May 302013 87 Responses

If Your Dog (or Husband) Runs, Don’t Chase Him

If my dog gets out of the backyard, she takes off. The street is busy, but she doesn’t know its danger. My temptation when she runs is to chase her. However, if I chase her she will keep running. Why shouldn’t she? She is getting what she wants—to go where she wants to go and to have me go with her. It’s the best of both worlds for her. It’s horrible for me. Not only is she running toward danger, but I’m having to expend the energy to go after her. She is disobeying, but I am suffering.

When my dog gets out of the backyard, I have to do the counter-intuitive thing. I have to go the other way. As she runs away from the backyard, I go to it. And I call her as I go. My action forces a choice. She has to choose—me or where she wants to go. She doesn’t get both. She has made the decision to run; now she must make the decision to keep going or come with me.

Funny thing—when I chase my dog she keeps running, but when I go away from my dog she comes back. (See: 5 Keys to Save Your Marriage)

What is true with dogs is often true with husbands.

Far too often when a husband runs from his responsibility, the wife chases him. Terrified of what she might lose she runs after him begging him to turn around. Ironically her actions can enable his behavior. Instead of experiencing the consequences of his decision, he is able to try freedom while keeping the comforts of home. Instead of being forced to make a decision, he can continue going the direction he is headed without any loss. (See: How to Stay Married in the Tough Times)

Instead of chasing a running husband, a wife should stop. She should set her boundaries. She should make it very clear who she is, where she is, and where she will be. She should communicate her desire for her husband, her desire to work on their marriage, but her refusal to chase after him. She should draw her lines in the sand and make it clear she will not cross them.

  • She will not live with someone who is having intimate conversations with other people.
  • She will not be married to someone who continues to sleep with other people.
  • She is going to counseling with or without her spouse.

These and other boundaries should be communicated clearly. (See: Marry a Partner, Not a Child)

Standing one’s ground seems counter-intuitive when a spouse runs, and it never guarantees a positive outcome, however, it is a much wiser choice than chasing after someone. If you chase them, they will run. If you don’t chase them, they will be forced to decide what they want.

When my dog runs, I don’t chase her. Every time I turn the other way, she turns around and comes to me. But my dog is trained and loving, not every man is that way. However, some are. If he runs, don’t chase him.

For more, see:

How to Respond to Others When They Make Bad Choices

The Warning Sign of a Bad Marriage You Might Miss

 

87 Responses to If Your Dog (or Husband) Runs, Don’t Chase Him
  1. Delba Tidwell Reply

    Loved this , you nailed it Kevin….. Delba, (Justin’s mom :

  2. katie Reply

    Unfortunately, I can vouch for this advice. I took a job, signed myself up for school (I was never so heartbroken in my life, as being a stay-at-home wife and mom was where I knew I was called to be), and told my husband not to let the door hit him on the backside on his way out….and thankfully, the Lord was able to help him to think clearly-and weigh his choices.

    I won’t say it has been easy (but with my degrees earned, and career choice, I know that I am now able to support myself which helps me not to feel trapped) and God has been able to take the ugliness of sin, and allow me to empathize with women in similar situations-whereas I never truly understood the level of heart-hurt before.

    I don’t recommend staying in abusive situations, but in my case it was just a sinful, lost and wandering husband and father. God was more than able and willing to restore him, and thankfully, my children still have a father and mother (both flawed, but forgiven) due to God’s grace. Additionally, God has been faithful to my children-being their father and friend, and has kept my children’s hearts tender and open to Him.

    • Christine Reply

      It’s been a long time since you left your reply , but I’m going through a very similar thing.

      • Aly Reply

        Hi Christine. I’m going through the same thing as well.

  3. […] Why should they grow up if they never experience the negative consequences of their decisions? If th... kevinathompson.com/marry-partner
  4. K Reply

    Ok, maybe I am just bitter but if someone cheats, there is no working on it, counseling, etc. if you choose to bring someone else into the marriage, I am out. That is a trust that can not be restored! I would never ever trust that person again. What they did would alwYs be in the back of my mind. I can say this because it did happen to me. I was heartbroken but I am so much better off. I stuck by my guns and cut off all ties I could from him. It is hard when there is a child involved but I had to do what was best for myself and My child. Kids deserve to see two parents who love and respect each other. I was blessed to find someone that I am enough for. He isn’t looking for anything else. I don’t have trust issues bc he has never given me any reason to have any. So many women stay because of the kids, because of the Bible etc. I do no believe that God wants us to be with someone in a healthy marriage. I do not like how many people, ministries preach for staying with the person and how bad divorce is etc. If you are being cheated on, that all goes pus the window. He disobeyed a commandment and now you think you are a sinner bc you don’t want to stay with him. Well you aren’t!

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      K, I would say that is your right. I think the Bible gives you that right. I can say, many couples can establish a much better relationship after an affair if they are willing to work on it. It is an amazing struggle, but many would say is well worth it. I’m always clear with the person who has been cheated on–it is your right to stay or leave. My encouragement with people is just take the time to make that decision.

  5. jen Reply

    I have been in a tumultuous relationship that I knew was toxic from the beginning. The man likes to run away. It was amazing that we lasted for over two years. I finally told myself enough was enough a month ago, and am slowly distancing myself from him. Fortunately, he is so used to running away that he doesn’t even know I existed that long in his life. I am in between two worlds right now – miserable but a bit more happier than I was prior to that. At least my heart is now where it belongs and I don’t pine for him so much. Still, I feel slightly miserable because the two years and more seem to have meant nothing at all to him. I believe in time that feeling will go away too and I will finally see the end to this tunnel I am in and see light and the beauty of life that God has prepared for me.
    I don’t think I am much of a chaser. It was more due to a misjudgement on the part of a friend that I became somewhat enamoured with this man. She defined him as a ‘good man’ and I thought her judgement was acceptable as she was always to appear wise and knowledgeable (and many people seem to think so too). I have since found out that she is as blind as a bat when it comes to people or even about anything at all. She is clueless but she talks so big that she appears to be wise.
    Recently she babbled about why people were so against bringing their small children into the jungle in the middle of the night but instead don’t mind bringing them to the mall? Living in Borneo where we have king cobras, phytons that can eat you whole, wild boars, elephants and man eating crocodiles the length of a bus, I think she must be mad. And perhaps she is. Yet the point is, many people who look up to her (minus me) may just take her word for it and bring their small ones to the jungle at night and expose them to danger. I have to tell her to zip her mouth and keep her opinions to herself one of these days because she puts people in danger.
    Anyway, I like what you wrote Kevin. In my case, it was never the chase. It was more the faulty perception that I was going out with a ‘good man’ that kept me going back to a loveless relationship. It is good to feel free. I think the man feels the same way too.

  6. Rae Reply

    I am in this situation right now. I believe that God is bigger than anything that is happening in my life right now, but some days it hurts so much I can’t even function. I am seeing a counselor, and going back to school, but ultimately I am praying for God to heal our marriage and make it what it should be.

    • katie Reply

      Oh, Rae, God knows the situation, where you are at-and how much you are hurting. I am praying that our heavenly father wraps his arms of love and comfort around you-and holds you close. I recommend that you and hubby (if he will agree to it) seek pastoral counseling as well. I cannot tell you how much it helped me to not think I was crazy (and things all my fault) to have our pastor set my hubby straight in plain-spoken words. Please know I am bringing you continually before the throne of grace… ~Katie

  7. […] hay excepciones. Algunas personas han tomado malas decisiones en los que se casaron, o el cónyuge h... columnadeluz.net/la-causa-numero-1-de-divorcio-no-puede-ser-lo-que-usted-piensa
  8. Nick Reply

    Amen, but women can run to because that is what is happening with my wife right now. It has been going on since November and has esculated to the point where she is moving out into her own place. She thinks that the seperation will do us good, but I told her that barring a miracle I am 99% sure we are done. I filed the divorce papers last week and will have to wait the mandatory 90 days and send in the final divorce papers and parenting plan for our 3 kids. Last time this happened I prayed and God had me read Hosea, this time the only time I prayed was when I was coming back from the bank where I got the money order, I was having a panic attack and I asked God if I was doing the right thing and I was able to see one of her inappropriate texts she received. I know I wouldn’t have made it this far without God’s Grace!!!

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      I’m sorry Nick. You are right, foolish choices can be made by women as well as men. The basic point applies to both.

  9. ann Reply

    Are you just talking about a choice of cheating or could it also be lifestyle choices of going to clubs/bars and drugs? That’s where I am right now. He’s never cheated on me that I know of.. but he chases after the world. After 17 years of marriage this desire in him only got stronger.. we are now separated.. Am I doomed to be alone the rest of my life now? (Which I’m not desiring a relationship probably just the sense of love) I’m not even 40. As of right now I am being “still” as I was instructed by the Lord to do. Sometimes my leg cramps up staying so still and I get the desire to move!

    • Marie Reply

      Thanks Ann… Be still before the LORD …You are not alone in experiencing the same thing.

  10. Nancy Lopez Reply

    I’ve been with my husband for 12 years. I prayed for him for so long and now I’m ready to let go. I can’t do it anymore. Finally I feel God is telling me I can let go. I fully understand my happiness is my own and I can’t be with someone who refuses to find his. I refuse to let my children think they will only find their happiness in some else. Life is too short, and beautiful to waste on people that only want to keep you down. So Im 37 and I want to live the rest of my life happy. My children are growing and I don’t want to loose a beat.

