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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Background: I am nearly 24 years old. I met my husband, who is 6 years older than me, through a mutual family friend two years ago in May of 2010, We met virtually before I finally met him in person (he lived in another state.) I wouldnt say I fell in love with him (I had been in love before), but I definitely developed strong feelings. We got along really well, we come from the same cultural background, speak the same languages, have similar religious and political beliefs, similar values, neither of our parents are divorced and we are both educated. I figured from a "scientific" perspective, this union looked really promising.

Eitherway, Our communication problems started after 9-10 months of being together (we were legally married). He was growing distant and he wasn't calling/texting as frequently and was taking too long to reply to my texts. I tried talking to him about it, I told him how important it was for me that we maintain communication throughout the day, and that he would need to let me know if he was going to be busy.

Then, things took a turn for the worse when he lost his job the week of the wedding reception in July 2011. We started fighting on our honeymoon, and he was already panicking about the finances. The tension just kept growing after that. He had just bought us new phones, and he spent much of his waking time on the phone even during out trip. It seemed like he wasn't trying to engage me and was using it as a distraction and to avoid intimacy. In the first three months together, we moved three times. At this time I was really homesick and exhausted from the feeling of instability. I got really sick in his home state and developed severe allergies which made things even worse for me. We also continued to fight about finances (Im frugal, but by my standards he's pretty cheap)

I continued to feel that he was emotionally unavailable and felt neglected. I kept looking for jobs too and made that a priority but had no luck finding anything in his state. I found a job back in my home state and moved back in with my parents in mid November 2011.I found an apartment and he moved back in with me in January 2012. Over the next 6 months, he kept going back to visit his family, at times spending 2 weeks away. I was working full time and had a part time job after work 3 days of the week. He complained that he didn't know anyone here etc. I told him that had I found a job in his home state we would've stayed there, but this is where my connections are and this is where I was able to get a job. It just got worse.

He started spending all day watching the news +tv. He wasn't looking for a job, which made me very resentful.There were times when I'd come home, and everything, him included, would be exactly as I'd left it. There were just very superficial conversation/interactions. He would say that there was nothing to talk about since he's not doing much. He gained a lot of weight (40 pounds). I also put on some weight and so I suggested we go to the gym. I figured he had so much time on his hands he could make that his hobby since he was into working out before, but he didn't. Obviously, our sex life suffered, and on a good week we'd have sex once. It felt like he was "meh" even in bed. He just wasn't enthusiastic about anything, and would often tell me he was tired/sleepy when I initiated. It was extremely frustrating and I stopped getting turned on at all even while having sex, to the point that I avoid having sex with him now. He rarely caresses me unless he wants sex which is infrequent.

At times I would question my expectations because he kept accusing me of being so negative. I would alternate between feeling guilty that I am not more supportive of him and more sensitive to his feelings, and between feeling immense resentment that he was sulking, shutting me out, and behaving like a child/not taking responsibility. One day I suggested we go to couples counseling, and he adamantly refused.

I felt that I was going crazy, because he kept telling me that I wasn't appreciating what he was doing, that I started to withdraw myself emotionally. I stopped even caring if he made the effort to communicate with me. In the beginning of May I told him we'd either go to counseling or I want a divorce. I said it very calmly, I told him its either or. He told me that if I wanted a divorce I could keep dreaming. I told him well I'm giving you the option.

A few weeks later he was away again, I called him and told him not to come back, that I wanted a separation. He got angry initially then begged and pleaded, told me to give him a chance. I said no. He came back anyway and I caved in. That week, he was so tender and loving. Its like he knew exactly how to touch me and how to talk to me. But I knew we'd go back to the same routine. I kept reminding him about counseling, but he would literally ignore me, or he'd say "why do we need a third party to solve our problems?"

A few weeks before our anniversary I told him I only wanted a card. In my heart, I knew he wasn't going to do it, and I was right. I even reminded him, but he didn't get me a card. I was livid. I was devastated. At this point, I just wanted to leave. I couldn't understand how he would not honor that simple request if he truly loved me (not the first time either.) I then read something online, and realized that a lot of his behavior is passive aggressive. And I think that is one example of many in which I tell him clearly what I want/expect, and he purposely doesn't do it.

