My husband and I dated for 1.5 years before we got married. We broke up A LOT, mostly because he wanted to “see what else was out there.” I caught him dating/talking to other girls lots of times; we would break up for a while, then he would usually initiate contact again, and I’d always take him back. A year and a half ago, I moved in with him. He hasn’t cheated on me since, and in June we decided to get married. We had a very small, very quick wedding and now we live in our own house.
Now, he’s starting to get antsy again and thinks about getting divorced often. He says he’s bored. He says I’m not “exciting” enough. He says he knows I’m a great wife and a good woman and that he married me for those reasons, but he wants something else, something more. I am pretty open sexually; we visit strip clubs and even had a threesome once. Lately, he’s been trying to sneak around and talk to girls behind my back. Nothing has worked out for him so far, but the idea that he’s trying is bad enough.
It’s not all bad, though. He can be very romantic and sweet; on the “good days” he treats me so wonderfully. But that’s the thing: one day he loves me so much and is so glad he married me, and the next day he can’t stand me and doesn’t want to be with me anymore. I love him very much and I try everyday to make him happy, but I feel like no matter what, it’s never enough. I don’t want to get divorced. We’ve only been married 5 months and I didn’t get married with the intention of just splitting up, but I’m not sure what more I can do. I’ve suggested counseling, and he’s not totally opposed to the idea, but I don’t want to go to counseling just so they can tell me that we need to split up. I’ll take any help I can get. — Newlywed Strife
GO TO COUNSELING. For the love of god, go!!! A good counselor isn’t going to tell you to break up. At least, not initially. A suggestion like that won’t come until plenty of talking and exercises have happened. Your husband is in dire need of some counseling. Your marriage is in dire need of counseling. It’s clear your husband has, at best, commitment issues. Beyond that, there may be a host of psychological issues at play that, until dealt with through professional guidance, will keep your marriage from being what you want and need it to be.
If your husband refuses to try counseling or if you go and find that after some time and multiple therapists—don’t just give up if you don’t like the first one—things aren’t getting any better, you should probably consider divorce (or an annulment). No, divorce is not ideal, but neither is being married to the utterly wrong person. In the meantime, please practice safe sex. The last thing you need is to produce a baby in a less-than-happy marriage … or to catch something from a man who sleeps with other women.
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to follow me on Twitter.
JK January 3, 2012, 7:15 am
One thing I´ll never understand is why people move in with/marry someone when they´re not happy in the relationship.
He cheated on you “lots of times” in the first 10 months (if my math is right), you “broke up A LOT” because he wanted to be with other women, what in the world made you thing it was a good idea to move in with the guy, let alone marry him.
I know now it´s too late, but these things make me lose a little more my faith in humanity.
LW, get counseling, with your husband and by yourself, so you can figure out what exactly drove you to do this, and so you won´t make the same mistakes again.
JK January 3, 2012, 7:17 am
And yes, yes, yes to Wendy´s last paragraph. PLEASE do not reproduce, babies do not fix marriages. And “accidents” are not that hard to prevent.
Kerrycontrary January 3, 2012, 10:54 am
Yeh, I don’t get why they got married but they did. The unfortunate thing is even if this couple seeks counseling (and it seems like it will be difficult to get him to go), they will never “get back to a good place” because there never was a good place. The first 10 months of a relationship should be a wonderful period that you can always look back on to remember why you are with that person. All the LW has to refer to when talking about good times is a few choppy romantic moments that may be ripped away the next day when she catches her husband talking to another woman. Their frankly doesn’t seem to be much worth saving in this relationship.
Kerrycontrary January 3, 2012, 10:55 am
*oops there not their, I HATE that
JK January 3, 2012, 11:40 am
I agree completely with you, unfortunately it sounds like LW would like to save this marriage (I have no idea why).
theattack January 3, 2012, 12:17 pm
I think she only wants to save the marriage to keep from having the embarrassment of a divorce. LW, lots of people get divorced. One-fifth of all divorces are from couples who have been married less than 2 years. And guess what? There are even more couples who SHOULD have divorced then but didn’t. You are not alone! Divorce is no longer a stigma like it used to be. Please consider it for your own sake.
Amy January 3, 2012, 6:59 pm
I should have divorced at 5 years and waited till 8 – SO dumb to waste all that time. When the time is right to get divorced – do it. And to heck with anyone who judges you. Good Luck – and I’m so sorry that you have so much misery. May 2012 bring you more happiness than 2011.
LTC039 January 3, 2012, 10:58 am
THIS! You hit the nail on the head… Why would you MARRY someone who you had a horrible relationship with?? People aren’t taking marriage seriously anymore, they don’t realize how difficult it truly is & how a good foundation is absolutely necessary to make a marriage work. I think her husband has some issues… After all that breaking up, they had a super fast wedding? Why? So he wouldn’t change his mind before the wedding? It’s all very bizarre… all in all, yeah go to counseling, but if her husband has something deeper within, this marriage isn’t going to last or she’s going to be stuck in a miserable marriage…
cporoski January 3, 2012, 2:39 pm
This seems really harsh. She made a decision that seemed right at the time. Now she has a choice. Wendy is right, counceling is best. But, LW, if you want to fight for your marriage then you should. That is a choice that only you can make. If it isn’t worth it, then start the process of moving on.
