How Do I Get Over My Ex Husband

It is a tough haul when we call it quits.  All of the days leading up to a break up of a marriage with your ex husband can be taxing, even miserable.  Marriages don’t just simply come sliding to a stop. Just as there is a process you go through when you came to know each other and love each other, there is also a process both husband and wife must experience to determine if the marriage was a mistake.

It is not solely an intellectual process when you decide to separate or divorce, though a rationale and cooler mind must prevail in order for you to make sound judgments.  The process of breaking it off with your ex husband is as much an emotional journey as well.

I describe this journey in greater detail in the post below that explains why breaking up is so hard and painful and some things you can do to turn it around.

Why is Breaking Up So Hard and Painful

Let’s try to get some perspective first before we dive into giving you some advice on how you can best cope with the conflicting feelings and challenges of getting over your ex husband.

Ok….so let’s just back up a bit first!

getting over my ex husband is hard

Getting Over Your Ex Husband is a Process

You will seldom completely get over your ex husband.  I don’t say that to make you feel worse.  Indeed, there are parts of the relationship you had with your ex husband that you will value forever.  What I mean is that the memories and feelings you have toward your ex husband will never completely be erased.  If you have kids together, then it is likely your ex will be part of your life as it relates to the development and care of the children.

With that said, let’s move forward because there are some things you can do to learn get over your ex husband.  You will learn that if you approached the break up in a rational way, things will often turn out well.

I implore my clients who have been stricken emotionally ill from a bad marriage to save themselves.  Don’t expect anyone to come to your rescue.  Sure, it is very important to have support from family and friends, but the sooner you turn your focus to saving yourself from the horrible marriage experience you went through, the better.

I talk about the importance of this in this post….

Save Yourself From a Horrible and Broken Marriage

If you truly spent time thinking about both the pros and cons of staying in the marriage versus ending the marriage, then you should trust that you made the right decision.  That is all anyone could ask of themselves in these complicated life decisions.

So what is in your best interest going forward and what things can you do to promote your emotional health during this period?

Let’s start with one healthy way at looking at your situation.   Accept that you are going to arrive at a place, emotionally, where you will accept that things have changed for good and that you will not need to be frightened of the future without your husband.  It will happen, in time.

Right now, you might not feel that way.  But that is normal.  Just trust, that after you spend some time implementing some of my recommendations, your view of the future will be much brighter.

Ok, so now we are ready to look at the big picture!

Let’s first survey the journey you have been on up to this point.  How did things get started?  What can you learn about yourself and the journey of marriage you have experienced thus far.

Before getting married, you and your husband went through a courtship process that involved meeting, getting to know each other, dating, bonding and building a connection, falling in love, planning for marriage, and getting married.

Wow….you have been busy in the past!  Do you think you are capable of doing all those things again?  I bet your are.

the early days of marriage

Those Early Days of Marriage

For many, the courtship phase is like a whirlwind experience, full of excitement, promise, and high hopes for the future.  Time flies by when the two lovers are together.  I would imagine that at one time, you could hardly get enough time with your husband to be.  Do you remember those times when you were away from each other?  It bet it felt like time literally slowed down.  During this phase, people count the seconds, minutes, and hours as they await to see their lover again.

These courtship experiences have a powerful emotional effect on your entire being and psyche.  It is as if you are under a mysterious spell of some kind.  We know now that the very chemistry of your brain is influenced….literally bathed in chemicals….as you draw closer to your lover.

Over and over again, you seek this feeling, like an addict seeks to get their next fix. Except in affairs of the heart, these chemical changes in the brain, stimulated by hormones, are very much a natural part of attraction and bonding.

Once married, husband and wife usually spends years together enjoying a multitude of experiences and challenges.  All of that creates an even greater connection and more lasting memories.  The effect this has on you (and everyone else who falls in love and gets married) is the feeling that the two of you are like a “union”.  Each of you are imprinted on the other.

What is important to understand is that this kind of mental state you have in marriage does not just get erased because you and your husband eventually decide to break it off and get divorced or separate. Even if you both decide it is best to do.  Even if you both spared each other the ugliness that many people experience with they separate or divorce.  The fact is that couples who have been together for any appreciable time, are wired in ways that they do not even understand at the conscious level.

So the emotional cycle of experiences you shared with your ex are in many ways welded to the soul of who your are and what you are about.  Hence, once the marriage ends and your spouse is now your ex husband; your feelings and emotional needs don’t just immediately reset and go back where they were before meeting your husband.

This largely explains why you may in one part of your “being” feel convinced that you must end things with your husband.  This is the logical and rationale side of your mind guiding you.

But in another part of that which is “you”, the feeling of still being connected to you ex and not being able to totally let go can cause you to suffer, even question whether what is happening is the right thing for you.

But let’s say that you find yourself picking up the pieces and for a number of reasons, you are quite certain that your ex husband needs to stay that way….your “ex”.  Let’ say you are ready to turn the page and put the marriage behind you and begin gaining some traction in your new life….a life without the pain and difficulty you experienced during those final months (or years) of marriage.  Guess what?  It will still be a bumpy road.  I hope to make it less so.

Life and one’s navigation through marriage recovery is never a simple path.  And hopefully, upon reading this, you have learned and now understand that the source of much of your uncertainty is tied largely to the right side of your brain (i.e. the emotional control center).  Emotions can be a wonderful experience.  But emotions also have a flip side and can cause you doubt and sadness.

It is not easy to invest so much of yourself in marriage, only later to discover that the decision to marry was flawed.  It can be troubling and depressing to realize your ex husband was a mistake.  But figuring out who we are most compatible with and gauging whether both parties in the marriage will be reasonably happy and fulfilled is no easy matter.  We are an incredibly complicated species.

Understanding that on an intellectual level is one thing.  But dealing with the ugly marriage aftermath and some of the confusing feelings and emotions that will invariably crop up is truly a most challenging experience for anyone to have to address, whether it be an ex wife or ex husband.  To survive and thrive in such a predicament, you will need to adopt certain personal principles and strategies.

create new memories to forget your ex

Making the Memory of Your Ex Husband Fade

So how do you get over your ex husband?  The short answer is that you need to embrace a synergistic process involving your full commitment to blaze a new trail.  What does that mean?

I promise I will get into that, but let’s start first with understanding more about what not to do.  There are certain actions and behaviors that you can partake in that will make it harder for you to get over your ex husband.

One of the common mistakes a divorcee or an individual separated from their ex will make is second guessing whether their decision to end the marriage relationship was the correct one.

It is important to understand why this happens with such frequency.  Remember, when you were married, your whole life and to a large degree, identity, was wrapped around your relationship with your husband (i.e. your current ex).

This includes financial, emotional, physical, sexual, and spiritual connections.  I think of it as the “Marriage Connection Effect”.

When you are with someone for so long, there will be all kinds of little and large experiences the two of you shared together.  And if a lot of these experiences resonate positively in your marriage memory bank, then it strengthens the emotional tie you have with your ex husband.

Even if the marriage was largely dysfunctional, the Marriage Connection Effect can still gain traction.  Such is the power of two people spending so much time together.  If you later break up, the times you were together can resonate in a powerful way, whether you like it or not.

These feelings and emotions can operate and influence you, your behavior, and your moods as if it is an addictive drug.  There are certain biochemical reasons why this the case, but I don’t want to get you too lost in that discussion.  Feel free to explore my website to explore the biochemistry of why it is we sometimes behave the way we do.

So one of the things you will need to be on guard about is avoiding the temptation of questioning your decision to leave your husband.  If you applied your left side brain (i.e. logical and rationale side) in making the decision to leave you husband, then be aware that the right side of your brain (i.e. emotional) will seek to question the wisdom of that decision.

Knowing this should empower you.  Though, clearly, this is more easily said than done.  But perhaps, just reading this and understanding how the mind gremlins can sometimes get inside your head and foster doubt….just knowing this will better prepare you for your emotional trials.

And yes, you will experience emotional trials because, as we have discussed, it is no easy thing to erase the memories of your ex husband.  Let me correct that, technically what I would ask you is not to try and erase the memories, because after all, that is a futile exercise.  But over time, new memories can be add to your life experience and those will push aside the older memories.

