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.
And in case of using drugs, make him engaged in other things like family get together, outing with kids etc. Don't always think of his bad habit. When he is not using any drugs act like everything is going ok. And force him to go out with you and your kids. Make use of kids. If they force, and you support he will definitely spend time with you and slowly slowly he could get out of drugs. Relax and pray to God he will stay with you.
So, divorce is the logical exit, kids or not for both of us. It has been the case for at least 8 years. I gave it my best shot and I choose to believe she made an effort too. It just seemed to be doomed in the end. We will be going our separate ways soon. The children are aware of the difficulties and have been told of what is coming. They seem settled with the idea although they will notice lifestyle changes when I move out.
I’m sorry. I did misunderstand. I thought it was three exwives. I know you pain…I just gave up on my husband love more than life today. Our spouses have OCPD obsessive Compulsive Personalty Disorder which is not the same as OCD. Read about it. It was not till I read about it that I understood. I can do nothing right…I never have. I make twice his salary and take care of monetary things more so than he does. He bitched, groans,complains, cuts be down, I can do nothing right, clean nothing right, he dominates every minute of my time when he is here and when he isn’t here. Leaves me lists of work to do to keep me busy on my off days and I work 50 hours per week…I’m exhausted with him and it’s taking scroll on my health. The rants, fits and rage…I just can’t take…I gave up today and told him I wanted a divorce..I just wanna die
I totally agree, Brian. I think that “getting” the same kind of humor is very important — at least to me. I was watching The Big Lebowski (which I think is hilarious), but he didn’t think the movie was funny at all. He wasn’t into nuanced or satirical comedy. He liked the kind you get with canned laughter on sitcoms. Nothing wrong with that. It’s just that we weren’t on the same wavelength at all and it was a deal breaker for me because we were polar opposites when it came to our senses of humor.
As you've described her (and this isn't necessarily true for everyone who suffers from mental illness), your mom seems capable of appropriate behavior in the right circumstances and therefore is responsible for her behavior. My suggestion is that you and your family examine the attitudes you display about your expectations for her behavior. I suspect, based on your description, that you're all enabling bad behavior on her part. When you stand up and demand, via your actions, good behavior, if a person is capable of delivering it, they often do. You might find this link helpful: http://www.happinessinthisworld.com/2009/10/18/how-to-communicate-with-your-life/
"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."
Think about ending things with your boyfriend. How do you feel? If you feel sad and heartbroken, okay. But if you immediately feel a sense of panic like, "But what would I do? Who would I hang out with? Then I'd be the only friend without a boyfriend. Who would buy me a Christmas gift? When would I meet someone new?" that's not okay. That means you're with this person because you don't want to be alone.

