Deborah is a writer, healer, and teacher. She enjoys helping people work towards healthier lives.
Take Responsibility for Your Part
It is important to remember that the main goal of marriage is a partnership in which both people feel loved, appreciated and valued. While the list below may seem daunting, remember the goal. Peaceful partnership. This list can help you avoid common mistakes and create a harmonious relationship.
If life feels stressful, first work on changing your own perception. You can see peace instead of stress. You are only one thought away from a peaceful life. If you feel unhappy, seek the things that will fulfill you in life. Just be happy. The simplest route to something is to just be. The only person you can change is yourself. This article is not written for you to change someone else. It is a list of common mistakes that men make in relationship. If you want something to change, then you must make the change first, yourself. Change begins in your mind. When you change your mind, you can change your life.
Also, while both the husband and wife should take responsibility for their part in a marriage, below are ten mistakes common to men. Read on to learn about the behaviors of men, which can completely destroy a marriage. If you are an unhappy wife, who wants her husband to change, stop. Instead of reading this article and checking off everything that your partner does wrong, try changing your own perspective.
For women who want to improve their relationship, read The Top 12 Things Women Do To Destroy Their Marriage.
1. Leaving Her Alone
One of the quickest ways to destroy your marriage is to leave your wife alone. Of course, you work. Most husbands work outside the home to provide for the family. The problem isn't your job.
Problems arise when you leave the house early, barely speaking to or connecting with your wife before you dash out the door. Of course, you don't want to be bothered by texts and emails from her all day, because you have a job to do. You don't have time to check in at lunch, or let her know that you thought about her during the day. You were busy. Then, after work, of course you need some down time. You head to the gym, or you go out for a drink, or maybe you don't even have time for that. You work late, because the job needs you. The truth is, your wife needs you too.
When you get home, you're tired. You want to relax, unwind and disconnect. Unfortunately, at this point, your wife feels completely disconnected. She hasn't seen you all day, she misses you and she wants to connect. She feels alone and abandoned.
The truth is, you were working all day, to support and provide for the family. There is nothing wrong with that. Everyone in a relationship takes on certain roles, to support and enhance the partnership. It's important to make time to connect, face to face, with your wife.
One of the most miserable experiences for a wife is that feeling of isolation when her husband emotionally leaves the relationship. Yes, she has friends and a job. Yes, she spends a lot of time running the kids around and partaking in activities outside of her husband. It's not the same.
She desires to spend time with you, the man she loves. To be left alone by her husband causes deep heartache for a woman. It causes her to feel unworthy and worthless. She feels like you don't need or want to spend time with her.
For most women, their largest fears boil down to isolation and deprivation. When she feels abandoned by you, your wife will become fearful. You don't want her or need her. Maybe you don't even love her.
When she feels alone in the relationship, her fears increase and she strikes out. She attacks with hurtful and disrespectful behavior. Her ability to verbally hurt you is her strongest weapon, and she uses it out of fear in an effort to try to get your attention.
When a wife begins to nag because you never spend time at home, never hang out with her, and never engage with the kids, chances are she is feeling abandoned and isolated. When you stop spending time together, the emotional distance between you grows quickly.
In order to connect to your wife, show up for your life. It only takes a few minutes, but you will realize a great improvement in your relationship. Start the morning with a hug and let her know you love her. Ask her if there is anything she needs from you today. At some point during the day, even if it's only once, connect to her. Send a text. Leave her a voicemail. It doesn't have to be a long conversation. Just let her know you were thinking about her. At the end of the day, hold her close, ask how she's doing and tell her that you love her.
These three simple steps could save your marriage.
2. Not Connecting Emotionally
Your wife feels energized when she feels close to you. Refusing to let her know the real you is destructive to her and to your marriage. While you strive to keep your independence, she longs to connect with you. She wants to connect emotionally, to know you. Let your wife know who you are.
It is not fair to either of you if you are only affectionate and attentive on the days you want sex or something else from her. Affection and closeness ought to be an end in themselves, not a means to a different end.
Talking is not the only way women feel close, although it is an important one. Simple ways to fulfill your wife in this area are to hug her often, hold her hand, and to spend some time alone with her. When her need for closeness is met, she will be more inclined to respect your need for independence. If she feels like she knows you, then she can trust you and give you the space and freedom you need.
When your wife feels close to you, she will also be more willing to engage with you on a more intimate, sexual level. You build trust by allowing her to see who you are, and by allowing yourself to be vulnerable with her. Building trust this way allows her the safety to be more intimate with you.
The important thing to remember is to help her feel connected. Try talking to her about your day, your fears, hopes, and dreams. Hold her hand when you go out together. Kiss her unexpectedly in the kitchen while she makes dinner. Sit next to her. Ask her how she is doing, and for a few minutes, give her your undivided attention while she answers. A little bit will go a long way and mean everything to her and to your marriage.
2.5. Closing Yourself Off to Her
Women exist as an integrated circuit. The mind, body, and soul are closely linked — so, hurt feelings affect the entire system. A wife whose spirit is crushed may suffer from fatigue and confusion. Like a strand of Christmas lights — when one light goes out, they all go dark. Men compartmentalize. If one light goes out on his strand, all the other lights function properly, unaffected. Men are able to fully function when one area of their lives is not working properly.
Your wife does not understand the closed-off and mysterious way you operate. Things don't seem to bother you. You never want to talk to her. She knows you are stressed about work, yet you don't show it or express that further to her. She wonders how you can even function. Your wife is not trying to pry or sneak her way into no-man's land. She simply wants you to be open. She wants to truly see you. She feels loved when you share your fears, worries, and troubles. She wants to be that person for you and committed to being so when you got married. She won't try to fix you. She will listen.
Whereas men want to fix problems, women want to listen and talk. She wants to hear about your life, what you worry about and what stress you feel. She wants to know that you are human and that you trust her enough to share your struggles.
Try talking to her about what is going on in your life. Women like venting, without seeking a solution, and she wants to give you the freedom to share yourself verbally. Give yourself permission to let off some steam by sharing your frustrations with her, your fears, your challenges. Tell her what you're struggling with and open yourself to her. She will lend a listening ear, without trying to solve your problems, and you'll both feel closer and more connected.
