I was inspired to write this article by a reader’s comment. “My husband and I have been together since high school and got married 12 years ago,” said Jessie on How to Know if Your Husband Still Loves You. “We’ve always been comfortable together, but over the past couple years I’ve been getting the feeling he no longer wants to be with me. Our relationship is just one of convenience. All of the signs he doesn’t love me are there, and he says a lot of very very hurtful things to me. He tries to make me feel like a horrible person and he attacks the things I say and do. After he says all these mean things to me he wants me to act as though everything is alright. He says I need to smile and be happy etc. but I’m feeling like I could crawl up in a ball and die. Are these signs your marriage is over? I think so but it would help to get an outside opinion.”
I think the “sense of humor” argument is actually different from other traits. The reason is finding someone with the same sense of humor is like finding someone that’s on our “wavelength.” People can have radically differing opinions on politics, religion, philosophy, etc. and can at least agree to simply not talk about those things. This can work, but our sense of humor is such a core personality trait. It’s really a big part of who we are. Now does your partner have to actually be funny? No. They do have to have the same sense of humor, though. I don’t think they need to make you laugh but they have to be able to laugh at the same things you do. Now back to types of humor. I agree with what Evan said that Kelly seems to be looking for a personality type that might not be positive i.e. a narcissist. A good sense of humor should always involve at least a degree of self deprecation.
If we're not conscious about it, a simple criticism like "you're not good at loading the dishwasher," can evolve into "load the dishwasher this way." Suddenly, we're meticulously telling our husbands how to do everything, which, according to Weks, can leave a man feeling backed into a corner. "You don't realize how controlling you are with him and over time, this chips away at his masculinity," she told me. "Being a good woman is not enough. In order for him to feel good, he must be able to feel like a man around you."
"People mistakenly believe that they shouldn't ask for what they want from their partner, when in actuality it is the best way to communicate and get what you want from your relationship. Your partner shouldn't expect you to meet all their needs—expecting someone to 'complete' you is a romantic idea but not a healthy one. But healthy couples do work together to make sure the most important needs are being met." —Clark
Too often these women — even the strongest, smartest, most independent of them — weirdly believe that if they inflict enough pain back onto their partners or exact enough control of them, they’ll suddenly get with the program. Instead, the opposite usually happens. Their partners — not feeling loved enough and tired of feeling nagged, controlled, and criticized — do the opposite. They withdraw and tune out. And the cycle of drama and dysfunction only becomes more vicious and protracted.
He told me he has incredibly high expectations for the world and the world simply doesn't meet them. He feels that he needs to hold people accountable to higher expectations and believes the world is "dumbing down", going to a more mediocre way of thinking. After he said that, I asked him why he doesn't change his expectations, if he knows no one will live up to them, wouldn't having lower expectations and having people meet them make him happier? He told me perhaps, but he is unwilling to do that because then the world would win, and he wouldn't be keeping his beliefs. Aaargh!
So, you need to figure out if you’re just going through the normal ups and downs of marriage…or if you’re truly not in love with him. How do you do that? You could try individual counseling, couples therapy, or even Mort Fertel’s “alternative to therapy” (a friend of mine LOVES how Fertel coaches marriages — his ad is at the end of my article above).
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.
It’s one thing to leave a downer partner you’re casually or seriously dating in order to take care of your own needs, but what happens when you meet and marry a happy person, start having a wonderful life and children together, and then your previously happy partner starts becoming moody/depressed? What if the depression is caused by a terminal illness or some other life-altering event? Do you get a divorce so you can take care of yourself?
It's normal to feel a twinge of jealousy whenever you think about your single friends going out there and doing whatever they want, talking to different guys and flirting with anyone without guilt. But if you feel that way most of the time, that's a sign that you're looking for something different than what you have. Pay attention to how often you feel jealous of their lifestyle.
It is important to address your unhappiness as soon as possible, according to licensed clinical psychologist Willard F. Harley, Jr., in the article "When Should You Tell Your Spouse, 'We Have a Problem,'" on the website, Marriage Builders. "Don't let your problems build up before you find solutions," he says. Easily resolvable issues can become major problems if you hide your feelings for too long. Although it is important to get your general message to your husband, before you talk to him think about what, specifically, is making you unhappy. For instance, if your husband expects you to be a stay-at-home mom but you would like to work, tell him. Using specifics will give you and your husband an idea of what steps to take to make you feel more satisfied.
