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Discussion Starter #1
http://talkaboutmarriage.com/general-relationship-discussion/58218-time-call-quits-advice-please.html

http://talkaboutmarriage.com/general-relationship-discussion/58434-feeling-pressured-conform.html

Hi. I have included my previous threads so you can see my background so far.

I am still struggling so much with my marriage. My H and I just had our third MC session last night. The C started our session by checking in to see how things over the last week have gone. I explain that I am still having a very difficult time breaking my wall down and receiving all of the effort that my H has been initiating. I proceed to tell her that I am still unsure of what I want and that I am simply not in the right state of mind to make a decision one way or the other. I am willing to give our marriage as much time as it needs until things become clearer. My H agreed that things between us really went backwards since our previous session.

I had told my H about my feelings prior to our session and I can see it hurts him greatly each time it is discussed. He is really trying very hard to be the man I need him to be. That is what makes all of this even harder. Part of me feels like it's too late for us and too much damage has already been done. The other part is just so scared to let my guard down and trust that he is not going to hurt me anymore. I feel stuck.

On our way home from MC I asked him if he is as happy as he appears with the MC. I asked this because of his history with maintaining the "image" of our marriage like I included in my previous threads. While we are in our sessions he smiles and nods the whole time. He does not say much so it really makes me wonder what he is getting out of this because he is not this agreeable at home EVER.

When I continue asking him about his feelings we ended up in an argument. He says he doesn't understand what is going on with me and why "all of a sudden" I am so unhappy. I again bring to his attention that there is no "all of a sudden" involved. I have been fighting to be heard for so many years with the same matters and I finally have been pushed to my limit and I am through putting up with being in this marriage alone. I am done with being put down, belittled, and not being allowed to have my own feelings. He again says that I "take things the wrong way" most of the time. I told him that is his opinion and that this is one of the numerous things that I need him to change and I'm not sure he can. When he puts me down he may not feel like he is but I do. This is just one of the examples that keeps going through my head of how I have been mistreated in the past. Therefore I am not sure on how to let my guard down or if I even want to.

I have been living life for myself for so long I'm not sure how to even proceed with creating a real marriage. All of our bank accounts, bills, insurance, and everything else is seperate and he is not willing to combine any of these. Not that I want to anytime soon, just want you to have the info. We continue to go about our own lives without considering each other before making plans. I have no desire to have sex with him anytime soon and this has been an ongoing issue for 5+ years for sure. I feel like we have worked against each other for so long that it almost seems impossible to find a way to work together that will meet both of our needs.

When I have these facts in front of me it only reminds me that I could easily live on my own and be okay. But then I think of our history, the good part of it, and wonder if leaving is the right thing to do. If I stay will it be for the right reasons? We are each blessed to have great friends, family, and a nice home. These would be the main reasons to stay, at least at this time. I have so much anxiety all the time over the unknown and what direction our marriage is headed. I know more IC is needed for each of us and I plan to continue with that as does my H.

Can anyone relate or offer any advice?
 

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Not long ago, a study was done on couples who were on the verge of divorce. It followed up at five years and the couples who had stayed together reported more happiness than those that left. I can't find the study on Google just now, I'm afraid, but what I recall is that the author who wrote about it said people reported that working through the issues had helped them get stronger together.

It sounds like you and hubby have a habit of expressing blame and fault to each other. Stop this right away! Agree to not let it happen at all. Period. If it does, the conversation ends immediately and without resentment but instead, with an acknowledgement that the blamer isn't in the right "we're in this together" state of mind that is necessary to make progress.

Your own attitude depends entirely on what you think is the "reason" for everything that's happened. If you believe he neglected you, or mistreated you, then you're going to have a tough time recovering. If you believe that he didn't understand that his behaviors were harmful, then it will be a little easier. If you believe he sincerely wants things to work, and see reasons to believe he's making the changes you want to see, it will be easier still.
 

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In reading your 3 posts, none of this makes any sense. You've been together 9 years, have barely had sex the last 5, yet you got married a year ago. You want to leave him, but won't because you are scared about the division of assets and what to do with a dog?

You say he is unloving, uncaring, and selfish with his affection yet he would be devastated if you broke up. He is making an effort to change, yet you are not willing to change your perceptions.

