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.


I have asked my husband how best we can end it (without affecting teh kids too much) and he has ingorned my requests. I have also spoken with him and assured him that the kids and I will be fine without him – I have told him that I release him from his wedding vows – that I want him to go off and find someone to be happy with (I really want to see him happy – just not with me) and STILL he wont go. I know life is convenient here for him as his laundry and cooking is done. If I stop cooking for him, that would be mean-spirited of me (espeically in front of the kids) – – its not even as if our meals are family time as he comes to teh table, opens a newspaper or book and reads anyway. he has never been emotionally available for any of us. I have had enough and cant see a way of ending it! (He of course, thinks I am derraanged and that it is a ‘control’ game – he thinks that I am withholding sex as a kind of punsishment) – i feel I cannot just have sex with strangers!
A suitable response would be something like: “well, it’s hurtful to hear you say this but I’m so glad that you are being honest with me so that I can address it.  Can you share with me why you are unhappy so that I can decide how to make the appropriate changes?  I want for you to be fulfilled so that we can be happy together.  And I know that you love me, so let’s work together so that we are both genuinely happy in this marriage.”
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.
Things we have never experienced before tend to frighten us. The truth is, infidelity in a marriage is not something most couples want to experience. With that in mind, you may want to know how to stop your husband from having an affair and save your marriage. This is one subject a lot of people with all the education, exposure, status and money do not know how to deal with.
Absolutely right, Arakiba. And our lack of emotional confidence shows up in many ways and places. It seems to be most triggered in our intimate relationships where we’re not getting our most urgent needs met. The specific ways men and women express that pain are very, very different. I teach men how to break through that pain and create what they want instead.

well fast forward to now, we separated in 2010, i moved to SC in 2011, i came home because i love no one like i love him, he keeps swearing that we are gonna work on this but every week the kids are (again) subjected to witness an unhealthy exchange between their parents, he calls me out of my name when he talks about me cheating, we have had some fights-i have had to be rushed to the hospital because i have fainted from arguing or being constantly badgered about my past sex life (i have congestive heart failure & type 2 diabetes)! he is an alcoholic & 6 1/2yrs younger than i am. now we are supposed to be moving in another apartment starting fresh & he tells me that his soul doesn’t agree with me-thats new! he has always said that he doesn’t trust me-even before i cheated! so last night he says he can never be proud of me or our marriage! smh-i don’t know what to do! i just know life can’t possibly be this miserable-i was happier when we were separated!

Me an my husband have been married for two years now, we have a wonderful, healthy one year old together. My problem is, he’s quite a mommy’s or should I say grandmas boy. Before we got married he lived with his grandparents where his grandma did everything for him. She cooked, cleaned, did his laundry, made his bed, an waited on him hand an foot. Now that we are together I don’t mind cleaning, cooking, or any other house chores, but he expects me to do them without any help. I don’t get off work till 8pm an he cooks dinner alot I will admit that. He acts like I never do anything, he tells me if I only worked as hard as he has to. Mind you I’m a caregiver taking care of two different clients, an he is a cable guy. He tells me all the time I don’t care about the things he does for me, but I feel the same way. I’m to my breaking point I can’t take his put downs an him saying my job means nothing. I don’t want to leave him, but something has to change.
I totally agree, Brian. I think that “getting” the same kind of humor is very important — at least to me. I was watching The Big Lebowski (which I think is hilarious), but he didn’t think the movie was funny at all. He wasn’t into nuanced or satirical comedy. He liked the kind you get with canned laughter on sitcoms. Nothing wrong with that. It’s just that we weren’t on the same wavelength at all and it was a deal breaker for me because we were polar opposites when it came to our senses of humor.
Women know perfectly well, or at least they should know that men do not like the understatement, any kind of allusion, and they can never guess. They do not read in the minds of women, and it is often difficult for them to figure out what their spouse meant. So do not expect him to guess what you want or what you expect from him. Just tell him straight and openly. You will avoid many unnecessary problems.
I don’t know if it’s a sign your marriage is over, for many reasons. First, only you and your spouse can make this decision! Second, some married couples vacation separately and say it’s what keeps their marriage healthy and happy. Third, does your wife even want to vacation with you? Maybe she doesn’t enjoy it either! And fourth, how is your marriage outside of your vacations? If you’re both happy with your relationship all the time except for when you’re on holidays, then maybe it’s just one of those quirky things in your relationship.
