I’m glad to see how marriage has evolved. It used to be much more transactional — happening principally to foster economic benefits or social standings or to produce children — but nowadays people typically choose to commit themselves legally to each other for far more noble goals. More and more people marry with the intention of experiencing lasting love and companionship.
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.
As completely freaked out and scared as I was, I immediately began talking to a few close women friends. I opened a bank account in my own name and had all of my pay checks deposited there and I made arrangements for my daughter and I to stay with a friend for a few weeks while I looked for place to live. I live in a city that is one of the most expensive places in the world so was very concerned I would not be able to afford an apartment for my daughter and I, but eventually got something but every year I am confronted with rent increases and increasing utility bills – so, the current sitation is not sustainable. I asked for and got a promotion at work. I applied for government help as a single parent and get a little bit every two weeks.
Sure, it would be nice every once in a while, but realize that men are wired differently than us. What we are thinking in our head that he should do is almost always not what he is going to do. Realize that all those romantic movies are most likely written by women. Don't let your expectations exceed your reality because you've been watching too many romantic comedies and reading too many books.
Laurie, I have been marriage of 27 years. We have no children. My husband is older than me and is looking at retirement in approximately three years. I am not even close to thinking of same. We have a home in the country, he is always asking me to move from the city and find a new job in the country. We have a small place in the city. I have had my job for 25 years and am not wanting to leave my job; I love my job. My husband is extremely upset with me regarding this. I told him that IF I moved to the country leaving my secure job and he got hit by a bus, I would sell our country home and move back to the city. Of course if this happens I would lose my secure job and start at the bottom. In the country there are virtually no jobs aside from Tim Hortons or McDonalds to work at. This does not make sense to me. I have fifteen years until my retirement. This has been an ongoing argument/disagreement for too many years to count. We love each other but I am really reaching my ceiling in this regard and for that matter so is he. Any suggestions?
What’s happened as a result has been brilliant. I started tuning much more actively into my husband — prioritizing him, touching him regularly (holding his hand, sitting very close to him, hugging him, rubbing his shoulders, etc), more actively praising and appreciating him, and — crucially — not letting my ego get the best of me and not letting my need to be right lead to Armageddon. As a result, I have managed to bring out the best in my husband.
In my 20's I married two separate times (with the prerequisite of no children desired) and had my husbands "kid clocks" go off...it ruined our marriages. Their resentment toward me was overwhelming. We went to counseling, one became violent. I divorced each and they went on to have 1 child each. We are still on good terms and although it hurt I have no regrets.
We’ve talked about this when he is okay again. I’ve told him that he is unpredictable when he is that way. I’ve told him I can not and will not live this way and neither will the kids. Once he gets the whatever it is out of his system, he’s right as rain. He acts like nothing ever happened. I feel like he has been trying to do better, but now there are other issues.
The language of love consists of tender words, touches, hugs, and kisses. When we call a partner things like “sweetheart,” “darling,” or “dear,” we create a special intimate atmosphere. The choice of affectionate names occurs unconsciously and shows how one partner relates to the other, who dominates the relationship, and how well they are balanced.
Often, men become withdrawn because their life isn't what they anticipated it would be. If you feel this may be a contributing factor in how your spouse is feeling, create new experiences for you two to share in. Surprise him with a week away or arrange for him to participate in something that he loves to do, whether it's working out at the gym or restoring an old car. Sometimes when a man has something new and exciting to focus on, it will change his entire attitude and you'll start to see his sunny disposition shining through again.
Nowadays, men and women have a lot of jobs and responsibilities. That is why ladies should understand that you cannot wait for your husband with a list of tasks to do just after he comes from work. When your partner returns, just give him a moment to enjoy the time, to calm down, to be with you. In addition, women should remember that men do not have such concentration as they do, and are unable to do many things at once. But he will surely help you as soon as you accept that he is doing things one by one.
But if you look at Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, possessions are at the bottom. We need certain things to survive - food, shelter, clothing, but after that possessions don't actually increase the meaningfulness of our lives, and we need to start looking elsewhere: friendships, intimacy, and goals that serve a greater good beyond our own self interest.
