Why Doesn’t My Wife Want Me Anymore

Have you been getting the feeling that your wife is not attracted to you?

You might be wondering “why doesn’t want me any more“?

Why would your wife fall in love with you and want to be with you emotionally, physically, and spiritually, but then as time passes, the connection just doesn’t seem to be there any longer?

Has sex with your wife decreased significantly or utterly come to a halt?

What is happening in your marriage when your wife often avoids intimacy and sex?

It can cause you to start to second guess yourself and her as well.

Does she no longer find you attractive?

Are you doing something wrong?

Is she going through some stage?

Is your sex life as you use to know it, completely over?

is your sex life ending

I get so many questions from men who are trying to understand “why doesn’t my wife want me sexually anymore?”

Or they will ask, “could she be cheating on me“?

In fact, on that topic, I recently wrote an article about when women get mixed up in an affair of the heart.  Take a look…

Is My Wife Having An Emotional Affair

It’s a problem when your lover doesn’t want to make love.  Sure, there will be times when the time isn’t right for her.

But when a guy tells me that he feels uncertain as to how to approach his wife and is sure his wife doesn’t want him to touch her anymore, there is usually something significantly wrong and the issues  need to be identified, understood, and addressed.

It is  tough when you come to believe that your wife loves you but doesn’t desire you.

So what should you do when your wife won’t sleep with you?

Can you make your wife want to make love to you?

Should you insist upon it, like it is her sacred duty to please your needs?

Usually when men talk to me about these matters they are eager for a resolution. But if their wife doesn’t want to be intimate with them anymore, the problem is seldom solved quickly.

What also matters is the nature of the problem between the couple.  One should not start throwing solutions at a problem until you have arrived at a solid understanding of what is exactly going on.

As a relationship coach, my approach is to seek first to understand not just the nature of the relationship and when the intimacy issues first arose, but also what form do these problems take.

does your wive turn you down

Does your wife frequently turn you down?

Do you and your wife have sex, but it is over with and done with far too quickly?

Rushing to solve problems usually bring about more problems or deepen the existing issue.

If you lash out at her for not wanting to be intimate with you, then you will likely compound the situation and never get around to understanding what she is thinking and why.

The effect of you grumbling and being critical of your wife’s lack of interest in having sex will usually create resentment and further divide.

For example I get a lot of complaints from men about their wives who they claim are depriving them of sex.

Chris,  my lady has turned against me and doesn’t want me sexually. My wife doesn’t like being touched by me any longer.  This whole issue came on gradually.  I don’t think she has some hang up as it’s not been a problem in the past.  I have not really complained or said anything yet, but it is becoming very noticeable from my perspective. I am thinking I should make a big fuss because it’s not right that my wife seldom wants to make love.

Hello Chris.  I have a question about the lack of sexual relations in our marriage. The down and dirty of it is my wife never touches me anymore.  She doesn’t seem to even care about my feelings or my needs and keeps coming up with excuses.  I know something is wrong. What does it mean when your wife won’t show affection and pulls away when I try to touch her.  It’s like she cringes when I reach for her.

My sex life sucks. My wife doesn’t really want to have sex unless we are both drunk and even then I can tell she just wants to get it over.  It wasn’t this way before.  Now I get a litany of excuses and frankly I am tired of begging for sex.  We end up fighting about it and I get all worked up and admittedly say stupid things.  I threatened her that I might just go outside of our marriage to get some and now she is completely rejecting me.  I am lost for what to do.

Reasons for Why Your Wife Is Denying You Sex 

is your wife unhappy with sex

So let’s get into it.

I don’t believe there is such a thing as a common reason for why your wife is acting like she doesn’t want you anymore.

There are all kinds of things that can happen and unfold within a marriage that can contribute to your wife’s decrease desire for sex.

Let’s call these things “triggering events“.

So when your wife seems to frequently push you away and demonstrates through her words or actions that she has no interest in making love with you, this behavior is usually caused by a one or more triggering events.

You can usually put these triggering events into two main categories.

These events are usually either things you are doing (or not doing) that causes her to withdraw her affection and desire to make love or the triggering events are these things that are happening in her life  (from her side of the equation).

What You Could Be Doing Wrong To Cause Your Wife Not To Desire You

what are you doing wrong sexually

I am often surprised at how some men are clueless to their wife’s feelings about a great many things and often these feelings can impact her desire to have sex with you.

Men and women emotional systems are engineered differently.

From your wife’s perspective, having sex is an expression of her many feelings and moods, driven primarily by your behavior.

Again, let me underscore, your behavior in its entirety and how you act and treat your wife is the primary driver to her wanting to be held, touched, and made love to.

This notion that your wife is reluctant to have sex with you because of her raging hormones or she is not in the mood is usually way off base.  Sure, men and women can have spikes in their hormones.  Our brain chemistry can impact our moods and desire.

But the triggering events for your wife will usually revolve around the emotional intimacy between the two of you.  If your wife feels loved and is treated with kindness and made to feel valued and appreciated, her desire to connect with you in a physically intimate way is greater.

Most wives enjoys the romantic process.  It is important through your actions that you demonstrate you understand her needs and appeal to her romantic notions.

You need to romance your wife’s mind, before being romantic with her body.

Men on the other hand are driven more by carnal desires.  Men don’t read romance novels and if they did, they would go straight to the page with all the sex.

So consider if your approach to having sex with your wife is heavy-handed.

Consider if you have invested sufficient time in appealing to those things that matter to your wife.

When was the last time that you really listened to her without interruption for a long period of time

Even the smallest act of love, kindness, or appreciation can lead to a romantic evening.

Emotional intimacy with your wife is a prerequisite to sexual intimacy.

Here is one such example….

We spent a quiet evening together as you suggested. She was pleasantly surprised when I ordered some nice meals for us to eat and lit some candles and opened some wine.  It is not something I usually do, but I decided to devote the entire evening to her and listened to everything she told me and encouraged her to share more.  I am not unusually this way but decided to be a bit more romantic without it coming off as fake.  I had no expectations of sex that evening and was happy to just make that night about her.  It was something she seemed to know instinctively.  Ironically, it was my wife who made the first move.  It turned out we made love and it was out of this world.

But it is not always about being romantic.

Men sometimes push too hard and can get too aggressive and vocal about their desire to make love with their wife.

That can be the fastest way to turn her off.

Remember, having sex with your wife is not an entitlement.  It is not something you have a right to have.

Having sex with your wife is a gift she offers you.

In her mind, having sex with you is a reflection of her own physical and emotional needs and sense of attachment to you.  She makes love with you, not because it is her duty, but because she gains enjoyment from the act.

If she feels compelled to do so, your love life will be one sided and lack spark.

Lovemaking in your wife’s mind is also a reflection of the love she feels from YOU.  She reciprocates this love by looking for ways to please you.

If this is not the picture of your marriage, then something is wrong.

If you exhibit far too many behaviors that are controlling or domineering, your wife will have less desire to please you and share intimate sexual moments with you.

Within the act of love is a powerful bond that holds two people together.

This bond is called trust.

So if there are trust issues in the marriage, your sexual relations will suffer. Without trust, a woman has no sense of security.  And it is difficult for any woman to desire you if she doesn’t feel safe.

If you want your wife to be physically intimate with you on a consistent basis, you best be sure she feel secure with you, her environment, and what might be going on in her life.

Sometimes after conflict, anger and resentment can linger.

If there have been many marriage battles, these little wounds can add up and as result impact your wife’s desire to make love with you.

So take a good look at your part of the marriage and the things you are doing to make her feel loved, safe, and fulfilled.

Are you doing and saying things that encourage conflict or do you take on the role of peacemaker?

What Might Be Happening In Your Wife’s Life That Could Cause Her To Avoid Sex With You?

is your wife struggling in bed

Stress and fatigue can affect whether your wife feels like having sex with you.

If she is going through an anxious period in her life or a lot of stress is bearing down on her, these things can get in the way of the brain chemistry that leads to sexual interest.

Another trigger that could lead to your wife’s lack of interest in you is her sex drive.

Sex drives for men and women can wax or wane.

While it is not always easy to quantify, given a person’s sex drive is not wholly independent of their partner, it can vary from person to person.

Husbands and wives can both experience changes in their desire to have sex given a host of variables including age, health, attitudes, and changes to their brain chemistry.

You have probably already heard that our brain is a human’s most important sex organ.

It is true and depending on how neurotransmitters are firing in the brain, your wife may be more likely to act on these hormones and move toward the sexual act.

How do you influence that?

This is where I need to emphasize the holistic nature of this discussion.  How your wife’s brain will fire such that she desires to have sex with you is largely dependent on things like the history between the two of you and what you may be doing or saying at the time.

Is your mere presence and smell going to cause your wife to be sexually stimulated given the right environment or will she feel repelled due to longstanding resentments?

The answer to that question goes back to the kind of husband you have been and whether you have been making the right deposits in her romantic brain.

It is impossible to have this conversation without also pointing out how an affair can impact your wife’s desire to have sexual relations with you.

If she feels like you have been cheating on her, she will likely not want to touch you or be touch by you.

Her active mind will roll over and over again the images of you with this other woman and you can be assured that sex is just not going to happen.

Even if she is completely off base about you cheating, her suspicions may  have aroused anxiety and uncertainty thereby causing her to reject you until the matter is reconciled in her mind.

Likewise, if your wife is having an  affair, you can expect that the frequency and quality of sex will decline.

It usually does not stop cold turkey as she also secretly fears you may find out or be suspicious as to why she won’t put out.

If your wife is having an affair, the guilt of cheating on you and the sense of loyalty to her new lover, can also cause her to shy away from intimate contact.

With all these confusing feelings your wife may just choose to opt out of any type of sexual activity with you and make use of all kinds of avoidance behaviors so she doesn’t have to deal with it.

it is also possible your wife could be engaged in an emotional affair.  This is a case in which your wife is sharing an emotional intimacy with another man.

While there is no sex involved, such a relationship can create close attachments and as result impact a marriage.

Closing Thoughts For Men Who Feel Rejected By Their Wife

talk with her to understand needs

I realize there is a lot to process here but before you assume anything or do anything, go back to first making sure you understand well what are the “triggers” to why your wife is showing less interest in you sexually.

If she truly doesn’t want you any more, then something has changed.

It usually isn’t just one or two things but often a series of events that have unfolded over time.

Getting to what is going on in your wife’s mind may at first seem to be an impossible task.

Often, when it comes to sex, people find it difficult to talk about things openly.

Sometimes couples are left to trying to deduce what is going on.  This problem is compounded if the trust between the couple has eroded.

But it is imperative that if you and your wife are going to turn this around, you need to create an environment where she feels completely safe in talking to you about this most difficult topic.

She must understand completely that despite what she reveals, you will be supportive and will work toward making things better for her.

Also, if you wish to solve this problem, you must remove the notion  that you are the “victim“.

There cannot be any sense of blame hanging in the air, otherwise whatever discussions you have will only serve to breed more distrust and fear.

Such a discussion should take place when you are both calm and are in a private environment where you won’t be distracted or interrupted.

Now, if you are certain the problem resides with your behavior…..that you are primarily to blame for her lack of interest because of some of the undesirable behaviors I discussed earlier, you should still open up and discuss the matter with your wife.

That doesn’t mean that all will be made good, but it is a first step and important to building trust.

And when we are dealing with your wife’s readiness for sex, building trust, as I described earlier, is critical.

 

Is My Wife Having An Emotional Affair

“I know something is different.  She seems distracted and happy and sad all in the same time.  At first I thought it was something I was doing.  But now I think she is messing around with some other man.  I am getting these little clues causing me to wonder if my wife is having an emotional affair. She is always doing her hair and makeup a lot more than before.  She has lost weight.  She won’t hold my gaze. My wife use to initiate sex a lot.  It’s not happening now.   Maybe she isn’t cheating on me. But something is off.  Maybe it’s just an emotional affair like I said.  But I am not sure anymore and I have to think there must be a way to find out what is going on without breaking open our marriage.”

These were the thoughts of a guy who was searching for answers as he could feel his wife slowly slipping away from him.

Was he right or wrong about his fear that she was having an emotional affair?

It turned out she was pulling away from him and there was someone new in her life.  Her sense of being neglected had led her to an affair of the heart.

So let’s talk about how some married women get caught up in their feelings for another man, gradually slipping into an emotional affair.

After all, that is how it usually happens, right?

wife feeling neglected

Your wife feels neglected and before you know it, she is prone to having an affair of some kind.

Well, it turns out that things are often far more complicated than one might think.

There is no cookie cutter way a woman will respond to neglect or any other problem that may exist in the marriage.

Let’s talk about some ways in which emotional affairs can develop.

In actuality, affairs of the heart can unfold in many different ways.

For example, a woman can strike up a friendship at work or at some other local venue. Perhaps it starts off very innocently.  Your wife can become acquainted with this other guy, then they become more friendly and a relationship begins to take form.

So when does such a relationship cross over into too much emotional intimacy?

This is not the first time I have written about this topic.

If you feel certain that your wife or girlfriend has crossed the line and is cheating on you, then you should take a look at this article a wrote a while back….

How To Know if Your Wife or Girlfriend Is Cheating on You

Most often your wife may not have a premeditated desire to strike up a relationship with the thought that it could lead to an emotional affair.

But for various reasons, your wife can become quite close (too close) with another man given all the right circumstances.

Usually there are some telltale triggering events.

Perhaps you and your wife are having issues in the marriage.  So she might be looking for an outlet to express her discontent.

Maybe this other man provides her emotional support which is lacking in your marriage.

Or it could be that there is a high level of chemistry and compatibility between your wife and this other guy.

But whatever causes this relationship to go beyond the normal acquaintance or friendship level, it’s existence can be damaging to the marriage in subtle ways.

But before we examine an emotional affair (or what is also called emotional cheating) further, let’s make sure we are in agreement about what it really means.

Is Your Wife Really Having An Emotional Affair or Love Connection?

is she cheating on you

An emotional affair as potentially experienced by your wife is when she feels emotionally and intimately attached to another man.

And emotional affair can also take on the form of an exceptionally close attachment due to a shared intellectual pursuit.

It can involve a teacher/student type of relationship or a form of mentorship.

Or it can involve a shared fascination with a certain topic or activity.

Now in all these cases, the things I have just described could fall well within the normal range of how a man and women would interact.

But in those cases in which these two people are spending a great deal of non work related time together or find themselves thinking about each frequently, the lines of what is normal and what is excessive begins to blur.

And therein lies the potentiality of problems for your wife’s relationship with you, particularly if there is weakness in the marriage and if her newfound emotional attachment with this other man is giving her great pleasure and fulfillment.

But with all that said,  it is more common for spousal emotional cheating to involve two people who are very close.  Though not lovers in the traditional sense, these two people share intimate conversations, secrets, worries, or desires.

They click when together and seek opportunities to be with each other more which accelerates the strengthening of their bond.

In fact, thinking of their relationship as a bond forged by a powerful need to be together to discuss things and experience things as a couple is a good way of understanding the chemistry found in most emotional affairs.

