How Resentment Kills a Marriage (and 5 Ways You Can Kill Your Resentment)

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The more I talk about this blog with strangers, the more people open up to me with stories about their own marriages.  Like the woman who told me this:

I got divorced when my youngest child was ten.  But my divorce didn’t have anything to do with what was going on then–it had everything to do with all the stuff that had been building up for years.  When the kids are young, there’s just no time to talk about everything that’s going on.  But that doesn’t mean it goes away.  It’s still there, and if you don’t address it, it eventually destroys your marriage.”

And the therapist who said:

“I think it’s important that you’re doing this now.  I work with a lot of couples and a lot of women who come to see me 10, 15 years after the fact, when they realize that these issues are still there, and they’re finally ready to address them.”

Interesting, huh?  We think we can sweep our grudges and resentments under the rug–at least for a little while–but then we get busy, or we decide to just leave this stuff for another day, and then somewhere along the way, we forget that they’re still there waiting for us.  Waiting to trip up our relationship, if not destroy our marriages.

It’s kind of like trying to hold a beach ball under water.  You can only do it so long–eventually, it’s going to pop right up out of the water, probably when you least expect it.  Surprise!

I’ve been thinking a lot about resentment lately, and trying to figure out how to let it go.  Here’s what these all my impromptu interviews with strangers have taught me:


1) If you’re feeling resentful, try renegotiating with your spouse. For example: sit down and tell your spouse that you need a night a week to yourself; ask for help cooking meals/cleaning/whatever; tell your spouse you need his/her support when it comes to disciplining the kids; ask him/her to hang out with your family instead of spending every weekend golfing/rollerblading/underwater basket weaving, etc.

Here’s an example of extreme renegotiating: I was recently talking with a woman who I knew had been going through some bumps in her marriage for quite some time.  She’d tried a few different things, like marital therapy, etc., but nothing seemed to be working.  Finally, she took her wedding ring off and gave it back to her husband.  “I love you and I’m not leaving you, “she said, “but this ring doesn’t represent what it should–our marriage isn’t a true union right now.”  She felt peaceful about her decision, she said, and she didn’t do it to threaten her spouse–she did it because she’d decided it was time for her to let her husband know she wasn’t going to keep picking up all of the slack when it came to maintaining their marriage.

Now, I’m not in any way advocating that you do this yourself. It’s pretty extreme, and this couple had already tried all sorts of other avenues to get back on track.  But you know what?  For this woman (who speaks her mind openly  and freely almost all the time, as far as I can tell), it was right for her.  And somehow, her action got through to her husband, because he began doing his own therapy to work on his own issues and figure out his role  in their marriage.

2) Figure out what kind of payoff you’re getting from being resentful. Does it make you feel better?  Really?  Maybe you have that brief moment where you feel like you’ve been wronged, sistah! lemme tell you about it!, and then what?  Do you feel better after you’ve stomped around the house and/or told your friends what a jerk your husband/wife is?

I’ve found that when I complain about something to others, it takes just enough of the steam out of equation so that I don’t actually have to do anything to fix it.  But when I don’t tell someone else about it, it continues to eat at me and eventually spurs me to action.

What does staying stuck in that resentment really accomplish, anyway?  Besides driving another wedge between you and your honey, that is.

Don’t believe me? Think about this Nelson Mandela quote for awhile and then tell me what you think:

Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.

3) Put some time into your marriage. This one came to me from an acquaintance who practiced attachment parenting, and was an avid supporter of the whole practice.  I ran into him one day as his divorce was being finalized, and he looked a little shell shocked over the fact that he was actually getting divorced. Here’s what he had to say:

“If there’s one tip I’d share, it’s that you have to make time for your adult relationship, too.  We did everything for the kids–they slept with us, all of it–and there was never any time just for us.  Go on a date.  Your relationship has to be important, too.  We thought there would be plenty of time for us when the kids were older, but by the time they got older, it was too late.”

So far, I’ve stayed away from the attachment parenting debate as much as possible, but I can’t get his words (or his sad face) out of my mind.  Don’t, for god’s sake, forget that your relationship needs to be watered, too.

4) Decide you’re going to stay married, no matter what. Literally.  Say it out loud and figure out what you need to do to both agree to it.  That way, when the next crisis hits, you can look at it as an opportunity to deepen your relationship, rather than going into that awful “Holy Shit, this is it–we’re finally getting divorced!” mode.  Which, as we all know, really sucks.

5) Figure out what you need to do to forgive.

I’ve been thinking a lot about forgiveness lately, and how exactly it is that we forgive.  And I’ve come to the following conclusion: we just do.  When we’re ready, really ready–pushed by bad news, a death in the family, whatever it is that tips you over that edge–one day, we finally decide to just do it.

This is what happened to us this past week, when we got the yucky news about our friend, which caused us to take a step back and reevaluate where we were and where we were going.  Life is short.  I don’t want to waste mine by being resentful.

And you know what? Here’s the craziest thing: once Ken and I decided to just let go of our resentments and forgive each other, it was simple.  I’m not kidding you.  Easy-peasy, as my kindergartener says.  Looking back, I can’t believe how much time and energy we were wasting being resentful.  Seriously.

That’s not to say that we won’t cross this bridge at some point again in the future–I’m sure we will.  Life is full of challenges, especially when you’re married with young children, that’s just how it goes.  So how about we help each other out here by building up an arsenal of tips to help us get through these yucky times?

I would love to hear from you on this one. What helped you?

How were you able to let go of your resentment?

What helped you forgive someone you were sure you’d never be able to forgive?

2.4.15 UPDATE: 

I love to hear from my readers, and I read every single email and comment you send me. Please know I’m not always able to respond to each message. Please accept my apologies.

As of February 2015, I’ll be posting your problems to the site (not using your name) so that we can solve your issue together instead of replying to each individual comment. I believe this will be more beneficial than me attempting to reply to each individual email or comment, especially since there are probably several other folks out there dealing with your same problem. As other readers chime in, you’ll also get a wider range of advice.

If you’d like more detailed advice on the steps I took to reboot my own marriage, please take a look at my book 9 Steps to Heal Your Resentment and Reboot Your Marriage. I wrote this book for the thousands of readers who wrote in to let me know they were struggling with their own resentment. The book is a short, easy-to-read cheat-sheet for rebooting your marriage–something I wish someone had given me years ago.

Much love,


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399 Responses to How Resentment Kills a Marriage (and 5 Ways You Can Kill Your Resentment)

  1. betsy May 18, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    Keeping resentment bottled up for YEARS??? I can barely keep resentment under wraps for a week – and when it does eventually come out – which, like you said ALWAYS does – it’s never, ever pretty. I’m sort of a wear your emotions on your sleeve kind of girl anyway, and although at times am probably a little too honest with my husband, we do both agree that our honesty, while sometimes difficult, has been critical to us moving through more challenging phases of our relationship during these early parenting years. I think it’s allowed us to embrace, enjoy and fully recognize the highlights of our relationship as well. We know that how we are feeling about each other right now is real and honest – both the good and the not so good moments. Because we know we can work though some not so good moments, it gives us confidence to keep facing issues head on when we do hit a rough patch. Great post Tanja – thank you!

    • tpajevic May 18, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

      That’s awesome, Betsy–I love hearing how your honesty helps not only maintain your marriage, but really helps it blossom. I think we should send you around to all new moms and give them a good talking to! Can you somehow slip this into your new business? Oh, just kidding, but what an idea.

      But really-no wonder you and Erik have such a kick-ass marriage. Thanks for the inspiration!

      • Shawn January 12, 2017 at 8:05 pm #

        I’ve been in a marriage for only a year-and-a-half and I feel like I don’t even know myself anymore in my wife used to be fun together and do everything together and now she always complains about how much pain she’s in and I always get angry at her because she never wants to do anything with me anymore

        • Tanja January 13, 2017 at 5:05 pm #

          Hi Shawn,
          Is your wife in physical pain? If so, I’m guessing that’s taking a toll on every part of her life, including your relationship, and wondering how you both might be able to work together to solve her pain issues. If it’s emotional pain, then I don’t really have enough information here to help you tease this out. If that’s the case, though, a good counselor could help you both get to the root of this and figure it out.
          Good luck, friend!

          • Bill March 1, 2017 at 10:40 pm #

            I feel resentment is a big part of the issue I am currently confronting. I would love to hear about other resources that can help people struggling with this type of problem.

          • Tanja March 2, 2017 at 6:36 pm #

            Hi Bill,
            That’s why I wrote <em>9 Steps to Heal Your Resentment and Reboot Your Marriage 🙂

      • Dustin Skelton March 22, 2017 at 8:45 am #

        My name is Dustin me and my wife have been married for 2 years we have 5 children all below ten years of age. My job has recently made me start doing a swing shift, when I was on day shift me and my wife laughed spent time together, then I got sent to night shift and my world has crumbled right beneath my very own feet, I also sleep just seems like I can’t get caught up on my seep and it aggravates my wife but most of all upsets her cause she feels neglected not loved and even know I tell her I love her words only express so much. As well as after I sleep all day when I wake up I’m very cranky angry and argue and fight with my wife hurting her with words and getting physical cause the least little thing triggers me and cause me to go completely off the deep end when she hasn’t did anything at all can u please help me explain these actions and I really want to save my marriage before it is way to late if it isn’t already

        • Tanja March 23, 2017 at 11:23 am #


          It sounds like moving to the swing shift is what set everything off for you. I take it you’ve already tried to move back to your regular day shift? If not, I’d start there. In the meantime, what can you do to address the sleep issues/depravation that you’re having? I don’t know what kind of job you have, but if others are also working the swing shift, your company might have some tips of adjusting your inner clock to this new shift. You could also Google it and see what you can find on your own.

          The fact that you see yourself as grumpy and mean and snapping regardless of what’s going on is a good start, and now let’s figure out what you need to do to solve it. You might also consider going to see your doctor to see if he/she can help support you/your sleep as you adjust to this transition. Arguing is one issue, but getting physical is another one entirely–it’s a big red flag, as I’m guessing you know, and something that needs to be dealt with immediately. Don’t wait. It’s not worth anyone getting hurt or injured–your wife, your children OR yourself. OK? And if it turns out that your body simply can’t do the swing shift, it might be time for you to look for a new job that’s on a regular shift. Don’t jeopardize your family and your marriage because of this situation. From everything you’ve shared with me, you need some help here, so please don’t wait. Get it now.

          Good luck, friend!

      • November 12, 2017 at 2:45 am #

        Hi my husband and I all ways arguing and I am ready to walk but should I leave him

        • Tanja Pajevic November 12, 2017 at 8:25 am #

          I can’t answer that for you, my dear. You’ll need to do the work yourself to figure out what’s beneath and if you’d like to stay. A good therapist can help you sort that out. Good luck!

    • Mara May 9, 2016 at 11:05 am #

      My husband and I got married in December and it’s been anything but smooth. He struggles with an alcohol problem that is worse than I thought because he wasn’t completely honest with me about it before we were married. He’s lied to me repeatedly about his drinking. I will ask him if he drank anything after he comes home late from work and he will say no when he his speech is slurred and he can’t walk without stumbling. He can’t seem to go more than two weeks without a drink. And he goes to it when anything upsets him – arguing, work stress, family disagreements… He cannot stand it when I am upset at all, even if my being upset has nothing to do with him. I’ve had to file a domestic violence charge against him one time because he cannot manage his emotions. Every time I think he is getting better something happens to deepen the problem further. Luckily because of the domestic violence charge he is forced to go to anger management classes and to have random alcohol/drug tests. But he is a Christian. He wants to serve God and he doesn’t want to be this way. I’ve done everything I can to help him though he’s tried to push all help away. He is just not the man he was when we were dating. We hardly ever do devotions together like we did, though I often ask him to do them with me. And above all I am four months pregnant, my hormones are raging, and my anxiety levels have been through the roof. I cannot be the emotionally stable person my husband needs right now. This past week has been a good one but I feel like it’s only a matter of time before something else happens that my husband can’t handle. I’m just at a loss for how i should feel or respond. I’ve nearly left him several times, exasperated with everything and thinking maybe that would push him to do something about this problem on his own.

      • Lori May 12, 2016 at 8:07 am #

        I feel for you sweety…I’m in a similar situation…hopefully with taking those classes and being drug tested he will learn to be accountable for his actions and the classes will help him find ways to cope and not use alcohol for stressed times…it’s hard for someone with an addiction..and it’s hard for you…both are victims…try to take it day by day..also seeing an addiction therapist or marriage therapist could be helpful..I wish you the best and try to stay strong for your hubby..hopefully this could get under control before you have the baby!

      • Thelma November 14, 2016 at 10:41 am #

        I’m so sorry to hear this Mara. I am in the same boat as you (minus being pregnant, congratulations btw!) except my hubby is dealing with pill addiction. I am filled with resentment. Your husband seems to want to change, which is a positive! Hopefully, he continues to do so after the court stuff is over with. In the meantime, have you ever considered, going to say, an Al-Anon meeting? It is a place for people like us dealing with our spouses addiction. It was just a thought.
        I will be sending you and your precious baby happy, loving, caring vibes.

        • Tanja November 14, 2016 at 11:37 am #

          Thanks for sharing Al-Anon as a resource, Thelma!

    • Jason April 16, 2018 at 9:38 am #

      First off I understand this is for marriage Inwoild appreciate if my story could be heard. I want our relationship to be great. I think me and my girlfriend are broken up. We had broken up 5 times in the last each usually a different reason she broke up with me. First it was b Cause she thought I didn’t want to be involved with family and that she was still loving another in her last. I do need to go into all of If but we would say things hay we both need to fix. She wanted me to kiss her more sag cute things more, hug more cuddle more, say pet names use hearts and so forth. And I am ok doing that but it never seemed like I was doing enough for her. She would break up saying I don’t feel Your even listen or trying to do better. We get back together because she had said that she is affraid if the future and what if this Happens or that. I feel like I’ve tried so hard to support and be there for her. I the biggest issue I believe was on our 1 year anniversary. We made love and she started crying I made th mistake of ignoring that and walk-in our and when I came back she asked why did you leave and I said I couldn’t deal with it. She goes through depressions and has been made fun of and ridiculed her whole life by Her parents. She left and would not let me touch her or try and comfront her (someone she feels very safe with)at all clearly there was something majorly wrong this was not like her. We talked about this later and she said it was b cause she felt unloved and that I didn’t care. I apologized as I know I should have been there for her. Leading up to this I was trying to support almost every night or ever few days when she was crying trying to find how what was wrong and most of the time she said I don’t know I just have depression. I felt bad I truly did and I tried to tell her in so many different ways. Recently though leading up to our breakup I found the real reason why and it was b cause of something so bad that happened in her last triggered her to think of it during sex. Of course it hurts me to see this and now that I know that is the reason I honestly feel sick to my stomach every night not only because we are broken up but I just feel tremendous guilt and shame that I abandoned her like that because Im truly not a person that would do that I care so much for the ones I love and I want to do anything to support them. I wish I could take that night back so much. Me being someone that for the first time with this girl I’ve been so open more than anyone else and I have never truly never felt anything else instant attachment and attraction from day one but the negative things seems to have built and it’s hard because she thinks negatively about most situations and the past. We’ve tried talking about things usually end up in an argument but then I thinking it was solved positively in the end and to me it was over small things but important things. Recently she had become more distant less wanting to spend time and so forth. I asked her if she still wanted to be with me and she said it isn’t that simple. She loves and cares for me and she says that she wants to be with me and needs me but she needs time to think. Also I told her that I would leave her alone to think and she said she didn’t want that she just needs time to think. I’m affraid this is the end and it’s heartbreaking that I can’t necessarily get a straight answer and the words she is saying are mewnkg different things. The night I said I’d give her time to think she message me saying that” she does not know what to do, her friend is going through a hard time” “I give her my input and she says that she my friend not yours and I’m supposed to take care of her not you” anyway after this talk a little she said she just need my support so I gave it to her. She said she didn’t want to talk on the phone but that it I could send her voice messages that would and help sing her a song that would help her feel better so I did and she ended up saying she was feeling better. We’ve been taking about our past more and more things we both could of done differently she said she knows she see more things negatively than the positives. I understand her al lot more and she understand me a lot more after this I believe. She had knew resentment was growing towards me and she had kind of hinted at these things in the relationship but it was never completely but how there that she did she said she was trying to fix it in her own. At this point we agree that she is resenting me and hat she needs time to Think if she wants to attempt our relastionship. Again this hurts me as I’m here willing to try yet again and yes it’s been many times but his time I believe we have found the true cause of 80% of the issues based of this resentment and if we know the problem of can be fixed unfortunately it essentially is up to her if she is willing to try one last time. I know this was a long winded post but could I get any insights into this?
      Jason recently posted..What’s the Story You’re Telling Yourself? (and How to Break Free)My Profile

      • Tanja Pajevic April 16, 2018 at 2:45 pm #

        If I’m understanding your hint (and certainly if there’s some trauma in your girlfriend’s past), I’d definitely recommend seeking the support of a professional therapist. A good, trained therapist can help her start to process the trauma/abuse. Without that, there’s only so much you can do. Once you’re able to address that, you can get support in communicating more clearly. Those are the two places I’d suggest you begin.
        Good luck to both of you, friend!

  2. Kristine May 31, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    I just learned about your blog, and I have to say, this topic is very near and dear to my heart. I’m not entirely sure why – maybe something to do with my parents’ marriage – but I’ve always been very aware of the risk involved in the build up of annoyance, resentment, constant tit-for-tat’s… Before kids, I made a active effort to do one nice thing for my husband each day. After kids, it basically comes down to bringing him coffee in bed in the mornings. I have absolute clarity about the health of my marriage and whether I have a true open heart with my husband when I reach for that coffee mug, poor that coffee and take stock of how I am feeling. Some days, I can’t wait to see him smile when I walk in – and others I want to tell him to get his own f-ing coffee. But that moment I know that if the f-word comes to mind, we have work to do together. It is funny to me that doing something that was initially intended to make him happy has become the thing that ensures I am happy.

    • tpajevic June 1, 2012 at 9:46 am #

      That’s beautiful, Kristine–thanks for sharing that. It really makes me realize how much possibility there is to connect with our mate every single day, much less in every single moment. I love how you’ve turned this simple act into almost a daily meditation–it’s really inspiring. Thanks!

      • Djordan October 1, 2017 at 9:20 pm #

        I am a 60 year old lady, I have given everything to my marriage, plus I have helped raise my husbands to young children and he is from a family of fourteen. I feel so very tired of giving of myself and treated like I just have to do what they expect of me. I can not tell my husband how I feel ,without him getting mad at me. When I do want to talk with him, he either is on his cell phone or watching t.v, so that doesn’t happen. When I try and say what or how I feel, then he gets mad at me, even if I talk without a raised voice, then he well just walk away or go to bed. I can really understand younger people going through this, I really don’t know what to do anymore.This is not my first marriage and I really wonder why I feel like I’m doing something wrong,. I guess it’s too late for me to find out.

        • Tanja Pajevic October 2, 2017 at 2:40 pm #


          I hear you — that sounds really hard. What kind of support do you have outside of your husband? Do you have good friends you can share this with, or a therapist would could help support you? I’m guessing there are some boundary issues here that might need to be teased out, and a therapist could help you with that. I don’t think it’s too late for you at all — what I do hear is that you need things to change, and I totally understand that. A therapist can help you get to the root of what you need and help you find the support you’re seeking. You might not be able to change your husband, but you can certainly change what you’re willing to put up with.

          Good luck, my dear. We’re with you!

    • Jackie March 6, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

      @kristine Bravo I am feeling that way now in regards to some days

    • Rebecca February 24, 2016 at 6:13 pm #

      Wow! This is really powerful! I love that you have found a way to show nurturing kindness to your husband while at the same time discovering its value as a way of assessing your own heart. This will stay with me for a long time. Thank you!

    • callie July 4, 2016 at 4:06 pm #

      My husbands resentment has turned deadly. when he came home from the Submarine service US navy in 1985, He was expecting a wife that wanted a life with him, that his rights under a UAW contract to be obeyed to as stipulated in the contract. and no interference from any one. especially his father and his friends.

      I really did not know how a contract In a major Auto manufacturer worked. I thought a supervisor said you do and you did it where they put you. My husband came home with his honorable discharge, which automatically gave him the seniority he would have accrued during that time on military leave, Due to the retirements while he was gone and other turnover< He came back into the seniority with over 60 percent of the 7500 person work force , making 4200 people less entitled to shifts, jobs, take or refuse holidays and weekends. or take the three week vacation slot time as he wanted. after a year back. when he returned he had more patrols on his pin than many with three times his time in the navy. He had been under water, for 956 days in three years, The rest was refits and two sequestered schools. No Leave or R and R in three and a half years.

      When he came home he was tired, seasick, from not having a moving deck under him. Most of us did not understand any thing he said because he spoke in acronyms or bianary. When he came back He was intending first to take the 30 days he had t return and have the honey moon we never had< He came home to nothing in the way of a greeting from me Just a note on his fathers door to take the sofa and leave me alone. Just four days before he watched his crewmates and ho they were greeted by wives and girlfriends after only 120 days out. at 4 am they just about taclkled them. My husband expected the same from me when he arrived in the Midwest at 4 am for days latter Instead an hour after walking through the door his father yanks him off the sofa demanding he reinstate. it took his mother begging him not to murder his father and just do as he asked to get him to go in. He was put straight to the floor the same day on seconds. A 12 and a half hour shift he again was met by the same note, His father again yanked him off the sofa at 5 yelling at him to get his lazy rear out and find a place to live. I had been told to keep out of sight the first week. My presence would make things really hard to get him to do as needed.

      Then all hell broke loose in the living room. His mother was at the door begging me to help stop a murder and my first sight of my husband in three years was him with one arm pinning his father to the ceiling yelling he was going to see his wife if he had to tear bulkheads out. And he was already on my husbands last nerve and he was getting off. I had to go out and beg my husband to put him down he was turning blue. then leave home hunting with him and get breakfast. I was really frightened of what. I had seen that morning, I could not believe that being tired would bring that kind of rage on.

      I did not know a lot of the history with his father and his friends at the time. Like a whipping with extension cord until he passed out tied to a tree. Me and his mother found out this last year when a counselor showed us the scans of my husbands back when the surgen put 153 stiches in his back and 30 in his wrists.

      But at that time I had been asked by these people to help keep my husband from disrupting lives with his seniority, The reason I was not waiting in South Carolina when he discharged was I am ill. BI polar in its worst form.

      My husband had never been informed and the way he found out was going in the second day of work he was given a guardianship HE still went in and put his shift preference to days in. and after getting the keys to the house we rented, We went and arrange to get the things I had left in storage delivered the next day at military relocation. We got home to his father being there and another car, We went in and his father launched into him about bumping the pretty blond at his table to second shift. .Her mother was there and they were family friends. She had only hired on that she did not have the nine years my husband had So I got into it telling my husband the last 2 days convinced me that something had to be done about his temper and his unwilling ness to just take things as they came. He needed to let everybody have the time to let the dust settle with his return.
      I told him we were not having a marital relation until he allowed things to be stable for two years. I thought I was doing what was right for everyone keeping the peace over a man trained in Air born, air assault Intelligence in the army and in the navy nuclear weapons both technology and security and fully qualified submarines. He was also a full 3rd dan Black belt from the army in 1976,

      These qualifications made him a very dangerous man to cross. But he did as asked after slamming out of his fathers house calling me a mercenary b****. I got to the house bought over by his mother to find his father crying in the front yard the next morning with his nose broken because he had again yanked my husband out after 2 hours this time.

      He was sleeping on his Bivwac kit and mat. and when the movers arrived he was getting a few things at the store, His mother was even scared saying if e kept this pressure up we would not like the result, Sixteen years latter after only six days of for a tumor removal on his brain stem he was supposed to take 60 but his father and coworkers stated if he could stand he could work. He had sent me home in 1987 after I went to Rome without him. begging him to let the same blond have the vacation slot to get married.

      He had me swear on my bible any time any place and any way he wanted after my return from that trip. I would be a willing wife and travel companion We had talked in Rome about the best vacation choice for my husband was seven months in the future starting after the down week and any three weeks until February 14th, I arrived with him intending to take off that morning on a western road trip wherever his nose pointed. I felt like a gun was at my head. I tried to say we could go someplace nice and warn like st Criox, Barbados Hawaii, we did not have to kill other hopes the next three weeks He had already researched that time. Found getting reservations then was next to impossible for any thing like I suggested Europe to cold in the winter his knees after air assault were to bad to ski.. So I even suggested driving to Vegas, Southern Callifornia. Texas or Florida, He said you can drive it I don't want to Ice scat across country or get caught in a winter storm and why did he ever want to go to vegas or Florida. I knew he hated both. So it was his way or the highway, It was the highway being sent home to my mothers for 2 years in Virginia. His father had a court order slapped on him to work all offered hours, and when the hearing for dissolution came up August 2 years latter his petition was tossed out because he could not make provisions for my bi polar, almost 3000000 up front to the state. I was returned to the same defiance, the same problems as before until the Brain surgery in 2001, After that his attitude went totally south, In October he decided he was taking a prestige position with his 25 years, I went hat in hand like other times and this time promised a normal marriage no more sex refusal, He could have the vacations and holiday as well as the weekends he wanted after 20 years home, he could wait a few more weeks for another job bid in the new plant He just needed to back off the prestige position for the commissioners son.

      He told me he wished me dead. he had backed of willingly his last time and since I never kept my word I was a liar. I watched the next morning as four men threatened him with bodily harm if he did not back off. He goaded them into attacking just so he had a legitimate reason to just about kill all four He then kicked the front door in on me breaking my ankle and promised my death if I ever locked him out to get hurt again. After that morning many felt he was the most deadly person in the county. and armed intimidation was used the next seven years getting more hurt Then In 2009 we traded his orient express tickets and passes to let a 2 year seniority have a honey moon on the express. I thought it was a fair exchange me holding the cancelation check until that winter But he was so angry he took the shoulder bag off my arm taking the check Travelers checks and credit cards after dislocating my arm, He then to get the stolen passport back started strangling his father who told him to Pick it up at TSA after we were in the air. I hurt badly the whole trip and his father could not speak.

      We got back to being stranded without a way home the almost 100 miles, My husband could not be located any where but on his job, and I was thinking it was all over time off he was angry, He developed MRSA in his spine in October, I was finally allowed into my home and husbands account. He was sleeping in the state forest paying the camping fees.

      When he was taken into the hospital dying. After that surgery and several others and three strokes.. He came home after three years hard work learning to walk with no feeling in his legs. He did not come through the door with any intention of letting things setlle and try and work though the last 31 years some how. He resented the time he was blackmailed and forced to give up. He resented the fact he had no family of his own, because I had not let him, I think he hatred everyone in his life including me for the way he was treated and I had no idea of how to make it up to him after so much time, He had spent the last two weeks in a stress center and on the evening they called to bring him home, His father suggested they build his character by shoving him out the door in -40 degree weather and let hi walk home the 20 miles, he could scream his defiance in the wind until his vocal chords froze.. Many people had started to be angry along with my husband and they found his insurance had a home delivery voucher. The sent him by taxi just as I was finishing getting ready to go out.

      It was a fund raiser for a friend, invitation only, But when my husband was standing in the living room as I came out of the bedroom He said good He had not been out any where in the evening in 31 years where were we. going. I could tell that things were not going to go well that evening I should Have just taken him any where even a movie at that point, picked up the phone and told his father I could not go. instead I said I had promised his father, his best friend and his mother this evening months ago, he should just go to his mat get some sleep and we would plan for something the next day. He said like Hell, I was not keeping any promise to any one else before I started keeping the hundreds I had made him the 31 years of our marriage, I could tell things just got to danger, I said ok we did not have to wait another day here's a100 pick a place to meet in four hours and we could start putting his grievances on the table and figure out what was allowed now. I was begging for time which he was not giving. I tried running for the door to get help and he ripped every stich off me, said he was not in negotiations 31 years of talking was to long now it was time for action.

      I feel if I did not submit that evening he would have killed me over sex. the way we treated him for 31 years. Over his being used as a doormat. That evening was the scariest day of my life. I saw him take over every aspect of his life hurting others to do it. I saw two men hold him on our porch with pistols to allow me a discussion about him but without him there but he followed us and suprised us laying the faces of the two men open to the jarwbone for daring to hold a gun on him on his porch. he even recorded it to get his father and two others arrested. His father was threatened to be impaled by his cane.

      Last week the only on that could calm my husband died, his mother, I cry because it now falls on me to gain any cooperation and that falls in the fat chance. realm. He is going to rn roughshod taking his rights offering no time to negotiate any thing, so now I am just going to let him do as he pleases. I cant thin of other options..

  3. Ginger June 10, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

    Great article…
    Sadly for me, f20 years married -10 have been less than good, and the resent is beyond 4givness (or atleast for my husband) We are just roommates for the kidz…

    • tpajevic June 11, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

      It’s anything but easy, Ginger, I hear you. But I really believe it’s never too late to change things… it’s hard as hell, but even just reaching out and taking a small step can start to change things. Hang in there, friend–I’m pulling for you!

      • Ron October 24, 2015 at 4:06 pm #

        I’m a guy, hard working and very affectionate. I read your story and that word “ROOMMATE” is used quite often in our home,mostly by me. My wife and I have only been married for a little of 4 years…. yes 4 years and we both resent the hell out of each . We both stopped wearing our rings . I hate to say it ,but I don’t know what else to do . I don’t want to leave her and then have to start over knowing that it will happen again in the next relationship. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

        • Cal55 November 25, 2015 at 10:33 am #

          The first time I heard the word roommate was from my husband three days after he came home form Three and a half years under water in the US Navy. His father had told me the six months before he came back along. with people he was going to work with, some of the community leaders, even a few supervisors that were fishing buddies of my husbands father, That they knew my husband was coming back with more seniority than 60 percent of the 7500 person work force where he was going back to. They also knew before he went on his Military leave he never liked 2nd shift, His father said and the most important thing was my husband always bucked the social and political order when he knew he had earned something but was asked to give it up for what those that had more social needs than my husband. Which I found out was just about everyone.
          So I was asked if for a short time, I could help them keep my husband from coming home and using his accrued seniority to take the things he wanted and disrupting lies in the area. Within two days after my husband came home my husband and his father were in each others face, The first sight of my husband was he had his father pined to the ceiling telling him he had already got on his last nerve with all his demands, and if he did not get out of his life his father could be eliminated from his life. At that time I did not know the abuse my husband had suffered at his fathers and his fathers friends hands as early as his senior year of high school, At that time I could just see the lack of respect my husband had for the people in the area.
          By the third day a young blond girl One of his fathers coworkers where he worked, where waiting for us when we came back from military relocation and picking the keys up for the house we had taken. My husband walked in the young blond had been crying and his father told my husband not back three days and he was already causing trouble he had to stop She had started working for the company my husband went back to. A good Auto manufacturing Job with UAW representation. His father was screaming. Did my husband put his shift preference for days in? He was defiant in total when he said yes I am bumping someone with 6 months seniority to my nine years. It was the young 19 year old blond. Her father got her on right after she graduated high school, He was an area manager and another friend of his fathers. So that day I told my husband if he would cooperate and not defy everyone for two years that’s when we could start our marriage and sex life. Without people angry in the area. I said just back off the bump, back off everything he wanted his first two years home then we could start our life. My husband slammed out of his fathers house with his army gear he had stored in his fathers garage, with the keys to the house we had chosen, He called me a mercenary b****.
          His father said that one day he would realize this was the way it had to be and it was best for everyone. ,
          When I moved into the house he just said oh my roommate is here and stormed out the door after putting our bed together, and went to work, He slept the next two years on a thin foam mate in another room.
          Two years past. he had worked every day and holiday for two years. The month before the two years was up he had arranged to have his first vacation since before we married We had a very good group rate to Rome, He was planning to us this trip as the honey moon we never had, start a sex life and have a rest seeing thing he always wanted to. The week before we were due to leave, his father waited to talk to me until after my husband left. He told me we had a problem with the vacation, The same girl from two years before wanted to go with her parents and her new fiance’. If my husband insisted on keeping his vacation slot, the girl and her fiance’ would not go. I was asked to tell my husband he had to stay and work while the rest of us went to Rome, He said it would mean so much to this other family,
          That next morning I waited for my husband to get home. I told him I knew this trip was something he wanted in more ways than one and I knew ity was wrong to ask what I was about to of him. I said t would be so nice if he would cancel and delay his vacation slot, We could do something sometime after the tri[p to Rome just for ourselves. but if he went only hard feeling would be created first he told me if he stayed the three thousand for his half of the trip would be paid, second I was going as a single he would take back 2 thirds of the cash I had planned to take, the, he hauled my bible out and had me swear that upon my return, whatever, wherever, when ever and however he choose I would be both a willing bed partner, and a traveler on his terms, I was so happy not to get more argument from him I swore to his terms. He even typed up and made me sign what I had sworn to.
          The delivery to the airport by my husband in our van was not nice however, he was insulting to the girl and her parents and fiance’ His father told him that he did not have to be angry about this he could have a vacation later just other needs where involved now, We got out of the van and his father told him to get our luggage into check in. He was a total embarrassment about it. He got out off the van and shuffled around to the back and opened the door He said yes Massa, this po nigga going to do just as you want, I be sorry if I is takin to long to do it I be ready for my whipen when yoo alls return. I wanted to curl up and hide with my husbands mother, aunt, brothers and sister, almost wanting to run. he let us start going through our boarding passes and went to get in the van The luggage had not even been taken out. His father yelled what was he doing and the van screeched away leaving our luggage piled in the road he taped the brake with the doors slamming shut and drove away with his middle finger raised. His father said him being a big baby and bad sport because he has to be a man and work so something nice can be done for someone else. I bought him a new pair of nice soft boots in Rome. Took alot of pictures of the things we saw and over a couple of dinners I showed his mother and father a copy of the thing I had sworn to before we left. The subject of the time that my husband could take for a vacation of his own came up over several dinners. His father and the area manager and the girl and her fiancé all suggested any time between the second of January to the 14th of February, nobody wanted that time frame and it would not cause disruptions in other plans made. His mother said it was not good not to consult my husband. His father said its just seven more months what can he say.
          He had so much to say, We arrived on Saturday in mid June at 7:30 AM. We were all happy and my husband had our stuff from customs being loaded before even told him how nice a time we had, He said I is still waiting for my whipen to his father and I knew he was still furious about being made to back down two weeks earlier. Then noticed his packed duffle in the back of the van. I tried to be in a happy mood and pretend I did not see it I said I thought of him while we were in Rome. I said I had a peace offering for him and a lot of photo’s he first suggested I eat my photos, asked what his hurry was he did not have to be at work until 3 that evening. He said wrong I don’t have to be at work until after three the Monday after the fourth. I started crying I told him we had thought the best time was seven mounts away. He said there was a reason nobody wanted that slot. no money after Christmas and for a road trip he did not want to take his chances ice skating across country He told me he planned for us to be in Kansas by three that afternoon I said can’t we talk with everyone over breakfast and he pulled what I had signed out of his center consol. He said was I going to live up to any of my promises over the last seven years. I said not with him holding it over my head like a gun. By this time everyone was hearing what I told my husband I said we just flew all night and I wanted him just to go to work. that evening and let everyone have a chance to catch their breath. His father said for Christs sake cant he, My husband pulled over to the shoulder and interrupted him, said one more word he was walking 55 miles home. He turned to me and said one chance, was I going to live up to my promise. I got obstinate and said no not like this, He said fine and left the interstate the next exit. he pulled into the bus station and his father disapeared He pulled a manila folder out and handed me one of the sets of papers he was signing. a bus pass home to my mother 12000 in a cashiers check, he made up 200 to make my cash to 1000.00 told me the things in the house would be put into storage when he came back from Yosemite. his father came back at that time and said im am going to knock your head off if he did not shut up and just let things go . He started advancing with his fists balled when my husbands youngest brother stopped his father. He said he had better look at the way my husbands stance was, We recogognised he had gone to combat mode. his brother said even he would not like to take what my husband had ready. His father said would he have really hit him. My husband toi the whole terminal said he would have needed a tombstone where he stood before he ever laid a finger on him He tossed everything into the luggage locker and said have a nice life, I could keep my peace offering for the next chump I caught. He said my mother knew why and when I would get home. He gave me a letter that was again intended to embarrass. It said he was returning me in the same condition received, not a wife but a sponge, He had marked the guardianship the stat assigned for he signature. He said In the letter if she had raised me right She would not be getting me back to palm of on somebody else.
          We went back two years latter. my mother refused to take the guardianship for my bi polar condition. My husband had a court order when he got his mother and father waiting requiring him to take all hours offered. He actually hit his father in the face with his luggage I found out. It was his father getting another friend to issue it, I went back to my husband in the hearing after they declared my husbands petition moot. .It’ s now 26 years latter It would have been best for the community, for me, for my husband and for his father if he was allowed the divorce. In 2013 after 3 years of rehab my husband came home and discovered me in an affair, The man I was with tried to humiliate my now crippled husband by sweeping his cane. When my husband hit the floor the other man started laughing, asking how I ended up with such a pathetic loser. My husband showed him pathetic by fracturing his scull then his face with his fists. The police found every time the Other Man woke up my husband slammed his fist into him yelling who’s a pathetic loser now My husband was diagnosed with PTSD. And was in a stress center a week latter when his doctor in the center hand us both the findings he had on the bullying and abuse of my husband for 31 years. His father went out into the day room and started screaming at him about being such a big baby, He saw the look on my husband face and barely made it through the plate glass doors before the wheel chair my husband was using as a walker went through the doors after his father. the next week my husband came home. Found me getting ready to go to a political fund raiser with his mother, father and their best friend.. He lite into me about the things he had provided with his sweat, pain, and blood at times. I tried to negotiate meeting him after the event, Getting everyone to talk things through before he became to angry, 11 years before we had seen the result of his anger when four men nearly died trying to force him to remove a job bid. I could see the same look in his eyes when people started to get hurt. HE drew our sexless marriage to a close. that evening, He raped me.
          I try and think of something to make peace with my husband for every ones sake but everything that’s tried just gets someone hurt, I only tried once to get a comprimise since that night over this years vacation trip, I went to him and begged him to consider he had not been on any of the ten of these and the last time he confronted us over it he was given a court order to work. I said if he could just wait three more years I would talk myself blue to get him included in 2018 He told me if he was paying he was going or I was not going because he would pull the funds. I was left without a choice knowing his father would not like it. His father ended up laying outside our room with a neck imoblizer being transported to surgery.
          I have never thought that The last three years could be as they became. All the people I know terrified of even trying to tell my husband he is not going to be allowed to do something. I wont make any overtures to get him to just step back now. It could get me hurt. I would have never thought things like blackmailing a man into working everyday from 1981 to October 2009 and denying sex over that period would cause such a deep hate. That he would consider killing us to keep from being told he can’t do something he wants now,
          I have thought that I could understand his position but I choose the community position.

          • Cal55 November 25, 2015 at 11:42 am #

            I should say why my husband was in rehab. In 2009. After being forced into work the last 8 years he was not crippled, because we were still in a sexless marriage because I could not figure a way to gain cooperation. or even a discusion about him stopping the defiance he had chosen to show it just kept everything he wanted from coming to pass because nobody wanted any thing more than him to cooperate. He even told the sheriff one day holding his hands out to be cuffed when he was defying every ones wish he go to work on a holiday, he was going to get another man fired when he refused to take the holiday. My husband had over 20 years seniority on him. He however had children. I never gave my husband the chance. The sheriff came up told my husband that the courts could reissue the order to go to work and my husbands lawyer stepped out, my husband said go ahead place him under arrest he would not mind getting a few million a year from the county for false imprisonment The four hurt men were just a few weeks before. That’s the same day my husband started to be intimidated into work under threat from firearms on holidays and vacations. my husband had started to despise me y that time, I think that if I dropped dead tomorrow he could care less > MY husband let his depression get so bad he developed MRSA in his spine. That’s when we also started hearing we stole three decades of his life through blackmail, legal chicanery and outright force,
            I cry a lot now. My husband wants me dead. I always thought that one day he could see the good his time bought for others, and that he could see how much it hurt me to do as I was told, but I had to chose a side, I choose wrong. I just don’t know any way after my husband lost the feeling in his legs in 2009 to make up for his feeling of denial.

          • Gemma August 6, 2017 at 10:07 pm #

            Am sorry for what you been though , I read what you put and it seems . You and his family did this to him, he worked all his life to pay for things for you . You promised him things like being his wife etc but all you did was stand by his abuse father, you never stood by him. When he needed you the most you wasn’t there for him , bec he was abuse as a child and adult he doesn’t know how to deal with his anger. Because he was always hit by other people that teached him to do it to protect himself. Maybe if you was a loving wife , stood up for your husband and got the help he need maybe you would not have the relationship you got now. You picked the family over ur husband u disrespected ur husband

          • Tanja Pajevic August 7, 2017 at 10:45 am #

            I understand that you have your take on Cal55’s situation AND this is a supportive space, so if you’d like to remain in the conversation, please keep your comments on the supportive and helpful side. Otherwise, I’ll delete them. NO flaming and no blaming. Thanks!

    • mark Mateaux April 20, 2014 at 10:35 pm #

      Hello I am a man who heard the same exact words from my wife of 24 yrs.See I had been having difficulty in the “ED” department and also my wife later admited she didnt need it as much -but a month turned into a year.I finally realized after she said she wanted to go spend the night with a friend that something was wrong.Anyway to put a long story short-I finally got with her and asked her how she felt and she told me bla bla…Well the whole thing turned out to be ED and my inabilty to communicate–see this was one thing I -of all things couldnt admit to myself-I mean we had been tighter than a knot and then this?WELL JUS SAYING -DONT COUNT THAT OUT…; ))

      • Tired of it all June 25, 2015 at 10:42 pm #

        At least you didn’t blame your wife for your ED like I was blamed. How odd my husband, who’s diabetes and high blood pressure actually caused his ED, yet instead of taking the opportunity to work together with the situation, he blamed me and said were never get close any more because I make no attempt to try to turn him on. Wow, what a marriage breaker excuse if there ever was one.

    • Mary Till January 13, 2015 at 9:12 pm #

      Been married to my husband for 38 yrs.He complained about the dinner that I fixed tonight.Even though I went over the recipe with him complained it tasted like goulash which he doesn’t like. Also he hoards and I find myself getting very frustrated.

      • Tanja January 15, 2015 at 10:00 am #

        Mary, that sounds hard–especially since you’ve been married so long. I wonder if eating out more would help, or encouraging your husband to cook. Whatever you choose, it seems to me that the key always comes back to taking incredibly good care of yourself first and foremost. Put yourself first and do whatever you need to to manage the rest so it doesn’t drive you insane. For example, if your husband hoards, put all of his stuff in one room (say the basement or guest room or any extra space you have), shut the door and be done with it. That might help keep it out of sight and out of mind so you can stay sane. Another example would be telling your husband that this is what you’re cooking and then if he doesn’t like it, he’s free to make himself a sandwich or cook for himself. Small steps like this might help teach him to step up and take a little responsibility for himself. Good luck, friend!

        • Annie June 19, 2015 at 7:02 pm #

          There is obviously much more going on that her husband can complain and not appreciate her efforts and your advice is to go out more or “out of sight, out of mind?” Her husband obviously takes her for granted and has his own agenda that does not have her interest in mind. This is obviously not healthy and a much more effective approach is to tell her to know her value and if she is not being treated the way a woman deserves, then she should break ties and venture on her own. We are not capable and nor should we be willing to save everyone, especially based on their ‘title’ whether it be husband, sister, brother or parent. Healthy and honest relationships are key to happiness, not shoving disagreements under a rug.

        • D November 7, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

          Well eating out is fine, my wife does not drive, has not (with very rare exception) for the full 15 years we’ve been married…so I do ALL the driving. I used to “closet smoke” but gave it up years ago, for health reasons as well as economics, my wife, however refuses to try quitting. Sex life is pretty dead as well, and she also refuses to really exercise to help control her weight (blames her weigh wholly on child birth from 24 years ago). I’m afraid of a massive heart attack, stress induced in a few years, though I still excercise, she loves eating ALL YOU CAN EAT BUFFETS and swears we save money by doing so, since we can really get full…most of the time get over-full. I do love the woman, but even early in the marriage she said she wanted a nice, passive husband, which to me means that person wants to control the other person, seeking passivity from them instead of true relationships. Anyone care to comment (honestly enjoyed help raise the daughter who’s now in another state and haven’t seen her in 3 years, my wife resents her mother severely, her “father” (some question if he’s the bio-father, to me, he raised her so he should still be “daddy”), as well as nearly all the male members of her family (no brothers, only Uncles, one sister and Aunts).

          Is she a male basher,almost seems so at times, but she idolizes TV preachers like BIll Winston and Creflo Dollar…she often finds fault with those lower on the economic ladder, like they have no value due to there bank digits. Not leaving her has been based on love, but what to do when people just WILL NOT CHANGE anything about themselves?

          • Tanja November 10, 2015 at 11:23 am #


            I think you need to decide what you’re willing to live with. It sucks, I know, but as far as I can tell, that’s the bottom line, since you can’t change another person. The only person you can change is yourself. Sometimes, when you make the changes you need to make for yourself, the other person will come along. If not, then you’re faced with making a larger decision.

            Good luck, friend!

          • Callie December 17, 2016 at 7:36 am #

            I am bi polar a well as have bad tunnel vision. It scares me to death to drive making it unsafe. All I tried to do for 31 years was get my husband to try and work out ways around what he wanted that got in the way of other peoples needs.

            From 1985 to 2009 we had nine family and friend European trips that we tried to get my husband to see the needs of other people and just take the time from the day the holiday shut down ended to Valentines day because that was the time frame nobody really wanted. The first time it was suggested I was hoping for a nice Island beach a romantic get away for three weeks . and he could use this time and take his personal time as a direct exchange for holidays that other people wanted and he could stop trouble before it started instead of pushing his seniority rights he could do things in peace for the best of the community.

            tt’s turned into charges of denial of civil rights. marital fraud and extortion and even the maintain of an involuntary indentured servant by force and coercion. in other words he hates everyone involve so much he wants heavy fime’s and prison terms for just seeing to their own wants and needs like any one.

            since many times it was his fathers good old boys network that took my husband rights. he is the main focus of hate followed closely by me because I chose his fathers and the comunitys side that some how there had to be a way and work around his seniority and still see everyone satisfied.

            My husband after 2001 Stopped trying to even listen on November 5th 2001, I was on my knees begging him and telling him that a new bid list was going up for the new plant in just 2 weeks. him and his senioritied friends could just choose jobs from that list instead of the Start up department they wanted. Three sons of influencial people in the county and one city councilman wanted the positions, but my husband and his ex military counter gang as I called them did not budge from their seniority rights.

            The next morning the four men followed my husband up on our porch and I did as my father in law instructed. Slide bolted my husband out to listen to these men. I was listening behind the door when they told him he could remove his bid that morning under his own power our they could get it removed with a few bruises maybe his fingers broken till he did.

            My husbands defiance was very evident the next words he uttered telling them he did not care who’s wife was who but the could turn around and get off his porch and out of his face or die where they stood. One man wrapped his arm around my husbands neck and the commisioners son said he had asked for this as he took his swing. I knew in both the Army and Navy he had extensive combat arts training. but without warning he turned those four men into broken bleeding people then turned the hose on them as they laid there dying. It was 30 degrees an the water was not warm. When the EMTS and police arrive they had a lot of trouble using the tools because he had soaked them down. Then he decided I needed something told to my face. The front door and frame landed on me And Snaped my leg and he walked in telling me He knew I had had an affair with one of those men.

            He said he would tell me that the next date I had if I ever tried to get him hurt again, or interfere with him one more time I would have a date with the undertaker/ My leg was broken as the Sirens arrived. There were to many witness’s that said they jumped my husband so the police could do nothing. Him and his friends took the job. and his father told me that was the last time he would be permitted to have or do as he pleased. The next seven years were Stolen passports to keep him from a vacation. Use of armed intimidation to force him to work holidays and other times he wanted off. Then two more incedents of violence in 2008 since the reports went ignored by the sheriffs department. One thanksgiving as always my husband turned the canvas down. His father and three others were pushing him through the gate at shotgun point, when my husband yanked one out of a friends hands. He crushed the mans face in and drew down on the other three including his father. It took a half hour and the destruction of 6000 in his fathers and friends firearms with a machinist hammer. To get my husband to go ahead and work that day. The following Monday the man that was supposed to work was given 30 days Disiplineary leave for not showing for the shifts. On Christmas Eve morning the same thing happened this time with two men forced out of his fathers car going 45 MPH Another going from the front seat onto his fathers hood and hiss father was left knocked out in the car. The sheriff that night told us that was the last day he could keep things out of public notice with my husband The next time we would all be in jail. That Christmas a coworker needed the time off for his three children over the holidays they were being sent to him by their mothers from two prior marriages.

