Long-Term Relationships: Rebuilding Love After Emotional Damage

A couple having coffee together on a couch.What’s “falling in love” anyway?

It has two components:

  • Part one: How the other person makes you feel about yourself.
  • Part two: How you feel about the other person.

These two parts are inextricably bound up together, and, as a matter of fact, part two follows from part one. Here’s why:

The “falling in love” kind of love, not the familial love that you have, say, for your parents or children, is about receiving. The other kind of love—the tender feelings for children, or the compassionate love that you have when you’ve been married 50 years—is about giving.

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So what is it you’re receiving when you fall in love?

You get a clear, bright, and shiny message of validation of yourself as a person. Many people can try to give you this message but it doesn’t work with other people. The one person with whom it works proves to you, in the course of being together, that he or she really gets who you are. Only someone who has plunged your depths and finds you amazing, special, and wonderful can offer this level of validation.

There may be people you have dated who feel as though they love you, but in your opinion, they don’t know you. Therefore, it’s impossible for them to validate you. Knowing the other person, genuinely knowing, is the cornerstone of intimacy. So you have allowed one person into your inner world, in the course of being together, and each step of the way you felt understood. This person, in return, continues to be intrigued by that process of knowing you, and wants more.

What could be a better experience than that?

That is part one (how your partner makes you feel). You feel exhilarated because after carefully letting down your guard to someone, this person has appreciated having been given the tremendous gift of you. Part two (how you feel about your partner) flows from this. As you let him or her into your private self, your partner did the same. And what did you find inside your partner’s heart and soul? A self that is very similar to yours!

Although opposites do attract, the fundamental, deep-down attraction comes from a reflection of oneself. Not only is this person validating you, but his very being (because it’s so much like yours) validates you all the more. That’s part two (how you feel about your partner).

(Incidentally, if you don’t see this, you do have to plumb the depths to find it. It is not on the surface. The surface includes a host of differences, but deep down you’ll find the sameness.)

So what’s “falling out of love”? The answer is: betrayal. You have opened up your soul; you’ve been vulnerable, and what did you get for it? You got hurt and betrayed. The betrayal doesn’t have to be as raw as cheating, although it can be that. But even ignoring a spouse when he or she is talking is betrayal. When this continues, the commonalities aren’t so apparent. Your spouse might be hurt, too.

Now, just suppose the two of you want to maintain the marriage. Maybe you’ve been married a long time. You may have had children together. How in the world can you get back to opening yourself up to someone who has hurt you? How can you possibly fall in love with such a person again? You are torn because it would be good to keep the relationship but the feelings just aren’t there. What can you do?

My answer is: Feeling can come back, but the process is backwards from the way it was the first time.

The first time, you just opened yourself up and there it was. You can’t do that this time. Even if you really would like to, your survival instincts won’t let that happen, and you must honor those.

Here are some steps that you both can take:

1. Your partner must prove to you, in every conceivable way, that he or she has changed. He/she must acquire the skill of patience. That is, your partner is so anxious to wish away all the bad in the relationship—which is understandable—that he/she may make you feel like he/she is more concerned with what he/she is getting out of it than what you are being offered. If your partner has truly overcome his/her hurtful behavior, then it must go along with an attitude of patience for your healing—and giving of himself/herself. It has to be about you, not him/her, this time around.

2. You must be patient, too—with your spouse and with yourself. His/her awakening to the fact that you have been deeply wounded in the relationship, and that you need to heal, will dawn on him/her slowly. Your spouse will realize that change goes way beyond no longer being ugly with you. This may take time, and perhaps help from outside sources. And you can allow yourself time to heal from the hurts of the past, because that is a natural process that cannot be rushed.

3. This is a wonderful step. It is akin to noticing how your child is improving in math or picking up a language. There is the dawning awareness that your spouse is growing. Because your guard remains up (that was number one in this list), your powers of observation are keen, and you can see that something new is on the horizon. Expected behaviors don’t happen and new, lovely ones are in their place: consideration, gentleness, sensitivity, generosity of time and effort. From this, respect and trust begin to grow. Allow this step the time it needs to unfold. The more respectworthy observations you make, the stronger your trust will be in your spouse.

4. Respect and trust will allow you to open up, little by little. You won’t have to force it; it, too, will be a natural process. There will be new things in the “you” that has experienced all this pain: guardedness, healing, and newfound respect. These are the new things that you will be able to talk about. Your spouse opens the door to intimacy when you know that he/she has heard you. You become willing to be vulnerable and open more and more.

5. In turn, your spouse will be able to talk about his/her dawning awareness of his/her past selfishness and hurtfulness and any regrets felt over them. In these admissions, he/she too will be vulnerable, and this will open the door wider to falling in love again.

What’s the upside of this difficult process? It’s more than falling in love and even more than preserving a family. It’s something rich and mature that you can’t feel the first time around: It’s a rock-solid knowledge of who this other person really is, leading to a much deeper bond, greater respect, and stronger trust than you could ever have with a new person.

© Copyright 2011 by Deb Hirschhorn, PhD, therapist in Far Rockaway, NY. All Rights Reserved.

Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org. The preceding article was solely written by the author name above. The view and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

  • Leave a Comment
  • elena douglas

    October 13th, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    Falling out of love does not always have to mean that there has been a betrayal. It might simply mean that the couple has grown apart and cannot seem to make their way back together again. I actually think that this could be a good thing for some couples, so that they do not waste any time on something that is not right for either one of them.

  • Bradley

    October 15th, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    There are times when I think that this is a possibility and times when it is not. If this is something where the two of you have remained together and do in all honesty still love each other, then I definitely think that it is possible to fall in love with that same person all over again. But for many couples the hurt runs too deep, and there is nothing that is going to bring those feelings back for them, no matter how hard they try. And you have to be on the lookout too, because sometimes they will appear to have changed on the surface but when you start to dig a little deeper you might find that really they have only stayed the same.

  • KM

    October 15th, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    I have been in this situation before and its not easy. When someone you thought is the closest to you goes on to hurt you it becomes very tough to deal with the situation and I even felt like I couldn’t trust myself anymore :(

  • L.Donald

    October 16th, 2011 at 7:48 AM

    Falling in love with someone who hurt you-Not an easy thing by any means but is a lot smoother of a journey when the other person truly recognizes his or her hurtful actions and comes along to comfort or apologize.

    And a no-repeat is a given-repeated hurt is something that even the mot patient person would hate!

  • uy

    October 3rd, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    The process is very well described in detail :) the interesting thing is ‘falling in love again’ takes inputs from both persons and if the other person is not willing to be genuine and do their part to ‘make up’ for the ‘betrayal’ then it leaves one with suffering alternating with numbness which eventually overtakes (ie. not feeling anything not able to feel love and not able to feel suffering either). I think its about abuse – willful, intentional abuse (which you refer to as ‘betrayal’), and not ever making amends for it which is the essential cause of the suffering.

  • james

    November 27th, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    i have the similar problem now with my gf

  • amanda

    December 26th, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    I hate that the one I love hurt me so bad that its hard to love myself. He’s back in my life and I don’t know if I could let him back in my heart , or do I do what he did to me? He seams like he’s sorry but it could all be a act. And why I think that cause he wouldent even talk to me till he seen me with someone else. IDK What to do can someone help me with what I should do?

  • Brittany

    January 27th, 2013 at 9:46 PM

    I was hurt by my ex, I caught him sending sex pics to some random girl that he talked to years before claiming we were broke up. Im falling out of love with him and I don’t think I wanna be with him anymore. I like the thought of being with someone else because I dont wanna be with a liar and a cheat. Someone tell me what to do?? We have a daughter together.

  • Laura

    March 16th, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    Hello everyone, helped me out when i thought my life is lost don’t know where its going……… It all started when the father of my two kids left me and sworn never to have anything to do with me and all effort to get him back prove to be abortive and i decided to let things be the way they are cause i felt my life is lost don’t know where its going. But Priest Andrew came into the picture and things turned out to be how i have ever wanted it to be……….I will forever be grateful to him for the rest of my life, Am so happy!!!!!!!!!! Laura

  • need marriage counseling

    July 12th, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    I ABSOLUTELY think that it’s possible to fall in love with the same person again. I you loved them once, you can surely love them again.

  • Alicia

    July 19th, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    My boyfriend said he fell out of love im 6 months pregnant , the problem was that i treated him really bad and he was the best man in the worlddd he did everything and anything he could for me i was hia princess. When he realized how i treated him he changed he sais he lost respect for me he heard rumors aboute cheating on him and makes everything worst he said he dosent want me anymore or ever want to be with me .. All he said is ” maybe with time , or maybe after you have the baby” but i i dont know out relationshil was deel and we were very comfortable with eachother . I wonder if he can ever fall in love with me again.

  • steve

    December 15th, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    Falling in love is heavenly, falling out is like being in hell. I fell out of love with my baby. She is a wonderful woman. Truly blessed. But by my actions. Betraying my baby. I fell out of love. Our relationship is long distance. Trying to figure out how to bring back that love joy happiness back. I keep ruminating on what I’ve done. Confessed and was forgiven.trying to rebuild is hard. Some days feel normal. Some feel distant. Some are really painful. Feel so lost. My world is up side down.

  • DrDeb

    December 16th, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    Hey Steve, thanks for commenting on my article – and on your sincere remorse. It truly is possible to rebuild. Remember this: Loving is giving. Your actions in betraying were not giving, not even to yourself. To fall back in love, you have to start giving. Too much focus on how rotten you feel about your actions point your attention back to yourself – and that’s not where it belongs. Good luck!

  • Alicia

    January 12th, 2014 at 7:14 AM

    My boyfriend and I didn’t know each other. We had a one night stand and he got me pregnant on purpose!! He admitted it to me and when I said never contact me again he said call me in about a month when your knocked up!! Well I got pregnant and we got together to see if this would work. We have been together now for almost a year and he has treated me like sh** the whole time! Cheating, lying, hiding, ect!! I lost the baby in April of 2013. I got pregnant again in September and lost that on in November:(! We love each other like no other but I feel the love falling on my side. He says he loves me and acts crazy and stuff when I leave. He says he’s sorry but the next day all the lies and fucking up will happen again. How do we both stop the non sense??? I’m giving up on trying!?

  • Vicky Palmer

    January 13th, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    I have been married for 19 years. I have tried to be the strong person in our marriage, I finally had decided that his jealousy and distrust in me has come to an end. I wonder days why I feel this way. I have dealt with his jealousy all these years and it is old I have given him no reason for his actions. So therefore I feel this will never change. I have told him the problem which he feels he has done no wrong in saying things putting me down , just so much he has broke my heart so bad that I don’t know if I even want to still be married. I want that unconditional love, that I see people have and when I have dealt with this jealousy for so long, I have quit talking and keep to myself just to solve the problem with all my friends and family at times it fixed things for awhile but it always came back worse, and now I have a broken heart that I have no idea how to fix it. I want a divorce but I don’t want to hurt him or my kids so then I think maybe, just maybe I can get that unconditional love that I have always wanted. My heart says one thing and my mind says another?

  • DrDeb

    January 14th, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    Vicky, jealousy comes from a person feeling insecure inside himself. But that insecurity is in itself very hard to admit, especially for a man in our society. So your husband isn’t going to get past it without help. Telling him that you did nothing wrong isn’t enough to make changes: He needs to heal and he needs help to do it.

  • Tyler

    February 21st, 2014 at 1:58 PM

    Can you explain what you mean by outside sources? My ex has a crush on some guy who makes her feel better because I unknowingly cut her down. But she wants to love me again and says im the best person ever, and she loves spending time with me. Im special to her, but she seems too hurt. She says shes numb?

  • DrDeb

    February 22nd, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    Tyler, I mean therapy! Not an old flame. You will have to work hard on yourself to be a better person. Follow the steps above and little by little she may stop being numb. But a crush on someone else doesn’t help one bit.

  • Aiden

    March 16th, 2014 at 6:51 AM

    Me and my ex were dating for about 5years and 3 months. We broke up about 3 weeks ago. She said we needed space because we were arguing too much and we were. I nagged at her all the time, I have no clue why? She told me herself “why are you being like this? It’s pushing me away. You weren’t like this before!” I said I’m sorry. I tried controlling myself but it’s so difficult when it seems like she’s doing so well without me. People tell me it’s a front that she puts up. I believe it because I made this girl who she is. I was the only person who truly loved and cared for her. Her own family even neglected her. My family loves her and still don’t know we’re apart. We’ve kept contact here and there but we argue. I acted a bit insane but it’s because every time I try to talk about us, she bring a up old stuff. I tell her I wanna drop everything and start fresh. I can tell she cares because she brings up the past, she says she loves me but doesn’t wanna be with me. We went to dinner about a week ago and we haven’t had a night like that since we were barely dating. We both messed up but she’s the type of girl who knows she’s wrong but won’t admit it. That’s how I use to be but I eventually swallowed my pride and I’d just tell her how I feel. She accepted it at first but later would take advantage of it. That’s how it seemed. I’d get so mad because she’d play games with me and I’d lose my head. I can’t control it but that’s what I’m working on right now. I really want this girl back. She’s been my everything and I know I’ve been her everything. No ones loved her like I have, no one has cared, protected and provided for her like I have. She tells me herself. It makes me feel special. Anyway, by the way I acted I feel like I pushed her away. How can I prove to her that I’m changing because I really am. I don’t know what to do? Give it some time, work on myself, let her work on herself and then try to slowly contact her then? Help!

  • DrDeb

    March 17th, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    Aiden, this is really the kind of situation therapy is for: You don’t know why you argue, you want to control it but you can’t, you love her but the arguing continues, etc. Sometimes we need an outsider to nail what’s going on.

  • Aiden

    March 17th, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    I tried using that. An outside source, another person but she only got mad. It was her friend. My ex doesn’t express her feelings much. She keeps them bottled in. I get irritated by that. I had to go to her friend and her friend said that she went through the same thing that I am going through. Her and her bf have been together for 7 years now. She said my ex would be back if I gave her time but idk if I believe that. Someone told her I cheated on her and it is NOT true. I pretty much talked to her about it and she somehow seemed to believe me but then she threw out “idc if you cheated on me or not. Look how you’re acting. You’re being crazy” all I’ve done is try to talk to her. I haven’t been insane and yelling at her like crazy. Old what’s wrong. She also suffers from depression so I wonder if that’s what’s wrong? It’s difficult for me to give her space because she seems to be doing fine without me. People tell me she does care and misses me because she talks to them about me at times but I don’t feel like she does. She tells me she doesn’t her self yet her friends say she does? I’m confused. She’s rude and I feel like she doesn’t truly believe I didn’t cheat on her. I told her to just trust me because I’ve done so much for her. I wouldn’t jeopardize our relationship. She was the most amazing person to me. I loved her. I guess I just want her to miss me and for her to realize that she should to be pushing me away. All I want is for her to miss me and for her to swallow her pride and at least talk to me. Idk how to get her to do that? If I give her space I feel like she won’t be back. Yet she does have all the stuff I gave her and a bunch of my clothes. Her friends say if she really didn’t want anything to do with me, she would’ve gotten rid of them or gave them back. Its a messy situation.

  • DrDeb

    March 18th, 2014 at 7:50 AM

    Hi Aiden,
    When I said this is what therapy is for – an objective outsider, I will add that a therapist is a competent objective outsider. (Of course, you need to check on the competency and that is a different article.) Your girlfriend’s friend is not the right person. Furthermore, you have not gotten to the root of her behavior – or your own. One thing you do mention is that her bottling things up irritates you. Can I say something here? Your irritation is going to make her bottle things more! Can you see that? That is reason #2 for a therapist to help you. Please check your local listings. The therapists on this blog are amazing and you can see who they are by what they write. Good luck.

  • Makemeselfless

    May 3rd, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    All I know about love ( from 10 years of marriage) is that the only way to love a person, is to love them even when they don’t deserve it. Love past the hurt, give her space. To be honest with you, it’s too hard to do alone. Only God can help you love someone how they need to be loved. That is the only way I can love my spouse, not because we have a bad relationship, but because a relationship is hard! It takes too much work for someone to bear alone and do it with their own willpower.

  • Makemeselfless

    May 3rd, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    Men respond well to unconditional respect. It’s a hard pill to swallow.

  • So_willing_to_change

    May 5th, 2014 at 9:22 PM

    I had a great opportunity with a woman who I connected with deeply. I found out recently that I’ve been suffering from generalized anxiety and I tended to blow up whenever we got into an argument. Sometimes I would just be short over minor issues. After 6 months she began to pull away and it freaked me out. I started to frantically look for ways to fix the situation and I think that I came across as too needy. She finally broke up with me after 9 months and now is very cold and distant. The hard part is that i see her every day (at work) and some days it feels like I’m slipping back into anxiety ridden grief. She’s started to talk to me a bit but is obviously not interested in talking about getting back together. I’ve been trying self help and I’m about to start counseling. She hasn’t said yes or no with regard to trying again at some point, in fact she has intentionally refused to answer the question saying that she doesn’t know. I’m seriously trying to get my life sorted out but I know that it’s not going to be a quick fix. My question is should I try to move on without her or do I continue to try and make things right?

  • DrDeb

    May 6th, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    I am very impressed with your self-awareness, namely, realizing that you would blow up for minor reasons and that your frantic attempts to hold the relationship together came across as needy. I also am glad you are going to start counseling. The counseling should be goal-oriented, meaning, you should be given specific tools to rebuild your sense of self-esteem and overcome the destructive messages that you have inside. This woman wants a “whole” person, I would guess. She doesn’t want someone who blows up or who is anxious or who isn’t comfortable with who they are. So it seems to me you should work on healing yourself first before complicating matters with relationships. Good therapy does not have to last years and decades. With the degree of insight you already have and the motivation that I believe you also have, your whole entire therapy process should be under a year, maybe even six months of effort. If she is really this fantastic person, I would say to tell her you know exactly why she has pulled away and you don’t blame her one bit. You are working on all of it. That’s it. Because by telling her this, you validate her feelings without putting any pressure on her to do anything at all. Since you see her at work, she will see the changes in you for herself over time. A no-pressure approach is the opposite of the needy approach and in and of itself is respect-worthy, therefore attractive. The key is to not work with a psychodynamic therapist which will take 30 years. Ask your therapist his or her orientation. Good luck!!

  • Sandy O

    May 13th, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    Hi DrDeb,
    I have a been in this relationship for 7 years before i got pregnant. getting pregnant was not what i wanted at the time because i was in university. i was so mad at my boyfriend and i cried all the time and we argue a lot. after having the baby the arguments continued because he spends most of his time away from home . after work instead of coming home he would stop by his mom or stop to help out friends with their issues while i am at home in need of his help.i would vex with him and argue why cant he come home to help me when i ask him and its hard all by myself to take care of the baby. it didn’t help. the arguments and quarrels between us got worse everyday. sometimes we don’t argue and we talk about the arguments and we both vow to do better and it goes right back to square one. he wants this relationship and wish i would stop cussing he said for everything. but his actions makes me mad. why cant he see that. now he got a promotion in another city and the company provides living accommodation there for him so he only comes home every two weeks. since january he started acting strange and then he said his foot his not in this relationship anymore. he said its not gonna work because his feelings have changed somewhat its not as strong as before. i begged him to let us work on it but when he comes home he cant even look at me he looks so guilty like he is having an affair. we still live under the same roof. he eats when i cook just the same and we have sex. the last three times he came home. i am trying doc. he is my first boyfriend and he wanted to marry me prior to this new job promotion. he asked me to and i said you have to adjust your ways and be more committed to us (me and the baby) and stop putting other people before us including your mother. he is always at her house evryday of the week sometimes when i talk about it he would do better and then go right back into the old ways. now he is miles away and the distance have made me realise how much i really love him. he is hurt over the fact that his sister and mother at times dont get along well and he said i dont respect him and as we start to argue i get so loud on top of my voice and he cant deal with stuff like that so he dont think it will work. but i think he want it to work because he is hanging around to see if things will change in my behaviour. and i want to control my voice and i am working on getting the ralionship withhis family to be better too. they have hurt me in the oast and i oulled away from two member of his family until i jus eventually jus cut off all of them. i love him please help me to show him that i can change and respect him and speak ona normal volume and recreate the relationship with his family. please doc. ilove him soo much. since we started having sex again i realise his behaviour towards me is a little better but when he leaves and go back to the other city to work he comes home with a strange behaviour and he dont want me to touch him and then the night before he goes back to the other city we have sex and he gave me a a body massage for mother’s day and that how the sex started. help. i need to recreate this. my son needs both his parents and i i love him too

  • DrDeb

    May 14th, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    Hi Sandy
    Three things: 1. work on calming yourself. There are deep breathing apps you can download for that.
    2. work on your self esteem. Read self-help books for it or seek affordable therapy. You will become more attractive when you like and love yourself and don’t appear needy.
    3. Please get your health checked now that you’re having sex again. I am concerned about his behavior when he’s away.
    Good luck

  • Sad Cat

    June 1st, 2014 at 3:07 AM

    Dr deb,

    My boyfriend and I have been together for 5 years, 2.5 years long distance. We started out on the same career path, but he stopped for a while and now that I’m finishing my training he hasn’t even started. I know he’s depressed about his career life and said he “can’t love anyone until he loves himself” and “can’t be in a relationship right now.” The pain he’s dealt me is like nothing I’ve ever had before. I want us to work out because I think what we had is special and what others dream about. He says he’s been feeling so down he hasn’t even thought about getting married anytime recently. He also doesn’t feel the same about me. I know he loves me and says he wants me in his life in the future. How much of this is his depression talking? And is it possible for us to fall in love again?

  • Thomas

    June 10th, 2014 at 6:03 AM

    My girlfriend and I have been together for what would be 5 years next month. She is my first real long term relationship but it’s mainly because I’m very specific on who I want to give myself too. I know I love her with every ounce of my being, but throughout the relationship, I managed to abuse her physically and mentally. I justified it for so long as it being her fault for making me that mad. I guess it was normal for me having grown up with my father constantly abusing my mother.

    June of 2013, I had taken the physical abuse pretty far and had hurt her fairly bad. My mind immediately snapped to a point where everything was plain to see and I decided to go to anger management. She moved out with her sister and from being traumatized, fell immediately out of love with me. I didn’t want to be like my father and since I finally realized what I was doing, I was able to significantly control my anger from then onward. Her feelings came back soon after and she moved back in with me, however there were a few situations, not outright physical abuse, but still hurtful things that had happened. This began to break her down into depression and now, about a year later, she tells me she no longer has any feeling for me. My continued sub conscience acts of control had pushed her further and further away, coupled with my own depression about where I was in life with my career. Right before she told me of her lack of feelings, I began taking an active approach in things like my career and relationship, after all, my life is in my control, but it was too little too late.

    I’m going to seek out an abuse specialist to help me make sense of all the controlling actions I make, but I will never stop loving her. She made her share of mistakes like hiding conversations with exes and not wanting to be close in front of exes, but I know at this point that she has always had issues with anxiety and that nothing shady was going on. I also know that none of it justified my actions.

    My questions are these, can she fall back in love with me? After about 3 years of physical and mental abuse, can she love me again? Can the spark of my kiss be there again? Can she feel that beautiful sensation when I touch her skin?

    I know that I will never stop loving her and in my mind, love is absolute. It can be broken, it can be buried, but it never goes away. If I give up on her and “love” someone else, it will never be true and I can’t live in a lie like that, questioning myself at every turn. If I can fall out of love with this girl, then how can I ever trust it’s absolute meaning again.

    I truly am sorry for the way I treated her and I never want to hurt get like that again. I want to give get as much of the world as I can and give her a life worth living. How do I show her that I’ve changed for her? For myself as well, but for her?

    With kind regards,
    Thomas B

  • DrDeb

    June 10th, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    Hi Thomas,
    The way I work with people in therapy who have had abusive relationships (you can see my book on this – go to my website for more) is to help re-wire our brains so that the trauma that caused the anger in the first place is completely healed. That goes for both parties. When your ex- sees you as completely changed and she, too, is stronger and healed, then there are possibilities.

  • Marie

    June 11th, 2014 at 8:23 AM

    I am glad I came across this thread because I am having trouble fully trusting my boyfriend again. When we first started dating all was well until he started showing me this other side of him he didn’t show before I had started to open up to him. He would flirt with other women in front of me and constantly made sexual comments about other women both to me and in front of me. All friends and family who I discussed this with thought I should leave him but no one but him and I could understand that we had such a deep connection despite his actions. I told him how hurt I was and that he violated my building trust for him, shattered it actually. He was very remorseful of his actions and said he didn’t intentionally do them and felt horrible for hurting me. Ever since then there has continued to be significant improvement in him so I gave him another chance. We are very much in love now, 2 years later, and I do have trust in him but I feel it never fully built up because he shattered it during the most fragile stage. I still cry from time to time over the pain he has caused and I know he feels awful about it. How do I overcome it and trust fully?

  • DrDeb

    June 11th, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    Hi Marie,
    He has to understand himself better. Why did he do what he did? – was he trying to impress you? Was he afraid to show how committed he was to you? Is this a bad habit he picked up from going with the wrong friends? Before you have complete trust, he will be able to explain why he used to do it and why looking at other women means zero to him now. And he will want to share that with you of his own accord, not just when you ask.

  • Pauline

    June 14th, 2014 at 6:00 AM

    My boyfriend and I met 2 years ago, I fell for him first sight. It took him a little longer but a couple of months later we were together. He left for italy 1 month after getting together and we talked for 6 months. Everything was perfect, we had the same goals, the same visions on life, but we did have completely different interests. I would feel guilty every time I was talking about my interests because I knew he wasn’t as in to them as I was, and I was probably boring him. I would feel guilty when i let him wait outside while shopping so I stopped enjoying that as well. Not once has he made any complaints about waiting or me going on about my interests. It’s just the ‘knowing he doesn’t really like them as much’ that was making me feel guilty. He was my perfect first boyfriend and I needed to be the perfect girlfriend. That I had some huge disappointments to get through (school fails, dream fails, health fails) and 6 months ago I was kissing him and was distracted. It shocked me to the core and 6 months of thinking I don’t love him anymore, has made me not want to be with him anymore. Not because of him, his personality or anything. I just want to be free of the anxiety my head believes is caused by him. I keep thinking he’s the reason why I can’t see a future for us or for me in general. I have self pity, am depressed, am disappointed in myself for being such a horrible person for not loving this amazing man anymore. I want to fall back in love but it will never be innocent again. The anxiety has brought so much stuff up that ‘bother’ me (things that didn’t bother me or wouldn’t bother anyone but the anxiety and depression and adhd are making me irretated all the time) Any advice? How do I let go of fear and love again… Innocently? I’ve talked about this with him but he doesn’t understand why I’m doing this to myself. He’s not giving up, but I don’t know how long I’m going to last. I don’t want this relationship feeling like this. Feeling not in love, feeling pain, feeling sorry for myself and not seeing him for who he truly is. Depression and anxiety has deformed him to a stranger. I’m in my head constantly, HOW TO GET OUT? how to love innocently? again?

  • DrDeb

    June 14th, 2014 at 7:20 PM

    Hi Pauline,
    I am thinking there is more going on than you are aware of. Could it be that some message in the back of your mind says you are not entitled to happiness? Could it be that someone has planted the idea that life just can’t be good? I don’t know. I think it would be helpful to talk to a therapist who can ask you broad questions about your life, your family, your history.

  • stephanyL

    June 15th, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for 1 year and 3 months. But when we got into a fight, out of nowhere I told him that I lied to him. The way I said it he thinks I’m prpud of what I did which is not true seriously. I don’t want to hurt him. He’s my everything. I don’t know what to do know to make him believe I was really sorry, that I hurt his feelings and give me another chance. It was wrong lying to him in the first place and I regret it. He won’t believe me. I need help ;( seriously. How can I make him forgive me for what I did and how can I make him,fall for me again :( HELP ASAP ;(

  • DrDeb

    June 15th, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    Stephany I think that what you are saying is in some way like what Pauline was saying and my answer will be the same: For some reason, you feel insecure and feel the need to lie. Apologizing won’t cut it because this insecurity and lying are something that is in you. You should talk to a therapist and work on where this came from and building up a sense of confidence about who you are so that you don’t ever need to lie again.

  • Brittany

    June 18th, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    Dr. Deb. I am trying my absolute best to save my relationship. I’ve been with my fiancé 2+ years now & I cheated on him emotionally. Although in my eyes that’s much worse than a sexual connection with someone. I had an ectopic pregnancy & I got caught up with the person I was involved with after that just because it was a refreshing experience for me. I was in a very dark place about the pregnancy, but I also know that was only an excuse after a while. Anyway, my fiancé has found messages in my phone between the 2 of us on 2 different occasions within a 6 month timeframe. I’ve constantly prayed for God to free me from that relationship because I knew it wasn’t healthy for me & I didn’t need to betray my spouse in that manner. About 2 weeks ago, everything came to the light & I was cut off from the guy I was cheating with. As relieved as I was, I hated how it ended. But I took the time to for once be honest with my fiancé & myself about everything. Now he doesn’t want to restore our relationship & I’m crushed because it feels like now that I’ve put forth the effort to not only change myself but to change the downward spiral of my relationship, it’s too late. I don’t want this to be the end of us. I’ve done my best to show him that I’m done with being dishonest & to dedicate my life to loving only him.

  • Jessica

    June 18th, 2014 at 9:31 PM

    My husband and I have been together for two years and 6 months. When we got together everything was really good. Then a month later his grandfather died and he was really close with him. I was there for him through everything. Well in July 2012 I found naked pictures on his phone and went through his Facebook account and found messages to an ex asking if she wanted to have sex. He of course made lies saying they saved on his phone and that his friend Rick had sent the message. Well then in June or July 2013 I went on his yahoo account and there were emails on there off of craigslist personals between him and other woman in 2012. He was sexted other woman for 7 to 9 months. Then I found messages from him and his ex off Facebook, I could only see what she wrote and she said your happy with jess and I’m working things out with my baby daddy. He says he didn’t tell her he wanted to work things out but she told me he did. He told her he missed the good times. We also had dinner with his sisters and her(the same one he wrote) and I didn’t even know she was an ex. He’s also looked up naked chick’s on his play store. I want to forgive him and move past this but I don’t know how. He’s hurt me so bad and he won’t even talk to me or answer questions that I have. He gets defensive and aggravated at me. He says he’s changed and wants to be a better husband and father. But can a cheater really change? How can I move past this? I still say he has feelings for his ex and wants her. But I can’t get him to talk to me. How can I get him to open up? Do you think he could possible be cheating? He’s even came home with a hair on his privates and make multiple excuses. Then two days later he came home and showered since being together he’s never came home and showered. I really could use your help please.

  • Jessica

    June 18th, 2014 at 9:50 PM

    And around the time he was sexting, my grandfather was in the hospital and he died. I needed him but he was preoccupied with the other woman and his ex. How can I forgive someone who isn’t there and supporting you when your having a hard time grieving?

  • Daniel R

    June 19th, 2014 at 9:40 AM


    I would like to get some advice about my relationship with my partner of nearly 2 years.

    Since day 1 we have both been crazy about each other up until a few months ago where I’ve started to suffer from anxiety. I slowly over come it but it comes back now and then.

    My partner is my stone. She makes me feel strong and proud of myself and does nothing but give me compliments because I do have low self esteem.

    I consider her my life partner and we both cannot imagine a future together. We want to grow old together and have the same goals in life but lately I have been questioning my love which makes me quite upset.I know deep down inside that we are soul mates.

    Is this a faze I’m going through triggered by the anxiety?

    At the end of the day I will never give into the anxiety and let it win.

  • DrDeb

    June 19th, 2014 at 7:53 PM

    It sounds to me like your boyfriend has a fear of intimacy. I know that will sound just the opposite of what it seems so let me explain: People use sex as a way to AVOID a real relationship. Sex pretends you are close but it leaves out the everyday things–like staying with your girlfriend when her grandfather died. Real life is so much more than sex and if a person wants REAL intimacy, then they have to be vulnerable. They have to feel deep feelings AND compassion for another person. That is real intimacy. This will NOT go away, so your boyfriend needs short-term but very intense therapy directed to correcting this BEFORE you can forgive him.

  • DrDeb

    June 19th, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    You could be questioning your feelings because maybe deep down you don’t think you deserve something good in your life. On the other hand, maybe there is really something wrong with the relationship and you just can’t put your finger on it. I hate to sound redundant, but maybe you should speak to a therapist to find out. Marriage should not be taken lightly.

  • meeka

    June 20th, 2014 at 7:11 PM

    Hi I have recently seperated from my husband after 8 years and 3 beautiful kids together. He was a drug addict before we got together and he got clean when we found out I was pregnant with our first born. He then had an accident 2 years later which has left him in huge amounts of pain. So along with medications and spinal surgery he has resorted back to using pot. Not a little.. but alot. Influenced mainly by a friend of his. He doesnt see a problem with it and says it help the pain and his sleep. He still doesnt sleep when he has it and still hurts so I see it as being an excuse to get high. He at first hid it for me for month and friends of our all knew about it and no one told me. Then he said he would cut back to quit and that was almost 2 years ago. I have been more the patient I have given him help offered support and tried to get him to quit. But he has chose not to and has left. He has also been having mental health issues as recently wanted to kill himself and has little self worth. He has made his choice of drugs and drop kick friends over me and his kids. I am broken and dont know where to go from here

  • DrDeb

    June 21st, 2014 at 8:34 PM

    Hi Meeka,
    Drug use is often a way to hide or escape from old emotional pain. It is pain that will not go away because a person loves you, unfortunately. It needs therapy. I’m sorry to keep having to say that on this thread, but that is the way I feel. If there is any way you can get him to see a quality therapist, that would be good. You may be saving his life.

  • Ashleigh

    June 25th, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    Hi, i met someone last year and we instantly clicked. We became the best of friends, but also sexual partners. We agreed at the start that it was just going to be ‘casual’ and if either of us ‘caught feelings’ we would walk away. However, that wasnt the case. we tried to end things on numerous occasions but because we felt so deeply about each other, we continued. This carried on for around 6 months, until the silly arguments got too much for him and he walked away. We carried on to see each other after this however, bearing in mind during this whole period we never were established as a couple. Then after a bad argument, I told him we were over and we didn’t speak for a full week. A week later he came to me saying he cant stand not having me in his life and so we got back to what we were, however, I was soon to learn that during the week we were not speaking, he began sleeping with one of my friends, and this continued even though we were trying to make things work again. She knew the situation between us and I had my suspicions, but when i asked either of them, i was told to ‘stop being paranoid’. My suspicions were confirmed when one of her friends told me they had been sleeping together all along. I was distraught and when confronted, they both lied, until eventually i got the truth, which was that he had been sleeping with us both for around 3 weeks. It took him a few days to apologise to me, but when he did, he came to me genuinely upset, crying and telling me how stupid he had been, I should have been his girlfriend all along, it had taken losing me to realise he was in love with me, all I wanted to hear. So I took him back and we began working towards a proper committed relationship, however, it has been almost 3 months since I found out about them and things are so bad. I’m jealous, controlling, irrational and I accuse him all of the time of being unfaithful again, and it has pushed him away. I have now distanced myself from him (something that he said he didnt want) and have realised i need help. Could I have your opinion on the whole situation, thanks.

  • Ashleigh

    June 25th, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    we never got into a relationship before all of this because he has commitment issues, he has never had a girlfriend before.

  • DrDeb

    June 25th, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    Hi Asleigh
    To me, the word “commitment issues” combined with the idea of sleeping around casually implies that your boyfriend feels very vulnerable and fearful of losing the relationship. He therefore was distancing himself emotionally. But apparently, he had an awakening and now the tables are turned. Your fear of losing him has lead to your pushing him away. This isn’t as illogical as it sounds: keeping a distance creates an artificial feeling of safety. I think your reaction to being betrayed is perfectly normal. And furthermore, if you could take him back then he should be mature enough to take you back. Discuss with him how he would react if you apologize. And would he put that ring on your finger? You may find that if he finally commits, you will feel safer and you will not act that way. On the other hand — there are people who cheat once they’re married. What assurances will he give you that he is mature enough to stand by you and work things out when marriage becomes stressful?

  • Anonymous

    July 9th, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    Hi Dr Deb. My H and I are currently separated. I had an emotional affair with the man I fell in love with when I was in my 20′s, and I still have feelings for this man. I do also still have feelings for my husband. He is an extremely damaged person. And I mean extremely. He had an abusive disjointed childhood, witnessed domestic violence and was loved by only one parent. He was in a warzone. And later imprisoned and tortured for a year. He has seen terrible things. We had a very difficult relationship and it was always difficult. I think I married him because I felt sorry for him. We have two beautiful children. Since we have separated I have observed his relationship and interaction with the children improving. (He has never been fully emotionally present because of his PTSD). The problem is I feel like a trauma victim having lived with him. I know he still loves me. He is very loud and comes with a whole load of annoying habits and that’s even before you take into account his inability to emotionally connect. We are incompatible on many levels. And yet I honestly feel he is a remarkable man, and I have seen him change some of his behaviours. It has felt like I held the whole thing together. So being a single mum is also difficult. And after a brief period of space I contacted my emotional affair partner – who, incidentally, is willing to give up his life (he is partnered but it is more of an mental partnership/friendship than any romance which doesn’t give it any less meaning, but I know I was his great love of his life). So now I am in touch with the one but have interactions with my husband as he still sees the children frequently (they are quite young). I feel very confused. My religious background was teh reason I split up with my EAP in the beginning and he says he would be willing to work at shared values. But I don’t really know which way to go and either way is difficult. So I just feel… stuck! The level of emotional connection I have with my EAP is so huge and the level with my husband so minimal it is quite difficult to imagine climbing that mountain. And I sometimes wonder if I will ever be able to let go of my EAP even if I did try to climb the mountain. Does this make sense?

  • DrDeb

    July 9th, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    Yes, it makes sense but there is no way I could help you w/o actually seeing you and talking this thing through. I wish it were easier than that.

  • Melly

    July 12th, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    Hi Dr. Deb,
    I am so pleased I found your blog! I do not love my husband. We have been living together for five years, and married for two and a half. I have a child from a previous relationship. He has 4 children from his first marriage.
    Four months after we were married, I realised that he is a ‘secret’ drinker. I still can’t believe how stupid I was to not recognise it. Before we got married, there were issues with the kids (ie that due to his work hours I was on my own from 7am until 7pm, and that I couldn’t discipline his kids with time out or anything so my daughter is the only child in the house who is discplined and faces consequences for bad choices… which in turn impacts on her emotionally) but for all that, I felt that I could trust him implicitly. For me, that was the fundamental basis of our relationship. And then when I realised about the drinking, and started watching for the drinking and realising it was happening EVERY day, and we had conversations about how I don’t care if he drinks, but please please don’t hide it from me because I can’t bear the deception, but it continued anyway… well, after two years of this, the final straw for me came 8 weeks ago when he drove drunk. With my ten year old daughter in the car. My grandmother was killed in a car accident. I hate that people drink and drive. My husband knows this. Yet, he went ahead and did that. I moved to my mother’s the next day. My daughter and I moved back into the home a week ago, and I can see that my husband really is trying to make changes, but for me it seems too little, too late. When I look at him, I just see a liar who was so arrogant that the safety of my daughter was jeopardised.
    I don’t just ‘not love him’, sometimes I feel like I actively dislike him. I realise that this is not going to be helpful for him in overcoming his issues with alcohol. I get so frustrated when he cries and says he needs to feel love from me because I understand that he means it, but I kind of feel like… ‘well, you had that already and it didn’t bloody do you any good’.
    He has started to see a psychologist, and I have also met with the psychologist. There is a referral in place for alcohol dependency counselling, and we will do some relationship counselling also… but I guess my question is, is there any point? How will I know and how can I tell if I will love him again? At the moment, I don’t want to stay in the marriage because of him, I only want to stay in the marriage because of the impact on the wider family and also I really love my stepchildren – we have day-to-day care of them, I spend more time with them than their biological parents do, and I don’t want to lose them from my life. But… none of these reasons are actually to do with my husband.
    Even a rough idea of a timeframe would be helpful to me in deciding on whether I stick it out or bow out now.
    Thanks for your time.

  • Megan

    July 12th, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    I hurt my boyfriend really bad today. I lied to him, in his face, and he couldn’t believe I could do that to him. Neither could I. We are in a long-distance relationship, but we were a very happy couple. No arguments, just love and support. Until recently, I asked my guy friend to accompany me in choosing a computer since I don’t know anything about technology. He’s been one of my best friends since college and my boyfriend knew that. I always tell my boyfriend when I’m going out with this friend of mine and he has been always fine with it. But that day when we bought my computer, I decided not to tell my boyfriend precisely because I don’t want him to think that I’m going out too much with my friend. I’m in a foreign city and he’s the only person I know that lives nearby. Anyway, my boyfriend found out but I lied and it was very obvious. He almost broke up with me but decided to forgive me. But it remains obvious how hurt he was and told me that it’s going to be hard rebuilding the relationship and the trust, especially that we’re continents apart. I love him very much and the thought of the possibility of losing him is killing me. I almost never have any sleep. I cry even in my sleep, have nightmares. How do I fix this? I’m scared that even if we do fix this, we’ll never be the same happy couple again. :(

  • Carmen

    July 13th, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    I have been with my boyfriend for a little over 6 months. I have known him for 3 years now and he has my first everything. First boyfriend, literally everything. 3 years ago when we first began to get to know each other, he hurt me really bad. He ended up hooking up with another girl twice. We weren’t together officially but the purpose was to get closer to having a real relationship. I felt so betrayed because I respected our terms and remained loyal to him but he couldn’t do the same. I left him and he kept contacting me but I wanted nothing to do with someone who only looked at me as a way to get sex and be so insensitive to disrespect me and cheat on me. 5 months later he texted me and I decided to talk to him again and slowly we began to rebuild what we had and finally are in a relationship now. At first it felt like a dream until he hurt me once more. I surprised him at his house and I found him in the living room talking to another girl. What hurt was that he completely ignored me. He gave a dry hi not even a kiss or hug. He didn’t even introduce me to the girl as his girlfriend. He went to drop her off and when he came back he came back to greet me just like he always does and that threw me off. I was convinced he was cheating on me because he even had a picture of himself and the same girl as his wallpaper. He claims until this day that she is just a friend who was there to visit his mother because she took care of her as child. I fell back into the same hole as 3 years ago. it is so hard to get back from that hurt. Ever since we had that fall out he’s like a changed man. He’s doing things for me that he’s never done. He’ll take me out on dates, cook me dinner, and most importantly, putting up with me no matter how much I seem to push him away. For me its these small things that warm my heart. He claims he’s a changed man and that he will do anything to prove to me that he really loves me. He has even told me he wishes to marry me. Even though he is doing everything in his power to show me his love I feel like I the hurt and pain has made me numb. I know I have feelings for him because just the taught of losing him makes me sick and after everything he’s done I still choose him over any other guy. I just can’t trust him fully I always feel he’ll do something to me again. He gets frustrated that I don’t trust him but he’s willing to do anything to get me to understand. He feels like I don’t show him that I love him and it makes me sad because I do but I know deep down its the hurt that’s caused me to become so guarded and cold towards him. How do I fix this? How can I put the hurt aside and go back to loving him like I use to?

  • DrDeb

    July 13th, 2014 at 8:04 PM

    Hi Melly
    It looks to me like you are taking good steps — your husb has a therapist and is getting alcohol counseling. I would add two pieces: AlAnon for you and to not have moved back so fast. You have to watch yourself very carefully not to inadvertently enable your husband. Isn’t there somewhere that HE can go now? Also, I applaud you for wanting to give a stable home to his children. You may be saving (emotionally) 4 lives. Here’s the thing: You actually don’t know who your husband IS and neither does he. If he continues with the AA or whatever special dependency counseling he has and a high quality therapist, he could make very good progress PROVIDED the rules are clear and no one (including the therapist) enables him. Why not give it 6 months and see? Can you stick it out that long?

