A Reader Writes…
It’s been a year since I discovered my husband of 5 years was having an inappropriate friendship.
He confessed ILYB but was willing to give our relationship another go. He said he would break contact with her. I spent the next few months giving our relationship 100%, learning from your books, trying to understand his perspective and listen fully. I also made sure I was stating clearly what i wanted, i.e. a full, committed, relationship with him, and more input into me and family life (we have a 3 year son).
In late autumn I discovered he’d gone away with his friend for a couple of days, saying he was away for work. I was devastated yet again. He said he should leave and I agreed, although asked him to stop, take stock and consider everything so we could make suitable arrangements.
Xmas came and went and I expected him to leave but he hasn’t. He still sleeps on the sofa and there is no relationship other than a functional one around family life for 4 months now. I thought he was having second thoughts as he has been initiating family time for us. I have stated I would consider being with him if he stopped all contact with his friend and committed fully to trying again. However, whenever we talk he deflects any decisions.
He permanently sits on the fence saying he thinks the world of me, but won’t actually commit to being with me or leaving. I have stated I either want to be with him if we are both committed to improving our relationship, or I want to get on with my life apart from him.
He won’t attend counselling with me or alone although I have undertaken some. I have given this so much time and effort as I love him and we have a son. I can’t understand his inability to either choose a direction, or commit to exploring how he feels through counselling.
I have given a year of my life to trying to improve things but it takes two. I don’t feel I have any more to give, without receiving more back from him. It’s got to the point I feel run down, emotionally exhausted and ambivalent. I feel upset about the situation, angry with his behaviour and upset that it may be left to me to ask him to leave because he won’t stay properly or leave.
I want more from life and I’m not getting it! I’m not a quitter but I don’t want to waste my time over someone who isn’t there for me. Any advice would be helpful.
I try and always be generous and forgiving but I’m finding it hard.
I understand why someone might feel desperate and have an affair. At a stretch, I can see how someone might slip and answer an email from an affair partner or maybe even meet for coffee (to end the affair ‘properly’). But to systematically lie and arrange a weekend away, I’m sorry that feels like one step too far.
Meanwhile, I’m wondering why you’re putting up with this horrible behaviour. You’ve given him so many ultimatums, second chances and accepted what sounds like having a sulky depressed teenager round the house! OK, he might genuinely be depressed and need help. However, I think he has forfeited your support with his selfish behaviour and it doesn’t sound like he will seek help from his doctor anyway.
So my question to you: Why is it so hard to close the door? My guess is this is something about you. Did your father leave when you were small? Why are endings so unbearably painful that you will do anything – including hurting yourself more – to avoid them?
I think when you have the answer to that one, you will finally have the strength to do what you know must be done. It will be kinder to him, yourself and your marriage (as there is a 5% chance that the reality of leaving will help him shake off his sloth while the status quo is providing a 100% guarantee of divorce.)
Finally, I would take a look at Heal and Move On as it will explain the journey ahead and give you some much needed courage.
Ok my husband 28 years has been having an on-and-off relationship affair with his woman I have already divorced andalready paid for half of it my husband comes back to me crying sentiment that he loved me he made a mistake he knows he screwed up badly I of course I’m very hesitant because every time he’s told me that like he always ends up going back with his woman like two weeks later and I end up catching them and then he doesn’t come home for a week or two then he comes back to me because they start fighting I have basically told him that he knows that I’ve gone out with other men love slept with him and that I am no longer at that point where I was before where I would cry for him and I miss them I feel sorry for him because of the way he looks and he looks unkempt he’s lost his jobs it’s hard for him to find jobs he’s without a vehicle he has caught this woman with other men when he leaves to go to work when he staying with her cuz she will tell him it’s not what you think and he believe her he is 50 years old she is 63 she has been married five times and she has done the same thing to those men as she has with my husband
Andrew G. Marshall says
What a woman! It’s amazing how people do the same thing over and over again. Be hesitant. Be suspicious of your husband but it costs nothing to listen to him. If he wants to try again, ask how it will be different this time? Because there is no point the two of you being caught in the same patterns as this other woman. If he comes up with a convincing answer and you’re feeling generous give him some time to prove himself. Take it slow. Take it super slow and see what happens.
I am experience the exact same thing. My husband has had a relationship with someone and always says he would stop talking to her and he doesn’t. I have told him let’s separate and he gets mad but he also doesn’t want to work things out. I don’t have any family to move out myself and he says he would leave but he doesn’t. I am so lost and confused.
