November 14, 2013

Being Married to Someone Who Doesn’t Care

Gary Thomas — 

Jason and Maria want something entirely different out of the same marriage. They’ve been together for 15 years, and it has taken Jason that long to realize that he and his wife’s vision of a successful marriage are worlds apart. Jason desires a certain kind of marriage that his wife, Maria, doesn’t. Have you ever been there? What do you do when you finally realize the marriage you want to work for is a marriage your spouse doesn’t want to have anything to do with?

Jason’s situation is the opposite of what most speakers and writers like me usually talk about; we typically mention that it’s the wife who seems more relational, but in this case, Jason is the one who desires the soulful discussions and a commitment to work on the relationship.

Maria says she wants that, too, in the abstract, but the only talk she initiates is about surface things: decorating the house, what the kids need done, or something her mother told her. She never asks Jason how he’s doing, what he’s feeling, or how he thinks the relationship is going—even though he has repeatedly expressed his desire that she do that.

Though I’m not a counselor, it doesn’t take a Ph.D in therapy to know that Jason needs and desires a certain level of intimacy that Maria doesn’t.

Maria is willing to live on the surface. As long as she and Jason do “fun” things (according to Maria’s definition) and take care of the house and family, she’s happy in her marriage. The fact that Jason isn’t happy with that doesn’t seem to bother her—at least, not enough to make her do anything about it.

I asked Jason, how do you go deeper with someone who doesn’t want to go deeper? Help me help other readers.

It’s not an easy question. Thank about it: “fixing” a relationship isn’t like fixing a car—one intelligent being acting on an inanimate being. A relationship between two individuals requires cooperation. Ideally, Jason’s desire to go deeper, his request that Maria occasionally initiate relationship-based discussions, would be enough to motivate her. Those are legitimate desires that most wives would welcome. But apparently Jason married (to put it bluntly) a selfish person. His pain isn’t her pain, and his pain obviously isn’t motivation enough for Maria to change.

What I admire about Jason, however, is that, while recognizing all this, he is still engaged in the marriage.

He’s not checking out. He realizes that God doesn’t call us to love and be faithful only to unselfish spouses. In fact, Jesus specifically says that he excels in loving the ‘ungrateful and wicked’ (Luke 6:32-35) and tells us to love just as he loves (v. 36). Later in that same passage, Jesus adds, ‘Give and it will be given to you,’ but he doesn’t say the person doing the giving will be your spouse. If we love out of reverence for God, we will receive God’s comfort. Giving to get is the world’s view of love, but it’s not Christ’s.

Those are my theoretical words, but here is Jason’s real-life response. I asked Jason, as one who has struggled with this for over a decade, what do you do when you realize that your spouse isn’t going to meet legitimate needs?

Jason says the following:

  • Get the needs met secondarily, through appropriate channels. For Jason, this means building rich relationships with others, though not with women on their own. It’s not ideal, but it helps. Jason has some solid friendships with guys, and he and Maria have some solid couple relationships. Though Jason wouldn’t meet any of the wives on their own, he finds that sometimes he can initiate couple-related conversations with another couple that Maria might engage in. He has to be the one who is intentional about this, as Maria won’t seek it on her own.
  • Remember someone has it worse. Jason has a friend whose wife left him after 12 years of marriage. This guy, according to Jason, is “as solid as they come.” Even so, because of the separation and subsequent divorce, it’s been two years since he’s had sex. “I can’t say I’m happy with where Maria and I are at sexually,” Jason admits. “At most, we have sex once a week or so. But I can’t even imagine going two years, so I try to be thankful for what I have rather than focus too much on what I don’t.”
  • Choose to dwell on the positive, however limited and imperfect it may be. Jason lives by Philippians 4:8: “Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if rhere is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Jason emphasized the last phrase, “dwell on these things.” “You don’t want to consistently talk or even pray your marriage down. Focus on the strengths, build on the strengths, and thank God for what you do have.”

Readers, let’s help others facing the same situation by offering some practical suggestions perhaps not mentioned by Jason. Are you familiar with anyone in a marriage like this? What are they doing to address legitimate needs?

[photo: MIKI Yoshihito, Creative Commons]

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135 responses to Being Married to Someone Who Doesn’t Care

  1. Today was going great, and all of a sudden my wife starts asking questions that she knows would aggravate me. This time around, I did not respond but just sighed … and she got angry and defensive. I asked her to stop but she just keeps poking. This is a common ongoing thing in our relationship! I am so tired of it! I just want peace… can someone please help! I need some solid advice because I want to start a family, but I hesitate with someone with an attitude like my wife. Right now … I want to, but am scared to start a family with her. I just don’t understood when the day has been going great .. why someone would try to destroy a beautiful day?? And she always think she’s right!

  2. So many times I’m looking up why my husband doesn’t care about me, he’s falling out of love, changing, and for about 3 months he’s been threatening and saying he wants a divorce. My husband used to care. He used to make me feel special and like I was the most important person in this world. He would do sweet things for me. We’ve been together for almost 10 years and married for almost 3. We got together when he was 17, and I’m 3 years older. He never used to do a lot of the hurtful things he does now. It’s gotten physical a few times and he used to break a lot of my things when he got angry, so I would end up his if things from him like conversations with people because I never knew what would set him off. We have two children, one 6 and in school, and the other is 17 months old. He doesn’t have a job on the books, but he’ll work at a garage from 7:30 am to nowadays almost 9 at night. He goes to the bar once, sometimes twice a week, and sometimes doesn’t come home and won’t even let me know he’s not coming home so I worry all night about him. He’ll go out with his friends, but doesn’t want to do anything with me. Even if I have a babysitter he acts like I’m a hassle to tag along. He says awful things to me. Calls me names and he’s been speaking to our 6 year old so disrespectfully. He gets mad at me because our 6 year old doesn’t listen to him, and his idea of discipline is spanking while mine is writing or getting something taken away. He’s not home to deal with the kids so personally I don’t blame our child for not listening to him and then how mean he is as well. He used to be a family man, but lately I don’t know who he is. It breaks my heart. I love him deeply and I pray for him and myself, but I feel so lost and empty. I try to tell him how I feel, but he ends up getting frustrated and he’ll curse and bring up the past, or he leaves and that’s it. He does what he wants when he wants, but says everything is the way I want it to be all the time. I’m a stay at home mom and he “works”, yet the bills aren’t caught up until the last minute and others are just left alone. He’s been lying to me. I just don’t understand how one person could have so much live and tries so hard. And no it’s not about getting something in return, but he can’t be a decent person at least? Why do I care so much and at this point he could care less about what happens to me? Or how I feel? I know others are going through tough times and so many others are dealing with worse, which ends up making me feel guilty for complaining, but why don’t I deserve someone good in my life? Why do I feel like I’m being punished? I try to be good and do good, but why do I have to be put down and feel like I’m worthless by someone who is supposed to love me? What do I have to do? I never believed in divorce because I knew the moment we met I didn’t want to be with anyone else, but how much more can I take of being disrespected and hurt. Am I supposed to be in pain all the time? Am I supposed to be lonely? Then part of me can’t help but question the fact that maybe it’s over. Maybe a new chapter is waiting for me. Maybe I’m not supposed to be married to him. Why is this such a struggle?? I just want to be loved and just share my life with someone. I am so tired if being alone. I really am.

  3. My husband of 47 years hasn’t ever cared about me! He lives his life in his new garage with attached apartment and I have the house, It’s been that way since our wedding night, also he hates sex, its gross, messy, sticky, smelly, has no meaning, a waste of time and not at all exciting so he decided that he wanted nothing to with sex and me. We have not talked in years, he won’t even say hi to me. He isn’t gay or have some one else on the side, he hates those people also.
    I tried to fix our marriage, I thought I could fix anything! But I was so wrong and wasted my life trying. I also should left him when I couldn’t fix things, but I made another stupid move I stayed.
    To old now to care any more, I’ve had a hysterectomy and not interested in sex or myself or him.

