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Discussion Starter #1
So I am fully aware that no marriage is perfect and that every relationship has its flaws. My question is, are there some flaws that just can't be resolved? When does compromise in a marriage become too much? How can you take care of your own needs without being selfish. I've been with my husband for over 4 years and married a little over one and we have come across some very tough times as of late. First I will say that I am 25 years old and my husband is 31 so I realize the age difference could play a part in some of what I am saying. I have been in and out of a depressive state for some time and could not really find a culprit for my anguish. Recently it hit me that I felt an emptiness inside myself and deep yearning for something more in my relationship... like something was extremely wrong/ missing. I had buried these feelings for years because overall on the surface everything seemed to be going great..daily life was easy and without too much of a hitch until I realized I was completely bored and living in a passionless marriage. I've been seeing a therapist as of late (my husband came to one appointment then refused to go to the next one) but its not helping that much. Tonight I decided to make a pros and cons list to see if my feelings were just normal marital struggles or if these issues pose a real risk to my marriage. We don't have any children or big financial ties yet so I am wanting to try to fix this before deciding to do some of those things. Hopefully someone can give me some advice!!

Pros:

• Kind / caring
• Affectionate, snuggly
• Funny
• Helps a lot around the house
• Offers his assistance with things
• Asks if he can do anything to make my day better
• Thinks of practical things that I tend to put off (changing oil/tires, signing paperwork, picking up things at the store etc)
• He enjoys going out to eat and/or cooking good meals together (as do I)
• Likes good music which is a passion of mine
• He’s on time
• Good with communication. Always checks in just to say hi or tell me what he is up to.
• Doesn’t get upset about money
• Attractive/ handsome (love his big green eyes)
• Charming
• I’m proud to introduce him to others
• He gets along with everyone (My family loves him)
• He’s not confrontational
• He puts up with my moodiness
• He’s forgiving and doesn’t hold grudges
• He doesn’t have to go out to have fun
• He makes an effort
• He doesn’t name call and respects me
• He is willing to do things with me that he doesn’t necessarily like to do (but not always without complaining a lot haha)
• He trusts and loves me

Cons

• Boring/ rare existing sex life
• Awkward sexual encounters/ feels forced and disconnected / not adventurous, kinky, or into changing it up/ little eye contact or talking in bed
• Very insecure with himself regardless of what I say
• Dependent
• Shows little interest in things that make me feel most fulfilled (nature, ocean, quality family/friend time)
• Lack of sympathy
• Lack of emotional intimacy
• Always off in his head / anxiety over practical stuff/ not paying attention when I'm talking
• Not a dreamer (talking with me about future plans, goals, travel, etc) and when he does, it sounds like things that don’t really interest me
• Always has some sort of addiction whether it be alcohol, pot, dip…
• Doesn’t have a lot of passion for things
• Not motivated/proactive when it come to achieving goals he claims to want in life
• We both want to live near our families but they live on opposite sides of the country thus we can never agree on where to "settle down" without an argument
• Conversation feels on the surface a lot of the time
• Always spending time off together watching TV
• Controlling, emotionally awkward family
• Often telling white lies (pot, alcohol, texts, etc)
• Empty promises
• Empty “I’m sorry” s
• Says he hates his job everyday but doesn’t do anything to change his situation

Thanks for taking the time to read my situation and help!
 

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Hi Confused, to answer your question, yes - there are some flaws that can't be resolved and are deal breakers. Everyone has their own and there is no right or wrong, it is up to each of us to determine what is ours.

You did a good job with your list and I see your dilemma. He is a nice guy but he is boring you to death. So the question you asked can really only be answered by you. Is this a deal breaker for you? Can you live the rest of your life with this personality or do you need to make a change before any more time goes by?

What you do need to do is not worry about not having some big excuse for leaving like he cheated on you. You also don't want to stay with a man you don't love. It is not only wrong for you but totally unfair to him. I am glad you are putting kids off until you get this worked out one way or the other.
 

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Have him read No More Mr Nice Guy, by Glover. With a few exceptions your H is extremely similar to mine. Like you I struggled to indentify why I always had this undercurrent of unhappiness. Unlike you, we had kids right away so I was stuck. Turns out, after I did all my fixing of myself to make the marriage better, and it was an exhaustive list, the marriage still wasn't better. And it was him after all.

If he won't read the book, you have your answer.

My H reads the book every night now and is putting a lot into practice.

I sure wish I had your insight when I was your age!!!!
 

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i'm sure he can make the same list for you. instead of making list's ask yourself are you happy and are you in love with him. if not you have your answer.
 

