Husband in Midlife Crisis

Husband in Midlife Crisis

How to Keep Your Connection, Your Cool and Your Dignity

If you’ve ever experienced your husband taking what looks like a sudden turn off of family life lane and speeding down immature, selfish highway—possibly in a new sports car—then you’ve probably suspected him of having a midlife crisis.

Maybe he stopped telling you where he is, or suddenly isn’t coming home at the usual time.

Perhaps he complains that he’s disappointed with life, and wonders why he hasn’t gotten what he wanted.

He seems to be throwing away everything you’ve built together.

He’s grumpy, depressed, and suddenly irresponsible, which is making you furious.

No amount of talking to him is creating the desired effect, as he goes along on his self-absorbed way.

He may even be saying devastating things like, “I don’t love you anymore,” or, “I don’t know if I want to be in this marriage.” It’s painful.

You may even wonder if he’s also given up on his vows.

That’s pretty serious, and terrifying.

Unless you know what to do.

Here’s how to get back to the good times when your husband is having a midlife crisis. Click To Tweet

The Real Reason He’s Acting This Way

Is your husband really having a midlife crisis? Or could it be something else?

The reason I ask is because my husband exhibited many of the symptoms of a midlife crisis years ago, and that wasn’t the problem. At all.

The reason he was depressed and grumpy, distant and selfish had nothing to do with being in midlife.

The reason he quit both his job and the band we played in together on the same day (without breathing a word about it to me) was not because he had middle-age crazies.

It had to do with feeling like he never got what he wanted because—and this is the embarrassing part—I rarely let him do what he wanted.

Of course, he’s a grown man, so I couldn’t stop him from doing what he wanted.

But I often tried to get him to do what I wanted instead.

I’d explain why he should go to the store while he was already out instead of making a special trip because it’s more efficient. Or ask him why he wanted to get his friend a Christmas present when his friend didn’t get him one last year. Or tell him not to order Coke at dinner because it’s such a rip-off at restaurants.

In other words, I was a controlling shrew, but I didn’t realize it. I thought I was just being logical. I thought I was helping him.

It made sense to me to try to teach him how to do things when I knew better, but as it turned out, there were a lot of things I thought I knew how to do better than him.

At first it was irritating, but over time it became unbearable, and that’s when it seemed like he really flipped out.

He seemed like a different person than the guy I married. He was angry, contrary and uncooperative. He wasn’t willing to listen to reason, from my perspective.

Double-Check the Diagnosis

Turns out he was just tired of being nagged, nit-picked and micromanaged.

My husband wasn’t having a midlife crisis at all.

He just had a chronic case of critical, controlling wife-itis.

The heart message behind a midlife crisis is a man saying, “I want control over my own life and decisions.”

From my point of view, that seemed hostile and uncaring. What about what I wanted him to do?

But he’d been bending as far as he could for a long time, and one day he didn’t want to bend anymore. He wanted to be his own man, and have the autonomy that all men crave.

Looking back, I can’t say I blame him. But at the time, I blamed him for all our problems.

I believed that if he would just do what I was telling him to do, everything would be great.

But now I know better.

Let’s Not Both Make These Mistakes…

When I could no longer get the outcome I wanted by trying to persuade, cajole, beg or make demands of my husband, I felt heartbroken, betrayed and furious.

That still didn’t get him to respond any better.

I tried ultimatums, tears and threats of divorce.

That didn’t work, either.

The cold war raged on at our house.

I considered throwing in the towel.

I’m so glad I didn’t. I would have missed the most valuable lesson of my whole life AND the amazing marriage I have now.

How to Cure the Cold War

It wasn’t until I learned how to be respectful—and especially to relinquish the inappropriate control I thought I should have over his life—that there was a change in the climate.

The more I acted like I trusted him to make good decisions and swallowed my urge to tell him what those good decisions should be, the more he seemed like that responsible, devoted guy I fell in love with.

When I returned control of my husband’s life to its rightful owner, and acted like he was competent and capable—like I had when we fell in love—something magical happened.

The midlife crisis went away.

The thoughtful, considerate, unselfish man I’d married came back and was loving and sweet again. It seemed like a miracle, but now I’ve seen the same transformation happen for thousands of other women who followed the same steps.

And if I can do it, and they can too, then why not you?

When you do, his midlife crisis will disappear and the good man you fell for will return.


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74 thoughts on “Husband in Midlife Crisis”

  1. Mine had one, it’s too late, I talked to one of your coaches but he still thinks the grass is greener and we’re divorcing.
    Awful.

    Reply
    • Kacey, I’m sorry to hear that your husband wants a divorce. Very painful.

      I know it seems hopeless, but it’s not hopeless. I have coaches who have recovered their relationships from the same situation and now they’re as close as newlyweds. The same can happen for you with the right Intimacy Skills and support. It’s not too late unless you decide it’s over. Since you wrote to me, I have a feeling you don’t want it to be over.

      The next step is to get back with the coach you spoke to and take the next step. You’ve got this!

      Reply
  2. Help, husband moved out of house,girlfriend,race car, but will do anything for me, except move back in and repair our marriage, say he still care and says he loves me, does not want to be married anymore, wants to do what he wants

    Reply
    • Adrienne, Joan, Belinda, Kelly, Sherri, and Taye, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I still remember how painful it was to have my marriage feel hopeless.