            On new years eve 2008 We took his sandwiches to him at work. Instead of going out that evening to celebrate the new year had Mustard smeared al over me, and the people inside the car were covered in WD 40 from a can he punctured and threw in with us.

            The next spring I was trying to do right by him when I showed his father where to find his passport, boarding pass and confirmation numbers on the orient express with me that may. We took them and cancelled him out and at the same time I set up his full five weeks vacation to start on January the second on a five week Rental in ST Criox We were supposed to Fly out on January second 2010 seven months after the Orient express His father was going to give his passport to TSA to hold until we were in the air and I was holding the 6354 dollar check to give him at his work gate Christmas day 2009, the first Vacation since 1978. He dislocated my shoulder Getting the check and all my money. Even tore my paper work in half, His father boarded with his pockets torn to his knees and a badly bruised throat From nearly being strangled to death by his own son, That trip could have been worse if TSA and The state depatment had allowed my husband to go forward with his plan to meet us at every stop of the express and remind us we could be in hell. putting him on a no fly hold Our return was To An arraignment for acting as false agency cancelling his trip.

            By years end he was in rehab and Being medically retired after MRSA destroyed his spine.

            By the time he was ready to come home three years later after two more bad problems triggerd by MRSA I was tired of hearing that I had helped steal 3 decades of his life. How much of a bi*** I was for doing so. I had started seeing an old Boyfriend. The day my husband caught us was supposed to be the last time. Even Crippled my husband turned out to be deadly leaving the other man beat to a pulp in our living room and being put in a stress center. were I discovered that what we had done to my husband for 31 years for the sake of the community was illegal under the law and civil rights.

            He came home two weeks latter again to me going to a dinner event I was invited to but he was not . I was going with my husbands mother, father, and their best friend when I stepped out of the bedroom just finishing getting ready to go. running square into his chest. I did not get the first word out before starting to cry, I explained it was to late to cancel and it was invitation only I said in four hours it was going to be done and I could come home and that Friday we had planned to take him out to try and work through his grievances from the last 31 years. In civil discourse,

            HE just sarcastically started with good I was ready to go out that evening, that he had not been out in 31 years so where were we going. I Reached into my purse and pulled 100 out saying since he was going to be this way we could meet any where he wanted in four hours and have our talk then and figure out what he could be allowed now.

            He was yelling. by what idea did any of us think we had any thing to allow him, He listed the things he had supplied in my life with his work, seat and sometimes blood. He said from that second on yelling at me he was the final judge and Arbitor in his life of what he was allowed. I was terrified by this point, and ran for the door when he reduced my outfit to shreds telling me I had not been a wife in 3 decades and by god I was going to start being one that evening. He did not give me any choice, I was begging it did not have to happen this way. I said we could cancel the evening and everyone try to reason things out. I was saying that since 21985 things were not meant to happen as they did it was his own defiancs that caused it if just once he could have found joy at work in the moment things might not have ended up this way.

            He forced me that night leaving me bleeding slightly and hurt from resisting. His fathers best friend arrived and told him to get out of his way he wanted to see me. He ended up slamming face first in the concrete icy drive right in front of his arriving mother and father A while latter his father ran for his life threatened to meet the same fate..

            There is not any way to aramge a peace now. His mother died in June wanting a way to find a peace. Its now my husband controls finances and times for trips with an iron fist.

            I was invited to go on a river cruise that was to replace the Cancun trip that went so bad last year. the only stipulation was my husband was to stay home. My husband would not approve the funds unless he went so I had to decline the invitation.

            For 33 years we tried to get him to think a different way about his rights. Think of just taking the times and life nobody else needed. He became so concentrated on revenge ion me, his father and many others he never looks at any thing with trust at all. Its always what does de massas want from de house ni**** now In 2000 when we came home from the milinial celebration on January 5th his birthday I stepped off the Plan from Bavaria want a new start to life as a wife, A plan to talk to the judge that kept him under court order to work all hours offered and get him a vacation that summer wherever he wanted. I stepped off the aircraft with A 1300 dollar Chrisytmas/ birthday/ peace offering gift from Bavaria. A high tech clock. He handed me my Christmas gift telling me that I was getting my worth, It was a box filled with dog S***. He had covered the outside of his parents house with the same and set up a large wagon wheel with rawhide wrist ties with a sign that said at five that evening the entire city was invited to see the uppity slave get whipped. This was his gift to his parents. The New century was not starting with everything clean and new as we hoped.

            I have not stopped crying except when away from his anger about no sex, working all the time without time off. We just hoped one day he would accept different ways of getting something of what he wanted. I now have a 3 year old from that horrible day in early 2013.

            I feel if just one time he had worked on a way to get what he wanted without stomping on someones needs in the deal. That he could have had at least a little of the life he wanted instead of hurting everyone in getting it. It got to the point a weapon was produced and the holder of that weapon was hurt so badly in many cases they ran for any where he was not. On man lost an arm over it. He forced me into a sex life, he broke his fathers neck waiting to board the Cancun cruise because he objected to my husbands going. I don’t even try to talk through things now he got me over legal barrels. With Civil Rights and state charges of Marital misrepresentation and extortion. I did not know when a woman does not tell her husband right from the get go that sex was dependent on his cooperation. and that if I did not supply at least 10 percent of the household income it could be considered as extortion.

            Nobody knows what to do now. we just want the hell he;s putting us through taking his life back to stop, He Is sixty and I am about to turn 52. Since I suffer BI Polar my husband has the right to deprive me of our son if we separate. The state keeps updating the Guardianship on me Has since 1985 requiring my husband to supply all support.

            Nobody meant for things to turn out this way, It just was an impossible situation where he was the only one that could provide the times and knowledge needed to fill.

            I have been called bi*** so much since 1985. I don’t ever hear a compliment from my husband. I am not ungratful for the life he provided. I just wish one time he was not defiant in it.

          • Tanja December 18, 2016 at 9:05 am #

            This is far, far too much to deal with. Have you looked into what kind of support services are available in your area? Please do. Contact social services and see what kind of help is available to you and your family, whether that’s your husband, yourself and/or your son. No one should have to navigate such extremes on their own.

  4. Sara August 1, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

    My husband and I have been together for six years and have a 2.5 year old. I have been holding onto resentment for years and I don’t know how to let go and forgive. It seems that each time I forgive him he does something stupid again that rocks the foundation of our marriage. For years, I have thought that my lack of sex drive was due to hormones and the challenges of having a child but lately, I have realized that it is just resentment. It is hard to want to be intimate with your partner when you are disappointed. I need help. I want my marriage back. I want to enjoy my husband and not be so annoyed with him all the time. Oh, I hope I can change.
    Sara recently posted..Enough of the Fighting, Already! My Profile

    • tpajevic August 1, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

      Hang in there, Sara–you CAN turn things around, really. I’m living proof 🙂 It takes some work, but it’s entirely doable, and there are so many awesome things that come from the process. I’m pulling for you!

    • Calli May 29, 2017 at 10:31 am #

      Tanja We have been under court ordered family therapy since August of 2014, The weekend before the order was issued his father and two men showed up at the house we were getting ready to sell so we could complete our move west after the troubles in 2013. His father wanted a breakfast meeting with me about the coming Cruse In the spring of 2015 without my husbands constant no it was not going to be the way we wanted. We were trying to get the original group one last vacation together that had done it since 1987 every three years. This time my husband was not taking he was not going laying down, He had canceled a loan I made to his fathers best friend for the trip. That was the first Thing that was stopped, the next was He took it upon himself to make a double berth for us. Locking his Reservation numbers and passport in a safe deposit box where we were moving to so we could not cancel his trip again.

      My husband had stopped letting me go to any discussions about him without his being there. That’s how far the trust has eroded. IT came down to two friends pointing a 9MM and .$% at him and telling him he was letting me go by myself to that meeting. MY husband did not tell them they were being recorded by CCD camara and mics. I did not know my husband had installed them for the new owners and was testing them. We left after he put his chest up to both weapons and dared them to pull the dam triggers he would meet them in hell to show them personally to their torments. HE said be the men they claimed to be and show they would take a needle, Everyone ran for his fathers car convinced of my husbands insanity.

      As you know that kind of intimidation can get 15 years in prison even if there is not any one harmed, But we went to the breakfast and his father said through crying isn’t there a way to get his crippled son just to stay up at high range for a few weeks while we were gone. I told him that there was nothing I could do. The waitress was just setting out our meal when my husband stepped out from behind her All we heard was my husbands sister scream watch out and that heavy cane swung across the table four times laying the two men that had held weapons on him out with their faces cut to the bone. his father was looking art the haft of my husbands cane as he told him that he was totally tired of his interference with his friends from four decades of abuse, he was going to feel the 32 years of interference in our marriage as he slowly impaled him with the cane over thirty 32 seconds. We were lucky there were four off duty officers there they got my husband to the floor and called the Watch captain in. In the post interview with my husband they had no choice but to release my husband with the recording of the front deck, It bought everything to a head in the courts and we were assigned family counsiling, Nobody in his fathers circle is allowed to hold or buy a weapon now.

      I would have done any thing including have a totaly different cruise any where with my husband to have stopped the carnage but he is so set on defying the wishes of everyone I was friends with. His father Died 2 months ago and there are still defiance problems , I don’t go any where without his permissions, The Cruise was a disaster before it started we did not even board. His father tried to get my husband off the cruise several ways First promising his son would give up his berth and give me the single to let another couple have the double , That ended with everyone going home and his father laying in front of our hotel room with a ball bat in one hand and his neck broken.

      Earlier on this year I was asked to take a river cruise to NOLA. I told my husband he could drive down and meet me the last day of mardi gras, and we could drive home together, He said Oh I am just to be your Chaufer for 1100 miles then. I told my friends no I was not going.

      I just don’t know what I can offer that would get my husband to just stop thinking we are trying to shaft him all the time. I try getting along with everyone, he does mnot even try convinced its only to use him again.

      • Tanja May 30, 2017 at 10:44 am #

        Calli, sweetie, you have SO much going on here that this is way outside my scope. Is the court-ordered therapy helping? And do they provide you with additional resources? If so, I’d highly suggest you find yourself some additional support, however you can. There are too many moving pieces to your story, and many of them are outside my experience. Good luck, sister. We’re pulling for you!

    • Calli September 12, 2017 at 12:29 pm #

      Tanja: My husband left for High range yesterday its a old hunting Cabin High in the Moutains that can only be axcesed By helicopter or a horse ride of nearly three days. He has Regular Flights Bring him Supplies either By Air drop or By helicopter Hes mounted point to point communication dishes on the Rim and Has so many ways of producing power he will never run out in that isolative place. I Pleaded with him not to go winter there this year when there’s deep snow and overcast only the point to point Communications is available. It points at a cell relay 15 miles away If the snows flying then Communications are problematic.

      I know hes got a supply drop Schedualed for mid week next week. I have talked to my mother and She wants to come stay until I come back down from High range. She says my husband has made it so comfortable up there she cant understand my aversion to staying there the winter. I told her of the first time I was up there, Bears, wolves Cougers and other animals including what i thought was a badger, My Husband said if there’s a v in the fur steer completly clear Its the meanest creature in the mountains called a wolveine I know there is a mating pair up there with my child.

      My husband Is teaching him the things that interest him From Astronomy to woodcraft and navigating in the wild. I had hoped to teach my son there was a more civilized way to look at things that was not his fathers ideals toward social order. He growing up just as wild as his father and just as smart. But i believe my husband is emotionally stunted. Someone who spent so much time in isolation he does not deal with social issues in a reasonable way. There is nothing in my husband that he will compromise and It Caused major problems in the past I don’t want my son to grow up To be the mirror of his father.

  5. the lady with boys October 15, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    My husband resent for over years now. Now I told him I will work 5x than before to prove it you that I can do it.. the problem is he said his not seeing us together as a couple in a future. I asked him let me know how will I see you the same way I see abt marriage plus I literate with him I don’t expect in materialistic but I expect in in emotion support n he said that’s d problem I can’t it to you because I don’t feel that way n I dunno why…
    Y husband thinks that my being positive and extra sweet is not real n he told me I should off done that before and I tried every time but I can’t focus in d past.

    Pls help me

    • tpajevic October 15, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

      Lady with boys,
      It sounds like you guys are going through a really really rough time, and while I’m not an expert, at this point I think you guys might want to see a therapist. It sounds like there’s a lot beneath the surface that needs to be worked out, and I think you’re going to need some professional help to get there.
      Please check back in to let me know how it’s going–in the meantime, hang in there! I’ll be thinking of you.

    • TC August 23, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

      Hi, I am going through the same thing with my husband. We have been married 27 years. Have you found anything that has helped you? Thanks for any advice you can pass along.

  6. Amanda October 20, 2013 at 1:06 am #

    I need some encouragement or help. I’ve been married almost 5 yrs and we have two young kids. I feel that I have built up so much resentment from a lot of things. Him leaving what I feel so much of the responsibility with the kids and he holds the things I’ve done in the past and brings them up everytime I share that unwound like more help. Having a 2 month old and a toddler it’s been a huge adjustment. Do you have any words of encouragement to just suck it up and not hold everything he doesn’t do that I would like him to do against him. And maybe our marriage would possibly in prove?

    • tpajevic October 20, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

      Raising a 2-month-old and a toddler at the same time is brutal, so kudos to you both for that. This time is going to be tough, no matter what, so it’s imperative that you figure out some things you and your husband can do to retrieve your sanity.

      I’m not a therapist but what jumps out at me from your email is that you guys aren’t communicating very well. Are you asking for what you need from your husband? Maybe you need a night off, or you need him to cook dinner 2x/week or you need Sat to yourself. Ask for it and that’ll help lessen the resentment. If you keep sucking it up, you’ll just feel worse. Also give him some time off in return. But the key here is a) learning how to communicate and b) figuring out how to act like a team instead of the individuals you used to be before you had kids. It’s a whole new ballgame now, and yeah, it’s a giant adjustment!

      The other thing that strikes me about your email is that it doesn’t sound like your husband is playing fair by bringing up the same stuff over and over. Maybe some books or marital counseling could help on this one?

      Whatever you choose, remember that you’re in a GIANT adjustment period and with your kids so close together, hell yeah, it’s going a super-challenging time. Get the help and support you need. This is not the time to suffer in silence!

      Hang in there, sister, and good luck.

  7. Truckers ( lonely) wife November 10, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

    This is a deep article. I feel so much resentment and I am VERY outspoken to my husband.
    We have been married since 2001 (together since 2000) When we met, I was with someone who was very abusive ( I had 2 kids with this man) I ended up leaving this abusive man after he ended up choking me til I passed out on the floor of my kitchen on Easter Morning of 2000.My best friend lived downstairs with her mom and her brother.He was like a brother figure for me at first and I even called him “bro”.He asked me out on a date and I said yes.Our first date was a trip to the carnival with my kids.He showed me and my girls a new way of life, one with a man who didn’t hit the woman. We started seeing each other and then moved in together.He moved me and my kids away from the ex and showed us a whole new world .He asked my father permission to marry me and after he got his approval, asked me.It was like a fantasy at first. He is “old-fashioned” and by that I mean he wants to be the sole bread winner.My father suffered a heart condition, had surgery and moved in with us so that I could take care of him.We were married in summer of 2001 and by summer 2002 I was pregnant with our first child.By then we moved into a bigger house and then moved again after things happened .At the time he was driving an hour to and from work.A decrease in pay made him seek employment elsewhere.He found a job with a trucking company and we discussed that it would be good for us.His work schedule would have him out on the road for 14 days home for 4 days.He promised he’d be home for all holidays and birthdays and he’s be home for the birth of our child.That year he was home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but not New Years and he missed Valentines day as well. I ended up having to schedule my sons birth according to WHEN he could get home.And after my child was born we moved again, hoping to be closer to somewhere he could get home more frequently.In July, my father passed away and he wasn’t there for me.He got there 2 days later and was home for the funeral but gone the next day.In August we moved again and he got a local job in November.He’d come home for lunches and got to be there to tuck the kids in.It was wonderful.One day he was looking at the rental prices in Florida and well…we moved again.This time the move was horrible.When we got to Florida, the place we sent a deposit to had no windows, or doors and the flooring was plywood.I sat there and cried and cried (as well as my 2 older kids) We lived in a motel for weeks and then got help from a church to get a place.He got a local job with construction and I thought things would get better.The place we got into was infested with roaches , so we moved into his bosses rental home.3 weeks later he decides that he wasn’t making enough money and went to work,once again for an over the road trucking company, leaving me with 3 kids (under 10) I decided if he was going to be over the road that I’d go back up north to be around family as I knew no one in the south.Instead , we found us a gorgeous rental on a white sandy beach.I made a few friends and he was gone again.He started staying out on the road more and more.We ended up moving over 200 times so that we would be able to see him more often.Now as it sits I am home alone with the kids 24-7 and haven’t seen him for MONTHS…He calls several times a day and we talk about useless things.He can’t seem to understand that I am overwhelmed (forgot to mention he wanted me to homeschool the kids and that one of them is adhd and autistic, the other one moved out and I havent seen that child since they were 12, they’ll be 21 next year) I feel like he is out having his freedom, but here I am struggling just to get out of bed everyday.I have become a hateful person and I feel like walking away from the entire family the next time he’s home.I feel used, unloved by the kids and the man.I am just here to do their bidding….Wanna talk about resentments..I feel this marriage and family is doomed.I feel like a parenting failure and an over all failure as a human being.I resent having met him,I resent marrying him and having a child with him.I resent him for choosing to be away from us all the time.I resent him for not being home when I almost died 2x from medical emergencies. I resent him for making me the bad parent , because he isn’t here to help discipline the kids,I resent him for sitting on his butt doing nothing when he comes home off the road.I resent the last 13 years of my life….I resent not being smarter then to allow it to happen…And I resent the fact that I…even after all that…Do love him.I resent the fact that I probably won’t file for divorce, because I can’t give my kids a life even remotely close to what they are used to with my lack of employment and education.And after I click send…i will probably resent this comment….PHEW!
    Truckers ( lonely) wife recently posted..Notes from the Colorado FloodMy Profile

    • tpajevic November 11, 2013 at 1:53 am #

      Truckers (lonely) wife,
      Wow, sister, you’ve got your hands full! I really feel for you, with everything you’ve been through–it would be a lot for anyone. I wish I had some magical words that would make everything right for you, but I don’t (and I know you know I don’t). Have you ever considered counseling? There’s so much going on with you guys that I’ll bet getting some support, however you could do it, would really help.
      Hang in there, friend. I’m hoping things turn around for you —

    • forever resentful November 24, 2013 at 11:24 pm #

      I’m sorry about this, I wish you could have better than this for you and your children.

      • tpajevic November 25, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

        Dear FR,
        Take care of YOU. Then take care of your children, and I promise everything will work out. It might not look like you expected, but it’ll work out. Trust me on this one —
        with love,

    • William April 29, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

      Here is a random advice from a random guy – lack of social contact will drive anyone nuts. You need to get a job, or volunteer at school or something. You will be in touch with other ppl , will give you chance to socialize and keep you grounded. Your husband is just being a bad husband…or the other narrative is that he is working his rear-end off to support the family. But he is too proud to admit it to you and prefers that you stay home.

    • kevin February 28, 2015 at 10:29 pm #

      Hi being a truck driver myself and having a similar issue let me explain this from fumy prospective I work 20 hours a day 7 days a week to the point of mental and physical exhaustion I have 4 kids and a wife to tend to i didn’t go to college so I can’t make enough to support them any other way the freedoms you assume Come with driving aren’t what you think driving is being locked away in a truck that becomes somewhat of a cage and hell to a extent i don’t slow down so I don’t have time to think about it its a sad day when a grizzly 280 6ft 4 in man crys himself to sleep while wondering what his kids are doing if there watching a movie or coloring or even playing with there dinosaur toys and even worse missing the touch and companionship of their special person so to avoid this I personally wear myself out to wear i pass out when I’m done driving. To get to the point my wife resents me so much so that she doesn’t even want to talk to me. And every small action or move i make can frustrate her to the point beyond anger and to a fight I’m no where near perfect but if someone has no tolerance for you then it’ll never work do you know what the highlight of my day is? Its talking to my wife even if its about “useless” things and even if I feel as if she hates me because of how much she resents me I do everything for my family I have no friends I have no social life other than talking to my wife and the one person in the world who never disappointed me before even during the worst of our 6 year run doesn’t seem to love me because I’m doing what needs to be done it hurts it hurts real bad

      • ranka March 5, 2015 at 9:22 pm #

        Hello Kevin,

        I cannot tell you how much your words meant. I have tears rolling down my face just reading it. It’s really opened up my eyes to my own situation, because I AM that wife who resents and hates her husband, but without understanding the hardships he goes through. He’s not a trucker, but he works his butt off, and his mind is constantly on work. I have been taking it the wrong way I think, and should look at it more from his perspective. Although my husband isn’t perfect and does have things he needs to change, I probably have the same amount of changing to do myself. I don’t see it perfectly clear right now, but your perspective has definitely shed some light on my situation. Thank you so much again for posting, and I really do hope it gets easier for you and the family.

        Just from a wife’s perspective, what she’s probably looking for is compassion and love. If you haven’t already, saying things like “I know I’m hardly home, but while I am home, is there anything I can do to help you out?” or just cuddling and caressing her hair and saying things like “I’m so sorry I am hardly home. You have no idea how much I think about you all and want to be with you” goes a looooong way. When you are home, do you fight a lot? Do you say things like “I work my butt off and I wanna rest!!!” but in an angry tone? That’s what my husband says, but it makes things worse. Because when he says things like that what I’m thinking is “I appreciate your hard work, but that doesn’t mean you can take it out on me, ESPECIALLY when I’m working just as hard on the home front!! Why do you get to rest, and I’m expected to keep going without a break? You still need to treat me with love and kindness and compassion and understand that I need a break too” Women would generally bend over backwards for her man IF he is gentle and kind to her. We need to be fulfilled emotionally. We need to know that our husbands love us. And no, she will not know that just by you working. To her, you are just doing what you need to do. The love gets translated with things like kind words, hugs, random presents to let her know you are thinking about her (not necessarily expensive gifts), texts on the phone once in a while saying something funny, complementing her in person. When you call her, I’m sure it’s hard, but talk to her first about her day, and the kids. Once she’s let that off her chest, she’d be willing to listen to what’s going on with you. She basically needs to know that she is in your heart and mind. If that’s not there, she assumes you don’t love her, and the woman’s heart slowly starts to close. That could be a big reason why she’s angry and resentful to you. I know it’s really hard to take the first step, but if you haven’t already, please try those things. I think there is a big chance it’ll pay off. It’ll take time, but the ice in her heart needs to be melted first before things can get better. Please don’t lose patience and keep consistent, and DON’T STOP even after she’s let go of her resentment. And hopefully once you are there, she will start doing everything in the world for you. She will insist you rest when you are home, she will make your favorite anything, she will greet you with smiles and hugs as long as you nurture that love. Please don’t assume that you working is enough. That’s the biggest mistake a husband can make.

        I’m so sorry. I don’t mean to assume what’s going on in your life, but because your words had so much meaning for me, I wish to do the same for you. WIshing you a successful marriage.

  8. Family Law West Palm Beach November 12, 2013 at 9:08 pm #

    Great post with honest insights and a great takeaway message on the inticracies of a marriage relationship. Resentment is a stumblinck block for both partners, even if only one is dealing with those feelings. Thanks for the post.
    Family Law West Palm Beach recently posted..Top 8 Legal Documents to Change After a DivorceMy Profile

    • tpajevic November 14, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

      Thanks, Family Law. And you’re so right–resentment’s a killer, regardless of who/where it hits. Even if it’s only one person struggling, both people need to address it/work together to make the relationship work.

  9. forever resentful November 24, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

    I’ve done everything you and others have suggested and nothing changes. My husband has basically said “he is who he is and he will not change and I need to get over it”. I’m now at a loss for what to do. I feel like he is using me because he knows I’m his cash cow and I resent him every day. I hate who I am with him and I hate who I have become with him. I hate spending time with him because we really having nothing to say to each other. I hate spending time with his friends because they are all so happy and “perfect”. Their husbands all have big jobs and are the bread winners in their families, they all have the big houses, big vacations, new cares every year, colleges lined up for their children, and futures with 401K’s, pensions, and retirement. I on the other hand, have little to nothing as a result of being with my husband. He has little to no income and I am the bread winner and the one with a full time job.
    My husband works when he wants to. He pays only five bills in the household (electric, water, sewage, phone and tv) and many times these are late and I have to pay them anyways (yes we have had our electric, tv, phone etc. turned off many times).
    He gives me no money for food, no money for our mortgage, no money for insurance (car or health) and no money towards fixing anything in the house. I pay for everything myself, including all the clothing and expenses for the children. He has never even given me one dollar towards Christmas or birthdays gifts for the kids. I do it all myself.
    He lies to his friends and acquaintances and tells them he is doing great in his business, but the reality is that he is lucky if he works three days a week/6 months out of the year…which to be is not a business, its surely not career, it’s a hobby at best. Like I said, I have done everything you suggested (therapy, kicking him out, threaten him, given in to his ways, not talking to him, talking to him all the time, etc.) and nothing works, matter of fact, it has made things worse because he has flat out said he’s not going to change. I hate who I am with him and I hate the life I’m stuck living with him. I only stay because of the children. If I could have one wish it would be to do it all over again without him…but then I would not have my wonderful children.
    I have given up on any dreams or hopes I had for a future and I now realize I will likely never be able to retire and will probably have nothing to show for all the years I have work. Instead I will be stuck trying to figure out how at 75 I will be able to take care of myself and him because he will have nothing, no retirement, no social security and no income and all the burden will be on me to take care of him then too. Worst of all I feel like a failure to my children…I should have never picked a man that could not take care of us, he is a terrible example for what a man should me and that is my fault for not being more selective.

    • tpajevic November 25, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

      Dear friend,

      It sounds like you’re going through a tough time, to say the least. But I’m going to challenge you with some tough love here, because you DO have a choice. This is YOUR life, and you’re only as stuck as you want to be. So if something isn’t working, then try something else. Find another therapist, even if it’s just for you.

      I think you’re right that your husband isn’t going to change, and that’s maybe one of the most important lessons we can ever learn in life–we can’t change anyone else, we can only change ourselves. So if your marriage isn’t working, then what do you want to do about it? Do you really want to throw away the rest of your life by staying in a marriage that’s made you so miserable?

      I think what it really boils down to here is that you’ve got to take some responsibility for your life and your own happiness. Yes, blowing off steam and complaining about your husband might feel good in the short term, but it doesn’t change anything. All you’re left with is bitterness. So maybe the larger question it comes down to is what do you want out of your life? And why do you feel like you need to stay in this marriage if all it does is make you miserable?

      And as far as staying together for your children, I’m going to challenge you on that one, too. My parents got divorced when I was young, and yes, it sucked to high heaven. But it would’ve been way worse if they’d stuck together, because they were constantly fighting and miserable, and the stress in our household was sky-high. Plus, consider what you’re teaching your kids–by staying married to a man you don’t love or respect, you’re teaching your kids to settle.

      For whatever reason, so many people I know are going through hell in their marriages right now, and some of them have realized that their marriages aren’t going to make it. It sounds like you’re at a crossroads yourself, and it might be time to do some deep thinking and figure out what you really want.

      Best of luck to you —

      • DITTO September 23, 2014 at 7:06 pm #

        My situation is exactly the same as yours, Forever Resentful. Additionally, my husband filed for his and mine bankruptcy 14 years ago because he used my credit cards. To me all this has been devastating since I have been a hardworking, got my master degree in Architecture having a new born and always acted very responsibly.

        • DITTO September 23, 2014 at 7:26 pm #

          *while having a new born

    • anominus May 11, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

      My parents divorced when I was 7 1/2. I did not take it very hard because my parents were very clear with me about it being just between them. It probably helped a lot that I never saw them fight, not once. They just went in separate directions, and then I saw my daddy in the summers. I wish I had seen my daddy more often, but that is something for me to keep in mind as an adult involved with another adult and considering kids in the future.

      Children are not happier with unhappy parents that stay together. Children will notice how you feel and how the other parent feels. They can tell, even if it’s only subconsciously. I am a preschool teacher, and everything I feel during a day feeds how the day goes.

      Respecting yourself and your children will make a huge impact on their experience and their expectations in life partners. If you’re doing what you do for the kids, I urge you to reconsider how they are perceiving the situation and how they might be happier with happier parents.

      • tpajevic May 28, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

        Yes, yes, yes! Thanks for sharing this–I hope it helps give a little perspective to some folks out there who are only staying married b/c of their kids. The other thing it does is teach your kids that this is what they should expect when they get married–more unhappiness. Just creates a vicious cycle —

    • Mia June 26, 2014 at 1:44 am #

      Leave this man! Get a future. Clearly you’re doing it all without him helping anyway.
      You CAN make a future for yourself. You don’t owe him anything. Leave. Call a women’s shelter; they’ll help you get a plan about how to go about it; really. Your future is just waiting for you to act. You can do it girl; lots of women have.

  10. forever resentful November 26, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

    Thank you and I’m going to seriously think about everything you said.
    One other question I have regarding this, and this is something my husband has casted up to me time and time again over the years…specifically, the last time we went to a counselor for therapy the counselor ask me directly if I would think of this situation differently if I were the women making less and he was the bread winner making more money? The counselor said that she believed the ‘world’ would not expect a man to demand his wife (if she made little to nothing) to get two jobs to make a certain salary??? When she asked this, I was flabbergasted, and didn’t know what to say.
    Eventually she repeatedly used this during therapy to make me feel bad about pushing him to work more and/or for that matter, to simply work 40 hours a week consistently and we later stopped going to her. To this day, my husband brings this up as his “it is what it is” card, and he reminds me if I wanted more, I should have married a doctor. I still struggle with this from her, and I really don’t know what is right in regards to this.
    Am I being sexist? I mean, the answer is NO, I would not think highly of man who is the bread winner, to tell his wife she has to go get two jobs to make up a certain salary…no I would not agree with this, but I guess I’m old school? But frankly for years I have supported myself and pushed myself to achieve more and more so this is confusing to me
    … Again I guess I must have missed the memo that told me I had the option to do otherwise.
    Again, he has all the options and I have all the responsibility.

    • tpajevic November 28, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

      Dear FR,

      I think you need to follow what’s right for you, not with what anyone else tells you is “right” or how you “should” feel. Now, I’m not a therapist and I don’t know your whole story, so please take my words with a grain of salt. But I really believe that both partners in a marriage should have a say in what their marriage looks like, and I wonder if maybe the therapist you saw wasn’t right for you. Sometimes you might need to go through a few before you find the right one.

      I think what’s key here is that you need to figure out what you need, what you can live with and what feels right for you and your life. All marriages look different and I’m a firm believer that couples should figure out what’s right for them, whether that means one person makes the money or both do, or X does the cleaning while Y gets the groceries, or X takes care of the kids after school while Y puts them to sleep, etc.

      Again, I don’t know you, but if you’re this resentful, it sounds like it might be time for you and your hubby to renegotiate. A good therapist can help with this, as well as help you figure out the bigger picture. For example, would you be OK with your husband not making much money if he shoulders more of the house or child care responsibilities? That’s just one scenario that pops into my mind, and I’m sure there are a zillion others.

      What helps me is to remember that marriage today isn’t the marriage of old–many of us are charting a new way and making up the rules as we go, not following the old rules/what someone else told us marriage is supposed to be. I really believe that a good marriage is a living, growing breathing thing–truly. I think we get into trouble when we stop growing or get mired in old beliefs.

      I know it’s not easy, but it’s so worth it. I’ve been writing this blog for the past three years and our marriage is so much better than it was when we started. Our kids are happier, too.

      Good luck to you, friend!

  11. Sabrina December 26, 2013 at 11:00 pm #

    I feel like I am on the other side of the resentment. I didnt realize how resentful my now ex-husband was over how things had evolved in our marriage until it was too late. He resented that I did not return to work soon enough after having kids. He did not see or ask about why I made decisions at that time, such as post partum depresssion, no work opportunities in that field that knew of or experience for that matter, and even if I did find work it would have effected vacations because I couldnt leave at whim like he wanted. We have three kids. I didnt clean and take care of house as he thought it should, basically he was ocd and I was always doing my best but wastn good enough, so I subconsciously gave up on a lot (why bother if its redone by him, etc). Found out we were 20,000 in debt and blamed me because I wasnt as involved in budget even though I am not the spender. He didnt even want to do alimony after me being home with kids for over 10 years. Just told me finding a decent job shouldnt be a problem with a degree so do something. We divorced, the counselor told me my main thing was to get strong, that how I did things wasnt wrong or even meant to take advantage.

    7 months after divorce he wanted to try again. He had epiphanies, knew we needed to communicate better. We talked and talked. Made plans on how to handle household things and budgets. Promised to go to marriage counseling again in January. A month after he moved back in and told kids that this was permanent, he went stone cold. It was a stressful month of moving, and me being sick part of it. After asking how he was holding up he said he was starting to wig out and on the verge of bolting. That although things went as planned logistically and I was holding up my end of bargain, things were still bugging him (like how things get done, not his way), but wouldnt tell me what it was because I am who I am and wont change so cant ask me to change more (fair to an extent). He says he is trying to work through it and there were no guarantees and he’ll see what he can do or how long to last, but in mean time ices me out. So I am left with….. Limbo of a man that professed committment 2 months ago and now wigging out and now telling me that marriage counseling wont work its all him. If it was just me I would ask him to leave, but to do that to the kids a second time in a ;year is so not fair. First time I talked to him in december about it I said there will be bumps so dont panic, but we need to talk. But does that mean I have to wait while he ices me out, I deserve to get some affirmation, but I am expected to wait for him to figure it out now? I have been committed to marriage in ups and downs unlike him, yet now it seems so one way. Not sure where to go from here.

    • tpajevic December 27, 2013 at 12:09 am #

      Sabrina, wow, that’s intense–especially with all the back and forth. I get what you’re saying about the kids, but what about you? It sounds like you’ve had enough, and I’m wondering what’s going to change if you guys stay where you are/keep trying to make this second go-around work. The red flag for me is when your ex says it’s him, not you… that could well be, but it sounds like a bit of a cop-out. That said, take everything I’m saying here with a grain of salt b/c I don’t know the whole story. For what it’s wroth, my gut says you guys need to find some way to communicate if you’re going to be able to make this work…. You need two people to make a marriage work and from everything you’re sharing here, it sounds like you’re doing all the work. I wish I had a better answer for you, but at this point it sounds to me like you’ve got to look into your heart and do what’s right for you. If he’s not willing to go to a therapist, you certainly can–it might help you figure out what’s best for you. Good luck, sister, I’m pulling for you!

  12. I E January 21, 2014 at 10:28 am #

    It was always about his parents, siblings & extended family! The day he entered into my life, I was forced to submit to his family. I was abused in all the ways but back then I didn’t realize my own importance. Irony was that I was not allowed to connect to the people I was born with. We never lived together due to our work but at the birth of our first child, his parents came to my house. They made my labor so obnoxious, stayed there half of my maternity/ pregnancy leave that obviously resulted into a very tough birth and while leaving they all lobbied together against me and abused me and my parents so much. I was kept in my own house like a captive for 3 days. Afterwards, I was forced to re-connect to them but its impossible. My husband did all the best tactics of intimidating me so as to connect me to them but its even difficult to reunite to him let alone them. Now husband is trying to put the things back to normal but something is missing. Raising a child alone is not easy, with full time work and it seems like I am killing myself with my own hands. If I discuss with friend or family they all ask me to be patient and they are not listening to me anymore. For me, I am waiting for the time the same thing happens to them but the abusers are back to their happy life after destroying our relationship, and I feel too bad when I see them happy. The person who is suffering the most is my little baby, I realize that as well.

    • tpajevic January 24, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

      I_E, it sounds like you’ve been to hell and back, and I really do feel for you. I’m wondering about finding you some professional support–it sounds like that’s something that would really benefit you. Or some kind of support group for abused women. Once you’re able to get some support in place, you’ll be able to see that you really do have power over your life. When you’re willing to change things and take some responsibility for the future, things will get so much better! You can do it, sister, I know you can.

  13. husband February 2, 2014 at 6:49 am #

    My wife resents me for a few things, but mainly that I smoke cigarets and did not help her with the kids after they were born (now they are 3 and 5). I always had excuses like: I have to work, I have to finish this project on the house, etc. When I did watch them I was immediately out the door when she came back and worked for the remainder of the day. When I would offer to take care of the kids so she could go out with friends and family, ultimately, that’s not what she wanted to do, and she told me so, but I didn’t understand-“time off is time off, right”. (I now realize how nieve I am). She also battles with loosing her identity and living out her dreams.
    There is a lot more to it than that but those are the basics…..It has been a lot of work and persistence to find the root of this problem due to the lack of communication between us. (we are working on that, I am out spoke, she is not). Now that I have discovered this, I want to do anything I can to help. I quit smoking and have suggested marriage counseling (she’s not ready for that yet). I recognize my faults, apologized to her and the children, told her that I am not going to come up with excuses to justify what I have done-just admit that I was wrong. Asked how I can help and what else can I do to make her happy again. I even asked if it is possible for her to love like she did when we met. Her reply was, “I don’t know”.
    That crushed me. When we got married and made that commitment to love and cherish each other til the end…I meant it. I love her more than life itself and will do anything to spend the rest of life with her and our girls. I let her down and I’m afraid I will loose her. What can I do, I will welcome constructive criticism and advice from you and all of your followers…..please help me keep my wife!

    • tpajevic February 4, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

      Dear husband,

      I’ve been thinking about your situation and really feel for you. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to do what you’ve done–to take a deep look at yourself and your marriage, and then to admit responsibility for your mistakes. That’s huge!

      As far as getting your wife back, I think that maybe it’s time to take some action. Instead of leaving it up to her to decide what you need to do, just start doing it. For example, get the kids ready in the morning, take them on a night or weekend, spend time together as a family, schedule a date night with your wife (including call/find a sitter), schedule something special/fun for all four of you, etc. Actions speak louder than words, and it’s my guess that showing her that you’ve really changed (instead of just saying it) could make the difference.

      Congrats also to you for quitting smoking, that’s giant and another huge step in your favor.

      Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that I’m always much more open to my husband when he’s gone out of his way to do something nice for me, like doing the dishes, cooking dinner, or offering to watch the kids so I can go out, or hell, just putting them to sleep so I can get some downtime. Anything that involves the house or kids (cleaning the house is always welcome!), I’m guessing, would be a giant help, since that’s often one of the things that we women get stuck with, whether we want those responsibilities or not.

      Another idea: how about offering to help her find a course or life coach or something like that to help her regain her identity/follow her dreams?

      Kind (and loving) words and gestures will also almost always help. Finally, if she’s not willing to do counseling, you might want to try the book Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by Dr. Sue Johnson. It’s a great book that will help you work through your issues by yourselves at home, as long as you’re both willing to do the work.

      You seem like you’ve got your head on straight and I’m really pulling for you, husband. Just don’t expect things to change overnight. It’s taken years to get into this mess and it might take a while to straighten things out.

      Good luck!

  14. Sarah February 8, 2014 at 7:06 am #

    I found this on google because…clearly, I feel resentful toward my husband. I like your points quite a bit, however, I feel that I cannot use this in my marriage. I am very open and honest with my husband. What makes me feel resentful is that now matter how open I am with him about my feelings on things, nothing ever changes. My resentment comes from his knowledge of the things that hurt me and acting as though he cares and understands and then carrying on as though we never talked. Does this meab he truly doesn’t care or that he is just trying to appease me in the moment? For example, as I type this, my husband has been gone for 4 weeks to sniper school. He gets the weekends of, which is generally when we talk. I am home alone with an 8 month old baby (who is amazing) and no family or friends in sight. Every weekend he goes to stay at his Moms, seeing as she lives close by. I have been waiting all week to talk to him, to have an adult conversation with the person I love! It is currently midnight here…and he has yet to call. Perhaps it is wrong for me to feel this way, although whether it is wrong or right, it doesn’t stop me from feeling the way I do. I know he has been talking to his Mom for the past 4 hours…and yet he waits until he is basically ready to pass out before calling me. Therefore, I’m basically waiting all night to talk to him for ten minutes before I hear him snoring on the phone. I feel resentful that he has spent the last 4 hours talking and hanging out with his Mom, but will only spare me thr last 10 min of his day. I feel resentful that he gets to sit and talk and laugh with people everyday while I sit at home and desperately wait for human interaction other than the incoherent babbling of a baby. I have told him how I feel about this more times than I can count and yet…here I sit again, as though nothing has changed. Not only this, but he knows I have to wake up early for our son. Believe, this is the least of the problems we’ve been through together and yet it hurts more tham all of them for some reason. We have been through alcoholism, lying, and cheating. And yet, this is what I feel the most resentment about. I feel alone, like I don’t matter to him. Anyways…don’t normally post on websites, but thought this may be the best place to get constructive advice. For the record, I love my husband more than anything in the world and I know he loves me. I have no intentions of leaving him, if I did I would have left a long time ago when bigger problems came up.

    • tpajevic February 10, 2014 at 12:32 am #

      Boy. You’ve got a lot to deal with, for sure. I’ve been thinking about your problem all day, and while I don’t know what’s going on with your husband… you guys might have some kind of communication issue–or at least he does! I don’t know why he’s doing what he’s doing and the truth is that he might not know, either. But I do think you need to stop putting all your eggs in one basket and start putting up some boundaries to protect yourself. Life with an 8-month-old can be so tough and alienating and of course you need some support! So how can you find some?

      Have you checked out local mom or baby-and-me groups? Groups like Mothers and More can be a lifesaver at this age–and you’d meet other women in a similar boat. But I do think first and foremost, you need to work on creating some community for yourself. This could help you so so much–trust me on this one! There’s nothing as alienating as life with a baby when you’re a SAHM, especially when don’t have a supportive spouse/community.

      My second suggestion is to stop putting all your happiness onto your husband–especially since he’s not treating you very well. Can you hire a sitter a few hours a week so you can meet friends? Or maybe join a babysitting coop, where you do a swap, getting yourself some free time that way… or maybe you’re interested in taking a class, or…I don’t know what. But right now, it sounds like you’re waiting for your husband to make you happy, and by the sound of your email, he’s not up for that responsibility. (Even if he was, that’s too much responsibility to place on one person.) So do whatever it is you need to do to take care of yourself and make yourself happy. You might even find that once you’re not leaning on him as much (and you’re not as available), he might start to come around. Either way, if you’re happier with yourself, you’re the one who wins.

      My last suggestion for you is to start putting up some boundaries so that you can protect yourself. If you’re ready to go to sleep at 9, tell him to call by then and then go to sleep! But don’t keep waiting for him to make all the rules–you’re just giving away all your power. And I’m sorry to say this, but from everything you’ve shared in your email, your husband doesn’t deserve it. If I were Dear Abby (which I’m clearly not), I’d suggest that you do some deep soul-searching. What is is that your husband is giving you that makes you keep putting up with this awful behavior? Or is this a pattern that you saw played out with your parents, and you’ve since taken on? (If it is, get some professional help.) At some point, you need to realize that you’re worth so much more than this–and that you deserve much better treatment than you’re getting. Start by giving some of that awesome love you’re giving your hubby to yourself!

      Good luck, sister.

  15. Shari davis February 11, 2014 at 1:31 am #

    I desperately need some advice. My husband and I have been married for almost 10 yrs. I have a son previously who has adhd. It has always been super hard to parent him but the last few yrs it’s been terrible..He is 17 and can be very disrespectful to my husband. My husband is so angry at me. And very resentful twords me. He says it’s all my fault that my son is the way he is. This maybe partially true and i can accept that. But I feel we are headed for divorce. I really try but apparently not hard enough. I’m so tired of always being to blame. My husband doesn’t care to reach out any more to my son and bond. And im feeling like I’m just not the woman for him anymore. When we argue he always threatens divorce and fights unfair in my opinion. I love him very much but he is a very self absorbed person. And he always refers to how hard a struggle it’s been our whole relationship. He clearly sees me and the kids as his burden. I don’t know what to do anymore. ..

    • tpajevic February 11, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

      You’ve got a lot on your plate, friend. I don’t know that I’m the best person to help you, as I’ve not experienced with ADHD, but wonder if you have any support staff you can turn to? Does your son have a therapist or someone at school who’s helped him manage this? My guess is that other folks in a similar situation have also struggled with resentment and other similar challenges around their marriage/relationship and they might be able to give you some situation-specific pointers. Or maybe there’s an online support group you can turn to for support? Try Googling “ADHD” and “marriage problems” or “relationship problems” or “stress,” etc. and see what you come up with.

      As far as everything else, it sounds like you could all use some support! My guess is that going to need some serious support to untangle all this. Do you have a therapist? Would you husband consider seeing a marital counselor? In my opinion, him threatening divorce every time you fight is totally unfair and no wonder you’re upset. It might be time to ask yourself some hard questions and look at some of the bigger patterns at play here–such as: have you always taken care of everything in your marriage? Are you the one who’s always considered “responsible” or “to blame?” Are you the one who always takes care of your husband, or does he reciprocate in other ways? Those types of patterns tend to have deep roots, and could easily have come down from your parents/your spouse’s parents/your family of origins. Regardless, it’s time for your spouse to learn how to fight fair and to figure out if he’s going to step up to the plate or what. And it’s also time for you to ask yourself what YOU want/need in this whole equation. I don’t think it’s fair for your husband to ask you to choose him over your son–that just leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth and I’m wondering what exactly about this man is keeping you in this marriage? You have a choice, too–remember that. And everything you do impacts your children (as does everything your husband does). Please find a way to get yourself (and your kids) the support you need in order to straighten out this awful situation. I’ll be pulling for you, friend.

  16. Sam February 19, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    I definitely can use some advice…..My story would be a million pages long to tell it all so I will have to sum it up to less than that….Been in a long term marriage for almost 30 years
    and the past 10 or so have been pretty bad…. not sure why we are still in it but neither of
    us have ended it yet. To sum it up there is sooo much resentment and anger on my part
    especially and his also it’s crazy. We went to counseling which only last like 3 months on his part…i continue to go for myself. I am so angry with things that have been done and said to me by him I dont’ feel I will ever get over it….He plays mind games with says things
    that are very hard to forgive never mind forget… “i’d rather be dead than be with you”
    “i hate being around you” etc I’m sure you get the picture. “go to hell” similar to all this when he is angry. So then when things blow over for a few days he acts like he never said this stuff or yelled in my face or other things and I should just be all lovey dovey with him which I tell you has not happened for a long time. How do you love someone like that
    when these mean words have been said to you…. and he never apologies at all. When we do talk he will tell me I provoked him to say or do it. There may have been infidelity a few years ago.. .I have no proof but def a trust issue that causes me to doubt his honesty
    and has me with ever more added resentment. He has left the family home several times but then comes back and I have allowed it which may not have been the best thing?

    • tpajevic February 19, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

      Dear Sam,
      I don’t know the whole story, so can’t really address what’s going on with your spouse, but from everything you’ve shared, it seems to me that you’ve got some soul searching to do. Is this really the kind of marriage (or even relationship) you want? Or is it just easier to stay than to leave/ choose what’s familiar over what’s new? You mention that you’ve been in therapy and I think your therapist is probably the person to help you get to the bottom of this. But from where I stand, it seems to me that it’s time to really dive into why you’re still staying in this relationship, especially if nothing’s changing. I mean, this is YOUR life. You’re the one in charge of what happens to you, so stop giving all your power away, especially to someone who’s treating you so badly.

      Good luck, sister, it sounds like you have your hands full!

  17. resentfulme February 19, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

    I have had a wonderful relationship with my husband for over six years. We are soul mates and best friends. Unfortunately, this past year he changed. I honestly feel it was due to our having two small children very close in age (I was pregnant it seemed for two years straight), and although we planned for this and agreed upon it, I’m positive he wasn’t ready for the impacts this caused. I became the primary caretaker and he started feeling insecure. He made claims he had to compete with the kids for my attention, that I didn’t put him first, and no matter what I did or how hard I tried to make our room sexier, send him sexy texts every day while at work, curling up with him on the couch in the evening holding his hand, making love every night, he still said I didn’t ‘desire him’. It was very frustrating and still is. I found out he had remembered being molested as a child and then wanted me to heal him from that. He drowned himself in alcohol and I drank too much as well. This led to arguments that escalated badly. I decided to just be quiet and not express my feelings. This has led to me holding resentment for him inside. I feel like a nothing person because of trying to please him all the time. He wants me to tell him my feelings now but when I do he still reacts the same. I don’t know what to do other than to just shut my mouth again but that’s damaging me inside. I want us to be healthy and happy again and we’re attending therapy together. I’m hoping one day he wont blame me for his mistakes and feelings all the time. It’s not fair.

