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.
I feel for a lot of you on this blog because I have been through it too and even though I have been seperated 17 months now I look at things in a new perspective. I was married for 23 years and with him for 27 we were high school sweethearts and I can tell you, that things might get better for a bit but it will always come back. I kicked him out on our wedding anniversary and since that day I have been through so much hurt as I found out that he is a drug addict and wonder why our marriage did not work out. He was lying and sneaking all the time and also I was mentally and phically abused for years. I put up with it my whole life because he made me feel I could never do better in life without him and when you are constantly put down it is the way your programmed to think. Since we split his drug use becaome way worse, he would steal from the house and do very evil tings behind my back. He even lost my house as he did not let me know that the mortage was behind and 5 days before last christmas I had to vacate my home with my two year old grandson that I am raising. There hass been so many games done to me that it almost makes me puke but I can tell you that I have loved him so much for the entire seperation, but two weeks ago something happened to change my mind and I dont even know what it was. All the sudden I dont have the same feelings for him and I am not calling him much anymore. I have wanted him to come back to me but I think that it is because he mentioned that he wants to work things out with me and I really dont know how to feel about that. All I can tell you is that my feelings are not the same. I think that I have fonally gotton over this hurt and I forgive him for everything. We shared our whole lives together and its over and I dont think that we can repair it. I know that I pay for my own things now and I am raising my grandson and really I have come to terms with that I dont need anyone as a partner. Sure I could have got someone else in my life but I never wanted to hurt anyone because I know that If I got another guy that I would drop him like a hot potatoe as soon as my ex wanted to come back, never wanted to involve anyone else. I thought that when he was done his drugs that he would come home. Problem is I dont think at this point I want him back. I realize that he loved me chasing him, texting him and calling him and the more I dont do it the more it intises him to see what I am up too and why I dont call. I am tired of the game as it has consumed my well being. You cannot change anyone ever. For awhile they may change but as they say you cannot change a tigers stripes and I believe that is the truth. I never wanted to ever be alone, but I asked myself do I really want to live like that again ang the answer is definately not. I dont want to raise my grandson in a fighting home, i did that with my kids and I was wrong for it. Good luck to all and remember if your not happy get out of it, dont waste your life you only have one. It is not worth it in end. I didnt want to be 80 years old rocking in my chair wishing i still did not have to live this life. Anyone can do better for themselves, sure they might not have as much but I can tell you now that I am not with him I can make sure I have things as he is the one who always cost a crap load of money..there is so much to my story but I cant tell it all it would take forever. Good luck everyone.

But sometimes, things take a turn and all of that reassurance and security can go out the door. If something seems off, that's an issue. Your significant other is supposed to love you and make that clear with communication and action. You shouldn't be up at night wondering if your partner actually likes you or you wasted all of those highly-inspired pins on the wrong person.