  4. I’m a moron. My wife and I never talk unless we’re talking about her. She has no interest in me, my hobbies, who I am or what makes me tick. If I ask her any emotional related question she literally sits there not saying a word as if she doesn’t know how to rationalize emotion. I would have been better off being married to a Borg. Sex is non existent. There have been times when she has been REALLY physically abusive. I do whatever I can, buy her whatever she wants, take her wherever she wants to go and she is never happy. She doesn’t work and stays home and does absolutely nothing all day so after my 12 hour shift I’m taking care of the house, meals etc. I feel like I’m single but paying for two. She grew up an only child and it seems like her parents would buy her whatever just to keep her out of their hair and in-turn have created a selfish monster. This isn’t even scratching the surface lol. I’d pack it up and leave if I had a place to go. Pretty messed up.

  5. I am that guy. I am the angry, rude, mean man that my wife did not know. I have to qualify my story first by saying that I was cheated on by my ex-wife years ago. I did not have Christ in my life. I filed for divorce and moved on finding God. It was awesome. I met my current wife during that time. She was so happy then. I didn’t curse, wasn’t angry, etc. Then something happened about two years in…I just don’t know.
    I stopped going to church, I started cursing, and my anger was everyday, all the time. I put her down, I would find ways not to help her. I would say sarcastic things just to hurt her. Every time she tells me…I love you. I want only good things for you.
    When I lay next to her, sometimes I look over at her sleeping and I just think, how could I be so mean to her. She needs me to protect her, not harm her. I have never gotten checked out mentally before, but I feel that I may have some issues, obviously. I was a police officer injured at the WTC on 9/11 and I was hit by two drunk drivers in the line of duty. I am not going to blame those incidents, but I feel that some of things that I am pissed off about, my injuries, my struggles, my, my, my, have caused her pain. Sucks. I think I will lose her because I am sure she knows someone can always treat her better. I am so sorry.

    • The amazing part is that you can admit it. Please get whatever help you need for the both of you. You seem to have diagnosed yourself in knowing some things that have caused anger. Don’t stop by admitting. Make it your everyday goal to vet back to the loving man you know that you are.
      God bless

  6. My husband of 8 yrs is unemotional unless it comes to anger. He is always angry. He’s not physically abusive in any way shape or form, Thank God, but he always angry. I’m never good enough, never do enough, and I never make him happy. Of course he tells me this is all in my head. But his actions, his actions speaks volumes. We have no emotional relationship in any way. He never talks to me unless its to tell me what I am doing wrong, but yet wonders why I am not interested in sex with him. I have tried and tried to get him to open up to me, I ask how his day is,but all I ever get is one word answers. Yet I will hear him on the phone with his friends laughing and telling them stories but I get NOTHING. He is so emotionally closed off to me I don’t know what to do anymore. And me, I’m getting so tired, so tired of trying and trying to please him and nothing is ever good enough. My 7 year old son and I scramble when he is on his way home, make sure the house is clean, nothing is in the way that he can trip on, or complain about. I get nervous, did I pay everything, did I do something that will make him unhappy. And it never fails, 9 out of ten times there is a complaint about something. I AM TIRED of living like this. He is a miserable man and when he is miserable he makes sure we all know it and he makes us miserable in return. He likes to be active and I dread his days off, because I know he will have a plan, he will want to do something, and those are the days my son and I have to be mind readers. Its biking, hiking, take a trip etc, those are things that I don’t mind, but he makes everything so un-fun. Those days are so miserable,because he will be angry about something and he will be nasty to me or give me death looks then when I get mad and fight with him he tells me I’m crazy. Honestly its a freaking nightmare, I don’t know why I just don’t pack up my son up and leave. But I don’t, I don’t. The stress is killing me, I am 40 and had a mini stroke last January. I won’t go into how caring and loving and understanding my husband was during the ordeal because he wasn’t. I keep praying and praying, I just need to find the strength to leave because he is never going to change. No matter how much I pray or how much I try.

  7. I’ve been married a few years and I must say I am the unemotional one. My husband and I are like room mates. We are not close. We lost our daughter this past year. We are stuck and I just don’t have the energy to do anything about it. He would like to be closer, but our baby died and that’s where we are.

    • I am so sorry for your loss. I have never personally lost a child but have a really close friend who has. I know it can take a toll on your relationship. I am truly praying that God will grant you some form of comfort in your mourning.

  8. My husband doesn’t love me. This is my second marriage and we have only been married a few years. We have an 8 yr old daughter from my previous marriage and a not quite 2 yr old. I have to say if I didn’t have the kids, I would be gone. I went through an abusive first marriage and broke away after 13 yrs when I had my daughter and finally had the strength and self respect to get out. Now I am married to a man that is the complete opposite and yet this one is bad too. He judges me and projects his insecurities onto me. We have had sexual issues for most of our marriage starting when I was pregnant. He never says he loves me. He never compliments me. When I meet someone he knows for the first time and that person is a man, they always say I’ll never have to worry about anyone messing with me, because my husband is a very large man. Sadly they have no idea what they are talking about, because he never takes my side during any situation even if he dislikes the other person. I feel sad, lonely and misunderstood.

    • Sarah, I hear you. My husband takes everyone else’s side on every issue. When life rolls around he’s never there, always working, not because he has to but because he wants too. We have 2 children and they are my heart. If it wasn’t for my girls I would of checked out years ago. It is lonely being in a loveless marriage. It all started when I planned our wedding myself 7 years ago. I quit my job because I started having anxiety attacks. He never does things with my friends and I or my side of the family. He begs for sex which I just give him whatever he wants so he’ll leave me alone. It’s been years since he’s thought of me. It’s hard to be with someone who doesn’t put you number 1. The awful things he says or doesn’t do leaves me wondering is this marriage. He thinks I’m the worst person in the world, I can’t talk to my friends about our situation. I have no help from him with the girls, cooking, cleaning, maintenance around the home or any conversations. If I have done something, like not cook dinner one night because I had messed up my rotator cuff, he will not talk to me for a week. And this is normal behaviour for him. Myself, I used to be fun, outgoing, loveable, dependable. Now all I want to do is crawl under a rock! It’s not always greener on the other side, someone once told me.

  9. People grow apart:(

  10. I am glad I saw this. I am dealing with the same issue. All these years and he never bends over backwards to help anyone. It is and always has been about him. He will not go out of his way to help his own biological children with special need school or tutoring. All these years and I am just now realizing how selfish he is. I am definitely going to need the Lord to get through this marriage. And he had the nerve to ask me if we would still be married in heaven. I can’t even say what I want to say ,but I think not!

  11. I can relate to this post in that my husband is unemotional. Except for when hes angry. No, he hasnt physically abused me. Emotionally though, i have a lot of scars and open wounds. We are both 27. We have two children under 7. He works while I stay at home with the kids. And I do appreciate him for what he does, and I say so. But when I vocalize my need for his attention, affection, or just general care for my feelings I get nothing. Its depressing. I feel trapped in a marriage with someone that I love, that doesnt love me. He says he does, but doesnt follow through with his actions. Im at a loss for what to do.

    • Your life sounds a lot like mine. After 13 years of marriage, including the death of a child, now suddenly he “cannot handle my emotions” when I cry because I feel so lonely in our relationship and miss our friendship that we used to have. We buried a child and got through it together!!! I don’t buy that he cannot handle spending 5 minutes with me a day just talking about whatever! He wants to spend all of his time alone and leave me with our 3 other children to hang out without him. It’s killing me. I give him sex whenever he wants it, cook all the meals, our house is always spotless, and I homeschool our children. But he can’t take 5 minutes to treat me like a human being outside of having sex. One day he may come home to a house that is empty. The kids and I deserve to be happy too. Life is NOT all about him, but he sure does want it to be.
      It breaks my heart.

    • My husband is same way. After i speak to him.he changes for few weeks then back to being him. He never provided good financially. I feel so unappreciated and over worked.

  12. 25 years of life with my wife I find myself looking back at all the ways I’ve tried to make this work. I’ve tried everything possible to make different. lol, can’t change someone else. The problem is I know she once showed me affection and love. I’m so sad !