    • tpajevic February 20, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

      Girl, you have a LOT on your hands, and I definitely recommend you guys going into counseling. At the very least, send your husband. Sexual abuse is way bigger than anything you or I can do to help him, and you’re going to need some professional help with this one. I really feel for you, and I hope you guys are able to straighten things out between you. From your description of how your marriage used to be, I’m guessing there’s a good chance of that, but you’re going to need some professional help to get there. Don’t wait!
      Once you address his abuse, then you can start working through everything else. Good luck.

  18. BrokenMacho February 27, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

    Coming up on our 17 year wedding anniversary. When we first met I was coming out of a 6 year marriage with 1 child and she was coming out of a bad relationship as well. From the beginning I saw in her a beautiful inner person with an equally beautiful exterior. I had plenty of demons on my back with the fear of a failed 1st marriage and a child that was ripped away from me. We had our ups and downs for about 2 years before we married and continued to have a bumpy ride because of my machismo and denial. There were times when we fought and she was so angry with me for various reasons and since I didn’t understand I just fought back. It got to the point where she asked me to leave and I was gone for a couple of days. Our 2 daughters managed to get her to ask me to come back home. It wasn’t until around our 10 year anniversary that I learned anger was a secondary emotion to hurt. That’s when I started to listen and open my eyes because I love my wife very much. I started addressing some of her issues and we seemed to be getting along much better and we even had a 3rd child. Recently between all the stress that comes with raising a family coupled with long term issues she has with a parent and the fear of getting older in a financially difficult time she has snapped. Tells me she still resents our earlier years, all the yelling and screaming with the kids agitate her even more. Just about all of her friends are divorced or in the process of getting divorced. She tells me she loves me, but has no interest in being intimate. She spends more time with her friends and we seem to feel awkward together because I just don’t know what to do or how to be. I guess I just wanted to say this publicly because I feel so lost without my lovely wife. I hope my wife can understand I’m not that guy from our early years and that I love her smile, her touch and everything about her. I just want to get back to living our lives together as husband n wife, lovers, friends, parents and partners in any crime 😉 because I miss her very much. I offer to help in many ways, but if she doesn’t want me to get in her way then maybe it is over and I just have to respect that.

    • tpajevic February 28, 2014 at 4:19 pm #


      I really feel for you. You sound like a good guy who’s figured things out and wants to get your wife and marriage back! You CAN get your marriage back on track, but it’s going to take some work–a lot of work, probably–and you’re both going to have to do it. For starters, you need to open up to your wife and tell her everything you just told me. Tell her you want her back and will do whatever it takes. And then follow up on that with your actions. instead of offering to help, just do it. Do the dishes, cook dinner, take the kids, find a sitter, schedule a date. That’ll be a good start.

      What you’ll need to do next is find a way to work through all that old resentment. A couples therapist would be a good place to start. You guys can try it yourself, but it’s going to be more challenging and it sounds like you really need some support. If you go that route, try Sue Johnson’s book Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love, and work through the book together.

      Whatever route you choose, know that you’re in it for the long haul, and demonstrate that to your wife. Show her this post, if that helps. But know it’s going to take some serious commitment and a lot of open conversation. From the sound of your letter, it sounds like communicating with your wife hasn’t always been easy in the past. I get that, but you still need to try. I really think you can get your marriage back, but you have to be willing to work for it. Know, too, that if you’re just going to give up, you’re still going to have to deal with all these feelings. If you don’t, they’ll turn into more demons that will sabotage your future.

      On that note, you might want to check out a book called The Grief Recovery Handbook. It can help you work through those old demons associated with your first marriage and lost child, clearing the way for you to work on the here and now.

      Good luck, friend!

  19. BrokenMacho March 2, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

    Tanja – Thank you for your response. For the past month I have been doing most of, if not all the laundry, a lot of cleaning, strengthening my relationship with the kids, I’ve even taken the youngest to sleep with me in his room to give her space, trying to get him accustomed to sleeping in his room. I massage her aches to help her fall asleep which is something I’ve done for years. I even set her up in a hotel room for a couple of nights to help her clear her head without the chaos at home with the kids and friends. Last night we went out for dinner and a show with another couple. Today she had to attend a wake and as she was getting ready she went off on me about being swollen from what she ate last night and that she will never go out with me again. It became an attack out of the blue! She told me I was in denial. I responded by telling her I’m not in denial and that I see she has lost interest in me, but I thought we could try to make it work. I asked her if that’s what she meant about denial and she did not respond to or acknowledge what I said except for she didn’t want to discuss this right now so I just walked away and let her finish getting ready. She spends all of her time texting or on fb or with friends doing anything else and there’s never a right time to talk about us. Before she left she did apologize for blaming me for her food choices the night before. On another note I did begin to see a family therapist to help with this situation. The therapist asked for the 2nd session to be with my wife alone or at least the 2 of us together. My wife has not bothered to make an appointment and to make it worse has not seen her own therapist for almost 3 weeks. I know my wife needs help, but I don’t know how to help her if she doesn’t want help from me or any professional sources. I’m all about her and my family above anything else and she knows that and ANYONE that knows me also knows that. If she keeps going this way I just don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. If she doesn’t want help, mine or anyone else’s, she treats me like an old friend at best or an emotional punching bag at other times, I don’t know how much longer I can last as a supportive husband. I can only take so much before I have to flip my switch to keep from being hurt so frequently. I would prefer to live the rest of my years in love with her, but I would not force or want someone that does not love me for who I am for them or because of them. Unfortunately I don’t believe she wants to make an effort. I sent her your pdf and a link to this blog. Don’t know if she has any interest in opening it or if would make a difference at this point. All I can say at this point is OUCH!

    • tpajevic March 3, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

      Boy. It sounds like an awful situation and I wish things were turning around for you…as you know, it takes two to tango and what do you do when the other person isn’t willing to try? I wish I had some better words/encouragement for you, BrokenMacho, but ultimately it comes down to what your wife wants/what she’s willing to do. And if she isn’t willing to try, I don’t know what to tell you to do.

      I have friends going through something very similar right now and I can only imagine how heartbroken you are. It’s too bad your wife’s not willing to be straight-up and just deal with this with you. Hiding in FB and not talking doesn’t make anything better and my guess is that things are going to have to explode, one way or another, at some point. You sound like a good person and a great guy and I hope things work out for you. Good luck with all of this. I’m really pulling for you —

  20. J. Kay March 4, 2014 at 6:33 pm #

    Just before my 18th b-day, I met a man 5 yrs my senior. We dated a year and were engaged a year. We were married when I was 20 and had a child immediately. My husband & I were owners of a pub/restaurant at the time.He worked 6-7 days/wk, long days of 12 or more hours. I focussed on our child & home, working at our business part time. But, 3 or 4 yrs into the marriage, I got bored. All my peers were still single and seemingly having a much better time than I. Other 20-somethings were not tied down to a business, a mortgage, a husband, house & child. Unfortunately, very immaturely, I looked for a little excitement in all the wrong places, fueled by drinking a little too much. I loved my husband but found it thrilling to get attention from other men. All of these circumstances lead to a year of marriage/family chaos including a few meaningless, sad, one night stands.

    We separated for 6months but retained joint custody of our child. This period in my life is nothing I am proud of (in fact it is horrifying to me to this day even though I have worked through WHY I did what I did) but is a fact. I made poor choices (under the influence). I understand completely the hurt & anger I brought upon my husband. But I never stopped loving him and learnt (the hard way) the grass is not greener on the other (single) side of the fence like I thought. I took responsibility for my actions, asked for his forgiveness and if we might try and rebuild our family. He accepted and reconciled. Neither of us ever got counselling but we did manage to successfully “rebuild” including birth a few years later of a beautiful 2nd child.

    The reason I am posting today is that just this weekend, out of the blue, my “past” as an “adulteress” came up. Again. My adulteress past has periodically popped up over the last 30 years. Each time the “fight”, in a way, gets uglier. The fighting is worse than the actual events 30 yrs ago. UGH. I am not sure how many times my husband has taken us back to “the past” but enough times now that I am at my wits end, maybe even traumatized by his harsh words & deep, deep, anger & resentment towards me. Each time he “promises” he will never bring my mistakes up again but, yes, he is still today full of anger towards me and my past 3-decade old mistakes. The “issue” has brought us to the brink many times, but I always stayed with him and our “situation” believing I could earn back his trust. For thirty years I have stood by him through rich & poor, good & bad, sick & health, etc, all 100% loyally and lovingly and without ever straying (or drinking for that matter) again.

    I am now in my mid 50′s and proud of the wife (& mother) I have grown to be. A lot of the 33 yrs our our marriage have been loving & happy & successful by many measures. We have had a mostly great, happy life save of the usual ups & downs. But every once in a while, and frankly way to often for my liking, my past from 3 decades ago, and as my husband remembers its, creeps in. I am aware he is also somewhat controlling (for example, wrt to my friendships with women which he finds threatening in some way). I try to understand this behaviour (being rooted in his lack of trust towards me) and have consciously chosen to “put up with it” over the years. Again, the bigger picture of our life together is good. But there is (obviously!) an underlying lack of trust.

    I still love him deeply & I know he does love me BUT he also hates me to. This is how a 30 yr “grudge” manifests itself and it is ugly. I am at a loss of what I should do. We are into day 3 of the “stalemate”. I can CHOOSE to CONTINUE put up with this “flaw” in our relationship, suck it up some more so to speak, staying with him until I die (give or take another 30 years in other words) OR move on. This long term serious issue is a scar not just on my marriage, but life. Any words of wisdom very appreciated. Thank you.

    • tpajevic March 5, 2014 at 11:36 pm #

      Wow. That’s quite a story, friend, and I would bet anything that there are plenty of other marrieds out there with similar issues and difficulty forgiving after one partner’s made a mistake. Your letter demonstrates how destructive holding a grudge can be, and I wish I had some advice for you. Sadly, I’m not Ann Landers over here, just another married trying to find her way through. With your long history and so after so many years together, my guess is that counseling would be the only thing that would change this–couples counseling, preferably, but if you need to go alone, that can help you, too. You sound like you’ve got your head on straight and have a clear picture of what’s going on and why, and I really do feel for you. I wish you all the best whatever you decide!

      • J. Kay March 6, 2014 at 1:09 am #

        Ann Landers? Read her daily back in the day….loved her!

        I understand your not a trained professional…..but you are definitely a warm, caring, wise human being. It helped yesterday just to “put my stupid story it out there”. And yeah, no kidding, some counselling is in order to sort this out once and for all. I remember reading years ago something about fact majority of marriages that suffer a bout of adultery, even if reconciliation occurs, do not survive over the long haul.

        Thank you, Tanja, for just offering your site and your words – it helped me (and looks like you have helped quite a few others too!!).

        All the best to you and your family.


        J. Kay

        PS: Today is a better day for me/us. I am / we are, choosing to move forward…

        • tpajevic March 6, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

          J. Kay, thank you SO much for all of that! Sometimes I get so discouraged reading about all these marriages troubles out there, and I never quite know if it helps folks to just share their story here, or if they need an answer or what. Most folks fall off into the ether after they post their troubles and I never know what happened — so I really appreciate you taking the time to just write back. Your post made my day, so thank you!

          As for Ann Landers, you so busted me on that! I’m sure the 20-somethings have no idea what we’re talking about! Just another example of what a tired brain kicks out after a long day 🙂

          Anyway, I’m glad to hear you’re having a better day out there. Your story really stuck with me, mainly because you’ve done what so many of us are trying to do–you got your own life back on track, learned from your mistakes and moved on. That takes a lot of courage and is just so damn huge. Seems like so many other folks (and it sounds like your hubbie is one of them) remain haunted. Strikes me that a lot of men in general (because of this whole suck-it-up/men-don’t-cry mentality that society pushes on our boys/men) have difficulty processing their feelings, and then when something big like this comes up, bam. On a side note, someone recently recommended The Grief Recovery Handbook to me, and it’s been helping me immensely. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if your husband’s feelings around trust have a way deeper root than you and you just happen to be the one who’s taking the brunt of it.

          Anyway. Enough out of me. I truly hope things settle down for you guys and wish you all the best moving forward. Much peace and love to you and YOUR family. And thanks again for all your kindnesses —

  21. Kassy March 5, 2014 at 7:58 am #

    I’ve only been married about 20 months and 9 months into our marriage my husband was injured on the job. We are still fighting and appealing his work comp injury and by the time we go to court it will be 15 months since his injury. I’ve sick by his side every step of the way, however through this entire process I have taken care of everything to do with his claim, appointments as well ass be the only financial income we have had.
    I feel I’ve really started resenting him for the lack of help he’s given fir his claim and fitted any household responsibilities that he could bee helping with.
    I don’t want him to push himself, but I know he’s capable of some help.
    Struggling and depressed newlywed.

    • tpajevic March 5, 2014 at 11:39 pm #

      Hey there. You sound like you guys could use some support! I would recommend looking into whatever support services are available in your area–whether that’s financial or therapeutic or counseling or even some new mom groups (if you have kids) so that you can at least get some support for yourself. I agree that your husband needs to start taking responsibility for himself, but unfortunately, he’s got to be the one to decide that–you can’t push him into that. Well, you can, but he’d probably end up resenting you. Try and find whatever support you can for yourself, including couples counseling, if you can. It sounds like you have your hands full, sister. Good luck to you~

    • Hardino March 27, 2014 at 10:24 am #

      Hello, I would have to agree with you! Ok so basically you are wanting him to pick up the slack and well, to put it bluntly.. Be the man. I will tell you from experience that men are like dogs. Yes I said dogs. They need to be put in their place sometimes. They will get their feelings hurt and gripe and complain. But in the end we would much rather hear the truth and deal with it on the spot than have the spouse constantly unhappy or irritated. We know when you are btw… It’s written all over your emotional faces haha. Be firm yet loving when you tell him that you cannot handle it all and he needs to help out more. Men love being able to make their wife happy by taking a load off their shoulder. It’s truly satisfying for a man to see his wife happy because of something he did. Good luck!

  22. tpajevic March 5, 2014 at 11:47 pm #

    Hi everyone,

    Lots of folks have been writing in with some pretty complex and challenging situations lately, and I just want to reiterate that I am NOT a trained counselor–I’m just another married trying to get my own marriage back on track and I very well might not have the solution to your problems.

    So from now on, I’ll chime in with comments/advice if I have anything to offer, and if I don’t personally respond to your dilemma, please know that it’s because your situation is outside my area of expertise. If that’s the case, I often recommend counseling–couples if you can, or just going on your own if it’s your only option.

    For other ideas, read through the other comments–I’ve suggested my favorite books for common problems below. You can also check out my resources page for other ideas. And of course, you guys are more than welcome to help each other.

    Best of luck to us all!

  23. connie March 11, 2014 at 11:34 am #

    my husband resents my relationship with my girls. we have been married 21 years and I admit I have given everything to my girls, I would do anything for them. They love me unconditionally and they tell me daily how important I am to them. my youngest is a senior and my husband is so resentful of all the things that we are doing together, college tours small trips for prom dress shopping, dance competitions on weekends ect. He is so angry that I am working like a dog to make this year easy and fun for her while he sits back and is angry and bitter. I have asked for him to join us but he either is working or chooses not to. His mood is affected by his bi polar disorder as well. so the girls and I do what we do to keep ourselves happy. I have told him plenty of times we need date nights we need to talk more, we need this that and he plans nothing but pettiness and then I am the blame. I love him but am very tires of being torn between the kids and him. He yelled at me last night and said what the f- are you gonna do when she goes to college. then he said I don’t even care where she goes or if she goes anymore it was like he did not care about her future which really made me angry and resentful. I know he is not to blame for all of this but come on really you only have the kids for a short time and they make me happy, he does not. what do I do. we have been to counseling numerous times, there has been infidelity on his part, he has been out of work, lots of issues that we have hung in there on but this is one I cannot seem to overcome. 🙁

    • Hardino March 27, 2014 at 10:14 am #

      Hello, I will do what I can to help you. I am also a man in a 15 year marriage. He really does care for your daughters future I promise. Men are complicated also sometimes. Basically what this sounds like to me is this… He needs to see that you will put him as a first priority. Once he sees this he will more than likely encourage and take part of your time with your girls. Now if this has been going on for a long time.. Say 1-2 years, then it will take some time for him to believe he is first priority… Say maybe 6 months to a year. Basically to make him feel first priority … Walk up to him and say something like… Hey, your coming with me. Don’t give him any indication of what you are planning to do. Don’t give him any passive statements that would allow him to back out. Take him out on a date that you know he will like. Preferably some type of hobby that he likes. Make sure during this date you stay actively interested in whatever it is. This will generate a spark in his eye. He will see you the way he once did. Then follow this up with some random date nights including forcing him to plan one.. He will feel priority and be ok. Then he will most likely join in on your girl things. Hope this helps.

    • Karen March 29, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

      My husband is too bi polar . It is very hard to reason sometimes with him depending on if their manic or in that phase. Keep in counseling I really believes it helps. My husband too was very jealous of my son, that is a very hard position for you because it puts you in the middle. My son is now grown has had a lot of issues growing up. It’s not a fun situation . Your in my prayers

  24. Hardino March 27, 2014 at 10:01 am #

    Hello, I’m 33 yr old male, been married for 15 years now. I came across this site because I feel like my marriage is falling apart at the seams. Especially the last 3 years. This post gave me some hope. Hopefully she will agree to just forgive all things an let’s MOVE ON! Music to my ears. I am currently in that “oh shit, she is going to leave me” mode. Cheating ha never been a factor, incase you were wondering. We just seem to be very defensive toward one another about pretty much anything. Still I this day my heart beats faster when I see her smile. This is all very confusing, because how can I live someone so much, yet not get along with them? I would pay anything for real help. I would change anything for real help. We do have kids.. 6 to be exact. We do dates 1 night per week if we can. Yes I am desperate as you can tell. I want to be with this incredible woman for the rest of my life. I am really afraid of losing her.

    • tpajevic March 27, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

      Hardino, I’m pulling for you! Have you guys tried counseling? Or maybe show this post/comment to your wife and use that to start a full-on conversation about what’s going on with you guys…sounds like there might be a glitch in your communication. I’m also wondering what needs to be forgiven… On a side note, I love how committed you are to your wife and how your heart starts beating faster when you see her–that’s great stuff, and it gives me hope. I’ll bet your wife would love to hear it, too.
      Good luck, friend.
      Thanks, too, for reaching out to help some others —

      • Hardino April 2, 2014 at 4:49 am #

        Wondering what is to be forgiven? Hmm, just things like resentment and being short or not always being considerate. Basically not being the man she needed during our rough times. I do agree with a glitch in the communication. It’s not so much with words being said though. It’s more like the emotion behind hat was said or the intent. I know it sounds weird. We have went to out local church and did one session with the pastor but it was hardly what we were looking for. There is 0 legit marriage counselors in our small town. So traveling is an option but with six kids and full time jobs… Yes if it needs to be done then so be it. But honestly I really do feel like it’s me and resentment was a huge issue with my feelings. I kind of talked to her about it the other day. Didn’t seem like she was all that interested, but again that could just be me misunderstanding her. I like conversations to be 50/50 and it was more like .. I spilled my thoughts and got silence or a 1 word answer. GRRR haha. I am very thankful for this post though. I believe it really helped me open my eyes. Wish I could just speak with you in person along with my wife. Would be much easier than posts. I know that you are not certified but u don’t really care about a piece of paper. Someone either has experience or not. Thanks for reply. I will keep you updated.

      • Hardino April 2, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

        Okay so last night I had a long talk with my wife. It wasn’t quite a good talk but it wasn’t a bad talk either. Her biggest complaint seemed to be along the lines of me pushing her away and she wasn’t going to be hurt anymore or pushed away. She is definitely under the impression that she is the only person trying to fix our problems. So obviously this is a communication problem I’m just not sure how to make her understand that I care more than anything. Last night I told her how much I care and she didn’t believe me. I guess this just means I need to show her somehow but I’m not exactly sure what else I can do to show her. She did seem to be more happy today so I guess time will tell.

        • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

          I’ve found when communication is a big issue we actually misinterpret what is being said or what is not being said really. I actually “pretended” for 2 years that everything was fine on the outside.. but on the inside I was dying. You seem to get out exactly want you need to say on the post.. It’s so very obvious that you love her so much! The fact that you still get butterfly heart flutters is awesome! You also give me hope! It’s nice to know that it does exist after years. 🙂 I hope that you’ve had more talks since the last!
          Oh. And way to go with date night once a week! Our counselor says thats super important! One more issue our counselor says is super important. Don’t have a co dependent relationship. We are individuals and we have yuck days, happy quiet.. all sorts of days. But we don’t need to base our happiness on the other persons day or how they are feeling. All you can do is show her love.. but don’t go overboard either because if she had felt that you weren’t like that before she may feel smothered. Just be yourself.. and I’m sure it will all fall into place.

          • Hardino April 4, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

            Wow, thank you for that advice. The co-dependent thing really hit me. I am definitly guilty of that. I remember always thinking “if mama ain’t happy then nobody is happy.” We have had 1 more talk since that night and I am going to slow it down because I don’t want every conversation to be deep haha. I will definitly work on just being who I am and not relying on her moods to justify mine. Thanks so much!

      • Hardino April 5, 2014 at 3:14 am #

        Update.. Ouch, went out on a limb and tried to start little passion in the bedroom. Ya, did not turn out well. Says she is confused and is not interested. Oh well.

        • Jessica April 6, 2014 at 11:11 pm #

          I’m sorry to hear that the passion wasn’t there,But maybe it wasn’t really the passion that’s missing but the emotion? You love her and you want to be close to her.. and for men the emotional connection is different. If she feels unconnected emotionally then maybe she just needs more time. Let her initiate it. Just be there for her. But try not to make her feel smothered. It may take a little time.. but you’ll get there. Keep up the good work!

  25. Casandra speirs March 28, 2014 at 12:25 am #

    My husband made me move to a house I did not want. It is a lovely house but I care about where my children will go to school and the surrounding area where we live. I feel where we are now is very isolated and restricting. Nothing is local and the surrounding areas are very rough. However the housing estate we are in is lovely but that is not the point. We also paid through the roof for the house using all savings, now have none and I feel this is all very wrong. I wanted to pull out of the house but My husband would not thinking we would be financially worse of if we did. However I do not think this is the case and I also believe that happiness in a relationship and each other’s well being is more important in order to achieve a happy positive marriage. Had I known my husband would be this way I would not have married him as this to me is not a marriage. I would never make my husband do something so big he did not want to do for a long period of time, mainly for fear he would get fed up and leave me if I did!,

  26. Karen March 29, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

    My husband and I have been married twenty years this month we just went out for our anniversary dinner last night. My 35yr old step son is living with us and has been for a year. It really taking a toll on our marriage but he won’t tell him to move. I’ve talk to him about getting a second job but he hasn’t done anything, the resentment is Growing and my husband does not care. I’m at my wits end help. And no the grown man doesent pay rent or food bill or any other bill.

    • Hardino April 2, 2014 at 4:56 am #

      Ouch, that is a hard situation for both of you. Unfortunately it does rely in him stepping up to kick him out. I have never been in that situation but imagining proves hard decision. Since you have already talked to him about it, kind of makes it hard for me to give advise other than maybe give him a choice of… Unhappy wife or happy wife. If he lives there = unhappy which in turn means unhappy marriage. I’m sorry and good luck.

  27. Jessica March 30, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

    HI. My fiance and I have been together for 7 years. It’s been a bumpy road. We have 2 kids and 4 months ago he had decided to be everything that I’ve needed him to be. He is involved with the kids and he’s there for me when I need him to be.. Everything that I had asked of him. But.. this all came after our 5 year old got strep and mono and I thought he was dying.. and our 1 year old had struggled for the whole first year because he needed a surgery that he finally got in January. He had been an awesome support system for 3 months and then he went back to his old self.. but now he’s changing for good.. (he says). Because I had a male friend whom I had a relationship with 12 years ago come back in my life. Cheating is wrong I know that. I was at a point that I couldn’t possibly handle anything else and I needed someone.. I was going to leave my fiance for my old bf and decided to give it one more try. He’s really trying.. and I still see him as the ugly man who never cared about my feelings forever it seems like.. We are in counseling but bringing up feelings won’t help me let the walls down around my heart.. I try.. it’s so frustrating! I don’t want to split our family up.. but is it too late for us?
    Sorry it’s so confusing..

    • Hardino April 2, 2014 at 5:05 am #

      Hello! It is never too late. Period. The question really is this. Do you love him and are you in love with him. My wife taught me that love = commitment. However as you can tell from all the posts… Resentment can definitly ruin a marriage. Does sound like you have resentment, not that your not entitled to it. It depends on wether or not you want to let it go and forgive the past mistakes. Can you do this? If you can then it sounds like he is ready to be the man you wanted him to be from a long time ago. If you can’t then really look into why you can’t. Is it yourself being stubborn? Or is it truly something that you are no longer interested in. It is ok to be no longer interested. But if he says he is willing to be there for you. Then really the choice is yours. But to answer the question… No it’s not too late.

      • Jessica April 4, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

        I’m finding it very hard to fall back in love with him. Sometimes when I look at him I see the person that I first fell in love with and I can tell I’m letting my guard down,but that’s short lived because the walls come right back up. My problem is I’ve always felt like we are who we are.. We are either wired to be a certain way or we are not. So after 7 years He says “I love my family”! Wow.. that’s a tough one to bite.. I’m like .. grr.. We’ve always been here! I don’t want him to change for me.. People shouldn’t have to change who they are to make a relationship last.. because eventually the real you will resurface and that’s just gonna cause a lot of pain for everyone involved. We’ve both agreed that if it wasn’t for the kids we wouldn’t be together… What happens when they are grown and gone? Knowing that for 7 years I’ve been taken for granted.. and people say that I’m such a good person.. I brighten people’s days.. and a man who says he loves me so much didn’t see my light was fading? How can you let go of resentment? Its like a monster..and it makes me angry… although I try so hard to let it go..

        • Hardino April 4, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

          Jessica, Thank you for the reply! I really feel for you guys. Statements such as “we wouldn’t be together if it wasn’t for the kids” is a road I have not been down but imagine that would be very hard to come back from. Especially since you both agreed to it. It would make anyone feel as unimportant as used tissue. I can only relay what I have personally experienced so here it goes.. Resentment, by far the hardest emotion I have had to deal with in the marriage. After reading this wonderful article, it opened my eyes and I made a decision. Part of the “talk” we had was me telling her the things that I resented. I also explained that anything that I resented did not mean that she did anything wrong. It was simply my negative my emotion toward her that prevented me from affectionately loving her. These moments of resentment did not happen 24/7. It was more like, anytime we disagreed. I’m sure you know how often that happens in marriage! Haha. Ok so, making the decision to tell her and asking her to forgive me as well as letting go of all resentment was not enough. It’s not a quick decision, it’s a lifestyle. Just like losing weight, can’t just lose it and be done! I wish. It’s a lifestyle. I started doing more research and found this site “” to be very helpful also. Under the marriage block. Explains stages of marriage. Wether or not it’s true, it really helped me by giving myself a path to follow. I told my wife that regardless of how she felt about me, I will no longer bring up separation and I will be right here by her side just like the vows we once said to eachother. I know that those walls come right back and fast. They do with me too. I feel vulnerable and hate it. When those feelings and walls come back… I give myself space and time to let my emotions take their course. Then when I calm down I can choose to address the issue however I want but with a clear mind. This is not easy and it’s not for sissies haha. I’m a sissy. But for real though. It will be hard. Especially when you try hard and get no return. Just make your decision first. To be their at his side, or not. Then when you truly make that decision. Prepare for the long hall of vulnerability. It’s only been about a week for me since my decision and for the first time in a long time I got to see her look into my eyes and give a real smile. I was so happy. …. I do agree that ppl are hardwired in someways. Like men’s language is respect where as women’s language is… Well I don’t quite know yet. Haha still working on it. But I also know that you don’t need to change “who you are” to become a better person. Just like becoming a pro athlete. You can be hardwired to be good at baseball, but unless you really put time I to changing yourself to be better, you will stay at your current, semi-pro state. I’m sure he saw your light fading but didn’t know how to address it. Men are dumb when it comes to emotions. For realz. Like when a woman cries, we are like… Oh **** , someone call 911, call a therapist, call Al Sharptin. Anyway, I’m limited in advice but it’s the best I got. I am really really pulling for you!

          • tpajevic April 5, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

            Wow, you guys rock! My heart’s so full from all this wonderful back and forth these past few days! And Hardino and Jessica, I’m just so moved by how much you guys are helping each other out!

            Honestly, I don’t have much to add–as far as I can tell, you’ve all covered most of the bases in these last few comments. I’ll just toss in a couple of thoughts that jumped out at me:

            Hardino, congrats on making such awesome progress! I really love that you made that total commitment to staying married and are no longer talking about/bringing up separation–that’s huge. Honestly, you’ve no idea how giant. As for the rest, give it some time and space–especially in the bedroom! When you’re having relationship issues, a lot of women might not want to go there until they feel like it’s safe and things are on more stable ground. I’ve read that while men crave the physical contact of sex, women are looking for the emotional connection/cuddling, etc. So slow down on this one and I’m guessing that the more you guys figure out, the better your sex life will become.

            And Jessica, I really like what you said about codependency and misinterpreting what’s being said–I think that’s going to be super-helpful for so many readers, thank you! (For anyone out there who’s concerned about the codependency issue–which seems to plague a lot of women–read Codependent No More by Melodie Beattie.)

            Boy, as far as everything else you’re going through, it sounds confusing from what I’ve read. I’m wondering if you need to figure out more about who you are and what you want before you can decide whether or not you’re ready to recommit to your husband. And that’s totally OK. Sadly, our society makes it seem like we should know this shit/have our act together and that’s not the case–really! I can say from the heart that life is about change and growth and unless we’re willing to embrace that, we’re never going to be truly happy or get what we’re looking for. People really can change–and if you’re unclear on this one, look at your kids. They’re changing every day! One of the hard-earned truths about parenting is that as soon as we’ve adapted to the phase our kids are in, they change again and we need to readjust. That’s natural.

            And realizing/watching that growth can help free us up to allow ourselves to change as well. It strikes me that you’ve got some pretty deep beliefs that might be tripping you up here. Most of us do! They’re usually beliefs we learned as kids from our parents (as well as teachers and other authority figures, etc.) and one of the cool things about becoming aware as adults is that we get to shine a spotlight on that stuff and figure out what our beliefs are v. what we were brought up to believe. Don’t shirk this step. It’s so big, and yet so important! Once you’re able to figure out what’s true for you–what you really believe v. what someone else has taught you is “right”–you’ll naturally start moving in the right direction–whether that means staying married (and recommitting) or letting go so that you can both move on. Either way, you’ll be much more aligned with who you truly are, and this, more than anything, is what’s going to set your heart free.

            Hang in there, sister. It’s not the easiest road, but it is the most rewarding.

            And Hardino, I’m beyond impressed by everything you’ve accomplished. Keep on keepin’ on, sir!

  28. Hardino April 9, 2014 at 6:05 am #

    Update.. We finally had “The Talk” dun dun dun… It felt like I was I the middle of a hurricane with all the emotions and crying and telling me all things I did wrong. But I refrained from defense and just listened. She said she was suprised on how I reacted and she felt a lot better. She said she was still scared to get hope. This talk was 2 days ago. It has been much better. However there is still definitly a problem with communication. I have called a bunch of different therapists in the area and nobody takes our insurance GRRR. But I guess I will pay out of pocket if need be. I’m not a big stickler with money, but I am trying to be smart also. She is definitly going to try and move forward with me!! YAY. But she still likes to point out a lot of faults. I am trying so hard to keep going and letting go. I am very thankful that I have you guys to talk to!!!! I will keep you updated as I go. But we are definitly on an up-swing. Thank you for your advice and replies Jesicca and TPAJEVIC. It means a lot.

    • tpajevic April 11, 2014 at 2:48 am #

      Awesome news, Hardino! I’m so psyched for you guys that you were finally able to talk!
      My humble two cents: take the financial hit and get a therapist–I know it’s pricey, but think of it as an investment. In the meantime, keep doing what you’re doing–I’m sure there will continue to be lots of back and forth as you and your wife continue to work things out, but the good news is that you guys are making PROGRESS!

      • Hardino April 18, 2014 at 12:54 am #

        Ok, I took your advice and scheduled in 6 sessions to start. OMG it is so expensive. But I hope it works. Thanks!

        • tpajevic April 18, 2014 at 10:42 pm #

          Just as long as you’re doing what’s right for YOU, Hardino! Sometimes it can take a bit to find the right therapist, so don’t by shy about jumping ship to find the right fit, if you need to. Also, before I get you into any more trouble (!), I just want to say that you might be able to accomplish the same thing with Sue Johnson’s book, Hold Me Tight, if you and your wife are willing to work through it together. If you need help or a mediator, then counseling’s the way to go. Good luck, friend!

          • Hardino April 19, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

            I will order the book too.

  29. Brien Jones April 9, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

    Need help in understanding my marriage problem. My wife and I have been married for 15 years and on 2/12/14, she mentioned that she no longer wanted to be married. Reason being she said that her emotional needs were not being met and I replied and said over 15 years how is that. I will be the first to admit I was working alot and got laid-off a few times over the years and still provided for my family. My wife mentioned that I was never happy and that was totally untrue and unfair. I happy when able to provide for my family and have free-time with them. She mentioned that we need to work on each others personal issues and regroup. She has moved out to her mother’s house and as a husband I feel ike a failure after 15 years of marriage. Please advise stressed husband of what to do to reconnect with family.

    • Hardino April 13, 2014 at 1:32 am #

      Hello, I can share some personal experience that might help. I to have been married 15 years. However, when my wife and I started living seperatly we were only 4 years into our marriage. So I doubt the reasons for splitting up are the same. Also the differnece is I was the one wanting out of the marriage. Anyhow, the fact that she stated that you both need to address each of your own issues is telling me that she feels distant. Especially since she now decided to move out. Take this opportunity to really do some deep soul searching. Realize that you are going to have to address some issues with yourself and make significant change. I’m not saying change who you are as a person. Just things that you know drive a wedge between you. When my wife and I were living seperatly, I needed to see that she really meant business and she really did understand the issue. Now again.. This was only our 4th year of marriage. So the problems at that time are nowhere near the stuff you can run into at 15 years. One thing I learned about women is that when they feel distant or feel like they get little affection from the man… It turns their world inside out. From most men’s point of view, simply providing a roof and food and being there in the house makes us feel like we are efficiently providing for the home. Truth is that women dont fall in love with those things. Try to remember what it was about yourself that she fell in love with. Try to figure out why you changed or maybe didn’t change. I guarantee she still loves the person you once were. Now I am not saying in anyway that this is your fault or that she is right. I just know that showing affection, love, making sure she feels like you are thinking of her… Will get her emotionally attracted to you again. Good luck man! I know you can do this.

    • tpajevic April 18, 2014 at 10:53 pm #

      Hey there, Brien–it sounds to me like you might need to go deep within yourself first and reconnect. What I mean by that is that marriage is a lot more than just providing–at least these days it is. It sounds like your wife wants a deeper connection with you. Therapy can certainly help, as can Sue Johnson’s awesome book, Hold Me Tight. But it sounds like she wants to connect with the real you–the deeper part of you that you might have hidden for whatever reason (don’t worry; we all do it)… the trick, of course, is accessing that when most of us have spent an entire lifetime shielding and protecting that vulnerable side of ourselves.
      Hope that helps as a place to start. Good luck, friend!

  30. justme April 10, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

    I found this article while looking for ways to let go of the resentment that I feel towards my husband. We have recently reconnected after a year apart. He left and filed for divorce, then moved in with another woman and put me through hell. When he left, we had a 6 month old son and I was pregnant again. He didn’t want another baby and I refused to terminate. He didn’t speak to me or see our son for a year. He missed the birth of our second son and didn’t meet him until he was 5 months old. After a year, he showed back up on Christmas eve wanting another shot. I agreed to try again and we began counseling. My husband is a recovering alcoholic and has been in and out of jail and prison most of his adult life. Though he has remained sober since coming back, I feel so much resentment towards him. He verbalizes to me that I have no right to feel resentful and that he left me because of my faults. Over the course of our marriage, he has cheated with 3 women and has physically left and moved to be with 2 of them. All were addicts who fed his addictions. Our kids are the only reason that I am trying again with him because I know that he will be given time alone with our boys if we separate and I fear that he will hurt them when he returns to using if we split. With the way things are now, at least I can keep them safe. I feel so lost and broken. I do love him very much, but the year without him was so peaceful and stable. He and I are polar opposites and morally I don’t know if I can continue trying.

    • Hardino April 13, 2014 at 1:49 am #

      Wow that is a lot. I’m not really sure why you would want to continue to be with a person like that. I don’t know the guy obviously, but it sounds like you need to find a better fish. For starters, a man that respects you is “guy language” for he loves you. Clearly he does not respect you. Blaming you for his faults and cheating… Not seeing his own child.. If you really fear for your children then their are multiple options you can take. However, you need to have the strength to do it. Now I am 100% positive that you have the strength because you are willing to do what it takes including be with him to keep the kids safe. I just don’t think you have really seen any other way to keep them safe. The worst way is definitely continuing to be with him. I don’t really think that resentment is your main issue right now. If anything I would use this to separate from him. You deserve better ok. So do your kids. Remember, your kids will learn what they see. I’m not trying to be rude or judgmental. I just know that there isn’t a woman in the world that should be treated like this. I would recommend finding a community group that helps people in this situation. You can try the local police department to search for these groups. Try usually have a good list of them. You Can do it!

  31. Charlie Brown April 16, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

    Hi, I am going to get a lot of brickbats from folks here, but going through various comments here it seems I can be open and honest here (anonymity definitely helps). Married guy of 40, been married for the last 10 yrs. I don’t know if it is atypical, but I think about s3x a lot. I have cheated a few times and after every single time I am gripped with guilt, thinking how horrible I am, that I am breaking the trust with my wife, that I am being a horrible dad, horrible person etc. But after a cpl of months the feeling backs again – to cheat. My wife is a nice woman…she has her faults, but I count myself extremely lucky to have her. It is just that I need certain experience in bed and she cannot provide it. In a way I feel like I am a psychopath like Dexter. Just like him, I live in constant fear that my dark passenger will be outed one day and everything around me will come crashing down. On one hand I feel I need a cure – may be see a shrink; on the other hand I fantasize that my wife becomes a partner in my crime – that we become swingers. While the first option may look like the proper one, please understand that I have been unable to control the animal inside me for the last 10 yrs.

    • tpajevic April 18, 2014 at 10:49 pm #

      I don’t necessarily think you need a cure, but you need some clarity. Counseling can help you get that–it’ll help you figure out if your wife is right for you or what, as well as what’s going on with your sex thing. good luck!

    • Hardino April 19, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

      Hello Charlie Brown,
      Married man here also and hopefully I can direct you in the right direction. You think about sex a lot? All the time? 90% of the time including sleep? Phew, I thought I was the only one! No your not the only one that thinks of sex constantly. Most men and actually… Most women do also. They just don’t say it in front of men. But let’s start by addressing some of your concerns. First is that you mentioned that you have cheated a few times and are gripped with guilt but eventually the desire to cheat again comes back. Though I have not cheated, I do understand desires and being gripped with guilt that seems to haunt you at every turn. So I am going to put this in the most simple way I can think of. Your desire to be with others is not abnormal. If it were, then porn would not be such a large industry. So basically you have the same desire as almost every man. Why do men desire to be with more than one woman? No clue. Just a fact. However the difference is wether or not you actually seek out this desire. In this case you have. So now this moves you to the next stage. According to your statement “I consider myself lucky to be with my wife.” I am assuming you respect her and love her enough to acknowledge that she is an equal partner in your relationship. Think about that for a minute. She is equal in your partnership. You respect her as a person. You have made certain choices that effect both of you so now is the time you own up to your decisions. I’m assuming that she doesn’t currently know of ALL of the times that you have been with others and she doesn’t know of your desire. I do know without a doubt that actions and decisions that are kept in the shadows will ALWAYS turn for the worst. You need to go to her and be honest and tell her the truth. I do agree with you that seeing a therapist will help because you can get into the details. Most likely you are not a psycho!!! Your wife deserves to know the truth even if it is painful. Let her make a decision for herself. You may not like it but if you value her the way I think you do then she deserves to know. Ok so about this shame and guilt. I found that shame and guilt will always keep bringing you back to a negative state of mind that shows no light at the end of the tunnel. Think about a hobby you do. If you focus on the bads or focus on the weaknesses of yourself and continually doubt yourself. Guess what, you will fail every time, without question. However if you focus on the good or in your case a “goal” then your mind will start to make a change. It is ver hard work to be able to push through negative feelings and focus on good. So let’s say even at this point all this still doesn’t connect to you. You still feel like this isn’t going to go away. Let’s fast forward into the future. You said that that she will either become your partner in crime or it will all fall apart around you. Why wait?? Let’s take your future into your own hands and instead of waiting for the inevitable. Take this time to come out to your wife and be honest. After all.. She is going to either stick with you or leave you in the long run and you won’t know until the day comes that she finds out all the secrets. Again, I would definitly see a therapist. Don’t give up in your marriage. Be there for her, even when she is full of pain and hate. Those only last for a time and a season. If she really is the love of your heart then give your marriage the time it deserves. Good luck and I want to hear from you again when you have decided what you are to do.

  32. tpajevic April 18, 2014 at 10:56 pm #

    Hi folks,

    I’m wondering about trying to add some kind of forum to this website, where people can connect and offer advice. There seems to be a serious need for it, and since I’m unable to help everyone going through some rough times, I’m wondering if this might be helpful.

    Thoughts? Suggestions on how to do it?

    Hardino, you’re currently my number one choice to be moderator 🙂

    • Hardino April 19, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

      Tpajevic, I would love to help you out. This site (you) really helped me out in my very desperate time of need. I am not computer savy so I wouldn’t know a good way to add a forum to the site. Yes I agree that I think it would be a good idea. So one can simply scroll down a list to a particular situation maybe. Or keep track of responses easier. Just let me know what you want. Contact me through email too.

      • tpajevic April 20, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

        Thanks, Hardino–let me think about this more. But I appreciate your willingness, and I so appreciate hearing that this website has helped you out. Just writing it has (and putting that much time and effort into my marriage) has helped me enormously!

  33. Hardino April 24, 2014 at 6:02 am #

    Things are definitly moving forward!! I’m so excited! We definitly have our moments of downs and arguments. However the arguments are more like talks now instead of emotional out lashings. I have not even got in the therapy yet because they are full. I am and will. Just waiting for an appointment. Resentment held me back from truly loving my wife for about 1 year, maybe more. This site will forever hold a place in my heart since it was the first to break the ice and get through to me. Slowly I have taken the advice from here and many other sites and put them to use. Focusing primarily on me. I will keep you guys updated.

    • tpajevic April 24, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

      Awesome news, Hardino! I’m so happy for you guys– and your post made my day.
      Keep on keepin on!

  34. Diane April 26, 2014 at 6:42 pm #

    I am so resentful I cannot breath. The only way out for me is to GETOUT. I have been married for 24 years. Thought I married someone smart, who could take care of me. We put him in medical school and went through about 7 years preparing for our new future. When he got out we chose where to live and I got a job to help with the family while he built his practice. My job got better and better with pay while his practice got worse and worse. He wouldn’t charge patients anything, basically a charity practice. Then I lost my job and ever since we have been living pretty much in poverty. I am 8 years older than him and have had jobs since but not enough to completely support our family. His practice shut down, he won’t look or find a job or practice and just went back into what he is comfortable with before all the education. So he is a doctor who is working at Dillard’s making $13.00 an hour. He’s been working there for 3 years now while we struggle and go without and lose everything. If I have to be the breadwinner, if I have to make all the money then I definitely don’t need him. He doesn’t provide physical, financial, or any other help in anyway. I am so resentful I can’t breath. I’m done!
    Diane recently posted..How Do You Know When It’s Time to Give Up? My Profile

    • Onefootout November 19, 2014 at 11:26 pm #


      I think we are married to the same person. Sad that all you got was a “Sorry to hear, good luck” I was hoping for a little more response. How has the luck been?
      Onefootout recently posted..The Sex-Starved Marriage (and How to Fix it)My Profile

    • Tanja November 20, 2014 at 10:35 pm #

      Diane (and Onefootout),

      It sounds like you’re both going through some giant stuff with your partners, and none of it sounds easy! But I have to take a step back here and ask you why you married your spouse. Was it only to have him take care of you, or was it to have a life partner? If it was to have a life partner, then you guys have some work to do, and learning how to communicate with each other is going to be key.

      But even before that, you might want to look into whether or not your husband’s depressed. He sounds stuck, like he could use some help. Can you look into some community resources or see if you can find free/reduced income counseling? From the sound of your letter, it sounds like you’re both going to need a lot of support to get back on your feet, much more than I can give you here. Reach out to your community and see what kind of support you can find.

      Good luck to both of you!

  35. Hardino April 27, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

    Sorry to hear, good luck.

  36. Mayra May 1, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

    I only been married for almost a year. I’m 8 months pregnant with our 1st baby together. I have 3 daughters (9,7,5) of my own with a previous marriage. He has a boy and a girl from 2 differ relationships. His daughter (5) lives with her mom in the same state we do and his son lives in a different state so we don’t get to see him as often. I been feeling resentful towards him and I don’t know how to tell him. I feel it’s going to hurt our marriage if I tell him how I feel. So this is the problem. He pays child support for both of his children and I think is great of him for taking care of his children. His daughter is with us most of the time and her mother doesn’t work. I don’t work because of the pregnancy. His at work 12 hrs and he wants his daughter here with us ALL the time. I feel so bad for feeling this way but sometimes I don’t want her to come over :(. My girls go with their dad every other week end so I want to spend time with him and rest catch up on cleaning, and he want to bring his daughter :/ I took care of that problem by letting him know that when my girls are not here I don’t want his daughter here because I want to rest and spend alone time with him. So now the ex decided to get a job and he tells me ” Malias mom is starting a job so you need to watch her from Thursday to tuesday” so I told his my girls where leaving that weekend with their dad, he told me ” so now you can spend some alone time with your daughter” meaning his daughter. I told him it was my relaxing weekend and he said ” you can’t relax no more I’m starting a second job so you can’t complain and take care of YOUR DAUGHTER” I felt so mad and still mad I haven’t talked to him yet just trying to figure out if the way I feel is wrong. I feel like it’s not my responsibility to be a baby sitter, I feel like her mom should figure something out. Just like when I was working I had to pay someone to watch my daughters. I love his daughter don’t get me wrong and I would watch her if it was a emergency but I’m not going to get payed and I don’t feel like spending time with my own daughters that’s why I send them with their dad. I feel like his forcing me to care for his daughter. I don’t know what to do or how to talk to him. Am I wrong for not wanting to take care of his daughter?
    Mayra recently posted..How Do You Know When It’s Time to Give Up? My Profile

    • Hardino May 4, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

      I think you should sit down and explain. I need a break. It’s not because your kids or mine but I need a break. I have taken care of that with my daughters going to their dads and thus is my time. After the baby comes I won’t have this time and this is what I need right now. I love your daughter but I really need some time without any kids. People dont always understand just because someone needs a break doesn’t mean they don’t like the kids or the family … They just need a break.

      • tpajevic May 6, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

        I agree! Nicely said, Hardino — and good luck, Mayra!

  37. Andrew May 6, 2014 at 3:09 am #

    I’ve been with my wife for 12 years, married for 8 years and we have two wonderful boys that are 6 and almost 4. She had me move out 7 months ago and divorced me 2 months ago. I did not want the divorce, but cooperated with her. I still love her with all my heart and my 6 year old isn’t taking all this very well and his brother I think might be affected by it as well. She left me pretty much because I never made her my first priority and I’d turn her down way too much when she’d want to get intimate. My problem was that I spoke before giving something a real thought. It always got me in trouble and I’d feel lost. Not really know what I was doing and I’d get really frustrated because by the time I realized what I did wrong it was too late. I’d yell too much about silly things that overwhelmed me and I could never really remember what the heck we were just arguing about and that’d make her even more angry at me. We were seeing a therapist while still married, but she gave up. I’m still seeing the therapist and she’s finally convinced I have ADD/ADHD probably since childhood. I even had the same problems with my prior girlfriend. So…my therapist set me up to have an ADD examination in a couple weeks. Now seeing that I probably have this problem because its scary knowing I never got real help with it. If I would’ve known this before our divorce I could’ve again gotten help for it and saved my marriage. I’m not sure if I should tell my ex-wife or not. Remember in wedding vows “in sickness and in health”? I’m afraid she’ll reject me and not care. Therapy is helping me work on myself a great deal, but I still feel cheated and love my ex-wife like no ther could. What should I do?

