Try your hardest to focus only on the negative parts of the marriage.  I am sure there were red flags from Day 1.  Of course, there was also the time he drove an hour to meet you for a half hour, or sent you that funny email, or when he first told you he loved you.  But those things pale in comparison to all the crappy stunts he’s pulled, so do your best to erase the positive incidents from your memory entirely.  What good could it do to lead with the positives anyway?  You’re trying to get through to him here, and the best way is to emphasize what a complete mistake this marriage was in the first place.  Wait till you see how hard he tries to fix things once you’ve told him they are entirely unsalvageable!
The most important things in any relationship are as follows; trust, honesty, and communication. All of those traits are necessary for any long-term relationship. To start, gain the confidence to have this talk with your partner. Calm yourself. Think about what you want to say. VERY IMPORTANTLY, assess why you're unhappy. Are they not giving you enough attention? Do they say things that are hurtful? Do you feel misunderstood? When you're ready and comfortable, approach your partner, be straight-forward. Honesty and communication is extremely important. Tell them how you feel. Tell them why you feel the way you do. Tell them what you'd like changed, and then ask them if there's anything you could do differently too. The worst case scenario is that it doesn't work out, but that is okay. You tried to work on something you cared about, and that's what matters. You tried. The best case scenario is that your partner will listen and the both of you will work to improve your relationship.
If your boyfriend is trying to change the way you behave or the way you are in general that definitely means that he`s unhappy in your relationship. If you don`t feel like making any changes, let him know about it. If he gives an ultimatum, do you really want to be with such a person? Love yourself, respect yourself and don’t allow anyone, including your man, ruin your individuality. Discuss things both of you want to change and think about what each of you can do to improve your relationship without making a sacrifice.
You can do whatever you want. You really want to try that new restaurant, but your man said no. You’re crushed. If you were single, you could go whenever you wanted. You can seriously do whatever you want. Haven’t you ever noticed how happy some single women are? They don’t base their happiness on a man. They do what makes them happy and if a man is a part of their life great. If not, great.
My husband has been struggling for a while now. Probably a couple of years that I know of. I told him that if he needed to take some time away from his regular life to try and figure things out for himself, I would support him in that. Well....he thanked me and found a place to stay next month. Alone. He will still go to work, but be away from all other aspects of his routine home life.
Examples of this behavior are “when everything seems like it's going great and then they all of sudden don't return any of your texts, or wait five-plus hours before texting you back when you usually text constantly, or you don't set the next date plan for a week, or not at all even, and your typical relationship modus operandi is to always have the next date planned at the end of the previous one.”
Life does not revolve around one’s self. The pursuit of your own happiness could be selfish if you cannot confess to yourself that you, as a human, will never be perfect. Picking at petty likes and dislikes in a partner is silly and frankly your looking for reasons to be unhappy. Count your blessings, not your burdens. I love that my partner has her own likes, her own talents, her own music, her own routine. Because I fully support who she is, everything she is. And if one day she decides she no longer wants to be with me, all she has to do is be honest and tell me to my face. I would let her go. In the end arguing and pointing fingers is just smashing the whole idea of marriage anyway. In my opinion marriage is overrated. I would never want my parnter to feel like she is bound to me. Because we are born free and we die free. If someone cheated on you, its a favor. Live your life and move on. I would never cheat on my partner, hurt her, yell at her, make her feel insignificant, simply because I dont want to go out of my way to hurt the persons feelings I vowed my life to. I would take a bullet for her, and I wouldnt ever hold it against her if she wouldnt do the same for me. We are all individuals, who desire specific things, emotions, reactions. If my partner is being distant, depressed, sad, I gladly lift her chin and do what I can to make it better. Dont lie to yourselves, or your parnter. You know if the love is there. If its not, you will only cause pain to others because of your inability to face up. Nothing in a relationship is easy. Though nothing in life is easy. When the going gets tough in life do you end it? The bond two people can share in this life is amazing. I have had a tough road with my partner for our own reasons, but I gave up all my wants, all my needs to serve my partner when she needed me most. The outcome is a strong bond that no one can shake. I am writing this in hopes that maybe one person will read this and get something from it. I am far from perfect. But the first person I point fingers at when a problem arises is myself. Only when there are no skeletons in your own closet can you truly judge what a partner is right and wrong for doing.