3. Always Trying to "Fix" Her
Even when she doesn't always say it, your wife sees you as her strength and as the bearer of her burdens. When she comes to you for help to lighten the load from the weight of her world, it is a compliment. She knows you can handle it.
Rather than trying to resolve and repair every issue, however, try to just listen to her. You might even ask if she needs a solution or just an ear. It will be a relief for both of you when you realize that sometimes you don't have to fix all the problems. Sometimes, your wife wants to complain, vent or whine. She doesn't necessarily want you to tell her how to handle her boss. She might not need you to call the mechanic and yell at him. She just needs to vent.
When you listen, without trying to solve everything, she will feel like you understand her (even if you don't, which is okay). Let her talk, without needing to fix. You don't even have to say anything. Nod your head, pour her a glass of wine and give her a hug.
4. Never Saying "I'm Sorry."
All marriages have conflict. While conflict is not a pleasant thing, growth and closeness can increase as conflict is resolved. For your wife, an apology means she has moved forward through the conflict, and she is now seeking peace. When you refuse to apologize, you stand your ground and signal that the fight continues.
Many husbands see apologizing as a sure sign of weakness. They think, "If I apologize, she won't respect me." On the contrary, if you humbly apologize and ask her forgiveness, your wife will be putty in your hands. Your small act of contrition soothes her spirit, and acts as a healing balm over her heart. Furthermore, it shows that you're open and willing to make things work, that you care enough to admit to your faults and move past and through them.
5. Taking Her Insecurities Too Lightly
Your wife knows she is committed to you. When you take her fears lightly, she wonders if you share the same level of commitment to her. She sees you looking at other women. In the mall, on TV, on the computer, and in other places, she notices your wanderlust. She sees you turn your head in admiration toward the short skirt, the tight shirt and the bare flesh. This makes her feel insecure, unattractive and unseen by you, the man she loves.
She fears that you may be unfaithful and at the very least, it may make her uncomfortable. She might question your attraction to them, especially if she is solely looking at you. When your eyes wander, your woman wonders if your heart has already left the relationship. She might never voice her fear, but trust that she notices when you look at every woman who walks by.
While you may never cheat on your wife, trust that she is insecure and needs your reassurance. Don't belittle her, joke or tease. Her feelings are sensitive, and in her heart, your wife worries that she might not be enough.
Your jokes only serve to devalue her feelings, which are real. When you stare at a cute young thing as she saunters past, it may be a reminder to your wife of her many imperfections. She feels insecure because she wants to know that you still love her.
When you look at and comment on other women, your wife feels unattractive and unappreciated.. It's okay for you to look at other women, in fact, it's perfectly natural. The danger is when you are blatant and aggressive, disregarding your wife's feelings and stare or make comments about other women, in spite of her discomfort.
Your wife is motivated by your love and loyalty. She has committed her life to you and wants to feel secure in the fact that you are equally committed to her. A big symbol of your loyalty (and another area of insecurity in many marriages) is a wedding ring.
For a woman, this is a sign of your fidelity. A married man without a ring seems to be trying to hide something. A ring symbolizes your devotion to your wife. It is a small symbol, yet will serve to make her feel secure and loved.
It requires very little effort on your part, to reassure your wife in this way, and it means the world to her. Her peace of mind ought to be worth the cost of an inexpensive, outward expression of your fidelity. You have nothing to hide. A ring is a simple, outward expression of your devotion to your wife and to your marriage. This small gesture can have a profound impact.
When your wife feels insecure, she may ask if you still think she is pretty. She may ask if you love her. She may ask if you think someone else is more attractive. This is not a trap. She feels she is moving toward you, by asking a question and starting a conversation. Talking is how women feel close. She is seeking your assurance of love and loyalty. Rather than make light of the moment, look at her. Stop and really look at her. Gaze into her eyes. Stroke her hair and pull her close. Tell her she is the most beautiful woman you have ever seen. Give her the assurance she seeks, and ease her troubled mind.
6. Ignoring the Importance of Simple Gestures
Your wife does not require fancy jewelry or expensive meals. Granted, those things are nice, and you like to treat your wife. However, it isn't always necessary to spend a lot of money. Your wife appreciates the little things you do.
She feels most loved by the small tokens of your love and appreciation. When you neglect the small things, it may feel to her like you are trying to buy her affection—or ease your own guilt—with the big things. Let your wife know that she is on your mind during the day. A single rose when you walk in the door speaks volumes to her language of love. Give her a call or send her a text during the day to let her know you are thinking of her. Offer to help with dinner, or wash the dishes. These are small gifts of your time that mean the world to your wife.
For your wife, the most important days of the year are her birthday and the day she married you. Celebrate these days by spending time with just her. It will mean more than any expensive gift ever could. The cost of the gift is secondary to the thought you put into it. She wants to feel special and important to you. The way to help her feel loved is to spend time with her alone. Even if you sit home and watch a movie, give her your undivided attention.
Spending time and paying attention are two simple gestures that don't cost any money, but will heal your marriage and bring you closer to your wife.
7. Taking All the Fun Out of Sex
When you confuse sex with intimacy, it's no fun. When you only focus on your own orgasm and forget about her pleasure, it's no fun. When you only show interest in your wife when you want to get lucky, it's no fun. When you devalue the depth of your sexual relationship with crude jokes and pornography, it's no fun. When you expect her to get excited instantly, it's no fun. When you neglect your wife's sexual needs, it's no fun.
When you are married, sex is supposed to be fun.
An intimate sharing, designed to bring you closer, sex should cement the bond between you. You have an opportunity to connect with your wife in a way that only you can share. This is not something she shares with anyone else in the entire world. Rather than take shortcuts and cheapen the experience, instead focus on making it fun and pleasurable for both of you.
