I am the woman who loved him, supported him, and put up with him for well over two years.  I am the woman who kept coming back after he broke up with me. I am the woman who compensated and paid for everything because he couldn’t get a job. I am the woman who was there for him 24/7.  His family, of course, was on the other side of the country.  One of his siblings did say “we have always known there was something off about him, thank you for loving him enough to figure it out”, but then he was bullied by the rest of the family. So there was zero support coming from anyone.
June 23, 2012 at 9:32 pm I know how you feel. I have been married almost 28yrs to my highschool sweatheart and just yesterday came to the end of my rope and told him to move out. He has changed so much over the past few months that i just could take anymore. Our daughter (27 and 19) and i have begged him to get help but he just won’t. He has lost almost 50 pounds (not in a healthy way), is buying hipster clothes, walks around in a daze and goes from jekyl to hyde in a flash. We can’t decide if he is having severe depression with mania or simply a midlife crisis. I’ve tried talking to him and it’s always the same “I don’t know” answer for everything. He does say he still loves me and is still in love with me but we don’t communicate at all. I told him I feel like I am married with a husband but am all alone and he said “but i’m here all the time”. Well his body is but he’s not and i told him so and again just silence with the hands in the air. He no longer states how miserable he is only that he doesn’t know anything (what he’s doing, what he wants, etc). So after months of trying and crying I’ve decided it’s up to him. One of our cat’s just died, my 80yr old mother has probable cancer again and I struggle with bipolar and diabetes (insulin pump) myself. Needless to say I have enough on my plate and I can honestly say I tried! During a six week therapy course we were told about co-dependent relationships. This may or may not apply, but you don’t go down on a sinking ship. Sometimes, In my case (since I see a therapist and take meds) it was a matter of saying to my husband “I’m riding the train to wellness, your welcome to come along, if not, have a nice life”.
He Might Mean That Some Aspect Of The Marriage Is Falling Short:  Often men will offer you vague, sweeping statements about your marriage when in reality, they aren’t happy with one or two aspects of it that have become very problematic.  And there are many possible causes of this.  Just some examples are not enough intimacy, differences about money, him feeling as if he is tied down or doesn’t have enough autonomy in his life, or him feeling like marriage isn’t what he expected.

Thank you- I will definitely check out the marriage manual. My husband has a good relationship with his parents, and I have said in the past that I love them as if they were my own ( they treat me like a true daughter). I think he might just be scared that our marriage is failing. I am glad ge told me now, as opposed to when it might have been too late. I think the rest of the week will be a indicator of how we can overcome this obstacle.


This same approach should be applied to the other things he does that may bother you from time to time. Don't get hung up about things, and if he does something that you really dislike, just let him know. Holding on to little things and petty grudges is not a good idea for you or your husband. Many of the little annoyances you may have you will forget about in a few weeks anyway, so it is not worth it to get upset over them.
Thank you for this. I think that is my problem. I have looked for everything that is wrong. I am going to do my best to hold my high and just keep pushing until I can do better. I am just angry with myself for over looking the signs with I first started dating my husband. I guess I need to forgive myself for believing in him. For giving him the benefit of the doubt.
That sounds way easier than it was. It was hard. It was agonizing to walk away from a relationship that brought so much happiness, peace and contentment in my life. It’s hard to give up those dreams I had with my ex: the children I was going to have, the life we were going to lead. I come from a family with a depressed parent, and it was HARD for me to break my pattern of “caretaking” and co-dependency and taking on all the responsibility. I feel sad to lose someone I love, angry at him and myself, guilty for “abandoning” my boyfriend. And yet I’ve seen up close from my own parents what Julia is 1.1 says:  if they can’t take responsibility and take care of themselves, there’s little hope of having a functional relationship until they do. And I’ve done so much work to get to a happy, contented point in my life that I can’t give that up now, just to hold onto a relationship that isn’t meeting my needs.

