I Can’t Believe My Husband Deserted Me

Has your husband ditched you?

Are you in a situation in which your husband deserted you and it happened so fast you still don’t know how it all came down and what it all means?

How do you cope if your husband has left you?

No doubt, when your husband deserts you it can bring about all kinds of emotional chaos along with uncertainty as to why he really did it and what you should do about it.

I hear from women every day about losing their husband.  They feel alone. They feel confused.  They feel rejected and the experience is about as painful as it can get.

Not just emotional pain, but actual physical pain too as the body seems to go haywire in all the wrong places.

has your husband left you

When he left me I thought my world was over. I ached for him back everyday. Far too long I relied on my husband for just about everything. I had become far too dependent on him.  But a year after the event, I feel so much more in control of my life, having realized that being attached to somebody who really didn’t love me the way I needed to be loved was never going to work out.”

My husband left me after 12 years of what was both a troubled marriage and one that sometimes brought us great joy.  I don’t even know how to process what I feel.  It is really hard to concentrate on anything else and I know I am confused. My husband leaves me, yet I am still in love with him?  How does that work? Part of me was glad he left.  But now I have all these missing parts of my life that were so used to him being around and doing the things that made me feel part of something.  What is wrong with me?  I know in my thinking mind he was more trouble than good, but I can’t shake loose of him.  I hate him for what he did and sometimes I hate myself for allowing him to make me feel so vulnerable.”

“After he left me I have turned into a mess.  I never realized how much he meant to me.  I am filled with shock over the whole thing. I know I messed things up and am willing to change.  Everyday I wake up and think, ‘Oh my god, my husband left me, how do I get him back? ‘

“My husband and I have begun talking about divorce. Part of me cannot even believe it.  Soon he will move out and finally will really be gone.  For years all I could think of was when can I get away from him.  Now come all these questions. He is about to leave me now but I don’t even know what I am entitled to.  I really can’t believe this is happening. I didn’t know I would be a jumbled mess. What do I down now?  I don’t want to be stuck alone by myself. What will I do if I run out of money? He said all of that will be taken care of but I don’t even know what that means and if I can trust him. Should I have my own lawyer?  We are trying to keep it simple and inexpensive.”

I understand it can be incredibly difficult when you find yourself without a husband, not knowing where to turn.  And this awful situation can unfold in so many different ways.

I can't believe he left me again

For example what if you husband cheated on you, then walked out?  What do you do in such a situation?   There are not easy answers for such a relationship fiasco.  I have written a post about this, so take a peak when you get a chance:

I Can’t Believe My Husband Cheated and Left Me

Let’s for a minute just stop and try to get some perspective. If you are one of millions of women whose husband has stormed out of the marriage, then I want you to take a step back and realize some very important things.

Getting some perspective that it is not the end of the world should be one of your first aims.  Life moves on and while it may be difficult for you to process that now, you have many paths you can take which can lead you to very fulfilling experiences.

It is said that the art of achieving happiness is through relationships and immersing yourself in a wide variety of diverse experiences.

So take the bull by the horns and come to terms with the reality that you ultimately possess control of your own happiness.

How Should You Feel After Your Husband Leaves You?

feel sad about husband's departure

Right now, it is probably hard for you to see the silver lining.  Much of what you feel right now is the pain of losing your husband.  It probably feels like he has been stripped away from your life.  The man you once thought was the right guy for you has shaken up your world view.

It is hard to shake loose of the feeling of no longer being an everyday part of your husband’s life.  With the marriage in question, your identify has come under fire.

There were times when the two of you would literally move and breath as one.

Sure, you were both your own person in many ways, but without realizing it, you were both also largely defined by the other’s presence.

So if your husband leaves you suddenly, there will be this sense of a gap in your life or a missing part.

Later you will realize these feelings and sense of reality is only temporary. But for now, if you are coming off of a marriage split up, nothing feels more real than those emotions coursing through every part of your mind and body.

One of the reasons you still feel so tied to your husband, even if you are filled with anger or rage for what he has done, is because it is so hard to shake loose of the tremendous bond people form when they have been close and together for such a long time.

Think about it.  Even if many aspects of the marriage was flawed, there were so many things the two of you were a part of together.  Your memories of things are largely intertwined and those joyous moments, times when you both enjoyed each other’s company, is part of the glue that keeps that bond from completely coming apart.

When you boil it down to its essence, married couples are bonded and tied together for many reasons including  physiological, emotional, psychological, social, and financial reasons.

That is a lot of things that the two of you have experienced together.

And by the way, before I forget, if you find yourself stranded in marriage and are looking for some ways to arouse your husband’s interest in you again, consider some of these tactics I wrote about in this post:

How Do I Make My Ex Husband Miss Me and Think About Me Constantly

No doubt, learning to cope with a husband who has gone AWOL is going to be a big adjustment.

When you are in a state of disbelief about your husband leaving you, simply pinch yourself and repeat, “I am strong and will get through this”.

Tell yourself that your husband walking out on you is a good thing.

Of course, you won’t understand why that is the case in the moment of the searing pain you may be experiencing, but in time, you will realize that his decision, however rash or unwise it may have been, has forced you to decide if you wish to invest any more time in the relationship.

What Are the Different Ways a Husband Can Leave His Wife?

many ways your man can drop out of your life

Just because your husband or boyfriend has supposedly called it quits and walked, doesn’t mean that is what he really wants.

People, including your husband, often behave in the opposite way in how they feel.

In his deepest of hearts, he may not want to bring an end to the marriage.  His action may be one coming from impulse.  He may be heading for the marriage exit not because he doesn’t love you anymore, but rather he may be immature and is acting out of stupidity or spite.

Sometimes men will walk away from their marriage because they think they would be happier elsewhere.  Maybe their mind is so cluttered, they feel they need time to sort things out.  Your man may essentially need some peace and quiet to process his next move.  In some cases, your man may leave you because he is confused about what he really wants.  A little solitary time can sometimes awaken his true feelings.

I have also seen cases where a husband drops out of the marriage because he thinks he has fallen in love with another woman.

So he decides to bolt and chase after his dream romance.  But often times, the other relationship doesn’t pan out in the way he imagined and he later finds himself trying to explain to his estranged wife that he has made a terrible mistake and she is the one he “really” loves.

Then occasionally, there are guys who decide that marriage commitment is not what they wanted at all in their life.  There may be some psychological component in their thinking that leads them to feel trapped and caged.  So in order to make those feelings go away, they self destruct the marriage.

Men of this yoke usually suffer from what is called an insecure attachment style.  They are usually not good marriage material because they inherently have problems with connecting on an emotional level.

So when a husband initiates a breakup, it can happen in all sorts of ways, but the common denominator is there is a “break” in the bond.  Something is wrong and whatever it is has to be ferreted out and addressed.

So What Does It Mean For You When He Leaves?

what it means when he leaves you

Well, as I alluded to earlier, I prefer to look at things in the frame of the glass is more than half full.  If your husband leaves you, then it brings out into the open that something is very wrong.

While the act of him deserting can be incredibly painful, imagine how much pain and suffering could accumulate if the marriage rocked along for years with neither party satisfied.

Sometimes the shock of something happening is in itself a potential remedy to the problem.

It forces the husband and wife to examine and re-examine their priorities and if they seek to mend the broken fences, it causes them to do so with a sense of renewed purpose.

How You Shouldn’t React When He Walks Out

how you shouldn't act when he breaks it off

If your husband actually left you, for starters don’t panic.

It is not the end of the world as you know it.  You have your life.

You have love for other people in your life and others love you.

Far worse things can happen to you.  And just possibly, your husband’s choice to drop out of the relationship could be a blessing.  You may discover later that he has done you the biggest favor of your life.

Don’t make any decisions about meaningful things until you have had an opportunity to absorb what has happened, why it happened, and what you might want in your life going forward.

Chances are that you will feel panicky and the need to do something impulsively will dominate your mood for a spell.  Tap down those feelings. They will get you in trouble and you will come to regret decisions or actions you undertake without reasoning through the potential outcomes.

What you should be doing is surrounding yourself with those who love you. Pull them in your  emotional orbit.  Remain active and find some new activities and routines you can incorporate into your life.

Remember, when you provide yourself with a diverse set of experiences and surround yourself with people you love and love you, happiness will come into your life.

In time, the pieces of your life will fall back into place and you will have a much clearer picture of what you want to do, with or without your ex husband.

Should You Take Him Back?

should you take husband back

Remember, if your husband walked out of the marriage, he in effect deserted you and the life the two of you built together.

That is a pretty big deal.  So don’t be in too much of a hurry to take him back if the opportunity presents itself.

When a marriage craters because the husband has left the wife, the healing process should be lengthy.

I am a big fan of taking little steps in such matters.

He will need to not only romance you back, as if you were dating for the first time, he should also acknowledge the mistakes he has made and counseling may be in order.

But I don’t want you to forget that you too probably have some things you need to work on as well to make the marriage connection all that much stronger.

Rarely is the downfall of a relationship completely due to only one person’s action.

Sometimes it not worth taking your husband back.

During the period you are alone, you will need to do some serious thinking about what you want out of the relationship going forward and you will need to ask yourself if your estranged husband can truly provide it to you.

Sometimes men cannot change their stripes.  They are bound to repeat the same mistakes over and over again and you are left trying to pick up the pieces.

If you can look into the past history of the two of you being a couple and much of what you see is a marriage frequently on the rocks, then you really need to ask yourself why you keep repeating the same mistakes.

Perhaps you are thinking, “No Chris, my husband is the one making the mistakes, I am just trying to keep this marriage together”.  But have you ever ask yourself about whether your forgiveness of your husband’s mistakes over and over gain is not a mistake on your end?  Perhaps it is and what you are doing is enabling this awful predicament to play out in a bad way over and over again.

It can be really hard for you to walk away from your husband for good.

There can be many reason for this ranging from psychological, emotional, financial, social and for the sake of the family.

But if you can look at the past and see far too much ruin, then it might be time for you to say “No, I am not going to allow myself to be dragged through unhappiness. I am not going to take him back.  Our love will be a different love and it will be from afar”. 

My Husband Never Takes My Side

It is perfectly reasonable to expect that you and your husband will disagree.  I have never met a husband and wife that saw eye to eye on all issues.

But what if your husband never takes your side?  What do you do if you feel like the man your are married to has little respect for your viewpoint?

Do you ever feel your husband undermines your position?

Do you ever feel like your husband pushes your viewpoint to the side so that he can advance his own?

And worst, if you are trying to make a point in front of friends or family, does your husband frequently cut your off or disagree with you in full?  Are you ever made to feel small or insignificant?

he does not have my back

It can be real problem when you feel your husband doesn’t defend you.  It is important in a well-functioning marriage that your husband has your back on the big issues the two of you may confront.

Conflict in this area can exasperate other marital difficulties.  Here is post that walks you through how you can avoid ongoing differences of opinion.

How To Avoid Fighting And Conflict In Your Marriage

Sure, there will be cases in which the two of you will disagree.  And perhaps you will be at odds against each other on a particular matter.

This will happen in all marriages and how you resolve your differences is an important part of this overall discussion.

The problem I see that comes into play with some marriages is when the husband (or wife) seldom takes your side of the discussion.  It can be painful when it seems your husband goes way out of his way to disagree with your points.

What drives your man to behave in this fashion?

Sometimes the catalyst to this behavior is your husband’s ego.  He may be psychologically ill-equipped to take your side or support you because he feels he has to be first to a solution.

His insecurity may be at a level where if he thinks you have arrived at a better answer or solution, he will be driven to take the opposite view.    Hence, your husband may be emotionally inclined to disagree for the sake of boosting his ego and gratification.

Why Won’t Your Husband Stand Up For You?

making him care about your views

All men and women have certain buttons that if you push, bad and angry things can come pouring out.

When your husband refuses to take up for you, that can really get under your skin.   I know some people who when their spouse stabs them in the back, can come unglued.  And that is what it feels like to some when their husband or wife chooses not to take their side on a critical issue.

But why would your man not be in your corner when you need him to be?

He must know how much it hurts, right?  You put yourself out there and expect support, but then he pulls the carpet out from under you.  It can feel like you are betrayed.  And when you are involved in something that is really important to you and you need your husband to be there for you and he is not, it only serves to drive a wedge between the two of you.  Trust erodes.

So why would he do such a thing?  What is in him that make him that way in your time of need.  Is it really asking that much for your husband to stand up for you?

Let’s examine some of the possible reasons why your husband is disposed to leave you hanging out there in the wind, so to speak.

You are Married To a Disagreeable Sort of Guy

One possibility for your spouse’s behavior is that he just so happens to be a kind a guy that disagrees with you for the sake of simply taking the opposite view. It may be his nature to be argumentative and critical of you and others.  I call this the “Nasty Complex”.  If you are married to a mean kind of guy or if your husband seems unable to empathize with you on such matters, then he is suffering from the nasty complex and is in need of an attitude adjustment.

Petty Jealousy May Cause Him to Back Off of His Support

Sometimes small and petty jealousies can creep into the marriage and over time these feelings can gain traction.  Where you see them emerge is during those occasions when you would expect your husband to have your back. When he doesn’t stick up for you, you feel crushed by his demonstration of petty jealousy.  Your husband could also be selfish and doesn’t want you to be credited for insightful opinions.  When jealousy meets selfishness, you have a really toxic combination.