Andrew G. Marshall says
Ask him for his suggestions of how to break the deadlock. When he answers, follow it up with another question – especially if it involves still speaking to the other woman while still living in the house – what do you think that will be like for me? Keep calm and get him to explain his solutions… when you have it, repeat it back to him and get his response… Finally ask him: what’s in that for me?
Hopefully, if he is shown – calmly – how strange his plans are for resolving this problem, he will come up with something better. If not, you might like to join my Infidelity Survival Training and Support Group which starts October 2018. Look out for details published soon on this website.
Hi there, I am in the absolute same boat as the writer in every single way from start till finish of the article and I have a toddler the same age. In my scenario, my DH starts getting physical when he gets into an argument. It starts off with name calling and coming face to face with me and pointing on my face which makes me vulnerable. He goes out and does whatever he feels like. And I am having trust issues with him since the emotional affair he had with another woman. He still hides his phone and goes out and comes home late and says he went to friends or that its because i nag too much that is why he stays out too late to avoid seeing me. He says he has tried his best on the relationship but I do not see how he has when I clearly said when I decided to give him a chance that i needed the relationship to be transparent henceforth to build trust and clear my paranoia but he says why should he show me his phone when I ask him too and he would only when he feels like to. I just don’t understand what to do as when i try to talk to him and tell him to give priority at home instead of outside(I really don’t know who he goes out with). He says he does not like to be told what to do and I am not his mum. I am at the end of it. I also am not a quitter but I feel very dejected and do not know what to do as I do still love him but I will not be able to live with someone who is so selfish and can be violent if in case i do or say anything that does not favour his thinking. After some argument he does come and say he did not mean to say all those things and(he wants a divorce everytime we have an argument) that it was in the heat of the argument he said silly things and he feels insecure too(he has got another DD from his first wife who lives with her). I feel like i am in a mental roller coaster where i am on the verge of making a decision to leave and when he apologises I calm down and slowly forgive and forget and think its best to stay for the sake of our toddler..please help what should I do?
Andrew G. Marshall says
If he is violent, you need to think very seriously about getting out of there – for the sake of your toddler. Apologies are pointless if he never follows through. This relationship is not good for you.
I understand this comment. I have been married 28 years and tried counseling etc and my husband never really participated. For a long time I remained because of the kids/ religious beliefs & family pressure to work it out. If I had it to do all over again, I would have left some 20 years ago. In hindsight he was just using me & was fully aware of my convictions and determination to exhaust all avenues……he was simply exploiting the situation to his benefit. Do yourself a favor and wash your hands of that when your partner is unwilling to save the marriage.
This December it will be 3yrs I’ve been married to my husband. It was an arranged marriage. He never showed any interest before marriage and more worse after marriage. I’ve told my parents before marriage itself that this guy might not be interested in me as he not use to call or text me. But non of the listened to me and let the marriage happen. After marriage we never made love, not even on our first night (we just cuddled and that’s it he fell asleep). Later I’ve tried many ways to change myself the way he wanted. But nothing could make him like me. The only reason he always said was that I was fat and that he didn’t like my thighs having cellulite (which he said makes him feel disgusting and lose interest on me). I am 5’5” tall and was 63kgs during my wedding with a pear shaped body. He never appreciated my physical appearance.
Moreover he was never home. He goes out everyday in the evening and comes home late, say in the early ours of the next day like 3 or 4. This started the very 2nd day of me starting to live with him in the same place after marriage. When I ask him where is he going, he would just say that he is going out with his friends. Later I came to know that he had gambling addictions and that he was going to the casinos every time by lying to me that he was with his friends.
And over the weekends he always had plans with his friends like playing cricket etc. He never really likes spending time with me. Even then I did not try to restrict him by telling him not to meet his friends as I didn’t want to be a typical wife. I always thought if I loved him more and more, may not be now but some or the other day he might feel bad for me and will start loving me. But all he did was he took advantage of my innocence and continued to lie about every thing.
He never shares anything with me like where is he going, with whom, what is he doing nothing. I don’t even know the passwords of his phone or laptop. He never allows me to touch them either. Also he never calls or texts me when he is out of the house nor responds to my calls and texts, although he is on his phone 24×7.
I use to cry everyday and after 6 months we made love for the first time (it was my first time In my life as he was the only boy I was ever with). That too just because I have been asking him why is he not interested in me. It was horrible coz it was not love making it was just sex without any interest or love. And after that he just left me there and went out. I felt so bad for asking him to make love with me.
In these 3yrs we didn’t even do atleast 10 times. He use to tell me that sex isn’t something that interests him and that he is not really much interested in girls. I did not undersatand and so asked him if he was interested boys and that made him angry.
Last month when I secretly took his phone and saw, the first thing that popped up was an online travel dating site, where he was chatting with many stranger women offering them flight tickets, accommodation and shopping.