      The good news is that it’s not hopeless, and with the right Intimacy Skills and support you can have your marriage back and good as new. I invite you to consider applying for a complimentary discovery call to figure out the best move for your marriage. You can do that here:
      https://lauradoyle.org/marriage-relationship-coaching

      Reply
      • Kimberly, I’m sorry to hear you’re going through your husband’s midlife crisis. I love your vulnerability in reaching out for support. I still remember how painful it was to have my marriage feel hopeless. The good news is that it’s not hopeless, and with the right Intimacy Skills and support you can get back the man you married. I’ll show you how in my upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for free at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/

        Reply
        • I’m going through a similar situation. My husband of 12 years told me 8 weeks ago that our marriage is over. We have 2 young children. In the 15 years we’ve been together he has doted on me and always said how he loves me and we are his world. I haven’t been a perfect wife and have been very argumentative, perfectionist and controlling. We’ve both been through a stressful few years of having the children and both studying for our masters degree. Arguments have become worse in the last couple of years. Although things haven’t been great it was a shock that he woke one morning and said I don’t love you & we will never be in a relationship again. His whole character has changed. He’s turned hatful, resentful and nasty to me. Has become emotionally cut off and the way he’s ending things goes against his morals. He was a caring, gentle, family man and brilliant hands on father. He’s now moved out & is doing things he would never have done such as going out every night (he doesn’t drink), taking pride in his appearance and I’m very suspicious he is having an affair. I’ve hit rock bottom and everyone is telling me to give up hope so that I can accept this and be stronger for my children. But I just can’t seem to let go of hope that he’s going to snap out of it and come home and tell me it’s all going to be ok.

          Reply
          • Smita, I’m sorry to hear that your husband has called it quits and switched from day to night overnight. This is heartbreaking, especially with your little ones to think about. I admire your awareness and that, despite what others may say, you still choose hope.

            Many a client has come to me upon hearing that her husband no longer loved her and that nothing she did would change that. These courageous women chose faith over fear and decided to practice the Intimacy Skills anyway. Their husbands came home, breaking it off with mistresses or saying he was not himself and not thinking straight to ever consider leaving. Now these same men show their wives more affection and attention than ever!

            Smita, you can save your marriage too. I’ll show you how in my upcoming free Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/.

        • Jessica, I’m sorry to hear you were served with divorce papers. I can see why you’re feeling that it would take a miracle to save your marriage. I really admire your commitment to your marriage.

          One client was devastated when she was served divorce papers. She continued practicing the 6 Intimacy Skills anyway. Her husband moved back home. Since the divorce did go through, today she is desired, cherished and adored by her “boyfriend.” Another client could practice the Intimacy Skills with her husband only when at the divorce attorney’s office. She saved her marriage too.

          I could go on with more such examples that your miracle awaits! I’ll show you how to get there in my upcoming free Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/.

          Reply
  3. My husband started telling me he wasn’t happy or in love with me last year, he’s out of the house claiming he’s taking a break to figure out what he wants. I’m so hurt we’ve been together 22years 3 children I feel like I don’t know him anymore. Help!

    Reply
    • The exact thing happened to me last year. I also found out he had an affair. He was struggling and confused as to what he wanted. I hit rock bottom and was devastated for my children and I. I prayed and prayed and continued life with him in it. Even though he had moved out. He finally opened up to me. I heard things that hurt but had an open mind. I was grateful he felt comfortable finally opening up because prior to being his wife I was his best friend. He now has moved back home and we are working things out. I have asked him if I was controlling and he said yes. I have to look at myself and see what changes I needed to make. My husband is an introvert and I an extrovert. So the main problem was communication. These websites have helped me. Although the other woman continued to call him, he made it clear he was done with her. My trust of course is broken and he knows that but I am slowly trying to trust him. He will even tell me when she calls but he doesn’t answer. A few days ago he became upset because she kept calling and calling. He told me he was angry about it. I had no clue. He trusts me to be open minded to be understanding. I know most woman will find that difficult to do, but I have a strong faith in God and he has helped me through this and to become forgiving. I refuse to lose my family. For some an affair will destroy your marriage. For others it will help you realize what is important to you, and see the error in your ways. We have been together for 23 years and this Sunday is our 12 year wedding anniversary. Our relationship is not perfect and we have a long way to go. Believe me, I have my moments where my mind goes elsewhere and I start wondering about this other person, but I know in time it will pass. Remember love is patient. My husband has been home know for 2 months. This is all still pretty fresh, but I have faith. Hang in there, have a plan. Pray. You will hit your rock bottom but focus on your kids. Look at yourself and make the change that you need. My husband saw me change in every way. People can change for the better. But if you find out he had an affair, you need to decide now whether you want to save your marriage or let him go. No one will understand your decisions and be careful who you tell. I had a solid group of girlfriends but honestly they disappointed me. They knew what I was going through and made little effort to visit or check in on me. I was alone. I also didn’t want them judging my husband in case we had a reconciliation. My husband is not an asshole. We just grew apart and he needed something that I wasn’t giving at the time. I know now how to love him the way he needs to be loved and although my friends may not see eye to eye with things they know, they support my decision now. Good luck, hang in there and pray. What hurts is only makes us stronger.

      Reply
      • Belinda, Congratulations on saving your marriage after an affair! I so admire your courage, commitment and accountability. You would be a wonderful relationship coach! Is that something you’re interested in? If you are interested at all and want to have a conversation about it, everything is here:
        https://lauradoyle.org/become-a-coach/

        Reply
      • Wow! This is so what I need this morning! I am in a similar situation but at the earlier stages! I have chosen to forgive the affair but trust is a big issue! He says he ended it and wants to work on our marriage and stop running from God. He has even come clean with our 2 older children and told them he was committed to make this work! I have a hard time trusting since the girl he had an affair with still works closely with him and I know she hasn’t given up and is blatant about it! I am the extrovert and he is the introvert and communication is totally an issue with us and has gotten us where we are after 18 years of marriage! I never realized until I hit rock bottom that I was slowly sabotaging my marriage! And my husband never said anything really except got quoted and distant! Most people don’t understand why I am willing to try to fix it since he cheated but Gods plan is greater than just giving up! So glad to hear your story…

        Reply
      • I have a friend in the same situation of yours and I feel guilty for not helping her more … But the husband did not return yet, we are praying for that.
        Do you think you can send me an email and I give your email to her so she can ask your advice? Especially when she is in a more difficult day ?