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• Lack of sympathy
• Lack of emotional intimacy
• Always has some sort of addiction whether it be alcohol, pot, dip…
• Often telling white lies (pot, alcohol, texts, etc)
• Empty promises
• Empty “I’m sorry” s


Those are the "cons" you listed that would give me the most pause. So, he's a Nice Guy with addiction issues. For me, that's a really serious problem. If he did not take steps to address those issues quickly and with firm conviction, I don't think I would be able to stay married to him. But, those are my deal breakers. What's important is how you feel. Are his "cons" deal breakers for you?
 

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IMO, you are not in love with your spouse.

Marriage is soooooo much easier when you love the person you are married to... and they love you..

If you are making list... well... you might be married for a whole lot of practical reasons but I could not stay married to a person I felt no passion towards.
 

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So I am fully aware that no marriage is perfect and that every relationship has its flaws. My question is, are there some flaws that just can't be resolved? When does compromise in a marriage become too much? How can you take care of your own needs without being selfish. I've been with my husband for over 4 years and married a little over one and we have come across some very tough times as of late. First I will say that I am 25 years old and my husband is 31 so I realize the age difference could play a part in some of what I am saying. I have been in and out of a depressive state for some time and could not really find a culprit for my anguish. Recently it hit me that I felt an emptiness inside myself and deep yearning for something more in my relationship... like something was extremely wrong/ missing. I had buried these feelings for years because overall on the surface everything seemed to be going great..daily life was easy and without too much of a hitch until I realized I was completely bored and living in a passionless marriage. I've been seeing a therapist as of late (my husband came to one appointment then refused to go to the next one) but its not helping that much. Tonight I decided to make a pros and cons list to see if my feelings were just normal marital struggles or if these issues pose a real risk to my marriage. We don't have any children or big financial ties yet so I am wanting to try to fix this before deciding to do some of those things. Hopefully someone can give me some advice!!
If I may make a simple recommendation, please pickup a copy of this book (possibly from your local library):

Feeling Good Together: The Secret to Making Troubled Relationships Work: David D. Burns M.D.: 9780767920827: Amazon.com: Books

Read the first three chapters, and tell us what you think. Kindest Regards-
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the advice so far. I know I have to decide what my limits are and what "cons" I am able to deal with. It is just so hard when you feel like you have the nicest guy in the world but can't seem to ignore some of these major red flags. I am terrified that if I left at some point that I would eventually be filled with more regret than I could bear. I really do love him, I just have been wondering if we are right for eachother and if I will ever feel truly happy/fulfilled. I don't want to live the rest of my life feeling this way. I ordered the book that you suggested Anon Pink.. so thanks for the help.
 

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Hi confusedsnw,

I'm curious because you say he is affectionate, but you also say you lack emotional intimacy. What do you mean by that?
Second, why is there a lack of sex in the relationship? Have you tried to address this with him? Do you do work to keep things active in this department?
 

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When you accept someone, you see through the flaws. If you cant see through those flaws, you clearly dont accept him as he is... so dont stay.
 

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Susieatwork, I know it sounds contradicting and it's hard to explain. When I say emotional intimacy, I'm talking about opening himself up to me emotionally not necessarily physical affection. I'm also talking about when I'm dealing with emotional turmoil (father dying of cancer, best friend passing away 3 years ago etc) it's like he can't handle emotions. Example to make my point would be me crying to him about my dad... he holds me and says.. "don't cry" (pause for a second/ me still in tears) "but hey sorry to change the subject but can you pick up toilet paper at the store later" and I'm left feeling like, really? right now you is the time you choose to talk about toilet paper?... I know this example is just one tiny instance but it feels like this more often than not. I never feel like he is truly there for me emotionally, on a deep husband and wife level. When things get emotional in conversation (happy, sad, angry what have you) the conversation seems to stray to practical things like chores, work, or dinner. To answer your other question, I feel like the lack of sex is a result of this emotional disconnect we seem to have now from all the cons I listed. It's like it started as a stream dividing us that has eroded into a canyon and I don't know how to fill the gap. How can you enjoy sex with someone you don't feel connected with? :(
 

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Susieatwork, I know it sounds contradicting and it's hard to explain. When I say emotional intimacy, I'm talking about opening himself up to me emotionally not necessarily physical affection. I'm also talking about when I'm dealing with emotional turmoil (father dying of cancer, best friend passing away 3 years ago etc) it's like he can't handle emotions. Example to make my point would be me crying to him about my dad... he holds me and says.. "don't cry" (pause for a second/ me still in tears) "but hey sorry to change the subject but can you pick up toilet paper at the store later" and I'm left feeling like, really? right now you is the time you choose to talk about toilet paper?... I know this example is just one tiny instance but it feels like this more often than not. I never feel like he is truly there for me emotionally, on a deep husband and wife level. :(
Have you tried calling him out on it when he does that? Telling him that it sounds like he lacks compassion.
I think empathy can be trained to a certain extent. I know it is really hard when your partner doesn't seem to connect with you on a difficult issue you are experiencing. Sometimes men are afraid to really get in touch with their emotions/open up because it will open up the floodgates. This is why women need strong bonds with other women. It can take some work to ensure that he is in a safe enough place where he can do it with you.