He'd started to act grumpy again and we talked about it, but he said he had no time to see a counselor. Then Sunday he said he was going to hang with a buddy. I don't know why, but I got a really bad feeling, so I drove to where he said he was and he wasn't there. I called him and he made up a lie, and then another one and another one. He was willing to drive drunk to try and cover up what he was doing even. I went home and he went home. He cried and said he'd been doing coke that day and didn't want me to know. He said he had lied about it several times lately and felt terrible.

That sounds way easier than it was. It was hard. It was agonizing to walk away from a relationship that brought so much happiness, peace and contentment in my life. It’s hard to give up those dreams I had with my ex: the children I was going to have, the life we were going to lead. I come from a family with a depressed parent, and it was HARD for me to break my pattern of “caretaking” and co-dependency and taking on all the responsibility. I feel sad to lose someone I love, angry at him and myself, guilty for “abandoning” my boyfriend. And yet I’ve seen up close from my own parents what Julia is 1.1 says:  if they can’t take responsibility and take care of themselves, there’s little hope of having a functional relationship until they do. And I’ve done so much work to get to a happy, contented point in my life that I can’t give that up now, just to hold onto a relationship that isn’t meeting my needs.
When someone's no longer taking their relationship seriously, they're more likely to drop all the responsibility that comes with it. So no, you're not crazy for worrying about your partner's sudden lack of accountability. "If your partner starts breaking promises or does not keep their word and does not seem to offer you more than a simple, 'I’m sorry,' this is a sign that they may not be happy in your relationship because they stop caring about how you feel," Rappoport says.
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.
What’s happened as a result has been brilliant. I started tuning much more actively into my husband — prioritizing him, touching him regularly (holding his hand, sitting very close to him, hugging him, rubbing his shoulders, etc), more actively praising and appreciating him, and — crucially — not letting my ego get the best of me and not letting my need to be right lead to Armageddon. As a result, I have managed to bring out the best in my husband.
Men CAN BE sexually desirable in and of themselves. Most straight males in most countries still don’t want to put the effort into becoming physically/sexually attractive, though. The majority won’t go the extra mile; the majority don’t even know where to start. They like to look like “clones” in a way. Basically the same style, hair cut, shoes, whatever. Won’t groom properly. Un-charming, hardened demeanor. No sensuality. It’s difficult to desire someone like that, at least passionately and strongly. That’s the reason so many millennial women love gay porn, and younger generations are so attracted to foreign males. Look at… Read more »
Well it is of no surprise the outright majority will be females who have been wronged by males. I myself am in a different circumstance. I have tried to push ahead in life with my relationship, for the pure fact that we have two children and it seems to be the morally right and socially acceptable thing to do. However, I am ending it….for the pure fact that I do not love this woman as one who needs a partner they can trust, should. It is to no fault of her own, she could not see what the relationship needed, and had instead focused on what articles like this had listed. Communication is paramount, but as much as everyone thinks they know, it is a two way street and listening is skill that we as humans must learn.
I totally agree, Brian. I think that “getting” the same kind of humor is very important — at least to me. I was watching The Big Lebowski (which I think is hilarious), but he didn’t think the movie was funny at all. He wasn’t into nuanced or satirical comedy. He liked the kind you get with canned laughter on sitcoms. Nothing wrong with that. It’s just that we weren’t on the same wavelength at all and it was a deal breaker for me because we were polar opposites when it came to our senses of humor.
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My husband and I have been together over 20 years, married for 16. We have a 6 year old son. A few days ago I clicked on one of his Instagram followers and saw a beautiful women who had a bunch of lingerie pictures posted. I noticed that my husband had “liked” every single one of them. This really struck a jealousy cord. He hasn’t even “liked” all of my Instagram pictures! I worked through the emotions of insecurity and actually read online about how I should tell him that it bothered me that he liked her pictures. Honestly I didn’t think he wanted to cheat or anything, it just hurt my feelings.