Actually, it can be, if you make it that way. But, if you do so, be sure that the only thing your couple will think about is how to break free. If we want a marriage based on love, not fear, we should leave the space for both of us to breathe and expand. Freedom doesn’t mean doing whatever comes to your mind. You two know what is a part of your deal. But you want your husband to respect the deal because of love, not because he has no other options. Don’t make him choose between you and everything else. Love gives us wings, fear tides us in chains. You choose which one you’re gonna base your marriage on.


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…

So I just recently found out I'm 5 weeks pregnant with my first child. My boyfriend is freaking out over the situation, he keeps saying it's not a good time (It's never a good time to have a baby) and he doesn't want me to keep it. I've tried talking to him, but it usually turns into an argument. I haven't told my family I'm pregnant yet so I dont really have anyone else to vent to about this.
At some point in our lives, we have realized that most men lean on a fragile ego. This is what makes them vulnerable to a few words of appreciation. We recommend that use the words of appreciation like thank you when they do anything for you, even the smallest tiniest things. If you want to receive more of that behavior, this is the way! Relationships and affection are part of a healthy lifestyle. You have to express appreciation at all times when that guy who drives you crazy does something for you. Believe it, they will love it.
If I am talking to someone who might have a different outlook from mine I find areas that we do have a common experience and talk and laugh about that.  Expecting to be entertained by your mate does not seem to be very realistic or mature.  I understand the pull and the excitement that the back and forth banter can create, but lets be real that kind of banter is all about being INTERESTING not INTERESTED.  If you find someone who does that with you, you will most likely end up with someone who will compete with you for attention.
First and foremost, we must realize that everyone is ultimately responsible for their own happiness and simultaneously that everyone exerts a powerful influence on the happiness of those around them. A study by a former colleague, Nicholas Christakis, suggests that we influence the happiness of people close to us physically as well as the happiness of people close to us personally up to three degrees of separation (meaning not just the friends of our friends but their friends as well). How might this influence come about? Not by the advice we give or the action we take to try to make others happier but simply by being happy ourselves. Emotions, it turns out, are as contagious as infectious diseases (possibly as a result of the mirror neuron system). Some of us seem to be more contagious than others and some of us especially susceptible to being "infected" by others, but most of us have had firsthand experience in bringing others up or down with our moods and in being brought up or down by the moods of others.
My husband is not interested in having sex with me anymore. When there is a fight, he always says” Isn’t it enoough for me to bear you and bear your big mouth” He repeats this comment a lot. He is not interested in going out with me and children as we used to be in the past. I take the children all by myself. He comes from work and he is on facebook till very late at night. when I approach him for intimate relationship, sometimes he says I am tired. I am the one who always approach him In my country it is not easy to ask for a divorce. I have kids. He spends money on them. I don’t think I am going to have another relationship with anybody. How am I going to save this marriage? He has changed.
I don’t know if anyone will read this but I feel so alone the last 2 weeks that this is the best I can do. My first serious relationship ended a week and a half ago. The man I first moved in with, first went on vacations with, got a cat with, and planned my life with. There were no real indications that this was coming, we had been slightly more distant the last two months but we were both very stressed by out individual troubles so I didn’t think much of it. I came home one evening to my boyfriend telling me it was over. My entire world that I had just built on my own was shattered. I had a home I loved in a town I loved, I had my own cat, my new second family, my boyfriend, and I was finally starting school. And it was all gone because he decided he didn’t want me anymore. He didn’t think we were right for each other in the long run. But I did. I so saw my life with this man and he didn’t see it back.. I am completely grief stricken and I can barely bring myself to do the things I have to do. I struggle so much with getting through the day and I’m embarrassed of my inability to “fake it till I make it”. I feel like my sadness is a burden to others and that I’m just negative to be around. But I can’t hide how utterly distraught I am. I wish I could start feeling better, but I just cant. My brain always reverts back to our love and what I can’t have anymore. I wish and dream that he will take me back and that makes me even more embarrassed. I wish I could just accept that we can never be together and just move on. But I miss him so much.

