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My Husband Never Apologizes for Anything

3 Ways to Make Him Take Responsibility and Stop Hurting You

Having your husband let you down or say something that hurts you is bad enough. But what if he won’t admit it and say he’s sorry?

You wonder whether he’s callous or just clueless.

The pain feels more intense when you think about how easily he could offer the words you’re longing to hear—but he won’t.

It makes you wonder: did he think it was okay to blame you that the car broke down then leave you stranded?

And what about those nasty things he said during a fight? Doesn’t he want to take them back?

And what part of “Having drinks with a female coworker is not okay” doesn’t he understand?

Why can’t he just admit he was wrong and apologize?

Here are 3 ways to get your husband to apologize and stop hurting you.

1. Let Him Listen to His Conscience

Taking a break during an argument

Sarah let her husband know she wanted to get to a birthday party early with her contribution to the food. He agreed they would leave early.

So she was disappointed when he got home too late for them to be on time, much less early.

In the old days, she would have let him know she was upset and reminded him that he had said he would be home earlier and explained all the headaches he was causing for her.

She would have included heavy sighs and interrogation about what the holdup had been. And probably made a sarcastic remark or two.

But not this time. This time she was practicing the Six Intimacy Skills™, so she made a different choice.

Sarah played it out in her head and couldn’t think of one good outcome from the previous times she’d taken that approach.

He had never apologized in that old scenario, and she didn’t exactly feel dignified afterward. It hadn’t made him more prompt the next time.

So this time she decided to relinquish control, chalk up her husband’s transgression to his being a mere mortal man, and say only, “Hi! I’m ready to go.”

They hadn’t even made it out of the driveway when her husband gave her a heartfelt apology for making them late—the first one ever, according to Sarah.

She said it was a very special moment for her, especially since she believed her husband was just not the kind of guy to be emotionally supportive.

As this story illustrates, her husband already knew she was disappointed without her saying a word or raising an accusing eyebrow. So there was nothing more to say.

She was already late to the party, but one problem she didn’t have was a conflict with her husband.

Saying nothing about his tardiness left a space for him to hear his own conscience, which probably said something like, “You disappointed your wife. You should say you’re sorry.”

So he did.

If she had followed her old pattern, that still small voice inside him would have likely been drowned out with thoughts like, “She doesn’t know what my day was like. I deserve more respect than this. She’s not perfect either.”

The takeaway? If your husband already knows you’re hurt or disappointed, leave some quiet space for him to listen to his own heart.

2. Let Him Exercise His Right to Be Wrong

Respect in Marriage

You might be thinking that example of being late is a small thing compared to what your husband has done. True, being late is a minor offense.

How do you let a big thing slide without comment? How do you not explode?

In my experience, the same principles apply to much bigger letdowns.

Pointing out my husband’s shortcomings, no matter how justified I feel, just doesn’t get the tender words I’m longing for.

It doesn’t make him shape up.

It certainly doesn’t make him see things from my point of view. Not authentically.

It’s very hard for people to hear their conscience when they’re busy defending themselves and feeling hurt.

And even though my husband seems like a big, strong man, my words can hurt him.

Same with your husband.

I’m not proud to admit that I’ve said many hurtful things over the years.

One thing that helps me stay out of that kind of trouble now is reminding myself that my husband has the right to be wrong.

He’s only human. The human I chose to marry and promised to respect.

And when I show up respectfully in our marriage, my husband’s confidence grows because the woman who knows him best in the world thinks he deserves respect.

And you know what confident people are more likely to do than those who feel insecure?


It’s not easy for anybody, and it takes some self-confidence to muster the humility. The more your husband feels respected, the more likely he is to feel that confidence.

3. Clean Up Your Side of the Street

Apologizing to Husband

When I first learned what respect looks like, I was pretty shocked at all the ways I wasn’t respectful.

If you’d asked me before that, I would have said I DID respect him. Except for how messy he was and how much TV he watched.

Which was not very respectful. At all.

But it was worse than that in my case. I was trying to help my husband all the time. Which meant he felt criticized all the time because that’s how “helpful” in wife language translates for husbands.

When I opened my eyes a little wider and got a glimpse of all the destruction in the wake of my disrespect, I realized I had plenty to apologize for.

Not that I felt like apologizing! I preferred pointing out what my husband should apologize to ME for, like the crusty old Muppets in the balcony on The Muppet Show.

But that never worked. It didn’t get me apologies, and it didn’t get me connection or feeling loved and desired.

Once I turned my attention to cleaning up my own side of the street and found the willingness to apologize for the specific times I’d fallen short of my own standards, something shifted.

The culture in our relationship changed. The walls came down so fast it made me nervous in a butterflies-in-my-stomach way.

And in the tender space that remained, there were lots of apologies—mine and his.

The funny thing is that I no longer felt so attached to hearing those words.

Once I owned my own failings, the tension was broken.

I wasn’t nearly as fixated on him saying “I’m sorry.”

Suddenly I just wanted to sweep past what seemed like minor incidents and get back to feeling the good vibrations.

And today, that’s mostly what we do around here.

Now that we’re so used to holding hands, smooching and dancing in the living room, I’m quite sure that my husband didn’t mean to hurt me even when he does.

That makes an apology seem a lot less important than the other words I like to hear, like how much he loves me and how beautiful I am.

Who knew that getting myself to apologize would lead to the outcome I was craving.

I’m so sorry I didn’t know sooner.

By Laura Doyle

Hi! I'm Laura.

New York Times Bestselling Author

I was the perfect wife--until I actually got married. When I tried to tell my husband how to be more romantic, more ambitious, and tidier, he avoided me. I dragged him to marriage counseling and nearly divorced him. I then started talking to women who had what I wanted in their marriages and that’s when I got my miracle. The man who wooed me returned.

I wrote a few books about what I learned and accidentally started a worldwide movement of women who practice The Six Intimacy Skills™ that lead to having amazing, vibrant relationships. The thing I’m most proud of is my playful, passionate relationship with my hilarious husband John–who has been dressing himself since before I was born.

90 replies on “My Husband Never Apologizes for Anything”

Hi Laura
I love this post.
One thing I’ve noticed is that I usually don’t get a word sorry. But I do get an action sorry.
My sister calls this a ‘man sorry’. It might be a cup of tea or maybe he’ll appear and help me hang the washing.
These days my sis and I delight in noticing the ‘man sorry’ even more than we would have with a verbal.
It’s fun to appreciate more than to fume.

Deb, LOVE it! Actions really do speak louder than words, don’t they? What a generous, loving perspective. I bet that helps with the connection at your house.

I am in shock! My husband makes me a cup of tea when I am cross with him. I will just regard it as his sorry, and move on. He never feels he can do anything right and I hate how I am around him. But this is good to go to sleep on, bless you!

“Man Sorry!” That is so accurate and really, I’ll take it. I love it, it’s sweet when you really think about it. Sometimes words can be empty, so it’s nice to be shown.