Your Guy Could Simply Be Mean and Cynical

It is sad but true that sometimes you end up marrying a guy who is simply cynical.  Is your man a “glass if half empty” kind of guy?  If he often finds fault with just about everything and can seldom be counted on to do the right thing by you, then you are hooked up with a mean and cynical man.   Why he is this way is a lengthy conversation.  It may be that his cynical nature is part of his personality.  He may think he is just being realistic or pragmatic or truthful or whatever he tells himself.  But for you, his behavior and lack of support hurts and lacks in loyalty.

Your Spouse May Be Insecure

Sometimes guys just don’t have it all together.  They can be betrayed by their insecurities.  So your husband may hesitate to come to your defense because he is unsure if it is the right thing to do.  His uncertainty and insecurity can sometimes blind him to do what he really needs to do….namely stand up in support of what you are saying or doing.

Your Husband Wants Obedience

It can be a tough chore to be married to a guy who insists the is always right and you are wrong.  If your husband is convinced he knows all and is the supreme authority on all things, then he most likely is a narcissist.  Some men insist on having all the personal power in the marriage  in order to make themselves feel  more powerful and in more in control.  They will undercut their wife to further their own aims.

If you ever feel you and your lover are really struggling in your relationship due to his lack of support, then tap into this post for some further insights:

Marriage Survival For Struggling Couples

How Important is Loyalty and Support in Marriage

my husband is not loyal

Are you dealing with a husband that is less than loyal to you?  What does that really mean?

It turns out loyalty in marriage means different things to different people.

Recently I did an informal survey asking my clients who were happily and unhappily married what they thought about the subject of loyalty and support in marriage. I asked them to describe what loyalty felt and looked like from their persective.

This is what they told me.

“Loyalty in a relationship is vital.  If my husband did not stand by my side on the important issues we have gone through, I really would be bitterly disappointed. When I can depend on him it means the world to me.”

“You know loyalty is down the drain in your marriage when your husband doesn’t have your back.  Once I told my spouse to not back off the discipline we were dishing out to one of  our children.  To be clear, it wasn’t anything over the top like a spanking. Rather, I just wanted him to back me up when we did a time out with my child.  Then he goes off and plays with her in her room which defeats the whole purpose of what we are trying to teach her.  Our marriage is not really down the tubes, but I really get angry when I can’t count on him to stand by the things we agree to.”

“Getting reliable support from my husband is important to me.  I feel loved when I can count on him and when I know he will act upon what he says he will do.  It takes away the anxiety I build up.  Tell your ladies that if their guy is not going to be there for them over and over again, then that spells disaster and they might as well start looking for an exit strategy.”

What Do You Do If You Feel Your Husband Is Always Against You

my man won't back me up

The other day I heard from a woman who was in tears.  She was explaining that “her boyfriend never takes my side and I hate him for that”.  She walked me through all of the cases in which he wormed his way out of backing her up.

I asked why she thought her man wouldn’t  stick up for her.  She explained that she believed it was a character flaw her husband had and when he won’t do the right thing, it becomes a race to the bottom.  She admitted it is a huge pet peeve for her and wondered what, if anything, she could do to get him to realize that he is poisoning the marriage.

As you know, there will always be occasions when neither you or your hubby will see eye to eye.  And I think that is healthy.  You don’t want your man to agree with everything you say and do, otherwise the communication between the two of you would be less than honest.

Differences on how to handle things or interpret certain developments will always be present in a healthy marriage.

The problem comes into play if you come to believe that your husband seldom takes your side, particularly on the important matters in a relationship.  After all, we all want to feel secure that we won’t be undercut by our spouse every time we deal with something meaningful and important.

And if you are walking out on a limb, taking a risk, you will really want your husband’s backing.  If he makes a habit of pulling the carpet out from under you, no doubt you will feel less sure of yourself.

You sure don’t want to worry about your husband shooting down your thoughts or trying to put you in your place as part of some kind of mind game.

So what can you do about it?

First off, if this kind issue starts creeping into your marriage, then you should nip it in the bud immediately.  It is possible your husband is not aware that he habitually criticises you on positions you take.  There could be a whole host of reasons for why he behaves the way he does.  He may be critical by nature.  He may be insecure with himself as we discussed earlier in this post.  Whatever the cause, you should convey immediately to your husband in clear language what he is doing and the effect it has on you.

For example:

Honey, you may not realize it fully but you shot my position down in front of our friends.  I know you were nitpicking and probably did not mean anything by it, but it hurts me inside when I don’t feel supported.  At the very least, you can try to be more tactful.  Talk to me later if need be, but please don’t embarrass me in mixed company.”

There is a good chance your husband is not even aware of how he is being perceived. He probably does not appreciate how important it is to you to feel emotionally supported on those matters you strongly advocate for.

What If He Just Doesn’t Get It and Does It Over and Over Again?

If your husband’s continues to refuse to offer support and continues to undermine your position, another alternative is to take a half day off.  Or maybe it is a full day.  You will know what feels right.

In effect, you are upping the ante.  He will be learning that his frequent behavior of not having your back and supporting you has consequences.

Write your husband a note, explaining in detail the latest example of his lack of support and summarize the other examples of your husband’s failure to support you and your side or view of things.  Describe again what behavior you expect from him.

In closing, tell your spouse that you are extremely disappointed in his behavior and you need some time for yourself.   Leave it somewhere for him to find. Take some time off.  Stay with a friend.   If you are going to turn it into a 24 hour period, check into a hotel.  Essentially, what you are doing is raising the issue again, but in a more serious way.

You may think, “Well, Chris, isn’t this a bit dramatic”?

Sure, there is some staging associated with this approach. But the idea is you are trying to raise the awareness of this issue in your husband’s mind.  You want to make this issue something that registers with him as being extremely important to you.

In no way are you using threatening language or ultimatums. Rather, what you are doing is telling him exactly how you feel and putting distance between you and your husband.   You want your husband to speculate about just exactly what you might do next.  Again, you would not take this approach unless you have made multiple efforts to work out this problem with your spouse.

So what will you do next?

Well, it depends.  There is a good chance your husband may reach out to you to try to discuss things while you are away.  I see that in a lot of cases.  Don’t be too quick to respond back.

Eventually, if he is seeking to contact you, close the loop with your husband.  If he appears to be wearing the “right attitude” about what is happening and wishes to meet and talk with you in person, then do so, but do it at a neutral place (not your home).  By changing the environment where you will have a discussion about this issue, you underscore its importance to you and the relationship.

Your husband may not respond for a while or not at all.  That is fine in the short run. He may be put off by what has happened.  But the point is your are making a point with your husband.  Whether he is ready at that time to admit that this matter is important, eventually he will realize it is important to you.

Eventually you will return home to resume you normal routines and if he has not already, he will get around to asking you what it was all about. Be yourself. Be positive, but be firm.  He need to understand that you were not just throwing a hissy fit, but rather that you are fed up with him not having your back.

Now, he may play dumb. He may pretend nothing really happened.  He may play the blame game.  He may avoid even getting into the topic.

Look, how your husband reacts and behaves is unpredictable to some degree. But don’t allow him to try to turn it all around and complain or blame you for making things worse.

You have done nothing but take some personal time for yourself.  You have not maligned him and nor have done anything wrong.  You are trying to create an environment, after having tried numerous times in the past, to get him to realize you don’t appreciate not being supported.

If he gets nasty or means spirited or tries to change the topic, then don’t get drawn into that fight.  If necessary, take another 24 hours for yourself.

If your husband really cares and loves you, he will eventually come to terms that this matter is really important to you and he had best play ball.

My Marriage is Broken – How Do I Start Over

Marriage is a word that speaks to bonds.

Love is a bond.  As man and wife, we become one.

When we get married, our hopes and dreams is that we will forever live in happiness, closely bonded to the man (or woman) we love.

We never imagine a day when our marriage is broken.  It just seems inconceivable that the man or woman we love would ever become our enemy.

The notion of having to start over so your marriage has a second chance is the last thing we would dwell on.

So thoughts of a loveless and broken relationship just does not even enter our mind.

And why should it.  It is not conducive to having a successful marriage if we are plagued with worries that the relationship will be torn asunder.

Such thoughts should be cast out of our minds because such negativity can feed on itself, right?

After all, all couples will encounter setbacks and challenges.  Why must we even consider the prospect of starting over.

What does that even mean?  Is there ever a time when we should be worried that things are going down the toilet?

How do you even know if your marriage is in the danger zone?

And what do you do if you are sure your marriage is failing and needs a major reboot?

How do you overcome the pain and fear of seeing your marriage go down the tubes?

When can be you be sure that the Marriage is over?

And is there a way you can make good again on the promise to love and cherish and forever remain in each other’s hearts?

marriage running away from you

A lot questions about the solidarity of our marriage can occupy our minds when things seem to be going sour.

I don’t think a marriage is over just because your outlook is bleak.  It is not unusual to find yourself down in the dumps if you can’t imagine living with your husband (or wife) much longer.

But nor do I believe you should stick it out to the very bitter end if you are roiled in a marriage where you are miserable.

So what should you do about it?  One thing I want you to do is take a look at this post if you have not read it yet.  It is full of key principles you should follow to save a marriage in trouble.

How To Save Your Troubled Marriage

I guess we should start with what might be the signs of a failing marriage.  After all, one should have an idea of what it looks like when the marriage is really kaput or nearly over for good.

As we walk through the different signs or indicators of a failing marriage just know that on the whole, a marriage usually does not slide into oblivion on the basis of a few things going wrong.  And seldom can your write off a marriage based on the amount of time things have been going horribly.  Though that is an important consideration.

To say the least, there are many factors which influence the erosion of a couple’s relationship.  We are going to explore some of these things and then we are going to talk about what you and your spouse can do to pull your marriage out of its downward spiral.

Deal?

OK, so let’s get started.

What Are The Signs and Indications of a Crappy Marriage?

what are the signs of a bad marriage

I think one way to understand and see when the end is near is through some stories that married women (and men) have shared with me.

I have talked with a lot of married men and women about their struggles. Sometimes they can really get down on themselves.  And that is understandable if you feel like you are stuck in a marriage with no escape.

For example, a relationship can disintegrate rapidly to a place of no return if your husband (or wife) emotionally abuses you.  It is a common occurrence. Sadly, emotional abuse involving husband and wife is more pervasive than people realize.

Many marriages also break down due to extramarital affairs or emotional affairs of the heart.  The impact of having a cheating spouse can be jarring and long-lasting.

Let’s take a wife’s unique perspective.

A married woman wants to feel she can trust her husband and it is also important she feel safe.  These two things operate in unison.  It is difficult to feel safe and secure if trust has eroded.

Trust in marriage is something that should resemble a great wall.

As time passes, trust should grow and solidify.

But if over the course of the relationship, bitter arguments and poor treatment become the norm, trust can been severed. The couple will not only feel split along these lines of conflict, but also their trust in each other will be broken.

So trust in marriage is powerful.   The lack of trust is common thread in marriages that are breaking down and falling apart.

You trust that your husband loves you and will take care of helping you when you need support.

You trust that he will be there for you in the present and long in the future.

And you trust that your husband will have your back and will not betray you.

Take trust out of the love equation and the marriage will cease to be a healthy relationship.

Let’s  drill down deeper and consider what some of my clients have said when they grappled with the question of whether they should start over.

I just don’t have any feelings of love for him.  It has been exhausting living with someone who rarely shows any affection.  This has been rocking along for a few years now and it is just getting worse.  I know I made a terrible mistake marrying him and I want out.  We fight all the time.  He is cruel and uncaring.  His friends tell me he is cheating on me.  I can’t rely on him.  Should I ask for a divorce and move out or is there something else I should be doing? Is there a reset marriage button?”

I am miserable living with him.  We never really had much of a courtship.  I was young and impressionable and got married too fast.  I am thinking of leaving him because I have seen enough about what kind of man he really is and I just don’t want to be married to somebody I have no respect for.  I am tired of his lies and I know he is having an affair. There is no trust and never will be.  I know he hates me and can be vindictive.  I can’t live this way anymore.  I never realized I would end up with a guy who constantly tells me things I know are untrue.” 

The fight we had last night was the final straw.  My husband will never change. He wants to control every single thing about me.  I am afraid to be myself.  When I get my courage up to speak up, he pushes me down and either lectures me or tells me he is disgusted.  He acts like he despises me when I have done nothing to deserve such harsh treatment.  He has been married before and they broke up for the same reasons.  I stuck my head in the sand while it was playing out in front of me every day. The man is a control freak and I really need to get away from him and need your advice on how to do it.”

I left my husband in spirit a few years ago.  We are still married, but I love another man.  What drove me to fall in love with this other man was my husband’s affairs.  Even now he still sees other women when it suits him.  He has no clue as to my affair and that is perfectly fine by me.  I am not one of those women who want to punish him with the knowledge that I get my love and sexual satisfaction from another guy.  Not because I am above being cruel.  To be honest, I am not without fault.  But I love this other man and I want to build a life with him.  But I also still love my husband and don’t know how and when I should pull the trigger to end our marriage.”

Many of the complaints I get from women who are on the edge of quitting their marriage usually follow a similar pattern.  While not all of these outcomes may describe your circumstance, if you find your marriage is plagued with several of these situations, it is likely your marriage is in serious trouble.

