How to Get a Spouse to Fall Back in Love with You

by Alisa Bowman on May 26, 2010

Brought to you by your request

I’m finally getting back to that long list of posts that you all asked me to write.

Today brings you post #7 from the list. I’ve written about this topic before. Read I Love You, But I’m Not In Love With You before proceeding, because it sums up nearly everything I have to say about this topic. Then continue on.

The unfortunate truth of the matter is this: you can’t make your spouse do anything. There is no magic formula that will win your spouse’s heart, and anyone who claims to have such a formula is probably a charlatan who wants your money. I will say this, though. Begging and pleading won’t work. Neither will telling your spouse that he or she is making a huge mistake. And being a doormat and trying to be the “perfect spouse” probably won’t work either because it makes you seem weak and unimportant.

Again, there is no magic formula, but the technique that offers you the highest probability of success is this: fall back in love with yourself. It’s a lot easier for someone else to see you as a lovable person once you can see that for yourself. I’m going to be frank. If your spouse has given you the “I’m no longer in love with you” talk, then there’s a high probability that your spouse is going to leave no matter what you do. Prepare yourself for that. If you are dependent on your spouse emotionally or physically, do everything you can to become independent. And go into counseling for yourself. Identify your personal weakness and read about and practice techniques that will help you overcome them. Get a life. Rekindle lost friendships and make new ones. Rediscover that hobby that once loved.

Be you, and be the best and happiest you that you can be.

If that’s not enough to get your spouse to fall back in love with you, then your spouse just doesn’t deserve you. That’s my opinion anyway. What’s yours?

Note: Thanks for the readers who were concerned about my well-being. It was so sweet of you to check up on me! I didn’t post yesterday and I haven’t been actively responding to your emails and comments because I’ve been happily obsessed with a work project. I’m having the best kind of busy there is. I apologize for seeming distant. It’s just temporary. Trust me.

A professional journalist, Alisa Bowman is the author of Project: Happily Ever After, a memoir of how she saved her marriage, and coauthor of Pitch Perfect, a must-read if you've ever had a sense of dread tie up your insides before a speech, presentation, or conversation. If you enjoyed this post, you will no doubt love her updates on Facebook and Twitter.

{ 232 comments… read them below or add one }

LS July 31, 2013 at 7:12 pm

My husband told me he loves me but he is not in love with me. He told me he wants to try and fix it, but I feel like he is doing it out of pity. I told him if he wants to go do not stay because he feels like he owes it to me or the kids, because in the end he will end up hating me. He informed me he wants to stay but it is all over his face that he wants to go. I don’t know how to feel or what to do. He is my best friend, I love him unconditionally, but I feel like we are stuck in a rut.

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Boyd December 30, 2013 at 12:48 am

Got to this a little late, I do hope you and your husband worked it out. Having been the guy in such a situation, I can tell you that a man isn’t likely to just up and feel that way. It developed over time as he thinks he gave you enough direct and indirect signals that he needed some action on your part (most likely your restoration to the old you he fell in love with) and that you either didn’t get it or didn’t care. Meanwhile he began fantasizing about a parallel life. Over time, the real world seems unbearable compared to the imagined one. If he’s no longer the man YOU fell in love with, I’d say go to him, tell him you want to make whatever changes (within reason) he wants you to make in order to rekindle your love, and then tell him you too need some concessions. My guess is that he’s waiting for just that and willing to change. Caution: If you make a commitment at this point you simply cannot fail and certainly cannot “give up.” To do so will permanently drive a nearly impassable wedge between you. Of course, I could be wrong. But I’m a guy who knows a lot of guys and, while in the military, watched families fall apart. From a man’s perspective (and certainly with exceptions), a guy is and needs to feel adventurous. From a biological perspective, devotion to a committed relationship isn’t what we’re built for. Thus, men (and I’ve heard this too many times) become bored, feel trapped, and ultimately feel like the life has been sucked out of them. It’s really not you (on so many levels). It’s the dude, and all that dude needs to feel like is that he’s not working for the mortgage… he’s working for you. In other words, he’s inspired daily to work for and receive appreciation from and the adoration of his spouse. And, at the end of the day, he want’s to make love with passion. Take all the psychobabble out there for what it is – babbling, posturing, and pontificating. From one man to you – men are simple.