Omar Khayyam said, “A person will like everything, even the flaws, of their beloved, but will be annoyed at the perfection of those whom he does not love.” For a truly loving man, you are always beautiful, even with messy hair and even in your oversized nightgown. He will not notice that you have gained a couple of extra pounds after the winter holidays if you do not say it yourself. But if your man constantly tells you to go to the gym or hints that you need plastic surgery, do not rush to indulge him. It is most likely that it’s not your appearance that doesn’t suit him but you yourself. And even if you lose weight, he will find other faults in you.
Omar Khayyam said, “A person will like everything, even the flaws, of their beloved, but will be annoyed at the perfection of those whom he does not love.” For a truly loving man, you are always beautiful, even with messy hair and even in your oversized nightgown. He will not notice that you have gained a couple of extra pounds after the winter holidays if you do not say it yourself. But if your man constantly tells you to go to the gym or hints that you need plastic surgery, do not rush to indulge him. It is most likely that it’s not your appearance that doesn’t suit him but you yourself. And even if you lose weight, he will find other faults in you.
I remember when my ex-husband came home from work and stated seriously, “we need to talk.” I wasn’t expecting the conversation that followed, and later as I sat alone crying I wondered what I had done, and also what hadn’t I done right. I racked my brain trying to pinpoint the cause of his words that rang in my ears. His words of, “I’m not happy anymore.”
Me and my husband are best friends/soulmates. We have been married for 16 years and talk about things all the time. To my horror a few weeks ago i found out that he did not go on the business trip that he told me he was going on, he checked into a hotel and spent a couple of nights on his own, he worked during the day, to think about his future. He did not expect me to find out, he wanted to look at his life to see if he needed to change anything in it, life’s too short and all that. You can imagine i was mortified and have found it really hard to believe him now, i feel i am constantly checking up on him, asking him questions. He goes out once a week with his friends and comes in at 2am, i have asked him if there is anyone else and he says no, why do i jump to that conclusion he says. We have been really good friends and confidents but the love life has not been really there for years now, i have talked to him about it and he said that if both of us are happy about the lack of sex then that is fine. To be honest, i lost my mojo years ago too, only occasionally i feel like it, if i initiate sex, he never turns me away but he never initiates it ever himself. How long do i carry on with the questions/mistrust etc? It is tearing me apart, i feel like i am obsessed with where he is and who he is with, he knows i am upset about it but still goes out regardless. We do go out as a couple on other nights too.
When we were supposed to marry for life – life expectancy was only till about 40 or 50. Now we have extended our life expectancy till our 80s at least but no-one has reviewed the wedding vows, lol. We are still expected to live with the same perosn although we have DOUBLED our life span! Crazy! We are all entitled to a second chance now for our ‘second half’ of life – for all our sakes! xx
Have you ever been spoken down to? How does it feel? Not good, right? If you think you are the smartest person since Einstein, and insult your boyfriend’s intelligence on a regular basis, even if it’s in a playful way, it really won’t make him happy. Often that is just our ego barking, needing to validate itself as being so great, but it actually makes us look arrogant and isolates us from people.

Marriage and kids is just not something my husband can deal with... He would rather come home and be left alone literally.. When I leave the house and dont see kids for few hours i miss them dearly and come home and kiss them he leaves and when he gets home never once comes to his family he wants privacy.. We dont talk he never has done anything special for me since we got married.He has even forgotten my birthday before.. Sex? What sex? That hasnt existed for years sometimes i feel lonely but remind myself that i should be grateful for my kids they are more than i could ever ask for is it selfish to want someone who tells u i love you or just brings u a birthday card for your birthday??I dont even expect it anymore I just focuas on my kids being happy and having everything they want and need.. I know that we both are not happy and because of financial situation it is difficult to walk away. I stay silent keep the peace but when everybody is asleep the tears fall down i feel sad we dont even sleep in the same bed..


If your guy doesn`t text you as much as he usually did, he may be just taking a break. While you shouldn’t make a drama out of this, try to figure out why he needs that break. He may have problems at work, at college or some family issues. If everything is fine yet he doesn’t call or text you during the day, maybe your man isn’t interested in you and your relationship overall.
Hi, I’ve been married to my wife for 5 years and together for 7. We have 2 amazing children, life got in the way and we were not around for each other enough but still knew we loved each other. My wife went off sex after the birth of our first born. 6 months ago cheated while away on a hen do. States was nothing more than a kiss, but send messages and photos when came home for a period of weeks. She says she’s 50/50 and doesn’t know what she wants. 6 months later she still texts this man, stating it’s just a friendship now, and still won’t commit, says 50/50, and won’t be physically intimate (not even cuddling on sofa/in bed). Am I wasting my time? Can she come back to me or should I now walk?
Maintain appropriate boundaries. Remind yourself constantly that your loved one's unhappiness is not your own. You may become unhappy in response to their unhappiness, but your unhappiness then becomes your responsibility. You will be tempted to resolve your unhappiness by trying to resolve their unhappiness (not to mention, in a time frame that suits you), but that way leads only to frustration and resentment. Treat the two as separate things that require separate solutions.
He claims with the first woman it was a mistake. The following day of the incident the woman told him she just needs emotional support and nothing more.and so he continued only texting her. But the girl has told me he n she met.most times at night at her home.i dont know who to believe anymore after he has lied so many times.he claims he dint intend to do it.it just happend. And with the rest of the times he got used to texting girls.
I also encourage you to call a local distress line or women’s help center. You need to reach out for support — and I’m so glad you reached out here! But, you need in-person support to help you figure out the best thing to do with your life right now. And, that support will help you stay committed to whatever decision you make about leaving your marriage or staying with him and working things out.
If you're settling, you probably know you're settling - but you're constantly in denial, trying to convince yourself that things are fine. So, when you feel particularly unhappy with your relationship, you do things like remind yourself that it could be worse. Your boyfriend treats you fine. He's there for you, he's a good kisser. Yeah, he does some stuff that bothers you, but it could be worse, right? Do you really want someone thinking of you and being like, "I guess it could be better, but it could also be a lot worse." Didn't think so.