  11. Elise Reply

    Two years ago, when we’d been married 5 years, my husband left me a note and changed his number- said he’d cheated on me- which turned out to be a massage parlor and to move on. After he left, family influenced him, and it turned into my fault- holding him back, having a temper, controlling him, etc. It seemed he said one thing and told others another. After 3 weeks, he came back and we were communicating better and making plans- it was hard to repair relationships, but we went back to normal pretty quickly. It has been a struggle because we got married young and I already had a good paying job, and he has not made up his mind on a school to go to although I’ve been supportive. So this January I found an ATM withdrawal and turns out he went to another massage parlor- he made an excuse and I believed it and even though I said divorce at first reaction, I asked if he wanted the marriage to be over and he said not even close, so we smoothed it all over. So we travel around for work, so we went to another state for my job, and a month into it I come home from work early and he’s acting suspicious and won’t let me see his tablet. He was able to close out a window before I saw, and told me some stupid excuse…but it came out that his intentions in January were not good, and he had touched the lady, and that he had gone to 2 other massage parlors in other places we’d been. So 4 total, and he told me he feels like he always has to say no to other advances of women because he’s married. Just a sidenote–we were both homeschooled, raised in legalistic churches, and were each other’s first serious relationship…were married at 22 after knowing each other 4 months- and his father was very controling, punishing, and psychologically abusive and made men out to be evil and intimacy is wrong- so he’s felt like our relationship is wrong even though we’re married- and basically feels like a bad person all the time. So, back to the confession- said he’s depressed, he admits to being interested in other women and doesn’t know how to handle the feelings and attractions because he was never allowed to talk to girls or worked with girls. He kinda joked about an open marriage. Basically, we had decided on a school in Cali and I would have to fulfill my job alone the last month- but I knew he needed this so I said ok- but after his confession and mixed feelings about our marriage, he left early and said he’d been wanting to ask for a separation. He left a month ago, and since then I’ve been paranoid, and don’t know how I can trust him. The first week, I saw a number on his phone record so I called it and eventually it came out that they met on craigslist and she was helping him find a place- I don’t know what to believe- he said it wasn’t romantic, but when he first found out I knew he sent a text saying he would kill himself- I freaked but he didn’t really do it. It was strained but we were kinda talking again after that. After he arrived at the school, he went to this reatreat where there was a sweat lodge, nudity, closeness, but apparently not like an orgy or something. He said the acceptance and love and unity was really healing for him. I was supportive, but still have reservations. His massage therapy school will involve yoga, energywork, and of course touching people in more intimate places. He believes this is the only career for him, but he is worried that he’ll cheat on me or something because it’s so new and so many changes. Well, we had decided we would have a longer separation for him to sort everything out and work on ourselves as individuals- have getting back together be the end goal but not focusing on it really. But then I happened to see an e mail that he sent about a week before trying to meet up with a girl he was chatting with on craigslist-“I was the one who said I’m really into curvy girls” and I tried to act normal for a little bit, but eventually confronted him and then he said he couldn’t do this anymore- acted like he’d wasted 7 years with me- sounded like somebody had told him this somehow was my fault- and was going to push for divorce. We didn’t speak for this past week after that, only a couple nice texts, and I felt led to send him a last effort e mail where I apologized for everything I could think of that had hurt him or our marriage and asked not to give up on us. He responded by saying he just has so much inner turmoil and is not quite sure what will happen with all the changes, but he has to take risks. He seems to be pulling away from me to not hurt me- he said he feels like it’s scary and overwhelming for him and he doesn’t want to cheat on me- but it makes me mad he’s putting our marriage on the line for this career- and leaving me hanging to wait for him to decide if we can be together. He finally called yesterday about something more businessy and we had a good conversation where he seemed more open to me taking a temp job in Cali and us sort of dating, but he isn’t really initiating reconciliation. He denies dating anyone or wanting to. He told me at the end of the convo that he does think about me and thinks about how I’m doing. I loved that, but he still doesn’t tell me what exactly he’s doing, answer my texts as quickly as we used to, or say he wants me back. Today, I see some face shots and a body shot in his e mail that he doesn’t know I can still see. I don’t know why he’d be doing that unless he’s doing online dating, but I don’t know anything and if I confront him again it’ll be over. But it feels like I can’t trust him. I checked dating sites and didn’t see him on any, but still…if he doesn’t say I’ll have to ask him eventually before we can reconcile! I don’t know if I should just spare myself the pain and cut it off now, or hold on, hoping that he will figure things out, realize that his wife is a great girl and what he had was amazing and worth the committment- or is he living a double life? I’ve been drawing close to God in this, but can’t keep the thoughts away sometimes. My confidence lies on his affection towards me, and I want to be understanding and forgiving, but I just don’t know if the tenderness he speaks is real. I just don’t know what to do. Sorry for being long winded.

    • Jennie Reply

      I sure hope you got out of this relationship. These are not the actions of a man who loves or respects you the way a person should be loved and respected.

  12. kesha Reply

    God is a delivered of those that seek him. I was married and my husband was a habitual cheater. He had a child by the other woman. I left him and the whole situation alone. The day I hound out. And God with his everlasting mercy and grace has allowed me deliverance. He has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and a sound mind.

  13. Lalola Reply

    Amen! I read this a year a go and it has helped me see things in a whole new perspective. My hubby was very manipulative and controlling, i just stopped making excuses and running after him. This woke him up a bit but soon he went back to his old ways. The it was my time to wake up, we were just not meant to be, he was draining me and make me feel useless so i did the running without looking back.

    Now almost 8 months apart, i have received a huge job promotion, enrolled for my PhD, bought a plot soon to build my dream house, i have started to shine and bloom again. I have no regrets.

    • Premi Reply

      I am blessed seeing your comment. Does it really get better? I am in a phase in which I am totally stuck and depressed.

    • Applekins Reply

      I’m in a very difficult situation now. How did you cope up? Where did you get the strenght to leave. I feel so scared just by thinking that I will leave without my husband. He left after we fought which he always does and refuses to go home. He doesn’t answer my calls, answered once only to badmouth me and told me not to call him anymore. There is also another women involve but it more of an emotional affair. He runs to her everytime we fight. This is just devastating because despite his actions, I still love him.

  14. Rose Reply

    My husband left for work a week ago after kissing me and texted me 20 min later saying I’m going to my mums you deserve better,13 years 3 kids and I get a text? 4 days ago he texted to say he doesn’t feel same anymore I’m sorry it’s over there is no one else,I have no job no money and no idea what I’m meant to do,maybe there was signs but after 13 years and having kids never did I see signs of this,he won’t see me face to face and just replies to texts only to say it’s over he doesn’t feel the same,not I don’t love you,just I don’t feel the same,this is a man who wanted to book a hotel for a night away 3 weeks go!! Told me I was his best friend a month ago? Do I understand? No I’m heartbroken,battered and weak,I’ve begged,blamed myself,got angry,he won’t change his mind and will not see me.

    • Mike Reply

      You might be able to fix this. Tell him how great of a man he is and your very proud of him. Subs like he feels less of a man because he thinks he let his family down. Try your best to make him feel like Superman. You miss him and love him. Sex would be very important too. Sex makes a Men feel a very close with their wife. Tell him you want him give him a reason to come him and tell him and show him how important he is to you and your kids!

  15. Shawn Reply

    I am desperate and in need of advice. I know my heart tells me to move on because Im miserable but my heart tells me to hold on because i beleive he does love me and will come back, even if he says he is done. jAN 1ST my husband of just over a year and partner of 4 years left me. I yelled at him to shut off the TV because we were leaving and i knew he would leave it on just because he doesnt think about those things. He took off his coat and said he wasnt taking orders from me anymore. ill start from the beginning. 2 weeks after we married I had 2 back surgeries. He was mazing taking care of me as were my kids. While being off work I was terminated from my job. It was a very important job in the eyes of the community and this is how i valued my self worth. Before I started dating my husband I had put myself through 4 yrs of college with 3 kids, found an amazing job i had for 7 years and then bought us a home. Months later he moves in 2 years from the date we marry. So I lose my job because they needed my position filled. I had a hard time finding another job I could do and liked and started falling into a deep depression. i also was very irritable. Sadly I took it out on my husband. Everything thing like leaving loads of trash all ove rthe garage, not picking up after himself pretty much just being lazy got to me and I let him have it. The day he left I was watching him pack and I cried. he made fun of me and i slapped him. He says I stole his pride and his manhood. He moved out but came over every day for 2 weeks. Every time I would keep my distance but he would always motion for me to come toward him and he would hold me in his arms. He even called in one night to stay and make love which was something we had not done in awhile. One day he just stopped coming over and ignoring my texts which sent me into a rage and of course made me keep texting him hounding him with why’s and all that. Eventually he told me to leave him alone changed his number etc. He did however keep me on fb but never spoke to me. mind you our wedding pictures remain on his page which is strange to me. The couple times i have managed to talk to him its either about our dogs or my kids. i have finally asked him a week ago if he wanted a divorce and if he still loved me . He said he does love me but that wasnt enough he will always love me and i will always hold a place in his heart he just doesnt think its going to work. i started seeing a therapist to resolve my own issues. I am praying that one day he will be willing to join me and want to work on our marraige. It wasnt all bad we have nmany great memories , and made many plans for our lives together. I admist my faults and believe me he was not innocent party in all this. He may have been lazy, may be a know it all, and may have forgotten to groom hiomself and very stubborn but I do love him he is my husband and i want to do everything i can to get him back home. to even date and see if he feels like its worth a shot. Again he is stubborn. i have no contact for him , he wont even give his brother his number because im friends with his gf and he dont want me getting it. i pray, I pray all the time. I dont know if I should give up or keep some hope he is just angry and will eventually miss me and want to work on us. if given the chance i would spend the rest of my life making my horrible words and actions up to him. I had to take a step back and look in to see the damage i was causing. Im truly sorry. Where do i go from here, does god really repair marriages? i am usually able to hear God there is always some sign and i see nothing i am totally deaf. Please help me!