When I confronted him, he said he was doing it just for his book. That if he meets these ladies and talk to them to know their stories, he can use them as reference for his romance short stories book. I couldn’t trust him, so I asked him to sync his iPhone with my laptop and the I found many pictures of him with other ladies and screenshots of chats etc. All this while when he was telling me that he was going on business trips he was actually going out with these ladies and having a good time with them. In this 3yrs of our marriage I asked him many times to take me out on a vacation like just 2 of us to spend time together. But it was always a group trip with all of this friends and their families. But with these ladies it was just 2 of them. And all of them we older than him. He always complains that I am a kid (when I am 27 and he is 32 now) and that I am not smart or interesting enough.
After seeing all these and showing them to my parents and his parents, everybody was like give him another chance as he said sorry. I gave him another chance as I love him so much but I told him that he has to give up all his addictions like gambling, girls etc. and that he has to share his location and give acces to his phone.
He was ok for a week and then started saying that he didn’t like me spying on him and monitoring him. And turned off his location, and changed the password to his phone. Later when we had a big fight he gave access again. Now he says that he has changed and that he is seeing a therapist. Every time he flies to see the therapist he turns off his location but one day he forgot to do so. Then I came to know that he is not seeing a therapist but going to the casino instead and was just lying to me all this while.
I told my parents that I don’t want to be with him and that I want to get divorced. But non of them a agreeing for it not even my husband. He says that he live me but I know he doesn’t. He doesn’t even care for me. He is just a selfish person.
He is actually a very good person by nature like he helps all of his friends, takes good care of his family. Never showed any anger on me nor hurt me physically. I know this is just a disease but I don’t think he is ready to take help and get it cured.
I don’t know what to do with my life. At times I feel like running away from all of this or kill myself and end everything. I really really love him so much at the same time I cannot not accept him when he his not willing to change for me. Please help me. I do not know what to do. He doesn’t love me and he doesn’t leave me too.
Andrew G. Marshall says
The pain comes through with every line of your post. It is clear that you cannot go on like this. I seriously doubt your husband will change. You need to change your circumstances. In other words, you need to leave this marriage but I think you will need support to do this. What about your family? Have you told your mother the FULL details, so she truly understands the horror of the situation. Have you told her that you are contemplating suicide? If she knew the FULL picture, I think she would help (and persuade your father to help too). If not, who else could you turn to? Is there a friend or a woman’s group who could advise? Is there a respected person in your community who could advise and listen (rather than saying carry on). Start looking. Start planning your escape but think it through rather than run away. You need to sort out where you are going.
I’m goin to the same situation my husband it’s very nice and responsible but a year ago he star texting another females even a was hurting me . I was . Not ok but I was saying to my self the longer he doesn’t see them a was ok but unfortunately he started goin out to see them and he asked me for divorced but when I tell him to leave the house he gets mad I don’t know what to doo
Andrew G. Marshall says
Be calm. Ask him nicely if he is happy in his marriage? If he answers no, ask him what he suggests to resolve the problem. If he say yes, ask him why he is dating other women. Keep asking for his solution when you get it: ask how will that work? At the moment, he just gets angry and defensive. If you are calm and don’t attack, you might get a more reasoned response and you can decide together what next.
I have been reading posts like these for about 4 months now. My husband of 16 years told me that he loves me but is not in love with me and really never has been. He said that he has always had doubts and he can’t pretend anymore. We have 7 kids together and the youngest is 3 years old. I have been to therapy for depression since this was a complete shock to me and he hasn’t at all. He says that he has been trying to work on our marriage for 17 years but he doesn’t love me like a husband should love his wife. He offered to go to counseling with me but has stopped since at the request of my counselor because he was constantly saying mean and hurtful things disguising them as “honesty.” Our therapist saw this as more destructive than helpful so she asked him not to return, he gladly complied and said that he he didn’t care. I am waiting for him to leave and to file but he won’t. He won’t leave the house and constantly lets me know that his feelings haven’t changed toward me but he would miss the kids. Everyone tells me that I don’t deserve this and I deserve better but I don’t know what to do. I am doing everything I feel I can but he has shown over and over that he has no feelings for me and has been really cruel with his treatment toward me. I don’t want to be the one to file for divorce because it’s not what I want and I feel like if I do then he will win and get what he wants. He has been extremely adamant that he doesn’t have a side woman and he has always been faithful and calls me paranoid for even thinking that’s a possibility. I don’t know what to do
Andrew G. Marshall says
I would put a lot of money on him sleeping around (so he can technically say he doesn’t have a side woman). I would ask him for his solution to the future. Hear him out without interrupting. Ask questions so you clearly understand. When you have his suggestion…. repeat it back to him. When he agrees that’s right…. Ask him: How is that going to work? I doubt he has truly thought past the end of his nose and arguing with you – just keeps him focused on now. When he is faced with the reality of the situation – and how destructive it is – he will probably be more open to a serious discussion about the future. If he blanks you, he is too deep in Affair Brain and I would consult a lawyer about divorce or your options for getting him out.
