While you’re reading through these thoughts, remember that you are the expert on your relationship. You know your husband better than anyone, you know yourself, and you know how your marriage has changed through the years. Don’t let a relationship article take away all your hope for a happy, healthy marriage! Millions of relationships get pulled from the brink of divorce court every year by couples who are committed to rebuilding their marriages.
Yep, you heard me right, call him out when he is wrong. Don't let him walk all over you. Be the strong, independent woman he fell in love with. Don't bend over to anything he says just to make it easier for his ego. Men like it when you call them out in a respectful manner. Explain to him what he has done wrong and try to not make it personal and tear him down.

I have been married for five years, with my husband for twelve years. I’m not really sure if we should stay together or not. Last year I left him for three months then came back and now he says “he is just waiting for me to leave again”. We have been having the same fights for 12 years. They are- I don’t clean the house the way he thinks I should and I don’t have sex with him enough. I am not happy in our marriage but I feel like I’m stuck. We have a 10 year old and twin 3 years olds, I don’t have a job or a place to go. I have no friends and I can’t stay with my mom(she has her own issues). Everything inside me is screaming that in order for me to be happy I have to get away from this marriage, but I feel like I can’t. I’m scared that I will not be able to take care of my kids. I am also afraid that he won’t let me take the kids. He has never been physically abusive but recently when we start arguing he threatens that he will get violent with me, so now I’m scared of that too. I feel like I keep coming up with reasons not to leave. I know that it will be hard but how do you leave someone and keep your sanity at the same time?
If you want to stop your husband from cheating, you must devise a good plan for your marriage. No marriage can succeed without a plan. Building a marriage is like building a house; you must have a burning desire to make it work. You need to develop a plan for the marriage and every day sit down with your spouse and show him your plan. During this time, let him see the cost involved in building a successful marriage, taking care of the home and the kid's education. Soon, your husband will realize the cost of his cheating and will discover it is not worthy to be spending money and time outside on strange women when the one he is married to is a better planner and organizer.
Being Mary meant that my very first priority wasn’t my husband, or even my daughter. My first priority was spending time with Him. I realized that the better the quality of time I spent with Him, pouring out my heart, and listening in return, the more I felt satisfied.  I felt centered. After that, no matter what happened later on in the day, my thoughts and emotions were anchored and things didn’t feel so overwhelming.

If your partner can't meet you halfway during an argument, or when making joint decisions, take note. "Relationships involve compromise," says NYC-based therapist Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW. "You do things you don't necessarily want to do for someone because you care and want to see them happy." An unhappy parter simply won't be able to muster the energy.

Speak at length about your history of successful relationships prior to this one.  Expound about how self-actualized you are due to your six months of therapy in the college counseling center ten years ago.  I mean, you showed up to at least half the appointments.  Except over summer break.  You have even read some stuff about relationships on the internet.  So, you know it’s not you that is at fault for your unhappiness, unless you’re “too nice.”  It is him that is to blame, entirely.  Bring this point home using a loud voice and some well placed finger pointing, so he has no doubt about his complete responsibility for 100% of your dissatisfaction.  You should only have to sit back and wait now.  The handwritten letter expressing his sorrow and regret for unilaterally ruining the marriage should be forthcoming tomorrow.


