What Is Wrong With Our Marriage – Trouble In the Bedroom

Do you ever find yourself looking at your relationship and asking, “why am I not happily married?”

Is your sex life deteriorating?

Do you ever stare at yourself in the mirror each morning and wonder “where did it go wrong?”

where did it all go wrong with him

Do you find yourself asking, “why is my husband so clueless. He acts like he doesn’t even notice that our marriage isn’t working.

Is it worth hanging on?  What should I do?” you might ask yourself.

When you look around do you see signs of an empty, perhaps even a sexless marriage in which neither of you are doing enough to solve the problems.

Is the relationship between you and your husband (or wife) becoming more strained?

growing apart from him

That’s a lot to chew on isn’t it?

So let’s go back to the part about troubles in the bedroom because it is there where we will learn about a bigger truth.

Do you and your husband have issues around sex?

Do you feel somewhat pressured to go along with having sex, just to get it over with?

Does he complain about not being satisfied?

Are You Stuck in a Loveless Marriage?

Or are their other types of sexual compatibility troubles?

There is not always agreement on the cause of sexual or intimacy issues in a marriage.  Sometimes, there are two different viewpoints that are advanced and it often breaks down according to gender.

Is the problem in the bedroom due to you not getting enough sex (one guy’s perspective) or is it because you are not receiving sufficient emotional support and tenderness in the marriage thereby causing lovemaking to become mechanical and uninspiring (one woman’s perspective)?

Without a doubt, this is not an easy topic to navigate because there are a lot of variables at play and we are dealing with such an intimate and vulnerable act.

But we are going to forge ahead and you will learn that the secret of great love making is about something very fundamental.

We Are Having Bedroom Issues In Our Marriage –  I Don’t Know What To Do

he doesn't desire me

There are plenty of marriages out there that are falling way short of realizing a deep and complete sexual bond.

And just about every one of them can make improvements.

If you are dealing with a sexual issue of some kind, then the first thing you should realize is that the quality of your sexual bond with your spouse (i.e. your willingness to  frequently participate and enjoy sex with your partner) in many ways is connected to how you and your partner engage with each other in other parts of the marriage.

Talking, touching, showing tenderness, listening, expressing understanding, offering empathy and exhibiting kindness….these are all things that connect us and facilitate wonderful sexual experiences.

The trick is that these things need to happen with consistency before the sex act.

OK,  so it’s not really a trick.

That is a bad choice of words!

Doing those things I described above are foundational.  Without them, you and your lover will be missing out on a lot of good sex.

Intimacy Troubles In The Bedroom

A woman came to me the other day and told me she and her husband were having problems in bed.

My approach was not to ask first about their sex life.   Delving into matters of how they optimized arousal and attraction is seldom a good place to start.

I have written a book about boosting arousal so I could talk all day about that topic.  But that is not really where you want to begin when seeking to understand what might be the crux of their intimacy issues.

How To Turn On Your Lover

I prefer to take a more holistic view of things around sexuality and arousal.

You almost always have to peel back some of the layers of the marriage to see what is really going on.

Most often, the central issue resides not between the sheets, but rather it is what is happening during the course of the day when husband and wife are interacting.

Let’s me give you an example.

Let’s say you come to me and tell me there is something wrong with your marriage.  You explain that things between you and your husband have been bad for awhile. You say leaving this bad marriage is not an option.

You want to make it better.  You want everything to be better because you love your husband and you want him to be happy, but you also hunger for fulfillment.

Not just sexual fulfillment, but you want to be happily married in all respects.

You cry and wonder out loud, “why do good marriages suddenly go bad?”  You plead for clarity to focus on those things to make it better. “What am I doing wrong in my relationship“, you ask out loud?

Is my husband dissatisfied with me and our sex lifeHe won’t say? All I know is I feel him slipping away, becoming disinterested in me.  He seems angry and turned off.  Have I rejected him to often?  We are not always on the same page when it comes to our sex life.  I want him back, but I want him to change too because he isn’t always there for me.

Is the sexual connection between these two the problem?

Should we strip bare what these two are doing in the night, analyzing each step and stage of their lovemaking process?

Or is there something else that is creating this dysfunction?

Where The Marriage Took the Wrong Turn

marriage gone awry

So let’s continue this story.

You have already put a lot of yourself into the marriage, seeking to make it the best it can be.  You know it’s imperfect.

You are not a quitter and just because something is off with your marriage, doesn’t mean you are going to throw it into the dumper and start again.

Sore spots in a marriage can arise easily.

Issues around sexual chemistry and agreement on frequency are matters that almost all couples face.

Connecting With Your Spouse

We just don’t throw in the towel and start looking for someone else.

But it is not always about the mechanics of the sexual act.  And chemistry between two lovers is born from things that happen way before they climb into bed with each other.

Relationships are not inherently easy.  We have to work at them.  We have to find the right match in order to optimize success.

Two people who come into each other’s lives and commit to joining together emotionally and physically….hey that is always easy to pull off and make work for the long haul.

Eventually, the couple will go through rough patches and some bad relationship routines will begin to form.

But I am getting a little ahead of myself because to fully appreciate how you and your husband came to be where you are in the relationship, we need to turn the clock dial back again and get a sense of how things came to be.

How It All Started

our fairy tale beginning

Let’s assume you are a woman reading this.

Let’s say you meet a man and you fall deeply in love.  Both of you adore the other. You do all the things lovers do. Sex is great. Happiness and glory is spilling out of you both.  You see nothing but a great future.

This would be the beginning of the bond in which the two of you seek to become one.

Once you have invested a part of your soul into your mate, not to mention your dreams and aspirations, a bond is formed.

Hopefully you chose wisely, because like it or not, this is where you planted your flag and we all know that going back and retracing your steps to start over again is no picnic.

But in almost all marriages, these early happy days will be later followed by the days of becoming the married drones.


What was that?

Married drones?

What is that, you might ask.

Let me make it clear.  I am not a pessimist.

But in my experience, almost every couple goes through various marital stages,  with the drone period of marriage being the most common.

The best way I can demonstrate this is taking you through an imaginary stream of consciousness.

So imagine that the excitement of the married life you first entered into, sort of peels away and gives in to the steady, drone like beat of:

wake up, it’s another day, let’s get on with our morning chores.  Let’s get dressed and go to work.  Who is dropping off the kids.  Why do I always feel rushed for time?  I still don’t feel good about what he said last night.  I am pushing that out of my mind right now. Goodness, it’s already time to go.  Let me quickly grab a hug and kiss.  Off we are to the races.”  

Finally you get home and hope that you are not too tired or stressed to enjoy your evening.  Then something bad happens and you say to yourself:

“Ouch, we had a bit of fight tonight.  I wish things were better. He never listens and seems distant.  I don’t want to talk to him anymore about this.  It’s always ends up the same.  I think I am getting a little angry here. Oh well, I will deal with it later. OK, let’s make some food.  Gee, we are not talking much.  I am feeling a little sad. He wears me out.  Let’s turn in for the night.  It would be nice to have some makeup sex, but I really don’t want to.  I know he wants sex, but I am not feeling it.  I forgot something.   I am going to have to get up early to do it.  Oh, look how late it is. I hope I can sleep.  I wonder what he is thinking.  My goodness, it’s morning already.”

So like drones or some scene in the movie Groundhog Day, we just keep reliving a lot of the same things.

Doing the same things.

Making the same little mistakes of not resolving little hurts or spending quality time with our partner and working through little resentments.

The negative entropy acting on the marriage can slowly takes its toll.  Meanwhile, we just keep falling back into our regular, clockwork like routines.

As another day has dawned, we wake up to face yet another series of routines and off we go into our own little worlds only later to be joined together again, perhaps eager to see each other or possibly fearful of having to deal with an uncooperative, non-supportive spouse.

It really depends on where you are in the marriage.  You could be in the happy and growing stage, the drone stage, the rebuilding stage, or god forbid, the tear it down stage.

Just know that even the best of marriages are vulnerable to each of these stages.

Because that is what we do.  We are creatures of habit.  That can be good or bad, depending on the act or behavior and whether the routines are healthy.

We all try to make things better, but the complexity of our lives and the sometimes fragile nature of our emotions and circumstances can take a toll on the finer workings of our marriage.

And on and on we go.

Do it often enough, without breaking the negative patterns that can too easily form, you too can become a victim of the marriage drone syndrome!

Why Do Couples Lose Intimacy – Has Sex Become a Marriage Chore?

not pleasing him in bed

The trajectory of your married lives can take on predictable patterns.  If you keep a journal or diary, you can actually capture it.  It might read, “yet another day”.

And as I explained earlier, these patterns almost always lead to a period in which your behavior within the marriage can become almost drone like.

You find yourself doing and repeating, in workman like fashion, the same kind of things.

There can be a comfort to this pattern.  Your routines can bring about some efficiency.  They can make you feel safe.

But they can also lead to monotony and a lack of spark in the marriage.  A certain drudgery can take over and define your marriage.

The relationship can become boring.  Listless.  Your marriage can lack spontaneity.  The things you do together can become stale, leading to a decline in the amount of time you spend together because we naturally gravitate to things that we get joy from.

So where do marriages go bad?

Well, there are lots of twists and turns that can lead to trouble.

Let’s talk about the level of sexual intimacy that should exist in a marriage

How are things in the bedroom?

How is your sex life?

Are you satisfied.

Is he touching you and pleasing you in the way you really want him to?

Do you often turn your husband away for reasons that are far too complicated  to tackle here?

Does he seem to lack interest and seldom initiates?

Does he know how to turn you on, often?

Is your husband excited to be with you and do you look forward to every lovemaking opportunity?

Or do you look for ways to escape his clutches?

If there is one telltale sign of a failing marriage, it is usually when you have trouble in the bedroom.

Having really good sex with your husband or wife is usually a reflection of the quality of your marriage.

Not always, but it is a leading indicator.

If you were to take one of those many bad marriage tests or compatibility surveys you can find all over the internet, invariably one of the questions asked is how is he in bed.

OK,  I admit my choice of words might be a bit indelicate.  Usually a marriage assessment or your therapist will ask if you and your husband (or wife) have a satisfying sex life.

If one wishes to get really personal, questions will be asked about how often the two of you engage in sex, who initiates it, what positions you employ, and how fulfilling you find the sex act.

But if your marriage therapist is really smart, they will try to learn about what is going on with the rest of your marriage.

You see what often happens is that a couple can go along for a long time doing all those things that married couples do.  Things like carving out a life for themselves, having children, pursuing individual careers, and chasing after happiness and fulfillment.

After all, that’s what we all live for when you think about it.  As individuals, we seek that which can make us fulfilled and content.  We pull people into our orbit that we enjoy being with.

Which of course leads us to this whole marriage thing, right!

But along the way, the relationship can get off track.  Troubles emerge.

How do you patch it back together?

Where Sex Really Begins

sex really starts with showing love

Let’s say you are a lovely woman, filled with aspirations and anticipation of living the fullest and happiest life you can experience.

Along the way, in this journey you are taking, you meet what you think is a wonderful man.  You get married and you and your husband now join together to tackle this thing we call “life”.

Now since we are all sensual creatures, we enjoy touching and being touched, both physically and emotionally.    So when there are problems in the bedroom it is natural to look at things like technique and style.

I mean, yes, it’s about those things.

To get turned on and excited, there has to be a hunger and a desire and you and your husband (or wife) both need for those sexual hormones to be flowing.  That certainly enhances the experience.  What you do and how you do it makes a difference.

But there is something else that is even more important that has to be in place.

The trigger for great sex usually starts much earlier.

Sexual desire is only optimized if the two of you are doing the other things that makes a couple close.

What I am talking about is the importance of optimizing the emotional connection.  That is what real intimacy is all about.

I am talking about practicing quality communications, offering kindness,  and showing tenderness.  Doing these things consistently throughout the day, each and every day, builds a foundation in which your sexuality can more easily spring forth.

One of my clients, Alice, reached out and asked, “how do I know if I’m in the right or wrong relationship if bedroom issues continue to plague us?  What am I doing wrong between the sheets because I am just not into it with him.  Part of me wants to, but another part just wants to get it over with.  I can sense it and he can sense it and it just makes the whole thing uncomfortable.  I didn’t have this problem with my other sexual partners.  Why are we not clicking?

Essentially she is looking for a way to fix intimacy issues in her marriage.

My point to her was that intimacy starts long before the couples get into bed.  I asked her if she and her husband were having other issues.  We discussed some of  the common marriage problems that can lead to a loss of trust and an erosion in intimacy.

She told me right off what was going on.  She said the whole sex act with him felt mechanical because it was.

The honeymoon phase was long over and the marriage had been rocking along for awhile now.  Sex had turned into something she perceived was more of a duty and part of that was because her husband was not that interested in pleasing her physically or emotionally.

He wasn’t that much into connecting with her on a deep emotional level.  When she would try to talk or even whisper to him before, during or after making love, he would hush her up and just go about his business.

Unfortunately, the intimacy issues were not just isolated to the bedroom.

They had long settled into routines in which it was just accepted that he was not going to be there for her emotionally.  So it was no surprise this problem would follow them into the bedroom.

She explained that he was not a touchy or feely kind of guy.  He took her for granted, seldom making her feel safe or supported when anxious times arrived.

Their life had become compartmentalized.  He did his thing and she quietly suffered the pain of not having a more complete marriage.

So if you are looking for real solutions for why the two of your are not clicking in bed, you won’t necessarily find the answers in sex books.

Where do problems in the bedroom emerge?

It often starts with looking at how the couple connects in other parts of the relationship (e.g. talking, listening, supporting, empathizing, expressions of love and kindness, etc).

If these things are not in play, it can depress one’s sexual appetite.  This is largely what was going on with Alice.

It isn’t strictly about satisfying your man or woman in bed.  That is usually not the origins of sexual intimacy issues.

No matter how much skill you have between the sheets, if your wife (or husband) does not feel a deep underlying connection on many levels, then neither of you will come close to realizing your sexual potential as a couple.

Making Love Throughout The Day

showing the lover every day

Given the header above, you are probably thinking that I am advocating that the solution to problems in the bedroom is that you and your husband should just make love throughout the day, right?

Just get it on all the time, every day, everywhere, right?

Do it on the dinner table.  Make wild, raw, crazy love on the carpet in the middle of the floor.  Do it on the living room couch.

Why not just take your husband and lead him into every room in the house and just do it in every possible way you can think of.

Certainly a rapturous day of lovemaking in every way and every place is going to solve all of your intimacy issues, right?

You will feel the power of each other’s sex drive and magically everything will fall in place, don’t you think?

Well, it all sounds pretty exciting, but I kinda doubt it’s going to be the cure all.

Making love can mean a lot of things.

But it does not necessarily mean that things are going well in the relationship.

There may be be times where the two of you can turn you minds off to the  relationship problems that persist and just get it on.

That is not necessarily a bad thing.

Sometimes, despite the problems that might exist elsewhere in your marriage, these kinds of sexual experiences with your husband or wife can feel really good.

I am not advocating for this kind of sexual expression.

But we should be reminded that when this happens it is our deep sexual needs and hormones that are doing most of the talking.

The more pressing reality is it doesn’t take much to depress the release of such hormones if what is going on between the two of you is not “real”.

If you and your lover are experiencing some unresolved problems in your marriage, then just know that that your sexual experience will fall short of its potential.

We all have the capability within us to consistently have a very satisfying sexual relationship with our spouse

You can get the most out of those hormones if the marriage is solid and the  feelings of intimacy passing between the two of you is natural and heartfelt.

And again, when I speak of intimacy in this respect, I am not referring to sexual intimacy and arousal.  But rather the little and big things you do to make the marriage work on a daily basis.

Things like avoiding conflict, helping and supporting each other, practicing random acts of kindness, showing consideration, touching and embracing each other throughout the day.

So while solving troubles in the bedroom can get complicated depending on the root cause (e.g. sexual dysfunction, erosion of trust due to an affair, lack of experience, etc), more often than not the issue arises from something very basic and critical.