  • DrDeb

    July 13th, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    Hi Megan,
    You have to look inside yourself honestly to figure out what made you insecure enough to lie. Something in your past? Your parents? etc.? Why not reach out to women that you meet and make new friends? If your boyfriend sees you as self-reliant and stable then it could restore his trust. Perhaps you need to work a bit on your own sense of self-esteem and self-confidence.

  • Nicole

    July 16th, 2014 at 11:54 PM

    I hear you on that. I feel the same way. Like u did. I feel really bad. How I treat my boy friend. It really hurt me so bad too. He did every thing for me and my kids. And i did this to him. I feel really bad. And now I now I want to hurry up and fix my prombles out with him. Before I lose him. And i really don’t want to lose him at all. And i really do miss him so much with all my heart and soul. And i really do miss him so much always forever. And i really do love him with all my heart and soul. And he is the most important thing in my life. And i really do love him so much. And i used to treat him like a king. And i really do miss it so much. The way I used to treat him like a king. It was my value. And i really did alot of damage to him. It was never his fault at all. It was me all the time. And i said thank you so much for everything. And i really did appreciate everything he did for me and my 3 Beautiful kids. Thank u so much.

  • Shawn

    July 17th, 2014 at 5:24 AM

    My wife was self employed for 7 years and had serious ups and downs with her income. We used to argue about her getting a job back outside the home. She was a blogger who wrote about food and parenting. Her paychecks were never steady or reliable to pay our bills on time. We got to a point where I had to start fronting her money from our rent that I paid to help buy her some time until her pay came in. She began borrowing money from me almost weekly for work expenses. One morning while waiting for the school bus to come and pick up my daughter, she came outside swearing at me that we clearly missed the bus and told me to start acting like an adult. It was very humiliating and to see the look if horror on my daughters face was hard. She has always spoken down to me in front of our kids and my family members. I asked for a sit down with her to discuss our problems. A few days prior to our meeting I emailed her a few things that were on my mind that I wanted her to think about and asked her to do the same. She did not. The meeting was not good. I asked her to please talk nicer to me when she is upset and asked her if she would start trying to play a part in my family’s lives. She does not really speak to any of them and stays behind when I take the kids to go visit them. She agrees to speak nicer but wants nothing to do with my family and will not make any further efforts. When she apoke all she said was that she feels like I don’t even like her anymore. I told her that was not true and I will make changes to that immediately. I told her I will never give up on our marriage and would never consider a divorce. She got mad and asked me why I would do that and don’t we both deserve to be happy if things can’t be fixed. That hurt me deeply to hear that divorce was even a possibility in her mind. From that day forward I changed everything in the way that I support her financially and emotionally. I took on all kinds of extra responsibility so that she could do more with her career. We began making love 3-4 times a week. Then a job opportunity came up that was 7 hours north of our home. She wanted to interview for it and asked me to take off 3 days from work so she could drive up to do so. I agreed. When she came back she began talking about me staying behind to see through the short sale on our home and eventually joining her up north. I did not like the sound of that. She wanted to leave me and our two dogs behind. I lost my job and began looking for work where her new job was. Miraculously I found a job near hers and wanted to get an apartment together. She said she could not find a place that would take animals and that we would have to live separately for a year for now. Every alarm in my heart was going off now. I knew there was a problem and she was evading me about it. When we moved out to the new area she shut me out completely. She could barely bring herself to hug me and a kiss was not even possible. She doesn’t return any I love yous or I miss yous. She said she works and is too busy. After a week if this I pressed her into telling me what was wrong and she finally said that she isn’t happy. She hasn’t given me any details as to why. I am living in a vacuum and don’t know what to do. I gave her the choice between counseling or divorce. She chose counseling and says that she wants to try and work things out. The few times I have seen her I don’t get any feeling that she misses me at all. If she can’t tell me that she loves me I am worried that counseling may not help. I don’t think you can talk someone into loving you or reason with someone to have feelings for you. She won’t start counseling for another 3 weeks because she is too busy at her new job. This situation has hurt me deeply. She swore to me that she wasn’t leaving me before we moved. I could have stopped this from happening because it is illegal to take kids more than 70 miles from their parent. I knew if I invoked that and cost her the dream job she always wanted that I was heading for a divorce for sure. So I took a leap of faith and allowed this to happen. I have been an emotional mess and fell into a depression over this. I don’t know why she didn’t jump at the opportunity for divorce when I put it on the table. That is the only thing I have to hang into as a sign of hope and that isn’t much. If we do divorce I will try to get custody of our children and that will start a war with no end. I don’t want this to happen. I am devestated that she lied to me. Can counseling help this situation or am I destined for a divorce?

  • Thomas

    July 17th, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    My fiancé who I love very much and have been together for almost 10 years and have 2 children. We both love each other very much but she has told me that she has been holding back her feelings to spare me and now she feels that she has neglected to take care if her own feelings. She tells me that she wants to stay with me but now she is in doubt on her feelings on the long term. Basically, she says she does not know right now. She also says that it does not mean she won’t stay with me but just now she is confused on how to feel. She is afraid just like me to leave each other and start over cause of AIDS and the thought of getting to know a person and hoping that they are not gonna cheat or be violent. Please help me on what to do

  • DrDeb

    July 18th, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    Hi Thomas
    If your fiance is confused, there has to be a reason. Perhaps she isn’t really confused but is afraid to admit to herself the real reason. I suggest she get counseling to help her figure this out. You don’t want to start a marriage that was wrong from the beginning. In the meantime, I also suggest you get counseling to get help on what it might be in your own personality that has presented an obstacle for your fiance. In fact, please seek a person with a degree in Marriage & Family Therapy. This is because that is the only profession that deems it fine for the same therapist to see both members of a couple alone. In this way, she or he will get a much better picture of what could be the problem.

  • DrDeb

    July 18th, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    Hi Shawn,
    Here is what I am hearing from your msg: There is a part of you that lacks empathy, is disconnected. Maybe I am wrong because it is just a letter. But I am puzzled how you can talk about “borrowing from my money” when you are married and it is both your money. Psychologically, it seems there was a disconnect right there. I am not saying her reaction was nice. It was not. Generally in cases like this BOTH people have something to learn about life. But I am focusing on you because you are the one that asked. Next, you say that if you do divorce, you will try to get custody. This also bothers me. Unless she is an unfit mother — on drugs or something– the children need both of their parents. Why wouldn’t you want shared custody? See, these things make me think that perhaps you can be controlling. Now, on top of it, you have fallen into depression. This tells me that you actually lack some of the coping skills you need. [And BTW, controlling people often do lack them; that is why they resort to pressuring others.] Anyway, please see an MFT together.

  • Phil

    July 19th, 2014 at 6:58 AM

    Hello Dr. Deb,
    My girlfriend and I recently broke up after a 3 month relationship in which there was at least one other break up. Earlier this week she said she didn’t love me anymore and that she doesn’t want to be with me ever again. I realized eventually that through out the course of the relationship I was being emotionally abusive towards her in my actions and reactions. I came to the conclusion that I was projecting my feelings towards myself on to her and that I was really hurting both of us. After futile attempts to try to get her back I’m now in place where I’m trying to increase my awareness of how I feel and my emotional intelligence. I just recently started counseling earlier this week to help achieve this.

    What concerns me right now is the fact that it had been three weeks since I spoke to her and her anger and rage only seems to be growing and she said that she’s okay with it even though she knows that it may be unhealthy to be holding on to it. I’m not sure how to feel about that, she was already dealing with her own emotional conflicts and seeing a therapist (though she is currently away for the summer) before we got together. I know that we each individually have to work on ourselves and make progress but the way she is dealing with things right now I wonder if there is a future for us. I’m not sure what to do at this point.

  • Maria

    July 19th, 2014 at 6:22 PM

    I have been in a relationship with my husband for almost 8 years and almost 6 years of being married. 3 years ago my feelings changed, and everyday since than I’ve tried to get them back. We have 2 kids together (2 and 5 years old). We never did anything before getting married ( we were forced to get married because we got knocked up) we were not ready to get married. I had everyone telling us it was the right thing to do and basically forcing us to. I know he loves me and we fight a lot. My feelings aren’t there at all. I dont feel anything when we kiss or have sex. It’s almost like I’m forcing myself to for him.. And it sucks cause I know he deserves better, But I dont want to loose my family cause my kids love us together and I know how a divorce can ruin everything… I just dont know what to do. We go to a therapist , but it breaks my heart that he wants to keep trying and I do too but I’m not feeling anything. I know he wants me to love him and show him it, but I dont feel it at all…

  • DrDeb

    July 20th, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    Hi Phil,
    First of all, why don’t you discuss this with your therapist? Second, her therapist who is away for the summer should either have put in place a way to contact her such as email, phone, or Skype, or have a substitute. There are a lot of emotions here that need to be examined, understood, regulated, and possibly changed.

  • DrDeb

    July 20th, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    Hi Maria,
    This is serious! If your therapist is not able to move from couples therapy to individual with you to help you with how you have cut off your feelings, that is a problem. A good Marriage & Family Therapist can work with both the couple or any individual in that family. It is NOT all about behavior. Feelings count! No one can live a life without them. You need to find out what it is you are hiding from yourself and then what to do about it. It does not necessarily mean you don’t love your husband. it could be a hundred things. Maybe some childhood experience got triggered. You need to investigate.

  • Rosa

    July 21st, 2014 at 7:26 AM

    My husband and I have been together for a little over a year and just recently got married. He came into my life unexpectedly. I had already been through a couple of long and unsuccessful relationships which both failed because ultimately neither of those men treated me with respect and both of them ended up being abusive in the end of each relationship…and even through all of that I never cheated or disrespected them when I was in the relationship with them. I just turned myself off, my feelings I guess. And I just let out what was necessary. After the last relationship ended I stayed like that… Not opening myself up to anyone.. Like I was living in protective mode and I planned to stay like that and not to open myself up to a chance to be hurt again. I was honestly in a bad place in my life.. Depressed and convinced that I would never be happy again. But then I met my husband.
    This relationship I have with my husband now is a completely different world for me. He came into my life when I least expected it and he brought back a part of me that I lost during all the bad times. He made me feel happy again. We have always completely open and honest with each other about everything and trust each other 100 percent which has given us the opportunity to explore things in our relationship and Recently we have been exploring some fantasies. After some talking and planning we decided to bring someone in to our sexual relationship. The plan was for it to be a purely physical thing with no emotion. Just for the fantasy and pleasure for us to share. We planned to try several different things, but the first time we did this we brought another man in. We had talked and agreed on what we were ok with… All the what ifs and everything. We were prepared… I thought. The plan for the first time was for me to be with this man and to video it. When the time came to do all this we ended up having some problems…for one, the camera did not record like planned so that part of my husbands fantasy to watch that was ruined…and on top of that the man that I was with had a little much to drink before all this started so it took a lot longer than we had planned… And I realized how long it was taking but I didn’t take the initiative to do something to stop it…I wanted to.. I tried to find a way to, but Instead I let him continue in order to not make him feel bad for the alcohol induced performance problems… And in doing that I disrespected my husbands feelings. In that moment without realizing it I hurt my husband in a way it don’t know if I can ever repair. My husband ended up getting upset and coming to interrupt to put an end to it. So now we have a big problem. My husband feels disrespected and made a fool of because I didn’t take control of the situation. And in turn he has lost all trust and respect for me. The kind of trust and respect we had is something that neither of us had ever had with anyone before and is devastating to lose. We both still love each other more than anything in the world, but that can’t survive without trust and respect. At this point I need advice on how to begin to gain his trust and respect again. I can’t blame anyone for this but myself. I don’t want to hear “you should have never done that in the first place”. That is no help. At this point what is done is done. I need help to try to fix it. Any suggestions or ideas or advice is greatly appreciated. I would appreciate no negative remarks or opinions. It’s hard enough as it is. Thank you.

  • Kim

    July 22nd, 2014 at 11:47 PM

    My husband and I married very young, he was immature and after the birth of my son I was still over weight and exhausted and didn’t take care of myself. He told me that he was not attracted to me, that he had pictured two younger girls wondering what they looked like naked. I lost a lot of weight another guys told me how good I looked…he never said one word! Several years later he was talking to my son and said that he saw a girl he had gone to school with and had he known she would end up looking like that. Now after 28 years of marriage he works with someone that he finds attractive. I have become very resentful and have a love hate relationship with him. He is being patient with me as I battle these emotions that he has created. Will I ever get over this pain of always feeling inadequate to other women in his eyes!?!?!?

  • DrDeb

    July 23rd, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    Hi Kim
    If you go to my other blog, on my website, drdeb.com, there are some articles that deal with sex, porn, and so forth. I realize that that is not your problem. However, your problem is related in the following way: Men who focus on the body have a lot of trouble focusing on the mind and spirit. They are educated in our society to turn off their deeper feelings until they are disconnected from them. The only way they can connect is through the body because the emotions have been cut off (and the mind, too). What I advise is a really, really competent therapist who will work with the two of you together to help him turn on his feelings (which means helping him overcome his early learning to turn them off). It is a painful process but rewarding at the end.

  • J

    July 25th, 2014 at 8:22 AM

    I need help…

    I made the biggest mistake of my life by cheating on my spouse. We have been together 6 years. I cut off the other person before my wife learned about the situation because I had learned that I already had everything at home I could want. I knew that I loved my wife. but the other person continued to try to contact me. Her father found out what I had done and told me He would not tell her but I needed too so I agreed that I would. But he told her before I had the chance too. So I admitted and I told my wife what had happened. She is devastated and doesn’t want anything to do with me. She says as of right now we are not together but she doesn’t know what the future holds for us. I will do absolutely anything to earn her back. She needs space she said and I am willing to give her that. But at the same time it is hard to give her that. I don’t want to lose contact with her and a kind of out of sight out of mind situation. How long do I wait to contact her or reach out to her. What can I do to earn a chance to fix what I have ruined. I am so lost without her. I take full responsibility for my actions and am deeply sorry and I will truly do anything to have a second chance with her.

  • DrDeb

    July 26th, 2014 at 7:40 PM

    Hi J
    Being sorry isn’t enough. What you did eroded trust. How can YOU be sure (let alone your wife) that you will NEVER in a hundred years do this again? What you need to do is work with a therapist who can help you (a) quickly figure out why you did this and (b) give you the tools to withstand the challenges of life going forward. Please see an MFT (Marriage & Family Therapist) who does more than just talk. Maybe a Gestalt therapist, CBT. But not a psychodynamic type as that therapy is a long-term deal. When your wife sees you as having a different attitude because of the work you’ve done, then there is a possibility she will be willing to take a chance again.

  • Cristina

    July 26th, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    I have been with my husband for over 12 years, 9 have been married. About a year and a half ago I confessed that I lied in the beginning of our relationship about the number of sexual partners I had in my past. It devastated him until he confessed he had been unfaithful earlier in the year. It was difficult at the time but we decided to stay together and try everything we could to fix our relationship. We haven’t been in love for a long time now and haven’t uttered”I life you” in all this time. We tried counseling but weren’t able to get past our distrust and our past. About 4 months ago we decided to try a separation but couldn’t stay away. We want to be with each other and fall back in love but we don’t know how. We have no children but know we want to fix our marriage. I don’t know what to do.

  • DrDeb

    July 27th, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    Hi Cristina
    My question to you, about your previous therapy: Did it focus on why there was a problem on your husband’s part with your previous sexual partners? If the problem was religious, there is such a thing as repentance and forgiveness. If the problem was your lying, then the question is: why did you feel a need to lie? Were you afraid of him? If that was part of it–and this requires soul-searching w your therapist’s help–then it is no wonder that you can’t get the love back. A husband should not be a person we are afraid of. If it was fear, then your husband has the work to do to be a different kind of presence for you. If it was not fear but your own low self esteem, then THAT is what you need to work on in therapy. You see, depending on the reasons underlying the behavior, the process of healing is different.

  • C

    July 30th, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    I have a problem. I’m pretty young 23 and so is my boyfriend, well, ex. We dated for around 6 year (not including a year that we broke up two years ago). Our relationship when we got back together two years ago was amazing. We were happier than ever before and we understood each other great and we were best friends and always talked about the future and building a life together. We were both very much in love. But then around 4 months ago I got sexually assaulted while out with a girlfriend and it left me very emotionally apart. I would hang out with him but I was never really there because I was dealing with what happened to me, and even when we would talk on the phone I would never really be listening. In the end he fell out of love and I don’t blame him. He ended up being seduced by a girl who wanted to hurt her fiancé and cheated. I myself was finally three weeks go able to work past what was done to me and I wanted to fix things with him because I didn’t want to lose someone so special to me and he broke up with me. I am devastated especially when I feel the guy who hurt me had already done enough I feel now I lost the love of my life and my best friend. I feel like I can forgive him for what he did with the girl because i know i was distant and ignored him emotionally. But he doesn’t want to give me another chance. He says its not my fault that he just wants to see what other people are like and travel. But I know that I pushed him away. I want him back and to show him that I’m the person I was before this mess happened. I don’t know what to do.

  • DrDeb

    July 30th, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    Hi C
    So let me ask you a funny question. Suppose we project into the future. Let’s say everything works out and you get married and now it years later, you are 40 and just had your breasts removed because of cancer (God forbid). Would he find you less attractive because you weren’t perfect? I’m bothered by his lack of compassion, not your lack of listening. YOU were traumatized, not him. But he made it all about him and so are you now, too. The fact that you got along so well for so long is very nice but you started out real young, too young to know how a person would handle life. And then HE cheated and he doesn’t want to give YOU another chance??? Something’s mixed up here.

  • Shena

    August 1st, 2014 at 12:19 AM

    I have been with my boyfriend for nearly two years now. We’ve bee fighting quite a bit and he broke up with me once. During that time, i became close with a guy. He fell for me and i think i have feelings for him too. But my boyfriend and i decided to try and fix things. We were on the right track, but he left for army a week after. And our relationship is still weak. I know it’s wrong, but i kept contact with the other guy and i’m so confused now. He wants me to give him a chance but i’m not sure what to do :( I can’t leave my boyriend for someone else. Eventhough he has been treating me like shit, he deserves more than that. What should i do?

  • TJ

    August 1st, 2014 at 8:54 AM

    I need help. My ex girlfriend and I just recently broke up because currently we cannot afford to live with each other and we are now states apart from each other. She wants to see other people for now and hopefully in two years when things settle down and we can both get on our feet we can see where we in life and get back together. I am currently hurting a lot and I am ok with her plan but I feel hurt, I feel like I cannot trust her anymore, and I feel betrayed. What should I do? We both still keep in contact with each other and talk daily still.

  • Marina

    August 1st, 2014 at 9:36 AM


    I’ve been engaged since January and we were happy as ever. Since I’m Brazilian we decided to have our little ceremony there with my friends and family and his parents and sister, and having a second party here in Canada for his family and friends afterwards. My mother in law showed how selfish she is since day one making a huge drama about everything. My fiance feeling guilty decided to have a huge party here before Brazil and that hid mothers happiness and needs when it came to the wedding details should come first because he was doing this for her.
    After six months of being betrayed and hurt I decoded to cancel everything and work on whatever was left of our relationship after this.
    He now realized how wrong he has been and is fully committed to change everything and to show me how he is putting me always first, no matter what.
    The problem is that I’ve been so hurt so manyttimes that now I’m discouraged of trying one more time. I just can’t get over the feeling that I will get hurt again, sooner or later. I could even start seeing my life without him but because I trully love him and because he asked for one last chance, I stay. The issue is that he wants me to be fully committed and upbeat and in a happy place with this and I’m not. I’m still hurt and seeing him as a five year old boy, not a man.
    Will I ever be able to get over this and look at him with the same eyes I used to?

  • DrDeb

    August 1st, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    Hi Shena
    Of course, I don’t know your complete situation, but I’m getting the sense that what’s mixing you up is that you (and maybe your boyfriend) have confused the excitement of first getting to know someone with real love. Romantic love feels great but it only works well–and long term–with the right person. The right person loves you for who you are including all the irritating things that will come to annoy him 20 years from now. That’s true love. So you have the wonderful feeling of being the object of interest but that doesn’t substitute for true love. First thing to do is to have a frank discussion with your real boyfriend about his mistreatment. He has to commit to making changes or getting help if he can’t figure out how to treat a woman by himself. Can you talk while he is in the military or is he overseas? Naturally, being separated, he will probably long for you so anything he commits to now has to be re-discussed when he is with you. Then with the second guy, the truth is, you don’t know him well enough to know if he would be a better match for you, so you can’t make any assumptions. For sure though, do not start a new relationship when you’re in an old one. It is not only confusing but doesn’t make you look very good to the second one, let alone the original boyfriend.

  • Tina

    August 2nd, 2014 at 7:58 AM

    I have been dating for my boyfriend for a little bit but he was married for 13 years to this woman that really hurt him. He just started telling me that I cam do so much better than him and that he is scared of anything because of what she did. I really don’t know what to do. He has kids and I have a kid. They all get a long great and my daughter really likes him. I’m starting to get a lot of feelings for him and he told me to get rid of my feelings because he doesn’t know what to do since she hurt him. He told me that he can’t go through something like that again. I just don’t know what to do. How can I get him to trust me and show him that I’m not going to hurt him. To top it off I met his mom and she doesn’t like me. I introduced my self to her and all I get is an attitude from her and she makes it very uncomfortable.

  • DrDeb

    August 2nd, 2014 at 10:30 PM

    Hi TJ
    Well, I am puzzled. If she really loves you, why does she want to date other people? If she is not sure, then being in different states will not help. Perhaps she is not sure how to tell you it’s over? Perhaps she is just immature or selfish? I can’t tell without more information.

  • DrDeb

    August 2nd, 2014 at 10:35 PM

    Hi Marina,
    You’re asking a good question. Generally, people don’t change in their deepest core too readily. If he is afraid of his mother or of feeling guilty because of what she says, then he would need to work hard on getting over that — and that piece is difficult. If he wants you to be upbeat and happy under these circumstances, then he is really out of touch. May I suggest you go to a couples therapist so as to (a) help him understand you and (b) develop the strength to gently point out to his mom that your relationship comes first.

  • DrDeb

    August 2nd, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    Hi Tina,
    Maybe this man married his mother the first time? Interesting that he has a not-nice mother and an ex-wife that was not nice. I am sure readers of this blog may be tired of hearing me say “therapy” so much, but I’ll say it again: I would like to recommend couples therapy. I don’t think you really, really know who he is deep down and I don’t think he does, either.

  • beth

    August 4th, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    I just found this website searching for links to help save my marriage. My Husband and I have been together for 12 years and married for 9. We have 4 children. Recently he got a job that would cause us to move away from our home town, family and friends. He moved four months before us, I was scared to move and told him I wasnt sure if I wanted to move or to be with him. I was unsure about our relationship because its has has its ups and downs. I didnt want to move away and be alone while dealing with issues in our relationship. This hurt him so much, id never seen him act this way. He was desperate to have his family and told me everything I ever wanted to hear. He promised to our children things would be better and to me. Two months later right before we moved he told me he had found a girlfriend there and didnt love me. We I thought worked through it and I moved our family there. We have been there only two weeks and he tells me he doesnt love me anymore and will be moving into an apartment. He wants me and our children to stay so he can see them daily. Im devistated and cant imagine his feelings have gone from being madly in love to having no love in two months. I would do anything to have him back I love him so much and with everything we have been through I cant imagine him calling it quits. He says it is not because of a nother woman but I cant imagine why he would feel the need to move out after two weeks of living together again. Basically I dont know where to go from here and I cant imagine breaking my childrens heart and telling them we moved our lives to be a family and daddy is now moving out.

  • Carmen

    August 7th, 2014 at 7:58 AM

    I have been with my boyfriend for a little over 6 months. I have known him for 3 years now and he has my first everything. First boyfriend, literally everything. 3 years ago when we first began to get to know each other, he hurt me really bad. He ended up hooking up with another girl twice. We weren’t together officially but the purpose was to get closer to having a real relationship. I felt so betrayed because I respected our terms and remained loyal to him but he couldn’t do the same. I left him and he kept contacting me but I wanted nothing to do with someone who only looked at me as a way to get sex and be so insensitive to disrespect me and cheat on me. 5 months later he texted me and I decided to talk to him again and slowly we began to rebuild what we had and finally are in a relationship now. At first it felt like a dream until he hurt me once more. I surprised him at his house and I found him in the living room talking to another girl. What hurt was that he completely ignored me. He gave a dry hi not even a kiss or hug. He didn’t even introduce me to the girl as his girlfriend. He went to drop her off and when he came back he came back to greet me just like he always does and that threw me off. I was convinced he was cheating on me because he even had a picture of himself and the same girl as his wallpaper. He claims until this day that she is just a friend who was there to visit his mother because she took care of her as child. I fell back into the same hole as 3 years ago. it is so hard to get back from that hurt. Ever since we had that fall out he’s like a changed man. He’s doing things for me that he’s never done. He’ll take me out on dates, cook me dinner, and most importantly, putting up with me no matter how much I seem to push him away. For me its these small things that warm my heart. He claims he’s a changed man and that he will do anything to prove to me that he really loves me. He has even told me he wishes to marry me. Even though he is doing everything in his power to show me his love I feel like the hurt and pain has made me numb. I know I have feelings for him because just the taught of losing him makes me sick and after everything he’s done I still choose him over any other guy. I just can’t trust him fully I always feel he’ll do something to me again. He gets frustrated that I don’t trust him but he’s willing to do anything to get me to understand. He feels like I don’t show him that I love him and it makes me sad because I do but I know deep down its the hurt that’s caused me to become so guarded and cold towards him. How do I fix this? How can I put the hurt aside and go back to loving him like I use to?

  • Sabrena

    August 9th, 2014 at 1:32 AM

    hie am a 25 years old woman I have been in a relationship with a man for 30months. I met this man early 2012 we were staying in the same complex things started all as a joke ad time went on I was advise that he was married I asked him he refused and as time went on I literally believed him as he will stays here in Pretoria but his family is from Mpumalanga. so I told myself that if he is married I will see his wife coming time went on I feel inlove with him he used to go to Mpumalanga 2 weekends a month I never minded as he had a daughter there who her mum passed on. In 2013 I went to a funeral with him I got a chance to be introduced to his family member all went well. He gave me a right to go to Mpumalanga if I want to and I never really bothered as I trusted him. He asked me to move in with him I refused as I didn’t want to tush into things we recently had a baby all was good he is still asking me to move in but I can’t. 3weeks ago I discovered he has a another woman there in Mpumalanga what must I do.

  • Anna

    August 10th, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    Hello DrDeb,

    My boyfriend and I have been together for 5 years. Just in June we were looking at engagment rings. Then in July I found out I didn’t get into a grad program I had my heart set on. That same week I also didn’t get a job I wanted. I was really upset and got pretty angry. I wanted my boyfriend to comfort me but since he didn’t know what to do and I didn’t tell him what I wanted things got bad. I felt like he didn’t care when he just didn’t know how to react. This ended in me storming out of his apartment and leaving my promise ring there. It’s now august and things aren’t any better. He says I really hurt him when I did that and he doesn’t know how to get around it. He’s even thinking about ending everything. I love him so much and I’m so angry this has snowballed. Do you have any advice?

  • DrDeb

    August 10th, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    Hi Beth,
    Your story is contradictory. First you say you weren’t sure you even wanted to continue the relationship. Then, after he promises everything and you move, and he does not love you any more, now you love him so much. Are your feelings really love or fear of loss? Fear of being alone? And the same question can be asked of his up and down feelings. What I’m thinking is that you don’t know who you are let alone who he is — and he has the same problem. I hate to keep saying “therapy” in this column but I guess that’s why God created therapists.

  • DrDeb

    August 10th, 2014 at 6:54 PM

    Hi Carmen,
    I’m not sure that it is right of you to expect yourself to sweep this dust under the carpet. I’m still stuck back at the moment you walked into his LR and he did not hug and kiss you and say to the other girl, “Here is my girlfriend, Carmen.” And why was she his wallpaper if she just came to visit his mother? Marriage is not for cheats and liars. Until these funny things get 110% cleared up, I would not trust him no matter how nice he is to you.

  • DrDeb

    August 10th, 2014 at 6:57 PM

    Hi Sabrena,
    It looks like this guy is having fun seeing how many women he can keep on the side. You do not need this. This is not a real relationship; this is someone taking advantage of you. Have more pride in yourself and your value than that.

  • DrDeb

    August 10th, 2014 at 7:01 PM

    Hi Anna,
    Somewhere in your life, anger was acceptable. But it isn’t, especially at the wrong object. Your boyfriend didn’t cause you to not get into the grad program of get the job. When outside circumstances like that happen, it’s a signal for you to think: How can I improve myself? instead of getting angry. That said, now I strongly urge you to get therapy to figure out where the anger came from and most importantly, how to look at Life in a healthier way so you don’t get angry, especially not at innocent people. If you see a marriage & family therapist who is skilled at anger issues, then you can eventually bring him into the therapy so he can see that you are, indeed, working on yourself and this won’t happen in the future.

  • vicky

    August 12th, 2014 at 12:13 AM

    I’m im a relationship for 2 years now. My problem is that my bfriend can get very angry and says a lot of thinks that hurts and because he knows me it hurts bad. One day I was at work and he got angry – not because if me, but he wanted to take it on me on the phone. When I came back he locked me outside the doors and I couldn’t get in. He was still arguing and I phoned the police. They took him to the police station to sober up and calmed down. Now he doesn’t speak to me and says it’s my fault because I put him in the box for few hours. I do love him and I know it hurt him, but i still want to fight for us. Anything I can do? I would appreciate any advise

  • Jess

    August 12th, 2014 at 7:10 AM

    I found this website while researching my complicated relationship with my husband of 2 years. We met online as friends 5 years ago and fell in love. We dedicated everything to be with each other as we lived separated by the Pacific ocean. Finally in 2 years ago he proposed and set into plan moving to live with me. However, I still lived with my parents after being sick for many years. Meeting my husband had set me in motion into becoming a independent, healthy individual after 10 years of neglecting myself. His love saved me. My parents loved him and had no problem with us living in their house while we set up our lives together. BUT, living with my parents for so long showed the worse side of me. A side my husband hadn’t seen and didn’t like. I was stubborn and got irritated easily, a trait that I now know was conditioned from living with my father who shows the exact same attitude.
    We had fights often, usually from a small disagreement that always blew up into a massive arguement that left us bitter as we always said hurtful things. But we seemed to make up everytime.
    We moved out a year after being married and finally had our own place. Things seemed great but I didn’t see my husband slowly moving emotionally away from me. It all blew up on my birthday this year. It was our most violent fight. I had developed a headache just before we were meant to go out for the night so I was in bed. Something just snapped in my husband and he tipped out of the bed suddenly, knocking my bedside table over in the process. I was scared and acted in fear by shouting at him and hitting him on his back repeatedly saying that being his wife didn’t give him the right to treat me like that. I was ready to leave him that night, but I stayed as he quietly told me everything he had been keeping from me.
    He told me he wasn’t attracted to me, certain features of me physical and my personality he hated. He hated the arguements and most of all he felt I had betrayed his trust.
    I was so lost and confused. I was sure this was the end of my marriage, there was no fixing this this time. Promises wouldn’t be enough. Somehow, we sat down and talked and moved on but now there was a wall between us. We kept to our routines; he would kiss me when leaving for work sbd let me hug him but the warmth was gone.
    I did a lot of research and listening to my husband and he continually spoke out every thought to me on why he wasn’t attracted to me anymore and how I would react if he cheated or he left. It hurt a lot but I listened and answered honestly any questions he wanted from me.
    I decided to lock away my feelings for this time period, crying or feeling sorry for myself wouldn’t help my marriage.
    It wasn’t until I found this website that I realised what had happened to my husband and me. I was always confused when he said I had betrayed him. After reading this article I know now that my unfulfilled promises of improving myself had hurt him deeply. We had made promises to each other the first day we met physically; both of us vowed to get in shape and improve ourselves. My husband felt he had fulfilled his part but I was slacking with my end. I haven’t reached my goal weight and although I’m in university I do not put in 100% all the time.
    After reading this article I have a deeper insight into how I hurt my husband. I was naive in thinking that not reaching my goals wouldn’t hurt anyone.
    I’m writing this to say that the advice on this website worked. Everything began to fall into place as I showed my husband my motivation to be that better person I promised to him. He slowly opened back up to me and after 4 months I got a “I love you” from him, which frankly shocked me into speechlessness. After so long keeping my feelings locked up, it felt great to show him how much I still loved him.
    Since then we gave gone strength to strength, our love life is better than it ever was and we barely argue at all. I feel a lot of my bad habits of being stubborn or misunderstanding have gone and I have beem rewarded with my efforts through this tough time by a husband who tells me I look prettier every passing day.
    I hope this brings some encouragement to others in difficult relationships situtations and to listen to DrDeb. I never would have gotten to this point in my marriage without this revelation, thank you.

  • sue

    August 12th, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    Since the last two weeks in April my husband has been spending the weekends with his female friend. She had lost he fiance and has been in and out of the hospital and has had to move back in with her parents…he’s been right by her side. He even went to florida for a few days with her because she didn’t want to go by herself. I had even suggested us all hanging out together. There was always some excuse not to include me. Posting selfies all over facebook it looks like something else is going on as if they are dating. I don’t have a problem with platonic friendships of the opposite sex but after 10 weekends I told my husband how I felt…I explained to him that he had stopped doing “the little things” and that I wanted to spend time with him. He said he had not realized that and we discussed having a date night. So a friday he went to see her at the hospital not letting me go with him, he stayed the night in the hospital with her and that saturday made plans for him and i to go out to dinner & movie. Several hours had passed since we had made the plans and had not heard from him so i sent him a text. He said that they were at the pharmacy then going to see a movie…he said we could do out date on sunday…i was so mad and hurt. I felt like she was more important than me…needless to say we got into an arguement and he didn’t have date with me sunday instead took her fishing. With all the posts on facebook, i see him doing things with her that he should be doing with me…
    A male friend that i’ve known 17 years was visiting from out of state as his sister was in hospital…i had lunch with him twice, both times letting my husband know…but after the cancelled date for him to take here to the movies i was mad…i took a day off from work to clear my head…i asked my male friend if he wanted to ride down to the beach with me…after swimming at the beach we went back to my parents camper to shower and get cleaned up…i watched a little tv and when the show went off i went outside until my male friend was out of the shower and dressed…and while i was showering and dressing he was outside on his phone but had come back in before i was done. I did not exit the bathroom until i was fully dressed. I fixed my hair or it will tangle and we left for home. I was wrong not to tell my husband my friend was going with me…but others knew and had told him. I didn’t tell my husband because i was still mad at him. I finally told him several days later…but it was too late because he thinks i cheated and i did not. I didn’t tell him i went outside when my friend was showering. At the time i told him and we were arguing he would not let me talk without shooting down everything i said and still accused me of cheating. I tried explaining what i did and giving him more details of me being outside…he sees it as having two stories and still believes i cheated. He still doesn’t see him doing anything wrong by spending all his time with his female friend. It’s been over a month now…nearly two…he continues to spend his weekends with her and maybe a night during the week…he says he doesn’t trust me and still thinks i cheated…nothing i do seems to help…he doesn’t know whether to stay or go…and i want so much to fight for our marriage. I never cheated.

  • sue

    August 12th, 2014 at 9:26 PM

    I want to know how to be able or if I’m even able to regain the love that I once had for my partner? This person cheated on me many times, but I was still there by them when they were going through their addictions and trying to fight them. Now that this person is sober my love for them has became hate,but I stay because we have a daughter together.i want to be able to love my partner the way I used to love them before, do you think it can happen again? Please help

  • DrDeb

    August 13th, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    Hi Vicky
    Why are you more concerned about the pain you caused your boyfriend than the pain he caused you? If we don’t take care of ourselves, why would we expect others to take care of us? When you get on a plane, they tell you, if you’re traveling w a child and the O2 needs to come down, put it on yourself first or you will pass out and then you and the child will lose oxygen. Does that make sense to you? my question for you to think about is: When will you start protecting yourself from verbal abuse? Dump the guy if he is more concerned for himself than you. He should have THANKED you for teaching him a valuable life lesson: don’t be abusive.

  • aran

    August 14th, 2014 at 4:25 AM

    I loved my girlfriend Tanya but whilst I was going through a rough time I spoke to another girl and it relived my stress and made me feel happy.I thought I started to get feelings for this girl (it wasn’t I just liked talking)and I told my gf. But I love my gf and she left me and she says she can’t trust me anymore but that she still loves me. What can I do?

  • tyler

    August 14th, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    I’ve have recently become aware of how abusive I have been to my gf. I judged and shamed and manipulated her without really even thinking about it. I love her deeply and I know what I have to do to change, but we’ve been over this ground before.

  • teri

    August 14th, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    IIve been in a relationship for 7 years . I cheated a couple of times n i was also women enough to let him know. But what i wana knw how can a man says he love u but when u ask.him ? S he dosent respond about anything serious anyway. If u talk about muve he can hear n everything else. Y is that ? N i told him if he cant open up its over n he said olewell thats something that i cant do. What.kind of stuff is that i been dealing wit it for a while n nw im juz fed up.

  • DrDeb

    August 15th, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    Hi Aran
    People use all kinds of methods to relieve stress which are not healthy: addictions, OCD, flirting, etc. First thing you should do is learn healthy stress relievers like working out, yoga, meditation. I’m not kidding. Once you are more able to cope with stress, you can tell your gf you took this thing seriously and have actually done something about it. If she still won’t trust you, then you can go to couples counseling to re-build trust.

  • DrDeb

    August 15th, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    Hi Tyler
    It is super important to totally get past the verbal abuse. You can read my book – on my website is a description of it [drdeb.com] – but the key is to understand your own family and how their behavior influenced you so you know exactly what to avoid when the situations come up in your life. This is possible by reading a book but counseling may be best because (in my opinion) a person who is abusive was also abused and therefore needs HEALING from it himself.

  • DrDeb

    August 15th, 2014 at 2:24 PM

    Hi Teri
    That’s how men were raised in our culture — hide your feelings so YOU don’t even know what they are. Be a man and stuff it. That happens to be a bad idea but our society works that way. It keeps me in business ;-)

  • princy

    August 16th, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    My boyfriend hurts himself when we fight and he cant hurt or hit me so that he hurts himself. What does it explain? What kind of man he is??

  • Someone

    August 17th, 2014 at 10:24 PM

    I have someone that I love her with whole my heart and she is into drug. I just wanna know how can I show her there is nothing above love. After that drug thing I am so confused and I really don’t know what I do. I know one thing for sure love never fails. Why the hell people prefer drug over someone who really love and heart? I am so upset and I don’t even know what can I do. I try to talk with her with different apps she talk with me for-awhile and she either uninstall the app or block me for no reason. All I say I love her. Please help me what should I do.

  • Craig R

    August 19th, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    I live with my girlfriend of 8 years and she says she loves me and wants to be with me but she never shows it, living with her is a nightmare, we Dont communicate, we are never intimate, she never listens to me when i tell her how much its effecting my state of mind, i feel so low ATM that i feel like ending my life. What can i do?

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team

    August 19th, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    Thank you for your comment, Craig. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at http://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html

    Warm regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • mersy

    August 19th, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    I have been married for 10 years, i say I because i was technically the only one who acted as if i was married. there was Cheating,verbal abuse, drug use, and been an absent and irresponsable father. 7 years i found myself heartbroken with 3 kids. i didn’t know what to do because his drinking was out of hand and the kind of trouble he was getting into made me worry about all of us. i was exhausted by the fact that nothing seemed to change no matter how much i tried and i had so much on my plate, i was emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted. i tried everything to make things change and work. i was in this case the giver and he the taker, i understand now that i played a role in him just taking everything and giving me nothing. i was raised to have a united family and divorce was not something i initially saw as been an option. finally 1 month before our 9th year anniversary i had enough after him coming home wasted and getting aggresive with me. i left him for a year, during that year he became more responsable got a better job that he was motivated about and he was giving the kids a real dad. He begged me to give him another chance,he acted different towards me as well and although i missed nothing about our relationship i decided to give it another try since i had never seperated from him before i thought this maybe the one thing that would make him change. we are 9 months back together, he has taken 4 trips by himself with his cousins and friends, i found out he was doing cocaine with his aunt on my birthday and he recently went out and stayed who knows where because he did not come. these are all things i had told him i would not ever be ok with again, i took too much before and i told myself i would never tolerate this again. He has made some changes but this things are completely unacceptable. how do i put my efort into this when he still doing thinbgs that shattered the little trust and respect i had gained?? how will he know when enoguh is enough if i stay? i feel i’m cheating myself by staying and i’m not in love anymore. i’m full of anxiety because i feel i may have to make a decision once gain.

  • DrDeb

    August 19th, 2014 at 5:26 PM

    Hi Craig & Good Therapy Team-
    Thank you, Team for keeping an eye out here. I’m honored that so many people have posted but I can’t get so quickly to each one.
    Craig, please don’t take into yourself your gf’s behavior. This is HER way and her problem. If this is not the type of personality for you – if she’s too cold – you are entitled to your feelings. Consider ending this relationship – NOT your life.

  • DrDeb

    August 19th, 2014 at 5:29 PM

    Hi Someone,
    Why do you love a person who is avoiding you? Do you have a fantasy of being her rescuer? That is not healthy. You will not succeed against the drugs. People get into drugs because they can’t tolerate the emotional pain inside. That pain started with their childhoods. Only therapy can fix that.

  • DrDeb

    August 19th, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    Hi Princy,
    Your bf hurting himself sounds pretty serious. Can you get him to see a therapist?

  • DrDeb

    August 19th, 2014 at 7:09 PM

    Hi Jess,
    Thank you so much for your praise, but I have to tell you: it is YOU who took it seriously and applied it. That is all to YOUR credit.
    Best of luck going forward!

  • DrDeb

    August 19th, 2014 at 7:14 PM

    Hi Sue#1
    Although your post is long, I feel like there is stuff missing from it. I’m thinking something must have been going wrong in your relationship in the first place for your husband to just drop you like that to take care of this friend. I just don’t get where he’s coming from. That said, we learned in school that two wrongs don’t make a right. Even though you didn’t actually cheat with this male friend, what you did sounds like spite — and that is not healthy for a marriage. Instead of fighting, you really needed to understand what was up with him. Was he just no longer interested in the marriage? Why weren’t you supposed to join him and the girl? Very fishy to me.

  • Amelia G

    August 20th, 2014 at 2:53 AM


    My relationship is of almost 4 years and hasn’t been going great recently. I sensed to late that something has been off with him and by the time I instinctively realized the emotional damage I must’ve done to him I also felt that he might have fallen out of love with him. He admitted it after I asked if he’s not in love with me any longer. I asked him if he wanted space and he agreed, saying he needs time alone and he will call when/if he’s ready to talk to me. I feel that I needed the space too for my own healing. The thing is, I know what he’s going through because I fell out of love with him as well a longer while back, but regained it again, a new deeper love, over time through both his unknowing efforts and mine (I didn’t let him know of it). I am wondering if it is wise to let him know now of my past experience while we are having our time apart. Or if we should even have this time spent for ourselves in the first place.

  • kristal

    August 20th, 2014 at 7:23 PM

    I seen a counselor Tuesday and explained how im almost 6months pregnant, ive been with my bf 14months and I feel very little support. We dont get a long most of the time, we argue because he can discipline my kids but I cant even look at his the “wrong” way without it being a diaster. I have three kids of my own 7 and undet who are not his and he has two 13 and 10. Im on a leave of absence from work until 6 weeks after my pregnancy due to anxiety. The only income I have is child support which I cant always count on. In the 14months hes pretty much lived here has only helped me a handful of times with bills. He clams I knew his money situation when he moved in which is correct but I told him I really need his help now that im off work, and he still has not stepped up. A lot of the times we fight he packs his stuff up and is gone about a day or so. I miss him he misses me he comes back and the argument s over bills and his kids happen all over again. He also has a habitat of accusing me of cheating which ive never done or given him a reason to be that way we also fight over that. I dont even like being around his kids any more because I know it will cause an argument. Idk if I should see this counselor again on monday or not, Iwanted someone to help me help myself but help me work on my rrelationship. Please help!