        Reply
        • W, I’m happy to provide support to your friend. Sometimes people get so down they think it will be easier to just let the marriage go, and there is only so much you can do as a friend so I admire that you are standing for her marriage to be saved! I suggest you invite your friend to read this blog post as a good start, and she can take the quiz to determine what might be missing in her relationship. You can see the box to the right for that. Of course I’m here to support any woman who wants to save her marriage!

          Reply
      • Wow, I’m going through the same thing right now. My husband of 18 yrs told me 8 months ago after I found out of his affair (or not) with his coworker who is also his cubicle mate that he still care and love me but not in love with me anymore, no matter what he tried. He’s been taking it but feeling like this for the past few yrs (8 yrs to be exact) and couldn’t fix our problem or tell me until he shared our marriage issue with her and can’t take it anymore. I don’t even know what type of affair it was or is now as his story/detailing keep on changing. He beg me back after I caught him flirting with her in the parking lot of their work place. He did tried very hard to work it out with me for 5 months and just don’t want to anymore. They still sit next to each other at work that I don’t have access to and he won’t change job now despite his earlier attempt to. Now he tell and show me daily that he want his freedom back and that’s why he did what he did despite knowing it was wrong. He’s willing to do anything to get his freedom back but won’t leave us yet. He told me there is nothing and he is just done with relationship period and just want to be able to do anything he want when he want to. Indicating that I didn’t allow him to before. I never thought I was controlling and in fact I was sacrificing more for our family then him until I found all these info. Our family is being torn apart and no matter what he or I tried (including multiple therapy attempts, which he refuse now) it doesn’t seem to make it better. He can’t make up his decision yet and I can see him torn between trying to work it out and leaving us. He feel that he’s lying and doing me injustice if he stay while he’s feeling like this and know the consequence and how his 4 young children will be affected if he were to leave. So our lives is a living hell now with everything being affected, work, children, family, friends, and financially. I’ve already file for divorce but still love him and want to save our marriage but don’t know what to do. I’m so confuse and need help. I don’t have any trust in him right now so how can I follow these steps? Will these steps work if he’s already checked out/damaged done, and really don’t love me anymore?

        Reply
        • Kim, Wow, I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s affair and that you’re in a living hell at home. Sounds very painful. I’m sure it seems impossible to imagine that everything could be put right again with all that’s happened, and how he’s behaving, but I have seen situations just like yours come out the other side with an amazing marriage–the kind we all dream of having. You’re in a crisis now, but it will pass and either your family will be together and your husband will be with the woman he chose for life and has four kids with, or your family will be torn apart as you say. You have tremendous influence over what happens from here. I would love to see you get some support. Consider applying for a complimentary discovery call to connect with one of my coaches and determine the best move for your relationship.You can do that here:
          https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/

          In the meantime, The Empowered Wife lays out the Six Intimacy Skills in detail and will help you tremendously. You can read a free chapter here:
          http://getcherished.com

          Reply
      • Hello thankyou for sharing I am in the similar situation. Only 3 months into seperation and emotional affair Rollercoaster. I love my husband but we are at Rock bottom but I believe strongly that given time and patience (something i struggle with) and lots of effort on my part. We will have a loving passionate relationship again. I too have complained so much for so long to my girlfriends that they no longer support me either. I am struggling to make new friends I am sure I can do it though. My husbands worth it.

        Reply
        • Crave. I’m living the same nightmare. My situation is even more complicated because my husband left after our house burned down and I have an insurance battle. I’m afraid he’s gonna give money to the Ow and i struggle with that control. I’m just afraid I will be left with no money. Laura you say turn it all over to them. But it is scary especially since he moved out.

          Reply
          • Tina, I totally get why that would be terrifying! What a rough time you’re going through with your house burning down and him leaving. It must be devastating. I’d love to see you get support with implementing the Intimacy Skills because it can be tricky to do it by yourself, especially when he’s having an affair and has left. No one should be alone with that. The good news is that you are the wife and she is only the mistress, and a wife with Intimacy Skills trumps a mistress every day of the week and twice on Sundays. Come apply for a complimentary discovery call to see if working with one of my certified coaches is right for you. You’ll find the call so valuable. You can apply here:
            https://lauradoyle.org/marriage-relationship-coaching/

      • Wow. I feel like this is exactly what I’m going they right now!!!! We just had a child 4 months ago. A week after she was born he told me he loved me but wasn’t in love with me. We have been separated for two months living apart. There have been rumors of an affair but no proof and he denies it. But all the red flags are there. It’s like hes going thru a mid life crisis but he’s only 30. I’m trying really hard to use the intimate skills. I love him and just want him home. I’m having a hard time since he is hardly around and doesn’t seem interested in be a father to his daughter. I’m just trying to be patient and hope for the best.

        Reply
    • Same here with me Belinda. We were together 25 years common law. He started staying at work longer coming home later I had some free time and I started going through his email and found pictures from another woman. Well it all blew up one night and he left me for her. Here it is one year later and he is still there. No explanation no nothing other than he was miserable and refuses to talk at all. He will not take my calls, he will not reply to my texts or emails. Where is no contact at all and it’s killing me. I knew nothing was wrong and he still refuses to talk about it. I’m so heartbroken still.