    • tpajevic May 6, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

      Boy, this is a tough one. One part of me wants to ask what you’ll regret more on your death bed: trying or not trying? And yet, if you’re hoping that she’ll come back to you by telling her, that might not be the case. Take your time with this one and think it through. You can also try working it through with your therapist–that might be helpful. The good news is that you’re figuring things out and doing what you need to do for yourself–that’s awesome! Awesome for you, for your kids and awesome for your future, too–whoever you end up with. Good luck!

    • Hardino May 11, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

      Andrew, I agree with Tpajevic. This is one of those pivotal moments in your life that you would like to look back on and not regret. To be completely honest, your situation is what I fear the most. Not because it is un-salvageable, but because losing the one you love because of issues that have been created by yourself. I am a huge fan of not giving up, unless it is clear that she no longer wants to even consider pursuing a relationship with you. Even though the divorce itself would be evidence enough to indicate that last statement. Is it possible that it was rushed to quickly? Time apart might actually be what you need to really get yourself in order. Yes you have lived separate lives for 7 months now, so this time apart would seem sufficient. However it has only recently come to your attention that you may have ADD/ADHD. I would definitly not bring up the “in sickness and in health” part. I think this would make her feel more guilty than anything. That’s not what you want from her. You want her to actively want to make things work between you two. Once you have figured out if you do have ADD then take the proper adjustments in your life to make a solid change. Since you already know what your stumbling blocks are, you are a little ahead of the game. I do know that what your diet is made of will effect personality also. For instance: you said that you snapped to quickly about silly things and you would respond to quickly before giving anything a real thought. Nutrition and excercise effects out mental health. Our mental health effects our moods. So take these steps thoroughly before you try to spark up your relationship with her again. 1. Figure out if you do have any disorder. Not to be used as a crutch or gimme. 2. Change your mental health and overall mood by excercise and nutrition. 3. Finish your sessions with the therapist until you know that you are stable. 4. Talk to your ex-wife and explain that you deeply appreciate all those years of support. Explain to her how she makes you feel (romantically). Then if she bites and decides to make something of it you can move forward. If not then you have your answer. Don’t forget that she did once fall in love with you. So there is definitly a chance. However, sometimes relationships go to far down a bad path and are to hard for one spouse or the other to repair. I really hope things work out for you.

  38. Meh May 16, 2014 at 4:21 am #

    So glad I found this site, seems like there’s lot of great people on here, and reading the posts and comments have helped me feel hopeful again. I’ve been married 5 years and I have a lot of demons, some have been with me for years, some have popped up since I’ve been married. Anyway, I won’t go into everything, because I don’t even think I’ve figured out the roots of my issues yet, but I just wanted to say thanks for the honesty and hope from everyone that posts on the site. I have some soul searching to do, but I’m looking forward to improving my marriage and I’ll definitely keep reading the site. Thanks again!

    • Hardino May 19, 2014 at 5:07 am #

      Sounds great! If you come across any revelations from your own experience, I would like to know. I have to agree with you… This is a great site. Tpajevic is one of those people that brings out the best in all of us. We are lucky!

  39. Hardino May 19, 2014 at 5:15 am #

    *UPDATE* Things are slowly taking a turn for the better. Which is probably good. Don’t want to rush this… Or do I?!?! Saw the counselor for the first time a couple if days ago. It’s definitely nice to have someone understand you and your spouse and NOT take sides. It was refreshing. Counselor gave me “homework” to do. Going to wait a few days before I start so my spouse doesn’t think it’s just an assignment. Counselor basically told me that they would teach me a new way to communicate to my spouse. Which is cool. Except I suck at learning new languages, I hope it’s not pig Latin! Ok so anyway, I just wanted to throw out an update. I figure I owe this site that much for putting me in the right path.

    • tpajevic May 19, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

      Thanks for the update, Hardino! I can’t wait to hear how things go… you’ve done so much already and it’s been so cool watching you get your marriage back on track these past few months. I hope the homework keeps things moving forward and things just keep getting better! I’m rooting for you, friend! Tanja

  40. UnHappy May 26, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    My husband and I have been married for 21 years. I was 16, he was 19. I wasn’t pregnant, when we got married….I didn’t believe in sex until after marriage. I basically made a stupid mistake, or marrying him because I could not live with my abusive mother any longer. . He never really had a girlfriend and jumped at the chance. We both worked very hard over the years to build a life for ourselves and our two children; who are now 20 and 16. I’ve battled depression my whole life and do to sexual abuse I suffered as a child sex has always been difficult for me. I’ve never been with anyone other than my husband, but never found him attractive either. I have asked for a divorce ten years ago, but he begged me not do ” do this to our kids”. I feel so guilty, for marrying him in the first place…..and then for wanting to leave and ruin our children’s lives. At 16, I was not capable of making such a decision, but I did. My husband and I both worked very hard to provide forvour family, have good jobs and bought a house. I’ve raised my kids to have everything I didn’t have, love, stability, necessities etc. We work good together for the sake of our kids, But……I resent him, he snores like a freight train, is very over weight, rude and anxious to almost everyone. He knows that I’m repulsed by him, yet still tries to initiate sex…….daily. I feel bad for him, and used to be able to force myself to have sex, but I just can’t anymore. I’m so unhappy, and have done counseling. He refuses marriage counseling. I think he knows the truth, but is afraid to face it. I love the fqther he is to our children, but hate…..and resent him as a lover, husband. I feel like I must deserve the hell I’m in….since I chose it 21 years ago.

    • William May 28, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

      Wow. That is a tough spot to be in. What do you think he would have done if the role was reversed?

    • tpajevic May 28, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

      Unhappy, that’s a lot–and it’s especially a lot to put on top of the depression and childhood abuse. If you haven’t already, please please go see a counselor to help you deal with the abuse–that might help shed some light on your current situation. And bring in your spouse, if you can. It sounds like you’re in a tough situation, but this is your life and you really do have a choice. Really!

    • Callie May 28, 2015 at 10:25 am #

      My husband and I have been married since 1981, Before our marriage we enjoyed a great sex life, but due to his being an obstinate jerk in life concerning the society we lived in, I was asked from the day he came home from the military to 2 years ago to keep his rights as a husband non existent to gain his cooperation. I was to be the reward for his cooperation when it was deemed no longer required.
      The resentment my husband has, became a danger to everyone that abused him over the last 42 years. Some of it I had no idea had occurred in 1972, But people need the time only my husband could accommodate. the vacation slots, the holidays, the weekends even the shifts at work. My husband was considered the best at supplying production when needed, but from 1985 to 2009 the only times he could be allowed to take for himself he considered useless. Because the times where directly after the holidays in January and February. When there was neither enough money to travel and the weather so lousy it was worthless just to take the time.
      The resentment he has built has become so dangerous for myself and his father, especially his father, who has now faced his sons wrath 3 times in the last year, the last time ending in his fathers neck being broken. two years ago it resulted in an affair partner of mine ending up in an Intensive care unit with a shattered scull and many of his facial bones broken. Two weeks later me forced to be the wife he expected for over three decades when my husband came home and told me I was not going with his fathers friend to a political fund raising dinner but that I owed 31 years of a stolen life to him. Even with me begging him to choose a place to meet, I would get his mother, father and everyone else that had something to say in the matter of his having his life as he wanted, My husband then said there was no one not even me that had anything to say any longer, from that second on his will was the only will in our house and I owed 31 years of a stolen life that evening, because he was taking some of his back from me that evening. He did by raping me. Everything in the last two years has been him telling everyone what he will and wont stand for, where I am invited he is to be considered to be invited, holidays, and vacations included that he has not been a part of for over three decades.
      Many feel he has gone way to far just because he was abused for over 30 years, we feel a forgiving attitude should prevail. but his idea of forgiving is to leave bleeding broken people behind.
      That’s how his fathers neck was broken, the memorial day before last he backhanded his father across our kitchen, this year it was an uppercut that was hard enough to break his neck and another point last year when he was holding the tip of his cane at his fathers chest telling him he was tired of his interfering in his life and he was going to feel in 32 seconds the pain of 32 years, My husband had already used that cane to lay two of his fathers friends faces open to the jawbone because they had held him at bay with pistols a half hour before. For the armed intimidations of the last decade we have found out my husband has attacked and crippled many that held firearms on him, In all cases it was because my husband had become so uncooperative about working holidays he refused to work and was going to force younger seniority to work instead, he had already used his seniority and violence to gain anew job which resulted in four men hurt badly when they though my husband would just take them at their word they would hurt him if he did not remove his name off the bid, In under a minute my husband reduced four men that morning into bloody broken men on our porch. He then kicked the front door in on top of me and walked in on it and told me the next time I was going to go to trauma care if I tried getting him hurt again.
      All I was trying to do all these years was help people with their needs, Now there is nothing I can do but cringe in the corner when my husband gets angry and hope I am not the one he is angry with. Resentment for the way he was treated has hurt so many, its become bad enough where one attempt on his life was tried and the police just arrested the man in Texas. I am certain his father set up the attempt before this last vacation, He resents his sons defiance. Wants him to be more responsible to him and his friends, I mentioned what I found out happened in 192 between his father, his fathers friends as a starting point and should explain just how deep this goes.
      My husband spent the summer before his senior year in Army Basic and AIT he came back to complete high school, He went back to the football team expecting a first string position. Instead the positions did not go to the best players but to the sons of school board members. when my husband was religated to second string again he determined the four school board members sons were not taking his position, he treated them so rough in the practice they quit.
      All these boys had been coached by my husbands father in baseball and their fathers were friends. When my husband made it home after that practice on of the friends used a golf driver to knock my husband out. When he woke up they had zip tied him to a tree and taken his shirt off. his father and several friends spent the next half hour or so whipping him with an extension cord, his back needed 153 stiches, His mother and I found out in January after the mental therapist talking to us produced a vial asking how the doctor doing the surgery on my husbands spine recieved copper strands deep in his back where a MRSA abcess had developed and why was there so much scar tissue back there, this is the cause of my husbands crippling five years ago,
      I am at a crossroads, I don’t want to hurt my husband any more, but to much abuse happened. My husband is going to take his rights even over dead bodies, I don’t want to see him hurt someone else over his rights. Due to the rape two years ago I had my only child and really don’t want to walk away from him either. but my legal rep says if I walk away I will leave my son due to my own mental illness. My husband is of no danger to his son. Just those that abused him.

  41. OhBOYD May 29, 2014 at 7:03 pm #

    I just came across this blog as I’m filing for divorce. I’m teetering on this issue, I would like for someone’s opinion that is non biased. Here goes…

    I’ve been married for 1.5 years. We only dated for 90 days but during those 90 days I felt that during everything that he knew about me and I about him, we were able to be ourselves without judging. Prior we were acquaintances for a while and he saw me through a horrible relationship that I was going through. He asked me to marry him and we got married on my lunch break. (Crazy Right)

    Well it didn’t take long for his skeleton to come out of the closet. The first surprise was an ex girlfriend who moved to Houston with him. This entire time he told me he relocated to Houston with just him and his 2 children (never said anything about a 4 year relationship with this woman). I never ask to come to his house while we were dating and vice versa because of our children. Finally I invited him over because things were getting serious with us and I noticed that he never talked about me coming over to his house. Well, he told me that he had to send his children back to their mother because of an ugly custody battle. At this time I’m at his house and we are doing well. In the meantime, I’m looking at avenues to help him legally regain custody of his children.

    Fast Forward…

    Well, the two children turned into 4 children by two different women. Not sure why he would lie on his children. As time as passed, more than enough lies that I care to count has been told. He lied about his finances, credit, children, etc…

    While I have bottling off of this inside and keeping my family out of it, he has been talking to my friends and family about his “situation”. Well my sister came to visit me and told me all the things that he said and we (all three of us) had a come to Jesus. I explained to him that he is a habitual liar and that is the root of my issue. After HOURS of talking and having mediation, he promised he would work on it. The same day, I asked him to clarify something… I believed him… Then his daughter visits and now I realize he still lied…

    HELP!!! I don’t really want a divorce but I can’t lie or be married to a lie.

    • tpajevic May 29, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

      Yikes! I’m reminded of Maya Angelou when she said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

      Seems to me your instincts are right on, friend —

    • Hardino June 1, 2014 at 2:14 am #

      I agree with Tpajevic, sounds like you already know who he is. Just have to make a choice now. Pray that God will give you wisdom.

  42. Mattie June 6, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

    need advice. I met and married my husband in 2wks. crazy i know, i was young and stupid. 4 girls latter, he decides to take a job in another state…temporary which turned out to be forever. now 26 years latter, he has worked away for more than half our married life. his schedule is 3wks gone 10 days home. since he has always provided well for us and only home 10 days he didn’t want me working…I went to school to become a RN but he asked me to quit since we never seen each other at all. I did. where my husband works there is no way of getting beer but when he is home he drinks 18pk every day. He has always drank beer everyday that he is home, i didn’t know this when we married, obviously. Anyway, he doesn’t communicate at all, seriously he will just listen and then when i ask what he thinks or do you have something to say he will say, no..every time. I get stonewalled. Everyday is a good day when i don’t mention anything negative…in fact he will say, thought we were having a good day then you had to mention..blah,blah..Problem is nothing has ever been resolved. He is a work aholic so even when he is home its work, work, work…If i mention a date night or doing something fun, it gets shot down and honestly he really doesn’t wanna go because he cant take his beer…its like a baby binkie that goes everywhere. I’m home alone all the time, we talk everyday for 30 min and i try to stay encouraging, supportive and respectful and loving..I’m just really angry/hurt that I’m alone, no job…no communication when hes home (its like hes gone anyway)…I know I must be crazy for sticking in here so long and clinging to a false hope of any change…I also know you can only change yourself..I tell myself the grass isn’t greener on the other side, we all have faults. i REALLY DO LOVE HIM but I feel really confused about if I like him. He has made no effort in changing any bad habits. He says hes been faithful to me. When he is home if we go to the store he is always checking out other woman..I said, seriously your only home 10 days cant you stay focused on me? I am not ugly or fat..size 3 jeans! But its a good kick to my self esteem when he checks others out and I’m with him.. I believe him but so angry that he has chosen to be gone/out of our marriage. I really hate my life..I’ve been working on me, to build my self esteem..I’m just really feeling lost and consumed by my thoughts. I honestly don’t know what to do..

    • tpajevic June 10, 2014 at 10:15 pm #

      I think you should follow your gut, Mattie. Because I think you already know the answer in your heart…if you need to, get some support in helping figure this out, it’s a big one. But I really do think you already know….
      Good luck and lots of love to you!

  43. Ed June 12, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

    Hi! I’ve been married for 20 years and have hardly got along. I have done a lot to help my wife but she is ungrateful . My girls are still young. I have cooked 98pecent of the time since they were small to presant. My wife loves to scrapbook as a hobbie and I am glad she likes that because she does great work. When my children were in diapers my wife was gone almost every weekend to go and scrapbook. At first I didn’t mind because of all the photo albums she was trying to preserve but it became like she had to be home. I told her that I was like a single parent because she was always gone. She would get upset and complain that she needs a break which was understanding at one point till I would complain. I work mom- Friday . I wash my own clothes , cook breakfast lunch and dinner when I’m home on weekends and dinners during the week. Sex is once a month if I’m lucky. All I hear is the word NO!!! I complain but it doesn’t help. I been to councling several times and she refuses to go and says I’m the one with the problem. She didn’t work for a couple of years to be a stay at home mom. I payed day care even though she was at home alone sleeping all day and I’m at work picking up the girls. Giving them a bath feeding snacks . She would not talk to me for a month or two most of the time . The biggest thing that makes her mad is because I should give her a break and I should clean house . I do usually when were mad and she’s gone from home. She says we will never be happy I guess because I don’t help around the house. I can’t afford to leave with a mortgage payment that I pay and would not have money to survive on my own. I feel like I’m a a loss . To this day I get the same reaction as always. As far as sex I still get told That’s the best I can do is on e a month. I feel she has just taken advantage of me and cruel. Be father left her mom when she was 15. I feel as if I’m paying the price now. I would never want yo hurt my children but I would leave her if I had money to afford to doit. My 12 year old daughter always asks me if I’m ok cause I look sad. I say the usual I’m ok honey dads just tired from busy days at work. She says I know moms mad at you. I tell her she doesn’t need to worrie about that stuff. It breaks my heart that my daughter knows when I’m in the doghouse which is pretty often.
    Thank you for listening

    • tpajevic June 12, 2014 at 7:37 pm #

      Wow. Sorry to hear you’re having such a hard time, Ed. Did the counseling help in any way? What did your counselor have to say about the money part? I really don’t know what to say about that one…it’s a big deal and yet I hate to see you stuck in a loveless marriage where you’re not appreciated only because of the money…
      It seems to me that you need to come to a decision about what you will and won’t accept and once you can do that, things will start to open up a bit. If you decide you’re ready to be done, for example, you can start working toward a plan for getting out. It might take a while, yes, but at least you’ll be moving in the right direction and that might free up some energy. Maybe it would help you find some local resources, etc. But if nothing else, please remember that your kids are watching and learning from everything you do. Giving yourself the freedom now to live your life and be happy might help give them the freedom to find an equal partner when they’re adults.

      Good luck, friend! I know it’s not easy, but know that we’re pulling for you.

      • Ed June 13, 2014 at 4:46 am #

        Thank you!! Tpajebic
        I have been to counseling 3 times and one on the phone. I am lucky I don’t have to pay any money. The first gentlemen told my wife she needed to sit down and talk about some issues she may have. She refused to go and talk to him. She said she didn’t like him so never went back. He told her compared to many males I do more than my share and that is a lot of help. The second one was a female and I was the issue according to her. She was a therapist/ social worker. She said she didn’t see a problem with my wife always gone and me taking care of my kids. She said I should do the house shores also. My wife was exited that the therapist sided with her. I went to a old lady that was a marriage counselor and asked my wife to go but the usual I don’t want to go. You have the problem not me. Eventually she went . She refused to answer any questions that she was asked and flat out said Ed has the issues. We left shortly after and my next visit the therapist told me I was better off leaving because she was Not gonna change. My 20 visits were up and I wanted to continue goin so I called the provider and asked to see her again but I couldnt . I had to explain my situation the the therapist on the phone and said also I should leave the relationship. As time went on I stopped my check from goin into a joint account and opened my own and was set up where I can move money to the joint account but she had no access to my account number nor my account. When payday came around she was ferocious because my check was not there. I told her she would not control my check any more. To this day she still doesn’t see my check . It was a nightmare at first but in time it was better for me. I started looking for a place near my home so I would never to far from them. I live in a area where wealthy people live and I couldn’t afford an apartment. I always stay positive because I have my children . There will be a day I can just up and go.

  44. Ed June 12, 2014 at 6:18 pm #

    I think I do more than some male parents do. I told my friend it sucks to be me and she was about to break up in tears . I have several friend that tell me I am one of the best parents they know even though they have children. I been told several times for years that they wished they have married a man like me because they would be happy and that they would cook clean and made sure I was always happy in bed and I would never be sex staved. Those are true female friends.

    • Hardino June 16, 2014 at 9:07 am #

      Ed, sorry to hear the issues within your marriage. Sounds like the counselors that spoke with your wife saw some issues that were deep. I bet you find a girl that appreciates you. Good luck and hang in there.

      • Ed June 21, 2014 at 9:27 pm #

        Hardino, thank you for listening it is greatly appreciate . Time will till now my kids are getting older so I may just ride it out til they can be on their own. Thank you for all your support,

  45. Isa June 12, 2014 at 8:10 pm #

    Hi. I have been married for 13 yrs. And it’s been a rough marriage. There was a lot of verbal abuse during and after my first pregnancy. The second one wasn’t as bad as the first. We were very young and I know now that many things we did to each other was pretty much due to immaturity. 13 yrs. Later and after many arguments, I have let him slip with a few things telling myself it’s not worth fighting for. I have also learned to let go of some resentment. But, he occasionally keeps doing things that we had previously argued about. He came home at 8 am the next day from a friend’s house. He always states that he loses track of time. Why should I keep telling myself this is acceptable? He has changed very much compared to how he use to be, but I have also changed. I don’t have friends and don’t go anywhere unless we are all together. I do this to avoid any discussions with him. I guess my question is, how much is too much? When should you Call it quits? Should I keep giving more chances to something that might never change? Please help!

    • tpajevic June 12, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

      Isa, I can’t answer that for you–you need to answer it for yourself. My guess is that you know, down deep. In the meantime, it might help to get some support from a therapist or other impartial individual who can help you get clear on what you want and what you’re going to do about it.

      Good luck, sister–we’re pulling for you!

    • Hardino June 16, 2014 at 8:58 am #

      Definitely lay down some ground rules conserning everything that you feel is out of line. It’s not a “right or wrong” attitude of rules in a relationship that makes marriage work. Straight up if you don’t like him staying out so late, tell him. Say “look, I’m glad you have fun with friends but staying out all night?!?! It’s not acceptable period. Your feelings and ideas are just as important as his. So yes I would have to agree with you that staying out that late is rediculous.. And I’m a man.. Haha. Sounds like the friends are most likely single or not married. This could be a problem. If not then again. Just straight up tell him. Bringing up past arguments or situations really sucks. Someone once gave me an analogy …. Every bad comment toward your spouse is like hammering a nail into a door, you can eventually say sorry and take back what you said and pull the nail out… But the whole remains. That has stuck with me since my first year of marriage. That is awesome that you are focusing on changing yourself and letting go of resentment. Hats off to you! Just keep soon what your doing and be more aggressive and pushy with the things that you are not willing to compromise.

    • Mike March 26, 2015 at 11:39 pm #

      Hi Isa,
      Since you mentioned that there are things you did to each other since you were young, don’t you think that you are equally culpable? The same resentment that you have for him might be the same that he has for you. You also acknowledge that he has changed so the question is why are you still holding on to his past misdemeanors? The fact that he has changed is a positive from where I am looking at it and from what I have read from others, your situation does not look that bad. I am not trying to lay the blame on you at all and it could be that your relationship has communication issues.

  46. Eve June 16, 2014 at 4:15 am #

    I feel resentment because when he does something that hurts my feeling he doesn’t let open up about it. The second I start the conversation regarding the things he did that hurt me I am told to shut up. He just laughs at me and says it’s my own fault I feel the way I do and he reuses to listen, take blame, let me speak. In the end I’m not even upset about whatever dumb thing he did but I get upset because I don’t feel like he cares about my feelings or my opinion. I don’t know how to get him to respect me enough to give me the respect to just listen. We had this fight before and I was making arrangements to pack my bags and leave the relationship because I was so hurt that he wasn’t approachable. He promised to be more respectful and let me speak and value my opinion but here we are again, he is careless and clueless that I am still upset. I don’t know what to do 🙁 in my mind I have terrible thoughts about him but even if I told him he wouldn’t give a crap.

    • tpajevic June 17, 2014 at 1:45 am #

      Eve, I don’t know that he will change…I hope he does, but what happens if he doesn’t? Is this something you’re willing to put up with? Forever?

  47. Servelan June 18, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

    I resented my ex-husband’s raging at me, belittling me, undermining me, and general emotional abuse of me for 17 years enough to divorce him, and I’m damn glad I did. There are relationships worth saving, and those that aren’t, and mine was one of the latter.

    The old adage about not letting the sun go down on your anger is a good one; change out ‘anger’ and replace it with ‘resentment’ and it’s still true. Respect for and/or lack of resentment for/toward yourself, the relationship and your partner all work hand in hand, and if one’s lost, the relationship’s in danger of floundering.

  48. am June 18, 2014 at 10:56 pm #

    Hello i need a little help.
    I am married for 3.5 years. My wife n I had some fights initially bcuz she didnt bother much to mingle with my family. (We live as a couple alone n not with parents) also had fights during birth of our child. Anyways i accepted my mistakes n said sorry n made up for my mistskes.

    Now my problem is she is never around for me,
    1. i do not feel like i have a wife. It feel like i have a roommate. I go to office at 9am n come back at 6 to find out she is st her mothers place. Bcuz her mom cooks food n she asks me to pick her at 10 pm when food is ready (i hate this i do not care abt food or her cooking but i want my family home when i enter home.

    2. Whenever her father leaves for a different country. She goes to stay over at her mothers because she is alone. She usually for for 7 to 8 days in one month.

    3. Goes on long vacations with her parents.

    4. I love tea n i makr my tea myself in morning n evening but i always wanted my wife to make it for me. So i come home to nothing. It FEELS like shit.

    5.this time she went to stay at her mom for 15 days consesitive (i was pissed n didnt call her on phone either) then she came back for 3 days just to leave for another 10 days for vacation. We also had a fight when she came back from her mothers

    6. I asked her to change her flight n come back early but she didnt. Also asked me not to come along as she does not want to see me with her parents but her other sister’s hubby was there with them.

    I m sick of this. I feel like so less loved and i feel she does not gives a shit about me at all. Its depressing i m very angry n she is comming back soon i have already told her i will not stay with her if she does not come back early. ( which she didnt)

    Also she told me i was making a big issue of small things. But please help me i do not see my daughter for almost a month n do nothing to stop this from happening again.

    i m raged n do not how to make her feel how i felt and want her to want me as i m dying for her.

    I have decided to leave her alone for few days at her parents

    i want to feel like a husband n married the only reason i fight is because of this and i am sick of it now.
    but i love her madly.

    • Hardino June 22, 2014 at 11:30 pm #

      Hello, I completely understand your feelings on this one. It’s kind of the whole reason you got married, to separate from mom and dad’s hip and become your own family. Doesn’t mean that you should not visit your folks, just not so much like you were still living with them. You want a grown woman in this relationship, not a momma’s girl. Am I right?? This usually happens in the beginning of a lot of marriages so don’t fret. This still needs to be addressed and figured out amongst you two. However when you do talk to her about it, don’t talk to her from your emotional hurt. Because that will make it worse. Take a moment and relax and then explain how you feel and tell her what it is you want. Come to a compromise that makes both of you happy. Then viola … Your back in business. As a man we both know it doesn’t take much to make us happy. Yet when we are not happy… Oh shit, here comes the guns!!! Haha. Just try to remember that she does respect you and love you and wants to be with you. You guys are still learning what makes eachother happy. Takes a lot and a lot of years. Good luck man!

  49. neeso June 19, 2014 at 11:14 pm #

    am a husband for 12 years who was living in a lie i hide everything about my wife and i faced a problem then she found out all my lies so no she as she said hated me, directly i asked her if she would like to be divorced and she she said no coz of the kids,, shes in usa and am in jordan we r contacting through telephone,,, what shall i do to return my relation,, i love her and i believe she loves me

    • tpajevic June 20, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

      I’m not exactly sure what you lied about, but it sounds like you’ve got your work cut out for you! The good news is that your wife doesn’t want a divorce — so now, you’re going to have to figure out how to win her back. I’d start by being completely honest and coming clean about anything else. It might even help to tell her why you did it. Also, you’re going to need to prove that you’ve changed.

      Beyond that, the distance makes it tough. But I would do anything and everything you can every time you see her. Maybe start adding Skype into the mix as a start, so you can at least communicate face to face to clear the air. But my guess is that it’s going to take a while and a lot of hard work. Good luck!

      And if anyone else has ideas for what could help, please jump in —

  50. losing hope June 24, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

    I came across your article, when trying to find something, on whether a relationship can ever survive resentment and not forgiving.
    Me and my husband have been having hard times since quite the beginning of our marriage. We fell deeply in love at first sight and were married within months. But our seemingly perfect love story took a bad turn, after my husband asked me some private questions. I never imagined that my ‘number’ (which I was not proud of, but not a two digit one), would result in resentment and me being dubbed a whore. Nor that me having male friends would only deepen that resentment (less than two months into our marriage I had finished all of my friendship that were not with women). Now, almost two years have passed and our fights have been turning worse and worse. I got blamed for gaining weight (5kg), for not helping with driving, for not being as beautiful as I was when he met me, for not being as initiative in bed as I used to be, for lacking patience, for wanting to leave, for taking my ring off. Above all he gets angry, because he thinks that I’m defend my past. I keep telling him that he needs to let go of the mistakes that I did do in the past (when he did not even know me and when I was a stupid college student). To not judge me for few mistakes that I did, but for the person I was (my life was more than that) and that I am (I am trying to be the best I can be). But nothing is ever enough. I asked him to decide – either to let go and choose our marriage, our future. Or his resentment and then we would deal with the consequences. I’m glad he is staying, but I’m growing tired of all of this. I don’t want a divorce either, but I don’t want to waste my life fighting. I have tried to help him, I have tried to give him reason to be happy, but all he cares about is what a perfect woman he has lost and how nothing I give to him is special, because everyone else has already gotten it. How am I supposed to continue like this? I know who I am, I know what I don’t deserve (which bytheway got me a sentence from him, that I have too beautiful picture of myself). I just don’t know anymore what to do or how to have our life back. I can’t talk to anyone, but I feel that if I wont get any objective opinion I will be just swallowed by his darkness and then really all hope for us will disappear.

    • tpajevic June 24, 2014 at 7:26 pm #

      Oh, sister. This doesn’t sound right to me–in fact, it sounds abusive to me. You might want to google that to get more info, but from what you’re describing, I don’t see things getting any better unless your husband gets help. In the meantime, get some help for yourself, whether that’s through a hotline or a therapist. Good luck!

    • Hardino June 26, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

      You know, maybe something like a marriage seminar (weekend getaway) is something you should look into. Maybe you guys both need to learn to look pass the past and ove who you are now. I went to one when we were in our 3rd year of marriage and remember it really helping. I do agree with you that past is past. Let go and move on. As long as your goals and ideas of relationships are not the same =P Lots off people start off partying it up when they are young and then realize they want to settle down with the one true love. Hang in their and see of he is willing to go to a seminar. Be firm and confident in your choices and moods though. This is a huge game changer for men. When we see a woman that is decided or confident it makes us want them more and we learn to trust and accept their decisions. For example: my wife wants to go out and dance in the club because she is wanting that type of fun and excitement. So she can say “hey do you want to go dancing?” This question is not confident and let’s me know that it is my choice if she goes. Because most likely she will not go without me. Or she can say this instead “I’m going dancing with you this Friday night, so be ready to go by 9 for dinner first then dancing later” this tells me that I don’t have a choice. He is going with or without me, not only that but it excited me to want to go with her. What I’m tryin to say is maybe he is able to hold your past over you because of the way you give him choices. Don’t be passive, make him see that you are worth being with far more than he realizes. Regardless of past. Your showing him that yes you made those past decisions and you are now making these decisions. Period. Regardless of how he feels. Good luck!

  51. Lou-Lou-Garboucci June 27, 2014 at 7:21 pm #

    Hi people my resentment is this – my husband and I both started uni at the same time, but as I got pregnant I graduated a year later. I then got a job full time but after fallin pregnant again am working part time. My husband is now on 7k more than me (if I were working full time that is) and I’m stuck in a job I don’t really like because all the good jobs are full time. He says he would change jobs and work part time to enable me to get a job I reall like but I know he’s only saying this because e doesn’t think I’d do it. So my resentment is towards my career. Also, I recently had an abortion because well we couldn’t afford it because I’d have to stop work which would basically make us destitute and also that he didn’t want the baby. I resent him for making me do this, I know it’s not fair but I wanted this baby but knew it would end our marriage and I wouldn’t cope with three children so felt I had no choice. When I talk to him he says all the right things, but nothing ever changes. I’m starting to not noted saying anything because I feel placated as subsequently frustrated and, well sad.

    • tpajevic June 28, 2014 at 3:15 am #

      Lou Lou,
      The abortion feels to me like the deeper issue and I’m so sorry for your loss. I don’t explicitly know what will help on this one, but I know it’s a huge loss and until you can mourn your loss, you can’t begin to heal it, much less move past it.

      The job stuff is another issue and one you might have to continue to grapple with. Personally, I’ve found it to be really rough/a giant identity issue from being an independent person who worked FT to becoming a mother who worked PT (and was ultimately more dependent on my hubby). They’re big issues and I know it sucks, but it takes a while to work through them.

      But whatever you do, don’t ignore your sadness–it’s trying to tell you something, and the sooner you let yourself feel it/explore it, the sooner you can move through it.
      Good luck, sister!

  52. Elle June 30, 2014 at 9:39 am #

    Hi Tanja 🙂

    Found your site while I was searching for tips and tricks to move out my things to my new house. What a relief to read such a magnificent piece. Wish you much love and luck. Keep writing!

    • tpajevic June 30, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

      Thanks so much, Elle!

  53. Tammy Adams July 1, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

    I have been married for 21 years we have 3 daughters, I was a stay at home mom, but tried to work here and there while raising them, and nothing ever worked out, each time I would get a job my husband would act as tho the job was nothing, it was hard to work because had no help with the kids, no one to baby sit, and could not afford daycare, plus my husband would not help me one bit at home, he never took the kids to school, never cared whether they went or not, he never took them anywhere I had to do it all plus cook and clean and mow the lawn, after he got home from work he sat down in his chair and watched TV and refused to do a thing, I now have arthritis very bad, I can hardly walk across the floor and he gives me no $ for the doctor never mentions me getting help, just complains because I have no job, tho I am obviously disabled, he makes fun of the things I enjoy such as cooking, cleaning and working in my flowers he called me ‘Aunt Bea’ last night and made fun of me terribly…I am trying to sell our house, thinking that maybe if we aren’t in debt he will have a different attitude…but really?

    • tpajevic July 2, 2014 at 1:00 am #

      Oh, Tammy. I’m reminded of Ann Landers/Dear Abby/Dear Phil/all those advice columns where they a) tell us we teach people how to treat us and b) ask why we’ve put up with this all these years. I don’t mean to be harsh, but it sounds like you’ve put up with an awful lot for all those years. Is that really what you want for your life moving forward?

      If not, it might be time to really think about that–what you’re willing to put up with, and what you’re not. But at the end of the day, we’re the only ones we can change–we can’t change anyone else.

      Good luck, sister!

    • Hardino July 3, 2014 at 2:06 am #

      Totally agree with Tpajevic. Do what you want to do. If he complains, tell him to deal with it and stop crying. It will take time for him to change his thinking and attitude because of all the years of the same mindset. My wife also stays at home with the kids. As bad as it sounds… I have to remind myself that she is 100% capable to take care of herself and has also put 100% into this family. Just as I have. Sometimes us guys feel that since we bring home money, that we contribute more. That is not true at all. If you decide to get another job or career or hobby that interrupts or changes how the family operates then he will just have to deal with it. You supported him all these years, time for some payback!! Haha.

  54. KMW July 16, 2014 at 11:29 pm #

    After two years of dating, my husband and I got married after finding out I was pregnant. We have been married for 16 years and have two children.A few days ago,my husband told me he didn’t think he loved me anymore. He said he resented getting married because of our son, that he wonders what his life would have been like if we had never married. When he drives home from being out of town, he dreads coming home sometimes. He said he feels checked out and doesn’t know if he can ever check back in. He feels like his resentment has caused him to treat me poorly throughout our marriage. He feels like I deserve a better husband who truly loves me. I was devastated by his words but not surprised. He told me he said these things so we can work on our marriage, not to divorce or separate.He suggested we go to counseling but we cannot afford it at this time. I am going to look into the books suggested in the comments, though.

    As we talked, I knew what he was saying was true. He has treated me poorly, withheld affection, withheld intimacy and has been overly critical. He has made choices for our family that I did not agree with but he made them anyway. We are on our 4th move to a new city which has been a financial disaster. We literally have nothing, we invested everything into a business he now hates.

    Of course the flood gates opened during our conversation. I mostly agreed to everything he said about how I did deserve a better husband. I mentioned the events in the last few years that hurt the most. The one that stuck out the most, leaving me at the hospital while having surgery. He didn’t even wait until I went in to the prep-room, he left me in the waiting room. I came to alone and had to have a nurse call him to pick me up. We have never had a conversation like this and it seemed to bring up all the bad. He insisted the conversation was to get to a better place.I have kept so much bottled up about how he does treat me, I guess I am now resentful of it because he knew all along what he was doing and why. I feel like I lost a lot getting married, too. But I certainly don’t resent it, it happened, we did what we thought was right at the time. I feel I have put up with so, so much to keep our marriage and family intact.

    I am deeply hurt, I cry on and off all day. We try to talk and carry on a conversation but all I can think about is his resentment, I end up crying and I can’t seem to get past those words. He says he wants to make us work but I don’t know how or even where to begin. I feel he needs to make an effort. If he feels this way, he needs to start the mending.

    I am at a loss, I don’t even know where to begin. I feel emotionally drained. I know I need to take steps to save what we have. I am willing to do that. I just need help starting and getting past the way I feel today.

    • tpajevic July 17, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

      Boy, you’re in a tough spot and I really feel for you. I think you’re right–that if your husband says he really wants to work on your marriage, then he needs to take some initiative. Until then, you need to take care of yourself! And with everything you’ve mentioned, I would love to see you get some professional help — are there are local agencies that provide free counseling, or at least at a reduced rate? Start looking around and see if you can dig anything up. Reach out to friends, if you have to, ask your local pastor or maybe try a local university to see if they have reduced rates for therapists who are still in training.

      My concern is that (if I’m reading your email right) it sounds like you’re doing all the work–or at least you have in the past. This allows him to sit back and let you run everything. So one option might be to step back as much as you can and give him some space to try and work things out. That would be one place to start.

      If you are going to try this on your own, check out Sue Johnson’s book, Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love. But to be straight-up with you, please know that this is going to be work and will involve a lot of intense conversations between you and your husband.

      As for your feelings, I think you might have to just let them come up before you can move through them. I’m sure you’d like a better answer, but if you’ve been dealing with this kind of hurt for 16 years, there’s bound to be a lot there. This is why I’d recommend professional help if you can find anyway to do it–seems to me that what YOU need most right now is support. Support from friends, loved ones, a pastor or local leader, anyone/anything you can think of.

      Good luck, sister! We’re pulling for you —

  55. Hardino July 17, 2014 at 9:12 pm #

    UPDATE – wife and I have attended 1 counseling session together. Our fights have not been as bad. We do have days or moments where we are getting along great. We do have fun during those times. We still have a dark cloud that hangs over us. A week cannot go by without some type of argument. Don’t really know what the core issue is yet. I’m getting tired of this same stagnant relationship we have. She is an awesome person and I have a lot of fun with her on our good days. I’m not really sure where to go from here. I am beginning to hate our current relationship. I miss the times she used to sit in the middle seat of the car just to be next to me. When she used to make it a point to hold my hand. Miss her real smiles that she gave to me because she was happy. These little things make all the difference. Even if I did tell her these things and if she did do them, it’s not because she is happy. She would be just “trying to fix” a problem. I’m kind of lost now.

    • tpajevic July 18, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

      I’m sorry to hear it. A bunch of the books I’ve been reading lately talk about the importance of our perception, and I wonder if that’s part of what’s bringing you guys down. For example, there’s a great book by Howard Glasser on fixing things with your kids and it basically comes down to giving your kids attention for all the GOOD stuff they do instead of the bad. (I’m spacing the title right now, but if you’re interested, look on my Resources page and you’ll find it there.) The idea is that they’re acting out to get your attention (and energy) and since this is what’s always worked before, that’s why they’re doing it. So Glasser helps you retrain them (as well as yourself) but putting all that attn and energy into the good stuff they’re doing. (Even though the book is for helping you fix your relationship with your kids, I’ve found it’s helpful in any relationship.)

      Another book I’m currently reading (Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness and Sustaining Positive Change by Shawn Achor) talks about how much damage our negative interactions do–apparently we need to have at least 3 positive interactions to cancel out every 1 negative one. But in relationships, the ratio is 5:1. Meaning 5 positive things to cancel out every 1 crappy thing. Five! I tell you this b/c I’ve noticed in my own life that when I can really focus on the good stuff (however small it may be), things start getting better pretty quickly. But every time I’m in the hole (and only seeing all the mistakes and how hard everything is and how exhausted I am, etc.), then it becomes so hard to pull myself out of it. Long story short, my guess if that if you tried showering your wife with compliments and kindness and compassion and doing things like holding her hand or giving her a kiss, I’ll bet it would start coming back around to you.

      The last thing I’d like to say is to give yourself a break. Really! When I look back over all your comments here, I see how much work you’ve done and how far you’ve come. I know nothing’s perfect (no matter how much we want it to be),but you’ve done so much for yourself as well as your wife, and that’s SO important to honor. Remember to focus on how far you’ve come instead of how far there still is to go!

      Hang in there, friend. You can do it! Really.

  56. Momto3 July 19, 2014 at 6:00 am #

    Wow, I am glad I found this site to post on. Your comments are so helpful and positive. Like everyone else, I have my huge resentments. It’s been a bad 22 year marriage and we have both made our mistakes. Issues aside, We just are not a good match. Unfortunately, my husband is unable to process this. Don’t misunderstand me and assume that he has some undying love for me, as I’ll look back now I can see that was never true. He just does not like things out of order. Our communication issues are massive. I think to actually make a decision we require a translator. We currently have a 15 yr old daughter, a13 yr old daughter and a 10 yr old son at home. We have the traditional set up, he works a job he hates and feels trapped in for us and I take care of everything else. I have begged him to get a different job and offer to go back to work. He just snarls and mutters under his breath. He stays in his office at home and comes out to yell at everyone from time to time and then disappears back to his tv and video games. Our kids are all dyslexic to varying degrees and have some level of add or ADHD. My husband feels “cursed” and told me how this is not the family he wants and he is sorry we had children. I have tried to tell him that it will get better just be patient. My mother is dyslexic so he blames me and my genetics for ruining his children. Over the years, I have worked with the schools and tutors and doctors. Today, my 15 yr old is number 12 in her graduating class in HS (415), she is first chair flute in the band, plays year around soccer and High School soccer, is finishing her 2nd degree black belt on tae kwon do and is working on her good award in Girl Scouts. She has confidence and knows how to work hard. She get no accommodations at school and is in advanced classes. My 13 yr old is similar academically, travel sports, Silver Award in GS, chorus and visual arts and acting. My son is still coming through the tail end of the Orton Gillingham program. He is into scouts, science fairs, basketball, baseball and soccer. My husband really likes sports and tries to make the games but we have to split them up most of the time if he is able to participate with his work schedule. Yep, I did it all over the years, started the GS troops, kept the kids in church, confirmation, after he picked the church and then refused to go and decided he was agnostic, I went/go on all the camping trips, all the hikes while having to beg other families to take my other children with them to their other things. I made it all work. And yes, he paid for it all. I made sure we all thanked him for that. Has he ever acknowledged me or thanked me, not once – now he does talk to me all the time, to complain about how he needs more sex, the kids are costing him too much money, the kids don’t respect him enough, etc. over the years, I have tried to respond honestly to these complaints, but I have learned that is not his interest. He just wants it handled right now. He does not care what the cause is or what we need to work on. If he needs sex then, No matter who is sick or how many days I have been up. I had better slap on something sexy and take care of it in the next 30 minutes or there will be hell to pay. I have my area of the house and he has his. I take the kids on vacations without him. My daughters are not blind to the situation but they don’t want to be inconvenienced by a messy divorce and my husband doesn’t want to deal with one. I have tried to get him to go to counseling but he doesn’t believe in that. I started counseling about two years ago and started standing up to him for the first time. He went nuts and flew into a rage. It was pretty scary. Then he was assigned an out of town job and was on the road for about 10 months. He came in December. He is mr. Nice now. If you tell him something is wrong he pretends like he doesn’t hear you or just looks at you blank. Then he tries to cosy up to the kids. The. He tries to pretend we are some happy family. His latest rationalization is that i went to therapy because I couldn’t handle the kids’ learning disabilities. Really, no sweetie, I couldn’t handle being married to a narcissistic, verbally abused jackass, but when it was apparent I couldn’t communicate with him, I managed to suck it up for over 20 years. Be it right or wrong, I stayed for the kids. Will they ever know or be grateful, I doubt it. Resentment? If I have any more of it I could paper the walls of the house with it! I try to see it from his point of view and just try to keep the peace for now.

    • tpajevic July 19, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

      Sister, it sounds like you’ve had quite the time of it! Wow.
      I’m so glad to hear you’re going to counseling, though, and taking care of yourself. From everything you’ve said, it seems to me that that’s the most important thing you can do right now. I don’t know your husband, but it doesn’t sound like he’s interested in changing. Which means the only thing you can really change is yourself.

      But that’s good news–really! What jumps out at me from your letter is this feeling that you don’t have a choice in the matter, that you’ve resolved yourself to this shitty life no matter what. Why is that? You deserve happiness, too, you know. You can say NO to your husband more, and I hope your therapist is helping you figure out how to do this. Especially around the sex! That’s huge–and no wonder you’re feeling resentful if you’re having sex you don’t want to have. Take back your power, sister. Seriously! If things are this bad, maybe it’s time for a change. Maybe it’s time for you to expand your world a bit, look into jobs (which you can do, by the way–I know he’s your husband, but he’s not your boss), maybe getting out more, making more friends, etc. Do something just for you. You’ll find that as your courage grows, so will your belief in yourself. And that will ultimately change your life.

      As for staying married because of your kids, I have to challenge you on this one. I understand how much you love your children, but they’re your children–they’re not in charge of your destiny or your future–YOU are. Of course it would be a pain in the ass to get divorced and maybe your kids don’t want that, but that’s not the point. They don’t get to choose. Only you do. Until you stop giving away your power, nothing’s going to change.

      I don’t mean to be harsh, but I do want to shake you up a bit, to help your realize that there are all sorts of other possibilities out there than you’ve let yourself imagine. You’re only trapped if you allow yourself to be. It sounds to me like it’s time for you to invest in yourself. You can do this in all sorts of small ways. Teach your kids to cook dinner or pick up or do their laundry, so that you have a bit of extra time. Go out and meet a friend for a walk or a meal. Go for a walk by yourself. But if you can start breaking out of your shell/your current reality, all sorts of possibilities will start to appear. And I promise you, the happier you are, the happier your children will be. I promise.

      Good luck, friend!

    • Don Dressel July 20, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

      Please be patient with him it sounds like he is under a lot of stress. Everybody seems to have issues in their relationships now days. I have been through hell and back with my first wife cheating on me but I was young and not a very good husband. My second wife was a control freak and alienated me from my family and friends. She passed away from cancer and then I met my current wife who I have been totally faithful and now after 23 years she has told me she is unhappy and wants to stay away from home all the time. Sit down with your husband and tell him how you feel and maybe you can get him to respond. My wife will not even give me any time to talk about all this and wants me to leave her alone. Take care and I will say a prayer for you and your family.

  57. Don Dressel July 20, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

    I am so mad right now! I have been faithful to my wife in the 23 years we have been together and now she tells me she is not happy with me herself tired of our dogs and our house. The other day she took me out to lunch and then dropped me off and told me she had to go out by herself for awhile! I have been laid up with my back and on pain pills but told after I just got my epidural I would be able to do more. Just recently I have started working out again and wanting to do things more. We are both in our 50’s and retired and she goes swimming 3 times a week and never wants to come home afterwards. I know she has a girlfriend who is single and she likes to go out with her for coffee after swimming. She said I have been in outer space since I have been on these pills and she does not even know me anymore. I have been in extreme pain with my back and have been taking my dad to the doctors as he is slowly dying of heart issues. I told her thanks for being so supportive with what I am going through and her reply was I was always blaming someone else! What do I do now how do I handle all of this? My head is spinning right now!

    • tpajevic July 21, 2014 at 1:38 am #

      I”m so sorry to hear it. It’s hard enough to be told such a thing, but while to have to deal with that while your dad is dying must just be brutal.

      I don’t know your wife, but it sounds to me like there might be some deeper issues–there always are, my friend. Have you tried counseling? Or talking to a pastor or some other neutral person? It sounds like you’re both pretty hurt right now and it might help to have an objective observer/3rd party to help you out. But just in general, it sounds like there’s a deeper pattern here that started before your back problems/pain pills, and you’re going to need to get to the bottom of that if you’re going to be able to fix things between you and your wife. Also, that barb she tossed out (about you blaming others) makes me think that she’s got much more resentment (or at least longer-standing) than she’s letting on.

