Living in a Loveless Marriage: Will My Marriage Ever Get Better?

Reader Question of the WeekEvery Monday I like to post a Reader Question and take a stab at it! Today I want to tackle a really heavy one: what do you do when you’re living in a loveless marriage?

I’ve received a number of heartbreaking emails in the last few days from women at the end of the proverbial marriage rope. They are so sad. Their husbands seem to be always hostile or distant. They’re dying from lack of affection. Their marriages are loveless. And they don’t know what to do. Here’s one:

It took me a long time to figure out why I was so angry at him for so many years. It felt like he was holding back love and affection from me and that he didn’t care about or for me. Even when I tell him I would like to be hugged or touched he could barely do it. I feel rejected from my husband. Being a Christian I do not believe in leaving and I really do not want to. I feel like a prisoner in this loveless marriage. I cannot leave for the commitment I made but I am dying inside with lack of affection. What am I to do? How much daily rejection can I keep taking. I touch him nicely on the shoulders or back and he acts like I am not even there. He has all sorts of “good” reasons to not be affectionate to me they all stem to something I said or did years ago.

And here’s another:

We’ve been married for three years, and he completely ignores me. He works all day, and comes home and barely acknowledges me. He checks out what I’ve made for dinner and if he doesn’t like it he orders in. Then he spends the rest of the night in front of the television. I feel trapped.

Both women are so sad because there seems to be no relationship left. It’s a completely loveless marriage–they don’t communicate, there’s only anger, and they feel trapped. And so today I’d like to talk to those of you who do feel alone in your marriage.

Living in a Loveless Marriage: How to find that love again
I know there are so many of you reading this blog that feel desperate. Your marriages don’t bring you joy. You almost feel like it’s a prison sentence. You’re sad all the time because he really seems like he doesn’t care. He doesn’t care if you’re sad. He doesn’t care if you’re exhausted. He’s hostile, and he’s angry, and he seems almost happy when you’re upset.

Now, in some cases you could be living with an emotionally abusive mate, and if you fear this is so, I really advise talking to a couple, or a counselor, who knows both of you in real life and getting their perspective. You may need to take steps to get yourself safe from abuse.

But from the emails I’ve read, it doesn’t look like that is the case. It looks like this is a longstsanding relationship issue, and after years of unmet needs the marriage has deteriorated to something totally loveless.

And now I’m about to tell you something that may be difficult to hear. I’m not trying to hurt anyone, but I want to be truly helpful, and saying, “I know it’s hard, and that’s really, really sad” isn’t always the most helpful thing.

It is extremely rare that only one person in the marriage feels as if they are not getting their needs met.

If you’re feeling like you’re living in a loveless marriage because you’re not getting your needs met–for affection, for love, for caring–the odds are almost 100% that he feels exactly the same way.

Here’s what happens: you both enter marriage needing essentially the same thing–you both want to feel cherished, connected, and loved. The problem is that the way that you experience these things is very different. So you’re both looking for very different things from each other. And the longer you go without getting them, the more a negative cycle is born. She withdraws and gets sad. He feels angry at her for blaming him for being a bad husband, when she’s not accepting him either. So he may withdraw, or even get hostile. I don’t mean violent; I just mean that there’s this air in the house like he’s always angry, and she’s always on the verge of tears.

That’s not healthy.

So let’s ask ourselves some questions, and then I’ll point you to some resources that may help.

1. If you feel like this is a completely loveless marriage, then ask: was there ever love there? When you married him, was the interaction this bad?

Look back to when you were first married. Did he ignore you? Did he fail to show you any affection? Was he angry all the time?

I highly doubt it, because few of us would marry someone who treated us this way.

Chances are when you were dating he did talk to you, and he did laugh with you, and you did love him (and he loved you). Otherwise why would you have married him?

When I read these emails sometimes, they paint a picture of such a BAD man. And yet, while it may be true in very few instances that someone is married to an antisocial personality, few of us are married to people who are essentially horrible like this. He is not a bad person. Instead, the interaction between you has caused these negative cycles to develop, and that has caused him to withdraw and become unaffectionate and angry.

It is not that he is bad; it is that the way that you treated each other was bad.

Certainly some men may be nicer before they are married, and then once they are married they don’t make as much of an effort. That’s true for women, too! But if this is truly a loveless marriage, not just a lazy marriage, there’s more going on here. And I believe that in most cases, it’s a history of treating each other badly, of hearts broken because needs have not been met, of choosing to withdraw or become angry, and reinforcing this dynamic.

2. If the Lovelessness is more a negative dynamic, then you have the power to do something about it.

If the problems in your marriage are not because your husband doesn’t love you, but more because you’ve settled into this awful way of relating to each other, then you also have the power to do something about it. If the way that you treated each other caused you both to become entrenched into this way of seeing each other, then choosing to start acting differently can also start changing it as well.

I’m not saying that you can fix everything; nobody can fix everything on their own. But by taking that first step, by being the “peacemaker” that Jesus talked about in Matthew 5, you can start getting your marriage on better footing.

Living in a Loveless Marriage: Our responsibility for making it better.

3. Work first on Showing Kindness

And what should that first step be? How about simply showing kindness to him? When you have this cycle of negativity, he senses the anger and disappointment that you have in him, and it likely makes him angry, too. So how do you break that? Just be kind, and you may start to break down that wall, brick by brick. We show kindness to strangers even if they don’t return it, but somehow when it comes to marriage, we start to ask, “does he deserve this?”, or say, “he never does it for me, so why should I do it for him?” Yet this kind of tit for tat only makes everything worse.

Someone has to be the first one to do the right thing, even if that right thing isn’t reciprocated.

You do the right thing simply because it’s the right thing, not because it will magically fix everything.

So do little things. If you want some ideas, check out these posts:

How to Show Kindness to Your Husband

25 Quick Ways to Show Your Husband Love

4. Work next on Your Friendship

Start doing little things everyday to be kind. Look for ways to be kind. Hopefully that will start to wear down some of the tension in the marriage. Once you’ve done that, work at trying to do things together.

Often when we feel like we’re in a completely loveles marriage, we want to start with tackling the big issues: you don’t show me affection, you’re always angry, you never talk to me. But you can’t start dealing with issues until you’ve built some goodwill up. Think of this like the “Love Bank”. Every time you deal with a problem you’re making a withdrawal, because that takes a toll on a person. But you’re not allowed to go into debt in the Love Bank. So if you have no balance–if you feel totally negative towards each other, as if it’s a totally loveless marriage–then you can’t start making withdrawals. There’s nothing there to work with.

So you have to make those deposits first, by spending a few weeks just being kind, and now by trying to work on your friendship.

I’ve got some articles on how to do that, but let me say that I’m not talking about doing everything together. I just mean finding some things, even if they’re quick things, that you can do without animosity. Maybe it’s taking a walk with him after dinner, or joining him in jogging, or helping him figure out the bills, or watching his favourite TV show with him and getting him a cup of coffee when you do. It doesn’t matter what it is; just spend some time doing something together.

Here are some articles that can help with that:

Revive Your Friendship

Benefits of Walking Together

My Husband Never Wants to Spend Time with Me

5. Then Tackle the Big Things

Once you’re showing kindness and laughing more, you can start tackling the big things. That likely will mean taking some responsibility for your sex life, and trying to throw yourself into it, if you’ve been neglecting it. Often when we women start to feel as if our husbands don’t love us, we withdraw sexually, which makes everything worse, and which is also wrong, in and of itself. If you have no idea where to start, suggest to him that you try 31 Days to Great Sex. It will get you talking and laughing again, and that’s probably most of your problem!

And you may have to tackle some other hard issues, too. I’ve got lots of articles on this blog for specific issues; you can check out a partial list of the most common marriage problems here. But let me leave you with some big picture articles:

Invest In Your Marriage (it’s worth it!)

Changing the Dynamic in Your Marriage

I Messed Up. Those are Freeing Words!

The Vow Matters

Final Thoughts To Fix a Loveless Marriage

If you’re in that negative cycle right now, feeling as if he doesn’t appreciate you, doesn’t care about you, and doesn’t love you, can you take a step back for a moment and realize that your husband probably feels the same way? And instead of giving up on the relationship, can you realize that your best chance for lifelong happiness is to invest now in your marriage. It’s to get over these feelings of helplessness, and start to DO love until you FEEL love. Do the right thing. Change that dynamic. Start learning to have fun with him again instead of always feeling hurt and like you’re going to cry.

I know it’s hard. I know you feel paralyzed. But you simply must make a decision to DO something about it. There is nothing magical I can tell you that can make him change; but I do know that he is likely hurting, too. So if you can change the way you think about your marriage, you’ll likely be able to break that negative cycle. And your marriage may not seem so loveless anymore.

UPDATE: If you’re dealing with a marriage in which he is doing something that jeopardizes everything–using porn, not supporting the family, being abusive–then I’d suggest this post for a fuller perspective: Are You a Spouse or an Enabler?

The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex

Marriage isn't supposed to be blah!

Sex is supposed to be stupendous--physically, emotionally, AND spiritually. If it's not, get The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex--and find out what you've been missing.


  1. I loved your advice, Sheila. What hit me in the question was “It took me a long time to figure out why I was so angry at him for so many years.” My husband and I were watching Cedar Cove last night and it occurred to me that most of the women in the show were very angry with the men in their lives. Being angry at someone never solves anything. It just makes it worse and I think this is most women’s first reaction when their husbands are not living up to their expectations. The relationship spirals downward from there. Love wins others, never anger.
    Lori Alexander recently posted…Duck Dynasty Calls For RepentanceMy Profile

    • Thanks, Lori! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    • You are right, Lori. Love is what we want to be expressing. However, it is very important that, when you notice you are angry, you let it inform you about what the frustration, hurt, fear or expectation that is not being met is about. Anger is healthy. It tells you when your boundaries–even ones you don’t consciously know about–are being crossed. What you DO with anger is the important thing. Anger that goes underground, becomes “sneaky anger”, potshots, offhand comments, sarcasm. Ignoring anger is perilous. It informs you in ways that you might not otherwise notice.
      Rhoberta Shaler PhD – The Relationship Help Doctor recently posted…Relationship Help: Am I Living with a Passive-Aggressive Man?My Profile

    • Hi All,

      Came across this site. From a male perspective when you’ve married the love of your life. 27 years, same figure even after 3 kids, yet after 27 years of trying to fill all her insecurities of self worth, looks and general happiness in a marriage we are separated. My faulty I have an emotional affair. For the past 6 year I have tried to bring us to counselling, the five love languages etc. She has co-dependencies issues and narcissism issue.