I read somewhere that some people can’t say sorry because they can’t seperate their identity from their actions and they have so much shame starting in childhood that they haven’t healed yet. Not an excuse to not be accountable for your actions, but it helped soften my heart a bit.

Do you think that being with a “non-apologist” can lead to a reasonably happy and satisfying relationship?

I love your question, De, and your commitment to having a satisfying relationship (even with a non-apologist)! In my experience, being with a current non-apologist can definitely lead to a happy relationship. His refusal to apologize subsides once the woman changes the culture of the relationship by practicing the 6 Intimacy Skills. Imagine if, after learning some simple tools, your non-apologist became an apologist! I’ve seen that happen in my relationship and so many others that I know it can happen for you too. I’d love to give you some of those tools in my free upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for it at

Maybe im jaded, but it seems that when I travel the internet looking for things like this article above, all the answers are surrounded around the WOMAN doing something different. Sure it may work sometimes, but the women reading these articles are looking for help and being told they are the ones who need to change. How is that fair? How does not breed a culture of (Im going to be extreme here) If he slapped you in the face, what can YOU do to fix it? HUH? He disrespected you and owes you an apology so we as women should 1. let it go and home he feels gulity? 2. shape up OUR behavior? 3. Just forget about it? How is that a solution? Why is the man always off the hook? Because as the article says “he has low self esteem?” So he gets a pass? I dont think so, i bet i this was a man looking for an apology from a woman it would be telling him to get his own affairs straight. It seems the woman takes the brunt of it either way.

I hear you, Brandi. It’s not fair for the burden to rest on the woman’s shoulders or for the man to get off the hook so easily. I love that you continue searching for answers that fit for you.

I was not okay with giving my husband a pass either. It takes two to make a marriage work, so he needed to step up and take responsibility. The only problem was that he wouldn’t. I tried to make him, dragging him to counseling, but that only made matters worse.

So for me it was exciting to learn that I had the power to turn things around myself. It wasn’t easy to take responsibility for my own happiness and mistakes, but it has been worth it because today I have the playful, passionate marriage I’d always wanted. Not to mention my husband takes responsibility now himself.

It sounds like you’re looking for that kind of relationship too. If everything else you’ve tried isn’t working and you’re curious about how the Intimacy Skills could work for you, I invite you to my upcoming free Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills at

I am with you Brandi. I feel the same way. I want to ask, at what point men are going to do all of those things. we need to clean up our side, we need to mold ourselves around them, etc. You know, I have tried to let my husband to take care of the Bill’s and let him make mistakes according to the book and not question him…you know where it got me – the debt with IRS, credit card debt and being 6 months behind the bills. This will work out when BOTH people work and communicate.

This is me. On the internet looking for answer and all I get it’s. It’s me. I need to change.

Brandi….I’m agreeing. I’ve been in this marriage etc for about 27 years….the words “I’m sorry” aren’t in my husband’s vernacular He has a terrible, childish temper. I’m not perfect, but many men would traces places with my husband.
His life is very nice, because of this marriage. He does have good qualities; is socially pleasant and good looking, even at 80. I receive the brunt of his wrath and control. This behavior wasn’t revealed before we married. I know I was naive before I married him. Too late now.
Choose your partner, with open eyes. Old fashioned denial of intimacy when dating, should be re examined. It has value.

No. There are no excuses for not apologising. Here us women go again – making excuses and perversely blaming ourselves for their outrageous behaviour. Cop on ladies. Enough is enough

Thank you Sylvia❤️
Laura Doyle’s words offer new view for me but I, like you believe the respect can and will be given or else we will have to have a consequence? Its a battle for me even after 31 yrs.
Thanks for posting.

I agree Sylvia,and I believe theirs one fact not yet been pointed out,it starts with the way we all are bring up with.i mean as a parent of a male and female that they both are to be heard accountable for their actions and theirs nothing wrong with saying iam sorry are apologizing to someone we’ve hurt especially someone we love.Men do as their fathers do same goes with women its not brain surgery,its not difficult to comprehend.IF YOU HAVE WRONGED SOMEONE ONE SAY “IAM SORRY!” IF YOU DONT WANT TO KEEP HURTING SOMEONE ARE SOMETHING APOLOGIZE,LEARN FROM IT AND DONT DO IT AGAIN!!

Susan, congrats on raising your children right. I love a culture of accountability!

Hi Laura
I’ve recently discovered your work, many years after coming to know and understand these things myself – through experience in my marriage and my work in schools as a Behaviour Consultant. I agree completely with your approach and love the little reminders that you share.
However, there is one statement you make (not here but in your general guidelines) with which I fundamentally disagree, and that is your assertion that one should not use this approach with a man who is currently addicted to alcohol and actively drinking. That is so wrong – and so hurtful. Forgive me, but I think it comes out of a failure to recognise the issues that can lead to alcoholism (ironically these are often mental illnesses caused or at least reinforced by, for example, rejection) and the nature of the illness itself – not from any malice on your part.
I can honestly say that my husband became addicted to alcohol because he drank to escape depression and anxiety caused by MY careless ill-treatment of him and my lack of love. That is the very ill-treatment about which you are trying to educate us! As soon as I realised that I had effectively destroyed a good man, I changed my ways, honouring and respecting instead of constantly nagging and abusing him. After a short time, he was able to stop drinking. I got my wonderful husband back.
Please don’t advise women not to try with husbands who have become so very, very ill in this way. They are not choosing Alcohol Use Disorder – it is an illness of the brain and it can be defeated by love. I know. I did it! We did it – together.

Jude, Thanks for posting your thoughts on this. I don’t tell women NOT to use the skills with husbands who are actively addicted–rather I say that safety comes first and if you’re not safe that I support you getting safe. But I absolutely agree that the Intimacy Skills will benefit any relationship, and you are living proof of that! Congratulations on your success with revitalizing your marriage. Well done!

Hi Laura. Thank you for your earlier reply. I’m pasting below the specific paragraph to which I object. My husband was addicted to alcohol, but it was not true that he could not be trusted. I just didn’t offer him trust, so he might have been excused for have ‘living up to’ my low expectations. In fact, my husband was still very trustworthy and I find this comment insulting in its implication that all men who have an addiction are the same! Also, he was not choosing alcohol before me. You are implying that my husband had a choice. In fact, he had no choice because he had an addiction, which eliminates choice! He drank because he wanted me, and I was not available. This is where you and I don’t agree, and I feel strongly that what you say in this paragraph goes against all your teachings, and in fact simply reflects the ignorance and lack of understanding that I have come across so disappointingly in so many alcohol treatment centres. Here’s the quote.

3. Do not surrender to a man who has an active addiction. A man with an addiction to a substance such as alcohol or drugs, or to an activity such as gambling cannot be trusted. I can offer little hope of intimacy in this situation, as he will always serve his addiction ahead of your safety and happiness.