      It could also be that your wife is dealing with some mortality issues of her own. This one might be a stab in the dark, but I saw this often when my mother was dying–so many people who couldn’t deal/were too freaked out by death (not to mention the idea of their own death) and just drifted away.

      Whatever’s going on with your wife, it’s imperative that you take care of yourself first. Go see a counselor, if you can, and get some support. Figure out what you need to do for yourself so that you can heal. And do whatever it is you need to do for your father so you can spend as much time with him before he passes. This can be a deep, dark time but it can also be filled with so many gifts–

      Hang in there and good luck!

  58. Hardino August 1, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

    Food for thought — Wife and I returned from a counseling session last week and walked out with some information that seems to be worth it’s weight in gold. So I will share it! Vocalizing your feelings within the timeframe of the incident responsible for said feelings will eliminate unnessesary prolonged and increased confusion. Even though that last statement was my lamens terms it still sounds confusing, so I will explain a little. Women tend to do this more than men. Let’s say I hurt my wife’s feelings unknowingly by some sort of action or statement. My wife has now become confused wether or not I intended to hurt her feelings or if it was a misunderstanding. He has two few options here to handle this, but to keep this example simple I will say she has two options. Either take offense to what was said and not vocalize the hurt, which will build resentment for a short time until the matter is discussed. Option #2: Vocalize her feelings during or immediately after the incident. This will not only prevent confusion due to any response from me that clarifies my intentions and will usually involve some type of apology. It also prevents the wall of resentment from building up. This eliminates any guessing and confusion on both sides of the relationship, husband and wife. My wife is no longer trying to guess wether or not I am a “prick” and I no longer have to guess why she went from smiles to cold shoulder faster than justin beiber’s carreer. < – – – – joke. No offense to all you beliebers!! What happens is this… Usually my wife would try to avoid any argument by not vocalizing her feelings when she got hurt. Then a few days to a few weeks later she would begin to ask and confront the incident that hurt her. Now generally us guys know when you are not "FINE". So all this time I was under the impression that she was irritated with me which in turn makes me feel distant and unwanted. Not only that, but now I have to try and recall the incident and automatically feel the need to defend myself because men generally will not remember the incident because it was not emotional for me. Hence, a prolonged and unnessesary time of confusion and resentment. By vocalizing within the timeframe. It will most likely resolve immediately and ladies will get the "apology" they were looking for. 🙂 This is not limited to women only. Just giving an example if what would happen in my marriage. Counselor stated that women tend to hold onto the hurt far more than men, when it comes to confusion. Anyway. Hope this helps!

    • tpajevic August 2, 2014 at 7:48 pm #

      Yes, yes, YES! Thanks for sharing this, Hardino–it’s so true! And I’m so glad to hear this is helping you guys —

      Clear, open communication (saying what you want/need) is SO important in a relationship, and I think we often get into trouble when we don’t say what we want/need. But I’m so glad to hear you guys are on the right path–that’s great news!

      And glad to hear from you in general–I’ve been thinking about you guys since your last post and am glad to see some good news!

      Keep on keepin’ on!

  59. tpajevic August 2, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

    Hi folks,

    I’m amazed at how much interest this post has garnered in the two years since I wrote it. Seems there’s a shitload of resentment out there in our marriages, that’s for sure!

    In an effort to help us all out, I’m working on a short, to-the-point ebook on resentment. Sign up here or click on the blue link in the top right-hand corner of my home page if you’d like to be notified when it’s ready.

    Let’s do this!

    • Anthony Wright August 3, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

      My wife and I have been married for ten years. She has two kids from a former marriage. When I met her I thought she was the greatest person in the world. She listened to me she understood me. After six months of dating we decided we were going to marry. I was so happy. A year into the marriage I noticed that she was very bossy and controlling. I overlooked it because nobody is perfect. She became sick with cancer and I thought I was going to lose her. We had a six month old by this time. I really felt an intense sence of fear and didn’t know how to deal with it. I hated seeing her sick all the time and there was nothing I could do about it. The countless trips to the hospital were weighting heavy on me as I’m sure the we’re heavy on her too. We started having problems because she felt I wasn’t doing enough for her. Her daughter was a problem child who was always getting in trouble in school, stealing you name it. I felt I had taken on more than I can handle. My wife started saying things to me like ” Your not a man” Your not responsible” Your worthless” plus a whole lot of other things. I worked hard at trying to take care of her even though I missed the mark I did my best. It wasn’t good enough for her. She has told people that she covered for me and would say that I take good care of her but I don’t. She said I didn’t take care of her at all. This hurt me to my core. The name calling, the disrespect that she showed me made me very angry. Even though I loved this woman with all my heart, I was so angry at her which in turn made me disrespect her as well. In passive agressive ways I would get back at her by ignoring her, staying away from her. This stress made me angry at the world. When she would tell me that she loves me I don’t believe her. I mean if you love someone why would you call them the hurtful names. My resentment for her I carry around all the time like luggage. We have been to counseling, but to no avail. I love her but I just can’t seem to get pass the resentment. I have made mistakes to, but we just can’t let it go. I need to be released from this pain. I’m angry all time. What can I do? Please!

      • tpajevic August 4, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

        Anthony, that sounds really tough. And you’ve been to counseling, even, but that hasn’t helped. What did the counselor say, I wonder. It’s hard for me to figure out what’s going on behind all this stuff, but here’s what came to mind for me when I was reading your post:

        1. Anger often masks feelings of hurt, especially sadness. I wonder how much grief and sadness you’re carrying around underneath all that anger–hurt over the way your wife has treated you, hurt over her illness, hurt over your present situation. Try feeling into that and see what comes up–it might help you get a bit more understanding about your situation. If this is too scary, find your own therapist to help support you during this process.

        2. Is your wife OK now? Sometimes our buried feelings rise up intensely once the crisis has passed and we have more time/space/energy to handle them.

        3. Boy, this one’s tricky, but I’m just going to ask it. Do you really want to stay with this woman? Do you really want to be with someone who treats you so horribly? You have a choice, you know.

        Now, I’m no therapist, but from everything I’ve read, anger can also be a call to action. It often highlights parts of your life that aren’t working and/or need to be changed. Meaning, I can’t help but wonder if your anger is calling you to do something about your marriage–whether that’s leaving the marriage or telling your wife that her behavior is unacceptable, or whatever it is.

        But to do that, you’re going to need to get clear on what it is you really want and need. That information might not come quickly/easily, but it’s an important question to dig into. Once you find the answer, it’ll become much clearer to you as to what you need to do next.

        Good luck!

  60. Confused August 4, 2014 at 11:58 am #

    I’ve been reading the previous posts and have found them helpful in my current situation. I’ve been married for 6 years and been together with my husband for 10 years. At this current time, my husband has decided to separate from me due to a number of long standing issues in our marriage. I work a 9-7:30pm job wherein I am constantly stressed out and dealing with a boss that is at times a bully, who constantly screams, etc. My husband has always been a freelancer who does amazing and beautiful work in his field. I have never been a great communicator from childhood to now, and unfortunately that has more than harmed our marriage. One of the primary events in my life with my husband was when our dog was hit by a cab due to the fact that my husband decided not to take our dog out on a leash..that event just floored me. I never explained or discussed to my husband the kind of resentment I felt for him making the choice to take him out without a leash on and at that time my husband was probably high…I never wanted to make him feel guiltier than I knew he already felt; however, that event completely turned this marriage around. I felt no desire to have any physical activity with him, not only due to the resentment, but also because at that point, physically I was not happy with my own body and my self esteem, which was never great in the first place just became non-existent in the sense of our sex life. One of the last times we had sex was probably when I got pregnant with our daughter, 4 yrs, almost 5 yrs ago. Not only did my issues with my self esteem affect our marriage but I always felt the need to take care of my husband. Since he never had a full time job, I always felt like I needed to do well and focus on that portion of my life so that we could have a family, a house, etc. I also always wanted to give my husband the freedom to do what he loved to do, to go and pursue his dreams instead of working a thankless job like I had. Eventually, my husband decided to go to a psychiatrist to try to improve our marriage and he ended up abusing the drugs prescribed to him and landed himself in rehab a little over a year ago. He came back into this house which we own with my family (another source of conflict with my husband) and he says he has continued to try to fix our marriage and I haven’t done anything to (1) change my job- find a job I love and (2) fix my self esteem issues. Throughout our marriage, I have always felt my priority was to provide for my family financially and to protect my husband. I felt like that was enough to show how much I loved him, and frankly, after our daughter was born, I was exhausted coming home from work and my daughter would instantly want all my attention when I came home. Another issue is that she has been sleeping with me on our bed for 4 years while my husband has slept on the couch. My husband and I are now at the point where he says his feelings have changed and he doesnt know what to do right now, but to keep himself protected, he has decided to leave. He no longer wants to put himself in a situation where he could be harmed more. He constantly says he tried supporting me emotionally by telling me how beautiful I am, etc and to tell me that I should find a job I love, but I know my self esteem issues are going nowhere unless I choose to resolve them. As for the job, I never felt comfortable and have been probably scared to look for another job since the economy has not been so great the last few years. I never wanted to be in a place where I didnt know if I could pay for the basics next month, etc; meanwhile, my husband has no issue with that..he says we could have made do. I don’t know what to do right now…..I’ve been actively trying to take care of myself by going to the gym 3-4 times a week and have started sessions with a therapist; but I’m more than scared about this separation…my husband says I am ruled by fear, which is possible, but I am at a loss at what to do now that I have been so negligent in our marriage. He is living in our apartment now for the sake of our child and because he doesnt have the finances to rent a space for himself right now. It’s been quite difficult since he doesnt want to speak to me or have a normal conversation, he wont let me hug him and finds my physical attentiveness to be annoying now since he says I never bothered when we were married (which i dont find to be completely accurate). I dont know what to do at this point..I’d like to win him back.

    • tpajevic August 4, 2014 at 8:33 pm #

      Dear Confused,

      Boy. You guys have a lot going on here, and I’m so glad to hear you’re taking care of yourself by exercising and going to see a therapist. That’s huge, so so important regardless of what happens in your marriage. Is therapy helping you at all? And have you guys ever tried to see a therapist together? There seem to be so many communication issues between you and your husband that I can’t help but wonder if that would help you begin to bridge the gap.

      But before you can do that, you might want to try getting clearer on what you want. Do you want to make this marriage work? Really? If so, I would share that with your husband–tell him that you’ll do whatever it takes to get your marriage back on track. And then do it. This kind of decisive action can work miracles–but only if you’re serious about following through.

      What concerns me is that I’m not entirely sure you are. At least if I’m reading your post correctly. Yes, it seems like there are a lot of past issues weighing things down, but that only goes so far. At some point, you need to decide what you want for yourself and your future. Do you really want to stay married to this man (and try hard to work things out), or do you want to stay married because you’re afraid of being on your own? Do you really love him? If so, let that guide you. But don’t keep punishing him for things that have happened in the past–that’s not helping either one of you and will solve nothing.

      Now, I don’t know exactly what your living situation is, but my guess (and it’s just a guess, I could be way off here) is that some of this stuff is old family patterns you’ve had a hard time breaking. If that’s the case, I’m concerned that you’re living with your family, because that might be exacerbating the situation. We all act like we’re kids again when we’re around our parents (most of us, anyway), and that could be a big part of what’s keeping you trapped. If you decide to try and recommit to your marriage, I’d love to encourage you guys to move into your own space, however small/inexpensive that might be. It might just give you enough space/distance to try and start over.

      And if you guys are going to make you, you might just have to start over. That’s OK–in fact, it can actually be a giant gift. Both you and your husband would have the chance to clear the air and start over from scratch, building a relationship that works for you both. Not the relationship that you think you should have, but one you both actually want.

      Good luck, friend. This kind of stuff ain’t easy, but the payoff can be incredible.

      Two last things: if you decide you want to give it a go, but you’re still having a hard time communicating, show your husband this post and tell him you wrote it. (Sure you can. Just breathe.)

      And on the last note, let me leave you with a phrase I’ve got taped to my wall–it helps me out every single time I’m stuck/feeling sorry for myself: “See your situation as an opportunity, not an obstacle.”

      You can do it! Good luck —

      • Confused August 5, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

        Thanks so much for your reply. Actually my husband and I have been to marriage counseling (tried two separate therapists), but each time we went we were limited by our finances. It was always a choice of paying for childcare or marriage counseling. My husband is so hurt right now and keeps saying he has tried for years to fix this relationship and has harmed himself in the process. He is basically angry at himself for making certain decisions which kept him in this situation. I don’t even know what to say except to apologize profusely for the fact that I didnt spend enough time focusing on our marriage. I spent my time focusing on things like financial security for our household and there were many times between when I had to deal with other issues like my husband falling into rehab and I even stopped talking to my own siblings because I felt like it was easier for him (he doesnt have a good relationship with them). I’m not living with my family however my sister does live in the same building as us…another point of anxiety and resentment is our house. Typing all of these issues out, it seems like such a mountain of issues to work through.

  61. Luke August 5, 2014 at 6:11 pm #

    Can you help me? I’ve been thinking about forgiveness and praying a lot for it for myself, but one of my biggest fears and in fact one that probably gave me the biggest excuse to justify throwing our relationship in the toilet, was that I would do something where you could just turn me off without finding or wanting to find any level of forgiveness in your heart. My perception of your father has lead me to some of those fears and it has come up on multiple occasions to some degree or another. I’m dedicating a part of me to forgiving your father in my heart. I feel there is festered resentment that has slowly poisoned me over the years and this past Christmas was my tipping point. At a time when I wanted a parent to say “there is obviously something wrong between the two of you, you need to work it out for the sake of your kids your marriage and your love for each other and we are here to help you in whatever power we can” I instead heard “there is obviously something wrong between the two of you, if you don’t work it out you are done, and done means done and that will destroy you break you apart and the kids deserve better and my daughter deserves better.” So that second phrasing is a context I have a very hard time operating under. For some people they would hear those the same way, some may hear the second as oh shit, let’s get our act together and someone like me heard it as, you have no forgiveness in your heart and I can’t work with that so I won’t. I tested that with you and I as I am writing this I am not currently forgiven and very justifiably so, but in my heart of hearts and deep in my deepest fears I am so very scared that there might not ever be a level of forgiveness in your heart for me. I think the toxicity would really hurt our kids and us deeply enough things won’t be as snotty as we may have ever hoped.
    So to explain this further, I would like to pose some questions. I think there is a distinction between functional forgiveness that allows us to raise our children together in the best possible way under the circumstances of divorce, and true forgiveness that is a level of forgiveness that allows us to reunite our hearts and grow in Love. So for my sake, can you think about that distinction and see if that exists in your perception of the world and how you arrived at that distinction. Secondly, if it does exist, what would it take in your heart of hearts to forgive me enough to have a peaceful amicable divorce and what would you need to do for this to be so and what can I do in preparation for this divorce process. Finally, what would it take in your heart of hearts to start forgiving me enough to let me back in to your heart so that we can grow in Love again and what would you need to do for this to be possible because I have already begun to do my very best to do everything possible I can do to make it possible. I believe in true love, I believe in you and our girls and I believe in myself. I’m sorry I had to lose everything to see it, but I will do everything in my power to regain it. I wish I could have had more of this discussion years ago, the first time I hurt you, before our children but I’m willing to now if and when you are ready to have it in our home or in counseling.

    • tpajevic August 5, 2014 at 11:19 pm #

      Luke, is this an open letter to your wife?
      We’re pulling for you!

  62. Craig August 19, 2014 at 8:34 am #

    My wife told me a number of years ago that she reasents me. It’s a long story as to what I believe are the reasons for her resentment and our respective perspectives seem trivial compared to some of what I’ve read here. But I must admit that the things that make me want to end the marriage are her overtly inconsiderate actions (out of spite), automatic attacts in response to simple requests, unreliability, etc. These things seem constant and her recent actions have demonstrated that things will not change. I’ve just decided to take it because I’ve discovered that staying is easier than leaving — for now. I do plan to leave when our two kids (close in age) finish high school. It’s a 5-year plan and she can have her half of everything. I just hope there is enough of me left at that point to be and live happily.

    • tpajevic August 19, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

      Boy, it doesn’t sound like you OR your wife are happy. Have you tried discussing this stuff? Seeing a counselor/therapist? Five years is a loooong time to wait to start your new life, and I can’t help but feel that ALL of you are suffering (yes, even your children). And please remember that your children are watching and learning from you — meaning that by suffering in silence, you’re also teaching them to suffer in silence once they’re adults/in their own relationships. Is that really what you want to pass on to your kids?

  63. mala August 21, 2014 at 9:30 pm #

    Ive been married for just over 1 year and am 27. my husband and i met at university and dated for 7.5 years before we got married when i was 26. we were more like best friends. i initially was against the idea of getting married at 26 as i felt it was too young and i wanted to focus on my career – but eventually his charming ways got to me and i agreed. culturally it was expected that i move in with his parents and sister immediately. we had discussed moving in with his folks prior to marriage and he had stressed how important it was to him – so i said i would try and keep an open mind and see how it went. i was open to the idea of it working – as financially it would make a lot of sense to stay together as well as making him happy. i moved in. i was expected to fulfil my daughter in law duties, cook when i get home, wash up, washing up, house chores. noone really ever said anything to me to do it – but i could feel the weight of the expectation on my shoulders to do it. whats worse it that i found my MIL cooks everything from scratch – so thats a tonne of washing up morning, noon (when im not at work) and night every night. whats worse is that his sister who is only 18m my junior wouldnt help out at all if i was there -and basically i would have to clean up after her. his parents used to tell me ‘we will treat you like our daughter’ but i never felt this. on top of this in order to meet my career goals – i had to commute 4 hours (round trip) daily to be in a career which was in line with my career progression (i dont want to go into details but this was the closest place i could work for such a specific role) – i interviewed for the training post i had been aspiring to get into for the last 3 years and got a place in newcastle – far from his hometown. we thought and thought about it – in the end i realised that my career goals were holding him and us back financially and so i decided to leave a role i had worked 3 y to obtain (and whilst scoring incredibly highly nationally to obtain the post) – i talked it through with his parents as openly as i could and in the end i felt they all wanted me to give up working so hard. so i did. i rejected the job offer – and yes now i feel resentment. i dont necesserily feel resentment because i rejected the offer -as in truth part of it was my decision and was because i was fed up of studying and wanted to enjoy my life. part of the reason i decided in the end to get married to him is because i wanted to enjoy the early years of our marriage without the pressure of kids looming- i feel resentment because i am so academically bright – and here i am now unemployed, no motivation to look for work more locally, living like his parents (routine, boring, stable aged 50-60y lifestyle) – cooking and cleaning and mopping floors – i feel like im broken. i feel like im not me anymore like my wings have been clipped and all i have been left with is no future, no prospects, everything ive achieved to date has been for nothing, and i dont want the embarasmnet of saying i was in my late 20s and got divorced. i tell my husband – i am very honest, i wear my heart on my sleeve – and its like he is emotionally numb. he’ll listen, empathise but has no clue really as to how he can help fix things – i.e. he wont think of his own accord – right youve told me how deeply unhappy you are living at home so lets move out asap. its like he has no clue/ life planning. me doing my career was at least part of my life plan. i i felt like i did have a life plan and now ive left it in his hands its all gone down the drain. it constantly feels like were on a different page each and every day of our relationship. i honestly hate my life since ive been married – its been compromsie after compromise and i just cant stand being around him anymore – i feel like his is incredibly stupid and i am even more stupid for trusting him with the 2 biggest decisions in my life – marriage and career. i resent him and all of his family because i rejected this job, gave up a life with my parents where i was independent and had my freedom in exchange for being unemployed and feeling guilty constantly about not being the daughter /sister in law and wife that is expected of me. its sad because i cant even bring myself to smile around him or any of his family including extended. i just want to sleep in a different room but i cant because we live together and ‘what will everyone say.’ hes finally told his parents that we want to move out, i wasnt there but i honestly do feel like hes played the victim with them and said its for his marriage ie. im the reason hes moving out. im scared and dont know if i should continue in this marriage because if he is just a mothers boy and cant bear to ever stand up to them and take accountability for his life choices i dont want to find it out too late again ie when we have kids. idd rather leave now and salvage my life /career as quickly as possible. the worst thing is i think all this change for me has left me in a state of depression. i honestly will intentionally touch a plug socket with wet hands/ hope a car crashes in to me/ hope i just drop dead one day because im so fed up and tired of hurting all the time.
    mala recently posted..By Mourning Robin Williams, We Also Mourn Our Own Losses My Profile

    • tpajevic August 23, 2014 at 3:59 pm #


      Oh my goodness, friend, I feel for you! What a trial you’ve been through over there — I don’t know what culture you’re from and what the particular cultural expectations are that you’re dealing with, but they sound HEAVY and I get from your email that they’re choking you and taking away your lifeblood.

      OK, where to start? Where are your parents? Seems to me you need a reality check and to get away from your in-laws/their expectations as much as you can right now. Can you go visit your parents? Reach out to friends? Spend as little time at home as you can?
      For some reason Anita Moorjani’s book, Dying to Be Me, jumps to mind and I think it might be helpful for you to read b/c it shows another independent woman who struggled with cultural expectations (and nearly died from them) before she was able to free herself and live the life she was meant to live.

      What scares me about your email is that it sounds like you’re already putting yourself in danger and right now could probably use some professional help (or just help getting out of this house!). Which is why I think it would be helpful for you to go back and stay with your folks for a few weeks to get a break and some perspective. Or see a therapist, or reach out to similarly-minded friends. Whatever you do/choose, be sure you do it for YOU and don’t give in to the expectations.

      I know this isn’t easy–I was also raised in another culture (Serbian) with deep expectations–many of which I’ve had to buck to get this far and stay true to myself. Like you, I was lucky to have parents (a mother) who encouraged my independence, but even then I had to go against many cultural expectations… and that’s not easy at any age. But to hear you struggle so much at such a young age is just too much. You need to find a way to live your own life, whether that’s moving out with your husband or putting your time/energy back into your career or whatever it is.

      Please give yourself the time and space to figure this out–I promise you won’t regret it!

      P.S.I know you can do it!

    • Hardino August 26, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

      Sounds like the culture you were raised up in and are still living in is not “you” and though you may respect the culture it does not mean you have to limit yourself, or in your case, do every chore around the house and not pursue your own happiness. I highly doubt your idea of marriage is miserable like this. What I have learned about relationships is that there are no 2 relationships that are the same. What might work for one marriage won’t work for another. So your only decisions that should be made about your marriage is between you and your spouse. Explain that to him. While outside advise is helpful it isn’t a law to obey. Parents and siblings will never fully agree with all of your decisions in life. So don’t go around with the new for approval from anyone. Just yourself. I think your marriage is still good. Just the communication and a change of some cultural differences need to be addressed. Again between you and your spouse only. An example of what I am referring to is most marriage couples agree that you should not be friends with someone of the opposite sex. Due to many opportunities to cheat or developing strong emotional relations that could hinder your own marriage. My wife and I are not that way. Though I am “anti-social” in her eyes I don’t mind if she has guy friends. It is out own agreement. It’s definitly not normal and she even expressed concern because of how her parents raised her. But again it’s OUR marriage. So if you say you are honest with him. Then tell him honestly about what you just posted here and tell him that you need a response. Not for him to go ask his parents but his own response. Sounds like you are a very energetic and smart person. I am sure you will figure this out. But do not throw it all away and become unhappy. The world needs people like you to look up too!! Good luck!

  64. Hardino August 31, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

    *Update* 6 months and 5 counseling sessions since I first posted on this site. Our marriage is back on track. I first came to this site in desperation and had lost all hope within my marriage. This was one of our most difficult times and longest Iight add. Nearly 3 years of troubles. This last 6 weeks of our marriage has been solid, passionate and loving. I no longer wonder if there is hope, no longer wonder if my wife would become ex-wife, no longer wonder what would happen with our children. It is a huge relief to know that my wife loves me and is in love with me once again. That we have a spark again. I can come home at the end of a long day of work and be greeted with a hug and a caring voice. I can finally rest with ease at night. No longer fighting sleep or lack of, due to long nights of confusion and hurt. I no longer wonder if my wife is going to leave or if she is unhappy. Simple knew tools that were given to us help us communicate easier and more fair. I would like to thank all of you for sharing and commenting. Your thoughts and expressions and ideas helped me get on the right path and the right mentality / attitude that I needed to pull through. TPajevic, your a great person with a good heart. I hope to continue posting here for the years to come. Stuff I have learned, experiences and advice or sympathy. – – -,-‘-,-{€

    • tpajevic September 1, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

      Hardino, That’s fantastic news! I’m SO happy for you guys — that’s just so awesome! At some point down the road, I’d love to hear what’s been most helpful, or if there are one or two things that have helped you guys the most.

      In the meantime, thanks so much for checking back in and letting us know your progress–and thanks also for your kind words about me and this blog–it made my day 🙂 The truth is, you’ve also helped so many people over here — talk about being a good person with a good heart! You’ve been an incredible help yourself and I’m so thankful to have met you through this blog! You rock.


  65. Depressed September 9, 2014 at 1:24 am #

    this is a very very long paragraph that explains what i am going threw rite now and I am sorry that I am putting you through this torture haha. I am 23 years old have been married for 3 years will be going on 4 years this december. Me and my hubby have a lot of history together. I was attending a private university in 2010 I was 19 at the time. I started meeting his family when we dated and they all seemed humble good-hearted people. My husband is 10 years older than me so what attracted me to him was his caring and firmness in life he shared with me his dreams of having children and a house together. I trusted him back then that we could have this together no matter the age difference. I was head over heals for this man that I gave up my full ride scholarship private university to which i only had 1 1/2 years left to get my bachelors degree but at the time i did not care i wanted to be with this man because in my head he was the one i felt safe and secure with and i truthfully felt love for him I oversaw the fact that he lived with his parents still at age 30 not only that his brother and his wife and three kids lived all under one roof!. I felt bad leaving school to marry him but i saw the long run which was having kids together and that “I could always go back to school but being with the love of my life is once in a life time” Now before we got married my boyfriend was very very jealous he would accuse me falsely of cheating and would always make me cry because he would analyze the way i looked when I would get off my car to meet him for a date and yet while he was accusing me falsely he was having drinks with other female friends of him ad when I would confront him he would say “they’re just friends we wee just drinking at night nothing happened she offered me sex but nothing happened”. My parents did not approve of our relationship they until this day don’t like him. I have built up so many insecurities within my self since we dated until now. I became jealous throughout our marriage. The beginning of our marriage was kinda rocky i moved in with his whole family an they treated me very good at the beginning. My husband would still be jealous it was not until half a year later that he stopped instigating everything that I did. I started working the 2nd month of our marriage because his family believed we should both work, now here’s the thing we were paying rent and bills for almost 2 years straight his brother and sister in law were not but their mentally is that we were helping them out until they got on their feet. The house was already stressful as it is we would hardly have our privacy let alone there was a time when i got into a HUGE argument with his parents (my parents needed help co-signing a car and hell broke loose with my husband and his parents when i made a simple comment of ‘possibly cosigning for my parents) and i was miserable so miserable that i attempted to commit against my own life! eventually after our 2nd year anniversary the stress his brother and sissy in law not getting their financial situation better and his parents making and dictating our marriage and on top of that he got custody of his 12 year old daughter who never got a father daughter relationship with his dad so me and my husband were new to her. (note aside the reason my husband and his daughter never established a relationship was also due to his parents idea that if he would have been responsible from the start it would affect the house that until this day they are not done paying the house that was suppose to be paided 2 YEARS AGO) i BROKE i left after 2 years of beeing married to him and not because i wanted to what pushed me was when i would tell my husband “lets move out i am miserable!” and all he would say is “IF YOU DONT LIKE IT YOU CAN LEAVE” i GOT tired of those words over and over i thought he was going to protect me and our marriage and satnd by eachothers side no matter what. Not only that the day i decide i had enough was when he called me “USELESS” when i told him i was done he said i had 30 seconds to get out of the house which i called my uncles and they picked me up and it was tough to leave i felt bad because i wanted to be a good role model for his daughter but me feeling miserable and alone was not worth me staying for her cuz my negativity would have pushed her against her already bad perception of her father. I filled for divorce 3 weeks later and after i filled for divorce my husband went looking for me to work things out His apology and asking for forgiveness won me over and i could not stand seeing him shattered cuz i too felt shattered inside my family didn’t want me to go back with him but he was willing to move out for me and to save us. So here goes this chick moving out with him not even 2 months of being apart i felt happy again that we were gonna be a family yes me his daughter too i welcomed her into out 2 bedroom condo that we were renting for a whole year. Now we had ups and downs he would constantly emotionally abuse me with words i choose not to repeat. He felt because of me he lost what he was investing in the house with his parents and to top it off he kept his kid at his parents house so everyday he would go visit her but would spend time telling his parents everything every issue we had! I felt betrayed every time he would come home saying “my dad says you’re a bad woman, how come you cant’ be like my mom” Eventually the lease was up and he used the rent going up as an excuse to call it outs he wanted to leave the next day after he saw the rent go up 20 bucks really 20 bucks and I was paying the rent not him! it made me sad and I went ahead and put in the 30 days notice i never kicked him out and not even a week and he got his stuff and left the condo. He blamed it on me saying i didn’t want to make it work last minute when he offered to make it work but I simply thought why is this man was only intimate with me when he wanted to be but never when i wanted to be with him. He would use his mom against me in every aspect and if i was tired he would say i didnt show that i loved him that his mom would make his coffee even if it was 5 am in the morning, Now i know i am not perfect but i communicated to him when i was tired but he would use his old school lectures on me half of the time i feel like hes just lecturing me on how to be a good woman instead of appreciate that atleast he has a wife and is married. Well when he left the condo i went looking for him offering him to come back and that i could retreat the notice he said NO that if i wanted to make our marriage work that i would have to move in with him again into his parents home. Well here goes me again i felt love for him above all the hurtful words he told me all the fights all the put downs i decided to move in again which he told me before moving in “i promise if it gets tougher this time we will move out i just want you to be my wife and to be happy” welll 5 months later we are still at his parents he STILL tells his parents everything even talks crap about me when im in the room he still puts me down he ofetn tells me “yOUr negativity weighs me own if you weren’t here i wouldnt have to put up with this, I could be playing handball with the boys, use my mom as an example of how to be a great woman” I literally feel useless rite now one day hes caring and the next im like the worst woman ever and im holding him back with my negativity, He has never set boundaries with his parents im always “wrong” and dramatic I always here the constant “if you not happy then its n you im not gonna change im sorry this is the way i am adapt to the situation” If we were totally disconnected from his parents and family i think our marriage can work but rite now i am majorly depressed on top of that my own parents are going through a divorce I have no where and no one to lean on everywhere i look theres stress and tension. I dont wanna leave am scared of beeing on my own but i know god will give me stregth i just feel powerless rite now, The other thing is my hubby’s dad is really sick and i cant force him to move out and everytime i tell him how i feel he tells me “I have a choice I can leave” I dont wanna give up on us but my only option is to give us time to both change cuz i am not easy to live with either i am human and all i want is for me n my hubby and step daughter to have our space but every time i bring it up we end up arguing and i get emotionally abused by the man i thought would never dare hurt me. I am so confused i know i can eave but i have the dumb hope that he would one day leave and cleave onto me. I know i am young but i have tried a lot of times to adapt to him and his family i know other girls would have left him along time ago hes so hard headed and stubborn but he is also a hard worker and is inclined to god which he ends up using against me all the time. I am close to finding a room to rent on my own but i feel selfish looking for my peace and tranquility i worry of failing of losing my job my friends my family i feel like moving out on my own is bad and my husband pushing me away does not make it better my parents separating does not make it better i have the fear of god that’s why i have not attempted against my life again but i feel depressed i don’t know when my husband will finally change when we will both change together i feel ive tried enough for him i moved back in after a horrible experience with his parents and still i see n progress i need advice asap im going to loose it.

    • tpajevic September 9, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

      Good god, depressed! Your husband (as well as his entire family) sound abusive as hell and after reading this, no wonder you’re feeling so awful! Get the hell out of that house and get yourself some support–and then get some therapy so you don’t end up in a similar relationship with another guy down the line!

      It sounds like you have your head on straight and if you’ve already been through this cycle this many times, I think you know (in your heart of hearts) that nothing’s going to change. I know you want it to, and that’s where therapy can help. But nothing’s going to change until you start taking care of yourself!

      Good luck, sister!

      (and PS: move back in with your parents, if you have to–I’m sure they’d be happy to help you get back on track. Or reach out to some friends, but do whatever you need to do get some support/help and get yourself around some people who can remind you of what an awesome, incredible person you really are!)

      • depressed September 9, 2014 at 8:02 pm #

        update*** Thank you for your advise yes i know in my heart that i have not had good experiences in this living situation my husband has me in and I do know i want to make it work but their cultural beliefs of how a woman should be are what make my husband and his family break out like this. They quote the bible a lot and my husband uses the bible in his favor sometimes which is what i cannot digest I know what my responsibilities as a woman are I know I need to care for my husband but he is old school where the wife attends all the responsibilities and because his mom does all of this and more he uses her as an example to follow I know my husband has good intentions and i know he means no harm but like i said his words and his actions towards me show me the contrary he says i don’t believe in him and thats why i always feel guilty the second I decide to leave He makes me doubt myself that maybe I am the bad one maybe I dont believe in him but I have left my family for him sooo many times. and i know this is probably not a good idea but i have been communicating to him that I want to have kids with him and I even got off the pill for half a year already and we are hardly intimate we hardly have that affection that we use to have and lack of privacy makes it even harder. I also feel bad and i don’t want him to resent me because his dad is currently sick and requires care but lately thats all my husband focuses on is his family I help him out by taking his daughter to school i make sure his lunch and coffee are done cuz hell breaks loose if i don’t his parents are just watching us if i feed their son or not in their mind a woman that does not cook for her husband is not good for anything. My husband works alot and he work very hard his job requires a lot of physical work i understand and feel for him but it gets pretty old when i want us to have a lil time to ourselves and his excuse is always “tired” i get that hes tired i get it I work 40 hrs a week too and i still go home and have to attend my woman duties and check up on my step daughter and still deal with other family members in the household. my nephew and nieces do bring joy to me but marriage wise i feel alone i feel like i only have my husband when everyone goes to bed and then he pays attention to me And I tried communicating this to him yesterday about how i have resentment and don’t want this to affect our marriage. his response was “bring me something positive i don’t want to hear negativity this does not help me” I told him “but this helps me i don’t mean to bring negativity i am asking you to just listen i feel depressed i can’t take it anymore with my parents marriage breaking and now the stress ours is suffering” and he replied “I already know how you feel but I made a choice to finish paying off this house and i need to pull through my belief you have a choice too if you don’t believe in me i can’t force you” I just kept everything else in wanting for him to listen to me but i gave up and gave him a hug and then we proceeded with the rest of the afternoon. I feel like the more i give in and adapt to him the more i loose myself little by little I feel like i am settling but feel guilty at the same time because he says that’s his choice and the best he can offer me he tells me to try out the street that life and the street will have no mercy on me so all i do is think think think maybe he’s rite. We are taking a week off vacation end of September and instead of addressing our issues he wants me not to argue with him until our vacation because we both deserve it. I told him i felt like he was putting me on hold i know myself i know i won’t stay quite while he comes home and just watches TV and checks up on his parents and then we go to bed and the next day the same o thing. i asked him how he would feel if i put him on hold and he said he wouldn’t mind im tired of arguing with him i love him i still do but i feel like we both need time off at least i do to get help and support and i told him he should get help and change too because i apparently i am a pressure to him and ungrateful. The saddest thing is he told me even when his parents pass away he will still be the same way and what will i be nagging about next? I go to church every Sunday and i have learned to forgive the differences between his parents and me and i realize they do have something to do with our issues but the majority lies in my husband not leaving and cleaving onto his marriage I have done it and it’s painful but my parents and siblings know my love for them does not change. he doesn’t know how to set boundaries with his parents because he “respects them”. I always feel like its his family and then me and his daughter what should be his external family he always treats as internal and if i speak my mind about it he says im judging him wrong and that i will feel sorry when he dies for it and that i have a choice that i am young and have no kids no responsibilities that i can go and leave on my own and that see if the street has any compassion for me. He complains to his dad that the only reason he is working hard and saving is because of me because if i would tell him “lets live here with your family and not buy a house” that he would be the happiest man ever. I felt guilty and shattered because all these months he was telling me how he is saving for a house ( I am saving too but i help out with what i can around the house too) for both of us because he wanted his own home. And now it turns out because of ME he is working harder I thought we were on the same page that we BOTH wanted that. Now i don’t even bother dreaming of a home and kids? How can I have a child if my husband is too tired for me or for us to even try and conceive. And when he vents with his parents they tell him that i am a pressure and that he needs to let me go cuz the woman needs to adapt to then man not the other way around. I tell him my believe that marriage takes compromise and us ONLY to choose the way we run our marriage and since he hears of other men running their marriage “my way or the high way” and he says the same to me. I just frustrated by now im trying to push forward to whatever happens and pray to god but sometimes i feel it is best we took time off so he and I could truly change for the better. Thank you so much for your advice

        • Hardino September 10, 2014 at 4:39 am #

          Hello, I am very sorry to hear of your situation. You have endured way way way too much. I have to hand it to you for commitment. I want to help clarify some things with you first. As Tpajevic already stated, you have a head on your shoulders. So once son clarity comes into play, I think you already know what to do here. FIRST… A mans love language is Respect. Period. Nothing else. Yes compassion and romance are things guys lean to master to please the woman. However, respect is the bottom line, hands down, root of what all men consider to be love. From what I have read from your post is their is only respect towards you whenever he realizes that he is going to be miserable without you. It sounds like he was never taught how to properly treat and respect a woman, hence… His mother is “perfect” He learned this from his parents. Unfortunately since he is in his late 30’s by now, I very much doubt he will change. So when he says, “I am who I am and you need to adapt” … He is actually telling the truth. This man does not respect you. Evidence is the constant abusive language and emotions. Especially in front of others. He literally has 0 respect for you. I am so so sorry. He will never know what he is missing out on. Fact is that most men would adore someone like you. Fully committed and caring. SECOND… If at any point you feel like you want to end your life on the accounts of your relationship status. That is probably the biggest evidence that could possibly be given to you that your relationship is dragging you down and literally “killing” you. You need to immediately cut yourself out of that picture and go to your parents. Go there long enough to get emotionally grounded again. You owe him and his child and his parents nothing. It is your life and you only get one. Since you spoke of God in your statements then you know darn well that God does not permit any man to treat women like that. Using the bible as the reasons for his actions clearly tells me that he is so bass ackwards he doesn’t know the difference between good and bad. Please do yourself a favor and just take some time to yourself and seperate from that while situation for at least 6 months and while seperate do see a counselor. Make it a point to have no contact with that situation during that time. I truly wish you the best and will continue to watch for your posts. Good luck!

          • tpajevic September 10, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

            Wow, Hardino! I love what you said here and I fully, fully agree! Depressed, you only get one life–he’s so right about that, so please think long and hard before you go back to this man. I also agree with what he said about God–God, above all else, is LOVE, and this is not the way we treat someone we love.

            I think you need some time and space (and distance!) so you can get a little perspective and really see what’s going on here. But trust yourself here, friend — if you’re this miserable, this depressed, even suicidal, that’s a CLEAR sign that things aren’t right and something needs to change. Let your husband figure out his own life–it’s time for you to take care of yours!

            P.S.: I’ll bet you that in another year or two, you’re going to look back on this and see it as a pivotal point in your life. There’s a fantastic partner out there for you, I promise you that, but this guy is not it. Good luck!

  66. Anon123 September 10, 2014 at 12:52 am #

    I’m stuck on #1. I will sit down and tell him that I need help, and he say “Okay, just ask when you need help” – knowing that these are things I need help with LONG TERM, not in the moment. So I’ll make a list of things I need help with, and he’ll say “I’ll start doing that when you start earning half as much money as I do.”

    I will tell him that I need a day a week out alone, and he’ll say “Go, I’m not stopping you!” but he won’t help me put any money aside for it, he won’t take care of the kids so I can do it etc. I’ll plan to do something alone, then I’ll end up having to take the kids with me (or just not being able to do it, if it’s an adult-only thing).

    And he knows that since things can’t just be left undone, I’ll do it eventually if he resists long enough. The kids have to eat, so I’ll eventually make dinner. The clothes have to be washed, so I’ll eventually wash them. How can I negotiate when I have no leverage? I’ve already done #4, so he doesn’t even have the idea that he has to treat me decently to keep me.

    • Hardino September 10, 2014 at 4:52 am #

      I wouldn’t say that having leverage is the thing you need to aim for. It’s more of comprimising and supporting. Since you already made the #4 decision (that’s awesome by the way!) then you may need to do an extreme version to grab his attention. Remember that you doing this out of love though, not any o the negetive feelings. Best of luck!

    • tpajevic September 10, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

      Anon123, Good for you for deciding you’re in and working on all this! That’s huge and I don’t want to downplay the importance of that decision. As far as what’s going on now, it’s a well-known secret that when we start changing, we often get some push-back from our spouse. Sometimes, they start to feel uncomfortable with the new status quo and then go out of their way (unconsciously) to sabotage our efforts to change. This is a way to kind of test whether or not you mean it–a way of seeing if you’ll give in and go back to how things were. As much as this sucks, it’s just part of the process. (For more on this, read Harriet Lerner’s awesome book, The Dance of Anger.) Anyway, here’s what you do: remain committed to the process, and just take your husband out of the equation. Stop asking him for help and stop relying on him, and hopefully, once he sees how committed you are to this change, he’ll start coming along.

      Easier said than done, right? OK, here’s an example: when you do laundry, do the bare essentials–yours and the kids. Stop doing his. (I don’t mean this in a mean-spirited way, either–it’s just to show him you’re serious.) In terms of getting out without the kids, consider finding a friend or coop to do a childcare swap. Simplify your dinners, eat off paper plates, do whatever you need to do to de-stress your life and minimize your work load. But the idea is that you stop relying on your husband to fix it, and you do it yourself. In this way, you take back your power. After a while, he’ll see that you’re serious, and at that point, you can decide whether or not you’re going to cross the next bridge, once you see whether or not he’s going to step up and help you out.

      His comment about helping once you make half the money does concern me, though. That’s pretty old-school and I’m wondering if he’s got a lot of traditional expectations around your marriage. If that’s the case, I recommend finding some way to have him watch your kids for an entire weekend (get out of town if you have to) b/c that might be the only way he’ll learn how hard it is to stay at home with the kids and take care of the house, meals, etc. Often after a weekend like that, they’ll start to more fully understand what you’re going through and hopefully start stepping up to help.

      I hope some of this helps! And I agree with what Hardino said, about trying to do stuff out of love, not resentment, if you can. Not always easy, but it’ll help the process. Good luck!

      • Anon123 December 31, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

        “when you do laundry, do the bare essentials–yours and the kids. Stop doing his.”

        I tried this last year. When the morning came where he had no clean clothes, he said “Guess I can’t go to work then” and went back to sleep. This continued until his boss emailed me and said if I didn’t make him go to work, he would be fired.

        So I started washing his clothes again, but didn’t put his away. I instead left them in a basket. He went over a year without putting his clothes away.

        I run a business from home (honestly if he wants a more traditional marriage he would have to make more money. I don’t make half the family income, but we couldn’t survive without what I do make. And if he did make more money I would put mine toward a housekeeper!) but I spend about 4 weekends a year at conventions, so he is forced to stay with the kids then. However he does the bare minimum while I’m gone. If I don’t leave out outfits for the kids, they won’t change clothes all weekend. If I don’t leave food he can just heat and tell him what to eat, (if it’s a local convention where I’m coming home each night) no one will eat until I come home or (if I am completely gone for the weekend) he will have food delivered – which is generally about $50 per meal. $50 x 6 meals is a lot of money for me. And when I come home the house is a mess, the dog has torn things up, the laundry and dishes have piled up and I have to deal with it all the following week while trying to recover from the stress of doing the convention.

        BUT a couple of months ago something changed. He did a 24 hour video game marathon for charity, which he does every year. But this year, he read a thing about getting back to normal afterwards. And it was saying things like make yourself a decent meal because you probably ate crap during the marathon, do some housework that went undone, etc. He said he thought it was funny, because none of the things on the list applied to him. I said that none of the things apply to him because most people don’t have someone serving them while they do the marathon, and because sitting there playing video games all day while I do all the housework, take care of the kids, and serve him was what he always did – he just added a few hours. That it wasn’t funny, it was screwed up that he was laughing when faced with how abnormal his life is.

        So he thought about that for awhile and then said he was going to start doing the dishes. This was one chore I had a hard time keeping up with – I have back issues, and even with using paper plates there’s still the pots, pans, knives etc. This was also a chore he often complained wasn’t done and said I should be able to keep up with. If I just did the dishes every day after dinner I could keep up, right? As a kid his chore was doing the dishes every day after dinner, and it wasn’t so hard (but of course he wasn’t doing all the OTHER housework, taking care of kids and running a business… and his mom did the daytime dishes).

        Well after just two weeks he realized how hard it actually is. Even if he was tired, not feeling good, had a sore back, had a hard day at work, etc. the dishes still have to be done before I can cook dinner, because even if he does them after dinner, the sink gets filled throughout the day and pans I need are dirty or I can’t use the sink or etc. After dinner, he is tired and maybe sore by then and there’s only one sink load so maybe he’ll just leave that until tomorrow… but then by the time he gets home the next day, it’s time for me to cook dinner and then there’s two sinks full.

        And this is just ONE of the many things I do. He finally got it. He put his clothes away. He’s started helping out in general, and actually doing things with/taking care of the kids for blocks of time so I can have some time to relax and/or do whatever.

        • Tanja December 31, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

          Awesome! I’m so glad to hear that he’s finally starting to get it! That’s huge, Anon123, and I hope things keep coming together more on your end and your husband keeps stepping up more and more until things are more equal. Good luck, friend!