    • Christina Reply

      I am not an expert, as my husband and I are separated currently, but I have been doing a lot of reading and this post is a great place to start. If you work on improving yourself he will notice, but don’t work on improving yourself FOR HIM, it has to be for YOU. God works miracles, and moves hearts, that’s his part of the bargain. Yours is to be the best person you can be. Serve God and he promises he has plans to prosper you and give you a hope and a future, but you need to be open to his will and his interpretation because His ways are not our ways — and His are always better for us.

  16. NotReallyMe Reply

    Nice comparison and excellent advice! I’ve been on your blog for the past 2 days, clicking link after link after link, reading my heart out! I’ve been searching for something, the answers for a very long time and I’m thinking that my obsessive behavior on your blog, stems from the hope that I might find it here, that you have the answers that I’ve been searching for. Though, I have found some interesting things so far, and other things I don’t agree with, I just wanted to let you know that this is the best post I have read, so far!!!!!

  17. Mike Reply

    My girlfriend and i have a son together he’s 9 we’ve been together for 14 years. I’m 32 and she’s 29. She had a rough childhood as so did i. I can take a lot of what life throws at me. She’s left and cheated a few times. I always let her back. In nov 2010 i was in Missouri because im a truck driver. Her and me were just starting to get batck together and work things out for like the 4th time. I had just rented a house in Arkansas to get her away from the hard drugs. I did do drugs for a few months but quickly realized what i was doing and quit and got a job. Well anyway while in Missouri i can’t get a hold of her. I find out her phone bill needed to be paid so i quickly paid it. Call her she’s crying they took it son! I dropped my trailer and drive from Missouri to Buffalo ny area. Get my son back after drug test thank God. I’m done with her. 3 months later she begging to come back i was Stern and said no multiple times. I’ve had enough of being hurt. Her guy friend called cps on her because she wouldn’t stay with him. I give in over time and work things out that’s beginning 2011. She s a very beautiful woman and i never stopped loving her ever. Between then and now we had a few bumps in the road. Beginning of 2012 I find it she’s emailing sexy pics of herself to another man she’s sorry again. I get depressed but still love her but can’t bring myself to make love to her. Things finally get better again i get a good job home every night and on my second day of the job oct 2013 i get into bad car accident at 5am a woman ran a stop sign at 60 mph and t boned me in driver side door. Fractured pelvis i have. We get money she’s been really good for a while. Very insecure about bust size she begs for breast augmentation so i do it. That’s done in July 2014 she showed so much love she changed everything was golden. 6 months ago she started bashing me calling me all kinds of names every night for no reason. I’m confused start getting a gut feeling something is wrong. My family says they seen another man’s car in my driveway while I’m at work a few times. She denies it, my gut feeling gets stronger. For months i kept asking her questions that didn’t make sense . telling her i dont feel like she loves me any more. She tells me to be a man and quit being a pussy. Women don’t like men that feel that way. I’ve never felt that way. I was severely drpressed and all i needed was her to show me she cares. She changed and could feel it and didn’t know what was going on. She left me a week ago and is staying at another man’s house. She’s saying she not coming back until i get my life straight. Few months ago she started taking adderall. Past few months she’s also been talking about cameras in our house and people on Facebook are watching us on a secret show. Everyone’s posts pointed her to leave because something bad is going to happen. She’s reading random stuff on Facebook. People are talking about girl scout cookies and she thinks the girls on Facebook are getting together to get my woman and hurt her because there jealous. Everywhere she goes people talk about her. She thinks her brother is secretly recording us having sex and selling it for money. I don’t think now that she cheated any more but not sure! She never acted paranoid before but she always did think i was cheating on her not ask me but knew i was. I never cheated on her. I love her very much. Want her back but can’t stand her leaving every few years. I’ve always stuck by her side. She won’t come home she says i need help. The change in the summer i think was a mental disorder getting worse IE bipolar. It fits her from day one just never realized it until now. I told our dr but she went and told him i lied and he still gave her the adderall. I haven’t eaten in days. She won’t come home. Help!

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Mike, not sure what you can do in this situation. Maybe make an appointment with a counselor and see if they have any suggestions for you.

    • Annabelle Reply

      She’s on a bootleg version of meth, my friend. That’s why she’s so damn paranoid. I’m an addict in recovery, and I am telling you – she’s most likely using you for money and only gives a shit about drugs. Unless she gets clean, she’ll most likely stay this way. But her cheating on you like that is just out right wrong – druggie or not.

  18. Cellina Anny Reply

    My partner and I have separated die to me cheating in a big way. Now he doesn’t trust me nor does he have the same feelings about me anymore. I still really love him and are doing everything to fix the problem. He has even kicked me out of our house. Says he will never trust me again. It’s been 4 months now and he won’t even communicate with me anymore. He just wants to sell our house and move on. How can I change his mind about me. Please help.

  19. Kris Reply

    My partner of 17 years and I have been separated for 3 months we have two children together. He left me , but blame belongs on both sides . Since, I’ve been doing a lot of work on me and I really want our family whole again. When we first separated I did everything wrong – cry, scream yell, beg, not let him see his kids at our home etc. I quickly learned that my actions where not only counter-productive but they where making me someone I did not want to be. Now he comes to our house to see the kids anytime he chooses, I treat him like my best friend , and I show him gratitude for even the smallest things he does for us/me – even if it is just picking up the kids from the bus stop. Sometimes I feel like I am groveling, since he is their dad, but I figure you get more flies with honey. Sometimes it feels like we are moving in the right direction and years of tensions seem to be diminishing. We’ve even had a couple of family dinners together. I know that 3 months does not seem like a long time when wounds need healing, but I am frustrated. I have no idea if this is a separation for him or he just doesn’t want to be the one to say I’m done for good. For all I know he could have another women in his life. He is very closed off right now. I definitely do not feel like we’ve healed enough to have a where is this going talk and I feel an ultimatum would just push him away more. However right now I have a huge decision to make. We had planned to move out of state this June. My brother already agreed to rent us a house, and my employer and I made arrangements for me to work remotely from my new location. I have no family support here and I no longer have any friends that live here. Since we separated, all family responsibilities have become mine alone. Do I put off the move in hopes that we can repair our relationship? My re-location is close to my family and I feel I really need them right now but I dont know if the move will destroy any chance of repair. Then again maybe I’m blind and crazy and he could care less? I would truly appreciate any advice or opinions on my situation.

  20. Allison Reply

    Thank you, Kevin, for this insightful post. My husband left our home over two months ago after a minor argument in our home. It’s hard to believe he is gone. I never thought in my wildest dreams that he’d walk out on me. I should have been more vigilant and tried to see the signs earlier, but alas…he has gone back to drinking and using drugs, and when someone runs, as you say…you can’t chase them down and make them do the right thing.

    One trend that I find disturbing — and it even shows up in some of these comments — is this notion that we need to lift our husbands up and let them know how we think they’re “superman.” You can try to lift someone up by encouraging them and giving them high accolades for their achievements, but if they don’t believe it about themselves, that’s their choice. You cannot fix someone else and force them to believe how wonderful they are. If they don’t believe it about themselves, and if they are not willing to work on their own self esteem and self worth/image, then…that is a choice. If someone is insecure and places their value in how “successful” they are, in worldly terms, it is hard to reverse that as a wife.

    We should influence our husbands to be their best, and part of that is holding them accountable for their actions. I expect to be held accountable for my actions and if I am hurting the marriage, I want to know how and what I can do to make it right. Being abandoned hurts more than I ever thought I could hurt, but…I know that if I chase him, I am only enabling bad behavior.

    • Michelle Reply

      Totally agree Alison, suffered similar situation after 21 years of marriage. You’re right, it is heartbreaking, it is rather soul destroying and you feel abandoned because you were a strong person? Isn’t that a good thing to be in these days, a good example for four children left to wonder why as well? I share your sorrow and heartache but as I say to my sad little kids each night “it’s going to be O.K. We’ll be right”. So easy to just ‘walk away and remove yourself from the responsibilities of raising a family. Lucky I’m the strong one now I guess. Somewhere, somehow it will work out although some days you wonder how?

  21. Marty Reply

    Life is too short just make sure to take care of yourselves and stay safe.Don’t let these situations run your self esteem into the ground.I think some people do and for what? There are bad seeds in this world in my belief.They have such darkness that rules them and they don’t seem to care about hurting others.You have to care about yourself. Please take my advice.Hope everyone is okay.Somebody loves you. It’s going to be alright .And please educate yourselves about red flags to look out for to avoid abusive and toxic people.