How to get over someone you have to see everyday?My long-term boyfriend told me that my mental health has affected him and he just wants to be friends as though nothing more ever happened. This really hurts me. What should I do?Can or should I ask my significant other to stop talking and to not associate with his ex? If so, how? How do I know if I'm in a toxic relationship?Why are we fighting over small and stupid things?What to do when you feel you are not good enough for someone?He said I was perfect for him, but he chose someone else?I regret breaking up with my ex. What should I do?How to get closure from my ex? I feel I need it.I love two different people. What should I do?
Things we have never experienced before tend to frighten us. The truth is, infidelity in a marriage is not something most couples want to experience. With that in mind, you may want to know how to stop your husband from having an affair and save your marriage. This is one subject a lot of people with all the education, exposure, status and money do not know how to deal with.
I read your article, I understand that no one can tell me when I’ve had enough. But Iam 38 , with 5 kids. I have a 20 year old son who is expecting his 1st, with his gf, I have 13 year old triplet daughters, and a 12 year old son. My husband and I have been married 16 years, he has also been “married ” to the military for 17 years. We are an active duty family. Yes I say we, I’ve watched him pack up for 6 different deployments, some almost broke his soul. Anyway… the loves not there. I reach out to touch him, and he dosent return the favor, we used to snuggle in bed, when one person would move or shift, the other followed, now I usually sleep with a body pillow so I can have comfort. I need help or get sick, I have to do it alone, it was one thing when he couldn’t be here, but now he chooses not to be. He says basically that everything that happens, is my fault. I look at this man, and it’s not just the children I gave him, or saving his life a few times, but everything he took, stole, robbed and broke me of. I try to hold on, part of me dosent want to be in that 78% marriage fail rate, or the fact if we fail, did I f*$k up? But Iam tired. Lonely. Dissapointed. Lost. Hurt and angry. Where did I get so weak. How can I hold on for just a few more years till our kids are out of the house. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
Slovakia, we have the Saint Nicholas Day on 6th of December. Kids get sweets on that day from "him". Pre-schools and schools have someone always dress up sa him and kids also get at least one sweet then as well. My first pre-school Nicholas Day was also a photo day with him. I was scared. My mom still has a photo of me crying my eyes out standing next to a smiling Santa-like person.
Expressing the feelings from the masculine point of view is an arduous task for many. In most cases, they do not know how to do it and therefore they are afraid to say what they actually feel in their hearts. We can summarize that the emotional mind of men works very differently than in women, so we have to be aware of this fact all the time since he may be dying inside and we may not realize it.
If not, the quickest way to change your life is to forgive that parent, because you are half your mom and half your dad, the parent you are angry at is the part of you that you loath as well. I know this sounds so matter of fact, but it is a huge weight off if you can do it. Lastly, your marriage, you love him. I am not here to necessarily promote our book, but we did write a book The Marriage Manual available at http://www.themarriagemanual.com and the part for you is all about how to talk to your husband so he will WANT to talk to you.
Now, it must be said: If you really make it your job to make your partner happy and he (or she) exploits your efforts or never truly reciprocates — never meeting your love with love — you may be in a deal breaker scenario. Despite your best efforts, you may be with someone who is unable or unwilling to love you back and you will probably need to terminate the relationship.
Hi, I’m a young lady who got married @ the young age but my hubby has financial problems and avoids them. I don’t feel I love him because he leaves me alone in our flat goes out with his friends, sleeps over there with his single friends. I took a vow I won’t ask him where are his whereabouts because I don’t knw him no more. I’m too young to b in this situation. He accuses me of cheating and name calls me. I always help him witth his finances and tells me that I love him for his money. What money he is drowning in debt.
This point is similar to the previous: you cannot give what you don’t have. If you’re not happy, it’s not very likely that person by your side will be that way either. I’m not saying you should always feel awesome or hide the negative feelings you have. Life can be difficult, and we should express and share all of our feelings. I’m talking about grumpiness and everyday dissatisfaction. That’s not fun, and we should do our best to save our loved ones and ourselves also from that kind of behavior which is the simple result of one thing only – ungratefulness.
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!
Great article Steve, one of the best I have read so far on GMP. It applies to more than just marriages, it includes all depending on others for happiness. One of the consequences that can flow from going the change route to be responsible for your own happiness is that it can mean the end of your relationship which may have been a reality regardless. To minimise the risk of this you need to consider how you will effectively communicate your change needs with your partner and be prepared for negotiation around a win win solution. This also might require… Read more »