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.
Folk please advise: Married to my husband of 5 years, lived together for 2 yrs before marrying and lived side by side for a year together before that. He raised my young daughters now 11 and 13 and his been a hard worker and good provider and for years a great friend and wonderful husband. I am also a very hard worker and split the bills although he makes more than me I do make a pretty decent living. I pay for all the girls stuff and family stuff, afer school care and camp and any other possible need they could have. His extra money is for numerous toys for him self that will keep him busy tinkering around. We were very happily actvie in snowmobiling, four wheeling, and other shared activities. He doesnt want to do that stuff anymore just tinker with his harley and tinker with his project sports car. That will be fine but we always used to talk and the4 last 4 months has been getting adamant that he doesnt want to hear anything thatI say. Wantsw to have sex and do yard sales and watch tv with me b ut he really doesnt want to hear anuthing I say unless it is about him, his harley, his car or his muscular arms, He litterally will tell me to shut up if AI bring up something related to my work or the4 kids, or something on the4 news, etcc. He talks non stop about his toys and how he was when he was younger and all the differnt thikngs he did when he was younger. He seems to be collecting all those things he wanted or had that he though was cool years ago and he will only talk ab out that or talk about making money off of selling stuff…over and over . I dont know what do do- he really doesnt want to hear anything I say- we are differnt in education- me-masters degree and he and eighth grade dropout but hes super logical and highly mechanically technical so not a dumb man- we have great parts of ourrelatioinship has been fun except for this new thinkg but I meand he really doesnt want to discuss anything to do with me and wants to only talk about him and its getting to be weird and disrespectful and old. what do you make of it? sez life is greaqt but he wishes i was his brother i think. m they talk on the4 phone muliple times a day every day and they talk about really stupid thinkgs i dont think he knows how to have a real matgure relationship with normal people. mhis family is all screwed up and all havef definite mental issues and note are work hard all livinig on welfare and stuff like that all havfe very low Iq’S Just so weird lately and I dont know if i should get out of this relationship..
If you are going to be a big enough idiot that you are going to deny your reality and not seek the help you need, I am not going to be a big enough idiot to go down in flames with you.  Doesn’t matter if it is mental illness, addictions, or cancer. I know that may sound harsh, but again, I will not sacrifice my life for someone who will not help themselves.  This is the only life I have!
To be successful in this relationship we recommend you to understand and study a little male psychology. In most cases, our vague intuitions about something are not all correct so it can sometimes be difficult to understand. The truth is, it really can be easy to know what they think. Just believe what he tells you and take it as an honest truth. One of the most important points that we should know about men is that they value loyalty a lot, that is, if we are loyal to our boy this will be worth a lot. Nothing is more attractive to a man than a girl who is honest and positive at all times.
i have been married for 3 years and we just recently seperated and i know its my fault. i couldnt let go of the fact that she lied to me about sleeping with someone even when i asked her before we got married if she need to tell me anything. when she told me last october what had happened i felt as if our marriage was false and i always threw it in her face. Now reality has set in and i would rather change my ways and get her back then to be mad at her for the past and be lonely but i dont know how she feels. Because from october untill she left we fought everyday and i know its my fault what should i do?
it's always good to be honest w someone about your feelings. just sit down & talk to your boyfriend. tell him how you're feelings & what he's doing to make you feel unhappy. if he doesn't change after you've talked to him, then it's time to move on bc you deserve to be happy. there's no point in having a relationship w someone if you aren't even happy.
Though distance can be gradual, as other experts have said, "a hint that your partner is unhappy is when they suddenly become distant," Cecil Carter, CEO of dating app Lov, tells Bustle. Then again, such a phenomenon might not be about you. "This isn’t a silver bullet; people become distant for other reasons, so it’s important to talk about the change in behavior before you assume they are unhappy," he adds. When in doubt, talk it out!
I admit not bringing up the topic again at this point because of my own lack of courage. I am not in an environment where I can sit down with my grandparents and have a discussion about my attitude and their attitude about my mother's behavior and illness. It seems to be treated as a taboo subject. I agree that I have been enabling her behavior more than I should out of my own fear of being reprimanded by my grandparents while I am staying in the household. I try to stand up when I can but I place myself in a position where I pick and choose which of my mother's behavior is acceptable and which isn't based on the belief of my grandparents instead of my own. I am struggling to redefine her illness for myself instead of using the model of my grandparents. It is difficult to be in a situation where standing up and saying we are enabling her behavior is actually seen as the disruptive behavior. I am told that by standing up to her that I am the one creating trouble and causing them problems (because they allow her to run back to them and complain and cause tantrums). So I submit out of my own fear that I am making the lives of the caregivers more difficult. Unfortunately I think they are making it difficult for themselves by allowing her to complain to them and enabling her behavior. I do not know what to do in this situation.
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 want out of my marriage and can’t figure out why I can’t just be happy with this great guy,” says Donna on How to Live With a Husband You Wish You Never Married. “My relationship is safe and comfortable; he’s my best friend. But at what point is he supposed to move beyond my best friend and be my partner? I’m not sure we’ve ever had that connection that seems so vital to me. He disagrees. It would almost be easier if I had tangible reasons for wanting to leave (abuse, anger, neglect). All I have is saying that I’m just unhappy even though he’s a great guy. He doesn’t take care of himself like I wish he would, but he’s still a good husband. I feel like such a failure because I can’t just be happy with what I have.”

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.