  • Marshall B

    August 21st, 2014 at 12:09 AM

    I’ve been married to my wife for 10 years now. I love her dearly, but fear im not in love with her anymore.

    First, let me say, she had a traumatic childhood and suffers from depression, and just within the past year has been getting professional help.

    In the first four years of our marriage, she had multiple online affairs. One of which killed a friendship with a guy i’ve known since childhood. Another, which got so serious she stayed with her sister, for over a few months, so she could focus on a relationship with a guy that lived on the other side of the country. (with many racy messages and pics, that linger in my mind) I still loved and missed her so much. After pleading with her almost daily to come home, one day she did. They secretly stayed in contact for a while longer. But eventually ended with drawn out, heart felt goodbyes to one another. Which felt like my already broken heart had been shredded.
    Soon after that, she broke down, genuinely apologized and begged for forgiveness. I forgave her, or so I thought.

    Things were going pretty well after that. We soon had a child, and bought a house.
    Naturally or unnaturally, the new baby in our life led to decreased intimacy. Soon, my wifes traumatic childhood experiences really start coming to the surface and depression worsens, she starts seeing a therapist and taking medication. Which I fully support. Due to the meds, the sparse intimacy has now turned non existent.

    Meanwhile, one day a few months ago (I think while at therapy) she ran into a friend she hadn’t seen since before we married. They started chatting a bit online, and over the past few months, have become, in my wifes words, best friends. Her internet actions are very reminiscent of the previous affair, so i start snooping her messages a bit. I read messages that I felt were inappropriate, and confronted her about them. She claims they are innocent, “friends tell friends, I love you all the time”, she says. Which I agree with, but still feel its inappropriate for a married woman to be saying to another man. Then last week she told him she was crazy about him. I felt so disrespected. I felt like i fell out of love with her when I read that. And I told her that. She claims it was a joke. We had a long talk, and agreed that we have been emotionally drifting over the past few years. And that we wanted to be in love with each other again. We stayed up hours really talking. it was good.
    Now Monday, two days ago, they saw each other at therapy again. I dont know if it was planned or not, doesn’t matter. But,they kissed. I came home from work and told my wife that was it. I was done. She claims it was like a “science experiment” to see if she could feel anything.
    I threatened to get custody of our son and I wanted her out of the house. I was in shock I think, I think im still in shock. Later the same night, after we put our son to bed, in my mind, I’ve convinced myself that there was enough negativity in the world, and that I didn’t want to contribute to that, and this was the woman I vowed to cherish forever, so I passionately kissed and made love to my wife right there. Despite the meds she’s taking, reached orgasm for the first time since starting them. She then, in front of me, sent him a text that said, they couldn’t be friends anymore, shes wants her family. Then Tuesday morning she told me she sent him a message on facebook, “to make sure he got the message, and that she needed to know there was closure between them, and that they were done”

    I dont know what to make of it. I feel like such a fool no matter what happens next. Despite my attempts, no progress towards strengthening anything was made today.

    Im so confused, lonely and lost right now.
    I dont want to lose my wife or my son to lose his mother.
    she’s a beautiful person inside and out and I love her so much. But it dont know what to do.

    I apologize for the lengthy post.
    I have no one to talk to, and I had to let it out.

  • SBM

    August 21st, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    I have been divorced for two years and separated for three. Dated some but nothing serious. Seven months ago, a man that I knew messages me and we began talking. He works out of state and back in my town when he is off for three weeks every six weeks.
    We spoke daily and text for a month before we agreed to see one another. We were friends in high school and are both 45.
    He has never been married and had no kids. I have three. He had a five year relationship with a woman married several times, very needy, spent a lot of his money and would reel him back in using her kids or her problems. Two years ago he left got counseling and blocked everything so he could focus n himself. Dated very little until me.
    We hit it off instantly. Talked and laughed and have a lot in common. We began to get serious and the minute we did…she strikes and begins the whole suicide bit. He falls for it. Open with his communication with her. Tells her about me. Then now he has been saying he feels overwhelmed with the responsibility of a future with me as he has never had it. He loves me and won’t say leave or he’s done. He will say he loves me and that my life is so normal and this is healthy but his friends tell me that he finds reasons to leave as I am not needy enough for him and that I may be almost a threat to him because it is easier to save this manipulative woman as she will kick him to the curb until her next drama.
    Aside from that…we are friends and I would like to at least help him see that not everybody leaves and not everybody is out to use and hurt you. I genuinely love this man. My kids do as well. Mim close to his mother as I am his circle of friends who will not have anything to do with the old girlfriend as she has screwed them to. He just says if I block her and she kills herself then I will never forgive myself
    But need brutal honesty.

  • shelly

    August 23rd, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    You have the same story as I do. He left me a few weeks ago to go live with someone he reconnected with over Facebook from years ago. He told me to file for divorce the other day, two days after he asked if I would take him back.my heart is breaking all day long over this.

  • tamiko

    August 24th, 2014 at 4:58 AM

    Hi dr, I’m so deeply in love with a guy I meet online, but we never met yet personal, because we are staying in different provinces. he’s a businessman and his business is demanding him too much, we only communicate over the phone and chat on social networks. its been three months doing this, but I can’t take it anymore. It hurt my feelings so bad that I can’t spend time with him. I cry every time I speak to him. He is trying hard to make time but the business doesn’t give him a break. please help me what should I do.

  • Shelly

    August 26th, 2014 at 8:11 AM

    I lived common law with a man for 6 years, he told me in June he was not coming home and would not be coming back. We had a good relationship. I realize now I pushed him to do some things he did not want to do and did not respect or consider him like I should have. I have been doing alot of soul searching. I am far from perfect but I love him and really want him back. Is it possoble and whar should I do

  • Cindy

    August 27th, 2014 at 6:57 AM

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for 3 years, and in the past I cheated on him, I kissed this guy because I felt like I wasn’t getting attention from my boyfriend, I know it was wrong and I wish I could take it back. My boyfriend got back at me and when he went to Peru he cheated on me as well. We broke up afterward for 4 months, within those months we managed to talk, we ended up getting back together, we love eachother and it was one mistake that I will never do again. We’ve been fighting a lot lately because he says I need to change the way I am, and to gain his trust. He says I don’t act like a girlfriend sometimes and that hurts. I never know what to do, he says I don’t comfort him, that he’s tired for the past three years he’s done everything, he puts my feelings first and as a girlfriend all of this should be an instinct, I should know what to do and say as a girlfriend.

  • Cindy

    August 27th, 2014 at 7:00 AM

    Also, I told him I don’t do anything. I don’t talk to guys I don’t want to become friends with any new guys that I’ve done nothing wrong for him to not trust me a little bit. He says that I don’t do anything for his to trust me, what am I suppose to do? This is what I don’t know, I don’t know how to change, I want to because I love my boyfriend and I hate to see him feel like this, it’s my fault and I want to make everything right

  • DrDeb

    August 27th, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    Hi Cindy
    Often we go into a relationship looking for all the validation, nurturing, warmth and support that parents didn’t give us. If parents had given these things to us growing up, then we would feel self-confident and brimming with love to give out to the person we are with. Instead, when we start a relationship in a state of being somewhat on “empty” then instead of looking for what we can give to the other person, we are always feeling in some way neglected and missing something. The truth is that a boyfriend or husband can never give to us what our parents didn’t give – it would never be enough. We really have to start giving what we missed to ourselves. We have to start telling ourselves that we are a good person, that we were born to give the world something special, that life is meant for us to be happy with, and so forth. Then, when our bucket is “full” it is easier not to count: did he do this for me? did he do that? well, I did X, why didn’t he do Y? This is the EXACT reason for cheating. Once our bucket is feeling full, we will want to give everything: our time, our attention, etc.

  • DrDeb

    August 27th, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    Hi Shelly
    Sometimes we get challenges in life that are very painful but they actually lead to something positive. the fact that this whole bad situation caused you this soul searching and it made you realize you didn’t treat your bf well is very good for you. Use that new knowledge in positive ways with your friends and family, people you work with and so on. The word could get out that you have made changes!

  • Amber

    August 27th, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    Hello Dr. Deb…
    My boyfriend and I started talking a little over a year ago. We were “together”, but not technically, for a while due to the fact that I was staying with my mom a few hours away. When I came into town to celebrate my birthday he asked me to be his girlfriend and things took off in the best way from there, at least at first. We clicked on a level I’ve never felt before, and I don’t think he’d ever felt anything like it either. I decided not to go back to my mom’s after that (for many reasons, though I will admit he was one of them) and I stayed with family for a few weeks until he convinced me to stay with him and his cousin. We had our petty fights, but nothing serious until we had a pregnancy scare. We talked about what we would do if I was and he kept pushing me to consider abortion, but although I support a woman’s right to her own body I couldn’t fathom the idea at first. I went to the doctor to find out for sure and I was. When I finally gave in to the idea, we couldn’t find the money. So we bounced around a little after until we managed to find our own apartment. We started fighting a lot more, partly due to how unfairly needy and emotional I know I’ve been, and partly because he feels trapped in a life he was not ready for. I’m now 5 weeks from my due date and he recently said that because of how I’ve been acting due to the pregnancy and because this isn’t what he wanted at this point, he’s falling out of love with me. He isn’t trying to leave, or make me leave, or not be there for our son. He just says he doesn’t have it in him to make the relationship part work with how drained he feels he’s already become emotionally and how much he’s working now to make sure we can take care of the baby financially. This is confusing to me because we haven’t actually “broken up” and he still shows me some affection on occasion, we still get intimate, and I even get that glimpse of love in his eyes I used to see all the time, but only for a moment. The thing is, I can’t do this without him. I love him deeply and genuinely and I know I am partly at fault for him feeling this way (like his needs don’t matter, like he never did enough, like I can’t accomplish the tasks he sees as so important, etc), but I don’t know how to try and start the process of fixing it. I know I’m going to have to take the initiative and hopefully he’ll see how hard I’m trying and follow suit. I know I can’t force him, but if I can show him how hard I’m trying to better myself and become the person he keeps saying he believes I can be, and how willing I am to do everything to make this work, is there a chance I can bring him back to me? I feel that this is the best option, seeing as neither of us deserves to live awkwardly and miserably in the same house trying to raise a baby together, but alone, and neither of us intends to leave. Not only that, but I don’t think I could handle it with how much I care for him. Being so close, yet so far… So how do I get him saying “I’m in love with you,” instead of “I love you, but I don’t know if its that way anymore”?

  • Rachel L

    September 1st, 2014 at 10:31 PM

    Hey Marshall, I think you sound like a man who is truly dedicated to his wife. You made my night truly, I dont even know how I came across this lol…but im here and im reading this thread and I want you to know that you are so wonderfully kind. So much that your wife has taken full advantage of just how sweet, loving, forgiving and kind you are. She has issues but I wouldnt stand for that, she is knowingly hurting you and she needs to work on herself. She needs individual counseling. Falling out of love was the result of your wife’s rotten behavior. You can do better. You have a lot of love in her heart. Save it for the right woman. Marriage or no marriage ya cant really get over it once your spouse wants to look elsewhere.

  • Bambi

    September 2nd, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    Me and my best friend have friends for almost 10 years we’ve had are ups and down but still remained best friend. About 3 and a half years ago I lied to her about my brother dying. I wanted her sympathy becuz I have falling in love with her about a year passed and she finally told me she loved me and I was so happy I forgot about the lie and we been dating for more than 2 years and then the lie came out and I confessed the lie and now our relationship is on the rock because of the lie. She hasn’t left but she has said she’s hurt and that she don’t know if she can ever feel the same way about me again. I don’t want this relationship to end I’m so in love with her that it’s killing me that things aren’t the same. What can I do to get her back?

  • cindee

    September 2nd, 2014 at 11:21 PM

    Hi, the first 2 months of my relationship with my bf, i like him a lot because he know how to treat a woman, and he is very blunt and direct with what he want and how he feel. But he did not feel the same way in the begining of our relationship, which i can understand why. I have 2 kids under the age of 5 and he was not ready to be a “stepfather”, so i stop myself from liking him more than i should. 7 months into the relationship he confessed he is really into me and that he could say he love me. Unfortunately, i cannot say the same. I do like him a lot but i don’t love him or feel that i love him. Is this normal to feel this way?

  • Tim

    September 3rd, 2014 at 5:56 AM

    Hey Dr. Deb,

    I was recently in a relationship for the past 5 years. In that time I was battling what I perceived as anger issues. I was never physically abusive but I was very emotionally and mentally abusive towards me ex. We have 1 child together and we have another child who I consider my own because was only 6 months old when we started dating. His birth father was never in the picture due to his instability and choice of partying and drugs over being a father. Well after 5 years of my abuse towards my ex girlfriend she finally said she had to leave so she could grow into the woman she wanted to be. She felt she was constantly walking on egg shells out of fear of when she would do something that I would yell at her about. And I wouldn’t just tell I would insult and call her names no one should ever be called. Well after our split I took it very hard and did soul searching and trying to figure out why I couldn’t get rid of the anger and what felt like a demon that lived in my head even though I had told her several times I would change and I honestly wanted to,but couldn’t. I ended up realizing I wasn’t just angry, I was fearful. I had been letting fear of a nonexistent condition I fabricated in my head rule my life. I had a panic attack months before I met my ex and i literally thought in that moment I was going to die. It was caused by me my working out for 2 years prior and then one day going to workout to the point of exhaustion and I started feeling like I couldn’t breathe and my heart raced and my nerves got so worked up I began to vomit. and for the past 5 years I lived a life where I was scared to leave the house unless necessary out of fear of having another attack. And due to that I was a bad father and boyfriend because I wasn’t doing the camping and hiking and other fun things I loved to do and my family wanted to do. So I was angry at myself and expressed it towards others. Well to trim down on all the details we are now civil but she has run to the arms of our first child’s biological father. She believes they have a connection and she is happy with him. From the outside looking in I see it as she’s getting all I didn’t give her from him and eventually whether she comes back to me or not is irrelevant to the fact he can’t offer her much past the fun good time they have together. He has 3 kids from 3 different women and he sees none of them. He has recently started a job but he has never kept one long term and spends his days getting drunk and smoking pot, which I dont do personally but I have tried it and don’t see anything wrong with it if your life is in order. So for her to be with him is a mixture of him being her first love, and he doesn’t insult her like I did, and all they do is have fun. So I understand that and it hurts me but I’m not mad at her or him for it. However, our son who is biologically his only sees his birth dad on occasion when he comes over and visits my ex. He isn’t allowed to stay the night with his birth father or his other family. I believe that’s because somewhere deep down she knows the guy isn’t a good character but she’s too busy filling the voids I left her with to want to leave him. And though I am trying to be nice to her and show her changes I still don’t feel her receptiveness. I say nice things and try and do nice things and I feel they aren’t appreciated. We have only been separated about 6 weeks (feels like an eternity) and she says don’t have hope it will never happen I should move on. But I honestly feel that is a mixture of her defense towards me not changing and us falling into the same abusive relationship again, mixed with also the scars are so deep she may not see how she can ever look past them even though she says she has forgiven me. And she says she understands why I was that way. I just try and keep persistent but I don’t want to hang on to a rope that isn’t tied to anything on the other end. Maybe right before the rope falls over the edge of the cliff and I plummet to my death she will come running and grab it and save me, or maybe I should let go and climb down before it’s too late. I just don’t know. I know I miss our family and though I didn’t show it I loved her deeply and wanted to change, I just didn’t know how. It took something life changing to snap me out of it. Any advice or suggestions will be very welcomed and acceped. Thank you


  • barry l

    September 3rd, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    My question is. I have verbally abused my girlfriend and destroyed her emotionally, but she still loves me and says that she is confused about what she wants to do with us and mentions that only time will tell. i am currently working on myself and stripping all the negative behaviors from my soul to avoid reoffending. i love her with all my heart and i want to convey that to her. we have been broken up over a month now. we barely talk and i havent seen her since she left. but we still communicate and LOVE is still strong. Is she coming back to me or is she going to pan this one out?

  • Aaron

    September 3rd, 2014 at 6:27 PM

    Me and my girlfriend of four years recently/still are going through a rough patch. After coming off a day of not really talking to each other, she come home and said she doesn’t feel the same way as she did when we first started going out and that she feels I’m holding her back. This broke my heart because I’ve put and given up so much for her and always said this was forever, but to realise she doesn’t feel the same way broke me! She was to try and work it out but I feel as though she is just leaving me hanging! I can’t get angry or anything if she does something wrong because I feel she will want it to be over between us!
    What do I do and how do I make her be in love with me again and be on the same page, not just me bleeding my heart out with nothing in return?
    Please help

  • DrDeb

    September 3rd, 2014 at 7:33 PM

    Hi Amber
    I hate to make this so short when your letter was so long but what I think you both need is support – in a big way. You guys were fooling around and having fun. You weren’t mentally ready for a FAMILY. That is a huge change in life. Please go together to see a couples counselor. Please!

  • DrDeb

    September 3rd, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    Hi Bambi
    Lying is a serious problem in relationships. There are families where it happens and it is no big deal, but many other people do find it a big deal. If this relationship is important to you, you really need to do what the 12 step people recommend: A fearless moral inventory. Think about the people you deal with and how straight w them you are. Work on yourself in that way. Words alone won’t do it; it’s actions that matter.

  • DrDeb

    September 3rd, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    Hi Tim
    First of all, I respect you for recognizing that you mistreated your girlfriend. Taking responsibility is a big first step. Next, the panic attack and the over-working the workout are something that worries me. Yes, people do get angry to hide their fears. It is also really good that you could figure out that part. So I really would like to see you working in therapy on overcoming whatever it was in your own life that got the fears started. Also to be absolutely sure you have new coping skills so you will never slip back into abuse. Finally, something about how you are handling yourself w your gf tells me that perhaps you aren’t so sure of yourself; maybe you have insecurities and she can “sense” that, and that is why she is not really back w you. If I am right, then for sure counseling is in order. It will be a very good step for you.

  • Tim

    September 3rd, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    Man that sounds identical to my story for the most part. How long were y’all together?

  • samuel

    September 5th, 2014 at 4:45 AM

    Dear Dr. I have been with this girl that I am in love with but every time she gets irritated. I can’t seem to leave get alone until she tells me why. I get so irritated myself that she won’t tell me why she is irritated that I just keep asking get until she screams at me to leave her alone. And I then I end up on the couch for days at a time. And then I get afraid that she is going to leave me. I don’t know what to do in these situations, because I usually bug her about why she is irritated usually to the point where she says she doesn’t feel like dealing with this relationship anymore, How do I fix this and what can I do to get this relationship back to the spark that we used to have in the beginning ox the relationship. What am I doing wrong.? When she tells me to leave her alone, does that mean she hates me and going to leave? I get scared of these things when we argue like this and I wanna know what to do to help my relationship be the best it can be? Please help me?

  • Mike

    September 5th, 2014 at 6:00 AM

    My wife said she was tired of me not listening, and turning my back when she talked that she was leaving me. It opened my eyes and want to work on us as a family. For the past month i have been her slave, doing dishes, taking care of the kids, stepping up to the plate where I haven’t in the past. I have referenced while we were dating the good times, and she has mentioned that she was forced to evolve and alludes to the fact that I am stuck in the past. I have stepped up to the plate,taking on more than my share of household responsibilities, provided lavish gifts and opened the line of communication because I am no longer blind to the fact and finally aware and want to make this work.

  • cco

    September 5th, 2014 at 8:03 AM

    Dear Dr Deb.,please help me.. I have been dating my boyfriend for 2mnths now..I stay in Nigeria while he stays in the U.S. He will be coming back to Nigeria in November to see his grandma and to see me for the very first time(as we started dating online). I noticed he liked to talk about sex,a topic that doesn’t interest me. Few days ago,I decided to tell him that I did not want sex b4 marriage and that he should be patient with me. To my greatest surprise,he got angry and started saying all manner of things(eg.,he doesn’t promise to be faithful but he promises not to touch me till we get married next year.he has become so distant and cold towards me as he no longer calls. I don’t want to compromise and I don’t want to keep calling him so as not to look needy..pls help!. What do I do?

  • Mike

    September 5th, 2014 at 8:20 AM

    For a long time I pushed her needs off to the side but now she is my Queen

  • Blanca M.

    September 5th, 2014 at 11:51 PM

    Hello Dr. Deb
    My boyfriend is thirty, eight years older than me. He was the first man who treated me well and had no issues with his life. Until three months into the relationship when he decided to break up with me because he wouldn’t allow anything to distract him from his studies. He also went on to say that he was not over the fact that both of his ex girlfriends cheated on him. He broke up with me three times, for a few weeks in between. The second time he said something was missing, there was no chemistry and that someone from work was in his mind, a girl he liked prior to knowing me. He also told me that for the first time he did not have to work for girls to like him. The third time we broke up I called him to see how serious he was about me and he said that he hadn’t got over his issues and he placed a greater importance to school. The next day I went over to his house when we were not official, we had intimacy and we ended it for good. Two weeks of miscommunication led to him pleading to take him back he told me that he wants me for the rest of his life and that he wants to marry me, something he had never told me. He has been wonderful and pays for everything he showers me with gifts, I see a sincere change in him but I can’t drop my guard. I no longer feel that passion or that I would give my life for him. I can’t get over the fact that he took me for granted when I have been nothing but good to him and accepted him with and love his child, unlike his ex whom he wanted to marry but she treated him like crap.

  • Serina

    September 6th, 2014 at 3:59 AM

    Dear Dr,
    I don’t know how to start this because I don’t understand it myself but I’ll do my best. So I was dating a man I met online, for a year it was long distance. Finally he visits me and decides to stay he had nothing but the stuff he brought with him so I supported him in everyway until he could himself and we were good for another year. Mind you he still lives in his car, he knows absolutely no one, and has no family close by. So mostly it was just him and I together all the time. So time goes by his parents start fighting, they end up divorcing I don’t know if it is the main cause for everything but he starts pulling away from me. Saying he needed time and space away from me but that we were still together ( I didn’t understand him on this at all where I guess I kept trying to push myself back into his life). Trying to do my own thing while he does his was really hard for me but I tried to for him. Then I find out after we had done it, he had been with someone else during that time we were “seperated but supposably together”. I loved him so much I forgave him the next day thinking great were talking again atleast. But then he pushes me away again so I broke up with him. The hardest thing I ever did. And I meet a new guy who in many ways is better than my ex but I just can’t feel anything for him it’s so frustrating but I just can’t stop loving my ex. I just want to move on I want to love again :(.

  • shero

    September 6th, 2014 at 5:32 AM

    Dear Memers i need your advise i have been in a relationship my this guy for one yr. at first he used to communicate with me daily but in the last three months he stop. i would send him msgs but he would just ignore replying me or he replys in ashort way with out trying to find out how i was like he used to do. recently i abused him and told him that it is over but in actual sense i still love the guy. i just said all the bad words coz i felt negelected and i wanted him to know how i feel but eneded up abusing him. i sent an apology one week ago but he has not replied. what do i do so we stay? should i go to his place to ask for any apology? how do i tell him that am very sorry so that we can continue our relationship coz i know i hurt him with my words but i need his forgiveness.

  • shan

    September 6th, 2014 at 8:36 PM

    I need advice…. I have been in a fully committed relationship for 2 years. I am so emotional, physically, and mentally attached to this man I am with. We talk about getting married in the future and we both know that we want to be long time life partners. When we first started dating there was an incident where the woman from the previous relationship he was in, was impregnated by him, and she coincidently found out in the beginning of our relationship. Unfortunately, she had complications with the pregnancy and the child was lost. A few months after the incident we resumed our relationship. A year later, she accuses him of being the father of her 3 year old daughter, and I find out that they have been seeing each other for 2 weeks and that he may be the father. This man really does make me a better person, but there have been other lies in our relationship from him… I don’t know what to do honestly. We are both in our early 20s and I think I’m too young to have this kind of stress in my life and so is he. But if he turns out to be the father I don’t know if I should stay or go?

  • Kelly

    September 7th, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    Hello dr
    My husband and I have been married for 15 years. The first part of our marriage was up and down as they usually go, but about 3 years ago we moved back to his country. Within the first 3 months he started changing. Ignoring me treating me like I wasn’t wanted and that I was in the way of his family. I finally went back to the US and told him I wanted out if the marriage. He immediately changed again asking me to come back and promising me we would be ok. I came back a few months later and life was good really good then one day he asked me to find an email with some info on it he needed for work. I found instead an email he sent to his ex girlfriend asking her to come back to him. He had sent it 9 months earlier when he was pushing me away. It was so bad I needed to be put on medication for depression. When we discussed it I learned that she turned him down (I know now that’s why he wanted me back). Ok it’s 3 years later we have been doing really well but he has changed again. This time being over affectionate over complimenting. Now my trust in him never recuperated so I checked his phone and found sext msgs to and from a coworker. Along with random dirty videos from I don’t know who and of course pics. He says he didn’t realize that any i would consider any of this cheating and apologized. He says he wants to fix this, but honestly I absolutely don’t trust him. Every time he picks up his phone I get sick knots in my stomach. When he’s gone I don’t want him to come back. When he’s with me I try to see that he wants to be with me but at the same time I just want to go to bed and be left alone. I don’t know if it’s depression along with anger or if it’s time to just walk away
    Please help me

  • ruqyah

    September 8th, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    I met the love of my life 3 years ago back in high school. We never actually dated but we were good friends. Sadly his friends did not like me I think it may be because they all smoked and drank and lived carefree lives whereas I lived a Simple Muslim life and he was fine with that actually we even talked about Islam on a regular bases. Once I got into a huge fight with my parents and they even threatened to throw me out that’s when I told him to come and pick me up because I was going to be kicked out anyways.. He actually came!! But my parents did not let me leave with him. And he left and I never spoke to him until a couple of months ago on Facebook and when I spoke to him he seemed so angry all he kept saying was leave me alone don’t talk to me, the day I left high school I never planned on talking to u again. And I was so heartbroken I said things I shouldn’t have said but I still did not tell him that I loved him so much. The one thing I wish I could change about him is his inability towards insight. I wish he had the ability in him to see that the girl that he says is his best friend is actually not who she appears to be. I wish he wouldn’t have listened to her… We would have been so happy. He’s actually with a girl now that I was friends with I don’t mind as long as he is happy and I think he’s happy with her because he usually does not date. What I want now to happen is, that I just show up at his house or work or wherever I see him and tell him that I fell in love with him the moment I saw him and till this day I do and whatever he has to say after that is entirely up to him when he says “maneesha I don’t love u back I don’t want to see u I’m happy without u” then I will leave him alone. He’s just so amazing his name is Brad he’s so handsome and loving, funny, sweet but very ignorant he thinks people are out to get him. But I love him anyways no matter what . He could sleep with all the women he wants as he probably is doing right now but I’ll love him still.

  • Ruqya

    September 8th, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    Give him some space ask him if he is happier around somebody else maybe he has love for his ex that he doesn’t have for u but u have to ask to find out you are lucky that u have him around to talk with cuz the man I love doesn’t even want to talk he just plain out says leave me alone don’t talk to me. If the guy your with loves somebody else then let him be with her if you want him to be happy I’m not telling u to get over him cuz I don’t think u can ever get over somebody completely but the world moves on and u have to find a way to move on with it

  • millie

    September 8th, 2014 at 9:32 PM

    I been with a guy for 3 years in one day he took of in never came back it’s only been two months in the other girl is pregnant he has tried calling over 7 times I am so heart broken he was my best friend I don’t think I will ever be the same

  • Erica

    September 9th, 2014 at 6:10 AM

    My boyfriend of about a year and I both cheated on each other and lied I each other about it. Eventually we both found out about the other. We still really love each other but are trying to get some space now to figure out if we can make this work. Do you think it’s possible to trust each other again when both people were wronged? How do we both go about getting trust back?

  • Steve S.

    September 9th, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    You both have to agree to counseling to learn communication or you might as well forget it. Not to be a buzz kill but counselors who would be qualified to help you are few and far between.

  • Steve S.

    September 9th, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    You deserve better and there is better trust me. Take it from someone who’s been around over twice as long as you and have been betrayed more than once.
    It is hard to do but move on, take the pain and be patient. You will meet THE one and he will treat you like you deserve!!

  • DrDeb

    September 9th, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    Hi Samuel
    It sounds to me like you are afraid of being abandoned. I would guess there was something bad in your background that this triggers….like maybe a parent walking out or something? I am worried about you when you say you just end up on the couch for four days. That is depression. Please see a therapist to unravel this. It is big and should not be minimized.

  • DrDeb

    September 9th, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    Hi Mike,
    You don’t actually ask a question. It sounds like a good beginning to be helpful with household things, but only a beginning. To make it work, you do need to become a listener like she wants. Really listen and comment to her on what she is getting at. Good luck with turning that around.

  • DrDeb

    September 9th, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    Hi CCO
    Sounds like he was using you, plain and simple. Forget him. Stick to your values. You want someone who wants you for the PERSON you are. The sex will be much better when that happens, I promise you. Marriage is hard, no doubt about it and a man has to be mature to handle it. You are on the right track. Otherwise, you’ll end up with kids and no husband.

  • DrDeb

    September 9th, 2014 at 5:26 PM

    Hi Blanca
    Isn’t it funny that he showers you with gifts and suddenly wants to marry you AFTER you had sex? I’m not sure about this guy…..

  • DrDeb

    September 9th, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    Hi Serena
    The feeling of love is so exciting that people just want that feeling and will take anything in the way of dirt so they can have it, almost like an addiction. In fact, the brain chemistry in love is very much like the chemistry of the brain in addictions. So here’s the thing: Falling in love is great but we don’t stay “in” love for all that long. Then reality sets in and the long-haul TRUE love should kick in. That love is made of respect, admiration, trust, and enjoyment of who that other person is. That’s real love. That’s the love that keeps couples together for 50 years. Get to know the new guy as a PERSON. See if the feelings will come, and give it time.

  • DrDeb

    September 9th, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    Hi Kelly,
    Your husband needs help. He is dishonest and you will not trust him again unless he is under the care of a therapist. Sexting and such is escapism. It’s a way of avoiding real life and feeling good in real life. Insist he get therapy or he’s out.

  • D.arclese

    September 9th, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    Hello, I’ve been with the same guy for 5 years we’ve been married for one. We have two children with our third on the way. We love each other very much but he says he doesn’t know if he wants to be with me because when I’m upset I threaten to leave and it hurts him for me to use that against him. I didn’t know that he was getting hurt by this and that I’m not meeting his needs when it comes to loving him. What can I do to show him he’s my everything.

  • priya g.

    September 10th, 2014 at 5:32 AM

    My boyfriend has problems so he broke up me. but I want to live with him again.

  • shane

    September 10th, 2014 at 8:13 AM

    me (25) and my girlfriend (22) have been dating for over 5 years. And we have a son who is almost 2 years old. We just recently relocated 2 the Seattle area. We have been living here for 6 months. over this course she has been a stay at home mom.. She has a mother and grandma that lives about 8 hours. we were recently told by her mother that she and her grandma will be moving down to Texas( this is her only family keep in mind.) so too continue my girlfreind is a stay at home mom who has no close friends where we live and is not going to school or work. I currently work full time and provide for the family and we are comfortable and can manage to do fun nice things. ever since we found out her mom was moving, her attitude has changed very drastically in the sense where I can tell something is bothering her. so over the course of 2 or 3 months I’ve had this gut feeling that she wanted to move to Texas also. After talking with her and picking away to try to understand what is bothering her she has told me that she does not love me intimately anymore but she loves me as the son of our Father. she has said that she felt this way for almost 2 years. And the reason is because of an argument we had gotten into before my son was born and we were on the brink of splitting up. she said she cannot let go of what happened in the past and that is partially why she feels this way today. we talked some more about how she felt because her communication with me is not the best, she likes to keep things inside. She stated she does want to try to make it work for the sake of our son but doesn’t know if she’ll ever love me ever again. She wants to speak with somebody like a family counselor. I am very confused on how we got off track and all the way to this.. Like I stated before we been together for over 5 years almost a 2 year old son and now she tells me that she has not loved me before our child was born and I don’t understand how we made it this far. if any ladies any advice or have felt this way please help me bcuz i don’t know what to do and I care about her I love her so much but I don’t think she truly believes that.

  • Frankie M.

    September 10th, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    Hello my name is Frankie, so I’m having problems me and y wife are going through a divorce, i truly love my wife we have a 6 month year old son and I want to win her back, she’s told me that she wants to be friends but she has no feelings for me, she says she feels numb. But on the other hand I’m tell only guy she trust for sex. She texts me still everyday. Her mom tells me that my wife stills loves me. It all started when she was barely letting me see my son then she would tell me I have to give her half my paychecks or will go to court. That day I had my son in my arms and I took him home with me. She called the law on me and the law said she can’t do anything about it. Then she filed divorce. I wasn’t gonna keep him from her. I never do that. But now she doesn’t know what she wants. She’s kissed me and all a couple of times and I heard if I act like I don’t care she’ll come back. I don’t know what to do but I need advice I can’t move on cause my heart belongs to her

  • M

    September 12th, 2014 at 3:43 AM

    Dr. D, I have been with my boyfriend for 5 years and 2 months. I feel like I need to point out that I am only 21 and he is 22. We met in highschool, I dropped out and moved in with him and his parents a few months after we got together. Things were not good at home, and I’ve always believed that he rescued me. You can imagine that us being young and stupid have been through pretty much anything you can think of. He has, without a doubt, helped me grow as a person, and will always be a huge part of my life. But I feel where I’ve grown and changed, he hasn’t. I hope I’m not discrediting him but that feeling lingers and won’t go away. The first 3 years were great. We had no responsibility, no bills….nothing but each other. After that I started school (he started a while after me), we got our first apartment together, and really started our lives. We lived off his financial aid money for that year, until I finished school and he dropped out for the first time. I got a decent paying job and have been mostly supporting us since then. He has never had a steady job, and im lucky if I get a couple hundred bucks off him a month. He doesn’t bother keeping the house tidy while I work all day every day. He litterly does nothing. And he doesn’t hardly try too do anything.I even drive him around! Several months ago I started falling out of love with him. The sex stopped, and I can’t stand to even have him touch me. Communication stopped also, basically everything that makes a relationship work doesn’t exist anymore. I resent him. Every word he says irritates me. The faces he makes, the way he walks, everything. And I’m constantly irritated by him, which in turn makes me super mean. He knows that something is wrong. He is deep down a nice guy and I know he still loves me, but I can’t return his feelings anymore. I don’t want to keep hurting him. Ww have fallen into a vicious circle. When I think of parting however, it makes me so anxious and sad. I’m scared to be alone. The last few months we have come very close to breaking up. A couple months ago I told him that I wanted to, but he freaked out and I stayed. Tonight he broke up with me. We’ve litterly been up all night talking and I’ve cried so much that I have no tears left in my eyes. But somehow I felt relieved that he did it so I didn’t have to. I’ve completely given up on us. I don’t think things will ever get better, but at the same time im afraid of him leaving. He stuck to his guns all night until he asked what I really wanted. I took a minute to reply, but told him “I don’t want you to leave”. For some reason I’m drawn to him and even though I know it would be best, I can’t let things end. I feel like im missing out on my 20’s, and the thought of spending my life with him terrifies me as much as the thought of him leaving. Do you think I could ever love him again? Or should I even try? Any advice you could give me would be great. Thanks for taking the time to read all this.


  • James

    September 12th, 2014 at 8:44 AM

    My wife and I can out of dufficult to understand relationships before and after started dating I talked about my ex and things that we did involving sex, traveling etc… but I don’t know why I said them to her cause it hurt her so much and we she always talks about them ever time we fight. I want her to forgive me and I am trying my best to understand how I hurt her. She askes how I can make everything uo and what will I do to have her forgive me. Everything I say she says it is not good enough for her. What can I do and can you tell me why you think she is trying this and always keeps on bringing up divorce when we have these fights.

  • shan

    September 12th, 2014 at 9:03 AM

    PLEASE HELP!! I need advice…. I have been in a fully committed relationship for 2 years. I am so emotional, physically, and mentally attached to this man I am with. We talk about getting married in the future and we both know that we want to be long time life partners. When we first started dating there was an incident where the woman from the previous relationship he was in, was impregnated by him, and she coincidently found out in the beginning of our relationship. Unfortunately, she had complications with the pregnancy and the child was lost. A few months after the incident we resumed our relationship. A year later, she accuses him of being the father of her 3 year old daughter, and I find out that they have been seeing each other for 2 weeks and that he may be the father. This man really does make me a better person, but there have been other lies in our relationship from him… I don’t know what to do honestly. We are both in our early 20s and I think I’m too young to have this kind of stress in my life and so is he. But if he turns out to be the father I don’t know if I should stay or go?

  • Stacy

    September 12th, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    I have been in a relationship for 7 years, we have 4 kids together. He has cheated on me each year we’ve been together and then some. I can’t forgive him and I’m not in love with him anymore. He says he is in love with me. But I don’t know what to do anymore. I know not interested in him anymore. Please help me.

  • nesma

    September 12th, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    theres this guy liked me and we both fell in love with each other but its been like that we were 7 months together. . we had fights continuously and we break up then we get back. we broke up like twice and now its been like I had a misunderstanding and people got in between us and I belived them on him and I broke up which made him lose feelings for me and he says that he loved me too much and got hurt too much so he cant get back to me…can anyone tell me or help me with what shall I do..

  • Nesma

    September 12th, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    i have been in a relationship for a short period of time, it was for 7 months, i dated this guy who liked me and had a crush on me when we met in university, he stood up and told me on chat that he likes me so much nd wants me, i agreed being with him after getting hurt in 2012 with my first ex, i wanted to heal my self and by time when we were together i fell in love with him more, and i was so happy with him, later by time our relationship starting becoming worse, it was like a long distance relationship and i barely used to meet him and complain but he says he had so much work in university, we fought alot due to my jealousy on him and his jealousy on me, we both really loved each other, but at times people use to get in between and tell me he is a player, dont stay with him and all, i actually ignored, i really dont care about the past, he was truly a player but when he dated me he changed completely to better, time by time we were good and suddenly we fight and breakup, we broke up once and got back again becuase he loves me, suddenly i stood up and told him i cant be with u anymore, because i got alot of bad things about him and i was tired listening, but i felt like i didnt break up from the heart, it showed that he didnt want to let me go, after the break up he tells me that he misses me and writes up pms all over his status, and that time he was out of country, he says that when he comes back he will fix the fight, and i felt guilty and i wanted ti stay with him because i love him so much that i cant let him go, once he got back he started getting colder i was wondering what happend to him also he was avoiding me and he wasnt replying me so often, he couldnt face me so his bestfriend told me that he lost feelings and he cant get me back again because he loved me so much and in the same time he got hurt so much from me also hes not ready for a relationship, i tried to get him back but no use, we talk and i try to fix but he says i cant be with someone who belives things on me wrong from people, he was like we can be bestfriends, i dont really feel like he lost feelings and i still dont know, but i love him so much and i cant let him go.please help me :(

  • DrDeb

    September 12th, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    Hi M
    I think I know what’s going on. Your boyfriend’s parents may have indulged him too much. They were so nice – they let you move in and took care of you. BUT they also let you have sex w your boyfriend and live a grownup life w/o any responsibilities. I think that was wrong. And the fact that he was not working is because they didn’t insist on it. As parents, being nice is not enough: You have to require discipline from your children and it doesn’t seem like they did that. So I understand you losing respect for him. Of course, you being mean is not good at all but that is what you must have learned in your own family. I am also thinking that he and his parents are the only people who gave you love and care. Perhaps I’m wrong but that’s the implication from your letter. That’s why you don’t want to let go. That is totally understandable but not healthy and not fair. You don’t really love him; you feel needy. Please take care of yourself by getting counseling to give yourself the self-love that you need to make up for what your parents didn’t give you. This will take time (1-2 years) but very well worth it. Don’t go to a psychoanalytic type as that is a lifetime of therapy. You don’t need that. Try also to work to support yourself and finish school. You sound like an intelligent young woman; there can be a lot of possibilities for you to have a good life.

  • ruqyah

    September 12th, 2014 at 4:53 PM

    Hi drDeb could you please give me advice on my story that I wrote

  • Ruqyah

    September 12th, 2014 at 6:37 PM

    I don’t think you love him if you chose people over him maybe it’s a infatuation

  • Ritika

    September 13th, 2014 at 5:06 AM

    Don’t get back … Once a cheat will always b a cheat

  • Ana

    September 13th, 2014 at 8:42 AM

    I have been in this relationship for 8 months. He’s the first person I’ve truly loved and treated me correctly. But one night i got really drunk, and I’m a mean drunk. Well i went a little crazy and he said he couldn’t handle everything. I apparently told him that I didn’t trust him, and I don’t feel like thats the case. He broke up with me while he was overwhelmed trying to take care of me. Since then, I have stopped drinking, started therapy, started exercising, and applied to an internship. We are still in contact, but its been over a week and I’m trying so hard. Finally, I realized that it wasn’t the fact that I was a mean drunk, it was the fact that we had no time apart, that i was selfish when it came to him going out with his friends, that i was suffocating him, and he didn’t realize it until i said it…that he wanted some alone time and that was the real reason we broke up. He just kinda gave up on me when i was in a bad place. and thats what hurts me the most. But I’m trying and I’m fighting for our relationship and it seems to me at this point, that he’s not. He told me that he’s planned on forgiving me, and always planned on getting back together and he tells me that he misses me. Our relationship was great though, until that night. I told him we really needed to work on communication, and trust, but we can’t work on those things if were not together. The only time trust was broken was when he lied to me about this girl he was talking to..i asked him who she was and he said she was someone in his class from school for a project and i believed him. but then i found out that she was someone from a party he went to while i was on vacation. that she got drunk and tried taking off her clothes. but instead of telling me about the incident, he lied to me , to my face. Then we fought, and i forgave him and i really did put it in the past. I don’t hold it against him. I know neither of us would cheat. I needed a wake up to realize that i was going down the wrong path, but I am honestly working on it. I don’t want to ever hurt him again, but at this point, I feel like he’s punishing me. If you miss someone, and love them then why wouldn’t you want to be with them?

  • shan

    September 13th, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    Dr deb please could you give me advice?

  • DrDeb

    September 13th, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    Hi Shan
    You know this blog is getting busy…sorry I couldn’t answer everyone. Please don’t get involved with a liar. I am sure this man has good qualities. But lying is a really, really bad one. Like you said, you are too young for so much stress. Work on being the best person you can be. I often recommend therapy not because a person is “sick” but sometimes it is just good to get insight from an outsider. Good luck.

  • DrDeb

    September 13th, 2014 at 6:57 PM

    Hi Ruqyah
    I am concerned. On the one hand you call yourself a simple person and on the other your parents were about to throw you out of the house. What is going on?? Not so simple, it seems to me. Next point, you are very young. You just graduated HS. You are supposed to have infatuations at that age, but don’t call it love. Move on!! Final point and I will leave you with this: real love is loving the character of the other person. If someone lacks something that you think is important, such as insight, as well as thinking people are out to get him, what you call very ignorant, then how in the world can you really love THEM?? You can love the fun times you’ve had; you can love how they made you feel, but you can’t possibly love who they are if you call them ignorant, etc.

  • shane

    September 14th, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    Dr. Deb could you please help me out with my post from Sept 10!