Painted_lady January 3, 2012, 3:13 pm
Yes!!! As someone who just moved in with a SO, I’m completely shocked that anyone who wasn’t 100% sure about their relationship would do this. My relationship is awesome – nowhere near perfect, but very healthy and we communicate well and almost never disagree to the point where it escalates to argument – and it still scared the hell out of me to sign the lease and move in with him!
oppositeofzen January 3, 2012, 4:45 pm
Thank God someone else feels like this. My guy and I just moved in together last week and I was starting to wonder if this was normal.
Painted_lady January 3, 2012, 6:24 pm
Oh seriously, it’s scary stuff. I keep panicking and wondering if I’ve gotten myself in over my head. And this is a guy I love like crazy, has been my best friend for 16 years, and dated him for nearly 18 months! I’ve even seen him in other breakups and know his exit strategy is always to be as classy and kind as possible, so even if something were to happen I know he wouldn’t kick me out unannounced or steal my dog or something, and I still have moments now and then where I go, “How am I possibly ready for this?!?!” I’m as sure about this as I could possibly be, and I’m still freaking out.
katie January 3, 2012, 8:07 pm
i feel this way about marriage! lol moving in wasnt as big of a deal, i think because i know i can still leave rather easily, but marriage… yikes. even though i know im gonna marry him someday!
we were actually talking about this last night and he thinks im crazy. lol its very hard to articulate exactly what it is… but i understand what you mean!
Renee January 3, 2012, 7:59 am
So much here that other then seeking counselling is the only suggestion.
It seems that your husband has had that something else and more…. and he still isn’t happy. Hopefully the both of you can work out what’s truly missing.
ReginaRey January 3, 2012, 8:13 am
I hope this will serve as a stoic reminder to other women to NEVER, EVER, EVER marry a man who’ve you’ve had a tumultuous, on and off, unhealthy relationship with. Marriage doesn’t fix anything, or make your man any more committed to you. Commitment, and marriage, is a mentality, not a legal state of being.
As for the LW, while Wendy’s advice to go to counseling should be taken to heart, I’m personally not sure that this marriage is worth fixing. Quite frankly – You shouldn’t have married him in the first place. I understand YOUR desire to want to make the relationship and marriage work – as evidenced by your desire to go to counseling, as well as your agreeing to always get back together with him after he dumped you – but your husband CANNOT say the same.
This isn’t a pattern that’s recently surfaced. He’s been jerking you around, and you’ve been allowing it, as long as you’ve known him. Marriage is about a lot of very serious values – trust, commitment and respect, to name a few – and your relationship/marriage seems to NEVER have had a solid base built of those values. Your husband doesn’t seem to respect you, or the institution of marriage, and in my opinion…he’s already proven that it’s not going to change. I wouldn’t drag yourself through any more heartache for someone who’s proven he’s not going to be the kind of partner you need.
Oh, and even more frankly, this relationship is clearly awful for your mental health. The constant ups and downs and break ups and reunions and him loving you one day and being bored and ready to leave you the next…I’m sure all of that has done a number on your confidence. It’s likely that you’re feeling very insecure about yourself and your relationship…which makes you cling harder to it, which is very unhealthy. As a rule, at least as far as I’m concerned, you should never stay with someone who makes you feel worse about yourself.
Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com January 3, 2012, 9:59 am
Undoubtedly it will be hard for LW to hear your words but they ring loud and true to me. Especially the last bit about clinging. I hope LW will take a chance on something more and someone better. Once you have a taste of REAL love (mutual, exciting, respectful, fulfilling love), you would never ever except less. I hope LW recognizes that she IS worthy of that and there are others out there more deserving than her husband who should have the chance to prove it to her.
Rachel January 3, 2012, 12:50 pm
Ah, so much yes to your last sentence. If only I could go back in time and tell my younger self that. Oh well, I had to live through the bad relationship to get to the healthy one I’m in now.
Christy January 3, 2012, 11:07 pm
“Commitment, and marriage, is a mentality, not a legal state of being.”
Like x 1000! Marrying or having a baby with someone is not going to make them more committed. The legal agreement is just a sign of the commitment.
Heather January 4, 2012, 3:30 pm
I can’t agree with this enough. I absolutely completely fail to understand, and am sure I never will, why women think that marriage/moving in together/having a baby will fix a relationship that is essentially fucked (excuse my language but it’s the best way I can express my frustration on this topic).
DON’T DO THIS. SERIOUSLY.
L January 3, 2012, 8:22 am
I agree counseling is your best option, but I’m with ReginaRey here — I don’t think your marriage is worth saving. It pains me to say that because ideally EVERY marriage would be happy and EVERY marriage would work out, but this marriage unfortunately was doomed from the start.
For the record, when a relationship is rocky at best, moving in together and/or getting married won’t solve the issues. If nothing else the problems will escalate exponentially. LW, even if your husband won’t go to counseling with you, do yourself a favor and get yourself into counseling. I think it would do wonders for you. Good luck!