      I admit I gave up chasing the marriage trying the AIR – Affection Intimacy Romance approach. I cook for the family, do all the groceries and keep all the outside mowed and pruned. Don’t do the bar thing, or carouse. Yet we are like brother an d sister. Dead in the water.

      Any males out their or any women that can shed some advise…..

      • Hey Brian,

        A sexless marriage is 90% of the reason men get divorced from their wives as when men get rejected it hurts a load. This of course if medical reasons have been ruled out like a under active thyroid which can kill sex drive for a woman.

        Generally there is something the woman is very unhappy about in the relationship and will withhold sex as a form of punishment, which in turn causes resentment for both of you. When I speak to woman who are very intimate with their husbands they say their husbands are so much better for a few days after sex and attend to their needs all the time, but a husband who doesn’t gets sex after awhile gives up trying because they feel nothing they can do will please their wives and make them feel wanted.

        • I’m jumping in here late but wanted to respond to this. SOME woman may withhold sex as punishment but not all women do that. If there is no sex, oftentimes it is because we feel unloved. It’s not natural for a woman to want to engage in sexual activity with a man whom she feels does not love her.

          • I call balderdash. If you withhold sex, it is punishment, regardless of whether you feel like he shows love to you in the way you like. Does he provide for the family? Does he beat you, scream at you, or call you names? If you don’t have legitimate reasoning, then don’t wait for the stars to align and for you to have the perfect feeling of being loved. Do you think he is going to then show you more love if you pull the puppet strings on sex? I think not. If you want him to look elsewhere, keep doing that. Women who say this generally are never satisfied and it is a never ending chase of trying to make them feel loved enough. That is the old proverbial prostitute with one customer.

          • Is that the same thing youd tell a man who was withholding from his wife?

          • Omg larry your post is funny. I have been married for 13 years. For my hubby i tried dressing up, costume s, toys , dances all to be told time after time not tonight i have a headache i feel sick and any other excuse for him not to notice me. This happens when hes not yelling at me for forgetting something or trying to make a special night, my birthday valentines day Christmas and our wedding anniversary i am forgetten , i buy him little surprises try and do something special nothing gets noticed. And help me if he noticed me naked 1 time out of 10. And I must say it appears that I never do anything right no matter how much I try. Am i the perfect wife/woman? No! But I give it my everything. I try to show my love and feelings and if i make a move for sex i feel belittled and stupid to try for a kiss or cuddle always to busy. So honestly with your comment maybe you have been with a woman who with holds sex but don’t make the mistake and think we are all the same. Sometimes men need to step back and instead of blaming the wife they need to look at themselves and see how they make the problem worse.

          • Exactly. Im in the same boat. Been over a year with no sex. In the 15+ years we’ve been married, I only said no once when I was in my second pregnancy. Its humiliating, and he always has an excuse. Definitely not because I havent tried, or shown lots of intrrest. Would just like to know why. Been going out of my kind trying to look at myself, when I k ow deep in my heart the problem is him. Its certainly abuse. Neglect. Failure to fulfill the marital command to not with old from one an other.

          • I’ve been married 31 years. Never with held sex as punishment. Never received any gifts Christmas Birthdays etc. Did everything for my husband. Let him have is dreams and wishes. Let him basically buy what he wanted while I went without. I’m a very giving loving person. Went through a very unhappy marriage we have 4 children all adults now. One of which still lives at home due to a mental illness. Years of unhappiness with a self centered person. Thought about leaving him several times during our marriage and never could work up the courage to do it.I grew up with a step family that scarred me and didn’t want my children to go through the same. I also was diagnosed with cancer 19 years after our Marriage surgeries and treatments over the next 12 years left me feel like No one else would want to be in a relationship with me so I stayed married. Now my cancer is worse and I am regretting the fact that I stayed married my husband is self centered. I am sick and he doesn’t help with things I ask him to do. He continues to go to the gym which is fine except sometimes I need help and he puts me off.When I ask him for help he turns everything around into an argument and storms off. I have stage 4 cancer recently had bilateral nephrostomy which limits things I can do like mopping lifting.Life is short if you are truly not happy leave don’t stay in a relationship where it is one sided. A real marriage should be two people who really love each other who are not afraid to show affection.Love doesn’t mean gifts but showing the person you love them doing something special together.Love is not one sided not all about yourself but about both of you. Your children grow and find a life of their own. And what you are left with is your spouse.
            Till death do us part means they will always be there for you. Life is to short. Without love there really is no life.

          • I totally know what you are feeling. My husband and I are in our 30s we are still we have 2 children together, try as i might nothing. I love sex the only time I said no was not long after I had our first child. Im sure most would understand.
            After the birth of our 2nd child things just got from good to just nothing. Now 10 years later still gets worse, now complains about being to sore from having sex ( not sure if I should laugh or not ) or tired or some instant illness just to get out of it. Nothing I’ve started to get to the point of where if he doesn’t come to me i wont either. I do believe that he cheated on me about a year ago that is when everything got really worse working more more moody and completely off sex or touching, i tried talking to him just to get my head biten off and was told that im probably the one sleeping around. That conversation died faster than it started. I am now not sure what to do. I’m in that i can make myself better for him stage. New clothes new sexy outfits new hair cut lost weight, got a few pleasure peicings done nothing I’ve no idea what to do is it so hard to ask me how my day was or give me a kiss on the cheek? I guess if he does that then i might think that he cares :(

      • Brian,

        I can say that I have been in an unloving marriage for about 12 years. I was ignored for years. Treated in my mind as a fixture. I brought this up to my husband several times and got a blank response. I would try to initiate sex and would get a when this game is over (he’s a computer fanatic) or some other lame excuse. I was never an initiator which I don’t hide, but when I did get up the nerve to ask…I got rejection. I finally gave up on sex and the marriage. Being ignored further and further drove me away. We have one child. This child is the only reason I am still in this marriage. I will not put him though being pulled back and forth. I am sacrificing everything for him. I also don’t know how I can go on living this way. Nobody seems to understand what it is like to live with no romance…no touching, etc. It causes a lot of resentment. I’ve been to two marriage counselors on my own and one counselor with both of us. None of which helped me in the least. For me they told me it was over just by how I talked, but not one told me how to get any of it back. At this point in life we are living together as room mates and raising our son with the most stable life that we can. I see happy couples and wonder what happened to the days when we were like that. We just grew so totally apart that there is no getting that back for me. I don’t want to be touched and I want to be left alone. I blame him constantly and I find my anger comes out in hurtful words. I do everything unless I ask him for 3 weeks straight and finally he MIGHT get around to doing it. If it’s something he wants to do he’s all over it. I find a lot of times I cry myself to sleep. It’s not easy for sure. It’s sad that your partner for life ignores you for years on end, but can’t understand how you can be out of love with them. That kind of thinking simply amazes me.

      • Im the wife in a sexless marriage. He will not meet my advances, saying hes not in the mood. It has been this way our whole marriage, but only now have we gone over a year with no sex. He is very angey at me, over what I believe to bemany things, but I think hes mostly just placing blame on me for his own disappointment in life. In the last year he said he didnt love me, and that he wants a divorce. After three months of counseling he said he wouldn’t divorce me I’d I made more money. I got a new job, keeping a second job on the weekends. Im making twice what I was before, and still, no affection. He is placing all the burden on me to change, which I’ve been trying, even putting in more effort to clean the house and lose weight. But he will not look to himself to change. It is very exhausting, very hurtful, and most days I feel worthless. I dont know how much longer I can do this, or how much longer my body can do this. I feel run down and overwhelmed most days. But I do it hoping one day he will love me again.

  2. Anonymous Please says:

    My situation is so confusing, I am at a loss. I used to “do” all of the “right” things, understanding that when the house is clean, meals prepared, and money managed, my hubby was “happy.” But he was never truly engaged, and I still don’t understand why. He has never asked questions, other than “what’s for dinner?” Very rarely did he initiate sex, and the little conversation we had was me trying to get him to participate, while he would sit with a glazed look until he told me he was “tired.” I quickly learned that he was dishonest with me on a regular basis, especially where finances were concerned. (Recently he has even done something that was illegal, and I’ve only found out because our financial accounts were frozen.) He claims he is depressed, which I believe to be true, but will not seek help for it.

    All of that said, I still do nice things for him, as I am able, but it’s getting more and more difficult. We have tried to get help for our relationship, but he was dishonest there, too, and has forbidden me from talking about much of what we need help with…which leaves me looking bitter and angry. (Honestly, I fight constantly not to be…but lose the battle a lot at this point.) Meanwhile, he has perfected the role of victim, even in simple conversation.

    A couple of weeks ago I initiated a fight (a rare occurrence.) During the episode, I noticed that every thing he said was a “poor me” reference. Every conversation we ever have is centered around him–his needs, wants and desires. I feel like there is no room for *me* in my own marriage. (That isn’t a call for sympathy, but rather an analytical observation. The truth is, I’m at a loss as to how to change it, though.)

    I have read your post about the difference between submission and being a doormat, which gave me a lot to think about, and this post makes some really good points, too. I guess my ultimate question is this: Knowing that you can’t change another person, how can I create a situation/environment that engages a husband who is seemingly not interested in anything, not even sex?

    • Hi Anonymous,

      I see a number of red flags in your email that I would think warrant some outside help. If you think that he’s being dishonest with the finances, and doing something illegal, I would either get the police involved (depending on how illegal this is!) or at least talk to a pastor, counselor, or mentor couple. I know he has said that you aren’t to talk to anybody, but that is not the biblical model found in Matthew 18. Sometimes we have to bring others in. And if he is depressed, then he needs help with that, too, and sometimes we have to cause a confrontation to make him get the help he needs.

      I think maybe this post may be the most helpful for you: Are you a spouse or an enabler? Take a look at that and see if that gives you some ideas of what to do now.

      I’m so sorry, though. I know it must be lonely, and I do think that bringing some light onto the situation may in the end be more helpful.

