A One-sided Relationship

life_communicateMy husband of twelve years is becoming very distant, non-communicative and unaffectionate towards myself and our children. There is very little communication between us. I feel I give to him all the time and he takes and doesn’t give back. There is no romance anymore, and sex just feels like another chore to me. I feel we are headed for a breakup. I know we need counselling, but I think we have gone beyond that. I feel unhappy all the time, lonely and depressed (there is no other woman involved).

It is never too late for counselling. Sometimes there are underlying things going on in the relationship. Sometimes its drugs, sometimes pornography, sometimes a deep woundedness, lack of communication tools, etc. If nothing else the partner who wants to grow can find ways to get on with their life, even if the partner isn’t interested and sometimes it may be best to break up. It is good to explore all the options with a counselor before papers are filed. Some couples don’t understand the cost of going through with a divorce and when they find out what it was going to cost, they begin to put in more work.

38 Responses to “A One-sided Relationship”

  • life sucks says:

    one sided love its really hurting . we cant even leave either we get loved back.

  • Shelley Anderson says:

    Let me pray for you my sister.
    Lord I lift up my sister as she is going through a rough time in her relationship. I agree with doris that she needs assistance in this issue. help her direct to a good person that can help her.
    In Jesus MightyName Amen

  • Doris Beck Doris says:

    Just Me, I saw your comment on another article on this site and just want to reiterate what I said there, that I would highly recommend that you click on this link and ask for an online mentor to walk alongside of you on this journey. Your decision isn’t an easy one because your commitment needs to be to your husband first, before to your children, but it sounds like there are other issues at work here too that you will need to work and talk through.

  • Arlette says:

    Dear “Just me”,
    My opinion is that you should not move away from your children if it can be helped. Mothers are irreplaceable and always needed at any age.And it sounds like you need them too.
    Intimacy is important to some and not very important to others. Only you know if it is something that you need in your marriage to be happy.
    And remember our Lord said that adultery is a valid reason to separate. So if that has happened then perhaps it is worth doing so study and prayer about what the bible says about it. There are answers there for you.
    Please know that there are so many people who can relate. And that you are so deeply loved and precious in every way to our Father.

  • Just me... says:

    My husband of only three years has increasingly become distant. When I try and talk with him about the lack of intimacy his reply is “Sex isn’t everything”. However, I know that he has not been faithful. He hasn’t touched me since 09/09 and we had just married 05/08 (I would estimate we have been together 7 times in three years). In March 09, we were leaving for a week long cruise and that morning I saw him sign onto an email account that I didn’t know about. Since then I have seen this several times… His name is Rick. His ex-girl friend has never been completely out of the picture and there has been lies shared by them both.

    I must confess that I am not perfect, because I one day I tried to sign onto his emails and was able to determine the passwords. What I saw there was very disappointing. I called “Focus on the Family” and spoke with someone there and they said I shouldn’t do that again. I have confronted him about these issues and he blows me off or promises never to do it again. But the fact he has no “desire” for me says it all.

    I keep thinking of how I could improve, drop some weight, let my hair grow, be nicer, a better cook…eta. Don’t take this the wrong way, but it’s not me. I wanted a healthy marriage relationship but I found myself again (better than the first) in a relationship that looks great on the outside – but sadly missing something internally. I thought we were equally yoked… This is the second marriage for us both. Now he has taken a job and we will be moving away from my kids and deep inside I hate it. I want to be a grandmother one day. Do I choose my kids over a unhealthy relationship with him… in prayer that GOD will touch our lives/his heart and change things?

    We went to counseling and she said she needed to see him only. Well he went a few times and stopped. He said she just wanted to talk business, economy and stocks… Ephs says I am to respect my husband and I do. It’s the strangest thing to me… not to want a good relationship with someone your close too. We are the best of friends and (it seems) nothing more.

    I have stopped looking at his emails because it just haunts me. Depresses me and I can’t focus on the bigger picture of my salvation. My relationship with GOD… I don’t want to do anything that will separate me from my Lord. Can anyone related?

