An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands

man-shrugging-shoulders

I was a shitty husband.

And it’s not because I’m a massive jerk, or abusive, or particularly difficult to get along with.

I was a shitty husband because I didn’t respect my wife’s thoughts and feelings about things I mistakenly believed didn’t matter. When two people disagree, both think they’re right. Which makes the other person wrong.

But sometimes there is no “right.” Sometimes, there is no “wrong.”

You liked the movie. She didn’t. She likes salsa dancing. You don’t. Nobody is right or wrong. But we treat one another like that’s the case. That what I think and believe and feel is right. Therefore, you must be wrong.

I was a shitty husband because I promised her in front of hundreds of people we knew that I would love and honor her all the days of my life. In good times, and in bad. And then I didn’t do that. I didn’t do it in the bad times because I didn’t “feel” like it. Because it wasn’t easy or convenient.

For years, I put my wants and needs ahead of her’s. Not for the “big things,” which is all I thought mattered. I put me first in all the “little things.” Disagreements about housework, passively leaving her to manage our schedules, and the logistics of caring for our son.

She tried to talk to me about it. But I didn’t listen.

I thought she was nagging. Complaining. Being needy. Being a bitch.

I thought because I was a nice person, and that I’d made sacrifices for her, that I was a good husband. I thought because I didn’t do a bunch of bad things some guys do that I was a good husband. I didn’t realize it until much too late: Good men can be bad husbands. Just like good men can be bad at designing bridges, or bad at water-color painting, or bad at water skiing.

We don’t want to hear bad things being said about us. Especially from those we believe we sacrifice daily for. So when we do, we don’t listen. We justify our behavior. Rationalize it. Get defensive. And angry.

We disagree with them, and tell them they’re wrong. Sometimes we tell them they’re crazy. Sometimes we raise our voices or call them a name.

Divorce is the great social crisis of our time, and not enough people are talking about it. Two good, smart, nice people marry voluntarily, and deny it though they will, it’s a coin toss as to whether they’ll be married a decade later.

I tell my story so that maybe other people won’t get divorced like me.

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The Posts

Vol. 1

I was in a lot of pain and blaming my ex-wife in the immediate aftermath of her leaving. Vol. 1 represented the first time I began learning to accept responsibility for my very large role in destroying the marriage.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 1

Vol. 2

I got into a really preachy phase with my writing. I’m sure it was annoying because clearly I’m an asshole who doesn’t know anything. But my heart was in the right place.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 2

Vol. 3

I was at a party and I had a tiny crush on the married birthday girl, and I watched her husband ignore her all night (and already knew him to be a less-than-ideal partner). The whole scene made me sad because it reminded me of how I used to treat my ex-wife.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 3

Vol. 4

There’s a really scary phase during a couple’s slow descent to divorce that many husbands don’t realize is scary. When a wife finally snaps and decides to leave or have an affair, her personality often transitions from sad and angry to resigned and apathetic. An observant husband will notice the change immediately. But before she snaps, there’s a period of time in which she’s trying to save your marriage. She wants to be married to you, to love you, and to be together for your children. And in her last-ditch effort to reach you, you often dig in your heels in “manly” defiance. “Stop trying to change me!” If you love winning fights and getting your way more than you love your wife, then you probably deserve what’s about to happen.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 4

Vol. 5

Yes, guys. You have to help around the house. Not sure if you checked the calendar lately, but it’s not 1960 anymore. No matter how insane you think it sounds, she WILL divorce you for leaving a dish by the sink.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 5

Vol. 6

You can destroy your marriage by trying to be “nice.” By letting your spouse make all the decisions. You think it’s a nice gesture, letting the other person have their way. But really? You’re killing them, their respect and desire for you, and it’s all going to break one day. All because you don’t want to be responsible for making plans two weekends from now or scheduling the kids’ dentist appointments or planning family meals. Maybe it’s time to rethink your priorities.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 6

Vol. 7

Men are generally very competitive creatures. I know I am. But despite that, men AREN’T competitive about marriage. And by that, I mean, they tend to not work hard to be the best husband and father imaginable as a measure of pride. They strive for greatness at work, or in a particular organization or social club or hobby. But men don’t seem to think being the best at marriage is a worthwhile endeavor. Considering it’s one of the most-important things we do in this life, and we have such a high failure rate, I wonder why that is.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 7