Jude, You are so right! I did write that in The Surrendered Wife many years ago. However, I have since evolved and my more recent books, blogs and interviews reflect the point of view that each woman is the expert in her own life, and that she can use her formidable power to make her marriage fantastic again even if she suspects her husband is an alcoholic. I write about it here:
Congratulations on making your marriage great! I admire you so much and appreciate what a great example you are of this kind of success. You have something special to share with them. I would love to see you in my coach training so you could pass it on to others.

Thank you for reading all your posts and replying back to them. When I was reading some of their responses I was getting frustrated until I read this one where you said you’ve changed after time. No ones perfect and we learn new things as we go in life. I have learned to not take anything he says personally when he is drunk because it is a mind altering drug and we act differently and he already knows he has a problem he just doesn’t know how to fix it. Thanks for your advice. I agree with you.

I know from my point of view, you can’t always trust the actions or words of an addict who doesnt embrace recovery. That’s what I get from that paragraph. Furthermore we have no control over whether an addict chooses recovery, nor are we to blame if he/she doesnt. I live with an addict in recovery. Even he admits he could not be trusted because addicts who are not in recovery are usually in denial and often lie to loved ones. I love my husband but I dont trust the addiction that he is trying to cope with. I know it’s a hard road for both of us. And I know the addiction can hook him again when hes vulnerable.

Laura, you have changed my life! The only apology I could ever get from my man was ‘I’m sorry that you’re so upset’. What the…? It used to put me in a rage! He wasn’t apologizing! He was tricking me! I hated him for it and I told him so. It was just plain ugly. In the end, I was the one who needed to apologize. That definitely wasn’t how I intended it to be considering he was the one who was a schmuck. Now I zip my mouth (I taught my teenage daughter to do the same) and he comes back every time with a REAL apology!!! I get to to sleep in his arms instead of fuming on the other side of he bed.

Jenny, That’s fantastic! I’m celebrating with you! I know it takes courage and you sound very courageous.

Laura, thank you for this fantastic blog!
Often when my husband apologizes he misses what’s actually upsetting me. If I tell him, it takes him a long time to get it, if he gets it at all, and sometimes he just gets mad, saying something like “I’ve apologized; why are you still harping on it. Let it go!” But if I don’t tell him what’s upsetting me, then I feel distant from him, because I don’t think he understands me and I don’t feel I can confide in him. So I get really stuck. What other options can you suggest?

Ilana, It feels crummy when your husband doesn’t understand you. I remember feeling the same way. I wanted him to apologize for what I was upset about and not just issue blanket apologies. What turned this all around for us was learning and practicing The 6 Intimacy Skills. I lay them out step-by-step in my book/audiobook The Empowered Wife, which you can read a free chapter of here:

Yes, I’m planning to order the book. And I want to participate in the webinar, but I have no idea how much time to budget for it. How long is it? Thanks!

Ilana, If you can set aside about an hour and fifteen minutes for the How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life Webinar, you’ll be all good.

Dear Laura and all the great ladies who might read this,
I’m from Germany, sort of living with an english partner who displays Aspergers symptoms, has been a heavy drinker for ten years, addicted to cocaine for four years, takes valium and diazepam every day, is often depressed and doesn’t really know what to do with his life. I said “sort of” because every winter he spends a few months in Asia, travelling around and – if he can pick up enough courage – teach. He is a very intelligent man, and can be very funny and charming, but also he puts such a severity on my shoulders when he’s here, that I need weeks to recover when he’s gone. I get the impression due to his Aspergers (and no doubt all the pills he takes) he can’t perceive what he’s radiating. He thinks he’s spreading nothing but goodness and sunshine, but when I try to tell him thatI I feel a lot of pressure coming from him he looks at me as if I talk to him in a complete alien language. Has anyone of you experienced a similar challenge? I’ll be very grateful for any advice. Thanks.

Connie, Sounds like an exhausting relationship for you. I never got good results from telling my husband about what I felt he was doing either or from diagnosing his symptoms, but I learned what to say that inspires him to be tender, loving and passionate. I wish every women had the Six Intimacy Skills, which are laid out step-by-step in my book/audiobook The Empowered Wife. I would love to see you get your hands on it! You can read a free chapter here:

Hi there, I am actually contemplating on leaving my boyfriend because of this behaviour of not saying sorry… He’s called me a cunt, cursed me in front of his friends in the past and I let things go… and this time he called me a moron for asking him to turn down the volume of the television. We haven’t been speaking to each other for a week now. We just avoid each other. All I want for him to do is to come to me and say SORRY. I must admit I was very angry and shouted at him too and threatened that I would leave him the next time he says MORON or any deregatory words to me. He can be the loveliest boyfriend, very thoughtful and generous but that’s his issue. He never apologises and he thinks he is above everyone else and looks down to other people like they’re a piece of shit. Should I leave him for this or just let this one go again?

Dee, It feels awful to have your boyfriend call you names! I can see why you’re upset about that. I hear you saying that you also have some things that may warrant an apology. I bet he has some great qualities that drew you to him originally also. For me, it was the best self-improvement program I ever undertook to make my relationship great instead of giving up on it. You have more power than you think! This free webinar on How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life will be so valuable for you. You can register here:

I’m sure he charmed her because that’s what an abuser does. They’re charming as all h-ll and then not so much.

Hi Dee,
I just want to let you know that the quieter you get when he is disrespectful, the louder his own disrespect will ring in his ears. The transition is tough. The surrendered wife books helped me to start acting the way I wanted to act.
My husband had to stop getting his punishment from me by my reaction and had to decide if he wanted to be a jerk or not.
Look for ways that he is trying to say sorry without words. When men are playful, make a joke, take you out to eat, try to do something nice after an argument, they are trying to say sorry. It’s definitely not as satisfying as a soap opera apology but it helps me to look for the good when it is so easy for me to see the bad. It is really rewarding when you see these techniques start working. When I first started doing this I made a paper chain link and cut one off everyday that I did what I was supposed to.

Dot, I’m so impressed with your courage to be quiet instead of responding with disrespect! Sounds like you’ve cut a lot of links off your paper chain and I admire that! Maybe someday you’ll coach other women on how to have great marriages. You have a lot of wisdom.