JK January 3, 2012, 8:33 am
Your 1st paragraph is very true. Unfortunately the institution of marriage is dragged through the mud by so many people (Kardashian, SInead O´Connor, and so many many non famous people)
Everybody should be able to get married (luckily in my country they can), but wouldn´t it be great if there was some kind of marriage ed? I´m sure it would cut way down on the divorce rate.
While we´re at it, parenting ed as well.
caitie_didn't January 3, 2012, 8:46 am
Sinead O’Connor can get married for 2 weeks, Kim can get married for 72 days, but “OMG the GAY AGENDA is ruining marriage in America!!!”. I’m from Canada, where same-sex marriage ain’t no thang anymore but it boggles my mind how Americans are so opposed to it when they are the same country responsible for the Kardashians and the Real Housewives.
JK January 3, 2012, 8:56 am
“Kim Kardashian files for divorce after 72 days. Another example of how same-sex marriage is destroying the sanctity of the very institution.” – George Takei.
I love him.
Landygirl January 3, 2012, 10:31 am
Hello! Oh my.
mcminnem January 3, 2012, 8:54 pm
He’s my favourite.
L January 3, 2012, 8:56 am
caitie_didn’t, it doesn’t make sense to me either. Unfortunately the people with much more money and much more power (and in many cases much more stupidity) are the ones in the public eye and that’s how the rest of the world sees us Americans. I honestly think if it was put to vote, most states would pass a same sex marriage amendment.
You know, I’ve always wondered: why are the Kardashians even famous?? Seriously…they have no talent. I mean, anyone can be pretty all the time if they had the gaggle of hair make up artists that the Kardashians have.
va-in-ny January 3, 2012, 11:03 am
Most profitable sex tape EVER
L January 3, 2012, 8:47 am
I agree JK. It pains me to see divorce rates as high as they are. I think if people took their time in deciding to get married — as in spending enough time getting to know their significant other and to make sure important decisions are made PRIOR to getting married — we would have a smaller divorce rate. I know that some churches have mandatory pre-marriage counseling before the couple gets married and I think they’re on the right track. When couples have means like that to talk things out BEFORE tying the knot, there’s a stronger base to build off of during the marriage.
Don’t even get me started on Kim Kardashian…ugggghhh. All she wanted was a big party and a publicity stunt.
JK January 3, 2012, 8:52 am
My friends who have been married in Catholic church have been to pre-marriage courses (can´t remember the proper name), I find it kind of funny that a priest gives advice on how to maintain a good marriage. 🙂
artsygirl January 3, 2012, 9:01 am
Precana – other religions also have it. I was raised Catholic but got married in an Episcopal service and had to take an extensive scantron worksheet and meet with the minister multiple times leading up to our wedding.
Renee January 3, 2012, 9:17 am
My husband and I helped out in our Pre-Cana weekends at out parish. We would have a few married couples help lead the weekend, and we would talk about the differing stages of our marriage. The worksheets were solely between the couples, but their were group discussions.
We emphasized that marriage is an act of free will. If a couple decided after Pre-Cana not to get married then that’s not a failure, it means we did our job.
For those who are married, once we get engaged it’s all about the wedding and we forget about the strengths of the relationship. There is a lot of power play between families, intended or unintended. A weekend in which a couple can focus back on why they want to be married in the first place, and let the remainder of the engagement period to be a tad less stressful.
BTW has there been any studies on a correlation between the wedding industry and divorce rates/marriage unhappiness?
L January 3, 2012, 9:37 am
Thanks for explaining that, Renee!
L January 3, 2012, 9:02 am
Ha, that’s true. Oh the irony… I think its purpose is mainly to open up conversation about some of the big decisions in their marriage. I’m not married, but I think that’s the way to go! If everyone was required to do some sort of pre-mariage course like that, more marriages would start off on the right foot.
cporoski January 3, 2012, 9:28 am
It isn’t a priest. it is married couples in the church. You have to meet with the priest separately but precana is married couples and very, very valuable.
JK January 3, 2012, 9:42 am
It might be different in different countries. I know my friends (several different couples in different parishes) had to meet with the priest, along with other couples.
Red_Lady January 3, 2012, 8:51 pm
I’m getting married in a Catholic church, and my fiance & I recently met with the priest that will marry us, who brought up that very point. And his explanation was that, as a priest, he hears all about approximately 500 different marriages as a confessor and counselor. Besides, those who can’t, teach.
FancyPants January 3, 2012, 7:26 pm
Not to claim I’m the most perfect person ever or never make a mistake or anything, but I don’t understand why people rush into marriage. I’ve never heard a successful married couple say “gee, I wish we had gotten married sooner.”
My fiance and I have been together for four years, engaged for 9 months and will be getting married right around our fifth anniversary. I knew I wanted to marry him on date number 5, and he told a few mutual friends that he already knew I was the one early on.
The thing about marriage is, you’re married for the rest of your life. There’s no rush and no need to put pressure on your relationship – and yes, getting married and getting a house after less than a year of exclusivity and a rocky start is rushing and is putting a lot of pressure on things. I feel like it’s been a luxury to spend so much time working on our relationship when the stakes weren’t high.