Vol. 8

What starts at an early age on playgrounds, turns into a relationship killer in adulthood. Men using jokes, sarcasm and mockery to belittle their wives and girlfriends both privately and publicly. It may not be intended to be cruel. It often isn’t. But the recipient of those “jokes” often feels as if it’s cruel. Beat her down long enough, and only one of two things can happen: She’ll leave you for someone who respects her, or you’ll break her and she won’t be the person you married anymore. Maybe she already isn’t.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 8

Vol. 9

Guys like “Me”-time. Maybe everyone does. But a lot of time when husbands and fathers do it, it looks and feels to his wife and children like he isn’t interested in them or that he’d rather spend time alone than with his family. When guys get married young, they often think it’s going to be just like having a permanent girlfriend. That marriage is basically just promising to never have sex with any other women. Sometimes, no one teaches us that marriage isn’t about us. That it’s actually for the person we’re marrying. No one teaches us that the key to sustaining love and happiness isn’t taking. It’s giving.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 9

Vol. 10

Wives sometimes turn into someone else throughout the course of their marriages. Men don’t like it because the person they married is gone. Women don’t like it because they lose the fun, innocent version of themselves they remember from their youth. Husbands lose their wives’ trust. Not over the big things, most of the time. Over the little things. Men won’t change, so their wives MUST. Resentment builds. And much of the time, everything breaks.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 10

Vol. 11

I think married couples who are sad and angry about their lives and relationships make the mistake of trying to “fix the marriage.” They spend all their time trying to figure out how “we” can do things different, and how the other person can make changes to make life better. But I think people need to work on themselves to fix the marriage. To look inside themselves and figure out how they can be their best self. Two people working to be the best versions of themselves have a great chance to succeed. Two people expecting the other to change on their behalf seem doomed to a life of sadness and frustration.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 11

Vol. 12

Cheating is never okay. We don’t want to do it. We don’t want it to happen to us. Almost everyone agrees it’s a horrible, destructive thing. Yet, it keeps happening over and over again. Even with a very decent spouse at home. Even with children and a seemingly happy life. I think it’s important for people to understand WHY this happens, so they can be more self-aware, and so that spouses can work to fill the voids people try to fill with extramarital affairs.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 12

Vol. 13

Maybe somewhere, there’s an example of pornography and masturbation radically improving marriages and relationships. Anything’s possible. But what often happens while couples are slowly drifting apart is that husbands turn to porn and masturbation for sexual relief. Some people don’t think it’s a big deal. I think I’ve seen and heard enough evidence to convince me that heavy porn consumption and masturbation, especially if it’s being hidden as part of a secret life, can negatively affect marriage, and not always in ways people think it will.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 13

Vol. 14

Of the many things I didn’t do that might have resulted in a successful marriage, my failure to mindfully plan fun activities and make tiny time investments to communicate how much I valued my wife and our marriage is probably the most egregious. There’s no excuse that doesn’t ultimately end with: Thousands of times I could have made a slightly different choice to focus on her and us, instead of me and whatever else. And I didn’t. Of all the things that could have saved the marriage, this would have been the easiest to do differently. In some respects, that makes this my greatest relationship failure.

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 14

I Provide Relationship Coaching and Divorce Support Coaching Now

I’ve always liked that I wasn’t a thought leader or subject matter expert about marriage, divorce, or anything in the family therapy realm. After several years of writing here, I’ve heard from hundreds, maybe thousands of people who believed THAT was my secret to connecting with people. I am NOT a counselor or therapist, and I’ll never pretend to be.

What I am is someone who can sometimes bridge the divide between two people struggling to connect with or communicate effectively with their spouse or romantic partner.

If you are searching for a better way to connect, or as if the end of your relationship is inevitable and you are seeking a support network, maybe I can help. To learn more, you can email me at MBTTTR@gmail.com with “Coaching Request” (or whatever) in the subject line, or you can visit the Relationship Coaching & Divorce Support page here.

What Qualifies Me for the Job?

Nothing.

But I have a funny little brain and it works like this: There is nothing exceptional about me. Not a thing.

I am the averageiest average person alive.

I possess average intelligence, average physicality and average skills in many facets of life. I am average looking. I earn an average income. I live in an average house in an average town. I had an average upbringing. And now I’m just your average divorced dad stumbling through adulthood.