The OP has every right to want a guy that makes her laugh if its that important to her. My only question to her would be to why does she wait until the relationship has reached LTR status before she lowers the boom on these guys? She should know after a few months if this is a deal breaker for her and then move on without too much being invested by the guy or her. She probably knows the guy has an expiration date but dangles him along. Not cool. Its OK to be superficial or wanting a specific quality. Just declare it early on instead of 12 months in or whatever timeframe defines LTR.
"Wife" and "independent woman " seems to be a contradiction BUT..anyway, one point is good to remember(just my opinion) is that if you're too proud (stephanie) or lazy to do these things, there is a woman somewhere watching and waiting. She do these things for him. She is at his job, church golf resort, gym. she's your best friend or even your relative. I think women have an instinctive way to tell that a man isn't being taken care of at home. Get rid of pride and take care of your man.
Sometimes, we offer help in a way we think would feel helpful for us, when really, our partner might need something completely different. For example, offering to give your partner space to process their unhappiness might be the opposite of what they'd like; they may want company. The point here is to ask how they would like to be supported and to do that.

I’ve married to my husband for 1 1/2 years and together for 5. I’m 25 but feel 70. I have 3 young babies with him. He’s not a bad father but not such a good husband. All we do is argue, he mismanages all of our money. Sometimes we barely pay the bills. We started a small business together so we share the money but somehow he spends it all. We can never communicate. We never resolve any of our problems because we just argue until were tired. I’m never in the mood to be intimate but I force myself so I won’t have to hear his mouth. I’ve tried new things with him sexually but every time I try something new the next day it’s some other weird stuff. He wants to do a lot for someone who doesn’t make me feel “special”. He didn’t get me anything for my birthday. We barely go anywhere and when he does do something it just feels like he’s prepping me for sex later instead of doing it because he cares for me. I don’t feel any sparks just stress. I know neither one of us are truly happy. I try to just hold it in and hope things get better but he irritates me so bad with his need to debate all the time. I’ve tried multiple approaches to fix our problems but I only get 2 results, 1.he gets angry and we argue 2. He plays the victim. I don’t know what to do.
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.
I’m so sorry to hear that you went/are going through this. Hopefully you’ve found some peace since you posted this. I am going through something very similar and it feels like someone just keeps punching me in the chest. I havent eaten or slept more than a few hours in nearly 6 days and I’m honestly amazed I’m still functioning at all. I loved this man with all of my heart. I stood by him through thick and thin, through an alcohol addiction and rehab and subsequent court issues for a DUI. He has been sober 5 years now so I feel like I contributed positively to his life. He made me feel more loved than I have ever been, and then suddenly last Wednesday he tells me hes done. There is nothing left, he doesnt love me anymore. How?? What did I do wrong? I never lied or cheated. I tried to show him appreciation for all the things he did for me. I kept house as best I could and formed close relationships with his family. How do you just suddenly unlove someone like that?? I am reeling at the loss and he is being quite cruel about me hurrying up and moving out, though I havent even found somewhere else to go yet. I feel like an ax came down and just severed us because I cant understand how he can just erase a 6 and a half year relationship like that. How can he just stop loving me? It is beyond my comprehension. To say I feel lost is an understatement.

Let me try to address the first one, your depression, I have many friends with clinical depression and they are all on anti-depressants, not a fan of meds, but they seem to work for them. Your husbands unhappiness, When someone is unhappy we all know that it is up to that person to figure it out, and really there is nothing we can do except offer support. Does your husband have a good relationship with his parents?