Sometimes an emotional affair is a precursor to a physical affair.

is your wife fooling around

If your wife is drawn to be with another man because she feels emotionally attached and if this bond is strengthening, then the next level up could be affection shared in the form of touching or other physical acts.

While there may not be any overt sexual activity between your wife and the other man, an emotional affair typically involves two people who care for each other deeply and may very well express love and appreciation for each other.

Acts of kindness and doing things for each other often mark such a relationship.

Usually when people think of intimacy, they jump right into the mindset that sex is involved.

They assume that two lovers have slept together to be intimately attached.  But that is not always the case.  And that is why an emotional affair of the heart typically does not involve the pure physical act of sex, whether it be intercourse, extended kissing, or foreplay.

If your wife is cheating on you with another man, but has not taken him as her lover, there is still a lot to be concerned about.

It is one thing for a wife to enter into an affair with another man, sneaking off to hotel rooms or other locations to have sex.  Such extramarital acts certainly can be destructive to a marriage.

She may care about this other man and their sexual liaisons may satisfy certain carnal desires.  They may even be exploring their brewing romance to the fullest and the sex act consummates some of their wildest fantasies.

Or it is possible your wife is simply making love with this other man because she has been drawn into an affair against her best intentions.  Obviously, there are many ways in which wives find their way into the arms of another man.

But it is a different dynamic if your wife gains pleasure, fulfillment and shared intimacy with another guy without surrendering her body.

While this type of affair may be different in form, the consequences can be harmful to your marriage, even more so if she has truly opened up her heart to this other guy.

So what are the typical things a guy wishes to know about this subject of emotional cheating?

As you can imagine, I get a whole lot of different inquires around this hot topic.

For example….

“Look Chris, I know she has male friends.  What I want to know is if she is thinking of getting involved more deeply.  She seems really preoccupied with this one guy, spending far too much time together. So what are the warning signs of emotional cheating in a relationship?  And how do I deal with my spouse’s emotional affair if indeed it is happening. Do emotional affairs ever stop without the husband intervening?  Is this going to be one of those situations where once it happens I am doomed?  Will I be left picking up the pieces wondering how to get over her emotional cheating?

Do you have any advice on texting and emotional affairs.  This seems to be her primary way of reaching out to this other man.  She keeps saying it’s just a work thing, but when does work friendship turn into emotional infidelity?  Do you have some kind of checklist of what to look for when trying to pick up on signs of emotional affairs at work?

 Hey Chris, what are the signs that point to one’s wife getting too close to another man?  She gets really emotional when I delve into it and tells me I am paranoid, but I read that a sure-fire sign of infidelity in a woman is when they get all emotional when questioned about having an affair.  

Is there a way to tell if your wife is cheating based on Facebook?  She is active on it and seems preoccupied with one guy in particular.  Look, part of me knows something is going down.  I don’t know if sex is involved but tell me what to look for.  What are the physical signs your wife is emotionally cheating on you?  I read all these articles about classic warnings signs of infidelity or adultery, but I really don’t know what to believe because you say sometimes the wife may not show any clear signs.  

 Look, I need to know how to deal with wife’s emotional cheating.  I just found out from my wife that she is falling for another guy.  She said she wanted to be honest and that there has been no sex.  She keeps telling me she is going through a confusing period in her life and needs time to work it out.  Should I forgive her emotional cheating and then what?  I am not sure if I can survive much loner knowing she is emotionally cheating on me.

 Chris, can you tell me how do emotional affairs typically end?  She said its over and that she learned her lesson.  Is it that easy or should I expect it could be revived or she might get lonely for this other guy?  She says that she is completely over it and does not need to go to counseling.  My wife says that she was just temporarily  emotionally attached to her work friend. I feel so stupid.  Here I am left coping with her emotional affair.  I am not sure if I can trust her.  

Dealing With Emotional Affairs

how to deal with wife's other life

So what do all of those questions I get from clients have in common?

While they had numerous concerns, the main areas they were exploring dealt with whether their wife was emotionally attached to another man and if so what should they do.

When a guy asks me to help them with their situation I like to first challenge their assumptions.

About half of the time, it turns out that these men’s wives were NOT having an emotional affair.

I won’t say that all these men were borderline paranoid or obsessed with their wife’s habits, but it is not unusual for a man to suspect his wife of cheating on him, particularly if he thinks she has been spending too much time around a certain guy.

In some of these cases, the husband was afraid or hesitant to even talk about his fears with is wife. He went right along suspecting her and convincing himself that she was secretly in love with another man, when in reality, his wife was just being her normal, extroverted and friendly self.

So I usually discuss with my clients my definition of what is an emotional affair and the different forms it can take.

I also warn them even if their wife is emotionally cheating, it may not be revealed by signs or behaviors she may exhibit.

I also talk to my clients about the way emotional cheating typically unfolds.

It doesn’t simply come into existence, like poof, suddenly your wife is giving up her entire heart to another man.

When it happens, it more often happens very gradually and usually there is a series of triggering events that helps the affair come into maturity.

Sometimes these triggering events occur at home within your marriage.  Perhaps the two of you have argued a lot recently.

Possibly your wife is dissatisfied with her sex life. So the fantasy bond she has created in her mind involving another man comes into fruition.

Sometimes, the trigger is your wife’s budding belief that her marriage is not fulfilling and her needs are not being met.

But these so-called emotional cheating triggers don’t always happen as a result of problems within your marriage.

Sometimes these triggers happen in the workplace or in a social setting outside of the house, even when your relationships seems fine.  We can never been certain of all the things that lead to two people colliding with each other in heart and spirit.

Triggers that can lead your wife to fall into an emotional affair can also happen on a social media platform.

Or the trigger can be linked to a previous romance your wife had before you were married.

That’s right.  Married women can still fall for their old flame given all the right circumstances.

Whatever might be the trigger or triggering events, the connection between your wife and this other man will usually unfold somewhat naturally and slowly over time.

An emotional affair is difficult to spot in the early stages because quite frankly, in many of these cases, your wife is probably not even aware that she is knocking on the door of potential emotional cheating.

It is only later, after your wife and this other guy have spent a good deal of meaningful time together, experiencing things and talking about topics they care and agree about, that the intimate affair takes shape.

This is when one can sometimes pick up on certain signs.  This is when you might notice certain hints that your wife is emotionally involved with another guy.

I covered some of these signs in an article I wrote a while back.  Give it a read!

Warning Signs That Your Husband Is Cheating

My Wife Is Emotionally Cheating on Me.  Should I Leave Her?

should we call it quits

The short answer is absolutely not.

It is not unusual for a married man or woman to draw very close to someone outside of the marriage.

It doesn’t always mean it is unhealthy.  And in some very mature and successful marriages, there are cases in which one of the spouses can end up having a very close and intimate, but non sexual relationship with another person.

Of course, it’s a different story if this relationship outside of the marriage threatens the quality of the marriage in any way or reveals a reasonable potential for the emotional connection to grow into a physical, intimate attachment.

Upon discovering the existence that your wife is emotionally connected with another man, the first step is to avoid being intolerant and blaming.

Seek first to understand why your wife was drawn into the emotional affair.

Is it due to some problem in your marriage?

Does your wife have difficulty drawing boundaries with other men?

Talk about it openly.  Encourage your wife to share her feelings, without fear of repercussions or reprisal.

Listening is important.  What is also important is being able to describe to your wife your feelings and concerns about the whole matter.

Couples will stumble.

It is the nature of relationships.

If you look past your own hurt feelings and avoid adverse and ugly reactions and genuinely seek to understand what happened, it improves the chances that you and your wife can work together to repair the marriage, seeking solutions and affecting changes in behavior.

But Chris, what if she is not sorry for what she did?  What if she wants to keep on having her secret special friend so long as no sex is involved?

This is when things get more difficult.

If your wife is unable to acknowledge that her emotional affair is damaging the relationship and that she has a right to having a close intimate, male friend, then it is unlikely this problem will go away by itself.

If you are unable to reason with your wife and gain her understanding that her emotional affair is a form of cheating and is risking the marriage, then I would ask you to go back to the drawing board and double-check to make sure your are not overreacting to what could be otherwise a respectable and healthy friendship.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is this other man in your wife’s life creating emotional distance in your marriage?
  2. Do you and your wife argue about her spending time talking and being with this other man?
  3. Is there any evidence of your wife and her male friend sharing intimacy in the form of holding hands, excessive hugging, gifts that are too personal, etc.?
  4. Is your wife hiding facts about her relationship with this other man? Is your wife harboring secrets about the time she spends with this other guy?
  5. Has your wife changed her personality?  Is  she changing the way she dresses?  Has your wife changed her look?

If after taking in all the information, you still feel convinced that your wife has fallen into a pattern of emotional cheating and if multiple conversations about this problem has not provided a remedy, then ideally you should both agree to getting counseling.

Sometimes a 3rd party can help your you and your wife understand what is truly unfolding in the marriage and what can be done to make things better.

How To Stop Acting and Looking So Desperate To Get Married

It is an awful feeling when you are afraid that the man you love so much may not want to marry you.

So what do you do?

Well for starters, stop acting and looking desperate to get married!

In most cases women who fear they are losing the guy they so much want will try harder.

Often you won’t even be aware that you are coming on so strong.

And after all, doesn’t that voice in the back of your mind remind you that most men will hesitate to commit.

Isn’t that how men are wired?

men wired differently than women

It’s like it’s in their DNA, right?

But what if I told you that most everything you are thinking on how to get over the finish line is completely off base?

What if I told you that most men can spot even the least bit of over eagerness when it comes to trying to get a commitment to marriage.

Like a hound dog, a guy can sniff out when a woman wants that ring.

They can see those little unintended signals you put out which shows that you fear losing him.

They seem instinctively wired to shy away if things seem to be getting a bit too serious.

Men after all cherish their freedom and autonomy.

So how do you get over that hurdle?

How do you accomplish that which you want most in your life?

How do you disguise that part of you that grows excited about your boyfriend spending the rest of his life with you?

I once had a client ask me what she needed to do get her boyfriend to fall in love with her, then marry her.  One of the things I told her was to tone down her efforts.  Sometimes, if you try too hard at something, you will get in your own way.

In fact,  I recently published an article about this….

How To Get A Guy To Like You Then Fall in Love and Marry You

We can sometimes be our worst enemy when we try too hard.

For example….

Chris, I have finally found the right guy.  I have to pinch myself  not to scare him off. What is your advice on how to not come off as being desperate for a serious boyfriend?

I have a new man in my life.  But I don’t want to come off as looking like I am out of control.  What makes a woman look desperate?  Give me your list of what not to do and I will follow it to a tee. 

Do you think its OK to just put it out there and let him know that I want a serious relationship that can develop into a commitment?  I sometimes can come on too aggressively. My ex boyfriend told me I was pushy and it was a turn off.  That hurt, and it stuck with me.  How do I make my intentions known without scaring him off?  I don’t want to spook him, but I want our relationship to move forward.   

So what today’s post boils down to is how to not appear desperate for love.

And this comes in all forms, including how you act, appear, and communicate.

So what are the signs of a desperate woman in search of marriage?

We are going to explore some of the troublesome ones.

If you can manage to avoid some of the behaviors, then you are on the right track.

I am also going to teach you how to not look desperate when texting a guy.

That is important.  If you check out my other website at exboyfriendrecovery.com, you will see that I have written extensively on this topic.

Let’s start first with my list of things you should take into account when you are trying to turn your boyfriend’s thinking toward a more serious relationship.

  1. Act Like You Are Not Thinking of Getting Married

 

act like you are not interested in marriage

Many women think that the best way to get their man to make the big move is to hint around the topic.

But making direct comments and dropping pointed hints can backfire.

In a lot of cases, you don’t want to initiate discussions about marriage.  Though, I would qualify this statement by underscoring that it really depends on the guy….his personality make-up and how secure and mature he is.

You would want such thoughts of marriage to emerge from him.  Or at least give him the impression that the idea is from him.

I realize that can be really hard to do if your are excited about turning the relationship into a committed marriage.

You may even be confident that he is ready and that the time is ripe to get him to talk ring, marriage, family…..the whole nine yards.

But all too often I have seen the desire of well intentioned women to move to the next rung in relationship ladder quashed by a less than enthusiastic response from the boyfriend.

So my thinking is pretty straightforward on this matter.

Don’t lead with your chin.

Don’t wade into the deep waters in which a direct conversation about marriage is hanging on your tongue.

Chances are that your guy is not fully prepared to talk about all these wonderful thoughts dancing through your mind.

Sure, he might say something that sounds acceptable and somewhat vague if you bring up marriage.  But often, a guy can spot the signs of a woman who is a little too desperate to take it to the next level.

Don’t forget the importance the “chase” is to men.

You don’t want to be perceived as that girlfriend desperate to have a husband.

Guys like their freedom and they love to chase.   If you make it too easy, then the value of the prize is diminished.

It is woven in their soul and their DNA

There is a psychological principle called “reactance”.

Essentially, if a person perceives they are losing their freedom or something is taken away, they will work hard to get it back.

For some men, particularly those who might be insecure, anything that they feel might take them away from their “routines” or their sense of freedom can cause them to push back.

So doing things that makes a guy feel “crowded” can work against your aims.

But you can use psychological reactance to your advantage.

Let’s assume your relationship with your boyfriend is solid.

In a man’s mind, while he may not “objectify” you or think of you as “his”;  he may perceive you as part of his world that brings him happiness and fulfilment.

So rather than doing or saying things that causes him to think you are trying to possess him, flip this principle to your advantage.

You can play on doing or saying things in a subtle way that reminds him that not only do you have “value”, but he should take you for granted

Men are attracted to that which they can’t possess.

You want him to desire you and do things to ensure that you are part of his life.

To accomplish this, you need to strike a balance with pleasing him, yet making him want you more.

I realize this is a tricky thing to talk about.

I refer to this notion as becoming the “Ungettable Girl”.

She is the one that all men want, but can’t quite have.

Perhaps another way of looking at it is to give you an example of how not to act.

Confessions of a Woman Desperately in Love

don't be desperate to be married

If you are looking for a blueprint on how NOT to approach the sensitive subject of marriage, here is primer…

I wish I had found your website sooner.  I chased after my boyfriend and hounded him relentlessly about taking our relationship to the next step.  In my mind, that meant we needed to get married.  But I am pretty sure I ran him right out of my life. I have read some of your posts where you talk about not being a “GNAT” (Going Nuts At Texting) and I confess I was the worst gnat a woman could be. If I had just stopped acting so needy and coming off looking so desperate, we would still be together again.  I know part of the problem is my personality.  I get obsessed about things until it almost becomes an addiction. I know that getting married was an obsession of mine and looking back I know why he broke up with me.

2.  Work Toward Getting Your Boyfriend To Initiate The Talk About Marriage

 

get him talking about commitment

So how do you get a guy, who you feel fairly confident is the right one to take down the aisle, to pop the question.

How do you get him even talking about long-term commitment?

After all, men are often averse to losing their freedom….. their sense of individuality, right?

