An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 2

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There’s a huge difference between being “whipped” and being a man who puts his wife first.

Being whipped is cowardly. And unsustainable.

Putting your wife on a pedestal and putting her needs first is heroic.

Because it’s hard. And I think one of life’s most-obvious lessons is that doing difficult things is a worthwhile exercise.

And that’s what I’m going to challenge you to do, gentlemen. To be heroes.

To be in the business of saving families.

100-100

In every marriage, the husband and wife dynamic is going to vary.

There are very submissive wives, as well as domineering ones. There are very alpha-male husbands, as well as those happy to let their wives run the show.

I submit that all of those power structures are poor choices.

Conventional wisdom suggests that in a healthy partnership, both sides give equally. 50-50.

But guess what? That’s not enough.

If you want your marriage to work—and gentlemen, I implore you to want it to—you have to give everything.

Unbreakable marriages are built from two people giving 100 percent. Both ways.

Time and time again, I see the wives giving more.

This is by no means always the case. But it happens far too often.

Perhaps your wife stays home with the children. If you’ve spent any time caring for multiple children at once, you should realize this has its own unique set of challenges. She probably does the vast majority of cooking, shopping, and cleaning too.

Maybe you don’t feel bad about this arrangement. Because she gets to stay home while you slave away at whatever you do for money, putting food on the table for your family.

I get it. We grew up watching our fathers and grandfathers live this way. It became ingrained in us at a young age. Men make money. Women make children and sandwiches.

But I know you know that’s bullshit. At least I pray you do.

And if your wife has a career? She has all those professional pressures to deal with in addition to the heavy load she carries at home.

Respect her struggles. Care about the challenges she faces. And help her with them.

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Shameless Self-Promotion Note About My Coaching Services

I started coaching in 2019. Clients and I work collaboratively through current and past relationship stuff in order to improve existing relationships or to prepare for future ones. Other clients are trying to find themselves after divorce or a painful breakup. We talk by phone or video conference. People like it. Or at least they fake it really well by continuing to schedule future coaching calls and give me more money. If you’re going through something and think I might be able to help, it’s really easy to find out for sure. Learn More Here.

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Make the Choice to Love

Step One is always going to be to genuinely love and respect your wife.

And I have to believe you do if you’re still reading.

Step Two? Don’t treat her as an equal. Treat her like something more.

  1. I know how hard this is. All humans can be shitty and unreasonable. My guess is your wife is no exception. And when you give a lot and she doesn’t act appreciative or even considerate of what you do, it’s going to hurt. You’re going to resent it. You’re going to be angry. And maybe even feel a little shame.
  2. Guess what? DO IT ANYWAY.
  3. Write this down and remind yourself of it daily: Love is NOT a feeling. Feelings are fickle. They change and come and go with such frequency, it’s impossible to build a foundation on them. Infatuation is a feeling. Lust is a feeling. Love is a CHOICE. A decision. It’s a verb. It’s an action. It’s something you wake up every day and choose to do. The sooner we can get every human being on the planet to understand this, the sooner we can do something about our depressing divorce rate.

If your wife is the anti-Christ, I’m sorry. We all make bad decisions. Especially me.

More than likely, she’s not. More than likely, she’s just a girl trying to make it through this challenging life. Just like you.

She has hopes and dreams, too. And you’d be wise to figure out what those are and try to help her achieve them, big and small.

And she’s scared. Terrified, even. When all the lights are off and it’s just her and her thoughts? If you’re not doing the right things, she’s scared. She’s scared you don’t love her as much as you used to. She’s scared there might not be enough money to pay for little Jimmy’s braces. She’s scared that she might not have the strength to keep juggling everyone in your family’s schedule. That she’s losing the strength to be the glue in the household.

And when your wife is scared, her defenses go up.

And then she nags you. To clean your shoes before walking through the house. About that leaky faucet you still haven’t fixed. About how you spend so much of your time watching the ballgame, playing video games, or working in the garage, and how you don’t spend enough time with the kids, or planning family activities, or making her feel good inside or outside of the bedroom. The sex becomes infrequent or nonexistent.

“I love you” becomes a thoughtless daily thing you’re programmed to say before leaving for work.

It’s human nature to take things for granted. I’m not going to beat you up about losing sight of the big picture once in a while.

But you can train your mind to focus on that which matters most. And boys, your wives and families matter most. And if they don’t, you’re in the wrong line of work.

Sometimes it takes losing your spouse or a child to truly understand what gifts they are.

I’m asking you to not be that way. To be mindful of their importance in your life and to consider how devastating the loss would be if they weren’t there anymore. So that you don’t have to feel the brutality of the alternative.

You’re going to have to disappoint your buddies once in a while when they want to take that golf weekend away, or tailgate at the college football game, or just go out drinking on a random weeknight.

You’re going to have to watch a cheesy romantic comedy once in a while, or take her to the theater.

You’re going to have to listen to music you don’t want to on road trips, and vacation places that aren’t your first choice.

The Righteous Brothers sang about losing that loving feeling. And maybe you’ve felt it in your own life. Maybe you’re not feeling motivated to get it back because she’s on your ass all the time about some chore you’ve been putting off, or because she never acts interested in you anymore, mentally or physically.

You have the power to change everything. You really do.

Love her.

Dude. Just love her.

Love her by being kind. By small displays of thoughtfulness. By recognizing and respecting her contributions to your life. By being a strong father. By making her feel loved and wanted when others are watching. And by making her feel loved and wanted when no one’s watching.

Don’t sit around waiting for something to happen. It’s not going to. Nothing good, anyway. Don’t be a statistic.

Make it happen.

Show your sons what heroism looks like. How to treat women. Show them the path to a happy and sustainable relationship.

Show your daughters what it looks and feels like to be treated well and respected by men. That will pay dividends later.

And show your wife—every chance you get—that she is loved and valued.

Give without asking for anything in return. For it is in giving that we receive.

Find a way to be the bigger, more patient, more loving person during conflict. For it is in pardoning that we are pardoned.

Find a way to be the hero.

Because you are the man of the house. And it’s time to start acting like it.

You May Also Want to Read:

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 1

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 3

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 4

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 5

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 6

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 7

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 8

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 9

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 10

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 11

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 12

An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 13

…..

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112 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 2”

  1. I love reading your blog! Thank you for your honesty and thought provoking writing. You are very insightful and gifted!!! My family loves your blog:)

  2. Wow Matt! This is a wonderful piece of wise writing! I loved the whole article and especially the part where you say teach your children how to have good relationships. That could not be more true! You lead by example and no amount of lectures given by parents can have as much impact as seeing it happen in front of their eyes! Keep writing. Would love to read more!

    1. Thank you for reading and for the kind words. I’m going to keep plugging away. Can’t tell you how much I appreciate someone out there finding it relevant and meaningful. Thank you.

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  8. Matt:

    Got linked to your blog from WordPress the other day. Been reading your Husband posts. The thing that strikes me most when reading your posts is this: How is it that your (ex) wife hates EVERYTHING you like to do, and you hate EVERYTHING your wife likes to do??? What were the two of you doing together in the first place?

    If everything either of you ever does feels like a sacrifice to the other, where’s the fun? Where’s the joy? Where’s the passion? Where’s the shared euphoria?

    Think back to the good years – were you (or was she) faking it when you had ‘good times’ together? Was one of you really just going through the motions because he/she was lonely and wanted a partner at the time? If so, you had no right being together in the first place. But … if the joy was real, and the shared passion was real, then what is it that you were doing? and why didn’t you keep doing it? and why didn’t you put your effort in to doing those things?

    Pedestals are not platforms where people can enjoy life together. Something is fundamentally very wrong/incompatible if that is your answer.

    Cheers, and good luck.

  9. I really appreciate your honesty. The only thing now is to learn from this all and move on.. i hope you find someone really soon because for sure now your a catch.

      1. MATT: Keep up the caring. I know you will find a nice woman and hope you treat her better than the one you lost!

  10. these are all great, i thought I was only going to read one, but I’m about to click on VOL. 3. I want to say thank you for these, I’m going to share them and I hope to they reach all guys around the world. I hope they take the time to realize what how impactful these passages can be. Kudos mane!