    • My husband was exactly the same way. Finally this past year I found out why. He was engaged in some very shameful activities. We are in counseling now. He has finally come clean about everything. In counseling I remarked once about how he always made every situation about him. He told me that he wanted to make sure he was in control of the conversation so I wouldn’t ask difficult questions.

      You and your husband will be in my prayers.

    • This is not really advice on the situation, but a slightly different perspective. My hubby has the same complaint about me as you do about your husband- the conversation is always about me. I have stopped playing the victim about that and owned my feelings about why I do that. It is not out of selfishness, exactly, that I do that, but out of self and marital preservation! We are mad at each other for a situtation, but when we get to the reconciliation phase of an arguement, you know the point you are supposed to talk about your feelings and wishes, he shrugs or says I do not know what I want/how I feel, etc. From my end that is very frustrating! He is mad at me about something but has not taken the time to figure out what it is, why it makes him feel that way, or what we can do. Elaborating on my emotions is my way (albeit maybe not the best way) I get to try an elicit a response so we can fix the issue. In the recent past he told me that I was being selfish and it was always about me, but when I told him point blank tell me your feelings and fix this then he just stared at me. He mumbled something about his feelings/wishes not being important. I blew up at him then. I told him his feelings are obviously very important because he is getting mad at me because they are getting hurt/his wishes are not being met, etc.; but that if he refuses to talk to me about them we will never fix anything because I cannot guess at what he wants/needs, I have been doing that for 2 years and failing. Basically, it was a wake up call for him because he had been expecting me to meet certain needs/desires that I had no idea existed.
      This is not your exact situation, but maybe you need to look at how you are expressing your feelings/wishes. If your hubby dismisses your feelings/wishes like my hubby did his you need to inform him they are valid for the health of your marriage.

  3. Hi,
    I just asked for prayer in a group and right after I sent it, your post appeared! Call it a fast answered prayer?!
    Thank you for your post, and I know there is always hope, but the feeling that this hope is so so so far away, and sometimes it feels it won’t be in my earthly life, is just sad and makes me feel defeated. I know I have to work on a lot of areas in our marriage but (and I know there shouldn’t be a but), I am trying to be kind, to reconnect with him and no matter what, he is not changing… I know only god can, I just do not know how to get over my own feelings, shut them away in prayer doesn’t work… I do not know how to give him grace and not get mad at him….for the things he keeps doing….
    Sandra recently posted…Monday, MondayMy Profile

  4. Great post. The movie Fireproof is a great example of you changing yourself instead of trying to change someone else. Within that movie is “The Love Dare” is a great help and can also be a Home group or bible study. I loved the movie Fireproof that someone lent me, so much that I bought it myself. It does make a difference.

  5. I feel hopeless about my loveless marriage. At times I feel like God is punishing me by making me be joined for the rest of my life with someone who really doesn’t care about me or marriage. My husband was raised in a family that believes that even if you are not living as one (physically, emotionally) that is okay as long as you stay legally married. He is also from a culture that refuses counseling. About 7 years into our marriage my husband admitted that he cheated on me early in our marriage. By the time he told me, we had three children and it was so far in the past that I didn’t feel the situation merited divorce. As serious as that situation was, he would not go to counseling or “allow” me to go (I’m a SAH/homeschooling mom so I don’t have the money or time to go on my own). Based on the cheating, the overall way my needs are ignored unless he needs/wants something, and comments he’s made, I highly suspect that my husband wishes he wasn’t married to me but because of his familial/”Christian” beliefs he won’t divorce. I realize that my faith to our marriage will ultimately be rewarded, but it’s so disappointing to think that I have a lifetime of never feeling loved or cherished ahead of me. I’m also afraid that this idea of a loveless marriage being as good as it gets will somehow be passed down to our children like it has been for my husband.

    • Hi Anonymous, I’m so sorry that you’re going through this, but have you gone to your pastor? Usually churches can help you find someone to talk to who can walk you through these really difficult things. I hate to think of you being so alone! I’d really recommend asking your pastor for help. And maybe this post will help: Are you a spouse or an enabler? I don’t think marriage should be an excuse not to grow; and sometimes by doing nothing in a marriage, we give our spouses a “cover” so that they don’t have to grow into better people at all. That doesn’t seem to be what God had in mind, which is why God advocated in the New Testament that we do get help from the body!

      Prayers for you,

  6. Wow! I could have written those letters to you a year ago. Then I went and did some fairly destructive things in my marriage, which didn’t make things any better… When I read that email it made my heart ache for those women and for who I was a year ago. As I started to read more {on blogs like this one and many more} about what was happening in my marriage, I discovered how common this really is. I actually wrote a series on this called “Surviving a Mid-Wife Crisis” {}. Everything you said is so true. It’s probably not one-sided. But the good news…. you CAN turn it around. It just takes communication and some really intentional conversations. Great advice… hope you don’t mind if I shared my links here… :)
    AJ Collins recently posted…Dear mom crying in the corner, you got this. OWN IT!My Profile

  7. I too, have been hitting the bottom of our marriage, feeling it was loveless and wondering if this was it for the rest of my life.

    From reading another blog, I found the book “The Surrendered Wife”, and I was stunned to see how much I felt like I was the author. It really made an impact on my *own* behavior, when I had been blaming all the problems on my husband. It has helped me tremendously in my attitude towards my husband, but I have a loooong way to go. I now have a surrendered wife partner, which helps tremendously share victories and weaknesses. We also put more of a Christian emphasis on our behavior, since it is a secular book (although I believe the author is Christian).

  8. This may seem off topic but just stay with me for a minute. As I read these comments and stories of “loveless marriages” I couldn’t help but wonder if it’s really the marriage that is the issue or if’ there is something else. Shortly after my husband & I were married a friend recommended the book Wild at Heart by John Eldridge. It’s a beautiful, Christian book about how men are different than women, not just in marriage but in the people they are and in the needs that they have. It will help a wife understand her husband as well as a mom understand her sons. (It does have it’s critics.) I don’t know any of the commenters above but maybe it’s not the marriage that is making the husbands unhappy but something in him. When a husband comes home from work, checks the menu for supper, decided take-out is better, and watches tv till he falls asleep in the chair it’s easy for a wife to feel like she’s failed. (And easy for a wife to want to shout BIG JERK!) Maybe he’s so dissatisfied with his life outside of the marriage that he shuts down. Eldridge talks about a mans need for adventure, for something that makes his adreneline pump, for something to satisfy his soul. Ultimatly God is the only one who satisfies our deepest longings but maybe tied to the advice Sheila gives some of the advice Eldridge gives could nudge him in the right direciton and help improve his person selfworth & image which in turn will improve the marriage relationship as well.

  9. I figured why I am so angry. He cheated on with a girl on my birthday. He took her to his Mothers and my brothers house. He also took her to his Dad’s death bed. He is controlling I am not allowed to visit friends or go out without him.

  10. Hello-
    I have been married to my husband for 25 years. Every year it seems more difficult to stay. My husband has always been an overbearing, dominant man- ” my way or the highway” kind of thinking…but I was so in love when we first met. He did nice things for me, send cards and flowers, u know the drill. After we got married, things began to change. As long as I did what he wanted, things were ok, but if I had an opinion, it would get ugly. He would constantly nit pick EVERYTHING. The house or car weren’t clean enough, I put things in the wrong place..whatever. The problem was, he changed his mind about what he wanted constantly, so you could never quite know what would set him off that day. He would scream and yell at me, curse at me, call me vulgar names and throw things( not AT me, but still). The only thing that was constant was his desire for sex. No matter how often I had sex with him, it was never enough. It became a vicious cycle. I would say no to sex, piss him off, so he would spend the next few days berating me for every perceived misdeed, until I apologized for being wrong( whether I was at fault or not, I was ALWAYS the one who had to admit the wrongdoing) and had sex. Then he would be nice until something else made him angry, and the cycle would begin again. He didn’t want me to go to college, he did that himself. He wanted to wait to have children, so I waited…17 years while he attended college and I worked 3 jobs to put him thru. He had an affair that he claimed wasn’t sexual, which I do not believe. But he said he loved her, and was prepared to leave. I begged him to stay, and we worked thru it, but I don’t really trust that he wouldn’t do it again if the chance arose. He spent many hours watching porn on TV & interenet, which I turned a blind eye to for a long time. He continued doing this for years, and if I complained too much about how he treated me, disobeyed or disagreed with him he would threaten to leave and take the kids.I was panicked he would . I longed to be held tenderly and given love without strings attached. The children have given me that unconditional love, so I no longer even seek it from him. I don’t think I love him anymore, and I am sure that I don’t like him. I hate when he is around. He complains constantly about everything: me, the kids, his job, traffic, anything. I am happiest when I spend time with my children. They are the only real joy in my life. 2 years ago, I confronted him about the porn, and told him I didn’t like it or him anymore. I told him if things didn’t change, I would be leaving. He denied the porn, which was a flat out lie, but he did seem to stop after that. However, he hasn’t changed his personality much. Since we waited so long for kids, our girls are still very young ( 7&4) so I hate to leave, since it would be hard on them. But by the same token, I don’t want my girls growing up thinking this is a way that a father/ husband should treat a women. I am miserable and depressed often, and dream of being with a man who loves, honors and respects me, and treats me as such. One who meets MY needs for a change instead of me always doing everything for him. Most of all, I am just tired. Tired of dealing with it all. Sorry for the long winded rant, but even if no one ever reads this…I have to tell someone. Please pray for me.

    • Danielle says:

      You should watch the movie Fireproof, and get you hands on a copy of The Love Dare. You are right though, in that the porn, name calling, throwing things, those are not things your precious children should be exposed to.

  11. Ugh, this is a timely article! My stuffer (with his feelings) husband recently revealed he’s been “done” for months. Now he’s shut down and won’t even say I love you. I’ve got a lot to work on in my behaviors and how I handle stress, I’ve completely stopped blogging and am looking for a full time job outside of the home because we have virtually no income, and am trying to work on my walk with God. We’ve had so many life stresses: house, baby, finances, and my family has treated me poorly (as I did to them) so that stress got in the way of a lot of things. We’re in therapy but he says he is apathetic now and he’s close to being done. I’m all – what about for better or for worse?? Just praying his heart softens and that God changes me and guides me. It’s very hard. Prayers appreciated!