  • DrDeb

    September 14th, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    Hi Shane,
    Since you do not say what the argument was that turned her off and I don’t really understand the every-day feel of your relationship, I don’t know what to suggest other than that your girlfriend might want to make an appmt w me since I am a Marriage & Family Therapist. There are several pieces of your story that need filling in.

  • Maria

    September 15th, 2014 at 12:34 AM

    Hello. I would really appreciate some advise. My fiancé and I have been together for a year and a half. I got pregnant and we had our son three months ago. It was too soon but I don’t regret any part of it. We got into a small argument a teo months ago that turned into something big and I left the house for about a week. He wanted me back just as much as I wanted to be with him as well. When I came back home he was honest about another woman he had met and slept with her. I forgave him mainly because we weren’t together during that time, even tho it wasn’t long. He said he wasn’t going to ever speak to her and he wanted to make things right. He proposed to me at the end of the month and we had plans on getting married until I found out he was still talking to the other woman about a week ago or so. I reacted in ways I shouldn’t have and ever since then we have been arguing mainly about her. This morning he told me that he loves me but he wants us both. I am absolutely heart broken and I have no one else other than him and my son. No support from family or anyone else. I really want to work things out, he is the man I am madly in love with but I don’t know what to do.

  • Maria

    September 15th, 2014 at 12:38 AM

    I mean three months ago. Sorry about that..

  • Mark

    September 15th, 2014 at 8:09 AM

    As most people trying to make sense of a break up, I’ve searched what I can do and found myself here…
    It is still incredibly raw. In fact it was only Saturday night when my fiancé told me it was over. We met over facebook neither of us looking for someone just one of those chance ‘meetings’ hit it off completely, both incredibly similar when it comes to the deepest things but quite different on the outside. We have been together for 5 and half years, bought a house together a little over a year ago and got engaged nearly a year ago with dates set and most things provisionally booked bridesmaids dresses even bought. I’m from surrey and she lives in Yorkshire where we both live now I moved up just under 5 years ago and bar the natural small bumps in any relationship everything has been perfect and until now I was certain that was on both sides.
    On Saturday 13th sept we were at my rugby club celebrating my 30th birthday (a joint party with two team mates who also turn 30 around the same time) which is this Friday. The club is or was going to be the venue for our wedding reception and my fiancé was talking to the chairman/club manager about plans, telling her sister where everything was going to go and discussing honeymoon ideas etc. so for her to say a matter of hours later it’s over came completely out of the blue! On Sunday I tried taking to her but she was adamant it was over saying she still loves me but isn’t in love with me and that she’s not attracted to me anymore. She also said that she has been feeling like this for a while but like I describe above showed no signs (that I picked up on). She is at her mums at the moment and said we need space and will come back Tuesday to talk but the impression I get is that it is to sort out the practicalities of next steps not to work things through. I have no idea what to do, can’t see anything if things don’t work out she has been my sole drive to achieve what I have in the last 5-6 years.
    I don’t think she has really spoken to anyone about how she was feeling as even her mum and sister had no idea it was coming. One thing she did mention was that she has been having panic attacks one that bad she had to get a work friend to drive her home. She spoke to her mum asking if it was normal thing putting it towards wedding jitters. Mentioned it to me but not when it had happened and didn’t really seem to make a big thing of it. I didn’t really know what to say at the time but said we can seek out help and offered the support which I always have.
    On the Sunday when we spoke before she when to her Mum’s I asked her why she hadn’t said anything sooner and she said because I’m really good at talking things through, getting her to see the positives and change her mind (be work, friendships, anything she’s need to talk about) and she said she didn’t her mind to be changed. I just don’t understand that, is that what you’re supposed to do as a couple, work at your relationship. I understand that if it can be fixed then there is no point in forcing it. But not even giving it a go is just ridiculous! Why throw nearly 6 years away after a couple of months of not being sure.
    Is there any hope? Any advice on how to move things forward or to get her to open up would be really appreciated!
    Thanks in advance and apologies for the length of post but as I said it is all still pretty raw.

  • nesma

    September 15th, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    dr deb could you please help me with my note..Thank you

  • nesma

    September 15th, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    Sorry I meant advice

  • sherrel s.

    September 15th, 2014 at 5:42 PM

    Hi millie my name is sherrel, I am in the same situation as you are in. It very hard and fraustrated at first. If you do take him back, you have to put your foot down and tell him how you feels about situation and make a list for him to understand and make sure you know he is applying himself to the list everyday.

  • Ruqyah

    September 15th, 2014 at 7:40 PM

    Hi Dr, thanks for replying back. I actually did live a simple life but made some made choices. What I found most interesting about was u said was that I don’t love his character? That’s because I want to change his character. If you loved someone very much would you ever want to watch their self destruction? I would go to the ends of the earth to make Brad see what he’s doing to him self is wrong. Another thing is, every choice I make about my future I always picture it with brad wether that’s a job or what city I want to live in or even simple things. How could I move on?? I don’t want to. What I don’t understand is, if it was infatuation why do I still feel the same way I did 3 years ago? Even after all the things he has said. I really appreciate your advice and maybe your right and it’s not love, but I think I won’t know that for a fact until I actually just go to talk to him I know that sounds really desperate and classless of showing up at someone’s door but I think that is the only option I am left with. Do think this would be a right choice to make?

  • Luke

    September 16th, 2014 at 6:44 AM

    Hi, my ex and I dated for 2months, she was madly in love with me but the thing is it was a long distance relationship so she felt lonely, my physical self wasn’t with her, I felt bad for her cos im so insanely in love wit her…i promised to come see her in 2 weeks time and spend the weekend with her but as time went on the love she had for me started to disappear cause of the absence of my physical self, we always had sex over the phone, sent pictures to each other we talked and chatted every second I never let her miss me cos she would hurt but yesterday she just told me she wasn’t insanely in love with me anymore, she said she was tired of all the obstacles we had, especially distance part. she said mayb I wasn’t the right guy for her and she lost the spark…right now im so depressed I cant do anything right, I cant stop looking at her pictures I cant eat all I want is her…am thinking of surprising her soon going to see her be im scared she might reject me, shes a beautiful, sensitive and stubborn woman its not easy to convince her…please doctor deb what can I do, am madly in love with this girl..i keep drawing pictures of her cos im an artist I also keep having dreams about her..i need help please

  • Shelley

    September 16th, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    My BF and I have been together for 6 years have 2 kids together. He doesn’t work I work 50 hrs + a week and take care of 3 kids. I was short on money last week and he had some from selling a TV he wasn’t using. I asked hime to borrow 30 dollars for the week he picked a fight with me so he didn’t have to give it to me and spent over 125 on beer and cigarettes for the week and i borrowed money from my mother. That’s not all. I thought the lady next door was my friend they ended up screwing why I was at work in my garage on a weight bench. She has 3 kids that play with my kids daily. My youngest is 9 weeks old. She is denying it and he admits it. He said he didn’t cheat we were broke up. I think that is an excuse. This isn’t the first time he has done this to me. I basically take care of him like a kid and goes behind my back and decieves me. She lives next door with a guy and told my BF that we should switch partners. She lives off the government and her dude has no kids with her and works 2 jobs to support her and the kids and she’s always bringing her baby daddy’s to his house while he is at work. My BF will not leave unless i get a restarining order on him and the police tell him he has to leave. I need advice I am at my wits end and don’t know what to do.

  • Mark

    September 16th, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    Dr Deb,
    Please help me with my post from sept 15th number 176.
    Thank you,

  • DrDeb

    September 16th, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    Hi Ruqyah
    No, don’t go to his door. Listen, as young people, we can dream. That is exactly what young people do. It’s great! But let’s suppose I’m right: You fantasize how life would be with this guy. that feels great. But you would like to change him. So you get the best solution: Fall in love with the guy you WANT HIM to be and then tell the real person to change into that guy. Makes sense except it’s a fantasy, not reality. The problem is you haven’t lived long enough to see it from the other end. There, I can’t help you. If you go do something I don’t suggest, I understand. You have to do what makes sense to you now.

  • DrDeb

    September 16th, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    Hi Mark
    Wow, that’s awful. And I have no advice for you. I don’t know if your fiance just has cold feet or what. Real life is never like the fantasy we have when we first fall in love. We are supposed to be each other’s best friend first and foremost, someone who understands us through and through. If she doesn’t even understand herself and you always had to persuade her of things, then maybe that is the problem. Maybe she needs individual therapy to get to know herself better and respect her own feelings better. That is all I can offer without talking to both of you.

  • Marty

    September 16th, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    Hi, my fiance and I were together for 8 years. For the first 5 years , we were great. Then i started to fall.We had our fights and she wanted to leave me at least 4 different times. I would cry and tell her that I loved her snd that I’d change. But , I would only change for a while. It was as if I wanted her but wanted to still be the lazy guy. She finally left me on September 5th. I realized that my empty promises were never going to work and I didn’t want them to. I broke down and told her that I was tired of blaming everyone and everything on my behavior. That I am to blame. I told her that it wasnt that I couldn’t live without here, it was that I wanted to share my life with her. Everything I told him er was from my heart. Every emotion was real. But, she won’t believe me now. I even told her that I felt like the boy who cried wolf. Because I finally sm telling the truth about the wolf snd now there was nobody to believe me. How csn I win her trust back? How can I tear diwn the wall that has been built around her that bears my name? I love this woman with every ounce of my soul. She is the one, the person I want to grow old with. I have been in constant change since the 5th of this month. I am bettering myself. Even more than when we firet met. But she will not see me. She will not believe me. I just want to have her trust back.i want to have our happiness back. I want to be the rock she can lean on…..
    Please, any feedback is helpful.

  • Tina

    September 17th, 2014 at 1:32 AM

    Sorry to hear this but I have been in your situation but my ex left willing when I told him to, (Thank God). Anyway, I would file an order on him and get him out my home. Letting him do you like this is letting him run over you. He feels that you won’t put him out and he is beating you down. You do not have to go though this. No man should ever cheat on a woman and actually brag about it to her face. Show him that you mean what you say and say what you mean. Take charge of your life, you deserve better and don’t let someone take your youth in wasting your time.

  • Alex

    September 17th, 2014 at 6:42 AM

    I have been with my bf for almost 2 years. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs and the relationship has not felt stable for long since the beginning although there were times when it seemed as though things are really well. Recently we almost broke up but decided to work through things and be better for each other. Our initial argument/cause of separation was no longer a problem. This is not the first time this has happened, but we always manage to decide to work around things and still be together. He has told me that he wants to be with me for the rest of his life and if I wasn’t in it, then no one would be. He genuinely tells me that he wants to be with me for the rest of his life. We just argue so often though, that I’m almost convincing myself that we aren’t right for each other when all I want is to be with him. Its becoming difficult and exhausting, and I feel stuck.
    I approached him with the way I felt about a situation in a mature way, and now he is pushing me away and saying he needs time alone.
    Its hard to see things turning around but I really want it to. He tends to not see his fault in things and blames me for our issues. Is this repairable at this point? I believe we both just want to be happy together but things are so complicated.I’m losing hope.

  • DrDeb

    September 17th, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    Hi Alex
    What is good about your bf? Is it only that he loves you so much, as you said, he wants to be with you the rest of your life? The truth is, it feels very good to be loved, but that is not enough for marriage. If people are blamers and don’t do ANY reflection on themselves, it’s not a great formula for marriage. True, men tend not to think too hard about themselves, but you know what? They can still be gentlemen and not blaming. I’m concerned about a person who won’t take responsibility.


    September 18th, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    Just a quick note to say I have been working with Tako for about 5 years, on all sorts of different issues, anytime I get a problem at work, or my noisy terrible neigbours, or my Mother In Law plays up, I phone Tako and he sorts its out, even little things, I phone him and its all sorted, what would I do without him?? Thank you so much. get him on (drtakolovespells@gmail.co m). his very helpful Anita in London.

  • Andrea

    September 19th, 2014 at 12:27 AM

    Hi Dr. Deb, your advice will be greatly appreciated. At the initial stages of my relationship with my current boyfriend, things could not have been better. As is for most infatuation stages, but we truly fell in love with each other, mainly because we are so different from each other, it was exciting. However, unfortunately, i fell into a deep depression where I just did not feel and act like myself, there was the unfortunate symptom of never feeling happy. My boyfriend was there for me the entire time, but after I recovered from my depression he just isn’t the same anymore with me. It’s like he’s stuck with this depressed image of me, and he slowly fell out of love with me. He says he wants to keep trying because he remembers how amazing our relationship was, but I feel like he’s just saying that and is not motivated enough to act on it. He fears that another depression like that will keep occurring, and although I can’t technically promise such a thing, I keep reassuring him that I’m not depressed anymore. How do we recover from such a thing? How do i approach him regarding this situation? It appears that he says he wants to try, but he isn’t really even trying. How do I, so to speak, make him fall back in love with me? I know I’m faced with the burden of him having that ugly image of me, making this task harder, but how do I go about this?
    Please help! Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

  • Joe

    September 19th, 2014 at 7:08 AM

    I think it’s possible fall in and out of love, unfortunately for me I am the one who keeps messing up indifferent ways. I’ve been trying work on myself but recently about two weeks ago I lied about being with someone else when my partner and I were not exclusive or dating, now she mad, disappointed, won’t talk to me, has blocked me in every way possible. Not sure what exactly I could do to try make amends, apologize and prove to her as she the girl I only want and I was dumb making a dumb choice in my part. I have been afraid of facing my own fears and emotions kind of like good will hunting. This girl means the world to me we make each other feel so good, happy we are intimate and have amazing chemistry. I never wanted to pursue someone so much my entire life. Any advice on what I should do?

  • monae

    September 19th, 2014 at 8:11 PM


    I admitted to cheating on my boyfriend and he was of course very mad at first. But now he claims he forgives me and wants to work this out, but lately idk I’ve just been feeling like he doesn’t love me or really forgive me. When I Don’t Answer The Phone He Thinks I’m Lying And Doing Something That’s Unfaithful And I Know My Actions Are what caused This, But I Just Hope I’m Not Losing Him And If He Still Loves Me The Same OR not. Will his actions change after a while? And what can I do to make him trust me again?

    Thank you.

  • Swati

    September 20th, 2014 at 6:35 AM

    I’m pretty sure I have some serious issues. My boyfriend and I have been together almost two years now, and we’ve gone through a lot (my parents disapprove of him and kept us apart.) I did something pretty messed up, I made a fake facebook account and sent him a request to see if he would accept it. He didn’t, but while we were dating, I found out he was on tinder 3 times. So using that profile I made a tinder to see if he was there, which he wasn’t, but his cousin was. So I started chatting with his cousin. I wasn’t flirting, things from my side were completely platonic but soon he found out and when he confronted me about it I was so ashamed I lied. He’s the most amazing man I’ve ever met and I’ve completely destroyed everything in our relationship and yet somehow he is giving me a chance to fix it. These steps are going to help me more than you will ever know!! Thank you!!

  • Crystal

    September 20th, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    I have been married to years about a week ago my husband said he hasn’t been in love and feels like he never had the chance to no me so he isn’t sure if we should stay together or go our separate ways I have been extremely mental abusive I don’t understand why I was so blind to it no I’m sorry and want to work it out the more I tries to get him to not leave the more mad he gets I told him I am here no matter what I’ve been trying to be a better person I know I will be better what ever happens I happen to want my what ever to be him and me we have kids and I’m not sure if my positivity is working he comes sees the kids every day but he can talk to me he gets shaky by me I just pray and keep on doing what I can I told him I can force him to stay but I have faith he will see me getting better is there hope

  • Uncertain

    September 20th, 2014 at 11:05 PM

    A month ago my husband and I were hanging out with a friend. She expressed an interest in giving him oral sex, and since we’ve talked about trying things outside the marriage, I consented. I said she could give him oral sex, and that I wasn’t interested in watching. I gave them a time limit, saying I’d be back in around 20 minutes. After that time lapsed, before just walking in on them, I texted him several times (the phone was on the headboard of our bed and the ringer was on) I finally walked in to her, completely naked, going down on him. She scurried off and got dressed, and when I asked what had happened he said he touched her because “it looked like she needed it”. He does have trouble getting an erection sometimes, and he later admitted that was why he had done it. My problem is, I feel that I gave him an inch and he completely disregarded how I might feel if he went further than her pleasing him. He even said that he thought it might upset me, but figured it wouldn’t be so bad. We talked at length about how hurt I was, and how I said one thing and him doing something else without even asking (I probably would have consented had he asked before he did it) made me feel like he had disrespected me. He didn’t quite get why kissing her and pleasing her was different than him getting oral. I explained that it was because it happened without him asking that he thought it might upset me, and at no point did he stop and put me in front of his desire at the time. I’m still hurt, though we are moving on, and I have no plans on leaving him. He was truly upset he had hurt me and worried that this might ruin us. I told him I needed time to heal and I knew I could get past this, but within a day or so he wanted to act like things were fine. I don’t want to talk this to death with him, and I don’t think there’s anything else I can say. He understands he stepped over my boundaries, I understand that I didn’t say specifics in the first place (I should have expressed that kissing was out of bounds, that I didn’t want him touching her yet, etc.), but deep down, I’m still really hurt that he set me aside like that. He’s aware that he may have closed the door to us doing anything with other people completely. He’s not happy about that, but accepting. I just wish I could get over my own feelings. I’m dwelling on it far longer than he has, but we’ve had issues in the past when we first dated. He was extremely inexperienced, and kept things from me for awhile about him doing things with other girls (one was returning with hickeys after the night he was supposed to break up with the other girl he was dating because we had decided to be monogamous. The other was a semi-sexual relationship with a friend of his that I personally know is a bit of an attention seeker…she’s hit on me more than once. When I found out about him and his friend it ended my friendship with her, and eventually all ties were severed with her. There was no contact with the first girl after the night he “broke up” with her) I kind of gave him a free pass on both of those, they hurt, I was honest an open with my feelings, he understood why I was upset and did everything he could to fix the problem. Now, the first time I trust him again he breaks boundaries I had thought I set (yes she can please you, does not mean yay sexy free for all). Should I simply get over this? Should I be concerned that he seems to loose his mind when he receives sexual attention from women? He swears he loves me and he would never want to hurt me. I honestly believe him (maybe I’m a chump). I just can’t stop feeling nervous that one day some woman is going to hit on him, and he’s going to do something stupid that WILL end us. He knows flat out if he ever cheats I will leave. Is trying to be open just a bad idea? Am I simply too jealous? Should I stop worrying myself to death and just trust him, then deal with the repercussions if something does happen? I’m trying not to feel hurt, but it really didn’t want to see him with her and I ended up walking in on them both naked. I trusted him to be responsible. I wasn’t interested mostly because I wasn’t attracted to the girl. He was, she said she wanted to do something specific to him and I agreed. Is this simply my own fault for leaving the room? The fact that he “didn’t hear” the phone next to his head, and at he did things knowing I might have a problem is what made me feel disrespected. How do I get back to where we were? Do I just need more time? I’m sorry this is so long and rambling, this is the first site I’ve felt comfortable talking on, and the only friend I talked to about this is poly, so she just didn’t understand why I was uncomfortable with him doing more if I left them together to do anything. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you for reading all this,

  • Luke

    September 21st, 2014 at 4:55 AM

    Hi, my ex and I dated for 2months, she was madly
    in love with me but the thing is it was a long
    distance relationship so she felt lonely, my physical
    self wasn’t with her, I felt bad for her cos im so
    insanely in love wit her…i promised to come see
    her in 2 weeks time and spend the weekend with
    her but as time went on the love she had for me
    started to disappear cause of the absence of my
    physical self, we always had sex over the phone,
    sent pictures to each other we talked and chatted
    every second I never let her miss me cos she would
    hurt but yesterday she just told me she wasn’t
    insanely in love with me anymore, she said she was
    tired of all the obstacles we had, especially
    distance part. she said mayb I wasn’t the right guy
    for her and she lost the spark…right now im so
    depressed I cant do anything right, I cant stop
    looking at her pictures I cant eat all I want is her…
    am thinking of surprising her soon going to see her
    be im scared she might reject me, shes a beautiful,
    sensitive and stubborn woman its not easy to
    convince her…please doctor deb what can I do, am
    madly in love with this girl..i keep drawing pictures
    of her cos im an artist I also keep having dreams
    about her..i need help please

  • Chris

    September 21st, 2014 at 6:20 PM

    Dr. Deb,
    The woman I’ve been dating for 2 months is afraid of intimacy and has admitted to never being in love. Do I continue with her or bail?
    Here’s the back story: She is 44 and came from a well off family. Her biological father is an oncologist and spent most of her childhood at work, she never bonded with him (red flag 1)and they haven’t spoke since she was 18. Her parents were divorced at 19 and her mother took her and moved across the country, mother eventually remarrying. She finished college and at 29 got pregnant with a guy she was dating for a couple months. They married and had another baby within a year. She said she never really loved the guy but he divorced her within a few months of marriage. (Red flag 2) her next relationship was even worse. She admitted being with a guy for 7 years because he took care of her every need and she didn’t have to work. She finally came to the conclusion that the money didn’t make her happy because she said he was selfish. ( I think he got tired of her neediness) she then was in a 2 year relationship with a man that was 15 years older. Then a long distance relationship for 6 months and more recently a 4 month relationship. It seems all the men in her life ran from her after they got to know her.(red flag 3). I would best describe her as fun and outgoing. She’s an ESFP. I’m an ENFJ. She is taking Prozac for anxiety and she has ADD. She is unable to plan or focus. She’s easily distracted and has difficulty having a serious discussion. About me: I’m 54, have four kids and was married for 26 years until my wife passed away from cancer five years ago. I’ve dated for a couple years and was in a serious relationship for two years but ended when I wanted marriage and she didn’t.
    This woman is fun to be with and makes me feel young but I’m afraid she will never have feelings for me and is taking me for a free ride.

  • Ana

    September 21st, 2014 at 9:24 PM

    Hi ! Dr. Deb I’m a controlling wife that’s why my husband told me that he don’t love me anymore . Well it’s almost 3 mos. Like this that I don’t know what to do. Do you think we still have chance to be together again or if he will still love if I change my attitude?


    September 22nd, 2014 at 2:30 PM

    Hi. I come to you with a broken heart and an open mind. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost two years and purchased a house together about six months ago. We have had arguments off and on and they all stem from the same issue. Other women. Now don’t get me wrong. There is no foul play or any words said that is out of color. All these people are people who he has worked with for 15-20 years. I suffer from PTSD due to my ex-husband stabbing me as well as cheating and other forms of mental abuse. So I guess I always expect the worst and questioned him ask him to delete all his social media sites and quit contact with them. He did all of this and I still found things to fear in our relationship but nothing because he gave me a reason to fear it. I guess he got tired of having to reassure me he was where he wanted to be and that I was who he wanted because without me realizing it I have pushed him away. He told me a few nights ago he doesn’t love me anymore. He cares about me but I have pushed him away so many times that the love is gone. He was planning to move out and then he told me last night he didn’t want to walk out on my daughter after he had promised her to stay. At first I dismissed this saying No you have to go if you cant love me but then I got to thinking maybe this is an opportunity to show him I realize my weaknesses and that I realize I caused him to loose his since of self and rebuild things between us. He says he don’t know if the love could come back. Please help! Where do I turn from here? How do I save this? I realize I have questioned everything he does and turned around everything he said. Just want to make this right and go back to the loving, supportive, fun relationship that I let slip away.

  • Maria

    September 22nd, 2014 at 3:40 PM


    My husband and I have been together for 12yrs married for 5 of those. We are both 28yrs old and when we were 16yrs old he cheated on me and we broke up for a year. Ever since then I put up a wall and guarded my heart. Even though he came back and asked me to marry him I still had my wall up and didn’t trust him. I figured he’d just do it again.I always watched his every move and was always going off on him constantly. Now he told me he is not in love with me and feels nothing for me. He said he wants a divorce as soon as possible. I asked him for us to at least try and not just run at getting a divorce but he said no. He says he knows how he feels and he will never feel anything for me again. We still live in the same house, sleep in the same bed, and we still have sex. He did stop wearing his wedding ring and he changed my name in his phone to my name instead of wife. I know I was wrong and I should of had trust but he won’t give me a chance. I love him so much and he is my king. Do you think he can ever fall in love with me again and we can fix our marriage without heading down the divorce road. Plus, I just moved out the house and he begged me not to but I had to for me. I couldn’t take living under the same roof with him because I love him so much and don’t want to get a divorce but he does. Also,why won’t he give us a chance and at least try. He says no because it will just be a waste of time because he’s feelings are never going to change. Is all of what he’s saying true or is it that he’s just so hurt and fed up with me not trusting him and cussing him out on a daily basis. Then he said he has matured and changed and wants something new that’s not me. Help I’m confused and really want to fix our marriage.

  • Rey

    September 25th, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    Hello DrDeb,

    My girlfriend and I have been together cumulatively for 5 years now. We have had minor breaks but have resolved them and have been together since. We were mostly content with the relationship. I found out two days ago that my girlfriend has cheated on me for a week for her coworker. They had not slept together but they have been seeing each other and flirting through text messages. Ever since I caught them, she confessed and has been feeling very guilty. She wants to end both relationships between me and her cheating lover. (BTW this guy is just as guilty because he knew she was not single). I have asked her if she still loves me and that who would win in a contest and she had told me that I would win. But the fact that she cheated is haunting her. She told me if she had not cheated on me, she would definitely stay with me. I have since told her that I have forgiven her (although I’m still trying to reconcile my true feelings). But she won’t accept my forgiveness. She thinks renewing our relationship would be impossible. I have tried to reassure her by telling her I would never bring this issue up again. I want to restart the relationship but she is feeling too pained to try. Right now I’m giving her some space to think about it. I’m feeling really anxious but this article has given me some hope. She actually mentioned that she thinks the reason she let her coworker into her life is because he is confident. He fills the void and gives her validation through his compliments. She never believes me when I compliment her in the past. Now, I am trying to be more confident with myself by not pitying myself, giving her some space instead of coming across as needy, and I’m actually planning on taking her on a date so I can prove through my actions how confident I am. Hopefully even get to show her how I really feel about her instead of just through my words (and tears ahah). I’m planning on trying to carry myself as if I had no worries in the world. No more telling excuses to her. Acknowledging her appearances and successes and failures. To be more gentlemanly like in front of her like I used to be. I guess the reason she cheated because I was sort of distancing myself because of school. Even then, while we were in public, I didn’t really like showing my love for her in front of other people, especially my family and friends (I used to though). On the date, I am planning on taking her to an aquarium(cause she’s never been and has wanted to go), take her for lunch, and then take her to a special place where we’ve had good memories (Lake Las Vegas), and I plan on playing the first guitar song I’ve ever sang to her when we first began dating. Then I plan to present her with a promise ring. What do you think I should do? Is what I’m doing and planning on doing the most optimal way to go or no? I need help. Thanks!

  • Rey

    September 25th, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    Supplementing my last post #202

    I just checked that she posted on Facebook.

    “I lied. And done much worse. No one deserves that or to be given a second chance. No one.”

    She is being really adamant about not forgiving herself. I really need your help DrDeb. I don’t know if I should be patient or if I have to do something drastic to save the relationship. What should I do?

    I really need your help. Its urgent. Thank you DrDeb.

  • Rey

    September 27th, 2014 at 10:45 AM

    UPDATE to post#202-203

    I was impatient and I ended up pushing her away completely. I ended up finding out that she was still cheating on me with her cheating lover even after our first confrontation. After she had enough of my pushing, she finally pushed me away completely and is going to stay with her “lover”. I actually told her that her feelings for him were just infatuation and they weren’t real. I got really desperate. But, even then I just made it worse and she got really offended. Oh well. It just goes to show she never really cared like she said she did. Not worth it. If only I’d been more patient and stayed away from her awhile so she could have been “thinking” like she said she would. I guess that’s just another lie too.

    Thanks anyway Dr. Deb.

  • mummy m

    September 28th, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    Iv been with my boyfriend 4 6years we have 18month old son an I seen he has been messageing some girl telling her her has all these feeling 4 her an he can’t live without her I told him what I found he won’t let me message her as he says it none of my bisness

    After a lot of arguing he said we can make it thought this but he still has this girl on his fb I love him an don’t wanna lose him am I just being selfish tring 2 keep hold nowin he may not love me da same

  • DrDeb

    September 28th, 2014 at 5:54 PM

    Hi Rey,
    Interesting, that while I was reading your first post, I was thinking, “What? He’s taking her back? – This guy has no pride at all.” And then, below that, she’s saying you are not confident. So, I think that all bad things that happen are really good because they are an opportunity to learn so we can be better the next time. People often don’t have pride or self-esteem or confidence because of the way they were treated in childhood and they carry that with them. I think there is some investigating you should do into your deepest self to uncover this stuff because it affected your relationship. Do that so you will be a really “new Man” for the next girlfriend.

  • DrDeb

    September 28th, 2014 at 6:00 PM

    Hi Maria,
    Why not show him this article and see if it makes an impact? Maybe he didn’t know that feelings can change in both directions.

  • chez

    September 29th, 2014 at 2:44 AM

    Hi I have been with my bf for 3 year’s I’m pregnant with his second child an caught him wwatching porn I feel so down ugly and unloved. he tells me I’m just being stupid and its just a film but I feel like if ur in a loving relationship there should be no need to feel like you need to look at anyone else sexualy. I feel like there is something wrong with me I’m so lost and scared that he will eventually leave me as I’m not good enough for him anymore an I’ll be left on my own with our 2 children.

  • DrDeb

    September 29th, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    Hi Mummy
    What has been missing in your relationship that got your husband looking the other way? Those “feelings” for someone else don’t just come from nothing. Have there been arguments? Blame? Criticism? Or maybe it’s all been just a lot of work to run a home and no real conversation? The reason they say a marriage is work is it is like a garden: it needs rain and nutrition, sun and weeding.

  • Maria

    September 30th, 2014 at 10:01 AM


    This is a update on my previous post and I really really need your advice. Come to find out my husband has been in a relationship since June of this year with his co worker. He said they click and have so much in common. He said she listens to him when he talks. She is 33yrs old. He said he loves her and they tell each other that every day. He told me that when we talk I give him anxiety and he wants the divorce asap. He said he doesn’t want to try and he doesn’t want our marriage to work. How can someone he’s only known for 4mths make him fall in love with her and just forget everything that we had together. He just like forgot about me and treats me like garbage now. We still kiss and have sex. He doesn’t call me, text me,open the door for me,tell me good night or good morning nothing. But He does that for this co worker and they talk on the phone throughout the day for 2 to 3hrs. They text consistently to. I asked to see his text messages he sends to her and he said no. Their messages are private. But he told her every little detail about me and our marriage. Why wouldn’t he let me see them, is it something extremely deep they text each other? Do you think my husband is really in love with his co worker like he says meaning there’s just no chance of our marriage ever getting better and us not getting divorced. I’m stuck cause I’m so in love with this man and I won’t our marriage to be fixed. Then I spoke with the co worker one on one and she told me she will back off but my husband is not going to change his mind or how he feels. Then she had the nerve to tell me “I’m just warning you mike(my husband) is going to be pissed when I tell him about this so just be prepared”. Like really how this lady who just came in my husband life gone tell me how MY HUSBAND is going think or feel. Especially saying we been together for 13yrs. My husband said he loves me and cares about me but he just does not like me at all. What does that mean? Is my husband going to marry this co worker and their going to b live happily ever after. Is it any way that my husband might have a change of heart and can fall in love with me again.Or are we totally done and he’s all in to this co worker lady now. I just don’t get how she’s so perfect and can make my husband fall in love with her giving her his all while leaving me on the back burner. I need advice bad…….What does all this mean and should I just give up any hope of our marriage ever working out. Then I didn’t tell you the good part the co worker,my husband and myself all work at the same place. So I know she’s laughing at me like “yea trick I got your husband,he chose me and dumped you”.

  • DrDeb

    September 30th, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    Hi Maria,
    Let me answer your last question first: is he going to marry her and live happily ever after –no, he won’t. The reason is that once the chemicals associated with that giddy first experience of love have warn off (which if nothing goes wrong in the relationship do wear off in 1-2 years), it will be back to life as usual and your husband is not prepared for it.
    Let me answer another question you don’t ask: How could he have grown to not like ME? This is the most important question of all. Putting aside this other relationship, something has gone wrong in YOURS. Is it a lack of listening? (He says she listens.) Is it too much business as usual without any romance, any fun time? Is there yelling? Complaining? Negativity? Putting down? I don’t know what is missing, but in order for a relationship to ‘stick’ after many years, there have to be compliments, little ways to show one another you care, etc. If the bad stuff was present and the good stuff was missing, then what I recommend you do is sit down with your husband and discuss it. If you are responsible for any part of this, then come clean! Apologize. The fact that he loves but doesn’t like you is what is clueing me in that there is something on your part that you need to look at. And he must be quite unhappy because he has used this woman as a friend, telling her all the problems. He should have come to you with the problems instead. That was his error. Nevertheless, if you can look at this situation objectively, you might be able to salvage it.

  • Maria

    October 1st, 2014 at 7:01 PM

    Dr. Deb

    Thank you so much for responding and here goes. We have been together since we we’re 15yrs old and during that time he cheated. We broke up for 1yr and then something lead us back to each other. Once we got back together I had a wall up because I was afraid to 100% trust him again. I felt he’d do it all over again. With that being said I was very controlling, checked his phone/email/facebook constantly, I didn’t trust him and every girl he associated with I said he was trying to get with her. Then there’s the work schedule. I work mornings and he works midnights meaning we just passed each other by never being able to really actually be together. So, if I was off once he got off work I expected he’d spend time with me but no all he did was sleep all day until he had to wake up and go to work later that night. I started to fuss, snap, yell and put him down on a regular basis. I seemed to always get upset and yell at him. Then he had a tendency to want to have sex and I’d tell him “O,you just want my body. You can wake up for that but not to spend time with me”. I would tell him I’m just a piece of meat to you,you don’t love me. He also told me I didn’t respect him,appreciate him, and I treated him like a child. I admit I was a terrible person but that’s because I had up a wall and was not being my true self. I figured I had to be that girl so if it happened again at least I didn’t give my all. I have been working on me and myself becoming a better person being the Maria that I truly am. My husband also said he just . reached a point that was the last straw and he was done. He thinks I’m really that mean,fussy, negative and everything else person that he had seen all these years. He said we’ve been together forever and I know you inside/out. Then he said the situation can’t be fixed because you are who you are and you can’t change a persons personality. I keep trying to tell him that honestly that was not my true self and I can show him the true Maria. He says no he doesn’t want to save the marriage and it’s a little to late so that’s my fault. Dr. Deb with all this being the case can I prove to him that was not truly me and I can make him happy. Even though his saying all of what I said he said is there a chance deep down he really wants to save the marriage and he’s just so sick of how I treated he thinks it’s pointless cause it won’t change. Can he fall back in love with me and not want to get a divorce. I was asking and asking him to give our marriage a chance and I’ll show him, but each time he said no he can’t or no he doesn’t want to try to save the marriage. Are those words true or just hurt/anger talking. The emotional connection I had with him is gone. How can I get it back. Then is it to late to save my marriage and get my husband back because he’s so in love with this other woman. He spends his days with her constantly and constantly talks to her on the phone. Plus, he no longer wears his wedding ring, he changed my name in his phone from wife, he doesn’t like to go places together (ex: if he had to run to the store to get some bread and fruit. I’d say I can go with you and he’d say naw you cool I’ll just go), and he doesn’t want us riding in the same car. Is there hope to savage my marriage and bring my husband back to me or is everything ruined and it’s to late meaning he will never fall in love with me again and the divorce is coming. I’m confused because do I leave him be meaning don’t talk to him,do his laundry,cook for him or anything else or do I continue to do all of that and more so he can see I’ve change for the better.

  • Maria

    October 2nd, 2014 at 6:55 AM

    Dr. Deb

    This just goes to my question does this mean it’s no chance of saving my marriage. We use to share bank accounts and a little while ago my husband got his own bank acct. Now all his money just goes there and he gives me a little bit from each check. Is that a sign that our marriage is done with no chance of savaging it. Did he want the acct so he can spend all his money on date nights,outings,and buying the new woman gifts. By my husband talking to the one he’s so called in love with now every day all day on the phone and them spending time together every day is that allowing them to get closer. Is that pushing him further away from me? Dr. Deb be honest please if they got together in June is it true and possible that like my husband said “he is in love with the other women”.

  • Chris

    October 3rd, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    It,s too late. Get a lawyer and move on.

  • Bell

    October 7th, 2014 at 2:29 AM

    Hi dr Deb,

    I’d like to hear your take on my situation. My boyfriend and I started dating 2 years ago. His previous relationship was caught in the middle of us falling for each other, and he ended it to be with me. 3 months passed, and he was “confused” about his feelings. At the time, it was hard for me to accept because we had an amazing time, but I didn’t resist or try to make it work, I let him go, even though I was completely devastated and caught by surprise.

    3 months later, he contacted me and wanted to explain himself. He was afraid he still had feelings for his ex, and wanted to work through them before we moved further with our relationship. At the time the only way he knew was to leave. After talking it through a lot, I decided to give it a second go. The feelings were still there for both of us.

    He ended all contact with the ex before the second time around with us, and he was very clear that the relationship was past him; this time he was ready to commit fully to me. For more than a year now, he has been the perfect boyfriend who has treated me above and beyond, showered me with love and affection, who accepts and understands that I still can’t trust him and that I still get mad at him for his previous actions every now and then. We live together, and I think he is planning on proposing to me, he drops a lot of hints, and says he wants to spend his life with me.

    I do really love him, and I more than want it to work, but I am still haunted by his old betrayal. I know his ex is not anywhere near his life anymore, and he is only concerned about our relationship, but I just can’t move past it. I’m constantly doubting him, whatever he says and does and I’m always looking for clues that he is being insincere. It almost feels like I’m frustrated that I never picked up on his doubts the first time around, and this time I’m trying to anticipate any negativity way ahead of time, to spare myself the breakup I already suffered once.

    This is killing me, he would do anything for me, and I know this, but I don’t believe it. What can I do to leave the past in the past? How do I trust him again? He has given me no reason to distrust him since.


    October 7th, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    Please read #200

  • Broken79

    October 7th, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    Hello. My husband and I have been married for 10 years and have 2 wonderful boys. We have never really fought in our relationship and have always sorted things out when we do have little arguments. We have built a good life as a family. A couple of weeks ago we had a falling out and it came out that he is feeling emotionally detached from me. I have told him that I have in a way felt the same as it seems the only time he wants to touch me is when he wants sex so I have turned myself off in a way. We both still love each other immensely. I want to help him get that emotional attachment back but am not sure how to. I don’t want to push him further away by doing the wrong thing.

  • Huriel

    October 7th, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    Can i pleasr get sime advice on how can i bring back my sons mothers feelings back so she can love me the way i do, i want us to stay together as a family, but apperently she had strong feelings for another man, what can i do to win her back, i am trying my all, i changed all my ways for. Her, i resprct show that i love her but idk what rlse to do !!

  • serendipity88

    October 8th, 2014 at 1:00 AM


    I have been with my boyfriend for almost 2 years. We were friends for a long time beforehand but lived in different countries. 2 years ago I went to visit him to his country and the spark was so strong, our connection was so incredibly strong.. I had never experiences this before. I never felt so much respect and care from a male in my life. I was very confident and happy. Until the time arrived for him to choose between two different jobs, one in his country and one in the country where I live. We had been together for barely a year (long-distance) at the time and I couldn’t see the potential for another 2 years long distance in different countries…

    so he chose the job in my city and thats where the problem started. He hated the city, the job.. and me. I was to blame for his misery and we started fighting so much. He started applying for new jobs to return back home but he didn’t get them. He was rude, impatiend and miserable with me. From a happy and positive person that I have always been I turned into a miserable woman. Work and study weren’t going well because of the problems at home. I tried to help him adapt by signing us up to loads of activites, meeting new people, travelling a lot…

    One year down the line.. he started liking his job, he settled in finally.. but the attitude towards me did not change. He is impatient and rude with me, says hurtful things. I see my fault as well as I am a passionate person who tends to dramatize sometimes and he always wanted me to listen more to what he is saying.

    Yesterday we had a really bad fight. It was because a stranger at the airport asked me for directions and according to my boyfriend I wasn’t very useful to him as my sense of directions isn’t great so I should have asked him for help instead of giving answer myself. I asked him to respect my decision to give my advice as I feel it was adequate = he said my decisions are shit…

    this is not my friend, the person I fell in love with who was my biggest support, best friend and life partner. I don’t understand what I am doing wrong any more. I am so lost.

  • Huriel

    October 8th, 2014 at 6:48 AM

    Please help me out, i want my family to stay strong together, with love and loyalty , respect what should i do to win her love for me ! The way shr did from the beggining, wherr i messed up was i would call her names and yell at her but then i changed my ways all late when the love was gone ):

  • DrDeb

    October 8th, 2014 at 9:00 AM

    Hi Bell
    Your reactions are understandable. Have you noticed differences in his behavior from the first time around? Meaning, is your bf more assured? More clear about life in general? Does he approach problems with more thought and care than before? Is he more planful, thinking ahead to the outcomes of his actions? – eg, saving $ for the future if he didn’t before. All these things represent a true change in a person. It’s possible for a person to make mistakes in life – we all do- but if we LEARN from them, we’re better than we were before. So that is to your advantage as part of a couple: he would be a more mature and forward-thinking person. I hope helps you make your final decision accurately.

  • DrDeb

    October 8th, 2014 at 9:08 AM

    Hi Missy,
    I have several thoughts. 1. You should really get help to overcome the trauma of your first terrible experience. That has been haunting you for a long time. 2. The fact that you chose the first husb. w/o seeing the red flags in him – or perhaps you wanted to overlook them – means that you also may need other help. You may have felt too low a sense of self-esteem to select properly the first time so you would benefit from work on your self esteem. 3. Pushing your current husband away is a good way to protect yourself but not good for the relationship. What you really need to do is the same as I suggested for Bell – to look for aspects in his personality and behavior that are quite different from those of your first husband. Meaning: you need to be able to see more deeply into people and see differences. It’s almost as if Good and Bad is unclear in your mind and everything first looked good when it wasn’t and now everything looks all bad when it may not be. So those are 3 areas to work on in therapy. And they are important for your own happiness in life.

  • DrDeb

    October 8th, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    Hi Broken 79
    Being in love the first time just happens. After that, it actually takes work. Love = Giving. You need to BOTH make an effort to give to one another. Giving means compliments, little notes of appreciation, thinking about what you can do to be helpful and thoughtful, etc. It also means having FUN: going out to fun things together the way new couples do. Make a special time to just go out w/o talking about who will pick up the kids from soccer. Be romantic, too. What would a new date or a new wife do who feels a bit shy w a new partner? Take a plunge and think of what you can say or do that would be romantic and exciting. All of the above matters. One more thing: You have both spilled your guts about the negative. Now, search inside for the positive and SAY IT.

  • Wishes for hope

    October 8th, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    Hi DrDeb, I met this guy many years ago in my working times. He is a married man. After some time , we met again and there knew him as a friend, not previously like boss/ colleague relationship. We click off very well and slowly feelings develop. He dun have a good marriage and thus treat me very good and lovingly.All these years with him, I always remind myself he is a married man and I cant get myself into this rs( relationship) . We are like soul-mates and only like the comfort from each other. Those years , I always tend to choose others then him becos I cant be a step-mom ( I told myself ) and seeing after and another.All fails and i still turn back to him for comfort. He is always there for me till one day he gives up when he see the ring .( it was just a gf/bf ring ) . Things turn suddenly drastically becos his wife learn about matters of us though we never commit any offence. He then ask me not to contact him anymore . His wife tried to call me and I never pick up. He wanted a divorce all along and this thing aggravated more. That was when I know I need him in my life and I no longer can deceive myself anymore. I felt hurt and back away , knowing he need time and space to settle his personal things. I try at times msg him but no avail till a year later , i msg him , he finally reply. I was very happy and excited but can feel he is closing himself up . All the msg i sent he reply back in one word . One day , i ask him, are you wary of me? He say he dun want to give false hopes and dun want to have any RS involve . I agree and accept. but I cant let go of him cos i knew he is the one in my life. He is with no one now . What can i do to regain back his trust and love ? I know i have hurt him so many times when i didnt choose him and he walked away . He sent a msg ( during times of clean breakup) that he found out he still have feelings with his ex ( before wife’s time) . i ask for meetup face to face , he avoided. Maybe that was a lie to get me away from him . Can you advise what should I do now? In our last msg, i ask if we can be friends . he say yes . how to get him back again ? I know he have no trust in me nor rs. I am willing to wait actually . cos your heart is telling you is worth it . Please advise .