  11. Matt, it’s really great that you figured things out and what keeps a marriage going. I’m sure you’ll find that special someone someday.

    Everything you wrote sounds like what I’m going through, or should I say, what I’ve been going through for quite a long time.
    Going on 13 years being married and I’m soo tired of it. Tired of feeling alone, that I have no one to rely on, no one to talk to, that I have to make all the decisions, figure everything out, take care of the house, chores, bills. He’s not the only one who works full time around here.

    We basically are living like roommates. I feel like I’m giving up, becoming more dependant, not relying on him for anything. I’m tired of waiting around for him to get it.
    Video games are far more important than me. TV is more important than going outside.
    I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m getting so resentful and irritated when I’m around him.

    He’s very irresponsible when it comes to money and has gotten us in quite a bit of debt. He won’t talk to me about it or help me figure it out. I’ve done quite a bit in the last few years as far as trying to get control of it, consolidating and such.
    It’s just so annoying that it’s always on me to do something about it. He doesn’t seem to care. Not even a simple “thank you” or “yeah that’s a good idea” nothing.

    Sorry to vent, I just wish he would read all your shitty husband blogs and maybe understand what it takes to keep a marriage alive. Before it’s too late.

    Thing is, he seems okay living like this, but I’m not.
    I wouldn’t have gotten married if all I wanted was a roommate.

    1. You’re not alone.

      This exact same thing happens ALL THE TIME.

      And he’s going to have to decide whether he’s willing to choose love. Or you’re going to walk. It’s only a matter of time.

      Every sentence you wrote stings. I wasn’t EXACTLY like that, but close enough, and I know of tons of other guys (in real life, and via this blog world) who operate the same way.

      So many of us have to learn the hard way. The painful way.

      It’s because we take things for granted. It’s because we crave comfort and routine. It’s because our parents always took care of everything and we dump many of those same responsibilities onto our partners.

      It doesn’t have to be this way.

      And I hope you can find a way to get through to him that doesn’t involve simply leaving. Because perhaps deep inside that heart and mind of his, he’d be willing to give up EVERYTHING to make you happy if he only knew how much was at stake.

      Best of luck. Thank you for reading and commenting.

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  15. It just seems to me like a bunch of women unhappy with they’re marriage. My grandmother told me a man will make SIMPLE mistakes but is burdened and is less likely to spill his soul let alone express what he believes are his mistakes. So I commend you, but for these people to say your an asshole, dick, horrible husband is beyond my understanding. Through all the literature I’ve read and yes I’m still searching… where a woman will admit to the mistakes she has made as you have. Being 99% of the time the physically powerful gender so they say, it is automatic to be placed in blame for all. A man raises his voice it’s abuse a women raises her voice it’s defense. If she leaves you for the RichGuy you didnt provide. Etc etc etc. As my grandmother said I cannot state my gripe about my position now for the fear of losing what I now have. So I wallow through life aiming to please, never feeling that consideration. But that’s my place cause I am man. And if I speak my feelings I will be AN ASS HOLE OF A HUSBAND. Please no email or reply of that sort cause as we speak she’s checking my emails as I type this on my phone. God bless you for your page. But I would love to hear the mistakes your wife made. Cause if the perfection she seeked in you. I’m sure she was unable to provide otherwise all the mistakes that you made would be irrelevant.

    1. Thank you.

      I don’t think men need to think this way if they want to remain single. I think everyone is entitled to indulge their selfish tendencies and preferences.

      BUT.

      Once you get married? Pledge forever? Love and loyalty? ‘Til death do us part?

      You better figure out how to put the other person first.

      Or your shit gets ruined.

      Most of us figure it out too late.

      Some never do.

      I hope I’m just a guy that figured it out too late and gets another crack someday.

      I wish you and your husband my very best. I hope you don’t give up on him.

      Growth and change can happen to anyone under the right circumstances.

      Thank you very much for reading.

  16. I wish my husband realized all of these things. He’s what you (and I) would classify as a shitty husband. Many days, like today, I wish I hadn’t dismissed the countless signs of of unreliability and selfishness prior to getting married.

    1. Maybe he wishes he was the kind of man you loved, wanted, admired and respected.

      And maybe with the right combination of conversations and encouragement, he would take radical steps to be that guy for you.

      Men are capable of a level of obliviousness I didn’t know was possible until I went through all that I have in my divorce.

      We’re not all hopeless.

      And maybe you’re married to the kind of man willing to put in the work to make sure you guys make it to forever.

      I very much wish that for you. And him.

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    1. I am a woman who left her husband because of how awful she was feeling because he was not following this advice. You’re a man. Maybe you should listen if you want a long-term relationship with a decent woman.

      1. I’m so sorry to be part of tearing open old wounds, Jenny, but thank you for seeing this for what it is. My attempt at redemption. My attempt at helping another guy maybe turn it around before it all breaks and everyone has to look at the scars for the rest of their lives. Thank you for reading. Thank you for feeling. Thank you for caring enough to validate what has been written here. I don’t know that I’m right about all this. I just think I am. And I think if I knew back then when I know, my son would still have his mom and dad together at home.

        What’s that worth?

        Everything, right?

        Thank you for reading and writing, Jenny.

  18. I think I’ll just leave this up on my browser, for my husband to hopefully get a clue…

  19. Not going to the zoo with your wife and child? That’s not so shitty. Try a man that speaks with his fists, that thinks it’s perfectly normal to buy alcohol and place bets before he buys food, that smashes your possessions because you question his values, that tells you that your arse is too fat, you’re face too disgusting and in the scheme of things you are a big fat nothing, that says to you, after you tell him your dad has just died, ‘so, what do you want me to do?’

    That has never not once in some 20 years helped with the house work, but has an expectation that you pick up his clothes where he throws them, collect his dirty plates from the table, and bring him tea of a morning when he bangs on the bedroom wall.

    That my friend is both a shitty husband and a shitty human.

    1. Tee, that is very sad. I think you should have left him after a day. Why waste 20 years on a jerk?
      I appreciate this blog, because good men are rare. I have yet to find one.

  20. Why does it take people loosing something in order to appreciate it’s value??

    I left my husband due to him being a shitty husband, only to go back and it’s still the same old shit!!!

    But during those times that we were separated he became the man that I married again, the caring man, telling me how much me and our son meant to him, all the right things that I needed to hear at that time.

    Now that I’m back with him, it’s all gone downhill again and I’m frustrated and he wants me out.

    It is complicated that we live with his family, and doesn’t help that he never sides with me but always defends his family whenever they say something to me.

    I am stupid for getting married in the first place. People change after marriage, or they just lie to you. I believe he lied to me from the start, would say all the right things that a woman wanted to hear, and after marriage it was nothing of that sort, but just insults and abuse.

    1. We’re an imperfect species, Amy.

      I hope you can believe that there are men out there (and your husband may even be one of them) who are, at their core, very decent human beings who care about doing the right thing. Who care about being good men.

      We just have trouble communicating sometimes because we speak different languages.

      Wishing you all the good wishes I possess. I hope things get better for you soon.

  21. Thank you for writing this article. I just found it and read it and it’s opened all the old wounds that I thought I had put behind me. I just wanted the punch the computer screen was I was so mad at HIM all over again. Why didn’t he get it? Why does he refuse to get it? Why is he saying I left him for all these bogus reasons when here it is, right here, this is why, and he’ll deny it to his dying day. Oh God please give me strength . . .

  22. This is really beautiful, Matt. I LOVE the simple and so overlooked importance of 100/100 versus 50/50. You are so right. We can’t just give half the time if we want our relationships to work. Both parties have to give it their all. Really great stuff. Thank you for the post.

    1. I was just reading the reply on your blog. 🙂

      Thank you very much for taking a moment to come over and see what I was writing about.

      18-24 months ago was all about divorce. I started writing these Open Letter posts. I don’t really like 2 & 3.

      There are 11 now, and they’ve become the primary reason people find my blog.

      So many wives and ex-wives (and quite a few husbands, too) have written to tell me how much this mattered to them. This idea that they’re not alone and they’re glad someone understands.

      It’s been a really good growth experience frequently thinking about all these things.