Hi, my husband and i has only been married for 6 months when he started cheating on me, before that we were in a long distance relationship for 5 years, he was overseas while i lived in Australia and I have waited long time for us to be finally together. I’m his second wife and i thought that things would be different for us. From the tme i found out about the cheating which is through social media chatting, I hid it from all the people including my family for i was protecting him until such time that he emotionally abuse me and went his way to see her and commited adultery.
What is most concerning about your situation is that you report, and even seem to be, feeling depressed. Depression robs people of their energy and hopes, kills their sex lives, and makes them feel hopeless. My suggestion to you is that you seek the help of a psychotherapist so that you can feel better before you make any life altering decisions. I say this because your reaction to your husband may have more to do with depression than anything else. The best way to determine what is bothering you is to seek help. Perhaps you and the therapist can direct you towards anti depressant medication. In any case, you need to feel better and think more clealy before deciding on separation and divorce. You could even talk to your medical doctor, tell him what you are experiencing and he may either put you on anti depressant medications or refer you for psychotherapy.
Hey Karina, was wondering how things are. Just curious, can you tell me what your ethnicity is? And if others can mention their ethnicity and their partners’ ethnicity. I’m Mexican, and I’m wondering how relationships are across races, and don’t want to generalize when having conversations about it, without getting some feedback from real individuals in struggling relationships to see if ethnicity plays a factor along with culture, upbringing and social class.
I have been married to my wife for 4 years now. Our marriage got into trouble a couple of months into it. I have issues that needed to be dealt with, including my bout with visual enhancement (i dont want to call it pornography because it really isn’t since it doesn’t involve nudity, but let’s just say it isn’t appropriate for a man to look at while married to his wife.) It’s something that has been a part of me for 20 years, but have been seriously battling it for the last 5 years. I’ve had ups and downs, but with my wife complaining months into our marriage while i was trying to serve in our church because i loved to, she complained about the apartment we lived in, she complained about the money i was making, she complained about everything and she started showing her misery with life, then i got sick and was admitted into the hospital. During that period while i was trying to recoup in the hospital, my wife got into it with my sister and sent her a nasty e-mail which made my sister cry. The wife then tells me i need to stay at my mother’s house to recoup because she had to care for our three month old son. It was that interim when i tried to recoup from surgery that she refuses to talk to me and leaves me dry. When I get back after two weeks she lets out all these issues between us, mainly that she has declared my mother and sister her enemy because of percieved attempts on their part to dethrone her as my wife. She couldn’t prove half of her accusations, but more importantly she’s not sorry that she hurt my sister with that wicked e-mail. We then went into counseling but she only went because she declared i was the sole problem for the marriage. Her unrepentance, in her mind, was not a factor. She forced me to ban my mother from our house, ban my sister from having a relationship with our son, declared my family people non-grata, and gets upset everytime i visit my mom or honor her on mother’s day. She doesn’t understand having my mother, who raised me without my dad around, sacrificed her life to give me what i needed, banned from MY house is hurting me in so many ways, yet she doesn’t care. She has her family to go to, her friends she can see any time, and yet her response to me when i bring that up is “you made yourself second.” Ultimately, my wife did not want ANY hand in helping me deal with my own “sexual” problems. Instead I had to deal with it on my own. The sex between us became a problem, the fact that she totally disrespected me in front of our first counselor by bringing up stuff about me and blindsiding me, like the whole “semi-pornography” as i’ll call it from here, and leaving me to the wolves. She entered each counseling session with the intent of embarassing me and in her mind “fixing me,” yet never intending to deal with her issues. After a few episodes of her physically assaulting me (something to this day she NEVER apologized for,) insulting