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.

It took me a long while to realize my marriage was really over. I’ve been married 45+ years and right from the ‘I DO’s’ things turned horrible. We managed to have sex and intimacy on our wedding night, but that was short lived. Sex lasted maybe 20 minutes and he stayed in bed maybe another hour, then sat out by the pool the rest of the night. The next was an eye opener for me, first he told me how disgusting, messy, smelly, pointless, meaningless, vile to the point of him vomiting. We were suppose to go on a honeymoon, that never happened a total waste of money we really didn’t have. He took me home and said tonight I’m going to start working midnights and also I will be moving to the basement. He started eating, sleeping down stairs, also he built a apartment which didn’t include me. He worked all the time weekends, holiday’s, every one else’s vacation(he never took any of his vacation) according to his boss and the security people he slept in his station wagon at work a lot. One good thing he did do was pay all bills we owed, he never complained that I bought a new car and when I ran up good size bills on my credit card. He just seemed to hate me, wouldn’t talk to me, be with me and ignored me. Was my marriage over yes it was right from the beginning. I stayed because I was scared to go out on my own, I did have a beautiful roof over my head, had good benefits, and he pays the bills. I don’t care about myself or him, my days are winding down and it will be over for one of us.
I encourage you to keep writing about your thoughts and feelings. I think you’ll find that you know more about your marriage and your husband then you think you know… And the best way to figure complicated questions out is to write about them. Writing helps you sort through your thoughts and emotions, and discover the truth that maybe hidden deep within you. I encourage you to write in your private journal, or here if you’d like. I’m happy to be a sounding board, but I don’t give marriage advice and I can’t offer counseling.

"Often -- but not always -- women nag because men don’t follow through. How many times have you had a conversation about doing something and he commits to doing it and never follows through? Often, I'm guessing," she said. "Women feel caught in the middle: You continue to try and talk to him and address the issue but it goes nowhere. He interprets your request as nagging. You want to believe him but his promises go unfulfilled."

If a coupon still cares about each other, it should not be that hard to talk and follow thru. She does spend some money like 200-400 for food and kids’ pocket money but it is not enough to cover our expenses as I had explained to her but she didn’t care. I asked her what will happen to my kid in college if I lose a job, and she just said just wait until that happens as it is a long term thing (basically no need to build college fund) which I think is very short-sighted. She simply doesn’t want to help out the family and want to send money oversea for her new home project. I feels that she is very selfish and possibly plan to move back soon and leave the kids with me?? as she expressed on one sense that she should quick her job and move back so she didn’t have to deal with me and other financial requirements.
If you want to stop your husband from cheating, you must devise a good plan for your marriage. No marriage can succeed without a plan. Building a marriage is like building a house; you must have a burning desire to make it work. You need to develop a plan for the marriage and every day sit down with your spouse and show him your plan. During this time, let him see the cost involved in building a successful marriage, taking care of the home and the kid's education. Soon, your husband will realize the cost of his cheating and will discover it is not worthy to be spending money and time outside on strange women when the one he is married to is a better planner and organizer.

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.
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.

I have been married for the last nine months and have been with my husband for the last nine years. I am 25 years old. Lately my husband and I have been going through some really rough times. I want to have things to do in my free time (ie sports) that is for me. He doesn’t want to be involved but also wants me home when the sun goes down. Mind you I don’t stay out all night, I am home around 8:30 from practice. It has made me come to realize we are on completly different paths for our lives. He wants children now and I don’t. He thinks people should spend their free time with an extra job or house work and I don’t. We both hold down full time jobs and I am going to school full time also. We have a home that is paid for along with both of our vehicles, so why do we need to work all the time. I want him to support and be involved my life. He said he doesn’t know if he can make me happy but he doesn’t try or do anything different, when i suggested counseling he said “he wasn’t going to do that”. I don’t know what I need to do but I know I can’t live like this for the rest of my life. Help.
My husband is a really great guy and father, unless your married to him. Friends, family members, hell, the person down the street gets more priority in the line of importance than I do. We have never been on a honeymoon, or go out of town together. I can count the number of times we have gone out to eat together on one hand, and that includes before our son was born. He is now 5. I have come to the conclusion that he must be embarressed to be seen with me or something. I have stayed married for our son, but I have finally decided that I am finished. I am going to file for legal seperation next month and move on with my life. I am pretty sure that there is someone out there who may actually aknowlege that I exist. If not, I would rather be lonely by myself, than be lonely with my husband sitting next to me.
Inevitably, there will be bumpy times in your relationship. If it has come to a point that you're not sure where to turn, try your hardest to make things right. This doesn't mean endlessly talk about what you should be doing, do it! Schedule the counseling session. If you truly love your husband and want to make things right, don't always expect him to make the first step.