You know what I think that means?

I think it means A LOT of people can relate to me. I think it means that the mistakes I made and the things I think and feel are JUST LIKE all of the mistakes you make and things you think and feel.

And I’m willing to write it down.

And I have absolutely no idea why that helps people. But I know that it does. It helps people.

Shitty Husbands Abound

You know a shitty husband.

You are one, or you are married to one, or you were raised by one, or you’re friends with one.

Shitty husbands ARE NOT always bad people. Sometimes they are very good people who are simply not very good at being married.

You don’t have to be abusive or neglectful or adulterous or deceitful to be a shitty husband. You need only put your wants ahead of your spouse’s.

You do that enough times?

All while not listening to her pleas for help? Her cries for attention? Her desire for emotional and intimate connection?

She’s going to start having sex with someone else and leave you, or she’s going to WANT to, which is equally bad. It’s true.

These An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands posts are consistently among my most popular posts.

I like some of them more than others because some are poorly written. But what I’ve heard time and time again from frustrated wives and ex-wives (and some husbands and ex-husbands) is that they recognize the truth in all of this.

Male-female relationships tend to follow the same patterns and tend to result in the same conflicts.

And THIS IS GREAT NEWS.

Because if we’re all experiencing the same afflictions and symptoms, then we can all fix it with the same treatment and medicine.

Losing my family was the worst thing that ever happened to me.

I’m cool now because a lot of time has passed, and a lot of healing happened. But it was all very, very bad. And I don’t want other people to have to go through it. Especially children.

Not everyone is going to make it. We’re human, and we fail.

But there doesn’t have to be this much brokenness in the world. So many marriages fail that don’t have to.

It makes me sad. And I believe it can be better.

And this is my small contribution to trying to be part of the solution.

I hope you’ll join me.

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840 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands

  1. sadtoseeherleave says:

    This had to be a low life loser woman that started this topic. Oh by the way, there are many of us good single men out there that had been very hurt by women already as well. Been there.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      Or it could have been started by me.

      Low-life loser is subjective. I suppose I could be that.

      Like

      • DOnald says:

        Dude honestly stop being a b. You’re a man; so just like me & everyone else no one cares about us or our requirements. Females have insecurities; and that’s about it. They can love and hate and everything, but the fulfillment of those insecurities and lack thereof will eliminate every & each of that. Our only value in life to them is how much we can play around with their insecurities and keep them hooked.

        Sorry you had to go thru shit tho. Keep some fight in you, because that’s the only thing we get to keep for ourselves without being “greedy”, “toxic” and “patriarchical”

        Like

    • Penelope says:

      Let me guess, she left you because you were such a great guy.

      Like

    • Vex Cuomo says:

      You just want a slave and a sex toy as a “wife”.

      Like

    • E says:

      You sound like a real good, and I’m sure STILL single man. We’ve all been there. It’s just some of us that self-reflect.

      Like

    • Gina Benyue says:

      I stopped feeding my husband all the supplies he needed/required to feel like the king of the castle, the controller, the person who makes everyone shiver in their shoes when he speaks. Now he is the brainless mouse he was born to be.

      Like

    • greg says:

      Your a low life with a man foopA

      Like

    • Susan Adams says:

      Poor baby man.

      Like

  2. aeysun says:

    It’s a beautiful article. Thanks for being so open about it. It made me realize I can believe in things getting better.
    God bless you.

    Like

  3. Ginger says:

    Any tips on how to get a husband to to read all of this?

    Like

    • Megan Rondeau says:

      I second this question. My husband refuses to hear my cries for help, refuses marriage counseling, and refused to read an article about deprsession that I asked him to read so that he could understand what I was going through. This is literally my last ditch effort to fix my marriage.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Penelope says:

    A few random thoughts I had after reading vol 1-9:
    1). I bet more women are reading these. Why? Because they’re the ones who have googled “what am I doing wrong to make my husband so out of touch/selfish/clueless/unsupportive” and then carry the burden to do the emotional labor to come up with the solution;
    2). Why does it take a guy to write 1,000s of words for a man to believe “this is a thing”? How about, “Believe in the depth of your wife’s experience. She’s not making it up.”
    3). Why should it take the threat of divorce for men “to behave” or “sit up straight”? It just seems like another level of childishness. How about just be decent and own shit equally.
    4). I don’t understand how men succeed at work without a wife or mother “just asking them what to do.”
    5). I found your insight so profound. It helped me see and name the feelings behind my anger and sadness.
    Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. gretchen buss says:

    I’m astonished. Nice to know that ”misery loves company” is peopled by so many, wanting the same thing, knowing we’re not crazy. I’m 75, married 40 years and concerned about not getting Covid-19. My husband doesn’t take it seriously enough for me to feel safe being around him. I can’t just pack up and leave. I’m wish my husband would read this and get a clue. The comments were inspiring. Thank you so much.

    Like

  6. john says:

    The wife might consider me a shitty husband, but she falls real close to a shitty wife. Our marriage is just as much both our doing. And personally I don’t give a dam what she thinks.We don’t live under the same roof she has the house and I live in my garage, work shop, apartment place. Best move I ever made was moving out, we been married 54 years and that was the worst thing I ever experienced.

    Like

    • Vex Cuomo says:

      Blame the woman. Of course. She needs to get away from you NOW. You are toxic and are killing her!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bitch are you tr0lling

        If not kill yourself asap because hes metaphorically killing her but you are killing 2 boys a minute who are reading your articles in major depression….oh wait you don’t care about men. Why do we need men right? Seems logical enough. If only you could stick to your point…but you bite your upper lip & get wet every time you see a hairy manly dude with pressed clothes 20 years your younger and you suddenly feel reproduction isnt so bad and this man is just somehow an exception…especially when he “accidentally” knocks you up, scoring one for the team giving you responsibility and reality you can’t handle, exactly as you deserve and you somehow don’t feel bad about it because of how your b00bs are gonna get bigger and you’ll get more attention from Men…the same men you hate on the internet but dream about in your bed

        Fuckin wh0re kill yourself or at least get yourself c@strated so the world doesn’t get another one like you again

        Like

  7. Interested in interacting more on the subject

    Like

  8. […] came across the Open Letter to Shitty Husbands today, and it wasn’t the volume about cheating that caught my attention. It was the volume […]

    Like

  9. Lucille says:

    I’m almost to the point of asking for a divorce. My husband is as cold as a box of ice. He’s emotionally distant, seemingly disconnected. He never holds or touches me, never says he loves me–he won’t even tell our adult sons that he loves them.I feel like I can’t talk to him like I used to, that he’s not there for me emotionally. I feel so alone. When I try to talk to him about this, he’s defensive and bitterly attacks me, making me feel resentful. I don’t know what to do.

    Like

  10. Kodidog123 says:

    My husband is not a bad man, but he is a childish, selfish, shitty husband. Thirty years of me doing EVERYTHING by myself, raising our two sons (one with Autism), being responsible for all the bill’s, managing appointments, all the cleaning, laundry, cooking, pet management, yard care (except mowing – because we have a rider and requires no effort) and whatever else requires ANY responsibility so he can spend as he wishes and sit in our garage to smoke, drink and now smoke pot to the detriment of his health (2 heart attacks – one I am still trying to pay for.) He ignores our son with Autism and has little interaction with either of them. I have worked a flexible part time job since my first was born to help pay bills, which also was helpful when my younger son had therapy 4 – 5 times per week (I had a flourishing career, but wanted to raise my children myself.) At 52 I have now taken a full-time salaried position with benefits to help my older son get thru college and support my younger son when I finally pay off all the medical costs and leave him or he kills himself with his habits first. He used to be considerate. He used to be fun. He used to do things with his children. I have begged, pleaded and stood on my head to try to communicate my needs to him – all to no response or he attempts to placate me for two weeks and then slides back to old habits. A lot of it is my fault for loving him so much and doing everything I could to be a good “wife.” Waiting on him, picking up after him, handling his problems, making up for his financial inadequacies, not making him participate in child care. He has lived like a king while I took care of him and I have created a selfish, entitled monster. He is now bitter and angry because I am exhausted and can no longer “wait on him.” He is churlish and intentionally lazy to push my buttons. He will leave clothes on the chairs in the living room after I have already picked up, and put dirty dishes in the sink after I just washed and put them all away (we have a dishwasher.) He spends unlimited to the extent of overdrafting our account (I have to hide money in my own account to pay the bills.) Everything is about him and his wants and needs. My 23 year old son who recently had to give up his apartment and move home because of covid is appalled at his behavior and actually helps me cook, clean and take care of my younger boy – it is not his responsibility to be the parent. The stress is affecting my health. THIS is a shitty husband, you sounded like a jem!