This is how life works.  In those moments when you think that you can never get over losing your husband, your vision of the future will be clouded.  The pain of your failed marriage will be so fresh and so compelling, you may feel “that’s it, it’s all over”.  But then those thoughts could get replaced with mental paralysis as you question if you are making the right decision.

You will also think there is NO WAY you will ever get over the pain of marriage breakup.  You might feel that there is a huge hole in your life and it will take “forever” to recover.  But studies show that people get passed their heartache and the pain of a break up much faster than they think.

There is no magic wand I can wave to make your feeling of  “loss”,  go away. Except I can assure you it is natural to feel you will struggle to get over your ex husband.  There is not a lot worthwhile we can attain in life without enduring some struggle.  Remember, you are exceptionally more resilient and stronger than you think.  What you will need to do is clear away the fog of uncertainty and paralysis, so you can move forward to a better place.

Getting “Lost in Neutral” is a pitfall you need to be aware of. So what does that mean with respect to breaking things off with your ex hubby?

Well, first of all, let me explain what usually happens in the very early days of recovery.  First, you likely will be “Lost in Reverse”.  You will be spending time thinking about the past.  Memories of the good times and the bad times will flood your mind. You will likely play out all kinds of scenes in your mind which included you and your ex husband.

Some of these moving pictures of your mind will  be starring both you and your ex as you explore the fulfilling moments of the past.  Other scenes will play out that deal with the ugly and sad scenes of your marriage.

My advice is when that motion picture show of your mind start projecting all of those images and scenes of your failed marriage, pull the cord.  It will be hard to do, so be prepared to pull the chord of these thoughts over and over again.  One way of giving that “cord” a hard yank is to get engaged in life….keeping yourself busy….challenging yourself to learn new things and do new things.

So avoid getting stuck in the past…lost in reverse.

But what about my point of avoiding being Lost in Neutral?

In my view, while people can learn to extract themselves from the past, the bigger challenge is moving away from the status quo.  You don’t want to keep up all of the same routines.  In fact, many of your routines probably included your ex husband in some way.

Sometimes to move forward, we need to yank ourselves out of the past.  When you are stuck in neutral, you are doing a lot of the things you did in the past.  This could be things like the way you dress, the way you look (e.g. hairstyle), the foods you eat, and many other things.  Too many of your routines of the past have linkage to your ex husband or memories of experiences with your ex-husband.  So you need to re-program you psyche and take on some new routines of mind, spirit, and body.

Think about spending more time with your friends and exploring new and different experiences.  Think about getting engaged in new, fulfilling hobbies that just not only occupy your mind, but gives you a sense of purpose.  Re-introduce some fun in your life and make it something that requires some level of physical activity.  Establish new routines and commit to participating in them regularly.

I am sure you have heard of the phrase that an “idle mind is a devil’s playground“.

Well, let’s do our best to keep those devilish thoughts of the past out of your life. Can you make them go away completely?  No.  We will always harbor some thoughts about things we truly should not dwell on at both the conscious and unconscious level.  But, hey, that is OK.  You can to a large extent control what runs through your mind at the conscious level if you stay engaged with new and interesting experiences.

Your mind, while it can sometimes betray you in the ways it can run amok, is exceptionally resilient.  You will get through this time when you feel you can’t get over your ex husband. It happens for everyone and it will happen sooner for you if your get engaged in life and participate in new challenges, experiences, and routines.

How To Talk To Your Wife About Everything

It would seem easy, right?  Talking to your wife should be a piece of cake.  How you go about communicating with your wife should be no different than how you have always spoken to her, you figure.

I mean really, knowing what to say and when to say something to your lovely companion for life should not be that hard.  After all, she is your wife for life and talking to your better half should be easy as pie.

In fact you may be even wondering, “why the heck am I even reading this article about communications with my wife”?  After all, you did sweep her off her feet and were able to utter the magical words to cause to to fall in love with you and agree to marry you  Heck, your the man, right?  You sweep her off her feet every time you walk through the door of your house.  So what’s the big deal about talking to your wife.

You said all the right things to  your wife to wiggle out of trouble lots of times, right? Heck, most of the time, you probably think of yourself as a communication guru and as far as you know, when it comes to talking to the opposite sex, you get top honors in the communications department.

Hold it now.  Not so fast.  Things are not always as they appear on the surface. Indeed, one of the things I teach my clients is you need to peel back the layers to really have some honest and open communications.

I get a lot of clients telling me their spouse hates them.  What can you do if you feel your wife really hates you for something you have done.  Well, lucky you, I wrote a post on this topic that should offer you some practical solutions!

Why Does My Wife Act Like She Hates Me So Much

I have some news, in case you have not experienced  this yet.  Just when you think you have it all figured out and that you possess an innate ability to manage just about all conversations with your wife, day in and day out, just know that it can all melt away in an instant.  Such is the tenuousness of speaking the language your wife really wants to hear.

Trust me, it is more of an acquired skill….almost an art form….this business of verbally connecting with your wife.  You can tell yourself that you are some kind of “Romeo” or you are capable of talking in tongues when it comes to conversing with your woman.  But I think us guys are largely on a life long quest to really understand the meaning of what women are saying….what they need to hear…and what they want to talk about.

Welcome to the sometimes upside down world of how guys should think about when it comes to communications with their wives.  If you are of the mind that talking to your wife is a straightforward thing and you don’t need any advice on the matter, then I submit to you that you are living, just as I  have at times, in somewhat deluded state.

The truth of the matter is that the woman you live with….the one that you go to sleep with every night…the one you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner with…yep that’s the one…your wife….it turns out that her view of your communications skills is not always aligned with your own.  And that there are a lot of things you are missing…not understanding.

The two of you may be fighting a lot.  What do you talk with you wife if she is at your throat.  I got into this specific topic in my post on ways to better communicate when conflict is in the air…

How To Stop Fighting & Arguing From Ruining Your Marriage

So what is the disconnect?  What is it that your wife is really saying and thinking when she talks to you?  It is not always a straightforward or logical thing to process.  How does she want to be talked to?  What is really in her mind about the way you converse with her?  What does she like?  What does she really hate when it comes to the things you might say or not say.

I think us guys have to learn where the sweet spot is when it comes to strengthening our ability to really connect and talk with our wives.  Ironically, a big part of  how one can best communicate with our wives is by doing less talking.

Yep, I am telling you, you are skating on thin ice if you think you have it all figured out.  I have been consulting to women for many a year and I am telling you, I don’t have a complete understanding how wives, girlfriends, ex wives….all of the women of the world for that matter, really think and process through things.  Though since I have dedicated myself to the quest of being a better husband and a better coach to those guys seeking to improve their marriage, I have learned a thing or two.

Part of the reason we falter at times when we are talking to our bride is that everybody’s unique in how they wish to communicate and what they prefer.  But the larger reason has to do with differences in the sexes and how it is mighty difficult for a guy to crawl up inside his wife’s brain and understand exactly where she is coming from.  We tend to assume that a woman thinks and processes things in the same way we do.  And yes, they largely do.  But there are some distinct differences which you need to learn about.  There are certain preferences your wife probably has which you need to understand.

And the same hold’s true for women who seek to understand better how their husband thinks.  So you see, it happens both ways.  A lot of wives out there are as troubled by what goes on inside the mind of their spouse as husband are about the mechanizations of their wife’s mind.

You see, what husbands sometimes do is try and put themselves into their wive’s mind. It is a worthy endeavor because wouldn’t it be nice if we could climb in there and understand what is going on and learn to identify with your spouse’s feelings and motivations.

It is natural to endeavor to do this. We do it all the time, almost without fail. The problem though is that we seldom fit very well into our spouse’s mind.  You would need a translator to sort through the string of thoughts.  It would be like we have climbed into some alien’s body and are trying to assimilate.

Ok, ok…it is not quite that bad.  But you know what I mean!

What Women Want (That’s Right – We are Talking About Your Wife!)

