Relationships are delicate, complex, and always changing. Some marriages last 70 years, some last 72 days (looking at you, Kim)—and while neither of those options is necessarily right or wrong, most people enter a relationship hoping it will last a long time, if not a lifetime. There is no one-size-fits-all secret to a lasting, happy, and faithful relationship, but there are some general guidelines.
Obviously, sex should never be a requirement. Your partner might not be in the mood, they might want to wait, your sex drives are mismatched, or there might be a myriad of scenarios holding them back from getting intimate physically, none of which are bad or necessarily negative. That said, your partner should be willing to communicate their wants, desires, or their differences from you in the bedroom.
There are tons of hints that your partner is unhappy, Tina B. Tessina, aka Dr. Romance, psychotherapist and author of Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences , tells Bustle. If they're constantly checking their phone instead of giving you their undivided attention, that is no good. Not paying attention during the conversation is a definite sign, she says, along with disinterest in being together irritability. If you try to broach the subject and they don't want to discuss it, that can be another sign.
Well it is of no surprise the outright majority will be females who have been wronged by males. I myself am in a different circumstance. I have tried to push ahead in life with my relationship, for the pure fact that we have two children and it seems to be the morally right and socially acceptable thing to do. However, I am ending it….for the pure fact that I do not love this woman as one who needs a partner they can trust, should. It is to no fault of her own, she could not see what the relationship needed, and had instead focused on what articles like this had listed. Communication is paramount, but as much as everyone thinks they know, it is a two way street and listening is skill that we as humans must learn.
"In my job as a divorce mediator, often a spouse wants to tell me the whole backstory to their divorce. But I can tell you what really happened — in every divorce, someone (but usually both people) feels dismissed, discounted, disrespected, or devalued. These are major indicators of unhappiness." —Elinor Robin, PhD, Divorce Mediator with A Friendly Divorce in Gainesville, FL

It’s popular among Christian literature for women to discuss the types of wives we should be, and the actions we should take to help ensure a happy husband who doesn’t stray. I can get along with that to some extent. I’ll admit that I shave my legs every day, and that I dress nice and put on makeup more for my spouse than I do myself. I mean, it makes me feel good, but it also makes me feel good to look appealing for him. 
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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.
When my sister and I were kids we would celebrate St. Nicholas day. We are American but my mother is from a German family. My mother had us put our shoes outside our bedroom door so St. Nicholas could leave us goodies in our shoes. The next morning we would check our shoes and find various nuts and small chocolate candies wrapped in foil to look like coins.
Inevitably, there will be bumpy times in your relationship. If it has come to a point that you're not sure where to turn, try your hardest to make things right. This doesn't mean endlessly talk about what you should be doing, do it! Schedule the counseling session. If you truly love your husband and want to make things right, don't always expect him to make the first step.
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!

I think your question, Katie, is good snapshot of most questions I get on this blog: some form of “I’m dissatisfied with my boyfriend. Should I stay or should I go?” The thing is that he may have the biggest heart in the world, but if he’s perpetually unemployed, a serial cheater, a drug addict, a commitmentphobe, or a terrible communicator, it really doesn’t matter how much you love him. I would say the same thing about a guy who is depressed. It’s not that he’s not worthy of love, but at a certain point, you have to ask if this is the life you want to lead: waiting for days for him to emerge from his self-imposed cocoon while you try to act like everything’s normal. I think there are enough quality people out there who are NOT this way that you don’t have to accept that from a relationship. I’ve written this before and gotten a little bit of blowback on it.


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 »
You describe a difficult situation. I don't think anyone can CONTROL their emotions but I'm convinced they can INFLUENCE them (by which I mean work to make them more positive—but not by simply deciding to make them more positive). All human beings have executive functions that can, most of the time, mute the effect of negative emotions on behavior (e.g., we can get angry but choose not to yell or hit).
