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The OTHER 15 Ways I Blew My Marriage

Almost two weeks ago, I told you all about my family’s tradition of going around the room and having everyone give their best marriage advice to the bride and groom on the eve of their wedding.

While sitting in that circle on the night before my sister’s nuptials, I felt so valueless having been divorced not just once but twice. Not a lick of what I had was good marriage advice. No. Everything I had was “how not to botch your marriage like I did” advice, which was something I had plenty of. They were the “don’t dos” instead of the “do dos.” (Yes, I heard it the second I typed it). They were my regrets, and not my successes. And I didn’t really feel like anyone in that room would want to hear them.

So, after an awesomely failed joke and an evening of feeling like the biggest turd on earth, I sat down for a few hours and wrote my own advice list to my sister (and probably even more so for myself). I shared the first half of it with you in my “16 Ways I Blew My Marriage” post a couple weeks ago. The list had gotten much longer than I planned, so I chopped it in half. Today, I wanted to share the other 15 things that were on my list. I hope that’s okay.

I never, not even once, thought that post would be popular. When it went crazy viral, I couldn’t help but wonder why. I’m still wondering why, if I’m being honest. After all, it’s the advice from a guy who blew it, not a guy who knows what he’s doing. My failure at marriage is one of the things I am most insecure about. I sat down and wrote the list in insecurity. It was shared in insecurity. It’s a list of things I’ll forever be working on, none of which I’ve mastered.

And maybe in the end, that is the “why.” I don’t know. I’d love your opinion on it.

That being said, I’m so thankful that so many people found value in it and shared it. If you haven’t read the first half of the list yet, you can find it here. I also hope the rest of my list has value as well. It may be better to read while cranking up Gotye’s Somebody that I used to Know.

Anyways… with that, I give you:

The OTHER 15 Ways I Blew My Marriage
(continued from previous blog post) 

17. DON’T STOP BRINGING HER FLOWERS.
When I was wooing her, I made it a point to show up with flowers. And not just for special occasions. I’d have them delivered. I’d drop some at her door and run. I’d have them if I was just showing up for a movie on her couch. I brought her flowers from day one to day married. And then after we said I do, I stopped. Flowers became an unnecessary expense and were only worth splurging on for really special occasions like anniversaries or Valentine’s day. And sadly not always on those days, either.
IF I COULD HAVE A DO-OVER: I might get her flowers on those special occasions, but I’d make it a point to get her flowers often enough that she never wondered what I’d done wrong when I did. I’d understand that the most meaningful flowers were the ones given with no reason but to give them.
BONUS! it’s hard to hold grudges for the other stupid things you do when there are fresh flowers reminding her that you’re a good guy most of the time.
18. DON’T WORK SO MUCH THAT YOU DON’T WANT SEX.
This may be a little too much information, but when I was married, I would sometimes be so in need of sex, yet I would work so hard and so late into the night that even when sex was an option, I would turn it down in favor of crashing and decompressing. This of course would make her feel rejected because she knew that I wanted it, but couldn’t figure out why I didn’t want it from her.
IF I COULD HAVE A DO-OVER: I’d set a bed time for myself and wake up earlier to get my work done if needed. I’d remind myself that no amount of money is ever enough when you’re a workaholic. And I’d not give up the boonda boonda with my wife to make a few extra unneeded bucks.
BONUS! you don’t have to go to the gym as often because the gym comes to your bedroom.

19. DON’T PUT HER DOWN TO OTHERS.
It always seemed that the more bla our marriage got, the more I would (usually jokingly) put her down to others. What’s worse is that I’d do it while she was standing there as much as I would when she wasn’t. I made sure that she knew that her faults and her weaknesses were never going to be secret and then if she’d get mad about it, I’d throw it back on her and tell her she needed to develop a sense of humor.
IF I COULD HAVE A DO-OVER: I’d realize that there’s nothing motivating about being put down. Building people up can still be done in awesomely joking ways.
BONUS! she probably wants a good guy as part of her foundation. Building her up makes sure that her foundation is with you and not Billy Bob over there.
20. DON’T BE PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE WITH HER.
Always claiming I was the saint, I would refuse to talk about what was bothering me, I’d refuse to discuss when things hurt me, and I’d refuse to admit that anything was wrong. Instead, I’d be passive aggressive about things. I’d pretend to take the high road. “It’s not worth the contention to me, just have it your way,” I’d blurt out. Let’s not kid ourselves. I said that to make her feel like a bully and to push her into giving me my way. It rarely worked. All it ever did was make her feel worse about herself and about me, and neither one of us would get what we needed.
IF I COULD HAVE A DO-OVER: I’d tell her how things were actually affecting me, and I’d learn to genuinely want her to have her way sometimes, or I’d learn to agree to disagree, or I’d learn to take a break from the conversation. I’d also ask her to point out when I was being passive aggressive so that I could rephrase things in a productive way.
BONUS! when you tell her what you actually want or need, sometimes you get it. Fancy that.
1709 comments
justhmis
justhmis