My mother insisted that I don't leave him until we try MC (which he was refusing) and until he started working. I went to a counselor on my own. I told her that I was pretty sure that I wanted a divorce, because of our different mindsets when it comes to money and his inability to show me the affection that I need. Funny thing is, I told him that I went on my own, and he finally agreed to go together. When he agreed, I was disappointed. I had checked out emotionally. The counselor suggested we come either way.

So fast forward to September, and my H started working part time and we have been to at least 6 session of MC together.There has been an improvement, but we are still constantly bickering, he isn't making as big of a change as I need. He also really neglects his health/won't eat well, which bothers me on a daily basis.

The problem is, he is most likely moving back to his home state as he is being offered a job there. I told him several days ago that I am not invested enough at this point to move back with him in addition to the fact that I get severely sick over there. What really scares me is that we fell into a rut less than a year into the marriage, what will happen down the road when responsibilities increase? He said "yeah but how many couples went through what we went through?" I said yes but look at how much it affected our relationship. For me, there is this mental hangup that I cant get past. yes I'm angry and hurt and resentful, and for some reason I cant get past all the hurt.

Anyway the point is, since I let him know that I'm not moving with him in January, he's been really nice to me, and I don't like it, as I don't think he's accepting my decision and it makes me feel guilty/makes me confused wondering if I should reconsider. My mom keeps telling me that "the devil you know is better than the one you don't" and she scares me when she says I might just find a new spouse but repeat the pattern with him (?), if I even find someone I really like at all.

Should I not wait to separate and leave now? Or should we continue MC and live together even though I really don't think I want to stay with him anymore? My biggest fear is holding on to those sweet moments and having false hope it will get better when it really won't.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wow I just realized how LONG my post was. Sorry!
Yes perhaps I need validation.
I think I am dealing with immense feelings of guilt, especially since he's being so nice to me now. I think he has made me doubt my self a lot, by telling me that I am a negative person and that I don't appreciate the positives, so it has left me feeling unsure if my feelings about him and the marriage are normal
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We don't have any kids, thank goodness. I think because he's such a "nice guy" my family had a hard time accepting the fact that I was so unhappy. Everyone kept telling me "the first year is the hardest." Can anyone elaborate on how the first year is supposed to be the hardest?

I also was doubting myself, wondering if I am projecting my unhappiness on him...But I really think I have valid reasons to be unhappy in the marriage.

He just won't accept the fact that I won't move with him, even though I explained it to him and told him that I want a separation when he moves back.

Today he mentioned a job opening in his state that he wants me to apply to, I told him I wont be moving there, he's like "that doesn't make sense." I don't get how else to make it clear to him.
 

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Well, they say the first year is the hardest, because for many couples, for a very long time, the first year together was the first time either spouse had lived with someone other than their family, and in the first year the newlyweds are just getting to know what it's like living together. This has become less and less the case in the latter half of the 20th century, especially with many couples having longer courtships and sometimes living together before marriage. Even so, in the first year, you have to adjust your thinking from 'me' to 'we,' and so this can be difficult for many people.

EDIT!!! I definitely don't think Azure's sitch is a "rough first year." I'm just trying to explain what some people mean by "the first year is the hardest."

I apologize for my misleading comment.
 

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So is this the type of situation where I should rough it out and wait for things to get better? Is the first year supposed to result in this much breakdown in communication and affection? I feel like I am completely out of love with him, so much of what he does just gets under my skin.
 

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1. If he is "being so nice" to you NOW, WHY couldn't he be "so nice" to you all along; he COULD, he just didn't.

2. What is wrong with your mother? I would QUIT TALKING TO HER about your marriage as she seems VERY un-supportive. Better the devil you know...?!? WTF? Wow, what a way to look at a new marriage!

3. Go back to INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING NOW; get a NEW counselor's take on YOU. What are your goals, dreams, aspirations. Does THIS MARRIAGE fit into those goals? If so, what do YOU need to change. If not, then you know you need to pull the plug.

There's NO WAY the first year should be SO DIFFICULT that you feel you are not even in love with your H! I think you two did NOT KNOW EACH OTHER well enough to have gotten married.
 

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So is this the type of situation where I should rough it out and wait for things to get better? Is the first year supposed to result in this much breakdown in communication and affection? I feel like I am completely out of love with him, so much of what he does just gets under my skin.
No, that's definitely NOT what I'm saying ... I was just trying to explain what other people meant when they say the first year is the hardest. I'm sorry, I should have written more.