  • The couple has had a long history of ugly fights.
  • One or both married partners may be having issues with being emotionally unfaithful or outright cheating.
  • The couple is experiencing an ongoing loss of trust
  • A spouse is dealing with a significant loss of respect for her lover.  This issue around loss of respect usually does not unfold as a result of a singular incident, but rather occurs over time due to multiple events and behaviors.
  • When there is little to no kindness or appreciation offered within the marriage, the chances of a successful long-term relationship is poor.
  • Your husband (or wife) is a total and absolute control freak.  You feel imprisoned and incapable of making decisions for yourself.  Your ideas and opinions are usually snuffed out.  And when you try to assert yourself, your husband (or wife) aggressively pushes you back down in an effort to limit any input or autonomy you wish to assert.

When The Marriage Is Breaking Bad Should You Start Over?

hanging on to your love

Now we have arrived at a crossroads.

When is it time to toss in your chips and cash out?

When can you be reasonably certain that it is in your best interest to go a different direction?  And when can you be certain that you have given your marriage every opportunity to succeed?

You can be sure that the success of you marriage will be challenged by forces that neither of you fully understand and you and your husband (or wife) will suffer hardships and setbacks.

Whether you are a woman or guy, take a look at this article I wrote a while back.  It offers you a marriage survival guide.

How To Get Over Your Ex Husband – Marriage Survival Guide

So throwing in the towel prematurely and not working to mend what is broken can be a big mistake.

But nor am I an advocate of going down with the ship.

It takes two to make a marriage successful.

Sometimes, despite one’s best intentions, two people are not able to make it work.  Men and women make mistakes in who they chose to marry and it can be a mistake to cling to a relationship that continually falters, despite your best efforts.

If you have given your all to your marriage and committed yourself to genuine efforts over a lengthy period of time to work on your shared problems, that speaks volumes.

If after all your efforts serious problems persist, something else needs to happen.

Without knowing any of the specifics of your personal situation, it is impossible to provide definitive advice on whether you should break it off permanently with your husband (or wife) or if you should try an entirely different approach.

Think about your options holistically.

Let’s take the case of a woman whose husband has been emotionally abusive over a long period of time.  Let’s assume that the type of emotional abuse she is subjected to is hateful and occurs with frequency.  Assume the couple has been married for several years and despite the woman pleas for them both to get marriage counseling, the abuse has only gotten worse.  Now the wife is miserable and feels lost and hopeless.

On the face of it, it would seem the marriage is very much on the rocks and arguably has been suffering for years, despite the wife’s efforts to get help.  The relationship is dysfunctional.

So one would ask why should the wife persist in trying to make the marriage work.  How much suffering is enough?  It would seem appropriate to advise the wife to leave her husband.  Seems simple, doesn’t it.

Unfortunately, nothing is simple in marriage.

The wife, while she may be suffering the pain of poor marriage, may also still love her husband very much.  There may be extenuating circumstances that cause her to hold on to her marriage.  Some of the reasons can be deeply psychological (e.g. emotional dependency) and other could be more practical such as the social fabric of the family if children are involved or her financial well-being.

So what may be in the wife’s best interest is usually a very complicated question.

Usually, in my view, one’s personal happiness outweighs most other factors. Emotional dependency is  real thing, but it is a condition that can be addressed and treated over time.

Separation and divorce can certainly have an adverse negative impact on the children if not managed properly, but children can also be impacted negatively if they live in an unhealthy marital environment.  Financial considerations are worthy of close scrutiny, but they should not outweigh the other factors.

Sometimes it is best to break clean from a marriage.

But another path one can try before breaking away from a dysfunctional marriage is trying to do something that hopefully will be transformative.

Is Starting Over With Your Husband or Wife Possible?

is starting over possible

So how can you start a marriage over, without breaking it completely?

Should you and your husband simply agree that the marriage is suffering terribly, so let’s reset and start over, putting the past behind you?  Perhaps you can put it in writing and swear by it.

Is it really that easy?  Has it ever worked?

It does sound good.

And many well-intentioned couples will tell each other they want to start the relationship with a clean slate and actually try to pull it off.  But more often than not, such promises ring hollow, perhaps not in the moment they were made, but eventually the problems that existed before surface and cause conflict.

Is there another way to get a second chance at making the marriage work?

Perhaps.

I believe that in some circumstances, particularly when the stakes are high, it becomes necessary to jar someone’ sense of routine.  If you are unhappily married, despite whatever it is that is causing you to be unhappy, you and your husband (or wife) are engaged in routines.

A big change to the marriage equation would be upsetting the routines, without utterly destroying or ending the marriage.

Let’s go back to the husband that is the “emotional abuser”.  Doing something to interrupt all the routines would usually get’s the full attention of the spouse.  If the marriage is a mighty ship, consider such an action a shot across the bow.

Something needs to happen to enforce the belief in your spouse that you are willing to end it all.

If one considers a marriage as being over as the “Big Breakup” (i.e. this being your final trump card), then the intervention I am talking about would be the “Minor Breakup”.

In a way, you are giving your husband one last chance, but it is not in the form of a do over or a “let’s give it another try agreement”.

The intervention I speak of would have to be a case in which you express your utter dissatisfaction with the marriage and your desire to take an extended time out from each other.  This could involve asking our husband to temporarily move out of the house or if you don’t think that would fly, then you could temporarily move out yourself.

The relationship intervention would assume that coming back together again would be predicated on certain things such as you both living apart for a while and if you both later agree to resume the marriage, it would be under the condition that you both attend marital counseling.

For some couples, a condition of resuming the relationship could be something symbolic such as them both agreeing to a written set of principles of how they will treat each other.

There is nothing that I can point to as a plan that is fool-proof when it comes to how to avoid a complete marriage break up.  And starting the marriage over sounds good in principle, but in practice it can fall way short of success.

Sometimes you need to do something big and meaningful to create an impact to change the way the marriage  has operated in the past.

It reminds of the solution employed by those who extinguish a runaway fire in an oil well.  There are different methods that can be employed to stop the flame from consuming the well.  But sometimes the best way to stop the burning flame is to set charges and explode the well.  That act can finally extinguish the flame, allowing the operator to rebuild the well.

If your relationship is flawed, sometimes you need to break the mold that formed the marriage, then build it up again with a new set of principles and commitment.

This approach doesn’t always work, but if you are at the end of your rope, it might be worth trying

 

 

 

Why is My Husband Selfish and So Mean To Me

I often hear from women who tell me their husband is mean spirited.  They complain that their husband is arrogant and inconsiderate.  It is not easy living with a husband who seldom says a kind word.

Matters of the heart can be further complicated if your spouse is also selfish and pretentious.

How can you live happily with a husband that treats you as if you are a second class citizen?

Does your guy arrogantly prance around the house like he is the king of the house?

If you were to hold a vanity contest, would your husband win hands down?

How do you cope if your guy is frequently putting you down, making you feel less valued.

What do you do when his focus is always on himself and your needs are seldom considered?

These are just some of the questions I get on a daily basis from women who have invested their heart and soul to make the marriage successful, only to find that their husband is not even willing to meet them half way.

The common denominator is many of these women married a guy who is seriously hung up on himself and when something goes wrong, their selfish husband finds it easy to criticize or blame them.

I Didn’t Know I Was Marrying A Narcissist

are you stuck with a narcissist

When you get married, at the ceremony you are told and expect to be loved and cherished.  But if you are treated like your worries and concerns matter little, then something is terribly wrong the relationship.

And worse, if your husband makes it a habit to pick on you or yell at you when things get off kilter, that does little to build a stronger bond.

I talk with women everyday who over time have found themselves stuck with a husband who seems to care little for their wife’s needs and is entirely focused on advancing his own agenda.

Building and sustaining trust is a huge part of marriage success.

Yet if your husband is doing little to make you feel like you can trust him to be there for you when you really need support or if he is the type of guy who is controlling and acts like all that matters is his personal and professional goals, such a marriage is usually not sustainable.

At least it is not going to last very long if you value your own needs and aspirations.

Unfortunately, some women get trapped into thinking that they must please their husband for things to be right.  That just go on making sacrifices. As as the years go by, they subjugate their own life in return for the hope that their husband will be nice to them.  Or that he will change.

Such a lifestyle in which the wife becomes a subordinate to their husband is usually not marriage healthy.

Of course there are exceptions.  For example, certain couples may have very strong cultural or religious reasons for why they carve out their roles in a way that many of us would consider non traditional.

In those instances, the relationship can work.  Though I wonder just how fulfilling a marriage can be if the balance of power between the couple is lopsided.

What Does the Power Balance Look Like in Your Marriage?

balance of power in the marriage

I have always believed that when one of the spouses has most of the personal power within the marriage, it usually leads to emotional abuse of some kind.

If the man you are married to seems to be trying to control everything in the marriage and makes all of the important decisions, insisting that things have to be a certain way, then you have arrived at the intersection of a controlling and selfish based relationship.

What I would like to do is explore why a husband resorts to selfishness and other unattractive behaviors.

It is easy to get lost in your marriage after some years as habits and routines begin to form your life.  So you may not even realize your husband is the “selfish one” in the marriage.  Or perhaps you know it, but you continue to act out your role as dutiful wife, setting aside your own needs at the expense of some kind of marital bliss.

First let me clarify something.   What is selfishness?  And how is it manifested in a marriage?

To be sure, both men and women are capable of exhibiting many selfish behaviors.  Even in the strongest of marriages, there will be occasions when one of the spouses will act in a selfish manner.  But it is usually the exception.

In a highly performing marriage, the husband and wife care about ensuring there is balance in personal power.  They check in with each other to see if the other is happy.  They often will give up their own desire to the benefit of their spouse.

What Are the Signs You Should Be on the Look Out For?

signs of a selfish husband

What does it look like when a marriage is suffering from an imbalance of personal power?  And how can that lead to a husband (just as an example) living in a comfort zone in which he can be mean-spirited without fear of repercussions?

So how should you deal with a selfish partner?

Will it be obvious to him that he is behaving selfishly?

Interestingly enough, sometimes the guy you are married to has no clue that he is constantly behaving selfishly.  He may not realize that he puts himself before you almost all of the time.

How can a guy be so unconscious to what his wife sees as obvious selfish tendencies?  Unfortunately it happens with far too much frequency.  Part of it can be due to the person’s core personality.

They may be accustomed to getting things their way and as they develop through life, they learn little about the importance of empathy and showing consideration.  We will get into the makeup of some husbands as I walk you though examples.

Let’s start first with outlining the characteristics of a selfish husband so you have a way of comparing and contrasting how these signs or behaviors relate to your own spouse.

What Does a Selfish Husband Look Like?

my arrogant husband pisses me off

A selfish spouse is one who seldom wants to hear about your day.  It is always about his day and his problems or his accomplishments or his pain and suffering.  The moment you try to talk about yourself, he immediately steers the conversation back to him.  Your spouse may often show annoyance that you were trying to step on his story. This is what I call selfishness in communications.  And it can be a big problem in some marriages.

Such a husband will dwell on what is happening in his life and focus all his attention on getting his needs satisfied.  If you seek to turn the conversation to your own needs, he looks for the exit.

A selfish husband is also a guy that wants you to drop what you are doing and take care of what he thinks is important.  Your time is less valuable in his mind. His time is supremely important in his mind.

If your man seldom does the little things around the house to make life easier (e.g. household chores) and you find yourself doing pulling all of the weight in this department, then your guy is definitely self-centered.

You also know you are married to a self-absorbed husband when he extends his selfishness into the affairs of the bedroom.  Yes, that is right.  While it is not foolproof, one strong indicator of how selfless (or selfish) your husband might be is to what degree he tries to please you sexually, giving of himself to satisfy your needs.

If it is all about him and he does little to stimulate you or is frequently insisting you have sex with him, even if you are not in the mood (or feeling it), such manipulative and self-absorbed behaviors speaks volumes.

If you think your husband is the selfish type, chances are that he is also egotistic.   An egotistical husband is one who thinks everything revolves around him and his aim is to maximize personal pleasure or profit through inflating his own perception of self.

Another aspect of self-centered spouse is when they spend far too much time with how they look and dress.  A big part of their psychological makeup is to constantly get noticed.  So if your man is frequently  soliciting compliments and does little to bolster your self esteem needs, then you should ask yourself how much longer you are willing to tolerate this type of relationship.

Being wrapped up into oneself is rarely a thing to be proud of.  And it is not unusual for a selfish guy to also be narcissistic.  So when both personality traits are present, it can make for a really difficult relationship.

Why do some men act this way?

Why Are Selfish Husbands So Mean To Their Wives?

my spouse picks on me

I am sad to report that too often I see a correlation between selfish acting guys and relationships where such men have all the control and power.

In my view, if your marriage partner is entirely focused on his aims and desires at the expense of your own aspirations and needs, then such a guy is most likely not strong marriage material. He is probably suffers from  narcissistic tendencies.

Why might your spouse behave this way?

There are lots of reasons and sometimes there are limited things you can do to turn them around.

Understand that I am trying not to be overly negative.  Indeed, I do have some suggestions that might make a difference.  But I think it is also wise to be pragmatic about such things.

Let’s explore some of these reasons.

Your Insecure Husband

Some men are really weak inside.  To build up their ego, they will lash out at their wife.  They will say mean things, usually demeaning things in an effort to lift up their own ego.

In a relationship there are opportunities for both partners to lift each other up. If your husband spends more time propping himself up at his wife’s expense, that allows him to feel more powerful and confident.

Your Spouse Lacks of COMMITMENT To Improve His Behavior

It is entirely possible that the meanness is due to a total lack of commitment to improve his behavior.  I have spoken to many women who explained how their husband will talk a good game about doing better and treating them better, but will seldom follow through.

It takes hard work and effort to make a marriage successful. Both spouses have to be fully committed to improve those areas that hinder the relationship from being stronger.

