Ask Me Stuff

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Image courtesy of

You have questions. I know, because you’re a person just like me. I want you to ask me those questions.

Maybe you’d like a different perspective on something going on in your life.

Maybe you want me to Google something for you.

Maybe you actually value my opinion.

Ask me anything at or in the comments below!

Why Would I Want to Ask You?

Great question!

Academic Accomplishments

I was a B+/A- student in high school. (Mostly Bs, though.) I have a bachelor’s degree from a public university with liberal admissions standards. It took me five years (plus a couple summer classes) to graduate.

Professional Accomplishments

I was a newspaper reporter for about eight years after graduating. I had two reporting jobs, and I only got laid off from one of them! I am currently employed in marketing. I write things.

Relationship Accomplishments

I was successfully married for nine years. (If you count the 4 ½ months I was separated and about a year and a half of sleeping in the guest bedroom.)


“I think you give good advice.” – Childhood best friend

Why Do You Want Me to Ask You Stuff?

Great question!

Two reasons:

1. I always thought I’d enjoy being a psychiatrist or a therapist of some kind even though I’m woefully unqualified. This would be almost like that if anyone were to ever ask a serious question and not just goof-off questions like: “Hey Matt! Why do you think aliens who can be killed by water would invade a planet with a surface that is 71 percent water and has a lot of water vapor in the air!?!?” To which I’d reply: Lady in the Water, fools. It doesn’t have to make sense!

M. Night

2. I sometimes have a difficult time coming up with post ideas because I’m not as creative as I’d like to be and this could provide good more fun easy content ideas.

In all seriousness, whether questions be sincere or in jest, I thought this might be a fun new way to evolve the blog. It only works with participation, and if it’s a dud, we’ll make it go away in short order.

If you feel compelled, I will appreciate your participation very much.

Thank you!

Ask me stuff at or in the comments below!

260 thoughts on “Ask Me Stuff

  1. Bobbie says:

    Love, love, love your articles on shitty husbands! It was so helpful to me in a reverse kind of way. I am an older woman in a very long marriage. My marriage was, let’s say “solid”. We were married just short of 39 years and I had pretty much accepted my husbands disconnect. I picked up the slack and pretty much ran the household, raising four kids to adulthood and was ready to settle in for a pleasant retirement. Then it happened, out of the blue my husband had an affair with a married woman he met on Facebook. Without going into too much detail I will say it ended her marriage and I filed for divorce! My Husband had various excuses for his affair, one being we had “drifted apart”. I did not understand this until I read your articles. Maybe he was right. I had long given up and disconnected from him figuring that he was not ever going to really listen to me or do anything unless he benefited. I just went through the motions and maintained the status quo and let him make the decisions that he wasn’t going to be actually involved in any kind of “family life”! I do blame him for his bad and selfish habits, but I gave up fighting with him long ago and that is my fault! It takes two to tango. Yes, we did divorce. Yes he went to live with the other woman. It lasted four months once he was under the same roof with her. Why? I believe it was the bad habits he brought from our marriage. He IS selfish and lazy and wants everyone to put up with him putting TV, movies, books and hobbies ahead of a real relationship. I think his new squeeze thought he was different as she only had the “fun guy” who was seeing her on weekends and she didn’t realize who he really was. Just a guy who gets way to comfortable indulging himself while the little woman bears the load of making him happy! But like I said, I played a part in the demise of my marriage by accepting my role as chief, cook and bottle washer. I too disconnected and gave up trying to change him. He came to me and told me he loved her because she was spontaneous and had time to have fun! No kidding? Of course she did! She wasn’t like me who was overloaded with everything that had to be taken care of to make our lives run smoothly! Of course she had time!
    I now see where the whole marriage began to disintegrate thanks to your articles. He was selfish, lazy, disconnected and not concerned it would our marriage. I played a role by not insisting on getting counseling, talking it out and letting my feelings be known. I just went on auto pilot! My resentment turned into tolerating a roommate that I could maintain, but deep down I was unhappy too! I did love him, but years of neglect from him for my needs and feelings just buried the marriage! Thanks for the clarity!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Exhausted says:

    I’m so afraid that I married a shitty husband. Most of the time he’s great and we get along great. But the times that he isn’t great, he makes me feel like he couldn’t care less about me. Hell sometimes like he doesn’t even like me. We’ve barely been married a year.

    Right now, I’m laying on the ridiculously uncomfortable couch at 4am, pregnant and unable to relax because I’m a light sleeper and he decided to watch tv all night. He knows I can’t sleep like that. I tried though. I laid there tossing and turning for three hours when I finally got up and left our room. Now he is acting like I’m being unreasonable. Am I?

    I’m so tired. I don’t even know why I’m posting this.


    • G says:

      your pregnant, your tired, your a light sleeper at the best of times…and he is watching TV in the same bedroom and then says you are being unreasonable?…Really! You have a shit head of a partner and your baby has a selfish, immature father. And maybe that’s all it is, your guy is immature and jealous. Maybe he is scared and concerned about being a good dad and being able to be counted on. This can make guys say and act just plain stupid. But what if he isn’t and you know that he should know better and treat both of you with the respect and support you need. When people are genuinely kind and loving, they are usually like that more than 90% of the time, especially to their pregnant spouse. If this unloving behavior continues please consider it as a warning sign and invite him to see a therapist with you. If he refuses, which is usually the case with the first request, then go on your own just to get some professional feedback. You stated you are afraid you married a shitty husband and you sound intelligent enough to know what it means to have a proper, caring and loving partner. Addressing these concerns now is vital for the future health of your family. All the best to you with your new baby and new life.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. allusionblog says:

    Bobbie and Exhausted are two of the facets of why I chose not to marry or have children. I haven’t yet met a man who loves me. I can and have loved a man, yet learned from watching my Mom love my Dad, and him not committing to love in return, that it appears an excruciating lifelong semi-secret torment to live unloved.

    Bobbie, try brown noise, it’s similar to white noise yet better, can play it on headphones, it helped me sleep well and blocks out invasive sounds. Can be found on YouTube and Amazon, etc.


  4. Robyn says:

    Hi i loved your blogs im wondering if you could do one for wives my fiance and i are nearly home and dry after rebuilding our love after the confrontation of cheating in our relationship i know i do some crap stuff at times id love to see it written in the wonderful humanistic way youve done your other ones thankyou regards Robyn


  5. Sara says:

    I read this article and all the letters months ago. I tried hard to get my boyfriend/ fiancé? I suppose of 13 plus years to read them and to work with me on our relationship. Well you said it perfectly. He dug his heels in and said no, there’s nothing wrong with me, it’s only you, I won’t change. It took me another 4 months of our relationship slowly dying to finally leave and tell him I didn’t want to see him any longer. Then he wanted to try. Then he wanted to apologize. I did talk with him. We spent almost 2 weeks working on us, but ultimately he still did the same things that hurt me and made me cry myself to sleep nightly for months. Now we are done, and slowly I’m picking up the pieces of my life. He was sad, miserable now he is angry and blames me that I left, he didn’t ask me to. I walked away from him. I am to blame Yes, yes I did leave. But after time I realized it wasn’t him. It wasn’t me. It was us. We both ruined our relationship. I just wish now, that he had read your article in January when I sent it to him. I wish now that he worked with me when I tried doing home therapy counseling, instead of telling me to F off. Because I did love him. I wanted to be his wife and care for him always, but I now realize he didn’t feel the same. It wasn’t mutual. I’ve grown a lot since, and I still go back and read your letters to shitty husbands. So many paragraphs describing our last 8 months together that I wish he read and saw back then.