Hi Laura,
I have a case on hand where I think my boyfriend should apologize to my brother (and sister-in-law). Last week we were on holiday with my family, where my boyfriend and I stayed at a half an hour walk from my family’s apartment (I don’t like to share a house with anyone other than my boyfriend for more than two days, it just doesn’t work). When my brother and I got into an unpleasant disagreement, my boyfriend lost it: he exploded with anger towards my brother. He never wants to see him again, he really dislikes him, etc. My mother and stepfather were there and my young nephews were in the bedroom.
My boyfriend did apologize to my mother and stepfather the next day, but he does not want to apologize to my brother and sister-in-law. In the end I told him I think he should apologize for the rage part, of course I can’t make him to. It’s just that it came out of the blue and my family was so ‘surprised’ that they wondered if I were okay after my boyfriend and I had left.
My boyfriend does say he is sorry and that he is ashamed, etc. The anger part has been an issue in our relationship, i.e. I asked (okay, told :-O) him several times to work on it.
My mom told me it was key that he had apologized to her and her husband, or else…

Alo, I can imagine how uncomfortable it is to be in the middle between your boyfriend and your brother like that. It seems like if he would just apologize it would restore the peace and make everything better. I’ve also been unsuccessful in trying to get my husband to apologize. Never worked! But what made everything much better, including him becoming more accountable, was respecting his decision and relinquishing control of him. If you applied the Six Intimacy Skills in this situation, I think you’d be amazed and the response you would get from your boyfriend. I’d love to see you get some support with this situation. I invite you to apply for a complimentary discovery call to see if working with one of my coaches is right for you. You can do that here:

And an even more difficult point in this matter is: how to handle the part of not wanting to choose between my brother and my boyfriend. Already I have an argument/fight with my brother to solve, who will absolutely take my boyfriend’s behaviour into account. My boyfriend does not want to meet my brother ever again.
As a child I got ‘squeezed’ between my divorced parents, the last few years the same has happened but now I am between our (biological) father and my brother. I do not want to handle more of these situations. Fourteen years ago I stood up for my ex-husband, resulting in no contact with my father for years. (We got back in touch without ever talking about what happened, that doesn’t work with my father.)
This new situation makes me questioning the relationship between my boyfriend and me. Should I be most loyal to him? He thinks I don’t show enough understanding/compassion to him. I told him I actually don’t understand the degree of his aversion towards my brother. I do see his flaws, but not all aggravating behaviour concerns my boyfriend. They just don’t like each other. Pfff, communication and relationships between people…
I am practising your intimacy skills and the things I read in ‘The surrendered wife’ a year ago. Thank you for those and your blog and webinar. Alo

I’m doing good with the intimacy skills ( have been practicing for a little over a year)…
I also follow the advice you give in this article, and it works beautifully.
I also do our finances. However, I DON’T control my husband’s spending, neither do I nag him about it.
He knows, he spends ALOT on his hobbies ( I don’t nag him about that in any way. On the contrary, I affirm him, that he is smart and know s what’s best for our family). He ALWAYS apilogizes for his expensive purchases. We never have a problem regarding this. I receive his apologies graciously, just like you advise.
However, he doesn’t stop the spending. He also doesn’t want to take over the finances.
What is there to do?
From what I see, not much, because I can’t control my husband. And I don’t want to, because I LOVE being surrendered and I LOVE SEEING the results of using the skills….
But maybe you can see something that I can’t…..
Thank you Laura. Your advice is really a treasure for us women.

NB, Congratulations on prioritizing the intimacy in your relationship so beautifully! I know that takes a lot of courage. When you say he doesn’t want to take over the finances, I’m more interested in what YOU want. I’ve found unexpected magic in saying, “I can’t,” around the finances, which was scary. If the way you are doing things now is working for you, then there’s no need to do anything differently. If you’d like to experiment with seeing what’s on the other side of relinquishing control of the finances, that’s a trip I found very rewarding.

In the past 17 years, I’ve dealt with my husband cheating on me, degrading me, and not being financially responsible to the point that I’ve had to work 3 jobs in order to make ends meet while he choose not to work at all. Most recently I was diagnosed with a chronic illness, and I’ve found myself left alone to deal with it physically, emotionally, and financially (though when he had cancer, I worked hard to get him the best care possible). His most hurtful and recent comment has been, “I’ve never wanted to marry you, but lately I’m glad I did.” I have taken the quiet route many, many, many times and he continues to do as he pleases. With cheating, his response was, ” I wanted to see if I could get away with it.” This father’s day I bought him cards, a small gift, and the kids and I took him out to dinner. His response was: “Worse Father’s day ever.” I gave up my medicine for the week in order to buy what we did for him, a fact that he may not know because I did not want him to feel bad about it. So I am baffled at how I am possibly creating this problem in my marriage because I am not showing him any respect. I really am at a loss, and quite frankly heartbroken.

MK, this sounds exhausting and heartbreaking. Thank you for your beautiful vulnerability in sharing your experience. I admire how committed you are to your marriage and hear that you’re at a loss for how to make it better. I remember feeling exhausted and bewildered that I wasn’t getting any returns on everything I was doing for my husband. The 6 Intimacy Skills taught me ways to show myself the same consideration I was showing him and to honor my own needs and desires. I would love to see YOU be supported and given gifts, like when you were dating, and to help you feel cherished, desired and adored. I’ll give you tools to get there in my upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for free at

Reading this article was both reassuring but also worrying. Without fail, my arguments with my boyfriend always end with him shutting me out and telling me to come back when i’m ready to apologise unreservedly for whatever we were arguing about. We spend hours (4 hours on average) talking about why he is so pissed off with me (e.g. for showing up 10 mins late to lunch with him, for keeping quiet for 15 minutes one night when I felt upset that I got fired) and he never wants to talk about how I am feeling. He accused me repeatedly of cheating on him, lying to him, deliberately hiding things from him. Calling me a f***-ing bitch, childish, unreasonable, stupid, psychotic, ridiculous and so much more. He yells at me, and leaves me by driving off. Hangs up on me. So why am I with him? When we are good, it is perfect. But the moment there is a slight sniff of anything wrong, he turns all the guns on me. And he IS unapologetic for the words he throws at me and the way he storms off and blocks me. If there is anything I could do to get through to him, to make this better I would gladly do it. I believe we are all imperfect, and for the people we love we will work tirelessly to be the best that we can be. But it just feels like he doesn’t see the need to change at all, but he thinks I’m flawed in so many ways. When i tell him to not swear at me, he says i’m criticising him. I feel so lost, that no action of mine is right.

