Aug 212008
 

Yes, you can make a bad relationships better – especially if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and dig in. These tips for fixing relationship problems will help you fall in love all over again!

Before the tips, here’s one of my favorite quips:

“Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years. That is what makes a marriage last — more than passion or even sex.” ~ Simone Signoret.

The stronger your threads are, the better your relationship or marriage will be.

One of the most popular relationship improvement books on Amazon is How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It. The authors (Love and Stosny) say talking things out isn’t always the best way to improve a bad relationship or achieve more connection and closeness.

So, zip your lips and read these tips!

10 Tips for Improving a Bad Relationship

Untangle money issues – they contribute to couples problems

“Often, when couples argue about money, it’s not money that’s the problem,” says William Harley, PhD, author of His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage. “Instead, the money fights are a byproduct of relationship neglect.”

Money can become a weapon when one spouse uses the other’s spending habits as ammunition or when a spouse spends money to get even. To improve a bad relationship, figure out exactly what you’re arguing about — especially if you tend to fight about money.

Take risks together, as a couple

Trying new things together, such as sky diving or learning about astronomy, unites you as a couple. Psychology professor Leaf Van Boven from the University of Colorado explains that happiness is found in what you do (not what you buy) because experiences are open to positive reinterpretations, become a meaningful part of your identity, and contribute to a happy marriage or relationship.

Learn how to express anger

Expressing anger and resolving conflict not only improve a bad relationship and keeps your love alive, it also lengthens your life span. “When couples get together, one of their main jobs is reconciliation about conflict,” says Ernest Harburg, researcher and professor emeritus at the University of Michigan. “Usually nobody is trained to do this.” His research reveals that couples who suppress anger are twice as likely to face early death as those who express it.

Commit to checking in with each other every day

“Commit to checking in with each other every day – or at least a few times a week without distractions,” says Marriage and Family Counselor Lisa Brookes Kift. “Marriages often get “dry” when couples get busy and don’t prioritize each other and get a read or take the pulse of how the other is feeling.”

This tip for improving a bad relationship will help you stay committed.

Find reasons to laugh (laughter is a surprising fix for couples problems!)

Kift also suggest “cracking each other up” with  stupid pet names, funny looks, and private jobs. Humor binds couples together and de-escalating conflict.  It also demonstrates friendship in the marriage, which is very important.

Stop criticizing, stonewalling, and being defensive in your relationship

Be mindful of criticism, contempt, stonewalling and defensiveness.  If a lot of any or all of these exist in a marriage – research has shown that the chances are much higher for divorce. Criticism and contempt do not keep love alive; in fact, it’ll thwart your relationship goals for good.

Remember your romantic beginnings

“To improve a bad relationship, visualize the person you dated and married,” says psychologist Bruce Eimer. “Remember that person is still alive inside of him. The stressors and tribulations of life may have made that inner goodness hard to see. But, if you can remember who you fell in love with, you’ll improve your marriage.”

Appreciate your partner – be grateful for your love

Look at your husband and take a moment to appreciate all of the things that he does for you and gives you.  You may in fact want to express your appreciation for him verbally and/or non-verbally. To keep your relationship strong, tell your husband what you like about him and watch him beam.  You’ll beam too!

Keep your intimate life alive and healthy

Knowing how to say “I love you” in small daily acts of love will improve a bad relationship. Making one day a week a special day–a day during which to schedule a “goody time” — can help your marriage.  This can be any shared activity that you both can appreciate (such as a dinner out, going to the movies, etc.).

If you struggle to express love, read 80 Ways to Say “I Love You”.

Keep communicating

Research shows that contempt and holding back communication are harbingers of marital trouble and potential failure. So, find things about your spouse to appreciate and respect, and don’t stonewall.  To improve a bad relationship, you need to keep talking, touching, and connecting with each other.

If you have a hard time standing up for yourself, read How to Say No to Your Boyfriend.

If you have any questions or thoughts on improving a bad relationship, please share below…

 

How to Get Your Ex Back

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  90 Responses to “10 Tips for Improving a Bad Relationship”

  1. Hi Amanda,

    I’m glad you and your ex are interesting in working things out and improving your relationship! That’s a great sign, very healthy.

    That said, however, other than telling him that his actions and insults are ruining your relationship, there’s not much you can do to show him he has a problem! If he doesn’t hear you, then he doesn’t hear you. If he can’t understand how his words are hurting you and your relationship, then I can’t see what you can do to make him see the light.