A lot of men want to be with you, but when it comes to that final step of getting past their fear, insecurity, or indecision, they seem to slide back into their comfortable pocket of the status quo.

It may not be a rationale decision.  And it certainly would not be a romantic inspiration.

But who ever said that most men act rationally or romantically.

Perhaps in romance novels though do, but in real life things a far more complicated.

Dropping Little Love Nuggets

reminding your guy who is boss

Sometimes men need to understand their sense of ownership (of you) truly does not exist.

But still you want them to try to own you.  It is that process of “chase” than men love to participate in.

Not that they will ever possess you in the real sense of the word, but you want your guy to forever chase after you in some respects.

Here is an example…

Why change things?” you boyfriend might think or even say out loud to you.  By saying that, he is pushing back on the notion of a higher level of commitment and taking you for granted to some extent.

Sometimes a little tongue in cheek response is appropriate.  It’s a passive aggressive way of pushing back.

Sure“, you could say……”why would we want to change things.  It is going so great! I like my freedom.  Perhaps some day I will find my knight in shining armor and what a shame it would be if its not you!”

Do you see where I am coming from?  You want to leave men wanting more.

The more they desire on you, the more they will be open to commitment and marriage.

The more your guy thinks he has you wrapped around his finger, the more complacent he will likely become on the matter of marriage.

Stay Away From Marriage Buster Words!

avoid words that scare off your guy

In the example above, notice how the word marriage is never uttered.

Words like “commitment” or “marriage” or “engagement rings” or “wedding bands” are usually marriage buster words to some guys.

Some men may not be emotionally ready to talk about those things.

Unless a guy is sure he wants to marry you, it is best to avoid bringing these things up.

Now if your guy wants to talk marriage or long term commitment, then that is usually a good sign.

He might be trying to gauge your readiness which is a positive development.

But even then, remember the rule of “Little Steps“.

You don’t want to dive right into the topic of committment and marriage just because he opens the door to the conversation.

Avoid using the words “commitment and marriage”.

As I said, these phrases may be ingrained in your guy’s mind as sometimes having negative connations.

I know that sounds a little crazy, but remember, a guy’s fear of losing his freedom can be powerful.

So if the opportunity presents itself and your boyfriend is feeling you out on these topics, just go easy.

Turn any questions around and ask him about his feelings.

Ask open ended questions like, “do you think we have a special connection?”  Do you think we are a good “match” for the long term?   

Some men are commitment phobic.

And until your guy really opens up and talks the “talk”, you should consider the possibility that he has a few hangups around commitment.

Or it could be that your guy is just not mature enough emotionally to make that step.

Even if you sense that he is just a little bit unsure, it is still wise to take things slow and help him over the finish line.

What about talking about rings and babies and getting a house?

Again, unless you have a really good connection with how your man thinks, be careful about wading too deep into these waters.

Some men, it seems, are trained to run in the other direction when a woman starts talking about getting married or having babies or shopping for rings.

So if you and your man are walking around at your local mall, you probably don’t want to browse the jewelry area or hover over engagement rings.

That would be an example of coming on a bit too strong if you are still in the early stages of attachment.

Men who have some insecurities about getting married  usually have a “tell“.

Like in poker, you can sometimes “tell”, by how someone acts, what kind of hand they are holding.

When a guy is not ready or is not sure if he is ready to tie the knot, he will become uneasy and fidgety or change the subject or make light of the notion.

That is his “tell”.

If he often broadcasting his “tell” on the topic of marriage or commitment, then you are probably approaching him wrong.

Many of the commercials, movies, and other memes have conditioned men to know that a woman usually wants her ring, her wedding, her house, and her baby.

Whether that be true or not, it is how a lot of guys are wired to think.

So until you have a reasonably firm level of confidence in the direction you and your guy are headed (remember the law of the “Little Steps”), it is best to avoid making any assumptions.

So what on earth can you say or do to get your boyfriend open and comfortable about discussing long-term commitment or marriage?

I say you work on becoming the Ungettable Girl”

3. Become the Ungettable Girl

become the woman every man wants

So exactly what is the Ungettable Girl?

Why would your boyfriend be attracted to you if your reflect some of these qualities?

Well, I have already told you!!

Men are incredibly attracted to that which they can’t have.

It’s weird.  I know!  But it’s true.

Tell a guy that they can’t have sex with you quite yet.  Then all he will think about is having sex with you.  Almost all of the time.

Tell your boyfriend that you are not sure if you are ready for a long-term commitment, then he will start wondering, “Why doesn’t she want to be with me?“, causing him to want to be with you more.

Now, I don’t recommend you be so bold and make these kind of declarations.

What I think is more effective is being subtle and working around the edges.

Consider creating little jealousy traps.

Make yourself look fabulous to others.

Men generally are possessive.

If you are his girlfriend, he thinks of you as “his”.  When he begins to doubt if that is true in all respects, then he will desire you even more.

But becoming the Ungettable Girl is a delicate balance.

If you play your cards wrong, you can turn him off.

To be an Ungettable Girl, among many things, you need to live an interesting life and act in such a manner that suggests you are not tied down by any man.

Create a buzz on social media about your positive attitude, appearance, your routines, your habits, your clothes, your skills, your accomplishments, your travels….just about everything that makes a person who they are.

An Ungettable Girl is the woman who every man wants, but are afraid to approach.

She lights up the room.  She has her own life and enjoys the company of many.

The Ungettable Girl is the woman who men ask to marry.  She doesn’t have to beg or plead for a commitment.

This kind of woman is coveted by men.

She has value on many levels.

She is pretty and fun to be around.

She is confident.

She is an indoor girl.  She can dress and look glamorous.

But she is the outdoor girl too. She loves sports and loves to do the things other men enjoy.

Every guy tells her boyfriend that he is so lucky.

They warn him that he better get her tied down or someone else will sweep her away.

Her social media feed is full of compliments from both men and women.

An Ungettable Girl sounds like “Wonder Woman” doesn’t she!

And in a way she is.  Because the reality is that the Ungettable Girl doesn’t really exist.

It is a persona you aspire to be.

It’s about building attraction and value and having your own personal power.

The more you have of these things, the greater your prospects of getting what you want from relationships.

You get to choose who you really want to be with.

4. The Couple’s Power Balance Should be Equal

balance of power while in love

The last thing I want to talk about which I think is key to helping you rope in that guy you wish to marry deals with a couple’s “power balance”.

Ideally, you and your boyfriend should have shared personal power.

What that means is you are not acting desperate to get your way about anything.

It means you have as much say as he does about the things the two of you wish to do.

Having balance in the relationship means that when your boyfriend insists that he must get his way, you check his power by having more dialogue on the topic or insisting on a counter balance request.

Ideally, a highly functioning relationship should look more like a union of two people who love each other very much.

If you find yourself always bending to your boyfriend’s needs or desires, then the balance of your relationship is probably out of whack and that does not bode well in terms of helping you get over the marriage finish line.

If you do not feel you have an equal say in many things, then you should take a step back and ask if you really want this relationship to go forward.

To often, I have seen marriages fail when mutual respect is lacking.

I have seen couples battle their way through matters of anger, resentment, and sadness when one couple hold a big  personal power advantage.

So take heed if the personal power spread within the relationship is out of balance.

I cannot emphasize this enough.

In my view, it is a game changer if the power balance is out of kilter.

Next to shared mutual respect and expressions of kindness, having an equal say in matters of importance is vital to the success of the marriage.

So do yourself a favor.

Make sure what you think and believe counts for something before you act on any notion of getting married.

Can Your Marriage Survive Multiple Affairs

Men and women alike can dish out tremendous pain when they cheat on their spouse.

Surviving such an affront to the marriage can be made worse if the infidelity comes in the form of multiple extramarital affairs.

Can your marriage survive multiple affairs?

What if both of you have multiple affairs?

Just what is the track record for marriages in which the husband or wife cheated on each other over time?

cheating on your spouse takes a toll on marriage

Is it something most marriages can recover from or is the relationship doomed forever?

Does it matter how strong your marriage was before the act?

If your husband has been cheating for a very long time, does that increase the chances of everything unraveling?

Do you ever think you may have married the wrong man….

Did I Marry The Wrong Man For Me?

And likewise, if your wife admits that she has been romantically involved with another man, does this mean she has found love with someone else and you might as well just give it up?

That is a lot of questions.

Let’s try and tackle them and see if we can lend you some support.

Can Your Marriage Recover From Betrayal of the Worse Kind

betrayal in marriage hurts everybody

Cheating on your spouse is probably the worse kind of betrayal in a relationship.

It could be argued that it is a bridge too far to expect things could go back to what they were like before.

I think that would be true.

Things won’t be the same in the months and years to follow.

Now, I am not saying the future hold nothing but misery.  Far from it.

All of us are navigators of our own lives and can plot the course we wish to take in the future.

But there are few things that hurt more in the present than learning that your husband or wife has cheated on you.

There are few things that tear you up inside more than learning that your spouse was in adulterous affair.

And it hard to imagine that such a thing could happen not just once, but over the entirety of one’s marriage.

How does one recover from the knowledge that the man or woman you thought was the “love of your life“, was actually with another person, sharing intimate moments?

Such questions often come to my attention as clients seek advice on what to do with their marriage and the rest of their lives….

I was crushed when I discovered my husband had been cheating on me for years. It turns out that he had multiple affairs throughout our 14 year marriage and I was none the wiser.  I can’t even begin to describe my feelings.  I am still stuck in the disbelief and bewilderment stage, though anger bubbles up in me every time I think of it.” 

“I blame myself for not seeing it which I know is the wrong way to think.  I can’t help but rewind every day of our marriage.  Only now do I see the little signs which should have clued me in that he had a mistress.  Do you have any idea what percent of marriages survive infidelity.  I know its stupid to even ask this because I have already asked for a divorce.  I guess some part of me still hopes we could go back to the times when we were first together and my trust in him was intact.”

Can Your Marriage Survive a Serial Cheater?

an affair is tough to survive

There is one school of thought that if a husband and wife are truly in love and still care deeply for each other, the relationship can recover from the pain of an affair…even multiple affairs.

So let me put it right out there.  Yes, your marriage need not crumble.  It is not necessarily destined to break apart no matter who cheated on who.

That is not just my opinion, but marriage statistics bear this out.  We will get into that later!

So clearly, some marriages have gotten through the gauntlet of broken vows.

Usually marriages which successfully navigate these deep waters happened to be very strong in the first place.  There was a solid foundation to work with.

Sometimes marriage counseling was employed to help the couple regain that which they lost, namely trust and commitment.

Which begs the question, can a marriage survive infidelity without counseling?

The short answer is yes.

But the road to recovery can be a dead-end if trust cannot be regained.

Quite often, a person well trained in relationship counseling can help the husband and wife regain that trust….. one moment, one day, one week, one month, and one year at a time.

Lately I have had a number of women, whose husbands have admitted to having multiple affairs, reach out to me asking for advice on what they might do.

One of the first questions I get from these victimized wives is why their husband would do such a thing.

Often I catch them early in their phase of disbelief which eventually turns into bitterness and anger.

I won’t sugar coat it.

It’s tough to know with any certainty whether a marriage can survive multiple affairs.

Just the very idea of losing your husband (or wife) to another lover can really be difficult to process.

So it is shocking to learn that your husband (or wife) has been repeatedly cheating on you.

What could be worse than learning that your husband has had many lovers?

You might be surprised to hear what a few of my clients had to say:

I always suspected he had been cheating on me throughout the years.  My husband is such a player.  He is always flirting with other women so a part of me sorta knew it.  But when he finally admitted he has cheated, not just once, but multiple times with various women, it just validated my suspicions.  Part of me had already accepted it was going on.  Another part of me was upset and angry at his deception. I guess I deluded myself.  He said it was all about the sex.  I am still furious. He insists that he didn’t love any of them.  Honestly Chris, I think I would be much angrier if he had been with just one woman the entire time.  That would probably be worse.  Though I wonder if I am just fooling myself.  How can you still want someone in your life, yet hate them at the same time?  I am so confused.”

“Chris, how do you fix a marriage after infidelity has struck in your on home.  He had the woman in our house and don’t ask me how I know it, but I am sure of it.  He still won’t admit to cheating and frankly I don’t think this is the first lady he has taken up with.  Frankly, I am not sure which is worse.  Him falling for some other girl or him jumping in the sack with every women he can.  I think I would despise him if I believed he truly loved another.  I know it’s for the sex. We have been married 16 years and I am not blind. I know he craves it.  He has no idea how miserable I am going to make him feel.  I don’t think I will ever be the same.   Right now, I hate him for what he has done.  He has no clue what cheating does to a women’s self-esteem. It’s like telling me I am worthless. Help me with what I should do next.”

These two women seem to suggest that the idea of their husband falling in love with another woman is worst than if he was to undertake multiple affairs.

That may be true, but from what I have seen, its hard to distinguish which is most painful and disruptive to a marriage.

So I have come to believe it doesn’t matter a great deal whether your husband’s unfaithfulness involves many episodes with just one woman he has come to love or if he has been with many women over the course of your marriage.

In either case, great damage is done.

The question of marriage survival usually comes down to many variables of which individual circumstances and relationship history are the most impactful.

I wish I could play it down and say you will get over it quickly.

It’s just not something that usually happens, unless the marriage was in incredibly shape to begin with.  And even then, getting past the indiscretion is very difficult.

So if you come across someone who tells you they can help you with surviving infidelity in marriage in 3 simple tips or they have some kind of secret recipe that works perfectly in how to survive infidelity and betrayal….run for the hills.

From my work with women, who have found themselves married to a philanderer, I have come to believe that if their husband repeatedly gets involved in affairs, even if he does not truly love these other women and does not want to leave you, the cumulative effect of having a husband who is constantly in and out of affairs is extremely debilitating to the marriage.

What is one to do?

Let’s take it from a women perspective for sake of language.

There are some wives out there who look the other way, either because they are afraid to confront their husband or because they feel no matter what they say or do (because they have said it and done it before) their husband will just deny it.

Some wives don’t wish to end their marriage (for whatever reasons), so they adapt and co-exist with their circumstance.

Other women have a zero tolerance policy.  If you cheat on them, you best pack your bags because the relationship is over.

Many women  don’t desire to end their marriage.  If they believe their husband still loves them and regrets his actions, they will work together with their husband to try and steer the marriage back on a steady course.

Will The Marriage Ever Be The Same?

your marriage will change forever

My view is that in situations involving adultery, there is really no such thing as the relationship recovering in the conventional sense.

Sure, the marriage can survive, but the real question is whether the marriage will be truly fulfilling and successful if you remain married to a husband who continues his cheating ways?

Probably not.

And if the man you are married to insists that his philandering ways are all over and he will never again betray you, can you take that to the bank?

Should you trust in him again?

In matters like this, I believe our personal history is instructive.

The past is often predictive of the future.

If your husband has been frequently dishonest with you about things in the past, you should take that into consideration.

The fact that your husband has had multiple affairs, even if it was with women he claims he never loved, it is more likely that he would repeat his adulterous ways.  Patterns in behavior can be predictive.

