One day, I typed into the google search bar “How do I stop hating my husband?”
No joke, I put that question out to the google world. I was desperate to release my feelings of resentment, anger, and pain from the past. Something deep inside of me knew that I had to do better but I did not know how. I was on a fast track to divorce, or a lifeless marriage. I felt trapped and imprisoned in my own life.
It began with the birth of my second child. My husband was working a lot. I was home with two kids. He never got up in the middle of the night. I was nursing, so it did not make sense to him to have us both lose sleep. He got to go to the gym every morning, he came home to a cooked meal every night.
How many times did I stand there watching him eat, as I dealt with the babies, feeling ravenous, but unable to serve myself until the children were fed?
So it started as a feeling of abandonment. His life went on as usual, while mine had turned upside down. The kids hardly made a dent in his life, but they totaled mine. He wasn’t the doting husband or father I thought he would be. Nor was I the joyful emotionally connected mother and wife I hoped I would be…
I am a doer, a list maker, no matter what job you give me, I will do it to the best of my ability. I don’t ask anyone for help. I can handle anything.
Although these character traits allowed me to be extremely productive in life, they also turned out to be my greatest source of weakness and pain.
My life was about laundry, changing diapers, going to the grocery store, keeping the house clean, keeping my kids alive and well. Keeping every soccer ball, baseball and hockey puck in the air. It wasn’t about enjoying my children, or getting on the floor to play with them. I was always about doing the next chore. Every day was a ritual, a routine just like the day before.
I look back now and I cringe at the time I lost.
I rarely asked my husband for help. He made it clear that he had his hands full at work, and he did not have the bandwidth to take on more. I never wanted to be a burden on anyone.
The turning point in my marriage was May 2004. My 1 year old had a stomach bug. It was severe and he was not able to keep anything down for 3 days. The day before my 3 year old had the bug for 12 hours, and the night before, I was praying to the porcelain God myself.
It was 5 am, and I was exhausted from puking my brains out all night. But my concern was my 1 year old since he was still suffering after 3 days. For the first time in my life, I asked my husband to stay home for an hour to make sure I could get Andrew to eat. I told him if Andrew could not keep his breakfast down, we would need to take him to the ER.
My husband looked at me and said he had to go to spin class, but to call him if there was an issue.
I said nothing. Andrew ate like a hungry bear, and then his mouth opened like an erupting volcano of applesauce and oatmeal. Fear gripped my heart as his little body spewed it’s only source of nourishment.
I scooped him up, me dressed in sweats, and the boys dressed in Hannah Anderson pj’s, and we drove to a nearby hospital. Andrew bypassed everyone in the ER, and was instantly hooked up to an IV. The nurse looked at me with concern, put her hand on my shoulder, and asked “are you alone dear?”
With tears in my eyes I looked up and said “My husband had to go to a fucking spin class.”
That cool May morning, Andrew was admitted to the hospital for 3 days, and I emotionally vacated my marriage for 10 years.
Fast forward far too many years, a move to Texas, and a total disconnect on my part. My husband resurfaced as the wonderful man I had married. He had apologized for being so selfish in those early years. He admitted he got caught up in his work, and himself, and he did not quite know how to meet everyone’s needs. He tried his hardest to bring me back to him, but he did not realize how far gone I really was.
I am not sure I did either.
I had put up so many walls, that Donald Trump would have been proud. And I was not willing to take them down. Please note, this is a choice too many people make. We don’t forgive. Even though ALL of us make mistakes, and marriages will set the stage for many growing pains.
I festered with resentment and anger for so many years. But pain like that cannot survive inside of you, eventually I had to release it. So I did what any weak person does, I turned to indifference.
Trust me when I say that the opposite of love is NOT hate, it is indifference. I was shut down, empty, void of any feelings towards my husband, and this state would lead me to a dangerous place.
When we moved to Texas and my kids were in school full time, I decided to pursue a nutrition and health certification. I dove head first into learning. Eventually, my curious nature would lead me down an unconventional path. Suddenly, the topic of food and health, was not so much about calories, fat, protein, and carbs, as it was about how we are living as a society.
I became enlightened and more aware. My eyes opened to a new world of consciousness regarding a culture that was mindless, stressed, fearful, and living on auto-pilot. A culture that throws away all that is broken, instead of trying to fix it. I started recognizing a pervasive victim mentality that America had taken on.
We were victims of our genetics, of our upbringing, of our spouses, of our jobs, of our beliefs, of our addictions and our cravings. Anything that allowed us to point the finger outside of ourselves. No one wanted to look in the mirror because that mirror spoke the truth.
I was guilty of the victim mentality for food and health, and I was guilty of the victim mentality in my marriage. One thing you learn when you take good coaching courses, is that how we do one thing is how we do everything. If you are a victim in any aspect of your life, chances are you are a victim in many aspects of your life.
My weight and my health issues went away after a life time struggle as soon as I understood the food and health culture in which we all live.
I stopped being a victim of food, diets, cravings and exercise compulsion. I instead took personal responsibility for the fact that I had allowed myself to become part of a cultural problem. Year after year, I chose to diet. I chose convenience. I took the easy way out. When I got sick I went to the doctor looking for a pill to fix it. I succumbed to marketing health claims. I followed the rules even though they never worked. I fell for the meal replacements, and dieting programs. I chose temporary solutions because temporary solutions never required me to step up permanently.
I never sought knowledge outside the conventional box of thinking. I never questioned anything despite the fact that obesity, cancer, diabetes, autism, auto-immune disorders, cardiovascular disease and pharmaceutical drugs were like steel walls slowly closing in on all of us.
In my defense, I did not know there was something outside the box for which I thought and lived. This is the unfortunate reality for many. And this is the reason I do what I do. I am here to wake people up.
As Einstein says, and I learned first hand “You will never solve a problem with the same mind that created that problem.”
Everyone is trying to solve their weight, health and relationship issues with the same way of thinking that created those issues.
I think most people choose to live inside the box because although it may be miserable, it is familiar. We have become comfortable in apathy. What goes on beyond our cultural walls may be freedom, and may be life, but it requires us to step up and live like we mean it.