      Reply
  4. My husband has Moved into an apartment down the street given me the number given my daughters the key said he needs to have space it’s been a month I need help to figure out what to say want to do.my heart is being torn apart.he comes over every night and eats dinner then leaves to go sleep over there there are nights that he doesn’t come which breaks my heart I’m being tugged back-and-forth. This isn’t the man that I thought he was we been married for 26 years help

    Reply
  5. This article only addresses one possible cause of a “midlife crisis.” I am so opposite of controlling, but my husband still feels like he has not accomplished what he dreamed of in college – a big piece of property in New England or the West. How do I support him even though I don’t want to move away from where we are now?

    Reply
    • Anah, Sounds like you feel afraid that for him to have his dream you will have to give up yours! That’s no fun. I can see other possibilities for you to both be happy, and I explain all about it in the book The Empowered Wife. I think you’d find it really valuable, especially the part about expressing your desires in a way that inspires. You can read a free chapter here:
      http://getcherished.com

      Reply
  6. “Leave him alone, and he’ll come home.” …. I am coming out of the tail end of this process. A few years ago I was in an obsessed art-craze to the point that I ignored my husband. He was very angry at me and stomped his feet that I wouldn’t come up to bed with him. “I yelled back at him to go find your own damn hobby!” Be careful what you wish for!”

    Lucky for me, he didn’t run to another woman, but instead turned to ultra-spirituality, to the point that I thought he would join a monastery (or at least take vow of celibacy). But his obsession with meditation, reading, and workshops made me feel abandoned. Thanks to Laura’s teachings, I am re-connecting to the art-crazed self that I had abandoned years ago. It has been scary because it is forcing me to realize how much sense-of-self I had lost in the process of blaming him (to avoid looking at my own crap). And it forced me to realize how much of a jerk I was. OUCH!!!

    Now my husband and I are both finding and nurturing ourselves FIRST, so we are able to bring our best selves to the relationship table. We are still trying to find that balance where we can each have our interests, while honoring the relationshiop too. (But I am still trying to find the secrets that allow me to generate my own sense of joy without relying on him.). Finally, I am just starting to see progress. I am actually glad for the “crisis” now, even though I still feel the “growing pains”, I know it will be worth it in the end.

    Laura’s insights have been very valuable on this journey. I am very thankful to have her guidance a long the way. She speaks truth!

    Reply
    • Kari, Congratulations! What an awesome post. You are very courageous and I admire that. Thanks for sharing your success. Have you ever thought of becoming a coach who helps other women revitalize the intimacy in their relationships? You have a great experience to share. I think you would be powerful. If you’re interested, everything is here:
      https://lauradoyle.org/become-a-coach/

      Reply
  7. This sounds just like my situation. My husband moved out 2 months ago and is loving being “single”. I hate it. He also said he didn’t love me and we had been having issues since he first told me 6 months ago. I tried everything… Space. That seemed to make it worse. I tried being peaceful and quiet. But it was hard and now he is punishing me. Changing mail, accounts and planning his future. Our house burned down in Feb and now he wa to take the money and split and run. My lawyer wants me to file for divorce but I’m scared to do that as I still have hope for him to come home.

    Reply
  8. My husband is all of this but wants a divorce and we are already in the process. I have begged and cried and pleaded. We have 3 kids and he just walked out 5 months ago. I don’t know what to do!

    Reply
  9. Had a situation like this where my husband was acting out horribly…a series of traumatic events had befallen us and culminating in both of us having an affair…him first and then me when I found out about his. I had serious anger issues and was allowing things and people from my past to control my actions an decisions. While I am not proud of my actions, it taught us both that we were taking each other for granted. We are back together and working things out. It hasn’t been easy at all…there are still days where or past transgressions come up and we both wonder if we should just call it quits. But he and I have made the decision to stick it out and things are slowly getting better. It will all be worth it when we finally come out on the other side.

    Reply
  10. Brenda
    My husband of 19 years walked into the room and announced that he hated coming home from work and that he felt dead inside. We’ve had our share of disagreements over the years but they were never about anything serious , mostly it was me defending myself from disrespectful behavior on his part . He can’t even name one argument I caused or started. I’m devastated ,I have apologised in written form and verbal for my sins . But he wants to hold on to the anger. Help please . I lost my mom to cancer ,my dad to suicide 10 months later and I just went to 2years of cancer surgery 6 so to be exact. I can not take any loss.

    Reply
    • .OMG… the same what is it. I guess they go out and are younger Men then they realize women aren’t interested in them they see gray hair or wrinkles feel old.. & question to I have the right Wife & career. I wasted my life loving her & doing this awful work. My life is almost over.
      My husband is in a hotel room comes here helps me yells with tons of anger. Then, tells me
      he wants different calls me irritable, angry & looks like he hasn’t slept in a month or longer.
      It is sad. He also, looks like he is gonna cry I’m walking around happy in shock. Going man
      we have a beautiful home an adorable puppy Labradoodle & another sweet dog. Beautiful
      SUV and Audi. I was feeling blessed & lucky to have what we have. He acts like I’m nothing to him. He has to help come here because he owns our home. I tell him NO go do & be don’t worry I’m fine. The worse is I am younger look younger. He seems upset about this too.

      Reply
      • Matisse, It sounds painful to be married to someone so angry, and scary to wonder if this may be the end of that marriage. In my experience, midlife crisis symptoms are a the same symptoms of a man who is not feeling respected, and it’s mostly because no one ever showed that wife what respect looks like to a man (so different than what a woman thinks of as respect!) I describe it in detail in my book/audiobook, The Empowered Wife. You can read a free chapter here:
        https://lauradoyle.org/first-kill-all-the-marriage-counselors/

        Reply
  11. I’m suspicious of husband…I feel like something is off. The other day he took the phone with him to the bathroom and when I asked him he looked embarrassed… He said he was on Facebook but he wasn’t…. I’ve been practicing your book to the best of my ability for months. I have a few slip ups every now and then but am a very loving supportive wife. What do you doing with suspicion?

