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Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I were together for around 4 years before we were married. Around the time of the wedding it was pretty clear to me that what I wanted was to play around and meet other women. That didn't seem like a big deal, I was hardly surprised by my own sinfulness after all and shrugged it off as the result of being a weak and fallen man.

But now just months later I regret marrying her. I care for her deeply, and I still love her. But I'm not happy to be married to her. I have some issues emotionally (in that I have a hard time knowing what feelings to take seriously and what to ignore) which make it difficult to decide things that require emotional input. I have made a habit of deciding things based primarily on logic.
As a result I married for duty, not for love and have come to realize just how unsatisfied my wife would be to know that this was the case.
I'm far from heartless and hesitate to discuss this with her, especially if I don't know what our options are from here. I understand "let man not put asunder what God has brought together". I'm more curious as to how this would apply to a situation where this is the only thing that makes the marriage function.
My username is chosen intentionally, I suspect I have been a fool to follow duty without passion, and am as a result by no means a "cheerful giver" at this time.

Should I hurt my wife's already weak self-esteem by bringing this up?
If yes, what would be a wise method by which to go about this?
 

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You should share everything with your wife. If you want to emotionally connect and feel passion for here, you need to be emotionally honest at all times.

That being said, you need to know how to identify your feelings and communicate them in a health manner. If that is a problem for you, consider going to a therapist. They can help you explore that and give you the tools you need to do that.
 

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What a shame that you have deluded her so much and also made yourself so unhappy. It's good that you're seeking to solve this problem, though.

If you do not think that you can be faithful to her and if you think you really would prefer to play the field, then please have the courage to be up front with her and let her know that you do not feel you are ready for marriage and that you chose it out of a sense of duty or logic, but now do not want to stay married. Yes, this will hurt a little, but it will be far more hurtful for you to continue a farce of a marriage just because you think you're protecting her. You know, she could be with someone else who really does love her and want to be married to her and you're wasting her time and her good-will by lying.

Now, you do say you're conflicted about things, so I hope you will think about what you're doing before you do it. Maybe you should try seeing an independent counselor for a while to sort out your feelings. Do you have a crush on someone else or are you infatuated by or interested in someone else? Do you have a friend that you've been bonding with that you might be interested in pursuing? Often, this kind of thing will lead people to believe that they never wanted to be in a relationship with the person they are with, even though it's just the novelty speaking; the reality is that you stayed with this person for four years for a reason and you may just be having some issues with the aspect of commitment or intimacy. What do you think you are missing that you will gain by playing the field? Do you think that if you tried to date your wife you might fall in love with her again?

Don't wait to long to make sense of things. Get yourself to a counselor and talk to your wife about your feelings in the next month or two because if you're feeling such contempt, I'm sure she's going to be sensing that something is up and your secrecy and lies will be hurting her self-esteem far more than honesty. If you're sure, then let her know asap and let her go. If you're not sure, figure it out asap.
 
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Duty,

I don't mean to be offensive to anyone but as to the other posters before me, PLEASE dont listen to them! I am assuming they are female and looking at it from the wrong point of view. You and I are men. I think you've chosen the perfect username since being a MAN requires a strong sense of duty. And sometimes being a man makes us a fool. There are certain things we as men must do, not necessarily because we want to but because it must be done. We get up every morning and go to a job we probably loathe because we must provide for ourselves and the ones we love. If we borrow money from someone, we pay it back with interest. If we knock up a girl, we do our part and take care of her or at least provide child support. And if we marry a woman, if we make a vow before her, our family and friends, the paster and before God to have and to hold, through good and bad and thick and then, through the good and the bad until death do us part and sign that contract on the dotted line then we must carry through. I know you probably don't want to hear this but you made that promise and are bound by duty, and by the laws of your state, church, morals, ethics and God to keep your word.

Stick with it. Stop thinking about other women. Don't even SPEAK to another female except for necessary business transactions. This combined with nonstop prayer for help, wisdom and guidance will turn your situation completely around. You can do this but you have to make the right choice.

He will be with you and he will not forsake you.

God bless you and your wife.
 

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Duty,

I don't mean to be offensive to anyone but as to the other posters before me, PLEASE dont listen to them! I am assuming they are female and looking at it from the wrong point of view. You and I are men. I think you've chosen the perfect username since being a MAN requires a strong sense of duty. And sometimes being a man makes us a fool. There are certain things we as men must do, not necessarily because we want to but because it must be done. We get up every morning and go to a job we probably loathe because we must provide for ourselves and the ones we love. If we borrow money from someone, we pay it back with interest. If we knock up a girl, we do our part and take care of her or at least provide child support. And if we marry a woman, if we make a vow before her, our family and friends, the paster and before God to have and to hold, through good and bad and thick and then, through the good and the bad until death do us part and sign that contract on the dotted line then we must carry through. I know you probably don't want to hear this but you made that promise and are bound by duty, and by the laws of your state, church, morals, ethics and God to keep your word.