  22. Megan Reply

    My husband will occasionally look at unfavorable videos(not straight up porn but definitely suggestive) I have always communicated that I’m mad and hurt when he does but I also forgive quickly. How can I react better to that?

  23. ADE Reply

    My husband and I are separated. Married just for three stressful years. He never told me the truth about anything. Found out after marriage that he was a divorcee with two sons from two different women. Fast forward in to the marriage, he brings his first son every weekend. Never talks to me once his kid walks in, abuses and calls me names. Now he says that there is a third son from the second woman. I can’t deal with all the stress. Told him to keep all his past drama away from our home as I have developed high blood pressure due to the stress. Next thing he does is to send I and our one year old daughter packing. Since January he has refused to pay a dime, call to speak with our daughter. His mother says our daughter is just a girl, he needs to focus on his three sons. How is it my fault? I was lied to and tricked into marriage? Yet I am blamed for not investigating him before marriage. God sees everything.

  24. Daniela Reply

    My husband’s father is a narcissist. My husband is very codependent on him. The problem is my husband has narcissistic tendencies as well. For five years he’s been bad mouthing me to his family and friends. One and a half months ago he sent me to Mexico and tried to take my children away from me. His father and mother convinced him that I was responsible for going to Mexico, although my husband made me go, even after I expressed being uncomfortable about leaving because we are being evicted from our apartment. After I left, he started fighting with me while I was 10,000 miles away out of the country, and decided to take my kids, file it’s a Mestic violence charge against me because I became incredibly angry that he was doing this to me while I was out of the country, and he try to go to court to put an order of protection against me, which the judge did not grant. This was all his father’s idea and he listens to him. He says he is filing for divorce, and according to him was miserable with me for our entire marriage. We just celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary . We just had a baby six months ago, our second, and now he is claiming that he did not want that baby. I know that this is all his fathers doing. For five years I have been trying to help my husband stand up to his father and create boundaries, but he will do it for a day and then go back to the codependent relationship that they’ve always had. I have spoken to friends of his who say this was always a problem. They tell me that my husband does everything his daddy says and will never change. He is 41 years old and I am 40. My husband refuses to go to counseling or to speak with our pastor at church. I do not know what to do. He claims that he wants this divorce, but I know this is his father talking , As he is 70 something years old, ill and very bitter due to his own divorce 30 something years ago. My father-in-law had to fight for custody for his children because their mother was neglectful towards the kids and left them. My father-in-law is putting it in my husband’s head that I am the same way. I am a wonderful, caring, loving, nurturing mother, and my children are my life. I am on disability due to many illnesses , Most of which came out after I had a baby. My husband’s father is also bitter about me being ill and he is causing my husband to resent me.
    Basically my husband left me and my two kids, we are going through courts for visitation and child support, and my husband refuses to see his part in ruining this marriage. For five years he has been emotionally, physically, and mentally neglectful towards me. Although he is a great father to our children, he is neglectful to our marriage and that in turn, left me verbally abusive towards him.

    I do not know what to do, and for a month I have been trying to fight for this marriage. I have begged and pleaded for us to go to counseling and to speak to a pastor, as my husband claims to be a devout Christian man. He wants no part in the church anymore and does not want to go to counseling. He takes no responsibility and completely blames me for everything .

    I have repeatedly apologized for verbally abusing my husband, and A few other things that he’s accused me of like not listening to him or his concerns ( just for the record he is the type of person to say one thing and do another, or agree with me constantly and then change his mind, which makes me incredibly frustrated and feel like I cannot trust what he says). He also said to me that basically for five years he just yes me to death because he is afraid of me. This is insane because there is no reason for him to be afraid of me, and when I do yell and complain it is because he is being a hypocrite , Or reneging on what he says to me.

    I am physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted, and nothing anyone says to my husband is getting through to this head. He just keeps listening to his father, who wants to keep him to himself because his other two sons ran away from him a long time ago.

    Do I keep fighting for this marriage or do I just let him go?

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      I’m sorry, but I think you have to see what he decides. I’m not sure of what else you can do.

  25. Jessica Reply

    Me and my husband got married in December of last year. We’re both young I’m 21 and he’s 19. I know where super young I’m currently 6 months pregnant and he went out of town and he cheated on me. He took a girl I found him talking to on Instagram to prom. He spend $300 on a tux but him and his family lied to me like he was a best man in a wedding. But I later found out from his Facebook that he took her to prom and posted pictures on his Facebook page. I was so hurt we got into a fight I hit him but he didn’t hit me. He came and got his things and move back home. His family don’t like me so I know they influencing him to leave me. I’m just so hurt and I dont know what to do. I can’t believe he did this to me while I’m pregnant. I call him and text him but he’s acting different. I don’t want to give up on my marriage cause I still love him. I been praying but I don’t know what to do.

  26. Dee Dee Reply

    Unfortunately Kevin I did chase, I panicked, I followed him to his parents and asked him to come home…more than once, I could see in his eyes he had lost complete respect for me. I thought we were strong, in love but I found out he had cheated and not once. He said this one was different, he seemed to be obsessed with her and I couldn’t take that, I asked him to leave and eventually he did. I didn’t want him to but I needed him to go as I couldn’t take seeing him on his phone and being late home and imagining him with her. I don’t think it went anywhere with her and if it did I feel she is gone now. 1.5 years and he’s still with his parents, we communicate but really only regarding our children who are teenagers. I still miss him and want him back but it would appear he no longers wants me. I feel that if we both gave us a second chance it could be lovely, it was once and I believe could be again, is there anyway I can get him to see this?

  27. Marmar Reply

    This post was just what I needed. My husband and I separated after 14 years because I decided that I was no longer going to put up with all the female intrusions into our marriage. I’m the one who asked him to leave but since then I’ve gone through an array of emotions and have come really close to saying ‘come home”. I didn’t though. I let him know the door is open. He can decide to close it or he can walk in. Either way will be fine. I will no longer chase him.

  28. Doug Reply

    I am in a similar situation with my wife. I kicked her out after a year and a half of arguing over her affair, which brought out a horrible side in me. Causing me to push her. Since that day she has emotionally and physically shut me out. I still have my doubts that her affair is over and continue to snoop and accuse. Finally we had an explosive argument and I took her phone and broke it. She has been gone about 2 weeks. Her son my step son lives w me still. She comes around daily to use shower and get some clothes. Whenever I bring up “us” she gets mad and leaves. I am so heartbroken and just want my old wife back. Don’t know if I sit n wait or start facing it’s over. I know I have done wrong and am going to counseling. We went together but she says she wants to go but always finds an excuse not to?? Please help 🙁

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Doug, obviously for the relationship to survive, you have to be able to discuss it. If you will both commit to counseling, the marriage has a chance. If all you get are excuses, it is likely over.

  29. Amy Reply

    I have been in a relationship with my “husband” for maybe 6 years. I say maybe because he was very wishy washy at first and I came to find out that it was because he was secretly using drugs. Long story short, he’s been clean for just over 2 years now. He moved out of our home last year saying he was doing it for US. He said he was not leaving the relationship, he was just leaving to find himself and he’d never leave me behind. I’m no expert but he seems to have done just that. He NEVER calls, he NEVER says he loves me anymore, and he does not help me pay one bill and hasn’t since he moved out.

    I try to give him space and not chase him but I want to know where WE are and whenever I get up the courage to ask him, he blows me off and says I’m upsetting him or I’m frustrating him and he has all this other stuff to worry about and then he’ll hang up on me. If I try to call back, he’ll block my number! They a week or so later, I’ll block my number so my calls can go through, he answers, and I’ll apologize to him. He NEVER apologizes to me.

    My question is: is this normal? Because it is driving me crazy. I know im supposed to be patient because hes in recovery and im not supposed to chase him but what next? What do I do? I feel as if I’ve given him plenty of space but I think he just doesn’t care about the relationship anymore. I believe that he loves me but I also know that he doesn’t. What do i do?

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Amy, in my opinion it is not normal. My guess–either he chooses to work on the relationship or it is over. I wouldn’t continue to living in the uncertainty.

  30. Zee Reply

    This has helped me make my decision… I’m leaving I deserve better and i will stop chasing him my son deserves a happy mom. He cheated so why should I carry on to punish myself like this.

  31. Jennifer Reply

    I am going through a very trying time. My husband and I have been married for just under 5 years and together for 10. Most of our married life we have been trying to start a family unsuccessfully. Going through infertility was very hard on our marriage but we worked through it and I thought we were doing great. We went through many medical treatments that we didn’t always agree with. He said he never wanted to do any of them but went through with it because he knew how much I wanted to be a mom and he wanted to make me happy. We just recently decided to adopt and went through a lot of work to prepare for that and we finally just got approved. He appeared to be just as excited as I was about the adoption. We also just built a brand new house a year ago. I thought our relationship was good…not perfect, but things were looking up and I was happy. Then he completely turned my world around three weeks ago when he told me he no longer wants to adopt. Shortly after that I found out he is seeing a woman from work. He tells me that she has nothing to do with his decision. He has fallen out of love with me and our marriage meant nothing to him for the past few months, according to him. And that this would have happened regardless of her. But, why didn’t he end the marriage with me first then if he felt this way? I had no idea he felt this way. I pleaded with him to try to reconcile and said I still think our marriage has a shot. He said he has nothing left. This is completely out of character of him and I am still in shock. He says he kept all of his feelings inside for the past couple of years because he thought that was the best for our relationship and he didn’t want to hurt me. I think that this woman is the main reason this has happened, although he does not agree. After all of this came out he started sleeping in the basement and spending weekends away from home. He now says he wants a divorce. I am heartbroken and wondering what the hell happened. I moved out about a week ago but am dying for him to reconsider. Do I accept that this is direction things are going or can I hope for a miracle here?