Specifically, it is the ongoing repetition of simple and loving gestures exchanged between husband and wife that leads to satisfaction in the bedroom.

Everything I Do Annoys and Irritates My Husband – Why Is He Moody All The Time

Do you ever feel that you are constantly on edge because your husband often complains that he is annoyed?

Does your ex or husband get angry with you all the time over the smallest things?

Do you feel like anything you say or do will only serve to irritate your husband?

Are you married to a stinker of a husband who can only find fault with all that you do?

Sometimes a relationship will enter into a period in which, despite your best intentions and efforts, your husband will turn moody and fussy.

It is when he turns his fussiness upon you that things can start going south.

There is usually a good reason for why this is happening and it is not always something you are doing or saying, despite what he might say.  Remember, when people are annoyed or irritated, what they say is not always what they really feel.

angry annoyed husband

Sometimes your husband is lashing out, just to rid himself of mounting tension or stress.  That does not make it right.  And often times, such behavior is selfish and thoughtless.  But we all are imperfect and life can throw at us all kinds of little troubles.

Why Can’t I Seem To Please Him?

So that you know, just because your husband acts like he is annoyed by you all of the time and you find yourself walking on egg shells,  it does not necessarily mean you are the one at fault.  Often you are not.  It is he that is misbehaving.

It may be your husband has blown a gasket and is leaking all kinds of pent-up emotions.

Maybe he is just being a real ass.

If you are in such a predicament in which you feel helpless as to what to do, just remember that your are not the only one out there dealing with these kinds of primal emotions that can bubble up from your guy.

Why Does My Husband Act Like a Spoiled Punk?

stuck with a skunk of a guy

So what causes him to treat you this way?

Why can’t he get his crap together?

Why does he continue to behave like he is put out and that you are the center of all his problems?

It is a tough road to travel when you are living with a mean husband who just finds fault with the least little things you might do.

And while I know all of this can make you feel helpless, it is important you look beyond the surface reactions from your husband.  What is best for you is to eventually get to the underlying reasons that is influencing your husband and making his emotional wounds fester.

Chances are he is not really all that upset or annoyed with you in particular, but something else is going on that is influencing his mood, making he come off as a grumpy, stick in the mud.

Some men are grumpy when they are tired.  Some dudes are fussy when they are hungry.   I guess you would call that “grungy”.

Some men whine and moan and fuss at you about all kinds of stupid things only to re-calibrate minutes later.

To often, women will take their husband’s words of complaint dead serious and seek to act on whatever he says.

But have you ever considered the possibility that what your husband is saying  is probably reflecting a greater truth?

Sure, your husband is moody and is voicing critical things about you.  But as I alluded to above, there is often a deeper reason for what is going on.  Sometimes it’s simply a minor matter.  Something that he feels or thinks, but is passing by.

Eventually, whatever is spurring your husband to be irritable needs to surface and be dealt with, otherwise it will fester.

So it is very important to establish if whether your husband has been moody and distant lately because of an ache here or worry there; or if this has been an ongoing pattern of behavior and you are becoming his favorite target.

Depending on where he falls, the way you will want to address this matter will vary.

My Husband Easily Gets Irritated With Me

my man is so annoyed with me

Take for example those women who are married to a guy who has only recently unraveled?  What might you do to preserve the peace without tipping  the marriage over into the danger, conflict zone?

If your husband has a hair-trigger temperament, you probably have learned to tread lightly.  There is not a good outcome if the marriage atmosphere turns into a battlefield.  But in the long run, this is no way to live.

Are We On The Right Path?

Do you ever feel that despite what you  do or say, things were destined to go haywire with him?

Do you ever feel your husband is lying in wait as he readies himself to pounce on you with his latest criticism?

Let’s hear from a few of our clients:

I really am stuck with a grumpy husband.  He is always quoting bible and verse like he is some kind of special person.  Frankly, I don’t need him preaching and telling me what to do all the time.  What I need is my husband to put away his victim blaming.  In his eyes, everybody is out to gem him.  I know it sounds stupid because that is exactly what it is.  When I don’t play along with his grand conspiracies and wild notions, he gets mad at me – Allison S.

My husband has been moody since we got back from vacation. He picks on things I say and do. It’s like nothing is good enough and I just can’t bring myself to do anything for him because he will complain or easily get annoyed with any ideas I offer up which conflict with his own.  I didn’t sign up to live with an eternally crabby husband –  Bertha G.

My husband is incredibly negative all the time.  It takes very little to irritate him and when I try to pick up his mood by acting cheerful, he get’s upset like my attitude is some kind of affront to him.  It’s like he wants to suffer.  I really don’t get it.  He seems to relish in wallowing in his self-pity and wants to be prickly with me and when he does, I get exasperated because it seems so unfair.  Then he gets more irked with my reaction and it all just spins out of control – Vivian K.

So what is really going on with your man?

What has gotten under his skin? Why does he insist that you are at fault for this or that, when you know deep down you are not the cause of his repeated attacks.

After awhile, the whole thing can turn into a real cluster frack.

He behaves like he is annoyed and grumpy and takes it out on you.  And you in turn get bent out of shape for being falsely accused or made to be his emotional punching bag.

This is when things can take a turn for the worst.

Subject to escalating negativity and tired of their husband’s critical comments, many women will decide to up the ante and lay into their husband, calling him out for his own annoying and pitiful complaints.

Throw it all together and spin and shake it around, you have the makings of a miserable time.

5 Reasons Why Your Husband Is Annoyed With You

5 reasons he is pissed with me

1. He is Really Not Upset With You – Sometimes a guy will just start acting out because some outside force is upsetting or stressing him out. Whatever it is that is on his mind, it will usually come pouring out in your presence because after all, the way he is looking at things, you are there and your mere presence reminds him that he alone is suffering.  So he drags you into his miserable state.

It is sort of guy thing. At least I have seen it more with men than women.  I call it “strike and lash out syndrome”

His reaction to you when he is around you can get rather complicated.  When you think about it rationally, it would seem that he would look to you, his wife, for comfort and support.

But he may not be comfortable with that.

His ego may prevent him to reach out to you in that way.  Or maybe he is still in the midst of trying to process his feelings about whatever is on his mind and you just happen to be in his way.

If this is the situation you are dealing with, then be patient and don’t snap back at him or react adversely to his negative temperament.  In time, he will likely be able to diffuse his own upset feelings.  Just give him a little room or wide berth if it calls for that.  He will likely notice it and later circle back to express his misgivings for acting badly around you.

Now just because he acts a little snotty around you doesn’t mean he should get a full free pass on his misbehavior.  So if an apology is not forthcoming, then ask for one.  Otherwise, he might think that it is perfectly fine for him to behave this way the next time.

2. Your Husband Gets Annoyed Easily – Some guys are perfectionists.  They can be very anal about things.  And if they are trying to figure out something and can’t quite get it figured out, the least little distraction can set him off.

Let’s say you are sitting there enjoying a quiet evening and something happens and he goes into his funk.  Perhaps your husband acts somewhat distant and a little disturbed.  Maybe you pick up flashes of annoyance in his tone or his movements.  He starts shifting around in his chair.  Or your husband starts walking  around with a tad too much aggression.  Something is percolating within him and it’s like he might explode.

Then before you even realize what is happening, something occurs that serves as a flash point causing your husband to become ultra sensitive as annoyance turns to cutting remarks or worse.

Such is the evolution of our emotions as they can quickly take a firm grip on our demeanor.

3. Your Husband Has A Hangup –  Perhaps your husband has always been quick to a be annoyed, blaming you and others for his problems or misfortune.

Men with anger or self-image issues are particularly vulnerable often allowing themselves to be easily swept away by their irritable or argumentative mood.

Maybe your marriage has been one in which you have for a long period of time tried your best to hold things together. But managing both your own emotional anxieties, never mind your husband’s, is a tall order.  It’s sad, but true, that some husbands are the “glass is half empty” type with little good to say to their wife.

4. A Pre-existing Issue is Still On His Mind –  Your husband may be stricken by a matter that is causing him great internal stress.  Perhaps it is a work matter.   As they say, we should not bring our work home with us. But what if your husband is sort of workaholic and he is up against a deadline?  Well, I think you know the answer.

When stress and deadlines start bumping up against each other, we often end up with negative encounters such as mood spikes or a tense home environment.  If your husband is already dealing with personal or workplace pressures, he is a prime candidate for misbehaving.

Hence, this is where you might start experiencing a rise of incidents in which your husband becomes testy and critical about things around him, including you.

5. Your Husband May Find Certain Things You Do or Say Annoying – When I tell this to some people, they often get a little upset with me, even testy.  But  when I coach someone who is reporting to me that her husband complains that he finds her annoying…. to do her justice, I have to work through the possibilities.

And one possibility is that the wife could be doing something that the husband can get annoyed with easily.  Sometimes it’s just little things. Sometimes it is something that has been going on for a while.

Some husbands are conditioned not to mention that which they find annoying about their wife.  It’s just good manners.  We hope, whatever it is they are doing, stops on its own accord.  Or we choose to ignore it, until we can’t any more.  That is when things can bubble over.

We are all annoying to varying degrees, right?   So why not acknowledge it to each other?

If we are in an honest relationship, it usually best to communicate when something bothers you, unless it is some petty thing.   Of course, if one makes a big deal about it and the feedback you give to your spouse is received as a crude complaint, then obviously you won’t be advancing the marriage.

But I do believe if a relationship is going to grow, both spouses need to find a common ground to convey things to each other, to help each other.

Now, if your husband is constantly berating you for doing this wrong or that wrong and complaining about you in all sorts of ways; this is not the stuff from which healthy communications emerge.

If you are facing such a hostile and negative home environment, where it seems nothing you do or say pleases your husband, then another course of action is necessary.

When Should I Get Worried About My Husband Acting Moody?

why is he so angry with me

The quick and easy answer is usually not until you are seeing an established trend, coupled with bouts of abusive outbursts.

In most cases, when men and women have their moments and occasions of moodiness and irritability, they come and go without inflaming things to a point of chaos.

Now, if your husband’s upset feelings have been going on for a good spell, then obviously that is not conducive to a happy marriage.  If this is happening with regularity, then you want to take time to specifically talk to your husband about what you are seeing from your end of the relationship.

It is possible, he is knee-deep into some matter that has him all twisted up and has lost perspective as to how he is being perceived.   It is best to work toward discussing his behavior without placing blame.   Ask him what you can do to help him with whatever he is going through.  Show him understanding.  Let kindness rule.

Of course, I am assuming that the problem that is driving his annoyance and reactionary behavior is external to the relationship.  If that is the case, the two of you should be able to work through this bad patch.   Help him see how he is being perceived and direct him to better confront his own emotions.

Is Your Husband Reluctant To Talk About Why He Is On Edge?

has my husband given up on me

Some guys will struggle with talking about what is bending them out of shape.  They just don’t want to open up and sometimes will just hole up.  Usually, you won’t have a lot of success with these types by trying to pry out of them what is going on in their head.

You are better off encouraging  your man to do something physical which often can help him displace his testy emotions. Once he get it out, things can sometimes improve fairly rapidly.

Some men will go into a denial phase, expressing that they have no idea what you are talking about. “I have not been snapping at you“, he might say in a defensive tone.  “You are just imagining this.”

If you husband takes this approach, don’t pay heed to his denials.  Don’t fall into that game of arguing with him about it.  The truth is your comments about how he is coming off probably hit home and he will re-calibrate his behavior accordingly.

It does pay to remind yourself that even if your husband suffers an extended bout of  moodiness, it does not necessarily portend something terrible is going to happen.  Most often, nothing bad comes of it.

If his behavior does not improve, as mentioned earlier, offer some matter of the fact feedback,  maybe even laced with some humor, without any ratcheting the tension.

“Sweetheart, you realize you are pretty edgy these days, to the point where I feel like you are going to snap my head off.”

Whatever his outbursts or negative acts might be, don’t assume  he doesn’t love you.  Often, it is his way of expelling the tension he holds within.

Unfortunately, some men are not good at drawing the line and act irresponsibly by saying mean or ugly things to their wives which they come to later regret.

This happens to us all.  Nevertheless it hurts if you are on the receiving end.

But when it occurs with frequency, such as your husband either takes relish saying or doing abusive things  or just habitually surrenders to his worst instincts and behavior, this is where dysfunction start taking hold of the marriage.

This is where you draw the line.

Advise your husband you have no tolerance for such times when his mood swings turn into abuse and engulf you.   Get up and go somewhere.   Make it real for him by expressing you don’t wish to be around him when he acts this way.

It is up to your husband now to behave like an adult and show you the respect you deserve.  Don’t enable him by remaining in an environment in which he has poisoned.  It is not healthy for you to stay there, so don’t.

For those of you who are married to men who can’t seem to manage the inner demons and choose to double up on their verbal abuse, I encourage to read some of the other relevant articles on this topic which you can find throughout my website.


I Am Tired and Sick of My Lousy Husband: Stuck in a Toxic Marriage

Do you ever feel this way?  That you are tired of your marriage, fighting for it to work, but it doesn’t improve no matter how much of your heart and soul you throw into it.

Do you feel you are stuck in a toxic marriage, ready to just give it up?

Does it seem like you are trapped in a horrible marriage and can’t get out of it?

Are their times in which don’t want to be bothered by anyone and are sick of thinking about the problems you and your husband keep experiencing?

Are you with a guy who is clueless and you see no end to your misery?

Do you wake up every morning wondering why your are so fatigued and feeling tired of being part of an empty marriage?

No doubt, if you feel any of these things, the sheer emotional load can take its toll.

Sometimes you will get overwhelmed with a sense of simply escaping it all, just so that you won’t have to deal with any of it.

If it could just all go away and if your husband would just leave you be it would be better, you reason.   Often, the predominant thought bouncing around is you want him to simply leave you alone because you can’t stand his presence any more.

That would be almost a godsend, wouldn’t it?

I just want to get away from him

But it wouldn’t solve the core issues of the problem, would it?

No doubt you feel this way at times if you are sick and tired of being married.

Indeed, it is a sad experience when the world wind romance you once had with him years ago, completely fades away.

You still have your memories of the past, which is what can make this whole drama so difficult.

He may have really made you happy for some time.

But you are in the here now.

What is he like now and can he change, this is what you have to deal with.  Has he shown any effort to meet you half way?  These are the things you probably find yourself dwelling on.

If you feel exhausted living with this man, tired of every marriage situation you have to confront, it can indeed cause you to slip into a depressed state.

Is There Another Path For Me?

The drudgery of getting up everyday and having to face another moment with your lousy husband, can cause you to grow to hate him and the environment you suffer in?

Let there be no doubt, if you are experiencing any of these feelings and are truly getting tired of new dramas coming at you fast and furious, then the signs of a bad marriage are likely written all over your relationship.

Getting Away From a Toxic Marriage

striking out on your on

So we are going to examine what you might want to do.

We will talk about how to leave a toxic marriage.  We will discuss how you may have fallen into a giant rut, both of you, and what you might due to change the scenery.

We will also explore whether a toxic marriage can be saved or if it’s worth saving.

That is a tough one, isn’t it?

Should you try to save your marriage if  you are seriously questioning your love for this man?

Of course, it is never that easy, right?  I mean, what is love and when is it gone or so scarred that you and your husband reach the point of no return.

This discussion of dealing with a crumbling marriage is serious stuff.  There is even a term for those who find themselves in the midst of marital chaos, particularly if one of the partners is the instigator of all the upheaval.

Its called toxic spouse syndrome.

I know you if you arrived at this post, there is really a good chance you are far from simply being “tired of my husband attitude”,  but have reached something close to a crisis state.

This is what I often hear from my clients.  They get to a point in their marriage in which they are way too tired of trying to make the relationship work for themselves and for the kids (if any are involved).

Usually by the time a wife is thinking about the marriage being spoiled and poison to the touch, she has largely given up on any hopes of resuscitating the relationship.

If you are looking to take a toxic marriage quiz, then hopefully you took the time to complete mine as it is designed to point out the miserable marriage signs that trouble many a relationship.