I know not every couple can have the luxury to date for years before getting married – military couples, older couples concerned about fertility, etc. And I know that sometimes you just know about somebody right away – I know I did. But for every couple I know who got married within a short time and lo and behold is still together and happy 30 years later, I know 3 couples who got married too soon and fell apart.
Sigh, anyway, in short, I agree with your point.
katie January 3, 2012, 8:14 pm
that is exactly why when my boyfriend and I moved in together, i told him that he had to wait ATLEAST a year to ask me to marry him. that time we have had together has made it that much more solid in my head that he is my “one”. marriage still scared the crap out of me, but i know that it’ll be him.
and we will be doing pre marital counseling for sure, and i made him promise that.
katie January 3, 2012, 8:12 pm
i would just like to give a shout out to bittergaymark who introduced me to the word “kartrashians”. i think that should replace their real name in all media outlets.
Budj January 3, 2012, 8:24 am
Sounds like he is pushing for an open marriage to me.
Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com January 3, 2012, 10:02 am
And if the LW was open to the idea (ex: threesome they had), that might be fine but I am pretty sure an open marriage is not open simply because the spouse is “not exciting” enough. Meanwhile, there seems to be very little about his extramarital affairs that have been “open” –in fact it sounds like a long list of deceptions 🙁
(btw, not disputing your words at all, just adding to them)
ReginaRey January 3, 2012, 10:05 am
Seconded. Sounds like she’s been agreeing to things (like threesomes) not because she’s into it, but in order to keep him from leaving her. I can’t emphasize enough how wrong that is.
Budj January 3, 2012, 10:31 am
yea – I agree with you. She won’t be satisfied with it (stop destroying your self-esteem, LW) and he is being scummy about it and will be with the next girl too.
Phoenix January 3, 2012, 11:50 am
I agree, sounds like his nature is poly (polyamorous) and hers is monogamous. Wouldn’t life be easier if monogamous people only married other monogamous people and poly people only married other poly people.
First we have to stop shaming people for being poly in our culture. Then those who are poly by nature might not feel pressured to conform or hide their nature. This would reduce the lying and manipulating a great deal. When people feel they have to hide who they are naturally it will always come out sideways somewhere in their life. Ie. blaming her, not liking her etc.
My experience is that all humans fall somewhere along a spectrum from swingers to poly to monogamous. Most relationships that I observe as being “successful” by our cultural standards is when the people involved fall in similar places on the spectrum. Also when their libidos have a similar pattern.
I am not making any excuses for his behavior, I don’t think that anyone should make a commitment that there is very minimal possibility they can follow through on. I also agree with something Wendy said once, “I don’t believe once a cheater always a cheater, but I do believe always a cheater always a cheater.” His behavior is reprehensible , and her denial is humongous . This is doomed, but maybe they can both learn better to understand themselves and make better choices in the future.
oppositeofzen January 3, 2012, 12:41 pm
I’m not sure he’s poly. I have limited experience with polyamory, but I think this guy just wants to have a wife a home when it’s convenient and be single when it’s convenient. the way the LW talks about “catching” him talking/doing whatever with other women sounds more like cheating. If he was poly, I I think he would be more forthcoming about his needs without blaming the LW for not being “exciting enough.”
Fabelle January 3, 2012, 3:17 pm
Yeah, not every cheater is just a poly attempting to conform to societal norms (or their monogamous partner’s wishes). Some people are just cheaters who would still like to have a faithful S/O at home.
The LW’s husband doesn’t seem secure enough to let her go & explore the desires he obviously has. And she’s apparently not secure enough to kill the relationship that she’s already spent way too much time on. LW– even if you get counselling or manage to work things out on your own, he’s probably going to get “antsy” again in a few months or even years.
Phoenix January 3, 2012, 10:37 pm
I think people who are simply cheaters are much better at hiding their behaviors, and it seems he’s not even really attempting to hide it. It appears his behavior of lashing out and blaming her for any perceived inadequacies in their relationship are how it is coming out sideways.
Obviously when people aren’t ok with who they are it can lead to very poor choices that negatively affect themselves and others around them.
I have watched the process of coming out as poly more than a few times, and rarely is it pretty.
Phoenix January 3, 2012, 10:39 pm
Effect not affect, sorry. 🙁
Emsz January 4, 2012, 4:40 am
No, you were correct the first time 😉
oppositeofzen January 4, 2012, 8:28 am
I disagree that cheaters can hide it better. While most people who cheat may be able to hide it better, what’s his incentive to hide it? He knows she’ll take him back and things will go back to the way they were before.
I realize there’s a point I forgot to mention. I think that a poly would be open and honest about what he/she feels and what he/she needs. And from the letter I think he’s not being open and honest, which to me is cheating.
I dated a guy a while back who professed to being poly, but he wasn’t open or honest about what he wanted. And according to him, it was ok for him to do that, but God forbid I do it.
sweetleaf January 3, 2012, 8:26 am
Ew. Ew. Ew. This guy is garbage.