  • winona says:

    i totally understand having your husband not listen or makes your issue sound silly or not important. when i found out about myt husband cheating on me i had a million questions which he either laughed at or got mad. needless to say i felt unheard. on one of the many nights that i couldn’t sleep i picked up the computer and emailed him. it may sound funny as he was downstairs but i wrote everything i could think of and alot of it was not nice! what i found was that even if he didn’t read it (he read most) i felt so much better just writting it and “sending” it away. i guess i felt when you press “send” it was no longer an issue.i’ve been under the “care” of a minister, a family friend, i told my husband however it fell on deaf ears. the point i’m trying to make is see someone from the church. you don’t have to tell your husband because this is about you. through all my years of councelling ect. the point that they all made was you can only fix yourself, work on yourself and the rest will follow.it’s funny i just read what i wrote and realized that i haven’t been focasing on myself enough, always sneeking my husband ahead of myself….hm…guess i need to get back to me! it’s always good to get an oppinion from “outside” your situation a fresh new perspective can make the world of differance to help you see things more clearly. if you can find some quiet time use it to connect with God. listen / watch what he sends you when you ask. sometimes i laugh at how simple some of the answers are! turn all your issues over to God and you will feel much lighter and able to sort out your life.
    it’s not always easy and i find i can’t look beyond today but at least i’m not alone. i’m not sure if this will help…..

  • suz says:

    I can relate to many of these stories. I have been made for 20 years, and we have been though A LOT. We got married very young (18) had a baby with medical issues. I feel I may have resentment built up over the years for all the stuff we went though. Now I am having a hard time, forgiving him even for stuff that happened 15 years ago. I don’t feel I get the communication from him to help me with the closure. I am sure I need counseling but we are also financially struggling, we cant afford even our living expenses. We both work full time but was recently laid off and lost over 70% of our income that we were used too. Adjusting to that is very hard. I have no where else to cut back. But my point was, I cant afford to see anyone who can help. I just cant find the co pay anywhere. I’m afraid my marriage is falling apart and there is nothing I can do about it. I have talked to my husband and he almost acts like I am crazy. He doesn’t know why I feel this way. Says I blast him all the time so he has turned me out. I just want closure on things but cant get him to talk. He says he has and I just wont listen to him. But his idea of closure is just saying I’m sorry for everything. What exactly are you sorry for ? How do I know its safe to trust you again. There are also things he continues to do that drives me insane. As soon as I hear or see these behaviors I shut down. I no longer want to talk or be around him. He knows how I feel about it but apparently doesn’t feel I am being fair and that he should be able to do what he wants within reason. I have asked about getting someone from our church to help but he doesn’t want everyone knowing our business that we are so close too. Any suggestions would be an enormous help.

  • Winona says:

    thanks alfred for the response…it’s amazing the support one can find if you just look in the right place or shall i say, listen to god and he will help you find the support. i prayrd last night for strength to get back into my exersize program and would you believe that my heighbour called and wanted to go for a walk. my neighbour always works during the day but she took today off…..interesting how god works. alfred do you have any more bible verses that helped you thru your trials in your marriage? any words of wisdom?

  • When I was in difficulty 2 people on the same week-end gave me Joshua 1:5-9. That was God telling me to be brave and very couragous, for HE will never leave me. The same is for you. It also says to stay in the Word, and to live by it.
    God will never fail youi! So, look to Him for healing, for advice, for strength, and then even for joy. I know HE healed our marriage, and made it better than before. Praying for you, Alfred.

  • winona says:

    wow these stories are all so familiar. i have just found that i needed to connect with god as he will never leave. joshua 1 verse 5. tells us that. that was one of the lessons i was to learn from my husband having an affair. i have huge abandonment issues and this was gods way of telling me that i never have to worry, just trust in him. when i got the lesson i noticed how i calmed down a few notches as i was beyond being stressed. i wonder what god wants me to learn next. on i go navigating through this mess!

  • lonely sc girl says:

    i guess i just need someone to talk to i have no one.my husband left me and our two kids back in march of 2010. at the time our youngest was 5 months old. i was unemployed and scared. all he said was that he was tired of being married he took both cars because they were in his name and would have taken the house if he could have but luckily it was in my and my moms name. even though it has been 10 months i feel so alone. he was my first kiss. i have never touched another man ever. we had been together for 12 years. now i feel so alone so unloved. he left me a single parent of two beautiful kids and if it weren’t for them i probably wouldn’be here today.i am working now but am looking for a second job to make ends meet. someone felt sorry for me and gave me an old car that runs most of the time which was a blessing.but now i found out that during my last pregnancy he had someone else. for 7 months i was in and out of the hospital going through hell trying to keep myself and our unborn child alive and he was with someone else. i trusted him with all that i could and he did that to me and our kids.i just feel so unwanted and unloved i wish i had someone to hold me and tell me its ok but i dont. if i had known he would have been like this i would have saved myself for someone who would have appreciated me. he is not the man i know not only has he left me but he has turned away from God too what the heck am i suposed to do!!!!