But it doesn’t really give you all the answers, does it?   For that, you need to dig deeper and seek to understand the big picture.

Is there a way to turn it all around?

Is it worth it to you?

Are you under pressure to continue to try to make the failing marriage work?

Chances are, you are still struggling with answering these questions for yourself.

If the man who you wedded is truly a crappy husband, then there probably have been a lot of ugly situations….a lot of troubled times.  When you reach this stage of your marriage, it is no longer practical to think in terms of letting bygones be bygones or , “that is just water under the bridge”

To the contrary, when a marriage collapses and the wife is telling me about abuse and marital fatigue and depressing episodes that seem to happen with regularity; the discussion should be less about the past and more focused on the next  pragmatic steps.

Does Your Pathetic Husband Need a Wake Up Call?

bad and fussy husband

First of all, does he deserve a wake up call?

How many times have you been down the same road with your man?  Is the guy you married as useless and hopeless as you think?

He just might be.

I know it is hard when a woman is dealing with almost unspeakable relationship events.

I once had a client who kept telling me that she had a second rate marriage and that it was not a question of being married to a rotten guy, but the reality was her husband would say appalling things to her, tearing her down.

She felt desperate to get out, but he had her convinced that she was an inferior and useless wife and would never survive the world without him.  He insisted  on controlling and telling her what to do.

Why Do I Put Up With His Abuse?

Such was the brainwashing effect he had on his wife until it call tumbling down.  It’s like the scene from the Wizard of the Oz in which the Great Wizard was proclaiming his greatness and infallibility, only to be later revealed as a mere mortal.  Even foolish to some extent.

While it took many months for her to see that her husband was cruel and was really the idiot, there was great suffering along the way.

Does Your Husband Treat You Like You Are a Loser?

does he put you down

Why can’t he show that he cares and try to at least make an effort“, you might wonder ?

To often, men who are insecure will take it out on their wife, pushing them down, making them out to be a loser; when in reality, it’s the husband that is the cowardly one.

I can see a future with him if he will just show me he wants this to work”, you might think.  If he would just show me he wants us to be a happy couple,” you may plead to yourself.

It can seem like a losing battle sometimes.   I hear it every day from women struggling in their marriage.

I feel so unfulfilled and just don’t know where to turn.  My marriage is to a guy who is overbearing and hostile.  My husband has no respect for me or my feelings and I just want to crawl up into a ball and hide away – Kay G.

What to do if your husband doesn’t respect you anymore.  I can’t bring myself to think about what I am going to do without him.  But any future with him seems doomed. I am overcome with fatigue and my blood pressure is spiking.  He is an awful husband and not that good of father.  I want all this to go away and am overcome with a desire to just disappear.  Can you help me – Sally R.

Look, I don’t know how to deal with my disrespectful husband.  He lacks respect for me, the marriage, the kids, my parents, just about anything I say or do.  My husband doesn’t respect my feelings, nor does he appreciate everything I do for him.  He one of those guys who must always get the last word in and there is no fighting fair in his mind.  He has to win every little argument and is quick to belittle me.  Not sure if I can live this way much longer – Bessie M.

Sometimes things in a relationship can become so difficult to tolerate, with anger rising up all to often, that husband and wife are constantly at each other throats.

This kind of development, which unfortunately defines too many marriages, can grow to become a very troubling pattern if the couple doesn’t take action to break out of the routine.

You see, that is what often happens with some husbands (wives too).  They get caught up in the winner and loser side of each argument, resorting to bullying or intimidation tactics to get their way.  While all the while, the marriage suffers and you the wife, become disillusioned, feeling hopeless with nowhere to turn but inward.

This is why so many women can become overwhelmed with the desire to escape.  From their perspective, they are trapped in a loveless marriage, with an over domineering husband who likes to throw his weight around, drawing down on your own confidence and self-respect.

Is Your Husband Full of Crap?  Does He Treats You Like Crap?

married to a man without class

Some guys can be cruel .  Are you married to a man who treats you like dirt?

Has your marriage dissolved to the point where you see your husband as a guy who is full of it and just about everything he says and does makes you sick to the core?

Some husbands are bad people.

They are not nice.

They act not out of care, but out of malice.  They focus on their own needs, not your personal needs and aspirations.

Some men make really lousy husbands.

Mind you, I am not saying your husband is this way.  He may act this way and misbehave badly at times, but be careful not to rush to judgement about his overall character if something bad just recently happened.

Given the passions that can easily erupt in a marriage, emotions can take us for a ride, blinding us temporarily.

But there are some bad men out there.

For some twisted husbands, it is part of their core being to frequently mistreat or malign the character of their wife.

Even when they are frequently called out on their awful behavior, they do it any way, again and again.   Some married men are seduced by almost a pathological desire to dish out emotional abuse.  These men need help.  Whether you want to keep sticking around and try to help them is another question.

More often than not, these are not the kind of men you want to stay married to.

Life is just way to freaking short!

When you are unhappily married and everything you know, see, and feel is telling you this man you are wedded to is a really bad egg, then you have to ask yourself why are you enabling him to treat you this way by staying married to him.

When you are having so many lousy and painful experiences with your husband, despite your many efforts to make the marriage better, there is a point you will reach where it become a futile exercise to remain a couple.

That is what separation is about, in part. It’s to get away from that which is injuring you emotionally.

So when I start hearing women tell me over and over again they are sick of being married to a lousy guy and only want to be alone, it usually indicates that we could be at the beginning of the end of a relationship.

Not every man is suited to be a good husband for you.  How we connect with people varies depending on a lots of things.  Nor is every woman who is married  going to be a really good match for their spouse.

Compatibility is not a science.  There is no sure fire survey or test you can take that says, “yes, this man will be wonderful for you“.   Life experiences are usually our best way of evaluating how best we match up with a relationship partner.

Sometimes in marriage, there is a point of no return.  If you keep at it, you only deepen your misery.

Why Is My Husband Such a Bad Egg?

living with a really bad guy

Sometimes a husband’s bad, undesirable marriage behavior are triggered by deep psychological wounds….feelings of inferiority or a lack of empathetic understanding of how their words and actions can  emotionally injure their wife.

I call these guys the bad boys of marriage.

Either they have not learned about the importance of  how to operate within a marriage with kindness.  Or they just simply don’t care and are unwilling to change.

More often than not, such men are not husband material and are not going to be good for most women.

But most husbands have the potential to do better.  To do you better.

They may just need a wake up call.

Something that shakes them up and strikes at their core paradigm.  They may need to be shaken  in order to see there are serious ramifications for mistreating their wife and not working to become better husbands.

Its’ Important That The Wife Finds Her Alone Time

getting out and away from him

What I am about to tell you may sound odd.

If you are involved with a man who doesn’t pay attention to you – if you are already feeling isolated in the marriage to the extent that you feel like you are the only one really trying, sometimes what is best is to go seek out some quality time just for yourself.

Marriage is about  being with someone who makes you feel safe and content. It is about being with someone who unconditionally accepts you and love you and make you happy.

Yet if you wake up everyday feeling unfulfilled and all alone, something is really wrong.

Ironically, feeling trapped in a marriage can be a lonely experience.  You feel alone because most everyone you know don’t really understand what you are going through.

A part of you wants your husband to hold you up, to hold you close, and to love you with a ferocity.  You hunger for love, but it not being offered up to you.

So if you don’t have that in your married life you feel sad and alone.  “I am so depressed and lonely in my marriage,” one of my clients was telling me the other day.  She wanted to know how to overcome loneliness in her marriage.

After all, we know that loneliness in marriage can create new problems, leading a greater sense of despair and depression, over use of alcohol, drug use, even affairs.

All of these things can compound what is already a dysfunctional marriage.

Why Do I Feel So Lonely In My Relationship and What Can I Do About It?

going it alone for awhile

This is the central question some wives have.

On one hand, they are unhappy with their marriage and often can only fantasize about ways of escaping the dread of spending another day with their husband.

Dread and loneliness travel together.  One feeling makes you want to avoid your husband.  You can imagine how you will survive another encounter.  The other emotion makes you feel trapped, almost desperate for somebody to understand your lonely plight.

It is a solitary experience when you are married to a rotten husband and feel stuck.  As days go by and you see no progress, a sense of futility can just overcome you.

But what you are feeling is not so much loneliness of not being with people in general.  That is not really what you are missing.

What you are truly lonely about is not having love in your life.  That is the thing that is most important.   If you and your husband are like two people living together, but really living apart from each other, love is diminished.

Being married to someone who you are not sure you love is one of the saddest and loneliest experiences of them all.   We all need to give and receive love to thrive.

Just some quick advice on this point.  Whatever your situation, do not give up on those dreams of being married to a wonderful man.  Perhaps it may not be your husband of now, but the future is full of possibilities.

You may hunger for a return to those times in which the minutes of the day were filled with joy, not with sadness.

I sometimes look at things in a marriage differently than a lot of the conventional relationship experts.

So if you are in this state in which you feel sad and trapped in a toxic relationship, then it is time for you to get away.

I am not saying you should drop the marriage right then, right there.

Perhaps there is a way to save it.

But before you can contribute to saving your own marriage, you need to save yourself.

You need to get out.  You need to get away from this husband who constantly makes you feel inferior and unfulfilled.

If you feel your marriage is lost and you can’t imagine how you and your husband will ever be able to assemble all the broken pieces and recover, then my advice is to temporarily extract yourself from the situation.

It is time to pull the cord.

Think of it as taking a plunge.

A marriage parachute can save your marriage and your sense of well-being.

The need to recharge your battery, while it should be obvious, can be completely overshadowed by your need to survive and get through the next day.

But you see what is happening, right?

If you are stuck into the drudgery of marital routines that leave you wholly dissatisfied, something big has to happen to upset this balance.

Sometimes it is best to seek out some high quality time alone in order to gain some internal peace.  It also allows you to come up with a plan of action because now you can breathe and get away from the fear that he instills in you.

So if you are asking yourself why do I feel so lonely in my relationship and how will I ever survive?

Then you should answer your own query with….”I am lonely in part because I need time to find myself again.  I have accepted for too long a life and a marriage that is far from what I need and deserve.  But to see me way through this or clear of this, I need to first save myself.”

So take that time.

Tell this lousy husband of yours that you are very unhappy with the course of your marriage and your life and will be taking the next two weeks (or however long) to save yourself and that you will have more to discuss with him in the future.

Then go away and do just that.

Love yourself.

Best your own best friend.

Get centered again.

Go on a cruise if you wish. Go stay with friends.  Take long walks and reflect on what you might want to do in the future since you are at this relationship crossroads.

How it all shakes out for you will depend on lots of things.  But you won’t be in a good place to make a good decision, unless you can find peace in yourself.

I Want Out of My Bad Marriage But Am Scared and Have No Money

Today we are going to hear from Mary who feels like she is stuck in an unhappy marriage.

By her account it has been like forever since she has not felt any kind of love connection with her husband for a very long time.

But before we get to her story, I have a few opening thoughts on this topic of how to get out of an unhappy or bad marriage.

So what are you to do if you feel trapped in a marriage?

Are there surefire miserable marriage signs that you can look to that will give you assurances that the time has finally come to pull out of your unhappy union?

For those who have not faced a similar situation, it might be confusing why some women find it so difficult not to recognize when it becomes necessary to pull the plug on their marriage.

Sometimes we can miss what appears to be obvious unhappy marriage signs.  The reason being, we are too close to the storm.

One might think after hearing a woman’s sorrowful account of her pain and suffering that it should be easy walk away.

surviving a crappy marriage

But for any of you who have a taste of what it is like to feel trapped, it is evident that simply walking out and away from a relationship is seldom an easy decision.

It can be like you have two minds.  One might be saying, get out…get out.  The other is saying…maybe I should give it another try.

After all, how does one leave a marriage after 5, 10, 15+ years or  however long the couple has been together?

Time has a way of fusing us together, even if we are not right for each other.

What if there are kids involved?  How do you get out of a bad marriage when children are in the middle of the mess.  Just this component can be disabling, causing one to invest more and more of their time in a poor marriage.

What if abuse is in the picture?  But what if the type of abuse levied against you made you feel insecure, less confident and afraid?

What are you to do if you feel scared, even fearful about the whole prospect of ending an abusive marriage?

Stepping Away From My Fear of Him

What if you husband controls all the purse strings and all financial decisions go through him?

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard a wife tell me, “I want to leave, but I have no money and I just don’t know how I will survive.”

Then there are women who really feel so trapped they cannot bring themselves to head for the marriage exit door.

It is as if fear has gripped them so hard they cannot compel themselves to do the very thing they know is right.

Perhaps their husband is so controlling and domineering, their very sense of who they are and whether they have the capability of walking away becomes warped.

In other words, some wives can become so twisted with anxiety and indecision, mixed in with sadness and disappointment, they get stuck and waffle back and forth.

And how do you get out of an unhappy marriage if you don’t think you can afford it?

It’s not like money is falling from the sky.

And how do you escape your controlling husband if you feel frozen in fear or you are  psychologically stuck convinced you are to blame for everything?

The real bad husbands will do that to you.  They will beat you down to the point where you are second guessing everything, stripping away your dignity and self respect.

What are you to do if you feel like you are a prisoner to both your circumstance and the man you neither like or love seems to have this invisible hand of control on your choices?

Why Do You Feel Confused or Petrified To Leave Your Marriage?

should I get out of this mess of a marriage

Obviously, there are practical considerations one has to take into account. The business of calling an end to things is a serious undertaking.

It is hard to convince yourself to end the marriage when it wasn’t that long ago the two of your were close.   You did once love this man.  And it’s not like there has been a parade of bad marriage signs raining down on you for the entirety of the relationship.

It seldom works that way.  Marriages are fluid and are formed and shaped over time.

The feelings you had in the beginning of your relationship with your husband never entirely goes away.   And in a lot these cases, the husband is not always a rotten guy or the marriage didn’t start crumbling on day 22.

No, this is not the way a marriage unfolds in real life.  There are usually a lot of ups in the beginning.  Then some ups and downs.

And if you are in one of those marriages that is torn open, the down moments will come in waves, creating chaos.

And when chaos visits a marriage, it is really hard to get a grip on anything, never mind think straight.

So I understand the confusion that can grip you.

And I know that living and operating within a dysfunctional marriage is one of the hardest things for any woman (or man) to cope with.

I know that at one point during the marriage, you probably felt invested and wanted the relationship to work.

But when it began failing, as I alluded to earlier, the connection between husband and wife doesn’t usually fall apart instantly.

It’s not like the marriage fell off a cliff and suddenly you are just gripping to the edge of sanity.

Typically marriages that unravel do so over time.

I Am Tired of Being Afraid in My Marriage

When it comes apart at the seams, it is usually slowly.

You may not want to think about what may seem more obvious to outsiders.  Whether it is your sense of “hanging in there” or “working at it” that keeps you plugging along, just know that marriages rarely just end unless there is a lot of pain and heart ache.

In most cases, husband and wife will try to work things out.  After all, they have a lot invested in each other.

But sometimes they can’t work it out.

Perhaps that is not all bad.

Not all us are going to find the right partner the first time around.

If the couple has a chance of picking up the pieces and making the relationship work, then most certainly they need to do that and make every effort to make the marriage work.

But sometimes the routines of a bad marriage and staying the course creates this inertia that prevents you from seeing the bigger picture.

For some married individuals, getting off the marriage train wreck becomes less of a potentiality and more of something you just push out of your mind.

Some day“, you might say to yourself, “I am going to leave him“.  But the next day comes and you are back to being busy with life.

What Stops You From Breaking Away From Him?

time to get rid of my man

There can be legitimate and rational reasons that cause you to hesitant to leave.

There can also be psychological barriers that makes it more challenging to step away.

There can also be some highly personal reasons that contributes to a woman’s (or man’s) resistance to call it quits.

You might fear those whispers from others insinuating you failed at your marriage.

There might be concerns over the embarrassment it might cause you in your social circles.