      Just like you. 🙂

      Again, thank you for visiting. I’m grateful for your time.

      1. It’s a really wonderful series and I will continue reading. I shared vol. 2 (even though it isn’t one of your favorites) on my FB page because I really do love the 50/50 vs. 100/100 comment. Good stuff.

  23. Way back in the Sixties, my first girlfriend-lover-partner, Tulsi, (bless her soul) had this definition of love:

    “Love is giving unselfish, 100% undivided attention to what you are doing–at the moment you are doing it, whether the object of your attention is a person, an object, work, thought, or doing nothing.”

    The crux here is that little word “unselfish” …

    a tall task but worth the effort. As it turns out it has been for me the simplest idea I ever heard, the simplest solution to living a fulfilled life, but also the most difficult. It helps to be picky and modest in selecting the objects of one’s attention, and to train one’s attention span constantly. It’s a lifelong occupation.

    1. That’s an extraordinarily wise observation, and would seem simple enough, but prove not to be. I love that it resonated so deeply that you’ve been thinking about it for 50+ years. Incredible, really. Thank you for reading and for sharing that bit of wisdom. I’ll be thinking about it a lot, too.

  24. [ Thank you for your comment, Matt. If you allow me, here is some context about and from Tulsi herself, particularly with regard to the 100/100 vs. 50/50. It’s a bit long, a blog text (or open letter?) in itself, but maybe interesting to some of your readers. If you find it too much, just delete the whole thing, or cut what you find irrelevant. I understand.]

    Tulsi never married, not that she wouldn’t have wanted to, but she knew she was incapable of giving her kind of unselfish love / paying that kind of undivided attention to one person in exclusivity. “Why undo yourself or your partner knowingly?” she said.

    Yet, until a few months before she passed away at 73, she practiced her belief as a professional companion lady. Giving attention was her lifelong, virtually full time dedication, rich and varied, and rewarding, as she said.

    Tulsi developed a deep understanding of and empathy for human loneliness and longing, as well as for people’s need to share those. She never thought or pretended that her companionship could ‘cure’ them. She wasn’t a therapist, but she insisted that what she offered and did (paying attention) released embarrassment and shame about those so-called negative, painful conditions; that they made her clients more aware of their talents and limitations, and ultimately more comfortable and pleased with themselves. In case of regulars she also hoped that her efforts would make them better company in daily life, for themselves and others.

    From early on in her career, her lifestyle strongly reflected the spirit of Zen Buddhism and various schools of psycho-analysis. She said that Erich Fromm’s ‘The Art of Loving’ (1956 – still available) convinced her that this line of work was right for her.

    She was 26 when she coined her definition of love, as above. By then she had already eight years of experience, experiment and evolution under her belt, so it took her that long to become fully aware of vision. Toward the end of her life she said she never mastered it as she would have liked to. ‘Nothing as difficult as something simple’ (her words).

    —–

    In the context of the shitty-partners phenomenon (husbands and wives), the approach of her one-woman’s ‘partnership’ act is both discouraging and promising:

    To be someone’s good, or at least adequate partner on an ongoing basis is probably the tallest task we people face in this life (Tulsi acknowledged that she wasn’t up for it), and yet we marry and marry and marry like it’s the easiest thing to do. Then we divorce and re-marry as if it’s a breeze. Life is like a huge musical-chairs game. We know that being married requires a kind of devotion, single-mindedness, attention and concentration span comparable to what Tulsi needed for making a living, but it doesn’t seem to take hold of us or sink in. At least, we treat this most precious aspect of life with easy nonchalance, though we want it to work out well so badly.
    Such a paradox.

    And let’s admit it: our current ‘normal’ lifestyle with its constant distractions and pressures sustains a marriage less than ever. Work, children, social media, leisure time, clubs, money issues, friends, holidays, pursuing happiness—the distractions competing for attention are already endless and still expanding and piling up. We have little time and energy left – if any – to pay attention to ourselves, let alone to others. In this wild world we are all at risk to be self-alienated and increasingly lonely. Movies, literature, art, blogs, TED talks, television programs, everything is trying to make us aware of it. But aren’t we already too distracted to pay attention? Why can’t we (together) hear it and do something about this unbearable whirlpool? (The answers could be: economy, money, survival, laziness, decadence)

    On the positive side: Tulsi’s approach suggests that making a married relationship work, or work better, if partners would schedule prolonged time periods on a regular basis. These times should be exclusively devoted to the kind of focused, u-n-s-e-l-f-i-s-h love-and-attention-giving that she practiced professionally (and for which there was much more demand than she had time and energy).

    ‘Why are clients so eager to make time for me and not for and with their partner?’ she often wondered. ‘And pay me dear money for it? If they would do this with their partner, it would support a rewarding, possibly loving relationship; it would help with keeping doctors, therapists, marriage counselors et cetera away. And it would be free!’
    What a paradox!

    (For the context I should mention that Tulsi’s clients belonged almost exclusively to the well-off category, mostly captains of industry and other ‘do-ers’ in leading functions, people with very busy schedules, heavy organizational responsibilities and often ‘in the news.’).

    ——

    Some of her many observations may be interesting. The following date from 1997. I translate them from her Dutch notebook. They are probably ideas for a letter to a scholar with whom she exchanged a number of letters.

    “Exchanging love and attention requires giving and taking. But giving and taking are separate mental and physical activities that require a different mind-set and a different kind of attention, at least if they are going to be rewarding. One person shouldn’t try to perform them at the same time. This creates great confusion and dilutes the effect.

    “In my approach the roles are clearly divided: I give attention, my client does the taking. Each is an active activity. My client is not supposed to be passive. Even if he is doing nothing I want him to be aware of this. There is a difference between ‘nothing’ and ‘doing nothing,’ don’t you think? Being the ‘taking / receiving’ partner doesn’t mean you can’t act, react, move or speak. It is a mind-set, an awareness. True: awareness and concentration are increasingly being undermined by our instant-satisfaction lifestyle. It is harder and harder to have people be aware of themselves, their actions and experiences, in particular the act and experience of doing nothing, or the act and experience of just being a being, consciously free from intentions. The latter is a pillar under paying undivided attention to receiving, I think. Paying undivided attention is more a state of being than an activity.

    “The key of my work is the duration of our get-together, a minimum of four hours, a maximum of six. (Then I am really ‘kaputt.’)

    “In most cases it takes me up to one hour to calm a client’s mind and make him a-w-a-r-e that he is receiving attention, in whatever form it comes. This is getting harder and harder, I think. People’s minds and feelings are over-stimulated and exhausted. All they want is relax but in such worked-up condition they don’t know any more what it is to be sensitive.

    “I think that in a marriage, partners ought to take turns with the roles of giving and taking when they love one another, but first of all they must make a lot of time for it. And really, they must put their mind to sharing this undivided, unselfish attention, these days more than ever.

    “It all begins with being aware and paying attention when you make a choice, any choice, but certainly a partner choice. Being in love or in heat is the wrong condition for making such a choice. So it boils down to paying undivided attention “whether the object of your attention is a person, an object, work, thought, or doing nothing.” Always. Ultimately it boils down to loving and knowing yourself. But you cannot know yourself without paying attention to yourself. Cutting down on distractions might free up some time for yourself.

    “One of the highlights in my career was working a regular client into – finally – just BEING (with me). We were sitting in his living room, not saying a word. All we did was looking each other in the eyes for more than half an hour. You have no idea what this way of doing-nothing and being-nothing TOGETHER does to your awareness and your feelings, or for that matter to BEING TOGETHER. At first it’s an emotional roller coaster ride but in the end it is a state of being, very intense. It’s also the only satisfactory form of simultaneously giving and taking that I know. IT IS 100% EQUAL SHARING.
    What followed this ‘just being together’ was some of the best, longest love making (attention sharing) I ever experienced. When I left, my client seemed in a state of bliss. I was in a state of bliss. The next day I called and told him to do this with his wife and stop seeing me. I had done for him all I could.
    Soon he called to see me again. He was a busy man. We checked calendars, found a date, and settled details. When he was about to hang up I said that he should immediately contact his wife and tell her that he had these and these six hours set aside to be with her only to make love, or to spend those hours with her in the way he wanted to spend them with me. In any case, I couldn’t do more for him. I encouraged him to do it, and said I would be very interested to hear how it went.