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Jennifer, so sorry for what you are going through. Clearly the other woman has something to do with what is going on. Sadly there is little you can do unless he opens his eyes. I do think it’s important for you to get some help to process what is happening–a counselor or wise friend.

  32. Monica Tackitt Reply

    So desperate and need help.

    My husband and I met thru a mutual friend at my work 12/13 and immediately fell in love and started a long distance relationship as he was living in Morocco, Africa when we met. I always had a gut feeling he was using me for a visa but cast those feelings aside to follow my heart. After three months talking online he flew me to Morocco and we spent 2 weeks together and during that trip he proposed (with a cheap ring, but that didn’t matter). I was elated and accepted. After returning to the USA I had a falling out with the friend who hooked us up (his best friend from morocco who now was my co worker).

    That being said in August 2014 I flew back to Morocco at the expense of losing my job and we got married. After our marriage I applied for his visa to come to the USA. Due to the fact I lost my job traveling to see him I spent 2015 January-March in Morocco. While in Morocco we were living off my income (savings and unemployment) any money he made he spent on us and treated me with respect and catered to my every need. He got his visa in Dec’ 2015 and flew here. Prior to him coming I had to find a new job and a new place to live because I was staying with my mom after I lost my job.

    He arrived and things started to change. We were not having sex regularly and he was not living up to the promises he made (like getting a job and registering for school to improve his english) obviously I am growing frustrated and on top of all that he is spending a lot of time with his friends. Almost every day when I come home from work he would be gone, with his friends whom do not like me and was going to events like b-day parties and weddings. When I ask why I am not invited he shrugged it off. He always declines events that my family invites him to – says he wants to speak better english before he starts hanging out with my family – and I am feeling just awful about it. I feel as though he used me to get a visa and with that lingering I started getting enraged at every little thing he did. I would explode at any thing he did to the point we were arguing almost daily for the 6 months he’s been here.

    One night he did not come home, he was out with his friends. He was texting me the entire time and sending me pictures and telling me it is just guys no girls and I should not act jealous. He constantly tells me I have no social life, but I work a full time job and support our household, we live in a expensive neighborhood have 2 cars (a lexus and truck). I pay for everything – he makes money from freelance work as he is an IT professional but not enough to pay any bills.

    About one month ago I gave him an ultimatum to get a job or go to school and have a healthy work-life-play balance. He was offended by this, saying I am a “crazy bitch” – I mean he does what he can – he pampers me when he is in the mood and is very affectionate – but for some reason I still feel neglected nonetheless I love him and he says he loves me and I believe he does. Anyways, I kicked him out after he did not come home one night and he was gone for about 2 days – we made up and all was okay for a while.

    Next thing I know, he is back to his old tricks hanging out with his friends, never home when I get back from work and doesn’t even do the simple things like take out the trash or clean the cat litter – he says that is a woman’s job – but yet I have to work my 9-5 Monday thru Friday pay the bills and support our lifestyle basically… On top of all this our sex life is non-existent maybe 1 time every 10-14 days. I try to entice him but nothing seems to work he complains he is tired or is sick – and when it comes to oral sex I am expected to perform but he cannot because his “teeth hurt” so not only am I sexually frustrated but I am resentful having to provide for him and his empty promises get us no where.

    So, the last blow up was Sunday, we watched the Warriors lose the championship to Cleveland, I asked him to go out to a bar and hangout to watch the game – he said no and wanted to watch it at home we did and after the game he all of a sudden had to go to his friends house and pick up some money they owed him. He left around 8pm, – I tried calling him at 10pm no answer, I texted and emailed no answer So about 11pm I get in the car and drive to his friends house without him knowing (about 45 minutes away) mind you – it is a Sunday night and I have to be at work the next day – as soon as I get off the freeway he text me saying he is on his way home and his phone is not working and he doesn’t know why – I get off the freeway and drive to his friends house not expecting anything – but there was no activity so I got on the freeway to head back home – as I was approaching our house he calls me saying he forgot his keys and he needs me to buzz him in – obviously I can’t so I tell him I am not home and will be there in 5 minutes.

    Once I get home I am so angry and upset I do not know what to do. I confront him and accuse him of cheating because I am just so fed up with him being gone all the time and neglecting me – in a rage I kick him out and hit him – wrong I know but I did it and I cant take it back – he tells me since it is my second time kicking him out he will stay gone for 1-week… Obviously I do not care I just want him gone, I take his keys – he packs a backpack and leaves – right after he leaves I am regretting it. I ignore it and go to bed, call off work the next morning because I am so distraught.

    So, being home from work I do not know what to do with myself so I go shopping and get back home around 3pm and my husband is on the couch talking on his cell phone and I go straight to our bedroom. He obviously knows he came back without permission so he is gathering his things to leave. I try to talk but he doesn’t want to hear me – he walks out and I follow him. He refuses talk and says he needs space – I ask him how he got in the house and he said he took my spare keys. He says he doesn’t want to talk to me and ask if I want my keys – I say yes. He gives me the keys ans walks off – I follow him and call out to him – I followed him about 1 block until he started running away and a this point I am in tears. I turn around and go back home.

    Next day I email him and ask him to respond to me he does stating “ I understand, I just need time and space” so I say fine and I haven’t talked to him since and it has been 2 days.

    I am so confused I love him but not sure he loves me the same. At this point, I am focusing on work as I am about to get a promotion (as I am constantly trying to get a better job to earn more money to support us) My goal is to be able to support us so one day we can have a baby – but obviously we are not stable enough to bring a child into the world.

    I am not sure how to deal with things so I am in auto-pilot doing what I do best: focusing on work, going to school and maintain what social I have.

    Is there any advice for me?

  33. MomofJD Reply

    Sorry English is not my first language
    Together for 8 years married 5 I had a DD 16 from a previous relationship and we have a DS he is 2 1/2 . DH wants me to be a SAHM. We agreed that I can work part time . 2 day per week. We had a fight . He threat to hit me . I was in shock. he went to our bedroom ( our 2 1/2 is in the room) locks the door . I wanted to grab my phone he won’t let me get in . my hand get stuck in the door I yelled at him he said he doesn’t care. I went out to breath . he packed some stuff and left I don’t know what to think .
    I feel like he doesn’t care we
    we were talking about the fact that he wants to have more children. I ask him if we could not . what he will do . he said he doesn’t know. I am 34 and he is 30 . I was trying to have a conversation with him . All he wanted to do is having sex and say stuff like I want you to he pregnant Also DH had an Emotional affai ( texting sexting exchanging explicit pictures )woman on the Internet 4 years ago during 3 month until he get caught. Sometimes he visited porn site. I am lost
    Yesterday he came here took a shower eat and put the dog outside and left. I will give him 2 weeks after l that I will file for divorce.

  34. MomofJD Reply

    Just wanted to add I also kick him twice. While we were fighting. He said before he had enough of our fight . And if we can’t have a relationship without all this fighting he will leave.

  35. El Reply

    My husband has left me because of something that happened before we got married, three years before. I didn’t cheat but I lied about previously being intimate with a guy I was still friends.(we were intimate once in 2009 and decided it was not the best idea and went back to being friends, I met my husband in 2012) We (the other guy) were just friends and I helped him with a project and my then boyfriend (of one month) now my husband questioned me about it. I kept my mouth shut, until we had a argument a few days before the wedding (summer 2015) and he would not let it go so I admitted it. He was outraged, but still went through with the wedding. We were okay for a few months then he would not let it go. We had the same argument every other week for a year. After the new year (2016) he stated he wanted to leave and didn’t want to be with some one so disrespectful, and had little integrity. He slowly, I mean slowly started packing his things in March and finally moved out into a family members house 3 hours away in June. We have talked but have not seen each other in about 2 months. Each time I reach out and let him know I miss him or love him, he rejects me and says, If I loved him I wouldn’t have been worried about another dude (the dude from 2012/2009). I feel awful and sad, I do love him and I was really just friends with the guy. As I write this it sounds so silly. My husband now blames me for everything that has gone wrong in his life since we met, and says he’d be so much further along in life if he had not dated, then married me. When we met he was between jobs and going back to school (we’re both now 42).
    We have faced money issues, health conditions, moving to a new city, unemployment etc. The whole time, I’ve held it together and we never really wanted for much. Now I just feel like he blames me for all the bad but doesn’t recognize any good I’ve done. Again as I write this I am not really sure what I am so sad about. I told him I thought leaving our marriage was a mistake and he told me its a mistake he’s willing to make. I don’t want him to think I don’t love him, but I feel like he moved out and left for a very silly reason. I was not trying to be disrespectful and I have apologized and begged his pardon an infinite number of times. He’s fallen off contacting me regulary for the past few weeks. It may be someone else, or he may be done. I’m still in love with him, but just don’t understand his hardened heart and unforgiving ways. I have a good therapist, and have starting going back to church. I am still hopeful I guess.