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Nick July 31, 2013 at 10:49 pm

My wife told me that she loves me but is no longer in love with me. She doesn’t want me kissing her or holding her, because she feels that it is being forced, and doesn’t want to be living a daily lie. I love my wife with all my heart, I want to grow old with her, she is my soulmate, and I want to spend the rest of my life with her. She says that I am no longer the same person she married, which looking back at it, im not. I used to surprise her(I would show up on her doorstep when we were dating as a surprise(her knight in shining armor)). One of her major complaints is that I have been putting my work ahead of her, and I do agree in the path to build my carreer, there have been times that all I do is work. I am realizing this is really taking a toll on my marriage. I have been trying for the past month to have our marriage/relationship back how it was. But she keeps on stressing that it isn’t fixed over night, and every day I want to show her I am trying, but I feel it isn’t going anywhere. if anyone has any advice, please share because I don’t want to lose her. I love her a lot.

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Michael August 30, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Don’t pursue her. Instead, be happy. Love yourself and make her laugh. Forget the relationship, forget dating. Just enjoy the time together. LAUGH, JOKE, PLAY, TEASE……..Keep your time together brief. When the moments are at their highest, be ready to leave. Barnum always said, “leave them wanting more.”

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Sam McCutcheon July 31, 2013 at 11:05 pm

My wife and I had a talk and she told.me she was no.longer sure if she was still in love w me. I’m completly broken by this. We recently found out she was pregnant and everything was amazing but the entire first trimester was fight after fight. I do no I have not been the best husband nor man I no I can be and the one she deserves. I need advice and help because I can not lose this girl she is my entire life. This is our first child and words can not describe how excited I am to start a family. All I want is to be loved and be happy and have that perfect family. Please someone email me back so we can talk I’m willing to do everything and anything out there to save my marriage and make this beautiful woman fall back in love with me. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope I hear from someone soon .

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Mike August 13, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Sam, maybe she needs for you to show her un conditional love and treat her like she is the most important thing in your life , It will take time but if you put your heart into it and if both of you want to save your marriage it can be done. My wife and I were separated for eight months and both of us were seeing other people and thought it was over until we started communicating again. I not only heard that she wasn’t in love with me but she was in love with someone else and she is now back with me and we are more in love with each other than ever but it took lots of work and desire from both of us to make it happen. We both treat each other better than ever now and can’t keep our hands off each other. Also watch the movie Fireproof with or without her and see what you think. I didn’t watch the movie until we were back together but I pretty much did what the fire captain in the movie did with some variations since we weren’t living together, except I meant it from the start and It worked. Good luck!

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Call me Jack August 29, 2013 at 11:05 pm

About a year and a half ago, my wife decided she checked out of our marriage. She was tired of my immaturity and wanted a divorce. I said I’d never agree to a divorce so she agreed to stay, that I would have her body but not her heart. A few months later, in July, she went with her girlfriends to Las Vegas for a bachelorette party. She had a fling. There was no intercourse, but I suspected something was up so I started monitoring her email and chat history.

That went on for quite some time, with me getting angrier and more and more useless as a partner. About a month and a half ago, I noticed that she created a secret email account and signed onto a new chat network, so i signed on and began talking to her pretending to be some random guy. We became friends and I got all the information about her husband (me) that I needed so that I could be a better person. Almost overnight I gave up caffeine, started being helpful with the kids (we have a 3 month old now) and really being good.

I never really trusted her, and she had expressed interest in the swinging lifestyle. I figured we’d do it together with other couples and it would be fun. Needless to say, she found out she was chatting with me but rather than get mad, she got even. She told her imaginary friend (me) that she was about to hook up with a 30 year old guy. Of course, I lost my shit. She had ferreted me out and I was outed as a cyberstalker.

We continued having sex, really good sex and she told me it was just sex with no attachment. That’s something she seems very keen on. A few days ago I dialed my cell phone from the house phone and listened in as she called one of the other guys she met on the chat network, and said lots of things. Just small talk and chit chat but near the end of the call she indicated regret that they could not get together and that she’d have to sneak out of work to see him.