If I could add one more thing.  I wish women would stop writing ‘make me laugh’ on dating profiles.  This is different from saying ‘I’m looking for someone with a similar sense of humor’ etc I’m talking about the women who literally write stuff like ‘he needs to make me laugh’ or something along those lines.  No need for the added pressure of making you laugh on a date.  It will happen or it won’t.  How would you feel if you thought you needed to make your date laugh from the get go?

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.
I met my husband when I was 20 and we’ve been together 13 years, married 3 and have a two year old son. Right from word go we had issues with intimacy, so much so that I cheated on him early on, I didn’t hide it from him instead told him I wanted to break up as I didn’t believe we were right for each other as he showed such little interest in my sexually. He apologised, told me he adored me and asked for another chance, he said it was just the way he was but asked if I really just want a relationship based on the physical. That really struck home with me as I’d often felt the guys I’d dated before were more interested in sex than me as a person. So I gave him another chance and though we had ups and downs we grew to be great friends, but never great lovers. But whenever we were apart I missed him terribly and so felt it was worth working at. I also had a lot of emotional turmoil with my family during those years and at times felt very alone, he was always my rock and made me feel validated and loved – he’s always so proud of my achievements and quick to tell others how great I am.
From a woman’s point of view, you need to get out. For the sanity of yourself, and your children. Your wife has little to no respect for you, and from what you’ve said, herself. Her values are also not anywhere near in line with your own, as she believes that her actions are justifiable. I once was the woman who took advantage of wonderful, goodhearted men, and who cared about nothing more than having my ego fed. It is impossible to be in a relationship with a selfish person, unless you are a glutton for neglect and abuse. The fact that she is taking no responsibility for her actions, and manipulating you in a way that is intended to make you feel guilty for her wrong doings, also validates the fact that she is not only out for her own self indulging ways, but also that she has such little respect for you that she sees you as nothing more than a pawn. With you, she can have the upright lifestyle. Successful husband, children, home.. but because of your leniency in letting her manipulate you, she can also have her second life, for those she doesn’t mind displaying that too. I am not for divorce, at all. I believe that a couple must do everything in their power to rectify their marriage, ESPECIALLY when children are involved. However, there comes a time when you must stop slamming your head against the brick wall and accept that there is sometimes no way of changing a person, or their priorities. I suggest you file for divorce, and allow your wife to live the life that she seems to gravitate too. Remain an excellent father, for it seems you are the one who is most levelheaded and who your children must rely on, and move on. Those with a good heart, must be paired with someone who nurtures that heart, not destroys it. I know you may not yield to my advice, I was once the person on the victim side of an unhealthy relationship, but once you get out, you will be free of the emotional strain that this woman holds on your life. I wish the best for you, and for your children. All I ask is that through the process of divorce, if you choose to take that route, do not let anger or resentment rob you of the dignity and respect you deserve, from all parties.. most importantly your kids.
I guess the question here is as the topic suggests: “Is my marriage over?” Are these all signs that she is heading for the exits and as soon as good opportunity comes along she will leave me? Is she just going through midlife crisis? Till some of these questions are resolved, I am destined to a life without any kind of love, communication, being called scary monster etc, let alone any sex. A corollary question is ” Should I be heading for the exits? I do love her (she would chuckle on this one) and just cannot imagine my life after divorce. Also, the idea that my girls will have another “father” simply devastates me. On the other hand, I am 46, not exactly the time to go out and build again something useful and stable. To say that I am depressed is understatement. Many times I contemplated suicide, even thought of how to write the final letter
But you did none of those things that my ex did. You tried. You talked to your boyfriend. You discussed these issues with him. You say you tried to get him to seek out help. I would’ve been so thankful if my ex had treated me like you treated yours. And I would’ve probably responded with positive changes. The fact that your ex didn’t, means you did the right thing by walking out. There’s only so much you can do to help your partner heal when they are not cooperating in any way. I wish you quick recovery and complete healing in getting through this post-breakup stage, which is indeed very hard.
The only good life experience that I received from marriage was seeing my 3 kids born and growing. Add a dog to the mix. Lose a job. Get slapped with depression and a wife lacking the necessary support to her man and now you have a man that is no longer interested in being with her anymore. I do deep down inside care for my wife, but I have reached the end with respect to the criticism and the nagging regarding how we try to raise our kids. Also, there is a lot of the word “I” that comes from my wife’s pie hole during conversations with a marriage counselor and all I can think of is that I am married to myself.
Sex to my husband is physical release. I won't go into specifics. He's never recognized me on Mother's Day. He says I am not his mother. Anniversaries, nothing. Christmas, birthday's? Nothing. He never tells me he loves me. He was attracted to me based on my looks. We've been married 36 years and I have kept my figure and as much of looks as is possible at 57 years old. He was very jealous for the first 20 years of marriage. I spent a lot of time trying to convince him through my actions that I loved him and would never leave him. Jealousy is an ugly thing. He has spent more time and money on hunting than for me. I once said your sons, our sons, mean more to you than I do. He looked at me dumb founded and said "Of course." Any suggestions on my part to do something together were ignored or filled with broken promises. He doesn't cheat on me, works hard, the usual good man on the outside, but he cares not one bit about my feelings. If I feel I am going to cry, I go off to another room so he won't see. This would make him mad. But I've stayed. I tried to leave different times, but I let him talk me into coming back. Now I am stuck. I am raising our infant grandson because my son is in prison and the baby's mother is on drugs. I try not to be bitter. I pray that I won't be a bitter old woman. But I am a sad woman.