There was movie a while back that stared Mel Gibson in which he was struck by a bolt of lightening which helped him identify more with a woman….to see the world through the eyes of women.

Now, I am not advocating you climb up some high tower in the hope you will be struck by lightening, but in this movie (“What Women Want”), Mel Gibson as a result of this bolt from the heavens, becomes incredible empathetic and capable of actually hearing the thoughts of the women he encountered.

Wouldn’t you like to have a gift like that?  Perhaps, perhaps not. After all, in the movie, the character with this gift (or affliction) went a bit crazy trying to process everything that the women around him were talking about.  He was inundated with frazzled thoughts upon thoughts, conversation points that kind of went no where and quick 180 degree turnabouts.

He experienced, through his thought connection with these women all  forms of joy, sadness, fickleness, uncertainty and anxiety.  Sounds like what we all have rolling around in our heads…men and women.  But just maybe more of it with women.

Warning to my readers:  Remember, I am a guy.  And if your are a member of the female persuasion and are a bit offended or put off by some of my conclusions and musings….I apologize in advance!

Ok, let’s get back to where we left off…

But after awhile, the character in the movie learned to control his gift and actually became profoundly  effective at parsing through the thoughts and connecting the dots.  He became a great listener and the women around him noticed and appreciated his unusual ability of being sensitive and connected to what they were saying and thinking.

So lesson 1 of how to talk with your wife more effectively is be a great listener. That is the closest you will ever get to understanding what is going on .  The last thing you want is a relationship with your wife is one in which she keeps the communication tap closed because you are not doing very good job of listening.  This means you need to stop moving your mouth and lips and let your wife do the talking.  Urge your wife to take the lead in talking to you if you need to.  Ask open ended questions so she can fill in the gap.

Ok, are your ready for my Marriage Helper lesson 2 on the topic of how to better talk to your wife about everything?

Drum roll…… You need listen in a way you have not done in the past. But this time, be an active listener.  It is called “attending”.  It is powerfully simply, yet effective.  I bet you have never really learned to properly attend to what your wife is saying in a dynamic way.  When you do this, you open up all kinds of fulfilling and revealing talking points about your marriage and life together.  You open the door to your wive’s true feelings, particularly the ones she is afraid to talk to you about.

So, how does one become an active listener?  Well, there are certain things you can do to enhance how your wife perceives your listening skills and acceptance skills.  That means, you cannot judge her or be negative in response.  There cannot be adverse consequences if your wife really opens up.  Rather, you want to reward her for what she is saying and encourage her to share again in the future.

Start off be leaning in and making eye contact.  This shows that you are genuinely connected to what you wife is talking about.  Nod your head to show that you understand.  Ask clarifying questions to demonstrate you are engaged and are closely following what she is talking about.

Often, you wife is looking for someone they love and trust to simply listen to them. If what your bride or wife of years is talking about sounds like a problem or issue that needs solving, don’t jump to that place where you are offering solutions.  Fight that urge.  It is ingrained in most men.  You know….to protect and be problem solvers.

In many cases, your wife knows what she should do or wants to do and is not looking for your help to solve the problem, at least not at that moment.  Rather, in that moment, what she desires is an opportunity to unload some of the emotional baggage and anxiety that has been building.

Now,  I want to warn you if you have not already experienced this before.  When your wife is talking about her issues, every fiber of you will want to rush into solution mode.  You will think that you will be helping your lovely wife if she would simply follow your suggestions and advice.

But more often than not, that is not what she needs in that moment.  Instead of taking her through your decision and solution logic for her particular problem, just ask your wife what she thinks might be the “way forward”.  This approach will underscore in her mind that you are truly listening and will give her a chance to summarize her feelings which have been up to that point, mostly internalized.

Lesson 3 – Learn talk to your wife like a friend.  Perhaps you do this already and it is very much the way the two of you interact.  If so, than kudos to you.

As you know, you are more than merely a husband.  You are many things to your wife.

Don’t you just hate to be confined by these terms we use to describe what we are in a marriage…you know…like “husband” and “wife”.   That is just one role we spend time acting out.

In many cases, couples assume certain stereotypes of what they think they should be within the marriage union.  Let’s talk a bit about all the things you can become in the eyes of your spouse .

You are a lover and which offers both of you a unique way to communicate in the most intimate manner. You play a role of being one of the breadwinners.  Chances are that your wife also contributes meaningfully to the finances.  But your role in the finances helps make the marriage  financially stable

You may very well be the father to your wive’s children.  This is a hugely important role you play in the marriage.

You are also a protector.  When we get right down to it,  your wife needs to feel safe. And to do that, you should be doing all the things that makes her feel more safe.

And last but not least, you are your wive’s best friend and being that is a great way to expand your opportunity to be able to talk your wife about everything.

Talking about all things under the sun from sports, leisure activities, movies, books, television shows, politics, and many other topics helps with forging not only a stronger connection and bond, but it allows your wife multiple paths to open herself up to you and feel closer to you.

In the final analysis, your wife wants and needs to be able to talk to your about many things.   In order for this to happen, a communication bridge needs to be constructed such that she feels safe and comfortable sharing her fears, worries, anxieties without feeling judged or belittled.  You wife should never be made to feel like she is weak when she opens herself up to you.  On the contrary, that takes courage and trust.

If you reach this juncture in your marriage where such a bridge of communications exists, then the payback in trust and affection can be enormous. I once had a woman client whose husband was so effective in lending his ear and reading her wife so well that he instinctively knew when she really needed to talk uninterrupted that when the wife was finished sharing, she would feel appreciated and fulfilled.  That in turn caused her to feel even more attracted to her husband.  It actually sexually turned her on.  She reported that she and her husband often enjoyed some of their most lively and enjoyable lovemaking encounters after she was able to pour out her thoughts and feelings.

And for clarification purposes, let me underscore that your wife not only desires to talk to you about the concerns she may be harboring about things, but she also needs to be able share with her husband her sense of well being…her accomplishments….the exciting moments in her life….and her curiosities and interests.

Don’t you just love the opportunity to your wife.

Why Does My Husband Act Like He Hates Me

Recently I was contacted by one of my readers whose husband, as she described, acts like he hates her.

She was telling me that they have been married for about nine years and it seemed to her that all the air was out of the marriage balloon.

It is not entirely unprecedented for a couple to get into an argument which leads to one or both telling the other, “I hate you”.

angry couple with passion

Such flames of passion can easily arise when a husband and wife are angry with each other.

I am sure you have been in a fight with your husband and I bet some of the worst and ugliest of language emerged.

So what usually happens when this occurs?

Well, generally, when one spouse is attacked, it will result in a counter attack and sometimes the fight spirals out of control and ugly and spiteful words are hastily and thoughtlessly made.

In time, you come to feel that your husband doesn’t care about you. In such situations it may seem he doesn’t even like you.

You may feel he never takes your side.  It may feel like he is not there for you when you really need him.  I get into this particular issue in the post below, so feel free to read up on it!

My Husband Never Takes My Side

Your husband might say he can’t stand you.

He may, in the ugliest terms, proclaim that he despises you.  Your husband might say its all over and he wants nothing to do with you.

Everything from his mouth may sound pretty bad.

Of course, language like this is ugly and hateful and represents the darker side of what resides in your husband’s mind.  Such careless words are things no loving partner ever wishes to hear.

But in this case, my client suspected something else was going on and over time, while it evolved slowly, she became certain there was something else going on that caused her husband to act like he hated talking to her or even being around her.

I asked what made her think this way in the beginning and she responded as such:

My husband and I were very close in the beginning of our marriage but something happened along the way….maybe about 4 to 5 years into our marriage…where my husband just seemed to not want to spend time with me.  When I would talk about my day, he would seem to do everything to cancel me out, not listening to what I was saying.  

It just seems that when I try to engage with him, he hates talking to me or hearing about my worries and concerns.  The whole relationship seems to have changed from one where we could talk things out and share our feelings to one where he would just rather play video games or go out with his buddies.  

