Marriage Missions International

The Emotionally Distant Husband

Photo by Victor Habbick, courtesy of

Photo by Victor Habbick, courtesy of

Are you eager to be linked in a loving relationship with a man who cares about you deeply, but it’s just not happening?

Are you willing to encourage him on the deepest emotional levels, but you can’t chip through the ice?

Do you feel that despite your relatively lax expectations (i.e. making few demands), you are being taken advantage of? In other words, does a void exist for you?

In my counseling practice I specialize in treating common emotional stresses that, if left unattended, can turn into major debilitating problems. The hurting people who come to see me are trying to cope with anger, depression, anxiety, and the like stemming from their marriage. Since these issues are usually played out in the home, I often face the task of helping people understand how their emotions relate to their unsolved marriage problems.

Over twenty-five thousand counseling sessions have shown me that the single most common marital problem I encounter is the case of an emotionally eager wife whose husband will not engage with her on a deep, meaningful, and personal level. These phrases are indicators of the problem:

  • “Just when I think we’ve really connected, he does something to prove he never understood a thing I said.”
  • “I think the guy is oblivious to my feelings.”
  • “What does it take to get through to him?”
  • “He cares more about his work [or sports or hobbies] than he does about me.”

As the relationship progresses, or rather, fails to progress, feelings of disillusionment and futility become entrenched, and faulty patterns of communication yield increasing frustration. Failure to progress is not for lack of trying.

As I consult in case after case, I see that many emotionally eager women have good reason to feel disappointed. Most women need strong, growing relationships that are openly expressed, and their husbands fail to supply that need. These wives are living with men who have unconsciously committed themselves to an evasive way of life.

The wives aren’t the only ones hurt by this evasiveness. These men, unwilling to seriously explore the depths of their own emotional needs, perch securely atop their own little time bombs. As frustration and confusion mount, something will eventually blow.

If at all possible, I include husbands in my counseling sessions. You’d be surprised how often these undemonstrative men are looking, deep inside, for a way to jump-start their marriages. At least at an unexpected level, they are begging for someone to show them a better way to relate to their wives. In these cases, the potential for counseling success is very strong. I can show spouses the best method to address their unique relational needs, and the lessons will probably “take.”

When the husband, however, is unwilling to participate in counseling, the wife still has some excellent options. Her spouse may cling to stubborn, evasive patterns of relating, but she can make improvements in two general areas:

1. Have you noticed that in our culture, the burden of a relationship often falls on the woman? The woman is expected to “make it work.” If a man remains faithful, he gets the credit; if he strays, it’s somehow her fault, at least in part. When a relationship unravels, the greater share of the blame ends on her doorstep.

Counseling, however, can help a woman learn what lies behind the scenes of her husband’s personality, what makes him do what he does. With that knowledge in hand, she can come to realize that her husband’s behavior is not her fault after all.

2. The woman can examine the ways in which she reacts to her husband. From there she can figure out better ways of relating that will cause her less stress and personal frustration. Then, even if he never improves his behavior, she can still enjoy improved personal stability. She can be happier.

Identifying Pattern

The first step toward improving one’s relationship is to understand what constitutes patterns in marriages that can, frankly, be emotionally abusive.

It sounds so far as if I’ve been painting the husbands as villains. That’s not true in the least. Most of these men have perfectly honorable intentions and would never try to hurt their wives. But even though they usually do not set out to harm, it happens all the same.

The problem lies in the way most (not all by any means!) men approach life. As a general rule, men are less naturally inclined than women to address personal or sensitive subjects. This isn’t simply fear of pain. They really aren’t as interested. They have a natural tendency to bypass the lengthy processing that is so necessary to intimate personal interchanges and skip straight to the solution.

When the wife seeks greater depth than simply problem-options-solution and presses to explore the emotional side of an issue or its ramifications, the man’s frustration kicks in. “We’ve already handled the problem; therefore, it doesn’t exist anymore; so what is it with this woman?” To him, detailed processing is useless, perhaps even inane.

He then —and this is a key —begins looking for ways to end his participation in his wife’s processing. He may withdraw or try to put her back onto a path of logic or perhaps even explode. The explosion, you see, is a diversion, a distraction —in essence, a change of subject. Changing the subject is another often-used way out of processing. He is guided by the dread of having to spend any more time than is necessary to dwell on her emotional needs, for he almost never sees them as needs.

Women generally experience feelings and emotions more intensely than do men, mostly because they allow themselves to. A wife lets emotions run their course even as the husband is trying to stuff them, to get rid of them, for he sees them as anti-productive. Let me emphasize that there is no right-and-wrong about having strong emotions or even, to some extent, downplaying them. But because she recognizes and even nurtures her emotional side, the wife can enjoy life in its richest, fullest dimension.

Relationship and family connections are the most important ingredients in most wives’ lives. By their very nature, close relationships generate strong emotions. The wife can inadvertently create problems when she so craves emotional connections that she loses the ability to respond with reason or calm. She may become anxious; she certainly becomes angry. Not to put too fine a point on it, but hers is an insistent anger whereas his is a resistant anger.

The woman locked into these patterns can cry and complain that she feels unloved. She has such a powerful need to feel understood and cherished at an emotional level that she becomes greatly disillusioned when external signs of that understanding are nonexistent.

Evasive husbands invent a broad range of behaviors for avoiding the in-depth discussions they see as useless and potentially harmful: the silent treatment, pretended agreement, constant forgetfulness, procrastination, laziness, temper outbursts, work-a-holism, undue attention to a hobby or sport, and in general merely being unavailable. The evasive man may tune out. He might say whatever he thinks his wife wants to hear at that moment, to prevent the boat from rocking, you see, and harbors no intention of actually following through.

To counter evasiveness, the emotionally eager wife will be prone toward responses such as crying, persuading, calling friends for support, acting moody, repeating the same requests, accusing, and giving up. Once the cycle gets going it can be difficult to break.

Factors Behind the Pattern

In my practice, I see seven factors that are very common in marriages affected by the evasive and the emotionally eager relationship patterns. As we examine them, you will see that this tug-of-war is not confined to a few households. It is widespread. I find this tension in the homes of driven, success-oriented people and in laid-back, take-it-easy relationships. Some of the participants have a history of poor relations with others, while some can point to great popularity with others.

If your husband will join you in the awareness process, that’s great! Use the information provided as a springboard for healthy, honest discussion. If he will not, and many won’t, choose to make yourself aware of what’s happening and grow anyway. One person working toward a healthy style of relating is better than no one at all taking steps.

Let’s look at the seven indicators:

1. Communication is reduced to power plays. If nothing else, evasive behavior creates a feeling of power. This concept of control and power-wielding can take some strange twists, and the people involved usually do not see it for what it is.

If the emotionally eager wife responds with her own overbearing style instead of understanding his fear of being controlled, she does the very thing that makes matters worse. She speaks coercively.

Perversely, even a caring husband derives a certain subconscious satisfaction when he witnesses his wife in great emotional distress. The underlying thought: You see? I do have power! I can control her emotions, and that’s not an easy thing to do. My tactics worked.

The more the wife registers anger or futility, the more likely the evasive husband will continue to respond with power tactics. His urgent, compelling need to keep the upper hand is satisfied. And I repeat, this is not necessarily deliberate. Usually, it is all going on in the darkest caverns of the mind.

2. He avoids commitment and personal accountability. A common complaint I hear from emotionally eager wives is that they cannot get a solid commitment to anything. Their man is hard to pin down.

Remember that evasive husbands unconsciously lust for power. They must maintain control. So it isn’t hard to see why they don’t want to be held accountable to specific plans. They have confused commitment with enslavement or coercion and wrongly assume the words mean much the same thing. They see simple requests, then, as attempts at coercion, and they circumvent them by remaining vague.

These men realize that accountability requires a certain amount of vulnerability, and that scares them. Clear communication, self-revelation, and openness: These qualities could boomerang on them, they fear. The evasive person also fears that his good nature will be taken advantage of, so he plays it safe by revealing the least amount that he can about his plans, his preferences, his feelings.

Although these men would never admit it even to themselves, they have made a commitment to dishonesty. Sometimes blatant lying is involved, as when a man says he will do something, knowing full well that he will not. But usually this dishonesty is more subtle. Without openly lying, these men try to create an illusion of cooperation when in fact they inwardly hope to blaze their own trails independently of their mates’ plans.

With this fear of accountability, these men fuel the wives’ worst fears of marital isolation. The men do whatever they must to keep a safe distance —exactly the opposite of what the emotionally eager wives are seeking. The men keep their feelings well hidden; the wives want feelings brought into view. The men think they dare not expose their preferences lest they be denied (in other words, the woman controls the situation through the power of choice). The women want more than anything else to know what their men want.

Needless to say, this factor of poor accountability works against the success of any relationship, for a thriving marriage needs sharing and openness in order to be truly fused into a unit.

3. Leadership roles are confused. With all this control jockeying and poor accountability, the third factor in these conflicted marriages isn’t hard to see: badly defined leadership roles. The evasive husband prefers to hold back and sidestep situations that will bring his wife’s criticism to bear, and that includes certain situations where his leadership would be expected. He may even coyly set her up to take the heat. That, you see, is real control!

Have either of these scenarios happened in your home?

• A child makes a request that Dad knows should be turned down, so he says, “Why don’t you ask your mother?” Let her be the ogre who denies the child’s wants.

• The husband hears someone reprimand his wife. This might be a stranger in public or his own mother in private. Instead of standing up for his wife, he remains silent even though he knows his wife feels abandoned.

These husbands know that the more leadership they exert, the more controversy they may encounter. It works that way in politics; it must work that way in marriage. Notice that the power plays are still going on.

But here we’re talking about open, visible leadership. Being chronic conflict avoiders, these men prefer to lie low and stay out of the fray. In the battle of the sexes, it’s a good way to keep your head from being shot off. They falsely assume that openness invites problems.

It’s that don’t-rock-the-boat thing again. Unfortunately, by backing away from the leadership role, these men are sacrificing the family’s long-term needs —a stable leader —for the short-term goal of peace-for-the-moment.

Interestingly, in many cases, men who back out of the leadership role in personal and family matters are anything but weak in business pursuits or civic projects.