It requires us to face the unknown, our fears, and our own demons.
We are conformists by nature. We are fearful by nature. The lowest and most primitive form of our humanity is a focus on self preservation. Victim mentality is all about the ego and the protection of the self.
I made a choice to step outside the box in my mind. The path outside the box started with me questioning how we, as American’s interact with food and health. But as I followed the organic breadcrumbs down that path, I stepped into my own light, and that light was exceptionally bright because of it’s reflection in my mirror.
I realized that my power came from knowledge. My power came from understanding that I had to change my thinking before I could change my life. My power came from questioning everything about the world, and about myself.
Like I said, first rule of thumb about people. How we do one thing is how we do everything.
So when my marriage hit rock bottom, luckily I had already entered a semi-conscious state. And ultimately a conscious person questions everything, ESPECIALLY themselves.
I asked myself how the hell I got to this point? I took full inventory of my destructive behaviors and choices. I could have done things differently. I realized how my own personality and thoughts led me to what would have been a point of no return for most marriages.
I stopped thinking about how my husband hurt me. I wondered how much I had wrongly assumed. I wondered how often I jumped to conclusions without giving him the benefit of the doubt. I realized that I had chosen to focus on everything bad instead of everything good. I had chosen to make motherhood about chores, instead of joy.
I had allowed damaging thoughts and emotions invade me, and OWN me, for nearly 10 YEARS!
When you take responsibility for your life, you are able to respond to your life. When you play the victim and blame others or outside forces, there is not only no way to respond, there is no growth, and no emotional or spiritual evolution. This is where you are at, when you feel stuck and trapped. Your growth has stopped.
When I realized that my marriage was in a free fall, and I had to make a choice, I finally had the awareness and the strength to make not only the hard choice, but the right choice.
Being a coach, I can tell you that the majority of people will do ANYTHING BUT fix themselves. Changing your own thoughts, questioning your own behaviors, challenging your identity and beliefs is the highest form of human intelligence and evolution. It will always be the most challenging place to travel, and many will live a life of regret and misery, over going there.
I went there because I had chosen a path of health. I had woken up, and made an effort to live intentionally and outside of cultural norms. These choices gave me the courage to climb the mountain I needed to conquer, and that mountain was not so much my marriage, as it was myself.
I will not get into the details except to say that love is a verb and love is selfless. When you are willing to stare in the mirror day after day and ask yourself how I can be a better person and better spouse. When you are willing to literally cry, kick, scream and fight your way back to someone, you realize that is love.
Love isn’t the euphoria you feel when you first fall for someone, that is the easy part. Love is what you DO when life sucks, your marriage is filled with mistakes and pain, and the shit has hit the Big Ass Fan. I am very proud to say that my husband and I are capable of that type of love.
I smirk and snicker now when after a full days work my husband tells me to sit down as he does the dishes. And I say “no, honey, you have been so stressed, you go sit down.” We fight to help each other. Boy, how times have changed….
Googling “how do I stop hating my husband” is like asking “how do I lose weight.” It is the wrong question.
You cannot engage in the act of losing weight, and you cannot engage in the act of “not hating your husband.” They are both a negation of an experience.
Engage means to attract, to become part of. You can engage in love. You can engage in health. They come from the same exact place inside of us. That place is our highest self.
What you focus on grows. When I stopped focusing on diets and stupid calorie calculations, and started focusing on health- I lost weight and became healthy. When I stopped focusing on why I hated my husband and started focusing on why I fell in love with him in the first place, my love and marriage bloomed again.
Love is a choice. Health is a choice. Every thought in your head, every emotion in your body, every behavior you exhibit is YOUR choice. Taking responsibility for your life is your choice.
Who would have ever thought that learning about food and health, would save my marriage. From where I sit now, it makes perfect sense. When I learned how to eat, I learned how to live. As a mindful person, fully conscious, fully responsible, and fully aware of how my choices and behaviors affect my life, AND the world.
America’s obsession with diets, drugs, cures, diseases, genetics, convenience, fear, celebrity, and fast food is a reflection of lives lacking personal responsibility, and lives focused wholly on immediate gratification and the ego.
It is time for us to think and live differently. It is time to raise our consciousness about food, health, and ourselves. Only then will we upgrade our minds and lives to become all that we are meant to be.
It is totally relatable and makes perfect sense to me. You are totally self-sufficient and handle everything and when a day finally came and you couldn’t handle it and asked for help he was wasn’t willing to let you step out of that self-sufficient role. And the resentment just builds! . Really anyone who is honest about their marriage has been there….but it’s all about perspective in how you are going to respond to it and that is the learning. A good article!
Thank you Julie!
I have been marreied for 10 years. If you see my life you will feel I am very lucky to have it all. After marriage my life has not been the same, I never got love, affection and care from my husband. He never has time to speak to me but he used get a lot of time to talk to his friends and family. He has been doing this since 10 years. I have also faced physical and mental abuse previous years of my marriage, My nature has changed a lot, I couldn’t keep my calm.I lose temper very quickly and I feel like I am losing my mind.
I know this is almost a year too late but if you are still around and looking at this…
I’m sorry that you are dealing with the things you are. I’m no coach or anything. I’m just another woman trying my hardest to make excuses for my emotionally abusive husband.
I honestly don’t think this article was written for everyone.
Hi- Yes, I am still here and received your message. You are definitely correct, my experience is not the same as yours so this blog is not applicable. These things are not a one size fits all and by no means does my story apply to all circumstances and relationships. I am sorry for what you are dealing with. You may need to reach out to a therapist that can help you stop making excuses for him. I know it is really hard, but you deserve to be treated with love and respect. I wish you luck.
Articles like this one make great sense for a couple who has heard a wake-up call. Unfortunately I have learned that nothing and no one can help an individual who wishes to stay stuck. I have learned to move on and live my life even though I am still married. It hurts over and over again but I can not and will not be drug down any further than what he has brought me to in the past. Enjoy your life as you can with the resources you have. God wants us to live in harmony but if a Christian husband doesn’t want to change to the person God teaches in the Bible it is a lost hope.
