I spoke with 10 relationship experts about how exactly to tell whether your partner is not so into your partnership — what are the hints? How can you know? What are the definitive signs? Though they all had different takes on the situation, they all had a lot of things to say about it, confirming our worst fears: It is totally possible to be in a loving relationship, and all seems well, but under the surface — well, you saw Jaws. Sounds like many relationships can seem perfectly fine, or at least OK, but there are some subtle exhibitions of discord or at least unrest that are worth keeping an eye out for in your partnership. Here are 10 whispers of strife in a relationship.
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But even if it’s just moodiness, resilience is such a key and under-discussed point for a long-term relationship. Life and relationships aren’t always easy. What’s going to happen in the future when your toddler goes through the Terrible Twos, or money is tight, or someone goes through a rough career transition? While I fully acknowledge some people need space to process stress, but if you’re in a partnership, you can’t just sequester yourself away for a few days and leave your partner possibly high and dry with the mess. If Katie’s boyfriend doesn’t change — and I think she needs to make that assumption, judging from her letter — is this acceptable to her? Only she can make that call, but it sounds like it’s not.
You mentioned someone going through a period of suffering in their life that they need time to get through (so this suffering is not permanent) and individuals who might have frequent dips in mood. I have a question about individuals who have a condition they have been affected by for a long time and will probably stay with them for the rest of their life. My mother has had what appears to me to be borderline personality disorder and/or bipolar disorder for the past 23 years since I was born. How much responsibility is placed on the person for their behavior who has difficulty controlling their moods? My mother can obviously control her behavior around strangers (maybe she is around strangers in times of better mood), but I see her take out her emotions, problems, aggressions in private on her caregivers (my grandfather and grandmother). She is not able to take responsibility for her actions at all and is not expected to by her caregivers. Is this appropriate? Is it appropriate to forgive her behavior in every instance? Or to hold her accountable for her actions? Should her rude behavior, explosive emotions, inability to listen be excused as something she has no control over? Or should the person be held accountable for certain aspects of her behavior? This is difficult for me to deal with because my emotions in response to her behavior when I am around her get discounted by my grandparents because they use the model where she "is not able to control herself at all so she must be forgiven in all circumstances". Is this model of forgiving every circumstance appropriate? Thank your for your response.
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.
Ultimately the key thing here — whether it’s just moodiness or a more serious depression — is that he feels it’s out of his control. I know how it must feel that way, and that depression (if that’s what Katie’s boyfriend has) can create this vicious cycle where you feel hopeless about life — so why take action to fix it? But that first step is acknowledging the problem and perhaps how it’s affecting you and your loved ones and then getting some help. You can help them down the path a little once they get going, but only they can really take that first important step — which is ultimately one of taking responsibility.
I just keep thinking that this struggle must be a part of some evolutionary process as human beings. I don’t think we are necessarily meant to stay in a monagamous relationship for a lifetime, but our societies and values are still structured as if that is the ideal and the economic and emotional fall-out is HUGE when those relationships come apart.
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.
Perel felt that it was unrealistic and unfair to try to have one person (your spouse) fulfill all those needs, so it’s okay to have polyamorous lifestyle. Polyamory is where a couple decides to have intimate relationships with other people with the knowledge of everyone involved. The idea behind this is that everyone’s needs get met in an open, honest way, and everyone ends up happy.
We’ve been married 8 years. Suddenly his dreams switch 180 and I’m to blame when they don’t come true. From wanting to settle down and be a farmer now he suddenly wants to become an Evangelist, with us having 5 kids in tow. Now I am a very religious woman, but this 180 has sent me for a loop. All we’ve talked about is having our own place, and now he tells me that this has always been his dream and I’m holding him back. I can make it without him, but I feel like I owe it to the kids to keep going. There are times I don’t want to even look at him, and times I want to show him the door. I know marriage isn’t based on love, it’s a commitment between two people. But I’m tired of being blamed for everything going wrong in our lives, and I’m tired of our kids seeing how he treats me. Do I think our marriage is over? Yeah, it’s been over quite a while. Am I gonna hang for the kids? Yeah, gonna do that too. See, what some of you don’t get is that after you have kids, it’s not about you anymore. They didn’t ask to be created, to be born, but here they are. It’s not about how you feel or he feels or she feels, it’s about how can you get along together for the kids sake. Maybe separate bedrooms or even something more than that, but the kids come first in a marriage. Your life is not your own anymore. Grow up, grow a set, get over it and get on with life. The kids are the most important thing, not anything else.