    “I credit Marina Abramović for ideas like this and much more of what I incorporated in my work. I have been exploring her work since I first saw it in the Seventies. Her performance art (or rather, her art of BEING and EXPERIENCING) has improved my ways with clients. It is an endless learning curve.”

    (end quotations)
    ——-

    I think that in the 100/100 vs. 50/50 marriage debate, under normal circumstances Tulsi would opt for something like one partner trying to g-i-v-e for 100% and the other to r-e-c-e-i-v-e for 100%. For one day. Take daily turns, and take it from there. It’s tough. It requires discipline and motivation, and of course it requires two somewhat compatible partners to tango well.

    —–

    I guess, reader, you understand by now that companion lady Tulsi was what is commonly known as ‘an escort.’ All her life. Sure. Read her (work)name backwards.

    Her archive holds a detailed log of a career spanning 55 years. It documents that she saw clients 5634 times. Her sessions took an average of 5 hours and she prepared each one for about 3 hours so that she was ready to give a client what he needed and paid for, with as much attention as she could muster. She was a perfectionist and didn’t see more than 3 clients per week. Further, she was a voracious reader and movie buff, a fantastic exotic cook, had many friends but saw few of them outside her work. Once a year she threw a big, very big party. Often her work required traveling but I don’t know that she ever traveled on vacation. ‘Taking time off’ was not in her vocabulary, as far as I know.

    She was down-to-earth, smart, street-smart, tough, wise, sexy, funny, versatile, all-round, focused. A born and consummate actress. She knew the tricks of the trade and how to play them. She could definitely play Tulsi.

    Privately, she was shy, quiet, solitary—and lonely. That was the price she paid for her attempt at fulfilling her life. You can’t have or be everything. Still, she died a fulfilled human being, I think, certainly a woman of deep spiritual strength and beauty. She was ‘real.’

    Professional companion ladies come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and make-ups. Hers were particularly good, I think. She went the extra mile AND she never had to write a tough letter to a shitty husband.
    Well… Back in the Sixties, Tulsi and I were lovers-partners for four years. I have been her only one. That was enough. The way she threw me out and ended our relationship was worth at least a dozen letters. Like a fury, vulgar and cheap as a street fighter. WTF!
    She did the right thing, though: I was too young to grasp what she was about and therefore in the end a lousy, shitty partner. A burden. I never had reason to write her a shitty letter. Rather, I am grateful that our paths merged for a while and then ran parallel for so long in warm friendship, visibly and invisibly. She was quite a Mensch.

  25. Fantastic blog! I wish my husband would take the time to read something like this. And I wish you could have realized this before it was too late, for the sake of your family. God Bless!

    1. Thank you so much, Angela. Things tend to work out as they should. I expect this situation will too. Hope so, anyway!

  26. Matt,

    Wow. Just wow. I HAVE TEARS ROLLING DOWN MY CHEEKS. Why is this all so difficult for a man to understand the first go around at marriage. My husband breaks my heart daily has he comea home from work and treats me as though I have been living it up all day at home. I haven’t. I have a fun disease called Fibromyalgia and few others. I live day to day ignoring pain and forcing myself to get out of bed. I worked until I got sick. I worked very hard. I was teaching and getting my masters when Im not working I am with my toddler. He says he understands but shows me the opposite as he glares and snaps at me every night and yells at me for any amount of money I spend. He says he’s sorry in a text the next day but when he gets home he acts exactly the same. He says he stressed and cant help it its just the way he feels. We have talked and talked and talked a out it. Nothing has changed in 2 years. I am just about done. I have tried to get him to go to bible study, counceling. I let him hang out with his friends all the time.
    He acts like I am holding a gun to his head if I can get him to get off the couch and so something with me. Just like you said. He is always wanting sex but that is all he wants to do with me. That is the only time he is nice to me.
    What do I do? I can’t live like this anymore. I am already in pain physically and I am manic depressive has it is. I have it controled well but he really does a number on me. Is there any way I can get through to him that all I want is for him to want to be kind to me like I am not the bane of his existence? It is a roller coaster I am ready to get off. I never know who he’s going to be when he gets home.
    Many thanks for your openness and vulnerability. Marraige is a lost art and you are one of the few who are willing to work to save it.
    Cassie

  27. Finally, a man who gets it! Let me rant if you will…

    In the thick of separation myself. My piece of shit is downstairs sleeping on the couch right now. He lost his job, goes out all night, sleeps all day, and sends snap chats to 20-somethings who only accept it because he use to do well when he worked. He’s taken not giving a f— to a entirely new level. I’d throw him out but we had to take the kids out of daycare after he lost his job. And yes, problems started long before he lost his job. Once we, I mean I, find daycare, it’s Gonesville for him. He’s been good for the last 2 weeks while my mother was here but went out last night and did not come home – and didn’t show up this AM until 10:30 when he is supposed to watch kids while I go to work. This is not the first time he’s been late and completely unapologetic. He’s hijacked the train and trying to run this whole mother off the rails.

    I’ve been completely open about the whole thing. Badically, to summarize, I told him that he’s been a dick and I am willing to work it out if he gives up this mid-life crisis shit and become a real partner which means helping with the kids, asking me if I need help and for my opinion, and putting me and the kids first more than himself.

    I know all wives will say they are great, but I truly am. I invite and entertain his friends at our home, I let him go out whenever, I rent a party boat every year for his birthday. I’m super smart and do very well. I’m hilarious and witty; my specialty is making up lyrics about what the kids and I are doing to the tune of whatever classic rock song pops up in my head. Yes, I put on 30lbs after the kids but I’ve been working it off transforming our backyard into a f—en oasis.

    This lazy piece of shit just sleeps all day, gathering strength for the upcoming night of who the f— knows. No, we are not having sex anymore, I would not touch that right leaning, unexplainably scared, sorry excuse for a c— with my worst enemy’s hand. Just did a quick walk through and yup, he’s still asleep face planted on couch cushion while my daughter jumps on his back saying daddy daddy. True shityness in its most raw form.

    The interesting thing, why do these pieces of shit try to make you out to be the crazy one? He’s done nothing to save this marriage but continues to blame me for calling it quits.

    My word of advice to men out there: Dudes! Get the f— over yourself already!

    1. You’re supposed to drop the mic and strut stage left after that.

      I’m speechless. When I think about men who are getting it wrong, I think about intelligent guys who care and genuinely love their wives and families but are accidentally messing up.

      You’ll forgive me if it sounds as if he doesn’t meet that criteria.

  28. ** disclaimer: you’ll have to excuse my spelling/grammar, I’m actually native french speaker **

    I can understand accidentally messing up. My son used to have accidents but that stopped when he realized waking up in a pool of your own cold sticky urine day after day is the second worst thing you can do to yourself (I won’t say what the first is) and most likely just eventually outgrew it. I can also understand doubling down for the sake of saving face.

    Little secret to the dudes — whispers — face is not what you should be trying to save…

    Drop to your f—en knees, look at me sincerely, tell me you’ve been a horrid excuse for a husband — scratch that human being, tell me you want to be with me and the kids, tell me you’ll do the necessary to change, let me slap you across the face a couple times, we’ll make up – if you’re lucky we’ll make up more than once. Then here is the most important part FOLLOW THROUGH with the promise of change. –OR– If you don’t want to be in this marriage, just leave already.

    It’s been like walking a maze, we think we are taking a new turn but we just end up walking in circles. I keep trying to steer this man down different paths but apparently he’s the only navigator and somehow I agreed to this in our vows?!?

    Men have issues saying they are wrong — I know — I’m a coder and a really good one which means men think I’m trying to destroy them just by stating my opinion or having a suggestion that is better than theirs. Work is business, but at home I’m not about who’s right or wrong, it’s about having the opportunity to try out different things, find what works best, and being in an open and loving environment. No one is writing your performance review and the quickest way to get a raise is to put your partner (as you mentioned in this post) on that golden pedestal.

    Now I drop the mic?