  36. Kim Reply

    My partner of 18 years has decide he no longer feels happy in our relationship he says he still loves me but it’s just not working for him …. So a house two kids and a dog later I’m at a lose I love him oh so much and not going to lie I’ve been chasing the last few days since it happened and yes it’s that raw and new after reading all these post I’ve come to realise that the time he’s asking for is needed and I should just let him be …. At the moment the pain is so gut wrenching I can’t eat or sleep, I’m angry then I’m sad then I miss him our kids are a mess and I now no that I need to give him the space he needs if that’s what it takes we’ve made a promise to each other not to move on and to give our relationship the time it deserves and even tho I’m not completely hopeful I still have a glimmer of hope oh and just to add I also promised him I would show home each and every day just how special he is to me and our family NO REPLY but wish me luck

  37. Premi Reply

    Hi, I am from India and desperately need direction. I found out that my husband was having an affair 3 years back. She was his ex-girlfriend. They first got in touch a week before he got married to me and communicated their desire to be with each other. He went ahead with marrying me. I did not know about her at all. 6 months into the marriage I found out I was pregnant with our son. Around the 4th month of the pregnancy, I saw some texts in his phone telling her he loved her. It hurt me terrible but he promised me he had severed connections with her. I couldn’t trust him too much but trusted him anyways. We lost our son four days after his birth and the guild and sadness brought us together. We were alright for 2 years I think. Then I got pregnant with my daughter. It was a tough pregnancy but successful, thank God. When she was 4 months old, I found out he was seeing this ex of his again. It stressed me out totally. This time around, he blamed me – my incapacity as a wife, being a bad mother, getting fat etc etc for the love he had for her. It was very difficult, but I stayed. He treated me so badly, verbally abusing me everyday for a year. I got depressed and he told me several times he loved her. My parents did not support me leaving and pastors I knew said I had to dress better, cook better and I tried doing that but nothing changed. I singularly took the decision to leave and left, leaving my baby to my parents’ care since I was depressed and broke. He told me this January(after 2 years) that she was the only one he can love and I proceeded to initiate the divorce. I come from a very conservative country and my father has always thought that I was worth very less. My parents and his parents yelled at this lady he was seeing and she stepped back, leaving him. Now that she has left, he is back. He says that he’s come back on his own but I find that very difficult to believe because of all the lies and manipulation from the past. I have crossed the stage of being hurt to a state of numbness. I do not trust him but I am so insecure sometimes. Is it wrong that I distrust him when even the marriage seems like a lie? In the past, given a choice between me and her, he has always chosen her. I could have forgiven someone who’d said it was lust, but when I have heard him profess his love for this other woman – I find that very hard to let go of, it hurts me too much. Please help.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      My guess, if he’s not willing to give up the other relationship, your relationship is over.

  38. Joanne Reply

    I am at a complete loss here
    I have been married since Sept. 27, 2008
    During the 8 year course of our marriage I have run away several times.
    The first was in 2010.
    My husband is a very stoic man who rarely shows emotions
    I can honestly say that the only emotion he shows is anger.
    I complained constantly about his lack of emotional fiber in our marriage and the lack of affection
    I tried very hard yet I just could not take it so I ran
    I ran to my ex husbands home since I had built the home with him.
    He travels all of the time so I had the home to myself 99% of the time
    I continued to pay the major bills in my husbands and my home while I was gone
    I loved my husband yet he just could not love me back ( or at least I thought )
    After 10 months I returned home because I wanted so much to make my marriage work
    It was very hard yet we plowed through :although he still could not be affectionate or give me any emotions
    I kept trying and worked harder to be a great wife to no avail
    I traveled and went downstate often to spend time with my aging Father
    Every time I was gone for even one night he would accuse me of being with my ex
    ( my ex was engaged BTW)
    It was hard since I could not divulge that my father was even living because he did not want to get involved in my marriage
    My Dad felt he was to old to even stress about what was going on since my last marriage had so many issues
    Well. In Sept 2014 I had to move my Dad into an assisted living facility
    I had told my husband that he was my cousin or uncle. ( I can not remember)
    Well as I was leaving to go home after being away one day he died right in front of me
    This was the hardest thing in my life
    I called my husband and he was amazingly empathetic
    After service I flew to Colorado to see my best friend to just relax
    At this time my husband put 2 and 2 together that it was my Dad ( he read the obituary)
    He was upset yet did not really badger me
    I was so greatful and realized that the lack of affection and emotional fiber was just a mask for his past hurt
    When I was in Colorado I ran everyday ( I love to run)
    My right breast blew up and I wound up in an urgent care
    They said I had fluid in there
    I flew home and went to a specialist and found out that I had breast cancer
    Emergency surgery was required
    I had to stay at my sisters since the best care for this would be in NYC
    We lived north of Albany
    I called my husband and he blew up
    He did not sit by my side after 8 surgeries and even told friends that he thought I was lying and had a breast reduction
    I was beside myself yet I forgave him since I could only attribute this to my absence and my lie about my Dad
    I returned home in Dec 2015 – January 2016
    I needed one more surgery because I was pooling blood
    He was okay w me going back down state yet did not come w me
    I had the surgery and they found some blood problems
    Which I had to fly to Maryland to Johns Hopkins to see a specialist
    When I did not return home he texted me “F U DIE”
    I think I completely broke the trust and I was suffering so much in my heart that I just shut down and filed for an annulment
    I begged him to sign yet he said that he will never sign anything that makes him look bad
    I recently asked if ai could come home while I purchase another house for myself and he said it was not a good idea
    I am so hurt and just befuddled about the whole thing
    I honestly just want to go home yet that door is shut
    I ask myself constantly
    What have I done?
    While I was sick he said he would come see me yet attributed it to work
    Issues
    He is back with his family who he had not spoken with in eight years
    I never fit in with them because we came from different worlds
    I was highly educated and had a wonderful stable upbringing
    I traveled the world and modeled for years.
    He grew up in an abusive household and was on his own at 15
    I think his siblings think that I think I am better than them
    Which is just ridiculous
    I am lost here
    I lost my Dad. My breasts and my husband all in two years
    I don’t even know why?

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Thank you for your story. I would find a good counselor and have him/her help you process all the pain you have endured for the last few years.

  39. Frenchell Scott Reply

    Hello everyone,

    My husband and I have been married going on 14years but we’ve been together in total for 17years. In the beginning it was great, I was certain he loved me. Let me also add that I’m older than he is, not by much but nonetheless… I’m 40 and he’s 36, about to be 37 this November. But we’ve definitely had our share of ups and downs… He’s cheated, I’ve cheated (but that was early on). After I realized how much I’d actually hurt him, I vowed to God that I would never do that to him again and I haven’t. Well about 9/10 years ago, I noticed that I was off balance. Like my equilibrium was just going crazy. It was as if when I walked I could never seem to walk in a straight line, it was always slightly to the left/right. After this went on for so time I FINALLY went to see a Neurologist. After he did an MRI on me, he told me at that point that I had MS. Now me being the Christian that I am, I didn’t want to receive/accept his diagnosis. So I didn’t give it any extra thought and started to self-diagnose myself (bad idea) thinking, “well I can just drink more water and take my daily vitamins and I’ll be ok.” #WRONG

    Well now here we are 9/10 years later, my balance hasn’t improved AT ALL, it’s actually (though slowly) progressively worsened to the point where I now have to walk with a cane and I ultimately ended up having to stop working. As I’m sure you can imagine it’s been pretty difficult for us AND we have 5 children.
    I’ve always FELT like something was different with my husband but I just couldn’t put my finger on what it was exactly. He eventually started being more vocal about his feelings, he would say things like he didn’t like the fact that he was the only one working and that he couldn’t do it by himself. Now keep in mind, I’m off balance, falling, getting bruised up, things of that nature. So it’s not that I didn’t/don’t want to help him, at this point I literally can’t. My current doctor (who was also concerned about my equilibrium) sent me to have MRI’s done on my brain/spine as well towards the end of August this year. An wouldn’t you know it, she too also stated that it was MS as well. Only now I have SEVERAL legions on my brain, where as initially there was only a very small one and my balance at this point is off the charts…

    So after getting this information I guess my husband finally decided that I wasn’t faking and that there was something REALLY wrong with me verses me just not wanting to work. In previous conversation that we’d had he’d say things like, maybe he was too young when we got married (at the time I was 21 and pregnant with his first child and he was 19) or this marriage wasn’t/isn’t ordained by God, he/we didn’t pray about the marriage prior to and he also asked me once “what do you do to contribute to this family?” Talk about the lowest of lows, I literally was mind blown that he’d even said that. Now all this time I’m blaming me thinking, “if I only had a job things would be better; I need to try and make some money SOMEHOW..” Then I just found out the other day that there’s 2otger women that he’s been entertaining. He says neither was anything physical but I’m not too sure that I believe that. So what now? Do I hold on, do I let it go? Let me be VERY CLEAR, my staying with him has NOTHING AT ALL to do with hiis money. I mean he can BARELY pay rent and the regular monthly expenses. But 4some strange reason, he felt as though I’ve been trying to use him all these years. At this point I’m doing my best to think of why I SHOULD stay in the marriage. Yes I love him BUT with these other individuals (women) in the picture compiled with his cruelty at times, just kinda makes me question WTH I’m doing…. I can definitely do bad by myself but I want to be happy, I really do. I want someone to live me INSPITE OF what I’m going through physically. I want to know that I’m the apple of someone’s eye. I want to know and feel that no matter we go through, him choosing to abandon me/us ISN’T an option. I just want to be loved UNCONDITIONALLY, is that too much to ask?