We have been married for 14 years with a 13 year old boy. We both love our kid very much. Recently was been told by a friend that a guy is coming into my house whenever me and my son are not around. This has been going on quite some time (not so sure long). Then I check her phone bills and there a many phone call from her to this guy for past months. First when I heard it, I was in dilemma and wondering about it. So what I did is to ask my best friend to look it. So I got the opportunity when I was not around on that weekend and my son got a football game in the school. She told me that he starts at 8 am finish about 10.30 am. I ask my friend to pass my house and see what is going on. About 8.45 he called me and said that there is motorcycle inside the parking porch and noted the number bearing this guy’s number. Then I call her and she said that she is busy cleaning the house. From then on my heart really broken and wondering why must this happen to me! I lost my peace, sleep, lost appetite and feeling very angry about it.
This is exactly what me and my sweetheart are going through. I realized after at first going off on him about exactly the same things like just being completely different and how much things have changed and I went down the line of accusing him of wanting other women because I thought maybe it was something with me he didnt find desireable anymore (me going through my own feelings) but as we exchanged words i realized that he was really struggling with himself. I know he isn’t happy with his weight and he left a long verbal and mentally abusive relationship. I backed down and begged him to give his self more time just for him and to go to the gym since its one of the main issues he has. I didnt realize just how much he’s putting himself through and carrying that around. Didnt realize the damage being done. I let my feelings go because I know he needs me more than anything right now. I love him a great deal and even that doesn’t begin to express my love for him. I know I’ve found my husband and I’m not afraid to give him more of me than he can give back to me right now so he can be exactly who god set out for him to be.
To be successful in this relationship we recommend you to understand and study a little male psychology. In most cases, our vague intuitions about something are not all correct so it can sometimes be difficult to understand. The truth is, it really can be easy to know what they think. Just believe what he tells you and take it as an honest truth. One of the most important points that we should know about men is that they value loyalty a lot, that is, if we are loyal to our boy this will be worth a lot. Nothing is more attractive to a man than a girl who is honest and positive at all times.
As a matter of fact he almost has. I mean, read your own words, ” Am just devastated. What is wrong with me? Am I not beautiful enough?”. Self esteem issues dear. Yours is at a dangerously low level and he knows it. He’s using it against you. You need to dump that weasel and start working on your self esteem. Make sure that it doesn’t depend on how other people treat you. Once you achieve that no one will ever play you like this again and get away with it.
Detach with love. Sometimes people are simply toxic by nature, a fact that often dawns on others around them only after time. Sometimes people refuse to take steps to make themselves feel better. As a result, sometimes you have to love them from a distance. This can be an intensely difficult decision, but sometimes it's the right one. Give yourself permission to entertain the thought and consider it seriously if consider it seriously you should.
"When we think of communication, we think of talking," Astarte says. "That's not necessarily the case here." Plus, "talking" isn't just done with the mouth. "Communicating is done with our bodies as well as the vibes we send out to our partner," she reminds. "If you once had an in-joke or a couple ritual (e.g., Sunday coffee in bed) that has fallen away, it maybe time to raise the topic (lovingly) with your partner." Always, always with love.
I have a friend who is dating pretty, but very emotionally unstable woman who loses it publicly a lot (screaming, crying, excessive loudness). It’s seems like he does not want to be with her (at the last party it seemed hung out with everyone, BUT her). Needless to say, she had a meltdown (due to lack of attention from him; he’s a social guy) and it caused him tons of embarrassment. While much of her screaming was directed at him about me and eventually at me (a story for another post…he and I are just friends) it was one of those moments where he was forced to recognize that her actions are now affecting other people who he really cares about. (On an aside, we are still friends and everything is okay.)
