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.
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.
Recently my husband and I have brought some issues to light. We have been together 13 years, married 12. We were young and I had a 3 mo old daughter when we met. I fell in love with him because of the way he was with her. Recently, in a very relaxed conversation, he reveiled to me that he “thinks this sounds bad” but he believes he fell in love with me becuase of her. I dont have a problem with that. But now he thinks he loves me very much but isnt in love with me anymore. Personally, I dont know the difference. He says he loves me every night before we go to bed, and every morning before he leaves for work, as well as every time we talk on the phone, before he hangs up. And if I say it to him when around the house, he always says it back. He usually kisses me good night and good bye. So I think there is love there, and after so many years of being together you just fall into a rut. But…….. there are problems and I am not sure, when put all together, if I should be worried. He has always had this thing with joining dating sites online. He says he is just looking and that you have to become a memeber to see them. He says he doesnt get attention very often and it’s nice to see if someone responds. That he never returns their messages and would never act upon it. He has acutally kept this very open with me. From the beginning. I truly do understand where he is coming from. In my line of work, I am with guys all the time. So there is attention. I share all these stories with him so that he doesnt think I am hiding anything. I have never done anything inappropriate with anymore, nor have i wanted to. He is the only guy I have wanted in that way since I have been with him. In his line of work, there is no one else to give him this attention. WE all like to feel that we are still desireable and I know how that feeling lacks after being in the same relationship for years. But lately, I have had an issue with it and when I try to talk to him about it, he tells me (now mind you very calmly and never upset with me about it) that he never ever as any intention of acting upon it, it’s just nice to feel like someone is flirting with you. He is a very good looking guy and gets flirted with when we go out but he doesnt notice it. So I really do understand that need and want. Plus he reminds me that we made an agreement in the beginning that if either one of us felt things were moving towards a path that we were going to be unfaithful, then out of respect, we owed it to the other party to tell them beforehand. (He had been cheated on a few times prior to me and it really hurt him) Then I feel bad for bringing it up. But then he points out the fact that I need to start doing my own thing. We have 3 kids and i do absolutely everything for them. They are each very involved in school activities and friends and I never tell them no. So between running them around and my work I feel unappreciated and taken for granted. He says that if I had a few female friends that I could go out with and get away from the house I would feel better. That my life is not the kids and him, that I need time for myself. That i have become bitter and some people that he introduces me to read in my body language that I dont want to be there and so later on he feels embarassed and he apologizes to them for that impression and tells them that I am really not that way, that I am a very nice person, just hard to get to know. He does have a point. I only define myself as his wife and their mother. I have nothing else. And it is my own fault, I have made it that way. He says he thinks I am miserable and just dont know it. I think he has a point. But then here comes the fact that right now, becuase of everythign else, i am dealing with some real insecurity issues. I dont feel any emotion from him lately. I have tried to initiate being intimate these past few nights, with nothing but cuddling from him. I end up crying myself to sleep. I ask, if he really isnt interested and he says he really is just very tired. He recently got promoted at his job, so he leaves at 4:30 in the morning and gets home anywhere from 7:30-11:00 at night. He is exhausted and I can see it, becuase he sits on the couch within the first 5 mins of being home and falls asleep before the kids get a chance to tell him how their day was. He says that I am making a little thing into a big thing lately because I am being so emotional. Which is not like me. We use to joke that we had a really different kind of relationship. We werent really mushy, we joked in what othes would think would be mean ways. We use to tell people we had a love hate relationship. That we love to hate each other, but then we would laugh and he would kiss me and they knew it just worked for us. He had such a hard up bringing that he doesnt get very emotional, it’s almost like a wall. And i was ok with that until recently. It seems like he hasnt changed the way he treats me, but I see it now as a lack of emotion. That I am making subtle hints that I just need him to come up behind me and hug me, just to show me he’s still there, but he doesnt notice this. I want to talk to him but feel like I am beating a dead horse (for lack of a better term). We’ve never really had communication problems so I dont know why it is so difficult for me to talk to him now. I dont knwo why I feel so insecure now. I think if i just felt like i had some reassurance on his part. And when I brought that up the other night, he said, “I come home to year every night. I love you and the kids. I just want you to stop being so derogatory on the outside. Show what’s on the inside.” He even said that maybe he has started to pull away a bit becuase he sometimes doesnt know what kind of mood I am going to be in. and that does push him away sometimes. He does have a point there. He is the kind of guy that is always perkey, the glass is always half full with him. He says things are uncontrolable and you just have to go with the flow. I tease and call him a con artist sometimes, because he always seems to have everyone eating out of the palm of his hands. And I other the other hand, am the pessimistic one. I always prepare for the worse so that I wont be let down. Always been that way. But now it seems to be causing a drift between us. I feel I really need to change this behavior or I will loose him but on the same token, i dont want to feel like I have to change all of me to make him fall in love with me again. I dont feel I am the only one that has things to work on. And when this was all brought up, there was no yelling and he wasnt mean. I was crying, of course, because I didtn know he felt those things, and all I wanted was a hug but that didnt come. A year or two ago I wouldnt have thought anything of it, that’s just him, always has been. But now i feel like I really need the emotion. But it’s not fair to ask him to change. I need to know what I can do to change this, to make my marriage strong again. To make me believe that he still loves me. I want to feel that he isnt just around becuase of the kids, that he wants to be with me. Does it sound like our marriage is over? Does there look like there is any hope? What can I do to help to change things? How can I talk to him without feeling sick to bring it up? How can I get us back to where we were a few years ago? Is there any hope for us? I love him very much and am becoming sick imagining him leaving me. He hasnt said he is or wants to, but from some comments lately, I think he is just content and I want him to be happy. Does that mean I have to let him go?

