The question of how to make your husband happy obviously isn't an easy one to answer. It's going to differ from person to person. You need to begin by trying to determine what it is that is at the root of his sadness. Obviously talking with him is the route to take but you need to be mindful of how you approach this subject. Simply sitting down with your spouse and asking him point blank why he's sad, isn't the best way. He'll likely tell you that he's fine and won't share anything with you. The reason men do this is quite simple. They don't like emotional confrontations and if part of their discontent is connected to you, they know that you'll react strongly. That's why you need to be more approachable, and understanding when it comes to sharing feelings. Show your husband that you want to be accepting and helpful. When he does share small details about his day with you, don't take offense if they involve you. Listen attentively and then tell him that you're grateful he was so honest and that you want to learn from your mistakes.
Often, men become withdrawn because their life isn't what they anticipated it would be. If you feel this may be a contributing factor in how your spouse is feeling, create new experiences for you two to share in. Surprise him with a week away or arrange for him to participate in something that he loves to do, whether it's working out at the gym or restoring an old car. Sometimes when a man has something new and exciting to focus on, it will change his entire attitude and you'll start to see his sunny disposition shining through again.
Nicole I’m sorry you’re going through that episode but believe you’re going to get past it. I know it hurt but it seem hard now to let him go but it’s best that he stay gone instead of coming in and out of your life. Now that would be a major set back towards healing. Take deep breath long walks and trust in God. He is the only one who can lift your pain
If you feel your man might be growing unhappy in your relationship, I suggest you sit down and talk to him. Lay it out on the table and tell him, to be honest about how he really feels. At the end of the day, you could be worried about nothing. However, a sudden change in behavior is rarely ever a good sign in a relationship. So you have every right in the world to wonder what’s really going on.
When we had a big fight just this MArch, it was so hard to reconcile because of our situation. He was there and I am here. He doesn’t want to talk to me, or to my son. He doesn’t want to solve the problem! The situation stayed like that for almost a month. Without communication. Then he came home because he had an accident. I thought we would be make peace then. But he blamed the accident on me. He doesn’t want to connect with me anymore, though he said he would try. We had a big fight at home and he finally said that he doesn’t want to fight because the children will be affected. When I asked him if he still loves me, he said “I don’t know” and he was angry for making him answer that and he said he needed time. When his sick leave was over, he left again for work.
I think your advice is good, here, and if a man can achieve loving himself, and being happy within himself without validation, then that’s great, and that’s what he should do. I’m not absolutely sure what form this validation takes, but I’m assuming it’s largely through sex, at least that’s how it comes across to me: that a man like this may want perhaps-too-frequent sex from his wife in order to maintain his masculine ego. If this is the case, and maybe even if it isn’t, it makes me think of how this need for masculine validation is a product… Read more »

Your article “A Man Won’t Be Happy WITH You, If He’s Not Happy With Himself”. Was very insightful and it made me realize that I’ve been very harsh on my boyfriend lately. I feel like in some way I’ve failed as a girlfriend to be more transparent to his needs. My boyfriend is retired military so much of his training has some type of hand in him being unemotionally available. Plus his job is very very very demanding lately its been tough on him and his health, our relationship. Here I am still standing firm in God and faith that seasons come and go, storms shall pass.
Our relationship had really hid the skids once we got married and work for him took over. I tried to write him a letter to let him know how much his critically comments were hurting me and taking over my life and self esteem, he grabbed the letter and said, “I dont have time for your shit” I was really depressed at the time and drinking alot which he hated. Worst of all , he didnt really care that A: I was upset and B: I was no coping to look after our child. He told me one day he hated me so much he could punch me in the face. He has aggression and childhood issues, which i was always sympathetic for as well as my family. As our 2 year anniversary for our wedding came around which he didnt want to spend with me i decided to go away and it changed my life. I felt a sense of freedom and relief when i got home and ended my marriage. My child welcomed the fact, although only young sensed the tension. I have moved out but my husband will not let go and will do anything to keep us together. This has been a hard and abusive time. We had tried counselling in the past which I literally had to drag him too, since then he has vowed to change and do anything it takes to keep our family together. I am worried that illl fall into his charms. We have a ridiculous sex life even when we hate each other its full on passion, but thats not enough for the emotional hole i had when with him. Should we give full on counselling a go, or should i cut the ties and move onto a stable loving person???? INDIA
As completely freaked out and scared as I was, I immediately began talking to a few close women friends. I opened a bank account in my own name and had all of my pay checks deposited there and I made arrangements for my daughter and I to stay with a friend for a few weeks while I looked for place to live. I live in a city that is one of the most expensive places in the world so was very concerned I would not be able to afford an apartment for my daughter and I, but eventually got something but every year I am confronted with rent increases and increasing utility bills – so, the current sitation is not sustainable. I asked for and got a promotion at work. I applied for government help as a single parent and get a little bit every two weeks.