    Like

    • Susan Adams says:

      Yes that is a shitty husband. He probably won’t last much longer. You have to decide if you want to wait it out, or ditch him.

      Like

  11. notagirl1 says:

    I look forward to reading these. It’s not “helping” around the house, though. Both adults live there, both adults eat there, both make messes. Both clean up. It’s adulting.

    Like

  12. appreciativeMan says:

    As a man, many of your articles have been extremely hard to read. This is because I relate so goddamn much to most of them, that it hurts. I truly hate that I’ve gone through life this long, thinking my way is right, and thinking I’m so deserving because I’m not an asshole. I’m going to attempt to employ many of the things I’ve read from you, in all of the places that I’m lacking as a partner. This may just save my future, and I thank you in advance.

    I do have one question/comment though. There’s clearly a bunch of information on here about how to be a better man and form a better relationship, but it seems to lack information from a female perspective(things they do right and/or wrong). Because there’s so much info only about 1 side(what I’m saying may be false, I haven’t read EVERYTHING), it sometimes feel overwhelming. Like shit, there’s a lot of stuff I need to do. And that’s OK. I’m up for it, because the woman I am with is worth it a thousand times over. It also feels overwhelmingly anti-male, which I know is not the intention. I just wish there were some articles in here(again, there may be, and I missed them) about female follies, and things they could do it improve. But, I guess that isn’t and can’t really be your forte, as you’re a man lol.

    Like

    • Maddy476 says:

      Hi, I am genuinely thrilled by your comment. So glad to hear you open to change.
      As far as what women need to do better, I don’t know. I guess that’s up to the men to tell them. When it comes down to it, it’s all about communication and fulfilling each other’s needs, desires and wants. If you want your wife to do something different, you have to tell her in a positive, kind and empathetic way. Timing is everything. Maybe make some changes at your end first and once she warms up to you, bring the subject up over a nice romantic candlelight dinner. Thank her for all the work she has done. Tell her how much you appreciate her. Actions speak louder than words.

      Like

      • Thatnonbinary says:

        I honestly think he has a valid question and really appreciate your response. It is rare where you would see a women admit there are faults on their side. I reviewed 30 sites on this same topic and every one always points to men as being the problem and list the problems with men while giving each other high fives in the process. Not one of them would admit or mention any fault on their side and project themselves to be saints. They only consider their feelings and their sacrifices not once mentioning things they could have done to improve their relationship. Personally I don’t think someone will tell the full truth about the faults of women in the same manner as this article. Not that it isn’t possible but that it’s harder to admit when it’s about you. I’ll admit I’m not a catch, I’m lucky to have my wife and I’ve made tons of mistakes so you can continue to put me down for my opinion after this if you want but I refuse to believe it is as one sided as people make it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Matt says:

          It’s not one-sided. It’s just that the first thing that happens which erodes trust usually begins with the male partner in hetero relationships.

          Happy to discuss it. Don’t really have time to write the dissertation here, though. Thank you for reading and contributing to the conversation.

          All of this shit is old.

          Maybe read the newest one from last week. THAT is indicative of what I’m talking about it usually beginning with a man.

          No one’s blaming men here, by the way. At least not me.

          I’m just advocating responsibility in the interest of having more successful, less-painful relationships.

          Like

          • Hef says:

            My problem is where does the responsibility come from on the other side? Ok, yes I can work harder to validate my wife’s feelings, however irrational they may seem, but what is her responsibility? This cannot be a one way street – that a man must do something first for the woman to make an effort. Does she not also have a responsibility in the relationship?

            If she is bringing daily negativity and doom and gloom, when is enough is enough? So far validation and hugs/affection when she is stressed has gone nowhere – she feels free to be snippy, rude and disrespectful the next day, month, etc.. In a way it feels like your advice is to encourage bad childlike behavior.

            Like

            • Matt says:

              If she hurts and says so, is it negative doom and gloom, or is it someone asking their partner to cooperate in modifying something that causes pain?