1. Relationship is secondary to performance. Human beings err, make occasional wrong choices, and are occasionally selfish. In healthy marriages, the partners recognize this fact and allow plenty of room for open conflict resolution. Emotionally eager wives would welcome the chance to discuss problems. But because the evasive husband prefers to minimize his own emotional vulnerability, he customarily runs from the threat of having to struggle with emotions. Logic tells us that if a man is running away from something, he is also running toward something else. What is it that men run toward to avoid personal interactions? Performance.

Now, as a very general rule, men are performance-oriented anyway. Whereas women enjoy the process of doing something, men want to reach the goal as quickly and efficiently as possible and go on to something else. (Again, I remind you, there are plenty of exceptions to this.)

Commonly, evasive men will not mind giving time to an activity such as yard work, fishing, a project at the church. It’s familiar turf. They already know how to do those things. They’ll see a nice, neat, trimmed-up yard, the new church fence, perhaps a fish or two.something. But relationships require being not doing, an unsettling concept for many men.

2. Sexual relating is out of sync. Happy, growing marriages are typified by reasonable sexual communication. Although frequency is not the chief concern (some couples are satisfied with twice monthly sex, some enjoy it several times a week), union occurs frequently enough to remind the spouses of their love and commitment to each other. Sex is a means of maintaining secure bonding.

For evasive men, however, sex is intended not for bonding but for physical satisfaction and—here it is again—control. Who’s in the driver’s seat?

At one extreme, the evasive man abstains for long periods of time, showing virtually no interest at all in his wife sexually. He knows sex can bring out tender sharing, something he prefers to avoid. He determines that it is easier to deny the pleasures of sexual relating in order to avoid emotional intimacy. I have heard numerous accounts from women who are eager to be sexually involved with their husbands but are rebuffed for six months at a time, a year, or longer.

The more common extreme has the evasive man showing little tenderness during waking hours. When bedtime comes, his engine turns on, and he gets his satisfaction from his wife. Then he slips back into his comfortable shell. He may even turn on at two o’clock in the morning, make his move, then go back to sleep. This approach to sex neatly minimizes emotional intimacy without minimizing the feel-good experience. The wife’s emotions are hardly considered.

The emotionally eager wife, then, develops conflicting feelings about marital sex. Part of her wants it and sees it as a wonderful communication time, but she is afraid of the hurt that comes as she senses her husband is merely after physical relief.

Often, if this conflict goes on long enough, one spouse or the other may opt for an outside form of sexual satisfaction: an affair, pornography, or flirtations outside marriage. Either spouse can feel such strong disappointment as to be abnormally vulnerable to temptation.

3. Personal insights are unequal. Healthy people not only admit the need for improvement, they welcome the challenge. Growing people are willing to absorb insights and information. They actively seek out truth.

Evasive people are not inclined toward insight and awareness. Apart from the fact that it’s too much trouble for what you get out of it, the evasive husband really isn’t interested in being challenged on the personal, philosophical level. That makes him too vulnerable. He wants the comfortable routine, the level keel, putting little or no thought into the whys of life.

The emotionally eager wives are usually the type who devour self-help books, enjoy stimulating philosophical discussions, flock to seminars. They invite growth. They like being challenged about what can be done to create a fuller life and why they need to make the needed adjustments. Result: They grow and expand intellectually as their husbands tune in still another football game.

This eagerness does not always translate into significant change. Because of the wife’s tendency to play off her husband’s behavior —reacting instead of pro-acting —this woman eventually loses heart as she realizes that her efforts are not being matched by his. She begins to perceive that she’s outgrowing him. I’ve see many of these wives become increasingly agitated or collapse in despair or depression. Either way, the woman ought to press forward, gaining insight, regardless of her mate’s lack of interest.

4. Both sides feel victimized. Evasive husbands subconsciously live with a philosophy of “You leave me alone, I’ll leave you alone, and we’ll get along just fine.” The fewer challenges they encounter, the less conflict they experience, and the better they feel. The problem is that their spouses by nature yearn for a far more intimate pattern of relating.

The wife launches her various attempts to get the intimacy and depth she craves, protesting or cajoling or simply acting unhappy. The husband, turned off by his wife’s prodding, sulks and wonders, “Why do I have to live with this kind of stuff? She’s crabby for no good reason.”

Either unwilling or unable to grasp that he is contributing to the problem, he sees himself as a victim of unreasonableness. Victims are not cheerful people. The feel, if you will —of the household nose-dives as anger and sadness feed on each other.

The emotionally eager wife feels just as victimized. “When is all this misery going to end? Look what he’s doing to my life. It’s sterile! Going nowhere. Emotionally zip. When will he ever wake up, or is it always going to be this miserable?”

In a sense, there is truth to each mate’s feeling of victimization. Both spouses can point to evidence that this marriage has become something of a raw deal. Both can show legitimate ways in which the other spouse is contributing to the problem. Neither sees the whole picture. When either of them places all blame on the other partner, the “I’m a victim” attitude has gone too far.

Once this evasive pattern has become entrenched in a marriage, it is tempting to place full blame onto the shoulders of the husband who resists deep relating. Let’s say that, in certain instances, it’s true. He does need to change his ways of relating to his wife. His evasiveness damages and even destroys his position of influence in his own home. After all, God did not place us here on earth to avoid each other. We were made to relate first to God, then with family and friends.

Evasive behaviors are damaging not just to the wife but to the husband as well, preventing him from knowing the satisfaction God intended for him.

Beginning the Journey Toward Improvement

If you are the mate of someone who is non-communicative, realize that to some degree, the relational problems you’ve encountered are predictable. They show up in a lot of marriages. Also, there are some things of a general nature that you can do to ease them. For starters:

  • Quit assuming responsibility for your spouse’s imperfections. He may well say, “You make me this way with your constant [nagging, whining, whatever].” That’s not true, even though he may think it is. He would be acting the same way if he were married to someone else.
  • Ease up on your persuasive efforts to convince your mate to fit your mold. Coercion will only make the problem worse. This is hard to do when you desperately want change.

Down deep, you probably realize that no person is going to change, at least not effectively, based on someone else’s forceful persuasion. An evasive husband will amend his ways only if given the room to do so in his own will. That leaves the ugly prospect that he will choose not to. For now, it is wise to back off.

That does not mean that you quit doing anything. If you believe that your husband is ducking away from topics you are sure must be discussed, that he is becoming evasive in the midst of emotional exchanges, can you tell him about the frustration this creates without overworking the point or becoming confrontational? Everything will be working against you.

The heat of the moment makes a person say things she would not say at a less emotional time. And most of all, old habits die hard. You are accustomed to addressing an issue in a particular way now. It is exceptionally hard to change your approach. But it will pay dividends if you can do it. Personal soul-searching will help you turn things around and give positive traits to your marriage.

To get a good idea about how ready you are to do the soul-searching necessary for real growth, be aware of your use of one simple word. You. How often is that word spoken as you are trying to make sense of the tensions with your mate? I’m not suggesting that you should never be spoken. I am saying, though, that its overuse indicates that you are not looking inward.

In short, to improve your own satisfaction and happiness, a major step is to put your own house in order. You may find that the improvement in your life is just the catalyst your spouse needs. And even if you do not experience the adjustments in your mate that you have hoped for, you will still be a more stable and content individual. Are you willing to start with your own hard, inward search?

The emotionally eager wife will say, “Yes! Of course.” But then she amends that with a but. “I’m willing to adjust, but my husband needs to change.” Whether or not you are correct to say this, you are basing your happiness and responses on someone else’s behavior.

Your willingness to work on your own issues will be the key for finding personal peace, then potentially, success in that most important relationship, your marriage.

The above edited article came from the great book, Distant Partner written by Dr Les Carter, published by Thomas Nelson Publishers. The subtitle for the book is: “How to tear down emotional walls and communicate with your husband.”  As Dr Carter says in the beginning of the book, “I have written this book primarily for answer-seeking wives… I want you to understand why some husbands act evasively and maintain a certain distance from you. Most particularly, I want to show you what you can do to improve your emotional reactions to your husband.” We believe that obtaining this book would be an inexpensive way to start on a road to better understanding and working through issues that could greatly improve your relationship. Also, if you want to read this book along with your spouse (if he desires to do so) Dr Carter explains in the preface of the book the best way to do this.

— ALSO —

For additional help, Dr Richard Fitzgibbons offers insights into this difficult marital issue, as well as some practical tools to help you in the web site article:


And to help you even further, another book we recommend is Married…But Lonely (which many of you who have the ability can purchase through this Amazon link to obtain their discounts). It’s written by Dr David Clarke. Below is a link so you can read the first chapter of this book:



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411 Responses to “The Emotionally Distant Husband”
  1. Deb from United States says:

    I have read nearly everything posted here in the comments. I have been married to my husband for nearly two years, but we’ve been together for nearly eight. Our relationship has always been rocky but lately I feel like I’ve reached the end of my ability to continue. I look at what it really means to live a life with him for the next several decades, and I’m not sure I can do it. We do not have children yet, we are both 29.

    I want to be loved by him, I want to be cherished and I want him to acknowledge the many things I do for him out of love, on a daily basis. He is emotionally distant, I am emotionally over eager, and we find ourselves in an ugly dance every time we argue and have conflict. He constantly says he feel unsafe with me… though never acknowledges the things he does that hurt me, nor considers where my anger at him stems from. I feel a little less alone after reading others’ stories. Thank you.

    • Jill from United States says:

      This sounds so much like my life with my husband right now. It hurts so much because I have given my all to him and feel like I’m getting nothing except jaded, something I’ve never been before (even after my first marriage ended). My husband left this morning on business and was so grumpy that I barely got a goodbye. He gave me an emotionless kiss, said sarcastically, “Thanks for everything sweetie. Love you. Have a good day”, grabbed his bag, and shut the door.

      I don’t understand why he doesn’t actually appreciate what I do for him. I’ve been trying to do more and more and all that seems to do is lead to more expectations from him, not more love. I can’t seem to build anything with him, it’s very frustrating. He was married before, too, and that ended badly. He’d been married for nearly 2 decades and I think he invested a bit more in her emotionally. He didn’t think that would end so he’s putting up more and more walls of defense against me instead of letting me in.