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.


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.
DJ, thank you for the acknowledgement. I really appreciate it. I’m almost ashamed to admit I wasn’t really hit that hard in the breakup. I relocated across the country when we moved in together, so I got out of touch with most of my old friends over time. But we both worked full-time, we weren’t married and didn’t have kids so there were no real financial issues. I’ve got new outlets for my hobbies, and new friends over time, so I’m really doing fine today. Except for the “emotional connection” part. After a long-distance relationship for over a year before… Read more »
Started out an amazing sex life. About 4 years ago we started having problems in general and fighting a lot. Well he lost his job and our relationship got better. A lot better. We started having fun together all the time. My husband and I have an amazing “working” relationship. We never really fight anymore. The problem comes in here. 3 years ago I started to notice our sex life slipping so I asked him what he thought we should work on. He said it was too much work to have sex. So I took all the work out for him. Time went on and he still never had intrest in having sex and always turning me down 6 months went by and I freaked out on him and he said let’s start grunge to have a baby. We had sex 5 times over 2 months and got pregnant. I begged him and asked why why why he never wants me during the pregnancy. He could never answer me. We have talked about this soooo many times. Now my son is 7 months old. About 3 months ago was our last conversation about our sex life and he said you are just so cold and you never will let me near you!
As women, it’s easy to get so wrapped up in raising kids, supporting our husbands, and running our homes-not to mention our careers outside the home! So many of us feel like we don’t even know who we are anymore!  We get bored with the monotony of our lives and start to wonder what else is out there for us. We start to crave excitement and adventure. We wonder what life might have been like if we had stayed single or married someone else.