Me and my boyfriend have been going out for 4years and he says im contolling and he is unhappy now and he doesnt want to fix anything he just wants to end it. I love him alot but he isnt even trying to work it out or giving me a chance. He says he has waited for me to change and he sees that im the same person and he is done waiting. We use to talk about getting married and now he tells me he doesnt see us getting married. I dont want to loose him and i want to fight for him and he sees he doesnt want me to fight for him because its to late for that.
I see also that you have only been married for 5 years! A lot of the posts on this thread are from marriages over 15 years (mine included) – I hate to burst your bubble @happy in marriage, but I was also happily married just 5 years in. Lets hope you can hold onto your perfect life over the next decade as well. but honestly, before you come parading your smugness, on a thread that is full of real people’s pain – just stop to think for a moment. NONE of theses marriages started off wrong, they were all just as perfect as yours in the begining.
Had been married for about 10 years. Have three beautiful kids all under the age of 10. Future ex wife filed for divorce and did not talk. The manipulation game worked for her for it drew the worst out of a good man that pleaded to keep his family together. We were on the brink of re-building our marriage through counseling, but future ex wife wrecked a family. We never committed adultery, fought through anger, called each other names, nothing. No alcohol or drug abuse. My eldest daughter has been devastated. So hard to see your kids cry and plead for their mommy and daddy to stay together. I never wanted such an outcome of a 10 year marriage. Things moved so fast over the first 7 years with several children born, loss of job linked to the shitty economy took a toll on my and my future ex wife. I developed depression over the last year of marriage of which made family tough. I received appropriate care for my depression and I looked up to my wife at the time for much needed support. With wife starting a business, me staying at home with the kids while trying to gain access to job opportunities, I was spent. I did some recharging by protecting myself from the negativity that spewed from my wife over the last several months of marriage. I needed to regain my individuality that I lost trying to serve a woman that was controlling and very self serving. Overall, we both made some minor mistakes in our marriage that went noticed – meaning all of the negative baggage was carried to the point of filing for divorce instead of FOCUSING ON THE POSITIVE THINGS THAT YOUR PARTNER BRINGS TO THE MARRIAGE! We failed to communicate effectively and truly trusting each other. I made a game out of the situation that was worsened by my attitude to make the situation worse. Depression is a bastard for I just wasn’t myself during the depression days. Now I have a bit of a clearer mindset as the depression fades with time and much self reflection. I do still find myself very alone…pondering the what ifs at times…but for the most part, I often wonder what could have been. Our divorce process has been pretty boring. My future ex wife doesn’t speak to me and hasn’t since the divorce filing. I often wonder about reconciliation, but due to the current communication state, I feel that reconciliation is no longer an opportunity. Now that I see my kids 4 days per month, I have lost connection with them. I no longer think about them as much as I did when I was at home. I pick em up and two of them want to stay with mom…I take em home and they run after the car crying for their dad. Oh well, kids will be affected, but that is the way of the future ex wife.
"A change in habits is one of the first signs of relationship issues. It can indicate unhappiness, personal stress, even cheating — but it could also indicate a number of other things, so don't jump to conclusions. If there are any significant changes, discuss them with your partner to determine what's behind them." —Sarah E. Clark, licensed marriage and family therapist, relationship expert, and co-founder of Idealationship

Time went on and I tried. Counselling, relationship courses, religion, mental breakdowns. And then I worked painstakingly through "Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Decide Whether to Stay In or Get Out of Your Relationship" by Mira Kirshenbaum. Getting out was the hardest thing I have ever done - to intentionally break up a home and shake the foundation beneath my children's feet made me wilt and doubt everything about myself. But the result is beyond expectation - I had forgotten what normal and happy was. Now I remember and my children remember and laugh with me.
"A major source of unhappiness is taking the focus off the relationship and putting it on cruise control to focus on careers, children, extended families, and community work instead of shared time together. Couples need to keep an active engagement with the romance, friendship, and fun that led them to their initial attraction and excitement about being together. They can't assume that connection will remain unless they put time and energy into keeping it alive." —Jefferson A. Singer, Ph.D., co-author of Positive Couple Therapy, Dean of the College of Psychology, Connecticut College
What about a spouse who suffers from depression and refuses to get the help he needs. A father of 3 young children who is saying hurtful things to his 4 year old son? He jumped out of our van with the kids inside because he didn’t want to have a discussion. He was on meds for 6 weeks in winter of 2010 and went off, saying the doc said to (she’s my doc too and we have spoken and she recommends meds for a year) I’ve given him a year to try to go on his own terms but with attacking our son verbally that has challenges from a premature birth I refuse to watch him destroy our childrens lives because of his unwillingness to get the help he needs. His parents are concerned about him as well. I’ve just ordered some self help books recommended by a psychologist friend. I have definately fallen out of love with him. This has been going on for 4 years, seems he sort of lost his mind when I became pregnant with twins. Any suggestions??? My doctor said often the non-depressed spouse has to leave or ask the spouse to leave before they will finally get help but often they still won’t get the help they need.
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.

My husband is not interested in having sex with me anymore. When there is a fight, he always says” Isn’t it enoough for me to bear you and bear your big mouth” He repeats this comment a lot. He is not interested in going out with me and children as we used to be in the past. I take the children all by myself. He comes from work and he is on facebook till very late at night. when I approach him for intimate relationship, sometimes he says I am tired. I am the one who always approach him In my country it is not easy to ask for a divorce. I have kids. He spends money on them. I don’t think I am going to have another relationship with anybody. How am I going to save this marriage? He has changed.