Think of your wife as a crockpot. In this comparison, you are a microwave. If you put food in a microwave, you'll be eating in a few short minutes.Simple, easy, fast. A crockpot meal, on the other hand, takes a lot of forethought. You need the proper ingredients. You have to put everything together, turn it on, and wait. Six or eight hours later, you enjoy a delicious meal.
Your wife needs the same thoughtful consideration. She longs to be the object of your thoughts and desires. Make sex and intimacy more fun by giving it a little more thought. Start in the morning with a kiss, and tell her she's beautiful. Women never get tired of hearing that from the man they love. Help get the kids ready for school. After work, ask about her day. Pay attention to her and let her know how much you want her, you need her and you love her.
Slow, slow, slow. If you want to bring the fun back into your sex life, think crockpot, not microwave. You can microwave in the shower!
8. Getting Lost in Bitterness and Anger
When you shut your wife out to brood in your despair, it fills her with fear. Women like to talk things out. Men like to shut things out. When you feel stressed about work, about money, about your relationship, or whatever feels insurmountable, you probably turn inward. This provokes your wife's fear of abandonment and rejection.
She thinks you don't love her when you refuse to speak. This fear, and her desire to resolve conflict, causes your wife to pursue you. She wants to talk it out, not to belittle or demean you, but to feel closer. She wants you to trust her, so she can trust you. She follows you around, asking if everything is alright. You run away from her and avoid wanting to discuss what is bothering you. She knows something is wrong, and she begins to assume that she is the problem.
You can stop this train wreck before it happens by opening up to your wife. She loves you. You can trust her. Share your real feelings with her, and she will open her heart to you. Let her know what bothers you, what scares you and what worries you. Open yourself up a little, rather than sink into the depth of your private despair.
9. Not Taking Responsibility
Whether it's an addiction, an affair, or poor performance in your life, many times, husbands point to their wives as the reason for their weakness. "She makes me drink because of her nagging. I cheated because she wouldn't take care of me. I'm doing poorly because she never encourages me."
It's easy to blame someone else for your behavior. Rather than own-up to the problem, you choose the role of victim. It feels like a free pass, but blaming others and failing to take control of your own life will not only destroy your marriage, but other areas of your life as well.
It's time to take full responsibility for your own behavior. Take ownership of your actions and your behavior, no matter how ugly it is. When you own up, you take back the power to change your life and save you marriage.
You choose to drink. You choose to cheat. You choose to work or not work. You actively do all these things on your own. Rather than blaming someone or something else, stand up and take responsibility. Make your life reflect the values you desire. Your life is completely under your control.
Today, you can choose differently. You can create exactly the life you want. Furthermore, if your wife really is the root of all the problems in your life, then take responsibility. Man up and tell her the truth. She can't change if you aren't willing to express the problem.
When you own up to your own choices, then you create space to heal or change all the relationships in your life, including your marriage.
10. Picking the Wrong Woman. Again.
A woman in distress, who just moves from crisis to crisis, will continue to be in distress after you marry her. A nitpicking woman who criticizes your every decision will continue to nitpick. A control freak always wants control, even after the wedding. The bottom line is: if she is the wrong woman before the marriage, she'll be the wrong woman when and after you get married.
If you want a nice wife, then date a nice woman and marry her. Treat her with love and respect, and she will return the kindness. Trying to rescue a woman in distress will only lead you to feel used and unappreciated. A strong marriage begins with a good-willed woman and a good-willed man. It flourishes as you both grow in love and respect toward each other.
Choosing the wrong woman sets you up for failure every time. Although you might like the feeling of being a knight in shining armor rescuing a damsel in distress, the reality of being married is much harder and much less idealistic. Marriage takes work, from both the husband and the wife. When both are committed to making the marriage a good experience, then it has a better chance of succeeding.
Work on Yourself
While this list may seem daunting, it is important to remember that the main goal of marriage is a partnership in which the sum of the two parts creates a more beautiful, peaceful, loving union. If life is stressful, work on changing your perception. You can see peace instead of stress. You are only one thought away from a peaceful life. If you feel unhappy, seek those things that will fulfill you in life. Just be happy. The simplest route to something is to just be. The only person you can change is yourself.
You cannot change your wife. You can change your own behaviors and your own perceptions. Decide who you want to be and how you want to show up, and then live your life, authentically showing up for yourself and for your wife every day. In each moment, you have an opportunity to be who you truly want to be.
Video: Love and Respect
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: My partner and I are separated due to lack of affection and love. He ignores me and constantly leaves me home alone to go smoke Marijuana. When he's at home, if he's not critiquing everything I do, he's ignoring me cause he's on his phone. I don't know if I should try working on the marriage or just walk away?
Answer: You don't mention how long you've been married or if you have children. Do you want to be married to a man who ignores and critiques you?
Question: My husband and I have been having a very difficult time, we have been married over 1 year with a 4 month old baby. I have been nothing but a devoted wife and carried out all my responsibilities as a wife and mother. Our conflict arises with his family, he never understood my feelings nor did he ever stand up for me. His very much for only his family and made it a point to tell me they will always be above me. What do I do now that he decided to divorce me based on my relationship with his family?
Answer: If he's already made up his mind, you have two choices. First, you can sit back and let him divorce you. And you can get on with your life.
Or, you could try to improve your relationship with his family.
What does your heart say?
Question: Do you think it worth saving? I feel alone in my marriage like I'm the only one fighting for it. I have suffered emotional affairs, husband addiction to weed, pawning of my ring, lying about females calling and texting, telling me I'm insecure, minimum help with the kids. He cooks dinner, helps with laundry, but he is selfish. Putting only his needs first. Live a secret life when it comes to weed. Does not wear his ring since we got married. I can't take the disrespect anymore.
Answer: Only you can decide if your marriage is worth saving. It's important for you to feel valued in your life. I'd suggest looking into counseling to work on yourself as an individual for a while.
Question: What if I just can't seem to get that feeling back that I once had? I'm at the point that life if just a routine day in and day out, but there's just no spark between us.