Yes, blogs like this are definitely not one size fits all! I am sorry for your pain and wish I could have helped.
Yes he apologized after you did the hardest job to raise the kids, which means he is still the POS person. I’m sure if you had another kid, he would do the same. Disengage him self from being a husband that he should be. So darling, he is the same bastard and he will always be. Good luck to you lying to yourself!!!
“Not forgiving is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
Oh groan- another person that just puts all the crap their spouse did to them, behind them. Not reality for most of us married to men that just don’t give a crap about anyone but themselves aka narcissists. Bet he is happy he got those 10 years for hImself to do as he pleased while you stuck around and did everything back home. Good for you that you can let it slide, and can now be happy he offers to do the dishes.
Thank you for your commentary. Narcissists are a whole different ballgame, and depending on where someone falls on the narcissism spectrum, the relationship could be anything from miserable to pathological. Fortunately, my situation did not involved narcissism, just lots of mistakes and resentment and miscommunication typical of many marriages. I am sorry that my experience cannot help you, I never expected my story to help everyone. Good luck. You deserve a good, healthy relationship.
So, did your newfound self awareness give you the incentive to pick up and leave the selfish bastard,or are you a “surrendered wife”?
Hi Maeve- If you really want to know you should read my book! I wish for you to find some self awareness too!
Great article!! I have been on a similar path for about 10 years learning and growing everday. I wish certain friends and family would wake up too:) for
Agreed. Like I said in the article, in my experience, people will sabotage their own lives, and put themselves through hell in order to NOT look in the mirror. Higher consciousness is the key to fixing all of our problems and finding peace in ourselves. I have found it to be a liberating and beautiful place.
I got an awful lot out of reading this Cindy. I came across this morning and look forward to reading more from you. I’m I. A tough spot right now and this really helped me with my mind today! Resonated big time. Thank You.
Hi Allison! Thank you! Theres so much more than may resonate for you in my book, I hope you get it. If you do, please let me know what you think. Here is a link to it on Amazon.
Everything you said is true. Sadly, I’m still so mad and resentful that I don’t want to listen to the advice you gave. But I’m going to screen shot the article and keep reading it over and over and over until my hard headed self is ready to listen to your advice. Well written Cindy. God Bless You.
Honest and truthful, Cindy. I always read everything you share,
Thank you Kim. I always appreciate your support!
Colleen-I cannot even begin to tell you how truthful that one statement is. It takes effort, but we can change our mindset, and then the positive mindset becomes the habit. Please check out my Mind/Body Reset Academy page and specifically the Healthy Life Club. Would love to have you join us on a journey of changed minds and intentional living!
So raw and honest and powerful. Thank you for sharing. It’s giving me a lot of pause (in a good way). I’m inspired that you found this path and that it’s working so well for you.
Thank you for sharing Cindy I know from my journey with cancer my thought process has totally changed about everything I do have a choice and I do think things out I am more calmer and I don’t sweat the small things. Love you and look forward to seeing you again
I think this article is so relevant to what I’m going through in my marriage, my question is, how can you fall in love with your husband again when you feel like you never knew who he really was. Do you fall in love with who you thought he was or who you want him to be?
Hmmm. This question is hard to answer without more information. If you are saying you never knew who your husband really was, I wonder, what have you learned about who he is as of late? Then I wonder, was this something your husband did, or did you marry him knowing who he was, but thinking you could change him? I guess my answer would depend on whether or not he is a decent guy and what you have together.
“Do you fall in love with who you thought he was or who you want him to be?” This is a very interesting way to pose the question of loving another person, both your choices ignore who he is. You love him for who he is, not who you want him to be or a mold you wanted him to fit into. I am grasping here because I have absolutely no context behind this question. But I do know that we love the whole person, the good and the bad. And love is not something that happens to us. We don’t “find” love, we create it. We invest in it. We commit to it. Love requires work, just like any other good thing in our lives (health, work, parenting). I hope that helps!
Great article. It took A lot of courage to write this Thank you for sharing.
This is so spot on !
I think I googled the same thing the other day
Thanks for sharing !
You just made me laugh out loud!
Thank you for this. For all of it.
I want to make my marriage good again….I was unhappy and unforfilled for many years, I gave up my life for my kids and family, and I was wowed by a man who found me sexy and gorgeous, I really thought I’d found love somewhere else….it turns out, that although I was ready to leave everything and start again, the man I’d chosen to do this with didn’t feel the same. I am still very much in love with this other man, but finished an affair with him, as he doesn’t want the same as me. My husband adores me, would do anything to make me happy, my problems is, is that I don’t feel the same….I do not think I love him, I definitely don’t find him attractive. My husband is kind, and loving, but not the husband or father I thought he would be….but he loves me almost unconditionally, but knows nothing about my infidelity. I love him enough not to ever want to hurt him, but the physical intimacy with him actually makes me secretly cringe….how can I change this? I loved him once, enough to Marry and have children….how on earth do I get this back? I don’t want to love my ex but my feelings for him don’t seem to quell even given time. I think about him always. I know we will never be together because he doesn’t want to start his life over with me…he has told me thus, but it doesn’t stop my love for him. Is there hope I can fall out of love with this man, and fall back in love with my husband?
Hannah- i sent you a private email, please look for it.
Can you send me that same private message that you sent Hannah? And I’m in a similar boat just without the infidelity. Thank you. This was a huge eye opener to read today. My husband just sent me a text to confirm that he should file the divorce papers if I can’t change. I’m exhausted over thinking everything.
Yes. I will send you it now. Just have to find it first!
Cindy, can you send me this message also? I am also in the same situation, not without the infidelity. I also Googled what you did too! That’s how I found this great article by you! Thank you!
Hi can you send it to me as well
Hi Cindy – please may I also have that private message? I am in the same situation described in terms of lingering strong feelings for an affair partner and wanting to refocus on recovering and strengthening my marriage.
Cindy — can you please send me that private message as well? I’m in the same boat.