When two people have been together for a long time and have developed a routine and have accumulated a large plate of responsibilities, it’s not uncommon for one or both of the partners to start feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes there’s just a lot of pressure and a person involuntarily takes it out on their spouse. This can lead to a person feeling unappreciated and/or resentful…
I have been married to my wife for 4 years now. Our marriage got into trouble a couple of months into it. I have issues that needed to be dealt with, including my bout with visual enhancement (i dont want to call it pornography because it really isn’t since it doesn’t involve nudity, but let’s just say it isn’t appropriate for a man to look at while married to his wife.) It’s something that has been a part of me for 20 years, but have been seriously battling it for the last 5 years. I’ve had ups and downs, but with my wife complaining months into our marriage while i was trying to serve in our church because i loved to, she complained about the apartment we lived in, she complained about the money i was making, she complained about everything and she started showing her misery with life, then i got sick and was admitted into the hospital. During that period while i was trying to recoup in the hospital, my wife got into it with my sister and sent her a nasty e-mail which made my sister cry. The wife then tells me i need to stay at my mother’s house to recoup because she had to care for our three month old son. It was that interim when i tried to recoup from surgery that she refuses to talk to me and leaves me dry. When I get back after two weeks she lets out all these issues between us, mainly that she has declared my mother and sister her enemy because of percieved attempts on their part to dethrone her as my wife. She couldn’t prove half of her accusations, but more importantly she’s not sorry that she hurt my sister with that wicked e-mail. We then went into counseling but she only went because she declared i was the sole problem for the marriage. Her unrepentance, in her mind, was not a factor. She forced me to ban my mother from our house, ban my sister from having a relationship with our son, declared my family people non-grata, and gets upset everytime i visit my mom or honor her on mother’s day. She doesn’t understand having my mother, who raised me without my dad around, sacrificed her life to give me what i needed, banned from MY house is hurting me in so many ways, yet she doesn’t care. She has her family to go to, her friends she can see any time, and yet her response to me when i bring that up is “you made yourself second.” Ultimately, my wife did not want ANY hand in helping me deal with my own “sexual” problems. Instead I had to deal with it on my own. The sex between us became a problem, the fact that she totally disrespected me in front of our first counselor by bringing up stuff about me and blindsiding me, like the whole “semi-pornography” as i’ll call it from here, and leaving me to the wolves. She entered each counseling session with the intent of embarassing me and in her mind “fixing me,” yet never intending to deal with her issues. After a few episodes of her physically assaulting me (something to this day she NEVER apologized for,) insulting my relatives and causing a near brawl because of her selfish actions, and ultimately throwing me under the bus instead of working with me after i did commit an error against my wife. The error i committed can be construed as adultery, but it did not involve me having an affair or any kind of relationship with another woman. But it did involve me preparing to do some kind of extra curricular activity. Bottom line, even though that did cause a strain, my wife agreed we would work it out. Yet after 3 years, she not only disrespects me in front of my son, she not only acknowledges having my mother, who is very old, totally on the outside of our family while she enjoys the benefits of having her family in on EVERY outing and occasion we have, like our son’s birthday for example, she not only curses me out and reminds me of my sins against while justifying her sins (like posting an ad on a dating site, then when she was caught she lied TWICE about it to me,) she kicked me MULTIPLE times for the year I was unemployed and looking for work while attending school. During my unemployment she never offered ONCE to help pay for my school tuition, threatened to kick me out of the house, sometimes threatened to have her family beat the crap out of me, and got upset when i tried to do some work outside of school for experience because it interfered with her sleep time. And through all of this, she justifies it all, NEVER APOLOGIZED for any of the bad stuff she did and continues to do, yet blames the failing marriage on me. I was wrong with the stuff I did onto her and wish I can take it back, but it’s not enough even if I got from counselor to counselor and acknowledge i was wrong. She to this day insists it’s all my fault and i have no reason to feel any pain. I’m in a box, my wife resents that i feel any emotion not coinciding with hers, and makes me feel bad for expressing any kind of pain. We are currently seeing a counselor, and i have been talking to this counselor about my “semi-pornography” thing, but my wife even scoffs at that, too…I have been seriously thinking about moving out and ultimately getting a divorce. My wife is not serious about fixing this. She just wants to destroy me and then claim she tried to fix this. I am boxed in, and guilted into thinking i have no right to feel sadness or pain…
I dated my wife for two years, prior to marriage. Been married for 8 years now. We have 1 beautiful daughter, and bought a house in the city she has always wanted to live in. I have provided, supported and never asked anything of her that wasnt unreasonable. We have never had any problems till recently. I just got out of a job, that has supported us for nearly 8 years, and have had a two month slump in work. But I am now back on my feet, providing, supporting, and not once did we get behind. She got stressed and found support, and eventually started an emotional relationship with another man. Long story short, I gave her an ultimatium, end it or I leave. She ended it, but claims she has nobody to talk to, wont look at me, talk to me, and cant be in the same room as me. She is now bashing me to close friends, and blowing things way out of proportion. I am lost, confused, and still in love with her. But I cant live like this. She refuses any counseling, and says to leave her alone, but doesnt want to leave. I need help.