What am I doing wrong that causes my husband to hate being around me? Our sex life is OK and when something really important happens, he is there for me, but more often than not, I get this feeling that he hates having to deal with any of my anxieties and if the discussion turns to a serious topic, he just seems to hate dealing with the subject.  

I think my husband still loves me, but sometimes I also think we have a love – hate relationship and I am just not happy with the course our marriage has taken.  I don’t think I have done anything in particular to cause him to act like he hates discussing things with me or being around with me, He use to take take me out and we would have fun, but that kind of spontaneity has disappeared in our marriage.

He use to do little things that showed me he cared, but now it seems a stretch for my husband to want to have much of anything to do with me unless it is absolutely necessary.  Does he really hate me and being around me? I catch him looking away at times.  He sometimes acts like he despises me.  Is he bored with me?  What can I do to turn this around?  

I want my husband back, just the way he was in the early years of our marriage.  I know I have some insecurities and I hate that about myself, but I also know that I am a good person and care about making my husband happy.  

We don’t have any children, but we have discussed that and I really want to build things back up in our marriage.  Could he be secretly harboring hateful feelings for me because I want kids?  It seems that anytime I bring up that topic, he slides away into another conversation or literally walks into another room and starts doing something else.  Help me with my situation, please!

Does Your Husband Really Hate You?

is your husband mad at you

As you can see, marital relationships can get tough and knowing what your husband is really thinking and really wants can be challenging.

Knowing the mind of a man is not as easy as you may think.

Perhaps men are not wrapped up in as much complexity as women, but since your husband is a a man, you are already at a disadvantage.

For your entire life you have processed things from the female perspective. Your template of understanding things is uniquely female.  While you have most assuredly have gained insights about how men behave and process things, your are not a man and cannot understand every nook and cranny of your husband’s emotional system.

So what if you are trapped in a marriage in which your husband seems to always yell and shout or acts like he can’t stand be around you?

What do you do when he emotionally pushes you away with his words?

Well, lucky you, I have written a post about this very problem.  So if you are confronted by a husband who can’t seem to get control of his emotions, take a moment and read up on what you can do.

Why Does My Husband Yell and Shout at Me All the Time

OK, so let’s get back to my client who is worded that her marriage has taken a turn for the worst.

It is clear she is picking up on serious negative signals which her husband is projecting and when she adds it all up, her fear is that her husband must harbor some hateful feelings toward her and that their marriage is headed for ruin.

My advice to this wife was to slow things down.

At least in terms of how she was processing everything.  I explained to her, “No, I don’t think his changed behavior was a figment of your imagination.”   

I explained that there seemed to be clear signs pointing to some kind of “dislocation” in the marriage.

I think it is a big jump to conclude that a husband has “hatred in his heart” just because she senses he is pulling away emotionally.

I told her I felt it was important to take a timeout from all of the pent up negative energy she was processing as it related to her husband’s state of mind.

It is true that in some relationships, a husband can act out on something that is on his mind and hateful behaviors will emerge. The darker impulses that sometimes govern our minds can take temporary control.

That is very different than the husband having hatred for his wife.

Sometimes mean and spiteful behavior can be exhibited during a fight or around some other serous conflict between the wife and husband.  Sometimes the problem stems from some deeply held resentments that have yet to surface, but need to be dealt with.

It is even possible that the feelings she is picking up on are a projection of the husband feelings for himself. He may be hiding a secret truth for which he feels shame or he may feel inadequate in some way and is taking it out on his wife.

Such are the vagaries of the human mind.  So much can be going on behind all of our words and actions.

Men and women all over can be hard to read.  It is tough enough to really know ourselves.  Why should we expect to know the workings of another’s mind.

So let’s assume that you have a situation with your husband where his behavior as represented by his words, tone, and actions, seem somewhat out of character.

I believe that even as well as you think you know your husband, there will always cases in which how he behaves and processes certain things will be a mystery to you.   Don’t expect to be able to always wrap your mind around why your husband acts a certain.  Even the best trained psychologist can get it wrong.

Part of the reason why it may be difficult for you to get a handle on what your husband’s true feeling are is because you are approaching this situation from the perspective of a woman.

I know….I know….you really don’t have much of a choice in the matter.

You see things through the lens of a woman, because after all, as your husband’s wife, you are a woman and processing things from a female perspective is perfectly natural for you.

You see your husband withdrawing his affection and may think he might be falling out of love with you.  You may not truly believe it with your whole heart, but the thought might flash through your mind.

In another situation, you may feel assaulted by your husband’s mean spirited words when he is angry and may erroneously conclude he must hate you.  He may be acting like he can barely tolerate you and those vibes will look and feel like they are real.

And on one level such vibes are real.  All of us can go through brief periods of time where we don’t want to be bothered.  We may need to fold up into ourselves.  And if someone is trying to crack our shell, we may lash out, saying ugly things.

Sometimes when things happen such that we begin to question the “love” within the marriage, our emotional side of the brain (right side) can immediately jump to the worst of conclusions.

And it is that part of our brain that tends to run amok.

While the left side of your brain, the analytical and rational part of your mind, will seek to influence your perception of things, it is the right “emotional” side that can take us down the wrong path.

Sure, it is entirely possible that your husband is hiding hateful feelings and directs them at you, his wife, in subtle ways.

But it is also likely that it is not hate that your husband has for you, rather it is probably something else that is less dramatic and serious that is going on.

Guys can get upset and annoyed with their wives, particularly after the couple has been together for a number of years.

Some guys who are less secure with who they are can act out and behave in a manner that can be mistaken for hatefulness.

Of course, this is not an all exclusive club.  Wives can also frequently get annoyed and angry with their husbands for all kinds of reasons.

How Your Husband Views The World Around Him

your husband has no fear

Let me give you some insight into how guys process information and how they tend to hide their feelings.

Many men wish to feel independent and capable of handling all situations. They often internalize a lot of these feelings.  When their desire to manage and control such things meets with failure or difficulty, they will become upset.

Their ego can take a blow.  When these feelings unfold and are coupled with other things that might be going on his life, he can behave badly.

There is selfishness in that behavior.  While I have not done any major, exhaustive studies in this matter, my feeling is that men are somewhat more selfish.

It may very well be a relic from our evolution as a species.

Sometimes those upset feelings will cross over into the relationship with their wife.  As a result, the wife may think she is to blame for something.  And with her not realizing the scope of how guys process and internalize their feelings, she may erroneously conclude that something is terribly wrong with the marriage.

She may ask herself, why is my husband acting so hateful towards me?

The fact is that often, when things go wrong and your husband’s expectations for himself  are falling short of his aspirations, he will strike out at whatever is closest to him.

This is often the wife.

He doesn’t want to blame himself or take responsibility for his behavior in that moment.  So he does what is selfish and easiest to do.  He strikes out at the one he loves.

Is that where the phrase, “crazy in love” came from?

is your husband crazy in love

So while it is not too surprising that many wives can get caught up in this vortex of male internalized emotions, they should recognize what these emotions and behaviors are really all about.

The wife should not try to embrace these feelings as something that she may be responsible for.  Often, the situation is the husband is trying to work through his feelings. And he probably won’t  be very open talking about it because that is the way guys are.

If you get in the way of that, you may feel like you are being bulldozed by hateful vibes.  And sometimes no matter what you do or say to help sooth your husband or understand the genesis of these feelings, it is best to let his feelings run their course and try not to embrace them on a personal level.

I realize that can be difficult when you are in the marriage line of fire.

But sometimes it is best to just give your husband’s emotions room to roam.

Give him some distance.

But that doesn’t mean he has a license to always strike out with a meanness when things don’t suit him.  This is a line that should not be crossed.  It is the “abuse” line.

But if you give him space, a mini timeout if you will, in many of these situations your husband will find his way back to you with a much better temperament, with apologies in hand.

Let me underscore something clearly.

There is no excuse for any husband to lob verbal hate bombs at his wife. And if that is is the case, then you should adopt a zero tolerance policy.

If the emotional hate language rises high, then walk away….leave the room….leave the house.

Think of it as a marriage timeout.

Whether it is for a several hours or even a few days, don’t make yourself a target for such behavior. There is no reasoning with a husband who is bombarding you with hateful language or making ugly assertions.

