"People mistakenly believe that they shouldn't ask for what they want from their partner, when in actuality it is the best way to communicate and get what you want from your relationship. Your partner shouldn't expect you to meet all their needs—expecting someone to 'complete' you is a romantic idea but not a healthy one. But healthy couples do work together to make sure the most important needs are being met." —Clark
It seems as though lately, all we do is bicker. We are constantly at each others throats. He is cold and rude and that makes me mad or cry and then he tells me I am being over dramatic. It is a vicious cycle and I don't know how to make it stop. We have been dating for over a year, but for the first 11 months we were long distance. We saw each other every weekend and our relationship was really strong. We decided that if we were going to work long term, we would need to see how we did when we lived in the same city. He had the better job, so I moved from Houston to Dallas to be with him. I don't really know anyone here, so it is natural for me to cling to him, because he is my support system. I don't know if going from seeing each other 4 days a week to 6 or 7 days a week freaked him out, or what it is, but something with us changed. He started to feel trapped, and controlled in every aspect of his life (not just by me). Work is overwhelming him, his parents are demanding of his time as are his life long friends and so am I. I know besides work I am the top prority out of those 4 but I know he wants it to be more balanced. I have tried to explain to him that I am ok with that, but he doesnt seem to believe me. I want to find my own nitche in this new city. I have always been an independent, strong woman so it is gut wrernching to me that I have become this dependent, needy, naggy person. That is not who I am, but at the same time I have never moved for love, and then felt so alone. I don't think that he understands how much I have given up to be with him. Don't get me wrong, this was my choice, and I would do it again if I knew that we were going to be ok. I am just not so sure anymore.
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 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.
when i was younger i always went for the life of the party types but have found they are usually very self centered and exhausting to be around in the long haul. sarcasm is not funny to me anymore either, because it my experience it’s based in hostility, which can often be turned on to the partner during disagreements, a man who’s humor isnt about putting others down, but about the human condition and absurdity of life, that is truly funny to me, and something i would not want to live without.
It seems as though lately, all we do is bicker. We are constantly at each others throats. He is cold and rude and that makes me mad or cry and then he tells me I am being over dramatic. It is a vicious cycle and I don't know how to make it stop. We have been dating for over a year, but for the first 11 months we were long distance. We saw each other every weekend and our relationship was really strong. We decided that if we were going to work long term, we would need to see how we did when we lived in the same city. He had the better job, so I moved from Houston to Dallas to be with him. I don't really know anyone here, so it is natural for me to cling to him, because he is my support system. I don't know if going from seeing each other 4 days a week to 6 or 7 days a week freaked him out, or what it is, but something with us changed. He started to feel trapped, and controlled in every aspect of his life (not just by me). Work is overwhelming him, his parents are demanding of his time as are his life long friends and so am I. I know besides work I am the top prority out of those 4 but I know he wants it to be more balanced. I have tried to explain to him that I am ok with that, but he doesnt seem to believe me. I want to find my own nitche in this new city. I have always been an independent, strong woman so it is gut wrernching to me that I have become this dependent, needy, naggy person. That is not who I am, but at the same time I have never moved for love, and then felt so alone. I don't think that he understands how much I have given up to be with him. Don't get me wrong, this was my choice, and I would do it again if I knew that we were going to be ok. I am just not so sure anymore.

I gave all i had. I revolved my entire life around him. I tried to fix him, so many bad things happened to him and i tried to be his rock, his strength. To show him that someone truly loved him. And he used how much i cared to take full advantage of me. And i felt him start to push me away. I knew after 3 years it was coming. He said he didnt want a relationship. Then said he was sorry and theres still hope. Then never said goodbye to me. Its been a week of nothing from him. I said goodbye over text in a moment of weakness, and he didnt even say goodbye. Just that hes been busy and loves me. Too busy to say goodbye to someone who loved him unconditionally for 3 years. But not too busy to be all over social media. To be laughing at my pain. To show just how little i meant and how little i effect his life. I cant remember how to even live and hes living as if i was never anything to him. Its honestly killing me. I spend 90% of my days crying and wishing i was gone. I have a perfect son, i have a lot to be thankful for, i know that. But i cant see through this. Nothing feels good. All i think about is him. All i want is him to care about me. But nothing can be fixed. We will never be together again. There isnt a world that exists where we end up together. Its like i know but i cant accept it. I have no one to talk to and im drowning.
 Know That He Might Be Unhappy In Another Area Of His Life:  The men in this situation don’t come right out and say this of course.  (Sometimes, they don’t even realize it themselves.) But it’s often very easy to read between the lines.  It’s not uncommon for this whole “I’m not happy” business to come at a time when he’s otherwise struggling.  Perhaps he has lost his job.  Maybe he is going through a serious lifestyle change.  Or perhaps something is happening with his extended family.  Whatever the reason, it’s very common for a man to take a problem that has nothing whatsoever to do with his marriage and then to project that problem onto the person who is most convenient or who is the closest to him.  And that person is often his wife.