Mind you…I said “likely”.

I shouldn’t throw all philandering husbands under the bus.  There are some instances where a husband, after being confronted with the real prospect of losing their wife forever, will remain faithful.

The fear of that happening can create a paradigm shift in his mind.  His pattern of behavior can be broken.

But we shouldn’t forget the ways of human nature.

Human nature is one that often gives way to repetition.

When your husband tells you that he will never cheat on you again.  When he insists that he has learned his lesson and your are the most important thing in his life and that he regrets his past, it is very possible in that moment where all these things are said, he actually means it.

But the problem with truth when it comes to cheaters who are repeat offenders is that it can be very fleeting.

His desire to sneak around and have sex with other women can be very addictive.

What he truly felt and believed in one moment when he told you he would never do it again, can morph into something else later.

Whatever drives a man to cheat on his wife, can rear its ugly head again and again.

However you cut it, cheating on your spouse, whether you do it only once or over the life of the marriage is destructive.

So What Are My Chances

is it easy to get over your cheating husband

Affairs can destroy everything in its path.

Most often, everyone involved eventually becomes a victim (some more than others).

So, can the marriage be saved on the heels of multiple affairs?

Yes, No, Maybe.

I know it sounds like I am copping out by not giving a more precise answer.  But to offer more specificity would be akin to lying.

I could quote statistics.

I have reviewed research that suggest that only about 20% of marriages breakup as a result of an affair.

So what about multiple affairs?

Sorry, but I couldn’t find any reliable statistic for that.  My guess is that the numbers are meaningfully higher.

When looking at the statistics for what caused the affair, more often than not, the cause of the affair was NOT due to a partner’s proclivity to cheat or some sexual disorder, but rather poor judgment and behavior.

If your husband has had repeated affairs, this kind of infidelity is referred to as a serial cheater.

They do it over and over again with different partners.

Knowing that you are married to a guy who has repeatedly cheated on you makes for a very challenging recovery.

But what if both of you cheated?

What if both of your are serial cheaters?

What if only one of you cheated multiple times?

Let’s take a look at some probably outcomes.

Is There Room For Two Cheaters in a Marriage?

no room for multiple affairs 

When both of the spouses are serial cheaters, it can make for a very volatile recovery.

There is not room for two cheaters in a Marriage.   You are standing in quicksand.

But in some situations, albeit it is rare, two people who care for each other deeply and convinces each other their love for the other has not waned can find common ground and begin the slow process of rebuilding trust.

Of course this means both partners have to stop cheating and essentially start over.  It is almost like they need to restart the marriage as if they are meeting for the first time.

Seldom does such a couple rebuild their lives in a matter of months.  It can take years. I believe they need to go through an entire new courtship period.

A lot depends on the individuals involved, their history together, and their commitment to re-invent their marriage, because essentially that is often what it takes when both partners have cheated multiple times.

The Marriage Initially Remains Intact But Slowly Comes Apart at the Seams

marriage coming apart

I could point to some marriages that continued in a dysfunctional form with the knowledge that trust had been severed, possibly forever.

More often than not, such marriages continue in some form for the sake of the children or other reasons, and are far from ideal in how a couple should interact.

The splintering and breakage of all that use to be a traditional marriage often leads to future chaos and disenchantment.

This is often the most common occurrence as the wrecking ball of multiple extramarital affairs weighs heavily on the prospect of the marriage ever recovering.

This kind of marriage recovery scenario usually falls short, despite the couple’s best efforts, given the weight of what has transpired in the past.

The Marriage Survives But Struggles To Find Footing

is your marriage struggling

Sometimes, after a series of extramarital affairs, the couple makes good faith efforts to recover some semblance of what they had before.

It’s often an uphill battle and very difficult to make meaningful strides without the aid of marriage counseling or some useful resource.

The victim (who is being cheated on) at some point in time has to come to believe that their husband or wife will change their ways which is far from a given.

Cheating on a spouse can leave long-lasting scars, but with the right level of commitment from both partners progress can be made.

What Are the Effects of Being Cheated On?

effects of a cheating heart

Statistics reflect that about 15% to 20% of married men and women cheat.

Frankly, I think it happens more often that.

Of those who do cheat, about 40% of them admit to having multiple affairs.

And by the way, in case you are wondering, those who cheat and go on to marry their lover have very high divorce rates (about 70%).  Guilt and the lack of trust in the new marriage are two key reasons why these relationships don’t often work out.

Serial cheating seems to stem from the notion that if you get away with it once, why not do it again if the right circumstance presents itself.

I warn you though, don’t look at statistics in a singular way.

There are a great many things that influence the probability of occurrence.

Often marriages that are defined by neglect or lack of intimacy or difficult times can create an environment ripe for infidelity.   Buts not always.

A person can have a character flaw that makes them more prone to having an affair.  And it is not always that the marriage was struggling.  About 34% of wives who were cheated on thought they had a successful marriage and described themselves as happy or very happy.

Interestingly, about 68% to 74% of married or committed couples say they would have an affair if they were convinced that their partner would not find out.

For all the marriage cynics out there, I guess you are right about that one!

I think that last statistic gives us some insight into how men and women think about this topic.  The desire to experiment, explore, or follow through with an attraction one has for someone other than their spouse can be powerful, leading an individual to eventually act upon their desires.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that such people in general are evil or without morals.  I think what it shows us is that men and women are just human and not too far removed from some of their base instincts and needs.

Now,  I am not saying your husband or wife is sex starved or is always vulnerable to temptation.

Nor am I excusing infidelity.

Being unfaithful to your wife or husband is very often the knife that tears your marriage apart.  That is the reality of what we see as outcomes to such behavior.

Unfortunately, it is not the logical part of the brain (the rational side) that dominates your husband’s or wife’s thinking when they decide to enter into and continue an affair.

Often when certain hormones and emotions are in play, things like logic, integrity, and trust falls backwards.   And such is the case for those who are drawn into an affair.

You might be wondering about the full impact of how cheating affects the brain.

Let’s look at it from a victim’s perspective.

Clearly there are emotional effects from infidelity which we have already touched on above.  It is evidenced in some of the responses of women I have spoken with.

Words like betrayal, disillusionment, pained, and broken are just a few descriptions that come to mind.

These are the emotions a wife or husband, who is victimized by their spouse, must deal with in the short-term.

Like a punch to the gut, learning of your spouse’s cheating ways can be devastating.

It literally can feel like a punch to the gut.  You can actually feel physically ill as you try to cope with why it happened and what it all means.  Just getting through the processing period of what has occurred can last for days.

So clearly, the short-term effects can be crippling.

Though don’t ever sell yourself short.

If your husband or wife cheated on you, you will eventually recover and in many cases, depending on the path you take, lead a very happy and fulfilled life.

It may be different life from what you first imagined for yourself, but there is no reason why you cannot overcome the hardship and disappointment.

What Are The Long-term Psychological effects of Infidelity?

the long term impact of cheating on your lover

I think the research data along with input I have gotten from women and men who are struggling with a cheating spouse strongly support that being cheated on changes you.

It is not unusual to be less trusting in your current and future relationships.

This lack of trust can be pervasive in that it involves just about everything.

The voice in your mind will be prone to think, “if he lies about the big things that are critically important, why wouldn’t he lie about something less important”.

This sense of diminished trust can impact the marriage in not just matters of whether your husband or wife is being truthful to you in general, but it can also follow you into the bedroom

Intimacy and trust go hand in hand.

With severed trust, intimacy will suffer.

The nature of truth is that when it is lost, it can take a very long time to rebuild

The stain that is left behind is not easily rubbed out.  We like to think of ourselves as people who can learn to forgive.

But forgiveness is an active act.  You can offer it, but emotionally it does not guarantee that you will easily rebuild the bridge of trust.

Trust is something that lies deep inside.  Distrust lies within us all in a dormant stage and is often activated when we perceive some great wrong has occurred.

But it is not all bad!

Over time, you adjust and adapt and with the right kind of relationships in your life, trust finds its way back.

Being Cheated On Can Mess With Your Emotions

an affair can screw with your emotions

Discovering that your husband or wife was playing around on the side can really mess with your emotions.

It can be very difficult to tap down the emotions that suddenly rise up in your mind around matters of trust.

It is like your thoughts have a mind of their own.

And as result of the deep scar that the affair left on your life, these emotions of distrust come in to fill the void. Hence, it can take a very long time for your emotional psyche (i.e. right side of the brain) to catch up with the more rational thinking part of your brain (i.e. left side of brain).

If your spouse betrays you, it is not just the marriage that is under fire.

Infidelity can also have an adverse impact on other elements of both of your lives.

If you have children, they too can be impacted.

Also, cheating, once outed, hardly goes unnoticed when it comes to relationships with friends and family.  I am not saying that all these people will suddenly know that your marriage was touched by infidelity, but often the way in which you interact with these people will be impacted.

Your view of the institution of marriage will likely change.

If you move on to other relationships, how you interact with potential lovers could be effected.  You may be filled with considerable cynicism.  Anger and resentment may have invaded your spirit.

Just being able to “get back out there” and engage in a relationship with the opposite sex can be trying.

Obviously, there are great deal of things we could get into when we start peeling back the layers of how cheating can leave a path of devastation.

Matters such as guilt, vengeance, feelings of desperation, and depression  have hardly been touched on.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that these feelings could emerge and would have to be dealt with appropriately.

Nor have I really talked much about the legal impact of cheating beyond the obvious outcome of potential separation and divorce.

Issues such as alienation of affection, stalking, infliction of emotional distress , or defamation lawsuits can arise.

The financial impact can also be significant for various reasons along with other matters such as contraction of STD’s, pregnancy out-of-wedlock, or threatening phone calls.

In the final analysis, wouldn’t it be wonderful if the guilty partner could be made to see and experience all the pain and devastation their actions would cause before making the awful decision to cheat.

Or if we could go back in time and reverse the bad decisions we made, whether it be choosing not to cheat or not marrying the cheater, perhaps that might make things better.

Unfortunately there are no such options.

But to a large extent you do have control of some part of the future.

As you live through life and are confronted with tough choices, you can weigh all the options and find that path that is pragmatic and brings you some peace.

How Do I Stop My Husband From Leaving Me

With some couples there may come a time when you reach a pivotal stage of the marriage.

One of you wants out of marriage.  The other partner is not ready for the relationship to end.

Let’s say it’s the husband who is wanting to leave.

Perhaps he is unhappy with how things have been trending in the marriage. Maybe he has taken up with another woman and just wants out.

Or possibly, he is just mixed up and tells you that he needs time to sort things through.

is your husband leaving you all alone

I am sure there are plenty of you out there who are married to a guy who at one time acted like he was unsure about whether he wanted to continue living under the same roof.

He may offer a litany of explanations regarding his desire to leave you.  Things like:

The Husband Who Says He Is Confused…

  • Honey, it’s all on me.  I just can’t figure out what I want in life and I am not sure if it’s fair to you that we continue in the marriage. I just need time to get it together.

The Guy Who Is Depressed and Wants To Be Alone….

  • I am unhappy and want to be by myself to work things out.  You have not done anything really wrong, but I just can’t keep living like this.  I am not sure if I am made for marriage. I am not happy.

The Husband Who Feels Betrayed and Insists He Wants To Leave You…

  • I can’t stay with someone who I don’t trust or respect.  Every time I look at you I am reminded that you cheated on me.  You were with him and I can’t deal with the thought of living another day under the same roof with someone I don’t respect. 

The Married Man Who Decides He No Longer Wants To Be With You…

  • I am sorry but this relationship is not working out.  I think we rushed into things. I don’t have the same feelings for you as I use to. I don’t know if I love you anymore.  I want to end things and I think it is better for us both.  Let’s just move forward without either of us being tied down.

The Immature Husband Who Wants to Try An Alternative Approach….

  • I want us to have an open marriage that way you and I can both be free to pursue other interests. We need this change to shake up our marriage.   Let’s just give this a try to see how it works out.  It actually might help our relationship.

The Married Spouse Who Cheated and Now Wants Out of His Committment….

  • Look, this marriage will never work since you know I was unfaithful.  I love you, but am no longer in love with you.  I want to move in with this other woman and I don’t think there is anything left for us to talk about.

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?

Hopefully not, but if you and your husband are struggling and he his making noises about leaving, then read on as you may find some useful tips in this post.

And by the way, you ought to take a look at this recent article I wrote on a related topic as you weigh in on just what you should do and how you go about it.

How Do I Know If I Should Leave My Husband

How Do You Cope When Your Husband Wants Out?

how do you cope with your man taking off

When you are confronted with the prospect that your marriage is on the rocks and your husband wants out, what does it all really mean and how should you handle the predicament you now find yourself in?

It is a pretty tough  situation when you are left with trying to figure how to convince your husband to stay married.

You probably worked really hard to make him happy.

You may have made many sacrifices in your efforts to please your husband, bending at his requests, thinking that you are investing in the future.

You also probably feel betrayed if you have invested a lot of emotional energy in honoring your pledge to make the marriage as successful as possible.

You may be plagued with thoughts on how to stop your husband from leaving. You may be preoccupied with how to stop a pending divorce and save your marriage.

It can be incredibly frustrating, confusing and painful if your husband wants a divorce, but you don’t.

Perhaps the two of you have already broken up.  Your thoughts may have now turned to how to stop a divorce after a separation.

Maybe you are not even married to this guy and you are wrestling with the dilemma of how to stop your boyfriend from breakup up with you and going off in a direction that dooms your relationship.

How do you make him stay when he wants to leave is one of the most challenging issues a wife will face.

It does raise some interesting questions.

Should you let him go?

Should you just run him out the door and tell him good riddance as a form of reverse psychology (not usually a good idea).

It certainly might make you feel good about exorcising those angry, upset feelings your are likely to experience.

Of course, that doesn’t help those “know it alls” that tell you that you should have done more to prevent the break up in the first place.  Or, “I told you not to marry him as he wouldn’t make a good husband”.

I mean really, wouldn’t you like to strangle people they say such things.

It certainly is not constructive advice.

It’s like you are being blamed for not knowing beforehand that he might be breaking things off with you in the first place.

No rationale person enters into a marriage thinking they later things will end badly.  We all try our best to match up right with the “right” person.

Well, just be reminded that you are not a mind reader and in most cases the events that ultimately lead to a husband choosing to leave happen in real-time and it is not always obvious that a spouse is going to bail out.

In some situations, yes, you will see certain signs the marriage is on shaky ground.

But more often than not, when a husband decides to leave or part ways with his wife, it will frequently take you for a shock.

Even if you sensed it could happen.  You will still feel numb at your core.

It’s one thing to think of the worst case scenarios (e.g. “My husband will storm out and leave me all by myself.  My man is sick of me and is going to dump me.  My lover is fed up with this whole marriage thing and is going to call it quits“).

It’s altogether a different thing to deal with the actual reality of a husband deciding to walk.

So does it boil down to how to convince him to stay with me?“, one client asked me.