If read to yourself in the right mind set, this is still fabulous advice as far as what not to do or what to apply to your relationship.  Well done. Personally, it's not a failure if you really learned all of these things and actually apply them to future relationships.  But no one is perfect, so when you stumble and do one of these things again, never be afraid to say sorry.  It goes a long way; even if it's days later.  Getting married October this year and these tips couldn't have come at a more productive time.  Thank you for sharing!

Casey McKim
Casey McKim

I think the best relationship advice anyone has ever given me is, "Always be honest, and don't ever be afraid to be the one who loves the most."

Dave in IA
Dave in IA

if i made a list of advice about marriage it would read almost exactly the same as yours.  only thing i would add is never say "I told you so" those four words spell doom in any relationship.  at least in my experience. If you argued with your spouse about something and it turns out you were right all along be aware that they already know and probably already feel embarrassed and guilty about arguing over what ever it was.  making a point to tell them you were right and throwing it in their face only makes you look like a huge jerk.  While not pointing it out when they are wrong will show them that you respect them.  Not to mention that nobody wants to be with someone who gloats and does a victory dance every time they win an argument.  You are a wise man though with alot of great advice.  Its just a shame that in both of our cases knowing how to maintain a great lasting marriage had to be learned through hindsight.  My wife left me only a month ago and had i done all the things you mention i believe i would still be a happily married man right now.  I hope that others will avoid all these mistakes in the first place as i plan to do if i am lucky enough to find love again.  This is a great article its reassuring to know i'm not the only guy looking back and shaking my head at my own stupid avoidable mistakes.

Michele O
Michele O

Loved your lists- to be honest, it works both ways and I was reminded of ways to be a better wife.

Thanks.  Good luck on finding someone you will be happy with forever.

AmberOpdahl
AmberOpdahl

You're a genius.  And why in God's name are you single?  What is wrong with the women you know?!  If I had a daughter or sister or best friend near you, I would be trying to find your number right now.  (I'm very very married myself to a man I will show this to because we both need to work on some of these).  You are an amazing guy.  Thanks for sharing these and you deserve some love and happiness.  Hugs to you.  

JenniferGrace1
JenniferGrace1

i just want to start this way by giving a huge thanks to this man DR ABULU for what he has just done today in my life . at first i thought it won,t work because many has failed me before but on a second thought i said let me just try and to my best surprises Micheal my husband that said and insist he has nothing to do with me and my family called me immediately this great man DR ABULU of [email protected] ) cast a love spell on him and started begging for forgiveness well i love him so much and at once i accepted him back and today we are both living in pace and harmony, all the same the glory is to this man DR ABULU of [email protected] DOC I THANK YOU once again for you are worthy of all the thanks in my mouth today and forever am grateful and shall ever be to you . i also want to say if you are out there passing through a similar stuff or issues you can contact him today and i bi live him will also help you out ,,,,

S
S

Perfect timing. Thank you so much. I have been so irritated lately with my marriage. I haven't felt appreciated and I haven't known how to tell my husband. I shared both links with him. Fingers crossed. 

Lacy
Lacy

I have a hidden, printed copy of this now. Sometimes I look back at it to remind myself, though i'm not perfect, there are things I can do every day to try and make things better.

C
C

Thank you Dan Pearce. As a wife and mother of two boys I often feel many of the things your ex's must have felt and I could recognize some of the negative feelings I must cause my own hubby to feel. Reading your posts helped me see some of the things that I do wrong myself and some of the things that my spouse does that make me crazy. It also reminded me of how many things we do well. Keep writing!!!

G
G

I saw so much of myself in my first failed long relationship here and the beginnings of myself in my latest not-yet-failed one. Thank you for reminding me what I had learned but begun to forget.