For many of us, survive until tomorrow may be the closest we get to a mission statement. But once we have the basics of survival managed, we need something bigger to ground our lives in. In our twenties and thirties our goals are often 'find a job, find a partner, raise children, provide for our family.' These are very praiseworthy goals, but what happens when the kids leave home and the mortgage is paid off? That's when we find out that we never had any bigger mission.
In all fairness I have an anger problem too so this is not all his fault. Plus I know I can be really mean especially when reminded of my past so I am by no means innocent in this fiasco marriage. What steps should hubby and I take to improve our marriage? I really do love him but I want my needs to get met as well. My mom even said that the way she sees our relationship is that everything is always about him. He is the type of person that when I say I’m feeling bad he says me too but I feel worse than you. I was throwing up in the bathroom and he was amused and ignored me. I also had a bad flu and he told me to go make pizzas. There is so much more but this post has been long enough. He has good qualities too so what should I do? Sorry for the long post and thanks. Oh and he is a lot older than me if that helps.
I feel for a lot of you on this blog because I have been through it too and even though I have been seperated 17 months now I look at things in a new perspective. I was married for 23 years and with him for 27 we were high school sweethearts and I can tell you, that things might get better for a bit but it will always come back. I kicked him out on our wedding anniversary and since that day I have been through so much hurt as I found out that he is a drug addict and wonder why our marriage did not work out. He was lying and sneaking all the time and also I was mentally and phically abused for years. I put up with it my whole life because he made me feel I could never do better in life without him and when you are constantly put down it is the way your programmed to think. Since we split his drug use becaome way worse, he would steal from the house and do very evil tings behind my back. He even lost my house as he did not let me know that the mortage was behind and 5 days before last christmas I had to vacate my home with my two year old grandson that I am raising. There hass been so many games done to me that it almost makes me puke but I can tell you that I have loved him so much for the entire seperation, but two weeks ago something happened to change my mind and I dont even know what it was. All the sudden I dont have the same feelings for him and I am not calling him much anymore. I have wanted him to come back to me but I think that it is because he mentioned that he wants to work things out with me and I really dont know how to feel about that. All I can tell you is that my feelings are not the same. I think that I have fonally gotton over this hurt and I forgive him for everything. We shared our whole lives together and its over and I dont think that we can repair it. I know that I pay for my own things now and I am raising my grandson and really I have come to terms with that I dont need anyone as a partner. Sure I could have got someone else in my life but I never wanted to hurt anyone because I know that If I got another guy that I would drop him like a hot potatoe as soon as my ex wanted to come back, never wanted to involve anyone else. I thought that when he was done his drugs that he would come home. Problem is I dont think at this point I want him back. I realize that he loved me chasing him, texting him and calling him and the more I dont do it the more it intises him to see what I am up too and why I dont call. I am tired of the game as it has consumed my well being. You cannot change anyone ever. For awhile they may change but as they say you cannot change a tigers stripes and I believe that is the truth. I never wanted to ever be alone, but I asked myself do I really want to live like that again ang the answer is definately not. I dont want to raise my grandson in a fighting home, i did that with my kids and I was wrong for it. Good luck to all and remember if your not happy get out of it, dont waste your life you only have one. It is not worth it in end. I didnt want to be 80 years old rocking in my chair wishing i still did not have to live this life. Anyone can do better for themselves, sure they might not have as much but I can tell you now that I am not with him I can make sure I have things as he is the one who always cost a crap load of money..there is so much to my story but I cant tell it all it would take forever. Good luck everyone.
When a man thinks, “What would make me motivated to work on my marriage?” the first thing that pops into his mind is “if I felt my wife was either physically repulsed by me or was trying to manipulate me using sex.”  This tactic will springboard your husband into action.   Hasn’t it worked thus far to change his behavior for the better?  Oh.  Well, it will work this time for sure.
It’s up to YOU to make you happy. You can’t rely upon anyone else to make you happy. You’re just setting yourself up for disappointment. Besides, it’s time to take responsibility for yourself. If you’re not happy with you, you’ll never be happy with a man. Take some time to focus on figuring out what makes you happy. A man can only add to your happiness. He can’t be the entire basis for your happiness.

"A big source of unhappiness in a marriage is when one or both partners let themselves go. This can be physically — gaining weight, quitting exercise, developing unhealthy habits. Or it can be developmentally, where they stop trying to improve. For example, many people lose their fun-loving, adventurous nature as they continue in a marriage. Or, where they once had zest for life and passion for their partner, now they're always tired and only focused on work." —Bennett

Married almost 11 years, the entire marriage has been rocky, in and out of counseling. Brady bunch family, married into her and her 16yo daughter with my 4yo daughter, had a daughter together. Was told early on I have no say with her daughter, daughter is grown now and married. Was told frequently I suck as a husband, father etc and was routinely threatened with divorce when I raised any issues over the years. I have often thought of leaving (escaping) but haven’t because I don’t want to hurt kids or then I have thoughts of did I try hard enough, do everything I can. Btw she was diagnosed before she met me with anxiety and depression. I am a neat and organized man raised by my mother and grandmother – only child – raised the old fashioned way – had a step father who was nice at times but more times than not was an ass to my mom. As for my marriage, the threat of divorce has been there for duration, also my wife has diagnosed me over the years with bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, narcissism, passive aggressive and several other ailments, all of which I’ve researched to understand if there was any evidence of that fact. I’ve sought the help of counselors to gain clarity, gone to church, in couples therapy right now using Gottman tools to help and nothing seems to help. When we argue she ends up winning or dominating the conversation, when conversation gets tough and she doesn’t like what she is hearing, she says I’m reaching my limit and then says we need a pause and will pick this up later, then it’s awkward silence and avoiding until we address it again or sometimes we just drop it. We spend much of our non working hours out pursuing personal interests and occasionally join up for kids sports events. She dominates the relationship with our daughter we had together, I’m pretty much cut out of parenting her and only allowed freedom of parenting of my daughter who is now 16. Obviously I’m looking for answers and trying to figure out what to do. I want to be happy and have peace in my life – I’m tired of chasing my tail around in circles. I’m a good honest caring man who loves and puts his family first. Cleans the house, folds laundry, cooks dinner, makes kids events, works 50 hours a week and trying to hang on to this marriage for self, wife, kids. Insight welcome.
There are times when I feel so miserable and powerless. He says all the right things when he’s himself. He will tell me I am beautiful, he loves me, his heart beats for me, and how he wants us to get past this area in life where we don’t agree on anything. I don’t think the problem is so much that we don’t agree as I do he won’t let that stand. He thinks if he talks to me long enough, whatever the issue, I will see it his way. When that doesn’t happen, he gets more angry. Then I am stupid, naive, and an idiot that can’t see past the end of my nose.
As the old saying goes, labels are for soup cans. That's true, but if you started a relationship with the goal of becoming a couple, including the dreaded labels like "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" or "wife" or "husband," and communicated that much from the start, then your significant other should be ready to at least discuss why or why not they want to be labeled as such.
When your partner is unhappy, they might start to change their habits, and the amount of time they're spending with you, BetterHelp telehealth counselor and psychologist Nikki Martinez tells Bustle. If this has happened lately, don't panic, but maybe take caution, depending on your specific situation. "While this can change in any relationship," she says, if it's a sign of discord, you'll notice the decrease.
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.