  29. Matt, this story of yours has really hit home. I came across this just the other day. See, I- just yesterday- told my husband of 9 1/2 years that I can’t handle this relationship any longer. He is 12 years older, (which in most cases is just a number) and when we met, I was at a weird stage in my life. As it came along, I stuck around, and eventually moved in with him. In a place he built in a barn. 2 years after, he casually asked me to marry him. (didn’t even get on one knee..) Considering I was the immature (who thought she was mature) girl I was, I said yes. There have been several red flags over the course of 11 total years together that I have just swept aside. First flag was buying his moms house and her staying there with us. (still to this day….) Second flag after being married, a honeymoon that involved his brother and his brothers wife. I swept that aside, because, well, I was young, came from an abusive background and here this guy is who cares enough to at least take me on vacation… now, fast forward a tad; He has always had a hobby of racing cars. Since he was four years old. That is a grand hobby for sure and I am and have always been proud of him. However, when it came to me and our relationship, I always just seemed to be following him around for attention. He has always been either racing, or working on something else. I have tried to talk to him about this several times. Let me make a statement though; I did not want him to quit his ever loved hobby or passion as he calls it. I just want him to make me (us) feel like a priority. Over the course of 11 years now, hind sight is beating my head in. We have a beautiful 5 almost 6 yr old girl who we both love dearly. I hate to tear up the family, but I am broken, my strength is gone and I am done holding on. I usually have to ask to be taken out, (when his schedule is clear) when we do go out, not much is said unless we talk about the baby. I have asked for a wedding ring on a few occasions, can’t seem to get that, and the most hurtful things are; I receive no affection until sex is involved, and when there is an argument (few and far between b/c I usually try to avoid) I get hurtful things said to me. He threw something at me in front of his friends before, and claimed that it was an accident.(yea right) Any time theres a chance of hey lets go here, it ends up being his friends are there and I sit just watching. He has begged me for another chance, shouted to the world that he is done with racing, and that he wants to focus on us. He is planning a vacation with his entire family to go skiing. (how is this working on just us?) So, here is my honest, truest, feelings; after all of these years of being with someone who makes me feel alone, and giving chance after chance, I am tired of giving. I honestly just want to be alone at this point. I don’t want to take anything from him (such as money and daughter) because every child needs their father (depending on circumstances) I am just so tired of living with him, and his mom….

  30. Love your blog… i don’t know what I googled to manage to stubble onto this blog but I’m glad I did…. i just wish my ex husband could see this. Yes, ex… divorced just over a year now and everything still feels like a mess. Does life return to normal again?

    Same problems….. all the little things that becomes a giant mess in a marriage. Tried so hard to work on them but it just never happened. We fought a lot and I “bitched and moaned” a lot and eventually it became clear that nothing was going to change. When he played games nearly 24/7 I just left him to it. I stopped asking him to come to bed or to join me on an evening out with friends. It became lonely and I learned to do things on my own.

    It’s sad really…. he’s a good guy, really. My family misses him a lot… but he sucked as a husband – sorry, not sorry.

    Thanx for your blog… it makes me feel a little less guilty about my decision to leave and like there might still be good guys out there. #hope

  31. Matt,
    First off, I just want to sincerely THANK YOU for taking the time to create this blog and your purpose in doing so. I am a researcher, analyzer, always seeking to learn – about myself, about others…about this cold world that indeed needs so much more of the LOVE within it which you so eloquently speak of. I am also empath/HSP so feel very deeply, not only my own pain but that of others as well.

    I have read from literally thousands of blogs, forums, articles, etc. and you are the one and only blogger I have ever felt so compelled to not only subcribe to but comment on as well(this is actually my first time doing so). I am hurting too much right now to share my own heartbreaking story…I will eventually…but I had to at least respond to your above post. Tears are pouring down my face. Because of you – your insight, your courage and bravery, your vulnerability and for simply being the type of man/husband/father that mine isn’t to our boys and myself. God Bless you. I genuinely pray your cup overflows with peace and happiness the rest of your days. You surely deserve it. And, yes, I just shared your site to my husband’s phone. I diligently and desperately pray that he(and myself) heed your advice. It is honestly our last hope. My own words, pleas, fears and tears are only ignored. May your insight and words of wisdom reach far into the depths of both our hearts and minds. Again, thank you so very much and praying mighty blessings over you and your precious son.
    -Jami Nicole-

  32. Wow! Great stuff here. Totally what’s going on with my husband. Do you have any advice on how to get through to him? We have been married almost 8 years and just before reading this blog I printed out divorce papers. I am probably going to sit on them for a bit before filing, but I am at my wit’s end. Everything you said in here is exactly as it is with us. I have told him many times that this is not working, that things need to change, but they haven’t. He is very bitter and resentful at me because I won’t have sex with an a-hole. I just won’t. I have tried talking and it’s just not working. We have two very young kids (3 and 5) which honestly is probably the only reason I have stayed so far. He was a great guy when we were first together but we have just grown apart and he has become an a-hole. The other day he told me that I made him that way, I am not perfect but I feel like I am always just responding to his being an a-hole and sticking up for myself. So, if you know of a way that will get through to him other than just to leave, please let me know! It seems like in past relationships I have been in, the only way they realized what they had was when I left. I hope it doesn’t have to come to that with us.

  33. I am shaking my head im disgust with how I treat my wife. I have a very hard time being serious about anything in our rrelationship. I have to stop treating everything like a big joke. This article hit me right on the head

    Thank You

    1. Pretty cool of you to take a minute to write this note, sir. Thank you.

      Please don’t beat yourself up too much. The only thing you have any control of is how you choose to treat today.

      And if you’re awesome, both of you are going to feel good about it. And with a little bit of effort, you can just go ahead and choose awesome every day, forever. Pretty sure things always work out well that way.

      Wish you well in the process.

  34. For everyone who says “well, men have the burden and yet are always the ones to blame..” Let me tell you a little story.
    I work the same hours he does, I bring home MORE money than he does. I also do the laundry, take primary responsibility for our children. I pay the bills, do the laundry, grocery shop, do all the cooking and cleaning.

    Now, let me ask you a question: If the house is a mess, who would you blame?
    If the kids go to school with mis-matched socks, who gets blamed?
    If a bill gets paid late, again, who gets blamed?
    If there are no clean socks/underwear/etc – who takes the blame?

    Yes, in all those scenarios, no matter how much work the woman does OUTSIDE of the house, society LAYS the responsibility for ALL on the woman.

    Nevermind that there is another capable adult in this house who contributes to the messes I have the responsiblity (According to society) to keep cleaned up. Nevermind that he is a father and as such has partial responsibility for our children’s welfare.

    YET when something goes wrong all the blame gets dumped squarely on me.

    Right now I’m looking at a living room and dining room that is covered with tools, backpacks,papers and random crap that he needs near the couch for some reason. IF I pick it up I get yelled at for ‘losing his stuff’. It’s not lost, just put away.
    At night I get told I’ve ruined his sex life because I fall asleep too early (11:00).

    PLEASE someone tell me how I am supposed to do all this stuff myself? And Please tell me WHY he gets a pass on the kids and the housekeeping?

    I don’t mean to seem bitter, it’s just been a long few months and all of this is finally catching up to me (I also have a parent I’m responsible for).

    And before anyone says that I don’t try, I really, really do, but this last couple of years I’ve felt like I can’t anymore. Yes, we’ve talked about it, from day one of our marriage (almost 20 years) we’ve discussed it, I’ve explained why I’m tired and frustrated. He gets passive-aggressive and says things like “I’m sorry I’m such a dick/asshole/prick” then I feel bad and don’t say anything again for awhile, and I know I am at least 60% at LEAST to blame for this, I’ve let it go on.

    I had to vent, because I absolutely hate hearing that men bear so much more responsibility in life than women and are continuously to blame for everything, however, that is not what I see on a daily basis. It’s not just me either, I see it everywhere I look.

    1. This is just one man’s opinion:

      Women are WAY better at marriage–behaviorally, psychologically, logistically–than men.

      Sometimes people get a guilt or PC complex and write me: “But Matt! Women are shitty wives sometimes too!!!”

      Yeah, sure they are.

      Sometimes women are serial killers or mass shooters or sex abusers, too. But NOT most of the time.

