I would have gone to the ends of the earth for this man and stayed forever, if he had been willing to work on his issues.  But in the end, you cannot force a grown man to do that if that is not what they want for themselves.  Should you subject yourself to yet more emotional torture and hurt whilst they spiral ever downwards?  What is the use of two people’s lives being destroyed? Very often it is the tough love in this world that has motivated those people to get help and improve, not the silent suffering of those they love.  Moreover, I don’t believe people with serious issues necessarily want to hurt those close to them – so I actually think calling a halt to the madness can be a kindness for all.
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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.
Our relationship started on a very shaky grounds. When we met we were both in relationships – mine wasn’t serious and I ended it immediately. He, however, was living with a woman who he’d been with for (I forget but maybe 5-8 years) and whom he had a son with. Had I met him now I’d have backed off but I was 16 and admit that I didn’t much think of the other woman – he told me that the relationship was practically over anyway, that they were always splitting up. So I believed him when he said that he had split up with her. He in fact had just told her that he wanted to get his own place for a while, but didn’t end the relationship. We moved in togehter; he went away almost every night to say goodnight to his son – me feeling like a homewrecker never questioned that. She turned up one day and the truth came out. Both she and I were devastated – I told him it was over. He begged me not to leave. We had (and still have) a very strong, profound spiritual connection so I stayed. He told me how his son had problems and that his commonlaw wife had major depression and he couldn’t bring himself to leave them so, in my naive young way, I agreed to him staying with her until she was strong enough to be without him – telling myself that we were soulmates and this was just how it was fated to be. Five years passed with me living behind closed curtains for the first half of them – and even then it only ended because the poor woman found out about us. Luckily she was strong enough … Very strong enough to deal with it. I have huge regret – not just because I disrespected myself but also because I disrespected her (although I did think of her, and feel so much guilt the whole time, I was always assured this was the best was to do things – I still belive that he genuinely thought that it was, his intentions were to not hurt her).
I was inspired to write this article by a reader’s comment. “My husband and I have been together since high school and got married 12 years ago,” said Jessie on How to Know if Your Husband Still Loves You. “We’ve always been comfortable together, but over the past couple years I’ve been getting the feeling he no longer wants to be with me. Our relationship is just one of convenience. All of the signs he doesn’t love me are there, and he says a lot of very very hurtful things to me. He tries to make me feel like a horrible person and he attacks the things I say and do. After he says all these mean things to me he wants me to act as though everything is alright. He says I need to smile and be happy etc. but I’m feeling like I could crawl up in a ball and die. Are these signs your marriage is over? I think so but it would help to get an outside opinion.”
every single time my husband and i argue he wants to leave me or he hates me and hes disgusted with me. just recently his father passed and said he didn’t want me to attend the funeral not once but at least 5 or 6 times;he never understands how i feel when i try to explain something or why im upset..im a student so i have no job or money i want to leave him but i feel trapped i really do love him but if has told me he wants to leave over and over again hes even though about suicide and that makes me feel ill! how can i stay with someone that feel this way let alone spill there true feelings to me when hes angry its funny cause i don’t feel warmth from him but when were arguing i get a lot of heat
Kai, you have issues. Sounds like you not only despise your spouse, you have a problem with women in general. We women still earn less than men, have less professional opportunities, face more violence and poverty, all over the world. So, we are far from taking over the planet and raping men. Some women are taught from an early age that their sexuallity is a comodity to help them get a husband or nice things or even a job. In other parts of the world, it can make the difference of whether or not they put food on the table. Maybe your wife is just trying to get your attention or maybe you are imaging things. But you should not be in a relationship with someone you can’t stand being in public with.
I dated my wife for two years, prior to marriage. Been married for 8 years now. We have 1 beautiful daughter, and bought a house in the city she has always wanted to live in. I have provided, supported and never asked anything of her that wasnt unreasonable. We have never had any problems till recently. I just got out of a job, that has supported us for nearly 8 years, and have had a two month slump in work. But I am now back on my feet, providing, supporting, and not once did we get behind. She got stressed and found support, and eventually started an emotional relationship with another man. Long story short, I gave her an ultimatium, end it or I leave. She ended it, but claims she has nobody to talk to, wont look at me, talk to me, and cant be in the same room as me. She is now bashing me to close friends, and blowing things way out of proportion. I am lost, confused, and still in love with her. But I cant live like this. She refuses any counseling, and says to leave her alone, but doesnt want to leave. I need help.
There are some people (often mathematicians), who I say something to, and I think, “Oh my gosh, that HAS to make you laugh or at least smile”, and it doesn’t. That instantly creates a ton of distance. Not only could I not date such people, but I couldn’t be close friends and I don’t feel particularly comfortable in their presence, because were not “on the same wavelength.”
And just a word on sarcasm.  I discovered the rush of sarcasm in my teens.  I had a sharp, witty, sarcastic comeback for everything.  I have to say I was a bit full of myself in that area.  I thought being able to have a comeback for everything actually had value.  One day my sister told me that what I had said didn’t make her feel good, she asked me if I ever stopped to think about how those remarks affected other people.  I had never stopped to think about that, but I did then.  Sarcasm is “humor” with an ugly twist, tread lightly.