Bertalal
Bertalal

I agree with Joy...fighting fair in front of the kids is ok as long at as it is fair and not abuse. Kids need to see conflict and conflict resolution so that they can see that parents are human and so they can learn how to resolve conflict.

JMGA
JMGA

Dan - great advice - for both men and women. Of the many great suggestions, the notion of not being passive-aggressive and avoiding name calling (I'd add swearing during a fight to that) are critical to a successful relationship.  I've often boiled this down to acting like an adult - which is very different than  being an adult (a chronological achievement).


Once sarcasm, swearing, blaming the other person for what you did or didn't do and name calling enter an argument, the ability to resolve the real issue is almost always lost.  Act like an adult. Take responsibility for your part in the disagreement. Easier said than done, but so important.


As to not arguing in front of the kids, I disagree.  So long as the argument is fair (see "acting like an adult" above), it's ok for kids to realize parents sometimes disagree.  How are the kids supposed to learn to fight fair themselves if they never observe it?  Joy

LisaBrooke
LisaBrooke

I see where you are coming from with your advice about moving away from family. But I think there's a negative side to that too. My family is incredibly important to me, and towards the end of my marriage I realized my husband was trying to isolate me from them and basically made me choose between them or him in such a way that I alienated myself from them and lost the bonds I had with them, some of which I still haven't fully gotten back. I think maybe it's a little different for women too, kind of like that old saying, "a son is a son till he takes a wife, but a daughter's a daughter for the rest of her life." Really what I think it comes down to is balance, allowing you to be your own family but also allowing the support from your parents and siblings.

Ashley
Ashley

PLEASE PUBLISH ALL OF YOUR MARRIAGE LISTS IN A BOOK! I am in love with them.

JeanieL
JeanieL

I think your advice is great, Dan, especially about being passive-aggressive. Communication is vital in any relationship, and we can't read each others minds. I think it's really important to discuss parenting before having children. We made the mistake of not, and we both ended up with lots of resentment toward each other. Our boys are only 13 months apart...not planned. We really didn't have a lot of time on our own before getting pregnant. We met on Match.com and were hooked in 2 weeks. We planned to move in together in a couple months, then I ended up pregnant only 4 months after we met. We married in Vegas in July, and our baby arrived in November. Everything moved so quickly, and it was a HUGE life change for me because I became a stay at home mom. I was a teacher for 12 years. I didn't know how hard it would be not to work. I was very passionate about teaching, and loved being with my work friends. My husband worked long hours. We goofed again, and baby boy number 2 arrived on Christmas the following year. My point of all this is my husband had a mom that did EVERYTHING for her husband and 3 sons. They didn't clean up after themselves or cook or help unless she screamed at them to take out the garbage. We both came from traditional American-Italian homes, but I wasn't good at asking for help, or relying on someone for my financial well-being. It is critical for men to jump in and help with all aspects of caring for children. My husband had to be trained, literally, and I wasn't good at it. I just did everything, and the resentment built up. He loved being a dad, but needed direction. Respect is so important. We are both non-confrontational people. He was resenting all the time and energy the boys took away from us being together, but it was a very long day. By the time he got home from work I was ready for bed, too. I needed help around the house, but unless I asked it didn't happen. My advice to husbands/dads, just step up! Your wife needs your help even if she's not asking. Be involved in the kids physical needs. Be able to do everything your wife can for them. Keep the romance alive! Bring her little surprises, like flowers or whatever she really likes. We always thank each other for doing things, too. We tell each other how much we appreciate even the littlest things, like when he would pick up milk on his way home from work. I never want to be a nag, so I would just take the garbage out myself, but then I'd be mad at him for not...silly. Divide up chores and make lists. It really works, especially when your someone like me who doesn't like to ask for help. Wives, tell your husband you appreciate how hard he works for your family. Thank him for anything he does, and teach him to be a dad, not just a father. "It takes a village"...have lots of babysitters so you can make alone time for each other. Your marriage and how you treat one another is the most important model for your children. It needs to be strong so they feel safe, and in turn, learn what a healthy relationship is. Mommy and Daddy need time to themselves to be better parents. Dan, I think you are a stand-up guy for owning up to what mistakes you made. Both husbands and wives make mistakes, and it just gets harder when kids come into the equation. Talk, talk, talk. Your partner needs to be your best friend, and remember your a team. I love how you said not to fight in front of the kids...that is key! Fighting is healthy if it's done nicely, without insults or name calling, and it's better to get out what's bothering you then holding it in, or being passive-aggressive. Parents need to set an example, so kudos to you, Dan! I'll stop babbling now. My point, husbands...help around the house whether you want to or not...wives...ask for what you need and respect your husband. Keep the passion alive! Plan date nights. Don't let the kids become the focus of your lives, let them join your lives, and add to the fun. Thanks Dan...you ROCK!