It is a continuous process to keep the marriage solid.  If one or both spouses are not making a good faith effort to hold up their end of making things better, then the bond will suffer.

It Could Be Part of their Core Personality

A husband’s behavior and treatment of his wife is somewhat predicated on his core personality and upbringing.

We become the people that we are over time through our experiences and the things we learn, particularly in our formative years. So it is sad, but true, that if your husband mistreats you and speaks disrespectfully and behaves improperly, a lot of those actions are probably born from his core personality.

So if a husband behaves badly and has a nasty attitude, is it possible he can learn to change his stripes?

Frankly, that is a tough question to grapple with.

We are all capable of changing some of our behavioral patterns and if properly motivated,  most men can modify the aspects of their personality which can create friction in the marriage.

But it is also true that there are many men out there that get set in their ways and other factors can contribute to their lack of willingness to meaningfully change how they interact with their wives.

Are You Simply Married to an Angry Guy?

If you think your husband’s lack of kindness emanates from an anger issue, then I actually think your chances are pretty decent.  I believe with this kind of issue, you and your partner can make some strides.

Unlike a narcissist, a husband who is struggling with bouts of anger is in a better position to get treatment and make improvements.  If your marriage is suffering due to intermittent angry outbursts by your husband, don’t get too down in the dumps.

For sure, his angry episodes is not a good thing, but there is definitely hope for husbands suffering from anger control issues.

Consider this post on the topic.

How To Stop Fighting & Arguing From Ruining Your Marriage

What Can You Do If You Are Trapped in a Selfish Marriage?

sad wife trapped in marriage

For starters, remember that you always have a choice as there are different life paths that lay in front of you.  Unfortunately, many people are blind to their options.

Some women delude themselves into thinking they are trapped in a marriage with a selfish husband who will never change.

But you are not trapped.  There are things you can do within the marriage to try achieve a greater balance in the personal power.

I keep coming back to this discussion of personal power.  It should be equal, with both the husband and wife having essentially the same amount of power or say in how things work within the relationship.

There is hope if your husband too often acts like a bad boy.

But it requires some straight talk.

Sometimes women are uncomfortable talking about something that could be perceived as a negative.  They will hint around about what it is that is bothering them, dropping little tidbits of advice here and there.

But some men are clueless when it comes to recognizing their own shortcomings. Your husband probably won’t pick up on the hints and may not realize how important it is that he modifies his behavior.

Guys are just not that instinctive about such things.

It it sometimes better to deal with the concern you have straight on.  Beating around the bush about the matter that is causing you stress or disappointment usually does not get you to the desired result.

Men are more amenable to hearing bad news or taking constructive advice when they are rested and in a good mood. So seek an opportunity when you can have a private, constructive discussion with your husband explaining the behavior that is bothering you and offering  specific examples of some of his past undesirable actions as well as those behaviors you appreciate and embrace.

So what do you do if your husband is seldom amenable to receiving constructive advice?

What do you do if your husband is simply a mean and selfish partner and is the type of individual that will double down on his ugly behavior?

What are your options if you have tried everything you can think of (including marital counseling) to get your husband to significantly change his ways, yet failed?

When the marriage is suffering to this extent, where do you turn?

Well, there is always formal separation and divorce, but is there anything else you can consider?

As I said, you always have options.

It may not feel like it at this time.

Believe me, I understand.  You may feel emotionally trapped despite your best efforts to change the way your husband behaves in the household.

You may even feel he will just become more abusive no matter what you do.

Create Some Distance Between You and the Offending Partner

One option is to simply tell him you reached your limit of patience.  Explain that given all your many efforts in the past to help him see the errors of his ways, you feel it is best the two of you spend time apart.

Of course you can’t take this approach to helping him learn the importance of changing his behavior unless you are fully prepared to follow through on your assertion.

This is a shot across the bow, so to speak.

Immediately he may want to know what you mean by “spending time apart“. He may get defensive about what led you to make this kind of statement.

Hopefully, your husband realizes the seriousness of the matter and this understanding will lead him to have a meaningful discussion about his treatment of you.

If so, then that is a step in the right direction.

But it is also possible your husband will use this occasion to further criticize and mistreat you.  If this happens, then you have learned an important truth. At this stage it would probably be in your best interest to ask your husband to move out.

Why live with someone who is emotionally abusing you?

In a way, you are making an effort to shift the balance of personal power.  If your husband has been the domineering partner in the marriage, it may serve you well to seek more balance in the relationship.

It is possible he may balk at the idea of moving out and if that happens then your secondary plan would be to move out yourself. Remember, you would not undergo this strategy unless you felt your back was up against the wall and your marriage was on the line.

I think of it as an emergency lifeboat.  You are not telling your husband you want a divorce.  You are not telling him you want to separate in the legal sense of the word.  It is better to characterize what you are proposing as an extended timeout or a long break from each other or spending time away from each other.

I talk about how creating distance and utilizing the No Contact Principle can sometimes help a marriage in certain situations.  You can read up about this principle in this article.

Can You Save Your Marriage With The No Contact Rule?

I am not a big believer that people will make wholesale changes if the environment around them is largely the same.

A kind of intervention is sometimes needed in really tough marital situations.

Don’t be that person who just slogs along and picking up the pieces wile hoping their husband somehow changes his ways.

Sometimes it pays for both of you to get away from each other, then try starting over.

If regular marital habits and routines are broken and the offending person finds themselves alone, that sometimes (over time) serves as a catalyst for the troubled marriage partners to find common ground.

I Can’t Believe My Husband Cheated and Left Me

It is one of the most painful experiences women can have.  You invest your heart and soul in a man you once thought was perfect for you.  Then somewhere along the way of what you believed would be a life of marriage bliss, your husband decides to not only cheat on you, but also leave you.

It is almost a nightmarish kind of episode when you string these two events together.

What could be worse?

I know. It is when a husband cheats and then blames you.  That is also a pretty low blow if your man pulls off that kind of relationship crap.

Check out Sally’s story down below.   She never imagined she would catch her husband red-handed with another woman.  Nor did she ever believe it possible that he would blame her for the affair.

But he did and by the way, her reaction to her husband’s cheating ways was spot on.  Kudos to her for turning the relationship page.

But let me just reinforce something.  When a guy jumps in bed with another woman, then on his way out of the marriage says it’s all your fault, that is just plain disgusting.

Her case was the closest thing to intolerable cruelty I have come across.

So Where Do You Turn When He Cheats and Leaves You For The Other Woman?

what to do if cheating is happening

What is it in a man that makes him an unreliable mate?  Is there some innate feature that men have that makes them untrustworthy scoundrels?

I sure hope not because seeking to find your soul mate would be a futile journey.

OK, let me correct that.  I know it is not true.

Not all men are untrustworthy.  A husband by definition is not a guy that is wired to pick up women, then trade you in for whatever catches his eye.

Now you may feel your husband is deceitful and manipulative. This may particularly be the case if you are in the middle of the biggest disappointment of your life.

And when you catch him in the act, you may find yourself enraged, fully convinced that men can never be trusted and love is an empty promise.

But that is your anger and emotions talking.

There are literally millions of guys out there and many of are and will be good husbands.  Don’t ever give up on your dream of meeting and marrying a good guy and finding love of the lasting kind.

Love and long-term attachment is real and great marriages exist and you too can be part of that, even if your current relationship is in the dumps.

And think of it this way, if your husband is the cheating sort and is now making noises about leaving you, he may be doing you the favor of your life.

Is it Better To Love and Lost Than Never to Embrace Love At All?

better to love and learn

You, just like many of my clients will encounter lessons learned and setbacks in your love life.

But it is better to have sought the love of your life and fall short, than to never have tried.  The biggest love lesson I can ever teach you is never stop trying to find that connection.  Never stop looking for the right man for you.  He is out there.

I am not just trying to pump you up with platitudes.  The fact is that there are many potential love match ups for you out there in the world.  Your challenge is to take what you have learned about yourself and men in general and seek to find the right guy for you.

Another big lesson in love is not to allow setbacks to drown out your faith that marriage can work.  Plenty of women have fallen way short of what they wanted for their life within a relationship.  So it is an common occurrence.

Be assured that there is love out there for you in all its forms.

You Are Not Alone in Your Suffering

your are not alone in suffering

Let’s take a look at love’s tough lessons just to underscore you are not along. I reached into my vault of case studies.  Let’s hear from a few of my clients about what they experienced.  Later we will talk about what it means to have a husband who betrays you and what you should do if he wants out of the marriage.

Right now you might feel crushed by the whole notion that he has abandoned you.  That will change.

But before we get into all that, let me remind you that I love hearing from you. Below this post, there is an area where you can comment.  I make an effort to get back with all my visitors within a 48 hour period.  So if you have a story to tell about a cheating husband or you have or need a little advice, please weigh in.

So what about some of these clients I mentioned.  What they experienced helps shine some light on the reality that your pain is shared by many others and there is indeed light at the end of the tunnel.

Trish:

Look, there is no way around it. My husband is a dog.  He cheated on me after 4 months of marriage.  As  I look back, I think he was cheating on me when we were dating. I don’t know why I felt so shocked when I first learned of his indiscretions. He never really was the most trustworthy of guys.  So looking back, I really feel stupid that I even got mixed up with him.  He talked a good line and like many women looking for love I just fell for it. I guess the only silver lining is we don’t have any kids and he was only part of my life for 14 months. For any of your women readers out there, I would tell them to cut their losses if their man cheats on them and then tells you he is moving out.  This kind of betrayal speaks volumes and I for one have zero tolerance for any man who acts this way.

Tessie:

It is unbelievable when I look back at how all the pieces came tumbling down. Are most men this way because it’s happened twice to me? Fortunately this time we didn’t get married and when I caught him cheating that was the last straw.  Sure, he left me, but I made him go.  What use is a man that betrays you and lies about it, then behind the scenes  makes preparations to leave you. Stupid me in believing we had something special.  Can you believe I sent my husband a letter after he cheated asking him to explain why he did all these things.  Why do I torture myself?  Where do I turn now?  I think  I know.  I am better off with out him.  I know there has to be another man…a better man out there for me.

Chrissie:

I still can’t believe what my husband did.  We had a good thing going and then it all comes tumbling down because he could not keep his hands off this young thing he met. I hate him to this day and when he left me I told him good riddance. Why should I trust a man again.  I gave him everything of me and he goes out and finds it elsewhere.  I know I need to turn the page because every time I think of what he did to our lives it makes me physically sick. I know I need help as I having trouble putting it behind me.  Should I try to forget about it all?  I am not sure how? I am still haunted by why he would do this.  Is there ever a way to know what really happened.  I no longer believe a word my husband tells me about the affair.  

Sally:

You just won’t believe it.  I came home early one evening and find my husband naked walking around the house.  He was over by the window curtains looking out because he must have heard me coming in.  When I saw the look on his face, I knew something was terribly wrong.  First I thought he was acting out on some pornographic thing he was up to.  But seconds later, a young women peers around the corner, then hurries back to the guest bedroom.   For a moment I had this pathetic thought that it was not what it seemed.  But before I could process things any further, my husband proceeds to blame me for coming home early as if to excuse his cheating ways.  unbelievable.  Then he made it out like I was not attending to his needs.  In one breath he was trying to tell me that he was not in love with this other woman, it was just the sex they shared.  Then in the next breath he tells me I pushed him to the edge and wants out.  Whatever he wants me to believe, it does not change the fact that my husband cheated on me and I don’t think I love him anymore. Why should I?  I think I know what you are going to tell me.   I think I need to start doing things for me and  I don’t think I want this man in my life anymore.  Life is far too short to spend it with a mistake. 

When He Cheats On You Embrace Your Feelings First – Then Embrace Yourself

love and embrace yourself

Where does a women turn when she feels gutted by her husband’s decision to break the trust?

Should she erase her husband from her live forever?  Should she allow herself to reflect on the possibly of getting back with him?

After all, he is a cheater, right?  Is it even possible to fall in love again with your husband after doing such a thing?

Further complicating matters are those men who can’t even come to terms with the gravity of what they did and how it has threatened the sustainability of the marriage.   That is almost as bad as a husband who won’t even admit he cheated on you.

What is one to do with all those feelings that are sometimes in conflict with each other.

The short answer is you need to move away from the negativity.

To many women find themselves trapped in a web of negative emotions, particularly those involve forms of self blame.

Escaping from feelings that you may have done something wrong (which is hogwash) and juggling an assortment of negative, self-destructive emotions is clearly what you want to avoid.

There is something I want you to try to release yourself from the grip of the utter contempt you might feel for your husband right now along and with the other soul crushing emotions like resentment, disdain, and hatred.

You see, you do not want to become a prisoner to the awful feelings that will envelope you after learning that your husband can’t keep it in his pants.  Don’t let your husband’s stupid and senseless decision tear away at your soul.

Now, I am not saying there is a foolproof way to stop feeling the pain (emotional and physical) of betrayal.  Experiencing such negative feelings and thoughts is not outside the norm.  Your aim is to find away to massage them out of your mind so the negativity and sadness doesn’t pull you down to a place of depression.

After all, you still have a life to live and you don’t want to waste any more time than necessary feeling terrible.

How do you accomplish this?  What kind of Houdini act will you need to pull to somehow put what your husband did into perspective so it doesn’t continually gnaw at you.

News Flash!   Making thoughts of your husband’s unfaithfulness leave your mind will never happen.  It is important though to recognize how that eventually you will need to make a decision on whether you still want to go forward in marriage with your husband knowing that he cheated and could do it again.