  6. Katrin says:

    I am about to walk out. Its 2 am, and i can’t sleep, sitting in the kitchen sad. He was grumpy for the last 4 days – again, without telling me why – again, though i asked him again and again. Only stumbled upon your page yesterday and its been an eye opener of about what is happening in my relationship. We are not married, as he continuously says that he is too young to marry. His sarcasm is something he is very proud of, i know its slowly killing my love. We have two boys age 6. I don’t know what is better, to pull through, or let go. The thought of my children growing up with us separated, make me just want to die, and i am really hearing your words on that. But i want more love and even more, i want connection. Every day, at least something, like you say in your letters, some touch, some connection, some words. I am going for weeks with nothing. He wants more sex, that i can not have without connection. We run a business together and both give all for it and the children. Not much for us. I love how you say to run a relationship/marriage with the same effort as a business, i actually used to say that when i was younger. I always dreamed of a relationship where we know ourselves and each other and – play the game of – meeting each others needs. Thank you for your letters, but it won’t help us. Imagine i send him the link, he would be so annoyed (about the truth). Saying all that i don’t mean that i am perfect. I hope i will make the right decision. Regards to you all, Katrin


  7. Lisa says:

    Matt, do you ever hear from shitty husbands who changed their behavior/priorities and stayed married? Or do most men only stand a chance at figuring this out once their wife leaves them?
    – From a wife who is done allowing her husband to masturbate inside of her while all of his attention, love and priority belongs to the Indianapolis Colts

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      Lisa asked a great question which I’ve never seen (embarassingly, since it’s dated Oct. 19) until right this moment.

      The short answer is: Yes. (Rarely, admittedly. But, yes.)

      But there’s an additional layer to this predicated on the complexities of two random human humans and the specific chemistry and emotional volatility between them…

      Here’s a MAJOR shift in thinking I’ve undergone over the four years writing here:

      When I first started writing about this stuff, I believed that men like me could could have their “Ah-ha” moments, understand what I think I know mostly understand, and then totally change all of the things they need to change to “fix” the problem.

      I no longer believe that.

      I now believe people are mostly who they are. With their respective personality makeup and a lifetime of habits and mostly ingrained emotional responses. (It takes IMMENSE work to alter the way we respond emotionally to particular triggers).

      So, I don’t think husbands can snap their fingers and change overnight just because they finally “get it.”

      But I DO think armed with the “getting it,” and developing the willingness to have the conversations to work through all of the conflicting emotions and bad guesswork and thoughtless actions we all do, that people can survive and thrive with a subtle shift in mindset, and commitment to discussing things in ways that demonstrate you’re trying to understand the other’s perspective.

      Changes everything.


    • L says:

      I would love to know the answer to this. Or do that all say F off and continue to emotionally neglect their wives?


  8. Jamie says:

    Your wife needs to take you back. You’re so remorseful and sincere about the mistakes you’ve made. It takes real character and honesty to admit to yourself (and the internet) what you did wrong. I think it’s amazing how you’ve taken your traumatic divorce experience and have used it to help others save their marriages. You deserve happiness and I pray you find it.

    As for me, I’m 35- a stay at home Mom of two little boys and my husband and I have been having problems for years. He works hard and unlike most men you’re speaking to in your blog- he DOES help me around the house- he does laundry and dishes without asking, always has. He just doesn’t treat me like his wife. I’m treated as his roommate.

    We have sex maybe once a month and he never tells me I look good, never touches me, or holds my hand. He falls asleep after dinner and I spend most nights completely alone. It’s very depressing. I know it’s not because he thinks I’m ugly. Without sounding conceited, I have professionally modeled most of my adult life and I stay in shape. I take good care of our children and our home. He has a home cooked meal every night. He’s just cold and doesn’t show affection. We’ve been to counseling and he will put his arm around me here and there and have more sex with me for a few weeks and then it’s back to normal. This pattern has been going on for 10 years. Idk what to do at this point. Cheating has crossed my mind but I’m not the sneaky type. I love my boys and I want a stable home for them with two parents. However, I simply can’t live in a marriage with no intimacy or affection anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      Hi Jamie. Thank you for the nice note.

      Two questions:

      1. Do you think it’s possible that your husband simply doesn’t understand how much his lack of demonstrated interest in you hurts you, on account of him never experiencing it that way?

      2. Do you think it’s possible that if he knew EXACTLY how much it hurt, and/or that by not adjusting his behavior it was going to end your marriage, that he would demonstrate the love for you that you can see and feel, in a way I do suspect he feels in his own way?


      • L says:

        Matt, I told my husband in no uncertain terms what I need from him emotionally. He screamed at me, “I don’t need that shit!” That. Shit. The stuff I need the most in my life to feel loved and human is…. shit. To my husband. Jesus. At least I know how he feels. He’s made no changes. I’ve referenced the conversation a few times and he seems to realize that he was telling indeed the truth. You’d think that one human telling another from their heart, “This is what I need,” would inspire one to figure out a way to give it. The fact that he doesn’t need it shouldn’t matter.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Catarina says:

          Dear Jamie,
          I am not going to solve your life, but just wanted to share some stuff I read recently: ” The Five Love Languages”, from Dr Chapman. In short, he explains that each one of us talks in different love languages and sometimes don’t understand each other because we’re talking in different languages – just as if I’d write this in Portuguese, you wouldn’t get it (probably).
          And this got me thinking, through your example, that maybe your husband’s love language is Acts of serving: he thinks that by helping around, being resourceful, he is showing love for you and can’t imagine how you don’t understand it. On the other hand, if your language is Body Contact/Affection, that’s how you would expect him to demonstrate your love for you, because that’s how you show your love for him. In a nutshell: You are speaking different languages and neither of you is understanding anything!
          This book helped me understand this – still didnt save my marriage, but if it can help yours, I’d be glad.
          Matt, thanks for the blog. It’s great. I’ll be dropping a question soon…

          Liked by 1 person

          • Shitty Husbands and shitty boyfriends… How is it that no matter how much we think we have found a man who finally gets it, a man or (mate) to share life; no matter how long we have known them, (I knew the last boyfriend more than 35 years before I fell in love with him).. I was certain he knew who I was and who I wanted to be in my life… I was certain he
            , understood what is wanted and expected in relationship.. still he decided sometime even before the honey moon phase was up to become a shitty partner? I mean isn’t that very deliberate and intentional to change the minute the lease is signed or the “I do’s” are spoken out loud. They say you never know someone until you live with them so I guess that means the only way to know for sure is to take that step and take a chance and find out the hard way and that is something I will never understand. I have made it a practice to have the difficult conversations with a new relationship partner about expectations and boundaries to purposely not end up married or living with a partner who is going to deliberately treat me like shit. To think no matter how much I communicated with someone he would still have the audacity to lie and play games and turn into a person I don’t even know after the lease was signed is more than a scary thing for me. How do I ever learn to trust again?


    • Angela Spagnolo says:


      I have been married once, it ended after 7 years due to similar circumstances. I have been involved with 3 serious relationships after that and two before. I will try to stay positive because I do not like to give up. I know that you feel you deserve better and you do. I believe in ultimatums and deadlines. We only get one life. If we never insist on having the love and intimacy and affection we want in our lives, we won’t have it. I am determined to move forward after two years living with a man (who i knew all my life; who promised me I made him better and promised me we would be better, he promised me we would grow old together. He was my best male friend and we developed into a romantic relationship after 40 years of friendship. I trusted him and he still did the same exact thing. (cut me off intimately 90 days into living together). I screamed, I cried, I begged… after of course trying to communicate effectively fell on completely deaf ears. He walked out the door 3 days before New Years Eve because I mentioned that nothing was getting better. I said it quietly. I am happy he left. I still feel numb and hurt, but while he was here I was losing hope. I finally have hope in my life again. In my situation I believe drugs and alcohol were to blame. I have accused him of cheating, but he swears that was not the case. I wish you the best. Keep hope alive.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. G says:

    Jamie – speaking from a few more years experience, I can agree that you and your hubby have become more like room mates than a loving couple. You have fallen into your patterns of life when raising kids and keeping a home. Keeping a happy and satisfying marriage is a lot like maintaining a happy and satisfying life. Try this….when was your first date? I want you two to always have a first date every month (basically, a first date monthaversary). Go out and have fun, break the monotony of life and show you appreciate each other. If it goes well after the first date, do another one the next week or in a couple weeks. Also, and not suggesting you don’t do this now, but try to always thank each other for everything you do for each other…thanks for loading the dishwasher, thanks for working, thanks for walking the dog, thanks for calling me, etc….being appreciative goes a long ways. Hopefully this becomes reciprocal and fosters a more loving relationship. Lastly, when was the last time your hub had a checkup/physical? Men often neglect going to the doc for a ‘mechanical inspection’, and getting a blood test is a good way to rule out any other nutrition issues that may be inadvertently affecting his mood and energy. Anyways, hope it helps and let us know what happens.