Or should we back up a bit and ask ourselves if it is better to just let one’s husband go?

Should you give him what he wants?

Should you just let him loose to explore what he thinks he knows will be best for him.

Are those workable recovery strategies?

And by the way, when thinking about a recovery strategy, you shouldn’t simply focus on the marriage recovering or getting back to the norm.

Recovery, as I like to discuss it, also involves recovery from the emotional baggage that comes from a couple splitting up.

It’s not just the marriage getting back up on its feet.  That is a challenge all unto itself.

Why Might It Be Important To Give Your Husband Time To Recover.

just let him go

I think this question of what to do boils down to two primary schools of thought.

The first notion works like this…

Do everything you can think of to stop your husband from leaving. The fear is that once he leaves, the marriage is now exposed and he may never come back.

He will get use to living without you and your resentment levels will continue to grow, making a reconciliation near impossible.  At least, that is logic behind this school of thought.

The notion that you may lose him forever is also powerful fear as evidenced by many married women who often turn to begging their husband not to leave.

Sometimes trying to appeal to their husband’s sense of the sanctity of marriage pays dividends.  I have seen situations in which the husband will come to his senses and back off, particularly after the emotions have settled down.

It is true that sometimes a guy will overreact and threaten to walk out of your life, though that is not his true intentions.

But is this the best approach?

The second school of thought is to let him leave.

If your husband is attacking you with false threats of walking out, it could be useful to see just how far he is willing to take these threats.

After all, telling your wife you are going to leave the marriage is not something one should just use as a bargaining chip.  So shame on your husband if that is his “play”.

It could also be true that your husband is incredibly frustrated with the direction of the relationship.

From his point of view, things are not going well and he needs to be alone.  He feels compelled to escape.   He may need time to process everything that is going on.  So under this thesis, it may very well serve him and you both if you simply just give him the room he needs.

How much room should you give your husband?

Hang on, I promise to get into that.

But let me say, unless you are quite certain that your husband is simply bluffing and issuing an empty threat to leave you, I tend to favor the theory that it will serve you better in the long run to apply some finesse and support his decision to leave.

The idea is you should let him do exactly what he “thinks” he wants to do.

If he is convinced that marriage is a wreck and that the two of you have irreconcilable differences, then in most cases there is little you will be able to do to change your husband’s mindset.

While your internalized thoughts and fears may be screaming, “don’t let him go”, just remember that it is not the anxious voices you should listen to during such moments.

If your husband is headstrong and if the current atmosphere of the marriage is bleak, then your husband’s choice to leave may very well be part of a better long term solution.

We can get caught up in chasing after  unproductive relationship dead ends, particularly when our emotions have taken over.

As emotions rise, our logical, rational mind can take a vacation.

When confronted with a fear, a person will sometimes succumb to their worse instincts.

It may not serve you to act in a needy fashion or make desperate attempts to keep the status quo.

If anything, such behaviors can be perceived as turnoffs by your husband and may further cement his desire to put distance between you and he.

A great social scientist, Abraham Maslow, taught us many years ago that men and women have certain needs that must be satisfied and these needs can be ranked by their level of importance.

The hierarchy of needs start with a cluster including food, safety, and security.

Once these needs are met, we move to higher level  behavioral needs such as love and belongingness, then self esteem and eventually reaching a self actualized state where one’s full potential and creativity is achieved.

If a wife gets broadsided by their husband about his desire to leave, it is understandable that the wife could feel vulnerable around just getting these primary needs satisfied, never mind the needs of love or a sense of belonging.

So not feeling safe and secure is often high on the list of things that cause panic to kick into high gear.

Therefore, it is no too surprising that breakups can be so hard as one tries to process what it all means and how it impacts them personally.

But my sense is that once you realize your minimum needs will be met as well as some of the higher needs, it behooves you not to push the panic button.

It may serve you to not fight against your husband’s desire to leave.  Though I would argue you should apply some finesse which I will get into.

There will likely come a time, particularly after the confusing emotions have died down, where you and your husband can better process what is the best thing to do going forward.

Hopefully you and your husband can get there without him departing.

What If You Choose To Convince Him To Stay With You?

should you choose to fight for him to stay

If you feel your husband is not truly serious about leaving you or is acting immaturely and needs some steering, how do you bring him back to his senses?

What can you do to get your husband to see that leaving and breaking up the marriage is likely to make things even worse.

No doubt, there are occasions when the husband acts stupidly and puts it out there that he is going to walk.

No sooner than when the words leave his mouth, your husband’s ego may take center stage as he feels compelled to defend his proclamation.

Isn’t this how it sometimes unfolds.  A husband get’s himself all worked up and with an outburst declares he has had it and is leaving.

What the heck can you do?

Buy Time To Reason With Your Husband

In such situations when it seems obvious to you that your husband has overreached, my advice is try to slow down time.

Say things slowly.  Think carefully before you speak.  Move slowly.  In time, your behavior, like mirror, will influence how he behaves and he will begin to reflect how you are acting.

I refer to this as “Slow Down Therapy“.

It is easy for a husband and wife to get very excited during an argument.  When conflicts arise or when threats or ultimatums are issued, everything will seem to be moving fast.

Before either of you realize it, a great many bad and ugly things may be said.   Your physical gestures may also become more aggressive.  None of this is good.

When this happens, couples usually end up blowing up the fight and they can reach the point of no return.

So if you think your husband is acting irrationally and is talking about packing and leaving, then it will serve you to adopt this “Slow Down Therapy”.

Without him realizing it, you can have a more positive impact on his behavior and hopefully ratchet down the pressure and strain.

Calmer minds do often prevail.

What If  Your Husband Leaves For Just A Little While

let him go for awhile

Sometimes it may serve you to support your husband’s desire to leave, but not in the traditional sense.

Instead of walking out in a huff and puff or packing his things to leave indefinitely, it may be best to suggest that if he is so dead set on leaving, just do so in a less impactful way.

This is what Alice told me when she faced a similar situation:

My husband was really hot and bothered.  He was angry at me for an emotional affair I finally admitted to.  I tried to convince him that it was immature and stupid of me and there was no physical component to the emotional attachment I had with a guy at work.  But he was furious and demanded that we get a divorce and was packing up to leave.  I knew in my heart he loved me and what I did should not be a marriage deal breaker, so I just told him he was right to be angry and disappointed in me.  Then I just kept slipping in suggestions like ‘ we shouldn’t call it quits’ and that ‘we have a good marriage and can recover from this’.  I told him if he must, just get a hotel for a couple of nights and we can talk about our next moves when he is ready’.  I told him I would happily move out of the bedroom for now.  I could see he was confused about what to do and where to go and I kept reinforcing I was wrong and he was right to feel this way and I told him if it was me that I would want to get out for a spell to clear my head.  I kept telling him calmly that I felt ashamed, but that I am a good person and so was he.  I tried to avoid being combative or starting up trouble, though in my own mind I knew why I was drawn into the emotional affair.  My husband is not very affectionate and often ignores me, but I knew this was not the time to get into all that.” 

Whatever path you choose to take, just be reminded that you have choices in how you wish to handle this matter on your end.

That doesn’t mean you will be able to change your husband’s mind.

But if you read the situation carefully, you have a better than average chance of crafting a response that will serve you best in the long run.

When Is It Time To Ditch and Divorce Your Husband

Has your marriage eroded to a point where you feel it’s time to ditch your husband?

Knowing when to ditch or divorce your husband versus hanging in there and perhaps turning the relationship around is a very important calculation.

No doubt, you have invested your heart and soul into making your marriage work on many levels.

It has been important to every woman I have counseled for them to do everything they can to save their relationship.

And no doubt, you as well as every woman in your place has agonized over whether you have done everything possible to turn things around.

agonizing over breaking up the marriage

But sometimes you come up short.  The magic you and your husband once had fades from your memory and is replaced with difficulty, sadness and anxious times.

I am sure that is not what you had in mind when you got married in the first place.

But the reality is that a struggling marriage at some point can cause you to make a life changing decision.

If your marriage with your husband ends, don’t think of it as your failure or his failure.

It is easy to get down on ourselves when our relationship is not working.

But the reality is that you cannot be certain that when you committed your life to the man your married that everything would turn out beautifully.

You want it to and you do things to try to make that a reality, but predicting long term chemistry and how suitable a couple will be when living together years down the road is not a science.

So many things around you and about you or around and about your husband can change for the better or worse.

Predicting how all these things will align or conflict is impossible.

Give up on the marriage is not always the best avenue to take.  I wrote about this recently….

I Have Given Up On My Marriage to My Husband

So don’t feel bad if you have arrived at the junction of possibly ending things with the man you intended to live with your whole life.

Trust me, it is nothing to feel ashamed about.

It’s OK to feel bad and disappointed.  But after trying your best to make things right in your marriage, sometimes it pays to move on.

There are plenty of women out there who have given it there all and after years of suffering, finally decided it was enough.   There comes a when it is no longer fruitful to try and make a dysfunctional marriage work.

I have come across many women who gave it everything which is admirable.

At what point do you decide there is no more left to be given to the marriage?

Sometimes to keep giving is to bring further misery to your life.  There is point where you are left exhausted, feeling empty.

In such cases, when much is taken, little remains to give back.

Is There Still a Chance My Marriage Will Work Out?

will your marriage with him work out

No doubt, sometimes it is better to cut your losses and leave that good for nothing husband of yours, right?

OK, so that is the sad side of the record.

Flip it and you might find another story.

Sometimes when you come upon that marriage crossroads there might be an opportunity to save the marriage.

In my experience, much like the Robert Frost poem where two roads diverged, taking the less traveled road can lead to the marriage recovering.

Not always, but sometimes.

There are usually some telltale signs you can consider that might lead you to believe there is still hope….that you and your husband will cast aside most of the problems of the past and work on paving the way for a beautiful relationship.

And we will get into some of those things you ought to consider.

But I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that sometimes a woman (or man) may cling too long to a marriage that is dysfunctional.

She may want so much for things to work out that she will lose perspective and not realize that recovering her marriage is truly a lost cause.

She may not realize that it serves her better to put her energies to bear on working on her personal recovery and a new future.

As you probably well know, difficult and failing marriages takes a toll on its players.

If you have been married to a man who has for years made your life nothing short of miserable, you are probably feeling like a reduced person in some ways and a different person in other ways.

It wouldn’t be unusual for you to be engaged in a personal battle with yourself as to whether you should try again to make the marriage work or if you should just hang it up.

Has Your Marriage Troubles Changed You?

have you changed because of him

Failing marriages change us.

Yes, you stay feel like you and have the same core personality traits.  But a part of you may have taken a turn toward cynicism when a relationships implodes.

There may be a bit more disillusionment in your mind as you size up the institution of marriage.  You may have lost a bit of confidence in your ability to make the right decision about who you wish to trust and love.

Despite this, there are many women who continue to cling to the hope that their husband will change his ways and that somehow and someway all of the problems they have experienced will go through some kind of auto correction mode.

Of course such thoughts are often a pipe dream.

There are no free passes for going back and starting over.

Chances are that the genesis of your marriage problems could be found in the very beginning when you both thought the match of the two was made in heaven.

Since you can’t turn the clock back, where does that leave you?

Essentially, you are left with making a very important decision on which path you which to follow.

When Will You Know It’s Time To Divorce and Leave Your Husband?

when will it be time to leave your husband

I get so many questions on this topic.

I so much wished I had a secret formula that allowed me to gather up all of our personal data….all of the good and bad of your marriage experience….then run the numbers and come up with a recommendation.

Unfortunately, no such equation exists.  And if someone ever tells you they have such a program, run far away from them!

One principle that I do put some stock on is if you are undecided about breaking up your marriage, then it probably is not time.

Maybe it never will be.  After all what you should strive to do is find a solution that enables you and your husband to come together, not drift farther apart.

Sometimes I can tell when a woman is tortured with indecision with the way she poses her question to me or how she tells me her story. This usually gives me a clue that she might not have really thought of all of the angles.

It’s a big deal when you look your husband in the eye and tell him you no longer love him and want to leave.

Or, perhaps you still do love your man, but feel like the two of you have drifted far apart over the years.

That decision to end things with your husband carries a big weight.  There is little room for indecision.

So what should you hang your hat on?

You will know that you no longer wish to be with your husband when your view of the future with him at your side pales in comparison to those times with him in the past.

Arriving at that view takes a lot of perspective and contemplation.  It also requires some critical thinking and a fair accounting of whether you and your husband have the capability to change certain unhealthy relationship behaviors.

What road you end up taking often depends on the nature, frequency and depth of the problems you have had in the past.

If frequent conflict has been the core of your problems, then can you both learn to significantly reduce conflict?

Have you tried?

How did that work out?

How long have you tried?  How often has these marriage problems afflicted your relationship?

As you can see, there are a lot of questions you need to ask yourself and getting to an objective truth is not always easy.

If the core problem of your marriage has been a breakdown in trust such as your husband had an affair or you betrayed your partner, there is a whole host of things to consider.

Singular problems in a marriage can usually be addressed and the relationship can be saved.

But when the marriage is weighed down by scores of issues, it can be difficult to pick up the pieces.

When you find yourself surrounded by a lot of marriage issues (sexual incompatibility, trust, conflict, different values, etc), then the road to marriage recovery can be long and winding and you may never reach the end.

So if you have not resolved your doubts, then you have more marriage work cut out for you.

Having invested so much into your marriage, you will not want to give up without having some degree of certainty that you are making the right decision for you and those you love.

It’s OK to have doubts.  That is normal and expected.

It’s just that one should best work out those doubts before they arrive at the final decision and take action to bring their marriage to a screeching halt.

Am I Doomed To Be Forever Unhappy in Marriage?

are you doomed in marriage

You sure wouldn’t be the first to struggle with what to do.

So don’t beat yourself up and don’t feel you are doomed.  I am fond of saying there are always options.  The future is always moving.

I may not feel like it to you now, but trust that if you set your mind to it and think rationally through all your options, you can find a better place and better life.

Again, I realize you may be going through a really life patch in your marriage.

For example, some of my clients initially reached out to me wondering….

I loved him so much in the beginning, but now I wonder if it was just my emotions talking.  I have met someone else who is kind and loving and  I think he is the one.  Should I leave my husband for my soulmate”?

 Chris, my husband is giving up on our marriage and I really don’t know why I keep trying.  I think it’s just the notion that I have somehow failed.  I know it’s just not me to blame for this mess of a life. But I can’t help but wonder if this is it.  Do you have some advice on how to be sure your marriage is over?

As I discussed earlier, it is tough to know when to pull the rip cord and get out of a failing marriage.

You don’t want to leave prematurely if there is still a chance the relationship can improve.

After all, you have invested a lot of your blood, sweat, and tears.

But more than that, you have very likely cataloged a lot of great memories and experiences.  These things are not without value.  They matter.

These shared moments in time keeps couples together and helps revive marriages.  And that is the nature of all relationships.  There will be up and down cycles and fighting your way back from the tough times is as important as rejoicing  when you and your lover were bringing much joy to each other.