  12. @Erin: dunno if you’ll read this, but y your biggest error is not confronting him and holding v your ground and getting counseling.

    I actually recommend reading a book called ‘Your Personality Tree’ (b/c I get the feeling you are both similar personalities to my parents), the ‘The 5 Love Languages’, ‘Love & Respect’ and lastly ‘Boundaries’.

    My mother lives a similar life to you, my dad was the same way, but you what is the one thing I am glad For?

    That my parents stuck it out and didn’t divorce and guess what? Things did improve over time b/c my mom started keeping HEALTHY boundaries and started giving my dad REAL affection, and my dad did eventuality get a wake up call and mellow out.

    It’s worse to start a legacy of divorce than to show your daughters you will take neglect. My mom suffered a lot, but it taught me that no matter what a marriage is wish more than hurt feelings.

    And if I can be blunt, you have done just as much harm as him by being manipulative by with holding sex and now using your children as a crutch. Get over it, such it up and start surrendering yourself to God and looking outside your own needs b/c really, you’ll get yours met when you lay them down and start improving yourself and meeting your husband where he is at and getting counseling together.

    He obviously cares about you or he wouldn’t have quit the porn, even though he denied looking at it, so you clearly mean more to him then porn.

    I hope you read this and realize giving up isn’t worth it. I’ve Bern in your site, but I just look at my parents and remember it took them 40yrs to have a good marriage, and you know what even if it took me that long it would still be worth it, but thankfully it didn’t. So don’t leave, get Godly and biblically sibs counseling and stay in the fight and cling to God and your husband, not your children.

    God Bless ~Amy

  13. I am assuming the spouses are without addictions, narccistic tendencies, and a history of childhood abuse and emotional neglect (if only I had known these things before I married. It’s true–love is blind) . I have tried everything to “fix” my marriage–professional counseling (which my husband did not want to go to), face to face discussion with my husband, crying, pleading, even kindness… but until there is “team” effort and a common desire for the marriage to improve, it won’t. It takes two and A LOT COMMUNICATION,and I’ve basically been told it’s my problem by my husband. So, there you go… It’s stressful and emotionally wearing to want a fulfilling marriage and know that it is not possible, especially with someone who is truly not capable of understanding what a love filled marriage should be. Things were initially fine, until I realized it was me who was doing all the giving and getting all the heartache. I’ve pretty much given up….and have put things in God’s hands, and have stopped beating my head against a wall. However, it still hurts. Am trying to focus on empowering myself and changing myself per therapist recommendations, as I know my husband won’t and quite honestly, can’t. The only one who is disappointed in things is me. Why put expectations on a relationship knowing I will be the only one who will suffer?! So, I have no more expectations….

    • I’m just about in exactly the same position as you Tina J except it’s the other way around in our marriage. My wife doesn’t want to open up and have heart to heart discussions. She’s anorexic at 49 years old. Been this way for 18 mths. now. So focused on not getting fat that she has taken a “I don’t care what you think or what you want” attitude toward me.
      I have tried to reach out to her after she withdrew emotionally from me to achieve her weight loss goals, but it made no difference. All I seemed to get was a Go away and leave me alone, attitude. So I did. I left her for 3 mths. and lived with my son and his family. That was 2 mths ago and nothing has changed since I’ve got back.
      So I’m about done. I was tired of getting my heart hurt by her continual rejection. Plus I don’t want to feel her bones sticking out everywhere, so there’s no more physical intimacy. And being a guy, it has created other temptations I never used to have. She calls me shallow for not loving her unconditionally. But I’m a normal guy who wants his wife to look normal and have normal feminine curves. Not look 25 years older without any female sexiness anymore. Her attitude is also a turn off.
      Any helpful advice would be appreciated, but I can’t see her changing apart from a God intervention, which is my only hope really.
      We are Christians and believe divorce isn’t an option, but I dread living like this for the rest of our marriage.

  14. My wife one day informed me that she does not want a relationship with me. My whole world tumbled and I dealt with anxiety and depression. She is a Christian woman but love and affection are components of a healthy marriage. I can’t wait till the kids grow up a bit more so I can file a divorce. Hindsight is 20/20 but I if I had do this over again I would not get married. A marriage can be a bowl of ripe cherries. When the years past with the stressors and hardships all you have left is a bowl of pits.


  16. Needing help says:

    My husband and I met when we were teenagers and both of us were not saved. We dated briefly in 8th grade. But didn’t start dating again til he was 18 and I was 17, almost 18. The first time we dated he was sweet and I was a partier. So when we dated the second time thats what we thought we were getting. I thought “yay” the sweet guy and he thought “yes” the partier! But we both had changed. I was no longer the party person but he was. And he was not longer the same sweet guy he was before. Like I said we weren’t saved yet and got pregnant 3 months into the relationship and had our first daughter. We both admit we would not be together if it wasn’t for her. We both came from divorced homes and didnt want to do that to her. 3 months after she was born we got pregnant with next child and came to know the Lord through a crisis pregnancy center. During this time my husband never pursued sex with me and never acted interested. There was many nights I went to bed crying. I once caught him masturbating to a hardly dressed woman dancing on regular t.v. it was not porn. It devastated me. Because I was perusing him in that way. And he was always to tired etc. So about that tome we stopped saying “love you” to eachother and we started French kissing maybe once a year and it was awkward. No intimacy in our marriage at all. Still had sex but with no kissing etc. But I was just happy to be having sex! It was lacking intimacy but I would take that over nothing. I knew from dating that my husband grew up around porn and that it was out in the open in his house as a teen. But he didn’t seem like it did anything to him and it was no big thing. I think I was more interested to see it as a teen dating than him (before Christ of course). So I knew about that, but as far as I knew he wasn’t going to it. Now idk…I did find porn in his belongings about 3 different times over the years. He claimed to be sorry and wouldn’t do it again type thing. It was devastating to me each time it happened because I like sex and wanted it with him. In early 2012 I found something had been searched on my phone and I just lost it. I had just given birth to our now 8th baby and couldn’t believe it. He was “very sorry” and says. He said he heard two guys talking at a gas station about a name of a sexual act and was curious if it was something we were doing. And that he never clicked on a site. He stopped himself. But I also have filtering on my phone so he could have just not been able to see it. Idk there has been lies all throughout the marriage. About dumb stuff and serious stuff like the porn. I never know what is true and what is not. Last May (almost a year ago) I found a porn DVD in his truck. Just 3 days before I asked him how things were going and if he was behaving. He said “yep” he hadn’t seen anything. Then I found that dvd. He says he never watched it. That he found it at the gas station bathroom and he took it instead of leaving it. He said he had no intentions of watching it and doesn’t know why he grabbed it but he did. He said that he will sometimes get curious if porn has changed over the years since he was around it as a teen. And if he comes acrossed porn he just makes the dumb choice of looking out if curiosity to see if it has changed. But after this last May I lost it and started smoking again after 15 and a half years of not smoking. :( he had always struggled with smoking over the years and I knew that but did not grill him over it. He was trying not to but he said he would go months at a time without it but he recently came clean he was only going at most a week at a time. All these years I had no idea. So it then became a battle for both of us again. I also went on a little drinking binge to numb the pain. (This was last year I am not drinking now and no longer smoking) but that is how devastating it was to me. It did help me to see that Christ had He been number one in my life I might not have fallen so hard. But I did. Since then things got alot better we started kissing regularly again like when we were dating and saying “I love you” again. But I was still smoking and whenever thinks bothered me or fear doubt cripped in I coukd go have a cigarette to calm my nerves. I know not right. But this past year I have been just trying to survive. 5 and a half weeks ago I quit smoking and everything changed I felt like I had to completely pull away from our marriage so I won’t get hurt again. Almost like a survival mode. My stress level has been enormous to the point my body is doing weird things and drs say it is from stress. And my once favorite stress relief (sex) has now become the source of my stress. My self esteem is gone! I have birthed 8 kids I can’t compete with porn. And can’t bare the thought that my husband would even want to look at it. I am ready to be done with the marriage as painfully as it would be because I can’t keep living this way. I need to be strong for our kids. Also I did catch our teenage son looking at porn since all this which devastating me even more so. I had filters on that he bypassed finding out on of my passwords. This last year has been too much. We did go to our pastor for all the issues and he pretty much asked my husband “do you think you have a problem”?…and kinda since it is not all the time it is like a slip up kind of thing. But with all the lies idk what is true and not. And as far as our son he said boys will be boys. They are curious. Love him. Let him know its wrong but don’t condemn him. Butwith everything I am tired and ccan’t do it any longer. Idk if that constitutes grounds for leaving but if not I feel traps too like some of these other women. Because I wanna do whats right but i don’t feel like I can ever trust him again after this last time. It is always when I think things are good between us to that the porn comes up. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Also he has been on the couch for the last few weeks and we are hardly talking. Sorry so long.