  • Maria

    October 9th, 2014 at 5:13 AM

    Hello Dr. Deb

    It’s Maria Dr. Deb and I answered your question about how could he have GROWN TO NOT LIKE ME? With all of what I told you can my marriage be saved? I really need your expert advice because I don’t know am I wasting my time trying and hoping that my husband will fall in love with me and want our marriage to work. I have been totally working on myself also inside and out. So, Dr. Deb can you please help and give me advice please. If you don’t remember the paragraph I wrote you Oct 1 @ 7pm. Just please read it again if you forgot and give me your honest advice. Thanks!! I’d appreciate that.

  • DrDeb

    October 11th, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    Hi “Wishes For Hope,”
    When a person is having problems in his marriage is the WORST time to strike up a relationship. A person in emotional turmoil is not who he really IS. He will be needy and insecure and maybe sweet. That comes from the pain and mess he is in. That is NOT the real person. Furthermore, the fact that he did NOT go to counseling and also did not divorce his wife (in the beginning) means he was not trying to fix his problem. A person should NOT make two problems when he already had one! He had no business messing with you emotionally even if he did nothing wrong physically. And you should not have gone there, either. You are not a therapist! Just because he talked to you for friendship and advice did not mean you could help him repair his marriage. So, here is my honest opinion: A. Stay away from this guy. You don’t know who he REALLY is; you don’t know what it would be like to live with him. My hunch is that it would not be good at all. He is not clear on who he is or what he wants. He is not a problem solver. He is not a doer. B. YOU need to get into counseling so you can learn how to “tell” who is good and who isn’t good for you to lose your heart to. You did not take good care of YOU all that time messing w a married man. And you weren’t aware of the “other” side of the problem either — you may have hurt a truly good and innocent person; you just really don’t know.

  • DrDeb

    October 11th, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    Hi Maria
    I have a hunch: He said people don’t change. And he kept saying that. Maybe he is saying it w so much certainty because HE didn’t change! Remember, this all started because HE cheated on you. True, you were just kids at the time. Still, cheating is cheating. My grandchildren (in elem school) wouldn’t cheat, I’d take bets on that. So, kids or not, maybe that is who he is. Now, you are STILL married and he is fooling around instead of being responsible and taking you to counseling (and himself as well because he needs to grow up and not cheat when the going gets rough.) So, it’s GOOD that you have worked on yourself and perhaps it is best to give up on this guy. Next go-around, see a pre-marriage counselor to work on trust issues and be SURE the guy is trustworthy.

  • Uncertain

    October 16th, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    Could you please reply to my post from Sept 20?

  • ML

    October 17th, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    Hi Dr Deb . I’ve dated this guy in our brass band & everything was going good & i began to like him , & then he became too clingy & I was very uncomfortable & didn’t say anything. I Was speaking to some other guy that I know & he got mad & didn’t want to speak to me , I was sad , because I missed him. People in the band began to call him names like “security” cause he wanted to be everywhere I was & didn’t want to give me a small little space , I mean ? A girl has guy friends too , he got mad & then I got mad & I ignored him.
    I then felt like it wasn’t working because we aren’t on speaking terms & he’s constantly ignoring me , but he would still look once or twice my way & I won’t lie I do miss him a lot , what do I do ? Because after all that , I now only realize how much feelings I’ve developed for him.
    I need advice :( , please help me.

  • DrDeb

    October 18th, 2014 at 7:10 PM

    Hi ML
    I’m going to take a wild guess (since I don’t know you) that you don’t really love this guy. My guess is that you feel connected to someone and that is a very good feeling. But the guy himself, uh-uh. I must sound like a broken record on this blog, but I would suggest counseling to help you truly love yourself and feel connected to yourself so that you are not going to develop feelings so easily for the wrong person.

  • DrDeb

    October 18th, 2014 at 7:23 PM

    Hi Uncertain,
    I’m interested: Whose idea was it in the first place to have the open relationship? You know, since time in eternity, multiple partners have not worked because it arouses jealousy. There was a gorgeous movie I once saw in Chinese (I think) with English subtitles: Hang the Red Lantern (or something like that). Rent it. The bottom line is that sex was meant to cement a relationship. Once you start adding new people, you can have fun and all that, but it doesn’t cement a relationship. I would rather see YOU give him the oral sex dressed up in a way that excites your and his imagination. I have never known of an open relationship that was at the same time emotionally close and loving. Mostly, they’re just for fun and the fun gets old with the same partners so people switch. That is because the emotional part of the relationship is missing. Let me draw a comparison: It reminds me of bulimia: You get to eat and then you throw it up. It doesn’t stay inside. If that makes any sense. There’s a bunch on my own website about the emotional and spiritual component of sex (drdeb.com). You have a heart and soul; everyone does. The more we try to deny them, the more they try to muscle their way in. I would suggest you have a good look inside yourself and ask yourself what, exactly, you are looking for in this relationship. Then I would take that information and have a heart to heart talk about your sex life with your husband and where you want to go. If all this is too confusing, then please consider therapy with a sensitive and aware therapist.

  • Uncertain

    October 19th, 2014 at 2:34 PM

    When we met we were both in open relationships, so this was a mutual interest of ours. My husband has had far less experiences than I have when it comes to being with different people. Originally we decided to be completely monogamous, and we have been since that decision. Until this incident. We’d both discussed swinging and such, and thought it might be fun to try some day, but neither of us actively pursued it. The girl brought up wanting to perform on my husband, he immediately looked at me..not in a pleading way, but more of a “did she just say that? What do we do?” Way. He was stunned, so was I honestly. But since we’d thought about it I figured it couldn’t hurt to try. I’m limited in what I can do sometimes, due to medical problems, and my husband has been amazingly supportive and no pressure about it. I kind of considered it a gift to him. Let him have a little fun since I can’t right now. It’s just that he went too far that hurts. We’re both very honest with each other, I know he loves me, I’ve never questioned that. I think we’re emotionally ok, we talk every day about how we feel and what’s going on in our lives. I’ve thought about getting therapy for just myself due to depression. I know if I asked he’d do couples therapy. He is always supportive of things that might better our life together. I feel like I may have just blown everything out of proportion. The whole idea of being open has been closed completely after this. He didn’t get upset…his first concern was if we were ok. I think the whole adventurous stuff will just have to wait until my medical problems clear up.

  • DrDeb

    October 19th, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    Hi Uncertain,
    See, you said it yourself: You went into the idea for fun. But then sex is ALSO, at the same time as fun, it’s a very personal, intimate thing. And sometimes, you can get the personal part caught up in the middle of things. I think that’s what happened. I also wonder whether the depression you feel has any connection to all of the above. Let me add one more piece. Specialists in sex therapy deal with all kinds of medical issues that get in the way and they find a way around it, in case that is the nature of your medical problem. I think you were being very kindly to your husband, to use the friend’s actions as a pleasant thing for him, a gift. But it is also playing with fire. I don’t think you can expect yourself to be able to be lighthearted about all of it when sex is with someone you love, much as you intended it at first. Incidentally, good Marriage & Family Therapists are skilled in working with both the individual and the couple. Unlike Psychologists who say it is a big boundary crossing to see one or another person and the couple together, MFTs feel that is a helpful way to get to know each person as a person. Anyway, go easy on yourself. I don’t think you blew things out of proportion. You have feelings; you’re human. It sounds also like you are blessed with a caring and loving husband.

  • Chris

    October 22nd, 2014 at 8:36 AM

    I’m talking to a girl who says she is emotionally unstable. I really like this girl and understand what she is going through. What can I do to convince her to take a chance with me?

  • meg

    October 25th, 2014 at 6:35 AM

    I have been dealing with depression for many years since having children with my boyfriend, he has always been someone who loved to drink and over the years of enjoyment of drinking turned into the need of drinking…. we have come to an ugly in pass where my depression and his drinking was out of control and hurting our family. He decided he needed space and kicked me and the children out of the family home to be able to focus on himself getting better and so I can focus on myself which sounds great in theory but me and the children are living with my family sharing a king size bed in a 13×13 room. I’m trying to deal with my depression and going to counselling and he refuses to see or care that not living in our home with him is actually going to add to my depression not help me over come it…. and how can he deal with stress and his need for drinking if he just cuts everything out of his life that causes him stress? Won’t it just cause more stress later and if he relapsed once we are allowed back in won’t it be our fault?

  • Deborah L.

    October 27th, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    why didnt you kick him out Meg? kids need their own home surrounded by their own familiar things and focus on yourself and them. He needs to seek help for himself the only contact you should have w him is too allow him to have quality time w the children.

  • meg

    October 29th, 2014 at 1:56 AM

    I did not have a choice in the matter. I have just started back at school to finally get a better education so I have no income so I would be unable to pay for the home. I have been going to counselling and seeking help since this happened and he told me he would do the same he made it 12 days sober and sent the kids home early yesterday because his friend was coming over and they were going to drink. My depression has not been easy and I know neither has been trying to be sober for him it just seems like there is no hope to get better and be a family.

    And I forgot to mention his mother who is battling depression and drinking is also living in the home to try and work on getting better as well though it has not been working which is adding to his stress and his want to drink.

  • Cathy

    November 4th, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    I’m glad I found this…I am having the same issue right now. I have been dating this guy for a little over 3 and half years and we got off to a rocky start a few months into our relationship when my ex decided all of a sudden after not speaking to me for 6 months just had to be back in my life and showed up at my house trying to talk…I made a point to be sure to tell the current bf because I didn’t want to lie to him, well because I was very open with him about my past relationships he was not to thrilled and since has had some major trust issues. In the past 7 months I have had two miscarriages due to birth control failing, the first one I didn’t know about until after the fact and the second one I found out and stopped taking my birth control, just to see if it would matter even though I pretty much knew it wouldn’t and may have said I wished it was just overwith, moreso meaning if nature was going to take its course then I would rather it be sooner than later, since he has wanted to really try for a baby and I don’t really want to which makes him mad. Now suddenly after 3 years he can’t tell me he loves me, and claims once I said that about the miscarriage he stopped but has been saying it for the past two months trying to force himself to feel it but won’t ever deal with whats bothering him, he just bottles it up and gets more and more angry, and even more angry if I try to talk to him about it which is frustrating to me because I am a talker and try to talk things out. Not really sure what to do…I want to keep trying but not sure how to go about it, he needs to talk it all out and get it out to let go of all the anger or try to but he just shuts me out and ignores me for days on end and has an attitude from hell…I have said countless times that I’m sorry and at times things seem totally normal and others its like we’ve never shared anything together or been in love…help.

  • deeksha

    November 4th, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    hi dr . Deb
    i wanted to tell you something . please help me with this asap. i have been in a relationship since 2years . he is the bestest guy i could ever have. but few days ago we broke up. the reason was i have been in touch with my ex and i had never told him . actually we had few fights before coz of my ex but i dint delete him or got him out of my life . i was indifferent to him . for me talking a little really dint matter . i never wanted him back or something. but the truth is i was in contact with him . this did hurt my boyfriends feelings and i know he really loves me that is why he is so hurt . but the trust is gone in this relationship dr. and the worst part was he got to know from him that we were in touch . as he texted him on facebook. i never had the courage to tell him because i thought somewhere that this will hurt him a lot . actually i never thought from his perspective.but now I AM REALLY SORRY and i regret and i have the feeling of guilt that i have hurt him so much dr. also this is not the first time i have hurt him. i have done it twice and thrice and he is done with me now and has lost his trust in me . but dr. i understand and know how he feels . and i accept my mistake that i have been a brat and lied to him. but i really dont want to loose him dr. i would do anything to make him smile. but i really love him. i dont know how to make him understand and get him back i am really immature with all this . also i never had the intension to hurt him purposely. for me my ex never mattered. but yeah me being in contact was wrong . please reply ASAP? I feel helpless dnt know what to do?

  • DrDeb

    November 4th, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    Hi Deeksha
    Well, you are right – you did wrong. The key to a good relationship is being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes BEFORE you do something that you can’t undo. If he won’t listen, maybe you can write him a nice email explaining how you now see your mistake. Then ask him how you can make it up to him. Let me ask you: Do you know what he cares about? The things he likes? Maybe you can do that for him. For ex, if he cares about politics, make a point of voting (if you’re in the US) today. Things like that. Cater to him and perhaps that will show him that you are not selfish after all. Good luck.

  • what am i doing

    November 4th, 2014 at 6:08 PM

    I have been married for a year I love my husband we have a 6 yr old and a nine month old ..but are relationship has been going down hill since I found out I was pregnant with the baby I found out he was on heroin and it had taken over I moved us into a different area to help him stop drugs but know i feel like all the weight is on me and im looking for another job when my husband is doin nothing can hardly ever watch my boys and I have been thinking abut having sex with other men I’m just so confused hurt and stressed out Christmas is coming and all we do is argue its really affecting the kids I think its making the baby mean and he could carless about buying our kids colthes and I know Christmas is out the question from him I don’t know what to do I keep kicking him out but by us being married he doesn’t have leave I feel so depressed sad and used

  • DrDeb

    November 5th, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    Hi What am i doing
    The problem to me seems like you can’t separate in your mind the good man from the bad things he is doing. That is understandable. It is the basis of love and loyalty. On the other hand, your continued acceptance of him is actually coming across to him as a green light to continue his behavior no matter what he does. Fighting and nagging don’t work. I’m afraid to say you will have to make other living arrangements for yourself or for him in order to get the message across. As he is, he is a safety risk for your kids. There’s no easy way to do this. You need the support of good friends and family right now and then you need the courage to take the right steps.

  • deeksha

    November 5th, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    hi dr . deb
    actually i tried talking to him but hes talking to me very and replying to me . but he isnt doing that on his own like texting me or calling me. i know hes really hurt thats why he doesnt feels like talking to me that much . i have apologised through texts and we fought on the ex issue also . it seems like he wont be able to get that out of his mind right now. i know its very obvious. i told him that i miss him and am sorry but he said its okay . when i talk he will reply i know but i guess he needs sometime? but dr. i really really miss him and i am breaking down every moment with the feel that i did bad . but i apologised idk what more i should do. i have exams coming up.i cant focus also . all this is scaring me and am thinking abt it 24*7 . please help me what to do ? give him time ? wait ? idk . but there is no trust . i have broken it all .

  • DrDeb

    November 5th, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    Hi Deeksha
    What about what I suggested — doing things that he cares about? Did you try that?

  • what am i doing

    November 5th, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    Thank u for the advice …. I have not let go of the good him and that’s what I been holding on to I know what he is now and i have so many emotions and I feel like I can save him or should I say my heart tells me to save him and my mind knows he is gone I hate that I’m in this situation and my family has cut me off for marrying him and I’m ashamed to talk about it to my friends around me but they know heroin is really bad in ky right now and they ask me all time why is he always loaded I’m just trying to get mentally unwind from him and I just exploding on the inside

  • Harley

    November 5th, 2014 at 11:29 PM

    So I just found out that my boyfriend has been a sexting another girl for about a week. When I caught him I wanted to know everything. Why he did it. When it started. We have been together for over 2 and a half years. I am 4 months pregnant. We have had a few rough patches but nothing like this And I don’t know how I am suppose to go about trying to get back to the way we were. How do I go about trusting him when I am not home.

  • Stephen

    November 6th, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    I have been unfaithful to my wife for 10 years. I would like to rebuild our relationship. How can I do this

  • Debby

    November 11th, 2014 at 9:19 PM

    Hi, I had to reply to this. And maybe Dr Deb can reply to this as well. I have been dating A good man for over a year and a half. Treats me well, treats my son very well unfortunately does not treat himself well. He’s had a hard life growing up.he has gone through emotional physical and sexual abuse since he’s very young. Now in his early 40s and he’s just talking about it. His grandma that he was very close to pass away this past April. Also he had lost a job around the same time. He’s a hard worker but unfortunately when stress comes into play he does not handle it very well and turns to heroin. Started out when he was about 23 he was in a very bad car accident broke his back in two places was in a come or for three months and he survived and today I or no one would even know how bad he was hurt. Is a very intelligent man used to be an RN nurse until the car accident. And then prescription drugs painkillers took over. And now heroin. He’s been in and out of rehab’s for the past three months three days five days 10 days his last one was 22 days and he was feeling good at all excited to be continuing his recovery at another facility. However in the meantime is insurance that he had was stopped they could not wait a day to get it resolved which he now has it again. However with in those 24 hours he went and got high and now unfortunately he was arrested. I explain to the officer when I had called and explained him what he’s been going through the last few months he also has been diagnosed with bipolar psychotic, high anxiety, PTSD depression and ADHD. Most of them are very things that happen when a young child is sexy abused. I’ve been trying to research these and understand him more. Now since his arrest I had the day before kicked him out of my apartment because I did not want to go through it again even though I love him with all my heart I gave him my whole heart I cannot continue to go through this with him he needs to do this on his own. I don’t even know if he still in jail if he is maybe getting the help I have no idea. But honestly knowing that he’s not here and that he’s probably most likely in jail I’m not stressed. I feel it’s probably a good thing for him to be in there right now. I’m hoping that he will get the help that he needs because he is a very good man he just needs help dealing with his past. I told him to maybe give it a year before we actually start dating again though I will be here for him to talk to but I suggested him to write me letters instead of calling me. People usually can get their feelings out more when writing them down then talking on the phone. Heroin is the worst drugged I’ve seen him go through things and I’ve heard stories and it’s very scary out there. So to “what am I doing” I could ask you the same one of my doing and I crazy to continue to hold on hoping and praying and I have a very strong faith in my religion he does not. He’s a very lost little boy even though he’s 42 he’s very lost and I’m hoping he can be found that he can find himself. I know he loves me very much he says he needs me but I need him to love a need himself first.
    Sorry to ramble on. I may not know what you’re going through but I’m sure I’ve had the same thoughts and feelings as you have I hope things will get better for you as well.

  • Brittany

    November 16th, 2014 at 2:06 AM

    Please help.
    My almost 2yr old was born special needs. She almost died…for 2 mos in the NICU.

    During my pregnancy there were a thousand promises he would stop smoking pot. After the initial scare he did, but a month later he was back at it. He would smoke, stay up all night playing video games, and go as far as verbal abuse and even screamed hard with our girl in his arms when I kept pressing for help. He screamed so hard she screamed in terror (at 2 mos when she just got home). Shehas permanent hearing loss, so this I
    how bad it was. I hold so much anger for him.

    My daughter was very sick even at home. Every day I saved her multiple times from aspiration. Alone.

    Time passed, I got weak and joined in myself. Quickly I feared for her well being and quit again. It was not helping my PP PTSD. He promised to quit, did, then started again. He has been doing it ever since. I broke up with him. He used excessive guilt and said he would change. I told him I was tired of the lies. I came home from work and he told me how I made him feel ugly and unwanted. I let him do what he wanted, and he finished in me!

    Needless to say I am pregnant again, miserable, and up with my SN daughter since 3 bc he feels entitled to smoke pot and play games till early in the morning.

    I should mention the ONLY promise he has ever kept is to be faithful (I think?…). He has broken every promise outside that. Every. Single. One. I wish I was exaggerating.

  • Empty

    November 16th, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    I recently found out my boyfriend lost feelings for me over a lot of arguing. But we been talking and he told me he got some back and he felt better about things. I decided to give him space , no talking or texting for a DAT , just to see if he would miss me. Then he told me , he really didn’t and that he didn’t feel any urges to talk or anything. I don’t know what to do at this point. I feel like I’m really losing him if he doesn’t feel as crazy for me like he did before. I need help… Should I end this ? Or keep trying ?

  • trapi

    November 17th, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    iv been wit my man for 9 years now but we are not married, we have a kid and now she is 6 years old,, we met in high school whith my boy friend and there everything was preety good, we used to love each other very much share everything together bt last year early things started to change, i found him in our bed whith this other girl, since then evrythn was not good he never gave me a reason to forgive him for what he did. I love him very much,, i think i did for the past years but not anymore… One thing that bothers me is that i cant break up whith him and i dont know why… Even though iv fallen out of love in him. Or mayb im sick… Help plz

  • DrDeb

    November 17th, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    Hi Brittany
    It sounds to me like your husband is suffering from abuse, depression, trauma or something like that. His behavior sounds lazy and selfish, I know. But people don’t act like that out of the clear blue for no reason. He needs help. Get him to an addictions specialist asap!! See what your insurance will cover in the way of a residential treatment program. His reactions are not normal. If he won’t go, then perhaps you need to make plans without him because he could endanger your child more than he already has.

  • Tony

    November 18th, 2014 at 5:06 AM

    My girlfriend of 15 months, found out a week ago that I cheated with my ex. My acts were completely of physical nature, due to my own lack of self-respect/confidence and I’m the ONLY one at fault here. She has stated since that day that she wants to love me, but is numb, which I truly understand because I’m the same way with regret and shame.
    My question, after some texting back and forth the first few days and one conversation on the phone, I’ve gone with here wishes to leave her alone right now. How long do I stay silent? Do I refrain from any words like “I love you”, “I miss you” or is ok to give her little words to let her know I’m here and thinking of her so much with sorrow, regret and understanding. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to gain back her trust and respect.
    Can you give me a few words of advise?

  • bunny

    November 19th, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    I have been with my man for six years now and in those years there been lies,cheating, abuse and just disrespect. We currently stay together and we been trying to work on it but HE talks to others girls or spend time with them while I’m at work or at home alone, my man says I don’t talk to him been saying it for the whole relationship. Not true I talk to him he is just a deep thinker and he thinks or talks about things that’s I’m not interested in. I love this man really do I know I need to open up more….he needs to be at home with me be sweet my man is really hard on me he gets upset cause I don’t talk to him about my goals or plans BUT I don’t have any that he doesn’t know. I say I can’t do this relationship no more he tells me I have control over the relationship the ball in my court, i have the problems to fix it. If that’s the case then why does he bring up the old things that I have done to make our relationship bad. I love him i would die for him please help me fix my relationship we were supposed to get married September 12, 2017

  • dan

    November 22nd, 2014 at 5:59 AM

    Me and my girlfriend are together for 2.5 years. The past few month we argued a lot, and she was saying i ignore her and dont give her enough attention. It took me a lot of time to understand what she meant and what i was doing wrong, and by the time i did she felt distant from me and cheated on me emotionally with another guy.
    When i did understand what she was missing and started working on that i havent felt any feedback from her, and when we talked about it she came clean about what she did.
    She said she does want us to fix our relationship, but she does not now if its possible because she feels her love for me was damaged.
    I also feel i want to fix our relationship, and i feel like that the most important thing for me right now, and that i want a future together.
    So we are stuck in a weird situation where i want to be with her all the time, and i miss her a lot. she wants to fix our relationship but she dosent feel she loves me right now…
    Im having a very hard time to deal with the distance, on one hand i want to give her some space, and rebuild our relationship slowly, but on the other hand i miss her all the time and i have a hard time staying back.
    Im afraid that im pushing to hard and it will drive her off, but on the other hand im afraid that we will grow apart even further
    I believe we both want the same thing which is to be together, and be happy together, but i dont know how to get there..
    Be happy to hear your advice

  • list25

    November 24th, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    Hi I been married 4 years with my husband and we have a daughter. we’ve had our ups and but he always lies to talking to girls 8 caught so many time texting emailing them.his promised to change and it never happens I tried controlling everything which wasn’t a good things cus we just fought even more. He met a girl and decided to stay out late night and I caught him by calling her # she denied and he all did and then he said wasn’t like that but he had a 30 min conversation with the following day.we talked n he promised he would change the following week he did it again and I caught her text him saying prove it your not with her.that morning I confronted him and he asked me and my daughter to leave the house since had feelings for this person.i moved out and I’m really sad cus he didn’t care one bit the damage he caused and now blames.me that whatever he had going on isn’t there with that girl. His constantly talking down to me and throwing it my face his out partying talking to girls while I’m sad cus I love him. Then the next he wants me to prove to him I’m not controlling or jealous 8 order to be with him.im so lost.then the same girl had a text conversation where she’s telling him she doesn’t want to be with him and his bashing me and my daughter and begging her to give him a chance and he would never cheat on him.i confronted him and all he did was laugh in my face and say we have something good we just don’t live together. I don’t know what do anymore since we do have daughter and I have to see him.

  • Eduardo

    November 27th, 2014 at 7:00 AM

    My gf and I were together almost 5 years and had a son together. She had a death in the family and i was working at night. She said i was not there for her and I would push her away and that is why she cheated on me and have gave up on us. I feel like she sometimes it’s manipulated by her sister and that is also why e are not together because her sister tells her r should not be together. There was a few weeks were it looked like could with things out but now I’m not sure. She says had no more feelings anymore for me.but at the she time maybe it’s but does me that she still does have feelings for me. I dont what to do. She had told me she wants to see what is out there abd eventually were might get back together but at the same time days we will get back together. I live in la area, she lives in Bakersfield and the only way she will let me see my son is if i come and stay with her and her mom but i sleep on the couch to see my son because if i don’t i can’t see my son and she won’t let me take my son for the weekend. I honestly am confused and hurt and dont know what to do anymore. I do still love her and know she talks and is seeing other people and I’m stuck waiting for her. Please help me…

  • Tricia

    November 27th, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    Wow your situation sounds much like mine but it’s the other way around. My boyfriend and I have been together for 9 yrs and we recently just parted ways in the past 4 days. He left me. But he was the one ignoring me and the problems in our relationship and it seemed like the more I tried to love him the more he pushed me away. He said he loves me but is not in love with me anymore but still cares about me. We both have had some trying experiences and abandonment issues before we got together. I did so much for him when times were bad for us and he just holed up and bottled up. I know I did not handle it right myself. I hope that he will come around as well and will see how selfish he was which he has admitted but I guess I should not push the issue of wanting to be with him still because it will only drive him away more. I’m so hurt right now.

  • Tricia

    November 27th, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    Hi Dr. Deb
    It’s only been four days since the end of my relationship of 9yrs. He left me because he says he isn’t in love with me but still cares about me and he did love me. I have told him that I love him and want to fix the problems. We went through some hard times in the relationship with his loss of jobs and he shut down and became lazy while I worked. We fought a lot about money and being broke and our intimate life became non-existent and problems in the bedroom because how much we fought and never settled anything. I didn’t know how to handle all the tough times with him losing his job and being lazy and depressed so I nagged at him which created more arguing. I know that it was not the way to handle it but I didn’t know what else to do. He started ignoring me and the more I tried to love him he pushed me away. Things eventually got back on track with him finding a job but our relationship never seemed to recover. He had admitted his faults in the relationship and told me he loved me the best of his ability. I know I am also at fault for things in our relationship. I have admitted this and we have both admitted to each other. I want to save the relationship. What can I do, or do I do anything at all yet and just give him time to process it all? Does the fact that he is also hurt maybe indicate there could be a chance?

  • Leslie

    December 3rd, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    Hi I’ve been married to my husband for eleven yrs together for eighteen. Last November I made a huge mistake and cheated on him. We got back together but this November came around and we are seperated. He says his feelings haven’t changed for me he just needs time to clear his head. First he said he wanted a divorce now he’s not sure. Do you think there’s still a chance for us? I made my mistake but I really do love him and want to be forever!

  • Alita

    December 5th, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    My boyfriend and I have been together on and off for two years and a half. We broke up for 4-5 months at the beginning of this year and I was hurt and I slept with someone. I didn’t tell him the truth about it, I just kept saying that it didn’t happen. And it kept bothering me every day. So I brought it up a couple of days ago, and he broke up with me because he said he couldn’t trust me. I was pretty much begging him to take me back, and we met up at the park earlier so we could talk. And I still didn’t tell him the complete truth. Then he came by my house later to pick up his laptop but I wasn’t able to log out of Facebook. So he found some old messages from me and that other guy and he caught me in the lie. Now he won’t forgive me. He said that I’ve lost him completely for good. I feel guilty. I feel horrible. I’ve hit rock bottom. I feel the worst for hurting him like I have. I should have told him the truth, but I didn’t want to lose him or hurt him by telling him. I love him more than anything and he’s the love of my life. And later when I called i said to him that I hope that one day he can forgive me. And he said no that he’ll take it to his grave and that he will never accept my apology. I wish he could look past everything and not care about my past and just love me for who I am. But I have destroyed him. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m hoping that sometime in the future he is able to forgive me and give me another chance. I just have to keep praying. Do any of you think that there might still be a chance? I really do feel horrible for what happened and I love him so much😔

  • Chantal

    December 7th, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    Dearest Dr. Deb…
    I’m writing this praying and hoping for a response from anyone at this point. I have been with my bf for 7 years. We’re both 27 years old. A few years ago I spent a year abroad…we still tried to maintain the relationship although I didn’t put much effort into it due to my then selfish nature. I cheated and had sex with several men. 3 years later I’ve kept it to myself and never told him. Of course I’ve been tested and done all the practical things but the guilt is why I suffer because he is a wonderful person and did not deserve that. I can’t ever tell him because once I told him I’d kissed another guy and he couldn’t take it….I can’t imagine telling him I had sex with more than a few guys…he would die or kill someone…my question is…what do I do??? I wish I could change the past but I can’t…I clearly didn’t love him then…or if I did I loved myself more…I was a selfish child I know but what do I do now? He loves me and I get moments of deep sadness because of what I’ve done…please help me because I regret it all and I love him so much….I feel tortured….

  • S.

    December 13th, 2014 at 8:58 AM

    I’m 32 and have been with my bf for 7 years now. He asked me to marry him a year and a half ago and I just didnt feel i could do it so after a month of wearing the ring i took it off and told him that we need to work at our relationship before we could do this step. My problems is that we grew apart, hardly had any sex, didnt talk about things more than day to day stuff and were more like room mates in the past 3 years. I told him over and over again that i have a problem with the way we are even before the proposal but he didnt really do anything about it. As for myself i’m good at delaying thinking about things i cant handle and have had my suspicions about if i really love him as a partner and not only as a best friend for years now. The last year i found myself crying each time after we had sex (which was rare) and i kept saying things these past few years to hint that babies or marriage is not for me-Just didnt want to rock the boat i guess, i was okay in a way just passing time without dealing. Since the proposal and my 30th birthday i became more restless and since i took off the ring he just ignored the whole thing while i tried to get therapy for myself and get him with me for couples therapy which lasted only a few times before a proposal was made that we seperate for a trial seperation and see what happens. So we seperated last july for 2 months during which (and now i quite regret it) i met someone (26 years old..) that unfortunately i still have a lot of feelings (love?) for even though we were together for a about 3 weeks before i said i had to give my bf a second chance. Since then (start of october) we tried traveling together for 3 weeks to nepal, subletting anapartment together (we got out of ours in october) and i cant seem to make it work, im restless, im crying every day a few times. I do have anxiety issued (have OCD) and borderline depression and i dont know if i should read into my sadness or not. I cant seem to feel close to him or see him as my partner and though i try really hard not to the other guy keeps popping to my head although i feel he shouldnt as it isnt the real thing i have with my bf.
    What can i do to see him as my partner again? To want him? Can i save this? Im not a quiter but maybe im going too far? I dont trust my own judgement anymore. I ferl list in my professional life as well and feel like maybe im just taking it out on my relaitionship?

  • Alessandra

    December 14th, 2014 at 8:36 AM

    So recently my boyfriend of 8 months has been under a lot of stress. He’s been having family issues, car issues, and money issues. I noticed a change in how he acts and looks at me, so I asked him what was going on. He told me that he was just stressed out and that it was no big deal. I could tell that there was more to it thought. So when be was at hos parents house I called him to ask when he was going to be home. He said he wasn’t sure. Him not being sure had really upset me because I had been having a really bad day and I needed him. So then I just came right out and asked him if he still loved me like he used… he said no.
    Now it’s been a few weeks later and he says that he’s back to normal, and although he’s still stressed he loves me more than he used to. I don’t know if I believe him or not though. I mean he swears that he does, but he really broke my heart by saying that to me in the first place. What do I do?

  • S.

    December 14th, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    Does dr deb answer posts here anymore?

  • summer

    December 14th, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    hi, we’d been together for 6 yrs, it was not a perfect relationship but we did get through on all of the trials and challenges, i thought we are stronger now because we had been througha lot of rough patches. we were so happy, he has a lot of obligations and responsibilities thats why we have money issues but that didnt bother us. or i just thought so. for the past months i was the one who’s paying for our dates, sometimes he will pay for the meal and i will pay for the movies, but most of the time i was the one who pays a lot. but thats not an issue for me. since we have this money issues i dont demand something new to try with him, i let him know that i understand his situation. he said that he was starting to feel stressed because he might lose his job, i told him not to worry and i will always be there for him. we were so happy, no coldness at all, though he keeps on posting confusing statuses on fb like, here i am waiting i have to leave soon, and if you risk nothing you will risk everything and so on. and that bothered me, i asked him about that and he told me it was nothing. until one day he stopped calling/texting me, for 4 days. he is not answering my calls and texsts. after that 4 days, he was online and i was too, so i messaged him, and thats when he told me that he wants to break up with me. he said that he cant provide me anything because he is broke and lots of responsibilities, he came to a point that he realized that he will be turning 30 next yr but he still does not achieve anything in his life, he feels lost and confused and that made him confused as well towards his feelings for me. i was so devastated. he said that he wants to break up and no communication at all. he said that he cannot make me happy. what should i do. he is pushing me away

  • DrDeb

    December 15th, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    Hi #265 S
    Yes, when I am asked. But you do have to understand that since I am crazy busy, if people want to jump in and help each other, then I don’t need to always weigh in. Other people have great ideas, too. So, yes, I “answer” but no, I don’t always comment.

  • S.

    December 15th, 2014 at 11:10 AM

    Hey dr deb,
    I was just wondering if this blog is active, cause sometimes you come across old blogs which are no longer active.. Didnt mean to criticize.. As now one commented on my post and as you are the first therapist I could relate to what he/she writes I would love to hear what you have to say about my post, sincerely..
    Thank you!

  • A.

    December 16th, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    Hi Dr. Deb,
    I have been with my boyfriend for 7 and ½ years now. He proposed to me this year, on our 7th anniversary, and i say yes. I love him with all my heart and getting married was all I have ever wanted from him but I had a strong gut feeling that I wasn’t who he truly loved. I felt this way because in the past when I brought up marriage, he would get sort of mad and say “it’ll come when it does”. We are both very dependent on each other because we started dating when we were 16/17 years old. We are also very different so I don’t know why we held on to each other this long but I also know that I couldn’t go on without him. I had a sense of self-incompleteness so I decide to travel and volunteer in a different country for 3 weeks. Throughout my relationship with, I have always performed horribly regarding academics. I was at a university and I was barely passing my classes. This is the reason why I decided to travel alone. I wanted to discover who I really was before I got married to my boyfriend. I wanted to live up to my potential because I had always failed in school and my self-esteem was really low. I was doing really well academically before I met my boyfriend but everything went downhill once I started dating him. This past summer, as my departure to travel neared, my boyfriend became sort of controlling and we argued a lot (we had always argued a lot, but this time, even more). He’s an insecure person (he always accused me of cheating on him and having crushes on other men, which I NEVER did) but I believed that he could overcome it one day. I went away to volunteer in a different country by myself ( it was my first time traveling alone and out of the US). He was very worried about me and I understand that, but he was also worried that I would cheat on him. Neither of us have a history of cheating or doing such thing. We kept arguing every day that I was away. He was mad and disappointed that I went alone. He firmly believed that I went to volunteer in a different country to find someone else and leave him. One day during the 3 weeks that I was away, we got into a really heated argument over the fact that he didn’t understand my mission of traveling alone. Then, I basically told him that I was fed up him, we’re broken up, and that he’s free to go do whatever he wants, and I’ll do the same. I didn’t mean it but we had always threatened each other of leaving but we never left. I just had it with him. I came back home, and we kind of worked things out. About a month upon coming back, he finally confessed to me that he had slept with another woman while I was gone. I was hurt. I wanted to leave him for good considering all that has happened but I didn’t have the strength to leave. I was vulnerable I wanted to work things out and I almost felt at fault. He kept saying that I have finally pushed him over the edge so talked to another woman to “protect” him. He also said that if he didn’t cheat, I would have been the one to cheat. I tried to delete him out of my life but he found his way back and said that he truly loved me and that sleeping with that other woman was only a one-time thing because we were “broken up” at that time. Then, he would still defend himself and bring up how HE was hurt when I left to Peru. Four months after his “incident”, and we are now trying to forgive each other and start a fresh relationship but I still carry resentment. I’ll tell myself that I’m over it but he hasn’t changed anything to make me feel like this time around, things will be different. He feels like he was also hurt when I travelled alone so he doesn’t feel like he has to prove himself much to get me back. I want to be with him but he’s not doing anything to gain his trust back. Nowadays, if we get into an argument he’ll just threaten to leave the relationship. He thinks I always want to argue about little things. He has a very hard time apologizing and admitting he was wrong. One day we’re happy, the next we’re borderline broken up. I’m lost and confused. I need help.

  • Vicky

    December 18th, 2014 at 6:47 AM

    Give him the time he needs or this will not work. What he feels is happening to him not you. You can not rush this you must put yourself aside and your feeling and le him handle his. This must be his decision. I have been you and I dn t and it didn t eventually nd well.

  • Eduardo

    December 21st, 2014 at 8:13 AM

    I wrote on here in November of this year. I go see my son in Bakersfield at my ex gf’s house where she lives with her aunt. I still have feelings for her but i think she still does too but she the Ok our relationship of going bad only my fault. I dint know what to do. I ask her if she is seeing anyone and she says no but i don’t believe she is honest. What should i do… I need help from anyone at this point… Need advise…

  • Eduardo

    December 21st, 2014 at 8:14 AM

    I am still in love with her…

  • Dominique

    December 23rd, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    I am guilty of the above accusations.

    I found this article because I realized what I was doing to the guy I planned to marry. And I realized it too late – I realized it when he finished pulling away from me.

    We’re in a long distance relationship and for the past year, I’ve been treating him like a dog. I cut him down. I was insensitive to his struggles and feelings. I blew him off when he opened up to me. I yelled at him. I ignored his emotions and efforts. I attacked him. I made him try to do everything for me. I took all his time and his energy and gave nothing in return. I didn’t work to understand him as a person. I was very ungrateful towards him. Etc, etc.

    It wasn’t until this month that I realized I had lost him. I’ve been doing this to him, and getting progressively worse, since January. He closed off from me this month. He was becoming distant the past couple months, and now he’s numb. And I realized what I’d been the past year.

    We planned to get married in 2016, but this month he pulled away from me because he didn’t think we would work out anymore. Why? Because of the way I had been acting and treating him the past year. I knew I had lost him. He denies anything changing, but it’s there. And I don’t know if I’ll be able to get him back.

    I know he still loves me. I know he still would like to spend the rest of his life with me. But I’ve damaged him so severely now, that I can’t break through to him anymore. I can’t reach him. He feels cold.

    I’ve lost his trust. I’m losing his love. I’ve lost his patience. He was so patient with me the past year. He treated me like I was his diamond. And, in return, I treated him like he was worthless.

    So now I must go on the journey to get him back. I must listen, instead of talk. I must show I respect him, instead of blowing him off. I need to be caring, loving. I need to keep him safe and I need to revamp my whole attitude around him. I need to stop blaming him for everything and take responsibility for my failings.

    I don’t want to lose him. But I’m hopeless now, because he was so good and I don’t know if I’ll be able to get him back. It’s time to rebuild my relationship with him, the right way, except I’m pretty overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.

    So yeah…that’s my story.

    A bit of advice from me to you:
    For all you out there who are in relationships where the other doesn’t see their hurtful behavior…it is possible for them to see it. I saw mine, even if I saw it too late. It takes time and patience. But it also takes honesty from you to them. Don’t let them get away with their hurtful behavior. Confront them, because that’s what love is. Letting them get away with it isn’t showing them love, it’s only hurting them. But the key to breaking through to them is this: Don’t get angry. Show them why something is the way it is. Some examples might help. Remember, if you get angry, you say unwise things. When arguments start, keep calm. Don’t start yelling because they do. Don’t start explaining everything. Keep your answers calm and to the point. Don’t let yourself follow their bunny trails. And know, there is a time to speak and a time to stay silent.

    I wish you the best of luck in your relationships. If you pray, then pray for help. But if the person who is hurting you is dragging you down, know when it’s time to leave. And maybe, just maybe, they’ll come around and run right back home and into your arms.

  • dancingcrab

    December 25th, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    Hello!! We’re on the same team!! I used to abuse my bf’s emotions so bad. He says that i’m the one for him. But after hurting him so much and leaving him in so much despair, he now is numb and lazy to hang onto this relationship anymore :( i’m really depressed about it and idk how to win him back. I love him and i don’t want to ever lose him. But i feel undeserving to be by his side again. Yet i really want to mend things with him and get back on track together as a real loving couple too. I’m trying to be nice every now and then but he gets so sensitive and blows up at the slightest thing i do. Should i let him go because i don’t deserve him or should i stay and try to win him back? I know a part of him still wants me though :/ really depressed now :(

  • shona

    December 28th, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    Hi I just hoping for advice. My boyfriend and I were perfect, then I messed up. I landed in jail. When I got out I asked him what I had to do, I didn’t want him to give up on me, on us. He said he loved me with his whole heart but I hurt him and I had to rebuild his trust. I gave him a chance to walk away, he fell apart said he missed me so much loved me so much. He said I had to work on me, and to not focus on him. I’m working on me I don’t want to lose him..I’ve seen him once in almost 3 weeks, since I got out. I used to live with him, in his arms every night. I’m having a hard time my heart is breaking. He usually texts or calls everyday. I don’t know wether to keep fighting or give up..cuz it hurts and I want it to stop. He has never lied to me and usually says what he means, but I’m lost. Past relationships are kinda interfering with my faith In what he tells me. Someone help :(

  • Arthur

    December 28th, 2014 at 6:59 PM

    My whole life I have wanted to find someone Who cared about me just for me. who could see the greatness in me and learn to love me. about 8 months ago I found that person. I fell deeply in love with her. she learned to care about me deeply. but recently, within the last few months I have made so many huge mistakes by saying so many hurtful things and though I am deeply ashamed and regretful of my actions and my hurtful words, I know that sometimes people can’t ever be forgiven and can’t ever be loved again. sometimes, those we love so much, if we make the mistake of taking them for granted and saying hurtful things to them even though we don’t mean them, we could end up hurting them so deeply that they justifiably learn to feel betrayed and our irreparable damage forces the ones we love so much to leave. for some people who are…different, they are emotionally built differently and they cannot “just move on” and the pain remains with them for ever. since hurting the one I loved so deeply, so much, she has chosen to never want contact and I granted her that peace she asked for. always remember, for those out there who are in relationships that are struggling, or are working things out, make sure before you say something, you think before you speak, install a filter between your lips and your tongue so to speak, because if you choose to say something hurtful, you can never take it back and the damage caused by what you assume is just a simple word is far more destructive and painful long term.

  • Sarah P

    December 30th, 2014 at 1:47 AM

    Rebuilding love after emotional damage can be difficult, but through forgiveness and effective communication a damaged relationship can be heal.