my relatives and causing a near brawl because of her selfish actions, and ultimately throwing me under the bus instead of working with me after i did commit an error against my wife. The error i committed can be construed as adultery, but it did not involve me having an affair or any kind of relationship with another woman. But it did involve me preparing to do some kind of extra curricular activity. Bottom line, even though that did cause a strain, my wife agreed we would work it out. Yet after 3 years, she not only disrespects me in front of my son, she not only acknowledges having my mother, who is very old, totally on the outside of our family while she enjoys the benefits of having her family in on EVERY outing and occasion we have, like our son’s birthday for example, she not only curses me out and reminds me of my sins against while justifying her sins (like posting an ad on a dating site, then when she was caught she lied TWICE about it to me,) she kicked me MULTIPLE times for the year I was unemployed and looking for work while attending school. During my unemployment she never offered ONCE to help pay for my school tuition, threatened to kick me out of the house, sometimes threatened to have her family beat the crap out of me, and got upset when i tried to do some work outside of school for experience because it interfered with her sleep time. And through all of this, she justifies it all, NEVER APOLOGIZED for any of the bad stuff she did and continues to do, yet blames the failing marriage on me. I was wrong with the stuff I did onto her and wish I can take it back, but it’s not enough even if I got from counselor to counselor and acknowledge i was wrong. She to this day insists it’s all my fault and i have no reason to feel any pain. I’m in a box, my wife resents that i feel any emotion not coinciding with hers, and makes me feel bad for expressing any kind of pain. We are currently seeing a counselor, and i have been talking to this counselor about my “semi-pornography” thing, but my wife even scoffs at that, too…I have been seriously thinking about moving out and ultimately getting a divorce. My wife is not serious about fixing this. She just wants to destroy me and then claim she tried to fix this. I am boxed in, and guilted into thinking i have no right to feel sadness or pain…
I read your article, I understand that no one can tell me when I’ve had enough. But Iam 38 , with 5 kids. I have a 20 year old son who is expecting his 1st, with his gf, I have 13 year old triplet daughters, and a 12 year old son. My husband and I have been married 16 years, he has also been “married ” to the military for 17 years. We are an active duty family. Yes I say we, I’ve watched him pack up for 6 different deployments, some almost broke his soul. Anyway… the loves not there. I reach out to touch him, and he dosent return the favor, we used to snuggle in bed, when one person would move or shift, the other followed, now I usually sleep with a body pillow so I can have comfort. I need help or get sick, I have to do it alone, it was one thing when he couldn’t be here, but now he chooses not to be. He says basically that everything that happens, is my fault. I look at this man, and it’s not just the children I gave him, or saving his life a few times, but everything he took, stole, robbed and broke me of. I try to hold on, part of me dosent want to be in that 78% marriage fail rate, or the fact if we fail, did I f*$k up? But Iam tired. Lonely. Dissapointed. Lost. Hurt and angry. Where did I get so weak. How can I hold on for just a few more years till our kids are out of the house. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
You gravitate towards people and things that make you the most happy. When your husband chooses to spend more time with his friends, working on his car, or doing some other activity than with you, it might signal that he is unhappy with you for some reason. He may be upset with you for some reason and isn’t talking to you about it because he doesn’t want to deal with the argument that will result from it.
Since last year i struggle to feel secure as he cheated on me and i couldn’t feel reassured… we fought lots in front of the kids. He is Bipolar 2 and 2 months ago he tried to commit suicide and i was by his side through everything… We still had issues afterwards because i felt this could have made a difference and made us grow closer but nothing. 2 weeks ago we had a big fight because he didn’t want to answer a question about money and again i’ve asked him a straight forward question where the money came from and he didn’t answer me, he just said from his account. I felt hurt because he used to blame me because of our finance.. i spend too much etc and that’s why at times he keeps money aside for me not to know..