    • Cassie from United States says:

      I very much relate to what many of us are saying here on this website. I have been through 3 marriage counselors with my husband and 2 marriage classes trying to figure out how to cope. My 35 year-old husband spends most of his time doing things that make him feel good. He avoids all family responsibility aside from his skilled labor job. I work 50 hours a week, carpool my son to all of his childcare, make all the meals, do all the cleaning, pay all the bills, balance the banking, complete all the family paperwork, and organize all of the family activities. My husband literally sits on the computer playing video games and making comments on how we only have intimate time a few times a month (I’m typically intimate with him at least 2-3 times a week unless I’m sick or out of town).

      His distorted view of our marriage breaks my heart and I have become increasingly more parental towards him as a result. Even when I try to be overly compensating on praise and TLC it still never clicks for him that there is a give and a take. I am exhausted, frustrated, sad. When I bring these things up I get a variety of reaction. Over the last few months he has told me he is unattracted to me (that I’m a great businesswoman but not a great wife). He has told me that he loves me but is not in love with me. He has walked away from me mid conversation, or he tunes me out drinking and playing shooting video games on his PC. I have read the love languages, the John Gottman books, etc and I cannot get my husband to make the same commitment. I think it may be ending and no one is courageous enough to call it and allow ourselves to have a happy life.

      • Michelle from United States says:

        Hi Cassie! I completely understand. My husband just threatened me with divorce for the 4th time when just 2 weeks ago, we were happily in love and extremely connected. Each time this happens, I read all of the articles and books that I can and I am so thankful that I found this site. The articles have helped me a lot. After some soul searching, I realize that whether it’s intentional or unintentional, we have a power struggle going on in our marriage. I am dominant by nature and he is passive.

        Recently, he’s asked me to help him save money. When he got sucked into yet another hobby, he spent $1200 on Magic The Gathering cards in 2 weeks. He was down to his last $30 and didn’t want to tell me for fear that I would scold him or reject him, which I have never done. Regardless, it’s his perception. Our balance got uneven so he threatened divorce to get that balance of power back. At first, I pushed back. Now, I only react to him with love and respect. It seems to be working. His anger is much less than it was last week. Now, I have to try and get us reconnected again by doing things with him that make us feel like a team. Wish me luck!

      • Corrine from United States says:

        Don’t be parental towards him. Stop it! Stop doing what you do not have the desire to do. Start living your own life. Don’t respond to his threats, just continue to do what you think is right. It is not your job to lead him or make him do the right thing. God first, then your husband. Keep your vows, keep your emotions and desires in check and leave the rest up to him. If he chooses to go against God and his vows, it gives you the freedom to move on. It won’t be easy but either he’ll shape up or ship out.

    • Jenny from United States says:

      I got a book called How We Love by Milan and Kay Yerkovich, after hearing them interviewed on Focus on the Family. It’s very, very helpful in explaining how everyone’s childhood impacts their love styles as adults. There are 5 types of people: Avoider, Vacillator, Pleaser, Controller and Victim. They have lots of examples and I felt like they had been present in some of my conversations because it was so accurate.

      The good news is, they talk about ways to improve your own communication patterns so that you can interact more effectively with your spouse. They believe that through prayer, and learning improved communication methods, a relationship can be improved. Even if you’re the only one making conscious changes, it creates a shift in the relationship.

  2. Sherry from United States says:

    My husband and I have been married for five years (next month). He was previously married to the love of his life, and the mother of his children, for sixteen years. In his mind, second wife means second best. His kids come first, then his ex-wife, then his parents, then his job (he travels so frequently I only see him 5 days out of the month). I come last, always.

    He says he loves me, I just feel like he loves being married to someone who nurtures him, cooks for him, does his laundry, and is his companion at HIS convenience. At this moment, he is out of state visiting his oldest child at college -after I begged him not to go, because his ex-wife is trying to serve him yet another Contempt of Court order (he pays her over $1,000 a month, but she wants more -and she’s a millionaire). He has been in jail six times; she is trying to put him there again. I have dealt with her psychopath drama for so many years that I honestly don’t even care if he goes to jail again.

    He is good to me as far as being a roommate and best friend goes. He is capable of being kind to me. However, the minute his ex, or his kids, or his parents call -even on my birthday, Mother’s Day, Christmas, or his birthday -no matter what I had planned, how much money I have spent, how disappointed and hurt I am that he puts his own needs over mine, he will drop me like a hot potato and do what HE wants to do.

    He acknowledges that he has “caused me pain” over the years, and apologizes when he does me wrong -then he turns around and does it all over again the next time someone else (besides me) wants something. I am NEVER first. He expects me to still be there waiting for him when he is finished doing what HE wants to do, after he has stood me up, disrespected me, and hurt me -then he has the nerve to get mad when I try to explain how upset I am, as if it’s MY fault.

    His parents still have pictures of the ex-wife all over their house, including their wedding pictures, and family pictures of him, her, and the kids. I have told them how much this upsets me, and they acknowledged it, but do nothing about it. I have not been in their house in over a year. They send her Mother’s Day, Christmas, and birthday cards, but not me. They have no pictures of me in their house, even though I sent them one of him and me a week after we were married. I told my husband he is a coward for refusing to stand up for me and allowing them to disrespect me. He agrees with me that what they’re doing is horrible, but will not tell THEM that.

    He is very physically affectionate, always hugging me. His love language is Physical Touch. I respect that. However, my love language is Words of Affirmation. I NEVER get what I need from him. He uses the excuse that he is not a verbally expressive person. I am not a physically expressive person, but I suck it up and do it for him because I know that is what he needs, but he will not extend the same courtesy to me.

    In bed, having sex with him is like having sex with the Terminator – human flesh on the outside, but a cold, dead, emotionless machine on the inside. He’s great at it physically, but many times I end up feeling used and resentful, like I am nothing more to him that a live blow up doll.

    I want a divorce, I have told him I want a divorce -and the reasons why -and have even filed for divorce. The only problem, in today’s economy, I cannot afford to live alone. So I have to suffer and live with a man who only loves me as a buddy, not a wife. He is not, nor has he ever been in love with me. I’m to the point that I barely even like him.

    • Lynn from United States says:

      That sounds awful. What a terrible marriage to endure every day. What you described reminds me of my ex. I also stayed with him too long due to financial worries. My family is distant and they do not support me, and it’s difficult for a single woman and especially a single mother to survive out there in the economy.

      But after a while, I started to feel like I would rather be homeless than stay with him. Being homeless would be more peaceful than suffering every day in a miserable relationship. He told me I was selfish and it’s all about me and my feelings because I told him that I’m not getting what I need emotionally from him. He would be completely SILENT during dinners, and he would get angry and yell at me if I asked him questions that he didn’t like. When I tried to work through issues with him, he would hang up on me. I had my part in the problems too, but when he refused to talk to me it hurt terribly. I once cried so hard that my nose started bleeding.

      Satan traps us with fear. I have to remind myself that Jesus is my security, not some emotionally unavailable man. I finally had to step out in faith because I couldn’t take it anymore. I would go without eating for days from the stress and become physically sick. I am sure God doesn’t want that kind of life for His children. It’s hard being alone, and I still worry, but I know that God will help me through it. If He fed the multitudes with five loaves, He can surely help single and struggling women, one day at a time.

      I know it’s hard to see clearly when you’re in the middle of it, but as an outsider and someone who went through similar problems, it’s clear to see that you are being deprived of what you need in your marriage. You seem like a nice lady, and I pray that God shows you the right solution.

      • J.M.P from United States says:

        I live this life everyday. Some more than others. What makes it different for me? I’ve been married over 20 yrs. The last 6 months have been pure hell. I made up a saying “I like walking on the grass because it feels so soothing, so why am I walking on eggshells?” The evasiveness is pure Emotional Abuse or the gateway to a Transactional Marriage. Get Help A.S.A.P! I’m in therapy right now. It’s helping me deal with it.

  3. Hipster from United Kingdom says:

    How do you learn to live with someone so different from yourself? My husband was loving, giving, caring and my hero until he started spending money we didn’t have, and lying and even texting other women. This behaviour went on for 6 years; we split for 2 years and then with all the promises to change we reconciled. Again he was the person I met and fell in love with but he was still lying and spending up until about 18 mths ago.

    Although I can never be sure if he’s ever not doing anything destructive, I know I’ve fallen into the anger trap because he makes sure I stay there in his comfort zone. I struggle to get out and he pulls me back in. I challenge him more now and it doesn’t go down well. When I sort myself out he brings out his old self and back we go into the unhealthy pattern; he acts like a jerk and I react badly until I get control over myself again. I feel like a yoyo.

  4. Victoria from United States says:

    My husband and I have been together for five years and married one. We have been raising my nephews off and on for four years of our relationship. Their mother is off doing whatever she pleases but this is a stress on us. We have somehow started only having sex a few times a month and I hate it. But on top of that I work a night shift job, not at my choice, and it takes away from my time with my family.

    I feel emotionally detached from him. I’ve tried talking to him but it always ends up in a fight. I love him with all my heart and soul and I know he loves me; it’s just hard for me to just hear it. I want him to show me and he says, I do; we just had sex; lol it’s not funny. But that’s my husband. There are times when I feel I have become content with our life and all it’s crap but I know I haven’t really. We want it to be just us again but we know we can’t have that right now and probably not anytime soon.

    I am only 21 and he is 25 and we live life like we are in our thirties. We are in a rut in life and I need help getting us out. I can’t do it alone. I know this. I’m working on getting him to come around to help me but I need help doing just that; like I could do this and try that or approaching it from his point of view. But I’ve done it all. I’ve tried it all, at least I think I have. My husband is a typical man. He really is I mean. He is what all women say their husbands or their boyfriends are but they really have no idea!

    I don’t know what I’m to do about my family life or my relationship with my husband. I really need help! He will not go to counseling cuz he says there’s no need to pay someone to fix something that isn’t broken. I don’t know what to do. Is it just me or am I going freakin crazy? I’ve prayed and prayed. I’ve asked my mother who is in heaven to help me and nothing has changed yet. Someone please help me, please!???!!

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      Victoria, I’d like to ask you a few questions first for clarification so I (and hopefully others) will know better how to respond to your pleas. First, what country do you live in and are you both from that country? Also, is there any chance your husband is into social media big time, perhaps involving porn or cybersex, visiting chatrooms, or such? And, do you have any other family members that can help you sometimes with your nephews (taking them for a night here and there or so)? If you work nights, what time of the day or night does your husband work –the same time frame or different?