  67. Freya September 20, 2014 at 10:45 pm #

    I had forced my husband into a sexless marriage that he could not leave for decades. 3.1 decades to be exact, Now there has been so much happen in the last year all I wish for is a peaceful loving husband like he should have been, The family and I thought that before things were over he would do exactly as instructed by us and other people, but that’s not the way things came down, he became defiant, mean, and generally does not do anything he is told to do any longer, He thinks that for three decades we used him for a chump as he puts it. when this started it was simply as a way to get him eased back into the community without causing much disruption in other peoples life especially since he came home from the navy with so much acquired seniority on his job, He could take shifts, jobs, vacation slots, take or refuse holiday work and weekends. With so many people that had been hired in the last three years while he was away this presented a major problem between the lives that were in sort of stability and what my husband wanted with his acquired seniority. So his father and other people came to me to ask my help in forcing my husband not to use his seniority rights. to get the shifts, jobs and days off he wanted. and the only way I had to do this was promise a future when he was able to have the life he wanted with me if he would just be quiet let things really be stable and not cause any one trouble. Please just ease back into the way things were. this was a mistake on my part, because things never did get stable at the place he worked there was always someone his father and his friends considered more deserving of time off, a holiday off or needing to be at a son or daughters game on a weekend, It took two years for my husband before he wanted some of these things for himself, he wanted time with me, he wanted what was basically a life besides working twelve hours a day and sixteen on holidays, there were some very serious arguments between his father him and myself where I would extend the promise for another period into the future if he would just please for me do what was wanted from him. After a while this became habit, then he developed a brain tumor, every thing change july 31 2001 when they drilled a hole to the center of his head to get a brain tumor, After that everything was defiance and even armed force to get him to do what others wanted of him after he took a job with his seniority. The powers that be even had me offer the promise of normalizing our marriage if he would just back down, He said I could drop dead, I used that cry wolf before and he was not taking the bait this time. I admit the drop dead comment hurt, but it was the night that the list for the job was coming down that things became dangerous, all peaceful methods of getting him to remove his name from the job had been exhausted, there was nothing that he would accept as a compromise, nothing he would take in make up to stay where he was so a decision was arrived at by his father and others he needed a lesson in humility, I was told that I should call the police after the first punch landed, when it landed I watched my husband place four men in critical care in under a minute, my neighbors called the police and emergency services after what my husband did, I was stunned but he came to the door that I had locked and he tore it out frame and all, came in and told me if I ever locked him out to be beat upon again I would get the same as the four on the porch.. After that night I refused because I was afraid of him,. Last year was a watershed year. He discovered me in an affair he just about killed the man he discovered me with after an attempt at humiliation by the man I was with, then after two weeks in a stress center he was released back home , The timing was bad, I was going to a political funding dinner with a friend of his fathers I had know for years. I was informed I was not going, I was informed that since he paid for the roof over my head. the food on my table, the cloths on my back, the nice things I had, my medical. and my transportation, I was going to start being a wife, He was not going to even try negotiation, it was his way. I begged please I promise to meet any where you want after the event. this is a favor for your father and his best friend. My husband said as of now you owe 21 years of marriage payable starting tonight. I took off for the door and he said I paid for the dress to it stays as he ripped it off me, I knew there was not any way to stop him then, he took me on the floor even as I tried one more time by saying please not like this, We turned what was thoughtful nice man into a rampaging devil or angle on a mission of revenge, It was not love it was rage, need , denial and anger, His fathers friend just about went through his fathers car grill when he arrived after my husband through him off the porch face first into a cement driveway. The last year has been a year where my husband did decide his father does not have a thing to say in our life, His father slapped my husband on memorial day for being what my father in law said was disrespectful to his friends after my husband decided first he was not vacating his own home for the cookout that day. the my husband refused to allow his fathers best friend to accompany me to a club after words. my husband took the reservation ticket his father made for myself and his friend. Made the man run for his life. and informed everyone the only escort I was allowed is my husband from that day on, His father slapped my husband and He got a look I had seen two times before right before destroying peoples bodies, He ball his fist, his father was crying because he broke two fingers with the slap and then we all saw his father fly across the kitchen, I am surprised his neck was not broken he was hit so hard with a backhand from my husband, there was only one more attempt at backing my husband down, he warned his father and his two friends if he was left standing he would make sure they hurt by the end of the day for holding him at bay with pistols if they did not put him down, I went along to stop things from happening, My husband did not show any mercy when he appeared at a public dinner and laid there faces open to the jaw bone with his oak and peuter cane, Said I told you; you would hurt Then he took the tip of his can without the rubber tip pushed his father back in his chair with it and If he was not cuffed by the police I think he was going to run his father through with it My husband had proof they started things a half hour before, he had recorded everything on his security cam. His father considered the matter done since they left him standing. he did not expect he would air family problems in public. I knew that now there was not anything my husband would not do to prevent his rights from being taken. And that includes taking everything public, We have both gone into a form of exile for me, Moved 1200 miles west into a remote area, His father writes that he can’t take anything else from his oldest son , he says he has cause so much legal trouble for himself and others that they just want an end to their association with my husband. His mother s going to leave his father for what she found out happened over the years, His sister says that friends are not even going any where near his father, and his sister also feels he overstepped his rights with my husband. I just try and be the mouse in the corner now. I don’t want any more trouble, I have talked to my husbands councilors. they said that the brain surgery and the Spinal fusion from MRSA in his spin was enough stress for one life, but as a wife and family we just would not let up, they say that my husband is PTSD effective, He will not recover, It is best if the stress was eliminated on him. Is there any way to solve the dilemma that I find myself in now, because I don’t see any way to keep anyone happy any more without setting my husband off.

    • tpajevic September 21, 2014 at 8:22 pm #


      First of all, if your husband has PTSD, you should most definitely be following the advice of his counselors. No question about it. After that, get yourself into some counseling–this is a giant mess and you’re not going to be able to untangle it yourself.

      Third, you need to really step up and figure out what you want out of your life, sister. Seriously. If you died tomorrow, what would matter? What would you want? Do you want to stay married? Do you want to be single? With your lover?

      Whatever you decide, it’s time to step up and start taking responsibility for your life!

      You’re married to your husband, not your father-in-law, so I don’t understand why you were putting your FIL first. Nowhere in here do I hear you talking about your husband with love and caring–do you love this man? Really? Then step up and recommit to your marriage and do everything you can to be a real partner to your spouse. Otherwise, set him free.

      As you’ve already found out, trying to make everyone else happy is a recipe for disaster. It’s time to figure out what you want and what your husband wants. Do you both want to stay married? Go see a marriage counselor ASAP. Do you want to separate? Do that. But whatever you do, break free from his family b/c they sound like poison.

      A counselor can also help you with the marital rape, b/c that’s a whole other issue that I can’t help you with here.

      But the way I see it, you guys have a long road ahead of you. So it’s time to start moving and figure out what it is you want, then start working toward it. Good luck!

  68. Hardino October 13, 2014 at 6:42 am #

    *update* We are still pushing forward and its definitely an uphill battle. However I do need some outside advice. Before our fighting began 4 years ago I always saw my wife as the light of my world. My one and only epic star. My cute, innocent, loving and warm hearted better-half. So now since all the counseling and advice from you all and the changes we have made. I still seem to naturally push her away. In every area of our relationship. Before all this I wanted nothing more than her attention. Now when I get her attention I tend to cringe up and want her to not give me attention. When opportunities for us to hang out arise, I don’t really want to hang out. I am completely beside myself on this. I know this is wrong and I DO NOT want to feel like this. I don’t want her to feel pushed away either. I feel like this with a lot of people that are suppose to be close to me, like parents and other people. But with these other people I actually have a reason I push them away. With my wife though, it’s tue last thing I want to do. I am clueless as to why one would feel this way toward thier significant other. To make things worse, I decided to be open and honest and told her all of this. Now she thinks that every fight and bad argument we got in is because of me. So this makes me defensive. Sigh… Anyway, bottom line is I DO NOT want to feel like this. Anyone else felt like this before as their natural first reaction to a relationship with their spouse? If so how did you fix it? What did you focus on? How long did it take you to re-program your emotions or get them back on track? Any input would be good.

    • tpajevic October 14, 2014 at 1:12 am #

      Hardino, first of all, just let me say what awesome work you’ve done and how far you’ve come! So give yourself a break on this one–a therapist I know used to say that this stuff is like peeling an onion. You get through one layer and then there’s something else… Which kind of sucks, especially when you want to just chill out and coast for a while–

      I totally get that, and have been there so many times myself. This stuff is hard work! That said, this is another opportunity for you to go deeper with your wife, as well as with yourself–

      When you said that you have this problem with a lot of people in your life (including your parents), it made me think that this is probably an old pattern that started way way way back and actually has nothing to do with your wife. My guess (as a big reader of all this stuff, remember, and not as someone who’s trained in it) is that this is attachment stuff that started as a kid, and it continues to show up in your relationships today. So I’d definitely mention this to your marital counselor b/c he/she can give you a lot of help and support around this one, as well as help your wife see that it’s not really about her.

      If you want to dig into this one more deeply on your own, check out David Code’s book, To Raise Happy Kids, Put Your Marriage First. Awesome book and he shows how all that old childhood and first family stuff basically continues to play itself out in our marriages today unless we can learn to recognize the patterns and then change them.

      By the way, you’re not the only one who deals with this–I’ve had a lot of commitment stuff myself, which is pretty friggin funny when you consider that I’m writing this blog! Part of it is just knowing that about myself and then working with it–with my kids, with my husband, with friends, everyone. Bit by bit, it gets easier.

      On that note, I picked up a book today as I was heading out the door to take my kid to the dentist, and opened up on a section titled “Feeling comfortable with Closeness”–how’s that for crazy?! Now you’re impacting my juju 🙂 Anyway, the book is called Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hanson. Here are a couple of suggestions he offers:

      1. When you’re wanting to run away/not get close, go inward and focus on your internal self–take deep breaths, wiggle your toes, break eye contact and focus on yourself. Basically, he’s saying to focus more on your own experience than the other person’s. “Notice how you keep going on being, doing just fine even though you are emotionally close. This reduces the sense of threat from closeness and thus the desire to pull back (143).”

      2. Another idea: use imagery to ground yourself. So if you’re with someone who’s getting intense, imagine you’re a tree (or whatever) and their energy is bouncing off of you… or imagine there’s a glass wall between you or a fence, etc. Anything that gives you enough distance so you feel safe (143-4).

      Hope that helps give you something to play with. Both books explain how all the stuff that goes on when we’re babies wires our brains a certain way (as well as produces a resulting chemical onslaught in our bodies), and then we basically spend the rest of our lives reacting to this the exact same way–unless we choose to change it. And for those of us who didn’t have super-awesome/healthy attachment ties to our caregivers when we were babies, we basically get triggered by any kind of close relationship and go into fight-flight, which is why we want to run away.

      Anyway, that’s a brief and butchered overview of what’s going on for most of us around this kind of stuff. Check out those books if you want the full explanation (as well as how to break it). But do know that what you’re experiencing is due to a flood of chemicals in your brain and it’s not something you’re necessarily in charge of. You can change it, yes, but it does take creating new patterns as well as new neural pathways in your brain.

      So please don’t be so hard on yourself! The cool thing is that you’re recognizing it and trying to figure out what to do about it. A lot of folks wouldn’t even bother going that far….

      Very last note: the other reason to be kind to yourself around this stuff is that when you’re mean to yourself around it, you just strengthen those old neural pathways (the ones you’re trying to change), which just keeps you more stuck. So the first thing you want to do is have some kindness and compassion for yourself as you work through this stuff.

      Good luck, Hardino! I look forward to your updates and am so psyched at how far you’ve come 🙂

  69. Jenni October 16, 2014 at 1:59 am #

    I recently got married I’m 18 years old and my husband is 22…I don’t know who else to talk to about this… Me and my husband got eloped a few months ago… but I have to keep it a secret….My parents know and some of my friends but he wont tell anyone… He won’t tell his family or friends…. I tried talking to him about it but he just says he don’t want them knowing. but I feel like being married should be a joyful happy thing. I love him to death but it just makes me feel like I should feel ashamed or we did something wrong since we have to keep it a secret and I don’t know what to do. I might be just over thinking it. but I just need someone’s advice or opinion on it….thank you!
    Jenni recently posted..By Mourning Robin Williams, We Also Mourn Our Own Losses My Profile

    • tpajevic October 16, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

      Congratulations! And oh, boy — I don’t know what’s up with your husband, but I don’t see this as a good sign and totally understand your discomfort. I’m not sure what to tell you, my friend–I think this is something you’re going to have to work out with your husband, which makes this pretty friggin hard if he’s not willing to talk to you about it!
      Since you can’t get him to do something he doesn’t want to, it’s super-important that you make sure you take good care of yourself in this whole thing. I don’t know why he’s hiding this, but it’s a bit of a red flag for me and makes me wonder what else he’s hiding. That’s why I want you to make sure you take care of yourself. See a therapist if you need to, get yourself good support with your parents and friends and whatever you do, don’t lose yourself. I hope your husband comes around, but in the meantime, do whatever you need to to take incredible care of yourself.
      Good luck, my friend!

    • Hardino October 17, 2014 at 7:32 pm #

      Congrats! I obviously don’t know the guy. But the only time I have seen this in the past was because the person had another person in their life (girlfriend / boyfriend) whatever it may be. Be careful.

  70. Marilyn October 16, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

    Help! I know what I should do, but it is really hard. My husband and I have been married for 17 years. We have two kids – 14 and 10. My husband is NOT a nice person. Ever since my 10 year old son was born, his behavior has gone down hill. It just gets worse and worse every day. He yells at me and the kids constantly, he always punishes my son with outlandish punishments, like no video games for a year (and never follows through), he tries to pick fights with us (me and kids are very laid back people and don’t like to fight). he says anything to us that comes to mind – is not nice at all, then doesn’t apologize. He will call me at work and scream at me for leaving a window open. He is frustrated because the house is a mess, yet he does nothing to help clean it, he is chasing away all of his friends, he doesn’t get along with anyone, complains constantly to all of us that he is a failure, because the kids don’t do their chores and they argue (no more than typical siblings) and he tells me that he has sacrificed his whole life for us, now we hate him and he’s in a job that he hates, his life sucks.

    Several years ago I got us into hot water with credit card debt, but my parents helped us out and how i am very strict with the budget, so I think he hates that we have to be so strict with money and gets frustrated with that – and I work two jobs to keep us afloat – he won’t do anything and won’t even try to go out and get a better job or to get a promotion. He causes fights with his friends and has lost pretty much all of them. I don’t have any friends because I am too embarrassed to bring anyone around him – I am afraid he will act like a jerk and i don’t want people to know that I married a person like this. I know he doesn’t trust me because of the past credit card issues, he is always very suspicious about everything and feels like he always has to keep tabs on me constantly – I feel like I am on a leash. He has no problem talking about our problems right in front of the kids – and wonders why the kids avoid him. Last night he got upset because the kids didn’t come back and say hi when they got home, after he spent the entire previous night screaming at us because my son and him were arguing about some stupid game they were playing, my husband got up sent and wrecked the board, I gasped because I thought it was stupid – then he got mad at me. He screamed at my daughter because she was upset about something that happened at school.

    We are supposed to be going on a trip to Disney World next month with our kids and some friends and he keeps threatening that he isn’t going to go. Then the next day he is going to go, then he’s not – it drives all of us crazy! he criticizes me for everything – driving, cooking, everything, and me and the kids feel like we have to walk on eggshells around him because he will explode. He even says to me that he knows we walk on eggshells around him and that nobody should have to live that way – yet he continues to do this.

    I am about 99% sure he is depressed – and I know he needs help, but I don’t know how to talk to him without him exploding. At this point, I am just waiting for the kids to leave, then I will too. He comments all the time that if he had any money he would move out. I am guessing you are going to tell me that he needs to go to therapy, but I know he won’t do it. I just don’t have any idea what to do. My life (at home) is hell – I love my kids and my job – but most days I just want to stay at work and not come home to him.

    • tpajevic October 17, 2014 at 1:17 am #

      That sounds really hard–I’m sorry to hear you’re going through all this. And you know, it doesn’t really matter what I’d say–what feels right to you? It was interesting that you started your comment off by saying you know what you should do…what is that? Listen to your heart and do what’s right for you, always.
      Now that I’ve said that, I have to laugh at myself and say I would recommend therapy for your husband if he was into it. Since he’s not, you could always do it to help you get clear in what you want and need. But man, this sounds really rough and I feel for all of you guys. My dad was similar and haunted as hell–none of which makes for a happy family. If your husband’s not going to take care of himself, it’s imperative that YOU take care of yourself. As you already know, this is so so important so you can take care of your kids.
      Question: if you’re hell bent on getting out of this marriage, why wait until the kids are grown? Please do remember that they’re learning everything from you (and I mean everything) and in a very real sense, your staying and sucking it up is teaching them to do the same once they’re in their own relationships. So please please do whatever you need to to take care of yourself. I wish your husband could find a way to get back on track and/or reboot his own life, but until he does, you don’t need to go down in flames with him.
      Good luck, sister. And remember: follow your own heart here, what’s right for you. Not what I or anyone else says.
      much love,

    • Hardino October 17, 2014 at 8:02 pm #

      This reminds me of the frog in hot water analogy. If your not familiar with it then I wwll explain. Put a frog in a pot of room temperature water, you can very slowly increase the temperature of the water until the point of death an he will not jump out. Now, I have no idea if this is really true since I don’t like to torture animals. However the point I’m trying to make is this…. How long are you willing to wait or stay in this “hot pot of water” before you or the kids get seriously hurt. If what your saying is true then he has an anger management issue or depression. But staying around to hope you don’t get hurt is a terrible idea. Think of your kids and yourself. Your not responsible for him. But you are responsible for your children. If and when you decide to make a decision it would be a really good idea to get a few close friends to talk to about your situation. It’s easy to fall back into it. Your friends will be on the outside looking in and help remind you to stay back. Good luck!

  71. joni October 22, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

    My husband takes everything I say personally, his father was very critical of him when he was growing up and anytime I need to discuss something that’s bothering me with regard to our relationship he tells me I make him feel bad about himself and puts words in my mouth telling me I said things that I didn’t say…. his interpretation. I’m getting very frustrated and the resentment is building because I have no outlet for communication with him. I’ve tried email/letter, in a text, talking but he’s basically shut me down. Says every time we talk we end up arguing. Partly because I’m feeling like I have to defend myself because of his over-reactions. We’ve been counseling but he just doesn’t seem to want to own any part of the breakdown.

    • tpajevic October 22, 2014 at 7:20 pm #


      That’s a hard one, especially since you’ve already been to counseling and that didn’t help. I guess my advice to you at this point is to ask what you need to do for yourself in this whole equation. Truly, the only person we can ever change is ourselves. Sucks, doesn’t it? I wish your hubby would own up and take care of his stuff, but since he’s not going to, that leaves you at the helm. What would help you? Is this something you can live with?

      I wonder if it would help to take a look at your own expectations in your conversations. What do you need from your husband? Is there another way you can get this from him?

      That might be one way to start. Another would be to look at the patterns between your own parents and see if any of those dynamics are playing themselves out in your own marriage. I’m wondering if there’s some kind of intensity you’re not aware of that’s being passed on to your spouse without words. Just a thought.

      I’m guessing you’ve already tried talking to him calmly and explaining that you’re trying to connect and all that. Did that help at all?

      But my guess (from your letter) is that you need to find some way to let go of your resentment so that you’re not bringing that into your interactions. Find some way to calm the whole equation down, and you do this by calming yourself down first. Once you can do that, I’ll bet you can start communicating more easily.

      Good luck, sister!

      • joni October 22, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

        Thanks for the insight. I have done some work on changing my expectations and how I communicate and view things and am doing some things differently unfortunately I seem to run up against a brick wall whenever it comes to discussing things with him. My counselor has told me that I’m a clear communicator and express myself well because trust me, I’ve seriously started doubting myself in all this. I’ve tried to calmly explain to him that I’m trying to connect with him and would just like to be able to communicate with each other recognizing that I understand how difficult it can be when it seems personal…. it just seems that no matter what direction the conversation starts out at, he finds a way to turn it around to being all about him and how misunderstood he is and how everyone makes him feel bad about himself etc., etc., then he mopes around and withdraws, further blaming me for the disconnect. I’m getting really tired of the childish behavior and other family members have noticed it too. I’ve decided to concentrate (once again) on taking care of myself and let him figure out what he needs to do for himself, although when I’ve done that in the past he says I’m distancing myself from him… Kind of a no-win situation.

        • tpajevic October 23, 2014 at 7:08 pm #

          I think that’s all you can do, Joni. Did your counselor have any other tips? This makes me think of something I read in Harriet Lerner’s awesome book, The Dancer of Anger. She talks about how we often get push back from our spouse when we’re trying to change ourselves or the dynamic in our relationships–mostly b/c it’s so uncomfortable for the other person. But we have to keep pushing forward for ourselves anyway. Hopefully at some point down the road, once he sees that you’re really serious about this and not going to give in and go back to the old way of communicating, he’ll get on board with you. I really hope so!
          In the meantime, if anyone else out there has any tips here, I’d love to hear them.
          Good luck, Joni.

  72. Kev October 27, 2014 at 8:49 am #


    I found this page while looking for help in getting my wife back. It connected with me and I felt compelled to write here.
    We separated in Nov last year, and I moved out in January of this. Deep down I didn’t want to leave, and from reading about marriage problems I have learnt that the key to why my wife and I argued is resentment. Hindsight is a beautiful thing!
    The reason I left was the fact that I couldn’t take it anymore. I felt controlled and had to do everything the way my wife wanted it done. Whether this was right or wrong, I don’t know I just wanted to get away from the constant arguing. After speaking with family and therapy I have been told it was the right thing to do at the time. My family have seen the way she has been with me on occasions and brought it up during an argument, that my wife and I were having in their presence. They saw how she doesn’t like not being in control and have things done the way she wants. I didn’t really see this, I just loved her and wanted to get along. This eventually made me unhappy, I love my wife so much but it felt like I couldn’t talk to her or tell her anything because I had built up so much unknown resentment. Early on in the relationship I had told her my opinions and ideas when she asked, a lot of which I felt were dismissed, leaving me knocked back. Over time I gave less and less because it seemed like whatever I suggested or said would be ignored and she would do things her way. This (along with other issues, to keep this short) has built up resentment, of which has destroyed our relationship.
    I am not the best at communicating and I am naturally quiet, my wife is the opposite. Whenever we have any issues we always seem to end up arguing, with her doing most of the shouting as I tend to shut down and not talk. (I know this is not the best way to deal with things) My wife is good at arguing, she is from an opinionated family who seem to argue about everything, but they all get along.
    The reason I am writing this, which I would never normally do, is because I feel I need to communicate and talk about things.
    I have read through a lot of the other responses here and it seems I am not alone in my predicament. I cant help but beat myself up over the breakdown of our relationship, she feels no guilt towards the break up as I was the one who left. She blames me for not wanting to be in the marriage and not communicating. She says I am moody and quiet. I agree I get into moods but now realise it was the resentment and also not wanting to confront her. (I guess that is quite immature of me to want an easy time and bury my head?) I feel that my behaviour has been a reaction to hers and there is obviously resentment from both sides that cause argument. She doesn’t see it like that. She can’t see how I get the way I do from her behaviour, she thinks I just start to behave in that way. I don’t know if this is making any sense!
    After leaving my wife and 2 small children, we still saw each other on a regular basis for access to the children. I went round to hers never with any intention of arguing but it always came to blows, maybe because she was so angry at me leaving.
    We had tried counselling the year before as we had seen that things weren’t right. My wife tried her hardest to save the marriage, but I think that the “red mist” of resentment had clouded my judgement and made me think I needed to get out.
    Since late July things calmed down out of the blue, she didn’t pick a fight or have a go at me and we actually seemed to get along nicely. This continues, even though I have now moved 3hrs away with work and come back at the weekends and stay at her house (sofa!).
    I have told her how I felt about my feelings in a letter I wrote before I left. This has left her confused as she was almost ready to accept it was over. She doesn’t want to talk about relationship issues as she is not ready to. She has had to make big changes in her life and she is now coping. (She says that she still loves me but can’t trust me to not leave her again) I desperately want to be with them every second of the day. I have sought help for myself through marriage counselling “for one” and seeing a doctor. I have read many websites and articles about anything and everything to do with marriage guidance etc.
    I want to talk to her and sort things out, but I feel its too late and the damage is done. I even think she is looking to find someone else. I don’t know what to do. I feel stuck.

    • tpajevic October 27, 2014 at 5:45 pm #


      Boy, I feel for you. AND I commend you–it sounds like you’re working your ass off over there! I think it’s awesome that you’ve already done so much, and I think it’s great that you have a way clearer picture of what happened and how things went wrong. I wish I had one great answer for you that would solve everything… wouldn’t that be awesome. But I do think it’s great that you’re fighting for what you believe in. That’s huge, and kudos to you for that–not everyone would have the courage to do that, especially after everything you two have been through.

      So now I’m going to give you my from-the-gut answer: keep going! Do whatever you need to do to show her that you still love her and want to be with your family, that you’re willing to go back into couples counseling, whatever. The worst thing that can happen is that it doesn’t work, which would suck to high heaven, but at least then you’ll know that you did absolutely everything you could. This isn’t one of those things you want to regret on your deathbed.

      So keep talking, keep asking questions, keep reading and learning, and do whatever you can–

      If you can get to the point where she’s willing to give it another go, check out the following books–they’ll help you better understand the whole cycle of resentment, and it sounds like you might still need to get to the bottom of your own resentment with your wife for this to work. Anyway, the books are David Code’s To Raise Happy Children, Put Your Marriage First and Sue Johnson’s Hold Me Tight. I love the Code book in particular b/c it explains all the chemical reactions going on in our brains that make us want to run, and once you get the bigger picture of how this stuff all started in our first families/childhood, it’s really a game changer. Johnson’s book would be a great thing for you and your wife to work through together once (if) you can get her to that point.

      My guess is that for you two to get back together, you’re going to have to patient as hell, as well as persistent. That’s doable. Your wife’s probably dealing with some abandonment stuff (again, the Code book explains this really well) and you’re probably going to have to earn her trust back for her to give it another go.

      Good luck, friend!

      • Kev October 27, 2014 at 10:48 pm #


        Thank you so much for your swift response, to be honest I didn’t expect a reply at all! I know I went on a bit, but I feel I have so much to say. I have had a bad couple of days dwelling on things and beating myself up emotionally. I have talked to my family with has helped loads and they have seen how my wife has been with me, therefore know what i’m going through. I tried to speak to her tonight about how I have realised where the fault lies in resentment but she got quite angry and put a barrier up straight away. I kind of got the message she couldn’t care what I thought or wanted to say. She doesn’t want to bring up the past and wants to move on. Right now I feel that she wants a divorce as she has been through a lot of pain and heartache. I find it hard to see beyond where we are now and that it can never be resolved. I just want her to know that I want to sort this tangled mess out and hopefully gain her trust.
        Thanks for your kind words and good advice, if only there was an instant answer to this! I hope she can see past the anger and hatred and we resolve our love.

        • tpajevic October 28, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

          Good luck, Kev! Do you have any friends you can share this stuff with? It’s so hard when we’re struggling with it alone — something else that helps me a lot is just writing it down. It helps get it out of my head and something about that helps give me a bit of clarity. Anyway, just wanted to say hang in there and keep us posted!

          • Kev December 19, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

            Hello again,
            Just wanted to update you and seek more advice. My wife and I have been on fairly good terms since I last wrote. I have travelled back every weekend to spend time with my wife and kids. We have had a couple of arguments but generally ok. I am massively confused at the moment about where things are going. I feel like i’m on an emotional roller-coaster and there’s no end in sight. I made the mistake of pushing things too far with adding pressure to our situation. I didn’t realise at the time and she was really angry at me. She said she needed space and so I stayed in a hotel one night, yet still came round the house next day. She then tells me that I was acting on impulse and could have stayed at the house after all! I couldn’t believe my ears when the day before she was adamant that she needed space. She has also specified that she doesn’t want to talk about anything to do with the relationship. People have said they think this is because she wants control and ownership of everything that’s going on. Is it because she might want to talk when she is ready? Since these events I have backed off and haven’t mentioned anything to do with our relationship. I haven’t told I love her (which I want to do everyday). I still see a doctor and my general well-being is ok considering. I have moments where I feel down and dis-heartened, but talk about how I feel to my parents and close friends. This along with writing my thoughts down is really working.
            With Christmas fast approaching, my wife has invited me to go out for a meal with all her new friends, even invited me to her parents house for Christmas ( apparently I wasn’t their biggest fan previously), made plans to stay with family friends together after Christmas, invited to a New Years Party and still spending a lot of time with my wife and kids on a daily basis till we go back to work/school in Jan. With all these plans, this seems like all positive signs and my Doc says I shouldn’t pick it apart by analysing it, but she still gives absolutely no sign whatsoever of any emotion towards me. I cant help but think she might be taking me along for a ride, or using me for her own emotional support? If she says she wanted space, why does she ask me to be around. I still do all the things at home as if we were together ( apart from emotion and intimacy etc) I don’t understand what’s going on. I have thought about talking to her again about our situation after Christmas is out the way.
            Have you heard of similar situations?? What do you think?

            Many thanks

          • Tanja December 20, 2014 at 9:38 am #


            It seems to me that one of the biggest challenges you and your wife are facing is around communication. I hear a lot of second-guessing and mind-reading going on and while I totally understand the urge to do this stuff (especially when things are messed up and we’re trying to figure out why), none of that is going to give you the real answer. Nor can I, since I don’t know your wife and what’s going on with her. So while I’m glad to hear that things have calmed down a lot, I’m still a bit confused as to why you guys haven’t been able to talk about what’s going on. Is it because your wife just isn’t ready? Is that what you meant when you said you pushed it too much? It seems to me that at this point, you guys might need an outside perspective to help you bridge this communication gap, someone like a mediator or a couples therapist. That would be my biggest suggestion for you at this point.

            My other suggestion would be to focus on yourself and do whatever you need to to take really awesome care of yourself. I get how heart-wrenching this entire situation is–how truly awful–but for your own sake (as well as your children’s), it’s important you take really awesome care of yourself. It sounds like you’re already doing that by seeing a doc, talking to friends and writing about your feelings–that’s awesome! I’d like to encourage you to take it a step further. Do hobbies/sports you love, and find other ways to bring joy and happiness into your life. Right now, it sounds like everything revolves around your wife, and this is giving her entirely too much power over your life. Take some back for yourself, and things will start to even out a bit. For example, what if you wrote your wife a letter letting her know that you love her and want to get back together–eventually, once you can figure things out? I don’t think that would be too much (although again, I only know bits and pieces of your story, so you need to be the judge here). But what troubles me about your letter is that you’re basically sitting back and waiting for her–waiting for everything, including waiting for your wife to decide whether or not she’s willing to give your marriage another try. But that’s not fair to you. I mean, what if she decides she’s not? What if she already knows she’s not, but she’s not sharing that with you? Yes, it would absolutely suck beyond belief, but at least then you would be free to move on and do whatever you need to to get your own life back on track. So while I’m not trying to say that you should be pressuring her (b/c it sounds like that backfires, to say the least), I think it’s totally fair to ask for some kind of resolution or direction around this whole thing. Maybe you could just put that in a letter. But it’s this waiting in limbo that concerns me, b/c right now, your wife has all the power, and I don’t understand why you’re being kept in the dark.

            Again, there appear to be a lot of pieces/challenges to your situation, and I’m trying to address what jumps out at me. My guess is that your doc is better equipped/educated to help you with the bigger pix. But if he’s not helping with that, you might want to consider another therapist. This is your life, after all, and it shouldn’t be lived at someone else’s whims–not even someone you love.

            Good luck, Kev. I really hope things settle down for you!

  73. George October 28, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

    Please help, don’t know what to do. A month ago and after 34 years of marriage and three children, my wife told me…she doesn’t want me anymore, that she has a lot of resentments for things I did in the past to her and cannot forgive.
    I still don’t believe it. I think she would love me forever. At the beginning, it was very hard for her (I understand that now) I was a abusive and a alcoholic.
    She took everything and ours children grow up and got married. We have not been romantic since 5 years ago when she asked me and I said no because I was afraid I could not function like happened before.
    All started since September 2013 when she fell into a severe depression and started seeing a psychiatric. Little by little she’s being putting limits between us, she doesn’t tells me anything but only the necessary, if I want to talk about the issue, she stop me right away. She gives me commands and humiliates me in front of her family. We live in the same house and I’m broke. I love her but I just don’t know what to do, how to handle this situation. I’m feeling anxiety and I wish she tells me different. We sleep in separate rooms (it’s been like that for years for mutual agreement) and wake up by 3:00 am feeling this pain, I want to run to her room and tell her I love her and talk about a solution but I’m afraid of what she would do like throwing me out ( happened before). Please give me a word of wisdom, this is so painful that sometimes I feel suicidal.

    • tpajevic October 28, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

      1-800-273-8255 is the national suicide hotline–please call them immediately. It sounds like you’re in a really rough place and I’m so sorry to hear it. Have you seen a therapist of your own? If not, now is definitely the time. You’re dealing with giant issues here and I highly, highly recommend you get some professional help to support you while you figure out your next steps. I believe anyone can reboot their marriage–including you–but it’s going to take a lot of work and clear communication with your wife to get to that point. In the meantime, it’s imperative you take care of yourself as you’re untangling all these pieces.
      Please call and ask for their advice/help in finding a therapist you can see on a regular basis.
      Whatever you do, don’t give up on yourself!

  74. GM October 28, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

    I’m gradually reaching the point of needing to relate the problems that have been building for a long time. I don’t know what else to do, sorry to whine but I am feeling like I am in a box and sometimes wish I would just and die and leave all these problems behind. I am reaching the point where I believe I no longer love my wife anymore, the resentment has built up to the point where I think the damage may not be repairable.
    We have known each other for 34 years, been married for 30, it’s been a somewhat tough road. We had 2 boys that were hell to raise, both turned out OK one with mood disorder that meds addressed finally at Age 12, now in college and doing pretty well (age 21 now). The other had physcotic behavior episodes tried suicide twice that I prevented. I have been his close coach and mentor, he is 20 in college and stable now and progressing forward. These problems alone took years off my life I feel. My wife and I are now mid fifties, time to head toward retirement and enjoy life….no such luck She had a terrible work environment, Gov’t job, she was there 12 years with 8 to go to Gov’t pension but quit her job. It has been 14 months and only got a temporary job recently at 2/3 former pay. She has looked for work very hard which is maybe the only reson I am still around. She has quit or lost (laid off not fired) 10 jobs in our 30 years of marriage, 8 of these resulted in me being the only breadwinner for anywhere from 6-23 months each time. I am sick of the burden falling on me. I have tremendous resentment built up, have no attraction, don’t want to touch her or talk to her, I feel burned up and used, I feel like I have given so much and feel backstabbed at a point we may have finished our working career and retire, now I feel I will end up working in my dead end job till the day I die. I think the ONLY reason we are together anymore is our house I love, I have put so much into, I don’t want to be cheated out of the house I worked for so I stay with her to keep it. She was my sweatheart in college in the early eighties, I feel bad that our love seems to have died but I think every day how nice it would be to have a smaller condo I don’t have to constantly do all the work on (her honeydoo lists), a nice girlfriend and leave my wife to deal with the problems she creates, I have had it. I think I need an entirely new life, the one I have feels like a waste anymore.

    • tpajevic October 29, 2014 at 12:50 am #

      That’s a lot and I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling so stuck and in such a bad place. Before we go any further, I want to encourage you to reach out to a therapist or counselor or to call the suicide hotline (1-800-273-8255) because you shouldn’t be feeling like you’re ready to end your life. Nobody should!

      As for the rest of it, it sounds like there’s a lot of water under the bridge and you and your wife have a lot to work through. Have you ever tried/considered couples counseling? I understand you feel like it’s already too late, but here’s the thing–if you don’t deal with this stuff now, this stuff is going to follow you into your next relationship. I know it feels like it would be easier to run away/start over, but unless we deal with the underlying problem, the pattern just repeats. I might piss you off by saying this, but it’s important you take a look at your role in all of this as well–it’s not fair to just blame your wife. It takes two to tango, as the saying goes, and until we can take responsibility for our part in our problems, nothing much is going to change. If you do nothing else, please consider seeing a counselor (even if it’s by yourself) so you can get square on your own stuff before you move forward. Even if your marriage doesn’t work out, you’ll be in a much better place to create what you want in your next relationship. That said, seeing someone might just give you (and your wife) the tools you need to turn things around.

      Good luck, GM–we’re pulling for you!

  75. GM October 31, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

    Sorry, but you’re talking about your wife like a roommate, a means to your retirement financial goals. What I didn’t hear is that you loved her ever. (Out of love now just doesn’t qualify) So you are mad at life for your parenting struggles, are you? Here’s a reality check. My 22 year old is autistic and debilitated from arthritis, currently awaiting replacement of both hip joints. The arthritis started in 4th grade, and our lives have revolved around hospitals. I’ve known many cancer kids who have recovered and had less pain than my son. The other 2 have had their challenges I don’t care to share, but we’ve been through the wringer as parents. That you, in any way, wrap that into resentment toward your wife is warped and needs addressed by a professional. You might need medication to cope. Your wife’s employment history is hardly a marital shortcoming. That she worked outside the home made your life as a parent much harder. Fortunately, my husband sees that me
    working outside the home would be detrimental to the other kids, our marriage, and the atmosphere in our home because of the extreme medical needs. He’s confident and takes pride in being the support of a family. I, in turn, remember to appreciate and remind the kids of Dad’s hard work. If Dad were complaining I didn’t add enough financially to the mix, I promise the resentment would go both ways. I’m sure there’s an unhappy, unappreciated woman who hasn’t been emotionally fed in years and who grew tired of being assessed by her earning potential long ago. There is another side to this story, and you need to run, not walk, to professional help. (Whether or not either of you is interested in saving the marriage)

    • tpajevic October 31, 2014 at 10:11 pm #

      Dear GM2,

      I’m approving your comment, but with a caveat–please tone down any future advice for GM or I’ll pull this entire comment. I understand your frustration and good lord, it sounds like you and your family have had a hell of a time of it yourselves, but this isn’t a place for dumping on other people. We’re ALL struggling here and we could all use a little help, not to mention a lot of kindness. So please don’t jump on anyone else for being honest. I totally understand if you don’t agree with what they’re saying, but NO PERSONAL ATTACKS, folks. THIS GOES FOR EVERYONE. This site is not, nor will it ever be, a place where we turn on each other.

      Capiche, folks?

      OK. Now that that’s out of the way…. GM2, I’m sorry to hear about everything you’ve been through. It sounds like a LOT and I wouldn’t doubt if it you had some of your own resentment that’s built up over the years. That’s totally normal!

      Whenever we’re strongly triggered by someone or something else, it’s usually a good indicator that we’re not dealing with that part of ourselves. This is usually referred to as our shadow, and it’s the parts of ourselves that we project onto someone else because we can’t accept those traits within ourselves. But we’re human! Meaning that none of us is perfect–we’re ALL flawed, with good traits AND bad, with light AND dark, etc., etc.. That’s just part of what makes us human — It’s what we choose to do with those traits that makes the difference.

      That said, keep on keepin’ on, sister! It sounds like you and your family have done a helluva job figuring out what works for you, and that, after all, is what we’re all after–figuring out what kind of a marriage works for us, not for anyone else. That’s huge.

  76. Jarrod November 6, 2014 at 4:40 am #

    My partner and I have been together for just over 7 years now and I had trouble showing affection and this really made her feel unloved and unappreciated, I truly didn’t mean for it to be that way and I’ve been trying to work out why I wasn’t affectionate but unfortunately it was, in the past 2 years she has taken a 3 month travel trip and came home ready to love me again but I still hadn’t become the man she wanted me to be, we continued for a while until she decided “A Break” was needed so we spent 3 months apart with minimal contact via email and txt’s and no seeing each other at all. we then went on a few dates and she started to feel something for me again so she then moved back in with me into our home. now it’s a year later and we arn’t much better, in fact we are trying a few things like a week apart before a date before we try another proper “break” as she said in hindsight she returned to early from the last break, she didn’t let her feelings totally return. We had a good talk a few days ago and she told me she holds resentment towards me for the lack of intimacy and affection earlier in the relationship, and the fact I have grown into the man she needs now just makes her more annoyed at why I couldn’t do it earlier. She tells me I’m being more then the perfect man for her now and that she loves me and am the most important person in her life, she just hasn’t got back the deep love someone needs, she doesn’t seek out my affection anymore. Any advice for me? She thinks we need to take control and somehow spark the relationship up again as just sitting around waiting isn’t working, is a break a good idea? I was thinking perhaps a break with no contact during the week but with 1 date each weekend to keep showing her what sort of man I am? We just don’t know how to cure her resentment.

    • tpajevic November 6, 2014 at 5:10 pm #


      That’s really interesting! She loves the man you are now, but is still resentful for how you used to be. Hmm….

      First of all, I agree with you, that I don’t think the breaks are working. You guys have to get to the root of that past stuff, and staying apart doesn’t address that. Have you seen/considered a therapist? That’s what I’d suggest, and here’s why. Usually, when we’re triggered that much, there’s something deeper going on. Oftentimes, that stuff comes from childhood/our first family. So you might want to suggest that she take a look at other relationships that were similar–is this how her relationship was with her dad, for example? If so, you might be the one paying the price.

      Getting to the root of this kind of stuff can be tricky, which is why I recommend a therapist–so you can have someone there to help you untangle all the different threads. She might also benefit from going alone, so she can figure out where this pattern came from and how to break it.

      But again, I don’t think that taking breaks from each other is going to help. I know some people recommend this as a way of managing your emotions, but in my experience, your problems are still there waiting for you once you come back!

      Good luck!

  77. Jr November 12, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

    I found this article very helpful although I am not the one with resentment. My spouse of 13 years is. You see, I have battled with depression because of childhood issues. She had to take up my slack for many months this year. This is after me being caught in 2012 doing not so nice things online because of the underlying issue. So we have went to counseling and worked through some of those issues. We thought we would be fine because we seen a big difference in our relationship. We should have went more but between our thoughts and kids starting sports again, it was beat to give it a try. One of the main things we had problems with was sex. I want it more than her and that becomes a problem. I wanted to run upstairs everynight and she wants to watch tv or read a book. That was fine for a while then sports started and we didnt make time for the t or the book and it was always sex. She had mentioned a couple times about the issue but it mostly cane out of anger or a nagging tone. Truthfully, i had come accustomed to that theoughout the year or two so ignored her words as I did before when I had issues. So for many months now everything had seemed fine. She was happy and I was happy and the children were full of smiles. Come to find out, it was a brave face due to me not listening and her tired of repeating herself. It took a week of fights and arguements for me to see it is a issue and I need to change it. After also talking with others. Sometimes it feels good to get ithers opinions rather that your partners, they can put it in perspective Better to me. So after this terrible year, she is now beside herself, angry, resentful, sad and very distant. Even after a 4 hour talk of wants, needs and goals. Seeming fine I thought this was behind us, then after work the next day (yesterday) I have learned she isnt still ok. She is tired of hoping and tired of the promises. But I have always felt I held true to those. So now I am trying to be what she needs and she is still falling apart. I dont know what to do. I am doing the changes she needs, I am willing to do everything she wants, but at the same time, kindof need to see her effort along the way. I feel now, sad, anxious, depressed because of her state of mind and not being able to let things rest as I have done before. Any suggestions, pleaseeee help!!

    • tpajevic November 13, 2014 at 1:09 am #


      First of all, I just want to commend you both for going to counseling and being willing to work on those issues, that’s huge! But like you said, it doesn’t sound like you got to the bottom of things. What do you think about going back? That would be my first recommendation because it sounds like you two have a lot of communication issues going on, and a counselor might be able to help you bridge those and meet in the middle. If you want to try to do it yourself, check out Sue Johnson’s book Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love and do the exercises. Then talk about them together. This could help you find a way to get past the communication issues you mention. But if you’re not willing to do it or feel like you’re not connecting or understanding each other when you talk, get some outside help.

      I understand you’re pressed for time with the kids’ sports and all, but look at this in the larger picture: what happens if you don’t make it and get divorced b/c you’re not willing to put in the time now? Makes the sports stuff seem less important, doesn’t it 🙂 Enlist friends and/or family to pick up/drop off your kids here and there so you can get some time for your and your honey. A good counselor can also help you figure out the larger patterns, as well as why you’re ignoring your wife when she comes to you with her needs.

      Good luck, friend!

  78. Catscratched November 24, 2014 at 7:37 am #

    I am adept at forgiving since no one is perfect and especially not me. My wife doesn’t have a short fuse; she has NO FUSE at all! When she blows, it is always without warning. In any “big blow”, once she’s off, there is no stopping her. She will respond to any attempt at discussion with meanness, insults, threats, angry recitations of long – passed issues, sullen silence, assertions of fault & blame. The pricey wedding rings have as nearly many air miles as her last cell phone. Never apologizing, never accountable for anything, she will behave very badly for 10 to 14 days. Any subsequent attempt to debrief or discuss is met with reminders of who was at fault. In her view, I am always to blame for her episodes of bad temper. It is easy to feel resentment, but in reality, there is no benefit to feeling that way. Her wiring/chemistry is what it is. I am grateful that I am sufficiently self-aware to realize that she creates her own drama and tries to pin it all on me.

    • Tanja November 24, 2014 at 11:10 pm #

      Wow, Catscratched. You sound awesome and your wife’s lucky to have you! Talk about being level-headed in a really rough situation — I hope your comment helps somebody else who’s struggling out there. Happy early holidays, friend!

  79. cluess December 3, 2014 at 2:21 pm #

    Hi my husband and i have been married for three years and when we were dating i cheated on him with a married man and whilest this was happening he was sleeping with a class mate from course. Even though all this happened, i cam bk to NZ to marry him 2011 and i had put hes past behind as we were getting married and starting fresh. 3 years on and he still talks abwt and its a pattern bcos he.justifies hes actions and uses my past to verbally abuse me or to get what he wants. He was never taught how to handle problems of his own. Hes parents always and still mak decisions and do things for him. He considers only ever takes th3ir advice but i am out of solutions and i fear he will damage our marriage and my 2yr old boys life with forever resenting what i did.

    • Tanja December 4, 2014 at 2:00 am #

      I’m so sorry to hear that, Cluess. If you’ve been having this problem throughout your relationship, I doubt that it’s going to change overnight. So I’d suggest you do whatever it is you need to to take really awesome care of yourself as you figure this out. That might mean seeing a therapist to help you get clear on your next steps. My hope is that once you get clear on what you’re going to do about this (and what you’re willing to tolerate), your husband will eventually fall in line. But first, you might have to start putting up some serious boundaries as to what’s acceptable and what’s not. A good therapist can help you with this.

      Good luck, friend!

  80. Hardino December 15, 2014 at 7:06 am #

    *Update* Hello all, it has been a long road, but I have finally arrived. My wife and I are no longer stuck in a rut or storm of troubles. I would like to share some things that brought ME through the hardships. If you have read my previous posts, it was clear I was at my ropes end and out of ideas, out of hope and just about lost my 15 year marriage. Before I found this site. We had been arguing and pushing eachother away for about 3 years. It got to the point where I heard the words “I can’t live like this anymore”. Even though I agrreed with those words it broke me. I found this site and others that helped me get some hope. Because let’s be honest, that’s all that I had left. I had tried everything that I thought would work but nothing seemed to work long term. TPajevic advised to see a counselor and I did. The counselor was good for a couple reasons. 1. They listened to you without arguing back. You felt like someone understood you! I recommend to do at least 1 session alone with the counselor then work towards going together. The counselor did not “fix” us though. But they did help us understand a couple of things about eachother and ourselves. During the counseling we still had our fights and discomfort with eachother. The feeling of always being in the wrong and the unwillingness to understand from the other was still there. Before the counseling I had to deal with resentment toward my wife. Which I didn’t realize I had until after reading this article. After reading this article and dealing with the resentment. I had changed my mentality to being more “positive” which really helped me push Through the hard times. So now during and after the counseling comes the hard part… Yes I said hard part. As if the last 3 years of fighting and pushing away isn’t hard enough right?? Learning to stop fighting with eachother, learning to get along with eachother again. Re-learning eachother again. It sounds stupid, but you literally have to force yourself to stop reacting the same way you have been for the last few years. You have developed habits and reactions that have always lead to more fights or more disappointments. STOP. You must change how you think. You can no longer think to yourself “they just don’t get me”. Well no shit.. That’s why you have been fighting. After years of fighting the habits are hard to break. But I realized this after we had basically decided to learn eachother again. We had stopped fighting as much and it was peaceful. Yet when some form of disagreement came up. We went from 0 to 60 in 1.4 seconds. Why??? Because we were still in the habit of arguing and reacting the same way. The cold shoulders, the smart remarks, the bickering, complaints.. All of it. Now I’m not saying that we will no longer have arguments. But we are finally at the point of a healthy marriage again. A few arguments are healthy of your marriage. Any questions just ask. I didn’t give a lot of detail because it isn’t relevant but if you are struggling with specifics… Just ask. I always come back to this article throughout the week.

    • Tanja December 16, 2014 at 9:28 am #


      Thank you SO much for writing in–I LOVE this! It’s great to hear how well things are going with you and your wife–talk about some incredible progress! I also love what you said about changing your mindset and doing things differently–YES!!! That’s so huge and one of the keys to getting our marriages back on track. It reminds me of the Albert Einstein quote: “Problems cannot be solved with the same mind set that created them.”

      So thank you for sharing that, because I think it’ll help a lot of people.

      And thanks again for checking in every so often to help others–I really appreciate it and am always happy to hear from you!


    • lynn August 17, 2016 at 1:06 pm #

      you keep saying its doable to make your marriage work even in the worst cases..we how do we do it…my huaband has lots of resentment twards me for everything under the sun and I twards him for lies,his hurtful words and 5 years agos business, his complaining,his priorities,exc… hes adhd,and is a hyper sensitive person taking to him is ALWAYS a fight hedoesnt want to hear my opinions of our problems unless I’m saying sorry it was my fault…hes very unaffectionate,cant understand my pain and suffering but expects oh poor baby when it him ,resent me for not working due to a neck injury ,actualy resnts anyone who doesn’t have to work even though he is a good worker he complains every single day about the guy he wrks with ,the people on the road,his boss,the neighbors ,,from morning to night he negative about everything and every one..hes always miserable ,he get angry very easily then says I’m just not happy,or he leaves the house if I try to discuss our in therapy now and he coming with next week he says if she sides with you I’m leaving..he does nothing to contribute to a romantic relationship,sex is not even a priority for either of us.hes lazy in bed and I’m so tired of feeling hurt by his nasty name calling and putting me down who want to..he resents that I don’t want his 31 yr old son living with us,he always in trouble ,steals, does drugs,and a lazy,wont work and my husband pays all his bills even his child support for his sons daughter(my resentment) he want to spend time with his son on the weekends and I’m supposed to say ok fine ill just sit here and wait til you have time for me,husband say we see each other all week ,maybe 2 hours at night before he sleeps wow not much is said or ddone in that time hes grumping or shutting me out watching he car shows… thoroughly fed up..but being diabled and have no family where do I go ,is it even fixable…

      • Tanja August 17, 2016 at 3:52 pm #

        Lynn, we say that it’s possible, yes, but that’s not always in everyone’s best interest and from everything you’ve shared here, I’m not sure that keeping your marriage going is helping anything — it sounds like it’s just complicating an already tough situation. Have you looked into social services/support services where you live? If not, please do. See if you can see a counselor while you’re at it. Getting away from your husband will start to shore up your self-worth again, and I really believe there’s always a way to do it, even if it takes a few months or a few years for you to become self-sufficient or live with others/on your own.