Please see my responses to caseym84. That is the gist of the private message. I hope it helps a little, it is hard to help anyone with one email…
Can you send it to me as well so I can show it to my wife?
This blog is a start. I am now writing a book that will get into far more detail and help people along their journey. This blog is the best I can do for you right now. Except offer my coaching services if you or your wife desire. https://www.cindycarbone.com/8things/
Can I please have this message as well? I am in the same situation, on the verge of infidelity, loaded with resentment and constantly rehashing the same arguments. It feels so hopeless right now.
Could you please send the private message to me as well? In the exact same situation…feels like Hannah was describing my life.
Can you please send me the same email you sent hannah? I could have written that myself. I am in the same boat. Thank you.
I’m not sure what message everyone is asking for, but I’d love to read more. I feel very close to the way others here feel I, too, googled how to stop hating my husband. It’s a horrible existence to think you’ll never be happy.
Hi Carole- I am not sure what everyone keeps asking for either! I think it started when I said I would send someone a private message, and then everyone asked for the same private message! I had to resort to replying here because the private message is probably just a disappointment by now. There is only so much I can offer in an email. I think people are looking for hope. You can change the way you feel and you can fix your marriage if you want it. The draft of my book is complete, it is not going to be a long one, but at around 25,000 words it is more than an email. Follow me on Facebook or Instagram to find out when it is coming out. I am talking to publishers now, but it will be a little while….
Thanks ! I will.
I could have written some of this myself. I see this was written in April; I hope things are better now. I’ve been with my husband for 16 years and share two young kids together. I quit my job when my second was born, and it was probably the worst thing I could have done. It took a balanced marriage and tilted it. Total power shift. Long story short, I had too much time on my hands and felt underappreciated and unloved, and problems that were always there (unexciting sex, lack of intimacy) looked huge because I had plenty of time to focus on them. So then I met someone online (not intentionally) and boom, I caught a bad case of the feels. Bad idea. It was nice to feel loved again, but it helped the indifference towards my husband fester. A lot. I wasn’t angry or fighting for my marriage, because I had another man who I felt deserved my attention and focus over a man i thought didn’t really care. Fast forward, the man is gone (we never met in person) but my marriage is still stagnant. We fight, he says some pretty nasty things, begs for forgiveness, yet wonders why I can’t bring myself to sleep with him. Sex is by far the biggest issue in our marriage, and I don’t know how to feel sexual attraction for him anymore. Cindy, your article gave me hope, and I’ve read plenty of blogs. How did you get those romantic feelings back? Did your sex life take a beating during those 7 years? If not, how Did it not? I’m not sure how people stay attracted to each other sexually when there is so much resentment there, so I can never relate to the blogs where the relationship stinks but the sex was awesome:/
Ah, the sex question. I finished my book without a chapter on sex, but have been not stopped thinking about whether that chapter needs to be there, you, my friend, may have just convinced me to write that chapter.
When I was in the resentment stage, we had sex. I was never one to use sex as a weapon, and so I went through the motions. To be honest, we always had a great sex life. It was more that I felt I put armor around me, and resisted even though I wasn’t resisting, if that makes sense. There was still a wall up. Put it this way, it was easier for me to have sex with him, than kiss, hug or hold his hand.
So, I will say this. If you once had a good sex life, you can have a good sex life again. But you have to take the armor down. You have to work through your issues to bring the walls down. Really good sex, is about intimacy, and vulnerability, and when you have resentment, you can’t have those two things. So, you have to work through your issues, and you have to allow yourself to be vulnerable with him again.
Yes, you can love and get the sex back, especially if you once had it. It takes work though. And know those feelings you had with the online guy, were just a hormonal cocktail based in nothing real. You have to be smarter than those drug like emotions.
I hope that gives you more hope. But you have to do the work.
Cindy, can you send me this message also? I am also in the same situation, without the infidelity. I also Googled what you did too! That’s how I found this great article by you! Thank you!
will do within 10 minutes! Look for it.
Hi Cindy! Although this has been a while ago, I just read your story (over and over again!!) and wanted to tell you how much it resonated with me. I do love my husband but developing a married life together now that we are empty-nesters is hard! It is such a relief to know that I am not alone and your advice is just what I needed to hear. Thank you for your honesty and for sharing your story.
I am glad it has helped. I am actually in the midst of writing a book/guide around this. I receive so many messages from all over that I have decided that a more in depth book with the process I took to love and engage with my husband again is much needed! It took me almost 2 years to realize this topic was my book (I have felt I am supposed to write a book for years, but never knew WHAT I should write about). So stay tuned! Thank you for the message, it brings me lots of joy to know my story helps lift others up.
This is my life. 10 years of marriage. 5 children. I had a sexting affair that I very much enjoyed/would continue if he didn’t end it. I told my husband. I also told my husband I want to work it out. I have started trying to flirt and be intimate again with my husband but I still don’t feel anything. It’s still total indifference and all I can think about is how I want out. Help.
Hi! Thank you for writing this. Please send me the message too. I am literally at a crossroads and am looking for any help I can get.
could you send it to me as well please
How can I respect my husband when he is overweight? Do I ignore it and close my eyes? He wants me to say he is hot but I don’t want to lie.
I am afraid this is a loaded question that cannot be answered simply. However, often our specific judgements stem from how we feel about ourselves. And although being overweight is both a physical and emotional health concern for your husband, that is something he needs to choose to fix. But there are similar emotional health concerns with those that believe appearance defines a person. I know for me, I went through a time of exercise addiction. Although, exercise is a good thing, I was using it to fill a void inside of myself. I was measuring myself by my looks because I was so lacking internally. Vanity is not based in happiness and high self esteem. That all being said, the first step in fixing our relationships is fixing ourselves. So, I do not see your comment as having anything to really do with your husband, but it has everything to do with you. That may not make you happy to hear, but at least is gives you the power to change.
I’m trying so hard to take in your advice. I’ve read bith of your blogs on marriage over and over. I too am also very overweight whilst trying to get my live back for my husband! I’m trying to change my path as I fear change and blame lots in my past! I’m struggling. Thank you for writing this blog. Any other advice would be gratefully received.