    Reply
    • Mina I am having EXACT same problem…. I feel something is odd about a man taking is phone to the bathroom ALL of the time… what are we supposed todo ? I asked and got a very angry defensive response which only furthers my suspicion 🙁

      Reply
  12. Hi, Laura. I totally get what you’re saying, but what if the choices and decisions my husband makes negatively impact me? My husband tends to be very selfish, and makes a lot of decisions that hurt me. Am I supposed to “zip it” whenever he does this because he has the right to make his own suggestions? How do I support his autonomy without sacrificing my needs in our relationship? I’ve tried talking to him about this, and he is intolerant of any criticism- even if I speak gently and take care not to be attacking. I don’t want a divorce, but I’m out of ideas.

    Reply
    • Claire, It’s incredibly challenging to be in your situation–I still remember being there myself. Painful! Once I discovered The Skill Intimacy Skills though it completely transformed and life got so much easier and my relationship so much more gratifying. I lay out the skills step-by-step in The Empowered Wife, which you will find incredibly valuable, and you can read a free chapter here:
      http:/getcherished.com

      Reply
  13. I’m seven and a half months pregnant and my husband has been distant and going through a “mid life crisis” ever since we found out. He says I did it on purpose and it’s all about me; we have one daughter who is 9 and a son who is 17 mos old. I’ve spent every night alone, I’ve asked for nothing, I’ve read your book and taken your advice. He says he doesn’t want a divorce but I found out he was confiding in another woman who he knows from work and he told her he loved her, and when I found out he said it was a joke. I am not allowed to ask what he’s doing or where he’s going. This has been an extremely difficult time for me. I just celebrated my 31st birthday alone all day, and it was extremely depressing.

    Reply
    • Rachel, Sounds very lonely and painful! I’m sorry to hear about what you’re going through, especially while you’re pregnant with a toddler! I’m sure your whole family is suffering. I’d love to see you have some support, because I don’t know anybody who could handle what you’re going through alone. Your can save your marriage and make it a lot better. Consider applying for a complimentary discovery call to connect with one of my coaches and determine the best move for your relationship. You can do that here:
      https://lauradoyle.org/marriage-relationship-coaching/

      Reply
  14. Thank you Laura. I always find your blogs so helpful. Our relationship is not perfect but since reading your book The Empowered Wife, it is so much better. I can honestly say I feel at peace within myself and that is helps me to be more respectful of my partner. Please come to Australia. ……..we need you! !

    Reply
  15. I found this blog after attending the “How To Get Respect, Reconnect, and Rev Up Your Love Life” webinar. I am left wondering what about those of us who have been submissive and surrendered and our husbands still aren’t caring, tender, or attentive? We have been married 16 years and we are faithful Christians. Because of my faith I have always focused on treating my husband like the man that he is. I make it a point to not criticize him in public or private. I submit to his authority as head of the household: he has always handled our finances, I have always lifted him up through praise and respect, I have always tried to remain playful and lighthearted, I don’t nag or criticize. I’ve worked hard on not doing these things. But, I’m so tired. You can only do this so long without getting anything in return. He doesn’t complement me physically or otherwise. I make efforts to stay physically attractive and I’m highly educated but he’s just not into me. When I say, “I would love to…” he usually ignores it and choosing something else for us. I’m so lonely and lost and exhausted. At what point are you too submissive/surrendered? Have I lost myself in my efforts to yield to him and now I’m insignificant? Do you have any resources to help me?

    Reply
    • Tired, That does sound exhausting! Sounds like you’re giving a lot and not getting anything back. There are just a few things I’d like to see you experiment with that will make a huge difference in restoring the passion and connection and take a lot less energy. This situation is completely solvable. Consider applying for a complimentary discovery call to connect with one of my coaches to uncover the best thing you could do for your marriage. You’ll find it so valuable!
      https://lauradoyle.org/marriage-relationship-coaching/

      Reply
  16. I have finally had it. After 47 years, four daughters, nine grandchildren my husband has decided that although he loves me and cares for me, We need a divorce. He is a prostate cancer survivor and I am proof positive everything works. He simply says that he is not happy , And needs to be alone. I paid the attorney yesterday and it is done. I feel the weight of the last six months of stress gone and the weight of the world off my shoulders . I tried it your way not working for him we haven’t slept together for five months pretty much tells me the whole story but I’m still going to keep reading because somewhere in there is someone.

    Reply
  17. Dear Laura, could you please please help me. If you could email me some advice I would be eternally grateful.
    My husband (of 25 years) and I separated a year ago. He had worked overseas for a while and when he returned we just could not find our common ground again. He moved out, but we continued to meet regularly and socialise ( we have 2 teenagers). He told me last month that he missed me, loved me and wanted to move back home. I was cautious ( I have been hurt before, an affair 5 years ago and he was having a relationship whilst we were separated) but happy that he wanted to come home and start afresh. He has been back 3 weeks and most of that time he has been distant and grumpy. He said he feels terribly guilty about what he has put me through, he feels bad that he hurt the lady in the other relationship(!?) and he says that he cannot be intimate with me, and those feelings have gone, (also said no longer feels like a man. I have come home today and he has left me a note saying he has gone to stay with a mutual friend for the weekend to sort his head out. That if it is not right now, it will never be right. What do I do? I am so sad for my children, I am torn between slamming the door in his face and blocking him out my life forever, and fighting for us. I am so hurt and confused. Please help.