Please, my husband of 7 years cheated on me with a co worker in our matrimonial home. Since then it was very tough for us,he asked me many times to forgive him,I was picking up from the affair wheñ I realized he has always being speaking with that same lady,I got angry and confronted him,he was being defensive stating that he doesn’t see what is wrong with just a “mere call”, I felt disvalued and told him he doesn’t see the reason to be committed so am leaving, he then threatened that if I step foot at the door am never going to see the kid’s again.I have 3 kids with him, I looked at my kids and couldn’t go,he later the next day felt really sorry and said he was ready to cut contact with her and save our marriage. I am afraid of picking up cox I don’t trust him.Help me!!!!!!
Andrew G. Marshall says
I wouldn’t trust someone who threatened me either. I wouldn’t trust someone who is lying to himself (by trying to minimise continued contact as a couple of ‘mere’ calls.
My marriage has never worked out i do everything i can for him to be happy ..cari g for him and the babies im a stay at home mom and he treats me badly dusrespects me constantly calls me names and steps on me all he can …i have 4 kids 2 toddlers with him and 2 frim a previous relationship…and every ti.e we get in an argument i ask him to please leave ..that our marriage is too damaged ..he takes me for granted and treats me like a maid wothless fat b*** and doesnt want to help in the house or with the kids…nothing…its like another kid i have…i cant go nowhere cause i dont have nobody or enough money but he refuses to leave all he does when hes at home is eat make mess and sleep…im exhausted…what can i do ?? Could u give me advice? 🙁
Andrew G. Marshall says
First of all, a big hug. This sounds really tough. Look for a way to get some sleep, is there somebody who could take the children for the day and give you some sleep and thinking time. When you are feeling more peaceful, look back over your marriage and your previous relationships, is there a pattern. Do you keep up ending in the same place? What could YOU do differently? Rather than asking your husband to do differently. If you are up for reading one of my books, look at Wake Up and Change Your Life. There is no quick solution but it is possible for lots of little steps to add up to a revolution.
Reading the writers passage is like reading exactly what I am going through. I caught my husband of 9 years was cheating on me with someone he met at work. The first couple of months he would come and go and ask me for forgivess. I caved in and decided to give it a shot at trying to work out our marriage as we have three beautiful children one he had from a previous marriage but that I’ve had since he was 6 and 2 we had together. The first couple of months he was back it was constant arguments as he kept calling, texting and sneaking off to see her, I even found out he was seeing another woman as well that was married. When that happened I felt my world chattering once more. I changed the locks to my house and I put his things out on the street. I saw him two days later at a school meeting for our son and he looked homeless. He asked me to please give him one more chance that he was going to change and cut all ties with those women. He did he blocked the numbers and he wasn’t talking to them, but Thanksgiving came and he decided to start texting one of them again. Since then he has been constantly texting/calling her and I don’t know if he has snuck off to see her. He has been withdrawing large amounts of money from the bank and won’t say what it’s for, I’ve sence then cancelled my checks from depositing to the joint account. I’ve asked him to leave and give me the divorce but he avoids the conversation. He has made suicide threats over the last 8 months. Every time we argue over him texting/calling her he ends up fighting with me and leaves the house saying he’s going to end his life, he will come back an hour later and pretend like nothing happened. I’m tired of fighting and the repetitive behavior. How can I approach him in a way that he will listen and once and for all leave, our relationship is not working out I cannot be in a relationship of three. I think about it because if my kids but he only thinks about himself. Some advise on how to approach him in a way he will listen would be greatly appreciated.
Andrew G. Marshall says
I am sorry to read your story. It must be horribly painful and to go through it time and time again is cruel. So how could you approach him differently? Write down your current approach and then do the opposite. If you talk at home, go to a coffee shop. If you focus on the other woman, don’t mention her. If you try and suggest one course of action, drop all preconceived notions and have an open conversation. I would also suggest asking open questions: How did we get to this place? What do you suggest we do next? How are we going to protect the children from the fall out? Open questions start with How, When, Why, What etc. So it is not really about trying to get him to listen but to talk (and hear himself). It sounds like his life is in CRISIS and he’s running around in small circles making it worse. If you tell him this, he will get defensive. If YOU listen, ask questions and he talks, there is a small possibility that he will realise this for himself and take action. Even if he doesn’t you will have a better idea where his head is and that will let you make an informed decision.