  • Purplee says:

    LLFG said it perfect back on 2/15/2010… Love him. It is beyond painful but it is doable when it is the love of Jesus poured into you and out to him.

    Love never fails.

  • Lost and forgotten says:

    I’ve been married for almost 11 years and my husband hasn’t come near me intimately since July of this year. We work different shifts. He comes home at night and gets directly on the computer for blogging. He is there until 2:00 in the morning. I get up and leave for work in the morning and it is the same thing over and over again. We only discuss our childrena and he talks about the topic of the day on the blogging. I’m loney and tired of doing everything for him. He doesn’t eat dinner with us, he is at the computer. From the moment he gets up on the weekends until he goes to bed he is on the computer. If he gets off the computer, it is to take a nap on the couch. He works and takes care of us financially, however, there is nothing phyically or emotionally. He never goes anywhere with us, doesn’t want to go to church now either. I think of things to tell him that’s going on in our lives and then I just think why bother and I don’t even mention it now. The computer has become his first love and god. I just want a divorce.

  • Heard about it says:

    It appears to be every where who can you talk too! Married awhile both Christians so I thought until he moved in with another woman unsaved and seriously bipolar for real and he began to profess his love for her. He returned home but not really he seems to be grieving and there is no sex he said he can’t perform withe stress between us but he called me her name in the moment but he wasn’t thinking of her. I ask him to leave and go back to her but he won’t leave but nothing changes somebody tell me why?

  • Arlette says:

    Dear Sherry,
    You are so right about porn and I am so sorry you are having to deal with that. I am glad you are seeing someone that you can talk to. I hope that helps you overcome the feelings you are having. Remember that you are important and do not allow this evil to rob you of your worth. You are so much more and all of the rest of it is just an illusion. It is very hard to be in a relationship where there are children with someone else. It is a lifelong tie that will always be there. His children should be the most important things in his life. Having a father is one of the two relationships that shape children into the people they become. I hope that you can join him in nurturing them and support him. Remember that you have your own will and you can make your own choices. God loves each of us and in Him we are all precious.

  • sherry rickman says:

    I have been married seven years and it is a blessing to know I am not alone. Going to counseling by myself now which is a blessing by itself but porn is truly an epidemic and it makes you feel small, insignificant, and unimportant. His kids are more important than I am seems to me. They feel they have the right to say things that are totally inappropriate. His exwife flirts although she is remarried but I am supposed to trust although it seems to me he can so whatever he wants. Can’t go against mans will.

  • Jewels says:

    I have been a christian most of my life. I tried to do all he right things including not dating non-christians. However, I found that even so called christian men wanted sex. During that time in my life, I would end the relationship with anyone that did not respect my standards. However, after time. I got tried of waiting until marriage. I was 40 years old when I made that decision. I fell in love with a very wonderful ful non-christian man. He was my first. Did the guilty go away no! However, we are now engaged, and after 4 years started I noticing a change. He did not want sex as much. Finally the truth came out that he had a problem with depression. It is really strange because for the last months I recommitted myself to Christ and have been pleading to him to help me overcome this part of my life, and now this. Why am I writing because although I am trying to wait until marriage, I am concerned that this maybe a problem in our future marriage. He says he wants to get counseling, but has not made any steps in that area. I love him dearly, but I do not want to be in a loveless marriage. I feel guilty for feeling this way, but its the truth. I will say that God’s way is the only way. He gave us his word to guide our lives. I need much prayer, and it is nice to know I am not alone.

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:


    I am so sorry to hear about what you’re dealing with. Do you think your husband would consider seeing a counselor with you? If not, have you thought about maybe going on your own? It could really help. If you’d like to talk to someone right away we have mentors available free of charge. You can use this form to contact a mentor any time. You should hear back in a couple of days.

    There is also a really great article here Does Your Marriage Need Help? that you might find useful. I don’t know where you are located, but here is a huge list of marriage resources in the States and the companion version of marriage resources in Canada. This is not an easy situation you’re dealing with. You don’t have to do this alone.