      Men screw up marriage more than women do. Women’s biggest “crime,” is not responding in an effective way to make it better. The way we emotionally react to one another makes it worse. Damn near every time. There’s a “best” way to do everything, and we (the human race) spend too little time trying to figure out what those methods are.

      You’ve spent 20 years giving more than you got. Almost every wife does this.

      My primary goal with this stuff is helping guys figure out both this inequity and how he responds to her when she’s upset slowly pushes her away and destroys family.

      You going to bed at 11 didn’t kill his sex life. He killed his sex life by not making you look forward to sleeping with him.

      Men have an entitlement problem. They want a large retirement account without saving and investing.

      Doesn’t work that way.

      Marriage is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing most people do. It’s our tribe. The people we live with. Love. Share resources with. Our partners. Our entire identity and way of life.

      And men throw it away for video games and porn and weekend tee times and not wanting to be “nagged” to do things that aren’t even close to being unreasonable requests.

      We’ve come a long way as a society in a variety of social-conscious and health and wellness kinds of ways.

      I’m hopeful that we learn to better understand one another, and that men continue to evolve intellectually, emotionally and behaviorally in marriage.

      It’s the only way.

      In the meantime, I’m sorry you’re feeling this way and I hope you can find a way to communicate with him in a way that A. Makes sense to him, B. Builds connection and intimacy, and doesn’t destroy it.

      Wishing you well. Thanks for taking time to read and comment.

  35. Just found your blog this evening and it. Is. EVERYTHING. Haven’t done too much digging, but do you have anything on the other perspective. What you wish your wife could’ve done differently? I love my husband and I know I am lucky when I look at my friends choices in partners but, I’ve reached a new level of “done” as of late. I’m sure I’m to blame as well. I’m at the point where I HATE my husband and everything he does…the way he makes coffee, when he pulls out of a parking spot in the wrong direction, when he uses the wrong detergent, etc. I’m at the point of hating his every move. These little things are from the major underlying issues of not feeling respected and what was demonstrated verbatim in your letter about being divorced over the cup not making it to the dishwasher. I know it’s not okay and I shouldn’t feel that way, but that where I’m at. I just feel used up. Trying to find some help before it’s too late….although I worry we’re already there.. : /

  36. Just came across this today. I am the wife struggling in a mariage. You mention treating your wife as more than an equal. I would love to be treated as an equal, not asking for more.

  37. This one….just this one. All of it. Especially where you recognize that your wife worries at night about things. I worry. All the time. I feel so alone. I just…didn’t realize how alone I felt until this letter. Things are rough right now. I’m ready to just run. I’m ready to just leave and take my kids and never look back.

  38. Kathy Ringering Wendt

    Chores…giving 100% resonates with me (so much so that I cred when I read it…l don’t cry easily). I just remember being exhausted ALL the time. The difference between my ex doing a household chore, and me doing one, is that for him it was a one time event. If I did something, like mow the lawn, it was understood that from then on the chore was forever and irrevocably mine. I already was the one who stayed up all night with the sick/frightened kids, did all the laundry, washed everything that needed washing (including the car), cleaned the entire house, cooked nearly every meal, and worked outside the home. I was so exhausted I was falling asleep standing up, and hallucinating. And the 15 minutes I managed to fall into bed I had to become his playboy centerfold. I was lucky if I managed, in an entire week, to get the same amount of sleep that he got in one night. His much used bedtime phrase, “Keep that baby quiet, I need my sleep!”

  39. Wow… I definitely see my marriage in this. I have become apathetic and checked out. I wonder how much longer we can last.

  40. Aloneinmarriage

    Reading this while laying in bed alone once again as my husbands watched tv in the living room… Made me cry. I’m lucky enough that we don’t have kids yet but i’m also unlucky since I am from a foreign country and have absolutely no family or friends here. My husband tells me all the time how he just wants to be left alone and needs his space. I can’t remember the last time we did something together aside from going out to dinner and sitting in silence across from one another. If he was this person when I met him I would have walked away much sooner. I don’t want to give up on him though because I love and care for him deeply… I can carry my own unhappiness if it keeps me from failing at this marriage.

    1. For Aloneinmarriage, start thinking about your own happiness for a while. Leave him alone and get out and see if you can make some friends. Or just take walks. See this new country of yours … It’s great that you love and care about him. Try to treat him like he is mentally ill or sick for a while. Don’t expect anything, but continue to care for him and the meantime, find your own freedom! It’s in you. You are actually free already … Go for happiness and he may just follow along.

  41. I think these are wonderful posts for married men to read, if they will read them. … My husband would probably say that I am the problem right now, and I also get his side of things. I kept wanting to spend time with him because I was sensing the marriage would fail if we did not find time to feel close and happy together. So I was asking and asking …

    He kept pulling away and pulling away. A bad dynamic. I think women in these situations could also use advice … We CAN make choices to speak in more neutral, non-emotional tones, hire babysitters and housekeepers if we can (get over the guilt! Happiness is more important for our kids–and I mean OUR happiness), get out, and find our inner happiness.

    And also know that we will and can be happy no matter what, too. Even if the marriage fails.

    My husband and I are struggling with these issues right now. He’s going through a “mid-life” crisis, so it’s hard for him to see my point of view. Maybe I will ask him to read these. He loves me and I love him and we are both trying on some level.

    Thank you for your posts. Love and more love is always the answer. We can find out too late that now we are alone in our self-centeredness w/ nothing of value to hold on to … But you have made lemonade out of lemons and I hope you have forgiven yourself, too.

    I have a feeling you will fall in love soon! (If you haven’t already!) … And if my husband and I get divorced, I’ll look you up 😉

  42. I love your readings…just one thing you wrote that I wanted to comment on.

    I read somewhere once something along the lines of “you should never put your significant other on a pedestal. You should love them, respect them, and treat them as equals.” The reason it noted is that we build up unfair expectations…A. for adoring spouse who is let down when the other fails or falls from pedestal and B. For pedestal riding other, you have no room for failure, constant pressure to feel worthy of the pedestal and not let others down…

    I agree with this. It’s hard to live up to those expectations; of having to be this person our other sees us as…

  43. Wow. I’m normally a “read it & move on to another site “person but after reading your letter to shitty husbands number 1 .I just had to read the next one. And this one is so brilliantly written. And I’m sure it relates to so many marriages. Reading this has made me rather emotional for many reasons but the main one being the amount of people who do not appreciate the people in their lives. Life isn’t forever, and for some its alot shorter than others,its not a right its a gift. Appreciate all you have as you may not have it tommorow! Great writing!

  44. I sent this article to my husband and he called me an abuser. I will be filing for divorce from him as soon as possible. His attitude is that the children and I interrupted his life and his dreams. i have to look out for the children and my emotional well being because he sees nothing wrong with calling us idiots and other bad names, to include telling me that no one will ever want me because I have 4 children. He can have whatever life he wants, we will no longer choose to be in it.

    Thank you for this article. Obviously, I have tried many different avenues, this was the last one. I enjoyed reading this because it gave me hope.

    I hope everything is better for you.

  45. Wow! I try to tell my husband how I feel, how I want to be treated and you nailed! You said everything I have been struggling to say for months. My husband doesn’t realize how absent from our relationship he has been. I really hope I can encourage him to read this and really get it. He says I’m the problem, If I was happy we would all be happy – that happiness is a choice, if I would show interest in him he would show interest in me, if I do things for him he would do things for me. It’s never-ending. I wish he would use this God given power to change our relationship. Thanks for writing this and giving me hope!

    1. Thanks for the note, Brittney. Please do choose hope.

      Sounds like another good guy who just doesn’t quite see it all for what it is.

      It seems like it should be so easy, but it’s truly not. Which is why millions of us all share the same story and have the same relationship issues.

      Cheers to both of you making good things happen.

  46. I’ve been looking for the words to make my husband realize how close I am to divorcing him. There’s no way he’d be willing to read your blog, which has been so helpful to me. What words would have gotten through to you while you were in the last year of your marriage? If you could go back, what do you wish your wife would have said to you to jolt you awake from those bad habits?