  5. Tom from South Africa says:

    Hi, i read this artile with hopes to learn and perhaps deal better with my family. I have been married for just over a year now and it seems the relationship is just becoming unbearable. I did not know that women get more emotionally eager just after getting married, because we were co-habiting for 2 years before we got married and never had these issues. I guess I was naive to think things will be the same after marriage.

    Now that things are worse I desparately need practical solutions to remedy my new family. I admit that I have been distant from my wife because she seemed to be negative, dragging me to negativity. I thought she only looked at thing that are wrong without acknowledging the many things that are going right. I honestly don’t know how to be that kind of a person. I’m the kind of person who focuses more on possitive things in life because that makes me appreciate life. Turning my focus to negative things will only make me miserable or depressed.

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      Tom, I don’t know what country you live in, but if it’s possible, there’s a good book that I recommend you get on this issue. It’s written by Dennis Prager, and it’s titled, Happiness Is a Serious Problem. This book has really changed my view of “happiness” and being negative because the world appears to be negative. Dennis has a radio program that I listen to each day (when I can) and on Friday’s he has what’s called “the Happiness Hour” where he focuses on different aspects of happiness. As a matter of fact, you can watch a little preview of this book and the subject on a YouTube video at I hope you (and your wife) will watch this short clip. It might whet the appetite to learn more.

      Now, I’m not talking about giddy, fake happiness (and neither is Dennis). And I’m certainly not talking about the immoral “God just wants me to be happy, so I should leave my spouse because I’m not happy in my marriage.” That’s a crock of garbage. But if you listen to and read what Dennis says about looking towards and focusing on the brighter side of life (there is one if you look for it as gold) instead of focusing on negativity, it’s amazing how much better life can be for all. I learned this BIG TIME! I come from a family of negative relatives. My mom’s side of the family were/are mostly sad-sacks. It’s a whoa-is-me type of existence. And I’ll tell you, you can only take so much of that negativity and you want to run as fast as you can away from them at times. I love them, but enough is enough! We all have problems… that doesn’t mean we have to wallow in them.

      I hope you can eventually help your wife to look towards the brighter side of life, for the most part. It took years before my Dad was able to get my mom to do this and years before I “got it” as far as not focusing on the negative –dealing with it, yes… but not staying there and inflicting it on others with a sour-puss outlook on life day in and day out. We have some BIG problems going on in our lives right now, but my husband and I refuse to stay focused on that, which we can’t change. We look to the Lord to guide us through them and look for the joy that is around us to focus on. I pray your wife eventually is able to get there too. I hope you are able to (gently) help her get there, as well. It will bring you all the more closer together.

  6. Monica from United States says:

    I have been married to my husband for almost four years, but we’ve been together for about seven. We have almost four children together. I say almost four because next week I am expected to birth our fourth. I was a typical daydreaming woman, thinking that having my schooling in order and being married and having a family would bring me everything I had always wanted, a nice close and solid relationship with my children and my husband.

    I am an emotionally eager woman; I have had attachment issues since I was a child due to a traumatic experience in my adoption situation. I have had people in and out of my life emotionally and I have a lot of anger I work on resolving because of it. I’m tired of people not realizing how much they hurt me by not being there. So the only person left I still hold to a standard really is my husband, my life partner and father of my kids. Sometimes I feel very foolish; I feel foolish because I expect him to be more understanding, sensitive, compassionate, more tender and affectionate, and he tells me “you knew what kind of man I was when you met me” meaning he is basically none of those things.

    The thing is that when I met him he was definitely more of those things than he is now. He works very hard, and allows me to stay home with our children, which is something I cherish as a huge gift. Sometimes he makes me feel lazy and suggests I need to be working to help with our income, although all of our needs are met with his income alone. He is climbing the corporate ladder and I’m trying so hard to be supportive of him even though he doesn’t support my dreams or visions. He has told me my dreams aren’t logical, they are unrealistic, and that the scope of them has brought him fear and anxiety in the past.

    I am a dreamer. I have big dreams and goals and was headed in those directions when I met him. I feel resentful that I’ve kind of given those up because I don’t have the support I wish I had from him. He wants this to be our last child, and I’m resentful because I feel that he has never “been there” emotionally for me during my pregnancies. He has always jerked his hand away when I put his hand on my stomach to feel the baby move, saying it felt weird and that he couldn’t emotionally connect to our baby until it was born. I’ve been left to waddle through the hormonal changes of pregnancy myself and felt at fault for being too sick or too tired during or after the pregnancies to amount to his expectations.

    I resent sex with him because I don’t believe in hormonal birth control, and he doesn’t want any more kids yet tells me I run the sex schedule. I resist sex because I also feel that it is fulfilling him physically and my emotional needs are not met. It is very hurtful and hard to be in this position because I love my husband with my whole heart and our family but I feel despair when I think of continuing a relationship like this for the rest of my life. I want my kids to see an energized, encouraged, lively woman in their life who shows them how to shoot for the stars because she is optimistic. I write in a Mr/Mrs journal I purchased a while ago to write openly to my husband and he to me about our issues and feelings, and he never writes in it unless I remind him after I’ve written about an issue I’m upset about. I knew marriage wouldn’t be easy, but I just want to feel loved, appreciated, to have him be grateful for my sacrifices and my efforts to please him. I want to feel cherished and beloved. And I don’t think he’s capable of making those changes on his own. I feel lost as to what to do and frustrated.

  7. TooOld from United States says:

    Hi, just came across this and need advice. I’ve been married over 20 years to a guy who’s a “man’s man” – has his own interests and is true to himself (regardless of the hurt it may cause others). The first few years of our marriage weren’t bad, although I did have to ask/cry/breakdown for sex, I kept thinking it would change.

    Fast forward, we had 2 kids, and things never changed. In fact, my oldest was the one who discovered dad’s Internet history of lots of porn sites and dad chatting away when I wasn’t home. I got him to a counselor once or twice, where he admitted he doesn’t know why he married me. I’ve worked on myself for 5 years now, thinking that at some point things would get better. What has gotten better is my own hope to separate from him so that I can live a life that accomplishes without dampening.

    Unfortunately, my youngest is still in high school. My oldest is going to college this fall. I feel guilty about the horrible example of marriage that they’ve grown up with. Our house is full of anger (my husband’s technique is to be angry and/or stonewall –will not discuss anything -ever) when my husband is home. While he’s a helpful man (cooks, does shopping, helps clean sometimes), emotionally it’s often challenging to anticipate his moods and to suppress my own desires (we don’t have sex and haven’t for 5+ yrs) (asking for home improvements makes him angry, same with car issues).

    I promised God to stay with him forever, and it feels like the lonely life sentence. I’m not sure even what I want any more. It just seems like the easiest and most sane thing to do is to leave. He won’t go to counseling. Would going to a counselor help (I have been, 5 years ago in the porn discovery, and then a year+ class for spouses of porn addicts)?
    I just feel stuck. Thanks.

  8. Peter from United States says:

    Thanks for this article. I am a man who realized I fit into this mold. I hope it’s not too late to save my marriage. It’s close, I’m just not sure. My wife says I broke her heart, and I did. We’re moving forward, communication is extremely hard, but I’ve spent the last 6 months in therapy. I’ve dealt with my demons. I’ve come to the other side, I know what they are and how they have affected my relationship. I am 43 and wife 38, we have two kids 7 and 4.

    We are both trying to make amends and come out the other side, yet it’s hard. I’ve started to pay more attention, lose weight (22 lbs so far), treat her better, and give her more respect and support.

    We had communication problems in our relationship and I had self worth issues, so together after losing a job, things started to fall apart. It’s sad. Now I’m at a stage where I’ve stopped pleading (by actions) for her to return to me as my wife in spririt (we both live in the same home) to one of action. But an action of purpose. Realizing what I’ve done, making changes, and projecting a new image, not for her to remain, but for me to show I am growing into a better man.

    I’ve begun to be present in the relationship, learning how to latin dance (her favourite), being more communicative, thoughtful, and put together things to show her I do love her for who she is, and not because I need her to be a mother figure…

    That said… Most of the respondents to this email are women. What would you like to see? Spell it out, not for the sake of doing it, but for a way to really see real examples of what would you wish to see your husbands do or wish they would have done to save your marriages…

    By saving the marriage, I don’t want to go back to the good times, because those were just that good. There were relationship problems then, I want us to be great. That means taking the steps now to make it so and growing our relationship into something new, stronger, healthier, with outlet valves to reduce steam when needed. Any advice would be appreciated…

    • Pam from United States says:

      Peter, Keep trying! Try to discover what makes your wife “feel” loved. Is it gifts? Sex? Verbal acknowledgment? Time for herself? I read a book once that stated everyone has “love buckets”… I think it was the “Five Love Languages”. Find out what hers is and try fill it. Personally, I feel like actions speak louder then words. You wrote that you have tried to make changes in yourself and you should be proud of that.

      When you ask her what she needs to move forward in the relationship what does she say? That’s the answer to your question. If she doesn’t know the answer, give her time & support to find the answer. Maybe she doesn’t know what will really make her happy… and if she doesn’t know how are you to know? Be patient & Good Luck!

    • Harriet from United States says:

      Peter, I was pleased to read a post from a husband on this website. I just found this article today. I’m an over eager or I guess, the emotionally trying or changing partner. I’ve been married for 12 years to my husband and we’ve been trapped in a pattern of co dependence and low self worth. I’m emotionally expressive, I’m an extrovert, he’s an introvert and socially very shy. I’m ambitious and driven, so is he, but he doesn’t take risks and is resentful at times for my successes. We are both creatives but even though I am also as insecure as he is, I’m fearless (because I’m competitive) when it comes to putting myself out there; where he is not.

      In sum, I’m constantly trying to work on myself through CBT and therapy. He feels there is nothing wrong with him- I am the sick one; he’s the adult. Unfortunately, he’s also chronically depressed but refuses to deal with it and is evasive, doesn’t ever want to rock the boat; and though he tries to make me happy, or says he tries to make me happy, he mostly is just ingnoring our issues and wants to pretend he didn’t hurt me for four years acting out in our marriage. He has acknowledged his mistakes but wants me to get over it now; I realize now, I did not work through it, just shoved it down inside me – and as we tried to recover the last four months, and as we have tried to heal and get closer, those wounds are fresh for me.