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:
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.
Despite this we resolved to try to remain together for the sake of our children. At least that is what I read into the situation. In reality it was another avoidance tactic on both our parts. Avoiding the very obvious point that the marriage had been dead for years. We were no longer friends let alone lovers. Despite the agreement to try, and for her and I not to stray, the infidelities continued on her side. Random men picking her up in some cases, others found for her by her friends.
No stress to look good all the time. You could stress out about how you look and let a man judge you for what you wear or what you look like without makeup. Or, you could say screw it and realize how happy you are wearing whatever the hell you want. Without a man, you could spend a week in the same clothes without a shower if you want. I don’t recommend that, but you get what I mean. You get to dress for you, not someone else.
Steve Horsmon is a Certified Professional Life Coach and owner of Goodguys2Greatmen Relationship Coaching in Livermore, Colorado. He has appeared on local television, blog radio, telesummits, and podcasts all related to maintaining healthy relationships. Steve provides intensely personal, action oriented coaching services for men. He provides 1-on-1 coaching, private retreats and workshops designed to give men new knowledge, skills and mindset to achieve their relationship goals. He is a committed, lifelong mentor who teaches his clients to discover their masculine power, take bold action and create the life they want. He has written articles and guest blogs for numerous relationship and expert websites including his own blog. You can connect with him via Facebook too.
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…
If your husband stops displaying interest in you on a physical and emotional level, this can be a sign that he is unhappy. Consider some of the behavior patterns your husband used to display and compare them to the way things are now. If he no longer initiates intimate relations, or seems uninterested in talking to you about your day, then something has changed.
I’ve been married for 3 years but we have been together for 9 1/2 we meet in high school he has been the only man for me, we do not have children yet because we are still young. Recently we have been fighting more than usual and it’s over dumb things, I have gone out twice recently with my friends which is a girl and my boss ( he is gay and my husband knows he’s married ) but he still gets mad that I’ve gone out we do nothing wrong , we go eat or chill at his house and it’s not just us two alone. I don’t say anything when he wants to go out I even encourage him to do so, so he doesn’t feel like he’s stuck at the house I want him to have fun and I trust him I just wish it was the same for me I’ve never cheated and don’t plan to, I’m 25 he’s about to be 27 like I said young no children I think we should be able to go out with friends without any problems or em my wrong?
Sometimes we love those people who don’t love us back and as devastating as that is, all we can do is move on. I was in love with a guy for almost 6 years and I went through a lot of ups and downs. Out of the blue he basically told me he didn’t love me anymore and this is where our chapter ends. After 6 years, that’s all I got. I grappled with the thought for weeks and then I just accepted that this person no longer loved me. Regardless of how much love I poured into it, they didn’t even love me back or care. I was devastated, this happened months ago and I’m still devastated ya know but time heals everything. I know I gave it my all and that person decided that it wasn’t good enough for them. What do you do? You gotta pick up the pieces of your broken heart, take care of yourself, and move on. It’s not the end of the world, it just feels like it right now because your heart is broken. From one broken-hearted girl to the other, we are strong beautiful women and we will get through it. It was a setback but it’s not over for us. GOD bless you and I pray for peace, joy, and true love for you and anyone else suffering from an earth shattering heartbreak.
I was speaking with one of my homegirls this weekend and she was telling me about how she’s on the verge of breaking up with her man. When I asked her why, she stated that he didn’t treat her the same way he use to back in the days. Apparently, when they first got together he was happy, energetic and just loved to be around her 24/7. but now he seems distant, distracted and somewhat emotionally unavailable. My next question to her caught her completely off-guard (which was surprising, because I thought it was a fairly easy and expected question): “What’s wrong with him?”