He told me during the "talk" that he is afraid to introduce anything new or spontaneous into our reltionship because he can't know how I will react. I might get angry or resent him for offering advice or being better at something than I am. I tried to tell him that he can't assume things like that, and to call me out when my reactio is unwarrented, but he shuts down and then feels guilty for bringing it up to begin with.
That you for writing this article. I am a 30 yr old woman who has been in a commonlaw relationship for 10 yrs. We have 2 kids together. My significant other had an emotional/physical i dont know affair with our neighbour who is 20! I recently lost my job and sitting here in this house with that #$%&* next door is hard to take. I find i have more and more time to think about the relationship each day and i have become very self-isolating and depressed. I have contiplated suicide too often to count in the last few months. The only way i see moving on is by leaving him. I tried to leave, made arrangements for an apartment and told him I did so. He managed to beg me into staying. My life has come to a halt. I want to go back to school and become a naturopathic doctor someday. When he says he loves me i can not think of anything to say..the words are not there. He thinks this year would be a good year to get married, i told him it aint happening unless he comes clean about what happened with the “child” next door. I dont think that is going to happen anytime soon. I need to get out of this relationship before I turn into some depressed raging bitter old wife someday..

As the novelist and essayist Charles Baxter put it in his book Burning Down the House, "People in a traumatized state tend to love their furniture." It's almost as if we're gathering things to bolster against loneliness. And there's a study to confirm the same rule applies to marriage: Margaret Clark, a professor of psychology at Yale, found that "people who attach more value to their possessions may be less secure in their personal relationships than those who put less value on material goods." A large-screen, 3D-enabled television isn't complicated. A shiny new tablet won't expect too much.


I don’t know if anyone will read this but I feel so alone the last 2 weeks that this is the best I can do. My first serious relationship ended a week and a half ago. The man I first moved in with, first went on vacations with, got a cat with, and planned my life with. There were no real indications that this was coming, we had been slightly more distant the last two months but we were both very stressed by out individual troubles so I didn’t think much of it. I came home one evening to my boyfriend telling me it was over. My entire world that I had just built on my own was shattered. I had a home I loved in a town I loved, I had my own cat, my new second family, my boyfriend, and I was finally starting school. And it was all gone because he decided he didn’t want me anymore. He didn’t think we were right for each other in the long run. But I did. I so saw my life with this man and he didn’t see it back.. I am completely grief stricken and I can barely bring myself to do the things I have to do. I struggle so much with getting through the day and I’m embarrassed of my inability to “fake it till I make it”. I feel like my sadness is a burden to others and that I’m just negative to be around. But I can’t hide how utterly distraught I am. I wish I could start feeling better, but I just cant. My brain always reverts back to our love and what I can’t have anymore. I wish and dream that he will take me back and that makes me even more embarrassed. I wish I could just accept that we can never be together and just move on. But I miss him so much.


My husband has told me that in addition to not being happy anymore, he is "emotionally involved" with another woman. I know who the woman is and considered her a friend. (BTW- my husband is technically this woman's boss, they work together) He says he feels a connection to her that he has never felt before and can read her emotionally, and he can't do that to me. This woman feels the same towards my hubby and is divorcing her husband (I just found this out). He spoke of several events in our lives where I may not have been happy, or had sacrificed my happiness for his (In my opinion, anyway). I think he basically is trying to get me to be the bad guy. I told him that until he is happy with himself, we can't determine how our marriage will be affected. I am trying to get him to talk to somebody, on his own, as I am. If we are both happy with ourselves an our marriage is still not working, that's the time to look at the next steps.