  40. Ann Reply

    My husband after 24 years of marriage decided he isn’t happy anymore and left. He says there are other reasons why he is leaving and the reasons are both of us. He says he has never cheated on me. I asked him if he wanted to work on this since it has been 24 years of marriage and 26 years of being together. I don’t want to give up on my marriage but he doesn’t want to work on it. He has moved out and will be moving into a house soon. He states that he wants me to stay in the house with the kids due to he doesn’t want them to be interrupted in their lives. I’m scared I haven’t been alone for 26 years and don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m trying to be strong for the kids but its not easy. I don’t want a divorce because I married him and wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. I want to chase him but I know that won’t help the situation. I can’t give up and I can’t just walk away. I’m afraid that he will come back and tell me that he is sick of paying rent and paying for things for the house that he isn’t living in and wants me to get out. I don’t know if I should talk to a counselor to help me understand or just to get thru this.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Ann, so sorry for what you are going through. Yes, I would find a counselor to help you process what is happening and to assist you in making wise choices.

  41. Amanda Reply

    I have been married for four years. I love my husband very much and he says he loves me but it always seems like playing pool is more important than anything. I have went to the hospital and he wouldn’t go but the next day he went and shot pool. He says it is what keeps him sane. But it hard for him to even keep money through out the week because of it.

  42. […] One of the great guarantees of life is that every person, every couple, will suffer. When choosing a... kevinathompson.com/the-most-overlooked-characteristic-of-who-you-want-to-marry
  43. isis56 Reply

    My husband stopped trying to run. He turned on me his mother and father and society as a whole. starting November the fifth 2001. I had spent an hour before he left for work offering the sex life he wanted the last 19. years. The holidays and vacation he wanted without a thing said or attempt at another injunction forcing him to work in the best interest of the community. To not say a thing if him and his three friends took a different position and shift of the next bid list in two more weeks basically get every right he had earned the last 20 years. IIf he backed of taking the bid and department with his friend in the new plant one last time.

    He just about killed the four younger seniority the next morning on our front porch after goading them into attacking him. They did not have the extensive hand to hand combat training he had in the army and navy.

    The last fifteen years has seen him hurt and main 35 men and three years ago. He called a halt to me refusing him sex as a holdout for his good behavior. I was begging him to meet us in four hours after n invitation only dinner event he was not invited to. He had just come home after two weeks in a stress center for rage control and anger issues. I was begging and pleading through crying. to talk to use and we could decide what would be allowed him after MRSA three years before caused his backbone to slip. crushing and partially severing his spinal cord.

    that evening I was standing there with him screaming at me tat nobody had a thing to say about what he was allowed. with his father and my friends we had stolen 31 yea. He said from that second he was the final judge and arbitor of what was allowed under the roof he paid for and never had any thing in return. He threw me the phone a while latter said file my dam charges o sexual misconduct by a spouse.

    The last three years any interference with him ends up with pain. Instantly lashes out.

  44. Krystal Moore Reply

    Excellent Post! Simple. When you understand simplicity you’ll further learn of the benefits. A peaceful life isn’t always perfect*

  45. Tea Reply

    I stumbled upon your page today & I’m so glad I did. The idea of not chasing is exactly what I want to do. In the past it’s been so hard. I’m always the one reaching out, trying to explain myself, remind him of our love, promises etc. That’s been the case with all my relationships. But my latest relationship started about 7 mos ago. We met via an online dating site & hit it off. He is partially paralyzed & uses a wheelchair. I never thought I would fall in love with him but I did. He was everything I wanted in a man as far as kindness, integrity, intelligence, humble etc. I saw beyond any limitations he had or we had as a couple & we enjoyed our long didn’t relationship. I visited almost every other week & eventually we realized we wanted to be together for the rest of our lives. He asked me to relocate & the plan was to do so right before Xmas.
    He was sick with cancer 3x & the paralysis for the past 10 years & so during that time he lived in solitude with his mother. No women would even be bothered with him. He grew angry & resentful. When I came along he was so shocked that I could possibly love him. I always made a point to show I cared. That’s just my nature. But he was so loving to me & treated me well that I felt like the lucky one. I always told him he was a blessing to me & my life.
    Fast forward to Thanksgiving & I went to visit him to attend his best friends dinner party. That was the first weekend I was to stay at his house with him & his mother. Normally I would stay at a hotel. But I would be moving in & she was supposed to move into the bsmt. Which was beautiful. Bedroom, living room & her own bathroom. I overheard her say one day that she don’t want to move into The bsmt. It alarmed me because I certainly didn’t want to step on any toes. He just bought the house about 11 mos ago. That weekend we argued about a lot of stuff & although we tried to talk things out, it ended with him & I arguing. Me walking out at around 11pm & when he came after me & told me to get in the car I refused. Then around midnight his mom eventually came out & took me to the airport. My flight was not until the next afternoon. He didn’t care that I didn’t have anywhere to go or stay. After I got home things changed for us. After about a week he was ready to talk to me but only if I apologized to him. He doesn’t see anything he did wrong. That’s when he started his talk about what he says goes. Even when he’s wrong he’s right. All our phone conversations would usually turn into an argument. Either I was interrupting him when he spoke or he was so busy to text hello or good morning like he used to or I didn’t answer him quick enough. The way he began talking to me was just so rude. Like a child at times. But after every call he would end it with the words I love you. Really??? Well I didn’t move there in December & it wasn’t until mid Jan that we were finally able to really try to move forward. We had a great weekend & we looked at houses to buy. He said that he decided to just buy another house for us & allow his mom to remain at the other. I was so happy because he knew my concerns about living with her directly across the hall. No privacy at all. When I left we had agreed I would relocate there by March 1st & we would get married on March 9th, which was his deceased fathers birthday. A tribute to him.

    Last week everything changed. He had become more & more busy & every time I would call to talk about finding a home he would get upset & yell or cut the convo short. I was going to be quitting my job to be with him, no more 401k, pension, selling my home, etc. so I needed to make sure he was taking care of business on his end. I finally got fed up & told him how I felt. The conversation got out of hand because he was acting like a tyrant & a dictator. He would say things like this is going to be a one way convo do you understand? & I can only answer yes or no. If I answered anything else he would yell at me or hang up & I like a fool would call him back. I just wanted to understand what was happening to him, in such a short time he totally changed into this monster. Unreasonable, uncaring, mean & just nasty. Last Friday we argued while on my break at work because I sent a text saying I don’t want to argue with you, I just want us to talk calmly. I said I have a break in a few min: so when I call could he please pick up. When I called he went off on me saying he don’t like to be given demands. I asked what he was talking about & he said my text was demanding. He then went on to say that it was going to be a one way convo & I better accept that or goodbye. Needless to say the convo went no where. I was so sick I had to leave work because I was crying so much. I tried to call him back & he said he was too busy with work & didn’t have time for me. We yelled & it didn’t end good. On Saturday I took a road trip to a seminar I had wanted to take part in & spent the day alone thinking & it felt good. That night I sent a text to him telling him I love him & that we need to talk. He said ok & for me to call around 11pm. I did & at first he was warm & kind. Then he said he decided that moving is too much of a hassle & that I have to move in with him & his mother & that’s that. He said he’s made his decision. I told him how I felt & how that wouldn’t work for me. He pretty much yelled & said that’s your only option. He said we’d talk more the next day but he’s not going to change his mind. The morning as I was driving home I called but of course he didn’t pick up. He used to pick up all the time for me. I left a message telling him I am unable to move in with him & his mother. When I got home I called to let him know I got home safe & he didn’t pick up. So I texted him to tell him. After I texted I called again & he picked up saying Didn’t I tell you I’m busy & that we’ll talk later? No hello or anything. Later that night we attempted to talk & he said either I move in with him & his mom or we are thru. I said then I guess we are thru because & then I tried to run down my reasons but he wasn’t hearing it & cut the call short. He hung up on me. Which he never used to do. Now it been 4 days & he hasn’t called or text. I haven’t broken my promise to myself either. I am trying not to care but I am heart broken & just so hurt. It like he is a different person than the caring man he once was with me. Let me say this. He & I decided early on that we would have a TIH relationship. Where the man is fully in charge & handles everything. We agreed as long as it was all grounded in love & respect. Also back in December after the Thanksgiving disaster weekend he shared with me that when I didn’t get in the car that night it was the first time I made him feel disabled. Because I knew he couldn’t come after me. He said that hurt him & that’s why everything was my fault. I don’t believe it was all my fault but I am the only one who apologized several times just to finally make peace & try to move forward. That was the turning point for us & when he became a monster toward me. We had never argued prior to then.