I have been with my husband for 5 years now and just a couple months ago I found out he cheated on me with his coworker. When I confronted him about his infidelity he stated it was my fault for going through his phone and discovering that he has been cheating. Since then he distances himself from me and refuses to cut contact with her. When I ask him why won’t he stop talking to her he tells me he doesn’t want to hurt her feelings. I go out of my way to make things right again and he clearly doesn’t not even try but he says he still loves me and wants to be with me.
Ashley, I’m going through a similar situation. Two weeks ago my boyfriend of 6 years broke up with me over Facebook messenger while I was at work. I went out to my car on my lunch break to call him and he said he wasn’t happy anymore and doesn’t know what he wants. It completely came out of nowhere. The last couple of weeks he seemed distance but I didn’t think much of it. I never saw it coming. We’ve been through so much together and his family and I were very close. I think about him everyday and have nightmares about him being with someone else. Everyone keeps telling me that he wasn’t right for me and I’ll find someone else but I don’t want anyone else. My heart hurts so much. I can’t seem to wrap my head around the fact it’s over. Someone who I thought I trusted and told everything to is gone just like that. My chest hurts I wish I could sleep away the pain.
The last thing that men define as the cause of their misery in a relationship is the impact of a career on a private life. Contemporary women beside the job, have many other responsibilities, which sometimes is too much for them. Men in the modern partnership also have new tasks and not always are able to perform all duties properly. This causes frustration, which is either unloaded at work or at home. But remember, you cannot put your emotions on others because of your problems.
For many of us, survive until tomorrow may be the closest we get to a mission statement. But once we have the basics of survival managed, we need something bigger to ground our lives in. In our twenties and thirties our goals are often 'find a job, find a partner, raise children, provide for our family.' These are very praiseworthy goals, but what happens when the kids leave home and the mortgage is paid off? That's when we find out that we never had any bigger mission.
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.
Hi and thanks for your site. I love it! I’ve been married going on 3 months but have been with my husband for 2 years prior to marriage. I don’t know where to begin. I feel like I am going crazy and I don’t know what to do. I feel that my husband is a good man but we have a lot of issues to work on. I came from an abusive household but my husband didn’t. we both very bad tempers and there has been a lot of mean words said and physical violence on both of our parts. Whenever we argue my husband always brings up my childhood to deflect what it is that I have a problem with even though I’ve asked him not to do this. For example, he works long hours 6 days a week while I go to school 5 days a week 6 hours a day and do all of the household chores including laundry, cleaning, dishes, grocery shopping , and I always have a hot meal prepared for him when he gets home plus getting up early in the morning to make him breakfast and a lunch for work. He does absolutely nothing but work. On his day off he spend 12-16 hours playing videogames. When I asked him when we would spend time together he told me that he wanted to have fun and was playing the game. I asked if he meant that playing a videogame was more fun than hanging out with me and he said yes. Then he proceeded to put me down for not doing the laundry in a timely manner.
If I could add one more thing.  I wish women would stop writing ‘make me laugh’ on dating profiles.  This is different from saying ‘I’m looking for someone with a similar sense of humor’ etc I’m talking about the women who literally write stuff like ‘he needs to make me laugh’ or something along those lines.  No need for the added pressure of making you laugh on a date.  It will happen or it won’t.  How would you feel if you thought you needed to make your date laugh from the get go?
I can’t tell you if you made the right decision, but I do encourage you to think of your long-term happiness (and health — because it’s stressful and unhealthy to be the sole income earner in your marriage like you were!). Keep your life and relationship goals at the forefront of your mind: do you want to live with a man like your husband for the rest of your life? Can you envision yourself supporting him and your household bills all alone — is that what you want your life to look like?
Perel felt that it was unrealistic and unfair to try to have one person (your spouse) fulfill all those needs, so it’s okay to have polyamorous lifestyle. Polyamory is where a couple decides to have intimate relationships with other people with the knowledge of everyone involved. The idea behind this is that everyone’s needs get met in an open, honest way, and everyone ends up happy.
Wonderful, God-inspired words that speak straight to the heart of so many women including myself. Regardless of the state of your marriage, as women we are nurturers, ‘fixers’, and as you said, often carry the heavy burden of our husband’s happiness solely on our shoulders. When things don’t go as planned, it’s a hard pill to swallow. Thank you, Brie, for reminding us that this burden is not ours to carry. God instructs us to love, pray for and be a help-mate to our husbands. The rest is up to him…
“For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man.” Romans 7:2-3

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.
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.
Unfortunately, too many women I know get married and somehow, perhaps unconsciously, expect their husbands to make them happy. When things get hard — and they always do — rather than looking inward at where they may be at fault, too many women point the finger toward their partners. They blame him (or her) for the problems in their relationship. “If he would just pay more attention to me our marriage would be great!” or “If she would just help more around the house, things would be so much better.”

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.