I don't think what you're experiencing is the typical "first year." The first year can be the worst, but it's also supposed to be your honeymoon year! You know, when you're supposed to be having sex like bunnies?

I think your husband sounds like a jerk, and I think you may have gotten married before you really knew what he was like. Of course, for a lot of abusers, their real personality doesn't really come out until they have the woman locked down (ie there's a ring on your finger). You deserve better than the treatment you're getting from this guy. A real marriage is supposed to be a partnership; you're supposed to be a team.

The other posters here have really good advice, especially SlowlyGettingWiser just above this comment.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
FeministInPink, I know you were explaining what people meant by that, I guess I was just trying to understand if my situation would fall under what others classify as a "difficult first year." But I guess not.

SlowlyGettingWiser thanks for your feedback. You are right, he could have been nicer, but he wasn't. The reason I am feeling so guilty is because everyone kept telling me "give him time, that's what happens when a guy loses his job." I kept making excuses for him, I kept thinking he may be depressed (and I think he is to some degree, though he denied it when I have brought it up.) I do however think he has serious issues with intimacy and communication. Because anytime I would express my frustrations to him he would just shut down even more. He's never even asked "what am I not doing that you need me to do?" I do believe he has different (and much lower expectations) of what a fulfilling relationship looks like. I realized that although his parents are still married, they live very separate lives and show little affection to each other in front of their children, so perhaps to him this is normal.

I love my mom and she's generally my strongest ally, but talking to her does make me more confused. My mom is old school, so initially the idea of getting a divorce really freaked her out, but after she accepted that I am possibly going to leave him she just keeps saying "I don't want you to look back and regret your decision to leave him." I wish it was that simple. Its not one of those clear cut decisions where for example my husband is physically abusive and there really is no other option but to leave. I know that I deserve more love and affection from a spouse, but I hate how I'm made to feel that I'm "running away from my problems" rather than working on them. I just realized in this short marriage that you really cannot change a person unless they want to change, and I'm smarter than to think he's suddenly going to change his habits and become generous and super attentive and affectionate.

So yes, I do need validation and support that I'm not making an "emotional" or rushed decision
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Anyone have any feedback or insight?

We had a counseling session this week, where I explained again that I wasn't invested enough to move with him. But he simply won't accept it. He has been trying very hard to change my mind. We talked about it again today. I told him it's not even about moving, its about the state of the relationship. He said "well I want to start new and build it up from the ground up. I see this as a great opportunity to do just that" I told him he's gonna be busy with his new job, then he wants to start his phD, he said "I want to fix us first" I told him "I can't pretend I'm happy" and he says "I want the chance to change it." I just don't know anymore. I have no reason to take his word for it, since he's had many opportunities to fix the relationship. I feel like every time he senses that he's losing me, he works really hard at getting me to stay. This leaves me so confused and makes me hurt even more.
 

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Anyone have any feedback or insight?
I do, but you are not going to like it. I was with FeministinPink before she succumbed to pressure from other posters and diluted her stand.

Look, obviously you have the right to stay or leave and you have the ability to follow through with whatever you decide. Its not as if you are codependent on him. Having said that.........

Your mom sounds like a very wise lady to me. The stuff that you mom is telling you resonates a lot with me and i think you should atleast try to understand where she is coming from.

Bottom line is your emotional needs aren't being met and he has taken you for granted, well until you bring up separation in which case he is willing to do whatever because he wants to stay with you. I do sympathize with you being in a similar situation where i give a lot of affection to my spouse but get very little in return. At the start it frustrated me but then i realized that some people are unable to give affection. You can't really hold it against them. Maybe it has to do with their upbringing. But this is hardly a reason to end a marriage.

When i read your post it seems very negative, almost as if you are looking for an excuse, any excuse to torpedo your marriage. What you need is MC and have to articulate clearly what you expect from him. He isn't a mind reader. Now as you rightfully pointed out it is not going to last very long if doing it is not in his nature. Reminds me of the HD-LD issue that most people talk about in the SIM section. In such a case some compromise is in order, where he makes an effort to give you affection in the way you desire atleast once a week in exchange for you lowering your expections.

Consider this, a lot of guys i know would dismiss you as emotionally needy and want to get away from you. But your DH hasn't done that and wants to be with you at all costs. You have to give him some credit for that. Don't do the 'D' without giving him a fair chance to fix this. I know this isn't what you want to hear but it is JMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
bluelaser, thank you for your frank feedback.