I dated this girl once who was very into verbal jousting – you know that thing you do where you tease each other, even nonsensically, before you kiss? The problem was, she liked to keep going and I would have to have a riposte for every cute little jibe. Then she would respond with something else and I would have to have yet another comeback, and it would go on like this. I found the game exhausting, but she got off on it. We didn’t last very long, but I guess she needed to find someone who could “keep up” as Evan puts it.


It's extremely difficult, if not impossible, to disentangle our mood from a loved one's mood without swinging too far in the other direction, becoming disinterested and emotionally cut off as a means of self-preservation. Living with an unhappy person is, in many ways, like living with someone who's ill: the illness is theirs, but the experience belongs to the caregiver as well. Thinking of a loved one's unhappiness as an illness brings to mind some points I made in an earlier post, The Caregiver's Manifesto, that, in modified form, may apply:
every single time my husband and i argue he wants to leave me or he hates me and hes disgusted with me. just recently his father passed and said he didn’t want me to attend the funeral not once but at least 5 or 6 times;he never understands how i feel when i try to explain something or why im upset..im a student so i have no job or money i want to leave him but i feel trapped i really do love him but if has told me he wants to leave over and over again hes even though about suicide and that makes me feel ill! how can i stay with someone that feel this way let alone spill there true feelings to me when hes angry its funny cause i don’t feel warmth from him but when were arguing i get a lot of heat
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.
I think that the willingness to get help is the key here. I have been depressed several times in my life but as an introspective person who’d much rather be happy, I seek help when I need it and can get better pretty quick. Many people deal with depression for a myriad of reasons, all of them are capable of being loved and loving. However, if they are unable to care for themselves and get the help they need, they aren’t worth being in a relationship with.
After confronting him, he told me he needs time and space to think if he wants to be in the relationship… he has been arrogant towards me and insensitive too… I went to talk to him, telling him we are about to make a big commitment for a house and it will be a new beginning something we can focus and it will be so nice… and i’ve asked him to text the girl to tell her that they need to end the friendship but he refused… i was hurt again…
Being the friend or partner of someone who has huge mental or emotional issues takes it’s toll on you.  Only a martyr or a doormat will stay for the abuse though, and I am neither.  It was very sad, I wish him the best, and I hope he does find someone who will put up with his erratic rollercoaster behavior.  I also hope she sees it WAY faster than I did, so she can make her decision before she falls in love with him.  And I hope she is the type who feels good about dedicating her life to someone else, because she will never count. The disorder will always come first.
My prayer is that you find strength, courage, and peace. May you find a good place to live, and may you connect with friends and family who are supportive and compassionate. I pray for everything to go smoothly as you and your boyfriend make decisions, and for a new home and other practical parts of moving to fall into place quickly and easily. I pray for healing for you and him, and for wisdom as you parent your child after this breakup. May you find faith, hope, and even joy in your future! I pray for all good things for you, for your child, for your life and future relationships.

I agree with Brian, too. All my life, I would hear that women want men with a sense of humor. That always puzzled me, as I never found that I cared about that myself. Then, I was reading an article by another male dating advisor, I think linked from this site, and I got it. He was explaining how women are emotional beings, and when they say they want a man with a sense of humor, they’re really looking for an emotional connection. Aha! I could now relate to my own version of that: I always valued being friends with guys, so much so that sometimes when there was a guy I liked, I would envy his female friends more than his girlfriend–if their relationship appeard to me to be superficially based.
Hey, ive been married for not even two months now and me and my wife are already seperated due to the temper i have and the possesiveness and jelousy i have. The reason i am possesiveness is that ive seen her talk to her exes all the time and exes to me are a huge red flag, it stopped after we got married and are now expecting a baby, but since then she never would do anything i wanted and i would start to get agitated until one day i blew up. Her mother talked her into making me leave the house and be without communication with her. Everytime i try to communicate with her, she says it makes her sick to even talk to me. I found out secretly that she has been talking to an ex on facebook since we split up and telling him that she doesnt want it to work and if hes coming home on august. I want this to work and i know i need to change, but how do i get her to see that when she doesnt believe me, or even cares to put any effort in it