Give mc some time. Be kind to each other. Stop on your end participating or escalating arguments. Staying together for great friends, family & a house is not a good reason. Decide what are the real reasons you love each other and work on moving toward those goals.
 

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having read all three threads my advice would be to give the IC and MC more time.
After re-reading all three of your threads, I think it's time for you to move out!

You two have been together for 9 YEARS. You have been living together for 5 YEARS. And having trouble for 5 YEARS (as you pointed out in your most recent thread). You keep all finances SEPARATE. You make plans for yourselves SEPARATELY without consulting the other. You have had sexual problems and intimacy problems for years (the entire 5 years?). You only got married 8 MONTHS ago.

Why did you two get married? I am NOT being snarky! If you had such far-reaching problems for the last 5 years, WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO GET MARRIED instead of continuing to live together? WHY did you decide to get married INSTEAD OF breaking up? Was it because family/friends brought pressure to bear? "When are you and X going to get married? You've been together for so long! You should just get married you've been dating FOREVER and living together for YEARS!" Was *THIS* the impetus for you two to get married?

You two are living ENTIRELY SEPARATE lives under the same roof and apparently have been doing so for YEARS. This behavior is indicative of people who have come to the END of a marriage (like a long-term unhappy marriage), NOT people who are only 8 MONTHS into a marriage!

*YOU* are DEFINITELY co-dependent. I think *YOU* need to be in IC immediately and start figuring out what *YOU* want...not what you think 'other people' want for you, not what you think Hubby wants, not what you think will make friends/family happy. But YOU. Just YOU. If YOU'RE not happy/healthy, then there is NO WAY you can make ANY relationship (family, friend, spouse) work well.

You are so conflicted about whether to remain married (out of guilt, loyalty, force of habit (9 years' worth of habit), love -- if there is any and it's buried under there) or to get divorced (out of frustration, emptiness, realization that there is not a strong enough love to sustain this relationship any longer) that I don't think that YOU can sort this out while you're in the middle of it.

Since you have the financial independence to move out, why don't you? Continue with the MC, get into IC and see how a counselor can help you FOCUS on the positives/negatives of your relationship with H as well as your relationship with others (you're a 'people-pleaser'). See WHY you act/feel the way you do. See WHAT you want out of your life and HOW to achieve it. Is this marriage a viable relationship that can be changed and help you achieve YOUR GOALS for a HAPPY LIFE? I can't say, and you can't either. You need an objective COUNSELOR to help you see things as they REALLY ARE.

Good luck, and hang in there. But at the very least, GET INTO IC, please!
 

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*YOU* are DEFINITELY co-dependent. I think *YOU* need to be in IC immediately and start figuring out what *YOU* want...not what you think 'other people' want for you, not what you think Hubby wants, not what you think will make friends/family happy. But YOU. Just YOU. If YOU'RE not happy/healthy, then there is NO WAY you can make ANY relationship (family, friend, spouse) work well.

You are so conflicted about whether to remain married (out of guilt, loyalty, force of habit (9 years' worth of habit), love -- if there is any and it's buried under there) or to get divorced (out of frustration, emptiness, realization that there is not a strong enough love to sustain this relationship any longer) that I don't think that YOU can sort this out while you're in the middle of it.

Since you have the financial independence to move out, why don't you? Continue with the MC, get into IC and see how a counselor can help you FOCUS on the positives/negatives of your relationship with H as well as your relationship with others (you're a 'people-pleaser'). See WHY you act/feel the way you do. See WHAT you want out of your life and HOW to achieve it. Is this marriage a viable relationship that can be changed and help you achieve YOUR GOALS for a HAPPY LIFE? I can't say, and you can't either. You need an objective COUNSELOR to help you see things as they REALLY ARE.
:iagree::iagree::iagree:
 

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I have been struggling with this issue for "years" now. I do not know how to help you but maybe I can give you some food for thought.

Sometimes it feels as if leaving/staying is a 50/50 option. I have been told that it will begin to lean in one direction or the other ..and obviously it has for you. What you have chosen to do ... to stay..is what you believe is best for you at this time. Otherwise you would leave, not just think about leaving.

When you feel that the bad outweighs the good..that may change.