Siena, I hear how frustrating and painful it must feel to be spoken to that way in these drawn-out arguments and to feel wrong no matter what you do. I love your vulnerability in seeking support to turn this around. I used to be baffled that I couldn’t seem to get through to my husband no matter what I’d do. I desperately wanted him to change, but he seemed to have no interest in doing his part. That’s why the 6 Intimacy Skills have been so empowering for me–they gave me tools to change the culture of our relationship so he could finally hear me and respect me. And cherish, desire and adore me! I’d love to give you the tools to have that too. I invite you to my upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for free at

What do you do when your husband is literally throwing a temper tantrum, and in front of the kids no less? When he’s throwing things because one of the children (a toddler) spilled cereal on the floor, and yelling and screaming at the 3yo even though she’s not the one who got into the food, and calling the children names and slamming cabinets? My husband has thrown a fist through the wall of every place we’ve lived, and cost us more money in repairs than the kids have ever cost in spilled cereal (or milk, or whatever). His temper costs us all emotionally; I have noticed the kids mimicking his yelling and caustic behaviors towards each other, and they in turn fail to listen to me and do anything I tell them as soon as I am out of the room because they have seen how he treats me (whenever he is angry he calls me stupid, tells me I can’t keep my mouth shut, that I need to submit to him no matter what). I grew up in a physically and emotionally abusive home, and can’t help feeling the fight or flight whenever he loses it, and I usually step in to the middle of whatever is going on out of fear (he has been physically abusive in the past, and has been through “anger management” and “ending violence” but he is so self-centered, he uses everything he learned there as a way to twist things around and blame me for his behaviors). Practically any time he is home, he is playing video games, even when I am not home and he is the sole adult in the house. I read your book, First Kill All the Marriage Counselors, and I try to put into practice all of the skills, but the whole “ouch” thing doesn’t work when someone is acting out physically at the same time as being verbally abusive. And when it’s not even directed at you, but your children or your animals, how do you intervene and diffuse the situation? When he cools down (sometimes it takes several days before he starts talking to me again) he acts like everything is great, but the second I get quiet (non-reactive when he insults my oldest son, for instance – his stepson) it ticks him off again. Help?

TJ, I hear how scary and painful it is to see him losing his temper and speaking to you that way, especially in front of the kids. No one deserves to be treated that way. I’m full of admiration for you and your commitment to practicing the 6 Intimacy Skills. Of the thousands of women I’ve worked with, many have turned around verbally abusive relationships by practicing the Intimacy Skills. Your safety comes first. If ever you or your children are not safe, that is a cue to leave. However, if you feel you all are safe staying, then you can get the peaceful marriage you deserve. I would love to empower you with tools to help you do that in my upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for free at

Please,please tell me what I’m doing wrong or why my husband ‘ who by the way is my God given angel my real dream come true, my answered prayer he’s my everything. But why does he have to say such cruel things ? Not just to me but even people on the streets, even our own son who’s type 1 diabetic and has so very sick with unknown side and stomach pain ,even been to the er 148 times in the last seven years. He’s 25 and106lbs.,no friends,they have abanded him, but my husband still says such words like I wish he would just move out, so we could be by ourselves. He wished our youngest son dead as he also wishes that on other people the same. He says cruel things to me and doesn’t care how I feel,and of course I’m hearing things,according to him.he says he has every right to say what he wants but never feels bad about it even when I’ve told him he’s being cruel,and he’s always right,he never says anything wrong,it’s always me either I say thank u too much,or I worry about his Heath too much I can’t do anything right and I’m always wrong, my feelings don’t count.he is a genius and the best damn guitar player ever better than Eddie vanhalen and he knows it. He lives to be on stage and for the compliments but I don’t even get a ‘you look beautiful today” I tell him all the time how amazing he is but very very rarely like a few times a year hear that I’m awesome.We all three have very deadly diseases, and that scares the hell out of me! All I ask from him is peace love good health,kindness,kind words, and once in a while a real true sorry for saying cruel things.what am I doing wrong? He takes amazing care of me,but says since I’m disabled, I don’t deserve kind words,or any extra love,I give him my entire check,and all my support,which is another thing I don’t deserve so he says.he says he takes care of my isn’t that enough I guess I just have a soft heart,and I’m so afraid of losing him,I would give up all the food in the world just for some extra love, and some kind words.i love him so very much I’ll never leave him, I guess I just have to deal any suggestions? I feel so worthless!

Celeste, thank you for sharing so vulnerably. It’s heartbreaking to hear that you feel worthless and that all your efforts to be such a supportive, caring wife have been rewarded with cruelty. I admire you for your commitment to your marriage. I used to feel baffled when my efforts to be a good wife were not met with disrespect. The 6 Intimacy Skills changed all that, and now my husband shows me gratitude, generosity and tenderness. I know that’s possible for you too and want you to have the respectful marriage you deserve so you can feel cherished, desired and adored. 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

So…you are basically telling women we shouldn’t bring up a man’s shortcomings in hopes of an apology…even though we have done it before (merely to keep the peace) with the same results- a big fat nothing. I’m not saying it’s healthy to chew your husband out, but to not bring it up is asinine. That just reinforces negative behaviors. What ignorant buffoon thought this up? A complacent, nothingness of a shell, who thinks the title of marriage is more important than a healthy relationship. How embarrassing!

Stacy, while I’m tempted to comment on the embarrassing shortcoming of ad hominem name calling, I trust others to be the experts on their own lives and to address such shortcomings when they are ready. In my experience and that of the thousands of women who practice the 6 Intimacy Skills, they empower us to create relationships of mutual respect and gratitude. They empower us to find respectful ways to inspire a man to be his best self too. And we get to feel cherished, desired and adored, regardless of relationship status! May you experience the gift of a healthy relationship yourself. In the meantime, I wish you all the best.

When you are married to a narcissist nothing can make him apologise. Laura, your husband changed because he also wanted you to be happy. A narcissist only cares about himself, period. I’ve tried everything, from sincere aplogy to keeping quiet when he wrongs me. My narc hubby feels he is PERFECT, he finds the mere thought of being in error demeaning. Nothing on earth can make such a person apologize sincerely. The best he has ever said was I’m sorry you feel hurt but what I said was the truth…. or you made me hit you or act that way to you…

Jay, I’m sorry to hear how he has treated you and refuses to apologize on top of it. That sounds so painful. I really admire your vulnerability and am in awe of your commitment to your marriage.

I hear that you cannot make him apologize. I acknowledge you for relinquishing control and letting go of any expectations around that.

I remember how painful it was when my husband did not want to make me happy. I felt so alone. The 6 Intimacy Skills empowered me to be my best self, inspiring him to be his best self too. I’ve seen the same thing happen again and again for thousands of women, including those married to narcissists.

So I believe you can turn things around too and get the respect and love you deserve. If you want to try something different, I invite you to my upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for free at

Wow! Wow! Wow! I’m having issues with my relationship because of my non apologetic BF. I ask him to apologize and he tells me flat out no he will not even when he sees I’m hurting. So I see your point however I’m not a rug that this man can continue to walk all over and not apologize and take responsibility for his actions. He plays the victim and blame game each time and I’m over it. Maybe it’s a cultural issue because he is a black man who was married to a white woman for many years. I’m a black woman and I’m not tolerating this nonsense. He either needs to go see a shrink or leave me alone. I’m not hear to fix anyone. That’s God’s job. I’m simply here to love you, respect you. Like the age old saying, “You get respect when you give it.” He’s not giving it when he thinks he can say or do whatever he chooses with no regards to my feelings. So in return I do not allow him to communicate with me or see me until he comes 1st with an apology. Sadly, that is not working either because he continues to make the same stupid mistakes that you would think he would have learned from by now. So have fun ladies and all the best to each of you who continue to support these ignorant disrespectful men in your lives. For me I see it as enabling their bad behaviors. I’m just not the one.