No spouse should speak to another in such terms and so don’t stick around if such is the case.  By doing so, you are enabling his behavior.

Now, I am not suggesting you need to end the marriage or separate for good.

My remarks are focused on this particular hypothetical situation I was describing.

The bottom line is if you really feel you are the recipient of any kind of hateful language or behavior, then remove yourself from the environment. Anything short of that is enabling the husband to continue to release whatever inner demons he may have caged up inside.

Now, I have an important qualifier to make, just to be sure we are all on the same page.

The vast majority of husbands do not spew hateful words at you.  And the few times that they do usually does not mean they hate their wives.

How a husband speaks his mind during those periods of temporary emotional insanity versus the actual core thoughts and inner beliefs he possesses are not necessarily the same thing.

So if you are not feeling the love from your husband in great quantities lately and if you think he seems to act like he hates you, think again.

You are probably wrong.

There is usually a lot more going on and what you are witnessing probably has a lot less to do with you, than other things.

You may be seeing just the tip of his emotional iceberg.  But he is not acting cold toward you because he hates you.  It is often something else going on in his mind and he is liberating these ugly feelings in your presence.

Don’t think that everything underneath his outward behavior is directed at you because of something you did that was wrong.

He may be boiling over and you are catching some of that wrath. More often than not, there are other drivers contributing to his behavior.

If that is the case, it is these things that needs to come out and be discussed. He will feel better and you will gain a greater insight into what is underneath it all.

The 7 Worst Marriage Mistakes Couples Make

Look, we all make mistakes in marriage, right?  Every couple has experienced the typical ups and down that mark a relationship.  Even when the marriage is firing on all cylinders, the husband and wife will both make some bonehead mistakes and the worst of it is that when they screw things up, they are bound to repeat the mistakes again and again.

Why is that?  Why do married couples who love each other and are devoted to making the relationship work at every level, do and say the dumbest of things?

The answer is simple in one hand and complex in another. It is best to start with the origins to why couples can figuratively crap over each other.  Instead of devoting themselves to lift each other up, it is not unusual to find some husband and wife pairings falling into destructive routines and patterns.   So let’s peel back the layers behind why two people who choose to spend their life together can give into the bad and ugly. To do this we need to examine  who we are and why we are and what we mean to each other whether it be in marriage or in friendship.

Marriage Mistakes  Can Grow from the Animal in Us

Now this is not going to be easy to dissect because there is little about us human beings that is easy to understand.  And when you include all the dynamics involved in a couple and how they interact as two people seeking to form a fulfilling union, things can get rather complicated and confusing.

Let’s start first with who we are.  Men and women are part of the animal kingdom. With me so far!  Ok, so what do you know about animals.  Animals can be wild. Yep, just like some marriages and relationships can result in a trip to the wild side.

I also dive into this topic in the article below.  If your husband seeks to be alone, it may very well be due to his answering the call of the wild!

Why Does Your Husband Need Space To Be Alone

Animals can be tamed.  They can learn to be domesticated and do the right things Ok, that sounds familiar too.  How often have you hear of the old adage, get married and settle down.  I am specifically referring to the settle down part.  Not that piece that deals with husband and wife finding a home and getting settled in. No, no.  I am referring to the process of a young couple maturing together and learning to put the wild days behind them and moving forward with purpose and a sensible plan for the future.

So that is the rhythm of how relationships unfold over time. Our hope is that the two people who make up the relationship are influenced more by the better angels of their nature.  But despite all of this, we cannot lose sight that we are  all animals at heart.

We are often in battle within ourselves try to tap down our animalistic and selfish nature.  Yea, I know, it sounds so primal.  But hey, we come from a long line of animals who were much more wilder and primitive in behavior. And some of those genes and behaviors remain imprinted in us.

So husbands, listen up!  The next time your wife calls you a jackass or a beast, just know there is an element of truth to her declaration!

So now that you know who your are….an animal given to primitive, emotional, and selfish outbursts….let’s talk about another reason why couples often say the stupidest of things to each other.

It has a lot to do, in my opinion, with why  we are driven to be married.  There is a certain yin (negative force) and yang (positive force) element to why we are attracted to each other.

Clearly men and women are very, very similar in many ways.  We are of the same species, though some may argue this point! (i.e. Mars vs. Venus).  Couples share the same need for security and shelter and financial stability (i.e. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs).  Both men and women are driven to have sex for a lot of reasons and there is also this magical phenomenon called love that attracts a couple to each other.  Yep, we are a lot alike.

So we have these forces that are pushing a couple into each other’s arms.  But every coin has a flip side.  Men and women, while they share many things that drive them toward each other, also have individual makeups that can often cause them to be repelled by each other.  Not repelled like they are disgusted by the other, by rather a type of relationship repellent experience that manifest itself in pushing away or avoidance of the other spouse.

Ok, now before you fuss at me for using the word “repelled”, let me explain why I chose to use this terminology.  Let’s take a typical husband.  Indeed, let’s talk about a real client I worked with whose name is Frank.  He is relatively happily married and loves his wife very much.  They do a lot of things together and most of the time, the marriage is highly functioning.  But Frank is jock. He likes to work out. He lifts weights and he goes on runs and loves to watch football with his buddies and all those things are important to him.  He not only enjoys the solitary challenge of physical exertion, but like most guys, he needs his alone time.

His wife, Betsie, understands all this, but there are times when she feels left out. They both work hard and when they are not working she expects they should spend most of that time together as a couple.  So when Frank is sweating away or hanging with his buddies, his wife can get annoyed and somewhat jealous and resentful that he is not spending that precious time with her.

Now lets flip the script. There are times when Betsie does certain things that can upset her husband.  Betsie wants to talk and share some of the challenges of her day.  Invariably she will talk about some of the problems she encountered.

This is how his wife processes her feelings and it makes her feel connected to her husband when he is listening and empathizing with her.   But her husband will sometimes clam up and not want to hear what she has to say because it reminds him of his own work or his own troubles.  And in that given moment, the husband may be emotionally trying to escape such thoughts.  From this can arise conflict and in the case of this loving married couple, fights tend to break out around the topic of the wife’s impression that her husband does not wish to either listen to attentively or share quality time.

So is it possible that on one hand you can have remarkably good chemistry as a married couple, yet also find yourselves split apart on matters revolving around individual preferences?

Absolutely yes!

What is baked in the Marriage Cake?

That is the challenge all couples have in making their relationship work day in and day out.  And what often can get in the way is the simple fact that no two people are always perfectly compatible.  We are all very unique and very complex and despite how well we can get along with our wife or husband, there will be aspects of the marriage and in the lives of the couple that will result in them knocking head.  There will ALWAYS been a certain degree of compatibility challenges between a couple. It is baked in the marriage cake.

Think of a marriage as a layer cake.  There are many flavors that make up the cake and while several of these individual flavors work well with each other…..jell with each other….there are some flavors of the cake that do not mix well….that clash.

So what I am saying is that from the get go, you have to recognize there will be some things that couples will struggle with.  Sometimes it is due to the differences in their personality.  Sometimes it could be about their upbringing.  Sometimes it has more to do with the differences in the sexes and unique needs a man or woman may have.  If you recognize this upfront, then you can be on the look out for these potential marriage trouble  spots and stop the behavior that might turn into an otherwise happy marriage into one where you are both stumbling around trying to figure out how to extract yourself from a marriage mess.

So what are the top 7 worst marriage mistakes couples can make?

  1. Failing to be Kind.  Being loving and kind and considerate and showing appreciation to your husband or wife is huge in a marriage.  This is why this gets the number one position on my list.  Studies reveal that if you simply get this piece right, the probability of a successful marriage is very high.
  2. Not Fighting Fair.  By all means, one of the worst things you can do as a couple is cling to any notion that fighting is good for the soul. It is simply not true.  If you need an outlet to work off some excess negative energy, then go exercise or go for a walk or do something physical, but avoid fighting with your lover.  But we all know marriage fights eventually happen.  So learn to fight fair.  I discuss this at length in a few of my posts here, so go check them out!