  17. Hi Sheila,

    My husband and I were married last September and just a few weeks ago we both mentioned divorce. Needless to say I was heartbroken. This is his second marriage and he comes from a divorced family. His father has been married 3 times. I love him very much and i don’t want a divorce but he seems to think its ok. I always think back to our beautiful wedding and the vows we made to each other and I really believe in them. We have been fighting so much lately about so many things. We’ve had some work done to our new home and everything was done without my knowledge or input. I feel that he is being a little unfair and when i try to talk to him about us first perhaps discussing plans he tells me how we need all these things and to shut up about it. Another issue is his extreme messiness. I like to keep a tidy home and I don’t even ask he clean just put his things away. He won’t even do that. We bought this big house and all i do is pick up after him after working all day and taking care of our 2 puppies and making meals. It’s becoming difficult and frustrating not to mention disgusting. Today I came home and there was take out sitting on the table, pop cans and his clothes everywhere after I cleaned all evening the night before. It makes me feel that he doesn’t value what I do and doesn’t have respect for our home. He is very quiet around me. Some evenings we won’t even talk to each other. Like zero conversation. He does however talk on his phone all the time and watch tv. This kills me. Sometimes he comes home and doesn’t even give me so much as a hello. It’s so hurtful and I feel totally unloved. We just fight about so many things. He calls dinner crap and won’t eat. But I’m tired somedays and I don’t have the energy to make a big elaborate meal. Needless to say, he chooses to sleep on the couch every night. Even if we don’t argue, he won’t come to bed. He’ll make me have sex with him at odd times. It’s not intimate it’s very awkward. I give him little kisses and hugs most days but he doesn’t reciprocate. He actually pushes me away and says he’s tired or busy. My dad passed away last year and I’m still really sad about it. When I am upset he tells me to stop. There is no comfort or love. I feel bad when I am sad so I try to hide it and cry when he is not home. We have been trying for a baby but it’s not working out. Maybe this is why he is so mad at me. His previous girlfriends used to wear a lot of make up all the time and always get dressed up. I do my best to look nice but since the wedding I have gained 10lbs. I know it’s not that much but maybe the attraction has disappeared. I am so hurt and feel so alone in this marriage that I don’t know what to do. I am too ashamed to talked to my friends and family about it. I don’t want a divorce I just want to be happy and for him to be happy. When I ask ‘is everything ok honey’ he says yes and that seems to be the end of it. I’m so sad and I just want to be a normal family. I suggested we see a therapist but he declined. What should I do? I feel like I can’t even cry anymore.
    Please help :(

  18. This is exactly what I’m going through . What really hit home for me was when one of the women mentioned that her husband wasn’t even affectionate when she asked for a hug or anything and this was me .
    We are not married but have two kids . 5yrs old and 6 months old so we are a couple however this is the reason why I haven’t been eager for marriage in the first place .this past week we argued about my beautiful best friend. She is thin, toned , beautiful , chatty , smart , outgoing, rich and a stay at home mom who seems to be perfect in every way .
    Recently I’ve noticed that out of all my friends she is the only one he likes and got mad at me when I mentioned how she flirts . Some people seem to have the need to flirt to make themselves feel better I guess and she seems to be just that way . Don’t get me wrong , she is my friend and I love her , she is a really good friend and has supported me through my recent surgery with my last baby’s medical struggles , but I’m very jealous ( there , I said it ) of how happy he seems with her , not to mention she has told me more than 4 times now , how good looking he is IN FRONT OF HIM! She is in a happy marriage with two kids but it just bothers me how I feel with both together and now I’m starting to think its his LACK OF LOVE AND AFFECTION that makes it worse . He thinks I’m crazy and says nothing would ever happen anyway because she is married and we are a couple to which I asked ” I would have preferred you told me it would never happen because YOU LOVE ME OR AT LEAST LIKE ME”! I started to cry at that point and he never even hugged me … I’m so upset :-(

  19. Hi Sheila, I have been married to a man for over 25 years, whom I never loved. We basically, don’t have a healthy sex life, which has made me very depressed over the years. He is a good man and tries really hard to make me happy and I have tried really hard to make myself love him. But, the main problem is I have never found him attractive, no matter what he does or what I do. We have 2 kids and they both have social issues, which I am sure the result of our un-healthy relationship. My 14 year old daughter wants me to seek help and she wants to see both of us happy; but I am very afraid and confused. I need help :(
    Freshta recently posted…Reader Question: How Do I Defeat Sexual Temptation?My Profile

  20. 'LOOKING FOR A CHANGE' says:

    Wives can be uncooperative, unsupportive, unloving and hostile too!!
    We have been married for 30 years, well at least on paper. In reality there is very little unity between the two of us now. We tend to live separate lives and merely return home at the end of the day. Every attempt of mine to build unity in the family,(we are parents of 2,) and indeed in our marriage gets nowhere. How can there be unity when One party doesn’t communicate, doesn’t initiate, and responds to such efforts of mine in hostility, accusation and withdrawal. It makes for an impossible state of affairs. ‘HOW CAN TWO WALK TOGETHER UNLESS THERE BE AGREEMENT’ .
    I continually ask what the reasons are, but get NOTHING back by way of reason, explanation or indeed acknowledgement to my enquiries. When she does speak, it is to hurl more and more blame at me, and Never acknowledging any misgivings on her part. I mean NEVER.
    As Christian’s, our walk should be better. If we really are Christians, that is. We are supposed to be the most loving, forgiving and amiable of individuals, however, Christianity lived through the perspective of the soul, rather than the spirit is a contradiction to the name of Christ.
    As the appointed spiritual covering of the marriage and the family, my effectiveness is nullified if my ‘wife’ wont walk in agreement. I am not referring to downtrodden submission, ( I hate that also) but having a mutual vision for our lives, marriage and family. How can it work? After 30 years it would be evident that it just isn’t going to.
    We have gone through books, spoken with our church leadership, had Christian based counselling, confided in good friends, shared scriptures, prayed. Alll of which seem good for the moment, however things soon slip back to usual.
    I am really now out of ideas, patience, and probably, out of love, due to the utter disappointment that my life with her has become.
    The primary reason for holding on for so long is because I really don’t want to dishonour my vows before God. I know God hates divorce, but all I can see now is either final separation or a miserable life together with her. Between a rock and hard place or what!!!

    • Hello
      Yes, your wife just happens to be me in my home. I just very recently realized that I have to bow into my inner core and seek the help my husband and I so desperately need. I’ve been with him since I was 16 and now 45 and as far back as I remember I’ve blamed him for everything. I need to take my ownership, then maybe my life will finally be free of pain and blame. It will be a scary scary place to discover and Im terrified to go deep inside but I know Im ready. So, all I can say is until she and only she decides to dig deep and surrender it will not change. You too have to make that dreadful decision as to carry on being miserable, stay for the kids, stay for god. That must be the toughest thing. I will tell you we have 2 children, 26 and 10. The older one is out of home and the youngest did say to me that she thinks it would be better if her father and I lived apart. She has expressed that it hurts her so sadly when we argue. Not to mention what we are instilling in her around relationships. I would suggest just “you” go talk to a professional about not saving your marriage but how you will cope with the decision to divorce. Ive never had the lord in my life, but do appreciate people that follow spirituality.
      I hope you find an answer, I wish you all the best.

  21. I have to say at times like this it feels like when I followed advice like this last I made the wrong decision. We’ve been together ten years and I dont feel like I’ve ever really been happy. I stayed with her because I felt bad about leaving her. Dragging it out ten years and feeling hurt again really doesnt make it better. I dont feel loved or wanted. I feel like shes not being honest with me about it either. Think twice before you commit to throwing away any chance of happiness.

  22. My wife and I met in 2001, it was love at first sight. We were the couple that all of our friends wanted to be. We laughed, we played, and we had great sex. About a year later we decided to move in together, and a couple of years after that we were married. We now have two beautiful daughters together, but there no longer feels like there is an “us” anymore. We both have good jobs, make a good living, and have little debt. Somewhere along the line we lost each other, and I know we both feel each other slipping away, even though we are afraid to admit it. Many of the things that you have said in your article are true for me, a man, that only wants to feel something other than the emptiness. For the last four years I have felt like a single parent, cooking, cleaning, taking care of the kids by myself. I find that I am easily agitated by the little things anymore, like when my wife leaves the table after supper and leaves her dishes for me to clean up, after I had prepared the meal. I find myself thinking that I hate her. We don’t talk anymore, other than the courtesy “how was your day.” We rarely have sex, which I of course resent even though I rarely attempt to initiate anymore. I no longer have any friends, unless you consider co-workers friends, all were discarded years ago because my wife does not trust me. I have no contact with anyone outside of work or picking up the kids at daycare. I live two seperate lives, the one at home, and the guy that jokes around and talks to people at work. I have thoughts of leaving my wife, engaging in an affair, or just ending my life. The last option I can’t do because my children need me. My best “friends” at work, one guy and one girl, encourage me to get a divorce or have an affair. I feel that if the opportunity arose I would cheat on my wife, something that I have never done before. I know that this makes me a coward, or a jerk, or whatever anyone else would want to call me. I used to be a good person, but now I feel like an empty shell walking in the darkness, and I’m scared.

    • John you still are a good person. I am going through the same thing, and sometimes good people do things that aren’t good. This thing called life, is hard… Marriage is hard…
      I have been married almost 12 years.
      I am sad, miserable and hurt…
      It started off with us being so happy… I couldn’t see myself without him. 7.5 years in, I felt like a resentment. He stopped touching me, loving me and talking to me. Like he curled up and went into a shell.. I tried fixing myself, doing things to change myself, until I realized it wasn’t me. I told him I was lonely, and he just stared at me. Since I can be honest, I felt like garbage… Like nothing.. I couldn’t even turn to my spouse. I didn’t know what to do.. years later, nothing much has changed.. we have gone 10 months with no sex, then 8 months no sex… right now we are on another bout of no sex and I just feel, he is taking me for granted. How long do you expect your spouse, who is a horny woman, to go without sex? Or does he care? I want the basics, love, appreciation and a date here and there. What happened? I am going to school and trying to get out of this marriage soon enough, staying for the kids for now, I don’t foresee any flames coming back to this marriage…

  23. My wedding was arranged. since my first day of wedding i never felt like i am loved for what i am. The most comments i got when i tired to talk to him was initially don disturb me. But i found he loves spending time with my parents. I could realize he spoke to me happily when they spoke to him happily. If they do something he doesn’t like he becomes hostile to me. I am pretty sure i am not imagining. right now he is in different country. After long time of 6 months he got me tourist visa, came home(online) early than usual. I was so happy, thought he might have came because finally we are gonna live together for sometime. He attended my call, asked y did i call him, then said he needs to go out and asked me to cut. i did not cut n was just sitting idly without talking to him. He did not go anywhere. He is just being home and cooking. then from the way he spoke i learned he has called my parents and there was some friction. its been only 6 months since my wedding and it has been this way all the time. now i don know what should i do. i tried to talk to my parents and told them to adjust him for my sake. But they say they have their freedom and can’t adjust for him. I am left with more sorrows and don know what to do.

    Help me if you can please

    • I am so sorry you’re going through this, but I just don’t have any experience with arranged marriages, and I don’t know what to tell you. I will say a prayer that you will find a way to build a life together, but I will also ask that if you ever feel in danger, please seek out a women’s organization that can help you. Again, I’m so sorry.