  13. Somehow, I too, missed this post last week so I’m commenting late. Jason is spot-on with his suggestions. Our response to the above-described spouses is grace, grace and more grace. If we truly are Christ-followers, then our greatest desire is to be more like Christ in every relationship we have, including and especially our marriage. We are to respond to the negative behavior of our spouses like Christ responded to people who persecuted and mocked him. We are to bless them, pray for them, love them in spite of their hurtful behavior. The love of Christ was so great that He died for us while we were yet sinners. We, too, must die for our spouses while they are sinners – we must die to ourselves and give up our ‘rights’ to have things the way we want them. We must allow our Savior to meet our needs, especially when our spouses do not. We must make sure our behavior is aligned with the Word of God. In doing so, we take the focus off our spouse (and all of their faults) and put it on Christ. We reflect on our hearts, our attitudes and our actions rather than those of our spouse. We cannot control another person so the only person we can control is ourselves. The ‘right’ spouse for us is the very person we are married to! If we think otherwise, then the real need is the renewal of our own minds, not the improvement of our spouse’s behavior. Marriage is HARD WORK and the hardest work of all is making sure we are the person that God created us to be. The log in our own eyes is many times a bigger problem than the speck in our spouse’s eyes. It distorts our vision in such a way that our hearts become discontent and filled with complaints…….neither of which is pleasing in the LORD’S sight.
    Faith is seeing LIGHT with your heart when all your eyes see is DARKNESS.
    Press on in faith and Christ will honor your perseverance over and over again. Trust and obey because there truly is no other way. God is for us, God is with us and God is in us….find your happiness in HIM.

    • Thank you for your post. While many of us have pain and sadness, we need hope and direction. Good direction. Your post offers the solution to breaking the vicious cycle that we get caught in. Having said that, we cannot give what we do not have. We need to experience God’s abundant grace and love to give it. That is my prayer for us all.

    • I truly believe that this is the course of action to take (unless you are being abused – which Christ doesn’t want for us!). I have been suffering in my marriage because my husband has deep seeded issues that affect his ability to receive love, acceptance, validation and acknowledgement that he is worthy of love. He is quick to point out that he is a man who all women dream of (very organized, likes housework, keeping things beautiful, financially provides, saves and plans for the future, likes spontaneous adventures, etc). No matter how hard I try, it’s never enough for him. He thinks its something wrong with me and that I’m not able to give him the bare minimum, which is to appease his fantasy of a married life/wife. As if it’s that simple and that after 14 years of marriage that’s all there is to it. I am married to someone who loves the surface life (as if this is the formula!) and is not interested in the different shades of deep love that occur with time in a marriage. I love him enough to stay even though our truths are very different, but will be honest, there are days in which I just can’t get it together and wonder how I can be asked to love like Christ when I’m such an imperfect being. Those are the days in which I ask the Lord to increase in me because I can’t do any of it. I also have to trust that that happens – even if I don’t get any validation that it’s getting better or being received. This is after years of marriage counseling – and we’ve been married almost 15 years. I pray for anyone else in this situation. My counselor told me to join AA because of the personal responsibility focus and detaching-with-love concept. I will tell you, even though alcohol is not involved in this relationship, I am learning a ton and receiving quite a bit of support emotionally. It’s just better to walk along side folks who struggle with the same type of challenges on a day to day basis. Ultimately we cannot change anyone else – or even ask them to focus on their own issues – but just love them as they are, where they are, with what we have in us. No matter what type of feedback we get. It’s so hard. Marriage is so hard.

  14. Don’t know how I missed this one before, but this is another post I’ll be sharing with the Future Marriage University (FMU) community at https://www.facebook.com/FMUniversity.

  15. This describes my ex-wife perfectly.

    I learned in marriage counseling that she didn’t really love me, but married me so that she wouldn’t have to work, so that she could have babies, and so that she would have health insurance for the chronic health problems she knew she would develop because of a childhood illness.

    I actually stayed in that marriage far longer than I should have because I was afraid that I wouldn’t get custody in this ‘mommy state’ (and I was right) because my family court judge told me to my face that “children belong with their mother”.

    And women wonder why divorced men are jaded and why it takes a very special women to help us get over our fears and start another serious relationship.

  16. My wife is very similar to this. Been married for 15yrs. She does not care when she hurts anyone especially me. Sometimes she actually enjoys my suffering. I care so much about my family. She and the kids are all I have and she can be so ice cold. She used to be such a liar and I stayed with her because I felt I could help her and that she needed me but she never appreciated anything I ever did for her emotionally or physically. She never appreciated any of my sacrifices. She tricked me into getting her pregnant and never owned up to it. She never owns up to anything she ever does wrong. She always has a way of justifying herself for everything she does. If she hurts someone else it is always that persons fault and never ever her own. She is so selfish it makes me sick with anger sometimes. The only way I can keep from snapping completely is to feel sorry for her but its tearing me apart. She will never let us deal with anything between us. Nothing ever gets settled because she will never give at all. She never apologizes and always blames everyone else and will never listen to reason ever. I used to have a relationship with god and it helped me cope with life but she always felt the need to attack my belief and say that Christians are weak minded people. I was so confident and so ambitious. I made a great career for myself, supported her and the kids but all she ever did was complain about being so lonely but when I made time for her she only wanted me to sit next to her on the couch while she laughed and cried at that worthless box of lies. I couldn’t do it and it caused major problems. I have since lost my career, my health, and my faith. She only encouraged that direction and did not care enough to help us steady the course. She has reduced me to crumbs.

    • Sounds like you gave her way too much control over your life. No one should be able to take your faith away cause what she said about christians was a lie and obviously she is ignorant of what a true christian is. Anyway, God is the only one who can help you pull yourself up by the bootstrap and give you guidance on how to deal with this out of control woman. All you have to do is turn back to God and repent and pour out your heart to him. Many times we give up on him but he never gives up on us. I know that for a fact. Because there are children involved you have to think more in the best interest of them as well. I wish you the best and hopefully you’ll make the right decision. God Bless!

      • Nichole, I disagree with your first two sentences. I assume you have not been in an abusive relationship for an long period of time? Let me enlighten you. Abuse will cause a person who was once an ambitious, vibrant person with lots of life and love inside of them to turned into a shell and an excuse of the person they once was. It strips you of everything you once were. I too have an relationship with God and I went through a period, while in an abusive relationship, where I lost the will to pursue my relationship with God as passionately as I did before. I also lost the will to pursue any other activities that I used to enjoy. After 18 months myself and my family barely recognized me. That is when I got out. Today my relationship with God is getting back on track again and I am slowly picking up the pieces of my life and starting to become myself again. Sometimes people who are not qualified professional able to give an opinion on abuse or those who have not been in a similar situation and experienced first hand what this does to you, should rather not say anything at all, because they do more damage than good.

    • Please don’t give up on your faith because I can tell you Phillipians 4:13 “I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me”. I’m also in that situation plus my wife is very adulterous with two illegitimate children belonging to two different fathers in our marriage life. Hold on and keep trusting God.

  17. I thought it was the husband who had such problems. Mine is not spiritually or emotionally supportive but he is financially supportive with strings attached. I do not expect anything from him now, I tried and in vain. So started accepting him for what he is.

    But sometimes he just judges me that’s when I sometimes snap. The other day I shoved our kid on to the bed out of frustration because he never looks after the kid. Today, he said that I was not a good wife, when the other day he pushed (took me by the neck and threw) me on the wall and injured my arm. Is that a normal reaction?

    I am really not sure but I am trying to make this relationship work. And I do not want our son to be affected because of our problems.

    • Physical reactions such as pushing or shoving are NOT ok. Nothing about that is normal. I will pray for your situation. Chances are there is something with your husband that you can’t fix, which is manifesting itself towards you. Even if you are good at pushing his buttons, he’s still responsible for his behavior.