              If she’s insane, by all means, end the relationship.

              If she’s a good human being who you chose on purpose, maybe when she says she’s hurt about something, she actually is. And maybe we only trust people who do not intentionally or negligently hurt us after we ask them not to.

              Like

    • Susan Adams says:

      This topic is about shitty husbands. There are guidelines for husbands NO MATTER WHAT KIND OF WIFE HE HAS.

      Like

  13. Overcommitted says:

    This is validating to read. I am going through a very painful divorce right now. I was giving so much to the marriage and my husband, I couldn’t understand how it could not be reciprocated. I kept thinking if I’m patient, he will recognize eventually how much I do for him and how much I love him. Plus I did vocalize my needs which he refused to care about. Meanwhile, he has substance abuse issues, is completely irresponsible with money, will not help with the kids or household in any predictable way, and actually at this point does not work. We own a business together but he neglects the business as much as he neglects me. He also for the past few years has accused me of cheating/flirting and won’t let the idea go. Divorce was the last thing I wanted since we have kids and a business at stake. We tried counseling but he gave up before we made any progress. I did work on my self as an individual the past couple years, going to therapy myself and learning about how to set boundaries and focus on my own life. I started going to church which has helped me through some difficult times as well. But In my case, I can’t do anything more to fix the marriage. Sometimes we have to learn the hard way.

    Like

    • Jessica Kaufman says:

      I’m starting to realize the hard way is the only way anyone learns anything. Certainly was true for myself.
      And biggest lesson, ever, about anything, in my entire life?

      I learned the only way to get someone to listen is….. oh, you can’t. You can only express your needs, give what you have and what you hear them asking for, and leave when it’s not enough. I have NEVER, never, EVER met anyone who’s marriage was saved. Never met anyone who actually started listening, like, for real, for more than the one time they need to snow the other person into thinking things have changed. Ever. Not really. Not longterm. I have NEVER, EVER seen anyone ever hear another person’s need when it’s brought to them as a deficit. I know it can happen, theoretically. But never known a person personally who had this happen, had the other partner actually decide to start listening.

      I have only ever seen leaving work. Or people decide to stay in their misery. I’ve never seen a relationship change from unhealthy and unhappy to healthy and happy. I’m beginning to believe it’s not possible, and maybe even unwise/a waste of time to try. I’ve rarely seen people change, but I’ve seen it. But relationahips?

      Naw. If there’s a problem, and the other won’t talk about it?

      Leave.

      I honestly think we do a really shitty job of modeling healthy relationships for our kids, and we get married WAY too fast without knowing the truly important things about ourselves OR our supposed partners. I don’t think anyone’s bad. We’re just hitching ourselves together WAY TOO FAST WITHOUT ANY IDEA OF WHAT THAT WILL REQUIRE FOR SUCCESS. The problem isn’t that we’re bad at fixing relationships. It’s that we’re in relationships that shouldn’t be from the beginning. And thats why “fixing” ourselves works more often than fixing a relationship. Cuz usually the relationships just shouldn’t have started, and frankly can’t possibly succeed, because the two people coming together simply shouldn’t have, and they don’t seem to know better.

      Like

      • Maddy476 says:

        Well said. I married the wrong person. I left and now I am happy. We are all wounded on some level. The challenge for me now is finding someone at 55 years old but I’d rather be single than alone with the wrong person. Good luck to you.

        Like

        • Jessica Kaufman says:

          Yup, I hear you. Funny, I’m as worried at 45 as you seem to be at 55. I suspect we’ll both be in a much better position to find someone who not only “loves” us but treats us well, too, when we understand ourselves better and know what it is we really want. And when we get better at not compromising our desires for someone else’s, and understanding that doesn’t make us “bad.”

          Like

        • Jessica Kaufman says:

          Good luck to you as well :).

          Like

          • Maddy476 says:

            We were all young and stupid and didn’t know what to look for in a relationship (as you said)..but now we do. I’ve never considered my marriage a failure or me a failure because it didn’t work. It would have been a failure to stay.
            I’m sorry that you are going thru a tough divorce but you will be okay and good things are coming !! You deserve it.

            Like

  14. Gina Benyue says:

    Marriages cannot be fixed once a fall from grace begins. People are cunning and most practice one or more narcissist traits. There are two types of people. A giver and a taker and one should never marry the other. Givers end up damaged and takers end up alone.