SC January 3, 2012, 10:24 am
I wouldn’t call him “garbage,” he sounds more like someone who doesn’t know himself well enough to realize that he has no right to make a monogamous commitment to anyone. It seems that he’d be better off in an open marriage, and LW (I feel for you, I really do), but if you’re looking for a monogamous commitment, I don’t think you’ll find it with this guy. If what you want is to be with someone who is thrilled to be with you and only you – you’re not going to find it with this man.
I think it would be kinder to call it quits while you are both still young enough to have plenty of other options while seeking a true partner for life.
SC January 3, 2012, 10:39 am
Sorry to reply on my own comment – but I left one thing out. When you wrote: “one day he loves me so much and is so glad he married me, and the next day he can’t stand me and doesn’t want to be with me anymore,” as a mental health professional, this sentence screams bi-polar disorder. I’d urge you, the LW, to read up on this condition (for your own peace of mind if nothing else). An older but classic book on bi-polar disorder is titled, “I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me.”
Kerrycontrary January 3, 2012, 10:51 am
I don’t know if this guy is bi-polar, but I certainly think he is manipulative. Manipulating someone’s feelings and putting them down (i.e. saying you aren’t “exciting” enough) is classic emotional abuse.
Stephanie January 3, 2012, 12:12 pm
Sorry to be ‘that person’, but “I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me” is about borderline personality disorder, a totally different disorder. (We had this discussion about bipolar vs. BPD in response to another LW, methinks.) As another mental health professional, I’d say that you definitely can’t diagnose a person given one sentence, but this man does sound like he could use some counseling. Then again, I think we could all use some counseling 🙂
SC January 3, 2012, 2:24 pm
You’re right Stephanie, I meant to write borderline personality disorder – thanks for catching that.
katiebird January 3, 2012, 12:36 pm
bi-polar is an explanation but not an excuse, many bi-polar people have fulfilling and loving relationships with their spouses, and this is not one of them. i don’t want the letter writer to think that his treatment of her is acceptable because it is “out of his control”. it very well may be out of his control, but it is still wrong and unhealthy for the LW.
ReginaRey January 3, 2012, 10:45 am
I honestly don’t know if this guy would be better off in an open marriage. Open marriages, while not monogamous, still require trust and honesty and being OPEN with your spouse. This guy seems to enjoy the deceit and the sneaking behind her back and the lying…which wouldn’t work in an open relationship, either. I think this guy is just a douchebag who needs to be left to his own devices.
SC January 3, 2012, 11:05 am
I agree, some people do derive a sick pleasure from betrayal. It’s difficult to determine if that is the case with LW’s husband, or if he is just too immature to know himself well enough to be honest with himself or his wife. The statements that he made to his wife in regards to “not being exciting enough” and “wanting to see what else is out there” seem to point to immaturity rather than an enjoyment of sneaking around. If he truly enjoyed cheating on his wife, I don’t think that he would make these kinds of admissions to her. He seems to be asking for a way out of this commitment.
CatsMeow January 3, 2012, 1:08 pm
Yeah, I’m getting that he loves her and wants to be with her and wants all the stability that a wife/marriage brings to his life, but isn’t happy with just ONE person.
However, poly or open relationships can’t work unless both people agree on the terms AND they remain open and honest with each other about their extramarital activities. (Unless it’s a “don’t ask, don’t tell” thing – which still has to be agreed upon).
kittyk January 3, 2012, 11:43 am
I think that is the problem in a lot of relationships/marriages- one partner simply shouldn’t be in a monogamous relationship but either doesn’t realize it or doesn’t want to lose their partner so agrees to it, only to be unhappy and stray down the line.
SouthernGirlNow January 3, 2012, 8:28 am
LW you owe it to yourself to respect yourself a LOT more!!! You don’t deserve a guy who treats you well half of the time. You deserve a man who treats you well ALL of the time! If your husband was willing to try to work things through I would understand that this marriage might be salvageable, but the fact that he won’t even goes to counseling shows that he’s not ready/doesn’t want to deal with his issues. You cannot force him to confront his issues. As hard as it might be to MAO from your husband (as seen by the fact that you couldn’t MAO when he was just your boyfriend), you need to think about which future you want a long and happy one with a man that treats you well or one where you’re worrying about your husband still chasing around other women in the nursing home.
Will.i.am January 3, 2012, 8:45 am
He never wanted to get married. He’s somewhat getting to have his cake and eat it too. Your “husband” will be the most happy when you let him do what he wants to do and screw what he wants to screw. He will only be happy when you let him do whatever he wants. If not, he will continue to push the envelope till you have the courage to leave him for good.
Therapy is your only option, but this whole situation screams insecurity on your part. You wanted to make something work, while your husband just played “yes man.” Your husband is a jerk and clearly wants or needs to be independent until he can get whatever he has out of his system, if he ever gets it out of his system. What he’s going through could or could not be a phase. Run while you can and get mentally and emotionally healthy.