Couples Training: Conflict Resolution Game Plan

 

3. Not Giving Each Other Alone Time:  A marriage is a union of two people who seek to become closer connected and remain connected.  Through a variety of experiences, positive and negative, a couple’s love for each other can mature and grow to be something very special.  But, being together all of the time is not healthy.  A highly functional marriage is one in which both partners have individual interests and are allowed and supported to pursue them.  So sometimes this means you need to give you husband or wife the time they need alone to recharge their battery or pursue individual interests.

4. Not Supporting Your Spouse’s Needs: Each marital partner has unique needs. Whether they be emotional or physical needs, it is imperative that you are there for them.  Now, you won’t be able to do everything for your lover and meet each and every one of their needs, whatever they may be.  But there are some needs that rise higher than others and that should be your focus.  Ask your husband or wife what is really important to them and make sure you are aware of this special need and act proactively to help them with it.

5. Cheating on Your Husband or Wife:  Need I say more.  I think everyone has suffered to some degree the pain of jealousy.  Well, take the the feelings associated with jealousy and multiply by 100 and you might just get a tad bit closer to what cheating can do to a marriage.

6. Emotionally Clinging Too Tightly to Your Spouse: When you act in a nagging way, desperate for attention, that can drain your husband or wife’s battery.  You have heard of high maintenance partners, right?  This is when a person seems to constantly be the squeaky wheel, always competing for attention.  We all need attention and it is important we value our marriage partner’s special needs, but when we find ourselves constantly calling texting, emailing, asking for re-assurance, this can over time upset the balance of how each spouse should support each other.

7. Failing to Actively Listen to Your Husband or Wife:  when I talk about active listening I am referring to a skill set that involves genuine empathy.  One of the things that has a huge impact on human beings is feeling a sense of self worth.  Just knowing that someone cares and is paying attention to what you have to say and think is nourishment to the very soul of your marriage and broadens that all important connection between husband and wife.

Marriage Tips on Getting Your Ex Husband or Wife Back

It is never an easy thing to try and recover from a marriage separation or breakup or worse a marital divorce.  When an ex husband or ex wife is what you seek to recover…if you are looking for ways in which your can get them back, then you need to have a full understanding of the do’s and don’ts.

Let’s start first with some ground rules.

When you are seeking to get someone back there are a few things you want to avoid.  First up, avoid jumping to conclusions about what you “think” you want.

What if it later turns out that you really don’t want your ex husband or ex wife back.  Sometimes, after the pain of a breakup, one of the parties…sometimes even both….will harbor strong feelings about getting back together.  These emotions usually spring forth from anxiety and fear that arises from the marriage routines coming to an end.

Even if upon reflection, you see that the marriage was far from healthy and that your ex husband or ex wife was creating a great deal of your dissatisfaction, we as people are sometimes not well equipped to move away from these relationships.

The pull and connection that has been built up over many years, even if a lot of those years were not very fulfilling, can reach deep into your soul and cause you to hunger to have some level of normalcy return.

I call it the “abnormal Normal”.  I know, it is crazy when you think about it.  It is not logical at all.  But who said that couples think logically after they break up. The pull of reuniting, even if it is clearly not in your best interest, can be strong.

So that is one type of situation that could unfold.  Another ex marital situation is where the two of you broke up, but it really was not a horrible parting. Maybe you have not been married that long.  Maybe the breakup was an emotional reaction to an event.  Perhaps your husband or wife was unfaithful.

Do you and your spouse still have a chance to put things back together?  Of course you do.  Indeed, I wrote a post about this specific topic, so feel free to dive in!

How To Put Your Marriage Back Together Again

Being cheated on by your spouse can cause explosive reactions that can lead to separations and serious breakups between husband and wife. But they don’t necessarily end a marriage.  The breakup can be more of the temporary nature.

So whatever situation you are facing, whether it be similar to what I described above or something entirely different, I want you to avoid any impulsive actions.

If you feel drawn back to pursue the marriage….just know that those feelings may be betraying what is truly in your best interests.  So what is in your best interest when it comes to getting back with your ex husband or ex wife?  It is likely, you won’t know the answer to that question for a while.  That is why you need to take things slow and not rush back to your ex husband or ex wife.  Rushing and acting out from the right side of the brain….our emotional side…. usually puts you into a mine field of outcomes.  So take things slow.

This is why I am keen on adopting a No Contact period immediately following the break up with your ex husband or ex wife.  It will do you good to get some time to get your head screwed on back right and likewise your husband or wife will need time to put things in perspective as well.

Usually I advocate taking 21 to 30 days to reconnect with yourself and pursue some self healing.  Both husband and wife need to figure out what is best for them and that is rarely done in the first few weeks after a break up or separation.

Whether you take 21 to 30 days to get thing back in order emotionally, is up to you.   That is usually the time period that I recommend, though quite frankly, every recovering ex wife (or ex-husband) faces their own unique situation, so one needs to use good judgement in how to manage this period of time.

If you have children or let’s say you work together, it can make it more difficult to manage this period of time where the focus should be on “you”.  My married clients who are separated from their ex husband or ex wives will often ask me how they observe the spirit of the No Contact Principle, if they have kids together with their ex or work with their ex spouse.

I advice they should use good common sense.  Just keep the discussion or dialogue you might have with your ex solely on the kids (or work issues) or whatever the unique situation might be.

Communicate as needed for the welfare of the kids, but keep the focus on healing and growing as an individual during the No Contact period.  If your ex should ask why you are not being more forthcoming or communicative, be honest and explain that you are using the next several weeks to heal from the pain of the breakup and to focus on being the best version of yourself.  Just say it like that and no more.  In these matters, sometimes less is more.

You don’t want to come off as the “needy” person or the one that is doing all of the chasing.  Even if every fiber of your mind and body is telling you to call or text or email your wife or husband, it is best you observe the No Contact Period for your own best interest.

There is an interesting Principe called “reactance theory” which is psychological principle which suggests that when you withhold something from somebody, they will want and desire it more.

People want what they are told they can’t have.  And this is even more true when it comes to relationships that break down and result in the ex’s going their separate ways.  Invariably, one of the Ex’s will have second thoughts about whether they did the right thing.  They may feel that the attraction is returning after they have heard some things about you or see how well you are getting along.

This attraction and desire to see you and be with you and talk with you and make love with you can start working on your ex husband or ex wife in subtle to even more significant ways.  It is wired into the psyche of men and women.  Once a connection is made, which is what the two of you had during the good times and while the marriage relationship was in place, it is difficult for all that to be forgotten.  Things usually need to get exceptionally dysfunctional before that connection erodes.

Summary of Marriage Tips on Getting Your Ex Husband or Wife Back

  1. Take things slow. Don’t rush back into the failed relationship with your ex. Take time to evaluate what happened and how you feel about it.  Sometimes, surprisingly so, it takes awhile to get fully in touch with your innermost desires.  Be aware that in those early days after a break up or separation, you may be acting out a lot of feelings and behaviors from the right side of your brain (i.e. the emotional side).  Here is a quick lesson on that topic for married but separated couples. The right side is the emotional, creative, and intuitive side of our mind.  The left side is the reasoning and logic side of our brain. We need the emotional side of our brain, but sometimes it can lead us in the wrong direction.  It is suppose to be the side of the brain which our intuition and creativity emerges. But when too many emotions run amok, it can throw off your judgement.  So allow time for things to settle down so you can “live” equally in both side of the brain
  2. Observe a No Contact Period.  This is meant to help you smooth things out. It is likely that both you and your wife or husband are not in such a great place, emotionally  So if you want your Ex back,  recognize that they wanted to separate from you.  But go the whole nine yards.  Do not communicate in any way with your married ex for a period of time.  This time can range from 14 to 45 days.  A 21 or 30 day No Contact Period generally works well for most.  Now, this won’t be easy.  Perhaps at first it will.  You may still very very upset with your spouse and the very idea of talking with him or her is quite upsetting. But surprisingly, many spouses are later tempted to reach out or “check in”. It is hard to break away from from you ex for a significant period of time. The decision to invoke the No Contact Principle will allow you later to explore whether the relationship has a chance from a better position of leverage and personal power.  Though it is not the only reason why you should consider doing a No Contact Period.  Read on!
  3. During the No Contact Period, you should dedicate yourself to becoming the best version of yourself.  Work on making yourself feel whole again is imperative because anytime a marriage ends in separation or divorce, there will be pain.  There are many things you can do and I write about this in greater length in this post:

How To Save Your Troubled Marriage

4.  Up your physical activity and your social activity level.  Go out with friends, sign up for an exercise or hobby class.  Get involved and do things to create new routines.  Some of the old routines involving your former husband or wife need to be replaced with some other positive activites and experiences.  While you are at it,  be active on social media and it is entirely OK to play on some jealousy tactics later own if you desire to explore re-igniting the spark.  Your ex will likely not help but notice how you are getting along.  Social media stalking is fairly commonplace these days, so while I don’t want you to get crazy with playing up the jealousy tactics, it usually helps your case to show your ex (if they are watching) that you are getting along quite well.

