I have a confession. Sometimes, when my partner is distracted, I just look at him and wonder, what the hell is happening in that head of his? It's not that he doesn't communicate. He does. But I still wonder sometimes if he's really happy in our relationship. I know I can't be alone in this. Wouldn't we all love to be able to know for sure what's in the hearts and minds of our partners at any given moment? I do my best to look for the signs he's not happy in the relationship, but I can't help but wish someone very smart would hurry up and develop that mind reading tech already.
Having a solid communication is the key element of every relationship. Unfortunately, our true communication is often contained in that which is unspoken. We change communication for manipulation. Things like silent treatment or expecting others to read our minds can only be used for the purpose of torturing our partner and ourselves also. We were given words to communicate with, not crystal balls. And when we say something, we should really mean it and stand behind it. There’s no need for nagging. If you are consistent and keep your words and actions in alignment, if you take your own words seriously, that’s the way your husband’s gonna understand them too.
We are brought up with the expectation that men are supposed and expected to be pursuers. Not every woman will go after a man who “goes to the mountain like a lion” to paraphrase DJ (from another discussion). Or rather, not every man will have a woman following him there. So we just disqualify ourselves from the available gene pool. I think that “self-reliance” mostly is about the definition we put in the word. Not ever listening to advice or suggestions, and/or bulldozing other people for having different opinions, is also forms of self-reliance. Sure, I don’t need a spouse… Read more »
Obviously I don't know your situation, but it sounds like it truly sucks. I don't know your background. What made you fall in love, how well did you know your husband before your married, why did you marry, etc. I'm sure that your husband loves you very much but he has clearly lost his way. I don't know why he seeks solitude but there may be a better reason than you suspect. I don't know why he is emotionally detached but I'm sure that it's not your fault and that the reason is anything other than what you might imagine it to be. All that being said, and giving him the benefit of the doubt, you need to go together to see a marriage counselor as soon as possible. They speak to lots of couples in similar situations and I believe that they can help you find out why your husband acts the way he does and how to help. You both need to focus on strengthening your relationship. This effort should take priority over your kids. They need you two to love each other and be happy together because you are their model of true love.
Notice that nothing about that response was accusatory. It’s so tempting to ask him where you couldn’t meet his impossibly high standards but try very hard to resist this urge. Because he has approached you and been very honest with you. This gives you a chance to fix things before they get worse. And although I know that it may not feel like it right now, this is a definite advantage and you truly can fix this. I hear from so many women who have already been served divorce papers or whose husband has already left the home. This isn’t the case here and these are very important distinctions.
I really want to make our marriage work and i’m doing and will do all it takes to save it.My wife in the meantime is saying that she wants to move out to get her peace of mind & sanity back,she says she wants to do away with all the negatives she has in her mind about me and says i’m irreplaceable.I found out that she told the other man via msg that she is counting her days & looking forward to spending her life with him.
I heard from a wife who said: “the other day, my husband said that he needed to be honest with me about something very important. I thought he was going to tell me that he lost his job or that we were struggling financially. But I was completely wrong. And I was completely blindsided when he said that although he still loves me, he is not happy being married to me. I was in so much shock, I couldn’t even get out a decent response. He said he felt that I deserved to know the truth about this. He never said what he intends to do about it. So I’m still not sure why he would even tell me this unless he’s trying to warn me that he is getting ready to file for a divorce. I know that I need to ask him to clarify all of this, but the idea of him further telling me why and how he’s not happy is almost more than I can bear. What do men really mean when they say that they love you but aren’t happily married to you?”
Some couples consider the "D" word -- Divorce -- off limits. If you and your husband have never thrown the "D" word around in an argument, but your husband starts to use it more frequently now, this is symptomatic that he is unhappy in the marriage. The fact that he uses the "D" word could indicate that he has given the possibility of divorce some thought, so it is best to confront him on what he is thinking.