      • I am in a loveless marriage of 7 years. My husband and I did not have love or any feelings for one another, but my husband has been dutiful but I cannot give what I haven’t got. We are miserable even though we have tried everything. We stay together because we cannot tell our children what we have done. I both have made a decision now to depart as this could be the kindest thing we can do for one another. We don’t believe in divorce as Christians, but separation I am at peace with. I feel the pain in each of the stories, and one has to learn to change and give to the other partner but in our situation there was nothing, our marriage was built on sand and deception.

  24. It hurts so bad. How did I get here? My husband, after only a month into our marriage started acting strange towards me. He has been treating me really badly. He shows no affection towards me, and I feel he derives pleasure in seeing me hurt.
    I married my husband in April of this year, and found out that he is still in love with his ex girlfriend whom he has a daughter with. How do I stay in a marriage when he doesn’t love me.
    We have no children together. I feel like a third wheel, and deep down I think he regrets marrying me. When we have any type of disagreement or argument, no matter how small, he tells me maybe we should go our separate ways. But I want my marriage to work (I promised myself that If I ever got married again I will do what ever it takes to make it work). And so, I always have to be the one to beg for forgiveness even when I did nothing wrong.
    I came across text messages he sent to his ex only a few weeks back, in it, he was practically begging her to marry him (even though we are married). He is giving her the impression that he is still single. When I asked him about the messages, he didn’t deny being in love with her. I asked him to make a choice once and for all, and he said he wanted to stay married to me. But how can I ever trust him again? I want love and security. I don’t have either of those now. What’s the guarantee he won’t dump me the moment his ex agrees to take him back? And he still refuses to inform her that he is married. They see each other weekly because he picks up his little girl on the weekends. I’m in a big mess, please give me an honest opinion. I just don’t see any future with him any more.

    • That’s a really tough one. It’s certainly wrong for him to be in a marriage where he’s sending love texts to another woman. He definitely needs to make a choice.

      At the same time, that other woman is the mother of his child, and for that child’s sake, he likely should have gotten together with that woman.

      I’d get the book Boundaries in Marriage or Love Must Be Tough and read them. They talk about how to set real boundaries and how to let your spouse know that flirting with others will not be tolerated. I hope that helps! I’m so sorry for all the pain you’re going through.

  25. I am in a similar situation but somewhat husband bever comoliments n
    me,never aopreciates anything i do infact since he is the bread winner everything has to be the way he wants no acknowledgenent if the fact that i am a human too and like different things.
    i am not allowed to think for myself i have to do what he says.the only time he ever talks to me is to tell me to get him this or that or to shout at me because of his dogs n cats whivh he really doesnt care about or care for except provide the money for their food.
    we live in his mothers house and though i try my best to look after her house he always messes things up by letting either his cats n dogs ruin his mothers ge doesnt understand that this comes down on me as deffinitely his mother will blame me, but he doesnt see it that way he simply says tell my mother to talk to me which she will never do and he knows that.
    he shows n
    me no affection and the only time he will have sex with me is when he is drunk.
    i did try several times but in vain to show him affection and initiate sex but he alwsys had something or the other more important.
    i really want to leave but this is my second marriage and i cant go back home.

  26. Every blog post I have read it’s the woman that has to take the first step, it’s. The woman that has to start showing kindness. It’s always the women looking up thses blog post. When will the man ever step up and say hey, I think we are in a bad state, let’s fix this. Why? Why is it always up to me to fix our marriage? Why is always me that has to put forth effort? I have to cook, clean , raise children , work, laundry, be affectionate, kind , caring , loving , having sex, and then have to deal with him because hes unhappy? Men need adventure to get there adrenalin going? Men has all the freedom, they go hunting and fishing , and whatever else they do. Where the hell is my adventure? Where the hell is my love, affection, and kindness?? I am so tired of seeing that it’s up to me to take the first step. It’s Always up to me.

    • Hi there! I don’t think that it is the woman who needs to take the first step, but I’m writing this for women who need something practical to do. For more on this, you can see this post which goes into greater detail.

  27. I am not really sure what to do. I love my husband, we met spontaneously and he makes me laugh and can be romantic. He tries to do little things like bring me coffee and serve me dinner. But since we got married he stopped working. He was working for his bother and at the time he brother was not paying him all his pay and shorting him. He had low self esteem about it so I said you don’t have to work for him and I made good money. At the time, I did not care he was not working but within the 7 yeas we have been married I have had to work 3 fulltime jobs (clerical jobs) and I asked him to pick up a job. He claims he can’t find work at all. He is only 36 and claims he is too old for anyone to hire him. I had to endure his family living with me and then finally they moved and I was supporting them too. He still won’t work. After a surgery several years ago he had an addiction to pain meds. He has signed my name to checks from my account, I had to deactivate the debit card so he would not draw out money and every time I mention him working, it turns into a fight. We don’t have sex often and I told him I want to have a baby and he says he does but claims I am too short tempered and need to change that. I am only mad and upset with him because I want a partner not someone to support. I feel like I am being used sometimes. I love him and he says he loves me but I am afraid I am just being a fool. I get so mad at him and I become someone I don’t want to be. What should I do.

    • Hi there, it really sounds like you are being taken advantage of, and this isn’t good for you–but it also isn’t good for your husband. Being responsible and working for a living is an important part of the Christian walk, and if he won’t do that, he’ll never grow as a person. I’d suggest reading this post about being a spouse, not an enabler, and then reading this post about what to do if your husband won’t get a job. I hope those help!

  28. I’ve been married for 5 years and pretty much from the beginning – it’s been a disaster. He’s a good man but completely unaffectionate – we’ve gone up to a year without sex and months without so much as a peck. We had sex twice on our honeymoon. I’m so confused because this is not the man I thought I was marrying – we were together for almost 2 years before we got married. I have begged, pleaded, threatened, cried for affection – to be held, touched, told I love you. I used to try and initiate things in the first year but after being rejected on more than one occasion, I finally gave up. He says he knows there’s a problem but doesn’t know what it is. Promises to try but never does…Over the years, it’s been me pushing to fix the relationship and I finally figured out it’s because I’m the only one who is unhappy with the situation. He could quite happily co-exist in this marriage with no intimacy, love or affection for the rest of our lives while I feel like I’m dying inside. I need to be told I love you, need to be touched, have my hand held and my cheek stroked…to feel like I’m important and more than just the mother of his children. I feel trapped – as a stay at home mum with 2 kids. I’ve brought up divorce but he’s not interested but I hate feeling like this. I’ve been praying but I feel so hopeless and helpless. He’s content with the way things are so he’s not going to change and it’s not going to get better. I don’t know if I love him anymore – it’s all buried under anger, bitterness and frustration but at the same time I don’t want to break up the family for “selfish” reasons…I am so desperate for a change or a way out…I need help…I need someone to please help me….

    • Lade, I’m so sorry you’re going through this, and it really does sound like your husband has some pretty serious issues that absolutely need to be dealt with. I’d recommend reading this post on whether you’re a spouse or an enabler, and how to make sure that you don’t enable sin, immaturity, or brokenness. I hope that helps!

    • Hi Lade,
      My story is very similar to yours, except that I have been married for 15 years. Last year I finally figured him out – he is passive aggressive. This disorder is now part of his personality and he will never change. Once I knew why he behaved the way he did towards me, I stopped blaming myself and stopped getting angry and pleading with him to change. I have accepted that I have two choices – get out of the marriage (which for many reasons I don’t want to do right now), or accept that this is how my marriage will be and learn to live with it. I know this may not help you, but I thought it was worth mentioning in case your husband has a personality disorder which is beyond both your and his control. I wish you all the best.

  29. My heart hurts for the women here. I know that place , the point of desperation. The point where you have done everything “right”, you’ve grown and accepted your spouse but start living separate lives under the same roof. I’m there, I’m continuing to learn how to let him take responsibility for himself and our family, but even then there’s backlash. It all gets so tiring being a married “single parent”. I reached a new place, complete distance emotionally & physically, I don’t know whether I should be relieved or saddened. I realized this after my husband hit a new low or maybe I just found out about it this time, he stole money from our son and when I attempted to talk to him about it, he became defensive (typical). I continued to hold him responsible until he paid it back and for a week his story changed of why he couldn’t pay it back and what it was spent on and frankly I didn’t care. I was more concerned w/ getting it back to the rightful owner. He gave me attitude all week and I didn’t care, at first I suspected I had PMS but thats come & gone and I still don’t care if there’s no affection, interest, attention, etc. I did feel a bit bad when I know he was making an attempt, in his own way, to apologize and I ignored it. I’m no longer interested in making him feel better. I’m just wondering how do all these women handle their sexual desires? I have them just don’t know what to do with them. If I choose to stay, I’m going to need a plan for handling times I want to have sexand obviously don’t have anyone with whom I can have sex. Any suggestions? Just wear myself out at the gym?

  30. I’m the bad guy
    I’m not happy bec I rushed to marry a man I know I don’t love
    I’m punishing him for my mistake he is not my type looks or character or style nothing about him I liked
    Only the fact that he was ready to get married
    I’m so mad at him for pushing himself on me
    I’m so mad at myself for accepting to marry him in 6 month
    I was running away from a life I couldn’t handle anymore
    From a broken heart
    From a job I was getting to old for
    He was an easy escape
    But I regret it everyday
    Should I leave
    Although we have s baby now and I have no where to go , I feel so stuck
    He is good to me
    He is a good man
    But I wanted more , I wanted love and affection , I wanted someone superior to me intellectually , physically and sexually
    I feel I’m so sad , and bored , dying everyday , faking every smile
    Sometimes I feel I got used to my life and that now I love him
    But then I see a kiss on s movie or a friend who is excited to prepare anything for her husband
    I realize how sad I am
    I push him and I feel bad he can feel I need more , I’m used to more , money looks experience , I know I sound greedy and silly
    But that’s how I feel , I’m sure if I loved him I wouldn’t care how he looks or how much money he has
    I hate myself for being mad at the one man who were straightforward with me who didn’t play games
    Many days I act well and he is happy but sometimes I know he knows I’m not satisfied and we fight a lot and I even ask for divorce but I’m not even sure that what I want
    I hate to stay stuck in a life I hate bec I’m scared where to go or what to do
    What should I do

    • Hi Melissa,

      I can see that you feel really trapped, like you really made a mistake.