Answer: What could you do differently to bring passion and excitement into your relationship? What could you do to make it better? After all these years, stop looking for reasons to be dissatisfied and start looking for ways to ignite the spark. You know it was there. Now get busy and do what you can to light it up again. Do you dress up for date night? Do you look good for him? What are you doing to be a better wife? Don't put all the responsibility on him.
Question: My wife and I are separated. We live 12 hours apart. I miss my marriage and want to save it. My wife says she misses and loves me. But has recently stopped all communication with me. How do I save my marriage? How do I show my wife we are meant to be? I want to be with her, under the same roof and work hard to repair our once amazing marriage!
Answer: It's difficult to live under the same roof when you are 12 hours away from each other. It's hard to have any kind of relationship with distance.
If she has stopped all communication, it is unlikely that she is willing to work on the relationship. There is a lot of detail missing from your question. If your marriage was amazing, what happened to cause the separation? What are the circumstances of your distance? You and she probably need to first agree that you want to save the marriage. If you are the only one, it likely won't work.
I'd suggest first reopening the lines of communication.
Question: What if talking always turns into an argument in my marriage?
Answer: Then don't talk so much.
I don't mean to sound trite, but it's true. We talk too much, in general. When we speak too much, there are bound to be problems. Just be quiet.
Question: I have been married for twelve years, and I knew my husband wasn't a big talker, but since I had a hysterectomy, he has been very distant. He goes out every evening after work and comes in late. He says I nag him. Every time I want to talk he says he is tired. I want to travel, but he tells me to go. I ask him to go out with me, but he says no, he is tired. We have no children together. He is 47 and I am 51. I want my marriage to work, but I don't know how. What should I do?
Answer: It sounds like you would both benefit from spending time together. You don't have to talk to spend time with each other. Rather than asking to talk, go with him when he goes out after work. If he goes directly somewhere from work, meet him there. Surprise him by dressing up. You mention a hysterectomy, but not your intimacy. Did your intimacy level change after your surgery? Maybe he is depressed. Or maybe he is just tired. Start having fun in your own life, and doing things you enjoy. Then, try to involve him. See if he is open to the idea of counseling, and let him know that you love him and you want things to work out. Ask him what you can do to make the marriage better.
Question: I've been married for twenty-two years. In the past two years, he has been pulling away. He sleeps alone on the couch, never touches or compliments me or gives me any affection on cards as he used to. I shared how lonely and afraid I feel and asked him to come back to our bed. I told him I'm worried our marriage will end because he is so disinterested in any intimacy of any kind. I think he is struggling with impotence, but I'm not sure how to talk to him. Can you offer a good suggestion?
Answer: I think its time you and your husband learn to communicate effectively with each other. Couples counseling is a great place to start. If, for some reason, that won't work for your relationship, then you must take the bull by the horns, if you want to save your marriage.
The issue sounds much deeper than compliments and cards. Those are likely symptoms of a deeper problem. The fact that he sleeps alone on the couch is a huge alarm.
Have you spoken to him, lovingly and with respect, to find out why he feels like he needs to sleep on the couch? What is he missing from your relationship? People don't typically make such drastic changes in their lives, without a pretty good (at least to them) reason.
Without judging or accusing, perhaps you could talk to him. Share that you love and respect him and want your relationship to work.
Question: My husband has one bad habit: he used to text other girls. He'd tell them "I love you," "I miss you," and see their pictures, too. I often feel very deep pain. What should I do? He views this as very normal; I want him to stop this, but it never happens. This is isolating me, and I am losing trust in him. I can't escape from my marriage. What can I do?
Answer: I'm sorry to hear that. You are in a difficult position. If you can't leave, then you must learn how you will handle the situation. You cannot change him or his behavior. You can only control yourself. You've asked him to stop, and he clearly won't. You can't leave, so you must learn to take care of yourself. Find things to do that are good for you. Find people to spend time with who value and care about you. Friends or family members can be very supportive. In addition, you might seek professional help, such as marriage counseling. It doesn't sound like he cares about how you feel, so you must take care of yourself.
Question: Tell me if two people are in the same bed at night, and there is no one else in the room, then at 3 a.m., the wife gets hit in the face to cause two black eyes that last for weeks. How did that happen? No compassion or concern in the morning from husband only an "it serves you right' and 'you had it coming." What is that?
Answer: That sounds completely insane. You don't remember being hit? He doesn't remember hitting you? Does he take Ambien? Not that it is an excuse, but a side effect of Ambien can be doing things while sleeping and not remembering in the morning.
It concerns me that he would respond by saying it serves you right and you had it coming.
You ask, what is that. That is abuse. If it were me, I'd leave. I would never tolerate anyone hitting me.
Question: I've been married for three years now. We have a one year old together but he distances himself and says I'm the devil he regrets having. He has affairs, has kids outside our marriage etc. What can I do? I'm so depressed that it's not working out. He'll even disappear for a month. I feel I should break this apart.
Answer: Only you can decide what to do with your own life. How do you want your life to be? This doesn't sound like a healthy relationship from the outside. How does it feel from your perspective?
If you can afford counseling, I would strongly suggest you have someone help you see things clearly. You can then decide how to create healthy boundaries for yourself and your child.
Question: I’ve been married for 12 yrs. My husband and I have been to counseling but I still feel alone and neglected. Can you help with any suggestions I’m willing to take any?
Answer: Have you tried talking to your husband, and explaining that you feel alone and neglected? Maybe he thinks you're happy. Let him know, kindly, clearly and honestly, what you really need. Before you talk to him, spend some time thinking about what it is that you actually want. Do you want him to come home earlier? Spend more time with you on weekends? Think of two or three concrete things he could do to help you feel appreciated and loved. As far as your sex life is concerned, again, it's important to make your wishes known. Maybe he doesn't know you aren't satisfied. Maybe there is something you could do to spice things up and make it fun again. Take the initiative to have fun in the bedroom. Surprise him. You could also show him what you like. After twelve years of marriage, you should be able to speak openly and honestly with each other about anything, especially your relationship and sex. He can't fix it if he doesn't know there is a problem.
Question: Why is my husband withholding affection after thirty-two years of marriage? He refuses to see a marriage counselor. I am deeply hurt.