    A therapist might help him see what’s going on. If you can’t afford couples counseling — which, by the way, may be the best way to go, especially if your ex has anger issues. Problems like that don’t just go away for couples — he really needs to deal with the source of his anger. And, he needs to learn ways to express it without making your relationship bad!

    Some colleges and universities have free or inexpensive counseling for students; I suggest looking into that. And, you could try calling your pastor or priest if you belong to a spiritual organization, because they often offer free counseling.

    I also suggest reading up on anger management, and how anger affects love relationships. Your ex needs to read those books too — not just you! You need to read them as a couple, and discuss the ideas.

    Finally, you could consider talking to someone he trusts, who can then talk to him. For instance, if he’s really close to his dad or uncle, then talk to his dad or uncle and see if he’ll talk to your ex. This may not work — it depends on your ex, his relationships, etc. It’s just something to consider.

    I hope this helps, and wish you all the best…

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  2. Also he has problems with insulting, its his response for many things

  3. My,well,now ex has anger problems to the point where he doesnt see what he does.

    I love him with all my heart and we were engaged. We both want to work things out but how can i?

    What steps can i take to show him he has a problem?

    Where can we get help?( we dont have a lot of money, im in college and thats where all my money goes)

  4. Thanks for this tip for a happy marriage — the book sounds interesting!

  5. Good tip about reading books together – here’s one that’s an easy read and will motivate a couple to make their relationship the best it can be: “A Short Guide to a Happy Marriage,” listed #1 self-help relationship book by the Boston Globe.

  6. Bonita,

    I just saw your comment and question now — I can’t believe it slipped by me! I’m so sorry; I hope you can still use this late response.

    When was the last time your boyfriend had a physical checkup? Sometimes health issues can affect our love lives and libido. He may have a health condition that is diminishing his intimacy levels. As he says, it may have nothing to do with you — he may just need a checkup!

    If it’s not health related, you might want to think about seeing a counselor who specializes in intimacy issues. An objective third person might help you and your boyfriend figure out why he’s not as physically intimate as he once was.

    Another option is to read books on physical intimacy — read them together, as a couple. If you and he can figure out the cause of his lack of interest (stress? health issues?), then you’re more likely to find a solution and improve your relationship.

    I hope this helps a little — and that things have already improved in your love life! Let me know how it’s going — I’d love to hear from you again. I promise it won’t take me so long to respond next time :-)

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  7. Hi Anthonette,

    It doesn’t sound like you’re doing anything “wrong” in your marriage — but it seems like your husband is withdrawing from you physically and emotionally. It’s impossible for me to say why this is happening….but it IS possible for you to figure it out!

    I suggest that you and your husband pick a quiet time (hard with six kids, I bet!), sit down, and talk about what’s been happening in your marriage. Be gentle when you ask what’s been going on with him and why he hasn’t responded to your needs. Try not to judge him, get defensive or angry, or argue. Just be quiet and listen. Give him time and space to figure out how to say what he has to say.

    Of course, you can’t force him to reveal how he feels. In fact, he himself might not know what’s going on…but it’d be great if you could open the door to communication and connection. And — be patient! Men need more time and space to express themselves than women do.

    I also recommend reading Dr Laura Schlessinger’s books about marriage — she wrote one called “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands.” Basically, it’s about fixing couples problems by giving love, affection, and attention.

    Finally, you might ask him how you can be a better wife. Ask for three ways to improve yourself as a partner…if you do those things, then he’ll be far more likely to give you what you need in your relationship. Often, improving bad relationships is less about getting what we need from our partners — and more about giving all that we can give. The more we give, the more we get in return!

    I hope this helps — I encourage you to try these things and let me know how it goes after a couple of months have passed.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  8. Nita,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your husband. It’s such a betrayal to learn he was cheating on you, and it’ll be a long, difficult journey towards trusting him again. And, I’m so proud of you for asking him to leave! You were strong and courageous, and you showed him how serious his cheating was. Good for you.

    Many marriages survive infidelity — and many couples not only fix their relationship problems, they actually build healthier, happier marriages!