  10. Maggi says:

    Hey Matt – I’ve been following you for a few months and have felt compelled to reach out a few times.. but none more that right now. I’ve been divorced for about 8 years now.. my ex & I have 2 girls (age 15 & 11).. we have a nonexistent co-parenting relationship. I raise our girls, and he lives in another country with his wife (I live in L.A.). The girls & I have settled into our current situation – I accept that he will never be someone who will be involved in raising his kids – other than the occasional FaceTime & summer visits (which I acknowledge is not “raising” them at all.. but this is his full capacity) .. and sadly, the girls accept that too. My friend once said something wise “no expectation, no disappointment” which kind of put me in a neutral (resigned??) place with my ex.. if I expect nothing than the bare minimum with him, then I’ll never be disappointed… and for the most part, that has worked for me. But like any human, I get triggered.. and this last time hit me hard. It’s been over a week since Trump won the election, and while I am exercising every tool I have in my personal development toolbox (breath; meditate; patience; appropriate activism, etc.).. I am triggered big time that he hasn’t reached out to his girls – even to assure them that altho this man, who represents everything anti-female empowerment, is now our president,…they (our girls) are still valued, empowered and worthy. My question is – I feel so compelled to send him an email pointing out how he hasn’t reached out to the girls in any way that reflects he ‘has their back’.. am I wrong? I know nothing will come of it.. but every few years I feel compelled to send a reminder that this little bubble he’s created in which he believes that he is a ‘good father,’ is in actuality, complete bullshit. And that altho his girls are well adjusted kids for the most part, his neglect will ultimately not go unscathed, and it will always be like a little rock in the bottom of their shoe. He is not even remotely close to having done his internal work, like yourself – so the email is most likely to fall on defensive deaf ears… but I’m really torn. Am I wasting my breath on someone with such an abysmal EQ? ~ Maggi


    • Spitfire says:

      I seriously doubt a political event will trigger a fatherly reaction in him. Your previous choice to have zero expectations worked for you, so why not go back to that?

      It feels as if you are subconsciously blaming your husband for how you feel about the election.
      FWIW I don’t believe our entire nation and political system will fall apart b/c of any one person. JFK was killed in office, 2 other presidents were shot, and Nixon resigned. We survived. I have faith in our nation and our people.

      Perhaps the election reminded you of your marriage/divorce or took you by surprise.

      As the mother of 2 daughters and a son, my suggestion is to keep any projections of doom to yourself. It comes off as a way to link your husband, to the election. (I know you’re not consciously linking him, but there’s some projection going on for sure.)

      Why not advocate for a cause you care about, instead?

      I worry that expressing rage at your husband will only help him justify his absentee parenting, more. Worse, he will probably blame you for any estrangement.

      I’m sorry about your kids lacking a dad, but you being at peace will do them wonders.



    As I sit here crying for the umpteenth time while reading your blog-this one about staying to get her for the kids- I have to provide you at least 5 alternate views of what I feel is wrong about this:

    1. My kids deserve better- as a now blended family with two sets of offspring from prior relationships they do NOT deserve to suffer through another loveless marriage or house of walking on eggshells/ tension/ coldness/ or any other negative emotions that young children are VERY apt to pick up on despite even the BEST parental acting. Furthermore, how can I teach them they are worthy of love and to love themselves if I don’t show it in kind? How can I claim to love myself if I stay unhappy in this situation (using them as my reasoning) and
    is THIS emptiness and loneliness the kind of love I want to demonstrate for them as a “healthy loving relationship”?
    2. We BOTH deserve better- if we are now bringing out the worst qualities in each other as hunan beings, lovers and parents – how can THAT be easy to live with? Set an example? Not force side- taking in our children?
    Putting aside the hurts and angers – even my selfish dickhead SO has his right to happiness as I have my own-
    Don’t my children deserve happier/better parents and human beings even if that means they aren’t together?
    3. It can’t HURT worse than this. I can’t imagine that being unhappy is harder than faking happiness, love, affection while feeling unhappy and dying on the inside. This is a different kind of hell I am in wherein I wonder daily what horrible mistakes I made to put me here to suffer through this.
    There is no greater loneliness than feeling left alone by the one you love while they still sit beside you-usually not caring and exasperating it.
    4. Everyone can end up with “happy ever afters” in my version…
    If the kids are duped into believing the façade-only they get them-and worse; learn in retrospect the truth through looking back as adults- only to feel burdened for being the reason. Why put that on your children at any age?
    5. Finally, resentment. I LOVE my children-including those not bore by me but raised by me, and I would hope never to feel that way towards them.
    But… in my darkest hours, amid the screaming arguing belittling demeaning SAME fight over undermining/ disciplining/behavioral/parental issues for the ONE MILLIONTH time- I FEEL it sneak in. If I am brutally UNFLINCHINGLY honest- I start seeing a “YOURS” and “MINE” in our children and I assign blame for a fight not created by a child but merely manipulated by one (as most moat age appropriately are) but with a resentment and bitterness that angers me to the core.
    And I have to remind myself that these small children are not the reason for the fights and feelings – that the miscommunication of their father IS…but… SO hard. And it shouldn’t be- because this argument has NOTHING to do with them and everything to do with how we co-parent and communicate and the lack of respect and appreciation I feel from him daily.

    All the mind spaghetti going thru my brain (how will this impact the kids to go thru the loss of ANOTHER parent? Logistically how will access go? Will I even get to see my (step)children again?? Is there NO other way to impose the severity of this on him so he’ll turn off the TV/iPad for fucksake?!?) Keeps me grappling with this decision and I just can’t help but wonder if my daily procrastination will end up hurting my kids MORE than just leaving EVER would…
    Just wanted to give you the flip side



    Will we be notified of posts are published?



    I wonder if the “dead inside, everything hurting, lonely failure feeling you felt after your divorce is the one I feel daily while staying in my relationship…
    And what it would feel like if it finally stopped because I left him…


  14. PartnerNOTMaid says:

    Dear Matt,

    I am DESPERATE not to leave my husband.

    But I can no longer be his maid while my own life slowly slips away.

    I love him so much, but after 17 years of asking for his help, I am intensely resentful at the years I have lost.

    The more he acts like a selfish teenager, the more I feel like an old lady.

    I sent you an email asking for help. I hope you read it.
    You may be his only and last chance.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Tania says:

    As well as many other women that are apparently searching, desperately seeking, wanting answers (to prove they’re not totally insane) to find solutions for their marriage problems, I am so very grateful that I have simply ‘stumbled’ into finding your blog. (God knows why I haven’t found it before this) gratefully it has brought much relief! I want to say that I have never joined a blog, nor even contemplated it. I’ve joined! You’ve hit the nail completely on the head. Thank you, invaluable. Now all I have to do is keep reading and figure out how to successfully pass this over to the shitty husband.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I am afraid I have a shitty husband. He has always been spoiled and he talks way too much about what he deserves. He is generally a good guy who treats his family well but we are always in second place it. Heck we have made it 11 together years so far… & maybe I am overreacting now but he is away on business and didn’t even bother to call tonight after work to tell his children goodnight like he normally does. After not talking to him all day when I finally got a hold of him he was so far past drunk, it’s not even funny. He had been at the bar with his buddies since 5 pm (pics for proof & no cheating or anything). I freaked out and told him to get a cab back to his hotel ASAP and for him to stop being so selfish. This doesn’t happen often yet as of now it has happened 1 too many times and I am on the verge of a breakdown. I am heartbroken that the children wanted to talk to their dad and he blew us off. (Our daughter got glasses today for the first time. She was so excited & he still doesn’t know his daughter has glasses)
    Maybe I shouldn’t be so up tight… Maybe I am shitty wife because I am sitting here 2 days before Christmas contemplating divorce. I don’t even know why I am here…