This article for me as well rings so true.
At the year anniversary of us losing our daughter my wife ran off and had an affair. CAme back saying she loved me but wasn’t in love with me and asked for a separation.
Tree months later she cam back and asked to work on our marriage and didn’t sat in a blac cloud. Wouldn’t go see someone – nothing. And I find out she saw him again for at least 3 months after that.
Confronted her. Said she was sorry – please work on relationship. She’s depressed and needs to figure things out.
So its now a year and a half later. Nothing. Find out she has at least send pants to the AP and that he is in treatment for alcohol abuse.
I am telling her that I am leaving as she can’t do anything to repair the marriage. And it is hard. I love her and things have been better between us since around June. We are basically very good friends again.
She has been better but I know she is still depressed. Not as bad but still not great.
Still though she doesn’t do anything. Not willing to go to counseling because of bad experiences with counselors.
However, upset that I am wanting to leave. It tears me up as I do love her and I know she isn’t doing well. How long can someone wait in limbo though?
Andrew G. Marshall says
I am SO sorry to hear this. I wonder how much of your wife’s behaviour is fuelled by the loss of your daughter. This is SUCH an immense PAIN that she is probably trying to block it out with the buzz of the affair. Whenever she tries to leave her AP and focus back on you, she is overwhelmed by pain. A little bit from losing the AP but more the way it helps her feel pain free and from the HUGE loss. What strikes me is that you TOO are recovering from this bereavement too. What would happen if the two of you talked together about your loss rather than the affair?
I am dealing with the same issue. Although I have been married for 19 years, 3 kids( teenagers) and the past 2 years have been hell. The first year I looked at myself and all my issues. I learned so much and finally dealt with my father leaving his family for his selfish needs. So now I sit here knowing, I deserve better and I have given It my all for 2 years and he has gone back and forth of what he wants. He has fought one bit. No remorse for the pain he has caused. I can’t live like this anymore. As much as I want my husband and my kids to have their father home I can’t mentally and physically take it any longer. I tell him and he turns it on me and I said I will take the blame and yet he won’t lesve. He says we will see what happens.
He doesn’t think he did anything wrong. I served him papers last year because it’s what he wanted and well I took the crumb and believed it wasn’t the right time.
I’m so torn I believed for better or worse but this worse is killing me. I don’t know what to do
Andrew G. Marshall says
What I am hearing in this post is that you have endured a lot, you have taken all the learning possible and you want to end your marriage. That’s fine. Listen to yourself. Your needs are important too. You know what to do, you need the courage and the support to go through with it. Where could you get that support?
Sherri Howe says
I have had a relationship a little over 7 years. F
For the past year its been nothing but a battle for me to keep it together while I got him behind me calling me crazy for even thinking that there is something wrong. We were the couple that made everyone sick because we talked about everything shared everything. I’m talking about cigarettes soda snacks passwords for social media. People could ask us a question separately and get the same answer. Now share cigarettes still sometimes soda but passwords for social media kept private now phone has lock password don’t know it. If I have to use phone he has to get it to that page before handing it to me and then stands there watching me. If I ask a question about anything relating to ” man of house hold ” I am spying or I don’t trust that he is paying the bills right or I’m demeaning him somehow. I have not had a job in 4 months due to expired id. I’m one of the cases that doesn’t keep paperwork properly so I don’t have everything I need to get a identification card. I don’t live in the state I was born so money is needed and my husband knows this but make sure that there isn’t enough money for me to be able to get it. But will get mad when he is low on money and yell at me for not having a job. We have 1 boy together and I have 2 girls as well. He really seems be hate me and not want to be around but everytime I ask why don’t we just split up before we can’t even have a good parent to parent relationship for our son. His response is almost always the same I don’t want to break up with you. We are pretty well hermits other than him working we don’t go hang out with people or anything that is both of us so that is how I know hes not cheating. Any advice because I’m absolutely confused. I’m not a quitter and I love him but tired of the back and forth. So when I decide to be the one to try and leave he either lays the good word play on me or make me feel like the smallest and most helpless person so I don’t leave. I just don’t know how we went from being so close to universes apart.
Andrew G. Marshall says
He is having an affair. He does not want to acknowledge it. He wants everything to stay as it is. The only part of this that you can change is your reaction to it. So start planning so that you are ready to leave. Get the ID and all the other stuff oragnised so you don’t feel small and helpless.You have options. When he see that you mean business, he might come clean and then you can make an informed choice about whether to stay or not
I need help!!! I need to know every to do.