Hi Tasha- I assume that is your name from your email. I am glad you liked both of my blogs and were inspired by them. I can tell you that change takes time. The reason I am writing my book is because there is so much more to what I did than what is in these blogs. I was very deliberate in changing myself, my marriage and my life. I can offer you one-on-one coaching if you are interested? I do that over the phone, assuming you are not local. Since I specialize in healthy lifestyle change as well. (really all change has comes about the same way). I also have a do-it-yourself online learning/coaching program that you can look at that will help you get a foundation for understanding yourself, food, and health, so that you can begin to let go of the past and build a new future. You can find that program here. https://www.cindycarbone.com/anewyou/ I have programs that are customizable too, where you can do the online program on your own, and we can have a few one-on-one sessions over the phone. Everything I put into that program is how I changed my lifestyle, and started on a journey to a new me. There are food and health education lessons as well as mindset lessons. Your mindset will always dictate your life, and if you are living in the past, you will repeat it over and over again. Too many people neglect to see their chronic dieting as the pattern that it is. You cannot choose to diet, you have to choose to change your relationship with yourself, and food. And I believe that starts with understanding yourself and health a lot better than most of us currently do. Truth is, the reason there are so many overweight, unhealthy and unhappy people in this world, has nothing to do with willpower or desire, and everything to do with our beliefs about food, health and ourselves. Change those beliefs and those relationships change naturally. I could on and on about the subject. If you have questions or want a complimentary consult, let me know. Good luck, I wish you all the best. You can change, I promise.
I have been married to my best friend for 24 years. 2 kids later I was so looking forward to being empty nesters when he pulled the rug out from under me saying that he did not love me anymore and he wanted out. I am heartbroken and angry. He has finally agreed to couples counseling, but just to figure out how to deal with the kids not us. There is a part of me that still loves him, but I am slowly starting to hate him. He says that sex is the binding force between us and I go through on and off periods of wanting sex. He says that he is no longer Then everything changed. We were incredibly intimate all the time. Now he wont even sit next to me. I am a stay at home mom and he is the bread winner. He is also going thru a midlife crisis. Is there any hope for us?
Hi Penny- I am so sorry for what you are going through and I completely understand your feelings towards your husband. Just remember your hate is your pain in disguise. Don’t ignore the pain, it is normal and part of the process, and it is far less destructive than hate. I have seen mid life crisis first hand, and I think I went through a form of one as well. It is hard to convince those going through it to snap out of it and realize the importance of a 24 year relationship and family. That being said, there is always hope, but both people need to want to fix it. My question to both you and your husband would be this. Do you share similar values? Does your spouse have the character traits that you desire in a partner? If I were to ask your close friends and family members if you are a good couple that should make every effort to fix the relationship, what would they say? Did you once love each other deeply? Were you lovers and friends? Clearly, you share a long history, and a family unit together, which we often take for granted when we desire something shiny and new. New gets old too. But if he is unwilling to do the work it takes to fix the relationship, then you have to put all your efforts in bettering yourself. I am not saying don’t fight for your relationship, but don’t grovel, and do not let him walk all over you. You need to respect yourself. When I was where your husband is, my husband was very stern with me. I had to decide. I couldn’t waffle. Now, in comparing myself to others, I was definitely more emotionally intelligent than others. Meaning, when push came to shove, I sat in my pain and misery and I thought it all through. I thought about values, and character, and family, and history, and how my friends and family would think I was nuts etc. I thought about my children and I thought about the rest of my life divorced, but still tied to my husband through the children. And I remembered our love, how it all began, and how he was once so good for me in so many ways. I was able to transcend my emotional state into reason and I am convinced that was what made the difference for me. And lord knows, I did not want to be miserable any more, but I also realized that I had to own that. No one else can make us unhappy, that is an inside job. So, where does my response leave you? All you can change is yourself. That is a fact. You are strong, and you will survive no matter what happens, understand that. You deserve love and respect, and his choices right now are a reflection of his state, not you. When I hated my husband, it really was that I hated all the resentment and pain and apathy and indifference that was inside of me. I just directed it onto him. But it was mine to own and deal with. Be willing to work with him on his needs (intimacy) if that becomes a condition. Ask yourself what is going on with you when you are up in down in that area-can you work on that? Be open, ask questions, do not let your pain and anger make assumptions. Pain and anger have a really bad habit of creating stories that are untrue. Ask yourself what you want from him and then give that to him in hopes of it being reciprocated. I hope that helps in some way. Be strong, you can do difficult things, and you will rise from this. Cindy
It’s a really good article and I’m pleasantly surprised to see how you are replying n responding to each n every comment. That’s very thoughtful of you.
Your article “how to love your husband” actually redirected me to this one. And now i realized i did hold some resentment from early years, i’ll try to release those emotions now. I’m already in a process of releasing many repressed childhood emotions.
But what really caught my attention in your article is the mention of autism. My eldest one has severe autism n i find it really hard to have some hope or positivity about it. Is there any out of box reason or solution for autism? I’m looking desperately for hope for the future of my kid. I’m not looking for a medical advice, just your opinion regarding these issues like autism, cancers, autoimmune diseases…..what do you think we need to change to address these epidemics of today.
Thank you for the comment. You were asking about autism, mentioned in my blog and I am not sure where you saw that. I am by no means an expert on autism so I do not feel comfortable providing any advice. If looking for more information on how diet can prevent, or improve symptoms of some of our most prevalent diseases (diabetes, cancer, etc) I recommend watching the documentary, “Forks Over Knives,” and seeking out the doctor Michael Gregor, who has a few great books, and a website https://nutritionfacts.org/. You will find way better advice there! hope that helps.
Hi Cindy. Can you send me that message also? My wife and I are currently going back to counseling because I reached my breaking point. I have seen her efforts to change recently but I still feel an emptiness towards her. I can’t bring myself to be affectionate with her because I’m so sad about it all. I want to believe things will change this time but I’m not sure they will/can. I’m just wondering if it’s possible for me to fall in love again or am I just stringing her along?
There are two questions you and your wife need to answer before moving forward.