Jackie H – When I start having to make a pros and cons list, I know it’s time to go.  Once I start dissecting a man in that way, I’ve already lost respect to the point that I can pick him apart like nobody’s business and I already know that the cons list will be long.  Why even bother?  Additionally, I think that, unless the writer is experiencing some other issue, why is she even bringing up, “He’s not funny”?  If they have a good comfort level with each other, that’s what really matters.  It’s seems a mute point to attack him for being not funny enough at this point in the relationship, and imho, like she’s ‘looking” for a reason to leave.  Funny “enough” is one of those things you look at up front, during the dating phase, and if she thought he was funny enough up front, why is she dissecting him like this now.  This says to me there is a larger problem which has nothing to do with “funny” enough. What she’s really saying is that he’s not “enough” of something else….  I like funny but life, in an of itself, is serious business.  And if he is taking care of business, why even go there?  If “is he funny enough” a serious consideration, then no wonder I have such a hard time dating.  Maybe I’m just taking the wrong stuff into consideration.  But hey, if I’m going for really funny, then just give me the best looking guy in the room too!  Geez, at this point, I’d take cute, kind, attentive and caring, a decent job, no big baggage, and someone who actually wants to get to know me with enough chemistry to make some smoldering happen.  That apparently is far too much to ask these days.  If I want some funny, I’ll YouTube my favorite old Eddie Izzard skits. 
At this moment, I am still ready to move on, but again, the fault is mine!! “If you want to stay with me it is OK, otherwise I can’t stop you from leaving” are the actual words”. It is difficult to equalize the things we did to each other, but I cannot forgive her now only to plot how to hurt her bad down the road. This is what she did to me. In her defence for my presenting the evidence, my “affair” constantly came up. She still refuses therapy and I am at a breaking point. She still claims she has not done anything wrong and I guess according to Laurie’s article this smells like the end. I refuse to believe that, but I guess it is a matter of time before more truth smacks me in the face and wakes me up from this illusion that I live in.
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.

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 »


My husband has told me that in addition to not being happy anymore, he is "emotionally involved" with another woman. I know who the woman is and considered her a friend. (BTW- my husband is technically this woman's boss, they work together) He says he feels a connection to her that he has never felt before and can read her emotionally, and he can't do that to me. This woman feels the same towards my hubby and is divorcing her husband (I just found this out). He spoke of several events in our lives where I may not have been happy, or had sacrificed my happiness for his (In my opinion, anyway). I think he basically is trying to get me to be the bad guy. I told him that until he is happy with himself, we can't determine how our marriage will be affected. I am trying to get him to talk to somebody, on his own, as I am. If we are both happy with ourselves an our marriage is still not working, that's the time to look at the next steps.
As we mentioned earlier, women consider that having a partner is the greatest reward for a man. Finally, they care about the house and the children. Unfortunately, men with time, begin to feel less and less cared by their wives. They want women to be their supporter and partner and give something to them. But certain habits are hard to change, so there is a need for sincere conversation and understanding. You want him to keep saying that you are great, but when have you told him the same thing?

The topic of the forum is not to understand why marriaged fall, but to know when they are near the end as is the case with mine. Your comments have some obvious contradictions in them and I would like to point them out. When you forgive someone, that means you move on and do not bring the issue up in the future. If she is trying to get back at me, that means she did not forgive. And you did not read well, I am the one who is willing to forgive, save the marriage and move on. And you also did not read well that I did not have any physical contact with my “affair: who was btw overseas, so yes I cannot stand the fact that she kissed another guy all the while she violently rejects even holding hands with me.


I have even chatted with you name it and I have done it. Been there done that. Things online are virtual as long as they stay online. The internet is a fairytale land where people can be who they want to be or can’t be in real life. In some cases some are delusional enought to believe it all. When it comes to real life meetings that’s when things change. If you are not ready to stand on your own two feet with money in pocket,a job,and a place to move to, I would not be thinking of leaving. I would be thinking of becoming independent enough to get to your destination beyond the door. As thin as your husbands excuse is, it might actually be true and harmless. In any case visualize your life seperate and independant. If this works for you and you can do it then have at it. Just be prepared by thinking about it because many believe once you move out there is no moving back in.