Stick with it. Stop thinking about other women. Don't even SPEAK to another female except for necessary business transactions. This combined with nonstop prayer for help, wisdom and guidance will turn your situation completely around. You can do this but you have to make the right choice.

He will be with you and he will not forsake you.

God bless you and your wife.
Let me set the record straight, I am 100% man. And my advice for the OP to share his true self with his wife stands. If you didn't mean to be offensive you shouldn't blanket dismiss multiple posters advice. Especially when very little of it conflicts with your own.

I agree with this poster that you need to have strong boundaries in place with women who are not your wife. I also agree you need to pray and ask God for help. But do not hide your emotions from your wife. She likely knows there is a problem, it will likely cause her pain to hear. However the two of you agreed to become "one flesh". How does that work if you hide your core feelings?

When we lie to our spouse, we prevent them from being able to connect with us. Without connection, how can there be intimacy?

That said, don't just dump this on her and stop at that. Ask her to join you in couples counseling. Affirm her that you want to reconnect with her.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I felt it only appropriate to come and give an update rather than simply leaving you all to wonder what happened to OP.

The first 2 posters would be quite correct but are missing a key piece of the puzzle. I'm an endstage chronic depressive, "recovered" through CBT. What that means is that my feelings are an unreliable source of data for making decisions. It's worth pointing out that as someone who is 'as cured as it gets' I don't generally feel bad. I'm simply incapable of feeling good sometimes even where it's appropriate. It's also not something I tend to get depressed over as a result of being well-adjusted.
For this reason my 'feelings' are not something I like to discuss until I can ascertain whether they are real world correlates rather than being caused by a simple mental malfunction. Especially in this situation where sharing the burden would be extremely damaging.

So now we hit the reason that it's not so simple as duty first.
She has not married me for reasons of duty, and due to the fact that I'm adept at ignoring/concealing my emotional states, I'm convinced she is unaware of this difference between us.

Trouble is she's a lovely girl, but a terrible wife. I find myself supporting the family (just us for now thankfully) on my own and have hit the end of her capacity to compromise and negotiate. Our communication has reached the breakdown point, whereby I can condense my needs into direct actionable statements, we can discuss those points and agree on which can be implemented. Within a week they are forgotten and I am left to my own devices. She certainly acts as though she is for the most part happy with the way I fulfill the role of husband, and seems to have no complaints beyond those caused by stress, tiredness etc. (I'm sure we all know the difference between complaining out of a need unfulfilled and nagging out of irritability)

I did not intend to say that I actively wish to engage in promiscuity (I'm nowhere near pretty enough for one thing!), merely that if I were able to have full freedom without the bounds of what is right that I would not choose to have married my wife. I apologize for being unclear, when I said I 'shrugged it off...' I meant that I do not regard this a serious or actionable desire, merely as one that indicates a broader dissatisfaction with my relationship. I would not suspect that very many men marry their wives while wishing to avoid doing so. I do suspect that while I'm not the only one, it is relatively rare to hold oneself at shotgun point. This remains a dire problem however as it clearly suggests that there is a rift between our degree of interest in one another. I'd love to hear from anyone else who married because it was 'the right thing to do'.

My question is more as to what exactly one should say when suggesting that they are only willing to remain in the marriage as a result promises rendered, and not through any enjoyment of the marriage itself. I assume putting it that way would be too abrupt. Has anyone else had such a conversation? How did it go?
 

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I'm not saying marry someone because it's the right thing to do but if you're already married to someone and you made a vow to stay with them then yes, IMO you need to stick it out even if you're not feeling the enjoyment right now. Other than adultery, abuse or abandonment, anything else can be fixed if you work on it. My wife walked away. I told her to say, we can work on this! We promised to stay through the good times and the bad. She said "there are no good times." And our marriage is over. But I tried! I can walk away with a clear conscience knowing that the blood of the marriage is not on my hands.

Don't give up if there's still something left to save.
 

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You simply tell her: "Our marriage could be so much better than it is. Lets work on it so we can fulfill the needs we expect out of one another. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with you or me, but on a few points, we aren't connecting as well as we could. I have a few concerns that I'd like to discuss. I'm sure you have others. Let's talk about how we can address our issues to make our marriage stronger and life happier for both of us. Here's a list of marriage counselors. Shall we make an appointment?"