Anna January 3, 2012, 8:49 am
Wow. This guy sounds like a jerk, straight up. He doesn’t want a wife; he wants a doormat. So far you’ve been exactly that for him, taking him back every time he decides he wants you and forgiving him every time he cheats on you. That’s no way to live!! If you want to save this marriage, counseling is a definite MUST. If he won’t start treating you respectfully, you will have to consider the other option: MOA!!
caitie_didn't January 3, 2012, 8:51 am
This guy? Is gross. He doesn’t respect you, at all, LW. At best, he has serious commitment issues, and at worst, he’s an immature, narcissistic ass hat who is used to getting exactly what he wants, whenever he wants it. Honestly, I wouldn’t even bother with marriage counselling because this is a marriage that has no chance of being saved. He is clearly not even the least bit invested. However, the LW should probably seek out counselling to understand why she felt it would be a good idea to move in with and subsequently marry a man with whom she had an already unstable relationship.
MiMi January 3, 2012, 8:59 am
A counselor may not tell you to get a lawyer and get out, but I will! You cannot fix someone who is broken like this, no matter how much you try or how much love you give… Do you really have to live in an emotional whirlwind, snatching at crumbs of affection on those few occasions when he’s not actively trying to cheat on you and telling you how uninteresting and unattractive you are? Must every tear be shed and all vestiges of your self-respect and self-esteem be destroyed before you can admit that this is far, far from okay on any level? Please don’t wait that long…
Allison January 3, 2012, 9:06 am
Wendy’s right. A counselor won’t tell you to split up. When couples go to counseling, the purpose is to try to work things out so they can stay together. Though, if you go to a counselor by yourself because he won’t go, that may be a different story. I hope you guys are able to work things out. However, I’m not sure it’s going to help. It sounds less like you guys have a disagreement to work out and more like that he’s not mature enough to commit himself to one woman. Five months in, you shouldn’t have to consider the days in which your husband is nice to you “good days.” There are plenty of men out there who are nice to their wives every day. And if you do find yourself on the market again, make sure that the guys you’re dating treat you well before marriage, too, because they aren’t going to get better as husbands.
amber January 3, 2012, 9:06 am
I think you need to go to marriage counseling because maybe then you will listen to someone who tells you that this is not normal. It’s not normal to not be able to stand your spouse so much that you think about divorce and the next day suddenly be in love. Like others have said above moving in, getting engaged, getting married, kids, etc. do not fix problems in your relationship. The only way to fix them is to talk about them or seek outside help to learn to talk about them.
artsygirl January 3, 2012, 9:10 am
I wonder if the fact that you had a quickie low key marriage ceremony is allowing him the excuse that you aren’t ‘really’ married because there wasn’t all the trimmings so common with weddings today. (For the record, married is married no matter if you had a 100k ceremony or 5 minutes in front of a judge). If you really want to save this marriage, go to a counselor, but know that you will probably have a hard time with getting him to go. I imagine after the first meeting your husband is going to realize that this is going to take work (like being faithful) and that he isn’t likely to get his way (open marriage while you sit at home twiddling your thumbs) then he is going to start pouting and having temper tantrums because LW, I have a strong feeling that you married a toddler in a man’s body.
oldie January 3, 2012, 10:14 am
This is so much crap. It sounds like an ad for the wedding industry. Gee, if only I’d spent $50K on the wedding, perhaps this louse would be faithful to me? Really? Yes, married is married. Also, even just agreeing to dating exclusivity is a commitment that does not permit cheating. If you’re tired of your partner and the two of you can’t work it out, leaving may be the answer, but cheating is not.
theattack January 3, 2012, 1:34 pm
It doesn’t sound like an ad to me. You have to admit that in our wedding-crazy culture, people associate marriage with weddings. Without that initial step that comes to mind, a person could fail to register the seriousness of the marriage. It’s not right or good, but it definitely happens.
artsygirl January 3, 2012, 2:49 pm
I am sorry that you do not like my response, but I think it label it as ‘crap’ is a bit of an over reaction. As I wrote, having a massive blow out wedding does not make you any more married than standing up in front of a judge in the courthouse. I was merely picking up on the fact that the LW described her marriage as “very small, and very quick”. I feel like the only reason why she would address it in this way was because a) it was impulsive, and/or b) because it doesn’t seem real (either to her or him). Since she is actively working to make her marriage work, I felt that it is likely him how somehow saw the ceremony as impermanent. I agree that cheating is never the answer, and that leaving him is probably the inevitable outcome – especially coupled with the fact that his behavior sounds unstable and possibly verbally and emotionally abusive.
Marina January 3, 2012, 9:35 am
He’s said he doesn’t want to be married to you. He’s said wants to get a divorce. He’s already picking out the women he’s going to cheat on you with. WHY do you want to continue being married to a man who doesn’t want you?
I’m so sorry, I know it’s hard to hear, but please don’t think so little of yourself that you think you need to cling to a man who doesn’t want you. You deserve so much more than this childish, selfish loser. There are MUCH better men out there. Leave the bum and go find yourself a better life.
parton_doll January 3, 2012, 11:13 am
Exactly what I was thinking. Just to add … LW, go to counseling yourself. This relationship seems like it has been toxic for you and you may need some help working through it so that your next relationship can be healthier for you.
Even if you decide to stay with your husband, consider individual counseling as a way to build yourself up. You have made yourself responsible for your husband and you are not responsible for anyone else’s happiness but your own. You can not make your husband happy. But you deserve to make yourself happy.