Stay in touch with your feelings but be aware of the practical as well. Best to you.
paperoses
 

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Emerald gave you some advice that I would agree with. That advice is reprinted below:

By Emerald
Can you separate for awhile? Take some time apart. If he misses you, you will know & see changes. Also, if you don't think he can make the changes that will make you happy, you can file for divorce but not finalize it for awhile. Part of me thinks an action wake-up call may prompt changes.


Lonelyandlost
I know it will require you to figure out how you are going to have your dog taken care of but yo can figured that out.

Your issue with breaking your marriage is a bigger and more important problem than finding out how to have your dog taken care of.

Ask your MC if a temporary separation is worth a try.
Sometimes a crises like separation and NC can be a HUGE wakeup call
 

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Discussion Starter #10
After re-reading all three of your threads, I think it's time for you to move out!

You two have been together for 9 YEARS. You have been living together for 5 YEARS. And having trouble for 5 YEARS (as you pointed out in your most recent thread). You keep all finances SEPARATE. You make plans for yourselves SEPARATELY without consulting the other. You have had sexual problems and intimacy problems for years (the entire 5 years?). You only got married 8 MONTHS ago.

Why did you two get married? I am NOT being snarky! If you had such far-reaching problems for the last 5 years, WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO GET MARRIED instead of continuing to live together? WHY did you decide to get married INSTEAD OF breaking up? Was it because family/friends brought pressure to bear? "When are you and X going to get married? You've been together for so long! You should just get married you've been dating FOREVER and living together for YEARS!" Was *THIS* the impetus for you two to get married?

You two are living ENTIRELY SEPARATE lives under the same roof and apparently have been doing so for YEARS. This behavior is indicative of people who have come to the END of a marriage (like a long-term unhappy marriage), NOT people who are only 8 MONTHS into a marriage!

*YOU* are DEFINITELY co-dependent. I think *YOU* need to be in IC immediately and start figuring out what *YOU* want...not what you think 'other people' want for you, not what you think Hubby wants, not what you think will make friends/family happy. But YOU. Just YOU. If YOU'RE not happy/healthy, then there is NO WAY you can make ANY relationship (family, friend, spouse) work well.

You are so conflicted about whether to remain married (out of guilt, loyalty, force of habit (9 years' worth of habit), love -- if there is any and it's buried under there) or to get divorced (out of frustration, emptiness, realization that there is not a strong enough love to sustain this relationship any longer) that I don't think that YOU can sort this out while you're in the middle of it.

Since you have the financial independence to move out, why don't you? Continue with the MC, get into IC and see how a counselor can help you FOCUS on the positives/negatives of your relationship with H as well as your relationship with others (you're a 'people-pleaser'). See WHY you act/feel the way you do. See WHAT you want out of your life and HOW to achieve it. Is this marriage a viable relationship that can be changed and help you achieve YOUR GOALS for a HAPPY LIFE? I can't say, and you can't either. You need an objective COUNSELOR to help you see things as they REALLY ARE.

Good luck, and hang in there. But at the very least, GET INTO IC, please!
Slowly, thank you. The majority of the questions you asked are exactly what goes through my head all the time. On my part, I got married because I love my H and I thought things would fall into place once I became his wife. I told myself that he would see me as his equal and he would change his way of thinking. Believe me, I feel so foolish. On his part, I think he wanted to get married mostly out of obligation but also because he simply did not want to lose me. I have told him all through our relationship that he should realize how good he has it because no one would ever stay and put up with him. Now that I have told him I am through putting up with him and his behavior he truly has been making obvious changes. Will these changes stick? That is the main question and why I am struggling so bad.

I agree with you when you say I am codependent. I have been researching this a lot and have started to learn about it. I am now reading Codependent No More. I plan on continuing to educate myself and getting further help through IC. I really hope that this will help me figure out what I WANT. I have always been very indecisive and definitely a people pleaser. I have always struggled when it comes to making any type of decision.

Slowly, it's like you are inside my head and are able to put my feelings into words. I am very conflicted between staying married or getting a divorce for the exact reasons you mention. Just to clarify, when you say that I can't make a decision while I'm in the middle of it, what are you referring to? That I should move out?

When it comes to moving out I have no idea of where I can go. I am not close by my family and all of my friends are married and have young children. I feel like it would be wrong to get my own place and stick my H with all of the bills for our house. There would be no way I could swing paying for two places. One place, absolutely, I would be able to afford that.