    To rebuild trust and move forward, you need to figure out what you need from him; then, you need to communicate that to him clearly. So for instance if you need more romance and flowers, then you need to tell him that — and forget about the fact that he’s not the romantic type. At this point in your marriage, it’s not about what he needs or wants! It’s about creating a healthy family life. What would make you feel more secure in your marriage? What do you need from him, in order to trust him again? Sit down and write those things out, and then share your list with him.

    I also suggest marriage counseling, or at least talking to your pastor or someone who can give you guidance. You and your husband need to figure out why he cheated — this may help reassure you and him that he won’t do it again. If he wants to stay married, he needs to learn to talk about his feelings and behaviors…it’s the only way to improve a relationship.

    And, I encourage you and him to read books about infidelity and improving “bad” relationships together. Talk about what you’re reading, and do the exercises in the books. The more you learn about each other and marriage, the more connected you’ll be. The key is to learn this stuff TOGETHER — it’s not just you figuring things out for the two of you.

    I wish you all the best, and hope you update me on how things are going!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  9. What am I doing wrong? I feel like my husband should consider me the way I consider him. It seems like I am the only person that has to verbally request what I want. We have 6 kids. He makes it a point to take care of the kids and they never have to state what they want. I always have to beg for intimacy which i think is backwards. He always says he’s too tired and he has to focus on other things. Well, I have to focus on the same things but at the same time I still want my alone time. When I expressed this, he told me that we would start having physical relations 2x a week. Well the time has passed and I have not gotten it yet. When I mentioned it again, he started telling me how I should be more of a wife and do more for him. I work nights, the things he wants from me I do to the best of my ability. I make plenty of time for him.

  10. Hi Laurie,

    Almost a week ago I went to Family Planning for a pap smear because my IUD was almost past it’s expiration date. That was on a Monday. On Wednesday they called me to say that my result came back saying that I have Chlamydia. I asked my partner (we have been together for just over 10yrs now) if he had an affair and he said no. I told him that I have chlamydia and there is only one way to get it and that I was clean years ago.

    He tried to turn it around on me asking what I get up to on my days off and I said that I clean the house. He is the one who goes out almost every weekend and I don’t know what he gets up to. The next 2 days I keep asking him if he cheated and he still says no.

    It is now Sunday and he only told me yesterday (3 days after the news of chlamydia) that he cheated on me twice wih 2x different women about two years ago. I was devasted so I took our two girls to our aunty’s house down the road where we spent the night. I never thought it would happen to me. I never suspected a thing because we always made love often. I did find a blonde hair in the car (must’ve been 2yrs ago) and I use to tease him about it.

    I came back home this morning on my own so we could about it. My partner is not one to express his feelings often so I was asking all the questions and he answered. At least he answered. He didn’t want to talk about it of course but I told him that he has every right to talk to me because it has everything to do with our relationship and because he gave my an STD. I asked him if he knew if either of those girls were using contraception because he didn’t use a condom obviously. He could’ve gotten one or both of them pregnant. He might actually have a son out there that he’s always wanted, or two. He’s lucky he didn’t come home with Aids!!

    He says that the two women he slept with were just girls from the pub that he has never met before and they were not prettier than me, but they were younger. He says he still loves me and I’m the reason why he comes home everynight. I just don’t understand why he did this. Twice he cheated on me 2yrs ago. He goes out drinking almost every weekend while I’m at home with our 2x girls. He thought I would never find out. He reckons he only did it because he was drunk and h**ny.

    Anyways, in the end he apologised, because I asked him what was on his mind. And then I packed his suitcase and kicked him out. I told him I need my space to think about things.

    I can’t trust him anymore. Though I still love him, I feel so hurt!! Ten years we’ve been together and we have 2x girls and this is what he does?

    How can I forgive him? Is it okay to wish for him to win me over again? Buy me flowers and gifts? I know he still loves me. I’m into romance but I know he’s not the romantic type. It took me a lot of courage to pack up his clothes but I had to be strong.

    How can I move forward Laurie?

  11. I have been living with my boyfriend now little over a year and we are having some intimacy and romance issues. I am seeking some advice…..