As a matter of fact he almost has. I mean, read your own words, ” Am just devastated. What is wrong with me? Am I not beautiful enough?”. Self esteem issues dear. Yours is at a dangerously low level and he knows it. He’s using it against you. You need to dump that weasel and start working on your self esteem. Make sure that it doesn’t depend on how other people treat you. Once you achieve that no one will ever play you like this again and get away with it.
See if they take your requests seriously. If they don't make continued effort over a period of a month. Ask them if they have decided that they cannot or will not make an investment in the way you have asked for. If they say yes, then ask if there was some misunderstanding or information they lacked to make progress. If they say yes then revisit that discussion. If no (or if that lack has been addressed) then ask them if there is something they would like to tell you about their needs that perhaps you might not be meeting (remember this is key: you want to raise the standard of your relationship not of one partner’s relational skill set).
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.
The second thing that occurred to me is that you may be making excuses to stay where you are. Sometimes we’re afraid to make big changes in our lives, or tackle big confrontations with people, so we revert to “protecting” them….when we’re really just protecting ourselves. I don’t know if this is what you’re doing, but it is something to be aware of.
I will most certainly survive this. In retrospect, I am glad I owned up to my “affair” and let everything be known. On occasions, I might have regreted, but after her seeing her behavior after being cuaght, I am confident I did not make a mistake. Simply becuase there is nothing better than clear conciousness, knowing I did all that I could. Comparing that with her ridicoulus explanations for posting on numerous sites, constantly lying, pretending nothing happened. And, yes, there was not a single “sorry” from her in all this.
When your husband is feeling under the weather, take care of him. Don't make fun of him because he's acting like a baby. Most likely, he is acting like a baby, but let him know you are there for him. Make him his favorite meal, go to the store to get medicine, and let him watch his favorite TV show. In the same respect, if he is just having a crappy day, give him his space and let him know that you are there for him if he needs you.
I have been struggling in my relationship for seven months. I have been in this relationship for almost three years common law and we have a 1.5 year old daighter. We each have a six year old from previous relationships as well. I know I’m settling. He’s brought major financial problems on this home – thankfully we have nothing joint in our finances so it was all in his name- but then I still have to overcompensate on the bills to make HIS half ends meet. He’s proven to be a pathological liar, after this long he still doesn’t accept my six year old son as his own- even though I have fully bonded with his six year old daughter, so much that I have a friendship with his ex. He goes through cycles of atleast 3 days a month where he won’t talk to me not even to respond in small talk- like I don’t exist and he plays mind games this entire time. He’s ripped me off $4000 and now he’s drug himself so far down he can’t really even cover his bills. I’ve almost left multiple times ( actually he’d be the one leaving cause he can’t afford this home) but keep giving him ” one more chance”. I’m not sure if I’m delusional thinking maybe one day he’ll come to the end of himself and grow up and that things will get better. But I’m finding mySelf feeling more trapped and unhappy. 90% of what has kept me here is my daughter I have with him . What do I do? How do I kick someone out that has nothing? How do I avoid being manipulated into giving him another chance ? How do I protect myself from his vindictiveness after I do end it ? Please, any advice will do. Of course there are so many other details but there isn’t enough time or space.