I will stick with IC and continue working on me. Our MC said she would be willing to work with my H and me individually as well. I am really hoping she can stay objective and help focus on my issues so I can actually make a decision for ME. Thanks again to all of you for your support and advice. I really do appreciate it! If anyone else wants to add anything please do. I am always open to hear what you have to say.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So it's been almost two weeks since I've posted anything. I am still feeling so torn with my marriage and could use some more perspective. I would really appreciate hearing anything anyone has to offer. Sorry it got long but please bear with me. :)

In the last couple of weeks I have continued with IC. I saw our MC individually and have now started to see a new counselor completely. My H has taken no initiative to continue with IC even though our MC told him he needs to pursue this if he is going to move on from his past and learn how to build healthy realtionships. In the meantime, he goes about each day treating our situation as though it is non-existent. He is generally pleasant towards me and tries to carry on with small talk. However, there is no constructive conversation or affection between us at all. I have been sleeping in the guest room for the last few weeks and he doesn't say anything about it. It's as though he is oblivious to all of the problems going on. This is very frustrating for me.

I have initiated two conversations over the last couple of weeks to discuss our problems. He will not acknowledge that any changes need to take place beyond the surface-level issues. (Meaning showing affection and changing his general demeanor towards me) This is something I know he would be able to make a permanent change with. However, all of our other deep-rooted issues I'm not so sure his is willing or able to. Whenever I ask him if he thinks he can change the things I need him to his answer is very vague. "I think I can change a lot of things but not everything." It's an honest answer but he can't tell me what things he won't be able to change. Both of the conversations became heated and ended with him saying "just get the divorce papers then!!"

I recently was discussing our situtation with a girlfriend that I confide in. I was asked to name three things that I would change about my H if I could. Surprisingly this came very easily to me. They are:

#1: Partnership. I want him to be my partner in life and be able to share everything in it together. He has always been a very selfish person towards me and treated me as though I was out for his money or his belongings. I have never acted this way so I'm not sure where this comes from. We have always had seperate bank accounts and I've always supported myself financially. He always seems to keep a running tally in his head of who's paid for what or who did what task and when, all very petty matters that are a waste of time to me. In my opinion this is not how you treat your partner in life. We are supposed to be a team and work together yet he always seems to be working against me.

#2 Security. Mainly by this I mean emotional security. I have not felt emotionally secure in a very long time, if ever. I remember when we were dating and we would be having a great time together. I would start thinking that I better enjoy this while it lasts because it won't. Our relationship when it comes to emotions on my part has been a rollercoaster ride to say the least. He always has made me feel like I have to earn any affection. If I didn't do as he pleased I would be denied of any hugs, kisses, or general forms of affection. Yet he would still expect sex if he was in the mood. Now for the last several months I have not initiated any affection so it really doesn't happen at all.

-Secondly, I would like to have financial security in the sense that if I were to lose my job or have a major setback of some sort that my H would have my back as I would have his if he needed it. I truly feel that he would not. I would be made to feel guilty or shameful for "not preparing ahead of time." Also, when it comes to life insurance. After we were married I increased the amount of life insurance I have considerably so my H would have some security for a while should something happen to me. I told him I did this and asked if he would consider doing the same. He said he has life insurance through his work, a $10,000 policy and "that would be enough should I die." I told him that would barely cover the funeral expenses alone and asked how I was supposed to pay for our house and any other debt. He just said that I will be fine and can sell some assets. This was pretty devastating for me so I haven't brought it up since.

#3 Trust. My H trusts me to an extent but will never completely. I think my last two statements explain a lot of this clearly. Another aspect is that he has always been very insecure when it comes to me being around other men. When I was first dating him I had two very close male friends, they were more like brothers. There was no inkling of anything romantic between us, the thought actually grosses me out. Anyway, I had to let those friendships go in order to hang onto my H at the time. I've always had to prove to him that he is the only man in my life but he still acts this way today.

I am so torn between whether our marriage will work or not. On one hand all of the positive aspects of our relationship make me want to forget everything and move forward. On the other hand all of the negative things I've endured keep me from moving forward. So this is where I'm at an would appreciate any advice. Thanks in advance!
 
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