Julie
Julie

Yes on #18.  Yes, yes, yes.  Thank you for the list.  It's good for us wives, too.  23 years and love is different.  Maybe too many things on this list going on.  It's a good wake-up; not just for him.

Bertalal
Bertalal

I stumbled across your blog almost by accident...but not really, there are no accidents my husband and I needed this right at the right moment (at least I know I did). I have thoroughly enjoyed reading and have actually shared the links to everyone in my email...this is good advice for everyone. It's good to know that everyone struggles with the same stuff. My husband and I have been taking a marriage class to save our marriage, we have been learning some great tools, but I think I'm going to print this up and pass it around at our class. Thanks for sharing. You are a good writer!

Missy
Missy

Hope you make this all into a book ... seriously!

and thanks for all the great advice - it works for either spouse...

Leah D
Leah D

This series was wonderful! I am recently divorced, heading into my second marriage (a COMPLETELY different relationship - mostly because, like you, we are PAYING ATTENTION to ALL the little things that we KNOW destroyed our previous marriages). There is not one day that goes by that we don't let the other know how appreciated they are and how thankful we are to have the other in our lives. And we are going on over a year now, so I'd say we're cruising past the "honeymoon period" of the relationship - also, we have a total of 5 children, with all of them getting ready to enter their teens. Ha! This is not pie in the sky fairytale life, in terms of finances or the difficulty of parenting. 


But our love for each other is VERY much a fairytale. We are CRAZY for one another! CRAZY enough to put our phones away at night. Crazy enough to do all the things we really don't WANT to do (i.e. dishes, cleaning when we're flat out exhausted, cooking in a kitchen full of dirty dishes) simply because we don't want this relationship to slowly slip away, as our marriages did. Crazy enough that he tags along on every business trip I take, even if it means he has to take time off from his job and pay for his own airfare. Crazy enough to make sex a priority EVERY day. Yes...I said those words. I LOVED your PPS at the end...we believe that the importance of sex (the power it has to take away stress and the profound closeness a couple can feel afterwards) is completely ignored by most of the world today and that is why so many divorces happen. We both frequently talk about how we feel amazed that we ever made it 4 years without sex once in our previous marriages...when we feel antsy now when we've gone two days without it. There is nothing on earth that binds our hearts and makes us feel closer.  It is the single MOST important tool for a longterm, loving relationship. Hands down. 


Thank you so much for this blog. I'm so glad I found you!

stephanie
stephanie

Dan,


Thank you so much for this.  I have been in therapy over the implosion of my marriage and I have to say..so many of the issues you raised resonate with me.  And even though the things that happened in my case were 1000 times worse than the daily stuff you describe...it is THAT stuff..under the overt abuse that came with the drug issues and the mid life crisis...that made me realize..hey...even if he gets sober and stops hurting me..I STILL need out. 


I know it takes two..and I really do own my part..recognizing and addressing my own codependence has changed my life and all my relationships...yet it seems so depressingly uncommon for a MAN to own his part in the failure of a marriage...my ex will tell anyone who asks that he did everything a man can do to make his wife call it quits.  But when he gets into it...he always finds a way to  blame me for what he did. The depth of your honesty and your willingness to really look at the little mundane day to day actions and inactions that ate away at love..takes so much courage and spirit...that, to me, is beautiful.


I have the sincere belief that we are able to experience joy to the exact extent that we are willing to experience misery.  And there is no misery quite like recognizing where we, ourselves, went wrong...recognizing our own powerlessness and the stupid efforts of our own egos.  So you, my friend, you are in for some real joy.  I bet anything the third time is a charm.

mobsie666
mobsie666

While I agree with most of what You're saying, what I find shocking are the responses. The women that respond seem to think that it's all the mans fault. That in a failing marriage that it's all down to the male.

Ladies, before you sound of about how right Dan is remember there will be a female blogger somewhere explaining where YOU are getting it wrong too.

From most of these female responses I imagine thinking they do nothing wrong is the main reason why men leave them. It is certainly why I left my last significant ex. No matter what I did it never met her ridiculous sense of entitlement. It has to be a two way process otherwise it is simply blame and martyrdom is not the answer.