For now,  don’t try to get ahead of yourself.

Right now, your focus should be on getting through the next few days.  This is particularly the case if your situation is like some of my clients whose husbands not only cheated on them, but moved out.

There is technique I want you to try.  It has to do with embracing your own feelings.

Too often, women who are rebounding from a marriage torn asunder by betrayal, will try to push their pain completely out of the mind.  They may delude themselves with notions that what has happened really isn’t so bad.

Or worse, they may betray their own real feeling, pretending that they are really not reeling from pain.  Sometimes, as a coping mechanism, a woman can turn a blind eye to their own suffering.

I think that is a mistake.  What has happened to you (if your husband cheated and left you) is an awful experience.  You should be grieving.  This kind of betrayal and abandonment is a heavy load for anyone to bear.  In the beginning stages of your grief, you should embrace your pain fully.

If you supremely hurt because of what your husband did, then experience your hurt fully.  Cry with passion.  Let it all out.

Find a big pillow or large stuffed bag and start punching it.  Scream.  Get it out in a way that works for you.  But do in it in privacy.

Now practically speaking, before you have the mother of all pity parties, you need to give consideration to going somewhere so you can let  it all out with full privacy.  You sure don’t want the neighbors thinking you are going nuts or are under attack.

But you get the idea here I think.  You can’t let those emotions get the best of you.  If you contain them and ignore them, they will.  So purge them.

One technique that might work for you if you are having a lot of negative thoughts about your self-worth because of what you husband did is something I call the Absurdity Rant.

Here is how it works.  Just start talking smack about yourself for sixty seconds. You might be thinking, “why would I want to  berate myself?”  Well, the answer is if you are already internalizing a lot of negative thoughts about what has happened to you and that you may never get your husband back, etc, etc, then sometimes it is best to just go on a rampage vocalizing aloud these negative thoughts so you can hear for yourself how absurd your thoughts truly are.

You see, that is the point.  Once you start saying out loud all of the awful thoughts that are in your mind, you in effect exorcise them from your person.

In fact it his hard to keep a straight face after you do this for a minute or so. When you hear your own self negative thoughts spoken, you realize just how stupid they are and how pointless it is to constantly beat yourself up.

For example, if you are secretly thinking, “My husband cheated and betrayed me because I deserve it.”  Or “I am so worthless, even my spouse doesn’t want me anymore”.

If you find these kind of negative feelings coursing through your mind, then you need to get rid of them.  And one way to accomplish that is through an Absurdity Rant.

Be Your Own Best Friend After the Affair

be your own friend in tough times

So if you want to get all of the venom and negative energy out of your system you need to commit yourself to an emotional pivot.  The truth is that whatever happened with your husband was his doing.  You are not responsible for his poor decision.   Your focus should now be on recovery.  So be your own best friend.  Treat yourself with tender loving care.

Tell yourself a supreme relationship truth.

Do you care to know what it is?

The truth is that you have control of your attitude and mood.  You have many options in front of you and things can get better, with or without your husband being part of your life.  When you embrace a positive outlook and immerse yourself in positive and fulfilling experiences, then the chances of good things coming from your choices is much greater.

If your husband has chosen to cheat on you and not be part of your life, then it is his loss.  Because after all (and this is how you should think) you could have made his life wonderful.   Now you have a chance to make your own life even more wonderful than it would have been with your untrustworthy husband.

Embrace opportunities to re-engage in all those things that you really enjoy doing.  As your own best friend, ask yourself how you would like to be treated. Then do those things for yourself.

Should I Beg For My Husband To Stay and Not Leave Me?

One of the greatest fears of a loving and devoted wife is that her husband might leave her.

That he might just call it quits.

There are many things that can go awry between two people.

Look.  I understand. One of your biggest fears is that if your husband leaves you, he will never return.  Living with that fear in your heart can cause you to act impulsively and as a result stumble.

After all, you have a lot invested in your husband and the last thing you want to ever happen is for him to walk out of your life.

But you have to be careful you don’t become a victim of your own fears.

Such thoughts can lead to problematic behaviors such as pleading and begging for your man to stay and not leave you.

Some of these feelings are triggered by insecurities and fears that are spurred on by thoughts that something must be terribly wrong with the relationship and the worst will happen if he walks out.

don't hold on too tight

It certainly is possible something is wrong with the marriage. But panicking and resorting to desperate measures to hold on too tight is counter productive.

When the marriage appears to be on the rocks, one’s mind can start racing, taking on a life of its own.

Unfortunately, when all seems lost, it is easy to give in to desperate feelings.

I won’t pull punches.  If your husband is giving you indications he wants to walk, the risk of the marriage coming to an end is raised.

But there is another way to handle the onslaught of emotions you might be feeling.

Don’t Give In To Your Desire To Cling To Your Estranged Husband

avoid clinging to husband

We all can become victims of overreacting in the moment.

After a fight with our spouse we often look to regain the certainty that our lover still sees us as their pride and joy.

The last thing we want to think is that he is wanting to beat a path to the door and leave us forever.

So to combat these feelings, some married women will often look for a verbal or physical cue that their husband, while he may be agitated about some things, is not going to leave them high and dry.

Many wives will prod their husband to get assurances.

And there is nothing wrong with that.  We all need to be reassured that our husband or wife loves us still, particularly if there has been an argument.

Where some wives run into problems is when they come off looking too desperate or resort to holding on too tight or relying on clinging behaviors.

These  shows of emotions in and of themselves will often cause the husband to push away from you further.   Not only does exhibiting these kind of behaviors make the wife look weak, but a manipulative minded husband can use this reaction to his advantage, giving him the upper hand.

There is what exists in every marriage a range of personal power.  In theory, it should be balanced between husband and wife.  But when that balance is out of whack, sometimes inequities come into play.

And while your husband may not be of the type that takes advantage of such a situation, some married men do.

So if you are reduced to begging for your man not to leave, you have already backed yourself into an emotional corner.  If you are spending your time trying to convince him how what he is doing amounts to abandoning everything the two of you worked so hard to establish, you are already swimming upstream.

 

So what are you to do?

When you are in a position when you think your husband is going to leave you and you feel overcome with emotions, the worst thing you can do is to succumb to your fears and anxieties.

That voice of fear in your mind can cause you to do and say all the wrong things. And it is so easy to fall under its spell.

So here are my top suggestions on what kind of things you should not say or do if you feel the relationship is eroding.  In other words, if you fear your husband is slipping away and you feel desperate to keep him from doing anything rash, like leaving you high and dry, then take these suggestions into account.

  1. Keep Your Emotions in Check: If you fear that your husband is on the verge of packing his bags and leaving you, don’t panic.  The last thing you want to do is ratchet up the stress of the situation by becoming overly emotional.  Avoid begging your husband  to stay.  That simply puts you in an inferior position. Stay away from pleading with him to come back if he has left you.  By begging for your guy to come back home, you give up a part of your personal power. Your pleas becomes his weapon to use back on you, so just don fall into the trap. There will be time to sort through potential solutions.
  2. Call Your Husband’s Bluff:  Sometimes guys will act like they want to walk away from the marriage.  They will say and do things that may convince you that they are finished and want out.  But think of it this way.  If they truly intend to quit the marriage in that moment and make for the door, then there is not a lot you can do about it at that time. I know that sounds depressing, but in reality it is not.  The fact is that emotions and feelings can be fleeting.  In one moment your husband may be ready to bolt out of your life.  But then later, after he recover his senses, he may calm down and realize the foolishness of his ways.  So avoid giving in to his bluster.  If he is planning on abandoning you and give up on the marriage, you will not likely be able to stop him or convince him to stay in the short term.  Let him huff and puff and blow the door down as he leaves.  There will always be other opportunities in the future, when things have calmed down, to explore reconnecting again.  And if your husband is indeed bluffing, then allow him the space to recover from his overreaction. You have more to lose if you allow yourself to get caught up in any of the dramas that may be playing out.
  3. Mirror the Opposite of Your Husbands’s Emotions.  The more agitated, loud, or obnoxious your husband becomes, then the more controlled, reserved, and cool you should behave.  There is an uncanny calming effect you can have on your husband’s behavior if he gets upset and starts talking about bringing an end to the relationship.  If your husband is talking about giving up on you, he is in that moment raising the stakes. Every word and action that follows will be magnified. So  when the stakes are that high, don’t fall victim to engaging in emotional combat about any of the issues that are driving the two of you apart. It is better to be the calm one.  Don’t give him the satisfaction of reacting in a negative way to his threat to leave.  When he flies off the handle and threatens to give up on you, keep your cool and hold your ground.  If you show aggression in the form of what you say or even your body posture, you will just end up contributing to the chaos and tension.
  4. Show Your Husband the Door:  Sometimes using reverse psychology on your husband can help with diffusing the situation.  While it is not a foolproof strategy, sometimes the best thing you can do is give your man as much freedom as he thinks he wants.  The odds are poor that you are going to talk him off the ledge.  If he wants to walk out, then chances are there is not much you can say or do in that moment to change his mind.  So with this in mind, calmly show him the door.  Don’t do it with malice or be mean about it as that will only come back to haunt you.  No man wants the image of their wife screaming at them seared in their mind.  That is not the image you want to project.   Simply tell him you love him, but that feel incredibly hurt. Then go on to tell him that if he feels he needs to spend some time alone, you will support that. Reinforce that you too need time to be alone and away from his confusing signals.  Avoid arguing.   You might end up getting a strange reaction from him.  And that is OK.  Just let it play out and follow your instincts as to your next move.

Why is Begging For Your Husband To Stay Such a Bad Idea?

avoid begging him to hang around

It is seldom a winning strategy when your husband sees you as someone he has wrapped around his finger.

Here are a few cases from women  illustrating that when you resort to desperate measures, nothing good usually comes from it.

Freta:

Hi Chris! I so much need your help with what is going on with my husband.  He says he doesn’t want this anymore, meaning he is through with me.  I think it is terribly unfair so I told him so and begged him to stay.  The more I pleaded for him not to leave the more he pushed me away.  I cried.  He cried.  But then he got angry with me like it was all my fault and said I was keeping him from doing what he wanted. I can’t believe I am even having to reach out to you for help because I never thought this kind of thing would happen to us in our marriage. It seems none of my assurances to do things better on my end even phased him. It seemed to make him turn it all around on me, using my vulnerabilities against me and telling me he hates being around a weak woman and that we are not meant for each other. He said he is getting his own place and will be packing and leaving me as soon as things get squared away. How should I handle the next few days?

Margie:

“What could I have done differently, Chris? I have worked so hard to please my husband and now he says he doesn’t like being around me.  I know I can get insecure about things and you say we women should not cling and hold on too tightly to our husbands.  You talk about being independent and able to stand up. But I thought I was just showing him how much I cared. I love him and all I want is him to love me too. I tell him these things over and over again and ask him to please give us another chance but he acts like he despises me.  He covers up his ears and tells me to shut up. What kind of husband tells you to shut up when you beg him to stay.  Am I ruining everything?”

In both of these cases, my clients are reacting as many of us would in a time of emotional stress.  All of your worst fears are realized when your husband utters those awful words that he doesn’t love (or even like you) anymore and wants out of the marriage.  So what people naturally do is to try to grab a hold of what it is you want to keep and not let it go.

But unfortunately, in the world of  love and lost, a husband will usually react in the opposite way in which you would hope for.  As you tell him verbally or even physically reach out and hold on to him to stop him for walk out of your life, it can only serve to agitate your spouse further.

Whether he is right or wrong or even fully knows what it in his heart doesn’t matter a lot in that moment.  All that your husband knows and feels is the desire to escape.

He wants to get away from you.  And try as you might to change his mind or even physically try to detain him, it only serves to embolden his desire to quit the marriage and get out the door even faster.

And when things between the two of you go sour and you come off as needy and begging and pleading,  it just results in a big turn off for your guy and encourages him to make a beeline out of the relationship.

So as we discussed earlier what you should do is not give in to the feelings churning up inside of you.

In those moments when emotions are running in every direction, just know that your husband may not be in his right mind.  Whatever he is feeling (e.g, anger, resentment, outrage, resignation), it is best not to do or say things to ratchet up his intensity.

The thought here is to maintain your dignity and to live to fight to get your husband back another day, if that is truly in the cards.

Trying to hold on to something that is wiggling to get away in that moment is a losing strategy.  Let him go, even if it goes against everything you feel is right.

Tomorrow is another day so to speak.

There will be other opportunities to explore getting the marriage back on track.

By clinging to your husband, you risk alienating him further and hurting your chances in the future to reconcile.

Men (and women too) have a psychological desire to retain their freedoms. And if your husband is convinced he wants out, it usually pays in the long run to not stand in his way.

Remember, emotions are fleeting and unpredictable.  So avoid contributing to the chaos negative emotions can often bring into your life.

Chances are if you employ the right tactics, your man will learn that he acted prematurely and should revisit his earlier notions.

 

How To Get My Husband To Leave Me – He Won’t Go!

Most days, I get questions from women whose husband has left them.  They are usually searching for a way to get him back.  But every once in a while I get the other side of the equation.

Usually an upset wife will reach out to me and will want to know what she can do or say to get her husband to leave her.  She will explain to me that the marriage has been finished for years and that she has been trying to get him to realize this, but he just won’t accept it.

Or I will be told of a situation in which the couple have decided to part, but the guy just can’t bring himself to bring things to an end.  He will employ all kinds of delaying tactics. He will not make the effort to pack and leave.  Or he won’t take the first steps to finding an apartment or some other place to live.