I believe there are some personality types (check out Myers Briggs if you are interested) that have an easier time connecting with each other emotionally than others. That natural/instantaneous emotional connection can be instantaneous for the lucky few.

For the rest of us, it takes time and effort to build the trust, sharing, and openness it takes to have a strong emotional bond. I am honestly say that I am much closer with my partner now than I ever have been. The thing is though, the relationship has been moving in that direction - i.e., toward closer connection rather than disconnection.
 

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When you accept someone, you see through the flaws. If you cant see through those flaws, you clearly dont accept him as he is... so dont stay.
Read her list again. She's not talking about a man who's a slob.
 

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I don't know ... I read the list and while I can see some con's in there that probably do cause real problems, he's got a lot going for him in the pro list too. Not a bad guy for sure and I know that in any relationship, you are going to be able to draw up a long list of pros and cons about your partner. So, there is no answer ... he seems like a decent enough guy ... but can you live with the cons.

Question: would you be willing to show this to him ... or at least an edited list? Me personally, I would want to see those "cons" and work on them. I'd just have to be aware of them. Some of them might surprise him even if you have mentioned them in some fashion in the past ... he might not have "got it". Some of them might be hard for him to read ... but if you are at the point that you are making lists then he probably needs to hear them.

He might also want to see the pro's. One of the increasingly irritating things in my marriage is that I never hear one good thing about me. If I didn't know better, I would think there is nothing redeemable about me at all. It isn't that I need to be constantly reminded about how great I am, lol ... but at least be reminded about the good things she sees in me every once in awhile ... that there are things she appreciates about me. I do make a point of doing that for her consistently.
 

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Confused,

What concerns me is not any of the items on your list, but the fact that you are making this list AFTER getting married, and only a year after. That makes you seem like you either have trouble with commitments, or did not think things through before getting married, or both.

Getting married is a commitment to accept the positives and negatives a person comes along with. Once you take your vows, you should not be regularly making spouse evaluation checklists. That doesn't mean there's no such thing as a "mistake" in marriages, but it seems to me that both before and after your marriage you failed to really think about this as a commitment. That means that, even if you were to leave your husband, you'd be likely to make the same mistake again unless you change your thinking about marriage.

So I offer no comment on your husband's pluses vs. minuses for now. I can't tell you whether you should stay or leave. Only you can decide what you can live with and what you can't -- it's different for everyone. There's no objective "reasonable" balance of pros and cons in a spouse, and outside of certain very severe behaviors (abuse, neglect, severe drug or alcohol problems, chronic infidelity) I don't think there are many universal dealbreakers in the world.

But I think your whole approach to marriage is part of the problem.
 

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However, it is true that you can still end things with relatively little pain if that's what you want. It sounds like you have a lot of problems with him, and these things are hard to fix. It might be better for both of you to leave now rather than buy a house and have kids and bring them into a bad relationship. But you have to do some serious introspection -- how did you get to this place? Why did you marry the guy?

You're still young at 25. As you get older, you will see that mood swings happen, that these "epiphanies" about what you really want in life can come and go very easily, and that marriage (and life) isn't about being happy all the time. I don't think your guy sounds like a great partner the way you describe him, and you're young enough and free enough to start over if that's what you want. But eventually you have to face commitment if you want marriage.
 

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He sounds like he may be depressed - the lack of interest and shallow emotional connections. I wonder if the addictions are an attempt at self-medicating a deeper issue. Have you asked him to go to MC? Or even IC? He sounds depressed, paralyzed with indecision and perhaps trying to suppress some things.

The big issues seem to be related to drugs, the lying around the drugs and the lack of emotional/physical connection. IMO if there is really love, you can overcome all of those with some serious counseling. At least give it a shot and see if you two can make some progress. Then if there isn't, you can feel like you really tried before calling it quits.
 

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Hi there, I have a different perspective. I married a very similar guy 16 years ago. I married him because at the time I was in my late 20s and I was tired of being treated like crap. I found a "nice guy"... he is very nice. We have kids etc... but realistically I am now realizing that essentially at the time I was looking for a nice guy who wouldn't leave me. Now I am looking for connection. So I got exactly what I wanted at the time, but now my needs/desires have changed. My dh is nice, affectionate also , but ask him how he feels and he has no clue. We have been going for therapy and he is so disconnected to how he feels that he doesn't even know how to answer the question, he answers it with "I think".
 

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Confused,

You have made Pros & Cons list about your H. Ask him to make the same about you. Compare the same & try to work on the Cons of both of you.

Marriage is like a Clap, only with two hands you can made a clap(sound).

So make sure that both of you understand each other & sort your Cons out.
 
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