Nothing makes a man ready to listen to how dissatisfied you are like hearing how your friend Jessica’s husband takes care of the kids every Saturday for the whole afternoon while she trains for a triathlon.  Obviously he will commiserate with you over the injustice that Jessica, who despite her athleticism is not even that hot, has a better husband than you have.  He might even be so overcome with sympathy that he walks directly out of the house.  Don’t worry, I’m sure he is headed to buy you flowers to make up for his stupidity and selfishness.
My husband and I have been together for a little over 3 and half years and we’ve been married for a year and 3 months. Things have not been going well for quite some time. For the last 3 weeks we haven’t even been living together. He clearly has anger issues, he always has, but they have progressively gotten worse and worse. When we first met he had a lot of dependency on alcohol, he asked me for help to stop drinking and for a while he had it under control, but the last few months he has been returning to his old habits. He is constantly accusing me of cheating, to the point of literally saying it everyday. But this is just insane, because his jealousy is so bad that I only go out with him. I avoid girl’s night and me time to avoid horrendous fights. He’s constantly threatening me that he’s done, he wants a divorce, etc, but then shortly after begs for forgiveness. It has become a vicious circle. It seems as though he begs for forgiveness because he realizes everything he has to give up, I’m the bread winner in the relationship, I take care of all the bills and if he doesn’t stay with me he has to go live with his parents. Did I mention I’m 25 yrs old and he’s 30, it’s an awful lot of pressure because I take care of everything. His fits of anger have actually gotten to the point of truly scaring me, he starts punching and hitting things, it’s really bizarre. He has these ups and downs that remind of someone that is bi-polar. The sad part is as much as I’ve always loved him and part of me has always known that I made a mistake. Ever time my mind is made up and I’m ready to throw in the towel he somehow sucks me back in. As soon as I start to change my mind wondering if we can make it work, he acts like a crazed maniac, thus reminding me of why I want out. Like I mentioned earlier it’s a vicious circle and happens like clock work now. I believe the right thing for me to do is move on, but I can’t seem to make that happen. Since I keep getting drawn back in I start to wonder if I’m giving up to soon. But I’m so tired of fighting, being hurt, let down, you name it. I mean my husband actually talks bad about me behind my back, that can’t be normal, right? Unfortunately there are so many more issues I haven’t even touched on, but I’m hoping that with the information I have given you might be able to provide me with some insight into how to handle this and the direction I should be headed!
Husband not happy in the marriage should be the ultimate priority that every woman has to deal with in order to help them achieve a successful relationship and marriage. There are countless numbers of reasons and methods each woman and wife should learn and apply on their personal life to make their beloved man not only feeling happy but also have the grateful and proud sensation to be their spouse.
Thank you for sharing this. Right now, my soon to be ex husband of 12 years, is with his girlfriend and my children (as well as her children). I keep beating myself up and wondering why he is happier with her than he was with me. But in the end, I know I loved him well and couldn’t have done anything differently. I am not solely responsible for his happiness. Now he’s going out into the world to find it. But the world will come up empty in the end. Only God can fill the void he’s looking to fill. Please pray for me.