Jiggs January 3, 2012, 11:23 pm
Yes to this. He is telling you who he is and what he wants. Listen to him.
Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com January 3, 2012, 9:40 am
I’m sorry you are going through this LW. What seems most important to me is that you have a partner and a marriage that doesn’t impede on your self-respect. And it seems clear from the many examples you’ve given, that this marriage is chipping away at your personal boundaries –the most basic and simple needs that a spouse demands.
For that I am sorry. Get counseling for yourself first and foremost and work out what it is that keeps you in this relationship –why have you committed to someone who has demonstrated (in his actions) that he cannot commit to you. Why have you not chosen a partner who loves you without conditions and the need for outside stimulation? Work through those questions with a therapist and see if your marriage can be saved.
There is much better out there and you deserve so much more than this.
ReginaRey January 3, 2012, 10:09 am
I agree that no one “deserves” to have a spouse who calls them boring, who cheats on them, who makes them feel like garbage. But then again, I sometimes take issue with the “you deserve more than this” statement.
We don’t all “deserve” a great relationship simply because we exist. Sometimes, we have to work hard to better ourselves, to gain awareness and self-fulfillment, before we’re truly ready or “deserve” a good relationship. As all of us have said, I think the most important thing is for her to go to counseling WITHOUT the husband. Because until she can gain self-awareness, discover why it is she’s clung to something so unhealthy, why she thinks this is the only possibility for her life…then she won’t have yet “deserved” anything more. It’s hard, I’ve gone through it, but entirely worth it.
Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com January 3, 2012, 10:55 am
I think this is an excellent point RR about what you owe yourself and your future partner in terms of being “ready” for a relationship. I whole-heartedly agree with this idea and often endorse the same.
What I am getting at with the “deserving” statement is that people with cruel/abusive spouses often absorb the message that this is all they are worth. And of course many times this is a spill-over from childhood. In any case, I said that to LW because that is often the very difficult FIRST step toward walking away –loving yourself and believing that you deserve more. It can be very hard to tell yourself that and sometimes it can be VERY cathartic and healing to hear it from others.
Kerrycontrary January 3, 2012, 10:58 am
RR, I love “We don’t all “deserve” a great relationship simply because we exist.” The quality of a relationship is based on the quality of the two people in that relationship. If you are not a person of dignity/respect/maturity/etc… then you will not attract that type of person. We all need to work on ourselves before we bring someone else into our own messiness.
Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com January 3, 2012, 11:07 am
Thinking more on this, I’d add that there is a basic respect we owe all (well almost all) human beings simply because they are human beings –i.e. because they exist.
And the behavior described by LW falls well below that minimum in my opinion. Therefore, she does deserve more –much more. And I hope she absorbs that message entirely.
I know much of this is semantics. I believe both are true.
* You don’t get a perfect partner by simply wanting one. You have to make yourself desirable. Many on here have heard my bird metaphor before. Basically I believe that true love is a rare bird that you cannot summon but you can feather your nest and make it the best nest around so that when that it does fly by, it just might choose your place to land.
* There is a basic ethic of how human beings should treat one another in the sanctity of a romantic partnership. You don’t have to earn it. It’s in the contract.
ReginaRey January 3, 2012, 12:14 pm
I definitely agree with everything you’ve said. All humans deserve basic respect, period. And I agree that a lot of people have trouble belieiving that they deserve basic respect, or any respect/love/consideration/trust/committment, etc. No matter this LW’s shortcomings, she doesn’t deserve to be in an emotionally abusive relationship. She needs professional help to realize that she can do better than an immature asshat.
Will.i.am January 3, 2012, 11:51 am
ReginaRay, I love you!! Haha
This is what I tell all my friends back home. Just because you are in a position to have a relationship does not mean that you deserve one. Once I realized that for myself, the idea of a relationship became less important. What became more important was getting to know myself and surround myself with what makes me happy. Once I was able to make myself happy, I can see that I’m more capable of making other people around me happy as well.
I no longer have the desire to force a relationship to work and I accept that sometimes I will strike out, or feel that I’m being pressured into something I don’t want to be in and leave it alone.
If more people could focus on making themselves happy, I believe the “forcing” of a relationship wouldn’t happen so often. I’ve forced them in my past and it led me to being single everytime. I rather be happy and single than forcing a relationship that makes me single.
Public Pearl January 3, 2012, 9:48 am
“It’s not all bad, though.”
Sounds all bad to me.
I say go to counseling, even if this marriage can’t/shouldn’t be saved, because you at the very least need counseling to discover why it is you stayed with this man in the first place.
oldie January 3, 2012, 10:11 am
I don’t think counseling is a good approach. The longer you stay with this guy and the more you try to fight your way through counseling to save this bad marriage, the more emotionally committed you are going to become and the harder it is going to be to walk away. You definitely need to walk away. The best course of action is divorce, followed by counseling for yourself. You need to find out why you are attracted to this sort of super player and what you really need in a mate. Being treated well on the good days should not be enough for you. Your husband is not going to change. Players have mastered the arts of charm, flattery and flirting, so on the days he thinks you are worth the effort, I’m sure he can really pour on the affection. He seems to do that for a lot of women. Find a guy, whom you like the way he is now, on virtually every day, not a major emotional renovation project. Being super nice and loving to a guy who is not capable of commitment, because he just can’t form that strong an individual attachment and craves variety and the thrill and validation of the hunt, is not going to change him. It’ll just make him see you as too easy, not a challenge, not really worth the effort.