My husband also told me that he wasn’t happy in our marriage.  Unfortunately, I took no action and didn’t take this all that seriously.  As a result, we separated and almost divorced.  I wish I had handled it differently because I had a lot of catching up to do.  Luckily, I finally stumbled upon some strategies that worked.  If it helps, you can read the whole story on my blog http://isavedmymarriage.com
I have a husband who has been hard to please. We have been married for 20+ years. Everything I do has an "ulterior" motive in his mind. I don't think I can even get into the whole of this to give anyone a good perspective of what I am dealing with. He was married to a woman for maybe 2-3 months. I'm not sure why he married her as she cheated on him before they were married and he still married her - then shortly after they got married she cheated again and he kicked her out. After they were split for like 2 years we started dating and got married. He has really old-fashioned thinking which at times is nice and at times it is very stressful. Anyway - if I even talk to another man he gets a little ridiculous. Recently we had a friend who lost a spouse and our children were really good friends. They (the children) have been over a lot since that happened and my husband has blown that whole thing into he is interested in me. To the point of starting arguments about it in the middle of the night. when I am sound asleep - he will wake me up - what's wrong - I know there is something wrong. I can't even talk to him anymore - even social media posts he twists into a new dimension of meaning something entirely different. I am probably going to block him from my social media posts to put a stop to that. I walk on eggshells. He gets my phone and reads my text messages and has found nothing - but still swears there is something there. The way he thinks is the only right way and if you try to show him something different it can often make him angry. I feel like a caged bird and I feel like he is smothering me and the whole situation is making me very unhappy. I try to be happy even when things are going wrong - I deal with it and move on. He complains and puts everyone around him down and blames them even if they had nothing to do with it. He can control himself around his own family and around people he thinks a lot of. He will brag us up to those people, but if my Mom is around or if someone he has decided he doesn't care for is around he is downright hurtful and rude. What is odd - is it's ok if he does it - but if you would turn around and do the same - he would be telling you about it. He has good qualities - he is a hard worker and a good provider. And what I have just explained is just a mild overview, nowhere near a thorough explanation. My main question is how do you give yourself space from a person like this when you are married with children still at home living in the same home? I am self-employed but I don't feel I can support myself without getting a job which would probably mean I would need to quit my business as I would not be readily available for appointments. I love your advice - and I think it would work great for a more removed relative or friend - but how do you make it work for someone you live with who seems at times irrational.
For whatever reason, you feel dependent enough on your boyfriend that you can't imagine being without him. Maybe it's because he always fixes your car, pays for your stuff and lends you money, makes you feel less alone or gives you something to do. Whatever the reason, don't stay with someone you are too dependent on - stay with someone if you genuinely want to be with them!
I don't think he is or would have an affair. I think that he still wants to try to have a sucessful and happy marriage, but neither one of us is certain how to accompllish it. He doesn't like to share his feelings with me until he can't handle them anymore. He told me that at the point when he finally does tell me, he says he is never sure how I'll react. After he tells me, he says he ends up feeling guilty ( I'm a very easy crier) and then wishes he had kept his mouth shut. I do have depression, and have been this way since we met, so this is nothing he didn't know. He also expressed that he's been feeling very cynical and angry towards me for reasons he can't explain. For example- I am directionally challenged (driving directions). On a recent trip he got mad that I had us going in circles. When I told him that getting mad at me was not going to make me better at reading a map, he took the map and curtily showed me where we were, etc. He used that recent experience as an example of how his attitude toward me has changed. I just don't know what to do. He's right- personalities don't change, and I now realize that our relationship isn't where it was two years ago. I love him so much and am ready to fight (figuratively speaking) to make our marriage stronger from this experience. 

If you try to change your boyfriend, he will feel pressure and it won’t keep him happy. If you focus on what you like about him, and his good traits, it will build confidence in him, and help him develop in positive ways. I’m not telling you to inflate his ego and ignore things that really bother you, but accept that no one is perfect, not even yourself.
Well, I just broke up for the fourth time with a guy who would stay with me because he thought I had the whole thing going as in, the perfect girl for him, the one. He stayed because he wanted things to magically work (as in no efforts on his part) because he didn’t want me going off with someone else, since I was so perfect for him. But he was not happy. Like, what..? Anyway.
The most effective way to help others become happier, then, very well may be by focusing on becoming happy ourselves. This may strike some as selfish, but we can easily imagine flowing readily from our own happiness a heightened ability to encourage, support, and inspire. One strategy we shouldn't adopt, no matter how tempting it may be, is to give our unhappy loved ones what they ask for automatically without carefully considering the consequences. What unhappy people want is so often not what they need that this knee-jerk approach must in the end be considered unwise at best. We may feel impelled to give them what they want by our own sense of urgency to pry them out of whatever unhappy box they're in. But this urge often rises from our discomfort, not theirs, and causes us to suspend our good judgment in favor of what seems expedient.
If we're not conscious about it, a simple criticism like "you're not good at loading the dishwasher," can evolve into "load the dishwasher this way." Suddenly, we're meticulously telling our husbands how to do everything, which, according to Weks, can leave a man feeling backed into a corner. "You don't realize how controlling you are with him and over time, this chips away at his masculinity," she told me. "Being a good woman is not enough. In order for him to feel good, he must be able to feel like a man around you."
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