You took the words right out of my mouth except I moved with our 3 month old. I gave up basically everything I know only to go sleep with his back to me we hardly talk anymore it seems he seems so different now. There will be times, ALOT of times I throw myself at him only to be rejected which hurts because I just had a baby. When were driving I ALWAYS see him looking at girls walking om the sidewalks in his side and rear view mirrors. It just makes me so worthless snd unloved I know how you feel =\. It ***** BELEIVE me I know. I never in a million years thought moving in with my best friend and lover with our child that is feel mire alone than I ever have in the 24 years of my life. He hasn't said he's unhappy .... It's the things he DOSENT say that I know he feels, that hurts the most is that he can't come to ME anymore and if he can't come to me then who am I supposed to go to? Hrs all I have now...and lately it seems as though hrs been longggg checked out from this relationship....he was right to say he feels "more like roomates than anything" it's just sad that we had to fall apart lime this

I think your question, Katie, is good snapshot of most questions I get on this blog: some form of “I’m dissatisfied with my boyfriend. Should I stay or should I go?” The thing is that he may have the biggest heart in the world, but if he’s perpetually unemployed, a serial cheater, a drug addict, a commitmentphobe, or a terrible communicator, it really doesn’t matter how much you love him. I would say the same thing about a guy who is depressed. It’s not that he’s not worthy of love, but at a certain point, you have to ask if this is the life you want to lead: waiting for days for him to emerge from his self-imposed cocoon while you try to act like everything’s normal. I think there are enough quality people out there who are NOT this way that you don’t have to accept that from a relationship. I’ve written this before and gotten a little bit of blowback on it.
well me and my husband dated for 4 years before we got married and once we ,arried after a few months he told me he cheated on me with a girl in the same complex his uncle lived in where he stayed weekends drinking ect well i felt he trapped me because id never of married him had he told me before i took my vows well we talked it out even though it hurt me bad we worked through all of it and were doing good well now he is finding every reason to always be gone out walking or at his uncles house he smokes behind my back then lies about it and we fight all the time because of his lies i got married so we can spend time with him share a life but how can you do that when he finds a million reasons to be gone every day it hurts me and i have told him but he says oh im doing better im staying home more now uh no ur not but you cant tell him nothing cuz he is always right and he has bipolar so he flips out on me and a small arguement turns into us fighting physically i finally told him we can fix this ill get a apartment for me and my son and move on because i can sit alone all day by myself i dont need him with me to do that so i am truly feeling at a loss just not sure what to do any more
I like this inspirational article! My husband of almost 12 years of marriage, is has been having an affair for 3 years. I am devastated and hurting so bad. My husband told me that he is so unhappy and doesn’t like himself, life and me. Out of respect of my marriage and my promise to God, I stuck by my husband despite his constant lying, arrogance, rages, jealousy of me, meanness, convenient part time dad, disrespecting me to the point that his talk and actions are considered emotional and mental abuse. I know I did the best I could in our marriage! I do realize that my husband has to own his issues and they are not mind. God will get me through this, however I am hurting so bad!!
I encourage you to keep writing about your thoughts and feelings. I think you’ll find that you know more about your marriage and your husband then you think you know… And the best way to figure complicated questions out is to write about them. Writing helps you sort through your thoughts and emotions, and discover the truth that maybe hidden deep within you. I encourage you to write in your private journal, or here if you’d like. I’m happy to be a sounding board, but I don’t give marriage advice and I can’t offer counseling.
I have been married for 25 years and have two grown up children who live at home. The first ten years were great, then my husband had a serious drink problem. We lost everything, he got help and sobriety came and I soldered on. I know he went through a lot, we all did. We lost everything, my feelings of self worth and feeling special diminished. We lost our home and everything. During that period, he changed as a person. One day I found out he was dabbling again with alcohol, so I took my kids and left. I went away for a year, he searched for me and I returned living in a rough area in a council house it was tough. I loved him and wanted it to work, maybe because I wanted to think he wanted me more so that a bottle of vodka. Anyway, we have moved about a lot trying to get back on our feet but financially it's always a struggle. I feel so unhappy, we work, talk and that's it. No excitement, fun and not much laughter. I just feel I can never trust him, as I know he has lied to me a few times. He told me he had given up smoking and he hasn't. How can I trust a man that cannot tell the truth, how can I love someone who doesn't love me enough to be honest. Our sexual relationship died many years ago, and not have a sexual relationship for over ten years makes me feel less of a woman. I have never strayed, but I just want to be happy overall. I just don't know what to do. I can't afford to live on my own, I am in a country with a visa but no savings. I feel I have no way out. I need to find myself, before I get lost.