When you were first married, you probably felt understood, heard, and connected with your husband. You were polite. You didn’t want to hurt him – and he was sensitive to your feelings. But time passes, and the stress of daily life and kids and jobs and money and house and aging parents and health issues take a toll…and you find that you don’t have the time and patience it takes to be polite. This isn’t necessarily a sign your marriage is over – it just means you need to make time and effort to communicate with love and respect.


Give yourself time to grieve the idea that your boyfriend doesn’t love you or want you in his life anymore. It’s a huge, shocking blow. Don’t gloss over your disappointment, heartache, grief, pain, sadness, and fear. What helps me heal from terrible loss is writing. I write to express my pain. Other women turn to art, music, hiking in the woods or snow, swimming, decluttering the house, or traveling. Even reading can be an effective way to grieve the loss of a boyfriend’s love.
So you love him, you are not happy, he does not understand you nor your feelings. I think it's time you move on. I know it's as hard for you to acknowledge the fact as easy it is for me to point it out here. But believe me, it's the best thing to do. Love is way overrated and people misunderstand it a lot. If you are not happy all the time then it is not love. It just can't be. I strongly suggest you to move on and explore other areas of life. Don't feel bad if your love failed you. It's just a very small chapter in your life. Don't spoil the whole book just because of one torn page. You are the author. Fill it in and move on. Good luck :)
You describe a difficult situation. I don't think anyone can CONTROL their emotions but I'm convinced they can INFLUENCE them (by which I mean work to make them more positive—but not by simply deciding to make them more positive). All human beings have executive functions that can, most of the time, mute the effect of negative emotions on behavior (e.g., we can get angry but choose not to yell or hit).
It's normal to feel a twinge of jealousy whenever you think about your single friends going out there and doing whatever they want, talking to different guys and flirting with anyone without guilt. But if you feel that way most of the time, that's a sign that you're looking for something different than what you have. Pay attention to how often you feel jealous of their lifestyle.
So you love him, you are not happy, he does not understand you nor your feelings. I think it's time you move on. I know it's as hard for you to acknowledge the fact as easy it is for me to point it out here. But believe me, it's the best thing to do. Love is way overrated and people misunderstand it a lot. If you are not happy all the time then it is not love. It just can't be. I strongly suggest you to move on and explore other areas of life. Don't feel bad if your love failed you. It's just a very small chapter in your life. Don't spoil the whole book just because of one torn page. You are the author. Fill it in and move on. Good luck :)
Okay, so maybe you and your husband aren't experiencing any conflict. You aren't nagging him. You aren't arguing. Actually, come to think of it, you aren't doing much of anything — even getting it on. This might seem like no big deal, but couples coach Lesli Doares, host of Happily Ever After is Just the Beginning on Web Talk Radio, says this could spell trouble in paradise. "It isn't just that most men have a higher sex drive," she told me. "It's that this is a way for men to open up emotionally. Sex releases oxytocin, the bonding hormone, so not being physical can create distance. It also can result in feelings of rejection which can lead to feeling unloved."
Did you just type, “He will break up with me when he goes through my phone and realize a guy texted me. Just recently, I went to the house and the while place was locked but he was inside with a woman. I went to the back where the bedroom window is and I heard him talking with a woman. I called and he told me he’s not home. Am just devastated”? You need to dump that psycho before he breaks you.

What about a spouse who suffers from depression and refuses to get the help he needs. A father of 3 young children who is saying hurtful things to his 4 year old son? He jumped out of our van with the kids inside because he didn’t want to have a discussion. He was on meds for 6 weeks in winter of 2010 and went off, saying the doc said to (she’s my doc too and we have spoken and she recommends meds for a year) I’ve given him a year to try to go on his own terms but with attacking our son verbally that has challenges from a premature birth I refuse to watch him destroy our childrens lives because of his unwillingness to get the help he needs. His parents are concerned about him as well. I’ve just ordered some self help books recommended by a psychologist friend. I have definately fallen out of love with him. This has been going on for 4 years, seems he sort of lost his mind when I became pregnant with twins. Any suggestions??? My doctor said often the non-depressed spouse has to leave or ask the spouse to leave before they will finally get help but often they still won’t get the help they need.
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.
"Taking time to regularly cuddle, touch, and show love and affection for your partner stimulates chemicals in the body like oxytocin and dopamine, which foster feelings of attraction. Without that feeling of connectedness, a divide can form, which can lead to unhappiness. Even a short amount of intimate time daily with your sweetheart can really keep that bond strong." —Antonia Hall, psychologist, relationship expert and author of The Ultimate Guide to a Multi-Orgasmic Life