    Reply
    • Debbie, I see why you’re so very hurt and wondering what to do next! Sounds like you’ve been through a lot with your husband. I admire that your commitment to your marriage and your kids, and I definitely see every reason to be hopeful that you can make your marriage amazing again–like it was when you first fell in love. I’d love to see you get your hands on The Six Intimacy Skills, which I lay out step-by-step in my book, The Empowered Wife. You’ll find them so valuable. You can read a free chapter here:
      http://getcherished.com/
      Let me know how I can support you in your worthy journey of saving your family.

      Reply
  18. Laura, thank you.
    I have your ‘Kill the Marriage Counselors’ book. I purchased it over a year ago, when my husband first moved out/we separated. I have been practising the six intimacy skills and truly believe that they have helped us keep a connection and lead us to trying to keep our marriage alive. Sometimes I forget, or go back to my old (cold, stubborn) ways, but I am now aware of this and know to correct myself. Invaluable advice.
    However, I am obviously going wrong somewhere. Steve tells me he loves me (as I am the mother of his children and we have been together so long)! But I am not sure that he believes he is in love with me? And why move in and then move out again after 3 weeks, telling me that he cannot be intimate with me. I know he feels guilty because he’s had another relationship. I have told him that I understand, and that I would love to leave the past and focus on our future. The night before he left he told me that he loved me and would love to float me off on a cloud, I thought that was so touching. But then I go to work and get a message telling me that he has moved his things out and is staying at a friends to sort his head out and that ‘we have discussed and talked, but if it is not right for both of us, then it will never be right’. I love him, I want this to work. Is there really any hope left? What should I do? He is very successful in his work and takes pride in himself, always looking immaculate, however he is such a worrier and has incredibly low self esteem, telling me that I am better off without him as he just messes everything up. He said he feels like he doesn’t belong here. This is heartbreaking. He now wants to look for a place of his own and start the process of formal separation and ‘move on’ with his life.

    Reply
    • Debbie, Yikes, that sounds very painful. I’m sorry you’re going through that. But the good news is that you can solve this and make your marriage great, and attract your husband back home again happily. Left to my own devices, I go back to thinking that I’m smarter than my husband and that just leads me to being lonely again. For me, being with other like-minded women has been everything in terms of living the Six Intimacy Skills. I would love to see you get support also. I invite you to apply for a complimentary discovery call ASAP to learn more about working with a coach to make your marriage vibrant and amazing again. You’ll find it so valuable! You can do that here:
      https://lauradoyle.org/marriage-relationship-coaching/

      Reply
  19. I ruined my marriage, during the marriage I had my part in getting us into crisis mode. Once the crisis was brought to light, I did my part in the beginning to get us out of it. he even said the changes I made is why he stayed; so at some point it was working.

    And then I jumped on the crazy train.

    Relationship talks, me trying to convince him to see it my way, me trying to convince him that the stress of his job was the main cause of the crisis and asking how he can give up on us, but not leave a job that he hated.

    He said he feels shame. He didn’t say I made that happen but I know I did. i didn’t mean to, it was the last thing I wanted and i didn’t see that it was even a possibility. I guess in my stupid blindness I thought if I just said it this way, or if I just say this, or if he can just see it from this side, the light switch that he said turned him off to me, will turn back on.

    18 months after we acknowledged our crisis, he’s done. He’s asked for a divorce. We talked yesterday about how we want it to go for our girls – we both want to reach place of a friendly co-parenting situation where we work together to make this as good as we can… for them. It was a positive thing right?

    Then this morning hits and again, I have to push it… why can’t we put the amount of effort that we would put into a divorce into our marriage – for our kids… why is that not an option. I don’t understand why it’s better to work to fix a good divorce than it is to fix our 20 year marriage.

    More shame, more pushing, more ruining.

    Why can’t I learn my lesson!

    Laura, you said in a comment to another writer that as long as your are still married there is still time – but what if the spouse is only married on paper. He no longer in any way feels married to me on any emotional level. We were intimate until last week but he said that was an attempt to feel something for our marriage but it just didn’t work.

    i would love to think there is still hope if I could find the right coaching that I should have found 18 months ago – but I think that ship has sailed. If that is true – how does one forgive herself for not only causing the crisis in the first place but then taking any chance she had of saving her marriage and blowing it up and breaking the very man she wanted to love?

    he loved me once – and love(d) him in such a way that we drew envy from others. We had a friendship and a love for each other that even he thought was unbreakable. Then work stress, job changes and 2 family moves, and wife who couldn’t keep her fears in check, RUINED us.

    So so sad! So filled with regret. So heart broken that I broke his heart!

    Reply
    • Sara, I’m so sorry to hear about your marriage feeling so hopeless, and your excruciating pain around feeling you did it in yourself. I remember that feeling in my own marriage very well, and it’s awful. There’s definitely still hope for your marriage. Definitely! I see marriages where the husband is absolutely done and with another woman and they separate and she still can use her power to make it vibrant and amazing again. You’re right that working on your 20 year marriage is much better than working on your divorce. All you need are The Six Intimacy Skills and the support of a guide to help you along. I couldn’t have done it by myself either. I invite you to apply for a complimentary discovery call to see about working with one of my coaches. You can do that here:
      https://lauradoyle.org/marriage-relationship-coaching/

      Reply
  20. This is utter rubbish. You are telling women to be door mats. If a husband has issues with his marriage, then it is his responsibility to talk to his wife and work on the marriage. It is not an excuse to have a MLC or cheat on your wife. Women, open your eyes, detach, and save yourselves. He will never respect you if take him back. My husband went through this and we are now divorced. I am broken hearted, but divorced is better than the emotional hell he put me through. He is living his life like the creep that he is. Let him. I am better than that and so are you. You are not a consolation prize.