Learn to be patient. It takes time to change a man already neck deep in cheating and emotional affair. Give your husband time to dump his mistresses and stick to you. Do not challenge or abuse him but advice him on the financial, mental, health and moral implications of his actions. Soon, he will realize that the woman outside is not better than the one he is married to and he will become forced to stop cheating.
5. Keep an open mind: This goes for a lot of things (seriously, just try the restaurant he wants you to try), but we are specifically talking in the bedroom. Everybody has different tastes, and if you want to keep your love life exciting (visit Babeland for ideas and inspiration), it’s wise to approach sex with a relaxed, non-judgmental attitude. As long as it doesn’t hurt you or throw your moral compass out of whack, adopt an “I’ll try anything once and twice if I like it” attitude. And if he’s into something you just can’t get down with? Try super hard not to let him know you think his kink is weird or gross. Most people have already had enough sexual shame to last them a lifetime (thanks, abstinence-only sex education!).

I have no idea where to begin or how to fix my marriage. I’ve been married 20 years to man who I feel as though he only loves me when I’m loving him the way he wants me to love him. I feel as though he only gives me attention when he has a buzz on. He drinks everyday and when the buzz sets in it’s “Hi hon how are you?” Otherwise he’s sullen and sits in front of the TV. I didn’t even get a card for our 20th anniversary. Whenever we go anywhere or do anything he ends getting drunk and lecturing me and chasting me and telling me I’ve failed him as his wife and mother of his children. I know that I’ve been emotionally abused by him and over the years I became so sad and depressed and just recently I made plans to end my life but b/c Ilove my children too much I couldn’t go through with it. I told my husband how I went to the cemetery to buy a plot for me and he never even put his arms around me. I’ve spend many nights and days crying, depressed, I’ve been to therapy, bought self help books, tried medication and then I found exercise and emotionally I’m feeling better. He would complain that I wouldn’t get up on the weeknds and go for a walk with him but now that I’m walking I asked him to come with me, he doesn’t go with me. Now I’ve turned into the abuser, I don’t talk to him I just go about my day as though it’s only me and my kids. I have more fun with my kids than I do with him. There’s no passion when it comes to sex. I never hear anything good about myself only the things that I don’t do for him and how I make him miserable and don’t support him. I’m afraid if I leave I’ll be even more depressed but if I stay all I’m doing is adding to my misery. I have more sad memories of our time together than I do of good ones. I think I can hold my head up high and walk away with dignity but at the same time I have empathy for him (which he doesn’t me for) yet I’m confused, hurt, angry and don’t know what to do. How do I fix this?
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.
I’ve forgiven him. I brought dysfunction in to this marriage also (codependency). I spent over 13years trying to change him (there’s the codep. in me lol) He’s a product of his childhood as am I. But that doesn’t make it hurt any less and doesn’t mean we have to stay in the marriage. I’m no longer angry or hurt. Nor do I feel shame or guilt for how I feel towards him now. Mentally I’ve made peace with what’s happened. I taught him how to treat me and I enabled him. But there’s simply been too much damage. I have no desire to even think about liking him. I’m investing all my energy on my recovery and attempting to help my 12yr old son learn healthy ways to deal with his negative emotions. I’ve got a long way to go. I continue to tell myself “progress not perfection”

If you've given up fighting, but feel further away than ever, it's a sign that you've reached a crossroads. "If there's a fight and the couple doesn't talk about what happened, or becomes gridlocked in their position and refuses to listen to their partner's perspective, that's not good," says Cole. However, you might still be able to turn it around. "Unresolved conflict can fool us into thinking that our love is lost, when it's actually only buried beneath the ashes of smoldering resentment and anger," says Turndorf. In other words, the love could still be there, but you just can't access it. To get back in touch with those feelings, turn toward your partner emotionally —which creates closeness and connection—rather than ignoring them or responding negatively, which creates distance and disengagement. "Fights can lead to greater intimacy if the couple processes the fight and repairs the relationship," says Cole. It's up to you to decide whether you've got it in you to turn toward your husband and give it one last go, or whether you've maxed out your ability to keep fighting for your relationship.
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