You might be struggling with disappoint in yourself.  You likely had high expectations for yourself and wanted badly for the marriage to work.  If it is not working, even if you feel largely blameless, the thought that the marriage is doomed is a big emotional load to carry around.

Getting Out From Under Your Indecision to Leave Him

So what you need is a game plan on how to process it all and what actionable steps you can take to move forward to a better place.

What you need sometimes is to learn how to turn those cries of, “I can’t leave him” or “I don’t won’t a divorce, but I really do” into a calm and calculated approach to how you want to map out your life going forward.

Today we are going to hear from Mary.  We will learn about her story.  Then I will walk you through the  4 critical steps you need to take to successfully extract yourself from a horrible circumstance.

Notice I didn’t say retreat.

If things in your relationship are horrible and you are being mistreated, there is no shame in getting out.

And if fear and money are your biggest concerns, just know that there are ALWAYS multiple escape routes from a screwed up marriage (as Mary puts it).

Here is Mary….

Chris asked me to talk to you ladies. Being that there is no such thing as a bad marriage test, I had to learn the hard way that my husband was a scoundrel.  I know that now. 

I use to be weak and fearful that something awful would happen to me and my life if I rocked the boat.  Mind you, the man I was married to was a monster. It’s a really screwed up marriage. 

I use to hate him, but I now know that is all wasted energy. Looking back, I hardly even recognize who I was back then, putting up with all his crap.  He made me afraid on purpose to control me. My husband belittled me.  He got his kicks out of making me squirm and seeing that I was uncomfortable.  He demanded sex when seldom I had interest.  Zero interest in the last few months we were together which is what brought things to a head because we stopped sleeping together. 

If you are asking how did I know that I should leave my husband, then the answer is I never knew for sure I should or would until the very end.  And that is the thing I regret the most.  We have a four-year old and it is a blessing I have her in my life.  Maybe taking to Chris got me over the finish line.  But when you see everyday that you are bring up a little girl in such a toxic marriage, it makes the decision easier.  It took me a while to see that, but when Chris asked me what impact the marriage was having on my child, I couldn’t even talk.  Then it all snapped into place.

Were their unhappy marriage signs that I could point to that said, “Yep, we are finished”?

I guess not anything really big.  It was like once we got married he just started to think he could get his way all the time and he would pitch a fit when things didn’t turn out right.

I would be the one he blamed for whatever bad was going on in his life.  So, yes, there was a long time of negative problems just piling up on each other. 

Sometimes I felt trapped in my unhappy marriage, but couldn’t leave for a million stupid excuses I kept putting out there.

My family and my friends kept saying, Why?   Why are you still with him?  Why not just call it quits, you have tried, but he is not trying on his end and it’s be too long.  You both chipping away at making it worse.  

I took this survey Chris came up with.  I forget what he calls it but it was one of those figure out if you are unhappy marriage quiz.  I kinda knew what would be the outcome because every question was leading me to remember some horrible or hateful thing he said or did and those memories would be in my mind as I filled it out.

I think that was another turning point for me.  Everywhere I turned, I was getting feedback that, “No you are not trapped.  You don’t have to put up with his verbal crap or stay with a man you don’t love”

So, yep, looking back now, I see that I had all the unhappy marriage signs that point to you’ll get divorced soon if something dramatic doesn’t happen.

Foolishly, I kept waiting, hoping that my husband would change, become that dream guy I had hoped he would be.

It was never in the cards.  I see that now.

But I made the jump.  I guess it was more of a bolt.  Chris told me I needed an exit plan and I should have most everything lined up.  A place to say.  Some money stashed away.  A support system.  I had my sister and my parents and my friends to help me.  I am working, so while it’s not easy, it is so AMAZING to have a life with just me and my little girl.

I never realized how much strain I was under and how foolish I was for staying so long. 

Some people ask me if I felt guilty or if I struggled with the breakup of my marriage (note: we are not divorced yet, but I am working on that).  Once I decided, stopped thinking about it. I never felt bad. It’s like I didn’t look back and question whether I was doing the right thing by leaving him. 

Actually, I got really mad at myself for a few days when I realized how much I was missing out on by not leaving sooner. 

Things are different now. Hugely different. My mood is better. I feel free and I see through all his lies now.  My confidence is returning and I feel happy about coming home to my little place.

So yes, ladies.  You can escape a miserable life with your husband if you want to.  Wash away those fears and don’t let your husband intimidate you or put doubts in your mind.  Ignore him when he says you will be a lamb for slaughter.  Your guy will probably say a lot of cruel things.  Just shush it out.

I am getting by just fine.  Actually no.  I am doing fantastic.

4 Steps To Keep in Mind When Walking Away From Your Marriage

4 ways to get away from him

1. Take a Look at the Picture of Your Marriage

Often when you are in the midst of a troubled marriage, you can’t see just how bad it is.  You can get accustomed to certain behaviors that are highly inappropriate and while you can actually break free of the currents that steer the marriage, fatigue and uncertainty often take over preventing you from getting a real accounting of what has been unfolding in your married life.

To break out of this mold you need to talk to someone you trust that can give you an honest accounting of what they think about your chances if you stay.  Friends and family can sometimes help you with this.  But your best tool might just be what I call a Plus/Delta.

This is how it works.  List out all the positive things that your husband offers to you and your life.  Then list out all the negative problems that stem from being married to him.

Honestly evaluate whether the two of you have made sufficient efforts to work on the martial difficulties.  Ask yourself, what kind of self-help resources have you tapped into?

Have you pursued any martial counseling?

How long have the two of you struggled in your marriage?

These are the things you need answers on.  Now take all this into account and objectively ask yourself….will your husband continue to be part of the problem or does he have the potential to be part of the solution?

Answer that question, then you may be ready for Step 2.

2. You Need an Exit Plan

Getting all worked up and leaving in a huff and puff is hardly a solution.  More often than not, giving in to anger or turning the whole “I am leaving this marriage” into a drama is not the direction you want to go.

Your best results will come from planning and calculating what it is you need to get on without him in your life.  Maybe you are not 100% certain that you want to divorce him, but you can’t imagine spending any more time in that same house with this man because the marriage has completely unraveled.

Whatever the case, before you choose to leave, be sure to have a complete action plan.   When its time to get out….then by all means get out.

If later things change significantly such that you choose to revisit returning, that is always your prerogative.

Know where you are going to stay.  If you think your husband might get physical or violent, keep a close friend or even the police in the loop (e.g. restraining order).

You can arrange for a friend to be with you if that makes you feel safe.  You also need to plan for the practical things you will need such as your personal clothes and important documents.  Don’t worry about taking it all.  More than likely, you will have an opportunity to get the rest of the lesser important stuff or arrange for someone to pick it up for you.

Have an emergency backpack with essential items available to you if you need to expedite your departure.  You will also need to look at your finances.  Do you need time to save more money?  Do you need to move money around?  Will you need to borrow money?

Think through all these things and plan accordingly. Remember, your need to leave your husband could come faster than you think, so don’t put off having your exit plan in place.

3. Communications With Your Husband

What you say (if anything) to your husband and how you say it depends on your individual situation.  Ideally you will want to explain to your husband in person what you are doing and why.

But in some cases the husband might be a real jerk and could potentially turn the whole exit episode into a bitter fight, creating even more turmoil and bad feelings.

If you feel there is a reasonable potential for that to happen, then it may very well be in the best interests of everybody for you to first leave quietly, then communicate about your reasons later.

If your husband is shocked about your need to get away from him, then that says something about him right there.  If he is completely clueless and flabbergasted, then obviously he has been deluding himself.

If your husband frequently mistreats you and shows himself as a vile or vindictive person, you owe him no courtesy of explanation until you are ready and it should be on your own terms.

And whether that be a in personal meeting or correspondence or phone call or having a friend step into to deliver the news, that is always up to you.  Each of these approaches have advantages and disadvantages depending on your unique situation.

4. Once You And Your Husband Have Parted – It’s Time To Start Healing

Now you are out and away from the unhappiness that has plagued your life.  Don’t you think it’s time for some healing to start!

You have probably been through hell.  So be good to yourself and start in on a variety to things you can do to become the best version of YOU.

It’s not going to be an easy ride.  Despite all his faults, you have become accustomed to certain routines and habits.  Good routines can make us feel safe and tap down anxieties.

So some of the comfortable routines may be missing now.  But that’s OK.  Remind yourself that you can start new routines.  Remind yourself of the bad habits you slipped into or the uncomfortable routines you had to repeat in the other environment you were in.  Now those are no more.  Your tomorrows can be a whole lot better.

The past is behind you.  While it may still linger in your thoughts, it is the future you need to focus on.

Getting emotionally and physically healthy is important.  Getting engaged in new activities that you find fulfilling is critical.  I have written about this extensively that on this website, so feel free to explore.

My Wife Keeps Threatening To Leave and Divorce Me

Relationships have a way of running in directions that you never expect.

Today we are going to hear from a guy named Clint, whose wife is threatening to leave him due to his anger problems and maybe even divorce him.

We will hear out his story and then explore some of the typical things you should consider doing when the wife is making threats of leaving you.  I am not talking about casual threats, but really intense threats that have the appearance of possibly coming true.

she sick of me and walking out

So I hand you off to Cliff to get a piece of his story….

Hey there, I am Cliff and Chris asked me to write some lines.

My wife has never threatened divorce before.  I know she is mad at me and she has good reason.  I am not the perfect husband, though I have never threatened to divorce her when I get upset or grow bitter.

I guess I suck at the marriage game.  I move through life pretty quick and am really independent, so I know I step on her toes sometimes.

We have known each other for six years and married for two years.  I can kinda go crazy when I don’t get my way.  The other day I just started yelling at her and I guess that was the final straw, once again.

That’ our other problem.  She keeps blowing up at me.  Almost weekly now.

She is telling me that she should get a lawyer and is threatening to sue me for emotional abuse.  I don’t think you can do that unless you are parting ways.

I sure am not ready for that to happen and I know she still loves me.  But she is pissed at me and I know that because she is pulling out all the stoppers.

What exactly is she saying you ask? Let me give you a rundown.

First my wife threatens to leave with our child.  I know she doesn’t mean it, but the sound of her voice tells me she is serious and I need to get my act together.

Then my wife threatens to cheat on me.  Now that is just her trying to get me upset.  My wife is a looker and she could have anyone she wanted.  But that is not the kind of woman she is. 

What To Do If You Suspect Your Wife Of Cheating

But look, I know our marriage is a bit messed up, but it works.  Neither of us have cheated on the other.  Our sex is great and I am not going to lose her.  But she is starting to scare me with her talk.

Now my wife is threatening to call the cops and make me leave.

I am kinda getting tired of this.  Now that I think about it, my wife likes to throw this stuff in my face.  She freaks me out with these baseless threats in the moment, but then later I realize she is not going  ever follow through.  But I never really know if this time it’s going to be a different outcome

I mean she gets so upset, all red in the face and it sounds pretty real to me at the time.  It’s like we are on some endless merry go round.  When we argue about whatever, she throws divorce in my face.  I am seriously getting sick of it.  It’s like she uses me as her relief valve.   I do little something wrong and if she is stressed she take it all out on me dredging up every single thing I may have done wrong in the past.  There is no fair fighting in this house.  

I am not such a bad husband but if you listen to my wife, she will have you convinced I am some kind of bully.  But look man, she is winning most of these battles.  Huffs and puffs, lets me have it, then leaves for most of the day making me wonder if she will come back.

Yep, that’s what’s going down here.

So what I am looking for is some advice or some steps on how to make sure my wife does truly leave or divorce me.  Better yet, if there is some way to just get her to stop making these threats.

Look, I am not a menacing or frightening husband.  I don’t beat my wife.  If anybody is hostile, it’s my wife.

So shoot me whatever good advice you got.

5 Things You Need To Do To Ensure Your Wife Won’t Be Leaving You

get in touch with the present moment

As you can imagine, I had a good amount of advice for this individual.  Part of challenge was helping him get more in touch with the moment from her perspective.  I will explain what I mean by this later.

As you can see from his description, he is far from the perfect husband and I when I got into the down and dirty of all their problems, I told him he needed to clean up his act.

I didn’t tell him that to side with his wife because there are some issues there.  But mainly I wanted to give him a wake up call that somebody needs to lead the way.  And right now, both spouses were acting like victims.

When You Feel It All Collapsing

After I cut through a lot of his crap, it turned out most of the threats from his wife were levied more from a defensive posture.  Sometimes it is helpful to be frank with certain guys who struggle with understanding how their treatment of their wife could be the origin of their troubles.

This particular individual seemed to think it was OK to keep doing things in his normal fashion.  But good marriages don’t work that way.  There should be give and take and growth.  But if one makes no effort to solve the underlying problems….and both of them had faults….then little progress will be made.

You see, marriage improvement does not stem from practicing the same behaviors because not all behaviors are healthy.  If you act like a bully and think you can get away with it without consequences, then you can expect that your wife is going to strike back.

So I started talking to him from a 3rd person perspective.

If you find yourself wondering why she is so hostile towards you, ask yourself if it is possible the entire problem does not necessarily stem from your wife freaking out, I told him.

Just maybe, the husband bears some of the responsibility of the deteriorating marriage.  This was the challenge I had when I was coaching this gentleman.  He had little motivation to accept that he was part of the problem and could be part of the solution.

When all that exist is mainly finger pointing, with each spouse blaming the other; then the couple are both playing a zero sum game.

So I told him, “you are a wonderful and faultless husband and it is beyond me why you married such a witch“.

Of course I was being sarcastic to try to get him to see that there was little to gain in playing victim.   He didn’t want to hear that but sometimes it takes a neutral party to show someone how they are being perceived.

I told him the husband bears some responsibility when the wife is having a meltdown.  It is never as simple as the wife is all wrong and the poor husband is the victim.

And vice versa.

There are plenty of women who want to blame their husband for all that is wrong with the marriage, but are reluctant to take a look at their own behavior and how it contributes to marriage unrest.

So let’s say you are in a situation that is rather hostile.  Let’s say your wife is becoming unglued or often directs her rage at you and you are worried sick that she is going to do something rash. Like leave you forever.

Here are 5 things you should try doing to regain control of the environment if you find yourself in the midst of a marriage meltdown.

1. Try Telling Your Wife Calmly That You Love Her Completely and Don’t Want Her to Leave – Then Shut Up

loving your wife

Sometimes all your wife needs to hear is some nice, soothing and loving words.  And you better say it with measured, deadpan honesty or she will see right through it.

Sure, if she is really upset with you and making threats of walking out, you probably won’t see her calm down immediately.  Particularly if you have taken a defensive verbal posture.

But trust me.  Those words of yours will make a mark.  It will make an impression on her in that very moment, but you won’t see it.  She will hold it in.

It will also make an impress in her subconscious.  There can be a million things that can arouse her anger.  Some of us can be really moody.  Some of the issues a couple  may have with each other could even be petty.  And some of these angry thoughts your wife is having could be very much justified.

Working through all that is for the immediate future.  But right now, you and and your wife are in the here now.  You are in the present moment and are facing a very angry wife, right?

So what I am saying is if she hears with her own ears you telling her in person, to her face, that you love her dearly and want her to stay, it will register.

But it is critical you stop talking after you say this.   Any more words from you will waste the moment.  Let her unwind.  Give her a chance to have her say and listen to every word she utters.  Empathize.

Show positive body language demonstrating with earnest that you care about every utterance of your wife and every syllable she is speaking.

This approach to communication may not solve everything in that moment, but it will give you and your wife a platform to launch an effort to try to work things out.

Don’t forget, in the here now, you are trying to put the flame out.

Remember, your goal is not to cure the marriage right there, right then.  You are trying to talk your wife off the ledge and get her to come back down to earth and open up so she can see you listening about her concerns.

2.  Calmly Tell Your Wife You Understand Her Plight and You Will Be Willing To Leave For a Spell

give her some room

Again, use a calm voice when you talk to your wife about whatever is going on.  If you mirror her anger or frustration or rage, you both are going to meltdown and all you end up doing is hastening her desire to leave you….to walk out.