"Each partner should be able to find three things they are grateful for each day about their partner and share it with them. Whether it's gratitude for working hard, cleaning up the house, or taking care of the children, complimenting your loved one leads to increased positivity in the relationship. If they can't think of three things, this is a red flag they are unhappy."  —Kimberly Hershenson, individual and couples therapist based in NYC

Thank you for your article, there are so many questions that go through your head when you are contemplating divorce. Your article put a lot of things into perspective for me. After 26 years of marriage to a really good man, I'm just not sure I love him the way I should anymore and I think he is equally feeling the distance between us. I truly thought he was my forever (if that even exists) and it is so hard to make that final decision to leave. Addictions are the biggest problem, gaming, pornography, etc. and it is really the emotional emptiness that hurts the most. Trying to understand why someone becomes so addicted to things (so easily) is frustrating for me. I've tried to listen and understand his problem, but it just seems like a weakness more than an illness to me. For anyone going through this, I feel empathy, it is honestly the hardest thing I've ever been through in my life--and I haven't even filed for divorce yet. Thanks again for the article.


My boyfriend and I have been together for 4 years, we have definitely had our ups and downs but throughout everything we’ve always stuck by each other’s side. About a month and a half ago he told me that he wanted to take a break from our relationship so that he could take some time to work on himself & I was 100% okay with that, but eventually it was revealed that he’s been having doubts about our relationship because I’m younger than him (2.5 year age difference) & there’s also this girl that he has like me for some time now that he wants to talk to. I know he has some strong feelings for this girl because anytime we’re remotely close to getting back together he runs into her (they go to school && work together) and totally second guesses our whole relationship. It hurts me because I want to be with him for the rest of my life, but I know deep down he really wants the other girl. I’ve asked him several times if he would rather be with me or her & he always says “I don’t know.” That tells me that he doesn’t really want me anymore because how could you even compare a 4 year relationship to a crush? I’m just really in a sad place right now because I feel like our relationship is over. He still tells me he loves me and tries to act like we’re still together but I know that it’s her that he really wants. I’ve told him to go be with her because I know that’s what he really wants and I love him enough to let him go so that he can be with someone who is everything that he wants and more. He tells me he won’t do it because he doesn’t want me to get involved with anyone else. I just don’t know what to do anymore. He’s literally my best friend and I have no one else that I can talk to about our relationship. I really don’t want to leave him.. I want us to be happy together again.
Hi, I’m a young lady who got married @ the young age but my hubby has financial problems and avoids them. I don’t feel I love him because he leaves me alone in our flat goes out with his friends, sleeps over there with his single friends. I took a vow I won’t ask him where are his whereabouts because I don’t knw him no more. I’m too young to b in this situation. He accuses me of cheating and name calls me. I always help him witth his finances and tells me that I love him for his money. What money he is drowning in debt.
I don't think that you're suggestions are going to be too popular....we have a throw away society. Anything that doesn't fit or work as expected is junked right away and replaced, relationships included. And taking kids into account? Forget about it! It seems like they are the very last ones to be thought of by a party seeking divorce, thought that could only just that, a seeming. People in our culture are taught to be very self-centered now-a-days, that ones personal happiness is all that counts.