      As we get closer I become vulnerable and scared and think he’s lying again. Old hurts surface. Adding to the mix is when discord erupts, he blames me that I’m causing the friction and that he’s not being evasive or avoiding things- but he is, unfortunately. He says I’m creating drama that doesn’t exist. Maybe he’s right. He doesn’t want to listen to me or my recovery or my thoughts or growth or revelations. I ask him about himself but he doesn’t share.

      Now to you- I can’t tell you how to make your wife feel safer or better -or how to make your marriage greater- you should ask her. For me, I like to talk – a lot, about feelings and all kinds of other things. I don’t necessarily want fancy vacations… or cooking classes together and all that stuff. I want my husband to listen to my newest philosophical problem with a concept I’m dealing with in one of my paintings. Not to solve it, but to listen. Or actually, care about it, because I deeply care about his passions.

      I want everyday acts of intimacy and kindness or thoughtfulness. Like for example, if my husband gets up in the morning first, he makes the coffee, and maybe he sets out a cup for me too. Or even better, if he knows my schedule for the day, he brings me a cup and wakes me up if I haven’t gotten up because my alarm clock hasn’t gone off because I forgot to set it–I do those things for him. Or, maybe he gets the kids up and helps get them ready or makes them breakfast so I’m not running around trying to get them ready- making myself late for work. Often times my spouse sits outside in the garden reading or playing video games on his iPad while I’m in the house getting the kids ready – leaving me with the burden of the kids, all the while I have to juggle the lunches and everything else. It just makes it feel like we’re not a team.

      In the end, most wives want what they’re calling “the new man” which is an equal partner in the marriage. Someone once stated that if we all have a house, and each of us have rooms in our houses, one for work, one for sport, one for friends, we ought to let our spouses into those rooms openly, not be shut down. Because if you don’t let your wife in, she’s standing outside like a stranger, feeling unappreciated, in the cold, resentful and hurt or worse, rejected, confused when spouses want physical attention. But the prevailing message most wives receive is that if men let the wives in, the wives will rule or control those rooms.

      Guess what? We won’t. We’re just insecure because we adore and love our husbands and want to make them happy- undeniably. We think you’re going to cheat or watch porn or lose interest as we age and divorce us and leave us high and dry for a younger version of us- and we’ve screwed ourselves because of our careers and taking care of the kids. We’ll never earn as much… and so we desperately want to connect emotionally to you -want some sign that you truly love us for us as women, not as objects; respect us despite our emotional complexities.

      Anyway, I don’t know if any of this helps… Maybe none of it!

    • Jenn from United States says:

      Peter, Just the fact of your open and honest interest in making changes in how the two of you interact, is beautiful! Remember to not bend over too far to “become” what you believe she wants. Any changes you make in yourself that are only to please someone else will not last and end up being a double betrayal.

      I would bet money that your wife wants a husband who listens (you’re actively learning to do that) but also takes what he hears his wife and children say and uses it to LEAD, not in the sense of bossing or controlling, in the sense of guiding and guarding.

      Also, something I heard several years ago that blew my mind because it was SO TRUE to my heart is, a woman’s children are an extension of her. Treat the children like you treat your wife. When you hurt them with your own issues, you hurt her to the core.

      That’s not to say that she doesn’t also do things that hurt them and maybe she doesn’t even realize it. Don’t tell her straight out, that is like blowing holes in her soul. Ask her why she does it and then model a better choice with them in a similar situation. Even be willing to step into situations that she doesn’t handle well with them. Again, LEAD by guarding and guiding. And PRAY PRAY PRAY. You have the ability to be everything your family needs you to be, and be joyful because of it!

    • HCBS from United States says:

      If you were my husband I would want you to ask me how I feel… ask me how my day was, and then listen and act like you care when I answer. (Please turn down the TV and look at me when we’re talking) Find out (ask me, pay attention to my response) what gives me pleasure sexually and do it EVERY TIME, so I am not left aroused, but unfulfilled. Realize that as a stay at home mom I work every bit as hard, if not harder than you do, but I don’t get any praise from adults, nor do I get a paycheck for my work. YOU are the only possible source of praise or appreciation I’ll get for rearing your children, so PLEASE acknowledge my efforts occasionally. Tell me I look nice, or I’m pretty, or you find me attractive. A little goes a long way, I promise! Don’t treat me like a maid. Talk to me about your work. Tell me about your good and bad days. Plan a date… nothing fancy, just ask me out to dinner or a movie. Tell me you love me.

  9. Mary from United States says:

    I’ve read this article and this is my husband spot on. His idea of intimacy was self-release and no concern other than that. It’s a wonder we’ve been together 17 years. When our children were born, I thought he would be a great dad. As it turned out he’s only been a father who doesn’t involve himself with his son’s lives. It was me who diapered them, fed them, sat with them while they were sick.

    Now they are nearly grown, he sees them as a tool to help with his activities. My husband is disabled, hence this is where our sons come into the picture. He’s a sports fanatic, and travels as often as he can to participate in disabled sports events. My sons come into play to help with his luggage and such, as I used to do until I just gave up. He’s so friendly and outgoing with his friends and sports contacts; he jokes with them and discloses his dreams and goals, but with myself and our sons, there is no such conversations. It’s like he is two different people in one body. Conversation between my husband and myself runs like this, “Honeee, can you; would you; get the boys to do…” Sure he is disabled, but he is not helpless. He does for himself perfectly well when traveling alone.

    I too have fallen into the trap of the you did, you won’t, why can’t you… About a month ago before reading this, I decided to work on me, and stop with the you-you-you stuff as it never has, and never will get me anywhere, even though I’ve given my all to him, and he acknowledges that fact with an almost whiny ‘Thank you’ when I do things for him. I’ve realized he has been and still is using his disability and focus on sports as a way of avoiding any emotional dealings which makes things more simple for him, but leaves me extremely frustrated. If I focus on my happiness of mind and my relationship with our children, maybe he will get curious and actually start engaging with his family instead of seeking to hide himself away from the ones that love him the most.

  10. Charis from Greece says:

    Hi, I am married 8 years with a man who always says he loves me. He is faithful; he cares for me more than anything but he simply doesn’t ever satisfy my emotional needs. That lead us after all those years with me not sexually wanting him much… We still had sex and we had sex often, but for me it wasn’t much. I wasn’t chasing him, I was cold. I cannot chase a man who I don’t take back emotional satisfaction from. He doesn’t give me verbal attention at all.

    Every time I want to show him something that I made, when I talk about things I am thinking, he’s always either tired or he cannot talk at the moment or he just listens and I feel like I’m talking to a wall, actually either talking to a wall or my husband–it is the same thing… And this is going on for many years, and he wasn’t always working. There were periods where he was unemployed, resting and he was doing the same thing always, ignoring me.

    We went through really hard financial problems. We got over them, but he’s never emotionally feeding me the way I need. I’m a person who likes verbal compliments, who likes when he comes home to ask me how I’m doing, to ask me about my new work, to smile at me and give me a little attention. He NEVER does this. I’ve lost sexual interest completely.

    So I caught him on a dating site… I saw all of his messages. He didn’t do anything, and there wasn’t any sexual messages at all but I was shocked. I thought I would get a heart attack. I was ready to divorce him and he was begging me, promising me he now understands my needs and will change and all that stuff. So I showed him that if I feel that I get attention I can be a very sexual person. So all day I was chasing him, and we had fun and then the next day he was back to his regular self. I tried to talk to him about my stuff, and he replied to me “I’m tired, can we talk later on” with his nasty way. He wasn’t like a loving person to tell me nicely, he was mean and reacted like I annoyed him.

    Not only did I go through a shock few days ago seeing his profile on a dating site, not only did I cry for 2 days and I felt like my heart got ripped out, not only did I find the strength to forgive him and make a new start, he dared to tell me he is tired. When I complained about it, he just said, that I’m mean, I’m crazy, and that I should stop yelling and complaining.

    But it’s not just that, I realize that I’m not happy in general. I’m not happy when someone treats me like I’m not important. I need a verbal and intellectual relationship. He only likes to work, have sex, have me be his porn woman that he learned watching from the age of 13 and that’s it. He thinks just because he works and he says sometimes he loves me is enough and I should be all over him. And the funny part is I work as well, and I work many hours and I am tired as well. I also have needs and sexual ones that he doesn’t satisfy for 8 years… but I didn’t want to make a profile on a dating site. I don’t go out seeking attention. I’m faithful. And I have talked to him about my needs more than once. He just chooses to ignore them. He says he will change, that I am right, that he feels he failed and he will make me happy and all that stuff and then boom, back to his old classical sarcastic ways like I annoy his talking to himself. I’m very upset, should I just finish this marriage?

    I don’t want to have kids with someone who opens an account on a dating site and jeopardizes our relationship like that. He swears he did it just to get some attention and he would never go out with anyone. Lets say I believe this, still… what if a woman was giving him attention and then he goes out with her, and then what if this woman was one of those women who seduces a man, and takes all their money? I have also money in our bank account.

    It’s not just the “cheating” factor. I’m a grown up and I will get over this. It is that he places himself on such a situation of being vulnerable and refuses to change himself, to give and in my turn to give back… he just really refuses to do such a thing and then he justifies his actions that it’s my fault.

  11. Ndapraise from Namibia says:

    I have a husband who is not here because he is working far away and now I want him to be with me at home and feel love together. But because of distance we cannot fulfill our daily love together. Help me out. He wants to drop work and come home but because of financial problems we will not cover all our expenditures if he is not working.

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      This is a really tough situation to be in. The best I can encourage you to do, is do the best you can under the circumstances and proactively work on changing them in the future. We have several articles in the “Assorted Marriage Issues” topic, which deals with the spouse being away. If you read and glean through them they will point out ways you can still stay in touch that is at least better than nothing. Look to see what will work for you.

      We have a son and daughter in law and two grandkids that live on the other side of the world. We miss them terribly! We haven’t been with them for over a year and a half. But we’ve learned of different ways, such as Skyping and such that does at least help. It’s not the same as being able to hug and be together, but it’s better than nothing. The articles for you to read that I’m referring you to, give quite a few tips, which might help in different ways if you apply them.

      And then if it’s possible, determine which of you needs to move to the town that the other is in the future. Try to get enough money together so that spouse can “visit” when it’s possible and spend the time applying for work in the area. Be creative; persevere and keep trying. Do what you can from a distance to find ways to stay close emotionally and do what you can to find a way so that eventually one of you can move geographically to be with each other physically. That seems to be the best you can do. Ask God to guide you in all of this to open the right doors as you seek Him and seek to do as He shows you. I hope this helps.