It is always an interesting situation when I come across a woman who is looking for advice on how to bring her marriage to an end.

And it is not an easy thing to advise a person on because cracking a marriage wide open is seldom as simple as it may sound.

Is The Marriage Really Done?

marriage is over and out

Sometimes the relationship is not done.

Sometimes the wife is looking for a way to get her husband’s attention.

So she will push him away in an effort to draw him closer.

I know, it sounds a bit crazy.  But reverse psychology, particularly as it relates to psychological reactance, can be a powerful force.

So you are probably wondering what is psychological reactance and how does it relate to getting a husband to leave or in effect quit the relationship?

Here is how it works.

People, including the guy you think you want out of your life, all have a certain set of freedoms.  Take a freedom away, the person begins to desire it even more.

I have known some married women who understood this principle, not by name, but by instinct.  They secretly wanted their husband to appreciate them more.

But they were also fed up with their man.  So to remedy this situation, they acted against their husband’s perceived freedom and started to push him away.

There are dozens of ways this can be accomplished.  Withholding sex.  Refusing to talk. Ignoring your spouse at all opportunities (i.e. The Silent Treatment).

The idea is that if you push someway away who loves you, they will in turn be more attracted to you and make more efforts to please you and be with you.

So sometimes I am contacted by women who at first say that want their husband out of their lives, but in reality they really don’t want that at all.

What they want is attention and solutions to some problem areas in the marriage.

They want the marriage to get better.  But they are fed up with how their man treats them. They are mad at their husband to such an extent they are willing to throw him out, so to speak.

So as a way to strike back, they tell their man to leave and never come back. They may even utter the often overused declaration, “I don’t love you anymore”.

In talking with women who are moved to act in this way,  it is important I confirm what it is they are really trying to achieve. What do they really want, I ask myself.   It is important to get to the underlying motivation that is causing them to behave this way.

Sometimes a woman will understand fully want she wants and employing the principle of psychological reactance is something that comes natural to her.

She knows her actions and words will send her husband a clear-cut message. And she is willing to take that risk, knowing full well that her husband is unlikely to really pack his bags and leave.

Once I get to the truth of what she is trying to accomplish, I am better able to coach her on the strengths and weaknesses of her strategy.

Of course, it is seldom that simple.

Sometimes the woman I am advising doesn’t really know what she wants.  All she knows in that moment is that she wants him out.  Out of her life.  Out of her house.  She wants all contact and communication with her husband over.

Now, in these situations, I try to help the individual understand that her feelings are important and are real in that moment that she is experiencing them.

But then I explain that emotions have a way of warping our perceptions and the reality of what we really want for the long haul.

Emotions, when they are riding high, can also cause you to lose perspective of what is in your best interest personally and financially.

So sometimes, when a situation of this type crops up, I underscore the importance of allowing one’s  feelings time to settle in place.

One way of accomplishing this is to get her to climb out of her own skin and look at things from a 3rd party perspective.  I challenge her to play devil’s advocate regarding her marital situation and ask all the tough questions

I encourage her to consider whether she is acting on impulse.

I inquire of her if she thinks she might be over playing her hand.

I ask her, “What if a part of you still loves your husband very much and you are succumbing to your anger and emotions.  Will your insistence on making him leave result  in you driving him out of your life forever?  Is that what you really want?”

Do You Really Want To Kick Your Husband Out?

kicking your husband out of the house

I will ask my client if there are better alternatives or options she can employ to accomplish what she wants.  Then we talk about what she really wants. That is truly a very important topic we will spend a lot of time on.

As far as other tactics she could turn to, I usually will inquire if she and her husband have taken time to really try to talk about the problems they are experiencing.

Many times there really hasn’t been much truth-telling going on in the marriage.

Sometimes it is better to tell your husband the truth.  If you are really  unsure if you want to live under the same roof, then you owe it to the relationship to open up wide the communication channels.

As crazy as it may sound, sometimes people would rather avoid talking about deeply difficult and private relationship issues.

They would prefer to bottle things up until all the emotions burst out, resulting in an ultimatum type of scenario (such as, “get out of my life” or “just leave me because I don’t want you anymore”)

If you still harbor the desire to make the marriage work, don’t ask or insist that your husband leave you.

If communications fail and you really feel you need some space. Then take a temporary timeout.

You can tell your husband you need some personal time alone.  Leave for a while.

How long should you leave?

It depends on many factors.  It could be for hours or even days.

The point is you want to take control of those things you can impact.  It is unlikely you will be able to force your husband to pack up and leave.  These kind of rash ultimatum are more likely to set up a situation where there will be more argument and conflict.

And if you truly don’t want him out of your life, then insisting that your spouse should pack and leave you is not usually a fruitful strategy.  He might just call your bluff and where does that get you?

But Chris, I Really Want Him To Leave Me!

do you want him to leave you

But what if you are in a situation where you really want this guy out of your life?

What if you not only want him to leave you, but you want him out like yesterday?

If you find yourself in a broken relationship in which both parties are miserable and you have invested all of your energies in making it work, yet things have not improved, should you insist your husband move out?

I don’t think that is an unreasonable action.

But you want to be sure.

Asking your husband to get all his belongings and get out is a big step.  If you are going to take this measure then be assured that you and your husband have tried everything you can think of to explore other alternatives.

We all know relationships are not always easy.  And if we quit after the first, second, or third time we encounter tough times, we really wouldn’t be trying that hard.

Just be sure that it is not your emotions that is holding sway on your judgement. If you have been married for a reasonable period of time, it stands to reason you both have a lot invested in each other.

So if you are certain that it is not your emotions that are doing all of the talking, then, yes, sometimes it is in your best interest to ask your husband to leave.

His leaving can take on different forms.

It can represent an extended timeout period (e.g. several days) or it can be something more semi permanent.

If you have asked your husband to vacate the house with the understanding that it is on a trial basis, then that leaves open the possibility that the two of your can be reunited again in the future.

Both  you and your husband should leverage the time apart to heal your emotional wounds and work on your selves as neither of you will be in the right frame of mind to possibly reconcile in the future unless you are in a better place personally.

Read this post that discusses how to utilize the No Contact Principle.

Can You Save Your Marriage With The No Contact Rule?

How Should You Go About Getting Him Out?

time to go hubby

So you have asked him to leave, but he won’t go or is dragging his heels.

What do you do?

Part of the problem is that he may not think you are serious.  He may be under the delusion that while the marriage is not working, he still would like to keep things the way they are.

He may rationalize that it is to much of a bother to actually make the break. Inertia may take hold of the way he is thinking about the your relationship.  He may reason that it is more practical and financially convenient for him not to have to bother with packing and finding another place to stay.

It unfortunately seldom works out when an estranged couple continues to live together. The resentment levels rise and conflicts continue.  And neither you or your husband can properly deal with the reality that the marriage has failed if you are living together like brother and sister.

It becomes almost impossible to move on when your husband won’t move out.

How Do You Push Your Husband Out The Door?

showing him the door

So how to you go about telling him that it is truly necessary for him to pack and leave?

If he angrily balks at what you are suggesting, then don’t be drawn into an argument as that will just further exasperate the situation.  Asking someone to leave can cause them to do the opposite, just out of spite.

To give him time to process things, it is sometimes better to give your husband a deadline (24 to 48 hours).

Don’t be surprised if he struggles with accepting the reality of what it is you are asking.

You don’t want to take this approach unless you are absolutely sure you don’t want him returning to the home.

You are taking a huge step.  In effect, you are conveying to him that the marriage is probably over and you no longer believe the two of you can coexist.

So this is not a time to be timid or uncertain about what you are going to say.  If you are, then you are probably not ready.

But if you are certain this is what you want, then he needs to know you are dead serious.

Tell him that you have made up you mind and there is no turning back.

If communications become heated, don’t fall for that trap.  Remove yourself from the environment.  You can text and or call him later again underscoring you want him to move out for now.

You can break up what you are going to say to him into small parts so your husband can digest it better.  You can say something like:

“I think it would be best for now if we didn’t live together.  I would ask you to honor my wishes“.

In his mind, he may think, “OK, she wants me out.  She has been hinting at this for a while.  But she left the door open for me to come back. Yea, OK, maybe this might not be so bad.

But the truth is you never left a door  wide open for him to return.  Like most people, he is hearing and processing the information in a way that helps him cope.

When people deal with difficult information, they sometimes go into denial. Anger usually follows denial.  But eventually, your husband will likely come to terms with what you are asking him to do and accept the underlying reality.  He may not agree with it, but most men will honor and respect you wishes.

What If He Keeps Dragging His Heels?

when will he get out of my life

So what do you do if many days have gone by since you have asked him to leave?

What other things can you do or say that will convey to your husband that he needs to leave and that there is no other recourse?

If you are in this situation, it is likely you have already had numerous conversations with him about packing and going.  Sometimes a guy will stall. He may have told you numerous times that he was going to.  But he may cling to various delaying tactics hoping you will change your mind.  Hence he will put off looking for a place to settle or avoid even thinking about the topic.

You may have strongly suggested that he needs to stay with a friend.  But he may put you off by saying he tried that, but it won’t work out.

You may have suggested various apartments for him to move to.  Don’t be surprised if he takes the opportunity to complain about how  he apartments did not measure up to his standards.  Or, he may say something vague about how he was working on it.

The bottom line is the he is still hanging around and won’t go.  And with every day and week that goes by, you are getting further away from putting your own life back in order.

So what other alternatives are there?

Some of them are not so attractive.  But they are viable options if the circumstances warrant it.

For example, if your husband has been physically abusive or threatening in his language, you can seek to get a restraining order such that he must vacate immediately.

Another option, while not desirable but is sometimes necessary, is to seek a type of intervention.

So let’s say there is an understanding that your husband is supposed to leave, but it is not happening.  He keeps putting it on the back burner and every time you have a conversation about this topic it results in conflict.

Another way to grease the skids and nudge him out the door is to speak to a mutual friend that can talk to your husband.

Now, this can back fire if you don’t choose the right person to intervene in the situation and they don’t handle it right.  But sometimes, if the right person says the right words (on your behalf),  your husband will get the message that he needs to get off the snide and get out.

Of course the risk is that he may get upset that others are drawn into the situation.

But while it may be upsetting to him in the short-term, the message is delivered and sometimes that is sufficient incentive to get him to take your seriously.

 

 

Does Your Husband Have a Secret Girlfriend on the Side?

Sometimes you think you really know someone.  You meet and fall in love with the man of your dreams.  You enjoy months of wonderful experiences, bonding together in ways that you could only imagine in your wildest of aspirations.

In time, the man of your dreams becomes your husband.  Then later, you shockingly discover that your husband may have a secret girlfriend on the side.

Maybe it is a woman he met before your romance.  Perhaps this secret girlfriend is somebody he has known for a long time.  Your speculation about who your husband could possibly be seeing starts to run rampant.

husband has a secret life

But to make matters worse, you are not even sure if your husband is truly hanging out with this other woman.  One minute you are certain there he has met someone else and fallen in love.  Then in the next moment, you try to laugh it off as just your over active imagination.

Try as you might to get answers without directly confronting him, you fall short.  You are not even sure how to approach it.

You are hesitant to just bring it up because the mere mention of it might cause your husband to think you have lost it.   You certainly don’t want your man thinking of you in this way.

So you do nothing, yet the thoughts of your husband possibly having a secret love nest creep back in at the slightest stirring of a suspicious word, glance, or some other flimsy evidence.

If this represents your mindset as you struggle to understand what may be going on with your husband, welcome to the wild and unpredictable world of trying to figure out what signs might reliably point to a definite case of infidelity.

Is Your Husband Really Hanging Out With Some Other Woman?

can I trust him with other girls

I understand well the agonizing feeling of uncertainty when it involves matters of whether your husband is hooking up with another woman.

Your mind will invariably race into all different directions when matters of unfaithfulness is on the line.

Such is the vagaries of our imaginations.

For some women, if they notice certain things that seem out of character, it can cause them to dwell on whether their husband has found a girlfriend.

Or if you stumble across some piece of evidence, even remotely pointing to a the possibility that your husband has a secret life with a secret wife, it can turn all rationale thoughts, inside out.  And before you know, you are feeling a little crazy and obsessed with getting to the bottom of things.

After all, if your are happily married and are fully invested into the relationship, the very thought of your man being unfaithful can be too much to bear.

On one end of the spectrum, this can lead to certain denial about what might actually be going on.

It is not that unusual for women to  look past some of the telltale signs of whatever hanky panky their husbands may be up to.  It is just not something you would expect, so you don’t look for it.

And arguably, if you spend all of your time looking for signs of your hubby sneaking around, it would suggest you are over thinking or are far too obsessed about such a thing.

Now don’t get me wrong about this sensitive topic.  I am not suggesting that husbands are untrustworthy rascals that leave a trail of evidence pointing to their unfaithful, lying, and cheating ways!

By and far, most men and women, who are presumably happily married, don’t harbor deep and dark secrets about having other lovers.

Can You Really Trust Your Husband With Another Woman?

can you believe your husband

I have seen both sides of the loving and cheating equation.

It boils down to whether you can really trust your man being around another attractive woman.

In most cases, the answer is a resounding Yes.  Letting your mind run away with wild thoughts of your man being unfaithful is often self-destructive.  Until you have some indisputable evidence of your husband and another woman, it is not productive to dwell on the topic.

But I would be lying if I told you that every husband out there was not tempted to explore what having an affair is all about.

Now temptation is all together a different thing than making an actual decision to cheat.

