Tag Archives: Unhappiness

Video: I’m Busy. I’m Tired. I Can’t Get in the Mood.

Women today seem to believe that work, the kids, the house, their friends, etc. are more important than their husbands, and that somehow a sexless marriage is perfectly acceptable.  Unfortunately, this attitude eventually leads their men to look elsewhere to fulfill their needs.  But there is a different perspective a wife can adopt…  Watch:

Read the transcript.

Comparing Yourself to Others

A talk show host I know used to respond to callers who asked him how he was doing by saying, “Better than some, not as good as others.”   I thought that was wonderful.  That’s the truth around the world: we assess where we’re at by comparing ourselves to others.  But the problem we each have is that we’re always comparing apples and oranges.  For example, you can’t compare yourself to someone just because he or she is the same age since his or her journey from zero to this point has been very different from yours.

As a general rule, comparing yourself to others is a bad idea – a seriously bad idea.  It makes you either arrogant or unhappy.  Those are your only options.  Of course, there’s the exception that you’re comparing yourself to someone else in the hope of emulating whatever traits you’re inspired by, but that’s not typical.  What’s more typical is envy.  

I remember I had one person in therapy on and off for about a decade.  She was extremely intelligent, but spent much of her life acting like a total ding-a-ling.  One evening session, she was in a bad mood and started pacing in my office.  She kept looking at my diplomas, licenses, and other stuff I’d hung on my wall to impress people and make them know I was actually “for real.”  Then she stopped and said, “I am the same damn age as you and look at all these.  I will never catch up to you!”

I looked at her and replied, “Catch up to me?  You’re not on the same path.  You’re on an entirely different path and yours started from a deep hole” (don’t even ask me about her childhood; that was the deep hole).  I said, “I didn’t start from a very deep hole, and I didn’t have to climb out.  So, comparing us makes no sense.”

“But still -”  

“There is no ‘but still,’” I said.  “We each have our own path in life – our own, unique life path.  You have to respect yours, and I have to respect mine.  I cannot, nor can you, judge your own life path based on where somebody else is at any particular moment.  A path is a long line.  A moment is a dot.  You can’t compare long lines to dots.” 

So, how do you get through envious or jealous moments? 

Be gracious.  You’ve heard me say a zillion and 3/4 times on this program the best way to handle agitated feelings about people is to be nice to them.  They may deserve it, they may not, but it’s better for your heart and intestines that you do.

Also, keep in mind externals are not a very good measure of worth.  I’m more interested in people who have a really deep, good heart than a fancy car, jewelry or a house.  That’s what I value.  If you’re going to be envious at all, envy somebody for his or her inner beauty.

Lastly, remember that while you’re being envious of somebody, someone else is probably looking at you and having that same fit of envy.  Everybody’s got some natural talents, abilities and gifts, and there’s always going to be somebody saying, “Gee, I wish I had it like she/he does…” 

And that’s the irony of the whole thing. 

How To Tell If You’re A Terrible Spouse

How can you not know when your spouse is not happy?  You can go into a room, not know anybody in there, just look around and you can tell who’s happy.  It’s not hard – look at the body language and facial expressions.  But when you are living with somebody, how do you know if they’re happy or not?  So many times you hear women say:  “I had no clue; he never said anything.” 

He had to say something for you to know? 

So, here are a few things to consider and see if any of these describe your life:

* Your life centers around your kids, your job, and/or your hobbies.  Maybe that’s making him unhappy. 

* You burn your candles at all these ends with everything but love.  So you’re totally exhausted and there is no time for each other. 

* Your home and your life seem to move from one small crisis to another and that’s about it.  You figure, “Okay, we’re going to interact, and we’re going to romance each other, but we’ll save it for the weekends.  Then the weekends come, and “Oh my gosh, there are so many chores to do!”

* You do this thing in your head:  it’s either the kids or the spouse.  Well, you don’t love them both the same way.  Those are different loves.  Living a balanced life doesn’t require you choosing between them at all. 

* Your lives are very fragmented.  You spend your time running hither or thither and doing this and that and loving each other is just not a priority.  Even when you are together, you are in your own little world.  You are both easily irritated by the other.  Your disagreements and misunderstandings become more frequent. 

* Several months pass before you realize you haven’t even sat down and talked to each other nicely.  You haven’t made love; you haven’t done a fun thing together.  Sit down and look at the time you spend on things.  “I have no time.”  Yes, you do.  There is stuff you could trim, but instead, you are trimming him.

This is why I talk so much about being your kid’s mom, being your husband’s girlfriend, being your wife’s boyfriend — these are very important.  You need to focus on being each other as girlfriend and boyfriend.  That has to be a major focus of each day.  Aside from which, the kids need to see that.  It makes them feel secure and it gives them hope for their future.  I mean, do you spend any time connecting each day?

I had a call one time where this woman found out that for nine years, her husband left the house in the morning and spent 15 minutes, five days a week, in the back of a van with the same woman.  For nine years, they would have sex every morning, every day; that’s how they would get their work day started.  I said, well if that had been happening in your home, it wouldn’t have happened in a car with another woman.

So, when is the last time you schmoozed and tickled and rolled around and snuggled and kissed and hugged and were playful, huh?  Do you take care of yourself — your hygiene, your presentation, your health — so you have something to give?  Or, is it all about, “I just don’t have anything to give?”  You have to learn to say no to errands and chores and social activities and overtime and volunteer work and meetings, if it is interfering with your love.

 Don’t read the full newspaper everyday, don’t read Twitter or your emails — don’t read all that stuff.  They steal time from where you could be being cute and adorable with your spouse.  Send emails to each other, leave love notes around the house. Make the most of every moment you have together.  Make it an issue and a priority so I don’t get a call from you on my program where you’re saying , “I have no idea whatsoever why my husband and the father of my kids just said ‘I am out of here.’”  What an insult that is! Men don’t fare as well as women after a divorce emotionally, physically, medically.  Women handle this stuff a lot better, believe it or not.  So, for a guy to face going through the court system which is going to give her everything, for him to make a move like that, he had to be really unhappy.  And if you are truly willing to stand by the statement “I have no idea why he would be unhappy,” then you’re a terrible wife.