Answer: Have you tried asking him? Maybe he is embarrassed to tell you about a medical or mental condition that is affecting his performance. Tell him how you feel, that you feel unloved, unattractive, or whatever it is. Assure him that you love him, regardless of what he is going through. Find out what lies at the bottom of this change, and see if you can work through it together. I wish you all the best.
Question: My husband seems to really love me but he isn’t very helpful with the bills. I have tried talking to him but I still always end up paying and sitting around with no money to feed my kid, he then buys hundreds of dollars in shoes and I have nothing to wear. Am I just a sugar mama?
Answer: I don't know if you are describing a sugar momma. Do you provide all the money for the bills and his shoes? If he is unwilling to sit down with you and go over your finances, then it is up to you to create a budget. Determine how much money comes in. List the amounts needed every month for food, utilities, rent, and other bills. Finally, he can use what is left to buy shoes and whatnot. The two of you can decide how to spend what's leftover, but the most important thing is to ensure you have a stable home and food on the table. Clothes and entertainment should come last.
Question: Is it normal for a married man to have guy talk with his buddies about having sex with other women?
Answer: Guys talk about all kinds of things when they are together and away from their wives. Just like women talk about all kinds of things when we get together without our husbands. Join a book club, and talk about whatever you want. But don't try to censor your husband's friendships. He'll resent you.
Question: My husband and I have been having problems. Last year he wasn't too sure what he wanted in life and thought he wanted someone similar to an ex-girlfriend. Everything was going decently until recently when I expressed my insecurity because this ex is now single. I was worried. I tried to talk to him about it and he got mad at me and became distant. He stopped telling me he loves me and showing affection and keeps saying he's trying to figure out what he wants. I feel at fault. Do you have any advice?
Answer: First, remember that you are not at fault. You are not responsible for your husband's choices and decisions. Only he is responsible for his choices. You are responsible for you.
What do you want from this relationship? Get clear on what you want, and clearly and kindly express your truth to your husband. You don't deserve to play second fiddle while he hems and haws about other women.
You deserve to live a happy, fulfilling life. Hopefully, the two of you will create a path that allows you to both feel complete.
Question: My husband and I have been together for 15 years. We have 3 boys together (13,4, and10 months). We started struggling after I had the 3rd baby. At this point, every time he gets upset at me, he ignored me for 1-2 weeks. No words were spoken at all! I feel like I am breaking. I don’t know what else to do. I love him but I want what we had. I’m not sure we can get out this. I feel like he wants to me to say ‘divorce’ and he is pushing me to it. Thoughts? I need help!
Answer: I think after fifteen years together, you and your husband owe it to yourselves and to your children to figure this out. Sit down and have an open, honest conversation. Without yelling or blaming, calmly explain your own feelings. Tell him your fears and concerns. Ask him what he wants. Tell him how hurt and isolated you feel when he refuses to speak to you. Ask him if the two of you can come up with some better, healthier ways to communicate. Suggest that the two of you get into counseling. If he refuses, I'd suggest you get some counseling.
Question: My husband has anger issues. Even more so hates the idea of going to anger management. He is always mad These days. We are 10 years deep married. He has always been thisway. Is it to late to see a change in him?
Answer: First of all, you can't change anyone but yourself. Only you can determine what you will endure, and for how long you will endure it. If the anger issues are causing problems in your marriage and your life together, then tell him. Let him know how his behavior affects you and your family. It is up to you to decide what you really want, what you are willing to tolerate, and what you want to do, in response to his anger.
You don't have to accept his anger. You can leave the room. You can respond calmly. You can leave the house. You get to choose your own behavior, your own actions and your own responses. Decide what you want, and create that. You might find a counselor who can help you figure out what you really want and how to get there.
Question: Perhaps these men have hobbies because their wives have denied sex?
Answer: That is an interesting statement. None of these ten points are hobbies. They are patterns of behavior that men display in relationship. Hobbies are something else entirely. And sometimes, women deny sex because they feel they have no other recourse. If the relationship has deteriorated to the level of childish behavior, then perhaps it is time for counseling.
Question: Don't you think women make the same mistake men do which can destroy marriages?
Answer: I agree that women do things to destroy their marriages and relationships just as well. The things women and men do are not exactly the same, so I've written two different articles, to discuss the different things that they do.
Question: My grown stepdaughter has remarried, and her husband and mine (her Dad) have become best friends. They come to our house at least five times a week, and the two guys shoot pool for hours.M y stepdaughter crochets and ignores her nine-year-old (our grandson) who has behavior problems. I have become very jealous and angry at her husband who is close to my husband and my age. What should I do?
Answer: The only thing you can control in this situation is yourself. Let's examine why you are so angry and jealous. Is it because your husband isn't giving you attention? Is it because you feel responsible for the grandchild? Is it because you're jealous of your husband's relationship with his daughter?
Anger and jealousy are rooted in fear. What are you afraid of? At least your husband is home, spending time with family and not out at the bar hanging out with a woman.
That aside, it is important for you, a grown woman, to control yourself. You set the tone for your household. What are your expectations for the relationships involved? What do you want from this situation? Do you want them to come over less frequently? Do you want to spend time downstairs shooting pool? Do you want to grow closer to your stepdaughter and grandchild? What is it you want? What are you afraid of?
Once you honestly answer those two questions for yourself, then you are ready to move forward. Keep in mind that you can't have everything, all the time. Maybe you could ask them only to come over two or three times a week. Maybe you can find things to do with your stepdaughter. Maybe you can hang out with the guys. Maybe you can have fun with the grandson.
What can you do in this situation to make it more ideal for your life?
Question: I’ve been married for almost twenty years. When we have sexual he has an orgasm and then we are done. Is this how it is supposed to be? I’m very unfulfilled, but I don’t know what to do about it?
