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Discussion Starter #1
Last Sunday (a week ago) my husband came home and said he was unhappy in our marriage.

Background:
We have been together for almost 8 years. We just got married in June. Things have been good-or so I thought.
He was moody since September, and claimed it was just work stress when I asked him if there was anything I could do.

He has been going out drinking with his co-workers with increasing frequency. The tipping point was last Thursday night, he came home at 4:45 AM. I was upset, and asked him if we could lay some ground rules and come to a compromise about how often he should go out, and a reasonable time to come home. He said he needed time alone to think about some things before we talked. He went to visit his dad out of state.

He came home on Sunday. He told me he was unhappy with our marriage. He didn't know why, and didn't know what to do about it.

We talked Monday about the going out issue, and "came to an agreement" that he would go out once or twice a week and be home before 1, and communicate with me about how late he would be prior to that. And we decided that he was going to see a counselor to figure out why he is so unhappy with the marriage. I asked if we could see someone together, he said he would rather first go on his own.

Fast forward through the hardest week of my life. Monday (right after we talked) he was out until 2. Tuesday he was home. Wednesday he was out drinking (to "see if he can have just a few beers") until 12:30. Thursday he got home by 9, and I didn't know he was drunk until he puked over and over again.

I went to the beach this weekend alone (out of state) to see if I could find some tranquility. I found a brief respite, but not much. I don't know if he was out on Saturday, but Sunday he was out from when I got home (around 2) until 9 PM. He passed out on the couch around 10.

I just don't know how much longer I can deal with the hurt. He says he has made progress with finding someone to talk to, but no appointment made yet. I have expressed many times how hurt I am by this.

So, my question is do I pack up and move back to my parents house until he figures this out, or do I stay here and hope things get better soon?

On one hand, I can go there to get away, I wont have to deal with the disgusted look he gives me when he gets home, as if he doesn't even want to look at me. I wont have the longing to put my arms around him and make things better.

On the other, if I go, am I letting him continue this lifestyle uninterrupted? He can go out without consequences, do whatever he wants, and I won't know.

What do I do in the meantime, before counseling starts to hopefully improve things?

Sorry this was so long.
 

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by Jamier
I just don't know how much longer I can deal with the hurt. He says he has made progress with finding someone to talk to, but no appointment made yet. I have expressed many times how hurt I am by this.

So, my question is do I pack up and move back to my parents house until he figures this out, or do I stay here and hope things get better soon?

On one hand, I can go there to get away, I wont have to deal with the disgusted look he gives me when he gets home, as if he doesn't even want to look at me. I wont have the longing to put my arms around him and make things better.

On the other, if I go, am I letting him continue this lifestyle uninterrupted? He can go out without consequences, do whatever he wants, and I won't know.

What do I do in the meantime, before counseling starts to hopefully improve things?



I would suggest that you leave him a note being as short, stern, and with no venom telling him that he is the man that you want but that you are not going to force him to be with you. Tell him he is completely free to do as he pleases and that you are going to do the same.


Do not talk to him or try to compromise; just leave when he is gone and leave the note. DO NOT have any contact with him for several weeks even though you will be tempted due to your emotional dependence on him.



Your husband is not 100 % committed to a proper relationship with you and the best way to help him is to give him his freedom and for him to realize that you have that same freedom. You do not want a husband that feels that he is trapped or unhappy in his marriage. If he realizes that he has to respect you and make up his mind that you are the one and commit to you in a proper way, then your relationship with him will have a MUCH better chance of lasting a very long time and be successful

You are very lucky as you have a place to go, are not strapped financially, and no children. Many women that are on this board in somewhat your situation are financially strapped, with children, and no place to go. If you cannot make him be accountable for his choices now you sure won’t be able to in the years to come.
 

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Since you're together with him for 8 years, can you think of any reasons he might behave like this? Or maybe the marriage can make him feel trapped in some way? Or maybe it doesn't even have to do with marriage but something else?

How was the relationship back then?

It isn't right that he can do whatever he wants, and not knowing how to talk things out and solve things isn't a reason to behave like this. Although sometimes people can make mistakes when they are lost. Maybe just as Mr Blunt says, give some time and distance, so he can sort things out. He should do it soon if he treasures you, since while we can wait for the ones we love, we can't wait forever.
 

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It sounds to me as though he may be seeing someone else. At least that's how my estranged husband behaved initially. He was always out with the guys or visiting family--not!
 

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Ok, I'll go out on a limb and say that he may be an alcoholic, judging from his need to "see" if he can have a few beers on Wed. and coming home puking sick the very next night, so soon after a big problem because of him staying out so late.

My guess is that he felt pressured to marry you, that he's overly reliant on you, which means he's also resentful of feeling a need to rely on you, and that he doesn't want you to know he suspects he might be an alcoholic because it would mean you'd never let him forget it, so he wants to see a counselor on his own to figure it out.

The possibility of an affair causing this is also valid. It may be one or both of these things.
 

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Someone doesn't just suddenly become an alcoholic. Was there any sign that he had a drinking problem in the preceding 8 years?

The affair piece sounds a lot more realistic to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Mr. Blunt, thanks for your advice. I appreciate the advice to leave, and leave a note and telling him to do what he wants. Also, thanks for the perspective that I am lucky that I can leave. I truly am. I still don’t know if or when I am going to, but it is another angle to look at all of this. We definitely need to sort this out before we have a house or kids together.