  17. Dee says:

    I am 31, have been married 9 years.
    I came across this blog while Googling, “i’m sad because my husband is mean to me.” I think your posts make a bunch of sense. You seem to understand several steps you could have taken to salvage your marriage.
    Im tired, so weary of going around and around. Same crap for 9 years! I work 12 hour days, (he works 14) then I come home, help our 2 kids with homework, clean up the house some, wash clothes, do additional work from my job, then he comes home, eats, puts his feet up and I have to wait on the Grizzlies game AND ufc to go off before he rolls over and wants a cap off before he goes off to sleep real quick, often times leaving me staring at the ceiling while he snores. And if I make a mistake and fall asleep before the game goes off, then the next morning, I get the silent treatment because I neglected his needs the previous night. This sometimes makes me feel scared to be sleepy because I feel as though I will be reprimanded or treated spitefully if he didn’t get his rocks off before I doze off. He complains constantly about having to pay the bills, but I buy groceries and anything I need, and anything our children need. Heck, I even buy things he needs!! I know not to ask him to help me pay for anything the kids need, or myself for that matter. I know not to complain about the troubles in my career. I know not to tell him my feelings because then, im “naggin” so I keep it in. He leaves his shit laying around for me to pick up, knowingly pees on the toilet refusing to wipe up, and consistently finds better things to do than discuss our 10 year wedding anniversary celebration with me. When he gets real shitty he will say stuff like, “You can go live with your parents!” Imagine how that makes me feel as someone who has been watching his stomach expand further and further and praying for sex to be finished!! I found a cute little house for me and our kids a few months back, started talking to an agent and everything, but he promised he would be more kind and loving to me, so I put the breaks on prepping myself for a separation.
    Now it seems old habits are rearing their ugly heads. I’m wondering if I just pay my own mortgage someplace else, my own car insurance, and my own phone bill, would he be happy then. He would then be paying less bills, which should make him happy. I would hate to split, but I would hate living in a shitty feeling marriage much longer.

    I wish everone well on here!


  18. Hello, I am a 50 year old female struggling for almost 2 years with a relationship because I believe in love. I made a commitment and I am desperately trying to see it through. Here are my issues. I have known this man; and loved him… since I am 11 years old. We have always been close friends and I have always been attracted to him. I never believed he could see me as a relationship partner. We moved in separate directions at the age of 19 (me) and 21 (him). We married other people, failed at those marriages and some how he told me that he as in love with me in Feb of 2015. We never looked back, moved in together Jun of 15. (even though I saw major red flags) I always believed love would and could endure. Red flags are; his deliberate refusal to contribute to our life together outside of what he wants to do on any level. Even when it comes to physical love and affection its all about him, he is selfish and has issues with alcohol and marijuana as well as a wondering eye for much younger females. We fight we argue, he leaves I welcome him home. Its a vicious redundant cycle. We are still doing this and I am tired, I want to give up even though on some level I believe he loves me regardless of all these issues, I am miserable either way, with or without him so I think it is time to let him go. No sense in dragging it on any longer, but I don’t know how to end it so that we don’t hate each other. Any advice better than no advice. Let me know what you think/


  19. DW says:

    I too came across this blog while googling on marriage advice. It’s comforting to see that I’m not alone in my struggle. The most difficult thing I find is being unable to express my feelings and get support from anyone without it getting awkward.

    Married for over 20 years, together for even longer, and realizing over the last few years when my eyes were opened and my bubble finally burst when he proclaimed “I’m not in love with you anymore!” (but that I should stay with him because we built a life together), that I’m married to a selfish, critical, verbally abuse and belittling man-child. We had a fight over the holidays – he said that I was sulking during the holidays – he conveniently “forgot” that he told me to “shut up” as I expressed an opinion about something on Christmas Day – I guess I’m supposed to be ok with this? He actually shouted at me in front of the children this Christmas that “he got nothing he wanted for Christmas”, which I found out a couple of days later meant, “you didn’t buy me a Playstation 4 for Christmas”. WOW. Despite numerous “discussions” (I put this in quotes because we don’t communicate) before Xmas where he told me it didn’t matter what he got because it was about the kids, and he didn’t want or need for anything. (side note: his list of things he “doesn’t” want is very long and generally very expensive), and I try each occasion to get at least one of the growing list of items that he wants.

    Communication, or lack thereof, is a huge problem and it has been for years. Again, didn’t really notice as I was in love and it wasn’t a problem until it actually mattered (ie. when trying to discuss something serious). The one and only attempt to go to counseling took a long time to convince him, and we got through 3 or 4 sessions before he quit. He viewed counseling as my way of “getting someone to feel sorry for me” and that I need to get over it. I’ve even spoken with his immediate family about what is happening, and although they agree that things need to change, they are unwilling and reluctant to help (so I don’t ask anymore)…and they believe that things have gotten much better because we’re so good at pretending in front of others that we’re a good family. I’m at the point now where I think about separation on a daily basis, and am terrified of what that will mean financially, and psychologically — in a perfect world, everything would be amicably divided, time with the children split, and no drama, but at the sheer mention of the big “D”, I am told if I go ahead with this and he’ll institutionalize me (or other variations) — apparently his defense for the source of my frustrations and anger (it’s all my fault!!) is that I’m crazy and losing it. I know I’m a level-headed and logical person, it’s just a way to get a rise from me. His solution to our problems is to just stop talking with one another, I need to leave him alone, and mind my own business (no opinions).

    Although he is affectionate with our children, he is indifferent to me – no hugging, no kissing, sex only when months have gone by — it’s been a loooong time, argh!, our words are unkind and full of contempt, and any attempt for “conversation” results in one-word answers or snide remarks, all which I know aren’t good signs for anything. I’ve pointed out several times that the “relationship” our children see isn’t healthy for them – I don’t believe that our marriage is a good representation for them in the future as they have their own relationships when they get older. He tells the kids “mommy just wants to breakup the family” – and he doesn’t see that he’s already done that by not even wanting to resolve, communicate and engage in counseling to see if we can repair our relationship – who tells someone that they aren’t in love anymore and expect things to continue as previous without affecting the relationship?? I feel that separating, having the space away from each other, and finding ourselves again through self-reflection and eventually moving on would be the proper choice. I don’t like the sad, angry person I’ve become, and I know how I can be as I’m way happier outside the house – at work, and when talking with others. I feel tired, trapped, numb, and have no outside support.

    Am I totally off on my thinking?


    • Seekingsmarts says:

      DW, welcome to the world of textbook narcissism. You’re married to my husband. The irony of this illness is that we, the victims, are left seeking psychological help, whilst the actual person inflicting the harm, remains unscathed.