  • cherry k o says:

    Now its like i married a male version of my mother.(i love my mother but didnt have a good relationship with her as she was abusive)He refuses to acknowledge my feelings my ways of seeing things ect.. He has shamed me infront of strangers and his family. I have been compared to other women in and out of bed. I have been compared to his neice as she is old enough to have children and has her own exersize business and is blond and leggy and in great shape. He told me i was old and had a big butt unlike her. He will not own up to any of his verbal abuse. I have been stood over in an attempt to intimidate me, and even had a punch thrown at me. Please ladys dont marry an unsaved man you are just asking for all kinds of heartach and trouble. On top of it all I have female problems and have been verbally abused and dressed down as he cannot get his sexual needs met the way he desires. I have been subjected to repeated calls and texts when i go anywhere with anyone even our sister in law. The church was no help and assumed without asking me that I had an std(which i dont have) I feel isolated and alone as he is good at just letting people see the side of him he wants them to see so when i say anything in my own defense they believe him as he is very charming and minuplative.

  • cherry k o says:

    I married a guy that my first sight of was attracted to but as i would pass by him at work i noticed he had a smart mouth on him and would be critticle and judgemental. At the time i thought “I dont like you your a jerk.” Oh how i wish i had stuck to my instincts! I later got drawn to him as my family hasnt been close and i missed and wanted a family of my own. Oh he was sweet and charming and would take me out and spend money on me and made me feel special.

  • cherry k o says:

    I know how you all feel about being alone. I want to reply to the ladys who said they are with guys who they are not married to. Please if you ever listened to anyone listen to me!!! DO NOT EVER MARRY SOMEONE YOU ARE HAVING PROBLEMS WITH THAT CANNOT BE WORKED OUT,DONT MARRY SOMEONE WHO IS WITHOUT CHRIST!!!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DONT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE I HAVE!!!! DONT DO IT!!!

  • Amanda78 says:

    I feel for you.My husband is doing the same thing.I just had a c-section with our son and almost died.I’m suppose to be on restrictions,but he does’nt care.He’s become distant,and i feel worthless.I have 3 kids,and sometimes i think divorce would be best!

  • Arlette says:

    Thanks so much for the link to the counseling. I have been looking for a long time for a Christian counselor. I went to the link and found somewhere that is just 20 minutes from me! Thank you so much. The Guy, I wish you well and hope that you follow Claire’s advice. What you are describing is actually pretty common. I hope that you put the needs of your child above your own and are able to make it work. Your son is worth everything and worth doing anything for, don’t you think? Take care.

  • Claire Colvin Claire says:

    Dear The Guy,

    You’ve asked her to go to counseling which is fantastic. If she won’t go, you may find it helpful to go by yourself. A counselor can give you some great tools to put to work in your relationship. She may see you going and see how much you want the relationship to work and be willing to come with you later. If she does not, you’ll still be better informed about what you can and cannot live with. It sounds like you have something worth fighting for. I don’t know where you are, but there is a list of US counselors by region here that might help. Also, take a look at the comments on this article and you’ll see that, sadly, you are not alone in your situation. Whenever there’s an imbalance in desire or need for sex it affects your whole relationship. If you’d like to talk privately to a mentor, you can use this form to submit a question. The mentor would contact you by email to discuss your situation and offer resources. It’s free and confidential. Sometimes it helps just to have someone to talk to.

  • THE GUY says:


  • Arlette says:

    I am so sorry for the pain that you are going through and for the doubts that you are living with. I want to tell you that you are precious, truly a treasure. A man who is blessed enough to have your love and love you the same way would do anything to be with you. He would not want to be anything but to be with you. He would not risk you for anything, not a job not anything. Even if he could not be with you he would call all the time and have many plans for the future. What I read when I read this is a wonderful woman who has to let go now and be open to the man who will go anywhere and do anything just to see her smile. I know that it is hard but it is best to see things as they are,simple and clear. This is just my feeling. I will keep you in my prayers today. Remember the love of our Lord will bring you everything you need.

  • Radha says:

    I am into a relationship with my boyfriend for the last 1 and a half year. Initially for 10 months, he loved me passionately, was not able to bear any ignorance from my side. Then he got transferred to Chennai…From that time his attitude is totally changed. He does not care to call me or have no plans to meet me. Not happy in his office, may be that is the reason. I have asked him the reason of his beahviour but he says he will marry me but need some time, he asks me to keep patience. He is not getting job anywhere in North. Have started feeling that his luck has changed. Don’t know what to do.
    Sometimes I think that he finds me responsible for his not getting any better job. I loved him passionately, he admits that but says that due to change in situation I cannot give time to you.