  12. Lynn from United States says:

    Before finding this site, I was thinking my husband was having an affair, although he doesn’t have any of the obvious signs. After reading this, Im sure he is emotionally detached and controlling. We have been married 27 years and he has never been one to talk about his feelings but everything was “ok” until I started making more money than him (for the last 5 yrs).

    I take responsibility for potentially neglecting him while I furthered my career but what husband doesn’t want to have sex with his wife? Ok, I put on a few pounds over the years and have recently lost 20 of the 35 but still he has no desire. We went 6 months without any intimacy recently and then only because I initiated it. When I tried to talk to him about it he said I’m controlling and judgmental and he feels like he is walking on pins and needles around me.

    We are trying to have more open discussions about each other’s needs but so far we haven’t seen any positive results from these conversation. It doesn’t help that I travel every other week for work. I think the biggest issue is the money (again he has no symptoms of an affair, no unexplained spending, absences, change in schedules –even when I am gone), no change in appearance, cell usage etc (and I have checked them all and since we have cameras on all of our entries, I know when he leaves, gets home and who comes over).

    I think the money issue makes him feel less of a man and because I’m quite independent. I assume he thinks I don’t need him for anything so the one thing he can offer, he controls –intimacy! Yes, lonely in the United States, he won’t go to counseling so I’m considering separation. Our one child is grown and gone. These are supposed to be the “happy times” with bills paid and nothing but possibilities… go figure. We make it 27 years and then my husband turns into a roommate.

  13. Maggie from South Africa says:

    Although I have read all this and there are many positive points it makes me feel as if I should quit while I’m still sane. My husband was amazing when we first met then he became abusive controlling and a brut of sorts. He has never taken responsibility for the cruel things he did to me. He is no longer abusive but fits the profile of the man described in this article to a T.

    I have tried everything including acting as if nothing is ever wrong, ignoring, doting, seeing to his every whim, talking, showing all/no emotion and none of it has worked. We are now so disconnected that I feel as if we just co habitate. He has told me that there is a huge rift between us and he wishes we could be close like when we met, that time of our lives feels to me as if it were a dream, some sort of fantasy, as if it had never been a reality. He finds fault in everything I do and don’t do. He refuses to go to counseling and refuses to split. I feel like I’m between a rock and a hard place. He seems to all family and friends the perfect partner and even cares for his ex more then I would like but towards me he is cold as ice, hard and frankly killing every ounce of love I have left.

  14. Maria C from United States says:

    I feel related in every point you made in this article. I’m married for five years and I have two young children. Now, I’d like to know what to do to save my marriage because most of the time I’m in a desperate place on the edge of depression for not knowing what to do. Thanks.

  15. Joe from United Kingdom says:

    This is almost what is happening to me and my wife at the moment. An eye opener for me. I assumed that I was doing everything for my wife but I think I now realise that I’m becoming evasive. It’s just 3 years since we’re married. I really would like to be what my wife wants me to be but it’s a battle for me to deal with emotions. She is way too emotional and I think I’m like a rock (without emotions). Thanks for this post. I see things a bit differently now.

  16. Misty from United States says:

    I been married for 10 years, and we have had our promblems. An the beginning it was really good, like a honeymoon stage. We go to a really good church. The pastor has talked to both of us, and my husband has backslidden and has done some awful things. We have three children. This is my first time being married. I forgive him but really now I just want out. I’m trying to make it work but my husband had a bad childhood. My husband needs to go to couesling, or I said I would leave. But he is not a person to talk about his problems. I just thought if he could talk about things to a complete stranger. I don’t believe in him needing depression pills. He hard worked. I have no job, but I’m going to school, just seems like he changed. He runs to his family. They are such bad a influence, I don’t know what I’m going to do.

  17. Lucy from United Kingdom says:

    I don’t know what to say except I’m at my wits end. My fiancé (not married yet) although together 6 years is an emotional robot. I’ve spent so long trying to change him that I’ve pushed him further away. He says he loves me and we will be fine if we can judt relax, watch tv, talk about normal things instead of all these long conversations about “US” and how to improve “US”… If it weren’t for my son and the fact I have no family or friends to turn to I think I would walk. As much as I love him I think I would. He is totally shut off from me now. Maybe he doesn’t love me he just doesn’t have the guts to admit it. Lucy xxx

  18. Mel from United States says:

    I can so relate to this. After 12 years of living with an evasive bf, I’ve given up on changing his behavior and started the process of healing myself and getting financially stable enough to move on. Do I love him? Yes, absolutely, always will. But it’s painfully obvious that he has no capacity or desire to be in an adult relationship. He has so many ego issues, on top of lack of motivation to be successful.

    There is a time you have to face facts. You can’t change people to be emotionally connected. Truthfully, I didn’t expect that as much as I expected him to be a provider and protector. He gets sick enjoyment out of watching me be in that role. Then when people are watching, he’ll act as if he’s the one. I used to keep my mouth shut and allow him to take credit. Not anymore! While I’m careful not to humiliate him, I don’t cover for his evasive behavior. I point it out when he does it, and ask him point blank if he enjoys having people make decisions for him? I’ve also stopped doing his basic living stuff, like cooking and laundry, unless he asks, and says thank you. He actually tried to “punish” me by not eating the lunches I packed for him. I stopped buying food altogether! You can’t be bullied or “punished” by these types unless you allow it. And when I’m ready to leave, and he asks why, I’ll sit him down and let him read this. Men have no excuses to act ignorant about why they can’t have healthy relationships with the internet available.

    • Patty from United States says:

      I too have been in a relationship with an emotionally detached boyfriend. I’ve cried, screamed, left, came back you name it. But it only changed when I stopped talking and making plans/threats. One day I finally found strength and wisdom. I didn’t have immediate plans, but I had determination. I stopped just talking and made a real statement. My body language and demeanour all changed to. First of all, I called it like it was. I explained that we were having an unemotionally detached relationship. I apologized for taking it personally before, which I had. I further explained that I had matured and grown to realize that the emotional detachment had nothing to do with me. The emotional detachment was something that was a part of him before he even knew me.

      I explain that I loved him – which I honestly do, but that we had to make changes. I was careful in not saying “you.” In addition, I said and meant that if we didn’t work on this then I would be making changes on my own. You see I had finally realized that my happiness nor self worth was a reflection on me. When I was rejected emotionally over and over, it didn’t mean I was unloveable, not beautiful, unworthy. Before this moment I believed those things and it made the pain worse and our relationship more out of control.

      So with true confidence (I don’t know where I found it) I stated my worth and value along with the problem of his being unemotional. I apologized again and said I can’t be with someone that doesn’t make me feel like I’m the most important and the most beautiful person in the world. You see everyone deserves that one person that can make them feel that way. You are the most important person in my life along with being the best looking. However, you failed to make me feel important, loved and protected. These are the basic needs of a woman and it’s tragic that you failed me.

      Needless to say I got a response. Finally a real response. He said, “well I guess I’m going to have to work on that.” I didn’t say anything this time. Roles are reversed. After wait time he said I guess actions speak louder than my weak words! Maybe – just maybe – he is getting it. For his sake I hope so! This girl has found strength and the only way to keep me is to make me feel like the most important and beautiful woman in the world!

      • Patti from United States says:

        I’ve been married for nearly 35 years. In the early years I recognized that something critical was missing from our relationship (I couldn’t identify it). As time went on, we started a business and raised a family. That “something that was missing” got worst and began to show itself in a lack of true intimacy in our marriage. I didn’t realize for many years, that what I was actually dealing with was a man so fearful of emotional connection that he’d go to any extreme to avoid it. Not knowing that, I played into the role that if this way didn’t work, try something else. We went to several counselors, nothing helped. He was willing to go but not willing to do the work. It all just looked good as long as he could say “Well, I trrrried”. I nearly drove myself crazy, like a mad woman, trying to connect to this person.

        I’m fully aware that it was not all him. Of course, many times I could have responded differently, with less intensity or directness as that is what still deflates him.

        Several times I’ve thought of leaving, a few times I’ve actually packed my bags and walked out the door, only to turn around and come back. I blamed myself: if only I was… fill in the blanks.

        Then, one day I STOPPED. Just STOPPED. I decided I would do NOTHING to make this relationship better. I would only work on myself and try to find the joy, the good. Even though I made this decision, it hasn’t been easy. In fact, it has been harder than anything I’ve ever done in my life. Why? Because I can’t imagine how anyone can live on such a detached, non-reflective level. Just can’t imagine it. It really isn’t living to me. And it is really difficult not being able to connect to this person that supposedly should be one of the most important in my life.

        I cannot seem to detach enough to get rid of the anger. It still surfaces too easily. Like tonight, when he wants to watch boxing instead of going out for dinner… a time to connect. I don’t feel like fixing dinner so I won’t be. If there was someway I could feel good about it, I would go out by myself but that would only make me feel worse.

        And then, though I consider myself a very moral person and a Christian, I’ve come to realize that given the right situation and right person, I could become intimately involved while being married. I don’t care a bit about the sexual, I’m starved for male/female bonding. And I’m also convinced that while God wouldn’t be in favor of this, but I think he would have some understanding and forgiveness for me. After all, didn’t he create women to bring intimacy to men and the world? His intimacy? But, lucky for me, God so far has protected me from any encounters that I might be vulnerable to.

        What bothers me the most is that he gives NO INDICATION that he cares, that he even thinks or considers any of this. Like I am not on his radar screen.

        I can’t bear the thought of separating my family, even though they’re all adults. What about my precious little grandchildren. So I think there must be some redeeming value in that.

        I don’t believe that Christian marriage is necessarily forever. I think we have to consider who we’re affecting along the way if we divorce as divorce is not just about us but those around us.

        A few years ago my daughter was in a similar situation. Married for 10 years, they had no children but it was a very controlling relationship. When she decided that if she stayed she would “be a shell of a person” I knew exactly what she was talking about. I supported her decision. Not having children and being involved in a relationship that didn’t give any indication of real improvement, I didn’t want her to go through what I had for the rest of her life. Since she left the marriage, her own life has flowered in ways she couldn’t have imagined and in ways it certainly couldn’t have.