      Can I say something, though? No matter your reasons, you made a vow to this man and to your child, and now you are punishing them because you are refusing to really commit to the marriage. It sounds like you totally resent him, and I know that must be affecting him and your child.

      Your marriage will NEVER get better while you are entertaining these feelings. In fact, these feelings are likely the main part of your problem. If you instead looked for things to be grateful for, looked for ways to laugh together, looked for fun things you could do together, and practiced saying nice things to him you may find that your marriage turned around.

      It doesn’t sound like he’s a bad guy; it just sounds like you don’t think he’s “the one”. But you’ve already been in other destructive relationships; research says that if you blow this one up you’re likely to repeat the pattern. NO ONE is ever perfect for you. NO ONE can complete you. NO ONE is perfectly romantic. Good marriages are built because we decide to commit, we decide to love, and we decide to throw ourselves into it. It sounds like you’ve never made that decision, so no wonder your marriage is a mess.

      Look, your feelings are real–but that doesn’t mean they can’t change. People change their feelings everyday! And feelings are changed by our actions. When you choose to love, and choose to do nice things, and choose to look for the good, then you start thinking about the good.

      You owe it to your husband and your baby to try. Otherwise you really are just being selfish, and you’re increasing the amount of pain in this world. You really can be happy. Your feelings don’t need to stay. Just decide to love! Honestly.

  31. I think that is really great advice!! The only thing that doesn’t apply to me was my husband wasn’t very affectionate before I married him. We were friends first and we always had a great time together going places and hanging out. When it became sexual then it changed! He started agruements and wouldn’t return my calls n such. From what I gathered he wasn’t ever in a long term relationship but he says his mother wasn’t very loving, he doesnt know any different. His family pushed him away from place to place until his grandparents house. I felt sorry for him and wanted to shower him with Love but he Rejected it with vigor! By the time it was more than friends I loved him so much so I just kept trying n trying. It became only at night he would be loving but it was sexual not intimate! Thia went on for months until…Flash forward- I became pregnant and we ended up getting married when I was 6months. I know I was big n stuff but there was no love making or kissing at all! Its been almost a year n half after we married and im just so down I don’t want to do anything or go anywhere, I mostly just stay home with my baby. He does tell me he doesn’t think U love him but I ask how when I do everything for him and always want to spend time with him. He says Im lieing and don’t do everything! I ask for examples but he cant think of any at the time! ~It bothers him when I go touch him he will pull away or say im gonna smoke a cigarette or go to the bathroom or tired! Any exuse to resist my affection. I’ll try being extra kind for a month and see if anything changes, hopefully I see improvement in our life

  32. Need Help says:

    My husband has overdrawn our account several times in the past. I have literally started a new account without his name on it. He is now writing checks off my account and signing my name to them to himself. I told him I don’t want him to do that because I feel like it is a betrayal to me. He says he is sorry but does it again the next month. Then I get mad and we argue and I forgive him and he does it again. He said that a husband is allowed to sign his wife’s name but I said I don’t want him doing it. He says it was an emergery because I was sick or it was a holiday but it is every month. I don’t know what to do anymore. I forgive him and he does it again because he expects me to forgive and if I don’t forgive him, we divorce. He said he wants to be the husband or the man of the relationship but he does this and he doesn’t even work and I give him $500.00 biweekly. I feel like I am being a fool?

  33. This all. Sounds like my marriage but I’m the one that gets no affection and all I want is to be. Loved by my wife that says she is no longer in Love with. Me

  34. I’m the your perspective you look from two objectives not only one!i wish my wife read this article…I totally agree with your solutions!loved it

  35. I really thought this article was thorough and an article that I can relate to.

    Though, I was curious about if the roles were reversed. The female seems to be hurt from the males actions, but what about if I, as a male, was the one feeling unloved, not cared about, and the one only wanting to salvage this marriage.

    I have been married to my wife for 9 years. We were wed at a young age, and conceived when we were only in our teenage years. I do love her (but I feel I am not IN love with her), and yes, it was my fault for her negative feelings and hatred/lack of kindness towards me, but does it justify any reasoning for her to show emotional distance, constructive abandonment, or threats of “finding someone better” mentality. My wife believes that she has been un-happily married for at least 3 years – ever since I was emotionally-attached to a girl from my college days.

    I will never give up on what we have with my wife, until her words become actions.

    I currently see a psychiatrist, and find self-help through online web pages, but will this suffice, or will this be an emotional death, that will be with me until my final breath.

    We have a 9 year old child, and to see my wife not want to work out problems, I am worried that my child will believe its okay to “give up”, to not resolve issues, and that it is easier to run away from problems, versus working together. I find this to be really sad, and hurtful, and I do not wish that on any of my offspring.

    Once again, I just hope that we can resolve this dire issue, as it seems to be out of control. I seem more distant with her now, because whenever I try to communicate with her, her emotional distance towards me, I find to find very hard to break through. My daughter sees this, and I feel it is unhealthy for everyone – it effects my family, and I’m sure my wife’s family see’s this as something to worry about.

    ***I do love you Claudia, I have always loved you – and I won’t give up, until you first walk out that door ***

  36. All of this may be true for those marriages where there is just a lot of miscommunication or no communication, but I felt the need to speak up for smtg you only briefly and barely touched on. I am in an extremely emotionally and verbally abusive relationship. I was a young single mother when I married him and we fought often, but growing up in an extremely controlling dysfunctional family, this was the norm. And I also was so controlled by my mother I DESPERATELY feared calling off the wedding even though I felt smtg was very wrong. Big mistake. It started mostly with unbelievable control, what I spent, who I spoke to, not speaking to me for days if I did anything he perceived wrong. There were fights, and rarely, but sometimes, the became physical. I tried everything, and since he was a believer and had seen his father abuse his mother I just hoped it would change and that everything would be ok. Then we had our first son, and things got worse, especially when I developed many health problems. He made me feel bad for the $ we spent at every Dr appt. To compensate (even though I already had to justify every purchase I made anyway) he took me completely off the bank account, acting like I was putting us into bankruptcy, which I wasn’t, but he LOVED the control of me having to beg for milk money and demanding receipts. I’ve had no access to money for YEARS, leaving me truly trapped. He tries to make me look bad to whomever he can, my family (often going there without me and not telling me anything said), any friends I had left, his family….we have gone to two pastors for counseling and one Christian counselor, but if they dare call him out or try to help him with HIS issues that is always the last visit. I haven’t spoken to him in the eight years we’ve been married without him either a-ignoring me, b-laughing at me, c-leaving/hanging up, d-yelling over me bringing up anything he can to make me look or feel bad, e-sighing/rolling eyes/interrupting….but it’s usually a couple of those mixed up. I feel trapped. I am trapped and if I didn’t adore my kids, I’d leave, consequences be darned….which btw, they pray nightly that “daddy will be nice, especially to mommy”, & NO I do NOT talk badly about him to them, that would be awful, but they are not blind. It isn’t often but it has become physical sometimes, the worst probably when (in front of screaming kids) he pushed me out of moving car and nearly ran me over, but just as with EVERY SINGLE OTHER THING, he either flatly denies it, or won’t respond with a smirk acting like I’m crazy or smtg. All this said, he says hee believes in God/Jesus/Spirit and he sure can act nice to others so I’m hoping and praying God will change him or get me out of this somehow. If anyone happens to read this, please pray for me. I have tried EVERYTHING, and strangely sometimes it seems the more I do anything I think will make him happy, the worse things get and I’m just left empty. Please pray for me, and if you read this, please remember that your advice works for healthy men, not abuse manipulative men who come from a long line of the same. He laughs at truth, no matter from whom. He is truly unable to be pleased (though he swears that if I did what I was supposed to, he’d be able to ‘help’ me, because he has nothing to change and I’m lucky to have a perfect husband like him because if I’d do what I’m told and act right, he could help me) btw, that doesn’t work, like I said I’ve tried that often, once for months and months and the abuse got far worse and more frequently violent. I know there’s a good man in there, there was in the beginning of dating for the most part, and ppl who work for him and his customers (& even some of my family) think he’s the nicest man they’ve ever met. Help me Lord Jesus!!!! He is Mighty to save, and NOTHING is impossible for Him. I just need wisdom to hear and follow Jesus on this, and HIS peace and love for me and my beautiful children!!!

  37. Invisible me says:

    So what if for the last 10years you have tried everything that you have described with no results? I am one of the few that have that antisocial mate. We’ve been together for 25 years. In the beginning I’m not even sure it was love. Infatuation maybe. Our “likes” we’re that we had one thing in common. And that one thing has been gone for years. He is not a Christian and I’ve been a Christian for the last 16 years. I’ve done everything to help him get the help that he needs to no avail. I’m completely miserable, alone, and feel invisible. I just want to cut my losses and leave. There is so much more to this but this is the cliff notes version. The marriage is gone. It’s a roommate status thing now and I’m tired of living like this. So, any advice for me?


  39. I am out of town visiting my daughter and grand daughter, I called my wife last night, at her request, and she told me she was talking to her mother and she would call me back. Instead she went to her sisters and had a bottle of wine with her and never called me. I finally reached her and hour later, I told her how worried I was and she said she forgot to call me. This is a pattern with her and I am tired of it. She tells everyone how much she loves me, yet her actions don’t follow suit.

    When I talked to her about it she said that we should be happy and forget about it as I am with my daughter and she was with her sister.

    I have no response to that……..any thoughts?