I do see where my mom is coming from, and where you are coming from. My mom's reasoning is: He's a good honest person, he's not cheating on you, he doesnt have any drug/alcohol/porn addictions, he loves you. Good men are hard to come by.

I don't think I am "emotionally needy." I have been in relationships before, and haven't had this problem before. I am just looking for a true and deep emotional connection with the man I plan on spending the rest of my life with. I also am looking for him to put a regular effort into the relationship, neither of which are happening.
I read posts on TAM about what couples do together (Your type of romance thread) it makes me incredibly sad that I am lacking so much of what bonds couples together.

I do not expect him to be a mind reader, and have told him specifically what my expectations are on different occasions (I gave the example of the card I wanted for our anniversary, which I didn't get. which I have a hard time forgiving)

I do not think this makes him a bad person, and I told him that in counseling yesterday. I think it does make us to some degree incompatible, since I am constantly seeking more from him. Being affectionate is probably not in his nature, and as I explained I think it may have something to do with his upbringing.

I have many resentments in the relationship, and not just because of the emotional distance I sense from him. I am resentful that he wasn't actively looking for a job after getting laid off, as when we got married, he was expected to be the provider. I am resentful that he isnt helpful around the house. There were many days where I would come home and the house was a mess and dinner wasn't cooked. I am also resentful that he is neglecting his health and refusing to go to the gym/eat well.

For example, we talked a bit about the relationship while I was at work. He said we'll continue the conversation when I get home. I have been home for the past 5 hours, and he is busy on his laptop (as usual) and hasn't initiated a conversation. I find that I always have to initiate difficult conversations, as he avoids them at all costs. I just feel like I have to steer everything in the relationship, and its overwhelming to have such a passive spouse.

He has been promising changes for nearly a year. I haven't seen it. The only regular affection I get from him is cuddling, which he really enjoys.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Does anyone else have any feedback? I want to hear as many views as possible. Does depression excuse his behavior? Do I give him another chance and move with him? Or will I be setting myself up for disappointment?
 

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I couldn't disagree MORE with bluelaser's advice!

I realized that some people are unable to give affection. You can't really hold it against them...But this is hardly a reason to end a marriage.
Feeling unappreciated/unloved is a VERY REAL concern and should NEVER be dismissed as unimportant as bluelaser seems to imply! MOST women want to FEEL loved, not just 'know' it intellectually. It's a BIG DIFFERENCE between men/women - just as women need to FEEL emotionally connected to a man to enjoy sex with him whereas men get VISUALLY turned on and can enjoy sex with a woman without ANY emotional connection.

your emotional needs aren't being met and he has taken you for granted, well until you bring up separation in which case he is willing to do whatever because he wants to stay with you
WRONG! Pay close attention here...he SAYS he is willing to do whatever it takes. TALK IS CHEAP. He has had ONE YEAR to "DO" whatever it takes, and he hasn't done it. Repeatedly hasn't done it. Even when specifically told in simple language 'buy me a card', he hasn't done it.

But NOW she's supposed to believe he cares enough to put forth real SUSTAINED effort. NOW she's supposed to believe he cares enough to change. NOW she's supposed to believe that HER NEEDS have FINALLY dawned on him!!! And what brought about this sudden epiphany? She's not moving with him to his new job location. (It's not that he doesn't care, it's that he cares more about being COMFORTABLE himself than he cares about YOUR feelings.)

NOW he realizes he will be in it alone. No emotional back-up. No day-to-day back-up. No one to cuddle. No one to clean up, cook, do basic chores. It will ALL fall on HIM in addition to his new job and PhD studies. If I was him, I would be scared sh*tless, too! But as Azure so WISELY points out...if he didn't BOTHER putting her needs FIRST (making HER a priority) in the recent past, WHEN IS HE GOING TO FIND TIME/ENERGY to put her needs first in the near future??? After his new job? After his studies? After his needs? That is pretty far down the d*mned list for her to be waiting around for him to have yet another epiphany.

And in the meantime, are children going to be brought into the mix; making it even harder to find/make time for each other? And making it more difficult to leave this unfulfilling relationship?

If you've been in relationships BEFORE (which you say you have) where your emotional needs were better met, then you know IT'S NOT JUST YOU. If you cannot picture yourself accepting a 1950s June/Ward Cleaver marriage (sorry, my age is showing), IT'S NOT JUST YOU.