Three years ago, when my daughter was around 7 months old, I felt like I was having an identity crisis. I was on summer vacation from work, and I spent each day caring for our daughter all day. On top of that, I had volunteered to babysit a younger cousin of mine and have him spend the summer with us so that he could go to summer camp during the day and get tutoring from me in the evenings. After a while, each day felt the same-breastfeeding, cooking, cleaning, tutoring. I felt like all I was doing was making everyone else’s life easier, while losing a part of myself in the process.
One of the biggest predictors of a happy marriage is how healthy each partner is, emotionally and spiritually. The healthier you are, the better your relationships are. If your husband is a good man – emotionally and spiritually healthy – and yet you’re struggling with boredom, lack of fulfillment, and unhappiness in your life and marriage…then the answer is within you.
Wow, a lot going on here. My sense is that your husband may be depressed (or at least dysthymic) and that a lot of his negative thinking flows from that. Or, if not depressed, significantly unhappy, as he says himself. There may be one thing, or just a few things, that have landed him there that he either hasn't acknowledged to you, or hasn't even acknowledged to himself. Resetting expectations is a powerful technique to enhance resilience and reduce suffering (I discuss it at length in my book, The Undefeated Mind), and can be done without it meaning that "the world has won." That he's had 6 jobs in the last 13 years and that you sense he's always been "searching for something and simply not finding it" suggests he may be trapped in what Buddhism calls the world of Hunger. At the heart of this state of life lies a belief that if only we could fulfill our desires (whatever they happen to be) we will find long-lasting happiness. But of course, no desire provides that, so such people find themselves trapped feeling continual dissatisfaction with life in general. If he hasn't tried therapy, I'd strongly suggest it. He may have reconciled himself to life of minimal enjoyment, but you clearly haven't. If he won't do it for himself, perhaps he will for you and your daughter. Good luck.
my hubby and i have been together 2years but out of the two we have only been married for a year. we started out as friends becaues i have 2 older children. then after we got married long come our newborn and then thats when i started to see the long hrs he put in at work and than the change to myself and my 2 older children .he and myslef don’t speack much anymore to one another or look at one another like we did before. his attiued to my children have changed. need help understanding what to do or how to feel about this.
I was reading your blog and your patient's brother sounds so much like mine. It's so frustrating and heartbreaking, especially when there are children involved. I try to maintain some distance but it never works out. HIs kids or my mom beg me to do something, go see him, try to get through to him, help him somehow.I just keep getting frug back into his mess.
Every human heart is like a vessel. It longs to be filled to full capacity, but it can only be filled satisfactorily by the love of God. If your spouse’s heart is not complete by a relationship with Jesus then they will always be lacking. For a time they may try to fill that void with you, and when that doesn’t work they may try to fill it with pornography or even with another woman. This is not your fault, and we as women must realize this. 

I believe you Scott and I’m a woman. Mine won’t take meds or even go for counseling. He has Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder and living with him is a LIVING NIGHTMARE…NOTHING IS EVER GOID ENOUGH OR HIS FAULT…I CANT TAKE IT….AND THIS COMMUNICATING CRAP….YOU CANT COMMUNICATE WITH SOMEONE WHO LIES TO YOU AND THEN TELLS YOU THAT YOU MADE HIM DO IT!! HANG IN THERE AND TAKE HER MONEY AWAY…NO JOB…NO MONEY…SHE HAS TOO MUCH TIME ON HER HANDS!
Thank you all with the replys they are so encouraging. My live in boy friend of 6 years just told me about a week ago that he is Not happy anymore and we are not going anywhere. So I’ve been wondering why is he still here. And is this just something that will pass. I’m confused as to why he is still here. I know He is Not cheating. I work I pay bills I cook when I’m not too tired from work I clean do laundry so I know its not me..
Alex says to be prepared for resistance to any changes you make - I respectfully say that's a huge understatement. Be ready to lose your entire family when you make changes in how you relate to your mother. Sounds dramatic, I know. Maybe you won't lose them all. I still have an uncle, an aunt, and a cousin who exchange holiday and birthday cards with me. But if you do lose them, considering how your grandparents and mother already invalidate your feelings, you might find the loss to be not as great as you feared.
It is frustrating when you’re doing everything you can to be a good husband, and yet you’re treated badly and betrayed. I don’t know your situation and I’m worried that you mentioned taking your own life. I don’t know how to help you, other than to encourage you to try to find people in your own situation. A support group for dads or separated men, perhaps? I don’t know what you need.
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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