  20. KJCJ says:

    I married a shitty husband. Unfortunately it took me 15 years to put a name to it. I spent many years trying to convince myself that I was happy but the fact of the matter was that I was increasingly unhappy. I read your blog and you hit the nail on the head with respect to my feelings. The feeling of being taken for granted and unappreciated for my efforts. He is not abusive, generally not rude but he makes absolutely NO effort to be friends with me. He will only talk to me about subjects he approves of. If I want to just talk about stuff–anything-the conversation dies. It’s like playing tennis by myself. Don’t get me wrong, I KNOW i am not (nor was I) a perfect wife. I often asked him what he needed from me to be a better wife. His response: more sex. But sex was functional and performances based. No romance. Took about 15 to 20 minutes and then its over. God forbid I was on my period and didn’t want sex, he got mad. He got mad anytime there was anything that got in the way of sex. It was always my fault. Even my period was my fault. The expectation of sex was exhausting especially when there was absolutely no effort towards foreplay–that for me happened LONG before we get into the bedroom.
    I very specifically told him what I needed from him. I didn’t want any miscommunication and then followed my requests with asking what I can do to be a better wife.
    Needless to say, nothing changed. I needed to be friends with my husband, have conversations with him that were not about world peace, stock market, politics or religion. I just wanted to connect over laughter and fun. It was a no go. He is cynical and critical and our conversations become heavy and not much fun. So I sought the kinds of communication and conversations elsewhere. Now I want out but we have a young daughter. He knows now that I have checked out and NOW he makes the effort. But I’m afraid it is a little too little too late. Sad, really because I would have moved heaven and earth to have this from him years ago. He says he’s changed and now I should just forgive him. But I can’t.
    I met someone else last year. I want to be with him. My husband knows there is someone else which is why I think he has changed. But he won’t let me go.
    My question to you: Is it all about control? Why is he so interested in keeping me now that he knows there is someone else? Is it fear of being alone? Cause I don’t think it’s real love. Not the healthy kind that sustains a marriage. My husband has NO friends but me and he depends on me to be his everything. Why does a guy do that? I can’t be his everything.


  21. SSS says:

    My husband and I have had our ups and downs over the past 11 years. He went through a phase where he was really, I mean REALLY mean to me, when his parents were passing—we took care of both of them at home. I chalked it up to the stress of what he/we were going through. After they passed though, it seemed like our relationship stabilized: we did everything together, we made love often, he sent me nice texts during the day—I sent him nice texts. In 2014 I became pregnant with our first and only child—a boy. I was SO thrilled when the ultra sound showed it was a boy because he is an only child and his father was the only son in his family. I was thrilled that the family name would be carried on. My eyes welled up with tears. When I was about 4 months pregnant, though, he stopped want to be intimate with me and, shortly after, he refused intimacy with me and began to shut me out. Our son was born in the summer of 2015 and my labor lasted a grueling 4 days (I chose to attempt a natural birth, which I partially accomplished). He was ABSOLUTELY horrible to me during the labor, unsupportive of my choices—even though we had spoken about this extensively—and completely incapable and unwilling to be my support during the whole process. Had it not been for my brother and my amazing sister-in-law who were there with me the whole time while my husband went home to sleep comfortably at night, I’m not sure I would have made it through. We have a beautiful baby boy who is bouncing with health and was born at 9lbs 3 ounces. After our son was born I noticed my husband was becoming less and less involved in helping out with th baby. Unfortunately I had to start a new job at just 10 weeks post-partum and I was not doing well. I had a serious case of post-partum anxiety due to the extensive labor, lack of sleep, lack of help, lack of empathy, etc. I did not sleep for 5 nights straight before the new job started and at the end of the first day at work I had to check myself into a psychiatric facility for help. I begged my husband to please let me go see a therapist, but he had refused and told me I needed to “pull it together”. He finally agreed to pay the bill for the psychiatric help after I was taken there by the school counselor at my work. Long story short, a year passes and my husbands treatment of me deteriorates to an almost unbearable point. I decided to do some investigating into why he was treating me so badly, as he would deny treating me badly if I ever brought it up to him. Come to find out, by scanning his Twitter, that he was comunicating with some girl from Las Vegas. I also found proof in his e-mail and sent him a text telling him I knew where he was—he had taken to working out and suddenly caring for his appearance as well as taking off without telling me where he was going for extended periods of time. Needless to say, I blew my top when he got home. He swore to me that it had only been going on for a month. A few more days pass, the treatment continues and I do a little more research. Come to find out, he had reserved a hotel for a romantic encounter with said person on the day that our son was due. He lied to me that weekend saying he was going to a city nearby for a weekend to himself before the baby arrived. Come to find out tonight, 6 months past the initial discovery, and almost 2 years into his affair that it is still going on—she is now giving him an ultimatum to leave me. I am SOOOOO close to calling it quits. I told him tonight he has until Friday to decide whether he wants to go to a marriage counselor or to a mediator to negotiate the terms of the dissolution of our marriage. Contrary to what his parents put him through, I don’t want to raise my son in a loveless marriage where the parties are cheating on one another and hate each others guts. Friday…it’s make or break. Please keep us in your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exhausted says:

      Ohhhhhh hunny. Please get out. He doesn’t deserve any more chances. Take your son and make a happy life for both of you. You deserve so much more.

      Liked by 1 person

      • SSS says:

        Yes… I’m beginning to think you’re right. Thank you for the kind words.


        • SSS says:

          I will add a little more context by saying that we were VERY much in love when we met and were engaged for the first year. I was his ear, his support, and he encouraged me to pursue my dreams. We were very much in love. He thought I was the sexiest thing around. Things changed almost immediately upon our getting married.


          • Bronze says:

            He is actively putting your physical (STIs), mental and emotional health at risk. He doesn’t care about you anymore. Get your ducks in a row because if he isn’t actively hiding income, he is definitely spending ‘marriage money’ on that w***e. You can live without that man – millions of women all over the world bring up children on their own, very well. He was nice until he ‘trapped’ you. For some reason men haven’t realised women in the old days stayed in marriage because they would be homeless without them. Women now keep jobs and can get help however, men are still treating women as if marriage is the end game and they immediately revert to type the minute they think you won’t leave. The guy writing this blog IS a nice guy who was oblivious. Your guy is not an oblivious nice guy – he is actively dangerous for your health and not nice at all – not even underneath. That part was an act. Time to leave and build a life.


            • L says:

              I agree with Bronze and Exhausted. This is a bad, bad, bad situation and you need to get out, STAT. I know it’s hard to give up the hope you developed during your first year of marriage. I don’t think he necessarily duped you; I think he just changed for a while and then changed back. See a family law attorney and start planning your exit. It will take some time to do it right. Please make a happy life for yourself and your son.


  22. Lealie says:

    My husband to a “T” except he does help around the home. But if you were to ask him it would just be him doing everything. I’m not a perfect wife, but I’m not a mean person. He told me I was fat. I’m not fat. He told me I wasn’t a good mom. I am. He told me I need to break the spaghetti before boiling. Who cares? It always turns into an argument and is my fault. But do I deserve to be screamed at in my face? Or have things thrown at me? I got online looking for mentally abusive husband advice and found this. Made me smile. Married two and half years. Getting worse everyday. I’m afraid of him.


    • Kate says:

      I’ve always said the mental abuse is worse than the physical abuse because the physical abuse bruises eventually go away. Honey, take it from me, its going to get worse, Leave!


  23. Hey I mostly just want to say hello and ask for advice on blogging. I’m brand new to it, as u can see via my no followers & doubt I will ever get many readers but how did you secure a following?
    I also don’t do any other social media which I suspect will only work against me with something like this.


  24. Kathrine says:

    I’m a wife and mother and cried big tears onto my phone while reading each volume. This has put my exact thoughts and feelings into print. I’d like to share this with my husband but any link I share online is opened with rolled eyes and every time I want to discuss my unhappiness I’m accused of being a “victim”, broken record, and of course crazy.

    How can I tactfully share this with my husband?

    And thank you.


    • Spitfire says:

      “Tactfully” showing a husband an article about shitty husbands, is probably a contradiction in terms. Katherine, what you’re saying is that your husband is a shitty husband. (I realize that may be true!)

      But do you really think there’s any way he’ll read this, and not feel defensive or attacked and insulted? He won’t slap his forehead and suddenly “get it”. Maybe get a book you BOTH read, or a counselor you BOTH see, would be more likely to effect change.

      Try the Divorce Busting website if you want more forums, advice and support. (This blog is cool, truly. And parts of it would benefit husbands IF THEY chose to read it on their own.) But when women want their husbands to change – but cannot see anything significant to change in their own approaches, I see little hope of marital success. You only control yourself. That lesson is key, but it’s a hard one.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. So Matt – I have a question and maybe it would be fodder for a blog post. From the male perspective – what is the impact of loss of trust from the wife on the male psyche? How does this impair ability to function in the relationship and does the despair it causes just result in giving up trying to regain it ? Not sexual infidelity loss of trust, but honestly worded and kind explanation of why the wife feels like the parent, how repeated secrets and their discovery makes the wife wonder what the next one will be and how learning of secret emotional relationships makes the wife hate his password protected always present iPhone.
    To what extent (as a man) do “you” see it as the wife’s job to fix her shit ? I know your answer – but around trust and facing loss of it, what do men need to hear to make it safe to be vulnerable to their vulnerable partner?