Answer: Twenty years is a long time to have an unfulfilling sex life. The first thing you could do is talk to your husband. Be honest. Be kind. Tell him what you like. If you don't know what you like, ask him to help you figure it out. Or, you could purchase a vibrator. Amazon has some that are reasonably priced. Bring it to bed and teach him how to pleasure you. Or, you could gift wrap it and give it to him, and teach him how to pleasure you. Most men are reasonable, and they want their women to be sexually satisfied. It's a matter of pride to please his woman. Help him by telling him what you like. If you don't have the courage to speak up and show him what you like, then you'll probably be taking care of yourself for the duration of your marriage.
Question: My husband loves me but wants to sleep separately. Why?
Answer: Why don't you begin by asking your husband why he wants to sleep separately? Perhaps he snores and doesn't want to disturb you. Maybe you snore, and he can't sleep. Does he get up early, or is he a restless sleeper? There are lots of reasons. Go directly to the source, and be kind.
Question: How can I get my husband to hear what I need in our marriage?
Answer: The best way to get someone to listen to you is through your own actions. Be the kind of partner you would like to have. You can't change him, but you can make your own life better.
Question: My husband has had an affair 20 years ago, he still keeps in contact with his mistress reporting she suffers from depression. They have a 20 year old son together. Our marriage is crap what should I do?
Answer: Well, if your husband has a son, then it only makes sense for him to be in contact with his mistress. Once you have a child with someone, you are always connected, like it or not. As far as her depression, that sounds like an excuse. There is no reason for him to be speaking with her, other than regarding their son. He'll probably say they are still friends, which may be true.
It is difficult to work on your own marriage if his heart is not in it. I'd suggest you have an honest talk, and figure out if you both want to stay married to each other. You can go from there.
Question: I have been lying to my wife, and it is affecting my relationship. What can I do?
Answer: Be honest, first with yourself. What is it you want, and what do you hope to gain from lying? Second, grow up. Do you want to be in this relationship or not? You owe it to yourself and to your wife to be honest, even if it is hard. Honor yourself, honor her, and honor your commitment. Be truthful and move forward.
Question: Every weekend all weekend my husband drinks and smokes cigars while watching videos or on his phone. He always says that we are more than welcome to join him. We have three children, and I think he should not spend so much time drinking every single weekend. Am I wrong?
Answer: How about if you and your kids go find something fun to do every weekend? You don't have to sit in the house, watching your husband. Take the kids to the park, for a hike, or to the mall or library. These are all free. You are not a victim, and you are not a hostage. Take the kids and have fun. Invite your husband to join you, but don't get insulted or mad if he doesn't want to. Let him waste his life drinking and smoking. You can have fun with your kids.
Question: My husband and I have been married for 15 years. I have done everything I can think of. He does each of these things on the list of ways men ruin their marriage, except having an affair and #10 on the list. Whenever I try to talk, he shuts it down by lecturing me on how I need to understand how men think and/or walking out of the room. I can't see myself ever leaving him; we used to be best friends--or so I thought. Am I loyal to a fault? Would you recommend me sending him a link to this page and see if he finally gets a clue?
Answer: I'm not sure you can be "loyal to a fault". If you are overlooking abusive behavior, that isn't loyalty, that is fear. If he is abusive, then you should get out of the situation.
If the things he's doing aren't abusive but just annoying, then it's time for an open, honest conversation. Tell him how you really feel. And when he starts lecturing you, don't get defensive. Be rational. Be honest. Be sincere.
If you used to be best friends, what changed? How do you get back to that place, where you are friends again? What can you do to be his friend? Don't expect him to move first. If you are the one who wants things to change, then you must move first.
I do not recommend sending him a link to the page. He will think I'm a man hating bitch, and he will likely think the same of you. Instead, look for ways to move back to the place where you are friends again.
Question: My husband and I have been separated for over a year due to his infidelities. He says he wants our relationship and our marriage back. I want the same, although the problem is trust. How do you regain it? My family also hates him, including my mother and my children.
Answer: What do you want? You say he wants it to work, but what do you really want? Trust, once broken, is difficult to rebuild. If he really wants it to work, then he must earn your trust. If you want it to work, then you must practice forgiveness. Neither of you has an easy path. And if your family hates him, it will be harder for both of you. Perhaps look into some counseling like couples counseling, then at least you've done something to help you choose the best path for yourself. I wish you all the best.
Question: What does it mean when a husband puts work before you?
Answer: It means he is committed to his work. Many men are workaholics. It isn't healthy, but it's hard to get them to spend more time at home. They feel guilty that something will go wrong at work, if they aren't there to manage.
Gently remind him that you love him and you want to see him too. Try to spend as much time together as you can. Maybe set up a date night. Or get up early and spend time together before he leaves the house. It's hard to find the time, when they work a lot. Let him know it's important to you, and ask if he can set aside some family time. Communicate with him and create a plan.
Question: My husband and I don't have sex. I work nights and he works days so we only see each other before bed and rarely speak to each other. He spends all of his free time playing computer games. He neglects our toddlers for his games. I'm feeling depressed and neglected. I don't feel love for him anymore. I think he has an addiction to his computer or maybe it's his escape from us. I tell him I want to see a marriage counselor but he wont. Not sure what to do really?
Answer: It sounds like you have drifted apart, and that the work schedule is not helping the situation.
First, it is important for you and your husband to carve out some time for just the two of you. I know how difficult it is when you work opposite schedules, and as you are the one working nights, it will be especially hard for you. If you want to save and restore your marriage, you have got to make time for each other. Plan it and schedule it into both of your schedules. Even if you just get an hour together, you need to make some time. You both need to make the other person feel cared about, noticed and loved. He needs this as much as you do. It would be wonderful if you could find the strength and resolve within yourself, to be sexually intimate with your husband. This will go a long way to bringing you back to each other. It's difficult when you don't feel loved, to be intimate, but it's also difficult for him to feel close to you if his needs in that area aren't being met. Someone has to move first, and since you're reaching out, it seems like you might be the one more motivated to try and make things work.
He probably is addicted to the computer. There isn't much you can do about that. If you're gone all night and he's home with the kids, he probably gets bored pretty quickly. That's no excuse, but the truth is, as with any addiction, there isn't much you can do about it. He has to acknowledge the problem and work on it himself. It is probably how he escapes from the stress of his life.