Wheelsie
Wheelsie

what a beautiful, eye opening, inspiring blog this is - my hubby of 11 years and I are going a bit rough at the moment and most of the problems are listed above, when we were first dating he made me feel like the centre of his whole universe, now its just nag nag nag - am going to print this list up and staple it to his forehead ;)

nobody important
nobody important

I am going through a divorce and wish my husband would have read these a long time ago.. you said everything I wish my husband would have said or did.. I think in relationships it's is important to make ur spouse feel like#1 know matter how long u have been together. If u can accomplish that, everything else is trivial

Lee
Lee

Just curious....have  either of your ex-wives responded to your lists? I'll bet there would be plenty of conversations that involved the words..."if only we..."

alchie
alchie

Aww.. I married a divorced man. He's exactly like you. And I have been holding on. I wish he reads this before I give up on him.

Bouldery
Bouldery

Wise words, from a wise man.  I will definately take note of all these things in my relationship I am in now, Im engaged and I do some of these things and now that ive read your take on it I realize that I probably shouldnt.  So +1 to the people whom you've effected!

Mom3806
Mom3806

I love this list--and pretty much all of these things go for the wives too! There's always two sides. 

I would add one more thing to the list:

Don't talk with, text with, or spend more time with any other person (or thing, i.e. computer, tv, sports, novels, hobbies) than you do with your spouse. 

Especially with today's technology, it's so easy to slip across that line and become more intimate with someone else than you are with your spouse. Sex does not have to be inovolved in order to have an affair. Anytime a person is more intimate-- sharing more of who they are and how they feel--with someone other than their spouse...that constitutes betrayal. That is an affair. Betrayal and affairs blow marriages!

The do-over would be to send short texts and/or make quick calls just to check-in during the course of the day. Something that says, "I'm in the middle of my day, and started thinking of you." Just an "I love you." Maybe, "How are you doing?" "Are you as tired as I am? Maybe we should have slept a little more last night--or not!" Maybe a little suggestive something for later when you're both at home.... When a memory of something you did together, saw, or laughed about, unexpectedly pops into your head, send a text or call, and share it again. Especially the little things that no one else would get...no one else would understand why that was so important, why it grabbed your attention, or why it was so funny. These are the things upon which intimacy is built, and they are the things that nurture it through the years. When all is said and done, shared intimacy is what holds a marriage together. It's the only thing capable of producing lasting marital satisfaction.

BONUS: She/he will start thinking about you during their day too...and things can heat up very quickly when you can't wait to see each other at the end of the day!

maryannez0318
maryannez0318

I wish my husband would read this, we are heading down the path of divorce. He doesn't realize what little things can make a difference.

maryannez0318
maryannez0318

I wish my husband would read this, we are heading down the path of divorce. He doesn't realize what little things that can make a difference.

Amanda
Amanda

I've always tried to live by the 60-40 rule. Relationships aren't 50/50, and when you think they are, that's when you get disappointed. When you give 60% and only expect 40% in return, you see things in a different light, and usually get more than you expect. If that makes any sense!

WorkingMom25
WorkingMom25

Love this and I'm definitely sharing it. I always thought it was my husband's fault when we fight but reading this I had realized my own faults. Thank you!!!

GMC
GMC

Coming from a girl in an awesome relationship with a man that is perfect-for-me I think these tips are AMAZING. We are not married yet but it's in the works. We all need to be reminded of those little extra things that we can be doing to make our relationships even better, and what to do when things start to unravel.

islandgirl
islandgirl

I would say that the reason these posts have gone viral, is that people, at their core, WANT to learn from their mistakes, and it's even better if you can just learn from the mistakes of others. I DON'T think that you were an "abusive prick" - as nonnya put it, because these things AREN'T obvious to everyone. I'm glad you've learned these things for yourself, and I wish you the best in the future. Hopefully you will remember these lessons in your next relationship.

nonnya
nonnya

You write these things as if they aren't obvious. You were apparently an abusive prick and now you want a medal. Sad...

Loving SDL
Loving SDL

THANK YOU for such a succinct inventory of the multitude of mistakes and personality traits (i.e. faults) which can contribute to a marriage's undoing.  I have never been married, however my long term relationships suffered from a number of "hits" you described.  I have learned a lot about myself through breakups, but I must thank you for giving me a fabulous point of reference in assessing my future partner's engagement.  This is your list of "don't do's", but it's also a guide for us in what to look for in our potential mates.  Granted, no person can do this 100%, 100% of the time.  BUT it's really helpful to see my heart's desire laid out on paper in such a real and practical way. 