Tasha, I hear that you can’t enable your husband by being a rug for him to walk on or fix him. Agreed! It sounds so painful that he refuses to apologize when he sees you hurting then blames you. It’s so disheartening that you have set clear boundaries and it’s still not working for you. I love your commitment to being loving and respectful!

I had clear ideas about how my husband should show respect and how I could protect myself from unacceptable behavior. I got so frustrated and hopeless when I only got further and further away from the respectful, loving interaction I craved, driving my husband away in the process. I love your awareness that “you get respect when you give it.” Once I focused on what I could do to create the respectful culture I wanted, he responded in kind, and I finally got the passionate, playful marriage I’d always wanted.

I would love to empower you to create the culture of respect that is so important to you. 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

My husband is the biggest butthole on the planet. There are countless examples of this, but most recently (this morning) I just got back from a girl’s weekend trip and he was accusing me of lying about where I was even going as far as to say that he and my children saw me driving around town at a time when I was 300 miles away. This turned into a real shouting match because he is simply insane and wad refusing to admit his mistake even though it became obvious that he was mistaken about seeing me. (Dummy).

Now, he seems to have realized that he was wrong, but refuses to admit this to me or give me the apology that I deserve. I even gave him a ” sorry you were mistaken about what you thought you saw” apology, but he refused to reciprocate and apologize for his hurtful accusation, claiming that I should have called him more while I was away. (Honestly, I only called once because I don’t really like him and I was happy to be away from him.)

At this point, I really don’t think I love this guy anymore, but I am committed to living together as a married couple because we have three small children. It took me a long time to get over being unloved, and now that I’m ok and no longer care about his lack of love for me, I simply treat him reciprocally. Much like one would treat a semi-friendly roommate. This works for me, at least as a temporary solution until our children get older. Ive simply chosen to focus on other more satisfying things in my life, and now that he has lost my love, my husband seems bent on trying to keep me from being happy in my own pursuits.
I wonder if you think this course would be helpful for someone like me? I want to live more peacefully with my spouse and maybe “like” him more, but I do not want to go back to a place where I am starting to feel those needy, lovey-dovey feelings again. I feel like my husband doesn’t deserve that part of me, although I can commit to treating him with honor, respect ( I really need to work on this one) and brotherly love since I am a Christian who loves Godand this is what is required of me.

Is romantic love a prerequisite to benefit from this course in achieving a more harmonious marriage? i know it may sound strange that I would like to stay married without romantic love, but I feel like this is the best course for a battle hardened heart like mine. I am simply incapable of doing the whole romantic love/ intimacy thing at this point in my life. Thank you!

Ashley, I can see why your heart has hardened when your husband behaves like a distrustful, disrespectful jerk. I hear you’re living like roommates–plus the shouting then refusal to apologize. I admire your commitment to your marriage and keeping your family together.

I used to feel like I’d married the biggest loser pants on the planet. I remember the yelling matches and cold wars, with no apologies forthcoming. The 6 Intimacy Skills gave me the tools to create a respectful, peaceful culture in our home.

Even if you’ve given up on romance, you too can have the respectful, peaceful marriage you deserve, without becoming needy. I’ll show you how in my upcoming free Introductory Course on the 6 Intimacy Skills at

Ashley reading your story has brought tears to my eyes because I feel like I’m heading to the part where I believe like my husband does not love me anymore because of his attitude and ways and I have been hurt so much like I’m starting to get numb to his behaviour and resent him much so I definitely feel you.

I love your article, but I’ve tried all of that at one point, especially the humility and apologizing, but it didn’t change anything. He doesn’t even remember, appreciate, or notice that I always admit my faults and apologize. I felt hopeful when I first started reading but then started crying by the end of it because I feel like it’s hopeless. It doesn’t seem to matter what I do to try to make him happy, he’s always complaining, like nothing I ever do is good enough. I’m at that point where I’m so frustrated and hurt I almost want a divorce. We’re supposed to go to counseling next week, but I don’t think it will help. Is there anything else I can do?

I don’t know. I am so tired of walking on eggshells and having to beg him, and tell him how wonderful he is and when he raises his voice at me, when he belittles and berates me, when he scoffs at me, I am the one who has to beg him to forgive me for “making” drama. He never says sorry because he never does anything wrong. He can cuss me, he can yell at me, he can tell me that I’m being dumb, or that I’m lying, or that I say stupid things, but none of this is “anything wrong”. And god forgive I cry, because then I’m not also dumb, and stupid, then I’m just crazy and unstable. And messy. And don’t try hard enough.

This is my husband to a TEA!! His newest saying! I may be sorry for how I said something but not what I said! Here is what happened to me Valentine’s Day! I gave him a gift! He felt small for giving me nothing! Usually then would stop on the way home from work that night! NOTHING! He says he had no time! Came home the next night! With flowers and candy! Told me see! Your special everyone got things yesterday.. But you I treat you special on your own day! Then boasts everything was half off!! Just an excuse cause he got me nothing and then I should be happy and settle the next day for his gift! I said thank you! He looks at me! Says see.. I give you something and your still not happy! I go cause this was an after thought! He got mad.. Told me well next year nothing!

I grow very weary of articles that tell women that they have to fix a man and clean up their side of the street
This article sounds like a lot of sweeping under the rug and not coming honestly face to face about man’s natural selfishness.
I realize we all have faults, but come on let’s get real !
some people are narcissistic and just selfish

Thanks for the advice. I feel like all I want is respect and friendship, to really put each other first and work out problems together. Most to both be apologetic and to both feel comfortable to admit mistakes and help each other. However my husband never says sorry or seems to take any responsibility during any conflict. He will quickly assume something and it will all be somehow reveresed to always being my fault. For example I was really upset to hear vulgar language about our child and some drama on the phone. He accidentally answered and I heard so many Foel words that I stayed on the line and listened to discover shocking hateful talk that I’ve been upset the rest of the day. I told him what I had heard and he didn’t say anything so I didn’t follow up. Later before bed he said you want to talk about it but ended up just blaming me for listening while I assumed he wanted to talk to apologize that I heard all that. It’s extremely difficult to communicate on issues especially when it comes to respect. I feel like it’s severe suffering for him to apologize or admit any wrong doings that he chooses to bring up my random faults and things just don’t get resolved. Any other tips would be appreciated.

When a man hurts a woman, it is not necessarily that she is causing that behavior. It can be, but not necessarily. Some men carry a lot of baggage from their childhood and others deal with life. In my case, I think my husband’s grieving has brought a significant change in him and in our relationship. It does hurt that this man took a drastic change. He spends all day outside and you cannot help, but wonder negatively. I usually voice my opinion, but as of today, I decided to ignore the behavior. I have also learned to depend on no one, but God. He is my strength. Some women make their husband the center of their world. I am a very mushy person. I love to cuddle, I am romantic, and am loveable. I have not been this way in 7 years and we have been married for 13. I am very flirtatious with the one I love, but something has changed in him.