"A major mistake I see couples making that leads to great unhappiness is not listening to each other. It's such a simple thing, but it's so important. Ask them how they feel and then listen without interrupting (even if you're dying to interrupt them). Build in uninterrupted time with each other, sans phone, kids, and TV. Then repeat back to them to ensure they feel heard and that you accurately heard it." —Durvasula
I have been married to my wife for 22 years this year. She and I have had a very up and down life together. she told me when we got married she wanted to stay home and raise children. I agreed. Now we have a 17 year old and a 9 year old. She has never had to work, and my job has been high stress and full of disappointments as I have strived to make enough for us to have the lifestyle we both say we want. I have been wrongfully terminated three times (proven in court). I have really struggled to rebuild my career but being in a public position has been very strenuous. As a longtime CEO and now private consultant in the public sector for the past 6 years my economic stress has been huge. I gained a 100 pounds over the years. So in 1999, my wife had an affair with a man, while I was working on the road to make enough money to take care of my family and find a way for us to relocate together. I was devastated. We did go to marriage counseling and our marriage survived this very hurtful situation. I found out she blamed me for the affair, saying our life had taken a toll on our emotionally and she thought she needed to jump ship to find economic security. I relocated us and then again to another state. So we reconnected and had our next little one. Now we have a second home in a well known lake community about 2 hours from our home. She over the past three to four years has taken to going there on her own because she is on a local talk show and says doing that gives her purpose and makes her happy. I usually have to stay behind and work and take care of the kids when she goes there. She gets no pay for the show, it is quite popular and she goes out usually when she is there with her local girlfriends some married, some divorced and some just barfly’s in their late 40’s looking to hook up and be told their sexy. She has gotten into several situations where either a friend has texted me seeing her out with the girls and other men and been suspicious and so on. I have told her repeatedly if you put yourself in these situations sooner or later something bad will happen that will affect us negatively. She thinks I don’t trust her and she loves to dance and have fun. She thinks I am being overly paranoid. She also says she has not been attracted to me because of my weight and that is what has been keeping us apart and less than intimate. She says she loves sex and she is always used to being the center of attention, she is still in great shape and gorgeous even at 49. She gets hit on all the time by men and she seems to enjoy the third party attention and affirmation of her sex appeal still. So then 6 months ago I find out she has been having another cyber affair over facebook and she hooked up with this guy in our lake town to have dinner and chat… she says nothing happened. He is the brother of one of her closets friends who comes over every week to have dinner with us as she just got divorced herself. Our two sons are friends and play baseball together. So I confronted her about all this and she just said, It was stupid I don’t want out of our marriage and she says she ended it. I even found a card he sent her where he said, he felt their meeting had brought them to a new level in their relationship. So I went on a diet and have lost about 50 pounds thus far. Things seemed better, then she went over to the lake house this past weekend with a married girlfriend that was visiting from out of town, who has been her friend since childhood. They went to the bar with the girls, my wife got so drunk she couldn’t drive and was talking to some 20 something man for a longtime and being very confrontational. She drinks at least a couple glasses of wine per day she says it keeps her sane in my high stress and uncertain world of finances. I got behind on our taxes after 2008 and dug a big hole and have been negotiating with the IRS to find a way to settle them. Being self-employed is hard to keep them current and pay for everything. Everytime I confront her about how her going out makes me feel really insecure she just says I am holding onto the past and that I think she is a whore and/or slut, and she has done nothing wrong. I wish I could believe her, but I just can’t get 100% comfortable with this lifestyle or trusting her again. She has broken my heart now two times. Somehow I still love her. I love our family and I don’t want to break it up. But this is killing me and she always places the blame on me for all circumstances and then says this is what gets her stressed out. I am just lost. I don’t know what I should do, or how I can get our relationship back on track or whether she really wants to do so. Everytime we fight she says after our son graduates we are over. That just makes my heart sink… then later she will come back and say, I was just mad, I didn’t mean it. I don’t want our marriage to end. But it happens again always and it did last night as well. This time I just said, “You created this situation, I am not willing to accept the blame for it, and I can see our attorney next week and end this if that is what you want?” Then she says I threatened to divorce her and it is my fault again. I can’t get her words out of my mind I am fat, she is not attracted to her and when we are intimate she has to hold her breath or she says I nearly crush her until she can’t breath. Now I am a big guy. 6’3″ and 280 pounds still and most women find me attractive. Even her girlfriends say they would kill to have her life. Many of them have told me that they think she is crazy to not be truly happy she has a kind, loving and caring man in her life that treats her like a queen and never berates her, or abuses her mentally or physically. I try to make everything our family needs come true… I work really hard, but I also attract a great deal of public detractors due to my public life by way of bloggers and web postings. I am a public speaker, author and public sector consultant engaged in negotiating deals between local governments and businesses that want to expand or relocate to a new area and create jobs. I have been doing this for 22 years since we first married. I don’t have any other knowledge of how to make enough to pay our bills. I feel trapped, confused and don’t know if my marriage is salvageable and/or whether I should keep trying. I have suggested that we go to a counselor again, but she says no, that is not what she needs. So, long story but I am totally at a loss for what direction I should choose.