This same approach should be applied to the other things he does that may bother you from time to time. Don't get hung up about things, and if he does something that you really dislike, just let him know. Holding on to little things and petty grudges is not a good idea for you or your husband. Many of the little annoyances you may have you will forget about in a few weeks anyway, so it is not worth it to get upset over them.
How offensive that this has become a gender war for the men commenting. You guys are feeling sorry for yourselves? One guy because he cheated and can’t stand to think she would even kiss a guy and the other guy jealous cause she won’t OBEY your dresscode? Get real! Peter, maybe she wants to get back at you and maybe she is just trying to find out if she is still sexy. A woman who is cheated on starts to feel insecure, maybe that is why she with holds sex in the first place. Or maybe you’re not doing it the way she wants. If you want her to stay, you will have to forgive her just as she forgave you. Let her know sex should be just as pleasant for her as it is for you, then she might respond to you better.
I would have gone to the ends of the earth for this man and stayed forever, if he had been willing to work on his issues.  But in the end, you cannot force a grown man to do that if that is not what they want for themselves.  Should you subject yourself to yet more emotional torture and hurt whilst they spiral ever downwards?  What is the use of two people’s lives being destroyed? Very often it is the tough love in this world that has motivated those people to get help and improve, not the silent suffering of those they love.  Moreover, I don’t believe people with serious issues necessarily want to hurt those close to them – so I actually think calling a halt to the madness can be a kindness for all.
Approach him to ask him what’s up. He may tell you nothing is wrong at first. Don’t push him but instead give him a peck on the cheek, smile, give him a squeeze on the arm and tell him that you are around if he wants to talk about it. Let him also know that if he wants to talk about it that you will try not to get upset if it’s something that he believes you will become upset about.

I have dear friends and family for whom drugs worked wonderfully. They really are completely different in how they experience life, how they interpret events, how they interact with everyone and how they imagine life in the long term. Even temperament is changed because they sleep better and can actually recall positive experience. Without that ability life is just one long endless shit buffet: all the shit you can eat till you die.
I am 20 years old i had an arranged marriage when i was 19. i’ve been married to my husband for 10 months and never had any contact with him before marriage. the problem is we are living with his parents and i do not get along with them, they have said to me on a numerous of occassions go home. i do everythng for them cook, clean iron etc. they don’t appriciate anything i do.as for my husband he’s always away at university and i hardly get to see him he also works.
Hi. Me and my husband have only been married for a little over 2 years. I think I plunged in too quickly. We only have 1 child together and I have a child before he came along. I’m the one always doing everything. I only work part time. I do all of the cleaning around our house, taking the trash out, washing clothes, etc. he complains after work if the house isn’t up to par, but yet doesn’t put in any hand to help clean it. He complains about not having anything to wear, because he’s too lazy to wash his own clothes when they run out. Anytime I want to go hand out with my friends, it’s always a fight, and I end up not going. I never get to do anything. I’m bored sitting at home, so I play on Facebook, he complains about that. So I started reading books. He’s complaining about that now also. After reading 50 shades of grey, I’ve realized I don’t have that love feeling. I feel like I have more of a settlement agreement. We are only intimate with each other maybe once a month, and it’s my fault because that whole feeling is just not there anymore. I don’t have butterflies, I don’t get excited, nothing. I honestly feel that if he told me he wanted to divorce me right now, I’d laugh and say thank God. To me, the marriage is over pretty much. What do you think?
Depending on if you're a stay-at-home mom or work yourself is all relative. If you stay home with the kids during the day, make sure your home is inviting when you're husband is almost home. Pick up the little things. Of course, it can't always be perfect, but try to make home as relaxing as possible. Don't pass the kids off immediately when he walks in the door. Let him unwind. If you work as well, share responsibilities when you get home, or do the things you know he dreads the most.
While it's healthy to go out and see your own friends, these people shouldn't take preference over your relationship. "If your partner always seems to have other plans and doesn't include you, it's a red flag that they aren't happy," Hershenson says. Speak up if your SO seems to care about their social life than what's best for you/the relationship.
In some of the comments, women have been very negative. The article states men are wired deferantly. When a man does something good, thank him, tell him IN SIMPLE WORDS, with a smile, how much you appreciate or love whatever he did. IE... When he does take a shower, hug him up look him in the eyes and tell him how good he smells, how you love when he's smelling all fresh and clean. If you tell a man what pleases you, he will do it again!
Thank you for the post. Husband of 17 yrs td me two days ago he was not happy with anything, ever. Told me today he is moving out in two days to “work on himself”. He told our 15 yr old that he had been thinking about it for a long time. I feel worthless and unloved. I feel like this is the end. He was almost giddy while telling me about the place he is moving(way nicer than our place). I’m not perfect but I always fought for our marriage – through his alcoholism, his “emotional” infidelity, his constant changing jobs, his depression and mood swings. I always fought for us. Now I feel like a fool and wonder when “us” stopped for him. I feel blindsided!
Also I have my children and don’t know how to explain to them about our marriage. But I am just not happy. I see other attractive men and am attracted to them. But have not cheated on my husband and I know he will never cheat on me. I just don’t know I also don’t feel amused by him I feel like a women should be proud of her partner and that’s just not my case. I take care of all the bills and problems of the house and feel like I have so much in my plate. We never go any where because there’s just no money ever. No vacation no nothing I think that has also taken a toll on me. I feel like am ready for something different. I cry every time after we have inter course just because I don’t feel anything I pretty much have to fake. And it hurts because this is not a life I want I feel and know that I have so much more ahead of me. But his low self esteem is what holds me back. Because he does love me but the feeling is not mutual.
All of these answers apply to both genders, but you are so angry you can’t see past the pronouns in the article. You’ve taken a practical choice, this website is aimed at women, as other websites are aimed at men, and turned into a slight against you. If you do that with a website then it’s a safe bet you do that in your personal relationships as well, this is really going to hurt your chances of being able to successfully communicate what’s hurting you to your partner. When you approach someone in anger it immediately creates defensiveness, an urge to fend off, repulse, and retaliate. Being calm and flexible is not the same thing as being passive, you can disagree and still see smokeless point (regardless of whether or not that point is valid). Approach your feelings, problems, and arguments calm and collected. This means you need to have examined and accepted your own flaws first, and be able to weather the invective that will be thrown at you. You also need to remain on point, which is hard when you feel like a big list of wrongs have been perpetrated. It seems that the big thing for you is that your wife doesn’t respect your time, she might not know she does that ( My family is old world and thinks it’s shameful for a woman to work and that it’s disrespectful for her husband not to provide as much as possible). I try thinking about it first from the defensive perspective of the other person first, “its your fault because”, “I may be bad but your worse”, etc, it’s easy because we all have those thoughts when we feel we are being attacked. My husband used to have temper tantrums at first, then he started really listening and we resolve things. Now, he uses my own approach on me when my hackles are raised!
9. Support him: Encourage him if he wants to try something new. Support him if he's going through a rough phase in life. Generally, men do not open up as easily as women do, so don’t expect a heartfelt conversation every time he’s going through a rocky patch. Something as simple as telling him he’s doing a good job or making him a nice meal after a long day can make him feel cared for. 