What about those that married and dreamed to have children and 4 years into the marriage you find out your wife will not be able to bear any of your children because of medical reasons and she has one of her own who is a teenager (girl) living in the household. The wife is not up for adopting and now she is like if you decide to leave she will understand because she has a child from a previous marriage and she understands a bond that a parent has and the father may never get to have that. The father can't stand to watch anything on TV where a family has a child or movies that reference a family with kids on it for awhile because he believes their lives are filled with so much happiness of taking care of a kid of their own blood. So...what... stay or leave.
If you confront her it will only lead to a heated exchange and a forcing of her hand. This route never really goes well. My opinion is to ignore the entire subject and stop trying to find out more. I mean this with all sincerity. I forced the issue and lost twice before. Maybe I am an expert? In any case don’t be rash and make any descions without looking very hard and long down the road of possibilities. Things never turn out well when you force someones hand. Forgive and move on or realize that you will be giving up everything you know as your life today. Proabbly your house if you own it at the very least the place you currently live. You will be starting over nearly from scratch. Don’t even think of harming her in any way as the law will have you as their prime suspect no matter what. Worse case scenario is you think you are smarter than 30,000 people and off your wife. The law catches you and your son has no momma and no poppa. DON’T DO IT. Forgive and forget any of it happened and pray to God for a marrage fix without ceasing. Best advice you can’t buy.
There are few things like knowing that the person you're with just wants to be with you. When you feel solid and reassured by the level of love and communication in your relationship. There's no worry or stress about getting ghosted or cheating and your only worry about your partner is whether or not they've noticed that you're actively building and expanding your wedding board on Pinterest.

Sadly my story is truly bizarre 3 years ago my hubby was seeing hooker he denied it I caught him meeting one at the gas station when he said he had, to be there at one one oclock I thought that was suspicious so I insisted on going with him a very attractive blonde came running to the right at one oclock when see saw me she turned on her heal he let on as if nothing was wrong few weeks I was out pretty sure saw him with the same blonde in our car . he denied it again we went to counselor and even the counselor told him it was pretty dam suspicious he still denied it then he got very ill at the hospital it was discovered he had hepc that had gone into livercancer,still he wouldn,t admit he passed away the last thing he did was call for her I guess her name was Kathy no one knew any one by that name… So now I have to life with burned in my heart and memories the resentment the anger grief he was only with me because of security money I am sure our kids thought he was the greatest man so does everyone else its a nightmare ..Like the counselor said selfishness and most likely sex addiction …….its hell after7mths I think I will make it but my trust is gone…since seen the same women working the streets..