But sometimes there is another woman involved.

Sometimes a guy wants to have his cake and eat it too.   He hopes he is not found out.  The girl on the side, in most cases, is fulfilling a sexual desire.

Some men do not exhibit a great deal of self-control when it comes to complying with their marital vows.  The woman  with whom they may have a physical or emotional affair in many cases is not an individual they want to spend the rest of their lives with.  In these situations, the husband is allowing his hormones to rule his mind.

With these kind of guys, there are usually warning signs you can pick up on that will clue you in that your man is with another woman.  I have written about this topic before.  Check out the post below.

I Think My Husband Is Having An Emotional Affair

Now the other side of the equation is that your imagination about your husband being with some other girl could be leading you down the wrong path.

Listen to what Olivia told me:

I was so convinced that he was sneaking around with this other woman at work that I would drive to his building’s parking lot and watch.  I did this for two weeks.  I just couldn’t get it out of my mind.  This other girl was pretty and he had mentioned her a few times, talking about how the other guys in the office were often hitting on her.  When I told him not to get any ideas and he had “better be a good boy” he started squirming around and getting defensive.  Maybe I read too much into how he was acting but I couldn’t get this image of him in bed with this pretty blond out of my head.  I was just obsessed about it.  I would have these elaborate fantasies about what he was doing with her. I know it was not healthy for me to think this way and I really didn’t have any clear evidence against my husband.  I even colored my hair blond thinking that if he was attracted to that look, then I was going to draw his attention back to me.  I initiated sex more and did everything  I could think of to keep him happy.  And he seemed really happy, but then I started thinking maybe it was this other girl at the office that made him happy. One of the days I was spying on him I saw him take her to lunch.  Granted there was another couple that went along but I just go so jealous that I barged into the restaurant pretending that I just happened to be in the area.  I know I embarrassed my husband as he could see through my antics and we ended up fighting over it later that night.  What can you do when everything in you thinks your husband is maybe with this other woman, but you have nothing to back it up?

Olivia was very upset about the prospect of her husband not being faithful.

She had invested so much of herself into the marriage that the very thought of her husband being attracted to some blond at the office and it growing into a real affair was terrifying for her.

How Can You Know For Sure You Husband Has Not Fallen In Love With Somebody Else?

distrust of your man is puzzling

I told her that, while she may not see it right now, that her actions were more likely to push her husband into an affair.

Now, I probably should have picked my words of advice more carefully because she became very angry and upset that anything she was doing would contribute to the problem.

After I calmed her down, I explained to her that there were two issues she should address.  One dealt with getting a definitive answer, for her own sanity as to whether her husband was secretly having a love affair with the blond woman.

I told her I had some thoughts on how she can get a greater certainty as to whether her spouse was cheating on her.

That was issue one I wanted to help her with.  Then I told her issue two was her inability to manage her emotions and speculative thoughts around this issue.  I explained we needed to delve into why she was allowing herself, without reasonable cause, to become so obsessed about her husband’s lack of faithfulness.

So it was with those two things in mind we set off on a path to try to bring some closure to the matter.

I asked her if she had ever simply revealed all of her fears to her husband.  I explained that her mind had opened the door to fear and allowed it to rule her nature.  The best way to close that door is to confront your fear.

Meet your fear up close and personal, I explained to her.  She had avoided really discussing her fears about the existence of this “other woman” with her husband because she didn’t want him to think she was a “little crazy” (using her words).

On the rationale side of her mind, she knew that she did not have a single piece of evidence that suggested her husband was shacking up with another woman.

I explained that the “fear” in her had grown to such gigantic proportions it would take an intervention of some kind to put this excessive fear back in its cage.

Are You Imagining That Your Man is With Another Girl?

is there another woman in his life

We all deal with fear and anxiety.

It is natural to have these feelings.  But there is a point where these emotion can get out of hand and begin to rule our thoughts, feelings, moods, and behavior.

This is what was happening to my client.  By openly talking to her husband about her unnatural fears on this topic, she was giving herself (and her husband) a chance to loosen the grip these thoughts had on her.

So  I told her to simply open up and tell her husband her worst fears about what she thinks is going on.  I told her to tell him that you realize that the thoughts of his infidelity sounded irrational.  But I encouraged her to go on to explain to her spouse that she believed that by opening up and confronting the fears, it can help erase them or at least control them.  Then I advised her to ask her husband to help her.

It told her to ask her husband what he might be able to do to alleviate her concern.  I suggested she should tell him that once that fear is wiped clean from her mind, she would be confident that it would not interfere with her thinking again.

In this situation, once the husband realized his wife was suffering from heightened anxiety about this topic, he would be more amenable to opening up every aspect of his life for her scrutiny.

With a little prepping, that is exactly what happened in this case.

He whipped out his cell phone and together they went through the history of phone messages.  They also went online to check his account so she could see he only had one cell phone.  One of her fantasies was her husband had multiple phones and was carrying on his secret love affair in this manner.  I turned out that none of their records showed this.

Her husband then signed on to his email and gave her full access to show her that he was not communicating with a secret lover.  For a few more minutes, they brainstormed some other things  they could look into that would help arrest her fears.  They went through his clothing.  He gave her his wallet for her to look through.  They also went online to check on his credit card and debit card account history so she could see there was not any unusual charges.

All of her fantasy thoughts of him having secret dinners, buying gifts, and staying at hotels was squashed after they went through the information.

At the end of this process, not only were her fears of losing her husband to another lover alleviated, but she felt a little sad and guilty that she allowed her mind to run away to such an extent that she had lost trust for her spouse.

I told her that she now needed to work on not allowing uncontrolled thoughts about her husband’s trustworthiness to flood her mind.

It is no fun when obsessive emotions decides to hijack our thoughts.  I encouraged her to consider activities such a meditation, yoga, and/or physical exercise as a way to find better balance and peace of mind.

 

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

You might be wondering why your husband yells at you.

I am sure you would agree that seldom is it a good situation when you and your husband resort to loud shouting matches.

But what if you are married to a guy who finds it far too comfortable to scream or yell at you to make his point. Such a situation suggests the marriage or relationship is flawed.

Are you married to a man who raises his voice at you far too often?

You certainly do not deserve that kind of treatment.  No one does.

Do you find yourself spending far too much of your time trying to calm or tame your angry and loud husband?

Why does he behave this way and what are your options?

how to tame your husband's fury

What Can You Do To Tame Your Husband?

Do you ever feel that there is a beast that seems to rise out of your husband?

Is your hubby’s behavior something you can tame or are you trapped living with a guy who periodically unravels?

You need not resigned yourself to a marriage in which you are always on the receiving end of your husband’s wrath.

These are all tough questions for any wife to have to deal with.  Let’s try to get some perspective.

It is important that you understand a few simple principles on how things should really work within a healthy, functional marriage.

First of all, it is never acceptable for a husband or any spouse to resort to loud, belittling or intimidating behavior in the marriage.  If that is what is going on in your relationship, then the man you are married to has many lessons to learn.

And if such behavior continues to happen with frequency, even after multiple efforts to resolve the problem, then you should give serious consideration to ending the relationship.

There is nothing more toxic to a marriage than being around a husband (or spouse) that frequently resorts to loud and abusive behavior.

So if you find yourself in a marital environment in which yelling or shouting has become the norm, then something needs to change to upset that routine.

It seldom does anyone any good if conflicts always ends in the spouses becoming upset, raising their voices and using obnoxious, threatening tones to get their points across.

Are You Married To a Loud and Abusive Husband?

hitched up to a guy who yells

There  are all different types of abuse which are sometimes practiced in marriages.

None of them are good.

Even in a solid marriage, a reasonable and decent husband can completely lose his head and just take it all out on his wife, only later to come back with apologies as he realizes the shameful way he behaved.

When a husband succumbs to that little pocket of cruelty that may lie within him, he in effect has broken his vow to love and cherish and protect his wife.

If your man is not making you feel safe and secure, something is wrong.

Let’s say you hubby has had a really bad day, but so to have you.  He is smoldering as he tries to contain his angry feelings about his day.  When you try to talk to him about your problems at work, let’s say he simply loses it and starts loudly ripping at you about how you are always dumping your problems on him.

Is this acceptable?  Should he get a pass?

No

While your guy may be a wonderful man, his outburst and yelling neither serves to calm your troubled mind or improve the environment around the house.

The fact of the matter is that your husband’s outburst is form of marital abuse that is unacceptable.

Married men and women are all guilty of the occasional fly off the handle moment.  It happens.  The key is that it should happen rarely and when a loud angry outburst does occur, the people involved should immediately work to suppress the lesser angels of their soul.

But this type of incident pales in comparison to those cases in which the husband consistently behaves in a crude, cruel, loud, and over the top type fashion.

If you have a husband who feels he must dominate and control every conversation and topic without argument and feels it is acceptable to shout you into submission if you dare disagree, that is a form of an abuse that is intolerable.

Verbal and emotional abuse can take on all kinds of forms and are often employed as a control mechanism or to instill fear, which leads us back to a spouse who is overly concerned about domination and control.

Such marriages are unhealthy to the bone.

If you find yourself on the receiving end of such cruel spousal treatment, then something needs to change.

It is not normal for a couple to be reduced to shouting matches.  It does not serve the marriage for a husband and wife to become accustomed to screaming and shouting, just to make their point.

And when vulgarity, profanity, and put downs colors the language of the relationship, rarely does anything good come of that type of behavior.

The other day, I heard from Trisha who was really feeling low.  She had just come out of an ugly fuss fest with her husband of two years and things had gotten out of hand.

Here is how she tells it:

My man hates me.  I am sure of it. When my husband gets right up into my face and starts screaming, I am petrified. What do you do when you are married to a man who thinks shouting is the way you get your point across.  I am thinking of leaving him. Most of the time I feel stricken with fear that he will shout me down at the least little thing I do.  He doesn’t care what he says or how he says it. He likes to throw in all kinds of vulgarities for effect.   Marriage isn’t suppose to be about who can scream the loudest at each other. It shouldn’t be a race to the finish line of who can hurl the worst insults and intimidate the other. It is like I am married to a guy with a hair-trigger temper and when things don’t turn out well, I get blamed.  I should have known it would turn out this way because his ex warned me that he was the loudest and most obnoxious man she ever met. I didn’t believe her.  But now I do. I don’t want this anymore and need your help to find the nearest exit.

It is really sad when your relationship is defined by the amount of profanity and the volume the spouses spew at each other.

It truly is a toxic situation if you’re married to a guy who feels he can shout and scream with repercussion.

And that is truly a problem and unfortunately it is often repeated.  Many women who I consult with tell me they hate being victimized and screamed at when their husband is feeling the pressure. But they also will tell me they feel they have a lot invested in the marriage.

Something has to give as this is not a sustainable way to live a life.

They will tell me things like,

“I know he is this way and I resent him for it.  But then when it is over he will come begging back with apologies in hand. I don’t want to throw out the good with the bad.”

Or…

” Why my husband finds it necessary to resort to shouting me down when we are fighting I can never understand.  I have told him it damages us and his behavior needs to stop.  My husband promises he will stop hollering when things go awry, but then he breaks the promise again and again.  Some days I feel like our marriage needs to end. Then I remember all the loving things he has done for me.  I feel like I am conditioned to put up with his bad boy outbursts. What do you when your husband freaks out and acts like a madman, then turns around later and lays down the charm?  I feel stuck and split down the middle on what to do or how I should think about this marriage.”

The Top 3 Ways To Handle A Fussy Husband

living with a man who screams at you

For women who have had similar experiences as I laid out above, you have my sympathy.  I understand your pain.

But you need to know that there are avenues you can take to better your situation.

Being married to a fussy husband is not unusual. There are measures you can take to manage these situations.

But when they evolve into an abusive kind of guy who thinks he has a license to whip up the volume of his voice whenever it suits him…..that is unacceptable

Let’s start with those married men who resort to shouting or raising their voice to dominate the conversation or argument.  Let’s assume for these kind of guys, their propensity to give end to their bad boy side is not a frequent occurrence.

Nevertheless, such behavior can chaff the nerves of the good wife at the very least and at worse…. threaten the health of the marriage when things get out of hand.

So how do you deal with this type of behavior?

Here are a few ideas you can put to action if you find yourself on the receiving end of a husband who thinks screaming and howling at you is his way to resolve things.

Name the Behavior and its Impact On YOU

telling it like it is to a yeller

Sometimes your husband may not be aware that he is screaming at you.

While this is not the case for all men because some guys know exactly what they are doing, there are some dudes who just get overwhelmed with some much passion they can barely contains themselves.

As a result they can lash out and resort to yelling to make their point.

If your husband falls into this category, one way to slow him down is simply name the behavior.

In other words, simply describe and reflect back what he is doing and how it affects you on an emotional level.

For example: “You are raising your voice and losing control. When you act this way it makes me feel belittled and unsafe”.

Sometimes guys just lose it and the volume of their voice can rise out of control without them even realizing it.

So give your hubby a wake up call. It is like a little verbal smack.  Let them know, in no uncertain terms, how they are behaving and how it hurts to be treated that way.

Leave When Your Husband Screams at You.

leave and give him space

Now, I don’t mean this to sound so dramatic.  I am not advocating you end the marriage and walk out of his life. But there are ways in which you can defuse the situation with your husband if you remove yourself from the equation.

Remember,  You don’t need to be your husband’s verbal abuse punching bag.  If he is going to scream at you, that’s it, you do not need to tolerate that kind of behavior.