        Good luck, sister–we’re pulling for you!

  81. Newlywed December 18, 2014 at 2:48 am #

    My husband and I have been together since I was twelve years old we just got married this past August and everything has been going okay.. lately we’ve been fighting a lot. He leaves for work around 7 am and after working and going to the gym gets home around 7 pm… throughout the day I am home alone cleaning house and trying to keep myself busy I’ve gotten so bored with it I found a job I start in January.. The past months he has had his friends over almost every night (there all single) they stay here till 10-11 sometimes even 1-2!!! This seems to be all we fuss about! And maybe I could live with that but I have to clean up after them! Cups of dip spit, beer bottles, cigg butts etc. And he expects me to!! Oh and I forgot to mention he doesn’t want me a round.. So not only is my house full of 5-7 men playing ps4 5 nights a week but I’m supposed to stay in our room!! Cause there all single and he doesn’t want them looking at me. Then he wants to come in when they leave have sex and go to sleep. They came over tonight we got into a huge argument cause he told me no one would be here so now he’s sleeping on the couch and will not talk to me.. (only man I know who will put himself on the couch I begged him to come to bed) I find myself going back to the old days and all the promises he made back then. it seems I’ve kept my side.. I keep a clean house supper every night clean clothes to wear.. Im not sure what to do I tried being nice and compromising I wanna work this out he just say s I need to get used to it. Why is it like this when we haven’t been married a year!?

    • Tanja December 19, 2014 at 9:14 am #


      Yikes, that sounds challenging, to say the least! A few things: I’d definitely suggest you start taking care of yourself and figuring out what would make you happy instead of waiting around for your husband to make you happy. For example, you mentioned you got a job. Is it a job you enjoy? Does it lead to a fulfilling career? If not, maybe you could look into going back to school to get on your own feet.

      As for the rest, I can’t help but wonder what kind of agreements you made before you got married. Is this really what you agreed to? To play house while you husband takes you for granted? I don’t mean to be harsh here, but it’s hard for me to imagine that your husband completely changed the moment you got married–did he treat you like this while you were still dating? If so, why did you put up with it?

      The biggest thing that jumps out at me in your letter is that your husband doesn’t seem to be concerned that he’s treating you so badly.He doesn’t seem to be concerned with your feelings at all, and that’s a big red flag. I’d strongly suggest taking a giant step back and really thinking about what you want out of your relationship (as well as what you want out of your life). If you keep going on this path, you’re both going to be miserable, and that’s not fair to either of you.

      You don’t say how old you are, but it seems to me you both have some growing up to do. Marriage is about a lot more than just playing house, partying with friends and then having sex. It’s a partnership where you love and support each other so you can both grow. I don’t get any of that from your letter.

      So it might be time to take a step back and really think about what you want. Also think about what you’re willing to put up with. Then put up some boundaries. We teach people how to treat us, and if you keep putting up with this, you’ll just get more of it. If you need some help drawing the line, I’d definitely recommend seeing a therapist for some support. This could make all the difference in the world.

      Good luck, friend–we’re pulling for you!

    • Hardino December 22, 2014 at 6:25 pm #

      Yes, I think TPajevic nailed this one on the head. Lots more to marriage and you definitly teach others how to treat you. Maybe do what he is doing. Not in revenge, but to say “hey, I am fun too and I want to have fun” go out with your friends. Marriage is a long road and it will be full of ups and downs. But very much worth it. Just make sure you don’t be 100% passive or 100% aggressive. It should be equal and full of comprimising.

  82. Hardino January 23, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

    Any tips or references that I can grab for not having much in common with your spouse. Just in hobbies would be the biggest thing. Any advise would be appreciated.

    • Tanja January 24, 2015 at 7:35 pm #

      Hmm–just to clarify: you’re asking what to do if you don’t have much in common with your spouse when it comes to your hobbies, is that right? Well, first of all, I’d suggest that you stick with the hobbies you love and follow that. Don’t drop your hobbies just b/c your spouse isn’t into them! (Otherwise, you’ll just get resentful.) Find/create your own community around your hobby and let that be enough. I’ve found that things tend to work best when you don’t expect your spouse to be your everything. So let your friends/hobby folks fill in the gap on that one.

      Then do your best to meet your spouse where she’s at. Talk to her about the things that interest her (or at least listen), and hopefully she’ll do the same for you. I mean, you’re married, but your spouse don’t have to be your everything–nobody really is, and that’s fine. It often makes for a more interesting marriage if you’re different in at least some areas.

      That said, I feel like there’s something else here I’m not quite getting/understanding in your question. Are you unable to connect at all? Is that your question? Or do you feel like she doesn’t care about what interest you and that’s causing a problem? Let me know if you can clarify this more and I’ll see if I can help.

      Good luck, Hardino!

      • Hardino January 25, 2015 at 3:20 am #

        Nope, you answered my question just fine. When it comes to hobbies or hanging out we used to have the same interests or hobbies. Now we don’t. And we both kin of think “we don’t have much in common” when in actuality we do. It’s just we find different things entertaining. Ok, yes your answer makes sense. We will have to both realize this then.

        • Tanja January 25, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

          I wonder if it’ll help you both to realize that we all change and grow while we’re married–and the longer we’re married, the more we change. I think the true test of a marriage is whether or not we grow together, or we grow apart. That said, there are many strong marriages where the spouses have different interests and do different things with their free time. It all comes down to what’s right for you and your wife, not what someone tells you is right for you–especially not me. Figure out what you two want, and go from there. Good luck!

  83. Anita January 24, 2015 at 11:25 pm #

    I love my husband…but I am dealing with feelings that I have been dealing with for a year and feel as if I’m about to blow any day…with just cause in my opinion.
    I’m not going into details, but here is a little history that led up to my feelings. We have been married 12 years and we have a 13 year old son together. I have two children from previous marriage. I am 7 years older then my husband. At the age of 34, my husband joined the Army (a dream of his since he was small) and I supported him in his career. After 8 years and 3 deployments, he was forced to medically retire. The army life is hard on a couple and we had problems (mostly financially…never adultery issues). In November 2013, my Dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer…my dog of 12 years had died 4 weeks earlier I should add…I couldn’t get my ADD or anti depressant meds filled due to a problem with Tricare…and my husband decided in January that he wanted a separation until I could get myself ‘straightened out’. He sent me, my two oldest children (ages 24 and 22)from a previous marriage who was living with us, and two grandkids (ages 6 and 4) to my moms 3 hours away. Well, I watched the cancer spread and my dear Father died 10 days after I arrived at my Moms. During these 10 days, I was so hurt and alone. I felt abandoned by the one I always thought would be there for me. Well, my husband did bring our son to see my Dad the day before he died. We talked a little and later that night, he asked me to come home. He told me somewhere between the day Dad died and his funeral that he had been talking to a girl I knew and was friends with at one time. Now, he was in Louisiana and she was in Wisconsin I should add. He said he needed someone to talk to and saw her on line. I remember him saying something about no girls to date or some crap like that. It’s kinda blurry…my Dad had just died and I was a wreck. After the funeral, I told him that I was going to stay with Mom a little while…she was older and just lost her husband of 57 years. He went back to Louisiana. I stayed 5 weeks and during that 5 weeks, I thought about things. I wondered just what the heck he was talking to this girl about and so I manages to get into his facebook account two days before I was to return to Louisiana. He had deleted the messages with her…but, not between him and others. While I was feeling abandoned and watching my Dad die for 10 days…he was sending pictures to his sister telling her that he was trying to get with her. He said he was planning to visit her. Of course his sister, who did not care for me and I do not care for her, was all for it. he also asked his sister if she knew any single women…not fat (Ive gained some weight due to I have thyroid disease) and young (I’m 7 years older then him). She said she would think on that…of course, she didn’t know anyone because no body can stand her fake self. He also sent this pic to an army buddy he had not talked to in over a year saying he had kicked me out and this was the girl he was getting with..she’s 34 he added. He told another army buddy he had not talked too in a while that he had ” kicked the kids and old lady out and that he had never been happier”. He called me his “ex” to one person. Well, the next day, I told him what I did and he got mad at me of course. He said that he was just bored and messing with these people he had told these things to. I went home with him…
    I’ve tried to talk to him off and on about how I felt being alone during my Fathers sickness. He thinks I should be grateful to him because if he had not kicked me out, I wouldn’t have had that time with my Dad. I told him that if that if thinking that helps him sleep better at night, then rationalize it that way.
    As the 1st anniversary of Daddy’s passing is upon me…these feelings are getting stronger. I resent the hell out of what he did…And the fact he acts like he did me a favor is just unforgivable.
    I wish I could just forgive and forget, but I can’t. I love him, but I have all these other feelings…and actually these other feelings are weakening the love I think. Any advise? Please don’t say therapy…men and therapy mix like oil and water…I thought about seeking therapy alone…but, then I may resent doing that alone too. I’m a big girl too and can take being told I’m wrong and if you think I am, then tell me I’m being overly sensitive, selfish, or whatever…then I can put my focus on that.
    Thanks for listening…

    • Tanja January 25, 2015 at 5:30 pm #


      I’m so sorry to hear about your father, as well as all the challenges you’re going through. I think the biggest issue here is finding a way to take back your power and not let your husband decide everything. No, of course it’s not right what he did–and you know that, otherwise I don’t think you’d have written me. But what’s more important than what’s right and wrong here are what you want from your relationship and what you’re willing to put up with. To that end, therapy would help you gain clarity. Because here’s the thing: you only get one life. Is this really how you want to spend it? Being resentful about your husband playing around?

      I apologize if I sound harsh, but he’s playing games with your head and I’d strongly suggest you figure out why you’re willing to put up with it. Therapy will help you there. Even if your husband’s not willing to go, at least you can get some support as you figure out your next move. Otherwise, I’m guessing that things will keep on as they’re going–and that sounds awful on so many levels.

      On a side note, your grief over your father is deep and real and please get some support around that as well.
      Good luck, friend — you can do it!

      • Anita January 25, 2015 at 9:57 pm #

        Thank you for a quick reply and the kindness and honesty you expressed regarding my situation.
        You are absolutely correct about taking power back…I am making steps to ensure my life is secure with or without him. After Dad died, I wanted to move closer to my mom. We were having problems getting a loan due to a truck we had for 2 years and never late on a payment was repossed when he retired and got caught up in all the VA backlog. Well, let me back up for a moment…My Dad was a hard worker to provide for his family. I remember times he would have two jobs in order to get ahead. This plan worked and over the years, my parents saved up a good nest egg. My husbands family was totally different…his dad couldn’t keep a job and they moved a lot. When he was making money, it was spent quickly and foolishly. My husband is the same with money too by the way…he buys without thinking and then when a bill is due he will ask “what are we going to do?” He has gotten better I am happy to say. Anyway, so because of my parents saving, I have a trust fund to be inherited. Well, my mom knew I wanted closer to help her out if needed and honestly, she didn’t like me at his mercy to kick out when ever he took a notion again. So, she released $15,000.00 out of my trust for a down payment on our home we moved into last November. I understand that he is making the mortgage, but putting my own money into this home gave me a sense of power…he can not just kick me out so I feel I took some of the control away. Now, my Father tolerated my husband…he never really trusted him (mostly due to my husbands own father who ran his mouth to my father about his own son. He just lied about my husband to make the story good. In other words, my FIL is a gossip and a shit starter). My husband is not entitled to none of my part of the trust and my parents have arranged it where I just can’t get into it on a whim after they are gone. I’m a softy ans they were afraid I would give in to my hubby’s wants so it is given to me over time. I have no problem with this…I’m not the best with money and I appreciate they are looking out for me. My husband seems to resent the fact it is set up like this. Honestly, it crossed my mind that he told me I could come home to him because he thought “one down, only one to go”. Also, Dad died of lung cancer…he breathed in a lot of asbestos…so I have a law firm that deals with this and it is being investigated. To pursue this is a promise I made to my Dad. He always said asbestos would have a factor in his death…and I believe it did. So, my dear husband starts saying things like “when you get your settlement”…or the neighbor has 30 acres and a home for $200,000.00 that we can buy when the settlement comes in. I’m not even sure if I will get a settlement…they are just still gathering records. No amount has even been discussed. I told my husband IF I got money, it would go into the trust and if any of it was to be spent, it would be for something I know my dad would approve of and not just because my hubby wanted something (and between you and me…what I want for myself because my daddy loves me…). He gets angry…I did express my anger to him and told him he sounded like a gold digger. He doesn’t bring it up…and I don’t either about the law suit or the trust fund. Honestly, I dont think my parents trust is any of his damn business nor does he have any type of say about it.
        But, to defend my hubby against myself, I didn’t grow up poor…not having Christmas presents, not knowing when I left school on Friday if I would be returning on Monday due to dad lost another job and we are moving (he moved 5 times in one school year…), Wear second or third hand me down clothes, hear parents fight about money and lack of it, evicted and have to go live with relatives….so, i wonder if he just doesn’t know better then to say these things out loud to me. Does he realize how it sounds? I don’t know…wish I did.

        Please don’t get the wrong impression…I have been through a lot in my life and I’ve never taken smack from nobody. I did the job of an army wife for 8 years and my husband was told he needed to keep his wife in check once when I went to IG over the army not paying my husband his sign on bonus (I got it within 3 days after my visit) after they lost the same piece of paper 3 times. My husband told them that nobody keeps his wife in check when she was on a mission. I’ve got an opinion and not scared to express it. I’m not meek and mild, but may get a little soft if my hubby bats his big blue eyes at me. I Have to admit that my fire has turned to embers though.

        I wonder if somewhere on this road of life, I got tired of the fight. I would defend my husband to the bitter end if someone was doing him wrong. I’m afraid that when he joined the military that he was brainwashed in some way into thinking it was all about him and his brothers in arms…his thoughts, feelings, dreams, career, and his entire being was focused only on Army and the attention he would get wearing that uniform. There wasn’t room for me. I remember after his first deployment, the day after he returned home he said ” I would board that plane in a minute to go back right now”. Sadly, I knew he was speaking the truth. I think that was the moment I realized things would never be as they were before the army. He enlisted a silly, generous, kind man and turned into a selfish, self-centered, all-about-me man. He may be here at home with me, but his soul was left in Afghanistan. The man I loved is emotionally dead. I mourn the life we once had…a grief I’ve felt for 8 years now.

        You said he is playing games with my head and I need to figure out why I’m putting up with it…I’m not sure. I jump both sides of the fence…one day I’m pissed and the next I’m making excuses like telling myself it’s PTSD…and some of it may, but I don’t think PTSD can excuse all…yes, he got help from a VA quack that told him he was the boss of the house and could spend and do as he pleased…I was seated right there and heard it with my own ears…my instincts tell me that not all of this is due to PTSD. I have done hours of research and have taken psychology classes and some of his actions can’t be blamed on PTSD.

        I agree that this is not the makings of a healthy marriage….but, I’m not ready to give in yet. I think a lot of it is that he doesn’t relate to my emotions, so he dismisses them that bothers me. But, he expects me to understand his view on things. I don’t know…if he would just say he was wrong and should never have picked that time when I needed him the most to send me away then perhaps we could work on other issues. But, until this major betrayal is settled, I just don’t know if I can deal with the others.

        Thanks again for listening…feel free to give me advise…writing all of this helps too.

        • Tanja January 26, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

          Anita, I really feel for you–there’s just so much going on. I’m glad that writing this all helped. You know, that’s another alternative to therapy: journaling. It’ll help you get clear on what you want and where you want to go. So that might be another path to look into.

          Two things real quick: I agree with everything Hardino said and I just want to encourage you not to take too much blame in all this (and here, I’m referring to your answer to Hardino when you talked about all the stuff you needed to take responsibility for). You know, a relationship is a living, breathing thing and none of us are perfect in it–ever. Of course you’re going to regret some stuff you did. But please do keep in mind that you were grieving your father as well as your dog, and that alone could turn anyone upside down. So please take care of yourself and your mom and do whatever you need to to handle your grief, because that could keep complicating everything else as well.

          As far as your marriage, I’d like to encourage you to think about implementing some serious boundaries. Try journaling what you are and are not willing to put up with in your relationship and then think about how you can implement those decisions. And now you have some bigger financial pieces to take into consideration as well. If you’re having a hard time doing it for yourself, then do it for your children. They deserve better–as do you! Plus, remember that you’re teaching them by example. Do you really want to teach them to grow up and let their spouse treat them like this?

          I’d also suggest looking into some military support groups or contacting other military wives you click with to see if you can get some additional support that way. That particular challenge is something I don’t have any experience with and it sounds like it’s adding all sorts of other layers of issues to your situation.

          Whatever path you choose, I appreciate your strength and fire and can see that coming through in your comments. Good luck, Anita! P.S.: It might be time to remind your husband of your strength!

    • Hardino January 25, 2015 at 9:19 pm #

      Anita, so very sorry for all that you are going through. Those feelings of being abandoned and kicked to the curb are some serious salt in an already wide open wound. Your fathers death along with your dogs death are hard to deal with as it is. But when we have someone we can cling too during those times, we know we will be ok. That is aweful that you were treated that way during that time. Him acting like he did you a favor is even worse. As far as him saying that he was “just bored and messing with those people” is a straight out lie. Don’t except it for a minute. Anita, you have every right to feel the way you do. You are also trying to fix it by confronting him about it. However you moving back in with him after he straight lied and acted like he did you a favor is what concerns me. I think you were overwhelmed and confused and just needed someone to be wth you. I would te-evaluate that decision and take back your pride am not allow him to treat you like that. You can do this!

  84. The Waiting Woman January 26, 2015 at 9:28 am #


    My situation is rather odd, I will do my best to condense the most important details. I’ve been married for about 4 years now, and all I can do is think about freedom, divorce, and a clean slate on which to reconstruct my life.
    I must first say that my husband’s heart and intentions are and have always been in the right place, even if his logic isn’t. He is nice, but too passive aggressive, dependent, and has a misplaced sens of entierement, which governa many of his bad decisions.

    When we fisrt started dating he was a different person, literaly he lied about most of his personal identity. He says he did it out of shame and the desire to impress me.

    I found out the truth after a week of his disappearance, almost kidknapped and then detained. I was at the numbing point of a breakdown when I received the call and even then he continued to lie.

    A month later I lose I have to drop out of my studies (temporarily I was told) I lost myself money on non-refundable tuition, my apartment, and I had to leave my country, friends and family.
    When I arrive in this foreign country that is home to my husband I am lied to by him and his parents: they told me a lawyer had already been paid. I found out 2 years later that this was not true.
    So here I am over 4 years later still waiting. He and his parents did not confess to to the lie until 2 years after I married him!
    His family plays a lot of emotioal blackmail games, and my husband tells me that it’s always a matter of just a few more months.
    I have lost years s of childbearing, my education, thousands and thousands of dollars, my close family and friend relationships, my credit score, countless career opportunities, my twenties, my mental and physical health ect. And all he can tell me is to “just deal with it!”.
    I am in a country where access to affordable education, such as community colleges does not exist, I have tried to find work but my language skills and lack of a degree make that impossible. I’ve tried community service, but this particular counrty only enlists interns, basically they don’t grasp the comcept of just helping others.
    I’ve missed weddings, births, and funerals.
    I’m even stuck out in the middle of nowhere, where 2mb is the fastest available internet, so online courses are not an option either.
    I’ve tried to make friends but I’m 30-40 years younger than anyone around us.
    I feel trapped, lost, confused, crazy, depressed, worthless, and selfish because I can neither forgive my husband, nor his parents, even though I desperately want to.
    We can not afford professonal help, nor can we find any in English.
    I want to divorce him because I’m not sure any amount of time will help me forgive him. We basically live like roommates now. I have no feelings for him, and I find myself wondering if I ever did.
    This of course is a short run down of all the problems and lies.
    But if I leave now he will not receive his Visa until his BAN from the US is up, and then I have I will have to live with that, a divorce, and a lot of wasted time and money.
    I had a lot of potential, top of classes, ect. , and I have to wonder why his life is worth more than mine, why is he so special he deserves so much of someone in exchange for nothing?
    I need serious help.

    • Tanja January 26, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

      Good lord, Waiting Woman, I don’t even know where to start! I wish you’d given us more details about which country you’re in and why you can’t leave. Can you leave? I understand that you feel responsible for your husband’s Visa, but really? Even after everything he’s done to you?

      His life is NOT more important than yours, but that won’t change until you start acting like your life IS important again. I understand that you don’t want to lose anything else, but the fact is (if I’m understanding your letter correctly), that nothing can get those thousands of dollars back. Nothing can get those lost years back, either. Your choice now is what you’re doing to do with the present, as well as your future. If you’re that miserable, leave! I understand that you’ve wasted your 20s but let’s get you out before you waste your 30s and 40s as well. If your husband is truly a stand-up guy, then he can come meet you in the middle, somehow, someway. But at stands now, I see nothing to be gained from sacrificing yourself any further. If you need to, reach out to your parents for help getting out of there, but get out.
      Good luck!

  85. Anita January 26, 2015 at 9:44 am #

    Hardino, I agree with you. At the time he asked me to return home, my Dad was close to passing. In fact, he did the next day. I stayed at my Mothers house for 3 weeks after Dad died, not 5 as I previously stated. I was there almost 5 weeks total which was before and after his passing. I tried to talk to him about all of this, but he didn’t want to. I took this as deep feelings of regret and guilt. So, I went home. I continued to talk to him and that is when he came up with his idea of doing me a favor…if not for him, I wouldn’t have had those last days with Dad…I figured that if thinking like that eased his guilt then I could live with that. But, I can’t. I want an apology. I want to hear him say he was wrong. I want him to acknowledge that he added to my already intense pain. I want to know he understands that he betrayed me and my trust that he would stand by my side through anything. I want him to feel my pain of being abandoned during this time. All the rest of it as talking to this female and the things he was saying can be addressed later. The most important hurdle to me is for him to man-up to his actions. I’m just not sure he ever will and that is a major problem for me. I don’t know if I can heal without it. I will admit that I have to take some blame for my feelings…I have allowed the resentment to grow. This should have been dealt with before I went home…instead, I assumed his denial of wrong doings was just his way of hiding his own guilt, and that was an injustice to both of us. I enabled him to use excuses to justify his actions…I let him believe those excuses, I let him assume that I accepted them…I wasn’t being true to myself, I betrayed myself in a way by pretending his excuses were valid. Now, a year later of this eating away at me. I’m not just hurt as I was then, but mad as hell for his lack of taking responsibility for betraying me…his lack of understanding for the additional pain he caused me…that he hurt the person who trusted him to never hurt her. I don’t know…I’m going to spend a couple of days with my mom due to I don’t want her to be alone on this anniversary of his year being gone…I will take this time to think.
    Thanks for listening and being honest with your opinions about my situation. I appreciate it.

  86. The Waiting Woman January 27, 2015 at 6:05 am #

    Thank you Tanja,

    Of course I have tried to leave over the years, to me going back home and setting up shop while he waited out the immigration process seemed logical. According to tye US government though if I leave the, and live under a seperate address then the process is rendered inutile. They would suspect a faux-marriage at that point. In the the world of immigration, couples are not allowed to be real people with problems.
    So if I leave my husband will blame me for the lost time, money, and of course taking away his future in the US. He already told me that if I left he would hate me, never forgive me and that everything would be my fault for giving up on him/us. He doesn’t realize that I gave up myself for him, nothing is enough.
    He currently blames our marital problems on me because I’m unhappy, and it’s my fault that I can’t be happy. I’ve tried every natural approach to being happy, from yoga to intense workouts 5-6 days a week. I’m still miserable and he tells me that is my problem. That I should figure something out.
    We are at a “final” stages of the immigration process, but that doesn’t mean much because I’ve been told that now for over two years. That’s why I stay, I think it’s just a little longer, I can do this.
    I’m holding on to the past, hoping that when we’re out of France (which he finds even more odious than I) that we will find our way back to how we use to be. We were so happy before everything hit the fan and I learnt the truth. He and his family call me heartless, selfish, unstable and minipulative for wanting to leave. I didn’t break the law by over staying my Visa, why should I serve the same sentence? They just want me to forget my future and start popping out children!
    If I leave I have nothing, I think this fear also holds me back. I won’t have a job or roof to go back to, and I don’t have enough money to secure me until I do settle i , plus as a student I won’t exactly be swimming in cash with a part time disposable job.
    To make matters better, I cannot legally drive because of an opperation I had when I was a child; I lost most of my vision in both eyes. Life in the US is difficult withiut a car. My university is in a city where I do not have any family, or close friends to count on. I
    It’s a big decision, but I hope to decide very soon.
    Thank you for your encouragement and advice, it is much appreciated.

    • Tanja January 27, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

      That sounds really, really challenging! I wish I had some wonderful wisdom to impart here, but as you said, your situation is so complicated on so many levels. I honestly don’t know that I or anyone else can give you the magic answer here, especially with all the added complications immigration presents. I would still like to encourage you to stay true to yourself, however you can, whether this is taking time for yourself or journaling/doing some free writing to get clear on what you want, etc. Good luck, Waiting Woman–we’re pulling for you!

    • Hardino January 28, 2015 at 5:25 am #

      Waiting Woman, you are most definitly in a very complicated situation. Nobody can argue that. Sometimes in life we come across situations or complications that are to difficult for us to move forward. To hard to figure out the best course of action. Especially when ones emotions are involved. You must remember… One decision at a time, one day at a time, one person at a time. You and I and the rest of the world are not blessed with the ability to please everyone. So we must change our perspective, and make only one person happy. YOURSELF. This is not being greedy, or selfish. This is a fact of life. Your only reponsibility in your lifetime, is you and your children (up until of age). Change your perspective and focus on making the baby step solutions. Don’t worry about the things you can’t change anyway. Very hard to do by the way. But when you get in over your head with problems and complications that seem to surpass the clouds. It’s the only thing you can do. Take pride in your decisions and don’t second guess yourself. If someone makes you feel guilty for your decision. Just realize that other people will be selfish and expect you to make up for their shortcomings. Go back to school, go back home to your country, go back to what makes you happy. Leave the others to rot in their own negetive feelings. To me it sounds like you have way to many things and/or people in your life trying to keep you from what you truly want. Change your perspective and keep it simple, one day at a time! Keep strong!

  87. Liz February 3, 2015 at 1:15 pm #

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  88. Liz February 3, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

    Hi all. My problem is that my husband and I both have resentments towards each other which we both acknowledge to a certain degree, but either we don’t feel we can change the behaviour, or we deny it exists. E.g. He says I’m bossy and controlling, but I say that’s because he doesn’t help around the house. He complains I’m overweight but I find it hard to diet when he smokes and drinks. He says I talk too much, but I always have, so I guess he just notices it more? I hate that he’s so grumpy but he says it’s ‘life getting in the way’, etc. He says all this is normal in a marriage therefore there’s no problem and I’m ‘overthinking it’ but I’m unhappy living with a grumpy man who doesn’t appear to like my company anymore, let alone want to have sex with me. I feel like we’re making each other unhappy. I’ve tried working on the things I know annoy him about me, but it’s hard to keep up as the resentment creeps back in (why am I bothering to make him happy when he appears not to care if I’m happy?). I love him and miss him.
    Liz recently posted..The book is out–and it’s FREE this weekend!My Profile

    • Tanja February 3, 2015 at 1:57 pm #

      Hi Liz,

      I think where you’re stuck is in your mindset–right now you’re going around in circles blaming each other. But really, the trick is to figure out how to make YOURSELF happy first, and once you can do that, things will start to fall into place. To do that, you’ll both have to take some responsibility for your lives and bodies and your marriage. Right now, it sounds like you’re both numbing through food, cigarettes and alcohol to try and cover up those uncomfortable feelings. (It’s all right–this is something we all do.) So your first step might be to really get clear about all the different aspects of your life and figure out what you want to change besides just your marriage. Are you happy in your life, in your job? Do you have free time? Do you enjoy time with friends? If your life meaningful? Once you start unpacking that can of worms, it’ll become clear where you need to start (and hint: it’s always with ourselves). That’s all we ever have control over anyway. What I hope happens is that once your husband sees you’re serious about getting your own life back on track, he’ll step up and join you.

      Good luck!

  89. Tanja February 4, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

    Hi everyone,

    In an attempt to help more people, I’m now going to be posting your problems to the site (not using your name) instead of replying to each individual comment so that we can solve your issue together. I believe this will be more beneficial than replying to each individual email or comment, as there are probably several other folks out there who are dealing with your exact same problem. As other readers chime in, you’ll also get a wider range of advice.

    If you’d like more detailed advice on the steps I took to reboot my own marriage, please take a look at my book 9 Steps to Heal Your Resentment and Reboot Your Marriage. I wrote this book for the thousands of readers who wrote in to let me know they were struggling with their own resentment. The book is a short, easy-to-read cheat-sheet for rebooting your marriage–something I wish someone had given me years ago.

    I love to hear from my readers, and I read every single email and comment you send me. Please know I’m not always able to respond to each message. Please accept my apologies.

    Much love,


  90. in limbo February 16, 2015 at 8:17 am #

    Hello everyone,

    Just like everyone else here, I find myself in a very difficult situation. I’ve been married to my wonderful wife for almost 7yrs and have a 4yr old son together.

    I noticed things started to change after our son was born. To be honest, we haven’t been intimate since before he was born. Its not that I haven’t tried, from romance, to dating, to just being spontaneous or just plain dirty, nothing worked. She was very uncomfortable in her own skin, did not like the way she looked, or just tired. I always complemented her everyday but she still felt this way. This constant rejection has made me very unwanted, unloved, unneeded, and has also made my confidence extremely low. She would still hug me or kiss me but that intimate bond was gone. It was more about our son then working on us. I always stood beside her saying that maybe when she felt better she would be more intimate with me but it never happened. I know other men would probably not be as patient with this but I felt that she would eventually come out of this rut by herself.

    Anyways, during the last year I’ve also noticed her being even more distant to me. She has been sleeping with my son in his bed, when we do have some time alone on the couch or so she is cconstantly looking at social media or looking for recipes rather than cuddling up or even talking to me. I have approached her about our situation and told her I miss her and that I am lonely but she said she was tired and that she did not know. There has been a lot of avoidance.

    During the last 6 months it has gone from bad to worse. She finally admitted that she has not been happy for a long time now, saying that I have not fulfilled her needs of been a better provider which is why we are in a financial mess. That I haven’t been as supportive with our son when he was first born. And that I messed up even the most logical solutions for everyday situations. And she doesn’t know if she wants to continue our marriage together.

    I am hearing a lot of blame towards me And it is waweighing on me heavily. I can understand everything she is saying and am doing everything i can from going to a counceler, to talking to debt/financial advisors and for the last year have been working 7 days a week to help out a lot more. I am doing my part but she has no intentions in trying at all. No marriage counselling. No nothing. She has completely emotionally, mentally, and physically distance herself from me. I have never been abusive nor physically or verbally towards her, and am a good father. It hurts me to live in the same house with this much distance from her. I am living in limbo, not knowing what to do. I don’t want to leave her but this is taking an emotional titoll on me. I have talked about a trial seperation but she did not like the idea nor did she give me a response for it. She does not give me any response when I do ask her if I should stay or if I should go. I am frustrated and conflicted at the same time. What should I do?

  91. in limbo February 16, 2015 at 9:38 am #

    I think I might have left out some more details but, to my own defense, even though she says that I should have helped out a lot more with my son, I did it in other ways. I have always been the one that would clean up the house a lot more than my wife, I have always been doing the laundry, and also if there was no food in the house I would always get takeout.

    Yes there was always a money issue and there was atime where she was the main contributer to the mortgage, I helped out with other bills and events where we needed to pay for things. I don’t think I was a terrible husband. I always told her I loved her, always shown her I desired her, always try to show her affection, and always tried to spend more time with the family. And to this day, eventhough we haven’t been intimate for 4 years, i have not cheated on her yet.

    I know where my faults are and am completely sorry for them and asked for forgiveness. But it feels like its to little to late. I feel that i can’t do anything right because everything i do there is always something wring with it. I get blamed for the simplest things. I just want her to drop her wall down and open up her heart a little. I don’t think she realizes that it takes two for the marriage to work and that she is to blame too.
    She is a great person, and such a loving mother, and i really don’t want to lose her. But I know the reality is there, that our marriage is basically done and i am only holding on to hope.

  92. Hardino February 23, 2015 at 5:19 am #

    Dear Mr In Limbo, first off let me say that I am sorry and I have felt your pain to one degree or another. Maybe we all have. However you say that you two were not intimate from even before your son was born. That is a v-e-r-y l-o-n-g time. It seems as though you both fell into a rut or pattern from something that occurred a year or so before your son was born. Wether it be an emotional hurt/resentment or like you said, she just isn’t secure in her own skin. Try to figure out when this began exactly and see what emotional triggers took place. Usually women shut down in the bedroom department after they have shut down in the emotional department. Maybe it was a past insecurity? Or was it something you said or did that she took offense to? You might have not even known especially if she never spoke up about it. But since she prefers to sleep separated from you then there is definitly resentment going on within her. A person doesn’t get married to avoid their one-and-only true love. Unfortunately this has been going on for so long it will take a long time to nurture back into good health. You said you have tried talking to her and you have tried different angles to address the issue. But she is still unresponsive. I think it’s time for a altimatum. Explain to her exactly what she means to you. How you love her and why you love her. Explain to her the qualities you see in her and why you fell in love with her. Explain to her how she makes you feel (good and bad). Then tell her that a choice needs to be made. Either you are in this together or you are not. But waiting around for what seems to be an endless amount of no responses will eventually drive you to want to be alone or with someone else. So you might as well do it now while you still want to repair your relationship. You said that you have not cheated “yet”. Be careful with this. You don’t want this to become another issue especially if she is already self conscious. I think it’s best for you to take control and give some options. If she still isn’t responsive to your options. Then that is your answer. Time to make your own decisions for you and your kids. Best of luck!

  93. minnie February 26, 2015 at 3:13 am #

    I love my husband but I am afraid he hasn’t loved me in years. We have been married for 20 years and I don’t think he loves me anymore. He is very cold and distant towards me. He talks to me in a sharp tone,and scolds me very often.He gets mad at me quite often and yells at me over the tiniest little things. I also nag and botch and yell because when I ask him why he scolded me or why he did whatever, he gives me the Solent treatment which gets me frustrated and drives me crazy. He does the same things over and over to make me mad, which will make a normal person go crazy. An example; I will be cooking a 3 course meal, my hands full of vegetable peels, garbage is overflowing, he is sitting on the couch, I have two pots on the stove, something in the oven,etc, and I am chopping veggies, and I will ask him if he could take the trash out please, he will not answer. I will wait about a minute, I will ask again, he will say ok, but not move. I will wait and pile all the trash in the sink. After a few minutes, I will be needing the sink to wash stuff up, so I will ask him if he would please take the trash out for me cause I really need to use the trash can and I can’t leave the kitchen, an he will get mad and say ” no I won’t! I won’t do what you tell me to do!” So I will botch and at him and get mad and he will give me the silent treatment and then he will treat me worse later and yell at me and be really mean to me in all kinda of ways in the following days because as he calls it I had a fit. To me, I just got upset and botched as I was cooking, I mean who wouldn’t but he does these things where I am not sure if I so bad that other women would not be notching, or mad? I mean I start cooking in the morning in that kitchen like 11 am till 6 pm and he sits there till I serve his food in his plate and put it on the table. I did this after I broke my foot and I was supposed to be on crutches. No help.
    He abondened me while I had surgery. We checked in, he opened up his games on his phone and played his games. I sat there and cried.They took me back,they forgot to go back to get him, we both had our cell phones on us, but he never even came in to my room, or even called me before my surgery. I was all alone and scared.It was a major surgery and when I woke up, I was wailing and crying in the recovery room, I am thinking it was from my mindset before the surgery.
    After surgery he was very mean, he was ok the first couple of days, but the third day he started to withhold care and actually stopped caring about me and wouldn’t hold me as I was falling, wouldn’t pick me up if he saw me stuck, trying to get up after I have gotten hurt, or if I was in pain. That is what hurt. I needed care and had to take leave of absence from work for 4.5 months and needed care and he completely withheld care as I tried to take care of myself I would fall and he wouldn’t even care. Instead of helping me move around, he would sit in his recliner as I would struggle to move around and try to carry things and stumble and hurt myself.I just don’t even want him to help me anymore., I would rather get hurt and take care of myself then him do it unknowingly, thinking I have been a burden to him lately. Even though it is just a temporary thing.
    Yet again, he does tell me he loves me, but he wasn’t there for me through sickness. He has abondened me before that emotionally. He gives me no affection at all. None.he never sees me. I am a very attractive woman. Men and women always stare at me, but my husband never ever looks at me. Yet he will say I am so beautiful. He used to be addicted to porn, not anymore. That took away all my confidence as a woman.made me resentful towards him.He never talks to me. I don’t ask for anything. All I want is a husband who is my friend, my contamination, who loves me. He works in a different town an comes home on the weekends. I am already very lonely, so when he does come home it would be nice if he didn’t ignore my existence and treat me with contempt. I just want him to treat me like an equal, like a wife. That is all I Wang. But I don’t think he loves me. Because if he did, he wouldn’t wanna see me me hurt and be indifferent. But why does he keep telling me that he loves me? And why does he always tell me he won’t do what I tell him to do? I don’t tell him to do anything.Very rarely I ask him to give me a hand. I do everything around the house. He doesn’t even do repairs. I do 99 % he does 1% . He handles finances and makes all decisions and leaves me in the dark about everything and keeps things from me and leaves me in the dark from things including important financial and can’t matters which I have asked him to please work on. He promised not to keep me in the dark anymore.So the point is, I am not this controlling dominant woman, so why does he refuse to do anything for me or anything I ask, saying “I won’t do anything you tell me to do”? That just baffles me… So sorry about the long winded pos

  94. shara March 5, 2015 at 11:13 pm #

    I really need help!!! I have been married for 10 years now, and most of it has been pretty rocky. But it got worse after having 2 kids. My husband just cannot stand the fact that my attention goes to someone else, even if it’s our kids!!! It’s getting a bit easier now since they are more independent (6 and 4), but the resentment on both our part is so bad and has build up so much, that it just keeps piling up. I really feel like sometimes I can’t take it anymore.

    On top of that, my husband has always had a temper. Not violent or anything, but is just so confrontational that I literally have to argue about EVERYHTING with him before coming to a solution. For example, he was really stressed with how much work he has. (he is a freelance artist) He was overwhelmed with what he has to do. So I said why don’t we go out and buy a marker board and you can make a calendar and write down the amount of pages you have to draw each day so you can see how long it would take to finish the project, and you won’t be overwhelmed as much. Well he just about freaked out over that idea. He said that’s not how artists work, and I don’t know what I’m taking about. But guess what? The next day he went out and got a marker board, and he still uses it to calm his nerves over 6 years later.

    That’s just one example, but EVERYTHING is like that!! I’m soooo worn out. I feel drained, as if my energy is sucked out of me when I have to deal with my husband. On top of that I homeschool our 2 kids, so I really need to have as much energy and positivity as possible.

    He just gets upset over the tiniest things. His reaction to everything is anger first. Then he calms down and admits he was wrong and apologizes. Maybe the first few hundred times that’s happened, I can let it go, but I seriously can’t stand it anymore. Like what’s his problem?

    I’m so protective over my kids because I don’t want that sort of attitude to go to them. He LOVES our kids and does his part to spend time with them, and they adore him too.

    But I feel so resentful towards him. I feel he’s so self centered. I feel so resentful towards him when after having our first daughter, all he could think about was having sex with me, while my whole body was literally still hurting from having the baby. I am so resentful to him because after having the 2nd one and I hemorrhaged after a week of having her, he just responds by being cold towards me because I didn’t have time for him. I am resentful towards him because when I am sick with a high fever, I just get a “poor baby” from him, but when he is sick, the whole world has to tend to him. I am so sick of this double standard.

    He says he’s resentful because he’s not getting respect. But I’m not sure how this works? How can I give him respect when he’s treating me like this? When he gets upset over every little thing, and when he behaves like a child having a temper tantrum instead of a man?

    Oh he also expects me to be a mind reader. I’m supposed to know when he wants to have sex. He doesn’t approach me, he wants ME to approach him. But I’m not interested in that. He’s stepped all over my heart, and he wants ME to approach him? What is that? If that’s what he wants, why doesn’t he do the work? He never buys me any Birthday gifts or cards, never buys me flowers, but when it’s his birthday, it has to be super special with a personalized card. Also, sometimes I fall asleep while putting the kids to sleep, and he takes that as an insult because he says that means I don’t want to spend time with him. I’m like what???? I’m TIRED!!!!! He can talk for hours and hours about his work and stresses, but once I bring up my worries about raising our children and what’s the right approach, or even just telling him the funny things they did that day, he gets soooo annoyed most of the time and tells me that all I talk about are the kids, and when did I become so boring? Or he’ll say really insulting things like…when did you become such a mom? I want a wife. He makes me feel so bad just because I talk about the kids. Being a mom IS part of my identity. That’s what I am! He likes to compartmentalize people too. Like while the kids are awake, I’m in mom mode. Once the kids are asleep, I’m wife mode. I told him I’m your wife even when the kids are awake. I’m also a daughter to my parents, a sister to my sisters etc. I’m all those things. WHen I look at my husband, I don’t separate him as an artist one min, then my husband the next, then a father.

    Is this typical male mentality? Or does he have issues?

    He doesn’t want to see a therapist. But he seems to really like when I get REALLY angry because he feels secue and knows he’s pushed the limit and not to push any more. He kind of snaps out of being mean and angry for a few days. But again, that’s really wearing me out, and I’m in this marriage for the kids to be honest. The sad thing is, I know that if he just had compassion and kind words for me, my heart would totally melt. I’ve built up a wall because I can’t keep getting hurt anymore, and it’s easier to just not care and feel nothing. But the last couple of months, I’ve gotten anxiety symptoms like chest pain and dizziness and fatigue.

    The whole situation is just not getting better. And I cant make it better unless he’s willing to change his bad habits. I don’t want to have health issues over this!! But just being resentful and feeling all this wretched feelings towards him is really like poison. I’m starting to feel it physically now. 🙁

  95. self April 9, 2015 at 7:06 am #

    I have been married for the last 11 years and have two kids, aged 9 and 10. We met through a matrimonial site and decided to get married. At the time of our marriage my wife was working night shifts and me in day shifts. It was difficult to find time for each other due to the odd working hours. I would often end up waiting for her late in the night. We had agreed that once we had the family, she might have to give up working so as to take care of the kids. Fortunately or unfortunately she got pregnant and delivered our first child by the 11th month of marriage. She could not continue working after that as the second one was born just 11 months after.

    I was very fond of both my kids and used to look after them, including changing diapers, feeding milk, putting them to sleep etc. However I was more attached to the elder one as he was malnutrioned.

    My wife about two weeks ago told me that she has had enough of me and wants to separate. When asked she said that for 11 years she had been suffering and now she feels nothing for me.

    She had walked out of the house two years ago as well and then returned back after a month. After her return we had counselling sessions and then things were very good for 6 months or so.

    This time around she does not even wants to go for counselling saying she does not want it.

    The reasons for her wanting to separate are, I verbally and emotionally abuse her, take her for granted, pick up fight in front of children which is not good for their mental health, don’t say ‘love you’ at all, don’t talk to her, treat her like a maid, discuss every other thing with my parents and not with her, bully her, don’t listen to her and so on. The list could go on to pages.

    I have on the other hand have had problems like, she not being organised, doesn’t dress up well, doesn’t put on make up, not interested in physical relationship, tries to bully when angry.

    I have tried to as suggested by the counsellor tried to be much less complaining, more compromising, but that unfortunately has shown me as a weak person to her.

    Can some suggest the way forward (I am sure if she would ever read this, she would blame me for being indecisive as well).

    • Janet May 26, 2015 at 8:38 am #

      Try listening to your wife. Not thinking what can i say or do to fix this while she is talking, but listening to her. Act on what she has already said without defense or more talking about it. Stop discussing things with your parents before discussing them with her. Stop picking fights in front of the children. Stop treating her like a maid. Housework and childcare at minimum is a 55 hour a week job and it never lets up. Do you do your own laundry? Keep up the yard? Don’t do careless, sloppy things like track in dirt after you’ve mowed, or don’t make the kids wipe their feet. Do you tell her her feelings are too intense, not valid, she’s overreacting? Stop doing that. Do you look at this precious jewel every day and thank the universe she married you and gave you those beautiful children and makes a home for all of you? And that, every day of her life, she gets told by the media, the government, the church, and society that she is ‘less’ because of her womanhood? It’s a tough life. You are supposed to be her partner, husband, prince, protector. You wooed her with understanding and long walks and talks and now she gets treated like a maid. How long since you planned a romantic date to a place she wants to go? Good husbands make sure that happens once a month at least. How long since you just looked at her and admired the beauteous wonder that is this woman God gave you? Her anger comes out because she’s been hurt so long. Underneath it is a lot of hurt. When you first get more tender, she will maybe be even more angry while it comes out. If you are a MAN, you will take it and listen and learn and you will eventually have a beautiful marriage. If you are a whiny BOY, and get defensive while listening, you will lose everything MAN UP. Ignore that she’s accusing you of weakness now. You have been weak, if any of her statements are based in any fact at all. Let her get it out, listen and reflect. If you’ve neglected her for years, you have about a year to work through before things get better. Read “Fighting for your Marriage”

  96. Regina Peterson May 18, 2015 at 10:25 pm #

    Most of the tips I come across dealing with marriage don’t seem to be very realistic in my opinion, but I actually really liked these tips. My favorite tip was just to tell your spouse what is going on. I actually feel resentment fairly often towards my spouse and I just bottle it up and hope he figures it out. I feel this same type of resentment towards my boss, and I’m wondering if these tips could apply to that as well?

    • Tanja May 19, 2015 at 11:36 am #

      Absolutely! I think a lot of these themes cut across different parts of our lives, for sure. My guess is that resentment in any one area intensifies resentment in another area until you’re feeling put upon by everyone in your life. I would just be a lot more diplomatic when you speak to your boss 🙂
      Good luck!

  97. anne May 25, 2015 at 11:55 pm #

    I’ve only been married 3 years, but we’ve been “together” for 9ish. My husband can’t forgive me for cheating on him one time with his cousin.. we didn’t have sex.. just fooled around a bit. And this was before we were married. My husband has also fooled around with tons of girls before we were married, I always kind of knew, but I forgive him because I understand how mistakes are made, and until you’re married I feel like there’s some room for error. Plus he said it my fault for being “crazy” and “annoying”. My issue is that I think he actually hates me and can’t forgive me.He always calls me his “slut wife” and I try ultra hard not to take the bait and get in a fight, but it’s so hard after hours of name calling, etc. So I’m wondering, when should you cut your losses and move on? I love him but I don’t know how long I can live in this role of “the horrible person”? Tips please!!!

  98. Andrea May 28, 2015 at 7:07 am #

    Thank you for your article! I got married a month ago, we’ve been together for 4 years but only started living together the year before our wedding. My husband is a wonderful man, he is everything i ever dreamed of and more but being the youngest and only boy in his family he was very spoiled and was never responsible for chores in the house which i think really influences how he behaves with me. Just to give you some background i am extremely demanding – not a nice quality but i am demanding even with myself, i am very efficient and i like to get things done, i am also a little OCD, i love a neat house, office etc I have a very demanding job and im trying to get in shape so i wake up very early to work out then go to work so by the time i get home around 8pm i am tired but i still manage to make dinner, tidy up the apartment etc. I find myself very resentful because my husband doesnt help as much as i would like him to, he is a bit sloppy and leaves his clothes and belonging all over our tiny apartment. He lays on the couch claiming he’s tired when im tidying up the apt at night. Many times I ask him to do things and it takes weeks to get done. Im just so upset and tired i guess, i find myself angry at him and im worried that this will only get worse as i know people dont really change and this is the way he behaves at his parents home, at his sisters home and this is what he knows all his life so i dont see how he will change. I find myself worrying about the future and what will happen when we have kids – and lately i found myself not even wanting kids because im afraid im going to end up with all the responsibilities and doing everything. I come from a south american family where contrary to cultural tradition my father helped around the house so much, he helped raise me, helped with house chores and he always caters to my mom and helps her out tremendously. I am so upset about this and frustrated because i should be in newlywed/honeymoon bliss. I love my husband so much, he is my best friend, my everything but i feel like this resentment is making me so angry and upset that its hard to remember how much i love him. Pls help!