If things have gotten so bad that the talk in your house has spilled over into, “Honey, I am leaving you.  I am sick of you.  I can’t stand to see your face again”, The sooner I leave the faster I can divorce you.”

If your communications have descended to that level of discourse and you feel your wife has declared war and wants you out of her life come hell or high water; then you best oblige.  But only for the short-term.

We Are At War With Each Other

Think of it as a reprieve. You are leaving but by her staying in the house, you still have some control of  eventually getting the marriage back in some type of working order in the future.

That is a lot harder to do if she has rushed out of the house, muttering obscenities and talking about lawyers, separation, and divorce.

3. Set Aside Your Pride and Tell Your Wife Bluntly That the Marriage is in Intensive Care and Ask for a Reprieve

trouble in paradise

Sometimes a husband’s biggest vice in working through problems with their wife and marriage is their pride.

Sometimes it can be hard for any of us to accept their is trouble in paradise.

Living inside your pride can cause you to ignore the problems that are all too obvious to your wife.  It can also blind you to the real problems with the marriage.

So if the meltdown of your marriage is occurring right in front of you, don’t waste another moment.  Acknowledge out loud, without blame in the tone of your voice, that the Marriage is in big bad trouble.  It’s like you are speaking in 3rd person.

Tell her in the most calm and supportive voice you can muster that the marriage is beyond sick and is serious need of emergency help.

Tell her you think outside help is needed because neither you or her are able to render a cure or solution to the marriage yourselves.  For whatever reason, you have both lost your way.  Tell her you want to find a Marriage Counselor you both can visit and start a process of ending this nightmare.

Your wife needs to see you “get it” and that you understand the problems between the two of you have risen to a point where you are afraid you both are going to lose each other and that there could be a lot of collateral damage.

Only then will you be able to shock her out of the notion of throwing in the towel and leaving you.  Acknowledge to your wife that all of her threats of wanting to leave were warning signs and now you see you waited too long to take them seriously.

4.   Try to End The Chaos of the Moment By Slowing Everything Down

slow it all down

So what the heck does all that mean, you might be wondering?

It’s simple and pretty deep and works at a psychological level.  If your wife is irate and is threatening to end the marriage and you are fearful that she might actually go through with it, then you need to act, but do so in a certain unusual and interesting way.

How do you expect you will normally act?

Well, most husbands freak out when they are in such a situation.  Most people do.  Typically a guy will start getting excited and then frantically try to talk their wives out of leaving them.  Bear in mind, in many cases, it takes a lot to drive a woman to a point of making threats.  So we are already on some shaky and troublesome ground. The angrier the wife gets and the more accusations that get slung at you, the more defensive you will likely be.

And when your wife’s anger meets your defensiveness, guess what happens?

Nothing good, right!

The entire environment becomes combustible and the two of you stand a really good chance at blowing apart the marriage in that moment.

So you need to act against your nature.

You need to use the technique of mirroring.  If you talk slow and walk slow and choose your words carefully, speaking quietly and in measured ways; then your wife will subconsciously start to slowly, over time mirror your behavior and demeanor.

Your goal is to bring the level of intensity down a few notches.  Little is solved in moments of great passion.  But a lot can be ruined in such an environment.

Nothing good will come of the two of you allowing things  to become all twisted up.  So take the lead and slow things down.  If your wife insists that she wants to leave, then you need to call upon the inner yoga that is inside you and bring calm back into your world and hers.

5. Buy Some Time – You Can Make Progress If you Encourage Your Wife To Simply Wait.

waiting for calm

Sometimes things are moving so fast than it is a blur.  You have got to slow things down.

Start off first with using a little reverse psychology by agreeing with everything she is saying.  I know it sounds crazy and may go against the current of truth.  But your most immediate goal is to find a way to reach into the rationale side of her mind.

Most likely, if she is throwing threats at you, she is living in right side of her brain…the emotional side.

Now I know some of what she is saying could be hogwash and simply not true or at best misleading.  But remember, you just need to try to buy time for the best interests of the marriage.

Then tell your wife that You have it coming.

Maybe you do.

Maybe you don’t.

But say it anyway. Take the sword.  You are a tough guy.   And once again, I warn you, if you are going to eat your words and take the sword, it better pass her truth detector.

Tell her you are not going to fight her on what she wants.  Don’t try to talk her into staying.  So now you are taking her side.

You understand the angle here, right?

So then simply tell her that she should wait until tomorrow before she packs and leaves or wants you to pack and leave.

Explain to her you understand she is physically and emotionally exhausted, just like yourself.  So let tomorrow be the dreaded day when their marriage officially ends.  Put it that way, using words like that.

This may have the effect of actually causing your wife to (1) become less angry and intent on leaving you that very moment and (2) start to doubt if separating or divorcing you is really the best thing to do.

My Ex Wife Is Trying To Destroy My Life and Marriage

Today we are going to hear from Jim who is clearly having some ex-wife problems.  He seems convinced that his ex-wife is determined to break up a new relationship he has with a woman he met at work and eventually plans to marry.

He feels like he is in a toxic, no win marriage.

Is he paranoid about his wife’s desire to destroy his life?  Could he be exaggerating about some of his ex wife’s antics?

Or does he have a point?  Has his ex decided to make him miserable out of spite? Is there something he can do to get his ex wife off his case?

not feeling strong

Well, we are going to take a look at all that as well as  how things ultimately worked out.

You will discover that getting closure is not always an easy thing to achieve, particularly after a contentious breakup.  And while he failed in coming up with his own solution on mending the fence with his ex-wife, something else happened that brought some hope to his life.

So let’s get started with Jim’s tale as told by the man himself….

My ex-wife and I broke up some time ago.  It has been rough going ever since.  She is convinced I dumped her and ran out of the marriage.  It is more like I was trying to escape.

I am convinced my ex-wife is trying to destroy my life and my relationship with a new woman I have met.  I plan to marry this new lady and all hell is starting to break loose simply because my ex is jealous and spiteful.

I Just Want To Move On

I never though this woman, I once loved dearly, could be so vicious. Look, I am no angel, but I don’t think I am the bad guy here.

To say that my ex is livid about me moving on, is an understatment.  The woman just won’t let go of the past and apparently she won’t let me go either.

I am not quite sure what to do about this.  She seems intent in tormenting me and wrecking my new relationship.  The lady I met and have fallen in love with is a decent woman and doesn’t deserve this.

Let me tell you, my ex-wife knows all the tricks on how to ruin a guy’s life.  Perhaps I am sounding bitter but sometimes relationships don’t work out and I just want her to accept this and move on.

She doesn’t really need me.  She is financially stable and can stand on her own feet.

This whole thing with my ex is messing with my new girlfriend’s head.  I can tell my girlfriend is getting thoughts of bailing because of all the drama.

I think my new girlfriend’s perspective about this triangle we find ourselves in is that it is fast becoming a real crap show.  All she thinks about right now is how to deal with her soon to be husband’s ex-wife.  I am afraid I am losing her with all the crap going on.

How My Marriage is Tumbling Down

my marriage is messed up big time

In the beginning of our marriage I was living in the dark.  I was denying what was plainly clear to me if only I would look.  The problem is my ex-wife is a a control freak.

Everything has to revolve around her and when it doesn’t she pitches a fit.  That is one of the problems that led us to come to hate each other.  I know I shouldn’t say that, because hating your ex-wife is no way to live.  But the crap she is  creating for me and my girlfriend is messing with both of our heads

Now my new girlfriend is stuck with a guy who can’t seem to rid himself of his old relationship, with reminders of it every day.

I know that can’t be a healthy way to get a new marriage off the ground.   We haven’t even talked serioulsy about dates and I think it’s because my ex wife’s insertion into our lives.

I am at lost at how to address these toxic ex wife issues.  I have read that when this sort of thing goes on and on, it can take on the form of what is called toxic ex-wife syndrome.

Recovering From Toxic Relationships

This is when your ex-wife emotional boundaries become stretched so far and wide, she feels she has a right to make life hell for you.  She obsesses over you and everything you do and inserts herself into your life long after you have ended things with her.   To make matters worse,  one’s wife can damage or ruin relationships you try to form with other women.

This is what was what was going on in my life.

My ex-wife was showing up at my place uninvited and insisting there are things we need to work out.  How one goes about dealing with an ex-wife who thinks she has a ticket to walk right into your home and then just start carrying on about everything on her mind?

On some of these occasions, my lady friend was with me and it would get awkward quickly.  My girlfriend would leave, feeling confused and uncomfortable that she is in the middle of something.  My former wife would act like I invited her and just carry on like everything was fine between us.

Later I would explain to my girlfriend what was really going on and she would accept it, but I know there are some trust issues now which is what my ex wanted to create.

I simply didn’t have the patience or emotional energy to deal with my ex-wife’s games and all the problems she brings into my life.

wife playing with my head

She can get hysterical to the point where I really worry about her sanity.  Then she can get angry and strike out at me and my new girlfriend, hoping to split us apart.

At first it didn’t work.  My new girlfriend is a real gem and super understanding, but she also a sensitive type and I know this was taking a toll on her.  I confess, it was also getting to me.

So all this stuff my ex-wife was pulling  weighed heavily on both me and my new woman.  She didn’t invite this kind of chaos into her life.  I am pretty sure she would not have chosen to be with me had she known my wife was wired this way.  She often told me I married a witch.

That what Peggy (my girlfriend) called her.

Things really got out of hand when my ex-wife took new aim at sabotaging my relationship with Peggy and started sending personal communications directly to  her.

They were threatening or anything like that.  But should would act like there was a minor emergency and needed to contact me or she would try to start a conversation.  Or should would leave an unintelligible text meant to confuse her.

Of course, I really freaked out when I heard this was happening and confronted my ex and the whole episode turned into an ugly mess full of lies and denial.

So how to you deal with an ex-wife who is so desperate and resentful, they are willing to hurt you by attacking your girlfriend?

Why won’t some people just let go.  She has known for months I wanted a divorce and agreed it was best.  But her actions are not consistent with what she previously said.

There is not a day that goes by when Peggy insists that my ex-wife is not just trying to ruin our relationship but really needs psychological help.

But I worry about the toll all this is taking on all of us.

Just the other day Peggy was telling me she finds herself constantly anxious.

My former wife likes to create public scenes that makes everyone uncomfortable.  She showed up at my girlfriend’s kids baseball game, knowing I would be there so she could talk “finances”, but nothing of the sort happened.  She just impulsively decided to drop in on us.   Then she used the opportunity to get angry about me doing things with Peggy that I had not done with her.

She just won’t let go and what makes this tough for me is I know I contributed to some of what is happening now.

I convinced her just before we got married that I would aways be there for her.  She was head strong in some ways, but also needy and often need assurances.  It made me feel good to know that I could look out for someone and be their rock.  I must have told her a thousand times I would never leave her.  She was always looking for reassurances and I happily provided them to her.

So I guess she become emotionally reliant and dependent on me. At least there was too much of that happening.  I know now that was not a healthy relationship.   No one person should have to completely depend on another for their fulfillment.  I mean bad things can  happen to any of us, but we have to be able to bounce back.

I guess it would be fair to say my ex-wife is a clinger.  I help create that.  But clinging to the past that is no more is not healthy.  I told her this a thousand times but it doesn’t seem to make a dent.  She was in denial.  Still is.

So my ex-wife struggled with much of that and now it seems she lives with anger and resentment.  She is going out of her way to take it out on me.

With my new girlfriend entering the picture, her anger has just ramped up.  I have told her she need to move forward without me.  I want her to be happy for me and I want to feel she is going to be OK.  But right now, none of those things are happening.

How To Deal With a Vindictive Ex Wife

getting flattened out by my wife

I thought when I first got married, things would all work out.  But they didn’t.  We had serious problems and after about 18 months I was miserable.  I felt like I had been run over.

I couldn’t give her what she wanted.  I would get upset because I felt like I had to constantly butter her up and satisfy her huge ego needs.  She was both insecure, but expected to get everything her way.  It’s hard to live this way.

At first I was shocked when she acted like this, but later came to learn this was her way of getting attention.  So there was often a lot of friction and false accusations and just way too much drama.  She suffers from a mild case of being bipolar and her mood swings and impulsivity has not helped our marriage

Sometime I can’t handle it and would disappear for a few days to blow off steam and just get away from her.  That just made things worse because it fed into her insecurity that I didn’t love her.

After a while the relationship just got confusing.  I wasn’t sure I loved her the way I should.  I was looking for ways to escape.  I was unhappy.  I know she was miserable because she was picking up on my behavior.  We went through a period where neither of us had sex.  I suspected that she had some flings that didn’t work out.  She was sexually aggressive when I met her, so that wouldn’t surprise me.  And by this time, I didn’t care anymore.

To make a long story short, I met a new co-worker and we started getting close and a love affair unfolded.  I thought it was time for a clean break and told my wife I wanted to separate.

All of that was hard and there were tears and anger and uncertainty on both sides.  A real emotional roller coaster.  But after a week, I was out of the house trying out my new situation.  Of course she came to learn about me dating another woman and didn’t take it well.

I don’t think people really know what it’s like to have a vindictive ex partner.  I try not to get pulled into the mess, but sometimes her antics at trying to destroy my life is too much to take and I say things I regret later.

She tells me I am a narcissistic, selfish ex husband.  In my mind, I am just trying to survive and move on and she is the one that the whole world must revolve around.

She constantly needs to be reassured and thinks she knows everything about my new relationship and how it is going to fail.  She is so self-absorbed and jealous, I don’t think there is a kind bone in her.

A spiteful ex-wife is the last thing I thought I would be dealing with when I first got married.  I knew she was a handful when we got married and stupid me thought her ways would bring some zest to our marriage.

While there was some of that, it’s not been worth it.  I felt like she was suffocating me and  I had to get out.  But that move has triggered the full force of her anger and hostility.

How Did I Get My New Life and Marriage Back

happy times with my new girlfriend

I thought I would never get past this hole I was in.  I had left my wife and found another women.

My ex-wife was livid with me for not trying hard enough, but I was convinced I did what any reasonable guy would do in my situation and when I saw that we were so poorly matched on so many levels, I bailed.

But I didn’t start-up an affair until after we were separated.

Unfortunately, while I was willing to move on, my ex-wife wouldn’t let me go.  I am pretty sure she didn’t want me back in her life given the things she said to me while were separated, but when she found out that I was falling for another woman, it was as if a switch went off.

So for a few months it was hell.

What may have finally brought some closure was something I never expected would happen.  My new girlfriend was freaking out a lot because of all the friction my ex and I were experiencing.  She eventually decided not to see me anymore.  She moved out.  She knew I was not going back to my wife, but she said she didn’t want to be with me until I resolved the issues I had with my wife.

Then she did something unbelievable.   She called my ex-wife and spoke to her a long time.  She told her that she love me but was unhappy being with me due to the chaos and therefore did not want to be part of something that was unfinished and was broken.  She was referring to my old relationship with my ex.

My girlfriend told my ex-wife that she told me that I needed to bring final closure to my previous marriage and it was unfair to my ex to leave her hanging with uncertainty.  I had been dragging my feet on going through with the divorce, not because I wanted to go back to my wife but I just didn’t want to deal with the hassle.  But apparently, that may have had the effect of giving my wife false hope or so my girlfriend thought.

My girlfriend told my ex that if she truly wanted me back in her life, she needed to learn to forgive me and herself for the mistakes  made in the marriage.  She encouraged my ex-wife to meet with me to discuss bringing final closure.  Closure would be either reconciling and getting counseling or agreeing to get divorced so both parties can move forward.

Somehow, she convinced my ex-wife that nothing was going to improve for all parties involved so long as everyone lived in this uncertain relationship situation.

She explained that what would be best is either make a clear break from each other, ending communication so both could heal; or we should try to make the marriage work somehow.

As it turned out, my ex-wife had no intention of ever getting back with me again.  She was impressed that this other woman had deferred to her to take control of the situation.  I guess that fed into her ego and sense of controlling everything.