  • Claire

    January 1st, 2015 at 4:50 AM

    Me and my husband (together 10 years, married 18m) have 2 children together. He told me 4 days ago that he didn’t think he loved me anymore as we have grown apart. This was totally out of the blue. We have not been arguing. We never have. I thought we always talked about our feelings. I don’t feel the same drift he does, so it is very confusing. I have asked him if there is someone else, he swears not and I am inclined to believe him. Everyone is so shocked, by his actions. And his reasons are quite vague, saying that he feels stuck and trapped and can’t see any other way out but to separate. This is so unlike him. Very out of character. He is the most caring person I know, and to go this far without speaking to me so we could try to fix things, is one of the things that hurts the most.
    He can’t look me in the eye, and when I ask why he says he feels so guilty. I have a feeling he is going through some sort of emotional crisis, like a breakdown. And am trying to get him to seek help. For his benefit, and for mine. I can’t get it through my head that this is what he really wants. He has always been so focussed in what he wants and if problems occur, deals with them. But this time it feels like he is running away from the most important thing in our lives. Our family. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you.

  • moe

    January 2nd, 2015 at 2:37 PM

    Sorry to hear that. Love you not in love with you,it is the most common thing going round in marriage today. Facebook, smart phone,kids,help others and work. Wife don’t have time to put in with all other thing.. So you grow apart. In vest in your life

  • DrDeb

    January 3rd, 2015 at 3:34 PM

    Hi A
    When teenagers cling together the way you describe you and your boyfriend did, it shows that you each had some insecurities to begin with. This is normal: teens are just starting life and they really haven’t enough life experience to be secure. This is why most relationships beginning in teen years don’t last. The best relationships are made with two people who are secure within themselves. Then they have something to bring into the relationship instead of just taking from it. That said, the fact that the two of you were loyal to one another until you broke up with him shows some maturity. Telling someone it is over and not meaning it, on the other hand, is not mature. So your idea to get some space was good. But it needs to be more than three weeks. You need to find yourself academically, vocationally, spiritually, emotionally. It doesn’t mean you can’t see your boyfriend, but you should put marriage on hold. Meanwhile, yes, you should both get counseling to help this process. A therapist sees you with more objective eyes than you see yourselves.

  • Ashley

    January 5th, 2015 at 5:23 PM

    I NEED HELP or at least some insight. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 5 years. It was been practically perfect. When we would fight, it would be legitimate, and it’d be resolved in a calm, kind hearted manner. Before I met him I had been in a 5 yr relationship that emotionally and mentally abused me, and before then, throughout my childhood and teenage years, id been abused the same way by my father. In that time, I built up walls, defense mechanisms, habits, behaviors etc that I always vaguely noticed but not enough to think it was damaging anyone, including myself.

    Well, a few of those behaviors are compulsive thoughts or actions, sometimes harmful, like drinking too much, or taking too much medicine, etc. We’ve lived together for about a year & the night before this happened, we talked about getting engaged & how we were going to make plans for the future.

    Then i screwed up. I was caught looking through his moms medicine. She takes pain pills for diseases she has, and ive known that for years, but for whatever reason, my subconscious compulsive mind led me to do it. His mom told him later on, and he was just overall shocked because within a 24 hour period our conversation went from marriage to me trying to take pills. I’ve only ever done this once before, not to say that this is okay. I feel ultimate guilt, shame, disgust with myself, sorrow for hurting him and his mom… And more.

    I immediately sought a counselor and a psychiatrist to treat my impulsive & compulsive behaviors/anxieties/what have you. He sought a separate counselor just to deal with the general hurt and to come to terms with acceptance. He still wants to be with me, he still says he’s in love with me, but he just can’t go back to normal immediately. I understand that. There was a week or two where it was constant talking about it. Constant crying. And then, for whatever reason, we seemed to go back to the normalcy of our relationship while still going to therapy. However, since this incident, I e noticed him drinking more, either just with friends or with me in a group. He never drank excessively before. I know that he must be trying to forget about the pain and want to be happy, if only for that night, but more recently when he’s been drunk with me (I’ve become sober since) he has acted out in a very hurtful way. Saying things that are out of character, reminding me that I hurt him, so I have no ground to stand on, almost pretending I’m not there some of the time. Mind you, before this happened he was the most loving, emotionally sound, complete gentleman I’ve ever met in my life. So to see this is heartbreaking. New years eve was the worst… I cried through the ball drop, he said it was my own fault I was upset, and then he finally admitted that his therapist suggest we spend time apart. This broke me. The next day he decided that he needed to stop drinking for the time being, because it’s not only hurting the situation, but its setting us back in the process… We also decided that instead of spending a few weeks completely apart, we’d compromise and make definite changes to our every day life… Not spending free time together, not talking throughout the day while we’re at work, etc. It seemed like the most reasonable less extreme option. He said he didn’t think me leaving for awhile was necessary to begin with.

    Today was the first day of this “change”. He wanted to celebrate my birthday and have us end the weekend on a good note. He showed me true regret for his actions this weekend, but today, I am so scared. I made his coffee this morning and said bye to him, no hug, no I love you, no texts during the day. I’m so anxious and scared. I want to know if this is something that is going to benefit us. I’m afraid that after this process, returning to our “normal” relationship will be foreign. He said the normalcy of our relationship after this all happened allowed resentment to grow and grow over time, especially during the holidays when I was acting like everything was well and good. I clearly don’t think he should be over it already but I always think the worst.

    Does anyone have any insight on giving space to someone that is hurting while living with them?? I see my therapist tomorrow, but I’ve had an ache in my gut all day. Thank you so much.

  • david

    January 7th, 2015 at 9:44 PM

    hi my name is david

    and im so desperate right now. about 5 months ago i met this amazing woman. she just makes me super happy and i cant stop spending time with her or being with her. and its just amazing ive never been so happy before. but i messed up at the beginning of the relationship. and i cheated on her. at the time i was being stupid and i thought i could do anything. and i never wanted to hurt her i never do. but the other girl who means nothing to me is talking to the girl i love and telling her and telling her other stuff thats not true. and i look like a liar and a cheater. and this girl i love, shes lost trust in me. and she is slowly pushing away. and i dont want to lose her im trying so hard but i dont know what to do. please how can i help fix this
    what can i do to fix this before its too late!? please

  • nicole

    January 8th, 2015 at 4:58 AM

    Hello, I have been in a relationship for five years with a man who has been my best friend for over a decade. We’ve had our share of problems. Last night I had to go into work at 4am and I wanted him to lay with my until i fell asleep. I literally do anything and everything for this man but he would not lay with me. He was on alprazalam (xanex) and nodding out on the couch instead. He tried to lie and tell me he didn’t want to lay down because of his night terrors yet he’s ok with falling asleep on the couch? I’m just very confused about how perceives our relationship. We have a five year old daughter and I don’t want to be with anyone else and I don’t want to move me and my daughter out of our home, but I’m not sure how much of this I can take. Talking with him doesn’t help. please help me

  • gloria

    January 9th, 2015 at 7:07 AM

    Thanks Arthur great advice@

  • Brit

    January 10th, 2015 at 11:36 AM

    My wife and I have been together for 17 years total, married for the last 8. I am a technology sales rep that am at the mercy of the companies I work for and in the last 8 years I have worked for 5 companies, and in that time might have been unemployed for a total of 4 months. We have a 5 and a 3 year old and this past November I was notified of my employers intention to dismiss me, I would be paid until the end of the year and I have already lined up a new position. The stress and uncertainty of employment and household finances has made the past 10 weeks very difficult, I recently discovered thru the our cell phone carriers family plan of late night texting and phone calls to her boyfriend from college. Her Emotional Affair has all but destroyed me and when I confronted her on 1/1/2015 by asking her who she would be talking to at 2AM in the morning for 2 hours, her reply “a Friend” I picked up the car keys and went for a drive. I returned an hour later simply because it was 10PM on New Years Day and I couldn’t find a place to go. After confronting her she and her ‘friend’ moved to email and then to a Smartphone testing app. As I work with technology solutions it didnt take me long to confront her with this additional info. I told her I loved and I would want to work through what we care going thru, but need to know if she even wants to. She says she loves me and I am her best friend but to be betrayed and treated as I have been is truly breaking my heart. Eye contact, a hug or my simply wanting to be near her seems to frustrate her. I feel even though I am her husband I am the other man in her relationship. I find myself sobbing when I am driving alone in the car, having no idea where to begin in attempting to rebuild our relationship. I have begun researching Marriage and Relationship Counseling in our area, and she says she will go. I have realized that the feelings of being unappreciated and lonely is probably how she has felt over the years with the focus of our lives being on our children. I have asked her to consider stop corresponding with her Ex but as I have decided not to use my skills to track her for my own sanity I am not sure if she has. I walked by the Valentines day cards at the store recently and imagined her sending one to him. I now feel un appreciated, alone, unwanted unloved and betrayed and yet I still love her and though she doesnt believe me, I tell her the easiest part of moving on his forgiving her, but that we need help if we truly want to get thru this. I must add that I also feel anger at her Ex who has been through something similar in his life and has 2 children of his own. I find it selfish on his part to pursue my wife knowing how conflicted and hurt she is, he knows from my lone text asking for him to give us space and his knowledge of how this situation can affect children caught up in it.

    I dont know when I will get to my/our first counseling session but just feel that doing nothing is the wrong thing to do, but doing something will end up not being right. I have been ducking calls from my siblings and friends as they will ask me how I am doing and not good is not what I want to tell them,in case tings do turn around I don’t want them looking differently towards my wife if they knew what pain she caused me. I guess this is a good forum to atleast share and talk of what I am going though.


  • Ryan

    January 11th, 2015 at 7:41 PM

    Hi im only 18 I know I’m young, but 3 years ago I met this amazing girl. We started dating and lasted 3 years and our families even met and spent time together and loved each other. We also went on vacations with both our families and just in all we were very very close. However Shes going through a phase where she feels she needs to find herself which I completely understand. Turned out to be her leaving me and going to another guy 2 weeks later. But we still talk on and off and she still loves me but doesn’t want to leave the guy she’s with. =/ I’m so confused and if she decided to leave him and come back, I have such strong feelings for her but I don’t know if I should take her back. I want to but after what she’s done I don’t know. Am I being to stuck up? Should I just forgive and forget?
    Thank you.

  • Jen

    January 12th, 2015 at 8:58 AM

    Hi there,

    I am 25 years old I was with my boyfriend for quite sometime we lived together. Everytime we would argue he would threaten to leave, so he did one other time and I went to my ex boyfriend for someone to talk to. I lied about it twice and he just moved out, he at first said we were done forever, but the other day told my sister maybe after a month apart I might realize what I had an not jeopardize it again. He also asked me to hold on to concert tickets I got him because he wants to go he just wants to see how things play out. I had been texting him now I am not going to. Do I still have a chance? I don’t know what to do.

  • Carol

    January 12th, 2015 at 5:34 PM

    I’m in love with my best friend and my best friend is in love with me, but we are afraid of being together because it may change our closeness. Any suggestions?

  • Gigi

    January 14th, 2015 at 2:41 PM

    This article really speaks to me. I am currently attending marital counseling with my husband and partner of 30 years. We have been seeing a therapist for 10 months. I feel like we haven’t been able to communicate well.I am disappointed he still cannot talk with me about what led to his intimate actions with other women so we can learn how to deal with stressors, etc. to move forward. Trust cannot be mended by him saying he will never do the things he did again, especially when he has already been caught and it brought us to counseling. Am I being unreasonable to want the steps outlined in your article to be articulated by our therapist? It seems to me I keep asking my spouse for the talking and he turns the session around to another subject that ends up hurting me and I feel the therapist doesn’t see this.

  • michaela

    January 15th, 2015 at 9:39 AM

    I need some help. Im going through something like this with my boyfriend. We had been together 9 months and things weren’t always perfect but I was so in love with him. I never felt anything like it. Well we broke up because he was in a really hard spot and wasn’t able to give me much attention and he felt guilty. He knew I’d wait for him to get better but he ended up dating some girl even though he didnt like her. This crushed me of course and I was miserable all summer. He ended up dumping the girl and texting me to meet up and talk. And we did and he told me his heart wasnt in the relationship with her and he made a bunch of stupid decisions but he loves me so much and hes so sorry and he was a huge mess and told me he had been for a long time. And he said he didnt blame me if I never wanted to talk to him again. But he meant what he was saying and weve been back together for about 5 months and ive had some uneasy feelings. On and off and I figured that its because I have my guard up and because he hurt me. I love him and I want to feel better and just be happy again but I feel guilty because something doesnt feel right and I cant figure it out. Im unsure of what to do andit is making me crazy. Please help

  • michaela

    January 15th, 2015 at 9:46 AM

    Add*** I also have depression :(

  • michaela

    January 15th, 2015 at 9:56 AM

    Sorry for the separate comments but I keep thinking. I have been told to maybe take a break and talk to a therapist. But ill also feel guilty if I still cant fix whatever im feeling. I dont want to have it end and then face the same thing that he did …Because i doubt hed get back together a 3rd time because he is a sensitive guy and doesn’t want either of us to hurt again. I dont want to ruin a good thing but I also dont want to be unfair. I dont want to always regret what I could have had. Ive been so upset for 3 days because im going crazy and im nervous about what will happen if I talk to him. I dont know what to do.

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team

    The GoodTherapy.org Team

    January 15th, 2015 at 11:14 AM

    Thank you for your comments, Michaela. If you would like to consult with a mental health professional, please feel free to return to our homepage, http://www.goodtherapy.org/, and enter your zip code into the search field to find therapists in your area. If you’re looking for a counselor that practices a specific type of therapy, or who deals with specific concerns, you can make an advanced search by clicking here: http://www.goodtherapy.org/advanced-search.html

    Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. From this list you can click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. You are also welcome to call us for assistance finding a therapist. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time; our phone number is 888-563-2112 ext. 1.

    Warm regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • michaela

    January 15th, 2015 at 12:43 PM

    Thank you!!

  • Ashley

    January 16th, 2015 at 11:43 PM

    Hi my name is Ashley I know I may be only sixteen right now except I have been in four relationships so far and right now I am in my fifth relationship with my boyfriend for over a year now. I know it sounds weird that I am sixteen and so young but if you have ever gotten that feeling like he’s the one and you just feel so comfortable around him you would understand. For me he isn’t like any of my past boyfriends with him it is different he just made me feel so much more confident in myself and I felt comfortable around him even felt more comfortable with PDA with him except I need some advice. I have gone through difficult situations of betrayal with him and I lost trust in him then slowly we started in what you described as falling back in love and regaining that trust. except now I feel like he has betrayed me again in the way that he made a promise to me about going on a trip with me for my birthday then right out from underneath me he tells me oh by the way I can’t come with you because I’m going with my friend on a trip instead like he never wanted to go with just promised me that for no reason. I’ve tried talking to him about it except he just gets mad at me because I get emotional because I’m upset and hurt by it. I don’t know what to do anymore? if you have any advice for me that would be great because I really want to be with him and I don’t want to lose him, everything with him feels right except for that

  • Niko

    January 18th, 2015 at 3:44 AM

    Hi Doctor! Do you offer skype counceling? I like your approach and I really need it at this point. Please contact me.

  • Daniella

    January 18th, 2015 at 12:38 PM

    Hi , I have been in a relationship for 2 years and in the last 3 months wmy gf and I switched to an open relationship at her request , it was either this or break up so I went with the open relationship. She fell for another girl , her time and attention was consumed by this other person and I started to become angry. This past week she saw that I was very unhappy and that it was causing a lot of problems to our relationship so she decided to close the open relationship, now idk what to think. Is she going to be happy in a monogamous relationship.? Where does this other girl stand ? And how can I begin to forgive her for being emotionally attached to someone else ?

  • Gigi

    January 18th, 2015 at 7:32 PM

    Yes, please address this issue of emotional intimacy with someone outside of our relationships with our partners. I also am interested in how to move through counseling by addressing this with my husband.

  • Elizabeth

    January 18th, 2015 at 9:33 PM

    My husband and I have been together a total of 17 yrs he has pushed me away for 15 yrs. I have begged him for his attention for years. He always changes for a couple of weeks then goes back, in the pass he has cheated. He hasn’t cheated me again. i know he wouldn’t do it again but has betrayed me and disrespected me in front of family and friends . I’m now at a point that my feelings for him are not the same and my affection and attraction is not there. We have two children 16 and a 6 yr old . He recently started to try again but my love is not there. He is a good provider goes to church, and he is a good father. He struggles on been a husband . We have been verbal abuse. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m lost and confused. I’m trying to get the feelings back? What do I do? We have taken some counseling and have tried everything

  • Sam

    January 20th, 2015 at 12:00 AM

    I’ve been with my partner for just a year now. But before we started dating I was originally in a relationship with another man. I dated this man with the intent of moving on because my partner, then friend, rejected me and told me to move on because he didn’t share the same sentiments. But during the time I dated my ex. He realised she did like me. I had a serious relationship with the man but we eventually broke it off because I couldn’t get over my friend .. When I talked to him, he revealed his feelings and we started dating. But it came with issues. He resented the fact that I dated this man and found it disgusting that I slept with my ex. To the point where hed find me sickening and he would cry. A year from then I thought he’s moved forward but he then got back to the topic of my ex and continued to be upset. I thought we moved on from this.

    A week ago we had a fight that turned really messy resulting in him breaking up with me. I was upset that he went out with his friend who treated me really badly a few years ago. This friend also confessed to him before that she liked him. My partner has told me that it is not his problem that I don’t like his friend and he would hang out with her whenever he wants to. Am I wrong to be upset about this? I can’t find myself to accept him seeing this friend and it hurts me all the time. His friend has emotionally abused me and I don’t understand why my partner can’t consider this.

  • kanzwn

    January 20th, 2015 at 2:46 PM

    Hello! I met a guy you loved me from last 5 years but told me last year . He loved me though was a hot tmepered peron but really loved me a lot .we stopped meeting each other because my family is so against of him and their arent allowing me to meet that guy or to go out of thw house alone . I daily promise him to meet n so we cudnt . Now he is really angry n says to end up our relation and rather be friends. What should I do my parents are against him I cant live widout him n now he is moving away frm me . Help me plzzzzz n I really need this man in my life as I havent seen a love of a father as he left me . Then my brother died too n now thia person whom I want in my lyf to stay wid me I dont want him to loose . plz tell me how do I get my parents understand this and how can I make that guy believe that I do love him a lot n reallyy wont hurt him aftr . I want his trust back as well n his love as well .

  • Stephanie

    January 23rd, 2015 at 11:38 AM

    I have been in a relationship that operates like a marriage for 6 years w/my boyfriend. Together we have one 5yr old daughter. I have struggled to have an emotional connection with him for a long time, possibly years. We first connected over commonly wanting to party and have sex, but since our daughter came into our lives that connection has faded I am assuming due to parenthood. Also, he has treated me as more of a worker always reminding me that I have to earn my keep like a stay at home should yet at the same time he comments on how easy I have it. I do not feel appreciated and basically he feels entitled to this because he is the sole provider.Intimacy has become a chore for me as my desire has not been for him for a long time. Although it was very out of character for me I recently cheated on him with another man who makes me feel happy and wanted. This affair has gone on for 3 months and although we have tried to break it off we keep failing to stay out of contact. I am struggling with whether or not I should stay with my daughter’s father for our child and for financial security. Being with my daughter’s father would mean simply coexisting in a loveless relationship but being financially secure. Being with the other man would mean being happy and in love, but struggling financially and breaking my daughter from a family unit with her father. If I left would it be unfair to my daughter? Is it better to be unhappy and rich or happy and poor?

  • Reba

    January 26th, 2015 at 1:57 PM

    After years of arguments and not being heard, belittled, berated, and just made to feel worthless by my husband I packed the kids up and moved across the country and filed for divorce. Then I meant a man at church who has become one of my dearest friends. In my state of distrust for men I put up many walls, and my friend has broke them down one by one with his patience and willingness to just listen and not become defensive. He makes me feel like I am worthy and treasured. However, I still mourn the loss of my marriage, and what I SHOULD have had. My ex-husband had severe PTSD from his abusive childhood and then our current wars. It saddened me that I was so beaten down by his anger and I couldn’t be supportive or help him. I realized that I couldn’t help him, because he didn’t want help. It saddens me that our children have a father who wants to be around them, but can’t stand to be around them when they are near. I know that trust and love can be rebuilt, and at one time I wished that my story would’ve been a success story.

  • Alex

    January 27th, 2015 at 10:05 PM

    We live in an age where we are not content with settling. When we are not happy or satisfied we seek it in whatever form we can find. Financial security is not enough to make you stay with someone your not in love with. You will be hurting the whole time.we all have the right to pursue happiness. It may be a struggle at first but if you are strong you will make it. You cannot respect the top until you have felt the bottom. And you say you have a man you love and a man that loves you than he is going to be there to support you in anyway he can until you find your stride again. Even if there was not another man in the picture I still believe Money or lack there of is not a reason to stay with a man who doesn’t love and respect you like he should. Life is too short too settle.just make sure this is what you want because once you do there is no turning back and make sure he is the man you love. You never leave the one you love for the one you like.

  • Chelae

    February 11th, 2015 at 4:45 AM

    Hello Elena, I applause for what you done. I am so unhappy with my marriage and in the plans of leaving once I return from a job. I been down this road before with my first marriage. I also have put up barrel and I am a very strong lady that I know going through the process will hurt but, staying here is hurting more. My husband is a cheater after, I had twins it continue and I know that I care for him but down deep inside I hate him.

  • DrDeb

    February 12th, 2015 at 6:27 PM

    Hi All
    I’ve been out of touch for over a month — waaaay too many computer problems. Anyway, new computer, so hopefully, I’m good to check in here every so often.
    Gigi – you asked about emotional intimacy outside of marriage. w/o details I can’t say much other than that it usually leads to big trouble. If the person you’re married to is not able to be intimate, it’s time for counseling, IMO.

  • DrDeb

    February 12th, 2015 at 6:28 PM

    Yes, Niko, I do offer Skype counseling.

  • Melanie in California

    February 18th, 2015 at 10:45 AM

    Dear Dr. Deb,
    I am in need of some advise, desperately. I am a 31 year old woman starting to talk to a woman whom I am extremely fond of. We both have feillings for one another. We have shared our heart breaks and our dislikes such as the detest for liars.
    In the beginning of our relationship (only being 2 weeks into with stron soul mate compatibility) I told a lie, she wanted to meet me the next day after conversing with her for the second time. I didn’t want to because I wanted to lose 10lbs. (I know) she continued to request that we meet.
    In my frustration of her asking over and over I said I had a wedding to go to in two weeks. That was a lie to buy myself some time. Yesterday, we had a falling out but we resolved things at which time she asked what time was the wedding. At this point I did not want to insult her intelligence or continue to tell a lie because I want this to work.. I took the opportunity to tell her I did lie about that.
    She completely closed down and said she was taking the time out of her life for me because she thought I was different; Completly Honest!! Now she has shut down and has said it can NEVER be the same.
    She cried a few tears as did I because I believe we wanted this to work out. She is extremely intelligent and is currently earning her Masters in Psycology. I will admit she is much more Cultured and obtains a greater intelligence than I posess.
    She said she was going to give me a chance to which I jumped at thee opportunity….

    Now, after apologies and finally making a date to meet (we haven’t met yet by the way but I feel she is someone I always have wanted) and trying everything to make it right she CONTINUES TO SAY I DONT GET IT.


    I also want to add I have had trust issues in the past to which I am letting heal because of my eagerness to make this work. I also haven’t been in a serious relationship for 5years and I have been told I’m not getting the point or that I’m manipulative and I dint see it….

    Please help me understand what she means by I AM NOT GETTING IT. WHAT AMINNOT GETTING? What do I have to acknowledge in order for me to understand how she expects me to say or do or act. as of now everything I say she says she doesn’t want to talk until I get it.


    Thank You for your time,

  • Melanie

    February 18th, 2015 at 11:05 AM

    Or have I become so lost, jaded, tarnished and hurt that my mind will not allow me to feel truth. I don’t know ……

  • DrDeb

    February 18th, 2015 at 7:26 PM

    Hi Melanie,
    I see you are in great pain. The lie itself is the tip of the iceberg. A person cannot “set aside their insecurities.” Insecurities become part of a person’s very identity and that in turn governs their choices. Somewhere along the line, you were given toxic messages about who you are. Parents don’t do this because they are mean (although some may be mean) but because of their own poor upbringing. But these messages must come out. And the only way I know of to change them is trauma-based therapy such as I practice. Toxic messages are verbal abuse and verbal abuse is traumatic. All the research bears me out. This, I am guessing, is the “it” that this woman thinks you are not getting. This is why she sees you as stuck in a cage. It seems to me that you have to take care of yourself right now. Please start therapy — and interview them carefully to be sure they are kind and highly skilled. Both assets are necessary. I don’t have specific advice for your friend, but maybe if you start therapy, it will give her reassurance that things can be better.

  • Melanie

    February 19th, 2015 at 3:40 PM

    I sincerely thank you.
    I have been working on this with daily affirmations, meditation and self-soul care.
    I do also agree with you, I should get some therapy because I refuse to be stuck like this forever. I eventually want to get married and want to be a healthy individual as well as a spouse.

    Thank You

  • roxy

    February 25th, 2015 at 9:18 PM

    PLEASE READ: I met my son’s father when I was in high school he was 2 years younger he was the perfect gentle men we were inseparable we had love like the movies. After a year things changed slowly. He would break up with me frequently out of nowhere but eventually he’d always ask for me back always knowing I will. I would say he’s left me a total of 15 or more times within our 10 year relationship. He would tell me I had no personality no ambition in life there was always something he wanted me to change that didn’t make any sense to me …just excuses I actually remember asking him if I’ll ever be good enough for him he said no. I loved him with everything I had and would do anything for him. This took my self esteem to the ground always thinking something was wrong with me. I feel like every time he left me I had a wall build around me that just got bigger and bigger. He is very judgmental and critical on top of it I feel like he only knew how to put me down. It would blow me away when I rarely heard him say anything positive towards me. Fast forward all this behavior just builds up and I get to the point where I can’t even share my feelings with him because I feel like I’m going to be criticized and rejected once again.This was a major problem because Im afraid to communicate my feelings and I feel guilty for that thinking maybe if I did he would try to make a change. I’m emotionally drained and exhausted I feel like I’ve had the life sucked out of me. I’ll I wanted was to feel loved and wanted from him but I’ll I ever get is rejection and feeling worthless but still I go back for me which I’ll never understand. It’s miserable spending everyday of a relationship already knowing he’s going to leave and having a countdown in my head because it happens every single time. Anyways we had a beautiful baby 2 years ago unplanned he wanted me to move in and I agreed. However as much as I wanted to so we could be a family I physically and emotionally could not do it. I think apart of.me was scared that I would move in with my child and he would eventually break up with me and I don’t think I could bare that. I kept saying I would but I just couldn’t it didn’t feel right it was like I needed him to prove he loved me and wouldn’t leave but at the time I didn’t realize that and even if I did I wouldn’t be able to tell him that. He eventually left me because I didn’t move in I felt so guilty like everything was my fault. Of course we got back together but he left me another 2 times after. We have been broken up for 2 years but still sleep together from time to time and I know he wants to be back together with me which makes it hard for me to move on I feel guilty like I need to keep my family together. Every time I try to move on I can’t and end up talking to him but in the back of my mind I don’t know how it will ever work since I have massive walls up due to our past that I feel like are impossible to break down. It’s like I think he’s magically going to change one day into the perfect gentlemen I first met and we’ll be a happy family like I’ve always wanted. This is driving me physically and emotionally crazy I don’t know what to do for some reason my biggest fear is hurting him even though he’s hurt me a million times. My life is at a stagnant and it depresses me because everyone around me is in a serious relationship or married and I’m always stuck in the same place. Everywhere I go I’m with couples and i can barely handle it and a few times i have ended up crying if I drink. It’s just getting worse I know something needs to change I just don’t know what the right decision is…I’m afraid if I leave for good I’ll be making a mistake and feel guilty for not keeping our family together…just very confused. ..

  • Nadine

    February 26th, 2015 at 4:13 AM

    I love my husband with all my heart, I love my kids and my family and I believe, when there are kids, a marriage is worth saving.

    My husband has blocked me out of his heart and his heart is somewhere else now. It’s a long story. A complicated story. From his point of view I betrayed him and from my point of view he betrayed me and the children.
    He is very clear that he cannot be with me anymore, he can’t find his feelings towards me ( however, when asked if there was a way to find them would he want to find them he said he would but he did not believe it was possible anymore).
    So, here I am, still praying and hoping to find a way to help him open his heart and let me in…but it seems to be blocked by all the hurt and suffering and he does not believe he can love me again. I felt hurt and betrayed but I did not want to fall out of love…I kept thinking positive thoughts about him….
    What can I do, how can he find a way to clear the emotional block he has inside his heart towards me?
    I am not desperate I I used to be) but I want my children to have a complete family and we operate well together…and there is Love, lots of love from my side…
    But is Love enough? Especially when it’s broken in half?

  • Lauren

    February 28th, 2015 at 6:22 AM

    I’m in the same boat as you exactly I don’t know what else to do I love him he don’t love me we have two kids together he doesn’t feel he will ever love me again like he used to have you found anything that helped you if so please let me know!!!

  • hurtchu

    March 1st, 2015 at 1:12 AM

    I’ve been on both sides of the coin in your situation. I was just like you say you are my gr8 off 3yrs and didn’t even notice I was doin that. And n November. Circumstances made me go back to Russia while she got help for her physcological. Depression I put her threw. And while she was away. I was lonely. And depressed so I found some ways to alter my mind” drugs” and didn’t physically cheat but read postings. And flirted but nothing physical and if I wasn’t high I would never dream if doing that. But the last 4months since I was honest when she asked she’s beat me down to the point. That even though. I love. Her so much I can’t take another. Hit.I know she loves me but she hardly talks to meme anymore ignores me doesn’t find me interesting and pulling away from me and I’m am starting to feel like pull in out myself. I’m not really feeling like. She puts it insecure. Cuz Im not.but her actions say to me she’s entertaining. Other options. Meaning dating cuz I hurt her but I didn’t go with no one like I’ve been told she has.and if that’s happened I won’t be able. To be with her again cuz I don’t believe that luck. I would love to show I was wrong in the beginning for ignorance. An. At. The end forimaturity and hurting her emotionally break in trust. And if she hasn’t done wrong physically try to rebuild I will not let u down

  • amanda

    March 4th, 2015 at 11:40 AM

    I am 32 years old I accepTed a friend request from an ex on face book and lie about who it was and what the conversation was about he’s now convinced I’ve cheated and am still lieing, i would never do cheat he’s the love of my life when this happened I was have alot of negative self image problems it made me feel good because I knew he could see how I looked I don’t know how to fix the mess I’ve caused I’ve tried saying all that happened only to be told I’m lieing i even called the guy while my husband listened but t because I didn’t say exactly what he told me to say he’s convinced I will never be truthful it hurts I know i caused the problem I need advice please I’m not a bad person I’ve made some dumb choices . Thank u

  • jessica

    March 17th, 2015 at 4:47 PM

    hi Nadine,
    as I read ur story I felt it wAs me writing it. I am going exactly through the same situation and feel so lost and confused. At times I really feel like deep down he still loves me and I want to fight to save our family and at times I feel like letting him go. Have you tried mariage counseling ?

  • Laura

    March 26th, 2015 at 6:12 AM

    Hi Brit,

    I’m sorry to read of your heartache. I could feel your sadness and dismay when I read it. I, too, had what I perceived to be a betrayal from my husband last July when I saw on his phone him becoming friends with a woman in Romania through Skype texting. It broke my heart and my trust and I still struggle to regain his trust. I just wanted to let you know you have support and I hope things are getting better for you.

  • Claudia

    March 26th, 2015 at 8:50 PM

    I’m also in the same exact boat. My husband’s heart is with someone else. I don’t think love is enough. There is so much that go into a marriage. I don’t want to provide a bad example to our only child by staying in the marriage. Then we are all miserable and I’m afraid he”ll resent me in years to come. I don’t know what to do. But only God knows what is best.

  • dave

    March 30th, 2015 at 8:42 AM

    So confused!
    Ive been separated for over 2 years, and have been divorced for about 8 months. We were together for 15 years, and things took a turn for the worse about 5 years before the end. My ex got mixed up with prescription drugs. As a result, lied and deceived me over the last 5 years.
    I feel like ive moved on and have met an incredible woman and i really care for her deeply.
    I just wonder if im being honest with myself and her about where i am emotionally. I still feel hurt and betrayed by my ex and sometimes i still cry about it or feel down about it. It only happens once in a while, like when i hear a song that reminds me of her.
    I really am happy with my newfound love interest, but i sometimes feel like theres an emotional block preventing me from having deeper feelings for her. Is this a normal thing? Am i just afraid of being hurt?
    Does anyone feel this way too?

  • april

    April 1st, 2015 at 3:36 PM

    I’ve been in a relationship for 7 years now, my boyfriend used to be very abusive and I didn’t know how to leave him. So I looked for an outlet which was going into little dating sites just fooling around at first but then got to the point where things got a little too serious… did I feel bad? Duh, but I Needed Someone To Be there to complain to which I did. One day my boyfriend checked my phone and caught me… I don’t blame him for getting mad. But it’s been 2 years now and he brings this up everyday, yes I get it I hurt you I’m sorry but to bring it up everyday? What is your opinion about this how can we save this relationship? Is it even saveable? I remind him every day of the good things and good will always overpower the bad.. this is the 1 thing I ever done that was bad… for him, now that’s a whOle other story. I just want to find a way to rekindle this relationship.

  • Light

    April 5th, 2015 at 7:48 AM

    I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 10 months now but we have some issues. I know him very well and one of his traits is how possessive he is of me. Also he doesn’t easily forgive when hurt. I made a mistake months ago when we had just started dating but he hasn’t forgiven me since. I described another guy as beautiful and he got jealous and felt betrayed. Honestly, when I said it I didn’t think it would hurt him but it has been a problem ever since. He tries to ignore it because he loves me but each time he wants to tell me that I’m beautiful it all comes back to him and he gets very angry with me. What can I do to make him forgive me? Please help.

  • jessica

    April 15th, 2015 at 9:38 AM

    please help
    I have been married for 14 years, the first two was bliss, I was attentive always wanted sex it was awesome. Then I was hurt and in pain and our sex life suffered but my wife tried everything to have sex with me but I wasn’t having it. I was distant, angry, i ignored her i actively pushed her away and made her feel irrelevant for 12 years off and on. i have yelled at her for years, did not listen to her for years she pleaded with me to talk to her about my feelings and I didn’t i just showed angry. I love this woman with my soul and I am broken up about her. She recently said she had enough of my emotional abuse and she wanted out of our marriage without getting a divorce because we have children. She said she opens up and I close off and hurt her again and she wants out, she does not want to be intimate ever, ever again and she doesn’t want a relationship with me in the future. Although she says she finds me attractive she cant open up, her heart to have sex with me , she just cant. Now has started dating and she even went as far as to tell another she wanted to have sex nothing else. She keeps saying we are not a good fit, that I should go and find someone else. We live together, so I try to listen when she comes back from dates I try to listen to t\her date or sexual encounter, should I be doing that? I REALLY Love this woman, I will do everything for her and I can’t throw in the towel What should I do?

  • DrDeb

    April 15th, 2015 at 10:07 AM

    Hi Jessica
    What you did for 12 years — abuse your wife verbally and emotionally — it is good that you are now honest about it but the most important thing you can do for yourself, her, and your children is get therapy to make the changes you need. Don’t for a minute think that these changes are just a matter of “attitude.” There is a reason why you were hurt and cold all this time. You need to understand your feelings so that you can both honor them (ie, not sweep them under the rug) and deal with them in a healthy way. Next, you need to learn good coping mechanisms when bad feelings come up. Then you need to learn where all this is from and make the distinction between whatever happened to you growing up and your wife’s Nothing less will do it. No amount of “anger management” will address these basic issues. Good luck.

  • Jessica

    April 15th, 2015 at 10:28 AM

    Dear Dr. Deb, I am now in therapy and dealing with my issues, should I let my wife go? We are and she wants us to continue to live together, further she wants us to buy a house together, and we will vacation together. What should I do every time she goes out, my heart breaks. Should I continue to work on our relationship and eventually she will come back or should I move on?

  • DrDeb

    April 15th, 2015 at 2:07 PM

    Great, Jessica! That’s good you are in therapy. So what does your therapist think? A big part of therapy, maybe the biggest according to research spanning over 20 years, is the relationship with the therapist. So it’s important to trust his/her judgment — or their feeling that they do not want to input their opinion. Maybe your therapist is signaling that you should go with your heart. If your heart is broken, maybe you need to take action on that.

  • Niyah

    April 18th, 2015 at 10:42 AM

    I was married for ten years before learning that my spouse had been having an affair for 2 of those years. It tore me apart! We separated for 2 and a half years and during that time I did what I needed to rebuild my life and self-esteem. I became happy again! Now, after some counseling, we are trying to rebuild our marriage, BUT, I have EXTREME ANXIETY. I have been experiencing panic attacks, shakes, and negative thoughts that won’t go away. My spouse is trying to be patient, but I still don’t think he really gets the emotional toll his affair had on me, even though it was several years ago. I am in therapy and have been told that my anxiety is because I am face to face again with the person that caused me trauma. I fear that if this anxiety continues, I will never have the chance to try to rebuild my marriage because at this point, all I feel is fear. We have two young daughters and so the thought of divorce also causes me great anxiety. Can anyone else relate? If so, please respond. Thanks!

  • TM

    April 24th, 2015 at 3:10 PM

    I broke up with my boyfriend for 3 years. And when we broke up it was hard. And we became friends again. I was starting to date another guy and he just played with my emotions.

    I had a regret breaking up with my boyfriend at the time because I was receiving attention from someone else and it was the attention that I was missing from my boyfriend.

    So one day after I did his hair. We had sex again and started talking about getting back together. And i was getting some things off the laptop that I gave to him. And i saw a video of him with another guy. And seriously my heart dropped into my stomach. And he has been doing this for years.

    What makes it worse is that from talking to him, there are no signs, or anything. He would be the LAST person you would think.

    I just don’t know how to bounce back from this. I feel like I am being punished for this and I really am having trouble with trusting another guy

  • val

    April 26th, 2015 at 12:45 AM

    Hello dr.
    Do you charge for skype treatment?
    I am inneed of it badly.
    I suffer from ptsd,excessive worring stress and others.
    I just like these others have a hard story but i would really like to talk to you on skype about this sometime.

  • Nenad

    May 1st, 2015 at 1:00 AM

    Hello Dr Deb, i’d like to tell you about my problem, i’ve bin in a long distance relationship for almost 3 years, it had a lot of ups and downs, at one point she started distancing her self from me, with out telling me why. In jan 3 this year she decided to end our relationship. I was heart broken beyond words. She stayed in touch with me, but rejected any kind of connection with me. One day we had a short argument. I asked is there still a reason for me to be here and keep trying, she told me she has no comment on that.
    I said if its that hopeless why doesn’t she say her finally good bye to me.
    She just sent me bye, nothing more or less and started ignoring me. That hurt way too much, i tried to contact her on messenger and sent sms, but she didn’t reply to anything, in a moment of pain and hurt i wasn’t thinking i was very hurt and i did something that may be unforgivable, i sent her husband a fb message, telling him that shes been lying to hem for years. And that she wanted to leave him for me. After i realized what i’ve done i closed my fb profile and told her what i had done, she was furious with me. She told me to delete every thing i have of hers and not to write to her any more.
    I’m sorry i did it, but idk what to do now, a month has past since we stopped talking all together. And i know she’s ok and that i didn’t create a problem for her. But what do i do now? I’d really like to contact you and tell you more about her and my self and our relationship, can you please help me.

  • sara

    May 5th, 2015 at 4:01 AM

    I have been with my guy for 3 years now.and I know that he really loves me.or atleast I know he did.but ever since he moved to a different city for college.I have been acting very needy which is unlike me.because I used to act very cool and he used to chase after me.like if he doesn’t reply.then 5 out if ten times I call and ask why he hasn’t and ugh I know how pathetic that is.I just want to know if you think I can redeem myself still and make him look at me in a new light? just please be honest with me if it’. Too late.he hasn’t left me.but . Know this has been a turn off to him for a long-time.so what should I do? Do you think I can redeem myself or not?

  • confused

    May 19th, 2015 at 6:28 AM

    I have been married for 12 years next week. All but maybe a year of that my husband has been an alcoholic. He has physically, verbally, and emotionally abused me. Now he is 2 days sober and begging for forgiveness since he sees I’m ready to leave. I’ve waited our whole marriage for him to get to this point but he’s waited until I have completely checked out emotionally. I feel like I’ve been so scared by this that I can never truly forgive him and open up to him again. We have two girls ages 5 & 9. For their sake, I wish it would work but for mine I just want it over. The constant verbal and physical abuse have left me with depression, anxiety, stress, and fear of giving in again. I feel stupid for staying this long. I don’t know if my feelings can ever come back for him. I just want a fresh start for my life. I’m so lost.

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team

    The GoodTherapy.org Team

    May 19th, 2015 at 9:45 AM

    Thank you for your comment, Confused. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about domestic violence at http://www.goodtherapy.org/therapy-for-domestic-violence.html and additional information about what to do in a crisis at http://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html

    Warm regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • Robert

    June 2nd, 2015 at 1:50 PM

    My wife and I will be married for 19 years this year. About a year ago now, she had a gastric sleeve done for health reasons and self esteem reasons. Well, the weight came off and she looks and feels fantastic! (When she was heavy I loved her just as much! This was all her idea.)
    About six months ago, we had a blow out because of what I perceived as a radical change in her behavior. (Weird for us as we never really fought before) She was going out to bars with her friends, which was a new thing for us. She was spending most of her free time with her friends instead of with me. I was feeling like she was hiding behind them and her phone to keep away from me. So we have a few more arguments, and it came out that she has been feeling like this for years. I have been always telling her no when she asks to go out. I have been always telling her no when she wanted to do something with our two kids. I think she came to rely on her friends as way to deal with my rejections. She has her own issues in her past, like her parents divorcing when she was a young teen, and she is turning 40 this year. So, being the idiot that I am, kept blaming her messed up childhood, her friends for taking all of her time, and her for not wanting to spend any time with me, and her for not communicating her fears for so long. It wasn’t until recently, after my last attempt to make (and change her to suit my needs) her realize these things, and assuring her that I wanted to work on our marriage, that she told me that she didn’t know if it was worth it. Didn’t know if trying so hard all the time was worth it. I was stunned and heart broken. She is the only woman I have ever wanted to grow old with, and she is telling me that she might not want that anymore. The pain of that is excruciating! Three days later after much soul searching, and some advice from a good friend, I have realized that I am mostly at fault for where we are now. She WAS telling me for years that I was not paying attention, and not giving her and the kids all of myself. I was ignoring her and thinking that she just needed to grow up and be a stronger woman! I am so stupid!! I feel so bad for what I have done to this woman that I truly love and respect! It makes my heart ache that I have done these things to her! I have since apologized, and asked for her forgiveness, not asking for an answer, just wanting her to think about it. I have promised to try and change the ways I have become so mired in, and told her that I realize that these are just words, and that I hope my actions can speak on their own. I have begun to change my routines, I am trying to bring the romance back, I am trying to change the way I think, and I have my first counseling session set up for this Friday. I hope that at some pointment she will want to come with me to these so that we can work on things together. I just hope that I haven’t done so much damage already that it is has become irreversible! I have treated the one person that I truly admire like crap for so many years. I am trying to be more attentive, do more around the house, and go out with her when she wants. I understand that forgiveness will take time. But it still hurts when she sits there on her phone, or when she goes out for a girls night and seems to not want to spend time with me.
    I guess I am looking for advice, and just wanted to express what is happening to me and I found this article and though it was fantastic!
    Thank you

  • DrDeb

    June 2nd, 2015 at 4:34 PM

    Hi Robert,
    You are very unusual in that you “get” it. I don’t know how many men can actually admit that. I give you credit for being able to look at yourself and to admit your errors. There are books you can read, too, to help. Of course, there is my book, The Healing Is Mutual. Then you can search “controlling” and see what books come up in Amazon. Good luck to you!!