  99. jim May 28, 2015 at 11:14 am #

    What I see here are people addressing issues held in a current marriage. What I see happening to me are issues left over from two past marriages and kids to boot. I’m no saint, but I carry my weight financially and do try not to be the cause of ‘the next problem’. Fiancee is currently on high pressure blood meds. Thing is, she is constantly expressing resentment from the past. Here’s how it goes for me; I call it the 5-a’s. Agitation; something will agitate her. Next, Association; she’ll connect between the past and present. Then, Anger; she’ll either/or have an inability to express or process the anger in a healthy way. Following; Accusation; she finds blame on others. Lastly; Accusatory, sentencing of another. And this cycle is endless. Almost every day. I pitch in cleaning around the house. I help her with her job. I do whatever she’d like me to do, Really. Acting as a stepfather to kids from two different past marriages is touchy. I mean, a teenager (16) and two others 7 and 9. Her biggest complaint is that I don’t run the household. But when I try to take the lead she’ll constantly find fault with me. Heck, I can’t even drive the car to her satisfaction.

    • Tanja June 3, 2015 at 8:56 am #


      You sound like you have your head on straight. Truthfully, most of our resentment stems from past issues, although most of us don’t realize it. I’m guessing your wife doesn’t realize it either, even though you have enough distance you can see it more clearly than she does. The trick on this one is getting her to see it.

      How do you do that? Well, that answer’s not so easy.

      A therapist can be really helpful in this regard.

      Sometimes friends can help.

      A good sit-down, come-to-Jesus talk might also help.

      But ultimately, this might be your wife’s problem to solve.

      I realize that’s not what you wanted to hear. If she’s a reader, you can recommend a couple of books that might help her understand how this all works.

      David Code’s book, To Raise Happy Children, Put Your Marriage First, is great and clearly explains how the past affects the present and what you can do about it.

      My book does as well (9 Steps to Heal Your Resentment and Reboot Your Marriage).

      Good luck, friend!

  100. Joe June 6, 2015 at 11:34 am #

    I am in hell right now. i have a bad over the top competitive anger I get upset when my favourite sports team or pro celeb loses a match game etc. I would get moody and upset. Then my wife would berate me for being silly and getting so upset over a stupid game as she would say. And I would look to her for a kind word or a hey babe don’t sweat it. They will get them next year or whatever. Which would defuse me and handcuff me totally But her contemptuous responses would set me off and I would lash back at her. Most of the time a while a few minutes later I would calm down. Grab a shower cool off. Etc. Then wanting to make up for the bad moments prior would kiss my wife on shoulder or try and start something in bed even. I know that is last thing she would want after me being mean. And she would in turn tell me to F off Being angry at myself I would leave the room. Now she has told me years later that for ten years she has been interpreting this as I was mad that she turned me down for sex or intimacy of whatever kind. And that she has been having sex with me or performing sexual favours to keep me off her back or keeping me from getting all angry. I feel so horrible that this is how she interpreted my bad temper and lack of being able to deal with losing and the wounds have cut her to the point where we are on the verge of divorce. I have apologized profusely and tried to show her my devotion. I have always helped out with the kids and laundry and actually I do 60 % or more of the house chores. Trying to give her the stress free environment that our home should be. I do most of the cooking. 90% She goes to bingo with her mom and has a ful time job as a manager. I have been showering her with gifts and romance but all I am getting is a cool one word answer or a don’t touch me. She won’t change or shower until I leave that part of the house. She won’t hug or kiss me. Should I be getting a lawyer and filing for divorce or setting up therapy sessions I need anger help and have manned up and admitted my shortfalls to her and don’t want to give up. But am I being realistic. HELP ?

  101. Sydney June 19, 2015 at 2:52 am #

    I can’t belive this. I am 35 with three kids under 4 and literally days from one of us filing from divorce. This really resonated with me. One day you just do. That day for me was today, which led me to your article. Thanks so much.

    • Tanja June 19, 2015 at 8:50 am #

      Good luck, Sydney!

  102. Ms. Lisha June 21, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

    Hi, I have been in a relationship for 13years, and I’m only and still engaged. We have 2kids and one on the way. There has been physical and emotional abuse from him because he accused me of cheating on him. I have never cheated on him or even looked at another man. He was my first EVERYTHING, and has had control over me and my life since we met. I love him but I have gotten to the point where I no longer can fight or go on…What do I do?????

  103. Steve July 19, 2015 at 12:52 am #

    My wife of 16yrs is full of resentment and anger. She is currently lashing out at everything I ever did or said to her that was not pleasant. I know I was very selfish over those years as I felt her pull away and she was mad as she felt me pull away. She blames me for everything right now and a touch herself for putting up with it. She can’t understand how I never saw or understood what I did even if she told me. To be honest I don’t know that answer either. I had my first therapy session and it was slow as it was a history digest. My wife is currently out of town with our tween aged children. She’s not sure of anything right now and is debating a short return by herself to see if she can even be in the same room with me. I need immediate help in how to interact and assist her in dealing with the resentment so we can both work on ourselves and each other. I’m in a time crunch due to school starting and her debating them going to a new school in a new state.

    • Tanja July 19, 2015 at 8:47 am #

      Hi Steve,
      I’m sorry to hear you’re all going through such a tough time. What did your counselor recommend? This kind of stuff usually has a deep history and isn’t something you can “cure” overnight. That said, take some time to comb through the previous comments/advice in this thread, as it’ll give you lots of ideas of what might have went wrong, as well as ways to move forward. Being straight up with your wife is a good way to start, as is starting to figure out your role in this whole process.
      Good luck, friend!

  104. Jay July 19, 2015 at 6:21 pm #

    My wife of 7 years recently told me she was tired of being neglected by me. I had grown lazy and had completely taken her for granted. This had been a cycle where we would fight about it. I’d get defensive and she would just say “fix it.” So about a week before Father’s Day, she said she was done. She loved me but she wasn’t in love with me anymore. She’s tired of suffering and has built all these walls up around her heart. After about a month of showering her with love and attention, we are still in the same spot. She said today she resents me because I’m just doing all these nice things because she said she was done. She resents me for not listening to her months ago and changing my neglectful ways. I left town for 5 days and came back to essentially the same situation. I feel like things will never get better until she can forgive me and stop resenting me. How do I break through?

    • Tanja July 20, 2015 at 1:53 pm #

      Jay, it sounds like you guys have some communication issues and need to get on the same page before anything can change. Having a third party can help, and that’s often one of the benefits to doing couples therapy.
      Good luck!

  105. sandy c July 25, 2015 at 10:37 am #

    i read all this and its about when the kids are little but what happen when the kids are grown and the rolls are reversed. the women work and the husband stays home??
    sandy c recently posted..9 Steps Now Available in Paperback (plus a FREE gift if you act fast!)My Profile

    • Tanja July 25, 2015 at 8:19 pm #

      Sandy, same issues, different circumstance. Apply the ideas listed in the comments above and see if they help. Good luck!

  106. Nicole August 10, 2015 at 10:21 am #

    I feel resentment for my husband and I know he feels resentment towards me. It is something we discuss, or more accurately, something I try to discuss and something we end up fighting about.

    I feel like my husband is overly critical and not very self aware (i.e. every problem in his life is someone else’s fault). We both work and contribute equally to household finances but I do the overwhelming majority of our house hold chores. He is constantly complaining about the things I don’t do or don’t do correctly, which hurts.
    He has a very demanding job that he hates and I have a wonderful job that I love – this is why I do most of chores (shopping/cooking/cleaning/caring for our animals etc etc)
    This is a MAJOR source of anger/resentment for him. I suggest he look for something new but it doesn’t seem to make much of an impact. He seems content in his unhappiness which is very hard for me to understand.

    I smoke cigarettes. I always have since we met. It is a filthy habit, I know, but I am beyond tired of being berated for it. I’m not really a heavy smoker, really just in social settings or when I feel stressed/need a break. Two in an evening is about it.

    Anytime I try to bring up something I am feeling needs addressing in our relationship it somehow turns into a terrible fight about my smoking. He calls me a loser, a degenerate. A weak minded fool….. Any number of terrible things because he knows it will cause me to cry/retreat to our room and end the discussion.

    Awhile back, I was so tired of the name calling I quit for almost a year. During that time I constantly heard I was annoying, too emotional, too talkative he actually would tell me I should just start smoking again and leave him the f alone. Kind of a no win situation there….

    My question for this forum is how can I convince him we need counseling? I have suggested it to him several times and it ends with him calling me a hippie. He says if I am unhappy I should just leave. “Get your shit and get out” is more the verbage he would use.

    He knows I won’t leave. He knows I will tolerate this behavior, because I have for so long.

    I love him. I want our marriage to work. I am just beyond tired of his anger/unhappiness and his borderline abusive language he uses when I try and have conversations with him.

    Any help you all could offer would be much appreciated. Thanks.

  107. Christy October 12, 2015 at 10:05 am #

    I found this page today. Thankful that I’m not the only one with this issue. I met a man in Michigan who was working on a job there for an extended amount of time. He is from Alabama. Well, to make a long story short, I ended up moving to Alabama with him and we got married. We’ve been married just over a year. I also brought my two daughters with me. (Ages 10 and 3). As my older daughter and I went through extreme culture shock, my older daughter decided she wanted to move back to Michigan and try living with her dad for the first time. As much as this broke my heart into tiny little pieces, I understood. I have full custody of my youngest daughter who is not in school yet, so her father and I just share parenting time with her at this point. Man, it is heart wrenching to spend any amount of time away from my girls! On top of the culture shock and the heartache of missing my girls, we’re in a very unpopulated area, which makes it hard to find friends, let alone decent jobs. As I’ve been battling these struggles for over a year, our marriage is already very rocky. There isn’t a day that I don’t feel resentment towards my husband for one reason or another. But after my little one left for a visitation with her dad this passed weekend, I realize our relationship is even more brittle before and shortly after one of my girls is to go to Michigan (either for the school year or just a visitation). I’ve finally sat down with myself and my emotions today and realize, every struggle I’ve had with ANYTHING down here, I blame it all on my husband. I realize that I resent him for having “His life” down here but with the benefit of having a family, while I feel like I’ve lost everything at times. Time with my girls, career opportunities, my friends, my family, etc. I realize it was my choice to move down here, but I don’t know how to stop resenting him for things and feeling subconsciously like it’s all his fault and he’s somewhat of an enemy bringing pain and unhappiness in my life. I know it’s not his fault. I would really appreciate any advice for me or him that could help me and our marriage…

    • Tanja October 13, 2015 at 7:07 am #

      How wonderful that you’re starting to understand the pattern! That’s huge, and something to really celebrate. Have you talked to your husband about all this? It might help to clear the air, as well give you the space to sit down and start figuring out how you can learn to better bridge this transition. Other ideas include talking with friends or a therapist to help get you the support you so desperately need. But I really don’t want to underestimate what a huge step forward you’ve taken in understanding how all these different pieces work together. Whatever you decide to do next, be sure to get yourself lots of support as you move forward–it can make all the difference.
      Good luck, friend!

  108. Samantha October 13, 2015 at 1:01 pm #

    HI Tanja, I too am so happy to find this website. I have been married 40, yes 40 years but at my age now I am finding that the resentment and anger I have been living with is starting to really bubble up and I want happiness for myself now. My husband is a really nice guy. His problem where I’m concerned is he has no empathy, sympathy or compassion. He also has no idea of true intimacy. To him, intimacy is sex. I have not wanted sex for several years now and he accepts that, doesn’t like it, but gave up asking. When we were first married things he did that I didn’t like, I never commented on, I would just accept them and stuff my anger and resentment. I worked part time and there were times I wanted to just be home and have time to myself, he’d tell me to go somewhere if I wanted to be alone, I didn’t want to go somewhere, I wanted to just be home. He’d go to a store or something and of course the kids would want to go along but he would say he could get things done quicker without them, really, like I didn’t know that! We had one child with serious medical problems, surgeries etc. He would be there for the surgery but he could read a magazine, sit quietly and I was a wreck. He would always just say, relax, it’ll be fine. I’d spend days at the hospital, spending the night there but when evening would come, he’d say, well, I’m hungry or tired or whatever, I’m going home. Bye. There were times I would have liked to go home. Its hard to explain but he is sometimes physically there but emotionally seems so detached and never “gets” what I’m feeling nor does he ever ask. Never. We tried some therapy but he is so laid back, he would just say things like yea, I’m an a–hole, what can you do! Our son has had problems with attending school, anxiety, etc and his only feeling I ever saw was anger at the kid, never a comforting word or taking him aside and telling him, hey I’m here for you or anything like that. We don’t share any feelings or words or thoughts EVER. My kids are grown now and at this time in my life, I am tired of thinking something was wrong with me for not wanting sex, that’s what he has asked me all these years. We have decided to stay together, I do love him but not in a husband wife way any longer. Any suggestions? How can someone just never show any feelings? Thanks so much. I ruminate on this probably daily.

    • Tanja October 14, 2015 at 7:22 am #

      That sounds hard all around. I can’t comment on what’s going on with your husband as I have no idea, and I really wonder what the therapist had to say about all of this when you were in couples therapy. At this point, I’d suggest you consider therapy for yourself–that might help you figure out what you need to do for yourself in all of this. It doesn’t sound like your husband’s going to change at this point, but you can still take care of yourself and lead your own life, whatever that means to you/whatever that looks like. A good therapist can help you get to the bottom of what it is YOU really need at this point.
      Good luck, friend.

    • Hardino November 4, 2015 at 12:25 pm #

      Hi Samantha, sorry to hear that you marriage has gone on for this long and you want to be left alone. I have not been married nearly as long as you, however came across some of the same issues as you described, just not as deep. I wanted sex, just not with my wife. Because of the emotional distance between us. I won’t ever cheat so.. No sex was my attitude. If I were in your position, I would do the same as you. Find what you want and don’t worry about other people. But when you do start talking with someone about this situation, I would bring up and ponder why you decided to “not say anything and swallow you anger”. I most definitely believe some of the problems you are feeling now are from this. You said your husband is a good guy but you don’t love him like a husband anymore. I too felt this of my wife, but only for a short while. Maybe a year. Remember that you are both human beings and both have a right to have different feelings. Both have a right to be happy. I’m sure when you got married the attitudes between both of you were along the lines of “how can I show my spouse how much I care for them”. Obviously this has changed down the road to “I just want to be alone”. Definitely make yourself happy first. And if it is possible, then you try to make others happy. But working on yourself first is definitely the right move.

  109. Laila November 6, 2015 at 11:06 am #

    Hello Tanja,

    I’ve been married for over 7 years to a man with two children from his previous marriage. We have a 3-year old of our own as well. From the outset, I’ve made several major adjustments for this relationship, including sleeping in a separate room when my husband’s children were over and wanted to sleep next to him, waiting for 4 years to have a baby because he wasn’t ready and told me his other kids were priority over our relationship, coping on my own with my infant as he was too busy (once again with the older children whose mother decided at that very time that it would be a good idea for them to move in with the father for a few months), and time and again putting up with being talked down to for not helping him with his children or failing to get help for the house or doing a “poor job” at running the house (he does not believe in helping with the house or our child). At one point, when our baby was 3 months, he started shouting at me just as I was laying her down for a nap, saying that I was self-absorbed and of no help to anyone else around me.

    I feel I have reached a point now that I can’t carry on in this marriage without a major “renegotiation.” I tried having a conversation with my spouse to tell him that I had a lot of resentments and needed him to make reparations. I told him what a life changing thing it was for me to have a baby but that all I got from him was angry outbursts. I gave him various examples of nasty things he had said at that time and subsequently that could not have helped the situation. His response was that, great, so your life has now changed, so try to see the positives in me, and maybe I can make a list of all the insensitive things you’ve said to me (his example was when I asked him to get a sperm test done when I was trying to conceive).

    I know that I can hardly convey the entire situation to you, but I just don’t see how I can unilaterally overcome the hurt and resentment that I continue to feel every day, and which keeps getting worse. I fear I may be in a very toxic relationship, and that only stepping out of it will help me heal. I will have a very tough time, though, dragging my baby through a divorce. On the other hand, it may be the worst thing for her to observe her parents day in day out in a loveless marriage.

    I’m not even sure if I have a question for you. I came across your blog randomly and the theme resonated with my situation. Thanks for enabling people like us to write!

  110. Laila November 6, 2015 at 11:17 am #

    I’ve also just read some comments here regarding parents respecting their children and ending a dead marriage at the earliest instead of carrying on with it on the basis of some imagined benefits to the children.

    Would love to hear more about what is a more appropriate age for children to cope with a divorce. Is it better to call it quits when they are too young to understand everything, or when they can comprehend better and rationalize the situation at hand?

    • Tanja November 6, 2015 at 1:48 pm #

      I don’t think there’s any “appropriate” age for children to cope with a divorce, and assume that divorce will affect each child differently, depending on the circumstances. That said, I firmly believe that staying in a toxic marriage for the sake of a child is a no-win situation for anyone, especially the children. Yes, divorce sucks. But so does everything you’re teaching your child by staying married. It definitely sounds like you’re in a really rough spot and I really want to encourage you to get yourself some support as you debate this and/or move forward. Figuring out what YOU need can be the first step to helping you move forward.
      Good luck, sister!

  111. Her Mom, His to control November 14, 2015 at 5:57 pm #

    Our relationship has never been perfect. In fact, his sister told me not to marry him.

    My husband is very inconsiderate. Has major double standards. Believes that working and providing is all he should do. As a SAHM, which wasn’t by choice, but by being far from family and my husband being paranoid about someone keeping our child, being in our house, & us being able to travel with him when he has to for work.

    He doesn’t see what I do as work. He is not a hands on dad is always has an excuse not to change a diaper, give her a bath, or even just play with her. We have no communication, because I’m overly emotional to him, and he barely shows any, he can’t stand to even try to talk to me. He will brush off any of my feelings or concerns as being crazy or ungrateful.

    He also holds paying ‘my’ bills over my head, and then gets mad at me around bill paying time, that i’m not doing anything to bring in any money. The times I’m able to work, my mom who lives over an hour away, will come by to “help” him. Which means, she pretty much does everything while he does “office work” and because of things he has done, she comes now just because she worried the baby is just being put in front of the tv and not watched while he does his projects.

    He doesn’t want to do counseling because he doesn’t like the idea of telling someone his business. I’m thinking about going alone, because I’m at wits end. I feel like a roommate with benefits. Not my benefits, he gets what he needs and is done. Not one minute is spent worrying about my sexual needs. I’ve resorted to taking care of that myself. He says different people bring different things out of each other, and when you’re dating someone you do more because you want it from that person. But he has NEVER been this way with me. Completely selfishness to the point of pain for me. Also after trying new BC and having not good side effects that put that on hold for 3-4 weeks. He told me I should be happy he doesn’t drink because temptation would probably get the best of him.

    When I ask for something simple, just a little consideration – something as simple as a call so I can plan my day if he isn’t able to make it home by a certain time – that doesn’t happen. Then looks at me with disgust as if I asked him to give me million when I ask why he couldn’t call?

    The only good thing is, he does with other family members as well. Total aHole moves where everyone is telling him that what he did was rude, inconsiderate, and selfish. Then he acts like everyone else is just being divas. I’m dumbfounded.

    I know I should leave him. But it feels like quitting. Like the easy way out. BUT then again, I deserve to be happy. My daughter deserves two loving parents. I don’t want her to think that is how a man is suppose to treat a woman.

    • Tanja November 16, 2015 at 10:47 am #

      I’d definitely recommend going to counseling by yourself–it’ll help you gain clarity around all the pieces you’ve mentioned here. And I don’t think leaving someone who’s treating you terribly is quitting by any means. You need to take care of yourself, and you need to take care of your daughter. Right now, by staying, you’re teaching her (as well as your husband) that it’s OK for him to treat you that way. Counseling will help you get clear on boundaries, what you need and what you’re willing to put up with. It sounds like you’ve been on a hard road, sister, and you could use some support.
      Good luck!

  112. Hangingon January 4, 2016 at 9:54 pm #

    I have been married for over 24 years. I recently told my husband it’s time for a divorce. At first he freaked out and thought nothing of it. But when I explained to him that I was tired of speaking to the wall, I was done. I deserved to be loved, happy and live life, especially after fighting cancer. I read all my journals of our past times and it fueled my resentment towards our marriage. After a few days, he apologized and realized he messed up our marriage and wanted another chance. He has turned his outlook on life around but I just can’t seem to forget all the hurt and pain he xaused. Especially not being there during my chemo days when I really needed him to be there.

  113. sandy January 8, 2016 at 11:59 pm #

    Make my story short 15 years marriage. I’m with the bad temper. Just had our second child after 6 year of trying . Both work full time.

    When we argue I always more dramatic , so now when we argue since I explode easily I just go to the room to stop arguing the thing is the this is holding me for telling him how I really feel . We r just not communicating . He never accept his fault it frustrate me a lot that is what is gets me more angry and I end up being the mean because I raise my voice and he looks like the innocent in front of my 13 year old boy, that is what hurt me most that he see me and I don’t want that role model for him.
    Last time I told him we cannot continue this way for us having arguments and losing respect for each other . He did said if that is what I want he will respect it but that he loves me and want to grow old with me. I just felt bad and let it go , but we dud not talk about our argument.

    I hate have to go to bed like this with all this
    feeling to bed .

    I guess since I don’t let all out and he does not get it I feel that my resenment is growing . He is a good father and a nice husband but latetly I dont know what is happening to me or is him. We dont really argue a lot but I feel is started to became often or is my resenment or his. STRESS or what.

    Help .

  114. Confused January 25, 2016 at 3:02 am #

    I have been married for 9 years. We have a 5 year old and 2 year old and we both work. I get up everyday, get the kids ready, make breakfast and take the kids to child care, even though the facility is in the same building my wife is employees. Recently, I stopped making breakfast because this morning routine was wearing me out. Now my wife makes her own breakfast and does not bother to offer to make mine, even though I have been taking care of hers for 3 years. That’s just the beginning. I am basically the one that cooks the majority of the time. She seldom, if any, will initiate cooking, even though we both have strong convictions of eating healthy and feeding our kids healthy. I do laundry, bathe kids, put them to bed, clean, …….there is not one thing I don’t do daily. I am also the main bread winner in the house and close to losing my job due to a down turn in my industry. Yesterday, Sunday, we spent the day at church and then out with the kids. I had a crappy time. My wife constantly tells me what to do like I am 3 years old even though she knows I am capable and diligent about all family affairs. All I do daily is move constantly from morning till bed time taking care of things…..for years. Last night I decided to clock out and watch a movie on my phone while she was playing with her phone and the kids were watching tv. When she found out what I was doing, she began to nag me about it, guilting me etc. I ignored her and stood my ground so she cancelled our streaming account to some how disrupt me.

    Basically, I love my kids so much, love caring for them but I am at the point that I don’t even want to be in the same room with my wife. I see her as a nagging, annoying person that I have to spend life with. It’s bad enough I have resentment for what I do daily but I resent that she does not respect or consider my time and what u do for the family. We also don’t have sex or intimacy. We barely kiss anymore. I thought I was just getting older and my hormones were leveling out but I realize I am just so resentful, so disconnected and spend most of my time wanting her to just leave me alone when I finish my night and put the kids to bed.

    So much more but I don’t want to rattle on. I slept on the couch last night and I just feel divorce now instead of later is the best. I’m thinking of moving out this week. It kills me to be without my children but they are getting to the age where they will star seeing our dynamics. I just like being with them and feel happier when she is not around.

    Divorce just seems inevitable. I’d rather do it know than later.

    So confused.

    • Tanja January 25, 2016 at 1:13 pm #

      Oh my dear, this sounds so hard on so many levels. Have you reached out for any help, tried to find a counselor? Try that first, even if it’s just you going yourself. This will help you gain some clarity before you throw everything overboard. If you can get your wife to see a marriage counselor with you, even better! But even if not, go see one yourself, please. This type of stuff tends to be deep-rooted and you’ll want to get to the bottom of it, even if your marriage doesn’t make it. Otherwise, these types of patterns tend to repeat in future relationships.

      Good luck! We’re pulling for you.

  115. wondering February 15, 2016 at 9:51 am #

    I’ve been married for 30 plus years, married when I was 18 and he was 21. First child was born when I was 21 and the 2nd a few years later. We were happy and good friends, committed to each other and our children, but we didn’t always connect intimately. 8 years into our marriage my husband was hurt on the job and sustained a brain injury. He was in a coma for a month and rehab for a year. My husband was completely changed, personality, his touch, his emotional state, everything. In essence I mourned the death of him while living with him. To say this was difficult would be an understatement but I determined to make it work.

    Fast forward to now kids are grown, we have grandchildren we both love. But the years have taken a toll on me and I am not in love with my husband the way I should be. I realize that I was able, for the most part to stay with him and learn to be friends with the man he was after the accident. But I have always been the one going to work, making the decisions in ever aspect of our lives. I stayed because I made a commitment in sickness and in health and I was able to keep that as long as I was able to focus on being a Mother to my children and providing them with a stable loving home, something I didn’t have while growing up. My husband is a good man, he is a functioning person and does a LOT to help me out around the house, but there are long lasting problems as well. He doesn’t remember so many things in our lives, things we talk about places we have been. Conversations that simply disappear as if they have never happened in the first place. I am still a relatively young woman and I’m not sure I want to live the next 30 yrs of my life without being able to really communicate with someone. I’ve been a caregiver for the majority of my marriage and I am so torn. We have lived separate yet together in the same home for the last 4 years and I am finding myself snapping at him all the time. It’s not his fault but I feel like a caged animal at times, stuck in a place I can’t stay in yet I also can’t get away from.

    How do you leave a marriage of 34 years, what does that do to your grown children and their children. I feel selfish and I don’t like the person I am becoming to the man I have known most of my life. Do I suck it up and try to find a way to work this out or do I leave to focus on myself at this stage of my life? And yes I have been to therapy not sure it helped much but it did clear up a few areas like I really am not a bitch for focusing on myself after so long.

    • Tanja February 15, 2016 at 2:17 pm #


      Wow. That sounds really, really hard.

      I wish I had a good answer for you here, I really do. This is such a tricky situation on so many levels…. I’m glad you tried therapy, though, and am curious what happened when you brought up this question with your therapist?

      I’m guessing that for some people, they might be able to stay in such a marriage by finding meaning, joy and satisfaction in other areas of their lives, such as job, contribution, community, close friends, hobbies, etc. For some people, that might be enough. For others, it’s not. The trick is figuring out where you fall in all of this.

      I do think a lot of us chafe under the burden of too many obligations, especially when they’ve run on for such a long time. From personal experience (and of course, my situation’s nothing like yours), I’ve found relief by putting more of my lifeblood into other areas of my life. Is that something you can explore? If so, following your life’s passions and bringing joy and excitement back into your life that way (rather than expecting it to come from your husband) might be an easier first step than moving toward divorce.

      That said, you’ve outlined some very real and big concerns here–ones that are far outside my expertise. It sounds like there might be some complicated legal and caregiving issues that will need to be addressed if you do move toward divorce. I’d consider discussing this with your therapist as well as any trusted friends and/or spiritual advisors as you try to gain some clarity for yourself. You have so much on your plate here, friend, and I don’t want to see you regret anything.

      Good luck, my dear. We’re pulling for you.

  116. Katinka March 14, 2016 at 12:55 pm #

    I have been with my husband for 20 years, married for 10. I never wanted children because I was afraid of how he would adapt to a family. He’s hobbies, friends and family where always first. 3 years ago having a child for him was a deal breaker. And yes, a tiny bit of me wanted to be a mother, to have something of my own as I come from a very broken home and have no family. Fast forward, my son is 20 months old. I stayed home with him until he was 16 months old and I needed to go back to work for my own sanity. I was stuck at home day in and day out while my husband lived he’s life. I work full day, up at 4am and home at 6pm. I take care of all my son’s needs from the time he wakes up, to dropping him at day care and picking him up to getting him to bed. Weekends are always the same, I spend my weekends doing household chores and looking after my son while my husband enjoys he’s hobbies out of the home. I have no support structure so I don’t get a break. He gets home at night and I’m expected to have dinner ready and he complains how tired he is. Um, I also work full day and plus some. For months I have complained, begged, pleaded that I need help, I need down time, I’m lonely but he just wouldn’t hear me out. So here I am trying to find a better paying job so that I can leave. I find myself shutting down from him and distant because I think the hurt and resentment has pushed me too far. I don’t even think that counseling can save us now. I have, in essence, given up. A friend asked me if I love him and I couldn’t answer her, because I don’t think I do. He does earn drastically more then I do but I pay for everything for my son, food for the house etc etc and I run short of money and yet he is spending copious amounts of money on he’s hobbies and social life and I’m scrapping through to put food on the table. I am already on antidepressants to just cope, or else I shut down down so much so that I can barely talk and I need my job those little pills are keeping me afloat at the moment. Sometimes he wants to get sexual and I just can because I am so damn tired and I think if he maybe just helped out with the chores and taking care of our son I might have more energy to think about been intimate. For our 20th anniversary he made plans for us and got a friend to look after our son for the night. When she asked what time she should pick up my son that night I told her to please not worry because I wasn’t going out. He was annoyed that I cancelled and seemed peed off but I had no interest in that night. To me there was nothing worth celebrating except the fact that I have moved on from this marriage both emotionally and physically. My resentment has turned me into a sad and lonely person that begged her spouse to work on their marriage and eventually gave up and waiting for a better paying job so that I can throw in the towel.

    • Tanja March 15, 2016 at 7:37 am #

      This sounds really hard on multiple levels. It seems to me that one of the most important things you can do for yourself right now is to start by getting yourself some support. That can be by doing child-care trades with friends, seeing a therapist or looking into what kinds of support systems are available on sliding or low-income scales in your area. Once you’re feeling more supported, your next steps might become clearer. Since you’re already on antidepressants, I’d suggest talking with your doc or whatever therapist prescribed them and letting them help guide you toward some support. Once you’re taking better care of yourself, the rest will become more clear, and I’m guessing you’ll either be in a better position to negotiate/stand up for yourself more or leave, if that’s what you decide. Good luck!

  117. Williammup May 6, 2016 at 12:39 pm #

    A big thank you for your forum post.Much thanks again. Will read on…

  118. Ada Isaksson May 20, 2016 at 1:00 am #

    Married 31 yes in July, lately my husband seems to have a problem with me he keeps saying I always have to have my way. Im always right, hes always wrong. First I had an ides to buy an old trailer to pretty much gut and build just bunk beds in it for the family to camp in,kinda a tent on wheels. So I found an old one and bought it. I started tearing out the cupboards and kitchen and beds, then the argument started my husband wanted to keep everything. He wanted to keep the stove, sink bathroom etc even though this was my project. I got so tired of it I just gave the trailer to him to do what he wanted. Recently I thought I would get my husband a ride in an ultralight airplane for our anniversary this July, he’s been wanting to do it for years but it was expensive, so i saved some money i had made myself. I found a place that I could afford. I wanted to surprise him but thought it would be better to ask first. He was so excited, so I thought. He thanked me kissed me. So I contacted the company, doubled checked with my husband, he said book it so I did. Month later we are in bed being intimate and he said something I felt was degrading. I asked him why he said that and he said he was just roll playing, I said that wasn’t remotely sexy or loving. Then he proceeds to tell me I never listen to him I always have to have things my way and that he told me awhile ago that he wanted to pursue the ultralight ride on his own by himself. And yes he did say that, but i have memory issues and I honestly thought it was about the money. Thats why i saved for so long. I told him I didn’t understand I asked you, I showed you the website, you were so excited. I double checked before I paid for it. He said he did it because he didn’t want to argue because I always have to be right. So now I’m out hundreds of dollars our anniversary trip is toast and I’m hurt and angry he allowed me to waist money. He doesn’t even seems to care. It seems like anytime I talk to him about something he said that hurt. (which isn’t often) he turns it into I’m the bad person. He’s always wrong I’m always right. I always have to have my way. I’m desperately at wits end. I feel like I can’t do anything right anymore. How do I get over the hurt and anger. I’m seriously trying to put it behind me but it’s eating me alive.

  119. marymorstan August 9, 2016 at 2:48 pm #

    Your 1st suggestion, renegotiate with your spouse, assumes spouse wants to discuss matters, to listen, to share. Not always true. Too many wives learn after the wedding, their husbands are immersed in their jobs and their activities, and don’t think relationship with wife requires interest, shared time, listening. Too many men walk out the door, turn on computer, roll over and go to sleep, interrupt, start working on a project….anything not to discuss matters with wife. Your suggestion is always the #1 given, but no one addresses what does a wife do when husband thinks any difference of opinion with him is “fighting.” he doesn’t want to fight, so he evades or ignores.

    • Tanja August 10, 2016 at 10:09 am #

      Mary, yes, that’s true — your partner does have to be willing to step up and interact. That can be scary for a lot of people — Have you heard of John Gottman’s work as a marital researcher? He’s written a bunch of great books about marriage, and can apparently predict divorce within 90% of his subjects. I wrote a brief post about something he calls The 4 Horsemen, which are 4 of the worst behaviors, and what you’re describing is called stonewalling. It’s a dynamic I see in a lot of couples — the husband shutting down as the wife’s trying to connect — and as shocking as this might be to you, his research found that while the person looks shut down on the outside, on the inside, they’re freaking out. Scared, afraid, in fight-or-flight. Meaning that something’s triggered them and they can’t quite deal. This often stems from something in their childhoods.

      I tell you all this because it might help you see the larger picture of what’s going on with your spouse. That said, this is of course his work to be done. Can you see a therapist?

      Good luck, sister!

  120. Michael Gray August 18, 2016 at 2:42 pm #

    My wife complains about everything and jumps down my throat about everything as if I am the one to blame about every mishap in the world and it causes me to resent her so much to the point that I don’t even wand to be around her at all at times and I know that this isn’t the way that I should be feeling in my marriage and I need some kind of advice and some form of blueprint to follow so that I don’t make the wrong decisions in this marriage and allow my marriage to go down the drain.

    • Tanja August 18, 2016 at 7:01 pm #

      Michael, I’m sorry to hear about your troubles. Resentment is such a big issue that it’s hard for me to even start to give you a good reply in this short space. So here’s what I’d suggest: scroll through my comments above, as that’ll give you a ton of great ideas for where to start. if you’re still looking for a blueprint, check out my book (9 Steps to Heal Your Resentment and Reboot Your Marriage). That’s exactly why I wrote it, for people like you who wanted a fuller, more complete answer.

      Good luck, friend!

  121. Brittany August 27, 2016 at 7:38 am #

    Me and my fiancé have been together almost 10 months. When we met we fell for each other hard and fast. 3 months into our relationship I packed up from my home town and moved an hr and a half away to be with him. Me not wanting children growing up and him having a son, who has ADHD, is a handful. I was living a fun life before him. I was going out a lot with friends and dancing is one of my favorite things to do. Since I been here I have not been able to go out and have fun. Haven’t been able to make home trips to see family and friends. He always gets angry about it and we always fight so I end up staying here. I don’t have a job. I take care of his son. All summer long I had him and I take him to and from school. I love his son, don’t get me wrong, but this is all so new to me and it’s so frustrating because I feel as if he just dumped him off on me and he doesn’t help with anything. Although he works and pays the bills, I’d love to work too, but he feels this is easier. It’s stressing me out like no other. I already have anxiety and I’m pretty positive I struggle with depression. All of this does not help me. I feel trapped. I’m unhappy and I’ve never felt so alone. I don’t know anyone here. I just sit here with nothing to do all day long. What do I do? I love my fiancé. I do, but he does things now that he used to not do in the beginning. He has a hobby and goes to play paintball every weekend. I’ve asked for more time with him and possibly get a sitter so we can get out. We don’t have any alone time. I need that. I need to be happy. I was so close to leaving the other day until we talked, but I’m just still so unhappy and I am angry with him because I feel I’m not allowed to do anything without him getting upset. He does not trust me because when we first met I was still stuck on my ex came back around and I was confused. He let me go and figure out what I needed to figure out. I chose my fiancé. I’ve done nothing wrong at all in this relationship for him to always question me and what I’m doing. I have no idea what to do at this point.

    • Tanja August 27, 2016 at 9:50 am #

      Sweetie, this doesn’t sound right to me. I’m not a therapist, but from what you’ve shared here, your fiance’s behavior might be considered abusive, at least on the verge of it in the way you’re no longer “allowed” to go out and do what you choose, how you’ve been distanced from friends and family, not allowed to work, etc. So please do keep an eye out for any potential escalation and if there’s any way you can possibly see a therapist, please do! This is your life, and from everything you’ve shared here, there’s not much benefit for you in this relationship — although there seems to be plenty for your fiance. Please reconnect with your friends and family; it sounds as if you’ve lost your sense of self in this relationship and that’s never a good thing. Real love supports you, it doesn’t diminish you.

      Good luck, sister. And take care of yourself, here. All right?

  122. TouR September 20, 2016 at 8:28 pm #

    Me and my wife have been married for 3.5 years. I love her more than anything in world. We both come from broken and dysfunctional families, which is why i thought it would be nice to start a family of our own. We met at work and hit it off fast and we were in love. She had a daughter who 3 at the time. She had her own place. Sex everyday, watching movies, going out, etc. She is definitely my dreamgirl. She was 22 and i was going to turn 25 5 months after her B day. Thats when she got preggo with our first son. Omg, the morning sickness was so terrible she had to stop going to work and i had to quit my job bcuz everybody was in our business. I got a new job somewhere else. I didnt grow up with a proper family so i didnt know how to deal with a bad pregnancy and i felt like we made a mistake. One day i came home from work with a terrible headache that i dared not to complain about bcuz of what she was going thru being home alone all day with no support. She threw up in shower and i didnt have the strenght to get up and properly help her out. FF to the next day i came home from work and she was gone. FF some more she ended moving in with her jealous ex. It killed my confidence for a while being that the dude had a car. So i was lost and felt like i took a loss. I beat my self up for months. She even abandoned her apartment just bcuz i was still there. I ended up moving out bcuz i refused to keep paying that rent and found a rooming house. We stopped talking for a while after i found she lied to me about moving in with her aunt when the whole time she was with him. I was depressed. I ended up still going to work, but i started truck driving school and got my CDL A. I was determined to be a better father than mine ever was. Me and her started talking again but just about the baby. I was ready to be a single dad even though i felt like a fool. After my son was born i went to go see him everyday either before or after work. Her BFstarted getting mad at that so she started coming to my place i lived close by, thank god. We ended up back together living in that room. He kicked her out bcuz she told him she was leaving him soon. That means she must have been having sex with him while she was preggo with my son. I forgave her for the sake of my son at first. Then i forgave her for me and i didnt bring it back up ever, i was just glad i had a chance to be with my dreamgirl and our son. FF we moved into a nice apartment but we couldnt afford to maintain stability. Then i found out my license got suspended and i had to wait to get a CDL job. I wasnt gonna pursue truck driving bcuz i found out they never get to go home. So, after getting eviction notices, and getting food stamps, moving a few times,…things got better i ended up with a school bus job and making decent money. Then ended up with a paratransit driving job and now im making the most money i ever have before. Got a nice car, biggest apartment we ever had and we are surviving out here with little help. We got married and We even had another baby boy and the pregnancy was perfect. So now i have 2 sons and this is my family of 5. FF to now, we both work full time and barely have a babysitter but thank god we have one bcuz without her we’d be screwed. We were so happy until now. Idk whats going on with her now, it could be that she works 22 miles away and commutes train and bus everyday while i drive 3.5 miles to get to work. She works at a hotel and occasionally she’ll spend the night at work. She claims to hate doing that so i would drive to go pick her up from the train station or drive the 22 miles to get her from work. but as months go on shes staying away more and more. I thought her doing that would make her miss me more bcuz i cant sleep shes not home. We barely have time for us between work, keep this apartment clean, etc. I feel like she doesn’t want this life anymore. Recently, she stopped calling me while at work, texting me, having sex with me, it just seems like she doesnt care about me anymore. Weve been together for 7 years now and i feel like shes going thru something deeply personal. To make matters worse, she went thru my phone and saw some stupid texts and FB messages and comments of stupid little flirts to other females. I feel like she was just looking for something to use as an excuse to have a reason for her recent actions. I think shes having an affair, or preparing to, i know how she is. Look at what happened before. Shes the type to just do extreme selfish things on impulse. She has a very bad temper and a bad mouth and attitude but i still love her. I asked her the other day if she is still in love with me. Her response was…idk. she wont talk to me about how she feels. All she says is to leave her alone and help take care of these kids. She took a vacation from work for 2 weeks. So i took a week off so that we can attempt to spend some time together. She ignored me the whole week. The only time we went anywhere was to the grocery store and to run errands. Talk about some quiet rides. She doesnt touch me. She’ll still cook for me though. But as far as a convo….nothing. hurts a lot. Im tryna give her space and let her come to me when shes ready. I wanna know what i did so wrong to make her behave this way. Mind you, she was acting like this weeks before she went thru my phone. I sincerely expressed that my actions were results of loneliness and lack of attention. Its been a while since we been intimate or even exchanged a hug or a kiss, im a human man with real feelings u know. I have never cheated and she knows this. At this point, im just depressed and losing weight, smoking black and milds, even smoked some weed a few times. Drinking more and not eating much, nothings funny to me anymore. I just want my happiness back. Our happiness back what do i do. Ive tried praying, talking to my sister about it. Im really stressing hard over this. I want to stay married and be a family no matter what it takes.

    • Tanja September 21, 2016 at 3:11 pm #


      That’s a lot, friend. There’s so much in your letter that it sounds like you need some serious untangling to get at the root of what’s really going on here. But before you can do that, please start by taking care of yourself. If you’re not willing to do it for yourself, please do it for your kids–they need you, too, you know. The fact that you’re not eating is a big red flag, so let’s start by getting you some support. Have you seen a therapist? That’s a great place to start — even if your wife’s not willing to go with you. A good therapist can help you get to the root of what’s going on.

      There are a couple of other things that jump out at me from your letter. The first is that you both come from broken families. I do, too, and I know how much that sucks. But here’s the thing: if you don’t get to the bottom of that shit, those same dynamics often play out in your own family. That’s where a therapist can help you untangle some of those threads and get to the root of what’s really going on so that you don’t keep unconsciously replaying the same patterns in your own relationships

      The other thing that worries me is your wife’s immaturity.You guys are so young, and one of the hallmarks of a healthy relationship is good communication. To get there, you have to be able to communicate–something your wife doesn’t sound like she’s willing to do. And that’s one of those things you can’t force on someone.

      That said, once you start figuring stuff out on your end, the dynamic in the relationship often changes. If it doesn’t, you’re still ahead of the game b/c a) you will have figured out this stuff so you don’t pass it on to your kids and b) you’ll be in a much better space for having a healthy, supportive relationship down the road, once you meet someone who wants one as much as you do.

      Good luck, friend. We’re pulling for you!

      • TouR September 27, 2016 at 6:50 pm #

        Omg thanks you actually responded. Made me smile. Unfortunately i dont have money or time for a therapist. I just started going to church without her. I pray she grows up. If not for me then at least for herself. I love her even thru all the disrespect and neglect. I want her to spill it out whatever the problem is, maybe its money who knows. Were surviving better than ever so…idk. anyways thanks for the good words.

  123. Rhiannon October 14, 2016 at 12:06 pm #

    I feel like I resent my husband for many reasons. I feel as if I’ve been duped. I was much happier when I had very little, I could depend on myself. Now I feel like I can’t even depend on myself, I’m usually too busy caring for others (his two daughters, ours, and I babysit twins, then the house chores, cooking, etc.). I feel like I’m no longer growing as a person, and haven’t for a long time. We met 3 years ago, on Plenty of Fish, yeah stay away from those dating sites…..went on a date, he seemed perfect, a little quiet, innocent even, like a good guy….boy, he turned out to be a complete opposite. 3 weeks later after dating long distance he admits he’s still married, and that they have been separated and getting divorced in April (I find this out in October 2013). He swears he wants to be with me, and things are over, I even try to talk him into working things out with her, he doesn’t want to. He tells me he wants to be with me, and wanted to be honest. Fast forward to February, things are great since, I found out I’m pregnant. I was going to have an abortion….he wants me to have our baby, wants us to be a family. I just hate him for not telling me what kind of person he REALLY was. This is turning very long, withing 6 months of me being pregnant, well I find out what kind of person he really is. He was living with his wife when we went on our date, she leaves him a week later. He continued to have dating apps, even after he found out I was pregnant, even after he moved in with me. Lived rent free for months. Found out he cheated on me 2 months into our relationship with the wife. He ruined my friendships. He lies ALL the time. Has bounced from job to job, and those jobs I have found him. Now I live in another city away from friends that he didn’t ruin friendships with. He’s obsessive over the past. He’s not emotionally there for me or his kids. He’s selfish. Not only screwing up in his personal life, but he can’t hack it with a job. I love him, and our child together, and his daughters as well, but sometimes I wish there were a redo button when it comes to him. He’s a disappointment. I stay mostly for our daughter and his daughters. I feel like I’m constantly looking over my shoulder, wondering if he’s cheating, or lying. I feel like I give, give give, and with little return in my investment with him. The song “I hate you, I love you” pretty much sums it up. I just resent him for not giving me a choice in the beginning, now I’m bound to him, through our daughter, marriage, and this stupid heart of mine that can’t shake falling for him.

    • Tanja October 14, 2016 at 6:59 pm #

      I can’t help but feel like you’ve answered your own question — it sounds hard, but I know you can do it!

      Good luck, my dear. We’re pulling for you!

  124. Adam October 24, 2016 at 7:01 pm #

    I said some really nasty things to my girlfriend on multiple occasions throughout our 2 year relationship about her sexual past/ things she’s done. Basically shaming her. I know it was wrong and I’m disgusted at myself for saying it. Whenever she said something hurtful to me during one of our fights I would try to trump what she said by saying something nasty and hurtful about her sexual past/partners. She broke up with me and cited that as the main reason. She gave me multiple chances because she told me how much it bothered her but I did it again and I blew it. I apologized for it many times and explained that I was a complete idiot and she told me that she believes me that I have changed and she forgives me. She told me she loves me and she really wants to get back together with me because she can see that I have changed, but she said that it would never work because too much has been said between us and she can’t have a boyfriend/husband who has said such hurtful things to her because she has too much self-respect. She said she still wants to be friends. I understand what she’s saying, I just wish things could be different and she could forgive me completely. She seems like she has really made up her mind. Before we broke up we had talked about kids and marriage. Is there any hope? Could her resentment ever fade, or is it possible my words were so hurtful that she’ll always hold this resentment? I know it’s my fault. I just care about her so much that I want to make this right. The problem is, I can tell she forgives me and that she can see I realize how stupid I was, but she feels our relationship is tarnished forever because of this. I just want to move past it.

    • Tanja October 25, 2016 at 8:06 am #

      I so appreciate your bravery by sharing this and working so hard to move past this! Since I can’t speak for your ex-girlfriend, I can’t really answer your question of whether or not there’s any hope for reconciliation. That’s entirely between you and girlfriend. That said, the place where you do have control here is what you do with the current situation, and my guess is that to start moving past this, you might want to look at what’s going on for you underneath this pattern of shaming her around her sexual past. Are there some deeply-held beliefs here that it might be time to release? If so, where did they come from? That kind of self-reflection can help you get to the bottom of this so that it truly doesn’t happen again. A good therapist can also really help you here.
      Because, my dear, the truth is–for all of us–that we’re the only part of the equation that we can change. With any luck, your ex-girlfriend will see that you’ve truly changed and reconsider. Even if she doesn’t, you will have broken this pattern for your next relationship, which is a good thing.
      Good luck, friend!

      • Adam October 25, 2016 at 9:06 am #

        Thanks Tanja. I did take a hard look at myself to try to understand why I did that. I got past it by reminding myself that everyone is human and makes mistakes, and that she is not that person anymore. I’ve done things that I’m not proud of either and I wouldn’t want people judging me on my mistakes. I’m confident it won’t be an issue for me anymore and she believes that too. I guess I will just give her some time and space, and hope that she gives me another chance. If not, I will do my best to move on and take it as a lesson learned. I just wish I learned this lesson with a short term girlfriend and not the woman I wanted to marry.

        • Tanja October 25, 2016 at 11:18 am #

          Oooof. I hear you, friend. Hoping things turn around and wishing you all the best!