I have been with my fiancee for over three years now, and we have a 2 year old and an 8 month old. Talk about stress! I’m not really sure if our relationship is at an end, though. He left me for his high school crush (who was in a relationship at the time) while I was pregnant. We got back together when he realized how foolish that was, and promptly cheated on me with a random girl from a bar (in the backseat of his sister’s car while she was driving no less). Since then, he has made some progress, but still insists on going to strip clubs (but gets furious if he even thinks that I look at another man). He has become a much better father, but still plays video games for hours on end instead of getting a job while our rent goes unpaid and we live on food stamps. When I got a decent tax return, he used it to go buy another car instead of paying our bills. We can’t even afford to put plates on the car!!! Last night, we were changing, and his friend happened to be in the hallway when my fiancee opened the door. He got mad at ME for having my shirt off! Is this salvageable? Can I help him to grow up, or should I just give up? He does NOTHING. I work, cook, clean, change the diapers, do the laundry, and even help him with his homework. I can’t live like this anymore, but I am not financially able to leave. I feel like he makes little changes… but is that ennough?
There are some people (often mathematicians), who I say something to, and I think, “Oh my gosh, that HAS to make you laugh or at least smile”, and it doesn’t. That instantly creates a ton of distance. Not only could I not date such people, but I couldn’t be close friends and I don’t feel particularly comfortable in their presence, because were not “on the same wavelength.”
And in case of using drugs, make him engaged in other things like family get together, outing with kids etc. Don't always think of his bad habit. When he is not using any drugs act like everything is going ok. And force him to go out with you and your kids. Make use of kids. If they force, and you support he will definitely spend time with you and slowly slowly he could get out of drugs. Relax and pray to God he will stay with you.
I kept telling him that I Knew something, if not an affair, was up. He finally admitted that there was something wrong and he didnt understand it. He explained that he loved me, he still believed we were soulmates but for some reason he wasn’t content. He insisted it was not my fault and there was no other woman. He felt he needed some time to discover himself as he’d never lived alone. Having lived with him since the age of 16 I thought maybe space was what we both needed and I agreed for him to go travelling. He had always been drawn to a particular country and its culture so I suggested he to go there. He was hoping I’d suggest that, I think he even leaned the conversation that way … just as I suspected from the moment he left, there was another woman waiting out there for him – he moved straight in with her and pretended he was staying with a male business client he had befriended. I eventually got the truth from him and he explained that he’d met her a few months before moving to that country. She was the reason for the passwords, etc. He said he couldn’t keep away from her – it was like some unexplained spiritual thing. They weren’t matched, he didn’t much like her as a person, and (I know this sounds pompous but) she is less attractive than me and not at all his type. He said that she had told him that she felt the same unexplained attraction to him. He said that when he moved in with her he knew what a mistake he’d made but (same old story) she had psychological issues (I’ve read her blog and can confirm this as she talks about her mental problems on there) and he felt an obligation to do things properly.
I adore this man(I wouldn’t have married him otherwise) and really want this relationship to work but I do not know what to do. If we did separate, I’d be homeless and penniless. My mental health is getting worse( I have minor problems as a result of a head trauma several years ago, the compensation being the reason I left work, so he knows all about it) and no self esteem. I have already tried committing suicide once.
If he starts spending more time with his friends than earlier, it may be a sign that he`s is not happy with you anymore. Moreover, if he finds new and new excuses to avoid you and you rarely see him and talk to him, it’s a sure sign your relationship is over. Couples shouldn’t have secrets, because even the smallest lie can ruin any strong relationship.
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…
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Loyalty to your partner is a tricky issue, especially when they show weakness. Humans are not so far removed from the laws of the jungle. The best I can say is to treat others the way you want to be treated. Don’t be a self sacrificing altruist if that is not who you are or who you present yourself to be. That should lessen the guilt. That said, I’d feel depressed if I abandoned someone like that. And later in life, if I were to fall into similiar circumstances, I might experience an intense insecurity or paranoia about having my partner do that to me. It might add to my moodiness, further exacerbating the situation until the prophecy is self fulfilled. That would be karma transmitting my suffering. We live in a society. We share the consequences of everyone’s actions. I don’t understand it when people say that happiness is an individual responsibility.
Many women stay in relationships longer than they should because they tend to put the needs of others before their own. And since women often naturally take on the role of caretakers, they can lose parts of their own identity — and a sense of their own needs — in the process. "In order to face her relationship unhappiness, a woman needs to stop distracting herself by putting other people's needs ahead of her own," says Gadoua. "Doing this can be a way of avoiding her own painful truth." So if you find yourself getting unnecessarily involved in a fight between your mother and sister, or you're always rushing around trying to make other people's lives easier, it might be time to take a hard look at your own relationship.