"A common cause of unhappiness in a relationship is making assumptions about what one's partner is saying. For instance, one partner may say something as innocuous as 'I'm feeling lazy today.' The other partner will then give a number of suggestions so that she doesn't feel lazy. 'You can go to the gym. Or, you mentioned you wanted to go get some fabric for a new quilt. You could do that.' Meanwhile, the first partner feels misunderstood. The only way to clear up assumptions is to discuss them." —Janet Zinn, licensed social worker and psychotherapist


My boyfriend told me is isn't happy, that things aren't the same between us. He says I'm not fun anymore and that I'm more serious now and I don't hold on a conversation with him like I use to. I'm going through some things, I lost my job things at home aren't good. I don't know what to do, he says he wants to me with me and he loves me and is in love with me. Should I give him space. I cant imagine losing him, he means everything to me . I want to change, I don't want to lose him and what we .
I think you first need to decide if you want to continue on in this relationship the way it is right now. Then, you need to make that decision work any way you can….some women leave their marriages and rely on social services or family members for help….other women stay in less-than-perfect marriages because that’s the best option for them….but the happiest people are those who make their own choices and focus on ways to be happy no matter what…

"Sharing bucket lists, and making them together, is a great way to get to know each other," Masini told INSIDER. "When your bucket lists are compatible, and you can see yourself supporting your partner's bucket list wishes, and you see them supporting yours, you're in a relationship that can go the distance. But, if you and your partner think each others' bucket list wishes are crazy and don't have a place in the relationship — then this isn't 'the one.'"
If your formerly even-tempered partner has suddenly developed a short fuse, it’s time to take a hard look at the relationship. For one thing, venting their anger at you like this is not cool and needs to be addressed right away. But as for what it means within the relationship, life coach Kali Rogers told Bustle, "If you notice a shift in patience, that could be a sign your partner isn't happy with your compatibility,” adding, “Short fuses are common when people are unhappy in relationships, and [are] a way for your partner to get pent-up anger out."
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.

Start by evaluating why you are unhappy. Then consider when your partner/boyfriend might be receptive to hearing you. Do not wait until an argument, or until the next trigger for your unhappiness. Try and think of realistic, positive outcomes and how to achieve them. Maybe after a fun activity, or during a private moment, try asking them what they think about the problem. Start small. And be open minded! Sometimes the problem looks different once you lay it out on the table. Remember, this is a relationship -- you have to be able to give AND take!

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

You mentioned someone going through a period of suffering in their life that they need time to get through (so this suffering is not permanent) and individuals who might have frequent dips in mood. I have a question about individuals who have a condition they have been affected by for a long time and will probably stay with them for the rest of their life. My mother has had what appears to me to be borderline personality disorder and/or bipolar disorder for the past 23 years since I was born. How much responsibility is placed on the person for their behavior who has difficulty controlling their moods? My mother can obviously control her behavior around strangers (maybe she is around strangers in times of better mood), but I see her take out her emotions, problems, aggressions in private on her caregivers (my grandfather and grandmother). She is not able to take responsibility for her actions at all and is not expected to by her caregivers. Is this appropriate? Is it appropriate to forgive her behavior in every instance? Or to hold her accountable for her actions? Should her rude behavior, explosive emotions, inability to listen be excused as something she has no control over? Or should the person be held accountable for certain aspects of her behavior? This is difficult for me to deal with because my emotions in response to her behavior when I am around her get discounted by my grandparents because they use the model where she "is not able to control herself at all so she must be forgiven in all circumstances". Is this model of forgiving every circumstance appropriate? Thank your for your response.


Me and my boyfriend have been going out for 4years and he says im contolling and he is unhappy now and he doesnt want to fix anything he just wants to end it. I love him alot but he isnt even trying to work it out or giving me a chance. He says he has waited for me to change and he sees that im the same person and he is done waiting. We use to talk about getting married and now he tells me he doesnt see us getting married. I dont want to loose him and i want to fight for him and he sees he doesnt want me to fight for him because its to late for that.
Develop the habit of solving problems in your marriage - financial problems, family problems, emotional problems, sexual problems, business problems and you will be able to stop your husband from cheating. See your husband's cheating as an opportunity to grow the marriage. See it as a challenge to modify your attitude and behavior positively. Change if you must, modify the way you handle your marriage, discard old philosophy that is not giving you the right results in your marriage for new ones. The moment you are able to change yourself, your husband and everything else in your marriage will change. You will be able to stop your husband's cheating without a fight. Take this to heart and change yourself and everything else will change. Try it.