  18. My marriage is extremely important to me, in fact it seems with all I’m about to write I have become obsessed with my marriage or rather, my husband. He doesn’t care about anything. Let me give an example: if he lies (major lies involving prostitution in the past and STD’s he now takes meds for…just to name a couple lies he has told), he justifies them by blaming something or someone (usually me) else. Then when faced with having to deal with the fact that I’m not gonna go for the lies, he leaves or threatens to leave me (constant). He says sorry like a robot might say sorry and I can tell it is only words because his lies were discovered not bc he truly was sorry. He then expects me to trust him that day/night or shortly after without him having to be more transparent (Rebuild trust). I mean these lies are not small ones and there have been 10 major lies that I know of. It just feels that something is always “off” with him, with us bc of him yet he blames me (makes me truly out to be the bad person). I’m not perfect but he makes me feel like I’m loosing my mind. I am ill often from the stress. Our communication is messed up, can’t get close bc he is extremely cold, everything is surface interaction. I have struggled to figure this out; to find out what is going on bc I am a Christian and want to live as The Lord has instructed, I don’t want to rush to leave him. I have been married two other times and it was my fault they ended bc I left but now I know better and am held accountable. However this situation is slowly putting my health in trouble as I am sick most days and unable to deal with even the smallest of things in life. I’m so focused on him worrying he might leave and do something to hurt our marriage or that the kids and I won’t have anywhere to live or a way to make it financially. Anyways a bit more of what has been happening before I wrap this up. I try to tell him that I have needs too (such as sexual needs; I want it more often) and deeper communication (women like details; just how we were made) but he will flat out look at me and say, “I guess I can’t meet those needs” or “you want too much” and if I say anything more he will say, “I will not meet your needs until you stop complaining”. If I want to resolve any issues he won’t hear me out, he’ll start a bigger arguement to avoid then blame me (every time). All his family and friends think he is so wonderful bc none of this shows with outside people. He treats me as less, inhuman and inferior to him. He acts entitled, better than me and certain others, he is righteous and extremely prideful. I think he acts like a snob. And the worst, he cares about nothing so nothing matters to him. I am disposable to my own husband. If I don’t like it, “we can get a divorce”. I dont want a perfect husband anymore (i once did b4 i knew they dont exist), now i just want a willing one (current). What should I do? Any help would be really appreciated. I have searched high and low for answers but I’m still where I’ve always been. Stuck. I’m desperate, frustrated and literally ill with all of this. Thank you for your time.

    • I am so sorry that could be written about my husband. I miss feeling lov3d so much I resent him for all the pain. Im young beutiful woman who worked as a bikini model for years. Treat him like king but my needs never matter. Its so painfyl.

      • I can really relate to all of your situations . I almost feel funny as a man reaching out to these kind of sites , but atleast I see someone can relate and understand . I love my wife very much. I’m 38 and she is 34. We have been together for 6 years. We use to be crazy about each other, but the past few years she has changed so much. She always tells me that I am like the girl in the relationship. I am very loving and affectionate , and while she use to be the same way , she just seems to have little interest anymore in being in love with me. The last few months things have gotten worse. She constantly will call me names like ugly , fat, even though I keep myself in amazing shape. I can’t understand how someone who claims to love you , could ever speak to you this way. It breaks my heart everytime she says it. She acts however she wants and never once does she ever say I’m sorry for anything . I am constantly saying sorry to her and asking her can we please make up, anything to just stop the rediculous behavior and get back to things being nice. I am getting to the point where if it doesn’t change I know I have to walk away . It’s very hard as I think my wife is the most beautiful women I have ever seen. I try to be so sweet to her everyday telling her how beautiful she is, how much I love her , but she just seems to have no value for me and doesn’t appreciate anything that I do. Don’t get me wrong I am not perfect , but I never treat my wife with disrespect or without love.
        It’s so hard to walk away from someone you love and are attached to. One day she will be sweet and loving , then the best day she hates my guts and calls me horrible names and tells me how she can do better and she’s been with hotter guys , petty comments but extremely hurtful. Love her so much , just can’t understand why she wants to hurt me like that and throw away our marriage , because as much as it hurts I am ready to leave to try and find someone who will appriciate the way that I love .

        • I really feel for you brother because I’m also in the same situation . We got married for twenty three years. In 2012 we threw a huge party celebrating our twentieth wedding anniversary at my wife’s request.

          All I said at the anniversary were lies which I thought I was telling telling the truth. I told people who attended the celebration that my was wife was pure as the pure white wedding gown she was wearing. I said despite challenges similar to what you are going through, we still had no problem of infidelity. Little did I know that two children out of four we have were not mine but of two different men of which one is a pastor of a born again Christian churh. This information I only discovered four months ago. It was a shock to me because until four months ago I have never suspected her. Because of my deep love for her I decided to forgive her and ask her to confess every infidelity act she did to me so that we could move on and so that I could trust her like I used to. She promised she only cheated with the fathers of the illegitimate children, and three weeks I’ve also found out she was lying because I also discovered she’s been sleeping with a male colleague who happened to be much younger than her.

          Her reasons for cheating are that she slept with these men because they gave her a hearing every time she was sharing our marital frustrations with them and she was not even in love with them but they just asked for sex from her.

          I am heartbroken and hurt because this very wife of mine and me are born again Christians, she is a social worker who always council people with marital problems, she is an outspoken advocate for prevention of HIV and aids and other sexually transmitted diseases, she always speak bad about infidelity and lack of trust in marriages, she is always invited to do motivational talks regarding marriage life and everything. I’m worried she shows no remorse and only concerned that I must not tell people because it is embarrassing.

          I feel really betrayed because in the 26 years I’ve been with her I’ve never cheated her. I feel unloved and am hungry for love, but I don’t have guts to leave her and our children because I deeply love her and my children . So please be careful same thing might be happening to you. People like these are very selfish and only think about themselves. I believe however that I can do everything with Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). You are blessed.

        • Your wife sounds like my husband.
          He doesnt call me names but not affectionate like you. I m the same way with my husband like you r with ur wife.
          I love him so much but i think he is taking advantage of my love.
          I just want to be happy with or without him. Life is too short, i m tired of same vivious circle

    • No one deserves abuse.

    • I will never understand why men/women get to abandoned their partners after marriage. It’s very very strange behavior. Do they think that they are done preying?

    • Dayna, your email sounds exactly what I could have written. Same kind of a husband, kids, previous marriage. Has anything changed since you wrote this or still the same situation?

  19. Candace – That sounds exactly like the dynamic between my husband and me. He stomps around and punishes me with the silent treatment, then when I try to talk to him about the problem, he claims that everything is fine. If I insist that everything is clearly NOT fine, he will tell me the things that I did or did not do to “deserve” this treatment. He, of course, is blameless because he “didn’t do anything” to me. Meanwhile, I feel so incredibly lonely in our marriage. I try to tell him how lonely I am, but it only makes him angry and defensive. He says, of course, that our marriage is FINE and that I am the only one with a problem. I told him today I don’t know if I can try anymore to get him to have an actual relationship with me. I am so exhausted from trying to get him to take an interest in anything I say or do, or even notice when I make an extra effort to look nice for him. A friend of mine mentioned that her husband is truly her best friend, and I almost started crying because I realized that my husband and I are not friends at all. At best, we are partners in the “business” of raising our children. I feel so foolish practically begging him to even like me. I plan fun dates for us, I find a babysitter for the kids, I do my hair and makeup and dress up … He throws on a clean t-shirt and sits through the date with nothing to say to me. I never want to be unfaithful to him, but when another man compliments my appearance or shows interest in things I say, it is all the more obvious what is missing from our marriage.

    • I must say I can empathize with your situation. My wife has all of these issues too. I equate it to trying to milk a rock. Just getting any conversation going about feelings is incredibly difficult. And passive aggression my Lord I could write the book on it. In 2012 she filed for divorce it was awful. We have two children one 14 and one 4 now. After watching her run around all summer of 2012, drinking and blowing 6k in savings she asked me to return home to help her with the children. I did and she stopped the divorce. (May not have been the best decision to take her back). Never the less I came back. I managed to save the house from foreclosure and she kept a job for 6 months. She now has been unemployed for the better part of the last year. Our home is gonna slip back into foreclosure. It seem the only way to get any attention is to be at the end of my rope or screaming out loud. Both I will not do anymore. I have felt so neglected for so long even negative attention was attractive to me. No more. I also watch as my children fight for attention and nurturing from her. Very sad to witness. I love her and she has come from a tough past. I just can’t see anyone sacrificing their numbered days on earth trying to break into someone who is not receptive. God knows I have tried. And for years I lost myself trying to make her happy. I must say I lost my way with God too. I’m back on track now and I could actually thank her for it. It’s a heavy load trying to take care of everything and having no support and communication. I have dealt with infidelity, lying, neglect, substance abuse and hate. Through it all I have been faithful myself. I know the frustration you feel Kate! I’ll pray for you. It’s all a journey and you have to decide who is in your journey. My weakness and strength are my children and she knows this. And uses this to her advantage. Not good. Not sure if this helps…I tend to ramble. Your not alone out there. I felt at times I was crazy for wanting a stronger emotional tie to my wife. But that’s what I want. Really not sure if it is possible with her. It’s been a long road for anyone in these situations. I empathize with anybody in these situations.