I applaud you for putting into words what so many spouses must feel and are probably too frustrated to articulate with a partner.  You may have done this for your sister, but there is no estimating how much help you have provided to your public at large.  I wouldn't hesitate to date a man who is so self-aware :) 

Windrider
Windrider

Valuing "Us" as much or more as "Her" or "Him" shifts things for the better.  Before you lash out or hide or criticize or sulk or whatever, consider what that will do to Us, that precious being that came into existence when you got married.  Forget the "50-50" marriage or the "100-100" marriage: Putting your attention on Us helps the rest of the stuff organize itself.  Do dirty dishes need putting in the dishwasher?  I'll do it when I notice because it helps Us and our quality of life, not because it's my job or her job.


Something learned from my first marriage:  Don't let "garbage" (most of the items on the list of 31 fall into this category) accumulate.  Try not to screw up in the first place, but if you do, notice that, and when you start to repeat just suck it up and let it go.  Don't let it accumulate, it will hang around like dead weight.


And something learned along the way to my blissful second marriage:  If you want to have a great marriage, work on yourself and become the wonderful person in that marriage.  When you're ready, Central Casting will fill the role of your spouse, no need to look under rocks or kiss frogs.

Doxie lover
Doxie lover

That was wonderful. You'll get lots of dates. Hell, if I was single I'd jump all over that. Anyways, I too, have been married and divorced twice. One time my doing and the second time his doing. The first time I was way too young. The second time he had a problem that I called "wandering penis syndrome". When I got those divorce papers I was devastated. It took me five and a half years to get over him and move on. Those same years gave me plenty of time for what I called "self reflection". Those years forced me to make improvements on myself so that I was ready to have someone else in my life. I saw myself in many of the things on that list. Please continue your list. Thank you. ♡

Wine Not
Wine Not

I'm a woman, married for almost 6 years, on the verge of divorce. You have put in words what I have wished would become even a little bit of reality. How do I get my husband here to read my thoughts?

QtheAction
QtheAction

Here's a question: Do you feel that if any of these items had been brought to your attention by your ex that you could have talked about them?  Or, do you think, only in retrospect could you recognize these things about yourself?

burnsie25
burnsie25

Wow, such AMAZING insight and ideas on how to strengthen your relationship! I read the first post and loved it...then read this one and loved it just as much, if not more! And as much as I wanted to laugh and call out my husband on several of your points, I began to realize that 1) marriage is a two-way street. I needed to take your advice, too. 2) My husband does many wonderful, thoughtful, kind things, too, and I should remind him of those and point them out to other people to build him up, too. :) Thanks for writing this. It could very well be the best marriage advice I've ever heard/read!!! Best of luck if you ever go for #3! She'll be a lucky woman to snag a guy with so much wisdom and life-experience. :)

Lady Rider
Lady Rider

I am pretty sure that I don't know you, have never met you, and you have no clue that I exist; yet I can't help but wonder how you managed to spell out all of the things that I disliked about the man I married and that transpired over the course of my relationship.  All of the things that I endured:  the public "jokes" that weren't jokes, to the snide sarcasm, to the know-it-all attitude and unrelenting need to always be correct and prove it (not to mention refuse to readdress a situation when the know-it-all was proven wrong), to the expressions that my only true value to him was for sex, to the entitled attitude about domestic roles, the money=power dynamic of our relationship, the eternal justification I felt compelled to produce anytime I wanted to splurge on something special for myself, and the overwhelming narcissism that led every conversation or discussion to be about him and him only. 


Quite honestly, I could go down the entire list of 31 items from both articles and tick just about all of them as being something I endured and how often I was subjected to it.

This is not to say that I was innocent because I also contributed to the toxification of the relationship.  I would armor myself with passive-aggressiveness, avoid him at all costs when I didn't want or wasn't able to deal with him, would withhold affection lest he misinterpret simple affection for a sexual advance and treat me accordingly, manufactured reasons to get away from him, and refused to talk to him when I was upset (among others).  My greatest fault was not drawing a line in the sand from the beginning and demand that he treat me like a partner and an equal and to give me the appreciation, dignity, respect, and consideration that he demanded from me.  