Evan, I’m de-lurking to say this post is BRILLIANT. Thank you a million times over for this! I’ve been feeling sad since dumping a moody guy last month, and this is just what I needed to hear. You’ve helped me feel so much better about my decision. I hear a lot of my male friends complain about dating women who are “downers,” but rarely do I hear my female friends complain about moody men, so I was torturing myself about dumping this guy. I wanted to believe he’d snap out of it, but he didn’t, so… goodbye and good luck to him. Thank you, Evan, for your perspective as someone who has “been there,” and thank you for reminding women that we deserve better.

If your partner is pulling away, they will tend to go out alone more than they used to, New York–based relationship expert and author April Masini tells Bustle. Keep your ear to the ground, she advises. "Whenever you see a change in behavior, something is up. And when that change excludes you, your partner is either planning you a surprise party, or, more likely, spending time away from you because he’s not happy when he’s with you in the way that he wants to be." Again, talk about it before it's too late.
its all aboyou how you FEEL with this guy when you are around him. My ex-husband had me laughing all the time, yet he had a way of subtly make me felt “less than” around him: MY jokes were not funny to him at all. Not surprisingly, my marriage ended years later. Not because of the humor thingy of course… But Evan is right on the money here, again: my ex was commanding the spotlight ( in life, our relationship) and this is not how w marriage works.
I have to agree with lonelywife. I was happily married up until the 8th year and I dont know what happened. Its like I woke up oneday and my marriage and life are in shambles. I was married prior to another man for 3 years – who abused me physically and mentally. I left him because CPS threated to take my son away if they got another call for domestic violence. Then I met my current husband – who was my knight in shining armor to save and protect me. He raised my son from my prior relatioship and we have had one together since then. Hes commited infidelity a few times to me (that I have rock solid proof of – there could be more that I dont know about). bUt i felt we could work throught it. Now.. I feel alone. I work 2 jobs, take the kids to school/daycare, pay all the bills etc. I go through my routine everyday and there is no time with my husband. He doesnt participate in anything. I am hopeless. I keep having dreams that I am hanging in the closet by shoe strings and my family keeps walking by me like Im not there. Its very sad. I am very sad and loney.
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.
Sure, it would be nice every once in a while, but realize that men are wired differently than us. What we are thinking in our head that he should do is almost always not what he is going to do. Realize that all those romantic movies are most likely written by women. Don't let your expectations exceed your reality because you've been watching too many romantic comedies and reading too many books.
"A change in habits is one of the first signs of relationship issues. It can indicate unhappiness, personal stress, even cheating — but it could also indicate a number of other things, so don't jump to conclusions. If there are any significant changes, discuss them with your partner to determine what's behind them." —Sarah E. Clark, licensed marriage and family therapist, relationship expert, and co-founder of Idealationship
In fact, when you cry, the only thing a man wants to do is run away and not see it. But if he loves you, he will pull himself together and do everything he can to try to comfort you even if the reason you’re crying seems trivial to him. He will calm down only when you start smiling again. However, if he doesn’t love you, then your tears will be just one more reason to get angry at you.
Every human heart is like a vessel. It longs to be filled to full capacity, but it can only be filled satisfactorily by the love of God. If your spouse’s heart is not complete by a relationship with Jesus then they will always be lacking. For a time they may try to fill that void with you, and when that doesn’t work they may try to fill it with pornography or even with another woman. This is not your fault, and we as women must realize this. 
Men can be sometimes so hard to decode and it can be a problem because we all want to make our man happy. That is why I honestly recommend this amazing book by James Bauer that literally changed my life. Believe me, after reading this you will both get so much closer and, hopefully, will end up tying the knot. That is what happened to me and my man!
If you're connected and intimate with your partner, you’re going to notice when something is off-track. There is always a caring way to address this: Without being defensive or combative, say, “I’ve noticed you seem a little off. What’s happening for you?” Showing concern and stating what you see happening may be just the thing to get whatever is causing the unhappiness out into the open. You’re basically creating a safe environment for your partner to share.