    Liked by 1 person

  26. inattentivegirlfriend says:

    Ok. Here’s where we are… We both feel the distance growing between us. He wants to be closer. I want to be closer. And here is where you’ll find the problem. We both have different definitions of closer. I miss the friendship side of things, the companionship, the simple, easy, fun side of things. He misses the intimacy, emotion, sexual,affection side of things. I feel like I need to feel like there’s substance in our relationship outside of the bedroom, and eventually it will naturally spill over into the more intimate parts of our relationship, and he feels like if there’s substance in the intimacy area it will naturally flow over into the companionship area.
    I miss conversations that aren’t about deep emotions and the status of our relationship. I mean can’t we just hang out, doing our own things in the same space and feel comfortable? Can’t we just talk about elephants, or stupid commercials or what movies we want to see, or anything else, that doesn’t leave me feeling emotionally drained.
    For a little background on “us” – we’ve been living together for almost 10 years. Committed, not married. He’s the softer, more sensitive, giving, nurturing type.He’s outward searching. I’m more of the calm, balanced, unemotional, introverted type. I’m inword searching. He’s lonlier when he’s with me. I’m left feeling like he deserves better, I can’t love him in a way that he believes it. Am I wrong to insist we learn to be friends again before we work on the bigger things? Can’t I show him affection and attention with out feeling like I let him down at the end of the night because it didn’t end in sex? If the night has been fabulous and I think we bonded and feel closer and satisfied and happy. But, If we don’t have sex, he can’t see how the rest of the night was valuable at all. He doesn’t feel any closer than we were to start with, in fact he feels like it’s getting even worse. Help!


  27. Kate says:

    So if you’re the shitty husband, what about the shitty wife? And there are a lot of us out there. I’m a shitty wife. I cheat on my husband. Why? Because I got to your Vol 4 and you were describing me. But does that justify what I’m doing? Absolutely not! Does that justify what millions of shitty wives are doing? I guarantee you there are a lot of shitty wives on this site right now.
    And what about those shitty wives who are just shitty wives? The Ashley Madison websites are full of them. I know those ladies. They are married to men who most of us ladies could only dream of. But they’re “bored” so they cheat while their husbands are at work.
    That’s not the reason I cheat. I cheat because I’m married to the shittiest husband a girl could be married to. I married a textbook narcissistic sociopath. But that still does not justify me being a shitty wife by cheating on him. Two wrongs do not make a right so by alluding to the fact that “she’s going to cheat, if she hasn’t already. Or she’s thinking of it” and making it sound like it’s justified, it’s kind of wrong on your end too. Don’t you think?
    Please don’t think I’m judging you! Like I can from where I’m sitting! Ha! But just trying figure that one out. And if there are wives on here reading that or haven’t considered cheating, you may very well be putting that idea in their heads.
    Ladies, if you’re reading this, don’t cheat. Work it out or leave him. You’re only cheating yourself. And you’re probably going to end up cheating with a married man anyway so there’s a wife somewhere at home, just like you, believing her husband is “working late”. So don’t do it to “yourself”.

    Liked by 3 people

  28. Anonyomous says:

    Hey Matt –

    Just wondering if you have any advice on dealing with passive agresiveness in a relationship – particularly a marriage.

    Dealing with infidelity, and upon a real thorough review of our marriage, I realize that I’ve been dealing with this type of shit for a long long time. Only I didn’t know how to catagorize it.

    Whether our marriage survives is anyone’s guess (my guess is it won’t).

    I guess what I’m asking is how does a person deal with this issue head-on without freaking the PA person out? You know, for my next lifetime commitment. And do passive agressive people ever knock it the fuck off?



    • Anonyomous says:

      Just to be clear – I get that I have my faults, but I do not think a person needs to cheat in order to be in control. It’s the most disrespectful, himiliating thing you can do to a person. And, in my case at least, it’s done some real, negative, lasting emotional damage.


      • Matt says:

        No disclaimers or explanation needed. Promise. I can sometimes understand why someone in a particularly neglectful or abusive relationship, or one in which their partner is with other people, I can understand why people do it. Truly.

        But I would never defend, condone, or justify it. Not ever.

        I’m confident what you’ve been through is horrendous. And I’m very, very sorry.

        Please bear with me RE: your actual question.


      • Seekingsmarts says:

        Hey Anonymous,
        There is no coming back from infidelity. I just dont care what anyone says. As for passive aggressive, this is a sickness. Whichever one of you has it, needs to have it dealt with it. It shows that you have no respect for the person you are showing this passive aggressiveness towards. And if that’s your partner, then I sorry, that’s how infidelity occurs. It’s just a vicious cycle.
        I’ve been married to a narcissist who thinks PA is normal behaviour. I then run into the arms of another man to ease the pain. Doesn’t make it right but our relationship is over. Once infidelity comes into play and the other party is aware, it’s over, hon. Sorry!


  29. Thank you Matt. I wanted to share this with you. Happy Easter 🐣

    So we boiled it down – face to face with him nodding appropriately and me doing the talking. I’ve learned a lot through personality types, discussion and Matt’s dissection of the hapless male in a marriage.

    His blank looks when I speak of issues and household have come to mean two things to me – either a) unimportant or b) you can do this so off you go.

    I told him neither answer is okay as a partner – these things are important or I wouldn’t have brought them up and yes, I can do it but being alone in it is lonely and parental. All said gently referencing the work and reading and discussion I have done as this is so important to me. I don’t need him to engage in all of this part, but I need him to hear the talking points I bring and we decide together if they have meaning for us.

    It can’t always be on his schedule but I am quite aware of it and do my best. (Limit challenging conversation before ADHD drugs kick in and avoid after 9pm when they wear off – we’ve done that for years). (Un)fortunately I strive to live a mindful existence which means sometimes I just gotta say what I gotta say when I gotta say it. Keeping it in makes it fester and spin (biologic anxiety kicks in). I need the same concessions he gives me. That’s partnership.

    So we head into the day with me now feeling heard, him processing that not feeling so made me feel very lonely and I will now take on the parenting task that I AM better suited to do (addressing son’s emotional challenges with him one on one). Two hours ago I knew I had to do it and just needed a little connection with the other adult in the house to bolster me. And he’s happily working away on his steampunk time machine clock (pic to follow at some point) knowing I’m not pissed off somewhere.

    He’s an amazingly talented artist and a fundamentally good man. I’m an emotive, expressive and honest individual who wants everyone to have peace. I think I gave up and matched his emotional approach – everything else just got so hard and we were in survival mode.
    Maybe now we’re gonna do what we would have done if we’d dated for a few years instead of getting married 9 months after we met, or not had three children in 3 1/2 years while establishing my medical practice and both had some pretty dramatic medical issues.

    Life is hard on a couple. Life is hard. But you just gotta do it.


  30. Hugh Mann says:

    It strikes me as a new reader that a majority of your comments are from women, mostly saying ‘that’s it ! He’s nailed it!’.

    I’ve only read a few posts, but the advice seems to be summed up in this song

    I just wondered – do you have much feedback from men who’ve taken your recommendations on board and improved their marriages thereby (or not)?


    • Matt says:

      Short answer: Yes. I have feedback from men who’ve taken my recommendations on board and kept their marriages together accordingly.

      All depends on timing. So many guys are like me, and didn’t make any discernable effort to grow or change until she was already fully prepared to leave.

      Long answer:

      There some very specific guys, yes, that engage in the comments and talk about changes they made and how now their kids don’t have to cry and bounce between homes all the time.

      Most of the guys write me privately because most guys don’t like putting their personal marriage struggles and fears on display.

