"Once this happens, good luck getting your husband to voluntarily put forth effort into anything again—including your marriage! Eventually your man's self-esteem will erode and he'll lose his connection to you. Your house of worship can fill the void: "Many offer marriage workshops and discussion groups," Nations says.
"Get on the same page as much as you can, so you don't undermine or resent each other," Amatenstein says.
Hammer our mutually acceptable policies about bedtimes, homework and consequences for misbehavior. But "focusing all your time and energy on your kids or career, and not at all on your husband, emasculates him and makes him feel as interesting as old furniture," cautions Fetman.
And before you veto his viewpoint, see where he's coming from (maybe he grew up in a dicey neighborhood, so being home by sunset was a way to stay safe). Carve out a few minutes daily to talk to, listen to and laugh only with him. "When your guy is most likely to open up, whether it's while relaxing on the couch with a beer, or during pillow talk at bedtime," Fetman recommends. If his children from a previous relationship don't like you, your own couplehood is in danger.
" is one big reason guys take the speed ramp to Splitsville. But there's a difference between putting on weight and getting so big that the Discovery Channel would be intrigued if you washed up on a beach. "I have one client whose partner has a chin hair that bothers him so much," says Sherry Amatenstein, who specializes in couples' therapy in Long Island City, NY.
But every year, faithful women get blindsided by divorce papers. We asked relationship experts about the other grievances once-happy husbands cite for divorcing—their unexpected answers give clues on how to keep your marriage solid.1. "If you don't care enough to look good for your guy, he wonders if you care about 2. If you're speaking in negatives as often as a two-year-old does, "you become a killjoy," says Amatenstein.
"It makes you seem more like his mother—not someone he can have fun with, or, if you do it often enough, wants to be around." Even if you're naysaying for your guy's own good, try to compromise: Maybe he can have a Harley if he promises to always wear a helmet. It's sneaky, but less destructive than getting on his case.4. Don't follow the husband-bashing humor trend, urges couples' therapist Rosalind Sedacca of West Palm Beach, FL. If your husband's pals make Charlie Sheen look like a choir boy, he needs some buddies who'll raise the bar, says relationship coach and minister Don Nations, of Sarasota, FL.Hear his wants and your marriage may go the distance.3. "If you dig into your husband for every little screw-up or letdown, he'll feel resentful and eventually shut down," says Chicago divorce lawyer Corri Fetman. Resist joking on Facebook about how your favorite basketball fan can't even dribble—and don't rib him in front of friends either. "Confidence and security form the foundation of any marriage," she adds. "If more men had a friend with a solid marriage to whom they could talk, someone who could listen and offer counsel, they'd be less likely to seek a divorce," he explains.Praise your husband when opportunities arise, but don't say "good job," Thomas adds."It's demeaning, as if he's a little boy." Instead, be specific—for example, tell him, "When you call me during the day, it makes me so happy to hear your voice," or "When you shovel the snow for us, it makes me feel so cared for!" Appreciating his everyday heroism can help you through marriage's rough spots.8. Maybe he's a softie who buys the kids treats, while you fear they'll never learn the value of money.Perhaps he believes in curfews, but you favor free-range kids.