    1. My husband and I have been a couple for 42 years. Married 35. I am only 57. He 59. I am fiercely loyal and a hard worker and love my family and him so much. We have a very successful business for 22 years. He berates and belittles me constantly throughtout the years. Behind my back he puts me on a pedastal but not to my face. Im one of the happiest, positive, and go-lucky person you will ever meet. Our two grown children are wonderful and functional professionals. He hurts me so much verbally. He has so many good qualities but unfortunately hes tempermental, quick to judge, and very sharp tongued and negative. A week ago he had a terrible attack of COPD, emphysema for the first time and hes scared as hek. You see he has smoked for 44 years. Hes a mere 59. Last week life totally changed. Hes soooo negative and worse hateful to me. This morning I broke. I said how much I loved him but I made the decision to leave him. Eating supper on the edge of my bed and crying myself to sleep needed to stop for Im just too old to handle it anymore. I said I would give him more than his fair share because he deserved it but I have to find an apartment for my well being. He didnt say much and went in his room. I did some work on my computer and he came out shortly thereafter crying and said how sorry he was. MY HUSBAND NEVER CRIES AND NEVER APOLGIZES. It was quite a morning. I forgave him and said I am not perfect either. You see when we are calm and we show generosity and express our love showing kindness and concern, I think love will never fail and it can turn people around. Ladies take care of yourselves emotionally and if you need to leave always do it with calmness, give generously even if you have been wronged and love will never fail. Sometimes if our men were berated by their dad growing up, and he was, they learn the behavior and we are the verbal punching bags. Life has really changed for him now. He can barely get around. Theres reasons for his behavior. Try figuring it out, Ladies, if your man is worth it. Mine is. I loved finding and reading these articles. They gave me courage today to make a difficult desicion. We will see if things get better. Right now Im with a dear friend for two nights while my older daughter is up from out of state staying and visiting with her dad. He needs to miss me. I said earlier today Im just getting away for a liitle bit while he visits and bonds with our oldest. It will all be good. It will all be good….

  47. I have sent this to my husband twice, I have papers ready to file, he doesn’t get it. He won’t take the time to read it so why would he take the fine to fix our failing marriage? I’m lost and sad. This has however helped me. Thank you!

  48. 2nd letter i read. Very well written. Honest.

    It pains me how i feel alone in this marriage. I try so hard. If i tell him how i feel he feels attacked and “attacks” back. I hope he changes, that he sees one day how much he’s breaking me little by little. But i’m really afraid it will be too late. I’m slowly closing up.

  49. These are quite good & bit home. After 38 yrs, i want him gone. Total zero. Can’t stand the way he looks. When he opens his mouth, he sounds like an idiot. No sex for almost a year. Clueless add to what’s going on, sits there & plays solitaire on his phone. Total coward. I told him not to ever ask me another question. No spine or brain. I don’ care any more. I funny want to think of spending another 10 or 20 yrs with him. Oh yes, I’m the bully & bitch. I industry’s getting older, things hurt but funny just sit there. So, what do you do, married for 38 years for years in a Loveless marriage. Like the song,.should I stay or should I go?

    1. 38 years is a lot. I was married 23 loveless years. I couldn’t even stand the way he breathed. Like you, sexless for years. Starved for love. I divorced. Happily so. BUT I pay the price with my grown children every day and especially on holidays. The pain is at its worse when a family event requires mutual attendance and my children ignore me and visit with dad. I was always the “liked” parent as they were growing up so how this role reversal happened is beyond me. It has and it hurts like no tomorrow. Not saying that I wish I had stayed married, I dont. Several medical personnel advised the divorce as the stress was taking a tole and several illnesses were taking a tole on my body. My choice was made for me… if I stayed, I died. What I am saying is… weigh your choice well. Consider what ALONE really means. (It isn’t such a good life either) Consider the family unit. Consider the financial split up. Us women generally end up in low income housing. Unless you are being abused really consider options. Possibly two lives under one roof? Separate bedrooms? Do something you have always wanted that gets you out of the house? Most importantly, take care of you.

  50. I’ve made it through volume 2 and I look like I’ve just watched the Notebook. Sadly, it’s not because I feel overwhelmingly bad for you (even thought I do) it’s because I can feel what your wife felt in my core. “When all the lights are off and it’s just her and her thoughts? If you’re not doing the right things, she’s scared.” That one hit me square in the chest. I can literally feel the physical pain in my chest reading this. I’ve toyed with the thought of sending these to my husband. Not because I want to divorce him but because I want him to see how things start and how a near decades worth of relationship can unravel almost without realizing it. I have the alpha-male husband who learned from his alpha-male super Italian dad and it is hard. Turning point? At my 26th birthday dinner my husband was annoyed that I was “taking too long” trying to make sure my silly girlfriends all got in the same car so no one was driving under the influence. My husband drove away and left me alone in an empty parking lot. I love my husband fiercely but I’m tired and I hurt all the time. I don’t even want kids anymore because there is no way I could handle life and babies. I feel alone and very scared about the last 9 years of choices I’ve made.

    1. Leave while you’re still young and don’t have children with that monster. My bf and I have had issues but abandoning you is not a real man

  51. Matt, I appreciate your well written sharing. I too am divorced for many of the things you shared. Your web site will be shown to my fiancée and my sons in hopes to not make similar mistakes. This is a great teaching tool written in such a way I think it is more palitable than coming from me. Thank you so much. Best wishes.

  52. Being a “homemaker” or appropriately of old a housewife is the easiest job in the world. Men have been duped into believing it is the most challenging and hardest thing there is and this guy just buys the whole thing. He states that time and again he sees wives giving more than husbands. It’s utter bullshit. Listen up gents, it may be true that no woman ever killed her man while he was doing dishes, but she never have him a blowy either. Women have no attraction to male kitchen bitches.

    1. Betting love doesn’t come your way often. World would be better off if all the mothers of men like you hadn’t bothered to nurse you, to feed you when you were an infant every two hours night and day immediately after completing a pregnancy, no matter how difficult, without terminating those of you who would turn out like this, then going through the most difficult and athletic event ever known to man, which is labor and delivery, followed immediately by nursing every two hours, changing, soothing to sleep and getting a 30 minute nap in before she does it all again. Every day all day for two months. That’s just the first two momths. the irony? You don’t think it’s work because your mother was so graceful and living that she made ot look easy and let you know there’s nothing she’d rather have done with her life than be your mom,

      Show her your letter i bet she will change her mind. You are a pig.

    2. You are a complete idiot. Give yourself a blowy. If you want to add to the conversation, come up with something that makes you sound slightly educated.

  53. I am separating from my husband of 9 years and I’m crying while I read this. Even if my own husband can’t acknowledge these feelings in me, it’s so helpful, comforting and strengthening to know SOMEONE can acknowledge this. Thank you.

    “There’s a huge difference between being “whipped” and being a man who puts his wife first.

    Being whipped is cowardly. And unsustainable.

    Putting your wife on a pedestal and putting her needs first is heroic.

    Because it’s hard. And I think one of life’s most-obvious lessons is that doing difficult things is a worthwhile exercise.

    And that’s what I’m going to challenge you to do, gentlemen. To be heroes.

    To be in the business of saving families.”

  54. Oh man any woman reading this who has experienced or may currently be experiencing a shitty husband is grateful for this; I am. You said you don’t know how it helps, but you know it does. I personally just got desperate and turned to google for justification that I am not just a crazy nagging woman. And thanks to you and the World Wide Web, I have stumbled upon complete and total validation. Admitting is the first step to healing and I admit, my husband is the shittiest. Oh I got sidetracked, back to how it helps. Well, for one that validation I mentioned, and the best reason this article is so helpful….I was able to copy and paste it and send it to my shitty husband. Maybe he will read it, maybe he won’t but I’ve been saved the exhaustion of trying to find better words to explain it. I also began to feel sorry for your ex and then I walked over to the mirror and realized I feel sorry for myself. That’s unnecessary and I can fix that but eliminating any reason to complain; so I will no longer permit myself to be treated via the “the shitty husband method.” Thank you for providing that humble and gentleman like perspective. You helped me find my voice. This extra validation certainly keeps the feeling shitty at bay.