    Reply
  21. I don’t know if I should write here, as a guy being on “the other side”, but I’ll give it a go. I’m 41 and have been married for 14 years. I feel that slowly I have been sidelined to the point where my opinions don’t matter any more, in particular in relation to our children, two boys of 10 and 12.

    I’ve tried to follow a “firm but fair” approach with my kids but my wife tends to operate more at the extremes. She’s overly doting when it comes to the boys . I don’t do this and I’m labelled as cold or emotionally distant. But she can also scream and swear at them when she gets frustrated, something I don’t approve of.

    My youngest is preparing for some exams and my wife has taken on the role of coaching him. I’ve tried to get involved but I’m pushed aside, even though I have the academic skills. The reasoning being “they can’t learn from me” and “find me boring”. But I’m not really given the opportunity to change this, because in her eyes it’s a “done deal” and she’s got the kids thinking of me in a certain way so they can feel justified in ignoring what I say too.

    So I’m paying a chunk of money to come and sit and tutor my son (as he did with my elder one) while I’m relegated to manual labour. Nothing against manual labour but I’m not very good at it, I hate it, and I have so much more to give than that.

    And then there are the complaints all the time that I don’t do enough of it, or housework. I try to do a few bits and pieces at home where I can, and though I don’t claim to do as much as her, I do work full time in the legal profession, owning and running my own business. I’ve asked her for support now and then with my business but she isn’t interested. Because my father is still involved in my business and it isn’t all mine, she’s not willing to support me at all.

    I don’t really get to be involved in any decisions though, she usually makes a decision and then if I disagree, I’m labelled as being difficult. I get tired and stressed just like everyone, but it’s almost as if I’m not allowed to. In her case, it’s ok to order in food (and spend money whether we have it or not) if she’s been too tired to cook, but if I’m too tired to do the gardening or put up shelves, then I’m failing as a husband and father. Perhaps now and then if I was shown a little respect and appreciation I might be more inclined to push myself harder, but everything is set up so that I owe it all to everyone, yet I’m owed nothing in return.

    The intimacy has gone completely. I don’t feel I’ve lost my libido and on the contrary up until recently I’ve always been the one to try and initiate. I can’t remember when we last had sex – it might have been 18 months ago, maybe 2 years. With her, it is always the wrong time. We don’t share a bed anymore, I’ve had a problem with snoring and I’ve been seeking medical help, but I feel like I’m on my own with this. It’s “my problem” and I have to “go fix it”.

    On a side note, where she has had problems with gluten intolerance, which has had a big impact on all of us, I’m expected to be supportive and sympathetic. That’s “our problem” and I have to be understanding.

    Sleeping separately isn’t the end of the world, at least, in the short term, but I don’t feel that should necessarily get in the way of our intimacy.

    When it used to happen, it almost had to be stage-managed. Spontaneity went long ago. But I always thought that even if it wasn’t perfect, it was better than nothing, and over time we would rediscover the spark. However, I get the impression from her that everything has to be perfect before she’ll even consider it, and I don’t think real life is ever going to be perfect. So basically, we don’t do it. I’ve grown tired of being rejected and after a point you start thinking “what’s the point?”.

    I don’t really have anyone to talk to. My wife is fiercely private when it comes to our relationship so I don’t feel I can speak to my friends or family. I think I would be embarrassed, too. Sometimes her mother is in the equation and she has witnessed many of our fights. She’ll listen but at the end of the day she’ll come down on her daughter’s side, because ultimately, it’s her daughter.

    I know this is a tough time, trying to help my son pass his exams and get into a good school, but I worry that next year and the year after, and so on, there will always be some other reason to put our relationship “on hold”. Bigger and tougher exams will be there. I just fear that by the time she gets around to putting some value back on our relationship, there will be nothing left of it.

    I know I’ve written too much, and I know my issues probably pale in comparison to others’, but I had to get it off my chest.

    Reply
    • Lawman, I so appreciate your vulnerability in sharing your struggles here. I hear what a committed, supportive husband and father you are. It sounds painful to be continuously pushed aside and criticized, all without support.

      I used to be that woman. The 6 Intimacy Skills restored my respect for my husband, all my criticism giving way to gratitude. I’d love to see that happen for you, your wife and your whole family. I invite you to check out my blog post for men on how to pique her interest in the Intimacy Skills: https://lauradoyle.org/blog/how-to-get-your-wife-to-stop-nagging/

      Reply
  22. My husband of 25 years told me in May of this year, the day of my youngest son’s graduation that he had been having an affair for 7 months. I had no idea!!! We had a beautiful marriage and family! We were active in our church and my husband was an amazing person. He totally changed! He works out 2-3 times a day, gets spray tans, wears teenage clothing, left the church, quit his business, etc…. He talks nonsense. He is going back years and saying I did not show him love because I did not go to bed at 8:30 when he did or I did not make enough money at my job, or text him 10-15 times a day letting him know how much I appreciate him, etc… These are the excuses he is using for the affair. He is saying he has been lonely and unhappy for years and has not loved me! Well it is news to me and everyone we know him because he is one of the happiest people in the world. Now our kids won’t even speak to him. They feel their life has been a big lie! He is Dating two women Online. I really think all this started because his father passed away and then shortly after he got dignosed with prostate cancer. I have begged him to go away with me to a retreat or something to start our recovery. We were in counseling and he said he will not go anymore because they are all wrong and judgemental. He wants a divorce and will not even see me. He only plans to see me at the hearings. He will not reply to my phone calls or text. I have apologized for the things he has said I have caused to lead to his affair. But honestly I do not even feel he appoligized for the affair because he said he was sorry but it would not have happened if I would have….. so to me he is not remorseful. He is very angry and grinds his teeth and makes fist when I do see him. I really think he is in shame and denial and I am at a lose on what to do. I do not show anger towards him. As a matter of fact the last time I saw him, I gave him a hug. I want to restore this life we built together, but it takes two. He is just refusing. He keeps bringing up money and sex!! And he is in a relationship so I don’t think he wants me. The sad thing is, he was never like this!!! He was such a giving person and now he is so selfish!! How does this happen? What do you suggest I do? I have talked to 2 counselors and 2 ministers and all of them are saying I need to protect myself because he is spending all of our money. They say he will probably wake up someday but it may take a couple years. So in the mean time, I need to take care of me, because honestly I have been getting physically sick from all the worrying. I just don’t want it to seem like I gave up on my marriage.