      Chin up your ass will follow.

      God Bless

      Matthew

      • I read your story and I must say I’m impressed if I could even begin to get my husband even interested in me any at all I would die of shock. The sad part is we have been together 5 years and married 4 months. I feel as if I’m all alone tho. I can’t talk to him I can’t even breathe without him being mean to me or calling me names. It hurts but we have overcome a lot in our marriage so I’m hoping we can overcome this. But for a man to be so loving to a woman I have to say I really have a lot of respect for men like you.

        • Unknown: i see what you are going through. I and my husband been in relationship for 3 years married for 10 months … he is insensitive i dont think he understands what i feel even when i explain to him ..even when i cry myself all night he doesn’t even ask if im okay that hurts doo much .. i would leave him but this is no solution for me i have nowhere to go and i left my job for him and in the place we move in to it is not easy to find a job 🙁 im so down im in a depression right now living on piles ..im sooo HURT i cant even express myself . Dont know what to do ?

          • I am in this exact position right now and I am searching anywhere and everywhere to help ease the pain, I know you posted this a year ago, I am just curious to know where your relationship has gone?

          • Im on the same boat I feel so alone in my marriage he he tells me all the time if I dnt like it there’s the door I feel so torn…(hurt)

          • Same here I am suffering from this……

          • LOVE YOURSELF, TAKE A LEAP OF FAITH, I DID.

        • Breath, if I just look at him cause he hadnt been talking to me for endless days he will throw his fork down if he is eating. Huff and puff and say “what now!”

          I managed to write 2 books cause he refuses to give me attention unless I beg and cry and get upset. And I have stopped so now I got time to write.

          My husband in my eyes is a demon, cause he has been so mean to me, I can’t even, speak of some of the meanness. This man once just picked up my laptop and bashed it to death as I sat in the other room. He wanted me to not have my books and be emotionally alone like he wants me to. He refuse to by me a new one til he was ready to, even though he broke it.

          • My husband is not abusive physically but emotiobal abuse is there. Unless i ask or beg for attention i dont get any. If inlook at him he gets upset that i m looking for trouble. I have been married 12 yrs now w 2 kids and i am only 34.
            I am too young to be dealing with this nonsense. I have tried qorking on this with him several times. He changes for few days or werks then back to his old self. I know he loves me but has problem showing it. I just dont want to keep. Egging dor it anymore.i m financially stable so i have actully thought abt seperating.
            He comes from a broken family, may be not having his mom around turned him this way growing up.
            I always get the speech id u dont like it there is the door. Ugh…
            after spending 12yrs 15 altogather
            Messing up my body to gice him two beautiful kids, financially supporting him this is what i have to deal with..enough is enough i have considering trial seperation

      • I am going through this exact thing Matthew minus the divorce. Currently seperated and very confused about what is going on in this marriage.

    • My husband is so much like yours. He appreciates other people but doesn’t like anything I do. However much I try to please. He will seem positive at the moment but when we have a small fight, he will say how much i am are forcing him to do things. I feel like he hates me though he doesn’t admit it. His actions speak something else. I feel like am forcing him to love me. He is not fighting for our relationship. I want to be loved. I want to be cared for. I want to feel special. I am pregnant for the first time but he shows no concern. I really feel like I married to the wrong guy. I am tired of forcing love.

      • I know this post is a year but you say the key word I’m currently struggling with right now ” I am tired of forcing love”.

    • Cheating is the bad thing to do within relationship, especially when you’re married with kid(s).

      What brings two people into marriage? It’s the life they want to have together, right? For better or worst? Then, he/she will get the worst.

      • Spare me the better or for worse. Worse can kill someone. God don’t mean for you to be mentally and emotional and physically abuse like I have been. People use that vowl to excuse their behavior. My husband cheated and almost two other times, all while abusing me. As soon I told I would not stand for it and separate and see other people to, he started calling me a whore…etc as if he was not the one who opened our marriage and wanted us to not be attached. I went with his program always, how he did things.
        I finally told him, that I can live like this. Seeing other people cause he did and is having emotional affair with men and possibly physical (long story)

        He cheated on me first, one month married to me and while I was pregnant. He was leaving me on roads in the dark after work with no way home, high risk pregnancy

        I was very sick and ditched me to party and get drunk with some bimbo who was engaged to his boss. They both begged me not tell him. The man knew his wife was cheating and expressed it one at the job when I visited my husband one. He even expressed how much my husband seemed to care for his wife to be. I knew the man was trying to find out if I knew anything

        It was embarrassing and I wanted to throw up.

        Two times I interrupted my husband about to cheat. Finally I decided to tell him I want to see others to if this is what he is going to keep doing.

        He was angry and called me names.
        From then on, he as ignored me, neglected, insulted, abused and ditched me.

        I believe I lost him when he cheated on me with that woman. Something changed in him. He shut me completely out

    • This is my wife and I but in opposite roles. If I try to start a conversation about were our marriage is at she gets all mad and defensive and turns everything on me that it is all my fault. I love my wife with all my heart. I don’t know we’re things went wrong. She used to love to cuddle or hug on me. Would get mad at me for not saying I live you when we would hang up the phone. Would get mad if I did not kiss her when I got home. Now she never touches me or if I try to get her to have sex she tells me to make it quick. She never wears her wedding ring. I asked if she was cheating on me and she gets all pissed and storms out. She gets everything she wants bur I can not remember the last time she did anything sweet for me. I will bring home flowers for her once a week not even a thankyou. Am I expecting to much from her. I am so tired all the time because it is all I think about. If I try and leave her alone she will keep asking me what’s wrong and I will tell her nothing is wrong and she will get mad at me. I am so lonely and lost at this point

  20. Jason’s wife sounds so much like my husband. It has taken me years of frustration, tears, and dejection to realize that my spouse is actually just as “deep” and in need of emotional satisfaction as anyone else, but is magnificently passive-aggressive. Passive-aggressives think expressing anger or dissatisfaction is unacceptable for them to do, but since they too experience anger and are often walking around quite angry much of the time over things never verbalized, they need an outlet for that powerful emotional state and have worked out ways to get others to express their anger for them, usually by either the silent treatment when they don’t get what they want (nevermind they never told anyone what that is!), saying “whatever” when reaching a decision that affects you both, and/or committing to doing something for you, but dragging their feet or making excuses to delay pulling through for you until you reach a boiling point of anger yourself and unwittingly lash out. As we all know, marriage takes a lot of negotiation, grit, and airing some uncomfortable feelings that we may not want to express or our spouse may not want to hear. Since the aforementioned is so hard for passive-aggressives, they often insist with ferocity they are “fine” and in need of very little, but if cornered into answering for their true feelings, will get defensive and deflect everything back onto you, leaving you blindsided with a laundry list of shortcomings they see in you that they’ve been holding inside of them. You, in turn, will then learn to avoid discussing the hard stuff altogether for the sake of peace, and meanwhile, you will have your needs unmet and run the risk of growing empty inside. What I’ve read is that you can still work with a PA spouse without direct confrontation or even therapy by reading up some tips on not how to get them to change your behavior, but instead learn how you feed into their PA tendencies and learn the tools to stop playing into it. … I know what I am saying may not seem like it directly relates to Jason’s dilemma, but I feel in my heart that is what he and everyone else in his situation are dealing with. … But I must say that getting one’s emotional needs met elsewhere is advice that leaves a sick feeling in my stomach, unless it is strictly with someone of the same sex.