  • Jennifer says:

    I have a similar situation. My boyfriend is significantly older with a 12 year old son. In the past few months, I have seem to fall to the wayside & get ignored a lot. His son is number one & he makes that obvious. Things he’ll do for other people he won’t do for me. It just seems like he doesn’t have time for me unless it’s convenient for him. I don’t know what to do. We never go out as just a couple & everything is starting to drive me crazy. I love the guy & I’ve made changes for him but it’s like he just doesn’t see it. He’s a firefighter so his schedule is kind of messy. I give him attention & then drop hints for it in return (ie massages) & he either ignores it or says ‘I told you I’d buy you one but you said no.’ Just lost … can anyone help?

  • Arlette says:

    I am so very deeply sorry for the pain that you are going through. I would imagine that you are very scared and very angry. I have no answers for you to fix it all. I can tell you that in Him anything is possible. I think of my marriage (20 years) even a few years ago and it was a nightmare. Now, I cannot believe how blessed I am in my husband. Lots of forgiveness and lots of time changed things but most of all His grace. I will pray for you and your family. Be careful and be safe. Remember you are never ever alone.

  • Remaining Nameless says:

    I just found out my husband has been cheating on me with multiple women this weekend. I’m four months pregnant and afraid (I have to get tested). My husband has been going through a lot, having trouble finding work and then he found a job and was let go after a couple of months. I found out I was pregnant and he wants nothing to do with the planning for this child. I need him the most now and I find out he’s carrying on relationships with women online and from previous job positions. I even think one of the women is a Christian. I’m very distraught after confronting my husband and he refused to talk about it. It’s like he wants me to divorce him as if this would release him from any wrong doing or something. I don’t believe in divorce and I’m very hurt and embarassed because the one time I took a chance on someone I thought truly loved me – turned out to be someone I’m beginning to see is not so nice. I don’t know what to do.

  • Lacey says:

    I also am in the same situation. I have been together with my husband for seven years and I dont think Ive ever been happy. I refuse to do anal sex as it hurts and I dont like it and opur sex life gets progressivly worse. I know he has a porn addiction and is now playing secondlife online and is cleary having cybersex as i check his email. I am severly overweight and he will not touch me when we do have sex we both dont enjoy it. I miss my husband and being close with him he has agreed to go to couselling for me and doesnt believe he has a problem. I am just wondering if i should bother he does absolutely nothing around the house for our child or me its completely onesided and I am fed up and lonely

  • LLFG says:

    My husband was like that for 7 months while he was having an affair,until he just got up and walked out the door left me with nothing and all the bills and is now with the woman he was having an affair with. we have to keep praying God to help us. i didn’t really see it comming. try to get help for you both if you can and just keep loving him.

  • Eva says:

    My husband was distant the minute we got married, and we’ve only been married a year and a half. I recently found out that he is addicted to pornography explaining why he no longer turns to me for physical needs. I am on the brink of insanity. He promises to get help but his actions don’t add up to his promises. Some nights it’s all I can do not to take our 4 month old and leave, I can’t live with him, I can’t live without him, I am starting to wonder how I can live…..

  • Diana says:

    My significant other of 12 years, and I, have not had sex, of any kind, in almost 2 years. When my college age daughter became pregnant, he just shut down and said we couldn’t spend the night together. I thought this would wear off but it hasn’t. Because of all the stresses involved with this, I let it go but it’s beginning to take its toll on me. He won’t discuss and I don’t know what to do.

  • Claire Colvin Claire says:

    Sunset, Would you like to talk a mentor? They are always available and there is no charge. They can really help to talk through issues. All you have to do is submit your questions here

  • Sunset says:

    I need some support..my husband is having various affairs on me

  • Chris says:

    Dear One-sided relationship,
    I was where you are a few years ago. My ex- hubby became extremely distant and did not seem to want anything to do with me. In fact, at one point he shared that he would buy this one truck for himself and when I said it would be for us. He got this very perplexed look on his face. I would encourage you to ask him to go to counseling. If he doesn’t chooose to go, go yourself. It can do wonders. Sometimes we need reminders about how great we are. Anyway, good luck. Keep us posted. Chris

  • my name is mity says:

    im in the same thing you going thur im on yahoo pm me and we tailk [email address removed] i love to chat

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