Of course, I couldn’t contain myself and lost my temper again. I confronted her about this 27 year old guy. She didn’t deny it.

I keep thinking I drove her to this madness by trying to be more and more controlling and she’s basically like a caged animal just trying to inflict maximum pain. So now I am going to counseling to figure out how to let go.

I still want this marriage to work. Does it sound crazy that I’m ok with the swinging lifestyle since it’s something we’d do together? I’m not ok with the deceit and sneaking around behind my back and I’m also not ok being the kind of guy who spies on his wife.

She’s on vacation this weekend with our kids visiting her sister, who hates my guts, so of course I’m stressing out and texting her a bunch and annoying her. I was the only person from our two families specifically not invited to this vacation, so I’m feeling like a chump.

I took a leave of absence from my job because I can’t focus right now, and I’m getting therapy and have been taking anti-depressants. I’m also signing up with a trainer next week. I’ve decided to get a hot bod because I deserve it.

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sunshine December 12, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Hi Call me Jack how is your marriage now? any luck getting her back?
I have been going through the same thing and find myself not even being able to breath at times. would love to talk to someone who understands what I am going through.

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Broken hearted and confused September 4, 2013 at 9:18 am

This is the first time I have ever posted on a forum online but I am desperately seeking help. My husband and I recently had a baby boy who is a blessing in our life. He is 3 months old. During my pregnancy my husband and I remained very close and he was with me every step of the way. Our son was born and he became a wonderful father and I believe that I became a great mom. I think the role of husband and wife was put on the back burner as it often is when children first enter the picture. We began bickering some but had talks about the need to work harder and harder every day to maintain our loving relationship. Now that I gave a little background, here’s what happened.
Two nights ago I woke up in the middle of the night with the baby and my husband became very angry with me and wanted me to move into the other room to feed the baby because the sound of our son eating was bothering him and disrupting his sleep. He has a hard time sleeping and is a very light sleeper. Instead of asking nicely, he yelled at me and lightly pushed me (which then caused my son to not be latched onto me anymore). I moved to the other room, but before I did I said two things to him that I should have never said. I said these two things because I was furious and I am very protective of my son. I called my husband a loser and said he was a piece of shit. I did not mean it whatsoever but yesterday my husband talked to me and said that what I said was worse than if I had cheated on him. He said he loves me now solely because I am the mother of his son. He said he is so hurt and doesn’t know what will happen moving forward. He said he was going to sleep in the other room unless I wanted him to go somewhere else for the time being. He said we will give each other our own schedules so that our son is taken care of but basically wants nothing to do with me and wants time to heal away from me. I don’t know what to do. I can’t believe that saying something I didn’t mean one time is this life changing. Any feedback would be appreciated.

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Call me Jack September 9, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Hi Broken Hearted. It sounds like what you guys are going through may be symptomatic of loss of sleep and something that I just discovered that happens in marriage when you have kids.

Most men, including myself, are used to be the focal point of all of their wife’s love, and they typically act very immaturely. Love changes when you have kids and a man has to be more self-sustaining emotionally. It doesn’t mean you love him less, just differently, and can’t be as patient.

I went out of my way to alienate myself from my wife’s love by complaining about lack of sleep. Hint: my wife’s an IT executive and makes more than I do, and still holds down a job.

I’m right now trying to regain my wife’s trust after snooping on her email and phone conversations for a short while, and it’s very difficult. It sounds like what you guys have experienced is much less serious and will pass.

If you need a friend to talk to, I’m at dad 2 8 7 4 0 at gmail dot com. Maybe we can support each other emotionally and win back our spouses’ hearts. It’s just an idea.