If you H has been unwilling to try to compromise with you over these issues IN THE VERY BEGINNING -- DURING THE HONEYMOON PHASE OF YOUR MARRIAGE -- WHEN EVERYTHING IS NEW AND SHINY AND BRIGHT AND FULL OF HOPE AND PROMISE -- WHEN YOU ARE NURTURING THIS NEW LOVE AND FLEDGLING RELATIONSHIP -- then WHEN the h*ll is he planning on making ANY accommodation for YOUR needs, YOUR wants, YOUR desires? Now you're supposed to uproot your life, move how many miles away, for MORE OF THE SAME? Bullcorn!

Cut your losses. You know he will change ONLY as little as necessary and for as short a time as possible to 'prove' to you he's 'trying' or he's 'changed' or whatever. You have his PAST TRACK RECORD to look back on. THAT is the real him. THAT is what you have to look forward to. THAT is exactly HOW MUCH effort he has (or hasn't) expended in furtherance of your marital accord. And he's going to BOTHER going to the sustained effort of changing NOW and in the future....WHY? ? ? ? Oh, that's right, so YOU'LL be there for HIM. Hmm, still seeming VERY one-sided.

Leaving him doesn't mean he's a horrible person. It doesn't mean YOU'RE a horrible person. It means, it was a bad fit; a wrong choice. If you haven't figured out WHY you chose to marry him (so you can avoid another similar relationship in the future), then go see an Individual Counselor for a few sessions and see if s/he can help you understand your past to better choose your future. You don't need long-term therapy, just a little insight (and maybe s/he can recommend some reading that would help you as well).


Good luck, Azure, I think you're wise to leave now. Resentment is a SOUL-KILLER, and you don't need that in your life.
 

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Thank you so much SlowlyGettingWiser.

You are absolutely right. I know that he loves me. But its not enough. I don't feel it. And he will always get defensive and call me "negative" when I tell him what hurt me/what I need him to do more of.

I know I'm mentally done because he has tried initiating sex with me several times recently (after turning me down repeatedly for months.) I started crying the first time. The few times after that, I simply couldn't.

I have started going to IC. I'm now just deciding when to physically move out.
 

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Good on the IC; I think you'll find it eye-opening.

Once you move out on your own, you'll start to feel much better IMMEDIATELY.

Hang in there and let us know how you're doing.
 

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So I thought I'd give this another shot, and I decided to email him a list of questions to see if he could convince me that life with his new job in a new state will in fact be better. I sent him questions like: what's your idea of romance? how do you show a woman you love her? when I tell you my needs are unmet, do you understand what I mean? what do you think you have done to address this? how will life be different once we move? etc It was probably 15 questions.

It's been 10 days, and I haven't gotten a response. He did acknowledge that he received it. I sent it on Friday so he could reply over the weekend, but by Tuesday I got nothing, I brought it up and he said hes been "busy" and that it was a "million questions" and "why don't you answer the questions"

I just dont understand him at all. He's had a second weekend to reply, and hasnt done so even though I brought up my frustration. Is this PA behavior? Is he purposely not answering my email because I so desperately want a reply? Or is he just really intimidated/scared?

He's been "nice" otherwise, wanting to go out together and do things together. He tried initiating sex again, but I just can't get in the mood, and he got really upset today and said that I am sabotaging the relationship and rejecting all his efforts to make changes. I have seen him make some changes, but they're not enough, and I have even had us take the 5 languages quiz and expressed to him how important words of affirmation are to me, and how he hasn't flirted with me in a long time, but he's made no effort in that regard.
 

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I don't think it's Passive/Aggressive. I think he:

* is really uncomfortable thinking about or dealing with emotions

* is making changes, but NOT when it involves stepping out of HIS comfort zone

* is trying to show you 'love' by having sex with you (apparently, from my reading here on TAM it's a GUY THING; having sex makes a guy feel loved); perhaps this is his way of expressing love to you (although as we know, MOST WOMEN don't feel this way...feeling loved comes FIRST, then the sex follows)

You've seen how much/little has actually changed since your pronouncement that you would NOT be moving with him. Is the change you've seen ENOUGH to make you believe that your life in the new state would be substantially different (in a better way) than what you have already seen in the past year?
 
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