MARRIAGE, THE WHYS THIS EVERTHING I CANNOT UNDERSTAND WHY MY HUSBAND A GREAT MAN A GREAT HUSBAND, A GREAT PARENT OVERALL HE WAS EVERYTHING TO ME… HE ONE DAY DECIDED TO LET ME KNOW HE WANTED A DIVORCE, I HONESTLY WAS VERY BLINDSIDED AND SHOCKED, I LOVE HIM IM IN LOVE WITH HIM AND HE WANTS OUT AS WELL AS HE WANTS TO THROW IT ALL AWAY, I ALWAYS BELEIVED I WAS GOING TO GROW OLD WITH MY HUSBAND I TOOK VOWS THAT ARE STILL SACRED TO ME WE RENEWED OUR VOWS I NEVER ONCE CHEATED ON HIM IM TRYING TO UNDERSTAND EACH DAY WHY THIS IS TRANSPIRING I BELEIVE HE HAS MADE UP HIS MIND ITS OVER AND THERE IS NO CHANCE HE HAS AN ALTERNATIVE PLAN I DONT EVEN BELEIVE HE EVER LOVED ME. I GIVE HIM HIS SPACE I STAY OUT OF HIS WAY WE STILL LIVE TOGETHER BUT I AM SURE THERES AN ALTERNATIVE SOMETHING ON HIS PART I AM MORE THAN WILLING TO WORK ALL THIS OUT HE WANTS NO PART OF IT ITS VERY HURTFUL AND SAD THERES NOTHING I CAN DO I TRIED TO SPEAK BOUT THE MARRIAGE HE STATES WE HAVE NOTHING IN COMMON AND HE WANTS OUT I BELEIVE OUR MARRIAGE WAS A PURE LIE TO ME FOR OVER 20 YEARS. I NEVER ONCE STOPPED LOVING HIM ALL I EVER WANTED WAS HIS ATTENTION AND AFFECTION AND LITTLE TIME FOR US. ANY SUGGESTIONS? OR IS IT OVER AND GO ON? PLEASE ADVISE I APPRECIATE AND WELCOME ALL ANSWERS THANK YOU SARA JOY
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.
The first thing you should do before speaking to your partner is finding out why you are unhappy. Once you are able to tell your boyfriend you are unhappy, you two can talk about what has to be done in order for you to be happy. You may catch your partner off guard when you bring up the situation, so try to be the bigger person and avoid getting into a big fight. Make sure not to leave anything out when you have this conversation as you want your boyfriend to fully understand what led to this. After everything is out in the open, ask your boyfriend what he wants, tell him what you want, and get closure. Don't let this situation drag on for months, find a solution as soon as possible.

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.


This is what has been happening with me. I’ve been married for a little over a year my soon to be ex has only talked twice about our relationship issues and this is only after she left twice and we worked everything out. But that’s the only time she has talked to me about our relationship. She was never willing to talk but those two times. We have had many issues that needed to be talked about but she refuses she calls me every thing in the book and belittles me she will text me saying all this but refuses to sit down and talk about our issues. Example of her getting mad: I would ask her a question she would reply saying you’re an idiot why would you ask that you’re stupid and it was a simple question like do you still want to go town this weekend. One other example I was making supper I was cutting an onion she say why you cutting that onion like that I say that’s how I was taught she say that’s stupid you’re a moron. I have spoiled her I helped with cooking cleaning laundry do all the yard work but nothing is ever good enough and one minute she is all good and the next she is pissed over stupid things. She has left again my question is should I just say screw it and justhave nothing to do with her?