    We maybe have s*x once a month if that…This started after the first two months of living together, I haver tried wearing nighties, talking about it and many other things… He has told me that him not wanting s*x is nothing to me being diserable and there is nothing wrong with me…..IF I try to caress him he either pushes me away or says he is sorry but not in the mood……When we do have s*x well he starts by being very affectionate then kissing passionately……I don’t get satisfied and then I feel even more frustrated because we cuddle for a bit and since he claims to be not able to cuddle with me and sleep at the same time, we sleep on the other side of the bed……

    I know that there have been some financial issues for the last about 5 to 6 months because of me not working getting my seizures under control but now that they are and I am able to pay my share of things well intimacy still is not happening and neither is romance…. I am so very frustrated because he will not go to any type of counselor or go seea doc for some meds to increase his s*x drive…….
    When ever I even hint that I want to talk about s*x well he gets very angry and a fight happens……

    What can I do, I am at my wits end

    I mean other than intimacy, romance he is been truly wonderful….

    How can I bring up the topic of s*x???

    What types of advice do you have for us, please

    Respectfully,

    Bonita Wilcox

  12. Hi Jana,

    To answer your question, I wrote an article that lists several signs of cheating spouses. To read it, just click this link:

    How Can You Tell if Your Husband is Cheating on You?

    I hope it helps!

    Best wishes,
    Laurie

  13. How can u tell if your spouse has cheated on you or not when he says no but sometimed you think he has….

  14. Hi Laurie

    Thank you very much for your advice. This sounds like a sensible solution.

    I have felt very guilty for raising these concerns with him whilst he is supposed to be getting away from it all. However, he has taken to contacting me very regularly and filling me in with rather unneccesary details. For example, he contacted me only yesterday and freely told me that he and his travelling buddy went to one of those famous Bangkok shows where ladies put objects in their nether regions and fire them out in front of an audience! To him, he is just being brutally honest and upfront, to me he’s being very distasteful and in a sense, quite childish. If I were to tell my mother or sister about this, they would be appalled, but then I have been raised in a family where that kind of behaviour in a relationship is very disrespectful. Is it? It doesn’t particularly bother me the way the whole ‘women at work situation’ (as above) does, it’s more of a matter of principles.

    You’re very right in saying it’s wrong to ask him to change. He has always been a bit of a wild card and i’m a live and let live kind of person. Although, I can’t cope with certain things that make my insides churn. I think I want for him to have the same level of respect and consideration for us as I do. This just doesn’t seem to happen though.

    I have always tried to keep things open and have said to him on many occasions that he should continue with his single life if he wants to be foot loose and fancy free (in a very none confrontational kind of way). He then responds to this by telling me that he wants me in his life and loves me bla bla blah. He really does want to just live however he pleases whilst having me on his arm when it’s convenient.

    In answer to ‘do I want this on a long-term basis?’, the answer is nope :(. The moving in thing came up quite some time ago and it was actually him that suggested it. At the time I refused and said it wouldn’t work. As it is, I have reconsidered due to work commitments and financial convenience more than an advance in our relationship. I can’t vet the company he keeps and the thought of him having his unsavoury friends round is quite a put-off. I also think it could be detrimental to us if we were to take this step when he clearly isn’t ready.

    As it is, I need to move quite a distance away and if we don’t do it together, this will leave us with just weekends to spend as a couple. I have grown tired of our overly long dating period and would lack the motivation to travel back and forth every week in an effort to continue a relationship that lacks any sort of progression. So we have reached an all or nothing kind of crossroads…

    It may be that i’m over analysing things and need to just ease off and concentrate on my career? I just feel as though i’m going round in circles contemplating what to do next all the time. I resent a guy having so much hold over my thoughts when he’s on the other side of the world! I feel a little powerless over the situation. Why can guys just never say- ‘actually honey, I really do feel as though I need to live it up for a while and think it’s unfair to drag you along in my wake, waiting for the very distant eventuality of me actually wanting to live and behave like a grown man!’

    Apologies for this being extraordinarily lengthy- feel free to cut anything out…

  15. Hi Linda,

    It sounds like your boyfriend isn’t 100% committed to the idea of being 100% committed to a relationship! He wants to work alot, travel, have his lady friends…and there’s nothing wrong with that. I waited until I was 35 before I got married, for those same reasons! It’s fun to have adventures and live the way you want.

    He wants to have his cake and eat it too. He loves you, and he loves his busy life, too. That’s cool — he can enjoy or expect anything thing he wants out of life.

    But — and this is where you come in — is his lifestyle something you’re willing to live with long-term? I don’t think you should expect him to change, even if he says he will. People do change, don’t get me wrong, but it takes supreme effort and commitment.

    I’d suggest not moving in with him yet. I’d wait and keep dating for 6 months, and see if he really is ready to be more committed. In 6 months, revisit the idea of moving in together — but don’t talk or argue about it for that time.