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how to get ex back after 6 months September 12, 2013 at 11:27 pm

It’s hard to find educated people about this subject,
however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about!
Thanks

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yvette September 16, 2013 at 2:22 am

I am so lost as to what to do for my marriage right now. Almost 2 months ago my husband asked me to leave with our 7 month old daughter. He knew by telling me to leave that she would come with me but tried to say he wasn’t asking her to leave, just me. Over the last year he had lost four jobs and things financially have been awful. It is Ben a really tough year but never had I ever considered leaving him. We have been married for just over two years and Been together for me than four. In the last couple of months i noticed he was getting very irritated at everything i was doing. He kept saying he wanted to not fight anymore but would always blow up over the slightest thing. Then, before he me to leave, we had considered me going to visit my family in another another state who had not yet met out daughter

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yvette September 16, 2013 at 2:36 am

Well something seemed off so i pushed and he announced he had been talking to another woman he had met at his last job. Turns out she is significantly younger and led to me when i confronted her about being involved with my husband’s. I am totally heat broken over this. When i first left he said he wanted a trial separations, but shortly after he said he isn’t in love with me anymore and wants a divorce. I’m not ready to give up on my family, but how can i even wait around forhim to realize what he had done? And what if he never does? I’m in counseling now on my own because I’m emotionally a wreck and i need to be able to take care of my daughter. I just have no idea what to do, everything seems to push him fartheraway. And I’m pretty sure he feels like he is in love with this new girl. His family is telling me he always runs when things get hard and looks for instant gratification because he never wants to wait for anything. I can’t imagine this new relationship will end up working out, but I’m so hurry by it i just don’t know why i even want to try to save this marriage. Then i look at my daughter and remember i wantedbetter for heart than a broken home. I also know i love my husband with everything i have and I’m just booth tray to give up on out family.

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callmejack September 16, 2013 at 3:21 am

after reading this we should get together and have some happy good time sex and not think about our spouses.

ok I’m joking.

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Kenzy October 8, 2013 at 10:42 am

Hello, i found ur page while surfing on the internet..thsts what i ve been doing now for lots and lots and sleeples nights…i m writing ng this cause i frankly dont know where to go from here. I m all over the place..
I m a 31 yrs old dentist who married the love ofher life her best friend and her soulmate 8 yrs ago..we come from different cultures so to actually accomplish the marriage step was a huge deal which we both fough for.. 2 yrs ago we decided it was time to seriously focus on getting kids..but we soon discovered that it s not magic a d it doesnt happen when u want it exactly..we tried several minor procedures with no sucess and i discovered also that i suffer from hypothyroidism. ..last year was probably one of the worst times in my life and now i learnt it was the same for my husband. I hit rock bottom..i got up in weight fadt probably from fertility meds as well and depressed and obviously so did he.
Sep.2012 was a turning point for me. I decided then i no longer want to feel pitty for myself. I hired a personal trainer and dedicated my spare time for training. 5 months later i was in great shape and finally felt out of depression and lovef life again. And that was about the sane time we went throuhh check ups for an ivf treatment to get a baby. We weng to all the visits together and i started on the fertility injections at once. Soon we had a time for the procedure and i was thrilled, but i noticed my husband wasnt..i tild myself he was just being a man..they dont feel this urge like women anyways 1 day b4 the procedure comes my husband and tells me he s not sure he want to go through with it!! I was furious! I took all the meds abd now u say this??.. he broke down in tears and starting fainting. I panicked called his parents my parents. In the end we wait we made the procedure but he was like crying all the time but he did make it! I was of course schocked but really tjpught he was just too nervous for having a baby abd i should be the strong one now.
It all of course became akward several weeks afterwards and i was still not figuring out what was happening to him..i trusted him blindly..i love him..i judt thought he was in a weak state and it was my turn to support him. To my surprise the ivf worked! I m now 35 weeks pregnant very soon expecting my first baby boy.
But around 5 weeks ago we had a very harsh discussion over the phone cause i traveled to my parents for vacation and for the first tine i heard it. Is he cheating? But i fadt erase that ugly tjought. It cant be. He s my life and i am his tjis is just a phase.but then my mind started working and i soon by myself unrevealed that when he traveled to latin america in april 2013 he met a 19 yr old girl that he has been chatying with a nd had a full 3 weeks vacation with her. I was schocked! Confronted him over the phone he swore he did not plan for this when he went there and that they lnly like kissed and huged and did not sleep with her..since 5 weeks ago..my life is upside down..i dont know whrre i stand anymore..i m supposed to be in my happiest days ever yet i cry every night..how can he betray ny trust like that? We talk we text but i still dont get it. He says he s hoping for us to find the glow back to our love and marriahe once our baby is born. And that he feels very adhamed of himself cause he apprantely lied to her too and tild her we divorced!! Never mentiondd i was pregnant either… after all tjis…i still feel like i loce him and i feel like somehow i contributed to ghis situation maybe i wad goo fo used on myself and did not see him slip into depression too? I know he s the one who cheated he s the one to blame. But i love him and i wang to try to work things out, he says he wants it too but he s just not dure if he loves me as much as he did!! That confuses me and makes me so sad that u cant imagine…35 weeks pregnant too… i guess i m writing this cause maybe u can offer another prespective to me… do u think there is still hope for our love and marriage?….