  40. My husband has said many times that I don’t love him or give him enough affection. Early in our marriage and many years into our marriage I did all that I could to show him love. I was wholly commited to be a good wife, including sex almost every day. He has always told me that I am beautiful and that he loves me. However, there were things he did that really bothered me. I couldn’t walk past him without him grabbing at me. If I went to shower or change my clothes, he would always appear. I would go out of my way to avoid him just so I wouldn’t be grabbed. We couldn’t do anything together without sex coming up. Any time we were close I felt he avoided most of body, except the parts he wanted to touch. I began to feel used, and although he was affectionate verbally and physically, my intimacy needs were not being met. I just didn’t feel cared for emotionally. Any time I didn’t have sex with him he would act like I punched him in the face. I often caved in just to be done with it. I had tried many times how I felt,and maybe there would be change, but they were short lived. In addition to this major issue, he would give me a hard time about anything I enjoyed doing that didn’t involve him. Such as, reading, crocheting, and taking dance classes. He wouldn’t get angry or yell, but he would act like he was so hurt, and I would feel guilty even though I really didn’t have a valid reason to. Also, he wouldn’t ever do anything special for me. Not even for my birthday, Mother’s Day, our anniversary. Even times when I was sick, he wouldn’t help me. So even though he was affectionate and told me he loved me often, it all began to mean nothing without actions to back that up.
    Eventually afte 15 years of marriage I hit a wall. I was so depressed and I had nothing left to give him or anyone. It’s hard to care for a husband and children, and always feeling that no one cared how I felt or what my needs were emotionally. I did find out that he cheated on me, buy the worst part or that wasn’t the act of cheating, but that he did that even though I had never neglected that part of our marriage. Even after finding out I didn’t give up, but I eventually began to feel he wasn’t going to change. I did my best to be a good wife, but he always had a way of making me feel I wasn’t doing enough. So one day I just gave up, and I told him I was done. No one left, because it was difficult considering the children. We still slept in the same bed, but there wasn’t any more sex. After several months living this way, we went out together and I became pregnant that night. I told him I would see how things to during the pregnancy. That if things improved between us maybe I would stay.
    Our little one is now 3, and I am still with my husband. Things have improved between us. I still have a lot of old hurts, and he has to be careful about how he is with me, and showing me he cares with actions. The less pressure I feel to meet his needs, the more willing I am to do just that. So we both have to work at it, but I think it can be good.

    • Wow. I can relate to your reply Jody.

      I feel my wife could ABSOLUTELY agree with seventy-five percent of your story.

      Yes, I did cheat on my wife. Yes, I love sex, and at most times I do push her for sex.

      Obviously there are differences, as everyone has a different story to tell.

      I was a teen father, and she, a teen mother. We have one common child together – no other children from previous relationships. We are both now in our late twenties, early thirties, and she is about to graduate from her nursing degree.

      We are still legally married, but she constantly brings up the dreaded “D” word. I am at a loss, but through my upbringing I cannot justify myself “forcing” her to stay with me – that is not my mentality.

      Even if my wife does not see my family values in staying in this marriage through thick and thin waters, I really, somehow do believe in them.

      I love my wife and daughter, and even though I am not IN love with my wife, I do love and want to move on, and for her to want this as bad as me, so we can start healing and working together.

      Yes, I understand she wants to give up, is fed up, does not trust me, I truly believe that we can salvage what is left. My daughter is nine, going on ten this year. I even tried to communicate in Spanish to her mother, typing a letter expressing my new commitment, and love, and wanting to work things out with my wife. My wife’s mother is a devoted Catholic, and has strong beliefs and values in maintaining a relationship, even if there was wrong done. This is what I would want my wife to believe, but I cannot change her thoughts, beliefs, and desires, I can only change myself.

      I hope you understand, from a man’s perspective, that maybe this is what he wants, but like me, does not use common judgment or sense.

      I wish the best of luck to you, you’re partner and you’re children.


  41. So here’s my situation…. my husband and I have been married going on a year in September, oh and BTW I’m now 8 months pregnant meaning we got married after 5 years of dating and surprise I’m prgo a month later. I know that the 1st year of marriage is hard so I definitely try to take that into consideration sometimes…. I’m not sure if we just really need space from one another or what to think. We don’t really talk much when I’m at work or vise versa, I’d like to think that’s because we’re basically around each other 24/8 we go to work come home eat watch TV and off to bed. Very routine I guess you can say lol and when we’re both off we’re usually together. I’d love to give him space because I know we both need it I’m just so tired after work with being so far pregnant with my first that I have no energy to want to go out and he’s a home body so it’s not like he’s going to want to go anywhere. I know I didn’t we explain it much but the reason I feel like I’m in a loveless relationship is because he’s not really affectionate and sex is maybe once a month … not that he’s cares like that we are both in our 30’s.

  42. Kimberley says:

    I married him 16 YR. ago and I had a 2 yr. old from my first marriage. I only married him to leave home because I hated the idea of having to move back home with my small child and had no place else to go. Not even looking, I met him at a church function. He seemed at first into me, but I picked up on that he just really wanted me to himself and nothing to do with my son. Stupid me married him anyway, just in hopes of having a place to “do my own thing” and my son grow up. I only married him to have a roof over my head and a place for my son & I to sleep. He was always angry at something, verbally abusive, emotionally abusive, and he knew of my health condition when we got married and used it against me to take control of me. He never laid a hand on me nor my son, but his temper was very dangerous. Honestly, I don’t know how I stood it two years longer than his first wife did. It had gotten to the point where I had to call 911 several times and go stay with family until he cooled down, or hopes that it would scare the hell out of him to make him stop. We have tried on several ocations with different pastors for 16 yrs. to get things under control. The last pastor is also a family law attorney on the side and even had us to do the Love Dare Challenge. It didn’t work either. He is not going to change and it was making me physically sick with going into afib or seizures several times from him getting me upset. I laid my foot down and got a restraining order and in the process of divorce. My son is 21 now and living with his natural father trying to make enough money to go back to school. I have found a male friend that had been through the same thing with his ex because she treated him like my husband treated me. He has been divorced from her for 2 years. I am a month out of filing and this person is like a friend I never knew existed. He is helping me get counceling and he works with adults with mental illness as a job coach. Am I in the wrong by being with this guy. I was only married by name and ring only because I was more like a roommate than a wife.

  43. Smehere says:

    Started with my MIl, SIL warming him about me, with untrue things! This was within one year of marriage. Asking him to distance himself. He charms people, but he is an average man… Not too bad tempered, but not a saint either. He is very irresponsile tho he earns well. I earn well too, but I take care of everything! Financially, take care of kids etc. he helps me with some household chores, and I believe he may think that he does more than me.
    What hurts me so, is that I feel so unloved! Like someone is piggybacking on me without thinking I am human. We have no romantic moments! It feels so dry, I fear that I am sinking into deep depression. Sometimes tears flow in front of him, when I stay quietly and he doesnt even care.
    Few years back someone, a good friend at work warned me that I should walk out fast from this marriage! He wanted to marry me as well, said he would take care of my kids as his own. I ignored him, even tho I liked him, moved off from that work. But I find my sacrifice is not even appreciated.
    All I want is bit of love; my dad had died when I was little, and my mom had been too busy to indulge me with love. Now my marriage is worse, I am ignored all the time, and yet I live mostly as a single mom taking care of even my husbands needs. I worry that my kids may get affected by any drastic step; but my life feels hollow! And my kids sense I am unhappy.
    My friends feel he is polished and charming. No one seems to undertand. So I dont talk about it. But its a so difficult living with him.

  44. Please give me insight says:

    I truely feel like I’m in a loveless marriage…

    I met my husband at work and I was really attracted to him,I went through bad relationships in the past so I wanted to take things slowly with him. I waited 3 months before we had sex (don’t judge me) and he treated me differently from any other man. We began a monogamous relationship, which there were signs in the beginning that he was not affectionate.I had a child from a previous relationship and wanted a good man and father figure for my daughter, so I ignored many warning signs. We had sex every time we were in each other’s company but in public he acted like my best friend only, no kissing,touching, gazing into each other’s eyes, and conversation was minimal. To make a long story short we dated 4 years and forcefully got married at the courthouse even though we were mad at each other on our wedding day. Our honeymoon sucked we were so distant. We definitely had problems in the beginning as well and not to mention I was pregnant right away. There was hardly any sex during my pregnancy. We argued a lot about it. We went on together going through the motions of life and still no affection what so ever, only when we have sex once a month. It really hurts, I don’t consider myself an ugly woman and I am in pretty good shape but he treats me like a prostitute from a corner. I am a very sexual person and try to please him the way a wife should but he pushes me away. What to do? I feel like walking out of the marriage but we have two kids, a house, and our Christian background won’t allow us. I come from a two parent home and don’t want to be responsible for making my kids suffer with a broken home. I’m just not happy and I have felt this way for years. I feel like my husband was my life line because I was caught up in the idea of a perfect home, which we are not. I have mentioned this to him throughout our marriage but it only changes temporarily and goes back to the loneliness all over again. He chooses the TV over me. I really need some advice.

    • I’m sorry you’re so lonely! It sounds like you had a lot of doubts before you were married but you ignored them because you wanted a family, and that just didn’t turn out like you wanted. That’s really common, but it does leave so many women feeling so lonely.

      One thought I had: it sounds like you guys have never really been friends. Like you just don’t have fun together. If you’re going to build a relationship built on affection and built on fun then you have to start actually finding some fun things to do together. So that’s where I’d start! Go for a walk after dinner and talk. Buy some 2-person board games. Take up a new hobby, like biking or something. Talk to him about finding something to do with him that’s fun, and that’s away from a screen. Volunteer somewhere together. Anything! It doesn’t mean you never watch TV; it’s just that so many people get into a rut, and then you honestly have nothing in common.

      It’s going to take some work, but you can build a relationship with someone when you find common ground and shared experiences. So work on that first! I hope that helps.

Comment Policy: Please stay positive with your comments. If your comment is rude, it gets deleted. Any comment that espouses an anti-marriage philosophy (eg. porn, adultery, abuse and the like) will be deleted. If it is critical, please make it constructive. If you are replying to another commenter, please be polite and don't assume you know everything about his or her situation. If you are constantly negative or a general troll, you will get banned. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Sheila Wray Gregoire owns the copyright to all comments and may publish them in whatever form she sees fit. She agrees to keep any publication of comments anonymous, even if you are not anonymous on this board.


  1. […] in my post about living in a loveless marriage, I talked about the concept of a “Love Bank”: think of your relationship as a bank […]

  2. […] just hear the heartbreak in these women’s letters. The first woman, as far as I know, is in a loveless marriage but not necessarily in one that involves an affair. The second one looks like it […]

  3. […] Living in a Loveless Marriage – A great post about what to do when you have fallen or are starting to fall out of love with your spouse. […]

  4. […] is little in this world that is as painful as being in a loveless marriage–feeling as if a spouse doesn’t love you or has rejected you or doesn’t value you. […]

Leave a Comment


CommentLuv badge