"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
My wife and I have been together for 3 years. We rushed into things (met and married within a year). We have a 2 year old and a child on the way. I’m concerned that we’re growing apart. Some background on her: She doesn’t have much of an education, comes from an impoverished and (extremely abusive) family, lacks a lot of motivation for even daily chores (picking up after oneself for instance), and relegates her time to being on the phone at the expense of properly caring for our child. When I met her, she worked hard to try and support her family (basically they light money on fire and can’t afford food b/c of mismanagement). After marriage, she’ll lay about the house making sure our “child is still alive” (she’ll plop the kid in front of the TV for MUCH longer than we agreed was healthy and nap much longer also to what we agreed upon. She’ll then lie about it). The home is largely neglected: cockroaches, flies, and mice don’t bother her (neither does mold, bacteria, or giant mounds of dirty laundry and stuff cluttering the floor. And this is with me picking up after myself –and our child when I have time–). Before people jump on my back, when we met she expressed her undying wish to be a stay-at-home mom more than anything in the world. I work two jobs to make that happen. I manage our funds, health, food, utilities and keep her up to date with it all as I’m teaching her how I’m managing money and such. She shows a lack of motivation to fully involve herself with our child, has a terrible habit of lying, no motivation to manage the house, and doesn’t really manage her own hygiene. Further, I feel like she just doesn’t care that much about it. This is compounded by stubbornness that eventually costs big bucks when she neglects her health and then she needs surgery or something costing us thousands rather than pennies if she kept up with herself.
Have you ever been spoken down to? How does it feel? Not good, right? If you think you are the smartest person since Einstein, and insult your boyfriend’s intelligence on a regular basis, even if it’s in a playful way, it really won’t make him happy. Often that is just our ego barking, needing to validate itself as being so great, but it actually makes us look arrogant and isolates us from people.
My man is just irritating me.. he goes through my personal emails and messages behind my back.. and he did the same last sunday and he came home in the afternoon and he started asking me if i am keeping any secrets from him and i said no! and i started beating me up and he said i told you to cut contacts with your Guy friend and now i found out that you still sending each other emails and going out together for lunch and drinks. and to think i am not cheating the guy is my friend and we have been friends for years now, even before i met him. Now i really want to move out and find a place of my own cause i can’t seem to find happy even when i try. i just feel like i am i a prison of some sort. and financially he is not even helping in anyway. he is a bad money spender he would spend all his money and expect me to borrow him mine and when i tell him i can’t he turns it into a big issue. and i can’t take it anymore. at first i used to help him financially because i thought something positive will come out of it but no! every month he finds some sort of a project which he will spend his money on and and i will be the one facing all the expenses, and groceries in the house and on top of that he will come to me asking for some cash and most of the times he doesn’t bring it back unless i actually tell him about it over and over .I really don’t see us together in the next year. really. Please advice if i am being irrational
In addition to focusing on what is making you unhappy, let your husband know what would make you feel better. For example, if you miss spending time with your girlfriends, tell your husband that a monthly girl's night out would make you happy. Likewise, letting your husband know what you need from him, such as thank yous, affection or time alone can give you a starting point to fix your unhappiness. You may need to take time to list the things you need to make yourself happy before talking to your husband, or you may find yourself stuck during the conversation.

Ok, so i am the woman & I cheated! no excuses but I had a rough childhood, oldest & only girl helping a single drug addicted mother raise 3 lil boys! my mom paid me no attention, so i sought it elsewhere & became a teenage mom-like my mom! i have always tried hard to make my mom proud of me-well to no avail & i’m 34 now! well, my husband & i have been together 10 yrs, married for 4yrs & separated for the last 2, since i cheated!
A Marriage Repaired: You can take on your marriage, improve yourself, deal with your children; or look realistically at divorce. There is dignity in making it work. And, there’s dignity in starting fresh for the right reasons. Take a look at Harville Hendrix or John Gottman's work on rehabilitating a marriage. For many, it can be done. Take an active role.
In addition to focusing on what is making you unhappy, let your husband know what would make you feel better. For example, if you miss spending time with your girlfriends, tell your husband that a monthly girl's night out would make you happy. Likewise, letting your husband know what you need from him, such as thank yous, affection or time alone can give you a starting point to fix your unhappiness. You may need to take time to list the things you need to make yourself happy before talking to your husband, or you may find yourself stuck during the conversation.
This is the oldest trick in the book. Why do we start a relationship hoping a man is going to change? It’s important to accept your boyfriend for who he is, in the flesh. If you fell in love with your idea of him, and not the real him, that’s not his fault. If you are pushing him to do things he doesn’t want to do, it’s not going to make him happy.
It is important to address your unhappiness as soon as possible, according to licensed clinical psychologist Willard F. Harley, Jr., in the article "When Should You Tell Your Spouse, 'We Have a Problem,'" on the website, Marriage Builders. "Don't let your problems build up before you find solutions," he says. Easily resolvable issues can become major problems if you hide your feelings for too long. Although it is important to get your general message to your husband, before you talk to him think about what, specifically, is making you unhappy. For instance, if your husband expects you to be a stay-at-home mom but you would like to work, tell him. Using specifics will give you and your husband an idea of what steps to take to make you feel more satisfied.
When you sit down to talk with your spouse about what's working and what isn't, do you hear crickets? Or feel like nothing changes, no matter how vocal you are about your feelings? That's a problem, says Turndorf. "The most powerful tool we have for resolving our conflicts is listening and understanding one another," she says. "When we invite our partners to share what we've done to let them down, and when we truly listen and understand their feelings, decades of hurt and anger can easily fade away." So make a point of listening for the underlying emotions and messages in your partner's words — everyday issues, like yelling about whose turn it is to take out the trash, could be stemming from something deeper. "In most situations where couples go from being best friends to loveless opponents, I uncover a pattern of poor communication, dashed expectations and unhealed resentments," says Gadoua. "They think the fight really is about taking the garbage out, when in fact it's more likely about one or both feeling unappreciated, overwhelmed or unacknowledged." And once you finally hear what they're trying to tell you (or vice versa) you can get to the bottom of the real issue.
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