  • Robert

    June 2nd, 2015 at 8:29 PM

    Well, things just got worse. I sent her flowers today to try and start the romantic spark again. That sent her over the edge. She came home said good night to the kids. And then left for her girlfriends house. She says she needs space to figure out what she wants. She feels like she is having a break down trying to pretend that things are ok, and live up to everyone’s expectations of her and how she should be. I guess she wants to figure out if she even wants this any more. She will be going over to her friends after the kids go to bed for the foreseeable future. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to think. I told her that if this is what she needs to do then we will do it. But I also told her that I will fight tooth and nail to keep our marriage together. But she has to want it too. I said that we can make it work if she just talks to me, but she has to want it. She has to be willing to forgive me. She has to be willing to step outside of herself and do the hard work. Then she said she had to go we will talk more tomorrow. I so crushed and heartbroken right now. I don’t know what to do. I’m just sitting here typing this, and being numb at the same time.

  • DrDeb

    June 3rd, 2015 at 9:21 AM

    Robert, there are two missing pieces here: First of all, you have a therapist and I’m wondering what he/she is saying. Why isn’t that enough? Are you not satisfied? Second of all, your wife is thinking of her own pain — and rightfully so — but there is also the possibility of healing together, growing through this, and coming out stronger as an individual and as a couple. THAT would require couples counseling. Before giving up on the marriage, she should give that a try. She can look at my blog on my own website, 15 reasons not to divorce. Why not send her to see this post and the divorce post?

  • Jodi

    June 3rd, 2015 at 9:57 AM

    Sounds like she doesn feel safe (her security isn’t a top priority of yours), she doesn’t feel pursued (she should be your gem), and she could be depressed. She wants to know she can have fun with you especially if she is hard working woman during the day. It’s important to schedule in some fun time. Doesn’t have to be lots but it has to be important.
    You might be depressed too. Counselling and even medication might be excellent choices. Boosting your energy, increasing your love of yourself and of life, and allowing you to confidently put someone else’s needs in front of your own are not easy but they are doable. Keep trying. She wants you to be happy with your own self and life. She will find that attractive. Then she can be the icing on your already delicious cake.
    Life can be excruciating and that’s part of the human experience. It should make us more sympathetic to the plight of others. We all go through hell. We might need help to get through.
    Keep smiling even when it hurts. There are many of us in similar situations and we’re cheering for you.

  • Robert

    June 3rd, 2015 at 11:31 AM

    My first session is this friday. As for both of us going, she has to want to go, and she is scared to death of dealing with her parents divorce. She doesn’t want to be mad at her parents, or hear the counselor say that they were bad parents. She is used to just keeping things inside, and I think she is finally full and it’s starting to seep out of the cracks.

  • DrDeb

    June 3rd, 2015 at 1:52 PM

    Hi Robert
    It is really important that the counselor be specifically trained in MARRIAGE & FAMILY THERAPY. I believe this website will help you understand that field. Also the American Association for Marriage & Family Therapy (aamft.org) has information. Please note that a competent MFT will NEVER say parents were bad, even if they were abusive. The therapist will say that they didn’t know better and did the best they could with the tools at their disposal – which is true. Check out this site, my site, drdeb.com, and the aamft. Be sure to check the credentials of your therapist.

  • Sara

    June 7th, 2015 at 6:21 AM

    I have been with my partner 21 years!
    Long story short my husband suffered from sever depression and I stuck with him thru thick and thin. It’s been a tough road and with a child who is 10 years old I came to a point in my life where I felt the last 2 years I have fallen out of love with him . Many disappointments and struggling and putting my whole heart into this relationship I feel I can’t any more . Not searching for love but I fell for someone at my work place I kissed him a few times but no more but I told my husband I was leaving him that it wasn’t because of the other guy . Of course he doesn’t c it this way. I have agreed to try again but can one fall in love again when my heart is with the other guy. Its all so complicated as the other guy had told his wife also that he’s had enough and thinking of seperating. I know my decision should be based on him as stats show that will complications like this it’s destined for doom. I need help to try and save my marriage please please I need advice on rekindling the flame with my husband without constantly be diverted by my heart to the other guy .

  • Rosemary B

    June 8th, 2015 at 4:06 AM

    Dear Dr Deb
    I am at a loss as to what to do – reached that “what is the point” question.
    My husband & I married at 19; have 2 beautiful & intelligent daughters who are in their 30’s; married & have given us 3 gorgeous grandchildren. All our relationships are plagued with distance between us.
    Our marriage of 39 years has had good times, but I have constantly felt my husbands disconnection in both emotional & sexual intimacy. My husband is not comfortable in communicating at any level outside of day to day life. His choice of comfort is political views & newsworthy discussions. But nothing more. I have felt that we live together more as roommates than a loving married couple & even that has come to a close as I have chosen to move into a spare bedroom.

    Let me begin my saga: Within 6 years of marriage we left our families & home country & moved south. My husbands reasoning was better education opportunities for our daughters. Yet my husband chose to leave all decisions regarding our daughters education up to me.

    Within 4 years of arrival I caught my husband sitting in a parked car, kissing a 15 year-old neighbor whose family we had befriended. It happened a 2nd time & I questioned him. He told me he gave her a lift home (yet dropped her off at the top of our street – they lived opposite us) & that she kissed him goodbye as a thank you. He admitted to being shocked the first time it occurred yet on the second time he turned towards her to accept her kiss. If he was shocked why would he not have mentioned the initial incident to me? It took me a while to learn to trust either of them again – but I did it.

    Many years later our paths crossed again & our mutual friendship resumed. She had married; divorced; had 2 kids with an older divorcee; enjoyed dating multiple partners & permitted them to stay overnight & in 2007 she remarried.

    My husband & I worked at our own business together & I realized that he was distancing himself from our relationship more & more with each passing year. Sexual intimacy all but waned & emotional connection had stopped many years prior. He was very light-hearted around her at each meeting & I could see his colour rise & the change in his voice & body language towards her whenever we visited. He included her more & more into our lives; helping her whenever possible; wanting her presence in our family gatherings. He had asked her to join us for lunch on Christmas Day which our daughters were hosting for us all at our home. She declined & he called her from our kitchen at 7am to supposedly “wish her & remind her the invitation was open”. Then added a further 3 calls in for good measure with the last call of the day happening immediately our children & their families headed on home.

    We got together with her on Boxing Day. She had left her 2nd husband & was house-sitting for friends. We arrived there & during lunch a male friend of hers arrived with his son. Her son was a school friend of this youngster. She invited Peter to join our luncheon & I watched as my husband physically shuddered & a dark cloud came down over his face. His take was that this man had no right to join a group of friends. We said our goodbyes late afternoon & Peter remained with our friend. My husband got in behind the wheel & Peter had walked to his side of the car. My husband asked where his wheel trim was & Peter said it’s broken; got it out the trunk & showed my husband. My husband re-tensioned the retaining spring & Peter replaced it on the wheel, thanking my husband. My husband then walked around to the passenger side where our mutual friend stood chatting with me. I was sitting in the car & my door was open. D stood between the open door & me. My husband stepped up behind her; spooned into her & hung his crossed arms across her shoulders leaving them hanging just above her breasts. He put his face into her neck & told her that he “Really really loves her”. I sat a mere 30cm away. Her eyes met mine & she lowered hers. My husband walked back to his side of the car, got in & we drove away. I asked him what that was all about & he complained that Peter had made him feel like an idiot & incapable of being the good mechanic he is. For goodness sake .. a wheel trim resulted in this?! He told me that Peter had no rights to joining in our shared meal .. despite the fact that both our mutual friend & I invited him to stay. We had ample food to share with others. What I saw that day was blatant & intense jealousy on my husbands part. He was insanely jealous that Peter was going to remain there whilst we left.

    In 2012 I took outside work as financial times were tough. I took leave at the end of 2013 & went to work at my husbands business, doing administration for him when I stumbled across our high mobile phone bills on a shared contract. I checked over mine, marking who’s numbers I’d called & turned to his; working back from the previous month. To my horror I stumbled across hundreds of calls to 2 numbers belonging to our mutual female friend. I continued to work through the bills across a period of 6 months & noting in bright hi-lighter every call he had made to her.

    My husband was working in his workshop on her step-fathers car which had been brought in for repairs at the time I made this discovery. We had loaned her our 1 vehicle to her in the interim so that her mother & step-father could use her car.

    I calmly walked through & without anger, accusation or malice, asked him to please explain what was these bills were all about. I was so shocked & numb that I couldn’t comprehend what I had stumbled on & desperately wanted clarification.

    My husband looked up a moment; didn’t meet my eyes & then merely continued to work on the car. I turned & walked back into his office & simply continued to calculate the amount of money & time he’d spent calling her each day. Calls started at around 6:30am & continued throughout each working day until 8:00pm when I would be at a dance-exercise group. On the Saturday’s I worked – he’d be calling her; accidently meeting up for a milkshake or coffee.

    Eventually my husband walked into the office & put his hands on the back of the chair; leaned towards me & growled in a cold, hard voice that “He had hated me his whole $*#@%@! life!” He turned & walked out & continued to work on this vehicle.

    I texted D & asked her to return our vehicle immediately. No courtesies or pleasantries were exchanged. I was hurt & disillusioned. She arrived a couple of hours later with her 2 teenage kids. I asked them to leave the office so we could talk & proceeded to show her these horrendously expensive phone bills (most of which were touching on SAR800 per month). She calmly responded that “Yes she knows; they’re very close friends”. When I said that I (his wife & her friend) had not known about their shared phone calls, she said that she knew about that too, but stated that “I know your marriage is on the rocks anyway.” I told her to leave & never attempt any communication with either of us or our daughters again. She walked out of the yard of our business premises & through the business complex yard.
    My husband rushed into the office & demanded that I take them home as she couldn’t walk the 4kms. I told him that I definitely would not do what he demanded of me. So he took the car, picked them up & gave them a lift home. My husband was very angry that I wouldn’t help her.

    A few hours later we left the workshop & came home. My husband did not mention a thing. It was as if my discovery & his responding attack of his hatred for me had never occurred. I was numb with shock.

    The next day we returned her step-fathers car, dropping it off at her place. Peter’s car was parked in her driveway. My husband handed her the keys & walked away. His face was deeply flushed & his mouth was pulled into a tense thin line. Not 10 words were shared between them & I didn’t get out of the car other than to change seats so my husband could drive us home.

    My husbands explanation to all of this is that they were “Just friends” & that he wanted a closer friendship so began calling her in order to build this. He also told me that he “Was putting himself to the test that he could maintain a close friendship with her whilst I worked”. He also said that he realized late in 2013 that “this was a problem but that he didn’t know how to tell me”. He said that he “couldn’t go a day without hearing her voice” & it seems as though it never mattered as to what they talked about .. he just had to hear her. He became “obsessed almost addicted to speaking to her”. It turns out that no matter what they discussed .. it was no more than what he discussed with his customers,our daughters or me.

    I worked my way through these bills, going as far back as 2002 when they originally began texting each other. Literally hundreds of texts were shared & then my husband had gone on to a BlackBerry so text messages weren’t recorded on his bills. But hundreds of calls to her costing in excess of SAR12,000 unfolded. My husband was equally shocked as he “thought that he was telling me about the calls he made to her”.

    For 10 months of 2014 we visited marriage counselors & a psychologist trained in the respective fields to help us – both lovely good-hearted women who attempted to help us through into healing. We were asked to write questions which we could work through. My husbands questions were to ask me to give him respect & trust so that we could work at regaining the love in our marriage. He could not understand that respect is given but trust is earned.

    Initially my husband attempted to use lots of sexual intimacy to help us get over his emotional infidelity; hot romance oozed out of this man who hadn’t had a romantic moment with me in 37 years. Three months after the disclosure, he was on his knee proposing to me & asking that we re-new our wedding vows & return to the church where we’d married in 1976 to do so. He invited our children. He called his brother & texted his closest cousin in the UK to share the wonderful news with her; giving us all hope. We were to re-new our vows at the end of October on the very day we said our I Do’s. It never happened. I was blamed for not believing that it would happen or for giving him hope. Financial restrains were blamed. He chose to take us out to dinner at a favourite restaurant .. one I shall never visit again. No single flower. Not a shared bottle of champagne to toast to our future. Not a hastily written note of love on a paper napkin. No shared words of encouragement in the car whilst parked at a traffic light. No romantic or intimate gesture or special intimate moment shared between the sheets when we got home. Nothing! Sitting at a table in our garden with every candle lit & blinking invitingly; scattered around our garden table; sharing a bottle of wine together & a take-out pizza whilst writing our vows & dreams to each other on a note-pad over ice-cream & hot coffee .. would have been magical. But ignoring what he’d promised .. was the best he could offer.

    My husband chooses to pretend that his emotional affair; disinterest in our commitment to each other or lack of regular physical intimacy has ever happened drives me insane. He constantly says that “In his mind he believes that we were intimate” & despite me trying to be on an emotionally intimate path with him, he hides my concerns under the carpet. The pile of shattered hopes & dreams threatens to trip us at every turn.

    If I raise the subject of why his emotional affair happened, he attempts to validate their relationship using words like “Just friends” or “It’s only happened with this woman” or “He didn’t know how to stop calling her”. His response to my asking why he couldn’t make one of those phone calls in front of me is that “He didn’t have the courage to talk to her in my presence”. Yet he’s asking me to dismiss 11 Years of lies & deception which I find completely unacceptable!

    I am completely broken. Who knew that within a few years we would be turning 60 and we would be in such a bad space with no strong & warm bond guiding & carrying us through difficulties which we may face as our golden years filter through our veins?

    Dr Deb I feel like running away. Simply walking off into the sunrise & never turning back. Leaving everything & everyone I once loved & heading off into the unknown with nothing more than the clothes I have on my back. I have distanced myself from everyone. I go to work, do what I can & come home. Most days I’m incapable of a clear or rational thought. I put on a brave face to everyone I meet as I work front-line reception, but the facade is slipping more speedily with each passing day. I cannot continue living in such an emotionally empty space. I have no hopes or dreams for today .. let alone tomorrow. I was once an avid reader & someone who found such peace in hand knitting or in the simple gift of watering our garden & knowing the relief it brought to our plants. Now I cannot comprehend a single sentence on a page; haven’t knitted a stitch & have no desire to do so & do not care if the roses all die. I cannot cope with another day unfolding & wish as I lay my head down each evening that I do not need to face the awakening of a new day.

    I have no respect for my husband & certainly don’t trust him. I doubt that I shall ever learn to trust or respect this man again. Right now I don’t even like or desire to have this man share a space with me & question whether love really does exist.

    Every conversations inevitably lead to anger, raised voices & that’s not conducive to moving forward. I constantly feel ill & know that my mind is in dark turmoil. My need of understanding the “whys” of his emotional affair with our mutual friend threaten to destroy any hope of reconciliation.

    How does one get through this. How does one fall in love again? How does one physically connect with a man, who chose to take this road, without fear of rejection as has been the norm with him? He believes his actions show his love, yet I have always questioned myself as to whether he really loves me.

    How does one silence ones mind to the jumbled thoughts which run continuously through my conscious mind & threaten to drown me?

    I don’t know how to move forward & cannot afford further professional assistance.

    Kindest regards
    Rose B

  • DrDeb

    June 15th, 2015 at 9:30 AM

    Hi Rose,
    You have written quite a long letter. Let me comment on one or two things:
    “My husband chooses to pretend that his emotional affair; disinterest in our commitment to each other or lack of regular physical intimacy has ever happened drives me insane” — This is called Gaslighting after a movie. You can look up a bit of it on my personal blog at drdeb.com in the abuse section.
    Your letter comes down to this: Your husband has been emotionally abusive to you for almost 4 decades and has been cheating for many years. He most likely lied that the cheating was just emotional. I don’t believe it myself.
    What you need to do: 1. leave or divorce making sure your legal and financial rights are preserved; 2. rebuild your self-esteem, understanding how you were able to keep tolerating abuse for so long so that it will never happen again; 3. set your sights on a bright future based on a truth-based assessment of others and your relation to them.

  • Jeremy

    June 16th, 2015 at 4:26 PM

    my wife and I were married in May of 2013. In January of the following year stupidly I told my stepsons ex-girlfriend that I used to have a crush on her. She told my wife. For 3 weeks I slept on the couch. Valentine’s Day we “reconciled”. Our marriage has been rocky ever since. Just the other day she told me she hasn’t been happy since then and wants to separate. I am an Iraq war vet suffering from PTS and I’m dealing with that on top of this new news. She won’t give me a second chance. What do I do? I’m lost and I’m dying inside. I’m tired of crying and not eating and being sick to my stomach. I know she has no intention of doing marriage counseling and when I said I was going to get on anti depressants and seeing a professional she didn’t seem to care. I have lost all her trust. I can’t lose her! Please help!

  • Ryan

    June 17th, 2015 at 4:38 AM

    About 3 months ago my wife told me that she loves me but is no longer in love with me. I found out the reason was because she never felt heard and ultimately, over time just felt defeated and didn’t bother arguing anymore because there was just no point (which is all true) The 1st month I spent being really sad, needy and desperate for forgiveness. Although we were getting along ok I couldn’t help these feelings. We started marriage councilling and I began seeing a life coach. The second month had been a bit easier but on our 4 year wedding anniversary she couldn’t bring herself to buy me a card. I was gutted and a we had a few arguments in consecutive days. I said some really nasty stuff that I really regret but she understands that this is emotionally draining on me. Entering the 3rd month I have been a lot better and basically focusing on restoring normality and also putting my new positive life skills to work. Although I can tell she still is not in love with me, I can see little tiny improvements in our relationship. She seems more open to have a laugh, when I talk about the future it doesn’t seem to have entered her mind that I’m not in it. I know I have a long long way to go but I truly believe that the longer I am my old positive consistent self there is no reason why she won’t fall in love with me again. Just wanted to share my story so far. Good luck everyone out there!!!

  • DrDeb

    June 17th, 2015 at 5:09 AM

    Hi Jeremy
    You did the right thing to go to a professional. Is it a therapist who specializes in trauma? That is what you need. Research shows that mindfulness meditation is better than medication (long term) for trauma such as PTSD. Research also shows that marriages that are strained by the behavior of vets (anger bursts, moodiness, etc) are greatly helped by the mindfulness meditation. So I hope this is a skill your therapist has. It isn’t that your wife didn’t care. It looks to me like she felt YOU didn’t care about her. What was it like for her when you were away? The worries? Doing everything herself, w/o you? Part of your therapy will also be to put yourself in her shoes. That’s compassion. Interestingly, the Eastern culture from which the mindfulness meditation comes was big on compassion, so that skill will be excellent for your marriage as well as the trauma. She doesn’t need the marriage counseling, anyway. You need to get healed and whole yourself and then maybe she will see you have changed.

  • confused

    June 17th, 2015 at 8:15 AM

    Jeremy, I am a wife of a ptsd Iraq veteran myself. From my experience there is a lot more going on at home since my husband returned from Iraq. So, I’m wondering if that is the case with your situation also. My husband turned to drinking and abused me physically, verbally, and emotionally. I can say that we are struggling right now. What I need is for my husband to make the necessary changes and prove he means them rather than begging and pleading with me for me to love him. If she is in the same place that I am, she heard the words I’m sorry so much that they mean nothing. Instead she needs to see positive change in you before she will even entertain the idea of staying.

  • Heartbroken and lonely UK

    June 17th, 2015 at 8:18 AM

    i have been with my partner since i was 15 yrs old (18 yrs GOING INTO 19 YRS) we have also lived together since that age too. on jan 1st of this year(Our 18th anniversary), my partner came home from work and told me he wasn’t happy anymore and was no longer in love with me. we have had our issues, and many of them throughout the years, but he always said US AGAINST THE WORLD! we promised to be together forever, he is my best friend and soul mate, and i am utterly devastated by this. he tells me i am beautiful, he loves me above all others in his life, i’m the perfect partner, keep a good home, good in bed, treat him well. he basically has only ever had to think about getting up and going to work, house work done, clothes cleaned ironed done. shopping done, meals cooked. that’s the way i wanted to be, the way we have always been.

    there has been infidelity, roughly 7 years ago, we had a almighty row, and he threw me out of our home, due to facebook inboxes on my end and he was spying through my emails and everything. i’d never done anything with anyone until id left. it wasn’t even anyone i was speaking with online, just some random guy. i think i just wanted attention, after i was out of my home and lonely. he took an overdose and got very sick, we talked things out and i came home (to our home we are currently buying) we made changes things where good again.

    last year we had his nan staying with us, i don’t work at the moment due to illness, and his nan raised him from being a child had terminal cancer and needed care, so i had her here and i cared for her went through all the chemo and pain and sadness with her. this was very hard for me as my own nan had passed 6 months earlier due to an op to remove cancer being a complete success, but incompetent staff allowing infection to go to far. but i loved his nan, like my own, i only ever had one nan till i met my partner. she was a lovely lady who helped and loved me too, i wanted to help. i think i was under the impression i was relieving the pressure from my partner and supporting/helping.i fear i did wrong, she passed sadly 3 days after my partners birthday just before Christmas 2014, and January 1st he said i no longer love you.

    i have since found that he was texting women and web chatting with woman the whole time his nan was here basically dying? since january we are still living in the same house as we co own. i have no friends to speak of or family i can go to, and as i said i don’t work either. we have tried a few times to get it back, but he’s never seemed that comfortable with me and i’ve been very insecure so its made me hold back on the new me i want to be.

    i’ve made huge changes to me! which he has acknowledged, he just says now that he can no longer ever love me again,but he loves me above everyone else in his life, and im beautiful and the perfect partner. he says i should find someone who appreciates me, he admits he’s still very much sexually attracted to me and everything? i’m so confused, not too mention there has been a pregnancy and miscarriage too since he said i no longer love you, it was his baby. i found when i was miscarrying that he was lying, pretending to be at work, (he does work 7 days per week and has for over a year, i see the payslips this is a fact). he has however been going out to shopping malls etc and on meals with new found friends.

    i am basically utterly devastated and heartbroken, still living in my own home with the man im still utterly in love with, (which i am set to lose as i do not work, have no savings and no where to go, he can keep it due his wage, the mortgage company will not allow me to and he wants all ties severed). i want to keep the house, he doesn’t, its so unfair. hes very quiet and antisocial, doesn’t like the neighbours etc, i love them all! and most of my friends don’t want to know me because i was so busy last year putting my home and loved ones first.

    i was seeing a counselor but found it of no help at all. i go over it in my head 100% of the time, i cannot sleep or anything. i’m now going into 6 months. i do not know what to do or where to turn? he doesn’t love me? but he does love me? hes attracted to me? we have a beautiful home that’s half way paid for outright, love, attraction, everything? he says he doesnt want to fix us as he cannot love me in that way again? and doesn’t want to keep doing this every 5 yrs or so, as next time we will be approaching 40? am i right to feel confused? i’m loosing my best Friend, soulmate and the love of my life, my home, i’ve no Friends to speak of, no job? utterly devastated (UK)

  • ankita

    June 26th, 2015 at 8:01 AM

    I and my boyfriend were in relationship from 4 years….. He loved me more than anything…. I too loved him very much…. Bt last month my own cousin brother seduce me and unluckily I had sex with him…..as I was very much tensed by this.. And my boyfriend recognised this and I told him everything and now he break up with me… He hates me so much….. I Want to help him out to get out of this situation….. Plz help me…… I love him so much

  • DrDeb

    June 26th, 2015 at 9:44 AM

    I am sorry. You have to take responsibility for your own choices. If the man raped you and you were screaming to make him let you go, then you have the possibility of a police involvement. But if you willingly allowed it, then you need to ask yourself: How did I let this happen? Before you can explain it to your boyfriend, you need to explain it to yourself. That is what therapy is for.

  • Esther C.

    June 29th, 2015 at 1:42 PM

    Go and get a bible. Sit down and read new testament. Pray to God that your partner will submit his life to Christ. You must submit your life to Christ. God can heal this and change your partners heart. Try this.

  • SammO

    July 13th, 2015 at 6:40 PM

    Hi, my girlfriend and i were together for about 5 years, we met in high school and became very close very quickly. for 3 years everything was going awesome we were so in love seeing eachother all the time and always doing everything together and hanging out at the same friends house and then we started arguing about non sense and getting really jelous of eachother when nothing was even happening i sorta decided i got bored/tired of it and i broke up with her. I was still madly in love with her and after a couple weeks we got back together, for the next two years we kept doing this cycle of on and off. I started to see her less and less and took her for granted as it went on, while she was still madly in love with me and only wanted it to work. I told her i wanted to be friends but we kept having great sex and hanging out. eventually she got sick of me dissapearing when she needed me and leaving her alone wondering what im doing. she broke up with me 6 weeks ago and it really made me realise how much of a douche i was and how much i love her. my world is upside down without her now. she told me she wants to be friends and it was really hard to break up with me but she had to and a part of her still loves me but she doesn’t feel the same, is it possible without seeing her or talking to her she will change her mind and come back to me? if not how do i get over her, she was my first love and is my high school sweet heart and i am absolutely lost without her. she said she is still always there for me and cares about me but i think shes saying that to make me feel better.

  • Drey

    July 17th, 2015 at 5:15 PM

    My boyfriend and I were dating for going on 11 years. During our time I have had a rough time dealing with his mom and his ex wife. My boyfriend doesn’t have any kids, not one. I believe he was married to his expo for about six years. The first 3 years were great. Loving each other and really enjoying each other. Then one day I found that he communicates with his ex still. I didn’t mind at first, but his mom started to tell me that his ex would always be his wife no matter what. At the time I wanted to get married, he didn’t. We talked about and he just wasn’t ready, I gave in, I had gotten a divorce from my husband if 13 years. So I thought maybe he’s right. No need for me to jump back in so quickly. Well time wanton and his ex became a thorn in my side along with his crazy mom. I would go to his moms house and it was like a shrine to the ex. Pictures everywhere. It got so bad I just stopped going to his moms. Long story short. Over time I joined a car club. Started doing activities with them and really enjoying myself. I would ask him to come along to some of the events. But not all these were my new friends. And it was an outlet for peace and not dealing with our issues. I loved him, just couldn’t deal with the ex and the mom, tried telling him over and over that this was causing problems, he couldn’t understand, kept saying he isn’t interested in her. Well the ex finally got a ,
    Man. I knew the guy from working with my ex. So I decided to talk with him about his new woman. I told him how she has been a constant problem in my relationship with her ex, along with my guys mom. Well my guy found out and he felt I didnt trust him and all hell broke lose, I got angry and to him where his mom his ex and he could go. We had words and that was 4 months ago. I do love him. I trusted him. But I don’t trust his ex. She would tell people that I would always only be the stupid girlfriend nothing more because she would be the on,y wife he would ever have.
    I tried to tell him how hurt I was but he felt if he showed me he loved me then I shouldn’t worry about his crazy ex. Well, I did worry and it put a breach between us. He is angry with me will not talk to me. Says for me to go back to those people I now call a family (my car club) he feels like my decision was about my club and the other issues were just excuses . I am so hurt by how he is treating me. He calls my sister and tells her he really loves me, but I didn’t treat him right. Everything is my fault and he is through done with us. Will he ever talk to me again. He has even threatened to call the police if I come by his house again, it’s like he’s the devil now. So cold, angry and unforgiving.

  • helen

    July 19th, 2015 at 8:06 AM

    Dear dr
    I am in agony. We’ve had a wonderdul 7yr marriage, both our second time around. We had all the qualities of a functioning relationship. Then my brother died tragically in a mva. A few months after I nursed my grandmother until she died, and my son recently had a bad mva and broke his back. My husband was very supportive and did everything a good husband could do. We live in another country and I recently had to leave to change our visa status. After giving him uphill about another married lady that he is spending time with that side, he burst out in tears and it surfaced that he has been feeling shut out of my life, that I died inside and cut him out. Now we are trying to mend but he won’t let me go back home. I am trying everything to fix us, he is being understanding and committed himself to our marriage again but still won’t tell me when I can go home. He is giving hundreds of reasons and wants me to trust him and believe that we will be together. This other lady is not an issue as she and I are friends and she js currently with her husband in another country. I truly do not believe they have anything going on, and that my husband is just so hurt and obviously still angry with me, even though he says he has forgiven me. Please can you advise how I should act. I’m trying to forgive myself for unknowingly hurting him.

  • DrDeb

    July 19th, 2015 at 12:10 PM

    Hi Helen,
    I’m not so clear on what’s happening. You are saying that he is “home” and won’t let you come? or that you are together and he won’t let you return to the States (if that is “home”). Since I really don’t know his “side,” the only advice I can give is get into therapy asap. I do work by Skype, myself. Be sure whoever you go to is specifically trained as a “marriage therapist,” because that is its own field. Hope this helps.

  • Tiff Galbraith

    July 21st, 2015 at 10:27 AM

    I always thought my husband would stay..He never judged me, yelled at me, or did a single thing to hurt me. I, well I lived in a warped sense of reality where I somehow believed how I was as a person was normal and ok. That I did love him. I think I actually did and expected the future hurt to come so much I caused it to. My husband told me he is not in love with me anymore. I feel dead inside and can only blame my selfish actions and lack of give a shit. When he first left me it pulled such a deep rooted rug out from under me. I mourned for him begging and crying. Even when he finally gave in…I knew what he was capable of doing to me and I let that stop me from believing or understanding he was hurt. I am now forced to move on without him and even though it hurts more than anything I’ve ever felt..There is a small sense of relief..I no longer have to wait for him to hurt me anymore, much less see him day in and day out with the knowledge he thinks I’m alot of bad things. I don’t have to have him pointing telling me how I should do things when I do not trust him either. The pain will go away in time..And I will inevitably avoid him like the plague unless its to do with our kids because emotions are not games we play..I deserve this pain as I have given him far more..Because of how I feel I also believe he is that one..My only love now I just moarn the loss..I began that a few years back..Good luck to you I’m sorry for your situation..Just know on my side had I to do it over again, he was very much worth all the love and trust I never gave..

  • Tom

    July 21st, 2015 at 10:51 PM

    Hi, i have a girlfriend that ive hurt for a year and a half. she was so in love with me that i didnt realise that one day her feelings might fade.She says she has lost feelings for me but now ive learn to love her so much more.Is it possible for her to come back to me?

  • Drey

    July 22nd, 2015 at 9:00 AM

    Dear Dr.
    My boyfriend doesn’t have any kids, not one. I believe he was married to his expo for about six years. The first 3 years were great. Loving each other and really enjoying each other. Then one day I found that he communicates with his ex still. I didn’t mind at first, but his mom started to tell me that his ex would always be his wife no matter what. At the time I wanted to get married, he didn’t. We talked about and he just wasn’t ready, I gave in, I had gotten a divorce from my husband if 13 years. So I thought maybe he’s right. No need for me to jump back in so quickly. Well time wanton and his ex became a thorn in my side along with his crazy mom. I would go to his moms house and it was like a shrine to the ex. Pictures everywhere. It got so bad I just stopped going to his moms. Long story short. Over time I joined a car club. Started doing activities with them and really enjoying myself. I would ask him to come along to some of the events. But not all these were my new friends. And it was an outlet for peace and not dealing with our issues. I loved him, just couldn’t deal with the ex and the mom, tried telling him over and over that this was causing problems, he couldn’t understand, kept saying he isn’t interested in her. Well the ex finally got a ,
    Man. I knew the guy from working with my ex. So I decided to talk with him about his new woman. I told him how she has been a constant problem in my relationship with her ex, along with my guys mom. Well my guy found out and he felt I didnt trust him and all hell broke lose, I got angry and to him where his mom his ex and he could go. We had words and that was 4 months ago. I do love him. I trusted him. But I don’t trust his ex. She would tell people that I would always only be the stupid girlfriend nothing more because she would be the on,y wife he would ever have.
    I tried to tell him how hurt I was but he felt if he showed me he loved me then I shouldn’t worry about his crazy ex. Well, I did worry and it put a breach between us. He is angry with me will not talk to me. Says for me to go back to those people I now call a family (my car club) he feels like my decision was about my club and the other issues were just excuses . I am so hurt by how he is treating me. He calls my sister and tells her he really loves me, but I didn’t treat him right. Everything is my fault and he is through done with us. Will he ever talk to me again. He has even threatened to call the police if I come by his house again, it’s like he’s the devil now. So cold, angry and unforgiving. How can this be fixed?

  • Ryan

    July 22nd, 2015 at 7:29 PM

    Dr deb
    any words of encouragement or suggestions on my post from June 18? Thanks

  • DrDeb

    July 22nd, 2015 at 8:45 PM

    Hi Ryan – since you didn’t ask a question, I didn’t respond. There is no way I could make a suggestion w/o knowing what you are learning from your life coach and therapist. It seems to me you are covered.

  • listen

    July 23rd, 2015 at 9:17 AM

    There is a pattern to the story you just told. Mom and son- value other things over you during your relationship. Mom idealized the ex wife and son likely feels like a failure in mom’s eyes. He’s trying to please himself and her. You feed his selfish ego.

    Post break up- mom and son value the ex and your the bad one for not understanding. Your ex bf is angry with u, because now he has upset you and mom. His mother is a big issue here, and won’t let him move past his exwife.

    Advice: Don’t worry so much about what he says to you. The anger, hurtful words are irrational. Your heart is broke, but because you crave a situation where your value isn’t seen or understood. As we seek loving partners, it is our own responsibility to recognize others in ability to give us the love, respect we need. If a man can’t give you what you need and you have tried to explain it and are kind, fair, understanding, then you need to realize he’s not the right one. It’s okay. I was cheated on 2x. I realized I had the problem and now am with the most amazing man. He found me. I had 2 relationships between my in famous breakup and the one I’m in now. They had small heart break, but I was not for them.

    We often try to get from our partners what we lack within. Know who you are first, what you need in a dream partner, and be patient. Time will bring that dream partner and it will be worth all the wait. Don’t settle; break ups are not failures unless you violate values and moral codes. Be your true self and the right partner will value you and uplift your dreams and aspirations.

  • Ryan

    July 23rd, 2015 at 5:16 PM

    No dramas. Was just after any extra suggestions you may have. All good. Thank you

  • happyfeet

    July 25th, 2015 at 11:42 PM

    just prove to her that u love her. bring her to meet ur parents. or get a tattoo. or spend time with her to make her feel loved n she’ll love u back.

  • happyfeet

    July 25th, 2015 at 11:45 PM

    prove to her how much u need her. be with her n do things for her. prioritise her.

  • Moving on

    July 28th, 2015 at 3:14 AM

    A tattoo, I did laugh. I have many but none are for any man who has been in my life. I keep them written in my heart, and two who were so much more are forever to have touched my soul. I have just been dumped by my soulmate. Wrong time, crossed wires and past issues. It hurts like hell, I doubt I will love like that again. I am slowly getting over him, the last three weeks I have been in such utter despair and pain, memories that break my heart anew every time I remember them. Really looking forward to moving on with just good memories that make me smile, not collapse in a wailing painful mess. Xx

  • The___Darkness

    July 28th, 2015 at 4:18 AM

    My problem exactly Arthur. After betraying his trust three times he agreed to try a last time as what we had was so amazing. For the next four months he lied about his true feelings. He told me he loved me, but not how little or that he was making himself ill trying to feel as he did at the start. I had no idea of this, I knew how I had hurt him and reiterated that I didn’t expect him to say he loved me. I desperately wanted his love but only if freely given. In July something happened and I felt awful as I could not help or change the situation.
    We had a stupid argument, unrelated but I told him I was leaving. I have depression and self esteem issues, as does he. He has been badly hurt in the past, so much so that anyone who hurts him gets pushed away forever. He has no friends, admitted that he is scared how easily he shuts people out of his life. And now? I am on the reject list. For him, saying I was leaving was the final straw. I must add I have never felt worthy of his love. He is so beautiful and clever and educated. He can do far better than me. He said I didn’t get to decide who he loved.
    So, after 16 months, I have pushed him away for good. I am utterly devastated. He was my everything, the last time I felt anything similar was 20 years ago when I was 21. This guy blew me away, touched my soul, I used to spend ages just watching him read, sleep, do anything. He has stated emphatically that it is over. My final rejection of his efforts to start again are a step to far. He will never be able to love me again. I am angry he was not honest about his true feelings the last few months. I feel cheated, but mostly I regret saying something I didn’t mean. I never wanted to split up with him.
    Now all I have left is regret and a life without him in it. I would give anything to go back to earlier this year and try again with his honesty. I don’t know how to have a life without him. I know he was my soulmate, I would have forgiven him anything and fought to keep him in my life whatever he said or did to reject or hurt me. My life is complete with him in it. I wish he had been honest, fought for me. I cannot believe he dumped me so easily with no care or feeling. I suppose I deserve it though. He Is sad it ended like this and wants to be friends. I can’t be friends with someone who broke my heart with no feeling and so easily. To see him with another woman would kill me all over again. The insult to injury is he will be visiting sex clubs for when he wants sex again but is still single. The thought of sex with anyone but him is not an option for me. To imagine him there, after all that has passed, I just don’t know how he can be so cold and cruel. All I want now is to hate him. Anything but this constant pain I feel. I just want to die, anything but imagine him touching someone else. Please, help me stop the non stop pain I feel. He has utterly broken me, I don’t know if I will ever recover. I want to, and soon! One thing I do know, I will never allow myself to love again. I don’t want this anymore. Xx

  • The___Darkness

    July 28th, 2015 at 4:42 AM

    I would love some help with my tale of woe. I posted it lower on the page though, under Albert or Alfreds? comment. I am trying to battle on, but to be honest I am devastated beyond words. I don’t know how to carry on without him in my life. I verge between ok to wanting oblivion, anything but this despair I have knowing one stupid comment has destroyed everything. Please help me to carry on and get through this. Xx

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team

    July 28th, 2015 at 9:28 AM

    Thank you so much for commenting. Please know that there is help available! Working with a therapist may help you ease the pain and devastation you feel, as well as help you identify tools you already have to aid you in moving on and healing. If you haven’t already, you can search the GoodTherapy.org for a therapist near you, here: http://www.goodtherapy.org/find-therapist.html

    Wishing you the best in your healing journey!

    Warm regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • DrDeb

    July 28th, 2015 at 1:44 PM

    Hi – to Xx whose email is Darkness
    Please do take the advice of the Good Therapy Team. It is not just one word that ruined things. Usually the one word hides deep and sometimes painful feelings and attitudes. All these need to heal. I am also happy to work with people via Skype. Or find someone local to yourself who is intelligent and kind. Clients need both.

  • The___Darkness

    July 28th, 2015 at 10:26 PM

    Hi Deb,

    He refuses to feel anything. Has pushed me away and said he will never love me again. He pushes everyone away, has no friends and been hurt before. He had been trying to give us another chance since March. He lied about his true feelings up until we argued In July when I said it was over. He took me at my word and is full of bitterness. I Just wish he had been honest about everything. I Have caused him so much pain and deep hurt. I know it is over for good and I am devestated. I Would give anything to take his pain away. All I do now is feel so alone and sad. I can’t forgive myself for any of it, no wonder he cannot. I spend everyday utterly bereft. I want to rip the pain away. For both of us. I kiiled what we had, and it was amazing. I will spend my life missing him and in regret.

  • DrDeb

    July 29th, 2015 at 12:02 PM

    Hi Darkness — Please change your nickname! — Your job here on earth is not to take away the pain of a person who has been so deeply hurt that he can’t allow himself to be vulnerable in a relationship. That will not work. In fact, even if you were a therapist, it does not work on family members. Guilt is also a destructive emotion. It is necessary to recognize mistakes and use that awareness to resolve to treat other people differently in the future. Now, the time has come for you to learn how to take away your loneliness. And that means the first step is to love and appreciate yourself. Therapy helps and , as I said earlier, I recommend it.

  • Sandra c

    July 30th, 2015 at 4:38 AM

    have been married for 9 years we have done allot to each other emotionally I would tell him to go because so he would not listen to me it put a lot of stress from both of us I would go out and he would go out he would come home drinking without you he would just ignore me thought he didn’t love me you have kids together and I want to find the way he told me that he a lot of love with me now and the 8 months I want to find a way to maker of work or marriage work I still have feelings for him and I only actually found this out after we were separated how much I really do love him and miss him that I need him in my life and I want him in my children’s life the friends that we have sometimes it seems like they wanted us against each other I don’t know if it’s just me thinking that or maybe they really were. bucan he fall back in love withcan I gain his trust back can he fall back in love with me how do I try what do I do would there be a chance for us to have a happy life and live long together

  • Sandra c

    July 30th, 2015 at 4:42 AM

    I am so sorry for the way I wrote this but I have trouble texting on my phone because it’s so small so I apologize I hope you can understand what I said I use the microphone

  • Thelightened

    July 31st, 2015 at 5:07 AM

    Hello Deb,

    I Have spent the last 15 on antidepressants. I came off them a month ago and now can see things far better. I was, for the last few months selfish and stuck in my own problems. I brought us both down and it has destroyed everything we had. Is It normal to put up barriers to feel nothing and to cut people out of your life?
    We have both suffered from depression but I forgive, and have friends now who have hurt me badly in the past.
    I can keep trying, he has reached a point of no more, and now I’m on the list.
    My feelings about myself are under construction, I just try to be the best person I can. I made massive mistakes though, not him. He found me using drugs three times. It destroyed his trust. I had been clean for over a decade. Problems with my ex and our children made me so low I reverted to drugs. I have been clean since the last time, in March. I will never use again.
    I got clean last time, this time is was sporadic use, and bloody stupid. Now it has lost me him.
    I messed up the best thing in my life. Only now, when it is too late, do I realise how selfish I was. This was entirely my fault.
    All I would like is a chance to let him know I realise that. I just find it so unusual, I don’t have a limit on chances, tolerance, saturation or anything else where people I care about are concerned. I cannot do an abrupt withdrawal of everything, shutters down and shop closed.
    I have shut people out but it takes a bloody lot more than that and at least has warning!
    We had an argument and I said it was over, I was going. He hates head games. The first argument since March and its over.
    Why did I say something so bloody stupid?!
    I hate mind games, bloody hell why?!
    I have to live with it now.
    My stupid comment on top of everything else I did ruined everything.
    I ruined the best thing ever in my life.
    I hurt him so deeply.
    I am a total fool.

  • DrDeb

    July 31st, 2015 at 11:23 AM

    Hi The Lightened,
    Yes, it is normal for people who were hurt way too much as children to have developed numbness of one sort or another as a protective device. It is not GOOD, but it is normal. It is not a great idea to say “I have used drugs for the last time” UNLESS you are getting INTENSIVE support. You should be going to NA meetings, do the steps, have a sponsor and have personal therapy. You also must stop putting yourself down. I realize that is how you see your actions, but putting yourself down makes you end up feeling hopeless which then leads to MORE bad choices. What you need to substitute is: “I’ve made a lot of mistakes.” Period. Please get therapy to give yourself the tools you need to get out of your bad place.