    • Could we talk? I’m in the same situation and have no outlets.

    • WOW are we married to the same man? You really just described my marriage to a T. I feel like I have been ‘trained’ to not talk to my husband about anything that could potentially upset him. It can be something as simple as a phone call I ask him to make (something I personally can not do for whatever reason because they can only speak with him) and it turns into a weeks long issue. I will ask him once and then wait days, or even weeks and he wont do it. If I ask again I get dirty looks on why it even needs to be done, etc. It could be as simple as a 5 minute phone call but turns into weeks before it gets done. I take care of the kids, the finances, the house, the cooking, groceries, etc. Asking him for anything I get anxiety horribly to the point of nausea days before I even ask him. Heaven forbid I ask him to clean up his side of the bedroom or wash a toilet! Even though he has been out of work and only part time working (recently) I am a b))))) for asking him to do anything. He plays on his phone all day and leaves the ringer off non stop, and lives in the bathroom or garage the rest of the day. I have tried talking to him so many times I lost count about the lack of affection he doesn’t show, the lack of conversation, the lack of everything really. I can put it the nicest way and he just blows it all off. I am convinced I mean absolutely nothing to him and he is only with me because at this time he really has no other place to go. He doesn’t love me, I question whether he ever has. He is either having an affair or something because their is no sex anymore either (something he used to never be able to live without). I just do it all on my own like I am a single mom, living with a roommate…

      • What you and the lady above are speaking of is vastly different than what Gary is speaking of. You seem to be lacking not only affection but also respect and working toward a common goal. Just because a spouse has different needs doesn’t mean all tasks fall on the other. In this case seek a trained marriage counselor.

        • Same here. My husband is hands on witht he kids and helping out around the house but i missing the affection unless initiated by me. He has never been good financial provider in 12 years of marriage. I take care of the finances and when adked him to do something it takes forever then when i am keeping it supposing i m nagging him. If its not one issue its the other.
          He doesnt care if i got to bed upset. I get silet treatments for no reason. Is this how love auppose to be? I m sorry if my kids ever ask me if they should get married when they grow up i will prb tell them grtting married will be worst mistake of their life.

        • My husband of 24 years is severely passive aggressive (the Mr. Nice Guy kind). Doesn’t talk, doesn’t have sex, no kind of typical marital interaction to speak of. I’ve tried all the things mentioned in the article, but as the years go by like this I find less and less good available to dwell on. All six of our daughters are gone and on their own and it’s so lonely being in a house with someone who is just kind of present. Tried counseling and he a knowledges things but we go home and still nothing. Finding it to be getting too difficult to struggle through the pain, loneliness and emptiness anymore. Feel like I’m literally going to die from it sometimes.

          • I am in the same boat if you want to talk.

          • I’m also there. Forty-three years… Even our honeymoon was a disaster. I also have a chronic medical problem which is going to result in death – but I’ll be alone. I’ve always been No. 14-25 on my husband’s list of priorities. Our son is like his father, but he’s still single and not making anyone else miserable. My hope is in the Lord and the certainty that He cares and I’ll be with Him soon.

      • @Ninmom

        Omg your describing my exact marriage. It’s terrible and I don’t even understand it or know what to do….we have been together for 12 years…almost 13. I love who i know he is i just don’t know what has happened and how to fix it.

      • my situation is similar. what i have learned is if you want someone to change, change yourself, the way you interact with them. I don’t ask my husband to do anything. He will do stuff. I don’t complaint, whine beg plead. nothing. And instead of always pointing out his bad qualities start praising him for his good gualities. Then work on doing things you love and on what makes you happy without him. Starting going out , take classes, work out, do YOU. he will take notice. trust me.

        • Linda could we talk? I am in a similar situation and could use some advice? I have no outlets.

          • Hi. I’m not Linda, but I’m in.Alabama and my husband doesn’t give two cents for anything, as far as I can tell, especially not about what is going on inside my.head or whether I am.fulfilled.in the marriage.

            We’ve been married 21 years and n I’ve kept on thinking he would eventually get it, at least start trying to care/change. He will SAY he will but another two years rolls by and I’m still having to.beg him to just talk to me.

            I live in Orange Beach. Where are you?

          • Caroline Brockett Libs June 21, 2016 at 9:59 pm

            I am available if your still around.

        • Linda, you are brilliant! Something we probably all know but tend to forget.
          Thank you for the reminder!

          • It breaks my heart to see the abuse so many justify and endure. A partner who gives you mean faces, ignores your feelings, thoughts, and needs, and expects you to deal with his moods and the oppositional energy he brings to the partnership. Have we forgotten the vows and promises to love one another?? Counseling is great for people who are trying to meet each others needs, but what is being described here sounds like neglect intimidation, and control…domestic abuse. Going to a councilor with someone who is abuse only takes the responsibility of the abuse behavior away from the abuser. No one deserves to live a life where there is aggression, passive, verbal, etc. a loving spouse cares about the fulfillment of the entire family. If they are unconcerned with your experiences then maybe they need some time alone to contemplate the vows they took to cherish, kindly, the person they would live life with.

        • What if I am physically ill and not able to go take a class? Doesn’t my husband of 21 years owe me the respect to be willing to care what is inside my heart?

        • Dear Linda
          I admire what uou say here.
          How are things going for you?
          I feel so lonely….useless…hopeless.
          I only anger my husband when i try to talk to him. Fights ensue. I don’t know the problem any more i feel literally hopeless. …a bit overweight. …chronic cough. ..depressed. …distressed. …chest pain. ..anxiety. .?
          I’m so lost.
          Porn used to be a problem he used heavily for years.
          I’ve found xxx rated videos on his computer.
          Found craigslist local sex ads. In his history online.
          Massive fights erupted when i confronted him and he shouted at me to pack up my things and leave.
          I’ve not had one of my paychecks ever since being with him …..38 years.
          I’m a nurse and try to do shifts but our big family and our I’ll llness often prevent this.
          I’m told that i spend all of the money. …i do not shop. Buy my clothes at second hand shops.
          Get my hair done 2 times a year.
          He never instigates intimate conversations. …sex is usually for his pleasure.
          I cook all meals. …do bulk of the house work.

          I’m lonely and sad and my heart literally aches most days.

          If and when i try to address anything he tells me i am causing an argument.

          I cry most days.
          I hate who i have become.
          I am considered attractive and easy going. I make an effort with dressing. …makeup. but am often disappointed as he usually does not.

          He has a beautiful motorbike.
          His shed is filled with gadgets that any man desires.
          His clothes boots etc are expensive.

          I have a broken heart. I know he is sad and lonely too.
          He’s always tired. …bit overweight too .
          He works hard as a RN.
          We are on debt because i cannot work a lot.
          I feel guilty.

          I’m just so lost. …

          • We have been married for 1 yr/2months,we have a 7month old baby.
            We both work but he works 2 jobs,after the 8hr job he does his business,he always comes home very late,if he’s back before 00:00 its a shock..I can’t remember when last we had a meal together..he flirts,I know cause I’ve seen it on his phone and he tells me am over reacting cause u know he has to be friendly to his clients.. I know when hes speakibg to a female client cause he always changes the tone of his voice.He changed he’s phone password cause he says I spy on his phone and end up making accusations that are not true. I think I have a higher sexual need than him,idk,but when he comes home at his time he doesn’t even hold me close to him,I can’t remember when last he has initiated sex..when I ask him questions like ‘how do u think our marriage is doing’..or ‘what do u like about our marriage’ he frowns and says am always looking for a problem..when he’s at work at night he would usually tell me he misses me,he would at least WhatsApp and ask how am doing.. Not anymore now..when we do have sex,he doesn’t undress me like he used to 90% of the time we do it with my clothes on if I dont take them off myself..needless to say I’ve Gained some weight after baby,but when I ask him if does he think am fat he says no.
            I feel as if slowly am starting to feel like am sleeping next to my brother every night instead of my husband??
            I want him to hold me like he used to before we got married and before we had baby
            I want him to want to have sexual intercourse with me everyday
            On my bday I didn’t get a present ,whereas on his i made a big deal about it,took him out, surprised him etc
            Our communication channel is via email when am at work, no time in the mornings,after work he just drops baby and I and he’s gone..
            I feel soooo lonely and I can’t even tell my family cause they always thought he’s not good for me etc.
            I dont want to push him sometimes, I also don’t wanna seem like a nagging wife ..I don’t wanna seem too desperate
            I love him more than words can say

          • I can’t believe there are so many people, both women and men that are suffering the same way. It is so sad. I hate to say I am so happy it isn’t just me. That is selfish, but it certainly eases my pain. At least a little bit.