5. When it is time to imitate contact for the first time, try using some text at attractors to stimulate some conversation.  I talk about this quite a bit in my book, The Texting Bible and my Ex Recovery Pro Series which you can find on my websites exboyfriendrecovery.com and exgirlfriendrecovery.com.

Feel free to visit me at those websites to learn more about how to increase your chances of winning back your Ex.  Also, I encourage you to take a moment and comment below and let me know what is going on with your situation.  I would like to hear about it and will respond.

Tears and Laughter in Marriage

When you have been married for awhile, you come to appreciate that every marriage, whether it be a good and happy relationship or one that is failing, is filled with a lot of tears and laughter.  Hopefully, your marriage has more of the latter, than the former.

When we get married our hearts are full of joy and we rejoice at the opportunity to have a most fulfilling relationship with the one with love.

Ironically, it is at the earliest moments of marriage that we celebrate our union with tears.  But these tears are happy tears as we feel so overwhelmed with joy and relieved that all of the things that came before the marriage have fallen into place and in that moment you and your husband or wife are standing by each other in one of the most sacred of all ceremonies.

Tears in Your Marriage Can Reset Your Mood

So tears in marriage can be wonderful stepping stones to that special place of joy and when they are accompanied with sincere and joyful laughter….well this is the thing dreams are made of.

What makes a marriage work can be surprising.  I tackle some of the drivers of a successful relationship in the post below.  Be sure to check it out after you finish reading about tears and laughter…

What Makes a Great Marriage Work – You Will Be Surprised!

It is truly surprising how our tears and laughter can make the bond of marriage ever so strong.

It is these moments in our marriage that are synonymous with the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  What a beautiful combination when you are able to cry and laugh with your marital partner about something beautiful and amazing.

As I said, the marriage ceremony brings this  all out.  And it should as in that moment, the two of your are experiencing something powerful, with great potential.

The birth of your first child can also instill this special combination of  powerful feelings of love and contentment.  Cherish these moments because they are special and are usually connected to some of the most meaningful milestones in a couple’s life.

Let’s call these kind of tears marital happy tears.  We well up not because we are sad or depressed, but rather the overwhelming forces at play are far too much to process and we have to release.

Now what about just general laughter?  What role does that play in marriage?

Laughter it is said is the medicine for the soul of your marriage.  When you and your husband and wife laugh together about something, you are enraging in a form of “mirroring’ which is when two people are doing the same thing and by doing so, it brings them closer together.

So what is the scientific basis for laughter in the marriage.  Well, before we dig into this topic, let me just underscore again that increasing opportunities for you and your spouse to laugh frequently is something you really want to accomplish as often as possible.

You got that!  I want you and your hubby or wife to really work on laughing.  Not such a bad action plan, don’t you think!

Ok, so back to the subject of the science behind increasing laughter in your marriage.  Laughing is a great way of reducing stress.  It releases endorphins and improves your immune system and helps you with warding off infections.  Most of all, laughing just feels good.  It can relieve pain and wipe away tension and anxiety and help you and your marriage partner reset the mood in a positive way.

By now, you probably know that when you have two people spending a lot of time together in close proximity, you tend to serve as a barometer for each other’s moods.  Before when you were single, if you felt a bit sour, you probably contained it or were even fully aware that you felt that way.  But when you are married and spending a great deal a time with your soul mate life, these moods have a way of revealing themselves in a more direct manner.  It is as if your spouse is a marital mood catcher for you.  Whatever you are feeling, they are bound to pick up and vice versa.  Just their mere presence tends to cuase you to share your mood.

This is where laughter can come in to be your ally….your marital mood regulator if you will!  So lets say you are feeling a bit moody and not so keen about things.  What you might need is a little marriage laughter pick me up.  That is where your spouse can do you a good one.

Now, does this mean you need to be some sort of a comedian or prankster, or joke artist in order to have a great marriage?  Of course not!  But if laughter is proven to revitalize you personally and enhance the the union of a marriage, then you want to find ways to incorporate a lot more laughs and good times in your relationship.

How do you accomplish this?

Well, I have a couple of ideas I think you should consider adopting.  And I don’t want you to hold on to these in your mind after reading about them.  Go talk to your husband or wife about this whole topic and get some buy in because it truly takes both spouses to embrace this notion in order to maximize the effect.

First, I would suggest you and your spouse commit to spending at least 1 hour every evening watching something funny on television, YouTube, or on a social media platform.  I want you to do it together and enjoy the pleasure of sharing the fun and the laugh.  It is incredibly simple to pull this off and the payoff can be enormously effective in keeping the two of you bonded in a positive way.  A laugh shared together by husband and wife is a laugh that pays dividends in your relationship trust bank.

Oh, by the way, have you read about what I think regarding building and managing a marriage trust bank with your spouse.  If not, then I encourage you to read this post as I discuss it at length, along with several other important topics.

How To Save Your Troubled Marriage

A second tactic I would suggestion you consider is finding laughter in the small, little things you each do.

I particularly like the idea of what I call the “Soft Tease”.  There are two types of teases.  Well, actually, there are many kinds of teases that occur between husband and wife, but if one was to break them down into categories I would say there is the kind that I would describe as the “hard tease”.

A hard tease is one that usually has a barb associated with it. It is meant to have some humor, but also by its very nature is intended to tweak and twist a bit. It has some bite to it.

Depending on how thick your spouse’s skin might be, a “hard tease” can hurt just a bit and can even sometimes cause some carry over resentment.  So I don’t recommend you embrace the hard tease very often when your aim to to create a positive laugh, whether it be little or large.

I much better like the soft tease which could be best described as a little line that is intended to call attention to something with the explicit purpose of causing your lover to laugh or giggle or smile.

And a soft tease can be verbal or physical.  You can tell your wife or husband something clever or insightful with a tinge of sarcasm with the express purpose of lightening the mood.

Or you can glide by your wife or husband and brush up against them on purpose or stroke their hair or lay a little kiss on them unsuspectingly.  These kind of simple acts can create a little smile and create a very positive tone and atmosphere.  And here is the trick. You want to do this a lot.  Don’t worry, it is not hard to become good at it.  Before you know, it will become commonplace.  These are the kind of positive and loving routines you want your marriage to consist of.

The Tears of Marriage Can Be Good and Bad

So what about tears?  Are the tears that flow during our marriage something we should be concerned about.  I mean we all cry, right?  So, how much is too much?

Or looking at it in another way, how many tears is too little?  Ah…I bet not everyone thought of it in those terms.  Can there be a situation where a couple does not cry enough?

Well, the short answer to the last question, is yes.  Let’s break it down and learn what happens when we cry and why I promote that couples should learn to cry more often.  Do it together and you will discover it strengthens the bond.

Crying is a way of purging a lot of feelings.  These feelings can be good, bad, or even ugly.  Generally, what happens is things unfold in our married lives or life in general and as negative incidents and life experiences accumulate, we can get overburdened.

Our marital coping strategies can fall short.  The marriage mood elevator can drop down the shaft.  And that is not healthy.  It is not something you want bottled up inside you cooking you from the inside out.