    I don’t know if he is this narcissistic angry psycho who never really loved me because he doesn’t love himself. Or if he is just having a hard time dealing with the very real idea facing him that he would have to leave his mother. The only woman in his life for 10 years helping him, taking care of him, loving him when he felt unloved & unloveable. I feel for him but I know I don’t deserve how he’s treated me. It’s been verbal & emotional abusive. I’ve had enough of that in my life. I’ve been divorced for 3 years now & I can’t go into a relationship that is going to bring only misery to me. I don’t want to chase him. I hope he wakes up & realizes what he is pushing away. I know he’s never felt a love like he & I had before. We were so compatible & together we always had the best time. Should I move on or could he possibly come to his senses? What do you think?

    • jeh Reply

      Hi thea i hope u will be able to read this… its as if im reading my story through ur story, only that my bf is not disabled but perfectly fine. But ur bf’s attitude is much the same as my bf’s. He doesn’t want to be cut off while he is talking. But he will never give me time to talk. And also he wants me to apologize to him first before we could talk again after an argument, he never apologises though. He thinks he is always right and that i should always be the one to blame every after argument. He has the habit of running away whenever he’s pissed and blocking me from every social media. I usedto chase him always. But during the last argument which happened 10 days ago and he blocked me i never chased him again so i dont know if he’s going to come back. It was an argument over simple things. Did u chase ur bf or if not, did he try to talk to u again?

  46. Apple Reply

    Kevin thanks for this post. I am so desperateand really need help. My husband left me and my 7 year old son after we had a fight. He does this often when we fight. We’ve been married for more than 8 years now. He changed his number and it is the other woman who told me about his new number after they had a fight. He won’t answer my calls and my texts well he answered okce only to badmouth me and told me not to call him ever again. I am so in pain, I called off for work today. The other woman started 3 years ago after we had a big fight. He acts really strange and is already addicted to alcohol. He is really a good man when he is fine. I just think he isn’t in his right mind but would’t and will never agree to seek professional help. I badly want him back. I love him so much despite everything. He is korean and I am fom the Philippines. We live here in Korea and now that he’s left (It’s been 3 days) but I can’t find hope he’s coming back. He does not have work as of the moment and spending the money my father in law gave us for the deposit to start our new business. I feel so alone. I don’t know what to do. I have to make a decision. I can’t stay here in Korea like this, no family support, no real friends. What do I do Kevin?

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      If you have marriage counseling in South Korea, I would get with a counselor.

      • Apple Reply

        Is it possible that I get counseling alone? I don’t know if my husband will ever come back home. I’m so scared he’s not coming back. I feel so hopeless, can’t eat, can’t work. I know i shouldn’t be saying this but I feel like I just wanna die to stop the pain I’m feeling. I feel sorry for my son, I can’t be strong for him.
        I just want to stop this pain. I feel so stupid because I still want my husband back.

  47. g Reply

    Though it seems the problems started when a spouse cheats . Butvthevproblem started way v afore the spouse cheat be it a man or woman. Whether it was a flirt thing or why or how it started before they cheated. we all think theyv suddenlyblist interest. no it hapoenscway before that . Somewhere the relationship had a a teir and hurt or a disappointment something. Itvhascto be more . Commication something somewhere . My dig get outcas often asvhe coukdcrun like crazy. Hecwasntvrunningvtobgetcaway from me. He likevto be free and just do dog stuff like pre in every tree. That he could do that. But that’s a dog. I had one boyfriend that threatened mecand hit mevand tg reaten anyone in my life. Trying to hold in to hold on to me. troubke was g e held in so tight I could say he every really had me. But tg en i meantca different man . He letbmevsee mybfru ends ifvi wanted and go places andcdov stuff. And because he let me have my freedom to choose. To con e back and be with him .because ever get to come back. If a dog don’t follow you your going to have to go get him . i kniwcits true a dog well m y dig did true around and accully ran o assed mevto get homevbecause i told him inam not chasing him no more . not been tested on a man. At least not by me.

  48. g Reply

    I just to say my grandmother in law says,she prayed for her husband years. Don’t give up now. get that book by Stormie . Power of a praying wife. I wish i gad hadcthis book when I’d married.

  49. Brianna Reply

    My husband had a long affair and then left me in a gut wrenching way to go and live with her. I didn’t know it for months. When I found out I was shocked. I really thought he loved me but he went from being a devoted husband and to turning around and not even looking back. This was 4 yrs ago. I stood for this marriage in silence and zipped my month never saying what I wanted to say. Now all I want know is: Do they stay with the ow. Do things work out with an affair partner?

  50. Doug Reply

    I was the one who left the house, but she had left the bedroom. She said she would not chase me but it exactly what I desperately needed. I needed to feel wanted and desired…still do. With each day we are apart the distance grows wider. She can’t believe that I left when we could have worked on whatever it was that needed fixing if I had stayed. I can’t change the decision to leave anymore then we could erase years with limited intimacy. Sometimes the dog needs to hear the owner calling out with a treat in hand to remember why he need not run any longer. Nearly 3 months have passed and we’ll never get that time back.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      You can’t get the three months back, but you can discover a healthy marriage if you are both willing to do the work. Fair or not, it starts with you. Call a good counselor and get to work.

  51. Just unlucky Reply

    I got married recently, as per Indian customs, an arrange marriage, as per my the community’s will. My husband took me to Paris and Switzerland for our honeymoon. When we got back to our place, his nature changed just within a month of our marriage. He became busy with his life and job. I lost my job because of relocation. I feel like a room mate, living for free, unwanted, worthless, sex doll. I have to ask money from him even for a pair of slippers, I honestly don’t like it. I know he is my husband, but still, as one day I asked money twice to get some shampoo for myself, he didn’t reply at all. I felt bad. I shook his hard jokingly and asked money to which his replied with a straight face, “you spend too much.” I asked for 400 INR. Now, He gets up in morning, checks his Facebook, goes to office, after office he watches TV, then House of cards, then FB again, gets on top and inside me, goes to sleep. I hate this life already. I got a job and I desperately want to join it, but he dose not approve of it.This has been going on for a 15 days now.I prepare food for him,feed him and that’s all he needs from me as a wife and free sex. He dosen’t feel the need to talk to me or know what I do all day waiting for him to come home and share a smile with me.I hate him. I just wanted someone to know what am feeling. Don’t want my parents to know. Sorry if i bored you am sorry. Sorry Kevin to waste your space.Please don’t judge me.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      So sorry for your experience. I wish I knew more about your culture in order to speak into your situation.

  52. Stardrifter Reply

    My Husband has left me and my kids twice, once after I caught him at his mistresses apartments (he broke it off at first, came home for a week and then one morning said he wanted a divorce and left)

    he came back 2 months later, ended the relationship, she transferred to another state. we both started to go to counselling individually, and went to a seminar that helps couples with affairs. we sold our house and moves into an apartment while our new house was being built.

    as soon as we moved into the apartment my husband tells me that he isn’t sure he wants to stay in the marraige. I freak, he completely withdraws intimacy for the next 8 weeks and then one morning he calls me and tells me he found his own apartment. just like that. we have 10k invested in this house but now he is telling me we are not buying it. he moved out this past Friday.

    he swears there is no other person involved. he has stated in the last two months that he just “doesn’t feel like working on the marraige” he says he doesnt love me anymore and that he thinks our marraige will just remain the same.

    I don’t know what to do. I know it’s not me. he hasn’t talked to anyone, has no friends. he hasn’t even told his mom, who knew about his mistress 2 weeks before I found out.

    what is going on with this man? we have 2 kids 8 and 3 and I don’t know what to do. I’m a stay at home mom, he took all our savings so I couldn’t “spend it on a lawyer to take his kids from him”

    I love him with all my heart. I feel like I am dealing with an irrational human being. he told me he is going to get some therapy.. I asked him why he would choose to break up our family and then get help, rather than get help and save our family. and he just says, “I don’t love you and I want to be alone”. please help

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      I would make an appointment with a counselor. Invite him. But go with or without him.

  53. megan Reply

    I have been with my husband for 7 years and only married for less than a year. He works out of town and wanted me to stay home. After marriage he stopped coming home more stopped calling as much and now all of sudden says he made a mistake and wants a divorce. He moved out took all the money and shut the utilities off so now I’m sleeping in my car. I don’t get it. Our love was so strong just to be dropped. I haven’t seen him in 3 months. He has me blocked on Facebook and so I can’t call him. The only communication we have is through email. I have no family and miss him. My heart is so broken.

  54. Joanne Reply

    My husband of 26 years walked out 4 weeks ago. He ended up moving in with my daughter and her boyfriend (& our dogs are there too). I am home with my teenage son. I have chased but I will back off. However, I am worried that he will never come home. He has told me he has moved on. He always put our children first or our dogs before me. I think he is depressed, he hates his job and he secretly drinks. He had a hidden letter in his bag, stating he hates me. I don’t think he ever loved me. We had not had a good marriage, communication etc completed broken down. I have learnt a lot during the last 4 weeks completely on my own (except for my son but he goes out alot). I have done alot of reading to improve myself and I’ve realised how much I wasn’t putting into our marriage. I do have alot of medical issues that cause me too be in constant pain. However, I now realise it was my behaviour that has caused issues in our relationship. His behavior too (weeks of silent treatment). We don’t know how to communicate, neither of us realised the needs of the other person. It hasn’t helped ever since our children were born – he has been distant from me. I have a broken heart again but will continue to pray and improve myself.

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