            My husband and I have been married four years. Together seven. During the courting stage, things were amazing. HE was amazing. The man I had always been looking for. He was supportive, loving, giving…he showed his emotions and wanted to discuss everything about how we both felt about relationships and marriage. It was so refreshing. If I was quiet, he would ask how he could help. If I needed to talk about what was going on with me. Then…it happened…..literally, the day we married…it all ended. I have no idea what happened. He no longer cares how I am feeling. There is no romance or intimacy. He looks through me, not at me. He isn’t interested in my as a woman anymore. Everyday things, the house, kids, bills …we never argue about any of that. But…I think that is because in the years I have spent wondering what I did wrong to make him not want me anymore…worrying about how I look 24/7 and losing all self esteem, I have turned into a Stepford wife with the “yes dear…whatever you say dear” in hopes that if I behave…since I don’t know what I did wrong…he will come back. That man he was before he said I DO. Of course he doesn’t seem unhappy. Everything we do from what we have for dinner, when we eat, what to watch on television, when we go to bed…it is all what he wants. I have asked him for years why things changed…why he no longer sees me as a woman to be desired like he did before? Why he “lost that loving feeling”. He says he loves me, he is in love with me and he does find me attractive…he just doesn’t know what happened, but it isn’t me. I suggested counseling. He went ONCE and the counselor gave him suggestions which he shared with me. I was excited that we would be able to try her suggestions, but….he never mentioned it again. I let him know how it hurt me, that something that was so important to me…something that was causing me to loose my confidence and love for myself would not be important to him. How can one truly love another if they allow them to suffer and not at least make an effort. He hs been prescribed the “little blue pill” but it just sits in a drawer, never to be touched. If he does want me and this could help the issue, then why not try? It only says to me, that he doesn’t take the pills because he has no attraction to me anymore. I disgust him. He used to get excited when we were getting ready in the mornings to see me half dressed…or undressing for bed. He won’t even come near me if during those times anymore. I am not trying to change him. He is who he is, but I am only 54 and he is 55. We are still young. If he isn’t in love with me..if he doesn’t want me then I want him to let me go so that we can both be happy. Live our lives to the fullest why we can. Life is to be celebrated. Love is to be shared and experienced. A marriage needs that bonding ..that closeness to feel as one. Doesn’t it? Am I wrong? Am I too needy and wanting my husband to want me like he used to…to feel the love and lust for one another…is that too much to ask? That is what he promised. What he said would never change that what we had was special and no one he knew, as a couple shared the closeness we had.

            He walks around here like everything is fine. But it isn’t. He doesn’t like me to bring it up. It turns into an argument because he sees me as putting him down. All I want is an answer. If the answer hurts me, that is fine. Let me figure out how I want to deal with the situation. But don’t allow me to feel like I am unworthy as a woman. Unattractive …a nothing. Just tell me……You can’t take a part of a relationship away from someone without their permission…Promises of how our life will be …take it all away without an explanation and expect that person to continue to trust. I try to tell him….Trust is not all about whether or not you believe the other will cheat. If you make promises, no matter how small and break them all the time…eventually, others know they cannot count on you. They can’t “trust” you. I just want to know the truth. Don’t keep me hostage in a situation I know now, after four years will never change. I want a full life. I was a very affectionate person. I have now withdrawn thinking no one wants a hug from me or my sympathy and love….I don’t deserve hugs from others or their support because I am unworthy of that attention. I am lost, scared and so very very lonely. I have been quiet lately, because I decided that if on our anniversary, there was no intimacy and/or romance, that I would just give up hope that it would ever change. Well, there wasn’t. I have to give up. I have to try and get myself back…love myself and feed my needs other ways. I don’t mean I would cheat…I would never…but I have to feel love somewhere. I need to be touched…to feel something from someone that says I am worthy to feel…He never asks me if I am OK or what may be bothering me…if he could help me work through whatever it is…like he used to. Show concern…he just continues to talk about our yard work plans and things for the house as if nothing is wrong. How can a man deprive his wife of love and affection? Knowing what it does to her. How can he dismiss that? HOW DARE HE!? I have asked him to research what depriving a woman of affection can do to her, so that he understands. If he has…he doesn’t care because nothing has changed. To me, this is emotional abuse. Since I am unable to speak to him about anything relating to how I feel without him turning everything around on me…bringing up things that have nothing to do with the conversation…or could remotely have anything to do with why he changed….and turning my asking for help to get through it…answers to why things changed..it just ends up in a fight. It just doesn’t matter to him how important this is to me. Because I am “stifled” I have anxiety attacks. I can’t breathe…I can’t concentrate. I can’t cry anymore…I am numb inside and my adult daughter sees it. I am not the same person….it hurts her so. But to see my husband and I together, no one would know there is an issue. I can’t share this…it is too embarrassing. MY OWN HUSBAND DOESN’T WANT ME! Who in the world would if he doesn’t. I am withering away to nothing. He doesn’t care….and doesn’t care to help me…help us. He is content to live our lives as he maps it out. Discuss only what he finds important. If my opinion differs from his…it is an argument. I feel I am a hostage….

            I want him to be happy. If not with me with someone. Live a full life. Why can’t he just tell me what happened so I can either move on or find a way to live with the fact that my husband….just doesn’t want me.

      • Wow, my husband is the same way!!! I’m so glad I’m not alone!

      • Did your situation ever improve? My hubby comes home, chats w me for about 15 minutes, then retreats to the back room to watch movies, play on his computer & chew tobacco. He knows I want more time with him, but can not seem to give it to me unless I get upset.

      • Wow that is me all day… But wait, if I come in the house and ask can you? His response is your always complaining and not grateful or you are negative or you need to get your head check. I’m feed up!!!

      • I just tead your story im actually going through this exact situation omg exact can you please tell me what was the outcome

      • Amy Lynn McKinney August 24, 2016 at 10:22 pm

        Me too!!! And he twist everything into me being the only one with the problem, and he is the victim and has made sure to let every person know that, I have severe anxiety now to the point I’m on disability and he blames me for everything… To always make his self look like he does no wrong, like he seriously has to have all the attention.. I wish I was rich, so I could get the help and love I need.

      • We seem to be living parallel lives! I am dealing with the same exact issues with my husband.

      • Your husband sounds like a text book description of some one who uses porn. Maybe I’m wrong, but his behavior sounds exactly like my husband’s was a few years ago. Porn was the culprit. After lots and lots of battles, separations, and counseling I don’t find it to be an issue anymore.

    • I am Jason in this article. My husband is maria. If I want to discuss the problems he says I’m ruining things for us. He sits around angry but don’t express it til I drag it out of him. But the anger be over a situation he wants to control. Because I didn’t do something exactly when he wanted me to or the way he would do it. He will accuse me of not knowing what I’m do. When I just did it different than him. He accuses me of things that he caused to happen. For example I will get on the cell phone cause he will besides me for days not saying a word but I have seen him atop to hold a conversation happily with other people. Now when I react and say I am leaving or go get on my cell. He then blame shifts and accuses me of bring the one not speaking to him. He gaslight me and says “what are u talking about I am not treating like you don’t matter” he will repeat this comment around our daughter. And will say i needs medication. He has led her to believe that I’m crazy. That it is normal for a man to never give a woman affection, talk to her, don’t answer his cell when he’s away, ignore her, do nothing with her, talk to everyone around her but her and ditch her at parties as soon as they get there. I am a victim of extreme emotional abuse. Yet when I react hurt and angry cause he has been treated me like this without an end he accuses me of bring angry for no reason and needing meds and then he will walk out the room and continue treating me the same. He will even look at me in this fake shock and say “what are u talking about, am good to you. U r crazy.”