If you really want to keep your boyfriend happy, keep your word. Just as we like men to do what they say, they like us to do so too. Call when you say you will, show up on time, and don’t stand him up. If you blow him off or forget to follow through with things, it will make you look like you don’t care and make you look irresponsible, because all he has to go by is your actions.


Even though it solves nothing, I have Google and read over a thousand things like this. Because I’m lost and pissed off at myself for being lost. We dated for a year and 3 month, and I thought “this is it, he is the one for me”. It’s been long distance and I was finally getting everything in order for me to move across the world so that we could be together. And then, the breakup. He doesn’t know what he wants, he’s not sure if he will always feel this way, and finally today, to give myself so sort of closure, I told him that if he truly doesn’t love me anymore: say it. He did. So now I’m here, broken hearted and confused. But also, empowered and excited for the future even though I can’t stop crying. I have no idea where life will lead me next and of course I’m sad because I still love him. But mostly, i am grieving for the fact that I really believed this man, who hurt me this bad, was going to be the person I’d spend my life with. I’ve written down why he was wrong for me and I’m carrying it with me everywhere I go. He was emotionally closed off. We had a poor sex life. He was half a world away most of the time. I have my life planned and I know what I want. It’s not him, it was never him and if I can remind myself that enough I know I’ll be okay in time. Stay strong ladies, we don’t deserve anyone who doesn’t see our worth.
Is your marriage worth fighting for, or is it over? I don’t know the answer, but I do believe that you can save your marriage if you try. You can’t change your husband, and you can’t stop him from ending your relationship…but you can change how you respond to him. This doesn’t mean you let him walk all over you, or you force yourself to become someone you’re not.
We are brought up with the expectation that men are supposed and expected to be pursuers. Not every woman will go after a man who “goes to the mountain like a lion” to paraphrase DJ (from another discussion). Or rather, not every man will have a woman following him there. So we just disqualify ourselves from the available gene pool. I think that “self-reliance” mostly is about the definition we put in the word. Not ever listening to advice or suggestions, and/or bulldozing other people for having different opinions, is also forms of self-reliance. Sure, I don’t need a spouse… Read more »
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 absolutely love your tips. They are all so true. Sometimes as married women we have to give and take to make our relationships work for ourselves and our children. It is difficult sometimes when you think that you are the only one being considerate and making an effort, but sometimes that's what it takes when you really love your man. There is really no point arguing all the time. This will only cause misery and hatred in the relationship. I personally love being sexy for my husband. I aslo respect him, take care of the house and cook although I do not really like to cook. Doing these things make me feel like a stronger woman; like I am able to take care of myself and my family.
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.
The Magic of Intimacy: Intimacy brings lovers together and renders us vulnerable. When we are intimate, we feel empowered but we’re also at the mercy of the one we love. Intimacy evokes a powerful mix of emotions – we feel vulnerable, yet valued and embraced. When you experience intimacy, it acts like a field in the world of physics, where all the rules of regular relationships change.