As we mentioned earlier, women consider that having a partner is the greatest reward for a man. Finally, they care about the house and the children. Unfortunately, men with time, begin to feel less and less cared by their wives. They want women to be their supporter and partner and give something to them. But certain habits are hard to change, so there is a need for sincere conversation and understanding. You want him to keep saying that you are great, but when have you told him the same thing?
Kai, you have issues. Sounds like you not only despise your spouse, you have a problem with women in general. We women still earn less than men, have less professional opportunities, face more violence and poverty, all over the world. So, we are far from taking over the planet and raping men. Some women are taught from an early age that their sexuallity is a comodity to help them get a husband or nice things or even a job. In other parts of the world, it can make the difference of whether or not they put food on the table. Maybe your wife is just trying to get your attention or maybe you are imaging things. But you should not be in a relationship with someone you can’t stand being in public with.
Hey Karina, was wondering how things are. Just curious, can you tell me what your ethnicity is? And if others can mention their ethnicity and their partners’ ethnicity. I’m Mexican, and I’m wondering how relationships are across races, and don’t want to generalize when having conversations about it, without getting some feedback from real individuals in struggling relationships to see if ethnicity plays a factor along with culture, upbringing and social class.
I have to agree with John — he brings up a good point. How did it take OP over a year to figure out that her boyfriend isn’t as funny as she’d like him to be? Why was unfunny okay for a year and is suddenly a deal-breaker now? Either way, like a few people said above, when in doubt, don’t. If, for whatever reason, OP is having doubts about her future with the guy, then maybe they don’t have a future. It’s just that, “he’s not funny” sounds like an excuse in this particular case.
Iam also in the same boat , my husband told me few days before that he loves me but not in love with me . It's killing me from inside , he never made me realised that he is not happy with me , I always believed he loves me so much , I was completely satisfied with my marriage .iam very broken now , don't know what will happen in future , I asked him if he has some affair , but he is not telling me anything . I love him so much , it's shocking to hear all this from him .
Even worse, he lost to the one cheater that insists you don't actually have to throw the slammer! I met a few people, one being my best friend sadly, who insisted that you were allowed to just push down hard on the top edge of them with the slammer until the force was too much and suddenly 90-100% of the pile would flip over lol. It lasted a few days until nobody would play with them anymore.
My name is lizzy I had the same problem , my boyfriend n I had been together for 3 years without seeing him or evn sleeping with him , he always make excuses when we are supposed to have app , I love him so much and I realised he is taking advantage of that I have decided not to call him and chat with him , he alwaays insult me when I text him and complain I loved him so much but eventually I have realised that you can lead a horse to the river but you cannot force it to drink
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.
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!
I feel broken. My heart into a million pieces my stomach turned inside out. My head throbbing my eyes wet and my face red. My heart thumps for the laughs we shared over silly things. I wish he would just try again. He said he fell out of love with me and I feel like I am abandoned left in the dark while he finds who he wants and I’m stuck. It’s easy to say these things to “make us women feel better” but the truth is that no one moves on from an ex they thought about a future with, it only fades. Will he want me back when he does what he wants? Will he text me one day and say “I miss you”, that’s the unknown. I’m pregnant with his child early on still and I have no idea what to do. Well I do but my heart wants another thing. He doesn’t want it he strongly goes against me going through with the pregnancy and I just want him to say “I need you and I will be here through everything” he said if this ever happened that he would love it and love me and our baby but I guess it was all a lie. I was there for him through anything he did, he never cheated or anything like that but I could tell we were growing apart. I hate starting over whenever that time comes. This has happened before with us but this time feels so real. He’s confused and tells me one thing and then the next couple days tells me another. He wants to talk to other people and have his old life back he described to me. I didn’t do anything wrong I was always there and I loved him through everything. It can’t just be all black and white. I hold back my tears because I don’t want to feel it. My sister and mom are different they tell me he’s not the one for me and just wanted something temporary they do not know I am pregnant, I am 17. I am not the temporary type of person and he said so many things to me just a month ago and then all of a sudden did this. Is there someone else? Did someone catch his eye? Am I not good enough? I just don’t understand

So I’ve been married since July 2010. Ever since i have been so unhappy. I tried being the “perfect” wife in the beginning & then soon realized I was taking care of EVERYTHING; my husband, the dog, our car, the house, finances, even doing the “man chores”. I started getting tired and am never feeling appreciated. During the holiday’s it is a pain to get him to celebrate or be romantic in any way. He never does anything out-of-the-blue for me and I am still stuck picking up after him and doing favors for him, but he never is returning it. We have been in multiple areguments about this & he says he understands & is sorry, but never shows it. He sometimes will do a favor now, but i get so annoyed & don’t even want to ask anymore because he’ll do it half ass and take the easy way, so i end up having to go back & do it anyways… PLUS he doesn’t even know how to fix or build things. I am always fixing our car, hammering down wall mounts & pictures, messing around in the yard, etc, etc…
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?
But sometimes, things take a turn and all of that reassurance and security can go out the door. If something seems off, that's an issue. Your significant other is supposed to love you and make that clear with communication and action. You shouldn't be up at night wondering if your partner actually likes you or you wasted all of those highly-inspired pins on the wrong person.
It can sometimes be difficult to know if a boyfriend is happy, particularly if your boyfriend isn't skilled at communicating. Since both parties in a relationship need to be happy for the relationship to stand a chance for long-term survival, you should approach your boyfriend if you feel he may not be happy in the relationship. While there is no way to fully know if your boyfriend is happy, there are signs to look for to help determine the state of your relationship.

