My husband and I have been together for almost five years and we’re in our late twenties. He recently got a new job which is very high stress. He’s been away for training for this job for four months. As the training progressed, stress got worse, loneliness set in for me, and I felt I was losing him. I felt he didn’t care about me and just cared about his new life with his exciting new career and friends. Meanwhile I’m home with no family and friends in this location we currently live. After one last minor miscommunication, it all changed. He no longer wants to be in a relationship with me. He doesn’t want to try. He doesn’t think anything will change and says his feelings for me have changed. In fact, he says that in his core over our entire relationship he’s had doubts.

He couldn’t make the time to come see me, but he could make time for his new friends. Now his main priority is his career and excelling in that. There have been times that I thought to myself, “Do I really want to be with this guy and am I really happy with him?” But I thought of a life without him and it was inconceivable. So, to now hear I’ve essentially been living a lie, I’m destroyed. I have to move back home, in a city it’s impossible to afford while he gets to walk away with zero responsibilities and start fresh. I’ve begged him to work on this for six months and he says he doesn’t want to.

I’ve ruled out that there’s someone else as I’ve asked numerous times and I do believe he’s telling the truth when he says “no”. He’s even pushed away his own family. I just don’t know what to do or think. I know outside looking in it’s easy to say “run, he doesn’t want you” but I can’t accept that. We were best friends and we’ve done so much together. We’ve had such a great life. I was his biggest supporter in getting this new job and was willing to sacrifice everything for it. I just can’t believe he hasn’t wanted this life we’ve had for years. I know he loves me. I know in this moment he resents me; he cannot let stupid things of the past go. I do believe in this moment he believes he isn’t in love with me and wants me gone. But I don’t know if I believe this is forever. He used the analogy of someone chopping away at a tree and it all came crashing down.


I can only imagine how overwhelming and confusing this is for you right now. I hear the shock of you now realizing that your security wasn’t very secure. Let’s talk about how you can respond, especially since you’re not getting any cooperation from your husband.

It’s understandable that you would spend a lot of energy trying to explain, question, discuss, and figure out what happened. You believed there was a foundation of trust that would allow you to work things out with him and find your way back to each other, as you had likely done in so many other misunderstandings. As you know, there are only so many times you can talk about some things. Not only does he clearly have his limits of what he’s willing to do, but I also encourage to you to develop some self-respect in the face of his rejection. I’m not suggesting you give up on the relationship. Instead, I’m suggesting you give up on doing all the work to carry the relationship.

Your husband isn’t interested in providing any answers, comfort, or reassurance about your relationship. In times like these where there are no answers, it’s possible to receive clarity, strength, and direction from your Heavenly Father. Remember the words in Psalms 55:22, “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee…” I also love the reassurance found in Proberbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all thing heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Your husband has made it clear that he doesn’t have any answers for you about your marriage. However, you can receive answers about your marriage and make decisions based on the information and inspiration you receive. Even though the marital dream is to be collaborative about the future of your marriage, it’s always important to remember that building or dissolving a marriage is made up of individual choices.

Also, please recognize that your situation may seem like a sudden shock, but let’s consider the possibility that this might be the result of an underlying issue that has now surfaced due to additional stress. It is common for people under stress to react in unexpected ways, and it’s possible that your husband’s new job, with all its pressures, is exacerbating emotional or relational difficulties that were previously less obvious. You’ve had a sense that things weren’t right with the relationship, even though you are good friends. Unfortunately, he’s not interested in talking about these things or committing to you (or even his own family).

However, it’s essential to remember that only your he can ultimately clarify his feelings and motivations. Despite the pain, respect his agency, and carry on building a life full of purpose and meaning. If he desires to rejoin you to share your lives together, he’ll know where to find you. And, if that ever happens, please recognize that there will need to be some high-level conversations and understanding what why he abandoned his marriage and what he plans to do to rebuild trust and safety.

I recognize it’s not easy to carry on when your life was flipped upside down. I don’t minimize how disorienting this is for you. However, your sanity depends on your ability to accept what he’s chosen and continue forward with your life. Don’t hesitate to seek support from a trusted friend, family member, or counselor to help you navigate this difficult transition. And, remember the words of a fellow traveler who was literally and figuratively thrown out of his comfort zone countless times, “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”[i]

As you move forward, please don’t forget that there are powerful promises for a better future available to you from a loving Heavenly Father. Elder Richard G. Scott explained:

“As you trust Him, seek and follow His will, you will receive blessings that your finite mind cannot understand here on earth. Your Father in Heaven and His Holy Son know better than you what brings happiness. They have given you the plan of happiness. As you understand and follow it, happiness will be your blessing. As you willingly obey, receive, and honor the ordinances and covenants of that holy plan, you can have the greatest measure of satisfaction in this life. Yes, even times of overpowering happiness.”[ii]

Geoff will answer a new family and relationship question every Friday. You can email your question to him at ge***@ge**********.com  

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About the Author

Geoff Steurer is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in St. George, Utah. He is the co-author of “Love You, Hate the Porn: Healing a Relationship Damaged by Virtual Infidelity”, host of the podcast, “From Crisis to Connection”, and creates online relationship courses. He earned degrees from Brigham Young University and Auburn University. He is married to Jody Young Steurer and they are the parents of four children.

The advice offered through Geoff Steurer’s column is educational and informational in nature and is provided only as general information. It is not meant to establish a therapist-patient relationship or offer therapeutic advice, opinion, diagnosis treatment or to establish a standard of care. Although Geoff Steurer is a trained psychotherapist, he is not functioning in the role of a licensed therapist by writing this column, but rather using his training to inform these responses. Thus, the content is not intended to replace independent professional judgment. The content is not intended to solicit clients and should not be relied upon as medical or psychological advice of any kind or nature whatsoever. The information provided through this content should not be used for diagnosing or treating a mental health problem or disease. The information contained in these communications is not comprehensive and does not include all the potential information regarding the subject matter, but is merely intended to serve as one resource for general and educational purposes.


[i] 1 Nephi 3:7