    I also suggest being specific about what type of commitment you want over the next 6 months. Do you want to see each other 4 times a week? Spend every Sunday together? Take a Latin dance or astronomy class together?

    Figure out what type of relationship you want, and ask him to do the same. Give him time to think about it — not while he’s traveling or just after he gets back. Set a date to discuss your next steps, and then hear each other out. Remember that you’ll both need to compromise and meet halfway, as you won’t have the exact same ideas of what an ideal relationship looks like!

    Then, see if you both can live with what happens next.

    That’s what I think you should do. What do you think?

    Best wishes,
    Laurie

  16. I have been with my boyfriend for two years. He has had very little time for me due to work commitments and I have always tried to be as accommodating as possible with his busy schedule. I am quite a busy person myself and don’t consider that I am particularly needy, although I do require a certain level of respect and support.

    We have always got on very well and I consider him to be my best friend. However, there have been some conflicting issues with certain lady friends from his work who are unfriendly towards me and at times inappropriately close with him. I have always done my best to be as tolerant as possible with this and have voiced my concerns to which he has been fairly receptive.

    Two years later, he bought himself a one way ticket to the far east with a friend and just casually dropped it in to conversation that he was going. This friend openly admitted to me that he was very easily persuaded. He has now been gone for a month and has been in touch very regularly throughout this time. I have had very harsh words with him whilst he has been away, telling him how hurtful the whole scenario has been and that it has been an enormous ask to go away for an open-ended amount of time. I have found it very difficult to deal with the fact that he wanted to experience so much without me. He constantly tells me that he had to get away due to work commitments and that his decision was nothing to do with his feelings for me.

    He has now limited his time there to one further month to make it two in total. We have discussed living together when he returns and he says that he will try to set more time aside for the relationship and cut out certain negative influences.

    The problem is, I feel very confused about the whole thing. I feel different emotions at all sorts of extremes day to day. One day we might be discussing our potential new home together then the following day I feel like I shouldn’t stay with someone who can hurt me this much. My friends and family have expressed very strong feelings about the whole situation and some of them have openly told me that I put up with far too much and they would have just ended things.

    The fact remains that I could not have done the same to him and I feel that all my efforts over the past two years in being understanding of his hectic lifestyle, have all been in vain. He now expects me to take his word for it that he will be more committed and that he has realised how much he loves me, but I can’t help feeling like it’s too little too late. What do you advise?

  17. That’s a scary place to be in your marriage — but it’s great that you’re ready to tackle this now, Erin! (as opposed to enduring 5, 15, or 25 years of suffering). This is a wonderful opportunity to express yourself and build your relationship into what you want it to be. You’re right: you will grow to resent him. Your marriage won’t last if you can’t express yourself and have an equal voice!

    Helping him hear you and change his ways will be difficult, but worth it. You’ll have to dig deep for courage and the ability to clearly express yourself.

    People don’t change overnight, which means you and he will have to work on your “stuff” for at least several months. Then, it’ll become second nature to communicate in healthy ways.

    I’m a big fan of couples counseling. My husband and I did it, and it was uncomfortable but so good for our marriage. We weren’t even struggling with major problems — I just wanted us to get an objective opinion on our disagreement. A counselor can help spouses see their marriage more clearly and give helpful feedback.

    Another really great way to improve an unhealthy or bad relationship is to take a communication class or workshop together. We did the “Nonviolent communication” course — it’s all about talking about your feelings and connecting as a couple.

    The key is that your husband has to be involved in making your marriage better. You can’t do it alone. He needs to see how his behavior is affecting you and your marriage, and you two need to work together to figure out what will make you both happy.

    I hope this helps, and I hope you return to let me know how things are going!

    Best wishes,
    Laurie

  18. My husband and I have only been married for 2 years. I am finding myself in our marriage starting to feel like I am in a relation ship where I have no say over the big decisions for our future. I understand that some decisions require us to be in agreement, but far too often I am the one that has to give in. He is so stuck in his ways that my voice doesn’t even seem to be heard. I am worried that I will not be able to deal with this for the rest of my life. I feel like I am starting to resent him. I love him, but we just seem to have different views on finances and children. Can anyone help me with some advice on how to make my situation better? I am very afraid of losing me and losing my husband.