I knew going in that he was jealous – but was sure that it would be something I could live with – he wasn’t over the top, but then that’s exactly what it became. I’ve been accused of flirting, hitting on little 19 year old boys (I’m 38) and having affairs with men I work with, trying to seduce our pastor, etc – I have tried to reassure him, confessed my love for him, and reconfirmed that I was committed to this relationship…but it has spiralled. it’s become abusive – not in the physical sense – but emotional and mental. I have called him names and thrown things, and so has he. We are in counseling and have learned about ‘time-outs’ and the four horsemen (criticism, contempt, defensiveness, stonewalling) and I have sincerely been trying to show him and our relationship respect (although I have gotten frustrated and hurt, and called him an a$$$hole through tears, and hung up). He can be very mean to me, and it hurts. I have tried and tried, prayed and prayed – been rebuked, sneered at and ridiculed for turning to supportive friends for guidance. I even see my own counselor, but he doesn’t like that.
We were married in 2007,its was an arranged marriage in India but settled in Melbourne, Australia.we had a baby this 2011 July. This March 2012 I discovered my husband has been seeing another woman. And then in a month I discovered that he was trying to bed more women when I was overseas with my lil son from Nov 2011 to Feb 2012.his call summaries had text and call logs at weird hours.one if them is still a mystery cos she has never told me wat hapned between them.
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.
I have asked my husband how best we can end it (without affecting teh kids too much) and he has ingorned my requests. I have also spoken with him and assured him that the kids and I will be fine without him – I have told him that I release him from his wedding vows – that I want him to go off and find someone to be happy with (I really want to see him happy – just not with me) and STILL he wont go. I know life is convenient here for him as his laundry and cooking is done. If I stop cooking for him, that would be mean-spirited of me (espeically in front of the kids) – – its not even as if our meals are family time as he comes to teh table, opens a newspaper or book and reads anyway. he has never been emotionally available for any of us. I have had enough and cant see a way of ending it! (He of course, thinks I am derraanged and that it is a ‘control’ game – he thinks that I am withholding sex as a kind of punsishment) – i feel I cannot just have sex with strangers!
So I just recently found out I'm 5 weeks pregnant with my first child. My boyfriend is freaking out over the situation, he keeps saying it's not a good time (It's never a good time to have a baby) and he doesn't want me to keep it. I've tried talking to him, but it usually turns into an argument. I haven't told my family I'm pregnant yet so I dont really have anyone else to vent to about this.
One of the best ways to survive anything – including a marriage that’s ending – is to talk about it and learn what action steps you can take to improve your situation. Feeling helpless and powerless is the worst place to be! You may not be able to do much to change your situation, but perhaps you can change how you think about it. That may change how you think about your life, and give you strength and power.

On the other hand, the expression of love is important just as much. From a big hug to many kisses. The desire to touch another human being is a basic necessity, just as the heat of a squeeze is something that brings us comfort. You can do this experiment: If you see a sad person in the street or your boyfriend is in a sad and unmotivated state, go and give him a big kiss, you will see how his mood changes instantly.


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
I have also felt the need for external validation, but for my social skills rather than my happiness. When I was young, I was thought of as socially awkward. I never fully believed that, but I also knew I had no evidence to prove otherwise… because outside of my family, I was just not good at getting what I wanted from other people. And so, I became highly dependent on others’ validation for both confirmation and development of my people skills. Every rejection and “no” felt like more than just an ordinary setback. I came to see other people as,… Read more »
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