I don’t know where you live, but one thing that helps women no matter where they are is a strong support network. Talk to the women in your life: your sister, mom, friends, neighbors, or even your husband’s family members if they’re open to you. The best way to figure out if you should leave your marriage (or just your husband’s family) is by reaching out for support in person. You might be able to stay with a friend or family member while you figure out if you should leave your marriage.
@happy in marriage. I think to post something like what you have on a thread like this is completely out of order and I HOPE you get to read this. Most of the people on here did not choose for their relationships to end? How SMUG of you to come on waxing lyrical about children from two parent families much better off that from broken homes etc? yes, in the ideal world, two parents are far better, but if you have taken the time to read a lot of these posts you will see that most of the parents are ‘single’ already with an estranged/diengaged/abusive or non-commited spouse. surely in cases like this, a single happy parent is better than two miserable ones?
This is just a good standard practice in a relationship, and it’s great for nudging a loved one out of a slump. It involves really seeing them, the contributions they make, and highlighting them. If your partner works long hours and then takes on a lot of the work at home in the evenings so that you can pursue your passions, acknowledge them for that. If they’re giving of their time and patience with your family, let them know you notice that.
You're in a tough spot. The thing about enabling behavior is that superficially it makes things easier, so people who enable remain attached to doing it. If you decide you shouldn't enable your mom's behavior (and I'm in no position to judge one way or another) it seems to me the key would be becoming confident enough in that decision (out of a genuine and well-considered belief that enabling her behavior isn't in her or your best interests) that you simply—without ever needing to discuss it—stop enabling her behavior. Such a change would of course be met with resistance that you'd need to be prepared for, which is why you must first be absolutely convinced your decision is the right one and then calmly stick to your guns (keeping your own emotions at bay would be key). Good luck.
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.
It takes patience to develop a strong relationship, and if you pressure your boyfriend to move in together or get engaged, chances are he will feel like you’re forcing him. It’s best to let things happen naturally and realize that if you get along, that’s all that matters and if you don’t get along, moving in together isn’t going to solve that problem.
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!
If your partner is harboring some form of unhappiness, it might feel like pulling teeth when trying to get them to chat. And this can be most obvious when talking about mundane things. "Saying things like 'it's cold outside' doesn't require a response, but most couples respond regardless because they simply enjoy talking to each other," Rogers says.
Dr. Fran Walfish, a Beverly Hills-based family and relationship psychotherapist and author of The Self-Aware Parent, describes a potentially troubling scenario in which one partner exercises control over the other. This is especially problematic if "one partner feels over-controlled by the other spouse, and has made great attempts to verbalize his or her feelings and feels defeated because his or her expressions and words are not validated," says Walfish. One way this issue might present itself? If a spouse controls the finances of the family, and prohibits the other partner from having their own credit card or checking account.