So crying can help unburden you and allow you to release a lot of nasty feelings and thoughts that weigh on you.  As I described earlier, sometimes we cry because we feel really, really happy and we simply need to release that emotion.  Perhaps something wonderful happened and we are so satisfied and thrilled by the event, we just can’t process how to emotionally address it.  Crying can help those good feelings come out and you are able to experience them in a more controlled manner.

It works in a similar way for those times when we are unable to manage our life situation very well.  We could be very sad or we might have built up a lot of pent up negative emotions and soon we feel like we are going to burst or become frantic if we don’t do something.  Sounds like a panic attack, doesn’t it.  Well, you need not have a full fledged panic attack to call upon a little marriage crying therapy!

Crying can help regulate these high, troubling emotions.  So in this respect, it is important to release and unburden yourself from emotions and events that have gotten out of hand.

A lot of guys go on a run or workout or punch the bag.  They do something physical.   And while this certainly can help manage the feelings that are troubling them, it probably is not as effective as crying it out.

That is where women or your wife has one up on you.  Women are usually a bit more connected to their emotions and instinctively will release them through crying. Men need to learn to cry a bit more often.  Sure, it not easy because of the stereotypes that exist.  But, hey we are just talking about what makes the most practical sense in releasing your pent up, upset feelings as efficiently as possible.

Tears help release the toxins that have built up in you when you are undergoing stress. Like laughter, tears can release endorphins which help you change your mood to the positive.  Crying gets the job done.  I realize it seems counter intuitive, but the more your cry, the greater the chance that you can elevate your mood and cast out some of the negativity.

That is what it is really about.  Learning to cast away the negative and lead with the positive.  That is what makes a marriage shine.

Should I Hate My Husband For Cheating on Me

When we get married and are connected to an individual more than we ever thought possible, the depth of those emotions are indescribable.  So imagine the whiplash a woman or anyone for that matter might feel when they discover or strongly suspect that their husband….the love of their life…is cheating on them.

In a women’s mind’s eye, a cheating husband is one of the worst living nightmares that an individual can experience.  When a husband cheats such as in an emotional affair or an outright betrayal  both emotionally and physically, the devastating feeling of rejection, loss of trust, coupled with a flood of other emotions such as bewilderment, anger, confusion, and depression can send the marriage spiraling.

Before I forget, I  recently wrote about how to save you marriage if your spouse cheated on you.  So make a note to come back to this article as it is full of gems if you are of the mind to salvage the marriage.

How To Save Your Marriage During An Affair

This is what happened with Celia when she reached out to me to tell the story of her’s husband’s betrayal.  Here is an excerpt that Celia agreed I could share, though I have changed the names and some other details due to privacy concerns.

Celia’s Story of Being Cheated on by her Husband

I still can’t believe that Don did this.  We have been married for 5 years and I thought everything was going pretty well.  He was caring and and attentive and I always felt that our sex life was good.  Later as I discovered, he thought that our sex was very average and that revelation from him crushed me as much as the knowledge that he outright cheated on me.  I didn’t think learning such a thing could hurt so much and I remember feeling like I had been suckered punch.  That is how much it hurts when the guy you live with day in and day out finally reveals he has been seeing another woman.  I don’t think he has been completely truthful because I quizzed him about when this thing got started.  He claimed that is has only been going on a few months but as I look back at his behavior I think he got mixed up with this work “friend”, so he says, much earlier.  I feel utterly betrayed. I can’t believe it still.  I don’t want to even know anything about this other woman and don’t even know how to process what to think or what to do.  With every minute I move from being angry to sad, then back and forth.”

So let’s say this has happened to you.  What should you do about it?  How do you escape the agony of a cheating husband.

Or what if you husband is having an emotional affair?  Well, I covered this in this article….

I Think My Husband Is Having An Emotional Affair

Or let’s say the cheating happened in the distant past.

Or let’s say you are suspicious that your husband may be cheating on you.

What should one expect and how does one handle a betraying spouse?

Image result for cheating in a relationship

Well, I have to admit this is an incredibly difficult situation.  The aftermath period…..that time that follows the revelation from your husband that he has been unfaithful….can last several days to several weeks.  And unfortunately, the pain of such a revelation is not something you will ever completely forget.  In a way, the pain of your husband’s decision to stray will be so seared into your mind, that telling you that “let time run its course” or “put it behind you” or “leave your lying, good for nothing husband” hardly works in the long run.  Perhaps in the short run it satisfied the need to lash out and escape.  But what we seek here are longer term solutions in dealing with the pain of betrayal.

So soaking in such advice may give you some relief for a few minutes or hours, but it does not necessarily change the fact that your husband’s deceit and unfaithful ways may very well be an uncharted, emotional territory that you have not faced before.  That makes it more difficult in some ways because you may think that “all has ended” and that every bit of hate you can muster up and point your husband’s way is very much deserving.  But when you are trying to recover from the actions of a cheater, it is best not to live in the world of hateful thoughts.

So let’s get that cleared up before we proceed further.  After all, that is the title of this post.  It is the question you may be bouncing around in your mind.  You may be pressed to think that the more you can direct your hate at your spouse, then the better you will feel.  But actually, it will make you feel worse because hate is a “consuming emotion” .

Hateful feelings and bad and ugly thoughts toward your cheating husband….possibly the father of your children…the guy who was suppose to be the love of your life….thinking this way will serve to consume you with self destructive feelings that can eventually turn on yourself.

It takes a tremendous amount of negative energy to direct hate at another.  And when you commit yourself to that endeavor, then you are allowing yourself to sink to an emotional level that will eventually lay waste to what is left of the marriage.

Oh yes, let’s get back to that.  While I am not advocating that your husband, who has been cheating on you, deserves a free pass or even deserving of enjoying your company.  After all, your man has used terrible judgement in betraying his vows and clearly is exhibiting selfish, self centered behaviors.  What I am saying is that when all the dust settles….and yes that will likely take weeks…you may have  a somewhat different frame of mind about what you want.

You may want him back or you may not.  But during the aftermath period, following the revelation that your husband is a cheater, hate and deep resentment will rule the roost if you are not careful.  And again….those kinds of feelings, if left completely unbridled, will just make things worse.

So try and keep that in mind if possible during this pivotal aftermath period. Somebody needs to lead.  Your husband was obviously not the grownup in this situation.  After all he did not have even enough control and respect for you to avoid the temptations of breaking his vows.

He cheated on you.  You did nothing wrong to deserve that.  Sure, no marriage is perfect and perhaps there are things both husband and wife need to work on.  But my tolerance for cheaters is very, very low.

And while your husband may fall in the pitiful group of guys who may state that the “sex was not good enough” or that “we have been growing apart” or “I don’t know how it happened”, or “it really doesn’t mean anything” or “I still love you and have ended the other relationship”…..the fact remains such statements do not reverse the fact that they cheated and you did absolutely nothing wrong to be in the position you are in now.

So if you have even a flicker of a thought that you may be somewhat responsible…..that maybe “you did not please him enough” or that “you are not a good enough lover” or that “you are unattractive” or any of these bull crap thoughts….please toss them out because the truth is that your husband is far from perfect.  After all,  you kept your vows….you did not betray your husband.  He is the one that let you down.

There is clearly much to talk about when it comes to this topic and unfortunately I can’t cover it all here in the article.  But I will write other posts that will explore some of the actions you can take to recover and what the future might hold for you after you discover your husband has betrayed and cheated on you.

The big takeaway I want you to leave with is that let go of any hateful feelings that will most certainly arise during the aftermath of you learning of your husband’s affair.  Trying going physical to rid these inner demons.  Exercise these demons with a robust workout to rid yourself of the heavy, negative energy.  Go on run or a long walk or bike ride.  Join an exercise class.  Take up yoga to balance both exercise and some peace of mind.

If you are not careful, hate will consume you and make you feel even worse about the situation and yourself.  And whatever thoughts that might be running around in your mind, delete those that might suggest you did anything wrong or that you are at fault in any way.   In my book, you are the person that kept the trust.