        So I came across this website accidentally as I was trying to calm myself. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to express myself. It has helped. Living this way is sometimes too much to bear. However, it isn’t played out yet and I am determined that I will not let it destroy me. -Patti

        • Marina from Australia says:

          Oh goodness, you could have been talking about me! 30 years of a hard, hard, emotionally isolated life. Yes, “something was missing” right from the start. I never could describe what that something was, other than the innate knowledge that I was not understood, that I played a role but the “true me” was irrelevant to him. Like you, I didn’t understand what was going on, blamed myself for being an emotional basket case, the crazy one!

          Every one sees me as the crazy one, my kids especially. They’re adults now, but their avoidant and conflict adverse father played good cop/bad cop. Guess who I was? My kids are naturally are going to be on good terms with the person who doesn’t hassle them, correct them, guide them etc.

          In short, he lets them get away with murder but the kind that I won’t let them so he uses me as his tool, knowing I’m invested in my children’s future and have their best interests at heart. He is too of course, but he has his best interest at heart, as well. My relationship with my kids has suffered so much because of it. That is by far my biggest resentment I carry towards him.

          I also resent the self loathing that comes along with being the wife/partner of this kind of man. It’s one thing to be loathed by another but my deepest dislike has been from me. This kind of relationship confirms daily that you’re not worthy of emotional time and effort. He doesn’t value me I must not be of value.

          The anger, frustration and rage of not being able to “get through” has been been destructive to both my mental and physical health, that I resort to histrionics in an effort to connect leaves me so debilitated, drained of energy and hope. He doesn’t talk for weeks at a time …WEEKS (but according to him, we don’t have a problem marriage).

          I can potentially be a violent person because of the frustration. It terrifies me. I’m not sure I can trust myself. It’s all too hard; I’m afraid. And like you, he tried counseling so he can say he tried (very invested in being the good guy, the reasonable guy), but in reality he puts no effort in at all. It’s all hocus pocus! I can’t believe that he isn’t interested in personal growth and evolution! No, he’s Peter Perfect, as he is!

          I have made the decision to leave and I am so looking forward to salvaging what is left of me. To actually feel self worth and value. To like who I am. To actually think I am a half decent person!

  19. hjh from United States says:

    What about a spouse with mild Aspergers? Is it hopeless then, save a miracle?

  20. Jen from United States says:

    I read this article and have read through a lot of the comments. I too am married and feel like my husband is disconnected from the relationship. One thing that struck me as I was reading the article and relating to most of the other woman’s comments. What I see is a lot of over functioning.

    Hypothetical: what if we stopped carrying the entire relationship? I am tired and tired of trying to make conversation, initiate sex, make plans, make dinner, do laundry , etc., while receiving barley anything back. I am going to try to relax and give 50% of this to my husband. Let’s see if he takes it.

  21. Elaine from United States says:

    I have been married for 30 years and it never will get better. Get out if you can. My husband just told me that if I have a major illness “that is what euthanasia is for.” In other words, If I get really sick, I should kill myself rather than spend family money. I don’t want to kill myself.

  22. Veronica from United States says:

    Oh wow, this describes my marriage perfectly. Word for word. My husband refuses to work, to cook, to clean, to do ANYTHING. All he does is play World of Warcraft. I was depressed for a while, a long while, but for the sake of the kids I got things together. I pay the bills, I clean the house, I play with the kids, I go to college. Sometimes it hurts because I don’t want this marriage but I don’t think there is any way out, because he would just fight me for the kids to try to get me to pay support (this happened already when I tried to leave him; we had joint custody and I had to pay HIM support because he was getting assistance and I was working -_- ).

    Anyway, I’m sad that I have to live without intimacy from my husband. I’m sad that I have to live without any kind of help from him and sad that his kids don’t have a decent man to look up to. He was not like this before we got married but became like this the minute we moved in together. It was such a shock, I cried myself to sleep every night because it felt like the man I fell in love with had died and gone and was replaced with an evil clone who wanted nothing to do with me.

    I try not to let him see me cry because he just makes fun of me. He never takes any responsibility for anything and laughs at me that he’s able to convince people that things are MY fault. So, whatever, I just take care of things by myself now. I cook dinner and he won’t even eat with the family, he has to have his food served to him at his computer. He plays his game all night, sleeps nearly all day, wakes up and gets right back on his game. He never takes a day off. Not even birthdays and holidays. I can’t even find someone else because despite my suffering I don’t believe in cheating. I wish he realized he was lucky but he is convinced his life is so horrible.

    I tried to read this article to him and he turned up the speakers on his headphones so he couldn’t hear me, then made a comment about how he isn’t the problem and that I just have “mental disabilities” that cause me to be too emotional. I wish I could stop feeling so much for him because it would be much nicer not to be upset that I can’t even talk to my husband without him plugging his ears or turning up the radio or his game. I’m angry, I’m sad, and I’m frustrated. At least I’m productive and keeping the kids healthy and happy, which helps me to cope with the hurt feelings.

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      Veronica, You can’t keep living like this. You will turn into a bitter old woman that will cause problems on so many levels. Plus, your husband is modeling how a man should treat his wife for your children to see. That’s not good at all. Please call the ministry of Focus on the Family (which you can find on their web site at to get some immediate advice on what to do about this and then see if they can refer you to someone who can help you work out a good game plan on this whole messed up lifestyle your husband is inflicting upon you. Somehow, your husband needs to be stirred into doing what is right –for you, your children AND himself. He can pretend to feel good about himself, but there’s no way –it’s all an illusion, just like his video games.

      I can tell you one thing, for sure, you (nor anyone else) should not “serve” him his food at the computer. Have the food available at the table, which he can eat if he joins you and the children. As far as his sleeping all day… if you are home, the rule is that everyone is up and active during the day. If he doesn’t like it, he can leave until he can grow up and join the family like a husband and father should. It sounds like you need a good counselor to help you figure out how to put proper boundaries down to shake up his world a bit to get him to move off of his butt, and get active in life again. He has a serious addiction to gaming. He needs help and so do you …and the children need parents in the home that invest their time in spending time with each other and with them, not into playing games. Please see if Focus on the Family can help you to get into a better place to figure this out. This cannot keep going on as it is. It’s unhealthy for everyone.

  23. Sue from United States says:

    Wow!!! This is my husband to the “T”. I’m so glad that I can relate somewhere since talking to him is pointless. Well, I decided to just give up. I’m giving him a copy of this article to shed some light for him, but on my end I’m done. Even if he gets it I refuse to talk to him anymore. I’m just going to concentrate on making myself and my kids happy.

  24. Leah from Argentina says:

    I found this article very helpful. I have noticed some of the following in my marriage but did not quite have the words to describe what was happening. Thank you for sharing your insights.

  25. Haarika from India says:

    This above information helps me a lot. Thanks so much!

  26. Aarvark from United States says:

    I pulled away from my wife for self-protection, initially. I’m by no means proud of what I did, but my story may help some of you, and help you to avoid a divorce (which I’m now going through).

    Our daughter died in an accident 3 years ago. My wife started exploding at me each time I told her of anything I was doing regarding taking care of our deceased daughter’s affairs, such as talking to the police, the coroner, the funeral director, probate court, the tombstone maker, creating a memorial web site, etc. I felt like she was flogging the cross bearer. I was silent for a while, but eventually, I asked her to stop shooting the messenger.

    Eventually I learned that if I told her nothing about what I was doing regarding her daughter, I wouldn’t get yelled at, and I pulled back. After a few months, I told her I was avoiding her because of her reactions and negativity, and suggested that we get marriage counseling. She refused, which only upset me more and pushed me further away. I was trained by her that if I came to her to discuss any problem, such as determining the best way to pay for one of our surviving kids’ college education and received an immediate negative response (which became normal for her), I pulled back, said nothing more, and took care of the problem myself.

    Each time I took care of a problem on my own, I became resentful, and it built up. I became angry, closed myself off to her, and at times, yelled back at her. I’m not proud of that, but bear in mind, I was in excruciating pain from the loss of my daughter, as well.

    My wife filed for divorce 6 months ago and has left the area, leaving me with the kids (with whom she now has almost no contact -she hasn’t seen them since she left, nor has she called them). This could have been avoided, I think, had we gone to counseling after three months.

    Please try to nip the problem in the bud, rather than wait until steam has built up to an overwhelming level.

    The other comment is that people generally pull away when their needs are not being met, or when they don’t feel safe to be with the other person. I felt neither safe (who wants to get exploded at when you tell the person you’re closest to what the coroner said about your daughter’s death?) nor that my needs were being met (I was looking for solace; instead, I was flogged). Eventually, I met fire with fire (I’m not guilt-free here), and our 26-year marriage is over.

  27. Fiona from United Kingdom says:

    This article is the most insightful article I have read about my current relationship. I don’t wish to label my husband, but how you describe an evasive person is him to a T and knowing this I believe will help me try and overcome our major issues. I am now going to buy the books you recommend. Thank you.

  28. Gayle from United States says:

    My husband and I have been married for 22 years. Both of us had been married before and brought two 4 year old children into the marriage. The first 18 years were rocky due to the ex- wife still having some control over my husband since she had control over their son. I thought that if we made it through those stressful years that we would have it licked! NOT.

    We purchased the family farm (his grandparent’s home) from his Dad in 2007. His parents live on 2 acres of the property that they kept. During the years that the grandparents lived, my husband’s father (their only child) had the run of the place and the barn and used their money to fund his love of horses. We allow him to pasture his 3 horses on the farm still and we use the other 90 acres for our cattle.

    The problem we’re having now is that my husband allows his parents to use our barn for his horses and they destroy it. We built it ourselves and put many hard hours into doing it (no help from the parents). He also provides hay for his dad’s horses that we have grown, cut and baled and hired someone to help us put it in the barn. I feel that since this is a hobby for his parents that they should either be able to fund all aspects of it or stop it. We own our business, have adult children on their own and one in college and we don’t provide money for their hobbies nor do we have any hobbies of our own since we are so busy with work.

    I love my in-laws and would give them anything they truly need but I just feel this is wrong on the part of my husband, especially when he’ll say he agrees with me but then gives them things anyway behind my back. Am I wrong in my beliefs as a wife???