I spent 42 years of my life with a moody man. It was hell. I ran after him like a puppy trying to keep peace in our home, especially for our children. I lost all respect for him. Yet we were both committed to making it work. Sometimes I think he did his best, but his best was a moody mess. There was a specific moment, after all those decades, when I said, “I’m done”, and I never looked back. We are friends. I value him, but I no longer have to put up with moods. I was desperate for peace, and now I have it. To those of you who are young and making decisions about a relationship, and the man is moody, I say “run, run, run, run”. It will only get worse after marriage. It is not up to you to “make him happy”. Your life will be ruined, and he will stay the same.

The same thing can feel completely different depending on our point of view. At the beginning and in the end we are simply much more aware of the blessings we just got, or lost. So, don’t let gifts you have in your hands slip between your fingers. Practice gratefulness and your whole experience of life will change. Appreciate everything good about your partner and make him know that. Nothing makes us more willing to be good than a person who sees us that way.
In defense of Steve, I would say practical advice depends very much on personal circumstances. I identify totally with the sentiments of the article but I’m in no way like “Kevin”. I know my default happiness is internal, but my ways of reconnecting to it will be different to Kevin. The men’s work you do depends on who you are and how far you are from where you want to be.
Have you been feeling your partner slowly or suddenly pulling away? In an interview with Bustle, Cecil Carter, CEO of dating app Lov says this is a hint that your partner has become unhappy in the relationship. It’s important when you feel them pulling back to have a conversation about what is happening to learn if its a problem in the relationship or external factors that having nothing to do with you. By having the conversation early, you can hopefully address any of the problems that are making your partner want to pull away, or just give them the space they need to come back on their own.
This isn’t about divorce, and it’s not even about cheating. Not really. This is about understanding as a woman that while you are an important, main player in your marriage that the responsibility of your spouse’s happiness doesn’t rest solely on your shoulders. Only Jesus can heal hearts, and only He can fill an empty one. You can love your spouse, but you must also pray. And you don’t just pray for their relationship with you. You pray for their relationship with Him. 

You don’t necessarily need to leave him…maybe you just need a trial separation. Maybe you both need some time and space to figure out what you want your marriage to be like, and to decide if you can build a happy marriage together. Maybe the prospect of divorce is what your husband needs, to snap him out of his slump! And if he does have Asperger’s, maybe the thought of losing you will encourage him to get help.
Scientists have proved that a man is able to listen to a woman attentively for only 6 minutes. That’s why, ladies, the next time you plan to have a conversation with your beloved, keep it short. The topics on which it is very difficult for a man to concentrate are unfamiliar people, celebrities, shopping, fashion, and diets. If possible, it’s best to discuss these types of things with your friends.

Can't remember your last date night? If you're not planning any important or special events together on top of not spending time together in general, that's not good news for your relationship, says Greer. Make an effort to get a couple outings on the schedule — maybe a movie night or a dinner at your favorite spot — and see if you can rekindle the flame. Marriages take work, and putting in the effort on things that bond you as a couple is part of that.
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