In my day to day, you know, get up, shower, brush my teeth, get dressed, go to work… the issues don’t seem overly huge. When it seems all wrong to me is when I have the urge to call my 17 year old and tell her not to go home after school. This is because I haven’t been around him and seen for myself that he’s not in that other part of himself. He was really mean to her one day while I was not at home and I’ve never forgiven myself for not protecting her from that. He apologized to her and we had about 2 weeks apart and she seems okay now but I can’t get it out of my mind.
Thank you… although it has been months in a loveless, no affection and no passion relationship, i still held on thinking things would change but he finally told me after me forcing him to talk to me that he doesn’t love or care for me any more and he can not force himself…. its day one and it hurts as hell, messed up thing is we will live together with a toddler… I am spinning… do not know what to do or where to go!
Oh, as I read all of these comments, I am struck by how much so many of us are struggling with our relationships. My marriage of 20 years ended last year when my husband decided he was in love with one of his students and wanted to make a life with her. The two of us and our daughter had moved across the world for his temporary job and now I feel used and trapped! When I found out about this (no, he wasn’t honest about it, I found out accidentally)and he said he wanted us to live together as a family until I “got on my feet” and until he figured out what he was doing in this other relationship,I knew I couldn’t do that. I knew it because even when he was supposedly in our marriage, even at the best of times, he was not very giving or open emotionally and quite happy just working. I knew there was no way he could be present in any kind of relationship with me if he was falling in love with someone else!
Hello I have a story to share with everyone who is currently having issues in his or her relationship. I was faced with a serious problem at a point in my relationship,I am married to a man I started dating at a very tender age. It was rosy at the earlier stage we got married in 2007,we had our first kid a year later....things were working out fine..but something happen at some point that almost wrecked our marriage,he started staying out late,coming home with a lot of stains and all sorts of women fragrance on him and spend weekends in a hotel with ladies of different sizes and so on....I tried all I could to talk to him but wouldn't listen. I saw a counsellor who I thought could help all to no avail. I felt it was wrong to disclose my family issues with other people but the moment I did there was a solution...I met an old friend back in high school whom I talked to she said she had similar problem in the past,that a certain man helped her by doing some spell stuff which I decline initially...to cut the long story short,I gave it a try at the end of the whole spell casting process and prayers,bath it worked. Am happy with my man now and we having a splendid reunion. Contact this address to get help also,palomaspelltemple@yahoo.com. Am recommending this to you because it helps.
When you were first married, you probably felt understood, heard, and connected with your husband. You were polite. You didn’t want to hurt him – and he was sensitive to your feelings. But time passes, and the stress of daily life and kids and jobs and money and house and aging parents and health issues take a toll…and you find that you don’t have the time and patience it takes to be polite. This isn’t necessarily a sign your marriage is over – it just means you need to make time and effort to communicate with love and respect.
That's step one. Step two is actually doing something about it, before you worry for one more second — and before things get worse. "Use these signs as an invitation to have a conversation," author and life coach Kali Rogers tells Bustle. "Asking questions about the behavior, 'Are you stressed? Can I help?' or asking for what we want, 'I'd like to hold hands more' is a better use of your time." It may feel awkward, but it's important to open those lines of communication so you can figure out how to handle this, together. Here are some more signs you might want to address.
A suitable response would be something like: “well, it’s hurtful to hear you say this but I’m so glad that you are being honest with me so that I can address it.  Can you share with me why you are unhappy so that I can decide how to make the appropriate changes?  I want for you to be fulfilled so that we can be happy together.  And I know that you love me, so let’s work together so that we are both genuinely happy in this marriage.”

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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