  29. Petrahamilton from Germany says:

    Hello, what can I do? My husband was in the Army. We were together since 1991. He just ran away. I didn’t know about the stuff he did. I love my husband, even with this. I got the Army to help me BACK to Germany not been alone. Now my husband has got too many Facebook friends. I know of at least one false name and birthday. He contact the ones with love you, miss you. I asked him, why do you run away like this? He ran and left his birth certificate, all clothing, and all. I had no ideal before he ran that there were love notes, letters with, you are my wife, all best thing ever. Why is this happening to me?

    All I know is he goes from woman to woman, making Facebook sex, so far always after a month posts to marry her. Most last 3-4 months. He saying he likes the rich, promises them money, all while we are STILL married. We have been together since 1991, married in 1993. He uses different Facebook names. What can I do?

    In July he contacted me. We had a good talk. He was in Illinois. We talked again at the end of August. Then he blocked me again and has a woman in Missouri lives with HER, now was about to come for Christmas then, from no where, there was a woman he loved forever in Louisiana. Now it is February and friends say he’s on Facebook saying he’s engaged to HER. What can I do?

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      Dear Petra, I’m so sorry that I don’t understand all of your comment (there is a language barrier … I tried to edit what you wrote so I could get a better understanding, and others can too, but even so, I’m not sure exactly what you’re writing… sorry… in reality though, I couldn’t even do as good as you did if I was writing in German). But from the best I can perceive, I believe what you are trying to say is that your husband appears to be leading a double life. He is married to you, although he “ran away,” and yet he seems to be friends with –actually, TOO friendly with contacts he makes on Facebook and such.

      You ask what to do. Truthfully, I’m not sure. I wish I did. I do know that you can’t MAKE someone participate in a marriage if they lie, run away, and fool around with other women –whether he does this in real life, or on Facebook and through emails. You can only do so much with a “partner” like that. From what I read, I can well understand why this is confusing for you and hurtful. He is acting like he isn’t even married.

      I’m glad you had a “good talk” in July. But marriage is more than having a “good talk” once in a while. Eventually, he needs to do more than talk to you occasionally, making empty promises. He needs to be open, honest, and not lead a double life –one you see, and one you hear about or know about in some way. Only you know how long you can go on like this. You have already appeared to be very patient. Most spouses couldn’t even be this patient.

      But all I can tell you, since this is a Christian web site, is to pray about what you should do. Pray that God reveals truth to you, and takes that, which is in the dark, out into the open, so you will better know what you are dealing with. You can read through the articles and “quotes” we have posted in the “Facebook and Twitter Archive” topic. We have several that tell of the boundaries you should put up within your marriage so spouses DON’T get into the mess you are writing about. And then, when you believe it’s the best time to do this (if you can find your husband, even), talk to him about joining you in the marriage again. IF he does, then you will have to agree together on certain rules that will have to be put into place to better protect your marriage in the future.

      I realize that your husband will probably not want to do this. He appears to want things to go his way, and ignores how this makes you feel. But you can’t automatically assume that your husband WON’T respond to entering back into your marriage –proceeding in a healthy direction. Sometimes the last thing you think will happen is what actually does… especially when you work together with the Lord on these types of marriage issues. Yes, your husband has a free will, given to him by God, but he just may surprise you… especially as God talks to him. Maybe yes he will do the right thing, maybe no… but you never know… you can just assume.

      I wish I could give you more of an answer than this. I can’t tell you whether or not your marriage will survive this. If it does, though, it will be because you both decide to do some brave things, which may not make sense to others (or yourselves), but you know it is the right thing to do. I hope that you will seek wisdom from the Lord, and pray that you are given the wisdom you best need to resolve this entire matter of what is going on between you and your husband. “May the Lord direct your heart into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” (2 Thessalonians 3:5) “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ.” (Philippians 1:9-10)

  30. Miriam from United States says:

    My marriage is fading. My husband lost all integrity with me after three years of marriage. In his emotional distancing, he pulled every emotional manipulation that’s been labeled and it went as far as giving me no voice. There was literally no acknowledgement of anything I said. Oh, and it came after the stonewalling, lying, obfuscations, promises never kept, and other things led us to counseling. There he pretended involvement but later admitted he wasn’t taking it seriously.

    I’ve held hopes that all the promises he made to improve our communication and to become emotionally intimate were actual commitments. I saw his past, his childhood and his adulthood issues that stood in a way towards trust. He has a horrible family history. His father is a narcissist, extreme chauvinist and misogynyst who ruled with an iron fist. His father sees his male children as legacy to train in these values and my husband is well conditioned in the fears such upbringing creates. His father has twenty children by many different women and births were often close together. His mother escaped by self-medicating. The daughters were chattel. Oh, and on top of all this my in law is a hoarder, and my husband was the guard dog of a very impressive trash pile of very large items like old buses, campers, trucks, cars on a property where we now live.

    All this was not quite clear from the start. When I became pregnant and we started to clean the property to have a healthy place for our baby girl (she is two now) things started to unfold that called for some serious resolutions. First off, I realized the extent of catering my husband was doing for his father and siblings. Whatever was happening in the moment they called, he dropped it and ran to them. I began to question his loyalty after he exploded on me when I shared with him the mean words his sister told me at the hospital the day after I gave birth to our daughter. At my insistence to resolve this issue, he eventually cut contact with this sister and recently did the same with his father. I didn’t want that; I wanted him to address his issues and grow.

    Of course his way of dealing with these people only fueled the self-pity party and his defenses more. Our counseling basically ended with the counselor telling us not to come back until hubby reaches out to siblings who have dealt successfully with father’s abuse. He never did, and we haven’t been back to counseling. Husband made a show to look like he is dealing though–went to a counselor twice but the unproductive sessions left him justified in not pursuing this road.

    I’ve never met as numb of a person as my husband. He is cruel emotionally. He says he ‘sees’ my anguish and yet keeps doing behaviors that create more and more pain. I think he may be a psychopath. At this point I am so torn because I see someone who has suffered so much but at the same time it is someone who refuses to be accountable for what he does and be responsible for himself. The power trips are over the top.

    I also am a child of a narcissistic mother. I’ve dealt with my own issues, and still do of course. I choose to live a wholehearted approach to life, I believe this to be healthiest for me and my children. I am failing to in my patience to see my husband grow, or even grow up. I offered all I have, my love, my body, my money, my support, my spirit. What I get back is the emotional fists flying and pushing back. Giving him room has been there, yet he is so stuck in his past and his self pitying, that all he wants is a shallow existence.

    Help! I am beginning to feel so resentful… so hopeless. He is helpful with our daughter, and some things manly enough at home (we live off grid so there are a few extra chores to that he does willingly), but all else is futile.

  31. Esther from United States says:

    Relationships are very hard. My advice to women is to be your own best friend and develop yourself. You have no control over anyone else. I too am lonely in marriage but I pray and journal a lot. I have a few girlfriends but I’ve stopped venting to them about my marriage. I accept it is what it is. I’m not happy but I’m being faithful and sticking it out.

    Personally, I think some not all, men are emotionlly lazy. Before we were married he was all excited about me, loved to talk to me. Now he doesn’t listen. A wife ends up feeling just like a sex object if she isn’t treated like a lady. We need conversation! Don’t call us needy. Jesus listens to me so why should my husband not? Anyway, I could rant about this. I have this incredible mind and no one who wants to have real deep conversations! It’s sad. So I am my best friend. God is my number one. I’ve stuck it out through a lot of crap. I think a real man would examine himself and make changes. But if you look at this thread most women are the ones who talk about the marriage. It’s like the guys have checked out and just don’t care.

  32. Hope from Canada says:

    This is my husband and me. We’ve been married 10 years and have 4 kids. He will not pitch in when I need him to, he says I ask too much of him, but I do everything! I even put my back out cleaning, and moving boxes, and he never once offered to help.

    I asked him for a back massage as I was in so much pain. I dreaded his response. He said, you woke me up for that? It was 9:30 am on a Sat. I cried, because it hurt emotionally and physically. I ask if he cares, and he says he doesn’t care about anything. He says he doesn’t care about what is important to me, as it isn’t to him. He will not go for counseling. He is wonderful with the kids, but neglects me in so many ways emotionally.

    I have gently asked him and lovingly explained my needs, but he just rejects me. I hate having sex with him as I feel used and need emotional intimacy. He says he works hard and is tired too, and tunes me out with tv, computer, and the phone. I remind him kindly that I am just as in need of a break as I’m home all day, working from home, plus cleaning, cooking, raising 4 kids under 9, plus working part time teaching and 12 hours curriculum prepping.

    I rarely get 5 hours sleep. He just says it is my biblical role and reminds me of how women in his country, Mexico get it all done and still have time to visit and watch soaps. He thinks I do not work hard enough when I ask for his help. I need advice, what do I do? I’m exhausted, drained, and lonely.

  33. Shannon from United States says:

    A friend sent me this article and I feel compelled to respond. Almost all of this has been my life for the past 10 years of my almost 20 year marriage (we have a 13 year old son). My husband has been emotionally distant and I have tried everything to save our relationship. We were even scheduled to go to a marriage counselor this month. But the weekend before the retreat he asked me to meet him for drinks (which was odd so I knew something was up) and told me in a public place that he had retained an attorney and was divorcing me.

    I’ve since found out that he has been in a relationship with another woman since at least February. They talk and text until the wee hours of the morning. He spends his free time taking her out or (or sleeping with her) when I could barely get him to go to dinner with me. It was always “we don’t have the money.” And intimacy just didn’t happen. Either he acted uninterested or I pulled away because I felt used.

    My son and I are devastated and he walks around now like he’s the happiest man on earth while he lies about the date of our separation so he won’t have to pay as much alimony. It’s making me so angry that this other person is now getting all the attention that I’ve spent the last 10 years almost begging for. He has turned into the man he swore he detested. The level of underhandedness is unreal. I feel like I am in a bad Lifetime Movie. I’m now 50 years old watching my husband take up with a 38 year old woman. The wife that was there through the lean years, that put furthering my education on hold while I raised our son and helped him further his career. Now when things are finally comfortable he is ripping the rug from under my son and I.

    Many many times I thought of leaving, talked about leaving but was afraid of the financial consequences. I say to anyone that is in this situation ESPECIALLY IF YOU DON’T HAVE CHILDREN YET and you’ve tried, stop trying. Judging by my own experience and the comments I’ve read it won’t change. You’ll just end up emotionally scared, bitter, and angry. I now I’m left wondering when the dust settles where will my son and I end up while trying to take care of my sons emotional health. ANY comments, life experiences are welcome.

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