1.What are your values? And what are the character traits you look for in a spouse? When I say values, I mean is your standard of behavior, what is important in life? Then ask yourself if you will be living more by those values if you stay, or if you go? Also ask yourself if your spouse has the character traits of someone you would want to be with? In other words, aside from the emotional baggage you have right now, does s/he still have the character of someone you would be interested in having a relationship with? I know it may seem like a silly question, but it is not, and it was a huge factor for me. I knew my husband was a good decent human being, who still had many of the character traits that made him right for me. it was all the bad emotions that were causing me to want to divorce him.
2. If you were to ask your friends and family if you should stay with your spouse, people that know you both well, and care for you both, what would they say? If the answer is that people who love you would say “leave him/her, I have always thought s/he was bad for you,” or if they say “you are a good couple and both decent human beings, I feel like you can work it out,” you will get a perspective that you need right now.
For me, that was my first step. Knowing he was still a good person, albeit flawed, and also knowing all my family and friends would think I was making a mistake.
Then you DECIDE. You make the choice that you are going to fix it. You don’t waffle, or “try to make it work,” you decide. Deciding is not trying. Trying gives you an out. Deciding means you will accept no other alternative.
You can change everything. I wish I could give you all the steps here, but that is the book I am writing and is over 100 pages already. But those are the first two steps. Hope that helps. Cindy
This is giving me hope! I’m in a similar position to this. My partner recently told me they no longer love me, they feel empty, they don’t know how they got here they just don’t think these feelings will ever come back. We have almost 30 years together, 4 kids, a good life & have been through a lot together. I love him with all my heart. I feel like you did, regret at years I’ve lost focus of on the wrong things instead of savouring the right things, those that really make us happy like interactions with the kids, looking at the wonderful Positive things we do have rather than focussing on housework & ‘work’ work. I wish I could get my husband to see this, he’s very negative & always thinking of what will happen if things fail rather than what wonderful things could happen if we try. We have started counselling & a lot of that is based on what you have said. The ‘doing’ of things to establish & remember feelings. It’s certainly worked for me as I too was falling out of love with him & I’m doing nice things for him, looking back at old memories, laughing together & as a family & holding his hand my feelings have developed into a deeper love really quickly. He feels it won’t work as he’s taken the odd tiny step but feels nothing, he won’t see it takes time & effort & I like your reference above to it needing to be Conscious decision & not just ‘trying’. I also like your reference, may be on the other blog, about saying ‘I love you’ even if you don’t feel it. Did that feel really uncomfortable to say when you’d fallen out of love? I’m going to download your book. Thanks for sharing your story. It’s been really helpful.
Thank you for the comment. Let me know if the book helps, I recommend getting your husband to read it too. It sounds like you have a lot worth saving. You can have it all again, it just takes time and work. I hope he can come to understand that. Keep me updated.
Hi- can you send me the same PM? My wife and I are going through the same thing.
Hi can you please send me the same email. Could have written that myself. Thank you
Please can I too have the message. I too am struggling with the massive concern of not feeling desire/fancying husband after 15 years together, 8 years of marriage and 3 young children. I’m scared of infedelity and really wish I could channel my desire to my husband. All affection has gone too. I too searched how can I stop hating my husband 🙁
Hi Cindy, could you send me that message too please? I am no longer in love with my husband or attracted to him either and am full of resentment just like you were. The resentment just makes it hard for me to find that attraction again. I’m at a point where I want things to be good for our young kids but Fear that’s the only reason we’re still together.
Marina- Do you want to make it work? did you once love him? Are you willing to separate yourself from the resentment to look clearly on your relationship? We all can love again and be attracted again. WE all can let go of our resentment. It takes a lot of hard work, yes, but that is why you need to determine if it is worth it to you. Is he a good man, father, husband? All I can say is if you do not start unpacking the baggage within your relationship now, you will bring it with you to the next relationship so it is important to get past the past, and figure out what you want for your present and future. I hope that helps. Cindy
You hit the nail on the head, Cindy. Great post.
Why do women always have to endure such enlightenment and look inward but men don’t? The husband was in a spin class when the child was in ER; he should have been an adult! I hate my husband and fear having children because I will take in all the burden with no help as exemplified by the many chores I ask for help and do not get done. Through few years of verbal abuse, I am eomotionally disconnected and when I try to let go; an abusive tone or what I perceive as an abusuve tone will remind me of the past and cause me to runaway to the guest bedroom.
I think men do look inward as well. There is a lot more to my story, and my husband had to do a lot of soul searching as well. All of us are capable of learning and growth. We can all change. The issue is that some are not willing to do the work necessary to get there. You should not stay in an abusive relationship…
Wow, this is an incredible post. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to get my wife to read it. I learned 5 weeks ago that she hasn’t had feelings of love for me in about 10 years. She has been on autopilot. Last year she began to experience desires (no infidelity) that didn’t involve me. She thought for years that she just didn’t desire anyone and we lived that life. Now she is questioning whether she could ever love me or have feelings for me again.
We are seeing a MC. I am 100% committed (I read “I Love You but and Not In Love with you” that gave me hope), but she is on the fence. She doesn’t see how she can feel for me again. I can’t flood her with “read this, read that” because that will likely just turn her away (desperation is not attractive).
What you described is so much what our lives have become. MC hasn’t giving me hope, either way, because of my wife’s reluctance to be a believer that things can change. We either plan a divorce, plan on the status quo or go through true couples counseling. If she isn’t committed or believes it could work, it won’t.
Do you have any suggestions on how to get my wife to read this? As the husband, I am 100% focused on improving my 1/2 of the relationship (I have definitely screwed a few things up) and have two wonderful boys that I want to live as a family.
This is literally my life. Mirror image. I don’t engage in conversation about important things—I freeze in fear of making my partner mad. In turn he is mad because I don’t talk about things. I do everything on my own, my partner never helps, but I don’t ask for help either. I’m full of resentment and keep a scoreboard mentality where I’m always winning because I do everything. My partner has explosive anger and has moved in and out more times than I can count. He is willing and wants to work on things and change himself but I can’t seem to actually do it. It sounds like a great idea and I desire to be happy and in a healthy relationship but then tomorrow comes and I’m still stuck in the same place I was yesterday—feeling bad for myself and hating him. I literally typed “how to not hate my husband” to get to this page. It validated me a lot but also has me asking myself, “what the heck is wrong with you!?”