I can’t stand my husband anymore, but we have a 16 month old daughter together.
We have been together for 6 years and married for nearly 3, he’s always been searching online for real girls to send pictures or hook up for fucks, as he so elegantly put it, in one of his emails years ago to another woman.
For 3 years, he has not done anything like that since we last spilt and got back together and got married.
He works away now though, where he is gone for 2 weeks and home for a week. For those 2 weeks he’s away at work, I feel like he’s unfaithful to me while he’s there.
Not only this, but everytime we are out, I barely receive attention of any kind from him, he’s always checking out other women in front if me and his daughter, although he denies this and gets angry, I see it, I’m not an idiot, nor blind. I’ve tried to talk to him to let him know how it makes me feel, but he still does it. I’ve asked for counselling, for the both of us or him on his own if he didn’t want me there, but he keeps coming up with reasons to not want to do it.
I’ve asked for a divorce multiple times but he never listens, I’ve asked him to leave, but he never does, I would like to leave but being a stay at home mum ATM, I have no money and family to stay with. So it’s easier for me to stay. He’s only home for a week anyway.
He never cares about me, although he thinks he loves me, but I think he’s just trying to do all this so he can stay with his daughter. I have lost allot of trust from him, I feel like he’s always lying. When he walks past me, he avoids eye contact with me. He never complements me, even if I try and get dressed up. I’m empty and lost. I don’t know how to get out.
Andrew G. Marshall says
You need to start planning to get out. Speak to a lawyer to find out your legal position. Think about how to gather together some money. What else would make you more independent? Get advice from friends. When you are determined and convinced this is the right step for you (and your child) a way forward will appear.
We used to have a good marriage lots of laughs and fun, would often do things as a family and then as a couple as the kids grew up. Now there is nothing anymore. He is childlike and withdrawn he does have depression and takes meds but I can’t recall the last time we had a laugh together. He treats me like I’m not here. There’s no affection and I have to ask for sex . He sulks and is short tempered even the dog hides when he starts swearing and stomping. There is no real talking anymore. He is bored and annoyed at me. I have asked him to leave and he won’t. He is useless and impulsive doesn’t work, he is supposed to be my carer due to health issues, but he causes me more stress. I want him to leave but he won’t because he is too hopeless to arrange a place for himself. I refuse to go as I love our little house much more than he does. How can I get him out? I’m starting to get as miserable as him and I’m a positive person. I have been through a lot ,heart surgery strokes, diabetes and a tumor benign but on my neck. Yet he complains about how I’ll he is yet won’t see a Dr. I’m just tired and life is too short to end up this unhappy.
Andrew G. Marshall says
Ask him why he is so unhappy? A lot of what he will say will sound like accusations…. but don’t jump to defend yourself, just listen, summarise what you have heard and ask him ‘Is there more?’ If he is just defensive and say nothing tell him: ‘I can sense you are unhappy, I could like to understand.’ When you understand ask: what are you going to do? With a better understanding of the problem, perhaps the two of you can find a way forward.
Suzan Vaughan says
Dear Andrew, I/we have been married for 25 years, congratulations you may say in normal circumstances, but it has been a jail sentence to me. My husband is 12 years younger than me, but educationally years ahead, however, he lacks life experience and complete lack of common sense, I have for longer than I can remember, made allowances for this relationship immaturity, but surely after all this time should he still be naive? I feel like his mother sometimes, well most of the time and bitterly frustrated, anger plays a large part too, simply because he refuses to acknowledge that the marriage is on its knees. He says he loves me, but for most of our “marriage “ he has had problems with performance anxiety as well as general anxiety. Honest, I can’t take it anymore, I actually feel like murdering him sometimes! I won’t, of course, but I think I’ve had enough. When I ask him to go, he just leaves and stands outside the back door, sometimes all night, even in the rain. Of course I feel terrible and the whole crazy roundabout starts again. I don’t know what to do, this is why I’m turning to you. Any advice would be most helpful if possible. Yours sincerely, Suzan.
Andrew G. Marshall says
Have a look at something called Transactional Annalysis or TA for short. I cover it in my new book ‘Happy Couple Handbook’ it explains how couples can get into a parent child dynamic and how to move into Adult to Adult. The book comes out at the end of April (2019)
Alison Sides says
My husband came to me about 9 months ago saying he didn’t love me but didn’t hate me, that he had checked out. He said he stuck around for the holidays to be nice (my mom just died) but he should have left months ago. But he hasn’t done a thing. We started counseling together and every session he has stated that he doesn’t want to work in marriage. He never said divorce though. He also had an inappropriate relationship with female coworker, in which he lied about for over a year. Now that I have bought a house and started down the divorce path, he says I’m
throwing in the towel and he won’t make appointments with our team (collaborative divorce) or our therapist so we can leave to tell the kids (8 &5). I just closed on my house and I guess he never thought I would go. And he must be now realizing what he has done, but still won’t say he wants to work on marriage.