Then, go with her to MC so you guys can discuss how to fix what each of you sees as broken.

No woman wants to hear "I married you because I felt I had no other choice." No woman wants to hear "if you don't change xyz things, Im leaving because my staying here is conditional and Im not all that committed unless I get to call the shots". That's why I suggest you get an MC to help you navigate the disconnection between you two to help make the changes that you see as necessary to be mutual compromises that help you both.

Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
hmmm... Still struggling to communicate here.

I'm not talking about leaving as a realistic response to the situation.

I AM suggesting that it may be unfair to conceal the issue from my wife, who feels differently and may not wish to be in a marriage within someone only minimally capable of enjoying it.

Acoa you're right on the money in some ways. If it was that easy I wouldn't bother looking for advice! So clearly something else is necessary to navigate the situation. I'd hoped to hear from someone in similar circumstance but I'll take advice from a position of general wisdom as a great fallback option!

Moxy I'm not entirely certain what you mean by:

Quote:
No woman wants to hear "I married you because I felt I had no other choice." No woman wants to hear "if you don't change xyz things, Im leaving because my staying here is conditional and Im not all that committed unless I get to call the shots". That's why I suggest you get an MC to help you navigate the disconnection between you two to help make the changes that you see as necessary to be mutual compromises that help you both.

How does that compare with:

If you do not think that you can be faithful to her and if you think you really would prefer to play the field, then please have the courage to be up front with her and let her know that you do not feel you are ready for marriage and that you chose it out of a sense of duty or logic, but now do not want to stay married. Yes, this will hurt a little, but it will be far more hurtful for you to continue a farce of a marriage just because you think you're protecting her. You know, she could be with someone else who really does love her and want to be married to her and you're wasting her time and her good-will by lying.

I understand the tendency to move towards MC involvement, and have a shortlist in mind (inc. trusted mutual friend and minister, as well as a professional). Ironically resistance to this (I suspect that like many women she's afraid of being told it's all her fault) is such that I can't see a way to get us into that arrangement without first admitting to the problem directly. In point of fact, the hurt is probably instrumental in motivating that move.


What I was surprised not to see was a shower of folks telling me to wait it out since it's not even been a whole year!

I thought the first year was frequently difficult? Is my situation a little worse than other people's first year of marriage?

I'll see if I can't convince her to check back in with our minister (he's the good kind, big on the practical, short on the preachy) since we did a little pre-marriage counseling and I can probably sell it as follow up to see how we're doing. That's the least terrifying option. I'll let you know how things progress.
 

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Its really hard to have sympathy for you bro, because you married an innocent gal just because you didn't have the balls to call it off. How cruel and sad is that?

When you gave your word at the alter, to love her unconditionally, that was a life commitment. I don't care how anyone else responds herein to degrade marriage. If there is no adultery, you have no right to divorce your wife!

Okay, so you married the wrong person...now what? You make your marriage work! It will take work to make it work, but I believe you can make it happen, if you apply yourself. Get past your selfish self and focus on your innocent lamb. That is your duty bro! That is what you ought to do as a husband! I got news for you that really might hurt your ego...ITS NOT ABOUT YOU!

Fulfill your oath and do what is right! Divorce is NOT an option for you! "But you can't tell me what to do" you might say. "I can divorce her if I want to" you might also say. You are right there. You can become a liar (breaking your oath to stay with her no matter, that you made at the alter) and go play the dating game again, but I promise you with 100% utter certainty, you will never have the set of balls that you currently have now, with your wife. You will never be anymore than what you are currently right now. Does that make sense? You will wonder the rest of your days aimlessly trying to please yourself and never really committing to anyone or anything. You will have no purpose in life, other than just occupy the days until you pass away.

I really really don't mean to sound morbid on this, but I really want to paint a picture of reality for you my friend. This is reality and the choices you make to stick with your commitment to your wife or abandon it, will determine the rest of your life for better or for worse. It doesn't get any more real then this! This is your life now...accept it! Embrace it! Cherish it! Love your wife! Be all you can be to her! You might not have something magical now, but I promise you...with utter certainty, that if you truly love on your wife the way a husband should, you will fall in love with her and fill one aspect to your emptiness in your life.

I want you to make this happen. I want your marriage to thrive and to be happy. I want the two of you to be satisfied and complete. There is so much in your marriage for the taking and you can have it, if you truly want it.

Make the right choice!
 
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