      And strictly from a math standpoint, (I’m a digital marketer by trade) women are MUCH more likely to be researching marriage and relationship problems on the internet than men, and an even higher percentage of them are more likely to comment publically. Simple marketing demographics.

      Now, all of that said. What is it about the opinions of wives, or THOUSANDS of wives reporting the EXACT SAME STORY that you don’t think is useful information for the average guy to know?

      Don’t you think it’s worth paying attention to the oft-repeated stories wives tell about what led them to choose a painful divorce they didn’t want?

      That might read like an accusation. I don’t mean for it to. You asked a fair question.

      RE: Advice

      I am sorry about anything that comes off like giving “advice.” I’m not a doctor. I’m not even particularly smart. I’m just some divorced idiot willing to tell first-person stories and publically try to ask the right questions about, well, everything.

      Big-picture, I know precisely dick.

      But small-picture? I have four years of personal stories, private emails, blog comments, millions of social media shares, republished stories in publications all over the world in several languages, authors/therapists/professors with PhDs looking to interview me or collaborate with me share my work.

      None of that makes me right. Or smart. Or good. Or cool. Or any other thing.

      BUT. I think it’s fair to conclude that this is a topic that resonates with many people, and I think it’s fair to conclude that the ideas shared here have merit and can possibly contribute to fewer divorces and maybe even marriages that don’t suck.

      If I can help people do that, I think it’s time well spent. I’ll understand if you disagree. You won’t be the first to think me a stupid idiot.


  31. Cj says:

    At first I thought your blog about treating strangers better than your spouse was written by my exhusband! Also towards the end of our marriage is stress level started to spell out enough that he was sometimes having outbursts with others. Made me feel very worthless… everyone else is worthy of respect but not the person he was supposed to be closest too. So yeah, now I’m divorced too.


  32. Annabel says:

    Loved your open letter to shitty husbands – I sent it to mine.

    A grateful wife.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Marcie says:

    I too stumbled on this blog while searching for advice. Everything you have written makes sense. But my question is, where does one go from here? I read everything. I see it all, but how do I or we, fix all of the broken pieces? I know counseling, but so far, no luck with that.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Sana says:

    Your message resonates with me and the collective life experience of your audience has given me the courage to ask this question. First a little background.

    I am a 31yo professional taking a divorce from my 32yo husband of 4.5yrs (together for a total of 8yrs). This is a decision taken by me but is receiving a lot of resistance from my husband. We have been separated for a year (although he moved back in for me to care for him after a car accident for 5months of it) he has now moved out and we’re just stalling before finalising the divorce, he still wants us to get back together. My husband is a wonderful man, kind, caring, considerate and very intelligent, probably aspergers. To make matters worse we come from different cultural background which have posed their own additional challenges but luckily our families have never been a problem. We have no children. Neither of us have been unfaithful or had an affair.

    Where I think he/ we went wrong is priorities. We are both in very demanding jobs and as a result prioritised our jobs over each other. This distance between us grew from just less time spent together, to him living out in the week for work and me finding my emotional fixes in friends and family. We are very different people, so previously we have had to work on finding interests/ activities in common. As the demand on our time grew we had less time to find ‘compromises’ and instead did things we both enjoyed. except without the other person because they didn’t want to. He would like to wake up early. i would like to have a lie in. He would like to go for hikes/ bike rides. I would like to go to the cinema/ restaurant. He would like to go to the gym at 7am, i 2pm. As time progressed our daily routines separated and nothing in our days necessarily required the other person.

    I progressively grew unhappy and became a real bitch of a wife. I wasn’t happy to see him come home when he did, I didn’t have anything to say to him, When I spoke to him I felt he didn’t understand me, So it became easier to just not make conversation. I didn’t feel like dressing up for him, I gained a lot of weight, I slowly progressed to not wanting to look after the house or even do the basic house chores. Whilst he communicated his unhappiness about this he took over more and more of all our family chores and did so with a smile.

    During this time I repeatedly told him that i was unhappy in the marriage, as the years progressed my behaviour got worse and ‘ i am unhappy in the marriage’ just became white noise. Just something I said. He was dismissive of it. And i suppose to some extent I was so exhausted even I saw it as a tick i had developed.

    I couldn’t figure out why it was I was unhappy. On reflection I think it is because I felt emotionally unfulfilled. I feel we lost our ’emotional connection’. All my needs, emotional and physical were slowly met by others. And one day it felt like we were two separate lives living under the same roof. He became more of a roommate than a husband. Our sex life had taken a nose dive a long time ago. Now the thought of it made me cringe. I stopped finding him attractive. I still love him more than anything in the world. but the idea of a physical pursuit with him feels unnatural and incestuous.

    The time apart/ counselling/ his accident has allowed us to connect on an emotional level again but I can’t bring the sexual attraction back. We recognise that a lot of his emotional problems are due to aspergers personality type. and i still feel like he isn’t able to empathise with me or that he ‘gets me’. I sometimes wonder whether he ever did? Conversation seems mostly exchange of information rather than emotional connection. But i know because of the life we have spent together that he does know me to some extent. He knows what i like, he treats my family with kindness, i love his family, but in conversation I can’t feel connected. He doesn’t excite me on an intellectual level anymore.

    I know that he loves me more than any man ever will and its frightening me to leave that behind. So my question is: Can sexual attraction be regenerated? and just knowing that someone loves me more than anything in the world is that enough of an ’emotional connection’? I look forward to your and your readers’ thoughts on the matter.

    Thank you


  35. Alicia says:

    Ok Matt, here’s my question.

    How can a man/husband be perfectly happy/ok in the marriage relationship, when his wife is clearly not? How can one be happy when their spouse is miserable, lonely, sad, and desperate to feel loved/valued?

    I’ve asked my husband this question a number of times. He says he’s perfectly happy, I’m perfect for him and he feels lucky to have me and our kids. He says he loves me more than anything in the world. Yet he never meets my needs. I’ve explicitly explained what I need from the relationship to feel loved, and have my bucket filled, but he refuses to do any of those things, because he sees no problem and he’s happy with the way things are, and he is says he’s so lucky and blessed… which seems to me to be a passive aggressive way to make me feel guilty for not being grateful and feeling blessed to have such a wonderful family.

    Thanks for this blog! It gives me a little hope for the male population….I appreciate your airing your wrongs and pain for the benefit of others. Truly a selfless service! I just wish my husband would get it figured out and decide that our marraige and family were with the effort it would take to truly have a good relationship instead of a one sided one. I’m so tired, lonely and sad. I feel kinda jaded and dead inside. Ready to be done and try to find happiness in a man free life….


    • Matt says:

      Hey Alicia.

      You’re not going to like this answer (and it MIGHT not be true, but it’s the only way I know how to reconcile what you just said)…

      He doesn’t believe you.

      He flat-out doesn’t feel ANYTHING close to how you feel about a variety of these things, and assume you’ll come around eventually.

      It’s subtle. Nuanced. Frighteningly so.

      You’re experiencing the BIGGEST SOCIAL THREAT TO THE HUMAN POPULATION. Right now. You’re upset and frustrated, and will eventually get depressed and resentful if nothing ever changes.

      And then you’ll leave.

      And with the exception of everyone else who really SEES this process, a lot of people will blame you for your “choice to be miserable” and judge you for your lack of gratitude for your husband and your selfishness for breaking up your children’s home.

      People don’t seem to get it. But I don’t blame them either, because it took me a lot of work and uncomfortable honesty to get to where I could see it.

      Until I could mentally and emotionally SUPPORT my wife’s decision to end our marriage and remove herself from the situation, I coudn’t see this for what it is.

      Here are the two best things I’ve ever written on this… but you’ll find the real value in the comments.

      The same leap of faith you need from your husband to actively empathize with your experience is largely the same leap of faith you’ll need to make to accept what I’m saying here…

      My sincere best wishes for you and your family, Alicia. Seriously.