I’m going to take the assumption that you’re already in a relationship with this man… At which I ask you this: If you have to ask if happiness is possible, haven’t you already answered your own question? I’m not going to say definitively whether or not your happiness is possible with this person, but you have to ask yourself the question of whether or not you’re currently happy. If the answer is no… well… you should probably consider ending things sooner rather than later. You shouldn’t have to change who you are in order to find your happiness. Additionally, who you're with shouldn’t be the source of your happiness, but rather an amplification of it. In order to be truly happy, you must first be happy on your own. Your significant other is NOT a person to fill the void in your life… they’re a person to share your WHOLE life with.
I’ve forgiven him. I brought dysfunction in to this marriage also (codependency). I spent over 13years trying to change him (there’s the codep. in me lol) He’s a product of his childhood as am I. But that doesn’t make it hurt any less and doesn’t mean we have to stay in the marriage. I’m no longer angry or hurt. Nor do I feel shame or guilt for how I feel towards him now. Mentally I’ve made peace with what’s happened. I taught him how to treat me and I enabled him. But there’s simply been too much damage. I have no desire to even think about liking him. I’m investing all my energy on my recovery and attempting to help my 12yr old son learn healthy ways to deal with his negative emotions. I’ve got a long way to go. I continue to tell myself “progress not perfection”
This is the oldest trick in the book. Why do we start a relationship hoping a man is going to change? It’s important to accept your boyfriend for who he is, in the flesh. If you fell in love with your idea of him, and not the real him, that’s not his fault. If you are pushing him to do things he doesn’t want to do, it’s not going to make him happy.
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.”

First and foremost, we must realize that everyone is ultimately responsible for their own happiness and simultaneously that everyone exerts a powerful influence on the happiness of those around them. A study by a former colleague, Nicholas Christakis, suggests that we influence the happiness of people close to us physically as well as the happiness of people close to us personally up to three degrees of separation (meaning not just the friends of our friends but their friends as well). How might this influence come about? Not by the advice we give or the action we take to try to make others happier but simply by being happy ourselves. Emotions, it turns out, are as contagious as infectious diseases (possibly as a result of the mirror neuron system). Some of us seem to be more contagious than others and some of us especially susceptible to being "infected" by others, but most of us have had firsthand experience in bringing others up or down with our moods and in being brought up or down by the moods of others.


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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
My boyfriend told me is isn't happy, that things aren't the same between us. He says I'm not fun anymore and that I'm more serious now and I don't hold on a conversation with him like I use to. I'm going through some things, I lost my job things at home aren't good. I don't know what to do, he says he wants to me with me and he loves me and is in love with me. Should I give him space. I cant imagine losing him, he means everything to me . I want to change, I don't want to lose him and what we .
It hurts. Infidelity hurts, betrayal hurts, and broken relationships hurt. But what really hurts is when as a woman you allow these situations to affect how you view yourself. When you allow an indiscretion to change the way you see yourself, and this view is in opposition to how God sees you then you are wrong. When you allow these hurts to change you, and you carry them like extra luggage then you are acting in error. You are acting like 90% of the female population, but you are still wrong. 
The topic of the forum is not to understand why marriaged fall, but to know when they are near the end as is the case with mine. Your comments have some obvious contradictions in them and I would like to point them out. When you forgive someone, that means you move on and do not bring the issue up in the future. If she is trying to get back at me, that means she did not forgive. And you did not read well, I am the one who is willing to forgive, save the marriage and move on. And you also did not read well that I did not have any physical contact with my “affair: who was btw overseas, so yes I cannot stand the fact that she kissed another guy all the while she violently rejects even holding hands with me.
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.
Men hate complaining so they are better off saying nothing at all. Perhaps he doesn’t want to hurt your feelings or he hopes he’ll cope with his unhappiness alone. He keeps silent and looks thoughtful. Men tend to think over the current situation that bothers their mind. You may ask what`s going on but I bet he`ll not answer. Give him some time to put his thoughts in order and handle his problems on his own.
I agree with Evan’s assessment but also want to bring another question to the table after reading her letter.  Humor is important, and it’s obviously very important to the letter writer, but could it also be her way of providing herself with an ‘out’?   She mentioned that she ended her previous long-term relationships.  Could her current relationship be great and heading towards the next phase and that’s what’s causing her to all of the sudden focus intensely on his ‘lack of humor’?   I did this to my relationships to sabotage them from moving forward because I was too nervous, unwilling, etc. to risk going there.  Thankfully I realized that before it was too late and am in a great relationship now because of it.  But before, when it started getting serious, I’d start focusing on something that all of a sudden became a ‘deal-breaker’ that wasn’t one before.
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.
Evan, I’m de-lurking to say this post is BRILLIANT. Thank you a million times over for this! I’ve been feeling sad since dumping a moody guy last month, and this is just what I needed to hear. You’ve helped me feel so much better about my decision. I hear a lot of my male friends complain about dating women who are “downers,” but rarely do I hear my female friends complain about moody men, so I was torturing myself about dumping this guy. I wanted to believe he’d snap out of it, but he didn’t, so… goodbye and good luck to him. Thank you, Evan, for your perspective as someone who has “been there,” and thank you for reminding women that we deserve better.
According to Hope, keeping your man interested goes beyond sex. "Men want to be with women who wear high heels, take great care of themselves, and look hot," she told me. "This never changes with them. So if you are a wife who is bogged down with daily chores and worries, thus letting yourself go in the process, this could be the secret turn-off button."
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