Feeling so stuck but thankful i stumbled into this article.
What do you do if your spouse does not want to change or put forth any effort at all to try to make the marriage work? No matter how hard I try to make changes with myself and make it work, he continues to treat me horrible and says he does not want to try, he is done and wants a divorce. I refuse to give up. How do you change their mind to at least try?
Hi Dana-I am not sure any of us can change anyone’s mind. If you have been having problems for a long time, and the dynamic between you and your husband has been the same, my only advice would be to change the dynamic. You have to break the behavior pattern. If you want a different response from him, you need to respond differently. I am not sure what that means for you but I know that unhealthy relationships can persist under the same unhealthy behavior patterns for a very long time. I wish I could give you more specific advice, but everyone is different. From the little you have shared, my guess is that your husband feels like he has all the power, that allows him to walk all over you. I do not recommend you allowing that. Regardless of what you want for your family, you do not want to be in a relationship with someone who chooses to treat you badly. So, figure out how you want to be treated, as his current wife, as a friend, as a person, and set him straight with it. You need to assume some of your power back otherwise you will never be on the same playing field. I hope that helps. I know you want to make it work, but don’t sacrifice your self respect for it. If you are going to work this out, you need to be confident enough to demand your needs in the relationship. I am sorry you are going through this difficult time, good luck. Cindy
Cindy – I have been in my relationship for 18 years this November – married for the past 8. We have one son who is 15. We have overcome infidelity at least 2 times(that I know of) before the marriage and I thought I had been able to forgive him for the one time since we have been married, but it seems I still cannot get over it and find myself still questioning him and who he may or may not be talking to behind my back. I’d like to add, He is 100% Narcissist. He likes to tell stories and added in exaggerations that I know are not true, but for the most part they are harmless so I have let him continue this for as long as we have been together. But sometimes I think he does this so often that he has come to believe the majority of them. He has never one time put me down, or called me names, or put his hands on me. He knows I come from an abusive childhood and the previous relationship to him was abusive as well. We use to be intimate on a regular basis, but after each time of his infidelity I have withdrawn from him. The most recent, which was back in 2012 wasn’t even a physical infidelity, at least he swears it wasn’t and I really want to believe that. It was mainly just talk and sending pictures – but if I hadn’t found out how much farther would it have gone…I guess who’s to say. But regardless, physical or not it is still betrayal of our vows and I was heartbroken to say the least. He has not stepped out in any way since as far as I am aware. At first when we worked it out all was fine for a few years after that, but my intimacy level with him dropped dramatically over it. I could never get it out of my head what he had done to me and felt it was only a matter of time before it happened again. But I refuse to break up my family at all costs – even if that means I have to be miserable most of the time. So I decided in order for me to continue in this marriage I had to make my self “not care” what he was doing or who he was talking to, that I had to take my emotion out of it so I didn’t get hurt again – so much that I started to actually not care at all, for him, for myself, for anything. I got to the point I was so depressed I just wanted to die! I withdrew from him as much as I possibly could and would still go through the motions as husband and wife so he didn’t catch on. I have gotten to the point where I know I love him, but I don’t feel like I am in love with him anymore because of this. He is very observant and a good one at that. He isn’t stupid, he is very smart and great with his words and quick with a response to anything I say. So of course he would ask “are we ok?” and I would say “yeah, of course” just to avoid a confrontation. Instead of trying to deal with things at the time, I would just say yeah we’re good and move on and not mention how I feel he is being secretive by always keeping his phone from me, or his lack of affection towards me unless it is sex related, or how I would like it if I didn’t feel like I was the one doing everything all the time, or how stressed financially I am, I could go on. But he knows, he has always known I wasn’t being truthful, but he too let it go. There is way more involved here, but to sum it up, we are now living in separate places for the time being. He is still at the house and my son and I are staying at his moms – now going on week 2. I guess I tell you all this to ask, is there a way back? Back to when I fell in love with him. I was 16 and he was 21 when we met and he is all I have known for over half my life. I don’t want to give all that up. We have come so far, but how do I feel for him the way I use to? Lack of intimacy is a huge thing for him – but he doesn’t seem to understand why I still have an issue after this long. I know I have unloaded a lot on you and I know this still isn’t the whole picture, but over all I just want to learn how to love him again if at all possible and let go of the things in the past and have a healthy marriage. I feel we have become different people than who we were 18 years ago, and we are still trying to love that person and not who we are now. Thanks for listening!
Hi Ashley- You are right, this is a lot to take in. I apologize for not responding sooner. My concern is his infidelity pattern. I have seen people recover from cheating, but typically it is a one time thing, and the person who cheated changes drastically (ie.no more hiding phone, no more secrets). Cheaters that just apologize an do not drastically change their behavior patterns, have not healed the void that caused them to stray in the first place. That being said, it does seem like there is a connection between you. It seems like maybe you both are harboring unhealed wounds from your past. You cannot fill his void (neither can the affairs), he cannot fill yours (you mentioned your abusive childhood). The key to this every working is you both working on yourselves and then coming back together as new people. Obviously, that is a lot easier said than done. I feel like you are willing to do the work, but is he? The narcissism leaves me concerned. Narcissists need SO much work. Have you considered a therapist?
This is exactly what I needed to hear! Thank you.
Thanks for sharing, will apply what I have learned.
None of it is easy.
Everyone’s journey is different.
You take bits from here and there and apply it to yourself as opposed to leaving nasty comments that serve no purpose. The goal in reading this type of stuff is to improve yourself/myself. I’m surprised to see some of the comments on here.
This article really hit home. We’ve been married for 7 years. We have one child. My has husband has ADD and he responds to me like a child when he has ADD moments. I worked so hard to get us to therapy & on solid ground for seven years as he fought & resisted me. Now that we have a great therapist and a healthy place to talk, I find that I am ALL DONE! We have kindness, respect and gratitude for each other. I am working on forgiveness, I’m still separating the emotions from the tangled mess. But I do not know if I still love him.