I happened across this page by accident but I found it pretty interesting whe I read the complaints you have all made about your husbands or long term partners. I have to say, as a man, for several decades now the media has drilled into our heads that men are evil and women are their victims. I’m certainly not going to tell you that history clearly indicates women were under valued in our society; howeve, having said that, I must tell you some of what I have read could be quotes from movies or books telling the tragic stories of abused women. Some of you are simply looking for someone to give you permission to leave your marriage because you are tired if the marriage, not because your husband has or is doing anything wrong. It seems to me that women are becoming more bold in their pursuit of a “better life.” hoping to find the man who can fulfil all their dreams. You need to leave dreams where they belong! Dancing in your heads while you sleep. They have no real value In true life! Sorry but you aren’t fulfilling all of our dreams either but fortunately for men, the media is telling us we are the “bad” of relationships thus causing men to believe there is no reason to talk, complain or share no one cares what you, a man, thinks. Men talk amongst themselves and tgey are reinforcing to each other that idea is true. Women want their men to share, so they say, but want most of them really want is for men to listen to the woman and feel what she feels and make that their feelings so he can meet her needs. I’m not blaming women… I’m saying media sources are out to make a dollar and are going to make that dollar at the expense of our relationships. More and more women are finding themselves attracted to other women believing, again because it’s what’s being said, that only a woman could understand her. I securely predict in the next 20 years media will find a select type of woman who is the blame for those failed relationships and unsuspecting women will began to make Internet complaints about how they are trapped in their relationship with these women, who were initially suppose to be the answer. Men will began to recover from their own low esteem issues and in time society will circle and women will seek men as their answer again. The truth is quit listening to everyone who tells you you are being victimized and understand that all relationships have their troubles. If your man is truly treating you like garbage and without respect as an equal, get the hell out and never have a guilty feeling about it! He is responsible for his decisions too. Trust me I have as much to say to men as I have to you ladies. Your not stupid are drowning in self-pity… You are the victim if media. They spend millions every year to know how to get into our heads. We should all cut them off where it hurts! Start reading carefully selected materials and do away with the idiot box all together! But then thus is America, we thrive on entertainment just as did Rome before its collapse. America is cycling at a record speed. Truly folks I’m not ragging on you at all, I’m just hating that we are at the point that we would rather believe the lie rather than even hear the truth. I wish you all the best of wisdom and choices. Live a happy life but know happiness and perfection are two different animals such as a horse and a unicorn.
I am a man and have gone through the video game addiciton. I went there to the game as an escape or catharsis from another crisis in my life. We all get into he said she said this and that trying to convince ourselves its the others fault. Look deep within for your own criticism of self as well as your spouse. Own up to how you feel and communicate with him. Stooping low and doing the same thing he is doing your own way is the surest way to ensure failure. I have blown it this way too. Further a word of caution, beware the criticism of others toward your spouse in your external relationships, less they influence the fate of your internal relationship. We all want to bounce our situation off of other Neutral pseduocounselors. Don’t fall into the trap of believing for a second you can provide that objective view for them to evaluate. It doesnt hurt to talk. Just communicate. If it fails at least you have tried.
When we had a big fight just this MArch, it was so hard to reconcile because of our situation. He was there and I am here. He doesn’t want to talk to me, or to my son. He doesn’t want to solve the problem! The situation stayed like that for almost a month. Without communication. Then he came home because he had an accident. I thought we would be make peace then. But he blamed the accident on me. He doesn’t want to connect with me anymore, though he said he would try. We had a big fight at home and he finally said that he doesn’t want to fight because the children will be affected. When I asked him if he still loves me, he said “I don’t know” and he was angry for making him answer that and he said he needed time. When his sick leave was over, he left again for work.

If it was bad enough I would up and leave – my kids come before any spouse. If he was putting such pressure and demands on me to the point I couldn’t protect or look after my kids properly I’d ditch him in a heartbeat, even if it was because of a terminal illness. But admittedly I’m ruthless and the only thing I love more than myself is my own kids. People with more heart than me might stay and look after their spouse too – to me the children’s needs must come first. Whatever is best for them is what I’d do (I think it’s unlikely to come to the point that I’d have to leave though… there would be a support network of family members to help before it got to that stage… but if it ever DID get that bad I’d be prepared to do it).
One of the best ways to survive anything – including a marriage that’s ending – is to talk about it and learn what action steps you can take to improve your situation. Feeling helpless and powerless is the worst place to be! You may not be able to do much to change your situation, but perhaps you can change how you think about it. That may change how you think about your life, and give you strength and power.
I forgot to mention that I've tried to not pamper him as much but then he gets mad that I'm not doing what I'm supposed to. And yes I've thought of that. My son starts school this year. I'm gonna try a new career by going to school. Put some interest in that. But until school starts I can't do it because I don't have a sitter. Which is another thing , is it normal for him to not want to keep our child so I can go somewhere? Like for literally less than am hour
My boyfriend says that he is not happy anymore. He said that he hasn't been in a long time, and that he feels that he doesnt know if he can handel the responsibilities that come along with being in a relationship. He said that he loves me, he is in love with me but that he needs a few days to figure things out. For now, he doesnt want to break up. He is not cheating on me, or interested in dating other women. He said " I dont know if I can handle being with anyone, but if I can I want to be with you".
According to Cole, there are four behaviors that are super-destructive to relationships. If one or more is present in your relationship, you could be on the fast track to loveless-ness (if you're not there already). Every time you criticize your partner — by attacking, blaming, and putting the fault on them by flinging negative statements like "You're always running late," or "You never do anything right" — you corrode your connection. By being defensive and refusing to accept responsibility, or attacking in response to feedback from your partner, you chip away at the trust and goodwill in your marriage. If you have an attitude of contempt, and call your partner names or make stinging, sarcastic remarks, you imply that you're superior and your partner is defective. And every time you stonewall one another, or emotionally shut down instead of openly addressing the issues, you create more distance and dishonesty, rather than openness, communication, and love. If any (or all) of these sounds familiar, schedule couples' therapy to discuss why you do these things — and how you can fix them.
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