    1. I always caution people to be careful about throwing these things with a pretty jarring title that can put men on the defensive in front of their husbands or boyfriends, and hope good things result.

      But, I do hear this a lot. That things I write sometimes put into words the things people think and feel in a way they haven’t said or organized before.

      Back when I wrote this, I wasn’t in the place I am now where I understand how MOST of this stuff men do is NOT to inflict pain on their wives, or damage their marriages.

      These things happen because these men fundamentally (and innocently) lack the understanding of how their actions or inactions negatively affect their wives and marriages.

      I don’t want to call a man who is accidentally hurting his wife, and who will feel immense guilt and regret if his marriage were to end, a “shitty husband.”

      I hope you can find a way to bridge the gap between you. But I encourage you to consider that he truly doesn’t know how some of these moments make you feel because in the situation was reversed, he would never feel pain from it.

      OTHER things cause him pain (probably). And the thing that will help him the most is to understand that the things that hurt him are the same as these things that hurt you.

      Not the same incidents or causes.

      Just the same pain.

      It’s the only way two people come together over disagreements. And most people don’t do it which is why most relationships fail.

      Thanks for the note, Amy. Good luck to you both.

  55. Thank you for writing this… I am single today because I couldn’t take anymore after 16 years of unhappiness. I suffered through the cheating, the emotional abuse and I finally figured out that being physically alone is more palatable than being alone and emotionally starved, all while living with another person and pretending to be in a relationship.

    I will share this with as many of my male friends as I can – I hope it helps. Thanks again for sharing your journey.

  56. Hi! You’re awesome. I’m sorry you had to learn how to be awesome the hard way. I’m considering leaving my husband. It’s not just because of his behavior, I have my own reasons as well but HIS BEHAVIOR IS UNACCEPTABLE. Ahem. I’m NOT perfect but he’s been verbally abusive from the start. Anyway, I appreciate what you’ve written here. If it makes you feel any better, my husband’s crap is way worse than yours, from what I gather. I get cursed at for no reason. I get called names and insulted. So you know, it can always be worse. I don’t think he’ll read what you’ve written but maybe I could try and see. Are you Catholic, by the way?

    1. A very, very bad one with more questions than answers. But, yes.

      Thank you for the kind words, Teresa. I’m sorry to hear about what’s going on in your personal life. It would seem to rise above the accidental damage that I believe causes most relationships to end.

      Hi

  57. Yeah, this is definitely good advice. it does suck and i’m sorry also you learned the hard way. My hubby apparently has thought its okay for the last few years to sext and have several emotional affairs. He says its okay and there is no problem because it isn’t “physical” but it hurts me. When he’d at fault and breaks my heart he won’t even make the nice gesture of stopping along the road on the way home to pick flowers, when he says he’s broke. When I finally confront him about these things he defensive. I want to treat him like a queen but all he treats me like is a maid, nanny, chef, taxi for the kids. He doesn’t hit me or curse at me but he certainly doesn’t treat me well. We’ve been married for 12 years and been together for 17. I have lost alot of self respect. I don’t know what to do.

  58. When I read these open letters I totally see myself. I’m not a hitter, not a cheater, not a swearer, not a yeller. I’m an honest hard worker a good father and always considered myself a “nice” person (in fact I can ‘out-nice’ my wife in any argument). But the more I read your blog the more I realise I have put my wife through 26 years of painful neglect.
    She is a good person. Right now she vacillates between the knowledge that I’m actually a good person too and the almost unbearable pain of disappointment.
    If a person objectively looked at the sorts of things that she has done in last couple of years and the way her anger has erupted they would likely side with me – but I know that’s not fair. It’s not fair because they haven’t seen the countless times I have ignored things that were important to her.
    Our marriage is possibly salvageable.
    I’m doing a lot of things differently now.
    Whenever I find myself spiraling into a ‘poor me – she’s so mean’ black-hole, I read one these open-letters and it never fails to put it all into perspective – and I can get back to actually one-small-thing-at-a-time making her life better.

  59. My husband is an asshole who takes me for granted. He thinks not cheating makes you a good husband. Mature adults don’t cheat. He’s cheated in the past,who knows if he still does. He does nothing at home and date night is a foreign concept. I’m waiting for my daughter to go to college and I’m leaving his sorry ass.

    1. I feel you
      On top of that i work. He just started
      Working 6 months ago – because i forced him to find one
      If I forget to give instructions nothing will get done
      I am exhausted
      On top of all this, he is usually disrespectful and have cheated before

  60. Wow, this is impactful. It’s too late for me to wish these things for myself but I sure wish them for my own children. My two new mottos that I say to myself all day long are….just get through this day. And, take what you can get. If my spouse is nice and in a good mood, I’ll just try to be thankful for that moment because I know if will be short lived. Nice things are said at times, but if I have a “funny look” on my face or screw up when moods aren’t right. It’s the silent treatment for me. Thank you….there is hope. Hope for my kids I pray.

  61. Women we just want to feel special – and to feel special mostly just means paying attention

  62. I don’t know who you are…. but my God I would love to meet you. I would just run up to you and give you the tightest hug (and probably sob, sorry ?) bc I cannot even see my screen right now from crying so hard reading the first to volumes! Like AMEN sir! Bravo, for being able to be the bigger person and help other men realize what they have

  63. Great articles! I just read two of them(volumes one and two). I really appreciate you and your inner work and sharing that with the world!

  64. Sad birthday girl

    Thank you! I really really needed this today as it’s been a pretty shitty birthday. It’s good to know not all men are completely dense. I’m going to send this blog to my husband in the hopes that he reads it and takes something away from it.

    1. Mention to your husband that if he doesnt read it now, he’ll be reading it while your on a break or divorced and thinking wow now i get it. It happened to me and now im staring to get it. Hope everything worked out.

  65. Ok, first you say that a relationship is a two way street where everyone has to give 100-100. Then you say that you have to put up with your woman no matter what she does, and she doesn’t have to do the same? You’re going to be angry? You’re going to be resentful? Do you even comprehend what you type?

    Basically you’re saying that it’s ok for a man to feel unappreciated, but he should do everything in his power to make sure she never feels that way… That’s just ridiculous. That’s a woman becoming the very thing they’ve complained about men being since the dawn of “equality”.

  66. I loved reading this, wish my husband would as well. But he’s perfect, and I’m nothing. The more I read, the more I realize that I’m fighting a losing battle and should probably just cut my losses.

  67. I have a sittey husband and he has big problem with child pornography and he’ll make you feel like sit call’s u every name in the book hits you no space controls depending on every one else to take care of he’s chip loves to fit put up a front he is just bad news not a good husband to be with. All he does is mitolley try to hurt me I am so glad I have no kids with him God now I would trust him around my girls

  68. Hello!

    Although I am not a husband, I have been scouring the Internet for help as I am a wife with an asshole husband. I have ready Vol. 1-3 so far and I cannot tell you enough that my husband NEEDS to read this. We have been married three years and we have a 10 month old son. Say in and day out he shows no love or respect towards me but carries a chip on his shoulder about his long hours and has to constantly be asked to take care of our son let alone even look my direction when we talk. He is constantly justifying his lack of love and respect by saying he doesn’t cheat. He does g go out. And he provides for us … to me that isn’t enough.

    PLEASE any tips you have for me on the wofe side? Any way I can get my husband to read this?

    -desperate

  69. You’re touching on something I’ve thought about marriage before.

    When I had shitty menial jobs as a teenager, I never gave my all. I admit it, I gave as little as I could get away with, skirting the rules but never quite getting called out. Oh, it’s Paid sick leave, you say? Well by all means then, I’m – cough cough – dying this Friday morning, see you on Monday. Hey, these look like free pens and post-its to me, thanks! File them? … gee I’m sorry, I thought you said, “pile them”. I know I’m twenty minutes late, but I’m so cute, I know you don’t mind.

    Sometimes I look at my husband and believe I can actually hear him thinking, “will this get me fired, or not.” And that’s not the way to be in marriage. Granted it’s probably not the way to be a Walmart Greeter, either, but marriage is supposed to be more than that, it’s supposed to be a partnership strengthened and made awesome by both people’s best efforts.

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