Your article has given me a road map to reinvest myself back in my marriage. We both know we are at a fork in the road in our marriage. I will start with saying “I love you” each day and an act of affection, maybe a kiss. I haven’t kiss him in many months. Thank you f helping me see my marriage with a new lens.
ps that comment about your husband….WoW!
Hi Joi- Thank you for the comment, it makes me happy that you can relate to my story and it has helped you look at your marriage from a new lens. If you want even more details about my story and how I fell in love with him again, get my book! It is a really quick, easy read, with lots more about my journey. I hope it helps. Good luck.
What if your husband is all around pretty great but you just can’t muster up the desire to do what needs to be done? What if for really no good reason you are just turned off by him? I like him but I feel like I’ve run my course with him. I know this sounds selfish. We have built a terrific life and family together but I find myself seeking companionship elsewhere. If we have to dig so deep and try so hard is it natural? Aren’t love and energy meant to flow? Are we doing what we feels natural or making things feel natural to fit into society’s expectations? Thanks! These are questions that swim around in my mind and all the meditation and soul searching still leave me with conflicting feelings depending on which way the wind is blowing.
Hi Maggie- Sorry, I think that is your name. You are not alone in your apathy towards your husband and marriage. I was there too. Mine was rooted in resentment that turned to indifference. Indifference is a marriage killer because youve shut yourself off from your emotions. This becomes a dangerous place because we NEED to feel. Thus the interest in other companions- you’re sensitive to that little spark, because you’ve allowed your fire to burn out. The funny thing about feelings is this, you cannot just turn off the bad ones. When you turn off the bad, you turn off the good too. You become very vulnerable to that drug like feeling that takes over when we find interest in other people. I do not recommend that route. If you want to leave, then leave before you do something irreparable. In terms of love and whether it is supposed to be easy or hard. Real, lasting love, is HARD but it’s the type of hard work that is very rewarding and fulfilling. I used to think that love was that feeling we get at the beginning of the relationship. You want to spend every waking moment with the person, you want to have sex all of the time- its like a drug. It’s a stage of love I talk about in my book where lots of chemicals are being released in our brains making us almost obsessed with the other person. In a normal relationship, the stage progresses into a calmer one, a more secure stage where two people form an even deeper connection and bond. At this stage, the drug like euphoria is gone, but it is replaced with that sense of calm and security necessary for long term relationships. Over time, this stage can get stagnant when we stop nurturing it or when we let problems build. Anyway, only you can decide whether you want to do the work but I assure you that working hard on a marriage is not unnatural. And love is a verb. Hope that helps.
God led me to this article. Thank you thank you thank you. <3
This was so helpful! It’s like you were writing my story from the beginning with your children almost to the end. I became bitter resentful and my heart hardened. But I knew deep down I wanted to save my marriage. There is a lot of kicking and screaming going on. I’ve been so focused on prayer and thought it would just change on its own. Like working out you need to be consistent. It’s been 11 months of hell because I’ve felt nothing but pain and depression from this. It was very hard for me to focus on the good. He was so focused on work and the gym too! I took care of our son the whole time. But I too was focusing on all what was wrong no wonder it became my reality. Now I’m going back and learning that’s what he knew was best as a man. That working hard was showing love in his eyes. He was not emotional at all etc. the day I broke down and said I don’t love you anymore he didn’t see it coming but changed way for the better. But your right at that point you can’t just turn it off. I have to retrain my brain all over again for the years of thinking a certain way to the point I exploded. But again I knew deep down we were meant to be we just had to dig deep and past all the build up that was created over my heart. I have to be more consistent and focused on the good times, I’m facing how wrong I was in judging him and not looking at myself and the plank in my eye. I want to fix this more then anything. We had no idea what we were doing. We thought ok we fell in love that’s it! We didn’t take care of it. So now kicking and screaming the hard work is here. We have a beautiful family together and now it’s time to emotionally get to work no matter how far gone you think it is. And your right I was so woe is me instead of focusing on him and showing love I was ruminating how I felt and it was debilitating! Like a death! I don’t want to give into the patterns of this world and false teaching of what I “thought” marriage was supposed to be all butterfly loving all the time. Now I face the truth of marriage. How we grow together in these time’s. That climbing over mountains like this will make us stronger. When I would fall to the floor in pain he picked me up. I didn’t realize how much he loved me! Now we are working on a new us and letting go of the past, mistakes, blame, hurt, resentment l. Now I need to focus on what an amazing husband and father he is. And the more I focus on that everyday I too want to say our love is blooming as you did. I want that victory story and not fall into the traps of this world and the lies we were told and told ourselves
So glad you found my blog helpful and hopeful. Your situation sounds so similar to mine. Remember I wrote a book that goes into even more details if you are interested. You can find it on Amazon! Let me know what you think! Good luck!
I am not a woman coming here looking for a healthier lifestyle I am a 27 year old guy who is going through somewhat of a crisis trying to grow up and find myself and my grateful place my purpose here if you will I don’t know how I ended up here on your website but I’m really glad I did your story left some quotes engraved in my memory now I will never forget and will always come to mind when I need an inspirational or motivational push in life words are very powerful and you’d be surprised how they can change people and stick with people forever thank you for this.
What you focus on grows! This has really stuck with me and shifted my perspective.
So after a day of debilitating anxiety and obsessive thoughts about how bad my marriage is. I googled ‘is it possible to fall back in love with your spouse.’ I feel like Im at the beginning of my own self awareness. Your article gives me hope that my solution isnt to kick my husband out. Thank you
I am so glad the article helped. You definitely can fix a bad marriage if you want to. My book tells my whole story if you are interested in reading more. It is super short and easy to digest. Not all relationships are created equal, but I hope my book helps those who really want to get over their resentment and/or issues and love again. you can find my book on Amazon!https://amzn.to/3kfDYu5
Thanks for your comment! Good luck to you.