Thank you in advance

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kay October 16, 2013 at 6:29 am

My husband and I have been together for 11yrs and just a couple days ago he tells me he no longer loves me and he didn’t when we got married but only wanted to see me happy..but yet he tells me he doesn’t want me to date anyone right now..and now he tells me he does love me but we need time apart for him to figure out things.im confused about everything..what do I do with this whole situation I want to work thing Out but how do I really know what he wants when he keeps changing the way he feels??help please if anyone has been in this position and let me know how it turned out..thanks kay

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angeleyes October 23, 2013 at 8:34 am

My husband and i have been married 20 years. This past July, he started playing a new online game. He met a woman on there and they started chatting. The relationship between them started out innocent, game talk, etc. But it rapidly became much more. He fell in love with her. The exchanged emails, phone numbers, sexy pics, he even wrote her a poem. The day before our 20th Anniversary, he told me he was going to leave me and our 4 year old son to be with her. She stopped him, because she herself was about to get married. But he continued to try and make her his. Even after she got married. I almost had a stroke from all the anxiety he was putting me through. So even after she put her foot down and told him that there will never be a them, they still continue to talk. Role playing, flirting, etc. But i still feel like i have lost him. He now calls her his best friend, wakes up to chat with her before work, emails during the day, and ends his evenings chatting to her. He says that he is still in love with me, but i feel like he is just trying to keep me calm. I have asked him to please stop talking to her. And he says that he can’t. She is a friend, and i should not ask him to stop talking to her if they are not in love. I just don’t know what to do anymore. I have no money to leave him, or i would have done it a long time ago. It is just so hard living with someone, who lives for someone else. I have asked him to leave, and he has no money to leave either. We are both stuck. I just don’t know how much longer i can do this. Help?

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kellie October 28, 2013 at 9:07 am

i got with my boyfriend when we both 17 we had 6 children and stayed together for 16 yrs i lefted thinkin it would make things different better i guess but i was so every wrong now its been bout 3 yrs apart and still to this day i hang on to hope maybe just on day we will find each other again and be a family again i have never stop lovin him and never will

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get my ex love back November 16, 2013 at 5:22 am

I love a girl but now she dump me how to i get my ex lover back again. 2nd time she dump me and say i want final breakup now but i don’t take breakup i really love him.

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Malorie Martin January 13, 2014 at 2:35 pm

About a year ago I got into a big argument with my husband and we will be together for 3 yrs in april. Well ling story short I hit him. He told me that he has never forgiven me for it and that he stop caring about me and stop loving me that night and we have a boy who is two and I’m two months pregnant. How can I live here with him knowing that he doesnt care about me anymore and evrrytime I look at his face I want tocry

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thefarmsgirl January 25, 2014 at 10:04 pm

Wow! My life has gone to pieces since the first of this month,and I’ve been devouring websites on marriage and divorce for all of that time. This is by far the most insightful and sincerest place I’ve come for advice.
I’m not ready to share my story yet as it’s still so raw. This kind of life event is absolutely soul crushing.
I admire and applaud the dialogue here. You people really seem to have a great connection.
I look forward to your replies once i can find a way to put my tribulations into words.
You folks have a great night. I will be back. I see that I’m not alone in what I’m going through. There is wisdom here and i will return.