    Reply
  23. My husband says he is in love with me and loves me. I will always be number one but he says he is not sure if he wants to be with me anymore. He said it feels like a switch went off. He does not know why and how to turn it on.

    Reply
  24. I’ve been married 17 years to my soul mate. Love at first sight at age 14. Didn’t marry til 26 and broke up in college for 3 years before getting back together. The last 4 years I’ve caught him off and on cheating on me online with random women, nothing emotional just sexting. I was completely caught off guard, we went through therapy and it made it so much worse. I was basically treating him like a child because we were told everything had to be an open book, all passwords, restrictions set on his phone, etc…he started to get more and more resentful saying I wasn’t his mother. The anger kept building. I was finally relieved when he changed his passcodes because I wasn’t able to spend so much time checking up on him. Everything was based on so much fear. Then he just started going out every single night, spending weekends with friends, and avoiding me and our two teenage daughters like the plague. I had threatened divorce because at this point it got very easy to roll off the tongue like it meant nothing Anymore. The truth is I never wanted a divorce I just wanted him to change his destructive behavior. This last time he said he “just snapped”. Can’t live like this anymore. Is happier and less anxious and depressed when I’m not around. I can’t lose him and am in therapy but he said it’s just too late. He can’t go back to our life. I’m so scared and angry at the way I handled things. We’ve been separated for 3 months. He’s living at home but in the basement. Wants nothing to do with me and is angry 24/7. I obviously have major control issues which also turn into manipulation to try to get him back. He sees through all of it. He hasn’t filed yet but said we will sell our house in the spring and file then. Is it too late? So far I’ve done everything wrong. The begging, crying, pleading, threatening. Ugh.

    Reply
  25. My husband and I have been together 25 years and married 23. Just this past August, he has left the house, doesn’t wear his ring anymore, called it quits and stated he will look for his own apartment…all within 16 days. We have 3 children together (24, 20 & 18) and he says he just wants to run and hide from everything. I believe him when he says he isn’t looking for anyone, screwing anyone or wants anyone. Just last week, he told me he wanted to work on our marriage but then a few days later, he told me he wants to be alone forever. He will be moving into his own apt. at the end of the month. He claims he’s like a prisoner in our home. I’m controlling. He loves his freedom and his coming & going whenever he wants without anyone monitoring him. My husband and I were the best of friends, two peas in a pod, “the couple” at church. When I invite him for dinner, he claims I’m trying to convince him from moving out but if he doesn’t go, he will resent me. I’ve stopped with the crying, pleading, talking about what we once had because that only pushes him further away. I constantly tell him I just don’t want him to forget about me. My husband has also mentioned the flip in his mind and doesn’t know how to turn it back. The husband I once had is no longer there.

    Reply
  26. I have been married 36 years I have two grandsons who I love very much and my Son my husband tells me I love you but I am not in love with you anymore this started about 5 months ago well at least that,s when he started acting weird we rent a shore house every summer with family all of a sudden he wants to go down twice a week mind this is a three hour ride I said if you met some one tell me I would like to move on with my lift he said there is no one I met new friends I like to go down and do what I want when I want with out be bugged starting losing some weight buying new clothes I have reached where I have had enough I said I will give you a divorce I wont divorce you the whole thing makes no sense I stop caring I dont ask any questions I do my own thing I just dont care anymore is this normal for me to be this way ?? Any advice I have never gone thru something like this before. Any advice :(:(

    Reply
  27. My husband of 37 years, it been a wonderful marriage except for the last year and a half and then it kind of got flat, but our marriage counselor has he is going through a midlife crisis. I threw him out 9 months ago, I found out he had a old friend that he met again on line that he has been secretly see I went to her house and found him there so needless to say out went his clothes, we are still friend only when he wants to we have gotten back together again 2 twice but he just can’t let her go. He’s not sure what he wants to do, my heart just aches. Not sure what to do I love him

    Reply
  28. I think my husband is going through mid life crisis he has moved out and I think he has a girlfriend and filling for divorce l don’t want my marriage to end I want to save it

    Reply
  29. Dear Laura, I enjoy your books and blogs and much of what you say resonates with me and my marriage. Here is my question regarding my situation: was does a wife do if the husband is the one nagging, nit-picking, and micromanaging? My husband often gives me advice on things such as how to chop an onion, how to wash a dish, which route to take while driving, etc. If I object he tells me (as you told your husband) that he is just trying to help. Over time these “helpful” comments (or criticisms) have eroded intimacy and left me feeling sullen and resentful. Please advise!

    Reply
  30. Hi
    I think my husband its have trought a mide life crisis, he has move out. And he will ask now for the divorce. We have 4 kids. 17 years of marriage
    I from the netherlands and i really want to save my marriage,

    Reply

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