  19. Glad I could help, Vicki! Another way to keep your relationship strong is to do exciting things together. Go skydiving, take a trip to Europe, drive across the country, visit a dude ranch……the more interesting, exciting experiences you have together, the more connected you’ll be.

    Maybe you could try couples counseling, as well. It might be good to unearth the reasons your relationship has been “flat lining.” Going through ups and downs — boring and exciting times — is normal for any realtionhip, but staying down for extended periods of time is a sign of an unhealthy relatioship.

    Even if you’re not into counseling, you could read books about spicing up dormant relationships together. Or, take a couples workshop or class.

    My husband and I took a “Nonviolent Communication” course together; it was great. Taking a class as a couple not only teaches you new stuff about your relationship, it also puts you in a different environment together and shows you new aspects of one another. It can be exciting to see your partner in a whole new light!

    Good luck, and keep in touch.

    Laurie

  20. Laurie-

    I posted on Letting Go earlier today. Then I saw your response on 3/22/09 to Kim. Thank you. My relationship with Dave is a rebound relationship that has lasted too long. And it has been alot of nothingness… years of it. I think I’ve done Dave a great disservice by staying as long as I have, because I didn’t know what I wanted. Only what I didn’t. The things you said about your marrying your BFF hit so close to home. That’s what I want, and I guess I’ve just never been able to say that. Now that we are talking, maybe this will make a difference.

    Thank you.

  21. Have you gone through the “rage stage” yet? My friend’s husband cheated on her, and she was furious at him for months! That can be an important part of grieving the end of one chapter of your marriage — but everyone does cope differently.

    I suggest couples or individual counseling, so you can learn together how to rebuild trust in your marriage. After one partner has an affair, it can take months or even years to rebuild trust and a strong relationship. Even talking to your pastor, rabbi, or some sort of leader you trust can help you see your marriage in an objective light, which will help rebuild your marriage.

    Also, read books about the normal stages of and response to marital infidelity. The stories and expert advice can be valuable tools, to help you see that your negative thoughts and mistrust are NORMAL consequences of an affair.

    A great website called Marriage Builders may be helpful – they list 4 steps on coping with infidelity (http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi5525_qa.html).

    Remember that it takes time to get over your spouse having an affair! It won’t happen overnight — forgiving and trusting him again is something you have to choose to do every day, or even several times a day.

    And, let yourself grieve the end of your marriage as you knew it. Those first 10 years are over – they ended with a betrayal and you need to let yourself mourn. Forgive yourself for not being able to “just get on with it”, for mistakes you’ve made, for not being able to trust easily.

    Marital infidelity is a huge life stress and strain on marriage – and it can take years to heal.

    My friend and her husband have “checks” that make her feel more comfortable and trusting. For instance, he calls often when he’s on business trips. I suggest figuring out what would make you feel more comfortable with your husband, and asking him to help you trust him again.

    This is where a marriage counselor is helpful: to help you both see if you’re being reasonable or too mistrustful!

    Let me know how you’re doing with all this – and thanks for sharing your story. I know other wives and husbands will read this, and not feel so alone.

    Best wishes,
    Laurie

  22. My husband had an affair few weeks ago, and since then I have not felt the same toward him because of his betrayal and my loss of trust on our 10 years marriage.I want to move forward in this relationship, but I’m having a very difficult time forgiving him. I believe, as you do, that honesty is essential in marriage, but my husband does not. I fear that he continues to lie to me about his behavior, and absence from home on weekdays and weekends make me feel more insecure.

    I’d prefer for him to be honest and get it over with so I can begin the healing process, but after weeks of emotional turmoil, my focus has changed somewhat. My inability to forgive is eating me up and I need to get better.His frequent absent from home weekdays and weekends causes the suspicions.How to move forward & overcome roller coaster emotions & negative thoughts about him & his lover? Are there steps I can do on my own to resolve this terrible pain?

  23. At this point, I think you have to trust your husband. If he’s sincerely remorseful about his affair, then you need to believe that he’s committed to keeping your relationship strong — or rather, building a stronger marriage from now on. You can’t live in suspicion or paranoia.

    Rebuilding trust is a long, long process. You can’t trust him and rebuild your marriage overnight. Your marriage will never be the same, and that can be a good thing! If there was something unhealthy in your relationship that may have factored into his having an affair, then now’s the time to work on that. I’m NOT saying that he cheated because of you — I have no idea why he cheated.