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dougintx February 14, 2014 at 2:13 pm

about a month ago my wife left we’re currently going through a divorce we have 3 kids and I love her and them with all my heart they are my world our marriage was rough to say the least I was injured in Iraq in 2010 and I did not come back to same person I became an angry alcoholic that did not show any interest and my family I struggled with that for many years we had good times but we had more bad since she left I had to quit drinking I’ve begun going to AA and been doing therapy I want nothing more than my wife and my kids I want my family I have screwed up I’ve gotten on dating websites never met anyone and deleted them all she had found out and she is very hurt and cannot trust me I don’t want to divorce her I want her backwe still have a sexual relationship she says she’s no longer in love with me but she does enjoy the sexwe are both very jealous she checked all my emails and my facebook I love this woman and I love my children I don’t know what to do to get her back I am lost I’m alone has helped me clear my head on many things I have seen what I’ve done wrong and I would love to make it right I would like some advice I don’t want to lose this one she’s my everything I want to raise my kids with her I want to grow old with her what can I do to get her back

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wolfman March 14, 2014 at 11:05 pm

my partner and i have 2 wondeful children, but about 2months ago she said that shes not sure if she still feeels the same way, i admit when our first child was bor( who is 5 now) i didnt really help out as much as i should, but i tottally see when what i wasnt doing, for the past few weeks i have been doing what i should and she says that she thinks we can get back on track but cant make any promises , which i can appreciate but its killing me not knowing how she feels or what shes thinking, she doesnt want to be affectiopnate and i just dont know what to do any help would be most grateful, this website is brilliant. thanks again

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shutout_and_hurt March 28, 2014 at 2:32 pm

My husband and I have been married for over 5 years. We have two small children. Recently he took a trip to Arizona to try and get a job because he said he wanted us to all move down there so that our kids can get to know my side of the family. Since he came back is has been a different person. I thought I did something that caused this. He changed his mind about wanting to move and that’s fine. He would only talk to me about little pointless things or about the kids. He won’t even look at me. Then he told me that being in the desert in Az brought out issues from being deployed to Iraq that he never dwelt with and that he just needed to work through them on his own. I understand that but why shut me out. I am not asking for him to share his issues from iraq. Then he told me he needs a break but would explain what that meant. Than the other night we got into a fight and he left and drove around for awhile. We ended up talking all night and I thought we had come to an understanding and he has assured me that he loved me. Two days after that he told me he loves me but he doesn’t want to fake it anymore and that he doesn’t want to sleep in the same bed as me. We have decided to try a seperation but not a legal one. However I am a stay at home mom and have no money. Also we are moving at the end of the month as out lease is up where we live now. When we move I will be looking for work as I never want to be in this position again. Anyways he says that before we were married we were best friends and that getting married ruined that and that we both need to work on ourselves. I understand that and agree that we have each lost ourselves in taking care of the kids and him working all the time. However he doesn’t seem to want to work anything out. He refuses any sort of therapy or counsiling. I have made a counsiling apt for later this week as I need help processing all of this. I want to save my marriage but at the same time I do not see how it can be if he is not willing to meet me half way.

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brien jones April 4, 2014 at 2:39 pm

I have been married for 15 years and my wife mentioned to me on 2/12/14, she no longer wanted to be married to me. She said she will always love and respect me as a Husband and Father of our two children as being a great provider. She accused me of working too much and being to goal driven and not meeting her emotional needs. We always had a great sex life and traveling with the children and other events. She also mentioned that we both have to work on each others person issues. We need to regroup and hopefully rebuild the marriage. She has moved in with her mother and as a husband I feel helpless and a failure to have lost my family. To a man this situation is very embarrassing please advise me of what to do to reconcile marriage quickly.

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shannon April 21, 2014 at 3:28 am

My name is shannon, i want to share this great testimony of my life to
every one. I was married to my husband Brown Williams, i love him so much we
have been married for 8 years now with two kids.He went on vacation to
England were he met a lady called jennifer, he told me that he is no longer
interested in our marriage any more. i became so confused and started
seeking for help, all effort to bring him back failed until i met an old
friend called Clara and i told her about my problem then she introduce me
to a man called Dr osun momohodu who caste a spell for her that brought her ex
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to sought out things with me, I was surprise when I saw him and he started
begging for forgiveness.if you need his help you can contact him via:
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