I think that men need to come to their senses and they have to let their baggage go. If hurting another doesn’t hurt you, then there is something wrong with that person’s ability to feel the emotion and consider other’s feelings. I think this article is very informative and I was like Mrs. Doyle very open about my feelings. I have learned to lock them up, but this is not okay. Not for me. I know why I say this. Considering the person’s mental state is important. My husband does not want to speak to a therapist or seek counseling. I cannot force him. I am. I need to in order to keep my sanity.


I’ve tried this. What i get is an attempt to switch topics. He says something mean, I can see he realizes I am hurt, and then he changes the topic to something else, perhaps assuming that I will forget? The apology never comes. I act normal and he thinks everything is normal, and I now almost want to believe that he does not care at all.

im tired of my husband treating me like I don’t have a brain. Yeah, I can sit there and let him go on and on about something and not be able to give my two cents or share knowledge with him because he can’t handle it. But I can only take it for so long. And why should I have to put up with it? I want to know how to get him to realize I might actually know what I’m talking about and that if I recommend something that he respect what I’m asking or offering of him. That I care about his opinion of something that I’m interested in. How do I get that from him?

I couldn’t disagree more with your article. Good opportunities here to empower women but, I feel it fell SO short!! Such a male dominant and woman submissive feeling with your article to me. In the first senerio, what if the husband doesn’t apologize when she says, “Hi, I am ready to go to the party.” Then, what???And the rest is like 1950’s total crap… raise up your man BS!!!

My husband has become abusive. He spits, arches his back at me, shoved his fist within inches of my face saying, “I’ll show you!”, grabbed my hand twisting it and hurting me because he wanted the remote I was holding and had used to turn off the radio which he did not like me doing, and more. I wrote down several of the situations, read them to him (to see we both agreed as to what happened), and had him sign a statement that said he did what he did and said it was ok for him to treat me like that, he signed and dated it, and made the comment it’s my fault, I make him act that way. So, I no longer have him sleeping in our bedroom. Any hope here?

I love this post, thank you!
A good reminder for me to get back on track with this way of thinking. It also made me realise how easy it is to slip back into old habits. I now want to try to get through the rest of the week without criticising him once (even when he does let me down) and see what affect this has on our relationship ☺️

So wait? Does her husband still not apologize for anything? I understand taking responsibility and accountability for my own wrongs, however shouldn’t I expect and require that be do the same?

My husband yells at me and tells me how much I suck. I will not apologize for this and nor does he. I am past my breaking point and am ready to walk away. He doesn’t acknowledge my birthday, he didn’t buy me a Christmas present and somehow it’s always my fault. He hurts my feelings constantly and never apologizes. I just think it’s hopeless and ten years of my life wasted. I tell him how I feel and there is always some excuse. In the words of Emenim love is evol spell it backwards I’ll show ya. I’m throwing in the towel. My happiness has left me and I just can take anymore.

So sorry for the all the women above us. Please do know that we all deserve better and that no man should ever make us feel like we’re any less because of his inherent acts of stupidity.
My s/o and I have been together for 7 years going on 8… and there were several instances where he would verbally give me an apology if he knows what he said or did was totally not right. For all the times he did hurt me after that, i do believe in one comment above where they do have a problem with separating identity blah blah something of that sorts (I’m sorry I forgot the rest of the dialogue). If men weren’t taught to say sorry when they’re younger, that will most likely follow on until they’re older. My bf lied to me last week about a new female buddy coworker he made friends with. He changed her name on his phone to make it look like someone I knew. I then found out the truth and he revealed her real name. When I asked him why would he hide something like that… his response was “I didn’t want you lash out on me.” The problem is, I’m completely fine with him having female friends as long as there are boundaries. I’ve told him countless times that its okay. But because he lied to me in the first place, I got extremely upset. I would have never reacted in such a way. Maybe it’s the guilt and the shame he has felt about re-introducing a new female into his life because he did cheat on me two years ago with a coworker and I did give him another chance. Part of me believes it is guilt and fear in me lashing out on him from the circumstances that happened two years ago. Ok sorry for the backstory… but where I was getting to was that he lied to me a week ago and although I do want an apology, I’m never going to get it. No matter how many times I cry or give him the silent treatment. He apologizes by actions. Actions speak louder. While yes it is nice to hear a verbal reassurance, but words don’t mean shit if you put them into play. He’ll do little things like buy me my favorite yogurt drink, make me dinner, put on something I like to watch. He is showing his apologetic side, but at the same time, I’m still incredibly upset at the fact he did that. It takes work and alot of effort. And ladies, it is totally your decision whether or not to stay with a guy or move on. Only you know how you should be loved.

Reading that woman are tired of changing, I understand, I think the theory is that two people fight and usually one person isn’t 100% at fault all the time, so work on the only thing you can control, which is you. As you improve on the parts of yourself that need work as we lean what we need to learn it should ease up tensions and maybe bring you to a place where the atmosphere is better so when something does happen his reaction is better. Easier said then done. I just apologized and I am sure I did it wrong. I apologized, let him know there are different ways to communicate, explained my way, said sorry my way seemed disrespectful, told him he should know me enough to know I am not disrespectful on purpose, and to please speak kinder. Pointing out we are not perfect and we are family. I probably did that wrong. I understand there is a method, I understand without reading any books I probably did it wrong, but I know I have a good heart and I am tired that when I don’t say something right or do something that people can’t remember my intentions and can’t be nice to me. It is a hard pill to swallow knowing that improving yourself should be done for you and to benefit yourself, and if he comes around he comes around at the end you did something positive for you and that feeling why does everyone get a free pass to step on me hopefully ends because I am really tired of hearing my sister has
problems with depression of course my to the point method was wrong, my cousin wasn’t nice, but she has cancer I should have seen the signs and got off the phone, almost every job I have had people say we wouldn’t make fun of you if we didn’t love you, I am always doing something wrong. It is tiring every time I turn around I hear what i did wrong, But am I the only person self reflecting? When does someone care enough about me? It is a hard balance thinking when does someone care enough about me and I need to do this for myself, but at the end we are supposed to improve us for us.

My husband throw me out my house after a big fight ! He never said sorry and in fact the wants me to sorry !! Is that the case ??

Hey Laura,
Right now, I am also having Fights with my boyfriend with whom I supposed to be marry. We are in relationship from 3 years. He never praise me, never talk to me while I am in mood. He only do fun, talk to me, be romantic when he has good mood or I can say according to his mood. We had fighting before but when he ask me for marriage, we let go our past and decided not to fight but in last 2 weeks, we fought a lot, we were fighting so bad, one thing he usually do when we fight, he just sit on side and don’t talk even reply me, which piss me off more. So, I talked to my friend one day, he said don’t talk while you fight, because you do not know if he is having some stress. I told sorry to my boyfriend but he said, I don’t wanna marry you now. Even I promised myself not to fight with him. Even if he do, i need to shut my mouth for that particular time.
Just give me suggestion, what should I do???