You can do whatever you want. You really want to try that new restaurant, but your man said no. You’re crushed. If you were single, you could go whenever you wanted. You can seriously do whatever you want. Haven’t you ever noticed how happy some single women are? They don’t base their happiness on a man. They do what makes them happy and if a man is a part of their life great. If not, great.
Me and my boyfriend have been going out for 4years and he says im contolling and he is unhappy now and he doesnt want to fix anything he just wants to end it. I love him alot but he isnt even trying to work it out or giving me a chance. He says he has waited for me to change and he sees that im the same person and he is done waiting. We use to talk about getting married and now he tells me he doesnt see us getting married. I dont want to loose him and i want to fight for him and he sees he doesnt want me to fight for him because its to late for that.
Dear laurie,i guess i am on the same page as everyone else,,is it over? Ihave married the man of my dreams,so i thought…we have been married for 18y.together for 20y. we have a beautiful daughter,she is 18.was never easy,we had a long distance relation ship in the beggining,moved to other country,money was always an argument..i always worked full time plus taking care of my daughter and house,but i was never good enough,if i resume my 18y of marriage it all comes down to being blaimed for never being good enough.time passed and nothing changes,he puts me down as i am not a good house wife,not a good mother spends all his money,all this and me working 50h a week,i am not a big spender,but in his eyes thats all i do is spend his money,he killed my love for him,over time,i hate him more than i love him.what keep me is the ilusion of being madly in love with the man i meet 20y ago,i love him deeply still.he become bitter and sniky he hydes from me money,goes behind my back cancels aounts,so i get stuck with no money..everytime he does this things i hate him more,all what matters to him is cleaning and money..i care for my daughter that has been thru a lot and just recently stabelize emotionaly..i dont want to break her heart..what do i do?
Second, you might consider leaving our husband on a trial basis. Move out, give yourself and him a chance to figure out if your marriage is over. The time and distance might do you both good. Sometimes it’s difficutl to see what big life decision we should make when were in the thick of it all…but stepping out of our marriages through a separation can bring clarity and objectivity. And, that clarity can help you know if it’s time to end your relationship.
Hi, I’ve been married to my wife for 5 years and together for 7. We have 2 amazing children, life got in the way and we were not around for each other enough but still knew we loved each other. My wife went off sex after the birth of our first born. 6 months ago cheated while away on a hen do. States was nothing more than a kiss, but send messages and photos when came home for a period of weeks. She says she’s 50/50 and doesn’t know what she wants. 6 months later she still texts this man, stating it’s just a friendship now, and still won’t commit, says 50/50, and won’t be physically intimate (not even cuddling on sofa/in bed). Am I wasting my time? Can she come back to me or should I now walk?
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.
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.
Folk please advise: Married to my husband of 5 years, lived together for 2 yrs before marrying and lived side by side for a year together before that. He raised my young daughters now 11 and 13 and his been a hard worker and good provider and for years a great friend and wonderful husband. I am also a very hard worker and split the bills although he makes more than me I do make a pretty decent living. I pay for all the girls stuff and family stuff, afer school care and camp and any other possible need they could have. His extra money is for numerous toys for him self that will keep him busy tinkering around. We were very happily actvie in snowmobiling, four wheeling, and other shared activities. He doesnt want to do that stuff anymore just tinker with his harley and tinker with his project sports car. That will be fine but we always used to talk and the4 last 4 months has been getting adamant that he doesnt want to hear anything thatI say. Wantsw to have sex and do yard sales and watch tv with me b ut he really doesnt want to hear anuthing I say unless it is about him, his harley, his car or his muscular arms, He litterally will tell me to shut up if AI bring up something related to my work or the4 kids, or something on the4 news, etcc. He talks non stop about his toys and how he was when he was younger and all the differnt thikngs he did when he was younger. He seems to be collecting all those things he wanted or had that he though was cool years ago and he will only talk ab out that or talk about making money off of selling stuff…over and over . I dont know what do do- he really doesnt want to hear anything I say- we are differnt in education- me-masters degree and he and eighth grade dropout but hes super logical and highly mechanically technical so not a dumb man- we have great parts of ourrelatioinship has been fun except for this new thinkg but I meand he really doesnt want to discuss anything to do with me and wants to only talk about him and its getting to be weird and disrespectful and old. what do you make of it? sez life is greaqt but he wishes i was his brother i think. m they talk on the4 phone muliple times a day every day and they talk about really stupid thinkgs i dont think he knows how to have a real matgure relationship with normal people. mhis family is all screwed up and all havef definite mental issues and note are work hard all livinig on welfare and stuff like that all havfe very low Iq’S Just so weird lately and I dont know if i should get out of this relationship..