If not, the quickest way to change your life is to forgive that parent, because you are half your mom and half your dad, the parent you are angry at is the part of you that you loath as well. I know this sounds so matter of fact, but it is a huge weight off if you can do it. Lastly, your marriage, you love him. I am not here to necessarily promote our book, but we did write a book The Marriage Manual available at http://www.themarriagemanual.com and the part for you is all about how to talk to your husband so he will WANT to talk to you.
These exact thoughts went through my head too. Having been through a bad marriage, where my husband got angry, distant, and resentful any time we hit a rough patch – and as a young, low income family with two children, one with Aspergers and the other one with ADHD (both undiagnosed until they were 12), we had a lot of those – I completely agree. The only way to start a family is to start it with someone you can count on, who will support you and carry their weight, who won’t let you down or check out on you emotionally when things get hard. Otherwise you’d be doing a huge disservice to yourself, your future family, and your future children.
we have been together for 17 years and married for 14, yes after time we did not value you each other, and our marriage became a chore when i found out he was on a chat site. he told me then he was not happy but only after i found out he was on the chat site. but never before that, i have found messages and pics on his phone. i literally have to sneak his phone when he has passed out as he keeps that phone so close to him he never lets it out of his site even if he goes to the loo. he told me he wanted a divorce with a sms message> but still wants me only for sex……. i just give in because I love him.
I’m the type of person to over-analyze and question everything in life. I realize I cannot change my boyfriend’s sense of humor. I’m not getting any younger and hate the thought of breaking off an otherwise great relationship. The stress on me from constantly questioning a future decision to marry my boyfriend is not helpful toward furthering what could be an amazing relationship. How do I find a way to shake this nagging feeling that marrying him may be a wrong decision because of our humor gap? Or is this difference in our senses of humor a deal breaker? Thank you for a new perspective. –Kelly
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?”

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.


But you did none of those things that my ex did. You tried. You talked to your boyfriend. You discussed these issues with him. You say you tried to get him to seek out help. I would’ve been so thankful if my ex had treated me like you treated yours. And I would’ve probably responded with positive changes. The fact that your ex didn’t, means you did the right thing by walking out. There’s only so much you can do to help your partner heal when they are not cooperating in any way. I wish you quick recovery and complete healing in getting through this post-breakup stage, which is indeed very hard.
We were married in 2007,its was an arranged marriage in India but settled in Melbourne, Australia.we had a baby this 2011 July. This March 2012 I discovered my husband has been seeing another woman. And then in a month I discovered that he was trying to bed more women when I was overseas with my lil son.one if them is still a mystery cos she has never told me wat hapned
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My plan is to catch them in act and confronted. I wanted to know how long has this been going on and why. I will ask her what she is planning to do with it. If she still wanted to carry on with the guy, then I have to divorce and take custody of my son and move on life. But thinking about it makes me feel like vomiting. I do really love her so much and can’t bear leaving her. What should I do?
Kathleen, I admit the first paragraph of your comment struck a chord. Last summer, my boyfriend of two years walked out on me, out of the blue – just told me at the end of a weekly date night that he was leaving, handed me all my things from his apartment, that he’d packed before he left home that evening, and I only saw him once since that day. The only indication he’d given me was three days before he left, when he said “you were not happy last night”. Last spring, i.e. 3-4 months prior to that, I had a loss in my close family, my workload around the house doubled, then I changed jobs and my new job was harder than the one before it, and took a while to adjust to. Things got easier by the end of last year, but in the summer, I was completely exhausted from having all that new workload on top of trying to meet my ex’s many needs. I was still happy for the most part, just very tired and more irritable than my usual easygoing self. I admit that I still feel disappointed with him that he couldn’t wait for the hard times to pass, offer help and support, or even tell me that I had changed and ask me to get help (since I was too tired to even notice). Instead, he just walked out when I needed his help the most, because, after two years of making him happy and meeting his needs, there came a brief period of time when I couldn’t, and he just refused to put up with that. I still feel that he betrayed me, violated my trust in him, and let me down. I used to respect that man a lot and I don’t think I will ever be able to anymore.
I think your advice is good, here, and if a man can achieve loving himself, and being happy within himself without validation, then that’s great, and that’s what he should do. I’m not absolutely sure what form this validation takes, but I’m assuming it’s largely through sex, at least that’s how it comes across to me: that a man like this may want perhaps-too-frequent sex from his wife in order to maintain his masculine ego. If this is the case, and maybe even if it isn’t, it makes me think of how this need for masculine validation is a product… Read more »
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