      I always get the feeling that he’s hiding something. I know he was with a woman shortly after our marriage confiding in her and that’s when the changed happened in him. He won’t say what they did but I know they together cause she threatened to be done with him if he walked out her house with me. (Long story)

      I left him and he never asked to be with me again. I loved him and asked him to try to work this out, I would forgive him if he worked on our relationship.

      I realize now he wanted out there, he wanted to be single. Even though I was new good wife, cooking, cleaning, working, college, treating him with respect. I realize he wanted to be free to see who he wanted again and even possibly interested in men. (Long story) but it is countless reasons to believe. One big fact is that he is quick to ditch me for men and will act like ain’t even together. Leave sitting somewhere for hours, and do flirting things with them, like flexing his muscles in their faces, bragging about how good he looks, giving n them things and offering them things. Yet he does none of this with me. I fear he has been hiding his sexuality by staying married to me. This is why he will go out with men, excitedly and always complain about wanting to but he never makes any plans for us or is even intimate with me. I live in hell, very alone. I believe he lied to me all these years.

      I remember, years ago bring suspicious of his sexuality, possibly being bi-sexual and he doesn’t know how to deal with it.

      I also know he was messing around with another girl when we first got serious. I came to his job one day and saw him real hands with this other girl. They were comfy cozy if you know what i mean. He didn’t see me. I tuneed around and left. I casually tried to get him to be honest about it

      The men thing I really believe. Recently this guy come over I do not know. He breaks his kneck to not miss him when he shows up. He then ignores me and his daughter. Hurry up and packs up his beer and things to leave with this guy.

      I tried to talk to him to keep his cell on. He ignored me. The guy yelled that he has his cell phone in case. I’m wondering why is this strange Man speaking for my husband and I don’t know his number.

      Well he then calls me late at night wondering where I am. He had went home after many hours of ignoring my calls worried. I knew he was drunk and had drove

      I asked him how could he not date me but go out with this strange man, ignore and not say goodbye

      He says “it dont matter anyway. I ended up just standing off to the side as he fished”

      Again, he never told where he was and he hasn’t taken me fishing in many years. So that hurt. He knows I love fishing.

      But what was strange was how he said that comment as if he expected more between them. He was disappointed.

      This is my life, ignored, not dated, not touched, insulted if I complain, ditched for men, and made fun of in front of people and treated like I don’t know how to live in a house.

      It’s a nightmare.I finally broke the other day and snapped out. Then went to my room and cried. He threatened to have me locked up. Knowing he is emotionally beating me up.

      • kaleidoscope life September 26, 2015 at 10:39 am

        You need to leave. Period. why would you take such abuse and manipulation? Your child must not grow up in this environment. The result will be her accepting this type if treatment as normal thus the nightmare begins again. Just bcuz u r not being physically assaulted the damage to your mind and soul and will is real. There are people to help. God did not create us to go through such misery. U are a valuable soul and deserve real love. Sending vibrations if love hope and prace to you

      • I’m hoping you have made the steps to leave your husband. I’m sorry I normally would say to stay . But not this story fedup2. You should be saying kickhim2dakurb now!

      • I am so sorry you are dealing with this – my situation feels very similar to yours – I’m second best to guys / girls / family / friends – he says” “what’s the big deal – I’m not out at the bars” His life since turning 40 (he treated me like gold prior to this) he calls me crazy all the time so he can avoid having the type of relationship we had (which now he denies it was ever even the way I described – he was a sensitive guy much like a teddy bear – always wanted me around always wanted my attention always wanted to have sex – then he meets this guy neighbor that he drops the world for and then reconnected with high school people – the list goes on – long story short – I’m nothing to him

    • This is my exact situation. I don’t know how to work around it. Nothing changes. He says things are fine. I’m about ready to leave. What did you figure out?

    • Just described my life. I feel like I am going to loose my mind. Nothing I do works it’s devastating. I would love to talk, learn, understand more. Thank you! Erika

    • Wow! The first response in this post describes my husband exactly. I hadn’t thought of him as PA only because the term has been used so loosely in my world I discredited its significance. My husband had one extream outburst towards me that lasted around 12 hours where there was physical abuse. It was as if he was possessed, accusing me of something I didn’t do. In actuality he was the guilty partner. It was text book projection/ deflection. He ended up getting some mandatory anger management which I believe made him more angry but able to hone the skills ( for lack of a better word) of PA. We separated for a year and I was two weeks of finalizing a divorce when I was loored back with him to find myself (minus the physical abuse) to be worse off than before. He comes home after work the next morning now 300 days this year. At first it was a few hours later then later and later, all the while Iv made every effort to get him home. He says he falls asleep in a chair or gets caught up in computer work. This may be true a fraction of the times cuz I know how he is. I can’t check up on him cuz I have the kids who are sleeping. And the few times I have surprised him it was uncomfortable and ambiguous to say the least. I understand his needs as a man and accept his interest in porn. But I don’t draw a line in case he thrives off of crossing it just to hurt me. Iv accidentally come across dating sites, disgusting films, and hidden files which my confrontation has only led to the defensive deflecting accusatory behavior of a PA in a corner ( although I am gentile and understanding in all cases). Maybe he resents the fact I’m not mean or I don’t lay down boundaries? I’m not that way with my kids either. I just realized that is why both my husband and my children walk all over me and Iv developed an illness derived from stress. But how does one become a boundary endorsing person when it’s not in there nature? Thanks.. TT the dichotomizer

    • This is the first time I’ve finally heard someone say something about passive-aggressive behavior in marriage. My husband of 24 years is severely passive-aggressive (the Mr. Nice Guy kind). I’m lucky if we have sex once or twice a year, so I don’t even have that – it’s one of the things he uses. At this point, I have gound myself unable to succeed in struggling through the pain, loneliness and emptiness. My husband still acts complacent even when things are falling down around him.

    • Omg, that is my husband to a T. Passive aggressive. I also think he’s a narcissist.please share what you know about how to handle these emotional invalids. Thanks!

    • I know this is an old post, but wow Candace. Wow! Every single letter you wrote I have read over and over again. Im overwhelmed right now. Ive been married 13 years, on the verge of a divorve that he seems to think I am not serious about, at least he doesnt act like it! Ive poured my heart out so many times. Begged him to talk to me! Begged him to talk to me about why he has done the things he has that hurt me so bad, tell me how he feels about me, what kind of marriage was he wanting? What does he think we have? And what is wanting now? To do and act how he pleases with no regard to my feelings? Making me feel Im just over sensitive when it took 13 yrs and MANY let downs, lies and broken promises to get me to this point. He tells me not to hold it in and explode later, usually over something that has nothing to do with what Im Really upset about. But everytime I do (what he adviced) and come talk reasonably, he shuns me, changes the subject of flat out walks away. Who can walk away from someone they love, have kids with, many years with? When they are standing there begging and pleading to Save this marriage!? When honestly I feel most woman would of done left him. I wonder why I cant sometimes!? If I get anything at all out of him, he ll bring up things or situations or needs he has NEVER mentioned before? Is this a ploy to turn it on me or he really just didnt want to fight so held stuff in that bothered him? Either way, I dont know how much more I can take. Im sick of asking myself why, how, who more and more frequently. I love him with all my heart but I feel like I do not even know who I married. Or maybe I did and I was just blinded by love, lust, kids , stabilty, the idea of the white dress. Like it was suppose to mean Id never be alone and would always feel loved. I have no outlet. Talking or writing to him is like sharing with a brick wall. I feel like I am in a fight with myself more than him sometimes! Why cant I just let everything hard and hurtful fly by me like he does? Why cant I except he does love me and settle for just those words? Why cant I put more into the fun exciting things? A Pro Con list at this current time…… idk. Maybe close to even. Is that we all learn as we get older? Is that why more ppl divorce rather than fight it out? Our own needs? Our own clouded pucture of what we thought marriage would be???

    • This is my exact situation! I am dealing with the passive-aggressive spouse and the same situations you describe.