Nor do you want to remain immersed in a toxic marriage environment.

If it’s abusive and/or exceptionally unfulfilling even after efforts to make things better, then you will regret not breaking it off.

Sometimes a married couple can get locked into such destructive tendencies that they get pulled into the inertia of their circumstance.  A couple can get caught up into the same battles and as the marriage suffers, like some kind of cruel “Groundhog Day” effect,  they can repeat their destructive behaviors over and over again.

Then there are those who are caught in between.

Their marriage brings them little happiness but it might serve a practical need. Maybe it’s about raising the children in a stable environment.  Perhaps it has more to do with finances.

If you find that your marriage is less of a relationship and more of a partnership or something you do for convenience, ask yourself if what you want for the rest of your life is what you are doing now.

If the answer is “No, I am not doing what I wish to do for the rest of my life“, then perhaps leaving the marriage in the immediate future is not the pragmatic or the wisest choice.

But you should not feel like you are doomed forever to your current predicament.

The future is always moving with different possibilities and you will always have choices as the circumstances around you change.

Isn’t that what we should all do in life?

We only have a brief time here on earth, true?

The earth has been around over 5 billions years.  While we are fortunate to enjoy the majestic gift of life, even if it’s just 70 to 80 years, why not make it count?

Shouldn’t we  make the most of our situation that we find ourselves in, while at the same time seek to improve our situation in the future?

I think so.

And within this approach, you may choose to stay, leave, or delay your break up with your husband….whatever brings you and those you love the greatest fulfillment in life in those years you have remaining.

I Need Time and Space Away From My Husband

Have you every felt if you spent another minute with your husband you would scream and pull out all of your hair?

Have you ever been in a situation where all you could think about is how to get away from your husband?

Does it feel like a matter of survival?  Do you feel your marriage is under the trial of fire and if there is not some kind of timeout, the relationship is going to blow up?

time to get away from him

You might be on the edge of just walking out the door because your husband is driving your crazy.

Men can do that to you, as you well know.  (Note: To be fair to the guys, some women can drive them a little haywire too).

If you feel like giving up on your marriage but need some time to yourself to get in touch with your feelings, you must might find a solution here in this article.

I would also recommend you take a look at the post below if you feel like you are getting close to the bottom.

I Have Given Up On My Marriage to My Husband

It seems that the longer I am in this business of talking with and helping people with their relationships, the matter of compatibility often comes up.

But once you are married, you can’t go back in time and revisit the compatibility checklist.

For what it’s worth, no married couple scores 100% on the compatibility scale.

That is why the wisest of couples understand that marriages are love affairs in progress and the partners constantly seek to make their union all the better.

So let’s get back to your need to possibly escape your husband.

There are multiple ways in which you can handle the moment if your husband is driving you to the edge of insanity.

It is almost always best not to rush to judgement in matters of the heart.

But in the instance in which you may be the recipient of  extreme emotional or physical abuse, the situation calls for a different response (i.e. rapid response).

We will take each matter, break it down and offer you some solutions.

Let’s start first with creating some space from the guy you are with.

Whether it be your marriage with your husband or a relationship you have with a boyfriend, the need to get away and get some freedom could be just the remedy you are looking for.

Help! I Need Space In My Relationship

I need space from my man

Lately, I have been getting a lot of questions from married women about needing a break from their husband for a lot of different reasons.

Such a break can range from a temporary time out to a lengthy multi day or week separation from the man you are married to.

This approach is not for every married couple because a lot men and women are relatively happily married and they don’t want or need to be apart.

But for others, a little absence can not only make the heart grow fonder, it can also save the two partners from spinning out of control.

I hear all the time from ladies about the value of creating some space.

I think of it as making room for you to rediscover yourself.  To accomplish this, you will need to break the routines of your marriage life which can be hard to do.

But for some marriages, it can be the difference of blowing your mind wide apart from the struggles to getting a much-needed reprieve from the madness of marriage.

Chris, can you please tell me the signs I just watch out for that tells me I need space from my husband.

I can’t believe that I didn’t do this sooner.  My husband and I have been fighting way too much and I feel trapped and drowned out by this marriage. I have learned that I need alone time in our relationship, otherwise I feel like I am losing control over who I am.

Chris, how do I tell my husband I need space without breaking up the marriage?

Sometimes I need space and alone time with my man, but other times I need to be alone with myself.  Being married to a guy who understands my needs and is not put off by my desire to go it alone at times makes all the difference.

Lately, Chris, all I can think of is being as far away from my husband as possible. I don’t know if this is a healthy way of looking at my marriage.  But I have had enough and I can’t stand the thought of spending another minute with him.  Is there such a thing as an emergency getaway for wives who are sick of their husbands!

Why Do Women Need To Get Away From Their Husband or Boyfriend?

walking out of relationship

There are dozens of reasons why you may need to get away from your husband or boyfriend.  Let me list a few:

  • You might need to simply recharge your battery because the stresses of the relationship is weighing you down.  What better way to do that than to remove yourself from the normal routines of marriage.  If you have a husband who understands and respects your need for freedom and the importance of you having an opportunity to regain your individualism, then count yourself lucky. This could be an outing for an entire day with yourself or with close friends.  Or it could be longer than that. Just doing something that is fun and helps you reshape your perspective about how small your problems really are can do wonders for your psyche.
  • Assume that you are involved in a very difficult relationship and the man you are with is just making your life hell.  Probably the worst thing you can do is keep on repeating the same routines and finding yourself again and again at the door of conflict.  Wouldn’t it be better for you and your husband (or boyfriend) to spend some quality time away from each other.  He and you may still be very much in love, but your mutual love for each other cannot be counted on to resolve the many ups and downs you will experience in marriage.  In this case, an extended outing may be in order.  A long weekend with your girlfriends might just help reset your emotional center.  And your husband will benefit as well.  The love between the two of you only becomes more apparent with absence.  While this won’t necessarily address the root cause of why the marriage is struggling, it will help you gain a calmer state of mind and allow you and your husband wrestle back control of your marriage.  It will take a plan and commitment on both sides.
  • Consider a scenario in which your husband and you have been struggling a long time.  Assume the marriage has gotten emotionally abusive with both of you sharing blame in the department.  Neither of you want a divorce or even a separation, but something needs to change.  Consider a marriage intervention that involves you both agreeing to a mini period of separation.  Sometimes you need space to work out your own personal baggage, before you can even tackle the problems of the relationship.  And just possibly, getting away from your husband for a spell might just jar him into the realization that things are very wrong and the two of you had best start working on some solutions.
  • Sometimes you might need to part with your husband simply to survive.  I am not referring to a physical abuse situation, though such a circumstance must be taken extremely seriously and one would be best serve to act with haste if they are physically threatened or abused.  But what if your boyfriend or husband turned into a rotten kind of guy.  Let’s say he is extremely abusive or the marriage is so fragile, you worry not just about your state of mind, but whether the relationship can last another day.   In these situations, it may be critically important to get out of the relationship.  As to how long and what might be your next steps, these are all good questions.  My thoughts are you will be better prepared to answer those questions once you are out of a terrible predicament. Regain your sanity and create a safe space for yourself and let some time unfold.

Do You Need To Leave Your Husband

is it time to walk away from married life

So what is the deal with your marriage?

Do you need to get away and leave for your own emotional well-being?

Or are you on the fence because what has been going on is on one hand, highly upsetting, but not a relationship buster?

Do you often find yourself highly upset and on the edge of panic due to marital strife?

These are all appropriate questions and how you proceed largely depends on your individual circumstance with your husband or boyfriend.

Obviously, there are a lot of things to take into consideration such as:

  • How long have you and your husband been married?
  • Has the marriage been largely successful and only recently the two of you have struggled?  Or has the desire to put distance between you and your husband been dragging on for a long time?
  • Are there any redeeming qualities that your man possesses to build upon?
  • Do you have young children and what might be the impact on their lives?  Do they have strong relationship with their father?
  • How independent are you financially?  Do you depend solely on your husband to provide the basics of life?
  • Have you left your man before?  How many times?
  • Does your husband have a history of poor relationships?
  • Is your family nearby or do you have reliable friends that are willing to support you emotionally and financially if you choose to step away from the marriage?
  • How might your husband react to you temporarily leaving?  Would he be supportive or would it be yet another log on the fire that he would use against you?  (Comment:  If your man was to use your decision to take time for yourself and for the betterment of the marriage and turn it into a divisive matter, then that reveals volumes about the guy you are married to).

As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider before one decides to take leave their husband, even if it is just for the short-term.

I am sure someone out there has created a “leaving husband checklist” to assist you with such a decision.

After all, as I alluded to above, there can be a lot of relationship complications with making such an intervention.

But the complications around such a move can rarely be captured on a checklist or some quiz you take.

Our individual situations are all so unique.

For example, “how to leave your husband when you have a child” has its own unique set of complications.  I would imagine that checklist would be rather long as well.

I Am Ready To Get Away From My Husband: What’s Next?

ending things with him

I often get inquiries from women about “if I am leaving my husband what do I do first”.

That is tough to answer given the complexity of each person’s situation.

But usually the first thing I advise is make sure you are leaving for the right reasons.

Don’t make such a decision with your right brain (emotional side).  This is when you have to ensure that it is not your emotions you are listening to.

So as a result, your emotional state when you are considering leaving your husband is an important consideration.

Be sure to think about some of the basics first.

You will need to take into account things like whether you should or can leave your husband when you have no money.

How important is it that you get away and how long do you intend to stay away are also important considerations?

If we are talking a long-term separation, then the decision tree you should consider is even more complicated.  Breaking up with the intention of being away from each other for a very long time or forever is a high stake relationship decision.

Also, remember this, whether you leave or stay, neither of these two paths will necessarily be easy.

So prepare yourself for a journey of self discovery.

You may stumble and struggle along the way, but that doesn’t mean that you chose wrong.

Try not to allow yourself to get overwhelmed with the prospect.

The gravity of simply remaining in your marriage can be powerful.

But if you have rationally examined all of the advantages and disadvantages of stepping away from the relationship, you will feel more confident with your decision.

Also, consult with people and sources you trust.  Don’t rely on any one source or person.

Also, remember the three critical things we all need to survive is food, shelter, and a sense of safety.  If these three things are in place, then you will likely land on your feet.  But you will still have a lot of work ahead of you to normalize your life.

On the other hand, if you are like the lady who told me, “I want to leave my husband but have nowhere to go”, then you have some work to do right now.

It would be unwise to leave in a panic.  I am big on thinking these things through and coming up with a plan.  I also think sometimes we need to shift our paradigm and try a different approach.

With the lady above who had been fighting with her husband for ages, I simply asked her if she ever thought of asking him to leave.  “Why must you leave“, I asked?

She wasn’t sure he would leave and didn’t want a huge confrontation.

So I told her, “look, if you really need to create some space between you and your husband for however long and are dead set on making that happen, then why not at least ask him to leave. Irrespective of which way you go, the two of you will likely butt heads when it comes time to tell him.

My thinking was let him deal with looking for a place.  The most likely negative outcomes would be the husband telling her “No” or he drags his feet.

None of these outcomes prevented her from leaving later or staying with friends or family.

As it turned out, he eventually left when he realized she was serious about leaving if he didn’t.   Their initial agreement was to live apart for 60 days then meet to seriously explore what might be the next move.

After two weeks, they met and came up with a plan of understanding and he moved back in.  It was a bit sooner than I preferred, but when I last checked they were progressing well with some of the problems they were experiencing.

How Can I Make My Husband Stop Hurting Me

When your husband constantly stoops to playing mind games to get the upper hand or elects to verbally and viciously berate you, making your feel worthless, then something needs to change.

I say, something needs to change pronto if you want him to stop hurting you.

Let’s call it what it is….emotional abuse.

my man hurts my feelings

When your husband says ugly and hurtful things to you on what seems like a daily basis, then what we have is a clear-cut story of emotional abuse.

One can sweep it under the carpet and pretend that such an environment is just part of the rough and tumble of being married.

But I warn you, emotional abuse that occurs with any frequency is poison to a relationship.

I often am contacted by women who tell me things like, “my husband often hurts my feelings and doesn’t care” or “he is a monster inside and just seems to get his kicks hurting me and tearing down our marriage“.

I even have had men admit to me, “I know I hurt my wife emotionally but I don’t know how to stop myself”. 

These abusive husbands have also complained to me, “my wife but doesn’t respect me and I don’t know what to do”.

I usually give them a straight dose of truth.  It actually helps to shake some guys out of their ignorance or delusion.

Really“, I will tell them,  “You expect your wife to show you respect and love and obey after what you said and did?

First of all, forget this notion of “obey”.  A wife should not simply obey her husband just because it was in the marriage vow.

We no longer live in the dark ages or in a world where it seems only appropriate for the dutiful wife to obey her husband.

No wonder your wife shows you disrespect“, I will explain to some select clients. “You don’t deserve it and you don’t deserve her if you keep behaving this way.”

As I said, sometimes I turn to “shock and awe” to get their attention!

Possibly, they will learn to change.

Which raises another question, can you make your husband change the way he has been treating you?

Well, guess what!  I recently wrote about this in the post to follow…..

How Can I Make My Husband Change His Ways

Sometimes though, you have to wonder how certain men come to believe they are entitled to “putting their wife in her place or dumping on her when things are not going so well for themselves”.

Is it an old-fashioned sentiment that some men secretly cling to?

You know….like the notion they are the “master of the house”.

Or does it reflect the reality that some husbands are simply rotten guys?

OK, so maybe it isn’t always quite that bad.

married to a rotten guy

Though I once spoke to a very confused husband who told me that he felt it was his right to take out his anger on his wife if she dared talked back to him.

Yup, this guy was a lot of fun.

He believed that all of the personal power in the marriage should belong to him and that his wife was there to love and respect.

He spoke of her mission to honor him and if he needed to unload or vent a lot of emotion because he was having  a rough day, then she needed to deal with it and be his “pillar of rock”.

Yes that is how he described  it.

In reality he wanted his wife to be his door mat.

Then in the same breath he told me he could not understand why his wife would not go along with his wishes and why she was so combative.

He said,  “she looks at me with this cold stare and I swear she wants to tear my eyes out.”

He seemed shocked when I told him I would feel the same way.

Unfortunately, sometimes I get clients whose beliefs about marriage are so warped and different from my own, I find myself running up against a wall of stupidity and ignorance.

Perhaps some of these men also have a good dose of narcissism.

Certainly, some of these husbands have a cruel streak in them.

I know that for sure.

Bad to the bone you might say.

I cannot know which of  these things might be true of your husband.

But with this guy I was trying to help, it was clear to me that his lack of tolerance and kindness would be the undoing of the marriage.

What I really wanted to do was help his wife escape the grip this guy had on her life.

So as you can see, not every guy out there is wired in the same way.

Every husband brings into the marriage a certain set of beliefs or attitudes which form the basis of how he sees his role in the marriage and how he should treat his wife.

What can I say.  Some guys are keepers.

And some guys you should just cast away.

Hopefully, you married a guy who is a keeper.