As it turned out,  my ex was  getting tired of toying with my efforts to rebuild my life.   While I don’t think she was ready to forgive, she seemed to know that carrying on like this was damaging.  It evidently was becoming too much of an emotional drag on her.

After some heart to heart discussion, we agreed to pursue divorce and limit our contact to just the necessary things.  She even told me she liked my girlfriend and could not understand why she fell for me, but hoped it would work out for her.

The she told me not to do to my girlfriend what I did to her because she didn’t deserve that.  I just kept my mouth shut.

Obviously, I didn’t agree with her premise, but I sure was not going to rock the boat.

So things are looking up.

I feel like I have a life plan.  My new girlfriend and I are cooling it for a while until my wife and I finalize the terms of our divorce.  We do see each other, but have not moved in together.

My first marriage is not what I thought it would be.  Maybe I am not good at getting it out the first time around.  But I learned a lot.

For those of you contemplating it, be sure to know your partner inside and out.  Live together for a spell.  Make sure you can tolerate each other’s weaknesses. It helps to have common values.  Don’t carry grudges and get over your fights.  Don’t let them linger as they will poison your relationship.


I Want Out of My Marriage With My Husband But Feel Guilty

If you feel like you are cornered and need to escape your relationship, just know that getting out of a broken marriage with your husband may very well be in your best interest.

Of course, that is not always the case, but what if it was?  How would you know?

When can you be certain that the marriage is truly broken and without hope?

Can you ever know such a thing?

But before we rush to judgement and conclude that your marriage is going down the tubes and that you need to come up with an exit plan, let’s try to look at all possibilities.

Sometimes one’s emotions can run away, causing one to think that escaping out of marriage with your husband (or wife) is your only avenue.

emotions of marriage lifting away

Perhaps you and your husband are struggling on the sexual front, so you are thinking should I get out of a sexless marriage.

Perhaps you and your husband are fighting like wildcats to the point where you want out of an abusive marriage.

Maybe you are a woman who still loves her husband but knows that the future does not hold any promise, so you want of the marriage but feel guilty.

Getting Out of A Marriage Is Not As Easy As One May Think

running out of a damaged pairing

There are many tough marital situations women sometimes have to cope with, particularly if you know deep inside that you want to break things off with your husband but there are also extenuating circumstances.

Is It Time To Call It Quits

You may wish to run away and get out, but something could be pulling you in.

For example you may be overcome with uncertainty as to when to leave a marriage with kids.

Possibly your personal finances are very dependent on your husband which can throw a loop into your marital exit strategy.

Or you may still be on the fence.  There have been as many good times as bad times and you have not yet reconciled what it all means and whether you and your spouse can ever get on the same page.

So you may be asking yourself, “how will I know if  and when I should leave my husband”. 

I think it is important for you to know that you are not alone in your suffering.  There are plenty of other women who are indecisive about whether they wish to remain married.

Many women are plagued with doubts and feel guilty about calling it quits for all sorts of reasons.  Breakups, Separations and divorces come in all forms and flavors.  No one’s story is exactly the same, but there are often a lot of commonalities.

Let’s listen to a few other women weigh in on this topic before we get to some advice.

Chris we have been together for so long.  I am not even sure what to do with myself if I do follow through with leaving him.  I don’t even have a clue how to get back into the dating game.  Nor do I know what to say to my husband any longer.  All I know for sure is that I can’t continue this way.  We are way beyond having grown apart.  It’s like we coexist in the same house, barely tolerating each other.  Do you have any advice on how to leave a marriage after 20 years of an incredibly bumpy ride?

I am seeing it all now.  The unhappy marriage signs are flashing red and I need to get off of this train wreck of a relationship.  My husband is trigger happy with insults.  I am fed up with his crap and he is fed up with me and I simply don’t have the patience for this marriage anymore.  We have a kid so it’s not just about us splitting up but we need to consider how to end our bad marriage with a child without disrupting his life.

Look, all I want to know is how to leave a marriage peacefully because I can’t take this chaos anymore.  We have talked about ending the relationship.  We both agree we are part of hostile marriage.  Neither of us are giving an inch when we confront each other.  But privately, I am struggling with what it all means.  I feel guilty all the time for failing myself and failing him.   I know it’s not that simple and my husband did a lot of things (like his affair) that made this whole marriage a big joke.  I just don’t understand why I feel so bad when I should be thrilled with the prospect of getting him out of the house.

As you can see from these individuals it is not so easy to extract yourself from a damaged marriage.  Often, irrespective of how bad things may have gotten, there will be parts of you that may hold on to some hope that he will change….that he will get better…that he will learn from his horrible mistakes….that he can be trusted when he says he is going to make it work this time.

Sometimes it is the guilt and uncertainty that overcomes a wife as she struggles with whether what she is doing is right.  Many wives who I speak question whether she has done enough on her end and if they, as a couple, have exhausted all options.

It’s not unusual at all to get trapped inside you own head wondering “why do I feel guilty about divorce or separating from my husband.” 

Are Your Emotions Tearing You Apart

So feeling guilty over leaving a marriage or staying married out of guilt is not that rare, but it can be debilitating as it takes a toll on your psyche.

I have spoken with many women who are largely ready to break things off with their husband.  They often reached out to me seeking to get some advice on how they should proceed.

Of course, everybody’s situation is different.

Some wives (husbands too) are plagued with waves of inaction and can become paralyzed by their fear of proceeding with what they know in their heart is the right thing to do.

Sometimes they just need a little push.  Sometimes it helps for them to talk it out with another person…a neutral observer….who can offer their perspective.

How To Get Over The Guilt Of Wanting To Leave Someone

stepping away from your guilt


He may no longer be the apple of your eye, but tearing away from your husband can be confusng.

I find that sometimes it is easier to see things more clearly when you share your story.  I have told some of my clients to simply write down what they are going through to get closer to what has been going on in their life.

Sometimes just detailing it on paper helps you see the scope and impact of the troubles you have been enduring for so long.  Just going through this kind of process can, in itself,  help erase the guilt you may have.

There is a well-known therapeutic effective of chronicling in writing your sorrows and difficulties.  Many women who have gone through a breakup with their husband find relief in their journaling.

And this same effect can help you with clarifying your thoughts as to what has transpired in the past and why you have come to a place in your life where you feel you need to move on.

This approach also applies if you feel guilty for already leaving your husband.  Letting go of guilt from a divorce or separation that has already occurred is not always as easy as it may sound.  Sometimes the affected partner needs a healthy outlet.  Writing it down can help you see that you have come from a bad place to a much improved situation.

The two of you may have been together for many years and promised each other many things, yet everything you know to be the truth is pointing at a dysfunctional and damaging marriage.

Our minds and the emotions that run through us are complicated to the extent that you can logically conclude (left side of brain) that staying with your husband and trying to save the marriage would be a poor choice, yet that other side of the brain (right side of brain – emotion control center) can cause you to second guess your decision.

Emotional thinking can pull you back into a poisonous relationship.  Certain needs and vulnerabilities you may possess can contribute to your sense of guilt or desire to try one more time.

Of course there is no wrong with trying again and again to make your marriage work.  Saving a marriage should always be something you give your best at accomplishing.  But the desire to try and try and try again can be self-defeating if the marital situation between you and your husband doesn’t improve or worsens.

How Do You Get Over The Hump of Breaking Away?

do you just keep pretending

So how does a wife get over the hump of finally making the break away from a painful marriage?  Do you just cover your mouth, remain silent and keep pretending that all will be well?

And what about those women who are in abusive and destructive marriages?

Do you think it is easier for them to escape and put their guilt aside?

Sadly, sometimes the answer is No.   The battered wife syndrome is testament to how some women act against their best interests.

It is strange sometimes to make sense of it, but experiencing guilt over wanting to leave or actually leaving your husband comes in many forms.

Guilt has many faces and can negatively influence your mood, but more importantly, this knot of emotion can tie you up from doing what may need to happen.

You can feel guilty because you realize that you chose poorly.  You can feel bad about your own contributions to a failing marriage.

You can feel guilty because you have children with your husband and now the two of you are going through a difficult separation or divorce.

It can be a complex web of emotions that overcome you.  Perhaps you had an emotional affair or cheated on your husband.  So there may be guilt stemming from an affair you had with another man, though there may be extenuating circumstances for why the affair even occurred.

Perhaps your marriage was a wreck and you were just looking for someone to show you support, affection, and love.

So getting past all of these thoughts that may cause you to second guess your decision to leave may require a deeper perspective of what is really transpiring in your marriage.

How do find that perspective that can give you the confidence that you are acting wisely?

It’s Time For a Husband Reality Check

is he really the guy for you


Should you continue to keep your husband in the dark about how you really feel? Is this the man you ar married to really the guy you want to walk into the future with?

To overcome whatever guilt or uncertainty you may be experiencing as to whether you should leave your husband, it often pays to participate in a reality check.

So you think you want out of the marriage but you need that extra perspective or confidence or whatever it takes to finally take things to the next level, right?

What if I told you that what happens in these situations is that people are of often guided by their right brain.  This is the part of the brain this is dominated more by your emotions.

If you are married and are trying to work through whether you should leave you husband, spending too much of your thinking time on the right side of your brain can lead you to poor or impulsive decisions.

The left side of our brain is where our logical and analytical side is housed.  Now, most of the time we live in both worlds (emotional and analytical reasoning side).  That is perfectly normal and should be expected.  The problem is when our thinking and behaviors are unduly influenced by our emotions.  The problem is when we spend far too much time operating from strictly the right of our brains.  By the way, it is not such a good thing to spend all your time living in the left side of your brain.

But let’s get back to the right side….the emotional side of your brain.

It is often wise to let some time pass so those jumbled up emotions you may be wrestling with have a chance to come back down to earth.  If you are going to make the all important decision of breaking up with your husband and navigate through all of things you should think about, you are going to need a little help.

What I like to do with my clients who are struggling with how much more they should invest into their failed marriage is help them with finding their analytical side.

One way of doing that is participating in an exercise that helps you identify your key priorities and whether an ongoing relationship with your husband is going to be part of the solution or problem.

The 5 Steps To A Happy Tommorow

sizing up your guy

It call it doing a Husband Plus/Delta.

1.  Set Up Stage: You can do it by yourself just about anywhere.  You can complete this exercise on a piece of paper or if you need the visual reinforcement of a prop, you can make use of a flip chart.  You can also use a super large, poster size post-it note that you can stick on the wall.

2.  What Is the Desired Change: It works like this.  Think of the change you want to see in your life.  It might be something like leading a happy and fulfilling life in a relationship with a man who respects you, is considerate of your needs, and has the same values you possess.

Think of that future state as that which you wish to achieve.   That is the “Big Change” you wish to see happen in your life.   Your aspiration represents the place you are trying to get to.  It is what you and your relationship partner should be striving to achieve together. Write it down at the top of your poster.

3. The Plus Stage: Now what you are going to do next is objectively evaluate your current husband’s strengths and weaknesses and make an assessment as to whether your man exhibits the right behaviors and competences  that can help you get to that desired future state.  Those are the Pluses. Try to prioritize them as your write them down on the poster.

4. The Delta Stage: At the same time, you are going to also evaluate the “Deltas”. Prioritize these as well from most impactful to least impactful. These are the negative things about your husband or the environment you are currently in that is preventing you from reaching the desired state.  Often the things you might list are unattractive qualities that your husband possesses or conclusions you have reached about his readiness to be good husband.

Now, not all of these qualities you may write down are necessarily evil or unattractive.  But their existence is preventing you from realizing what it is you wish to achieve with your marriage.  It could be your husband’s value system is far different from your own.  Whatever it is, if it is preventing you from reaching your desired future state, then write it down.   If you could change these things or influences, it would mean greater happiness and fulfillment.

5.  The Conclusion Stage. So when you are through with this exercise, you should be able to better assess if all of these “deltas” are going to be too difficult to overcome.  If they far out number the “Pluses” then that speaks for itself. Obviously our partners in marriage have both  strengths and weaknesses.  One hopes that they have married someone whose strengths are far greater than their weaknesses.

But it may not be clear to you as to what you have gotten yourself into unless you have some objective way to look at the bigger picture of what your husband (or wife) offers in the way of relationship competencies that will enable them to be a successful marriage partner.

A lot can happen to cloud your judgement and perspective.  For example, our raw, vulnerable emotions can get in the way.  Anger can get in the way.    Any woman who is struggling in her marriage can get lost in her relationship situation, not realizing just how incompatible her husband may truly be.

This is one effective way of stripping away the emotions and guilt and taking a more critical view of whether it makes sense to invest any more energy into the marriage.


I Am Stuck In a Bad and Loveless Marriage

Today we are going to hear from Steffy who is going through a tough time.  Sometimes I encourage women to write down their story because it can help heal their heart and soul.

In some cases, these brave women are willing to share their story (i.e. with a few name changes) if they believe it will help other women.  Such is the case with this young woman.

So in this post, Steffy will tell us about her present situation.  Essentially she says she is stuck in a bad and loveless marriage and regretfully, it appears to be showing some signs of being a toxic marriage, meaning that it is getting worse over time.

It is never easy for anyone when they feel compelled to leave a bad marriage.  How to get out of a bad marriage with a child is even more challenging.  Fortunately in Steffy’s case, they have no children.  But the issue of having children did play a central role in the decline of her marriage.

There are many women in situations similar to what Steffy experienced. Most want to know if there is some way to know for sure if their marriage is doomed.

stuck in a bad relationship

Truth be told, there is really no reliable bad marriage test that you can take which will tell you whether you should keep soldiering ahead.

I realize that when you feel like you are stuck, the sense of futility can be overwhelming.  It doesn’t make matters any easier if you are struggling with how to get out of a bad marriage and you have little money in your bank account.  This was yet another issue Steffy was dealing with.

For some women,  there comes a point in which the realities of an unhealthy relationship will overtake any remaining desire to make it work.

Such was the case with my client, Steffy.

My Marriage Is Not Working Out

So if you are like Steffy, feeling trapped in a marriage because you feel like your options are closed, just know that the road ahead does not have to be bleak.

It may feel like you cannot survive another day longer.  But it always seems darkest before the dawn. If you are facing such a dilemma, then you want to listen up and see what you can learn from this woman’s plight and what she did to turn her attitude and situation around.

Trapped in a Loveless Marriage

feeling trapped and boxed in

Here is Steffy story…

I never thought my marriage  would take me to a place where it felt like my back was up against the wall.  I realize now there are several things I needed to face up to.  That there are a lot of things I have been in denial over.

I have decided that I will be leaving a bad marriage. It took me awhile to find the courage. To say that I am in stuck in a bad marriage really does not capture what has happened.  It is much more complicated.

The truth is it has not been all bad.  But right now, neither I or my husband are happy.   I knew I wasn’t getting what I needed from my marriage. When I started seeing signs of an unhappily married man a few months ago, I sensed the end was near because I had already reached that point long before that.

When I first started having doubts about whether this marriage would work, I thought it was just me.  My husband was always so gun ho about getting married and do all the things couples do.  He wanted kids right away.  I didn’t. I wanted to wait.   Later I realized we were not that compatible on a lot of other issues.  I should have figured all this out before I agreed to marry him.

I have to confess, I did a lot of wrong things.  I could have handled my problems a whole lot better.  When I got to a point where I was often feeling trapped, all I could think about was how to get out of this bad marriage as fast as possible.

I know now that not being able to control some of my immature and impulsive thoughts made things worse between us.  I made bad decisions, before and during our relationship.  So it wasn’t all him.

Struggling With a Loveless Relationship

I guess I need to give you some details of what went wrong with us and why I am so unhappy in my marriage.

We have been having problems for over a year.  I was young, just 19 when we met and we were married a year later.  My husband is a few years older.  So I guess we were younger than most when we got married.

We dated off and on for about a year and I confess that I was hesitant about getting married in the first place.  He wanted us to get married and I guess I wanted to please him.  He pursued me aggressively. I liked the attention.  But it wasn’t just that.

chasing after his woman

Admittedly, I was a little jealous of some of my older girlfriends who were planning weddings.  I didn’t have a lot of experience with boys and really only had one other serious relationship.