What if I feel like I just don’t want to be with him anymore? Is there a way of coming back from that point?

Catherine, it sounds so painful to be on the fence about whether you even want to be with him. I remember how uncomfortable that fence was! And yet here you are reading about how to turn things around in your marriage and reaching out for support. If there is still a question mark about whether that is what you want, a possibility, then you may be a possibilitarian like me. If so, I invite you to my 5-Day Challenge to give yourself a chance to answer that question. It starts on Monday. You can register for free at:

My heart aches for all of you ladies. I have put up with a husband who also never apologizes. If I could leave him I would. We have been separated in the past, but I have cancer now and it is not possible. I can’t wait for God to take me home!!


I’m struggling. I have tried these steps time and time again only to be getting worse and worse treatment. I asked one day why he sees me hurt and has been only allowing it to get worse he said “because you seem fine with it, I don’t hear you b**ch anymore”. Having no outside influences alcohol or drugs I just wonder how can someone be so cruel and accept coming home to see someone treat them with respect while actively making it harder on them. Another quote that has been stuck in my head lately is “know your place” he use to say this to me a lot when I would mention I’m too sick (early pregnancy) to cook or I have to drop off my daughter and can’t drive to jury duty (he owns his own car that runs perfectly) and I am just looked at and told know you’re place, usually followed up with a text, I’m sleeping at my brothers tonight. I can’t take it anymore and yet it’s all I’m doing. How was your day, sorry I wasn’t home I told you this morning we had parent teacher meeting but it’s ok I handled it, would you like to help me with something “no” ok then with a smile. It just gets worse.

Amanda, it sounds like something is going missing for sure. You shouldn’t have to get worse treatment when you’re trying hard to change the dance. That’s does not sound empowering!

I remember feeling stuck too and it was lousy. That’s why my coaches and I have helped over 15,000 women fix their relationships. We can help you too.

Get a coach so you can stop being treated this–you deserve to be adored! Join the waitlist for The Ridiculously Happy Wife coaching program here:

I am in verge of separating/divorcing. My husband is a good son, brother and father but he hasn’t proved to be a good husband. I am not perfect either but I try to have conversations to fix things but he changes topics and doesn’t take my concerns seriously. I have told him few times what are my expectations from our marriage but again he listens but doesn’t implement anything. When I ask him what his expectations are, he doesn’t tell me anything and acts as everything is just perfect. I am so tired of going through same stuff over and over again as it never gets resolved. From having small arguments from time to time now it has reached to the point where we barely talk and there is zero emotional connection. We have one kid, tbh I am still in this marriage because of him. I feel like that I have no emotional attachment and love left for my husband anymore and he portrays the same so it feels like a fake marriage now. I am scared that I will have to be a single parent if I decide to got through divorcing him but the truth is I am not satisfied from this marriage.

Rosee, I’m sorry to hear you’re on the verge of separating. I can see why you’re scared and not satisfied. To see him not implement anything after you make the effort to communicate is so frustrating–that’s not right. I remember feeling scared too and it was lousy. That’s why my coaches and I have helped thousands of women fix their relationships. We can help you too. Here’s a free Roadmap to get you started:

On the one hand, if you are committed to making a marriage work, and you have tried everything else, following this advice is fine, why not? But I gave up seeking an apology (either directly or indirectly) a long time ago, and it did not mean that my husband suddenly started apologizing. He is less mean because he is not confronted with anything he has done wrong. But in many situations, even if I don’t say anything (or pout, sigh, etc.) the simple fact that he knows he should not have done something causes him to get angry with me. My needs go unmet, and my feelings are invalidated and I have to deal with his toxicity or avoid him until he is ready to stop. Perhaps in less extreme situations, your advice is great, and a reasonable husband will voluntarily apologize if he doesn’t feel cornered, but I think there is a level of responsibility missing in this article because it’s important to think about these other extreme situations that are or that border on being abusive. Placing the blame on the woman for being too critical or a nag is not a great idea in those situations.

So… the approach I the article is what I did my entire marriage. My dad was physically abusive so my expectations of my husband were very low. Fast forward 20 years, I have breast cancer. My husband comes with me to chemo, he’s mostly concerned with work and getting his computer set up before I even have my port accessed. He puts his cup on one of the clean chairs meant for other patients. I told him that he couldn’t put anything on those chairs. (I’ve never seen a guest use one of the chemo chairs.) We get in a whisper fight at chemo. He tells me my tone was mean. I never let him come to chemo with me again. I just couldn’t be totally focused on him and letting him have his way when I really needed to be relaxed and focused on me. I’m really wondering what the point of me biting my tongue and doing everything in our marriage was if when things get tough, he acts the way I always let him…

Kelly, I’m so sad to hear what you’re going through and what you’ve been through. When your husband falls short even of such low expectations, that is so painful. At the very least, you deserve his support and some peace during chemo. You shouldn’t have to deal with such behavior, especially after all your efforts.

Just biting my tongue and tolerating bad behavior didn’t get me too far either. Turns out I needed other tools to get my husband to be his best self.

I really want to get you the attention and support you deserve. Here’s a free Roadmap of 6 simple steps that have helped thousands of women turn things around so you can fix your relationship too:

Afew weeks ago my partner said he felt confused and didn’t know what he wants. So gave him space etc. Then he dropped a massive bombshell that were over. He said all of these things about getting separate bank accounts, etc but he hasn’t done it. He works nights Sun~ Friday and I work during the day. He stays on different friends sofas on Friday and Saturday nighrs and comes home on Sunday morning. He has told our daughters that he doesn’t want to be in the house. But this smacks of being contrary as when I arrive home we chat, there’s no atmosphere etc, it isn’t false. One minute he says that he wants to continue this arrangement for as long as he can. Then he says he’s goung to move after Christmas. He seemed offended when my daughter told him that I had looked at houses. As I obviously need to look at all avenues/options. He’s decided that this is what he wants so why be upset? have been using the apologise and the grateful techniques. I don’t get any response. Which I’m not worried about as I feel better that I am realising my actions etc weren’t positive.
The other day he did say what led to his decision, that I’m controlling, I think that I’m better than him, hurtful comments. These are all the things which I am addressing. Do you think there is any hope for our relationship?

Michelle, this bombshell sounds so scary. And painful! Seeing his behavior change from one day to the next is so confusing too.

I remember not knowing whether there was hope for my marriage and how painful that was. Which is why my coaches and I have helped thousands of women fix their relationships.

I hear so much hope for your relationship. I would love to get you the support for your Skills to be effective. I invite you to join us in group coaching when you are ready:

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