I started a post and it posted before I was done, so… Again, I am sorry for all the hurt everyone here is going through, but I wanted to tell my story as well. First, I married a young girl straight out of high school. We were good friends, party buddies with benefits you might say. Anyway… She dropped out of school her junior year, we got married and I joined the army. The marriage was doomed from the beginning. We even fought on our wedding day and probably everyday after that. I came down on levy to go to Germany and soon after I got there, she made it aparent to me that she didn’t want to follow me over there. We had just had a baby boy and now I’m several countries away unable to see my son or mend a marriage. I soon found out that she had quickly shacked up with another guy and got pregnant by him with a little girl while we were still married. I told her I would raise the girl as my own if she would just come to me, but shortly after the birth of the girl, she was pregnant by him again with another boy. I couldn’t take it and she had said she wanted a divorce so I gave it to her. That being said, let’s move to the present. After returning from Desert Storm in Iraq and getting out of the Army, I soon met a beautiful and wonderful young woman. We fell in love and were married within 6 months. She is a wonderful person, very good mother and great Christian. We never had much and have always pretty much lived hand to mouth, but somewhat comfortable. She always seemed so in love with me. We have now been married 20 years and have had a few ups and downs, but for the most always had a great marriage. Since we married, I started developing several different illnesses following Desert Storm and they have really taken a toll on my physical ability to maintain a job and my Dr told me that I no longer had any business working and that I need to focus on my health. I am awaiting disability because of my decline in health. I have always been the bread winner in the family great fully. Both my wife and I are college educated and she has continued to go to college. Our beautiful daughter just graduated last night from high school and is getting ready to go to college. Over the past 2 years, my wife and my daughter have been spending a lot of time behind closed doors in my daughters room laughing and joking the whole evenings through. I’m never invited, my wife rarely talks to me any more unless I bring up a conversation and I have noticed over the past approximately 3 years, she has never initiated sex and when I want to make love, she either always has a head ache or nauseated or just does it to shut me up from trying to be persistent. Before, we always had a great passionate sex life now it seems like its just a chore for her. And also recently she has quit giving me any more than a peck for a kiss. She was always a passionate kisser before. I know she has a busy schedule as a school teacher, cheer leading coach, college student, mother and active church member. She says she loves me in passing, but I feel she no longer shows me that she loves me. There is no longer that twinkle in her eyes when she looks at me, she never flirts with me. There’s never that little pinch on the butt or slow kiss on the back of the neck or any other kind of play at all any more. I don’t think she is having an affair unlike my first wife, but I think maybe she has fallen out of love for me. Though she says she loves me and gets angry when I ask her if she does, I think she “loves” me, but is not “in love” with me. I wouldn’t cheat on her, but I still am a sexual creature and have to have that feeling of being looked at with “sex crazed eyes” or like Prince Charming. I’ve tried doing more things with her that she likes, but when I ask her to do things with me that I like (besides sex) she just says we just down have the same interests. I don’t want a divorce, I want the desire that my wife once had for me to return. I’m not the well built GI Joe boy toy that I used to be when returning from the army and am missing nearly all the beautiful hair that I had when we met, but I am the same person and I think even better. I have tried to change over the years to become more of whom she wanted me to be. I gave up smoking, drinking, cussing, came to know the Lord but it just doesn’t seem to be working she seems more distant now than ever. Is she wanting out or what can I do to return the spice to our marriage ?
I heard from a wife who said: “the other day, my husband said that he needed to be honest with me about something very important. I thought he was going to tell me that he lost his job or that we were struggling financially. But I was completely wrong. And I was completely blindsided when he said that although he still loves me, he is not happy being married to me. I was in so much shock, I couldn’t even get out a decent response. He said he felt that I deserved to know the truth about this. He never said what he intends to do about it. So I’m still not sure why he would even tell me this unless he’s trying to warn me that he is getting ready to file for a divorce. I know that I need to ask him to clarify all of this, but the idea of him further telling me why and how he’s not happy is almost more than I can bear. What do men really mean when they say that they love you but aren’t happily married to you?”