  • Jessica

    August 3rd, 2015 at 7:59 AM

    My fiancé and u have a hit a real rough patch. Over the years he has struggled with excessive alcohol abuse and usually I am able to bring it up and he notices it’s getting worse and fixes it himself. Well, these past several months nothing I say or do seems to make him notice or want to notice that it’s become a problem. He has taken off and emptied our bank account and left without word or a call that he is alive and ok for days. This last time was just 2 weeks ago and I called around to jails and hospitals just to see if he was ok since his phone was turned off. I later found out he was supposedly at his mothers for the 2.5 days and then took off out of town to a casino for the weekend. She didn’t call to let me know he was ok and she didn’t care to. Needless to say we don’t get along, but my fiancé say has now brought up the issue that I don’t show him enough affection so he drinks and takes off. I have been hurt many times by him this time being to worse and what bothers me even more it that our kids have notice he doesn’t want to be around and that is hurting them so much. As a mother their pain is my pain and now I hurt and emotionally stricken even harder. We have been talking and trying to work on things but his biggest issues is that I don’t want to be vulnerable in terms of getting sexually involved with him until I see and feel a change in him. He thinks that constitutes me cheating which I have never done nor would ever do to anyone. I am so crushed at his behavior and how easy it is for him to abandon us without word all because of a few to many drinks. He has stopped drinking and will continue to. I just don’t know how to make him understand why I can’t and won’t be vulnerable until I see a change in him so I won’t get hurt again. He just thinks we should go back to where we were being a couple and having sex but I can’t do that just yet. Any advice as to how I can help him understand why I can’t be sexually vulnerable at this time?

  • DrDeb

    August 3rd, 2015 at 11:19 AM

    Hi Jessica
    The key word here is “manipulation.” Your bf is manipulating you big time. HE drinks but YOU have to be more affectionate? I don’t think so. The way you had it in the first place was correct: He has to shape up and then you can see 6 months if he remains clean and sober, having worked through the 12 steps, gotten a sponsor, taken responsibility, acted like a grownup, then maybe you can start to warm up.

  • his_fallen_angel

    August 5th, 2015 at 9:38 PM

    Hi. Idk where to start. I met my son’s father at a local gas station filling my tank omw to work. I gave him my number after his request. For a few days he texted or called saying he wanted to chill. I assumed it meant sex so i blew him off. Well i was bored one evening/afternoon. So i hit him up. He met me at my car door. Escorted me inside. Introduced me to everyone. Although we interacted. It was within the group. He walked me out and stole a kiss on my cheek. We hung out every other day since then. At the time he stated i was his princess and told his mom about me.blah blah blah. We eventually ended up having sex on a regular basis. Found out i a month pregnant when he got locked up. Idk really know him. Even though i knew him. But in our letters, my love grew. I was in love. Crazy huh? He did little stuff like drew roses cut them out and tied a ribbon to send me for v day. He came home after our son was born. But he had to stay at a transition home. It was difficult him being there. Me having to tend to our newborn. Not a lot of time seeing each other. Did i mention he just got out? So he cheated. I felt anger. But i loved him. I wanted our family to work too. So i tried to look past it. Even though we werent back together i still felt as if we were. He’d find a new girl that would worship him in a sense.offer her home, car, money. But i stayed around. Arguments were bad. But he made the last one GF. I knew her bc we went to school together. But she was okay with her role in his life as long as she had him and that he’d have to put up with me his bm drama. Sigh. So it hurt to move on. And i tried to do so physically. I went on a blind date. Had sex got pregnant. ad an abortion. (Please dont judge. I felt very low and suicidal for my actions). He was in a relationship at the time and once again locked up. I still told him. I felt worse bc he took me off visitation and didnt call for awhile. During that time. . . i went on a sex spree trying to temporarily oppress my guilt, hurt, anger. Every emktion but happiness. I found out one person i had sex with, he knew. Told him. He called me unloyal. But we still came back to each other. He still was there when i needed him and vice versa. Or at least on my end i provided what he lacked during those moment bc hr had females who could do that and more. Long story short. Our arguments grew worse. We’ve gotten physical. And said things that should’ve never been said just to hurt one another. But this time. He gave me the letters i wrote back, said he will come around our son when he is a better role model and that he doesnt exist to me or my family and never to contact him again. I know i love him. I am in love with him.and relationships arent perfect but i know i messed up with handling my anger wrong. But now i have to suffer. My son has to suffer. And i just want my best friend and lover back. I want my family together. But how can i come back from that. Ps. Sorry so long.

  • Jaded

    August 6th, 2015 at 3:13 PM

    I’ve been in a 2nd relationship for 15 years. I pledged my love, life & faith to this man. In my heart we were true soulmates. Although there is too much detail to write with respect to how I finally found out but in April 2015 I found more proof than I wanted that he had been unfaithful. Dealing with all the details & various pieces of the puzzle that suddenly all falling into place he admitted that it had beef going on 4 years & would still be if I hadn’t found out. This I learned mid July. Call me crazy but I thought we could fix this however it is becoming more & more challenging. He says he loves more than ever & that I am the most amazing person he knows. My problem is that I can’t seemed to believe him given he gave himself to another for so long, treated me with such disrespect & cruelty in the last year. He was intimate with this woman who is married with children in my own bed as well as hers. They shared a fantasy life of husband & wife whenever they could & he would have left me for her has she left her husband. How’s does one deal with that? I feel so emotionally confused, angry, hurt, spiteful & a collection of other feelings. I want to hate him because I think he’s a horrible human being as she is for having done this when he should have just left if he wasn’t happy. How can I get myself to a better place? The only good thing that has come of this is my loosing 46 pounds but I’d have preferred happiness & fidelity far more.

  • Georgie

    August 7th, 2015 at 3:22 AM

    hi I’m going mad here I have been in a relationship for the past 17 years and have been through some tough times including me having a emotional affair 6 years ago. My partner has said he loves me but is not in love with me , thing is he won’t move out we have 2 children both teenagers, I am doing everything I can to change myself and be a better person. But I am doing everything like before and he still wants sexual relations but he keeps saying there is no chance . Am I being a mug or can his feelings towards me change, he has said he despises me so why is he still wanting sex ? I really want to try and work things out any suggestions ?

  • The lightness

    August 12th, 2015 at 11:59 AM

    Ps; he has said he wants a year apart. After that he said we can be friends maybe more as what we had was amazing. In the meantime….he is on swingers websites. I Won’t hold my breath then……
    Mixed messages!!

  • Susan

    August 15th, 2015 at 6:59 AM

    Wow. I’m so sorry. Someone this emotionally unavailable for you is very selfish.
    Q: Is he a loving and devoted father to the kids? Goes he share productive quality time with them?

    I was told once, “the best thing a father can do for his children, is love their mother”

  • Susan

    August 15th, 2015 at 7:08 AM

    Move on! It’s hard, I’ve been there.
    The responsibility of caring for the human being you brought into this world should be your first and top priority.
    People (including him) will see your effort and you will reap the love and success from your efforts in other areas of your life. He is a black hole of effort and emotion that will always need filling.
    Give that effort and love to your child.

  • Amanda

    August 25th, 2015 at 5:46 PM

    So my girlfriend got her license taken away because of an auto incident. For two years. After she had her license tajen away everything started changing. She would get drunk and mean and i mean reeallly mean. She wohldnt want to hear about it or apologize. And it kept getting more and more frequent. I helped her with everything. I drove her to all her appointments, paid for her lawyers, took her to and from work. The beginning of this year, my girlfriend and I of almost three years now had to move down to Vegas because of my work. It just got worse, she didnt have a job and was away from family. But she also didn’t do anything to try and fix it. All she would do was complain, be depressed, and take it out on me. Eventually it got the the breaking point. She got drunk and more out of control than I’ve ever seen her. So she went back home… I tried to communicate with her and work through problems. She would ignore me constantly, sometimes days at a time and was never there for me. About six months of this go by… I eventually had to end things with her. She said she just needed to time for her to figure out what she wanted. So I moved on and started dating and net someone really amazing, very ambitious, sweet, smart… And about a month in a half later. My ex contacts me saying she is so sorry, she has changed, she just needed time to figure herself out and get her life back in gear.. and now I’m torn. I don’t know what to do possibly lose someone who could be great or lose the person I’ve loved for years… That I don’t trust because of everything that happened. But she is consistent. I can tell she has changed. But she is giving me an ultimatum… I have to pick. I just don’t know what to do.

  • Help me save this

    August 26th, 2015 at 1:38 PM

    My life has spiraled out of control this past year. I started drinking way too much. I went home with someone for a one night stand. Ended up meeting someone else, someone who I definitely wanted to spend the rest of my life with. We start dating and everything is absolutely perfect, we were perfect. A few weeks into our glittering happiness, i find out I’m pregnant, from the one night stand… He stayed with me knowing i was pregnant for someone else. We started arguing and fighting everyday. It got to the point to where when he’d yell my anxiety would spike and i would get so nervous I couldn’t speak. Well during one argument, he asks me who’s “thing” was bigger. Me, having an anxiety attack, says the other guy. It wasn’t true i was just panicked and blank minded. Well I’ve done everything i can think of to take back and fix what I’ve done. My soul mate, my lover, my best friend feels like he’s not enough for me. He’s everything i could have ever asked for. How can i prove to him that he is more than enough? How can i repair the emotional damage that i have caused?

  • Georgie

    August 28th, 2015 at 1:18 PM

    Hi yes he is a very good father to the children and at this present time has said he is trying to get back to the relationship he is being more warm and friendly towards me too

  • jessica

    August 31st, 2015 at 4:37 PM

    Betrayal can come from manipulating someone to get ahead. I work with my ex and he did exactly this to me. He broke up with me and he has gone back and forth with me for the last year. When it came to promotion time he went to the I love u and miss u stage. He got promoted then just then decided he only wanted to be friends. I was so angry with him that I have said some hurtful things to him and made him cry. I love him and miss him dearly but to be used and manipulated forced me to do this. He told me there was no chance with me and even said he never loved and cared. I’m lost, hurt, and I want him in my life because he is my person. I know I have to move on though.

  • Torn Asunder

    September 8th, 2015 at 5:36 AM

    Dear Dr. Deb
    My Significant Other and I have been in a 3 1/2 year relationship. We have lived together for the majority of it. He is 29 and I am 22. We have been engaged for 2 years and only a few months ago decided to get married officially on December 10th. However I am a cheater. I have cheated on this amazing creature not once but four times over the course of our relationship causing me to loose friends, loose his trust, and respect for myself as a human being. The fourth time was a few weeks ago when I started having “cold feet”. Every time this man has taken me back through the hurt, the betrayal and the anger.He has done so much for me, he has taken me away from a physically and verbally abusive family whom I have no contact with anymore, he has loved me when I could not love myself, he has helped financially when I could not make ends meet, and he has helped lay the foundation for me to reach my full potential. I owe him my life. He is my perfect human being even through his flaws… I was his world and I know I ruined the trust we worked hard to rebuild not once, not twice, but three times. Recently I told him that I wasn’t emotionally or mentally ready to get married at this time-I know it broke his heart and it broke mine too. That’s when he found out about the cheating. I cannot understand why I keep doing this. It kills me to know that I am the cause of his broken heart. I only want to mend his hurt but it seems like I sabotage everything. He is willing to work together to salvage what we still have. (we have a home together and pets that are like children) but I am torn. Half of me wants to leave and explore the world while I’m still young in which I will only have the clothes on my back and no ties to anyone or anything in the present time..the other half is wanting to work things out and earn his trust that just may never come back, to brave the constant shame and disappointment from the world around me. I have looked up article upon article on people’s experiences and tried to seek advice from other married couples that I know but in the end, I cannot figure out if I really want to stay or go. If I can brave the shame of having “the scarlet letter” stamped on my head for all to see now. This man I know I love but..is love enough to keep my eyes from wandering? I don’t know. Especially since it is only recently in which I’ve started to figure out who I really am, beyond the grasp of my controlling family and safety blanket. How do I know which decision is the one my heart is telling me to go towards, what is the best way to figure out if this relationship is going to be OK?
    It isn’t right for me to be this way. This man deserves a better girlfriend, a better wife. A decision needs to be made soon but I have no idea what I want. I owe him that much, I owe him happiness..even if it isn’t with me.
    I’m so confused. There is no more time for compromise it’s either stay or go.
    What is the best method to figure out what I truly want in this crossroads so I don’t toy with my significant other’s heart anymore then necessary. He is waiting on an answer but it is killing him inside I know.

  • DrDeb

    September 9th, 2015 at 6:03 AM

    Hi Torn
    Please consider personal therapy with a trauma specialist. Here’s why: What you allude to in your childhood sounds like you experienced abuse. Abuse is traumatic. You need to understand who you really are before trying to present who you think you are to someone else. It seems to me that your comfort zone (however uncomfortable that may be) is being abused some more. Cheating so many times is saying, “I am not worth more than that.” You are degrading yourself — therapy will help you not only uncover why, but give you tools to rebuild yourself. In fact, be sure the type of therapy you go to will do exactly that. Talking for 20 years to a psychoanalyst is not the answer.

  • Amanda1

    September 9th, 2015 at 11:01 AM

    I hope I can get some help here. My heart is ripped apart. I was with this girl since Feb, 2012.

    Everything was good. While I enjoyed her company in most cases, she had attitude of asking for money every time. Although i understood her condition growing up in foster homes. So I gave her money every week for 2 yrs straight. I never stressed on sex with her at all.

    However, I thought I should take a break from her in December 2013. So I sptopped answering her calls. If I did, I simply talked briefly because she was asking for money basically. She doesn’t know when I’m broke. I thought she would learn few lesson if I ignore her for some time.

    From January 2014 we didn’t see each other but we talked seldomly on the phone up until September 2014. We finally met in September. I initiated the move…just to see her for the first time in 9 months. Did I miss her within the 9 months? . Absolutely!

    So she came to my place and looks big. I asked why is that? . She said she’s pregnant. She portrayed sperm donor as a mere friend in the hood. And sexual encounter just happened. So I asked: are you moved on? . She never answered that question up till now.

    Anyways, we enjoyed brief moment. I was happy we back with understanding that “sperm donor” is no one. We moved around shopping for baby stuff, groceries, her personal stuff at expensive places.This took place between September to December 2014 and she was due around late January.

    I thought she was living with friends or her godfather as usual. But she told me she’s now living with a woman (good Samaritan) who have her basement in her place but the place need fixing. So I we shopped for all that. We had to go to Home Depot back and forth because the “contractor” couldn’t get everything straight one time.

    One of those day in October lady yr, the “contractor” who supposedly fixing the place came with her to my house to pick me up for shopping more did for her place. We went. All purchases are on my bill.

    Here Is The Bomb

    On or around January 15 this year, she called me very early in the morning crying so bad that my heart shook because she never cried like that. …never! I was sad and hurt. Asked what happened to her? . She was like a guy came last night and cause trouble and that he took her car key. I asked if she outside? . She said yes, she’s wri walking down to my house. That’s 45 minutes walk. Our was not only child but freezing cold weather on Wednesday morning. She was heavily pregnant and due in a week.I wish I had a car to pick her up. Master of fact she already Wales half-way when she called.

    Anyways, she finally arrived. I was upset seeing tears running down like infant. She politely declined to zip some tea which I understood because she indeed very tired. She lied down straight in my bed. But before she passed out I asked who the heck was the guy?. Although she told me there are always bunch of people upstairs and the place is uncomfortable. So she said “I live with his mother”. ‘His’in this context refers to her baby father. I thought you said the gut is just a dude that comes in the hood. Then she passed out for 4 hours and later went to get mother’s house later that afternoon. She went into labor a week after.

    She did not call me after giving birth. I called two weeks later. Meanwhile during pregnancy I tried visiting her place but she prevented me that the landlady doesn’t want anyone come over. I was like I need to see the progress since I paid for repairs and fixing. But I respect her choice and stayed away.

    Anyways since she gave birth she barely called in February. I called few times and she would say she’s fine. I understood that she needed time to heal and relax so I didn’t bother much.

    Here comes March, April and May she would call like crazy demanding money. She would come briefly to money and gone. No more time for me. However I understood that she o ices with her man and his parent. But she still bothers me about renting a place for herself,her brother and baby. So I was wondering if indeed her relationship with the guy is not that serious. But I dramatically reduced contact with her. But we still talk a lot because she calls. She obviously has no time for me. I asked same question at this time if she moved on? . She wold smile and tell me to just shut up. Not in rude way but in a tune that my question was irrelevant.

    Fast forward, she badly needed to see me in May but I prevented her cus I was confused about my status. Plus I requested a favor since last year that she stylishly turned down. I was truly upset over that. She knows and apologized a week later in May. But u was no longer interested in the deal. I figured out by 80% she moved on. But in fact I miss her so much. Genuine love but she can care less. She only come for money briefly and rushed out.

    Few weeks ago, arguments ensued between us over the phone because I went to her baby father’s house because she promised to see me but played me. That’s why I went there. She was mad. No one was outside when I went. She was not home either bur I told get I was there. This argument lasted for a week that I missed her so much cus I have not seen her in 3 months (late May to July).

    The argument led her to the point that she threatned to call police if I ever come to get “family” house again i:e baby father or contact her or any mem5 of her family or friends.

    So I respected that cut my loses with deep pain like my world was coming to an end. Now it was this time I realized how much I loved her. To my surprise she called me 2 days after such threats to stop by and pick up few bucks. I did not hesitate. She came and indeed I felt like my soul was restored. I could not eat in a week if argument. So from there we reconnected. This was all last month (August). I didn’t mind buying stuff she needs to get done. She name them like her baby needs stuff. She wants to go on date. Told me not to worry about baby daddy.

    So I calculated things she needs. Not that much for me. We made appointment to go lay week Friday but instead she came to my house on Tuesday same week. That’s few days before appointment date. Prior to that, I came across her FB page and stumped on a picture that resembles same guy that went to us to home Depot last October. I was sure it was him. His comment reads “gotta go listen to my sidechick…that I like”.

    So when she came in Tuesday I asked isn’t the same guy we went to home depot last yr is your babyfather?. She simply did not answer. Well I did not want to dwell on that since she already told me not to worry about him.

    I care about my business. That’s what she wasn’t. So I asked, when are toy spending time with me preferable overnight?. She replied ” my baby father said if I sleep here I should never come home anymore”. I was hurt because I don’t know why she brought him into the picture. So u gave her money and she left. Meanwhile we had appointment to fix things and shopping on Friday last week. But I called her on Wednesday to make the plan for Thursday instead which she agreed. My intention was purely to ditch her but I want too sure enough if I could. But I did what I had to do in writing and verbally. I bought uniforms fire her job and slipped the note in between.

    She was happy to see me. Jumped straight in my bed but I called her straight to the point. Her face changed when I started talking about the gut being the same one at the home depot, how she said the guy is not serious about her but her actions speak louder than words. How she treatened early how her baby father and friends would beat me up if I come there again. She said right away that she’s living. I said no we need to talk it out. This is adult conversation which she’s been avoiding months long. That I needed to know my status with her cus i feel like I’m being used by her and baby father to takecare of their things. Indeed, instead of contributing her opinion on the issues she said “my baby father is outside to pick my up”. I asked if he knew she was here? . She said yes. I said so you guys planned this?. It means he’s already around the corner waiting for u to get money and come out. She was upset really bad and I said I will not give her anything. She begged me for the first time that she had no money for the week and really need it and after this she would never ask me for anything. I stood my ground and wanted to give her final hug but she refused.

    She said I played her and ask that. So the gut picked her and I saw him clearly he was the guy I saw on fb. They stood by my house fire 45 mins. Don’t know what they were doing.

    Finally, everything feel apart lady night when she said she would see me on condition that I give her some money. I said ok. She came but stayed in her car, called me to come out. I said no you come in. She couldn’t and cursed me out never to hear from me again.

    I really love her. Her attitude changed a lot. She’s been cursing me since last Thursday final cut off. My heart misses her. Ripped off. But her condition in that house is not plessant. That’s why she kept coming to me. But I interpret that to mean “using me”. She denies point blank that I did nothing for her. She’s very ungrateful in our last meetings. I do know her possibly of calling me again. Only a matter of time. She just can’t hold to long. But I’m concerned this time the fight is too expensive. But in heartbroken.

  • Amanda1

    September 9th, 2015 at 2:30 PM

    There are some typographical errors in my writeup and there is no way for now to edit. Readers may have to figure out mispelled words or phrases. This is due to mobile.

    Anyways, some sort of suggestions and way forward from this really what I need. Just too hard for me to have another girl now. My heart is just with her but she was in the wrong place during our separations last year. She never cursed me out.

    Right now she lives with her babyfather which I know there is 60% chance something is wrong there but I’m not concerned much about that.

    What I’m concerned about is that she’s going to call me for rescue if something happens.

  • Angie

    September 18th, 2015 at 10:46 PM

    What if its the total opposite though? He’s falling out of love with me and I’m trying so hard to comprehend this difficult fact seeing as I treat him wonderfully. I’m not quite sure if it’s simply because he just decided he no longer cared one day or because he has problems other than our relationship that are managing to affect it in a negative matter. The thought of him finally deciding that he no longer wants me is terrifying and I’m not sure how to react nor do i know what to do or where to begin. Help.

  • jessica

    September 19th, 2015 at 12:20 PM

    Do not let your emotions get the best of you and try to force your significant other to feel as certain way. It feels good to let them know you care and love them, but it will do the complete opposite and push them away. It hurts and it will hurt. From dealing with this myself, I understand where you are coming from. Be strong and know that relationships are a two way street not one sided.

  • Az

    September 19th, 2015 at 1:46 PM

    I am skeptical of this NC sometimes. I think the logic simply works differently. I used it on my girlfriend for 9 months. She only ended up getting pregnant by another guy. Now she lives with her baby father although she doesnt like it there 100%. She just told me yesterday that she’s looking for a place just for herself and her baby. Few days ago i was at the Mall when she called. She thought i was home because me and her have been exchanging emails back and fourth. Not knowing i was replying her on my phone. When I finally said I was at the Mall (me and her used to go to the Mall together), she called me right away after month long blockage of my number. She asked “who are you with?”. She thought i was with a girl. So i refused to give her simple and straight forward answer. She was so upset and asked why i can’t answer her question?. Then i decided to tell her i am alone. However, while she’s on the phone with me, she quickly sent me email cursing me out thinking i have a lady by me. I just dont understand her anymore. She was not like this before she got pregnant. She lives with her baby father basically because of accommodation but she doesnt want me to have any lady. I dont get it. I am really confused. I also try to reduce communication with her. She’s Scorpio. She drives me crazy. She never had this personalities before. Any suggestion friends?

  • Cynthia

    September 21st, 2015 at 4:46 PM

    This article focuses on two people who are genuinely in tune to each other. What about the one who falls in love with someone who was dishonest in the beginning? What If the one who falls in love realizes after marriage that who they fell in love with is not real, aka, a passive aggressive narcissist?

  • Penny

    September 22nd, 2015 at 7:52 AM

    Hey all…… So, I read the article, and I think it has valid points. However, both have to be willing to work on things. What happens if years before reading this partner one tries these things and it doesn’t work then a few years later after partner one decides to b finished partner two finally decides to try. Is it wrong for partner one to just be done. Partner one fell out of love and no longer felt intimacy for a couple years. They would still have sex but it wasn’t meaningful to partner one the way it had been. They recently split due to partner one finding partner two looking for hookers and indulging in drugs so partner one calls for space….. Partner two has either called, came over, text or emailed every day since…. Is partner one right in thinking it should just b done?

  • Alexa

    September 24th, 2015 at 12:38 AM


    I feel for you. I just lost my partner to drugs and hookers. I love him so much, I feel I lost my best friend but I have to respect myself. I deserve so much more than to go down with a sinking ship.

    It’s terrible loosing someone to drugs.

  • samara

    September 30th, 2015 at 11:47 AM

    HI my comment is really good information but when someone wearing those shoes is really hard to do things the right way because is too much pain and feel desperate to get the person you love back is a lot things you don’t know how to deal with this is my storie ,I met this wonderful guy 17 years ago but 4 years ago he desired he want to go back to school we didn’t have the money but i support his desition so we move to another state but i was having trouble find it a job so i desired to move back and leave my husband and my youngest daughter together so i was working to jobs to support him for almost 4 years now he’s done with school and find a job but has not been paying the much so is hard to survive we 3 together so i still at the same place working 2 jobs trying to support my self and also helping him when i can well now after 4 years been a part he say he doesn’t love me anymore and i am devastated because i feel betrayed for the whole situation. I have been with out my youngest daughter for 4 years and not my husband say he doesn’t love me anymore he feel out of love with me , but is hard for me to accept that i can imagine the life with out them , I feel angry use and betrayed by him but i love him he wants to divorce now but i have been fighting back to get back into relationship with him to be with my daughter and him he say emotionaly he has no feelings for me no more and thas very painful . but i am welling to work things out if we put the effort together i live different state and he live different satate also what can i do to get my husband back into my life he s a good guy and good husband too. Any suggestions you think we can get back together, what we need to do to feel in love again or gain his love back again is very difficult for me i feel very sad and is hard for me to let go with out trying emotional am not good thinking everyday what i did wrong for this love to disappear just like that am welling to fight back but i feel he’s is not trying to put the effort into getting back together he say we should look for counseling, it that will help? or what else we can do if we are not together and living in separated stated . How can i handle this please any one any good advise or DR beb any suggestion is a way to put this relation back. what we can do together to connect emotional again, what we need to change or what i need to do to save my married ,And make him feel in love again with me, thank you iam in a lot pain and emotional am devastered . do not want to loose them i love them very much just to let them go with out doing anything,

  • samara

    October 1st, 2015 at 5:30 PM

    HI my comment is really good information but when someone wearing those shoes is really hard to do things the right way because is too much pain and feel desperate to get the person you love back .is a lot things you don’t know how to deal with this, is my story ,I met this wonderful guy 17 years ago but 4 years ago he desired he want to go back to school we didn’t have the money but i support his decision so we move to another state but i was having trouble find it a job, so i desired to move back and leave my husband and my youngest daughter together.I was working 2 jobs to support Them for almost 4 years now he’s done with school and find a job but the job has not been paying the much so is hard to survive with income because is not enough, I still at the same place working 2 jobs trying to support my self and also helping him when i can, well now after 4 years we have been a part he told me doesn’t love me anymore and i am devastated because i feel betrayed for the whole situation. I have been with out my youngest daughter for 4 years and now my husband say he doesn’t love me anymore He felt out of love with me , but is hard for me to accept that i can imagine the life with out them , I feel angry use and betrayed by him but i love him. He wants to divorce now but i have been fighting back to get back into the relationship with him, to be with my daughter and him.He doesn’t have emotionaly feelings for me anymore and it is very painful . But i am welling to work things out if we put the effort together. We live in different states what can i do! to get my husband back into my life.He s a good guy and good husband too. Any suggestions, you think we can get back together, what we need to do, to felt in love again or gain his love back again ,is very difficult for me.I feel very sad and is hard for me to let go, with out trying ,emotional not doing good. Thinking everyday what i did wrong, for this love to disappear just like that. Am welling to fight back, but i feel he’s is not trying to put the effort into getting back together. He suggest we should look for counseling, it that will help? or what else we can do if we are not together living in separated stated . How can i handle this please any one any good advise or DR beb any suggestion is a way to put this relation back again. what we can do together to connect emotional again, what we need to change .Or what i need to do to save my married !,And make him feel in love again with me, thank you iam in a lot pain emotional am devastated . Do not want to lost them, I love them very much just to let them go with out doing anything,

  • DrDeb

    October 1st, 2015 at 8:53 PM

    Samara, of COURSE he fell out of love. That is exactly what happens when you’re not THERE. But he can also fall back IN love, too! What makes for feeling “in love”? It’s the excitement of the new relationship. Well, you CAN create a new relationship just by going back and starting over. But in a sexy way. Be new, be interesting! DON’T be needy!! I do recommend counseling as long as it is with a trained and skilled marriage counselor who understands what I’ve just said. If it is someone fresh out of school, she or he will not have the expertise you need.

  • vilma

    October 2nd, 2015 at 9:57 AM

    Thank you dr deb i really appreciate your answer i am desperate to get my husband back the thing is i don’t have place in AZ to go and he doesn’t offer me to move with them i do not know how can i stared because i will have to live my job behind and i do not know how stared again with out support any suggestions how can i make him interested on me again .any ideas when you say try to be sexy, how can i approach the situation he say he’s not connected to me emotional and don’t want to have anything with me and told me never make him happy how can i call his attention again because feel like we talk just as a friend that it nothing else .i feel if i don’t do anything and i do not talk to him i feel desperate and also i feel like i am losing him day by day is any good place in AZ for good therapy we both can attend or how we can start all over again what kind the things i should
    d do how can i behaved different? how can i call his attention? what will him interested on me again ?what kind of conversation i should have with him over the phone . please give me some ideas i am lost don’t know what to do thank you again for answer my desperate email good bless you !you are given me hope thanks again.

  • DrDeb

    October 3rd, 2015 at 6:25 PM

    Dear Vilma. First of all, you must NOT be desperate. Start by what you tell YOURSELF: I am a wonderful person. I am a highly responsible person who took care of my husband all this time, etc. You must remind these things to yourself every day because you have no reason to be desperate. After all, you are a quality person! It is HIS job to see that. He will not see that if you are desperate. That is what I meant by sexy. Sexy = appealing. What IS appealing is a person who thinks well of herself. What is NOT appealing is being desperate. Next, it is not your job to “make” him happy. Spouses are not there to “make” someone happy. How can any person make another one have that feeling anyway? Perhaps he was always an unhappy person? I think we go back to the sexy part: Be INDEPENDENT, not dependent, emotionally, when you talk to him. Furthermore, HE has some obligations to YOU, morally if not legally, since you have been supporting him. Remind him that he OWES you something, but when you talk with him, be CHEERFUL, not sad. That is what I mean by not being needy and dependent. As for where to live, there is such a thing as a roommate service you can look into. As for your job, I agree, you can’t quit til you have something else lined up. Good luck!

  • magdeline

    October 4th, 2015 at 1:37 PM

    i really hurt my boyfriend this time i don’t think he will forgive me, always when he was talking to me i ignored him only now i realize that i have hurt him…i

  • Teneice

    October 5th, 2015 at 8:43 AM

    So, my fiancé recently cheated on me, he’s in the army and I’m back home until we get married, I however go to see him every other month. We’ve been together since high school 4years now. ( yes we’re young) we got into a argument while I wasn’t there because I felt like something was off, like something wasn’t right, and I always asked him are you doing anything your not suppose to be doing. His answer would always be no and that he won’t hurt me and that I’m being crazy and that I’m the only one he wants , but things wasn’t adding up and I wouldn’t let up. He told me I should come see him and we can get that thought out my head so I can see how busy he is, I told him I understand but things you say just don’t add up neither does it make sense. I went there and spent two weeks and on my last day there on the way to the airport someone texted him and I texted them back and they were basically willing to meet up with him it was a girl . And I asked him does he know her he said no . He denied her for a very long time and we got into a big fight. He grabbed his phone back and texted her and said nvm and we were like done at the airport I was crying my eyes out and I was so disappointed because he obviously was lying to me. The next day he ignored me as if I did something wrong and didn’t speak to me until that night I asked him again has he done anything with anyone he again said no he never touched anyone the next day I went looking through our phone rcords and I saw a call I called back the number on my phone and I introduced myself to them as his fiancé and they said I was lying because they were just with him last night. And I said I was there for two weeks and they said that’s why he blocked me. She told me how they had sex and how that’s not the first time and they hang out a lot and they go out to eat and etc. so he had sex with her the day after I left and times before I got there when I was feeling like things were off it was because of that. I confronted him and I was absolutely done but I was still in a lot of pain and he then would send me long messages every morning (like this one ) trying to apologie and asking for one more chance and etc it was a huge blow out. He was never like this before , the type to cheat. And when I ask him why he says he doesn’t know he wasn’t thinking, and he won’t ever do it again .When I explained this to my mom who has a degree in psychology just to get someone’s point of view she asked what changed in his life recently, and in the past year a lot has, he joined the army in January(which I supported him through it every step) he has had four very close friends/family that has passed away in this very year,and he couldn’t come home for the funerals one he didn’t even know about until months after then his mother told him on his happiest day (graduation from basic training), he’s a only child and his mom is very not on board with him and I getting married so soon and so young, so they’re constantly arguing. This is also his first time alone, with no one to lay a shoulder on or talk to everyday, yes he has me to talk to but he says it’s not the same because once we hang up the phone he’s alone again. My mom said it can be a coping mechanism , not giving what he did any justice but it can be that, and this is his first offense of cheated but I’m completely torn because he did things as if she were me. He became heartless in my eyes and didn’t think about my feelings or anything I feel disrespected and stupid. I want to forgive him but, my mind can not stop going back on what they did. ( I asked about every detail) I don’t know if it’s my mistake for wanting to know everything they did and how they did it but I see it in my head, constantly. He says he has no attraction to her at all he just wasn’t thinking. So idk what to do I want to move on but I can’t stop, I can’t trust him at all, I feel like I can’t love him like I did before, I feel like this is a mistake and that I shouldn’t be with him. But I love him I do, I devoted so much time money and energy into this and I of t want it to go to waste, he says he wants to show me how he would change he keeps asking me to come back there not realizing I would go crazy because you did things with her in the same bed and same room I would be in, I told him I can’t I would be too uncomfortable I told him to come here and he’s coming he spent 700+ to come here for four days to come see me to “prove to me he’s going to change and that this will never happen again” but I don’t know how he’s going to do that I. Such short time and how he’s going to do that period. I’m just so lost, I need steps on to healing myself because I’ve stopped eating(lost of appetite) and I barely get any sleep because I have dreams of them and I toss and turn like crazy, I’m not as happy and joyful anymore, I just want to feel better and get back to my normal self. How do I fix me? And how do I know that he’s not going to do this to me again?

  • Erin

    October 10th, 2015 at 7:46 AM

    I recently lost everything. I have been in a loving relationship for 5 yrs. My boyfriend was perfect. We were best friends. We were mentally matched. We inspired eachother in our creative endeavors. We had great chemistry. It felt like we lived in a safe nest away from the harshness of the world. Our one issue was a difference in sex drives. I wanted it all the time and he rarely ever did. A lot of my self worth and the way I give and receive love is tied up in physical validation. We struggled with this issue as one of our only fights over the course of 3-4 yrs. I have begged and pleaded for him to work with me on this. I’ve told him it’s what I need for happiness and security. He’s promised to therapy, to get his testosterone checked, work out..etc. but basically done nothing to try and correct the problem. I have experienced so much frustration and rejection over this. The last few months I cheated on him. 3 times, with one person. He is someone from my past that I used to fool around with. There was no romance, no love, no plan to leave. Just sex out of frustration and anger and an addiction to the feeling of being desired.( I am 31 and in my prime and starting to think I would never experience that again.) I told him last week. At first he seemed calm and slightly compassionate. He left for work and said he needed time to think. He massaged me the next day saying he wasn’t ready to talk face to face yet but that he would let me know when he was. 5 days passed and no word. I asked If we could speak. He sent me an email. It outlined all of his feelings around the betrayal, even acknowledgement of his part in rejecting me. Then at the end he broke up with me and said he didn’t want me to contact him and he didn’t want a tearful goodbye. I am devastated. Hysterical, inconsolable. The love of my life wouldn’t even hear me out, or let me apologize to his face or consider forgiveness. We were so much more than that. Now I’m dealing with abandonment and regret. I just want to be with him but he won’t respond. Is there anything I can do to try and save this? After all this time and so much love?

  • Laura

    October 19th, 2015 at 6:28 AM

    Hi Erin. I am on the opposite side of the fence from you. But my experience is different. My boyfriend who I was with for 2 years distanced himself from me. He asked for a break and then got back with his child’s mother who he hasn’t been with for 10 years. What we had resonates with what you had with your partner we were a perfect match in every way. He went through a really tough time. And like you are doing he is now begging me to take him back. My feelings for him haven’t changed and I think time will tell me what I feel and want. I want nothing more than to be with him… But like your partner my trust is gone. I am sure I will get it back. I won’t give up on him. Your boyfriend will need some time to see what he wants. You just can’t turn that kind of love off. He probably also doesn’t want to be perceived as stupid by his peers for taking you back as well. That’s one of the most difficult parts x

  • Jason

    October 19th, 2015 at 10:50 AM

    Started dating a girl 6 months ago and she from the beginning has been warm and very sweet and seemed very into me, and me very into her. Very passionate, she sent me cute text messages multiple times a day and each time we were together she would text afterwards how amazing it felt to be with me. I had been hoping we would push the relationship a step further by seeing each other more, but she has two kids and a busy job and I travel for work about 10 days a month. I noticed she seemed insecure at times about me wanting the relationship in the past month. I have a bit of a quirky personality where my heart and intentions mean well but sometimes maybe I come off as hard to read. She invited me to a wedding months ago and said the clothing was informal. Night before she texts me that its formal. My response I regret was “hey you will probably break up with me for this, but is it too late for you to ask a friend to attend?” We talked immediately on the phone and it was an argument that I can explain as follows: My point was, does it really matter if my shirt is tucked in, wearing formal clothing OR do you really need me to be formally dressed? I don’t know why I didn’t just back off in that original argument, I guess I felt I should be accepted for who I am, that my presence with her at the wedding was what she should deem most important. She says “NO” I dont want you to go, I dont want to have to deal with your needs, your comfort, and its not about you, its their beautiful day, she says she is done talking and hangs up. I go home and try on all my formal outfits and find one that I can wear and that doesnt fit too badly. I call her about an hour after the first argument, I apologize and tell her that I made a huge mistake in arguing about my clothing, she thanks me for the apology, but says she’s not taking me, even though I said I could go, dress formally and had apologized. I took the next half hour trying to explain why I had issue with formal tucked in clothing, I opened up about how I didn’t as attractive tucked in due to my waste line recently being larger due to water retention due to some medications I was on. I opened up to this girl who had been my GF for about 6 months. She didnt seem to care, said no she wasnt taking me, and just seemed angry and detached. I felt shocked that she could treat me this way, but I also felt so much guilt for arguing in the first place. But her treatment of me stuck caused me to need about 24hrs away. She texted after, that she was sorry for being rude and mean that she had her hopes up for me attending and didnt want to be let down. I didnt understand given I had said I could go, and had apologized. Next morning I turn my phone off and leave town for the day. Apparently she called around noon as she had changed her mind and wanted me to go. But I had left town. I email her from where I was and tell her I was taking time to reflect on my behavior and how I could better react next time. But I speak in my email using terms like “my partner”, I dont say “her” etc., I basically say that I want a partner that I could have told her what the issue was and we come to an agreement that works for both of us. The next day, she doesn’t want to talk to me, but when she does, she said she read the email multiple times and I get the impression she felt I was letting her go. She said she needed to take two steps back, that she felt I needed time to figure out what I want, etc. that she didnt like her emotional reaction to the argument and had stopped listening to me and didnt care. She said she was glad I didnt attend the wedding and that she had more fun without me being there. Next day she breaks up with me saying I am not in her future plans, she does this via text. I call her and ask her why? She tells me not to make the breakup hard on myself, she claims she feels fine and just wants to put it all behind her. She said she cried most of the day before saying “I cant believe we at this point”. She said she felt things just weren’t important to me. I assured her she was important to me. Next day, that night, she called leaves a crying voicemail that her heart just cant give up on me yet, and wonders how I feel. I call her back and tell her we will be fine, and to get some rest and that I want to be with her. She then a couple days later gets very wishy washy, I saw her at Starbucks and I didnt realize she was trying to give me a hug and she took 15 minutes to convince that I too wanted to hug her. She said she almost left, I mentioned that she has to stop reacting like that, because I too had wanted to hug her, just in more private setting than in line at Starbucks, I explained I wanted it to be a longer deep hug. I was so surprised how hard she was to convince that I wanted her. She calls right after that meeting and says she wants to take me to Napa to be “us” again. Then texts 20mins later saying she is confused and doesnt know what she wants. I see her on Saturday night and she holds me and says I feel great to her, but she seems distant. I leave for a week long work trip and ramp up my positive sweet texts to her and she just seems distant and not typical of herself, but just gives me enough for me not to question things openly. She even on my Birthday while I was gone that week said “I feel lucky to have you in my life”. I get home the next day and she breaks up with me and says I am not in her future. I react with frustration and pain and tell her she is confused via text and never to contact me again. I give it a few days and reach out to her, she responds she finally realized that I am not it for her short or long term. That was 6 days ago. In my heart I just get the feeling I let her down and she wont give me a second chance. What advice do you have? I think we were just at that place where things were going to deepen. She hadn’t yet told her kids we were dating and not yet introduced me to family. She said breakups are hard when you have kids, and her kids were still attached to her ex boyfriend, she had trouble telling them to move on. What do you think? What can I do? Is there a chance? She just seemed so volitile at the end. I was so hurt by her breakup I sent her an email where I called her character into question for “misleading” me. I wasn’t nice at all, no name calling, I just let her know I thought she was a fake. Pretty mean, because I felt hurt and duped and cheated. WE literally had a wonderful six months before this one fight.

  • Sandy

    October 22nd, 2015 at 11:35 AM

    My best friend fell in love with me 2 years ago and I could not say yes then since I was moving on from another guy. I asked him to move on but he didn’t. But now since the past 1 year I fell in love with him but he says he fell out of love for me and doesn’t think we will ever work out. He wants to be friends. I am unable to convince him otherwise. What can I do to atleast make him give us a chance at this? Talking doesn’t help. I have tried already. How do I make him fall back in love?

    Thank you

  • Karen

    October 25th, 2015 at 10:16 AM

    Dr. Deb, I am 62 yrs old and have reconnected with someone that I spent 10 yrs with after my divorce 30 yrs ago. I was so in love with this man, more so than I was with my husband. When he ended up marrying someone else I was beyond heartbroken. I finally walked away. The friendship thing did not work after he got married.
    We now live in 2 different states, we chat online, skype and spend at least once a week on the phone for about 3-4 hours. we have talked about relationships, in particular his. He has walked away from all of them. He is 6 yrs older than me and our longevity (his term for bucket list) clock is ticking.
    He still puts a smile on face and makes me laugh. I find myself cautious about my feelings for him and without him really saying and based on our conversations, I am thinking his feelings are guarded as well.
    I want so badly to see him, but I am so afraid to have that feeling of love again.

  • Sarah

    November 9th, 2015 at 9:20 AM

    My boyfriend and I have been dating for nine months. Our relationship started off rough and we broke up one month in and he was rather cruel about it because he felt he couldn’t trust me(he has trust issues). We ended up back together because I felt the relationship had potential besides what had happened during our break up. Everything progressed nicely and I really liked him. But, when he would get angry he “blacks out” and get verbally abusive. i forgave him even though there were about four more episodes of blacking out in which he called names and used some deep secrets I had told him against me. Eventually I told him I’m done either the verbal abuse ends now or we stop dating. He stopped and has only done it once since. We continued on fine after this, falling in love being all consumed by each other. But, as of these past few months I have had feelings of guilt because I feel I don’t love him anymore. he doesn’t give me butterflies anymore and when we have deep conversations I don’t want to share my feelings or tell him I love him because it feels like a lie. I don’t even enjoy being intimate with him anymore. But he loves me so deeply I know that if I fixed myself we could have a life long relationship. We are now on a break and I am wondering if there is a way to get back the butterflies or if we have had too much of a damaging relationship to ever repair it.

  • Kim

    November 23rd, 2015 at 6:29 AM

    I recently discovered that my husband of 15 years has been texting another woman all hours of the day and night. He claims it is just an “intense friendship.” It doesn’t matter if that is true. I still feel betrayed at the most basic level of the one person I trusted most in this world. I asked him to end this friendship in order for me to move forward. He said he would. I reached out to him to let him know that I’m angry, but I still love him. He then said he wanted time to think about whether he wants to continue our relationship. He felt neglected by me and thinks it may be too late to work out any issues. I feel betrayed all over again. If he comes to the conclusion that he does want to try to make this work, how do I get over all of the hurt and betrayal? We have 3 kids, and all of his comments seem so self-centered–like he’s not even considering his family. Of course, I don’t want him to stay out of duty, but I don’t understand how we’re not even part of his choices. I don’t know how to get past this second betrayal so soon on the heals of the first.

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