I have just asked my husband to move out. I yelled at him. I felt so mad lately, I just feel like no matter what he does, it just makes me mad. He can cook, clean, but he does them not the way I would do it. That sounds so petty. He does it until I get upset about something. Then he makes a halfhearted attempt. But I feel that if he doesn’t work, then he should be willing to do take care of the house. He hasn’t worked in 11 years. I have been the only one working. Before I use to do everything. I would cook, clean, go to work, everything. Lately I’m just so tired. I want him to go out and find a job and help in creating this home. I know he can do it, he just won’t do anything. I think part of that makes me so mad and I blow up over it for stupid little things. I’m home by myself now. And I feel so lonely. But I have to put up with it, because I was the one that told him to get out. I just have so much resentement. I’m hurt and I’m scared to be along. But I’m not going to ask him to come back. I am hoping that he would wake up and decide that he wants to go out and get a job. But I’m scared that I made a mess that he would never come back to me. At the same time, I feel I put us in that situation, by me doing everything at the beginning. He got use to it. All I know is that I am lonely and I miss him but not going to reach out.
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.
Despite this we resolved to try to remain together for the sake of our children. At least that is what I read into the situation. In reality it was another avoidance tactic on both our parts. Avoiding the very obvious point that the marriage had been dead for years. We were no longer friends let alone lovers. Despite the agreement to try, and for her and I not to stray, the infidelities continued on her side. Random men picking her up in some cases, others found for her by her friends.
I read this with an open mind and heart and I had a guy I loved dearly he was very moody, and he ran hot and cold. what eventually happened was I had to let go he refuse to get help and all he was doing was dragging me in his funk, I could not do it. I love him still to this day, but I love me MORE!! YOU can’t fix, repair or coddle anyone with severe issues, it’s not your job, he found someone and married her did he get the help he needed.. NO!! it;s such a vicious cycle..
Though distance can be gradual, as other experts have said, "a hint that your partner is unhappy is when they suddenly become distant," Cecil Carter, CEO of dating app Lov, tells Bustle. Then again, such a phenomenon might not be about you. "This isn’t a silver bullet; people become distant for other reasons, so it’s important to talk about the change in behavior before you assume they are unhappy," he adds. When in doubt, talk it out!
I think you first need to decide if you want to continue on in this relationship the way it is right now. Then, you need to make that decision work any way you can….some women leave their marriages and rely on social services or family members for help….other women stay in less-than-perfect marriages because that’s the best option for them….but the happiest people are those who make their own choices and focus on ways to be happy no matter what…
In December of 2012, he gives me the, "I love you, but I don't think I'm in love with you speech." He asks if I can find a marriage counselor for us and we start going. Then on NYE afternoon he called me and said he'd been having an affair for a few months now and he wasn't going to come home that night. I was beyond devastated. I had no idea. I just knew he would never do something like that to our family after what I had done years back. But he did.
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.
How you handle this will depend upon what, exactly, is the issue. For example, if he is not happy because he feels like he never has any fun or excitement in his life, then you would need to show him that being married to you can be both fun and interesting. Or, if there is an issue that keeps cropping up, it’s probably time to successfully address and eliminate that issue once and for all. It’s very important that he sees you taking swift and decisive action because he needs to believe that the marriage can and will change so that he will remain committed to it.
After getting home from a long day of work, do you and your spouse immediately go your separate ways? And when you're at parties, do you tend to drift apart and do your own thing? If you'd rather be alone than with your husband, it probably doesn't seem like there's much of a point in being in a relationship in the first place. Getting a little time apart is one thing, but the trouble really starts when you'd rather be apart.