So I guess my background for being ready for a marriage wasn’t so good.  But we had a long run (for us) of dating without breaking things off and I guess all the wedding talk from my girlfriends went to my head.  I didn’t want to be left behind.

So  I did it.  Looking back now,  I know it was a mistake.  Neither of were really ready.  I was my husband first serious girlfriend and one of his faults is he can be stubborn, even obsessive.  I guess that had a lot to do with it.  He kept pursuing me and building me up and I thought “what could go wrong”. He seemed so determined to make me happy, so I thought.

For men, I think they like to chase.  I fell for it and soaked up all the attention. I saw all of the good and didn’t bother looking at where we didn’t match up so well.  I know now to make sure that if I am going to settle down with someone it is best to have similar values and plans on starting a family.

Getting Married For All The Wrong Reasons

rushing into marriage

I know what I did was so stupid.  Getting married for all the wrong reasons was a bad mistake.  But we did it and the problems began pretty quickly. The marriage buzz wore off in no time.

We had not lived together for any significant period of time.  I was still with my parents prior to the marriage.  He had his own apartment and I would stay over some nights.  But it wasn’t like for any extended time. Maybe if we had lived together for a while it would be a different story.  A better one.

So we knew each other, but we didn’t really know each other like we should have.  I knew he was stubborn about things.  He has a lot of conservative views.  I am the opposite.  He knew I was independent.  But I never imagined he would be controlling to the extent he was.  I soon realize I wasn’t ready to settle down.

He wanted to start having kids and I wanted nothing to do with that.  There would be fights about stupid things and we both dug in our heels and that just made things more contentious.

He kept criticizing and harping on about different things I didn’t agree with (politics, starting a family, my friends).  So it got rocky early on.  It was like he finally got me to agree to marry him, then expected I would lay down to all his views.  I am not that way and when I resisted doing things his way he would get angry with me.

just get me away from him

We had some dust ups where I walked out on him for a day or two.  But I came back after I cooled off.  We would make up and say stuff about trying again, but neither of us changed much.  So the feeling of being trapped and restricted really never went away for me.

I hate to say this, but I am not sure I love him like a wife should.  If there are some loveless marriage signs, I guess the first one was when I would catch myself fantasizing about being with someone else.

I am kind of a flirt and have always been one, but not really overt.  I just like to have fun and I guess I like the attention from other men. So that part of my personality created problems.

So I would be flirting in whatever situation it might be and my husband would catch me in the act and would get upset and we would have a big blow up.  I now know it was probably something inside me trying to get out.  I think secretly, I wanted out of my marriage.  Deep down, I knew I married to soon and didn’t love my husband.  I mean, I do love him in some ways.  But it’s not complete and I know that is not enough.

Early on in our marriage, I was a student in college and my husband was working.  While at college I met someone else.  As problems with my husband mounted, I began having feelings for this other man.

It started innocently.  I can really say that.  He was a good friend and helped me cope with some of my personal problems.  So I guess it went from an emotional affair to real one.  It went on for about 9 months.  It ended because he wanted me to leave my husband and I wasn’t ready for that yet.

During this time, things got kind of messy and while my husband never found out, I know the emotional baggage from the affair affected my marriage.

Later I decided to drop out of college, partly to get away from this other man, but also I wanted some financial independence.   I figured getting a job would solve that.  I felt so trapped between two men.  If there is such a thing as loveless relationship signs, I was experiencing them.  All I could think about was getting out of the marriage.  I would start fights.  I did things to drive him away.

I was doubting if I loved either of the two men I had a relationship with.  I was unhappy much of the time.  I was making impulsive decisions.  I can see that now as I look back at what unfolded.

Eventually I found some work in digital advertizing and it actually seemed to help my marriage.  I liked what I was doing.  I could work from the office and at home and make sales calls.   I wasn’t around the house as much moping around and my husband seemed to start to accept that I was going to have my own life.

Stuck in a Sexless Marriage

no more sex in our marriage

We decided to move out of the apartment and rent a house which I think also kinda helped because I could have my work space and it just give us more room.  When you are cooped up in a small apartment, living with someone you are not sure you want to be with,  it just magnifies the problems.

But after a six months I was laid off.   I think that was the beginning of the end.  I started feeling trapped again and he started blaming me for some of the new financial issues we were experiencing.  I think he was really still upset with me about all of the things we don’t agree on.  He was always trying to debate me, trying to change my mind about all sorts of things.  I don’t like being told what to think. So I believe I was carrying a lot of resentment and so was he.

Things just got cold between us from there.  I started withholding sex not because I wanted to hurt him, but because I just wasn’t attracted to him anymore and didn’t feel close.

He would make me feel uncomfortable because almost every time he would start talking about starting up a family and introduce that whole line of discussion.  It was a turn off and I resented him trying to wedge that topic into our sex life.

When I was finally sure I wanted to end the marriage, my focus turned to how I should do it.  I felt my life had taken an awful turn to how to survive a loveless sexless marriage and I didn’t want to live that life.

I also knew things were not going so well in my husband’s mind at this point.  He knew I was pulling away and the more he felt it, the more he tried to pull me back in.

The emotional effects of a sexless marriage were getting to him.  Maybe I should feel ashamed, but I was glad for it.  Because I wanted him to arrive at the same place I was.  I didn’t want the marriage to rock along for years with neither of us happy.

When I lost my job, it brought more financial pressure to bear on us both, but particularly for me because I was already fixed on getting out.

But how could I if I did not have any financial independence.  Staying in a loveless marriage for financial reasons was so much against everything I stood for.  So I think these two forces collided.  Me wanting out of the marriage and feeling trapped by my lack of money.  I didn’t want to go back to my parents and ask for help.

Thinking about all of this was just making me crazy and as you can imagine, it made life with my husband unbearable.  Not because he was so mean to me, but I was in a bad place in my head.

The volatile side of my personality would emerge and I would say insensitive things and act out to the extent that my husband would fight back.  After living like this for months, it left us sometimes hating each other.

There Is No Room For Hate In a Relationship

carve the hate out of your marriage

I know it’s not right to hate your husband.  He doesn’t deserve that and I know now that while we have serious compatibility issues, he is not a hateful person himself and doesn’t deserve to be hated.

I decided it was time to be open with my feelings.  I knew it would be painful, but it was my truth and I had held it in for far too long.

I told him I didn’t feel for him as I use to, that I didn’t love him like I once did.  I asked him why would a man stay in a loveless marriage.  He agreed that is how we have been living for many months.  Showing and giving little love.

But true to form, he would argue about how we can find each other again and just needed more time.  It just made me sick to hear that because it showed me he wasn’t listening.  So our conversation ended up being a big stalemate.

I was hoping we could discuss separation in a serious way, but he just wasn’t listening. He acted like I wasn’t even there and the only thing that mattered was what he thought.

What should a husband do in a sexless marriage, I would ask myself.  You would think he would be unhappy and agree that a sexless marriage can lead to divorce.

But my husband would cling to fanatical notions that it all happened for a reason.  He would argue that a little depression in our lives was a small price to pay and we would learn to love again.

He is real religious.  I told him he was wrong.  That the dangers of a sexless, loveless marriage is that the couple comes to hate each other.

I told him I didn’t want that. I told him again I didn’t want to be with him and that a sexless relationship causing depression was far from the worst of our problems.

I could see that getting him to agree to a breakup wasn’t going to happen in any way that was mutually acceptable. I guess it never does.

The feeling of being stuck in a loveless marriage was just too much for me.  So a few weeks later after that last heart to heart with my husband, I sought some counsel on what to do.

I knew I wanted out.  I was desperate to leave but I didn’t want to return to living with my parents.  For some reason I thought I needed his permission to seek a separation and divorce.

Of course I was wrong about that and Chris told me that I was free to break off things with my husband if I so wished.  He talked about how I may want to consider a trial separation.  That would allow me and my husband time to get use to the idea of living apart and potentially seeking a legal divorce.  He explained I was over thinking it all, trying to solve everything at one time and that I should take things on in smaller chunks.

So he advised that if I felt so strongly about leaving my husband, then I should not rule out staying with my parents or a close friend for a while.  He told me if I was talented enough to get a job in digital advertising and if I have a solid job history (which I do), then I would land on my feet and find something suitable.

Chris kept taking about doing things in small steps.  The first step was moving out and telling my husband that I needed time to heal and get in touch with what I really wanted in my life.

He explained that putting distance between me and my husband would benefit us both, allowing us to see things more clearly.  He thought my husband would resist the idea, but would adapt and accept what I was doing.

Chris told me that if there was a special bond between me and my husband, it would become apparent while we were apart.  But since he was advising me, he said he was more concerned with my welfare and that he believed me wholeheartedly when I told him at was at my wit’s end and needed to escape.

So it’s been about six weeks that I have been living apart from my husband.  The first few weeks were a bit confusing, but I found myself.  I know I am feeling happier now.

My confidence and sanity is much better since I  have been on my own.  I am living with a girlfriend and she has been wonderful. We don’t see each other much during the week, so it feels like I have the place to myself much of the time.

She is girl of course, but just living with someone other than my husband helped showed me the difference in what it’s like with being with different people.  She is one of these really super positive people, filled with enthusiasm for life. So it has been a nice counterpoint to what I have been living through.

I have renewed hope that everything is going to turn out fine.  My husband called me way too much and texted me way too much in the first few weeks of us being separated.

But Chris warned me of that and I was better prepared emotionally.  He told me I should practice a limited contact approach when it came to communications with him and that is what I have been doing.  My husband is starting to cool off now and accept that things did not work out and may never work out.

I am just glad to be where I am emotionally and location wise.  Chris encouraged me to keep my focus on me and my healing and make it a goal to get multiple interviews for work.   He convinced me early on that it was all going to work out.  That lifted my spirits. He doesn’t have to do that anymore because it is working out.  I am still young and will learn from my mistakes.



My Husband Is a Monster So I Kicked Him Out

Today we are going to hear from Alicia.  Her story of the man she met and married, then ultimately kicked out of her house warrants a retelling.  Alicia was kind enough to share her story with us.

Without further adieu….here is Alicia’s story in her own words.

Chris asked me to tell my story as it could help some women realize they are not alone if they married badly and that they can stand up for themselves and that in the end it can get better if they move past the pain.

moving past a bad marriage

I have been fed up with my husband for some time now.

The guy I am married to (we are apart and are getting a divorce) no longer resembles the man I first met.  My husband has turned into a monster and I am afraid to live with him a second longer.

Truth be told, he always had a bit of monster inside him.  I was just foolish and looked the other way, making excuses for him or taking his side, when in reality he was dead wrong about a lot of things.

Men who mistreat their wives make you cling to fear.

Bad Guys Are Not For You

Not that I feared that he would do something really evil to me.  It’s just that I  see now that I married a really bad guy.  He is not marriage material.  He is just all about himself.  I hope that no other woman has to put up with him and all of his games and antics.

Did I kick him out because he treats me like dirt?  Yes, that’s part of it.

Is it all over between us?  Let me tell you our story and you decide if I chose wisely.

For some time, I really had a hard time making up my mind.  Our marriage was always an up and down affair.  I accept my mistakes in making our problems worse.  But my role in the unwinding of this marriage is small compared to my husband’s antic and cruelty.

Now you might be wondering why I wouldn’t have known what he was really like at the core when I was going with him.  You may be thinking how could I get mixed up with such rotten man.  After all, if he is a monster now, why didn’t I see all his shortcomings back when we were dating.

I ask myself that question all the time too.

Why Didn’t You See He Was A Bad Choice

No matter how many times I run it through my head, I don’t think the worst of his damaging antics and bad manners was something I could have seen coming.

It’s like he felt a sense of entitlement once we got married.  My husband seemed to think he could just do everything his way, without any consideration of what I wanted or my needs.

I know a lot of people think,  “who in their right mind would be attracted to such a lousy man”.   But some guys are good at hiding their faults and I do confess that I was seeing things I wanted to see and ignoring some of the obvious signs.

busted marriage gone bad

That’s on me and I have learned to be more attentive and selective and think more with my mind.

Knowing what I know now, I think he has some hang ups with women and wanting to control everything.  I can’t live that way, so we clashed.  But sex would be our way of making up.  I see now how I got wrapped up into a bad pattern.

Our sex life was really good and all of the excitement carried us in those early days.  But the real truth of who we are emerges eventually. That’s when I came to see his  selfishness and core meanness.

Learning To Leave

I am convinced of all this now, but back then (two years ago) I was not seeing it.  It took that long for his true self to emerge and for me to realize that I had married a monster man, intent on making me his punching bag.

He really didn’t hit me, though when he would throw a fit and start  screaming he would hulk around acting like he wanted to do tear up things.  He would throw stuff and smashing things and scream at me.

He was possessive about so many things.  I felt like  I couldn’t breath sometimes. My husband would fly into jealous rages over nothing.  I wanted to just escape, get away.  I would literally just cover myself up to hide.

I wanted to curl up and hide

Other times, when it was all happening, I would freak out and not know quite what to do.  I thought maybe I had triggered all of this bad mess.  I would question whether I had done something wrong.

But now I know it wasn’t me.  It was him.  He is the one with the problems. I understand now that he was the bad husband.  I was the good wife, just trying to please and cope.  It’s not right when your husband won’t let you have your own personal life while married.

I see now that his manic and controlling  behavior emerges from his personal hangups.  I am so glad now to be out from under him.

It took a while, but I have learned to accept that I made a huge mistake falling for him, getting mixed up with him and advancing the relationship.  But I think that is really all  I did wrong.

I tried my best to make an awful relationship work and I know I stayed in it far too long, taking on his attacks and abusive outbursts.  I will carry a lot pain because of that choice, but I have learned that if I can survive that, I can get through just about anything.

He was a terrible husband.  My husband thought he had broken my spirit.  but that is not true.  I am woman strong.   I admit I went through a period in which I carried a lot of resentment for my husband. I think that was the number one reason why I was so angry at my husband all the time.  Even when we separated, I still had a lot of anger in me about what he put me through.

There would be some days in which he just would go on a slow burn and play like he was the victim.  He would talk to me like I wasn’t there, like I was a stranger.

He would say things like, “my wife gets angry at me for no reason.”  The way he acted, it might come off like I am always mad at my husband. He would whine to anyone who would listen about his troubles and ask them…. why is my wife always irritated with me…… like they really know what is going on.

He would put on an at like he is reaching out to me and will be loving.  But when I got pulled in, he would turn on me.

my boyfriend reaching out to me

He was that way.  He would play innocent, like he was the victim.  That was one game he played.  There was no honesty in our marriage.

I know all of this effected me and I started having anger issues.

The truth is even now, memories of my husband makes me so angry I want to hit him.  But I have learned to channel that into something positive.

I guess that is why I kicked him out because it was getting to me back then.  I was throwing things and freaking out.  I would later replay my behavior and get upset with myself because I am not that kind of girl.   But I wasn’t going to put up with his crap.

What should I do I would often wonder.

It was different when I was younger with him. Earlier in the marriage, when he treated me badly, but I wasn’t thinking of leaving him, I would feel sorry for myself.

I made up excuses. I would tell my girlfriends my  husband treats me bad, but I still love him.  They thought I was an idiot and that he was abusive.  They were right, I was wrong, but it took me time to get out from under his spell.

When someone you love treats you badly in a relationship you don’t quite see it all at the time.  You don’t ask the right questions of yourself, like “why does he treat me so bad – why doesn’t he love me in the way he should?”

You want to believe he will change.  That he won’t act like a monster and turn cruel and say demeaning things when things don’t go his way.

When your husband tells you over and over you are wrong about everything and breaks you down in lots of little ways, no matter how strong you think you are, it has an effect on you.

I guess I finally reached my limit.

I had been reading about creating distance and using the no contact rule with one’s husband if your marriage is unravelling.