Andrew G. Marshall says
Sadly he is deep in affair brain and can’t think straight. He wants to explore his new relationship with the other woman and he wants you to sit in the sidelines and wait for his decision. I know it sounds mad but that’s affair brain. I doubt he will come to his senses any time soon.
I’ve been married 11yrs caught my husband multiple times over the last 5yrs in an affair with the same woman. He initially committed but this passed year confessed he loves her and entered the marriage never loving me. We have 2 children and his parents are pastors. We’ve been to counselors and psychologists and he won’t commit. Recently I’ve found extremely sexual messages to a woman on Facebook and calls to escorts going back almost 6months and continuing I told his family I want to leave and they immediately guilted me saying I’m breaking up a family and a church because if I leave they will have to give up their ministry. My husband is a good father but has repeatedly confessed no love and he hides his body as well as everything else from me, I’ve been trying to work things out a year now but feel I’m being emotionally blackmailed by my in laws and him into staying for the sake of my children and the church.
Andrew G. Marshall says
When you look back, do you want to have lived your life or the one that your in-laws, their church and your husband wanted for you (or more accurately for themselves rather than you). If you are staying for your children? What has the cost been of that? How do you think they will feel looking back at the cost? Could your husband still be a good father leading his life and you be a good mother leading your life?
So I packed up and left for 3 weeks now and that seems to have gotten his attention we talk more apart than we did together no one is happy especially me because I love him however a week ago when I asked him again if he loves me he looked me straight in the eyes and said “I DON’T LOVE YOU”… I think it would hurt less if there was an ILYB…. So now I found a place of my own because my parents are a bit cramped with my kids and my siblings. He’s now insisting that he move in with me, I said I wanted a therapuetic separation so we both can work on the individual hurts because right now he’s so aggressive and defensive and I think we both struggle to communicate effectively, after a few individual couseling sessions, we can come together to work towards a better marriage but he says the pressure of people being on his back, the pressure of parenting separately and the pressure he gets from family will cause us to end in divorce because we’ll focus more on all of that and less on us, but he speaks for me when he says that, I believe he’s only making these demands because he feels pressured, not because he wants me or the marriage especially since after a year of trying he still says he feels no love. He told me no amount of couseling will help him and he knows this because his dad is a counselor. he confessed to the Facebook messages to another woman but apologized and said it was because he was in a broken place and feeling lonely over losing the woman he really loves and he was looking for normalcy in his life, he denied the calls to the escorts saying they were missed calls that he was returning despite then being consecutive and they’re the same numbers every month. He makes it look like he’s the one putting in all the effort and I’m the one who’s walking away, he asked me not to divulge my findings to anyone because I should only be talking about it to him and no one else. Hes also begun to accuse me of having multiple affairs before marriage as well as talking to other men within marriage of which he has no proof but “he just knows because instinct tells him” He has always had access to everything in my life but it’s been the opposite for him. He’s angry because the affair came out in the open to his parents. Since I left he said he’ll do whatever it takes but only if I agree to living together because separation won’t work. I think he’s saying that avoid the stigma attached to a separation. I told him I can’t take the same problems from our old home to a new one and again he threatened that it would end in divorce and that whatever he does when I leave has nothing to do with me. He said he’ll only be accountable and unlock all his accounts if I allow him to move in with me which is a step toward to rebuilding trust. I’m not sure what to do, I don’t sense real remorse, from the way he speaks its like he’s just sorry he got caught again and is doing everything to make sure I don’t tell anyone else about these other women and escorts. My question should I stand my ground and insist we get individual help before we try working on the marriage despite his threats? There’s nothing stopping him from having another affair or continuing to contact escorts because there’s no love or respect for me and he’s been doing it while I was with him attending therapy and still living with him. I do love him but I’ve forgiven multiple affairs for 5years, he makes me believe he’s working on things but then is caught doing things contrary to that so at which point does a person stop trying? He knows how to get to me and he plays mind games and manipulates by guilting me alot. I’m so tired and drained that I’ve begun to feel like death is a better sentence but I have 2 beautiful children to live for…. How should I handle his demands if in 5yrs he’s never proved himself to be trustworthy once? Do I allow him to move in?
Andrew G. Marshall says
Stand your ground. Don’t let yourself be manipulated. Do the therapy yourself so you are stronger and better able to understand his tactics so you can resist them.