@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)
"A major mistake I see couples making that leads to great unhappiness is not listening to each other. It's such a simple thing, but it's so important. Ask them how they feel and then listen without interrupting (even if you're dying to interrupt them). Build in uninterrupted time with each other, sans phone, kids, and TV. Then repeat back to them to ensure they feel heard and that you accurately heard it." —Durvasula
Do you remember the time at the beginning of a relationship when you were talking all night and still it was too little for you? He also misses it. Of course, when children appear in your world, they become an important part of the life and conversation, and yet fathers love their offspring. Just do not let this to be the only thing that will bother you. Do not forget that the relationship has to motivate and turn to action. And regardless of your duties, you should talk about what you like, what you plan and what you enjoy.
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I am a doer, not a talker, and I will not sit by and be part of a train wreck that I can clearly see, whether it is mental or physical. If I have a boyfriend who has cancer, and he will not seek help, I will not stand by for X number of months or years in anguish just to go down with him. If he is going to doctors, getting treatments, I would stand by him and hold his hand on his deathbed. None of the posters said anything about abandoning anyone. I would stay with my Asperger man and help him navigate through this, if he wanted the help! What I will not do is stand there and be collateral damage.
The first thing you need to do is build a support network of friends and strong women who can help you. I know it’s not easy, but you need to reach out and connect with other women. Pay attention to your kids’ friends’ parents, your neighbors, the women in your exercise class or at the park. Take a deep breath, screw up your courage, and talk to them. Invite them for coffee or a play date.
my husband really love me before 1year and then he didn't respond me for everything i always try my best to happy my huaband but he can't understand me he always said me i was lie to him but it is not truth its just understanding am really upset and worry for that i really love him i leave every thing for him and he also i have no more option to correct my relation plz tell me what shall i do
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 »
Further to suggesting some help, we may be called on, in some cases, to shoulder a little more of the load while our beloved gets themselves in order. If this is you, then realise that it’s for a short amount of time (hopefully) and that it’s all in service of the relationship's long-term happiness. And remember: they would do it for you, if the shoe were on the other foot.
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.
Thank you for your reply. I have brought up the possibility with my grandfather about how my mother is capable of controlling her behavior around us but he chooses to believe that she does not have control over her actions. My grandmother also does not want to talk about the topic since this is the way she has chosen to view her daughter's behavior (having no control) and has for a long time. I have brought it up before and at the risk of having a fight I have not chosen to bring it up with her again. I remember trying to talk about the subject in high school and it was something not to be talked about, so I left the subject when I left for college for the past five years. Now I am back home while looking for work and I am faced with the same situation.
I agree with Evan’s assessment but also want to bring another question to the table after reading her letter. Humor is important, and it’s obviously very important to the letter writer, but could it also be her way of providing herself with an ‘out’? She mentioned that she ended her previous long-term relationships. Could her current relationship be great and heading towards the next phase and that’s what’s causing her to all of the sudden focus intensely on his ‘lack of humor’? I did this to my relationships to sabotage them from moving forward because I was too nervous, unwilling, etc. to risk going there. Thankfully I realized that before it was too late and am in a great relationship now because of it. But before, when it started getting serious, I’d start focusing on something that all of a sudden became a ‘deal-breaker’ that wasn’t one before.
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.
It's normal for the intense of excitement of a new relationship to wane over time. But that doesn't mean your partner should be apathetic towards you. As Bizzoco says, "It [might] seem as if getting to see you or be with you has little importance to them." You might also notice a little less excitement in their eyes, and it can hurt. So be sure to speak up.
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.
Remember when you and your husband first starting dating? You were the carefree woman who laughed and flirted? Life's stress can really take a toll on a relationship, and sometimes we forget to laugh. Flirt with your husband. Tell stupid jokes. Reminisce about funny things that happened. Life can't always be fun and games, but let it be sometimes. Keep the humor going between the two of you and keep things funny and fun.
If your husband's behavior is the reason behind your unhappiness, talk about it in terms of how it affects you rather than placing blame. One effective way to do this is through "I" statements. For instance, you say to your husband, "I feel lonely when you stay out late every night." This may help your husband see things from your perspective. In contrast, if you say something like, "You're so selfish for staying out all the time," your husband may feel attacked and be less receptive to your concerns.
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.