That is what happened to us.   I now see that my husband is selfish, insecure, and a control freak.  He is also a cheater.  I caught him.  Of course he lied about it at first.  Then blamed me for it.

Did I kick my husband out for cheating?  Not entirely, but that was the final straw.

I am not going into details, but when it became clear to me what happened I told my husband to leave.  Did I think when I kicked my husband out that he would come back again some day?  Honestly, at first I held out hope.  But later I did want him coming back.

Its been several months now and I still don’ t want him back because I can’t see myself even trying again.

He is making some noises like he is sorry for what he did.  I think the reality is I married a coward.  Now that he has gone too far and blown up his marriage he thinks I might give him another chance.

But the truth is I have given him tons of chances.

Did I kick my husband out for drinking?  No.  Did I kick him out because he was often cruel and was a monster to me? No.  Did I kick out my cheating husband out for lying and being selfish. No.

I kicked him out for all these reasons.

We are separated now, but I have filed for divorce.  I am not taking him back.  I am moving on.  He tells everyone he walked out of my life.  But I don’t care, because I know the truth.  It doesn’t matter what my ex says because I know that is his way.  He cannot be wrong about anything in his mind.

Moving Past Your Past Hurts

lift up yourself

I knew I had to turn the corner.

He was out of my house and out of my life.  I wasn’t going through a No Contact with him because I was secretly hoping he might come crawling back.

I wanted a clean slate so I knew I had to throw myself into something.  My mind would go racing to often thinking about the past.  I would have weak moments sometimes and when he texted me and said nice things, I fell for it once.  He knew out to manipulate my feelings and draw me  back into his spell.

So I wasn’t perfect in how I handled him post separation.  But as I got better, I got stronger and more confident and felt a lot less vulnerable.

Three things saved me and got me started on a new life.

I would worry about if I could ever find someone else that I could love and that would be good to me. Sometimes I would obsess over it and get myself tied up in knots.

I don’t like being alone and want to share my life with someone else.  Foolishly, I thought my ex husband was going to be that man.  But I was younger when we got together.  I was naive to some extent.

I had a big heart and a lot of hope.  And some guys and this certainly includes my ex husband, can talk a good line and hide a lot of their faults.

My biggest mistake was rushing through the courtship phase of our relationship.  But that is behind me now.  So what I was thinking is how can I turn it all around.  I was in a miserable marriage married to a monster, but I needed to head for the light.  I wanted to put the past behind me.  I wanted to be happy.  Then I wanted to have some hope there might be someone out there for me.

So my plan was to keep it simple and do three things for me.  This is what Chris kept telling me.

Chris would also tell me that things come to you when you often are not seeking it out.

That is what ultimately happened to me on the man front.  But he would say I needed to get back to finding myself and become my best friend and do something to make myself proud.

The first of my three focus areas was starting up a quilt business with a friend.  I always wanted to be my own boss and that became a reality.  Since it takes a ton of time to do everything to be successful, it really kept me busy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I am sure it  has been therapeutic for me.

The second thing that filled up my life was my devotion to bicycling.  When rage would fill me up about my past, I pedaled past it.  The daily exercise I got from that made me feel fit, look good, and gave me a lot of extra energy.  I would recommend it to anyone.

The last thing I focused on was going back to college to pick up some business and marketing classes.  It helped me and my friend run our business better and the routine of going to classes filled out my life.  I look forward to it every night.

That is where I met my new boyfriend without even looking for him.

It’s funny how things can turn out when you turn yourself away from the bad.

It’s hard to step away from a husband, even a bad one.  You get use to certain things and it’s hard to imagine a life that is different.  It’s like the weight of being with your husband, no matter how wrong he might be for you, can’t be budged.

Then things happen and you break off the marriage.  Then you find yourself again and do things to be proud of yourself.  Then someone else comes into your life.  All this happens and you look back and wonder what on earth was I thinking before.

Let me just tell you.  The bad spell you might be having with a bad husband can be broken.

It doesn’t take an earth shattering event to turn you life around.  You can do it in pieces and parts.

That is what I did.  I eventually made my husband leave.  I resisted the temptation to be pulled back into his web.  Then I began to rebuild.

Here I am now, a much a happier, more complete person.




It Kills Me To See Her With Him and Makes Me Sick

It is painful and can be shocking to realize that your husband or even your ex is or may be with another woman.  Seeing your guy with someone else hurts deeply.  The thought of your current or  even you ex husband is with someone else can literally make you sick.

One of my clients recently told me, “Chris, it kills me to see her with him.  It tears me apart and I feel helpless”.

Of course, feeling sick when you see your husband or ex acting way too friendly and intimate around another women isn’t the only reaction you will experience.

seeing your man with another girl

A wife who thinks that some other woman is making a move on her husband will likely be swept over with a wide range of emotions such as anger, bewilderment, shock, betrayal and disappointment.   I have some clients who told me that they became unglued when they spied their husband mixed up with another woman, to the point they experienced a  full-blown meltdown.  So make no mistake.  This business of seeing your husband potentially compromised can be emotionally rattling.

So what are you to do if you are in a steady relationship and you discover (or think you have uncovered) your spouse or lover hanging around some other girl?  Clearly, such a discovery can set your head a spinning.

My Man Is Playing the Field

How do you stop thinking about your ex with someone?

How would you know if there is some funny business even happening?

Can you be sure that there is not some innocent explanation for why they are together?

Could you be wrong about those interactions that look a bit too intimate?

Just seeing your husband with someone else can have a chilling effect on how you think about yourself, your marriage…..just about everything going on in your life at that time.

So figuring out how you should feel about it and what you should do is important.

Your sure don’t want your husband getting into something he will later regret.

Nor do you want to mis-shoot and overreact.

And what if we are talking about your ex husband?

If it turns out that your ex husband has taken up with another women, how should you deal with seeing them with someone else?

On one level, you think it shouldn’t bother you.  Both you and your ex have your own life now and are both free to do what you wish.  But letting go of the past is a lot easier said than done.

Sometimes our past experiences with our lovers just won’t let go of us.

Leave My Husband Alone!

leave my marriage alone

I know it is easy for one’s mind to race away.

Your first racing thought could be that your husband (or ex) has fallen in love with someone else.  It is often absurd to think this way (in most cases), but such thoughts can take on their own life.

Just seeing or recounting images of your husband being a little too attentive to another woman can set you off.  Now, I don’t want you being too hard on yourself. If such thoughts do run through your mind, don’t think of yourself as some kind of crazy woman.

Seeing the person you love with someone else can reach down deep into you and strike many emotional chords.  I certainly could not imagine my wife with someone else.   Even if it is your ex who is with someone else, you should expect to experience a lot of twisted up feelings.

It Hurts So Much

Just because we are no longer dating or are married to an individual, doesn’t mean all those intimate feelings and experiences we once enjoyed with them have wasted away in our memory love bank.

Intellectually we can try to reason with ourselves, but intimate connections with another human simply does not just slide right out of our lives.

Let’s hear from some women on this topic to examine their experiences and what they felt when they either saw or caught wind of their husband or ex cozying up to another woman.

It really jarred me when I spotted him in a restaurant with this woman.  It kills me even now when I think about seeing her with my husband.  They were seated close together and it just didn’t look right.  Should I confront my husband about what was going or am I just being paranoid?

I saw my ex at the movies with this other girl and  my heart skipped a beat.  I can’t help it but when I think of my ex with this other woman, it makes me  feel sick with jealousy.  Then I get mad.  So seeing my ex husband with someone else really kills me.  I know you did a post on how to cope with your ex dating others, but the sight of him with this woman just ties me up in knots.  It takes me days to get over it.

I am sure my ex husband is sleeping with someone else already.  Perhaps it is no longer my business, but I still have feelings and when I think about him and her, I cringe.  Frankly, I am not sure how to stop thinking about my ex sleeping around.  I am not doing it.  I should.  Part of it I think is my lack of trust in men .  I think another part of me is hoping for a chance for us to get back together.   I am sickened by the thought of him having sex.  I know you will tell me I need to change my focus and stop making my ex husband’s behavior top of mind.   

Look Chris, I am through with my husband. We are separated and agreed to date others.  But I am afraid he won’t let me go.  My ex is seeing someone else but contacts me and wants to tell me about it.  What is with that?  Is he trying to hurt me all over again.  I tell him to stop, that I don’t want to hear it.  Then he goes into this explanation about how it’s not working out and so on.  Is this his way of trying to pry himself back into my life?  He confuses me.

Obviously, some of the comments above dealt with women and their exes.

It can be difficult to separate all of the cascading emotions running through your mind when you spot your ex husband or boyfriend with another lady.   You work so hard to kill off those lingering uncertainties you had about whether the marriage could be saved.  Just when you think you have wrestled back control of your thoughts, they can easily go flying again in all directions once you see another woman at his side.

Look,  I realize it is easy for me to say that you should just keep going on with your life and not focus on such things.

feeling the raw emotions of betrayal

And I know it is easy for me to say that your ex husband is entitled to see and date whoever he wishes, just like you are too.  But saying something you should know and agreeing with it is altogether a different thing than the actual feelings bubbling up inside you.

My experience is that even after months or years have gone by, the emotions around this topic will always be raw.

That is the emotional battle all women and men have when they see their former spouse in the company of the opposite sex.  Trying to reconcile what is going on in your heart versus your head is no easy task.

I assure you, these conflicted feelings will subside with time, particularly after you have found another person in your life you feel close and intimate with.  It is as if the passionate and intense feelings you use to have for your ex husband transfers to the new person in your life and carries more weight in your heart and your mind’s eye.  Perhaps not all of it, but most of it.  Enough of it to significantly reduce the painful recurrence of these old, raw feelings.

But imagine what it must feel like if your current husband appears to be courting another women in some fashion.  I would not be surprised to hear that it kills you to think that your spouse could be in the process of  being compromised.  So in the context of this post, it is natural to feel sickened by any notion that your husband has made himself available.

But what we think might be happening and what is actually happening are not always the same thing.

And when you are right, what do you do?

In other words,  if your suspicions align with the underlying reality of what your husband is up to, just how do you proceed?

How should you process your feelings to avoid going crazy if your suspicions are warranted?

What You Should Do When You Feel Upset, Confused or Vulnerable

feeling vulnerable after ex seen dating

First of all, don’t let anyone tell you that what you are feeling is wrong or is way off base.

They may not have sufficient information to really know the truth.  Until the facts can be examined, neither you or most others can be certain of what might be really going on.

Your feelings emerge from a place of honesty.  Now that doesn’t mean that you are right to feel this way (i.e. turned inside out with jealous rage).  It is possible you have grossly misread the situation.  It is possible you are overreacting to something you observed.

Fear can seize control and grip you and cause you to think all kinds of things.  Sometimes it doesn’t take much for fear to take control of your emotional well being and hijack your thoughts, constructing an elaborate scenario that is largely untrue.

But denying yourself of having these feelings and sweeping it all under the carpet is akin to self-delusion.

It is better to accept whatever natural feelings emerge.  It is part of the cathartic emotional experience we sometimes need to undergo in order to purge the unhealthy thoughts.  It can make it easier, later, to realize  how your feelings and the real facts can be two different things.  It may take you some time and effort, but ultimately, you benefit more if you put a bridle over your emotions until the truth has had a chance to emerge.

That is not easy to do, I realize.

For example, your eyes and your heart are seeing and telling you that your husband is cozying up way too close with another woman or she is hitting on your man and he is soaking it all up.

If you are like most people, your emotions are going to run away from you.  That’s why so many people tell me it kills them to see their husband associating or mingling with another woman.  Even the most subtle of gestures or expressions can set one-off.

You may feel pressed to confront your husband on the spot or do something immediately to break up what looks like a blossoming connection moment.

But blowing up the little encounter you are observing could speak more to your insecurities.

And even if it turns out that you are right on some level and the misplaced trust you had in your husband is now blowing up in your face, it is still best to keep your calm.

There will be a time to digest it all and then discuss it with your husband.  Rushing to judgement or punishment is always a slippery slope.

To that extent, if you are able to better control unwanted emotional outbursts, which often can make things worse, reasonable solutions become more readily available.

So there is nothing wrong with having genuine feelings bubble up when you see your husband striking up what appears too close of a relationship with another woman.

Don’t try to hold it all in.

If you try to contain it within you, then it will lead to you feeling sick about it all.

Find a constructive way of releasing your emotions.

Then once you get past this stage, then you should move into what  I think of as the troubleshooting phase.

What You Can Do If Your Husband or Ex Seems Mixed Up With Another Woman

husband quietly sneaking around

So what do you do about it all?

Let’s say that the man you are married to is being overly flirtatious with some other woman.  The two of them seem to be really connecting and enjoying each other’s company.

My advice is to let it play out.

Then later when your and your husband are alone, open up to your husband and tell him what you saw and how it made you feel.  Ask him to explain his behavior.  Remain calm.  Use a calm tone of voice. Don’t accuse him of cheating on you or being flirtatious or anything else.

By making an accusation or portraying your husband in an unflattering way, you lose the moral high ground.

What you are doing is simply sharing what you saw and specifically how it made you feel.

That is really important.  Your husband should have a keen sense of how you were upset by what you saw or heard.  He should understand the emotional and physical impact it had on you. (i.e.  that this literally made you feel sick).

It is better with these kind of communications to steer away from any name calling or accusations.  It is also better to avoid any hysterics or anger or any language that is tinged with resentment and distrust.

Now, your husband may get defense and even interrupt you explaining that what you think you saw was not the underlying reality of what was really going on.

After he has said his piece, simply return to your theme of describing what you felt inside when you observed him with this other woman.  You feelings are real and he may try to dismiss them, but how you felt is something he cannot escape.

He can argue all he wants about how you are jumping to conclusions and entirely misread what was really going on between him and the other woman.

But I don’t want you to get lost in arguing all the finer points.  Don’t get dragged into a debate.  That shifts the attention to the wrong thing (i.e. arguing over semantics).

Keep the focus on describing how it made you feel.  Most men, at some point, will acknowledge and understand its impact on you.  Empathy is what you are looking for.  If your husband is incapable of showing empathy after you calmly express your feelings about the matter, then you and your husband have an uphill battle and probably even more serious marital problems to discuss.

Then close the discussion with what, if anything, should change going forward.

Perhaps you are satisfied with his explanation and are also pleased that he realizes how his behavior can have consequences.  Having discussed this matter openly can have the effect of neutralizing its occurrence in the future.

It is possible your husband was being a flirty boy.

He may have actively engaged in this encounter with another woman in search of an emotional, even possibly a sexual connection.

So it’s possible you have every right to feel sickened by your husband’s behavior.  And if this is the case, then while it is a good thing for him to see how his actions have made you feel sick, that is not enough.

It is necessary your husband agrees that he will no longer partake in any such intimate rendezvous with women because for all practical purposes such encounters are akin to emotional cheating.

He may deny everything and accuse you of overreacting and making something of nothing.

There is little to be gained in debating the details.  It usually serves to aggravate the situation.

It is better to simply and calmly put him on notice and remind your husband you have zero tolerance for any subtle overtures or intimate greetings and encounters with other women anywhere at anytime.

Sometimes a husband in order to save face will continue to insist that the whole issue you are concerned about is non-existent.  If that makes him feel better to say such a thing, fine.  Sometimes people live in denial.  Or they can’t bring themselves to admit to the truth.

While such an outcome is far from ideal, there comes a point where it does you no good to argue and press you case.

You can’t put words in your husband’s mouth.

But you can influence his thoughts and if he understands how his actions made you feel and when he hears you express you lack of tolerance for casual flirtations, it is likely you are influencing  how he is internally processing this whole matter.

So what if your husband or boyfriend does it again?  What if he repeatedly finds ways to hang around other women, pushing the needle of what is acceptable?

What do you do if your husband or boyfriend is a player and shamelessly chases other women?

Well, my friends, that is the topic for another post in the future.

But to give you a peek under the tent, if you do adopt a zero tolerance policy for such behavior, you best be ready to back it up.  And that means taking an action that might just shock your husband back into reality and remind him what he could be losing.