    But it would be good to figure out what led him to infidelity, and deal with that problem. If you don’t know what the cause or connection was, then it’s harder to move on, into a strong relationship.

    I suggest reading books on overcoming infidelity in marriage. Gary Neuman’s “Why Men Cheat” is a good one, because it discusses possible reasons men cheat — and it describes how to repair marriages after infidelity.

    Mainly, you two have to renew your committment and find healthy ways to communicate and love each other. Couples counseling may be something else to consider — or individual counseling for you to learn how to trust him again, and for him to learn why he cheated.

    I wish you all the best, and hope this helped a little!

    Laurie

  24. I discovered that my husband comitted adultery last week through his lover.Till to-date,the lover is still hoping that my husband will go back to her even after my husband broke up with her.How do I know whether my husband is serious is breaking up with her?I’m not sure whether they still communicate each other on the MSN or seeing each other even though my husband promises to severe ties with the love.I am still going the painful process of infidelity.Appreciate your advise.

  25. It’s such a hard question…I think it’s normal to have doubts — I know I did before I married my husband! I was scared.

    But I was scared of MARRIAGE, not scared of being married to my man (we were best friends for years before we started dating, too!). I think there’s a difference between red flags about a certain person, versus fear of long-term commitment and intimacy.

    I also think it’s normal to have bouts of “nothingness” in love relationships. We can’t feel 100% romantic, loving, passionate, and ga-ga over our partners all the time! It’s not possible. One of my friends even told me that sometimes she looks at her children and feels nothing, or even dislike. Part of loving people is feeling nothing…dislike…disgust even…disappointment sometimes.

    I think romantic Hollywood movies and books do us a real disservice, because they lead us to believe that we’re supposed to feel all gooshy and love-y every moment, and it’s just not that way in real life.

    Kim, I can’t tell you if you should marry him or not, but I can say that marrying your best friend is one of the smartest things you could ever do! I LOVE that I married a guy I loved spending time with just as friends….because gooshy feelings and passionate chemistry come and go throughout long-term relationships. Marriage is about friendship, communication, fighting, making up, intimacy, and even doubts…….

    Before I married my BFF :-) I spent a whole weekend – from Friday night to Sunday night – wracked with doubt and indecision. He and I talked about whether we should get married (we were engaged, and our wedding was a month or so away) for almost 3 days straight. I expressed all my doubts and concerns, we talked them through, and on Sunday night/Monday morning, I knew that marrying him was the right thing to do.

    I was still scared, but I knew it was right.

    I encourage you to talk to your boyfriend and read books about normal feelings before marriage. My husband and I did premarital counseling, too, which I highly recommend!! There are long lists of questions you can answer, which help you determine if you should marry that particular man.

    I hope some of this helped! Do keep me posted – I’d love to know how you’re doing…..

    Laure

  26. We were best friends for 5 years before we started dating and we have been dating for about 3 years now. Everything is okay in my relationship, except a few argument here and there about the way he speaks to me or little things that we both do. I sometimes feel empty in the relationship and have a tendency to want to “jump ship” when things go wrong. Is this normal? Is it normal to have doubts? We are about to get engaged and I don’t want to lose my best friend and our love.

  27. Grace, have you tried asking him if he’s seeing his daughter’s mom? I’m also wondering how old his daughter is……if she’s young, he may have to see his ex!

    It sounds like you suspect that he’s seeing her, and that he shouldn’t be. It also sounds like you don’t want to ask him directly…I don’t know what to suggest, other than spying on him or confronting him with the evidence (the reasons you think he’s seeing her).

    Sorry I can’t be more helpful…..I think you should talk to your husband — that’s one of the best tips for keeping your relationship strong!

    Laurie

  28. how do i find out if my husband is still seeing his doughters mom? wich is his ex!!we live together and have a son together.

  29. Are you for real?! Beryl, if your husband is cheating on you, you have a much bigger problem than him not wanting you to call when he’s with other women!

    I suggest leaving him. What’s the point of being married if he’s out with other women?

  30. Question
    My husband has been cheating on me. The problem is whenever he is out with his lovers he doesn’t want me to call. if i have a problem and i call him he says that am spying on him. since 2nd of January we are not in talking terms with him becoz i called him in the evening after work to pass a msg and he said that i was spying on him. Please help me coz my marriage is in shit.
    Beryl