My husband is 11 years older than me. We married not sure why. I was pregnant with our son and he was never home he didn’t go to the birth. And only went for 3 min the day after i had him. I felt pressured to marry him. I became pregnant again had twin girls. Same thing he was never around. I found out he was cheating he laughed and mocked me. I have told him I found my peace alone with my children. That i am no longer interested in a life with him. I believe we are both happier apart but he won’t leave. I’ve used harsh words. Told him I’ll never forgive him for all the pain he caused. Told him I will not be signing his petition to get restrictions of green card. I’ve done everything to show him I deeply resent him. But he won’t leave won’t sign the divorce won’t help talk nothing.
Andrew G. Marshall says
Get legal advice. Find out your rights and stick to your guns.
Hi I’ve been married 30yrs now and have 3 kids,16,21,31. Cut a long story short my husband married another woman 9yrs ago and I only found out 2yrs ago, I knew something was going on but never cared as I was drinking and using most of the time, yes I’m a grateful recovering addict and have been clean 8 yrs now. During these past years I have worked hard on myself to become a better person. When I found out 2yrs ago I asked him to choose he chose me. I said we need to work on this together but you have to be honest and open with me on everything. Months went by and she called and he went said she was pregnant this happened five more times with trips she wasn’t pregnant by the way that was a lie. He kept telling me he has finished it with her but needs the marriage papers. Let me explain I’m English,my husband is Moroccan and so is the other woman. He tells me it is over with her but she has a hold over him with the papers don’t know what to believe anymore now, he’s always threatening to leave and I’ve been the one begging him to stay. Now I’ve told him. I can’t live with him like this and now he won’t leave. Please help x
Andrew G. Marshall says
Congratulations on your sobriety. Please do nothing to threaten that. I assume that you are in some sort of AA group. Use the support of the fellowship to talk over your options. It will be useful to get an outside eye and support. I will say it again. Don’t let this threaten your sobriety, discuss whether this relationship is healthy for you (and whether there is an element of being addicted to the highs and lows of him returning and being found out again).
I’d like your advice.
I’ve been married going in 2? years.. but have known my husband over 30 years. Things haven’t always been “good” but when we got back together this last time and made the decision to be together — we had no doubts we were meant to be together forever. When we made this move to So Cal I thought it was our chance for a second honeymoon and chance to save the marriage. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened. My husband is not supportive, keeps to himself (we live more like roommates), he appears to be happier apart, it feels like he can’t wait for me to leave, and I feel like he finds excuses to NOT spend time together. Albeit, his anger issues have improved — one good thing — but there is just no effort put towards working on our marriage — and as for romance, well, that, too, has completely fizzled. To zero.
He controls his money (3-4 x what I bring in), and he wants me to pay most of the household & my bills — he pays rent & his bills. He also withholds all of his income — he claims he’s holding to pay rent should times “get tough”. (They are tough now).
He has 401k, savings, etc. — I use my retirement and SS to pay bills each month. I have zero savings. We have yet to combine anything as a couple. There’s been excuse after excuse for that, too. We have yet to “act” married as far as I’m concerned.
I have a back injury (L3-4-5).. brought on by a hip replacement followed by a broken femur — surgery related — but none of which prevent me from being intimate or going on a drive to a lake, out to dinner or on a date. I am injured, not dead. He’s actually used that against me and said I can’t do things — those were my favorite of the excuses.
Add to that … I recently discovered a phone number he’s been calling /texting frequently since June … frequently meaning daily, several times all day. June is as far back as this new carrier goes. Who knows how long it’s really been going on. The number is a local carrier — but shows up as back east where this carrier does not exist. Further investigation shows the number as going through a domain — as if to hide the origination. I found it very odd. I’ve suspected a neighbor …but I’ve ignored my suspicions— but now I’m second guessing that. A friend of mine (friend of 40+ years) told me to hold off asking him about the mysterious number — to see if it continues. It has … well into this last month after discovering it. I am also wondering now if that was a good idea to wait asking him about it. He’s had plenty of time to come up with another excuse.
I feel like he watches my every move. I feel like someone is in my email, phone, apps — constantly. I’ve read that these are signs of a spouse who’s being unfaithful. I can understand why that would be — why else would someone be that curious about someone’s whereabouts?
I’m no saint but I’ve been loyal, faithful, trying to make things work and I think I’ve (and for the last 6 months or so) just been living in a “numb” state. Maybe I’m just starting to want to wake up..?
Andrew G. Marshall says
You’re right. It is time to wake up. Discover what has been going on and discuss it with your husband. How long can you continue, half in and half out?