I am also sad to report that abuse in marriage is not unusual.

Verbal or emotional abuse is more common.  Physical abuse is less so, but is a deal breaker in a marriage.

Emotional abuse can take on many forms.

And it when it becomes pervasive and an everyday part of how the couple interacts, then the marriage is headed nowhere good.

That of course, is putting it mildly.

So what are the things an abusive husband might say?

What are the things husbands do to destroy marriages and ruin their chances of reconciliation?

Is there a list of behaviors a guy acts out that might warn you that he is shaping up to be a bad husband?

More often than not it is when your husband is showing a pattern of using emotional abuse to deal with his own demons.

When you lose count of the number of times he hurts you for essentially no good reason at all, then the warning bells should be sounding.

So what should you do about it?

Well, let’s pull back a few layers to this problem.

What Are The Ways In Which An Abusive Husband Operates

an abusive guy hurts you

There are some men out there who are devoted husbands.

They wish to please you and make your life happy and full of joy.

But even these well-intentioned husbands can fall off the wagon now and again and stoop to their worse selves.

Their lesser selves.  A version of themselves that you might not even recognize and when you see it, you are repulsed by it.

Do you sometimes fear the way your husband might act?

Are you disgusted by certain behaviors your husband chooses to exhibit during tough times?

Have you come to resent your husband for his treatment of you?

Anger can rise up inside your husband and temporarily turn him into a monster.

You can stand there, perfectly innocent and not knowing that an abusive verbal attack is about to come over you like waves sloshing on a beach.  Then out of no where, your husband can lose his cool, get red in the face, and start attacking everything near and around him.

If that happens to be you, look out.  His abuse and unfiltered waves of ugliness might just wash all over you.

I call this kind of abuse “Temporary Mad Man“.

Does Your Husband Show Signs of Being a Temporary Mad Man?

is your man mean to you all the time

OK, so I am not saying that your husband is bat sh#t crazy.

I am not suggesting the man you married is insane.

But I am telling you there are a lot of men who, given the right circumstances, can become unglued and start throwing anger darts in every which direction.

Does you husband sometimes suddenly morph into the most unreasonable, nasty acting man in the room?

Does your husband sometimes  just lose it and resorts to dishing out a massive dose of hateful words and gestures?

Well, if you have witnessed any of these things, it is probably because your husband was seized by emotions and feelings that he could not bring under control at that moment and you happened to be right there with him when this transformation unfolded.

Men who behave like this don’t usually act this way toward you often.  It may be a rare thing.  Or it could happen more frequently than you like, but it has not developed into a routine.

And when your husband starts doing or saying things that are terrible and hurtful and painful to hear and experience, you can tell he is acting way out of character.

What is often the case is that when his outburst is all over, he will almost literally crawl back to you to ask for forgiveness, telling you things like “I don’t know what got into me” or “I am so sorry for what I did and said. I was cruel and insensitive and I hope you can find it within you to give me another chance.

This is why I characterize your husband’s mania as temporary madness.

It is like in one moment he is this lovely, caring man you married, who sincerely desires to work with you on problems of life; then in the next moment your husband is transformed into this hate monster who spews out awful words and contorts and screws up his face in the most hateful manner

There is no excuse for his behavior.

Later, your husband might try to offer one telling you something like, “Honey, you know me, I am just a passionate guy and sometimes I just need to let it all hang out“.

Well, of course, this is all bull shit.

If your husband turns into a temporary monster, he needs to acknowledge it fully.

It is not healthy or constructive for the marriage if your guy just excuses himself as having a bad day or being a really passionate husband.

Those kind of replies are forms of denial.

You Can Reason With Most Men

you can get him to listen

The good news is that when the storm of his temporary madness has passed, you can reason with your husband again.

It is like what he once was in those unforgettable moments (i.e. a vicious, mean husband) never happened.  Whatever angry spirit possessed him, is gone and your husband is back.

Naturally you will feel relieved that the chaos has subsided and your real husband is back, standing there before you acting normal and nice.

And that is all good.

It is good to know your husband is not going to be permanently possessed or routinely possessed by this angry spirit that causes him to be hateful and mean-spirited towards you.

It is understandable you feel this way.

You don’t want him hurting you anymore.

Emotionally you have had enough of his abuse that seemed to come out of nowhere.  And with things returning to normal, it is easy for one to want to put it all behind them just as soon as possible.

After all, who wants to dredge up any more talk about the awful things that just happened.

It was most likely just a one-off type of episode and will never happen again, you might tell yourself.

We often delude ourselves into thinking everything that appears normal on the surface means that things are OK deeper under the surface.

Psychologically it is a lot easier not to confront the genesis of what caused the ugly scene.

It is easier to just avoid thinking about it anymore.  Many wives are far too eager to embrace the normalcy that has returned, convincing themselves that what happened didn’t really happened or that it will never ever happen again.

But I would suggest that don’t leave it at that.

Don’t just accept whatever feeble apology or excuse your husband may offer up.

Even if you believe in all your heart that his apology and regrets is completely sincere, then forgive, but don’t forget.

The fact is that if such an outburst happens even just that one time, it could occur again, then again, even with more frequency.

This is how unattractive habits and routines can form and gain traction in our relationship.

Protecting Yourself From Your Husband’s Hateful Outbursts

protect yourself from a horrible husband

So you need to take action to inoculate and protect yourself and your marriage from this sort of thing happening again.

I am not saying there is a surefire way to ensure your husband will never become unglued again and dump all over you.

But unless you address his behavior, the chances are greater that when the right circumstances all align, he may yet again resort to hurting you.

He might not set out to do such a thing, but given his previous patterns of behavior, you may find yourself in a situation where your husband is once again abusive and nasty to the core.

So how do you stop such a wave of hate?

The last thing you want is to get your feelings hurt again and again.  I think of it as being slimed by your husband.

Emotional abuse is like waves of verbal nastiness that comes crashing down around you.

So what on earth do you do to stop it?

Consider doing two things.

First, acting proactively, make sure you get from your husband a heartfelt apology.

If he doesn’t apologize, well, we will talk about that a bit later.

Now, when he offers his apology, ask him to explain what he is apologizing for.

You want to make sure he understands the extent of his undesirable behavior.  It is not unusual for a guy to emotionally go into denial and try to conveniently forget just how cruel and abusive he acted toward you.

So ask him to describe what he said that was so inappropriate.  This helps get it all out in the open.

People have a way of forgetting things they care not to remember.

Your guy might downplay it to try and minimize his own inappropriate behavior.

What Was My Husband Thinking When He Said Those Awful Things To Me?

what was my man thinking

When your husband completely lost it and started saying cruel things to you, he literally suspended that part of him that is empathetic to your needs.

When a guy is in such an angry state…..when he dishes out hurt upon hurt, he is often not cognizant of how he is making you feel.

He is inside of himself, internalizing his own feelings.  He is not thinking of yours.

All he knows is he wants to get the ugly emotions off his chest.  He may even try to purposely say things that are hurtful to you to satisfy some dark force inside him.

We all have that in us.  The dark side of our heart wants someone else to suffer, much like we are suffering inside.

We lash out because we ourselves are in pain.

You have heard of the saying, “misery loves company, right?”

Well, it is never more true than when a mean acting husband decides to pull down his wife into his world of misery.

So get your apology.

But also get your husband to acknowledge the awful things he said to you.

Then ask your husband (and this is important) to describe to you what he thinks “you” were feeling at the time he unloaded on you.

I think of this method as opening up your husband’ mind to expressing empathy.

Getting him to connect with the pain he has caused you might help persuade him to avoid this behavior in the future.

Empathy in marriage is a wonderful thing and when husband and wife can practice it frequently, it helps with keeping the relationship strong and healthy.

What is the second thing you want to accomplish if your husband hurts you with an abusive tirade?

I would argue that you need to insulate yourself from this sort of spontaneous or careless hateful act.

How do you do that?

Consider telling your husband a truth.

Tell him that you never, ever wish to see him like that again.

Explain to him that you have zero tolerance for any man who is abusive and who for whatever reason, loses control and hurts you.

Simply tell him that if he cannot control himself and resorts to abusive behavior, you will leave.

Explain to him, without any sense of it being an ultimatum, that you will walk out.

Do not subject yourself to abuse.

Of course, I am not advocating you leave the marriage.

But you don’t need to be present if your husband becomes temporarily possessed and decides he is going to turn his ugliness and fury in your direction.

There is nothing for you to gain by being around.

When he is in this temporary madman state, your presence enables him to potentially turn his vicious emotions at you.  So take away that opportunity.  Just leave.

Take a long walk.  Go for a drive.  Go shopping.  Go visit a friend.

It is not your job to save your husband from himself. He needs to learn to save himself.

The best way you can support him is to give him room.

Your departure will allow the ugly emotions that might be rising up within him to fall back again as he hopefully gains perspective around how he is damaging his marriage.

What Should I Do If My Husband Always Lashes Out and Hurts Me?

what should I do when he is cruel

It certainly is far easier to deal with a husband that comes under the spell of temporary madness.

If he rarely mistreats you in a hurtful way,  that is a much better circumstance than if you live with someone who seems to take some kind of perverse joy in making you miserable.

But how do you handle a husband who is always lashing out and actively seeks to bring hurt, pain, and sadness into your life?

I will be honest with you.  Using a baseball parlance, this kind of problem is a “tough out”.

And just perhaps the solution is doing just that.

Getting out.

Possibly getting out of your husband’s life forever.

Yes, sometimes a couple is so poorly suited for each other and the best solution is ending the marriage.

It is not usually the first option you turn to, but more often than not, it may be the best solution in the end if your husband doesn’t learn that ongoing emotional abuse is poison to the marriage.

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have heard from wives who have complained about the poor treatment they receive from their husband on an everyday basis.

When I encounter these women, some of which have terribly sad stories, I tend to get more philosophical with my advice to them.

I try to get them to see the big picture of who and what their husband has become.

I try to help these emotionally abused women understand the unhealthy attachment or “pull” a marriage can have on them, causing them to feel trapped.

I know, it sounds idiotic to think that a person who is being abused and feels trapped in their marriage is also attracted and unable to pull away from the orbit of the relationship.

But it happens everyday and psychologically it is easy for any of to become addicted to behaviors that are not healthy for us.

As we stayed married, a certain traction takes hold. The familiarity of our lives helps us feel secure.  Routines become regular and comfortable in their own way. It’s like inertia takes a grip of you moving you along.  If the marriage is full of love and stability, then this kind of traction is good.

But if the marriage is unhealthy, such traction can make it difficult to break away, even when we realize intellectually that what we are experiencing in the relationship is far from optimum.

I get these inquires from women who suffer every day, telling me horrible stories of a loveless marriage.

The want to know….

How can they make their husband stop lashing out at them in anger?

Wives will reach out to me and ask me “if someone lashes out at you on an everyday basis, should you leave or stay?

Some women will tell me about their sorrows and the disappointment they have in their husband, but then will seek to rationalize their husband’s behavior by saying he is lashing out only when stressed or he has nowhere else to put all his anger, so he comes to me.

My feeling is that when lashing out at someone you love becomes the norm, the marriage is flawed.

Occasionally I have had husbands ask me, “why do I lash out at my loved ones. Am I a bad person.  Do I need help?”

My answer is “No, you are not a bad or evil husband.  But you are behaving in a cruel and evil way which will utterly destroy your marriage if you don’t get help and learn to control and change your behavior”.

When it comes to marriage emotional abuse, there is no beating around the bush.

If the abuser is thinking that they for one moment are entitled to lash out, then the game is lost.

Sometimes shock and awe pays off when I consult to some of these men.

If you find yourself immersed in a marriage and despite your many efforts (e.g. talks, counseling, intervention by friends, books, etc) your husband still stoops to often being the worst version of himself….being abusive and lashing out over a long period of time, then you may be best served by breaking away.

By that I mean you should leave your husband or ask him to leave the house for some period of time. Depending on the severity of the situation, we could be talking days, or weeks.

You should also consider not having any contact with him for some period time as you explore whether you wish to be with this man.

I refer to it as the No Contact Principle.  You can read about it below.  There is no guarantee that it will solve all your problems, but it may very well do a lot of good for you and your partner.

Can You Save Your Marriage With The No Contact Rule?

So if you are up to your eyeballs in marriage muck, you need to pull yourself out of the situation.

And the no contact principle gives you an option to make an intervention in the marriage in such a way that it can potentially reset the relationship.

How Can I Make My Husband Change His Ways

Why is it that my husband seems to only want to do things his way?  

I hate it when he thinks he is always right and discounts everything I say. 

What do you do when the man you married refuses to meet you halfway or compromise?

This was the comment I received from a woman I was trying to assist.  She was extremely frustrated with her husband who was stubborn and unwilling to change his ways.  It was clear his behavior, if left unchecked, would continue to slowly erode the marriage.

He often criticized her, finding fault with almost everything she did or said.  It had gotten so bad she felt paralyzed with indecision.

Essentially, she was desperate to know how to get her husband to change his domineering ways.

getting my husband to stop misbehaving

If you are married to a guy who is set in his ways and doesn’t want to change, then I can imagine you must be at your wit’s end.

But if it helps, just know that you are not the only wife whose husband is stubborn and refuses to change.

Don’t think your man doesn’t love love you.  He does.  He just needs a little help showing it more.

And if you are looking for that little edge….perhaps to get your husband to show you more love, then things are looking up.  I just wrote a post about that topic…

How Do You Make Your Husband Fall In Love With You Again

Making your dreams of a great marriage become a reality requires work.  Sometimes you just have to come at it in a different way.

Such is the life of all relationships.

Welcome to the human race of the married folks!

We all have our challenges as we seek a better union.

What I Won’t Be Telling You!

time to think about your marriage

So as you read on, let me tell you what I won’t be talking about.

The solutions you can bring to bear for your situation won’t involve quick fix tactics.

I am afraid relationships simply don’t get better overnight.

I hate it when I read these articles that tell you things like, “How to change your husband in five days so he becomes your Prince Charming.”

No, no.  We are not going to walk down that road as it is not realistic.

Nor will we be venturing into the area of “my husband refuses to change so I am kicking him out for good.”

That is easy to say, but is not only impractical to implement, but is giving into to desperation and impassivity.   Never mind that it would likely create more friction and ultimately ruin your marriage.

Now, if it makes you feel better to say a few hundreds, go ahead, be me guest!

I am not going to tell you with great specificity what you should do when your husband won’t change his ways.

It just doesn’t work that way.

Everyone’s situation is unique and there is no secret recipe that can make your husband obey and honor and do all the things you want.

Psychologists describe the matter of a husband refusing to modify his ways as functional fixedness in marriage.

Did you get that?

Your husband is suffering from functional fixedness!

That’s a mouthful isn’t it?

Quite frankly, I am not even sure what that means, though it seems that if your man is really fixed in his ways, unbending to your wishes, then your marriage is likely dysfunctional.

So should you do first if you are looking for way to change your husband’s undesirable behavior?

Does it mean that you need to trade up!

Should you send out your husband to get a brain transplant!