      Here’s the first…

      Here’s the second…


      • Alicia says:

        Thank you for the quick response! I will take a long hard look at those articles. I really want it to work, but am growing depressed/resentful.
        I just reread my comment and I sound like a man hater, I am not…. just not sure I want to live with mine anymore. Not sure if I want to continue setting the example of an unhappy marriage to my kids. My parents were unhappily married. My dad was super un-romantic, controlling and condescending towards my mom. My mom was sad and depressed to the point that it affected her ability to be a mother/wife. (Now that my mom has passed away my dad unhealthily memorializes her. I think out of guilt for the way he treated her). All three of my brothers turned into my dad to a certain degree in the way they treat their wives. One is much worse than the other two.

        I so desperately want to be a chain breaker, to have a have a healthy example to set for my kids, nieces and nephews, neighbor kids, whoever is watching! I want to teach my boys how to be good husbands/fathers and my girls how to not fall for “a shitty husband”, to genuinely be happy.

        Again, thank you for your contribution to marriages, families and ultimately society. I too hope to be able to be a contribution to society in the way I raise my kids. Unfortunately they learn by example, and I’m afraid we are failing them. I believe you are making a difference, and we need more men and woman like you willing to talk about uncomfortable things. Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Matt says:

          This was really nice to read, Alicia. The kind parts about my writing here, I mean. I’m certainly not a fan of your observations about your brothers and father. (And am eternally sorry you lost your mother and children’s grandma.)

          I just think this is the great crisis of our time and that there isn’t a critical mass of people talking about it, or doing anything about it, and I think that’s because no one knows how hard divorce really is until they’re going through it, and suffering the fallout for years and decades afterward.

          People don’t realize they need to be afraid of this.

          People don’t realize we are accidentally setting our children up to have shitty adult relationships, which they and our grandchildren will suffer from.

          And I get it. I almost feel silly saying it because it SEEMS less significant than all of this stuff we watch and read in the news. It SEEMS less significant than cancer and heart disease and Alzheimer’s and gun violence and all these other things.

          But I think when you stop and do the math, you realize this problem — this destruction of love and homes, and the damage that can do the hearts and minds of the hurt or angry couples, and the hurt or angry children involved… this is fundamentally the biggest thing going on societally.

          Terrorism is scary, but everyone talks about it, and we have billions of dollars funneled to agencies whose sole purpose is to stop it.

          Cancer is scary, but we have MAJOR awareness campaigns and fundraisers and infrastructure in place to fight it.

          But divorce? And this unspoken way in which HONESTLY DECENT human beings slowly and subtley destroy each other’s hearts and mental health, without realizing it, and without the ability to accurately explain how or why it’s even happening?

          I think it’s truly the most frightening thing facing humanity because it seems as if no one realizes it’s a threat.

          And it will just keep on taking victims — good people who deserve better — until we figure out how to effectively communicate to the next generations through words and action HOW to have healthy, long-lasting relationships.

          The world will fundamentally change for the better once people see this the same way they see cancer prevention awareness campaigns, or Don’t Text and Drive ads, or anything in life where something no one was thinking about became something EVERYONE is at least aware of.

          That will be an excellent thing.


          • Sana says:

            did you have any thoughts on my question?


          • Alicia says:

            Thank you. I read the articles you pointed me to, and I agree with you 100%. I’m going to attempt to put the suggestions for wives to communicate better in to practice, and hope for the best. I guess I should mention that I know exactly what divorce is. This is both my husband’s and I’s second marriage. I have 3 kids with my ex. We lost #2 at 2 days old, he was born 8 weeks early, given a 98% chance to live and didn’t. It’s often said that losing a child makes or breaks a marraige. It broke mine. Ultimately miscommunication is what broke mine, and is currently breaking mine. (I guess obviously, or I wouldn’t have stumbled onto your blog, via a Google search) I’m hear to tell you that the divorce was more painful than burying my baby, and that is not easy to say. I thank you sincerely, for your insight. You have given me the motivation to not give up just yet, even though it is extremely hard to endure the loneliness and heartache.
            I believe you have hit the nail on the head. I also agree 100% with your above reply. I guess the question now is how do we get a divorce ruins lives and society campaign started?!


  36. Jennie says:

    I read your blog after yet another replay of a breakdown between my husband and I today. I’m so hurt and drained that I’m having a hard time even making dinner. I was planning on making him a cheese cake but now the desire is gone. He is doing everything you say you did. I’m older so I know what’s coming already. I have begged and pleaded and done all the asking nicely and getting books etc. I’m still at the point of wanting to be married bit IDK for how much longer. The pain is so intense that it’s dragging me I to a depression. How do I wake him up before he’s left with his Shoulda Coulda Wouldas?


  37. A.R says:

    Once your wife left and was done, she was officially done? Despite these articles where you’ve now “seen the light”?


  38. Chad says:

    Hey Matt,

    Wondering if you have listened to this podcast from wbur in Boston? Was curious about your thoughts on it. I found that it relates to a lot of your writings. It might lead to an interesting post by you. I would suggest giving it a listen.

    -Chad from Boston


  39. Jennifer says:

    Will you marry me? How did you figure all of this stuff out? I’m studying to become a Marriage and Family Therapist and I will absolutely prescribe your blog to everyone!! Seriously- how did you figure it out? And will you please teach them all? And marry me?

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Brenda says:

    I’m in love with your open letter to shitty husbands. I found your blog by searching “my husband is a dick,” because, well, he is. I wish he could read what you write. But, if I send it to him, I’ll never live it down. I bet more women read your blog than men. How could a man stumble upon your advice…especially if he has no clue what an ass he is?


  41. Lost says:

    Hi Matt,

    I’ve been with with my wife for over a decade. We have a beautiful boy who’s just over a year old now.

    Throughout our time together, I’ve been guilty of every (seemingly harmless) male infraction that you’d mentioned in some of your articles. Playing Call of Duty for hours, never failing to be infront of the telly whenever Roger Federer plays and binge-watching Game of Thrones. When the baby came, I’d reasoned that adjustments must be made. So on my own accord, the PS4 is untouched for over a year now, the telly stays shut during a Federer game and GoT only airs on my smartphone in my daily commute to work. I made sure to do 90% of the chores, feed, bathe and play with my boy and I’d made it a rule to leave my iphone/ipad untouched in all of baby’s waking hours (except when I have to take an urgent work call, which is rare).

    There have been a couple of conflicts throughout the past year. Once when I used the wrong setting on the dryer and damaging my wife’s clothing, the one time (when baby was about 2mths old) when I elected to watch GoT when baby was sleeping (instead of catching a few winks) in the daytime and ended up falling asleep at night when I was supposed to be tending to the baby, once when I put a wrong item into the steriliser and generally botching up on a few things in the same ilk. Each time, my wife had responded very angrily.

    I should also add that my wife had done 99% of the planning for (1) Baby’s diet (2) Purchasing of baby’s toys (3) Deciding his enrolment at a playgym (4) Playdates with other parents (5) His Birthday party. I’d simply done as much of the menial legwork for all the above as much I could.

    Things came to a head few days ago when I accidentally broke a home appliance. My wife was in the background telling me that the way I was handling the appliance was not how it works, but I did not listen to her and did it the way I thought was right, and broke it. Right then, she had a meltdown I had never seen before. For the first time, she described me as a moron and I saw in her eyes pure, unadurated, potent – hate and resentment.

    I was googling around and then I came across your blog and I must say I literally froze when I read your point about how a single event can be experienced differently, but are just as real for 2 different people. All the times I got angry and confused at her reaction when I botched things up, and I imagined myself in her position and feeling that I would never lose my cool at her had she been the one who made a mistake…

    Well, right now, she’s hurting and I’m hurting. I do really want to make things right and get back to happier days.

    Anyway pardon my ramblings and what I’ve just wrote does not even count as a question. I’ll like to think that I’ve been awakened but like you said, people have known for generations that a diet of cheeseburgers causes obesity, smoking kills…but…well, you get the drift. I’m going to try to make things right now. I don’t know if its going to work out. But I’ll try.


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