Though distance can be gradual, as other experts have said, "a hint that your partner is unhappy is when they suddenly become distant," Cecil Carter, CEO of dating app Lov, tells Bustle. Then again, such a phenomenon might not be about you. "This isn’t a silver bullet; people become distant for other reasons, so it’s important to talk about the change in behavior before you assume they are unhappy," he adds. When in doubt, talk it out!
i cheated for 3 reasons, he paid me no attention, nor the kids & i’m very big on family, he is content on being alone! he changed his work schedule from going to work at 5am & being home by 2pm to going to work at 5pm & getting off at 2am-so we always missed each other-he would complain about what he hates about me & what he wouldn’t tolerate in a wife (like me having male friends, but he had female friends), but if i ever mentioned something he needs to change, it always comes back to me! i hated life-i got up to 252 lbs. i cannot express myself in music nor clothes! so my needs have never been met in this relationship-except being financially taken care of!
I gave up my whole life -left my job, family and friends to move to another country to be with my husband. So while in his country I was using his laptop and found a few women’s pictures that were very provocative. I managed to get into his email and found many messages he had been commnicating with women before I came. I confronted him and it was the same answer. I, however, forgave him.
We’ve been married 8 years. Suddenly his dreams switch 180 and I’m to blame when they don’t come true. From wanting to settle down and be a farmer now he suddenly wants to become an Evangelist, with us having 5 kids in tow. Now I am a very religious woman, but this 180 has sent me for a loop. All we’ve talked about is having our own place, and now he tells me that this has always been his dream and I’m holding him back. I can make it without him, but I feel like I owe it to the kids to keep going. There are times I don’t want to even look at him, and times I want to show him the door. I know marriage isn’t based on love, it’s a commitment between two people. But I’m tired of being blamed for everything going wrong in our lives, and I’m tired of our kids seeing how he treats me. Do I think our marriage is over? Yeah, it’s been over quite a while. Am I gonna hang for the kids? Yeah, gonna do that too. See, what some of you don’t get is that after you have kids, it’s not about you anymore. They didn’t ask to be created, to be born, but here they are. It’s not about how you feel or he feels or she feels, it’s about how can you get along together for the kids sake. Maybe separate bedrooms or even something more than that, but the kids come first in a marriage. Your life is not your own anymore. Grow up, grow a set, get over it and get on with life. The kids are the most important thing, not anything else.
This sounds just like everyone else, things were good, then changed to bad…He doesn’t cheat on me, or hang out with his friends too much – as a matter of fact he stays right here almost 24 hours a day. We have 3 kids, which is why I haven’t left to date. If we were to split up he would move back near his family which is 8 hours away – a little hard for my kids.

Cheer up Jan, this one is for sure! One day you are going to laugh about this!!! ;0) You are not a victim, you guys lost in translation. :0) If he gets sexual with you, then this is the minimum that he should come clean and tell you why all this weird behavior from a newly wed husband? It’s not fair, and you feel that. Do you feel that he is dishonest? If sex is so amazing what drives him out from your warm bed? All you can do to be honest to him from your heart, find the right time moment, you can’t force nature, after you think and feel you have tried everything and still he is not changing or responding to your wonderfulness, then you have to decide how healthy it is for you to stay in this relationship. If this doesn’t work for you, then why not close this chapter and start a new one with beautiful shiny white papers, you are the star! The story is in your head and in your heart …Imagine your perfect life and allow yourself to feel that amazing feeling, be there, feel it and you manifest it. Stop worrying, what do you have to loose? A not working relationship whatever should the outcome be. I wish you happiness. All the best.A
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 have also felt the need for external validation, but for my social skills rather than my happiness. When I was young, I was thought of as socially awkward. I never fully believed that, but I also knew I had no evidence to prove otherwise… because outside of my family, I was just not good at getting what I wanted from other people. And so, I became highly dependent on others’ validation for both confirmation and development of my people skills. Every rejection and “no” felt like more than just an ordinary setback. I came to see other people as,… Read more »
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