I am glad it is over and although the divorce is proving to be contentious and damaging to the children all around, ultimately I think I am going to lead a better life without him than I would with him.  Thanks to these articles, I have a much clearer picture of the behaviors I will be looking for in future partners.


For that alone, you have my abiding gratitude.

Kara
Kara

excellent :)

ChelleBelle67
ChelleBelle67

@mobsie666  ~ I don't think most women are saying it's all the man's fault. I feel you may be reading into their comments. I feel most women are saying thank you to Dan for writing this and are saying they see these things in their relationships from BOTH sides (theirs as well as their husband's). I think women can easily see these things in themselves, too.


I'm recently divorced after 20 years of marriage, 6 years of dating prior to that, and the divorce took 2 years. I can see some of these in myself and my ex AND I see some of them in my new relationship (which is with my high school sweetheart). But Maryannez0318 has a point, too. My marriage was abusive in many ways. I gave up so much for him....including myself. For the last 13 years I've pretty much been a SAHM, too, so have been financially dependent on him. Both my parents have passed away (my mom 10 years ago and my dad 5 years ago) and, until recently, I had never been very close to my sister (my only sibling). My ex tore me down continually, isolated me from family and friends (moved me 1100 miles from them 16 years ago), made me feel like I was stupid, worthless, and couldn't make it on my own so I'd better not even try to leave. And if I did try to leave, he would leave me with nothing, including my kids, and told me I was so f***ed up no one would put up with me or want me. And so I stayed and felt everything wrong in our marriage was my fault.


I won't go in to all of it, but it took many years to reconnect with people (I thank FB for that) and start talking about what was happening in my life and having people tell me it wasn't normal. Because I didn't see the slippery slope from "helping me" and "taking care of me" to controlling me. All I knew is I was miserable and nothing I did or didn't do helped. Years of talking, therapy...my eyes started opening. And let me tell you, once I decided to leave, he tried to make good on all his earlier threats. That's why it took 2 years.


I now stand on the edge of a new life....near my friends and family again. Yes, I'm lucky I managed to get permission to move because he didn't want me to tell everything about the abuse at trial. I'm in a new relationship....and I don't want to get it wrong again. My kids and I deserve better. And these little reminders from Dan are a great starting point. Because little things turn into big things. And the fact my ex did to the extreme many of the wrong things Dan points out should have been a red flag to me. Yes, my SO does some of them....I do some of them. And I'm working on NOT doing them and TALKING to my SO about my thoughts, feelings and needs (including what he does on this list). I don't like confrontation so it isn't easy, but I know, in the long run, it will be worth it.

hbarker
hbarker

@mobsie666 ALL women responded that way?!  ;-)  I actually shared it on facebook, admitting that I do some of these things and asked my husband which ones he would like for me to work on!  Please don't be a hypocrite, it only hurts you in the end.  Thank you Dave for sharing!  My husband and I both need the wake up call!!

maryannez0318
maryannez0318

Im not saying I didn't have a part because I nagged but I was being lied to he was cheating got a 20 pregnant when I was preg with our 3rd son. I currently have a broken finger due to him. Ever person has a different situation and sometimes they are a part of the problem sometimes not. There are people that give all they can and if the person has reason to fight an nag and the spouse is using that as that being the other persons fault what are they doing to cause it...

ChelleBelle67
ChelleBelle67

@maryannez0318  ~ I don't mean to be nosy or a downer, but another post of yours talks about infidelity and abuse. If that's the case, there is a much bigger issue than the things on this list. And I know what it's like to be the spouse of an abusive husband and why you may want to stay together. But trust me, you both either need professional help (and he has to be ready and willing to admit  to his behaviors) or it's best you get that divorce and move on with your life. You don't want to be 20 years into your marriage like me and feel like you lost yourself and wasted so much time on someone that didn't care about you at all and only hurt you deeply. I wish you the best and be safe. *hugs*

Ulgra
Ulgra

@maryannez0318  You ever consider maybe telling him "Hey, we're heading down the path of divorce, why don't you read this list to find out why!" 

Seriously. That easy. Maybe a big fight happens, maybe it doesn't, but sometimes you gotta be your own hero, you know? 

Suellen
Suellen

Relationships are 100/100 in my thought process. . .

islandgirl
islandgirl

@Wine Not print it and ask him to sit down and read it. tell him that you realize that both of you need to work on these things, and that it's something you really want him to think about, because you still think it's worth fixing.