Finally, if you want to seek professional counseling, then by all means, go ahead and do it alone. Marriage counseling is great, if you can get your partner to go, but if he isn't willing, it won't work. You can, however, learn some great tools to manage your own stress, and learn how to react to the reality of your own situation. It will work, if you want it to.
Question: Why is cheating and financial dishonesty not included in ways men destroy their marriages?
Answer: Well, there are lots of things people do to destroy their relationships. Those two things, while important, can often be symptoms of something bigger going on within the relationship. There are ten of the things that I think are important, but anyone, woman or man, can write an article about whatever they think are the most important factors.
Question: My husband has told his mother that am doing something bad while he was having another woman. Now that we have fixed our relationship, he wants me to apologize to his parents for telling them that I am bad, is he not the one who suppose to call and change the story that he told them?
Answer: You could kindly let your inlaws know that you didn't cause the problems, and that you are both working to make your marriage better. You don't need to apologize for stuff you didn't do, but throwing him under the bus will only make you look bad. They will believe their boy, not you.
Question: My husband and I have been married for twenty-one years. We have three kids and he continues to put his mom, dad, sisters and everyone else in front of me. I’m tired of it. We have done counseling separated once before. What do I do?
Answer: What do you want to do? What does your heart say? If you've been married for twenty-one years, are your kids grown? Maybe it's time for you to put yourself first.
Question: I am wife and mother of four. This article really resonated with me. I am currently experiencing all of these things with my husband. It seems like he has no time for us, ( the kids and I) anymore. We were separated before for about a year, and have reconciled since then. But now I see the same patterns again. I feel abandoned and alone. I don't know what to do. I tried taking with my husband, but nothing changed, what now?
Answer: I am sorry to hear about your predicament. There are several things to think about, when you and your husband separated, what were the main issues? Who initiated the separation? When you reconciled, what were the conditions of the reunion? If you see recurring patterns, have you spoken to him about that?
There is nothing worse than feeling abandoned and alone in a marriage. I know from my own experience. It is a very painful experience.
The thing is, you can't change him. You can only change yourself. You can only control yourself. Therapy might be a great place to start, to figure out what it is you want, not just out of your relationship, but out of your life.
Once you determine what you want, then you can begin moving forward toward your best life.
Question: My husband is almost always multi-tasking and I often have to repeat myself when I speak to him. I am very frustrated by this. Am I being unreasonable wanting him to pause and pay attention when I talk more often?
Answer: I think it is reasonable to want your partner's undivided attention. It is also reasonable to let him multitask if you are just talking about the mundane details of your life. If what you have to say is important and significant, make a point of pausing, taking a breath and making eye contact. Tell him that you really need him to hear what you are saying. There is a fine balance between wanting his attention (or anyone's attention, really) and demanding they listen raptly to every word you speak. When you're just chatting, loosen up a little. When it's important, make sure they know.
Question: Why is my husband withholding affection? He is not unfaithful, and I have expressed my hurt and desire to reconnect, but to no avail. He actually shuts down even more. He refuses to see a marriage counselor. I am terribly hurt. I feel very alone in my marriage, and I am at a loss as to what to do. Any advice would be much appreciated.
Answer: It seems unusual for a man to withhold affection. Ask him if there is a problem, not with your relationship necessarily, but perhaps with him physically or mentally. Maybe he is depressed, doesn't feel well or has high blood pressure.
Marriage counseling can be intimidating, but you can get a lot out of it by going for yourself.
It is hard to feel so alone. If he won't even communicate what the problem is, it leaves you in a difficult place. I'd suggest professional counseling, just to help you manage your own experience and feelings.
Question: I feel all alone in my marriage. When it comes to paying bills, I spend all my money paying the bills, but he only pays what he wants to pay. He says I'm a nag. I'm so ready to move on, I provided for our home for two and half years by myself when he was unemployed, now he is working and I get little or no help with our bills. What do I do?
Answer: You have to decide what you want. If you want to stay married, then perhaps you could have a conversation with him about how you feel, and about the finances. You need to be open and honest. If you don't want to stay with him, then it's time to move on. Waiting will only drag things out and you'll feel drained and used. Perhaps professional counseling can help you decide what you really want.
Question: My husband won't wear his ring. I told him that it bugs me and I feel disrespected when he won't. I understand not wearing it at work. But on days off, I ask him to wear it. I've also asked him to be home on days off. He blew up and yelled that he cant just sit here. I've asked him to go to counseling, but he says no. He only is nice to me when he wants sex. He doesn't talk to me. He jumps and runs when his friends or family calls. Why don't I matter?
Answer: It's a terrible thing, to feel unloved in a marriage. It hurts when you feel like he doesn't care. And he probably feels attacked every time you come near him, so he gets defensive.
So, try to take a step back. The ring is a symbol. That's all. It is a lot more important to women than it is to men. My husband recently lost his ring, and it pissed me off. I thought about what I would do if I lost my ring, and how I would run to the store to replace it with something. The truth is, he's still married to me. He's in my bed every night. He works hard, and loves and supports me, whether he's wearing his ring or not. And I've started noticing, at work, at the gym, and the grocery, that most women wear rings, but many men (who I know are married) do not. And I realized that maybe it's not that big a deal.
If your husband doesn't want to just sit around on his days off, maybe you could plan something for the two of you to do together. What did yo enjoy doing when you liked each other? Hiking? Are you going to movies? What fun things could you enjoy together? Plan a date and tell him ahead of time, so he knows you have plans with him. Try to think of something that you will both enjoy.
Question: Where is your list of the ten things woman do wrong?
Answer: You can read that article here:
Question: My husband has a female friend that he spends Sundays with. The last 7 Sundays. the weekend of our Anniversary and the weekends of our Birthdays. It is only a couple of hours, he works six days a week, and we don't share the same day off. He goes to her house on Sunday from 11 to 3 or 4:30 pm I know they don't have sex, but I feel unloved am I wrong. He says he isn't cheating so there is nothing wrong. Am I over-reacting?