There are times when I feel so miserable and powerless. He says all the right things when he’s himself. He will tell me I am beautiful, he loves me, his heart beats for me, and how he wants us to get past this area in life where we don’t agree on anything. I don’t think the problem is so much that we don’t agree as I do he won’t let that stand. He thinks if he talks to me long enough, whatever the issue, I will see it his way. When that doesn’t happen, he gets more angry. Then I am stupid, naive, and an idiot that can’t see past the end of my nose.


Even if your boyfriend sometimes talks badly about his mother, it doesn’t give you the right to say anything bad about her. If you don’t want to insult him, you’ll make sure you don’t cross the line with this. Instinctive feelings come up when anyone insults our mothers, and it’s not worth ruining a relationship just by saying a few cheap lines about her. Keep those feelings to yourself and you’ll keep him happy.

I’m the type of person to over-analyze and question everything in life. I realize I cannot change my boyfriend’s sense of humor. I’m not getting any younger and hate the thought of breaking off an otherwise great relationship. The stress on me from constantly questioning a future decision to marry my boyfriend is not helpful toward furthering what could be an amazing relationship. How do I find a way to shake this nagging feeling that marrying him may be a wrong decision because of our humor gap? Or is this difference in our senses of humor a deal breaker? Thank you for a new perspective. –Kelly

My bf’s moodiness came out after 3 months. I was shocked thinking “what is this? ?”. Then it happened more and more often. Walking on eggshells. .he does go to therapy but unfortunately I don’t think it works. He had a traumatic childhood. He acknowledges he’s depressed and takes medication but he will not admit to being moody. I’m so happy go lucky and laid back that at first I just thought I could pull him out of his moods no problem. But after a while it became exhausting and I realized this was his job not mine. It’s tough-never really goes away. I do love him but if I had known this from the beginning I’d have moved on. Also he wants me with him 24/7. So giving him space doesn’t even work.


I recently told my husband of a little over a year (we’ve been togehter 5 years total and have a 2 year old together) that I wanted a seperation. I’m not happy with our marriage and I havn’t been for a long time I don’t believe we should ever have gotten married but at the same time I love him and I’m so scared that I will change my mind. I work full time, go to school full time and take care of our daughter most of the time while he works at a restuarant as a server about 20-25 hours a week making little to know money (and he’s 6 years older). I’m tired of not only carrying the financial burden but of nothing being good enough. Nothing I do seems to be right for him I don’t clean or cook enough. We also are barely ever itimate I’m in my early 20’s and would like to have regular intercourse with my husband and it’s gotten to the point where I feel like I have to beg him to be with me and even when we are he acts like it’s a treat. I’m so scared that somehow he will talk me into staying with him (b/c he can not support himself), but on the other hand he is the father of my child and I don’t want to abandon him to be homeless (he has no family here). I just don’t know where to draw the line? When does it become him taking advantage of me? and how do I prevent him from talking me into staying especially when I KNOW that it would be bad?
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.
Two things occurred to me while reading your story. One is that you have to remember that your husband is a man, not a little boy. You need to let go of the need to take care of him. He’s not your child, and he will deal with your leaving the best way he knows how. You can’t control how he’ll cope — and it’s not your job to make life as smooth as possible for him! Your job is to make the best decision for you and your marriage. And sometimes the best decisions are the most painful.

Also, pay attention in the bedroom: Less sex or less interest in sex is another way to tell that something is up. Indeed, agrees Rogers: "A drop in physical touch is also a sign that the relationship could be on the rocks." Whether it's in the bedroom or out, if things are not so hot between the two of you, your mate might be feeling dispirited about the whole thing.
Thanks for the kind words… but I really don’t  think this is the issue I’m talking about. I’m talking about performing  “being a socially skilled person”, and how dependent this performance really is on external validation, and the decisions of others going your way. The fact is, we hold ourselves responsible for others’ feelings and reactions… something we really have no control over. Part of why we do this is surely the service industry: everyone in customer service gets the message early that customers’ negative feelings are always our fault. But we also have an overarching narrative about personal responsibility… Read more »
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