Does it mean you should just give up and assume your husband will never change?

Fortunately, you have some other options.

All of Us Can Get Fixed in Our On Ways.

getting fixed in your ways

Almost all of us have an allegiance to certain things we like to do, say, and think.

Of course the problem with that is if what we are doing is self-destructive or is causing the marriage to suffer, then something certainly needs to change.

Unfortunately, if you are one of those women whose husband needs to change some of his behaviors, chances are that your man doesn’t see it the same way as you do.

He may think everything he does and says is just fine. He may be so comfortable in how he relates to you within the marriage, he figures why should he change?

Clearly it can be a marriage stopper if what your husband does and says to you is mean, ugly, and cruel.

Take this client for example…

I am married to a man who seems blind to how he treats me everyday.  He sits around every evening and cares little about talking to me. Seldom does he ask how my day was. My husband thinks he is the only one that carries stress.  When I want to watch something else on television, he snaps at me and goes into a tirade about how he just wants to relax and I should go and watch my shows on the other television upstairs. He frets all the time about life in general and blames me for pulling down his mood.  Frankly, I get so mad at him when he acts like that I want to slap him. My husband thinks I am the center of all his imagined troubles.  He makes me hate being around him, though I know this marriage will continue to fail if we don’t draw closer.  How can I get this stupid husband of mine to learn to treat me with some decency?

Chris, I can’t believe I fell for this good for nothing husband of mine.  He seemed like the right guy for me and said and did all the right things.  Honestly, I think it was the sex that drove our courtship and led us right into marriage.  I had visions of babies and loving experiences.  You know, the whole white picket fence thing.  I am highly sexual but it isn’t the thing that drives me.  I am afraid he just saw me as a woman with a big sexual appetite and figured he hit the jackpot and turned on all the charm just to keep the sexual thing alive.  But now that we are married and have settled into our routines, I see now what can a man he truly is.  It is almost shocking to discover the true nature of your husband.  He is obnoxious and often uncaring.  What I thought was confidence and a positive assertive nature, turned out to be a husband who is pig-headed and listens to no one but himself.  With what I am seeing on my end, I am not sure if he can change.  My husband is like blind to his own failings.  He is always mistreating me and shows me little respect to the point where is rude to me in public.   Is there any chance he will recognize what an awful person he can be  or am I stuck forever in this unfulfilling marriage?

I know it can be frustrating when you are married to a guy who is inflexible and doesn’t want to examine his own behavior.

And your relationship with your husband can turn out to be nothing like what you imagined it would be.

Unless you are one of those lucky women who found a man who is sensitive to how he is perceived and loves you so much that he will make mid-course changes in how he acts, then be prepared to reset your expectations.

I am not saying its impossible, but you will have your work cut out for you to get your husband to look at his role in the marriage in an entirely different way.

But fret not, because it is doable.

Focus on the High Hard Ones

don't over shoot and lose it with husband

You cannot usually make your husband change all his ways.

And it’s not just your man we are talking about.  People in general get set in their ways for a variety of reasons.

I have too often seen wives nag and berate their husband hoping this will lead to their man changing  how he acts.

That is the worst way to get your husband to modify his behavior.

Most men are going to escalate their undesirable behavior if you are constantly harping on it.  It is just the psychology of how men behave.

If you criticize your husband about something he is doing (or not doing), and try to tell him to “zig”, guess what?

Your guy is going to do the opposite. He will “zag”.

Even if he knows that he should follow along with what you say and it is probably the right solution, he will likely just keep repeating what he is doing out of stubbornness and spite.

A better, more effective strategy is to get your husband to focus on one thing at a time.

Make the focus on something that you believe to be very meaningful and if he was to change this behavior, it could make a difference in the relationship.

I am not saying that everything about your marriage will improve if you get him to change this one thing.

But it is often best not to bite off more than you can chew.

So how do you get this less than wonderful man you are hitched up with to see the relationship through the prism you are looking through?

I say your communication strategy needs to be presented with strategy and some flair.

It almost needs to be an intervention so what you are trying to get him to change is presented in a fashion that shines a big spotlight on what it is you want him to do differently.

I am not talking about you becoming a drama queen and giving your husband a tongue lashing or putting him in his place or giving him an ultimatum.

More often than not, that kind of response just sends your marriage backwards.

You need to be more clever and strategic and there has to be a win in it for him.

Motivating Your Husband To Change For You

be sexy for your husband

When I spoke to Leslie, she told me her husband had a habit of being critical of her during the evening hours.  It wasn’t just one thing he would complain about.  It often covered a variety of things.

He would make negative comments about her cooking and complain about not wanting to go out and how he has to fight with her about what to watch on television.

It sounds petty and stupid, but since it had been occurring for some time, she feared her marriage was headed the wrong way.

I agreed.  She and her hubby when in a big rut.  A bad relationship routine is another way of describing it.

She wanted to know how to change her husband’s attitude which too often came off as negative and sarcastic.

What she did to get him to “behave himself” as she described it was simple and straightforward, yet made an immediate impact on the way they interacted during the evening hours.

Chris, I simply caught him when he was in a good mood and was behaving himself.  So to reinforce this behavior I slipped into something rather skimpy and got to work on him in those ways that he really likes.  It was highly sexual and aggressive, even for me, but as things progressed, I told him why I liked the way he was acting and in a subtle way  expressed there was a lot more of this to come if he could try to be on his best behavior a bit more often  The impact was amazing in the weeks to follow.  He wanted to please me more and I wanted to please.  It wasn’t like he was perfect.  But we can build on this.”

Leslie used a strategy that employed some sexuality.  Does that always work?  Of course not.  But the minds of men sometimes are better swayed when there is a sexual or intimate component involved.

I know it sounds crude, but subtle to not so subtle expressions of intimacy can   persuade and move men to be a better version of themselves.

Sometimes trying to reason with your husband about how he “should” behave can only get you so far.

It likely that your husband has heard your complaints over and over again.  So instead of putting more pressure on the relationship by getting into a big fight or walking out in a huff and puff, it can be more effective to use more subtle and strategic ways to get your husband to modify his behavior.

Your approach doesn’t have to rely on turning on your husband.

While that can open the door to your husband’s willingness to reconsider his behavior, there are other approaches that can be equally effective.

Just be sure to choose the area you wish to focus on carefully.

For most people, it is asking too much to get them to change everything all at one time. Identify the problem behavior you wish to tackle first, then go to work on it.

Let’s say you want your husband to spend more time with you, offer him a win win proposition.

Suggest you want to spend time with him and you want to  arrange a weekend getaway trip.  But in return, tell him that after your outing, you want him to arrange for that fishing trip he has always wanted to do with his buddies.

Marriage life with your husband in some ways is like a negotiation.

There is give and take.  There should be a balance in the personal power you each share.

And there is an art to getting him to do things he just doesn’t know that he wants to do yet.

Seldom will you find a couple that agrees on everything and  are completely happy with the way things are working out.

Both husband and wife must learn to give and take and the best way to make inroads is through calculated little steps where both sides win.

I Have Given Up On My Marriage to My Husband

Are you married and have you given up on love?

Have you come to the point in your life where you survey the entire time you and your husband have been together and are starting to think it will never work out?

Have you arrived at that place where you simply can’t tolerate being with your husband anymore?

Have you given up on your marriage to your husband?

given up on married life

Let consider this scenario….

All of the patience you have exhibited within your marriage has run short.

All of the good faith efforts you have invested in making the marriage work for both of you has not produced meaningful results.

And let’s also assume a good amount of time has gone by such that you are sure now that the two of your are poorly matched as husband and wife.

If you find yourself in this predicament, you are not alone.  There are plenty of married women out there who are experiencing the same struggles and are facing a big life event decision.

Don’t Let Your Past Marriage Troubles Cloud Your Judgement

I tell my clients not to do anything impulsive when they think it’s all over.

Relationship emotions can take over our rational thought processes, so it’s best to give the real important decisions of our life time.

Knowing when your marriage is over is not always an easy thing to recognize.

In fact, I also wrote this article about the topic.  Take a look…

How Do I Know If I Should Leave My Husband

Every day women and men struggle with when its time to pull out for good.

I hear from them everyday….

Chris, my husband is giving up on me and our marriage, so why shouldn’t I just throw in the towel?  I don’t see him changing his ways or his mind.

He cheated on me and I don’t know if I really love him anymore.  When is it time to give up on a marriage after infidelity?

You told me Chris I shouldn’t be so quick to giving up on our marriage too soon but I don’t think I want him in my life. I have given up looking for love from a guy who only loves himself.

How does one know when to leave their marriage?  I am not sure if I can tolerate this much more. I have tried everything and can’t get through him.  He only seems to care about himself.  I didn’t realize his selfish ways would be unleashed after we decided to move in together.  Now I can get him to leave and I am like really over this already.  What can I do to end this miserable relationship?

Chris, I have given up on being in love with my husband. This whole marriage thing is overdone. I thought we would be happy ever after and that is not even close to being true.  What now?

Of course, when you got married, the last thought you probably entertained was that you could be facing a situation where you realize you chose the worst ever husband.

OK, so it’s probably not that bad.  But if you are here reading this post, chances are you are not a happy camper.

I am sure you never imagined that the marriage wouldn’t work.  What brides does?  You go into marriage with the best of intentions and the highest of expectations.

Then later you discover you are in a messy relationship that seems to have no end.

This big question is what can you do about this….

Let’s examine Four different situational outcomes that might be unfolding in your life.

I Am Uncertain about Leaving My Husband

time to make a game change

Many women I consult with find themselves paralyzed with indecision.

They got married to a man they genuinely loved and thought loved them back.

But the feeling of love is a complicated thing.

You can feel it and believe in it.  Even the person you gave your heart to may offer his love to you.

Yet it is possible the person you are with may still be incompatible for you. Try as you might, the marriage can rock back and forth, wobbling from one problem to the next.

Is being in love with your husband enough to make the two of you happy?

The short answer is No.

Love is not a one way street.

You can fall in love with a man and feel his love in return, yet the relationship can still go through very difficult times for any number of circumstances.

If the problems in your marriage emanate from outside the normal way the two of you interact, then don’t move to end things to quickly.

For example, if you and your husband are having problems stemming from finances or illness or career, or you are stuck living with your in-laws or parents, then it is almost always in your best interest to weather storm.

Some big stresses on a marriage will often run its course.

It is no crime to be unsure what is the right thing to do.

Uncertainty can be disabling and cause you to feel frazzled and unhappy.  But the way I look at it, if you are uncertain about something so important as whether to continue your marriage, then you already have arrived at a short-term answer on what you should do.

I would argue that if you are filled with uncertainty about your marriage, then you are NOT ready to end things.

It’s OK to have doubts about whether things will work out if your marriage is unfulfilling.

Doubts about our relationships are thoughts that can easily creep into our minds and fill us with confusion.

But they serve a purpose.  They let us know that something is off kilter and if it is not addressed, it will likely get worse.

But seldom is it time to cast aside the marriage when doubts and uncertainty arrive.

I Am Ready to Leave But Am Not Sure How

ready to leave my marriage

So what do you do if you are sure the marriage is failing miserably and are ready to leave but are not sure how and when?

My first piece of advice is to remind my client that leaving their husband is a huge step in their life.

You want to be sure that you are not acting on impulse or anger or reacting to an adverse situation.  Once you have crossed that threshold and are reasonably certain that you need to part with your husband, a certain sense of calm certainty will take center stage in your mind.

When you have arrived at that stage of the relationship in which remaining married to your husband seems unfathomable, then it’s time to come up with your separation plan.

Leaving your husband is a serious thing, so you need to plan seriously. Eventually you will need to tell your husband of your plans, but before doing so you will need to sit down and think about some important practical matters.

Put On Your Thinking Cap Before Ending The Marriage

put on your man thinking cap on

First of all, you should think about where you will be living.

Will you be asking your husband to move out?  Will you be leaving yourself, perhaps getting your own place or staying with family or friends?  Which course you take highly depends on your individual circumstances.

As far as timing, if you are at risk of physical abuse, then you get out immediately.

If your husband has been handing out a lot of emotional abuse, then don’t let the grass grow under your feet.

Such circumstances should lead you to leave sooner, even if your living arrangements have to be short-term.

Once you have squared away how the two of you will be separated, then you need to think about how you will tell your husband you no longer wish to live with him.

Again, depending on the circumstances, there are multiple ways you can convey to him it’s time for the two of you to split up.  There is no one right way of accomplishing this.

Usually, it is better to meet in person to convey why you no longer wish to be with him.  Sometimes it is easier for your husband to process and accept what is happening if you avoid using words that suggest a finality to the relationship.

He may panic and strongly resist if you were to tell him “It’s all over and I never, ever want to see you again”.  

Instead of creating that kind of drama, consider using  words like “for now” or “for the immediate future”.

Even if this is not your intention, it can help your husband accept that you need to be on your own for some time given the struggles with the marriage.

My experience with couples is that if you resort to a text message, email, phone call, letter, or friend to deliver the news that you no longer wish to live with him, it simply creates confusion, anger, resentment and extends the conversation over this topic.

In some instances, it may serve you to have a trusted friend with you for emotional support.

While this approach is not always effective, it may be more practical if you feel exceptionally vulnerable about your physical or emotional well-being.  Having a person with you, someone seen as not having a vested interest, can help smooth out the communication phase.

You Have Left Your Husband But Now Feel Like You Make a Mistake

did I blow it with my honey

So let’s say you have finally summoned up your courage and left your husband, but now you feel you have made a terrible mistake.  What do you do?

Well, perhaps you did make a mistake.

But then again, maybe you didn’t and it is fear and anxiety that is gripping you.

That would not be unusual.  I have counseled plenty of women who left their husband and then began questioning if they did the right thing.

It is normal for us to question ourselves after making a big decision.  The little nagging insecure thoughts can easily find their way into our minds causing us to second guess if we did the right thing.

So if you start thinking this way, my advice is not to give into these thoughts.  In time they will either go away or the proof on the ground (i.e. actual life experiences with your ex) will demonstrate that you indeed made a mistake.

But until such a thing materializes, simply stick with your plan.

Chances are that over time your choice to leave your marriage behind will be proven to be the right call.

You Left Your Husband, But What’s Next?

After you split up with your husband you need to take control of your life.

Before the two of your parted, your world revolved around the routines you both were a part of.  Something else needs to replace those routines, otherwise you will find yourself drifting.

Consider sitting down someplace really pleasant and draw up a list of those things you would like to do (or do more of) that you believe will give you satisfaction.

After you and your husband break up, there may be these huge gaps in your day where you would have otherwise been around your husband.  Maybe some of these things you did with or around him you enjoyed or maybe you hated every moment.

Whatever the case, it’s time for you to put your own spin on those parts of the day that you can now claim as your own and create a new and healthy routine.

You should also set some personal goals that you believe will be fulfilling.  It is time now for you to embrace a new life and a new way of looking at things.

Shed the old you that was part of this other man’s life.

If you left your husband, chances are that he was holding you back.  Now its your time.