Now, there are different ways a wife can handle a screaming and shouting husband.

If your man becomes loud, irate and unglued, then leave the house.  Get out.

There is no need to put yourself at risk or subject yourself to your husband’s ugly outburst.   Your actions send a clear message that you have zero tolerance for such behavior and if your husband can’t contain himself, he risks losing you.

On the other hand, if your guy is just having a minor freak out…let’s say he has raised his voice and getting loud, then try leaving the immediate area.

Give him and yourself some space.  Walk away to another room.  And be sure you tell him not to follow you.  Tell him you need to be alone and to respect your privacy.

In my experience, men can react in one of two ways when you put distance between them and you.  A husband whose reasoning is still intact and has some semblance of decency will realize that they allowed things to get out of control and will respect your decision to walk away.

This cooling off period usually allows both parties of the marriage to get their emotions back under control.

But there is a certain segment of men that will become even more upset that you chose to walk away from them, right in the middle of their tongue lashing.

These kind of husbands are the control freaks of life.  He may be a narcissist or simply just a bad guy.  He may insist that you don’t walk away.

Some men may escalate their verbal attack and shout even louder at you to try to intimidate you.

The truth is that such a husband who resorts to this behavior is being abusive.

You need not tolerate this kind of outburst.  If your husband escalates his verbal assault on you, then leave the house.

Listen to Your Husband Without Engaging or Commenting.

be a good and quiet listener

Sometimes a guy has to vent.

And your silence throughout the episode can be powerful force.

He may be upset about something on his mind and can get himself so worked up that the least little thing can set him off.

If you are married to a guy who allows himself to get worked up and as a result starts getting loud or unruly when things  are not working out, there is a simple technique you can employ to diffuse his behavior.

Consider simply using your quiet voice to communicate with your man.

If he goes off half cocked about something and it is evident something is really bothering him and he starts unwinding, let him.  The truth is that he may not really be mad at you.  Your husband may not, in his mind, be directing his wrath at you.  You are just the unfortunate soul who is in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Of course it is much more than that.  Your man loves you.  It may not feel like it at the time, but he is using you (arguably in a selfish way) to help him exorcise his demons.  At least that is the case in this example.

So let him unwind as much as you can tolerate. It will help him get it all out and later he will feel better.  When he is letting loose his “angry at the world” speech, just try to listen.

Don’t argue or agree or disagree with him.  What he may really be looking for is someone who he loves and trusts that will serve as a sounding board as he works it all out.

Now if your husband’s yell fest turns in to a habit such that your husband is frequently raising his voice and yelling about everything and then drags you into his world of everything is dark and dreary….that is not a healthy routine.

If your husband starts to get comfortable with yelling at you or around you about anything, then we are getting into abusive territory.  And that is an area that is very unhealthy for marriage.

I think we will end this discussion right here today.  But I still have plenty of thoughts and advice on how you can navigate through a troubled marriage beset by a husband who too often falls prey to being a bad husband.

I do have some parting advice for you.

While those solutions I described above will work in many cases, there are some marriages in which the husband will not respond to any of those efforts.

Things like trust, respect, and honor may have deteriorated to such a degree the relationship between the husband and wife have become frayed and broken.

In such cases, more aggressive measures may need to be taken such as marital counseling, trial separation or bringing the relationship to an end.

I cover those matters and plenty more throughout this website.

So feel free to explore my website for any related topics of marriage that you feel you need to get up to speed on.  And as always, I encourage you to weigh in with your thoughts and feelings in the Comment Section below this post.

 

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

All of us want our marriages to be the best.

When we fell in love with our partner, all we could think about was how wonderful they are and how happy we would be for the remainder of our lives.

How can we make sure that our dreams come true?

So let’s explore what makes for a great marriage?

I think you might be a bit surprised with some of the findings of the wise and great minds that study this subject.

a great marriage is within your grasp

Ok, now just in case you think I am getting cocky, I am not including myself in that group.

Sure, I have a lot of knowledge and practical experience from working with many thousands of individuals and couples.

I enjoy helping motivated people through the good and bad relationship times.

It is always a privilege and pleasure to offer advice and help people see other options.

But today, we are going to focus on what one of the premier thought leaders has said about this topic.

How Does a Couple End Up With A Great Marriage Filled With Passion

happy couples

What if I told you that having a super marriage is not as complicated as you may have thought.

We know there have been many smart people who have weighed on this topic.

Many thousands of articles are written every day about how to achieve a happy relationship.

A lot of people have a lot to say on this topic.  After all, love brings out the best and worst in us all.  And getting answers that can specifically help with one’s marriage is a worthwhile endeavor.

Relationships influence how we human beings interact in society.  And if you are married, you can bet you will be spending a lot of time with your spouse.

And if the marriage is a poor one, it can be a downer for not just you, but for all your friends and family.

I have come to believe that some people have a better take on this topic than others.

The folks I am referring to are some of the great minds in the field of human behavior.  One researcher, whose biological anthropological findings are second to none, goes by the name of Helen Fisher.

When it comes to love, attraction, bonding, and all matters related to human behavior and relationships……Helen is one my favorites.

I am going to bring her back into the picture a little later.  But if you wish to read more about her accomplishments and some of her views, check out this link.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Fisher_(anthropologist)

Were Your Early Days of Marriage Blissful?

the wonderful early days

It can be hard to top those early moments, days, and weeks in which our love for our partner was practically all that mattered to us.

Those were the days!

The sweet, romantic and unblemished love between two highly engaged souls.

Lovers during the romantic stage of their relationship have the most wonderful thoughts dancing through their minds.

Of course, a great deal of our enthusiasm was probably getting a big assist from the flow of dopamine (and other feel good hormones) released in our brain.

You can’t  blame us for soaking up all those beautiful feelings.  It is what essentially every  couple, married or not, really strives for.

And when we get these sweet, loving experiences with the one we love, we want more and more.

When these feel good hormones are released and tap into the reward center of our brains, we kinda become prisoners to the chemistry of how we react to our lover.

Now I don’t want to make love sound like it is completely born within a sort of chemical test tube inside our brains.

Because it is not.

Love is not something that comes about simply because our brain chemistry and hormones take over.

The myriad of experiences you have with a person and the quality of those moments you spend with him or her accounts for a lot what you end up feeling for that person.

Eventually though, marriage comes a calling and why not take the plunge if you have all the right reasons.

At least, that is the thinking for a lot of people.

Which leads us to how couples end up with each other.

Of course, selecting your mate is an article unto itself, isn’t it.  There are so many things we can do to select the right person.  And there are many ways we can go about selecting our husband or wife with all the wrong things in mind.

It truly is a hugely important topic.  You know what I mean!  Doing your due diligence, unfiltered by the influences of all those “feel good emotions”, is so important.

Getting the right husband or wife who connects with you in all the right ways and finding someone who has some of the key personality characteristics that makes for a successful marriage….well….all I can say is that it behooves you to do your due diligence.

I will make a deal with you.  What I just got through talking about is important.

So I will make it a separate post and will write about it in greater detail in the future.

So don’t get mad at me or feel desperate that you “must” know the secret recipe, RIGHT NOW!

Take solace that in the words to follow, I will indeed be touching on some of those important ingredients you need to look for in your future wife or husband before you get hitched.

Now for those of you that need to latch on to some ideas right now because you can’t wait, then take a look at this lengthy post I wrote that deals with a lot of important marital success factors!

How To Save Your Troubled Marriage

As we proceed, I will be operating under the assumption that you found this post because either you are married or close to being married and want to know what it is you can do make your marriage not just good, but outstanding.

Well it turns out, probably not to your surprise, that there are many things that can influence a marriage in a positive manner.

Such is the complexity of relationships.  You really can’t just hang your hat on just one thing that the couple needs to do to make the relationship jell.

But if you are like me, you are probably wondering if anyone has ever tried to boil it down to just a few key and critical things you and your spouse can do, over and over again, that results in success.

It is not hard to find things that we can all do better to make our marriages great.

Take yourself for example.  You are probably really good at a number of things that makes it easy for your husband to really enjoy being around you.

But if you had to boil it all down such that you and your husband (or wife) could talk about it and say, “yes, let’s do that……we can do that“, what would it be.

What is the secret marriage sauce that can make you and your husband love birds for life?

What can you do every day that can make your marriage a mind bending experience?

How can you bring a smile to your spouse’s face everyday because of these things you as a couple repeat over and over again?

And when the marriage get’s in trouble and you are both needing some guidance to get things back in track, what is your go to strategy?

What helps you and your husband (or wife) unwind whatever problem or conflict you are having.

Well, that is a lot of questions.

So how about some answers?

I bet you are dying to know what you can do to move the marriage up to the next level.

I am warning you, you will be surprised.

But not in a “Oh my god, I didn’t realize that“, but rather you will be pleasantly surprised that the levers that you can turn to make your marriage work so much better is remarkably within your control.

That is right.

You and your husband (or wife) have the competencies to pull this off.  I have no doubt about that.  You need not be some kind of marriage wizard to excel.

You need only do about 3 things well.

The rest will fall in place if your nourish it and keep seeking opportunities to continuously improve.

So what are these three things that can make your marriage unquestionably far better than what it is now?

Let’s start with the first one.

Celebrating the Good of Your Marriage

a greater marriage getting better

When we look at most marriages, you can point to strengths and weaknesses.

One of the spouses will have their list of skills, competencies, or characteristics that makes them shine.

For example, let’s say your husband is really good at keeping calm.  He is even-tempered and when others around him get a little crazy, he maintains his cool.

Lets also say that you husband is affectionate.  He holds you freely and touches you softly and when you and he embrace, he tells you the very things you need to hear.

Let’s say your man is reliable. His word is good.  You can count on him to do the things he says. He is trustworthy.

And while we are at it, let’s also say that your guy is in great shape.  He exercises and eats healthy and you love that about him because it encourages you to do the same things.  And as  a result, you feel good about yourself.

So, let those examples stand on he positive side of your husband’s relationship skill set.

But of course your husband isn’t perfect.

While he may possess some really good attributes that help make the marriage much smoother sailing, he also will undoubtedly have some behaviors that are not ideal.

For example, perhaps your husband just does not have the best choice in clothes. Maybe he is just a bit sloppy.  I am not saying he is a slob.  Rather, let’s say he is no fashion genius.

And maybe he is not the most social of guys.  Let’s say when you want to have a party or gathering of friends, he is not the most enthusiastic about the idea and sorta hangs in the background, not quite sure how to blend in.

Maybe you love dancing and use to go out a lot with your friends before you were married. But let’s say your husband has two left feet.  He would rather stand in the rain than go out and dance it up.

So positives and negatives.  We all have them, right?

But here is the rub.  It is the couples that emphasis and elevate each other strengths and positive attributes that make for great marriages.  They focus much more on all the good things their spouse does and avoids dwelling on the negative or the lesser capable aspects of their spouse’s personality or skill set.

When you interact with your husband (or wife) in this manner, you keep the spotlight on the positive attributes.

It is not like you are living a lie with your spouse.  Rather, you choose to define your mood and attitude that the “glass is more than half full by embracing all of the positive things your husband (or wife) does.

What you want to do is more than embrace, you want to celebrate your spouse’s strengths and make sure they know how much your enjoy that special part that make your husband (or wife) who they are.

Helen Fischer has a clever phrase to describe this mentality.  She refers to it as a form of “positive allusion” where you hyper focus on the things you love and adore about your partner to enhance that sense of being madly and passionately in love.

And on the flip side, you avoid dwelling on those things that are not so admirable or attractive about your marriage partner.

Make Empathy Your Language of Love

empathy makes marriages strong

The second finding that points to successful marriages is the couple’s ability to show empathy.

When Helen Fischer conducted her brain scan research of those couples that doing amazingly well with each other, she noticed that the part of their brain that often lit up when they interacted has to do with empathy.

Your ability to step into your marriage partner “shoes” so to speak and really feel and experience what they are going through emotionally is a real asset.  It helps the couple tremendously in their ability to form connections and pathways to each other.

It takes a refined level of active listening to be truly empathetic.  You have to care and you have to seek to understand whatever it is they are feeling.  To do that, you and your relationship partner have to act in a selfless way to try to embrace what the other person is feeling.

If empathy is not front and center in your relationship, talk to your partner about the importance of behaving in this fashion and try it out every evening.

Make time to listen to and really hear what is going on with your partner.  Do it often enough, it will become a routine.

I know of one wife who convinced her husband that when he listens to her and tries hard to understand what she may be going through and how she truly feels about it, it makes her feel incredibly connected to her husband.  Revealing her emotional vulnerability made her feel closer to her husband to the extent that it enhanced the intimacy between them.

So in effect, her husband’s act of empathy made her feel loved and in return she felt more intimate and welcomed greater intimacy.

In her case, Her husband’s empathy led to a higher degree of  closeness which led to greater emotional intimacy.

A Strong Marriage is About Controlling Your Own Emotions

Let’ s say your are married and your husband is the kind of guy that holds it together really well.

He is good at controlling his emotions, finding that emotional balance such that he seldom gets really upset, angry, or exceptionally moody about things.

If you too are cut from that same cloth and don’t allow yourself to  overreact or become easily upset with your husband, then the two of you are more than likely a very strong pair.

Passion within a relationship is a  good thing if is it used for positive outcomes.

When emotions of either extreme (good or bad) dominate the marriage scene, you may find yourselves spending far too much time extracting yourself from problems you each had a hand in making.

Successful couples focus on maintaining an even keel and not reacting adversely to the various challenges and complications that life and marriage.