Lilith, In the last 8 years, he has been normal. He was always melancholy. Nothing really got him excited or happy. Things didn’t really get him down either. His mom is kind of like that too. They just walk around with a cloud over their heads. Nick’s was smaller when we were dating. Now it’s just huge and covers everything. Maybe the marriage is making him feel trapped. He proposed to me, surprised me, but I guess we had been together for so long it was expected. My hope is that this doesn’t have to do with our marriage, but I fear that is not the case. Back then, our relationship was good. We had our communication issues, but rarely fought or went to bed angry. Things were happy. We did things together on a weekly basis (other than watch TV and not talk!) and we made plans for our future-trips to take, things to work for together, etc. Thanks for your perspective.

827Aug/ Moderator, I don’t think he is seeing anyone else. He has never been that type, and he stopped shaving last week (he is Indian and grows a thick beard). I think if there was someone else, that wouldn’t have stopped. Not that I can’t be wrong, but I highly doubt it. Plus, his dad called me from Virginia when Nick got there saying he was so surprised to see him, and wished I could be there with them too, so he isn’t sneaking around behind my back-at least not that time.

Kathy, I think he is headed in the direction of becoming an alcoholic. I don’t know if he is or not, but certainly looking like that way. I hope it is this or depression, both of which with time and effort can be fixed, and not something harder to deal with (not in love with me anymore or wants to see other people).

Chris, There were no signs in the past that showed a drinking problem. He has always enjoyed going out and drinking (who doesn’t!?) but has enjoyed that in moderation-like once a month or less. And we have enjoyed that together, especially during college football season when drinking is encouraged. I think if it were an affair I would have seen more signs. He always comes home to me at night (even if it is late).
Thanks again everyone. If there is any more advice out there, it would be much appreciated!
 

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hmmm...marriage has triggered something....

Why such a long engagement? Did you both mutually agree on it or were you hoping to get married sooner?
 

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Emerald, we were dating for 6 and 1/2 years before he proposed (in April of 2011) and then got married just a year after that. We were both young, and wanted to enter into marriage after we were both responsible adults who were financially independent from our parents. He waited to propose until I was almost done with my 2nd year teaching, and he had held a steady job for long enough to feel confident that he would be keeping the job. I was only 23 when he proposed. I was 24, almost 25 when we got married. We have lived together for a little more than 6 years, with a few months of long distance relationship due to a job location right in the middle of that time. I don't think anything is different, except the paperwork part of it. What would marriage have triggered? A trapped feeling?
 

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Hi everyone, Sorry this is so long. It felt good to just write it out.

I am here with an update, and I am stuck, I want some advice, or to hear from other people who have been in this situation.

So, he continued to drink for the next two weeks, coming home at 4:45 AM again, on a Monday night/Tuesday morning. Luckily it was my Thanksgiving break. When he got in bed, assuming things were OK, I said "I'm done. I'm leaving in the morning." He offered counseling, and I said OK, but that I was still leaving. I woke up early, before he got up for work, and started packing everything. I think I surprised him at how much stuff I was taking. I am sure he thought I was only going to pack an overnight bag. I took almost all of my clothes and most of my bathroom stuff.

He was mad when he went to work. I felt sad, but knew I was doing the right thing. He went to "surprise" his parents across the country in California for Thanksgiving and tell them what was going on. It was our first Thanksgiving apart in 7 years...

His dad emailed me, asking me for patience with his son and giving me his and his wife's support. I am glad they are in support of the marriage. There was no "do whatever makes you happy" discussion in their house.

Fast forward to now, we have been to three counseling sessions together, and one I had to go by myself because he refused to go. I've been living apart from him for over 5 weeks. I just thought something would have happened by now. We see/saw each other about once a week, to talk. In addition to the therapy sessions. Neither of us talk much in them, and the therapist seems dumfounded by him, not knowing what to say to help us.

I tried/am trying the 180, and when I do that, he e-mails me more often. But I feel so helpless doing that. Like I am letting him have his way, without the divorce. I also came upon Marriage Builders. I find that this is a novel concept, and was hopeful that it would work but he didn't seem keen on it. He said he would try, and claims to be trying, but says he doesn't know if what we had was worth all the work.

I talked to the counselor, he said that Nick is trying to get me to divorce him by acting like this so he can be "guilt free" because he didn't initiate the process. When I saw Nick last week, I offered to start the process. He said no, please don't. He wanted more time.

He went away for Christmas to visit his family. He seems to think that the trip helped him decide. He will tell me what he thinks on Saturday.

I know I could divorce him if that's what he wants. It will hurt a lot, but I know I will be OK in the long run.

What I don't know, is after all this if I could take him back if he decides he wants that. Can I? Will I ever get over the fact that he betrayed our vows? Didn't take our marriage seriously? Can I ever forgive him for hurting me this much? Will I trust him again? Do I even love him now?

Has anyone been here before? Taken a spouse back, and been able to forgive? Has your marriage worked out?

Thanks for reading. I am sorry it was so long.
 

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I think you should get to that bridge before you try to cross it, Jamier.

Your husband sounds like he's unhappy with himself and his life, and instead of taking ownership he's projecting that onto you and your marriage. It also sounds as if he's alcoholic.

The counselor's statement about him wanting to force you to initiate a divorce, followed by him asking you to wait, is pretty revealing. He's looking to have his cake and eat it, too. He does not want to take responsibility for himself, and that is the underlying element of everything you've written. Yet when he's unhappy with the results of not being responsible, he wants someone to blame, which happens to be you.

You can stay caught in the back-and-forth of this for as long as you let yourself. As you have seen, when you pull away, he steps up to the plate more. He will not become any more responsible than he has to for things to be bearable to him. The moment you are back to being there for him, he'll back away and stop being there for you, but if you go too far, it's the opposite. You'll find him pursuing you.

I would encourage you to consider telling him you want no contact for the next 60 days while he figures things out. By the time two months has passed, you'll both have had some time to think about how the situation got where it did, and you'll see things in a fresher way when you do talk again. It will be easier to decide whether to stay married or not.
 
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