Answer: Intimacy doesn't only mean having sex. Your husband and his friend appear to be creating an intimate relationship. As he invests time in her, he is not investing in your relationship. How do you know they don't have sex? Even if they are watching football or odd jobs or hanging out, they are still spending a lot of time together, which you and your husband are not.
It does not sound like you are overreacting. It sounds like you need to start spending more time with your partner.
Question: My husband is always leaving me. He works two jobs, and he goes to Florida to see his daughter and her kids. even when they have been at our home for a week, he goes back to Florida with them and stays another week. why doesn't he want to be with me?
Answer: It is difficult to be married. Your husband does want to be with you. Why does he work two jobs? Do you work? It is good of him to visit his daughter. Don't be jealous. Let him see his daughter. Do you ever go with him to Florida? He is not the source of your entertainment. Find things to do that you enjoy, while he is gone.
Question: What should I do when my husband neglects and avoids me? We have a 9-year-old son. He is always busy with his works and is not interested in me and almost ten years have passed.
Answer: I'm sorry to hear that. The best thing I can suggest is to offer love instead of your fear. When he comes home, hug him and ask about his day. Act interested in his life. Create your own life outside of him and your relationship. Do things to make your own life better while he is at work. Above all, always respond with love.
Question: What can I do when the wife doesn't show any affection towards me? Also, she doesn't really care for sex. I always ask for it, and it feels like I'm forcing her to have sex with me. I'm starting not to care anymore, but I'm trying really hard to keep fighting for my marriage. What's you're advice?
Answer: Communication is key and will help restore your sex life. Have you tried to talk to her, without talking her into sex? Find out what's going on for her, and in her life. Be gently affectionate, without being overtly sexual. Show her that you love and appreciate her. What is the reason behind her withholding affection? If you really want to know, listen to what she says. Don't get defensive, just listen, with a heart to heal. Ask her what you can do to restore your relationship. Tell her how much you miss the intimacy that you shared, and ask her what you can do to help her return to you. Listen first to understand. Then move forward gently. Tell her you love her, and you want things to work. I wish you the best.
Question: My wife and I have been having a difficult time lately. We've been distant and busy and I feel like we don't really click anymore. Lately I have been feeling resentment towards her to me it seems she is lazy and a tad bit irresponsible when deep down I know she's not. I guess what I'm asking is what can I do to become closer with my wife and let her know that I do love her and I want to feel closer to her?
Answer: It's hard to connect when life gets in the way. Then, when resentment builds, the walls grow taller and thicker. My suggestion is that you begin with gratitude. Remind yourself of all the things she does in your relationship. Then, take the time to thank her for what she does. Send her a card. Write her a note. Tell her to her face how much you appreciate what she does. Take some time for yourselves. Life is busy, but at the end of the day, find some time to connect. Face to face. Tell her you love her. Make the first move toward connection, and don't lose heart if it takes some time. It may be difficult to undo what neglect has created.
Question: What about talking to her about her life, her thoughts, her day, your article seems to focus primarily on him, like the woman is nothing without him, some women want a man who is interested in their day, their interests and thoughts to as if they matter and are as importunate as the man’s?
Answer: This article was written for men, to discover what they do to mess up a relationship. I've written another article regarding women. It is important that partners act like partners, give and take. They share their hopes and dreams, their fears, their expectations, the mundane details of their days. It is what builds a lasting relationship, communication. Each partner is equally important in a relationship. Each brings different strengths and weaknesses, and the couple must learn how to work together to create a strong union.
Question: My wife had 3 of our kids and womanly issues every since the loss of hormones & shes anemic etc we've been dealing with her issues for years & shes tired & down I lift her up but she feels shes lost all her lady parts. Shes not horny anymore & I'm sexually frustrated what should I do?
Answer: Sorry to hear about your trouble. I'd suggest gently and honestly speaking to your wife about your concerns. She probably doesn't feel attracted to you anymore, and she may be worried about you leaving her. Talk to her. Be honest. Be compassionate about her troubles, but be honest about your own struggles. Look for ways to bring the passion back to your marriage.
Question: My husband bought a truck with my credit card without discussing it with me first. I feel very disrespected and hurt. How should I handle this situation?
Answer: I'm not sure how someone can use your credit card without your permission. I don't know that much about finances.
I would be direct and honest. Tell him, calmly, exactly how you feel. And if the truck was financed with your name, then you can certainly go to the dealership and tell them that you did not authorize the charge.
I'd begin by having an open and honest conversation with your husband.
Question: My husband and I do not have sex anymore, last time was more than 1 year ago. We’ve been married for 6 years and have 2 young children of 5 and 3. He is always criticizing me or the kids and doesn’t pay much attention to us. I love him and wants our marriage to work but I feel like I'm fighting alone for a lost cause. Is there really something left to save in our marriage?
Answer: If you want your marriage to work, begin with an honest conversation with your husband. Ask him what he'd like to see change in your marriage. Be honest about the changes you'd like to see. Perhaps seek some professional counseling, either as a couple or by yourself, to learn how to work through your differences constructively.
Question: I am having a very difficult time with my husband. We have been married for 28 years and have 3 children. Two years ago I was diagnosed with herpes and soon after he was diagnosed with Hepatitis C as a result of 3 one night stands he had before we were married. I am having difficulty accepting the STDs diagnoses. He never told me about his previous escapades with promiscuous women. I don't trust him anymore and he refuses to listen to what I have to say. Should I just walk away from our marriage?
Answer: The decision to walk away is entirely yours. But before you make any rash decisions, maybe take a moment to put things in perspective. Yes, herpes and Hep C are tough diagnoses. The truth is, your husband might not have known he got herpes or Hep C. Sometimes they can lie dormant in the body for years. There may be no symptoms for years.
Do you really want to punish him for a mistake he made 28 years ago? Do you love him? After this many years together, it seems like you would have developed the communication skills necessary to work through this difficult time.
It is only the end of the world if you decide it is. But don't punish him, and yourself needlessly. There is nothing you can do about it now.
© 2010 Deborah Demander