    Like

  15. Georgette Padilla says:

    Posted some of your work on my Instagram and it’s safe to say you’re getting a nice chunk of people coming here to read and learn. Great to see the reflection and growth. We can all be better.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Lauren says:

    You know… I was her. The one who was giving it all and doing it all and hoping for the best and hoping that one day I’d be listened to and be made a priority. Someone here is reading this and it’s why you’re on this page looking for answers on how to “fix it”.

    Sometimes.. the problem is just not you. If your man is selfish now, I promise, he will stay that way… or get worse. For one year I decided to just not do everything for him and live my own life… and he decided he didn’t want to be married anymore. (and then amazingly “seeing someone” a few weeks later). Let that sink in.. for all of your lovely selfless wives killing yourself for your man. I wish someone had told me this while I was killing myself in a one-sided marriage…

    You deserve more! You’re awesome all by yourself… you won’t change him. If you don’t put your foot down and demand more, or leave… you will be continuously in the same position. Until I got out… I didn’t realise how much I did for him, how tired I was, how beaten down I was and just how unloved I truly was.

    You just don’t see that when your knee-deep in it. Look at your emotions.. how do you really feel about your life? Own it, feel it and do something about it… please. I should have done it ten years ago, but I hung in there for dear life cos I meant my vows.

    I hope this helps just one of you to stick up for yourself… your feelings are valid, you aren’t crazy and you do matter.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Mike says:

    To be a shitty husband you have to be a shitty guy. For instance I have an actual shitty while and really only go home because I love my kids.

    Like

    • Matt says:

      I fundamentally disagree with that idea.

      Very good people can be substandard at all kinds of life activities: Math. Aerodynamics. Polymer engineering. Baseball. Chess.

      Good people suck at things.

      One of those things people sometimes suck at are the mental and emotional habits that affect relationships and families.

      Like

  18. Carly says:

    Wow. This was therapeutic. I love my husband, and I’ve given up a lot for him, but he can really wear me down to a nub of nothing.

    Like

    • Carly says:

      Case in point: I just got chewed out for hay being in the SUV, which is parked next to a car he’s dented and scratched up, which is fine, that’s life, but I’ll get a drop cord and handvac and get the hay out in a matter of minutes. I just don’t get a break. He was so mad he couldn’t get the words out — that kind of mad, the kind that gave him a stroke the other year. But can’t say anything ’cause it gets worse. He’s a toothless tiger, so I have no fear, but I just have to listen to it.

      Like

  19. Susan Adams says:

    You described the shitty husband who lives in the same house as me almost perfectly. I left the bedroom 12 years ago. I took off my wedding ring many years ago. He says he wants to stay married, but he continues to act like an asshole.
    He literally spends more time with the dog than he does with his kids. He is more interested in a picture on a cereal box than anything I have to say.
    I really want to move to Alaska with a lonely man in a wilderness cabin. Someone who truly wants someone to love.

    Like

  20. Kathy says:

    Can I add something to the list? When you listen when she’s trying to tell you how she feels about something, don’t immediately turn it around so that it’s her that does the same thing but worse. I don’t care what I tell my husband of 43 years when I’m trying to make things better, he immediately says that to me. This has gone on for far too many years. I’ve finally given up and have detached and checked out emotionally. How about you just listen to her tell you honestly how she feels. She can listen to you too, but don’t just turn it around on her. At least have a little originality. She’ll also check out if she knows exactly what you’re going to say.

    Like

    • Weena says:

      Wow. So my husband is just plain unoriginal in doing the tit-for-tat thing:”Well, what about what YOU did?” if I’m gently letting him know he has said or done something [extremely] hurtful; or, if I’m making a point about how I feel or what my needs are, I get, “Well, I NEED (fill in blank)….” Always the oneupmanship, always the competition for attention, canceling me by redirecting everything to his needs and complaints while mine get no hearing; no energy coming this way, always going that way, into HIM, not me.

      I am so tired that last year I collapsed, August, during the pandemic. I actually nearly died from physical exhaustion from holding things together with supply shortages and being housebound. I went into extreme physical self-destruction and am just now rebuilding a body that gave way and nearly gave up. I see it as a physical expression of all the energy I have put into something that is eating me alive.

      Like

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