Landygirl January 3, 2012, 10:35 am
LW, it’s not that you aren’t exciting, it’s that your husband is a big buffoon. You don’t have enough self esteem to realize this because he’s always made it about you when in fact, it’s all about him and his shortcomings.
Also, please do as Wendy says and seek therapy and try to figure out why you would allow yourself to be treated so poorly. No one else can complete you, you must do that for yourself.
theattack January 3, 2012, 1:38 pm
I love your first paragraph! So so true. He’s redirecting the blame to her instead of owning up to his problem.
Kate B January 3, 2012, 10:38 am
Sorry, LW, my advice is to get a divorce, immediately. Generally, the way a man treats you before marriage is an indicator of how he will treat you after marriage. There are some out there who are good at hiding their true selves and this is why divorce exists, but this guy didn’t even do that. He told you who he was from the beginning. He will never be the husband you want. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in marriage, but I also believe that being married to the wrong person is the worst kind of hell. This man has pretty much made up his mind that he wants out. He has already told you that he has no respect for you or your feelings. Dump him and do not take him back. Then get counseling for yourself to find out why you stayed so long in this unhealthy relationship.
spot January 3, 2012, 10:43 am
I generally think that if you break up, something about the relationships is broken, and getting back together will probably bring you back to the same situation that led to the initial breakup. All problems resurface eventually and they will probably become increasingly hard to deal with as the relationship gets deeper. That’s not to say that all breakups can be put under this generalization; in some cases, the problem can be fixed, but in most cases, it won’t be.
Now that you are in this marriage, definitely take Wendy’s advice and seek counseling. But IMO this marriage never should have happened if all of the details the LW provided about their initial relationship are true (and I assume they are).
jaybro January 3, 2012, 11:01 am
Whoa, whoa, whoa. If the man I was married to told me that I was “not exciting”, I would be angry. Really? Not exciting?? If he said he “can’t stand me”, I would be furious! Bitch please!! What kind of husband says that!? Or even if he hasn’t actually said that, makes his wife feel that way!? And if he said he “doesn’t want to be with me anymore”, I would LISTEN TO HIM and peace the hell out!!!
But you say you don’t want to get a divorce. Okay, cool beans, I respect that. So we’re gonna try the whole staying-married route first. But you also say that you don’t want counseling. And I’m sorry, but in this case, it seems to be one choice or the other. This isn’t magically going to fix itself, and you are making yourself miserable by trying to do it all yourself anyway. So let’s get some asses into counseling! Couples’ counseling obviously, and frankly, you and your husband could use some time working out individual problems as well (especially your husband). Do it. If you don’t want a divorce, this is the other option.
Also, maybe he doesn’t think you’re “exciting”, because you’re bending over backwards to satisfy him! He doesn’t have to do ANYTHING in the relationship because you’re doing EVERYTHING. So, food for thought there, yeah? Stop “trying everyday to make him happy”, and start trying to make yourself happy.
And at the end of the day (and by day I mean months of counseling), if things don’t change, peace the hell out.
Trixy Minx January 3, 2012, 2:35 pm
I am getting the feeling that the husband’s life is unfulfilled and he source of “excitement” is solely the LW job to fill.
Bossy Italian Wife January 3, 2012, 11:12 am
Marriage, as I am sure you are learning, is a lot of work… each day can feel like work at times and it ain’t a bed of roses! You need to be in couples counseling AND individual counseling if you ask me! Run–don’t walk–to the therapy couch pronto! And definitely take Wendy’s advice on the children thing!
Perhaps you can both rise to the occasion and have a great marriage. Perhaps you won’t. Not all marriages pan out, but you should at least try, especially if he is open to therapy. Even though you fear a therapist telling you to split up, if you don’t go, he’s going to leave you.
LTC039 January 3, 2012, 11:17 am
As others have said, marriage is NOT a solution to a problem… It’s a choice between to people to share their lives together & build a new one. This CANNOT happen if you have had a terrible relationship before signing the paper. Marriage makes things harder, a lot harder…. My parents have been married for 26 years, happily, I’ll add. This is a fact, I have witnessed this all my life. I’m sure they’ve had their issues but at the end of the day, it is more than apparent their love trumps all. It’s not just the love though, BOTH of them are in it for the same reasons. I’m not married, but from talks I’ve had with my mom & just logic, I can say marriage is like being on a team. BOTH parties having to be playing for the same goal. You cannot build a relationship with someone who prefers going behind your back & being shady. I’m sorry, that’s not a judgement, it’s a reality. I really see this marriage doomed & I really don’t think you’ll be happy prolonging this situation further… I know you may see divorce as a failure, but if you really took marriage that seriously, you wouldn’t have married this guy in the first place. He may not be a bad guy, but he’s obviously a bad guy for you. Cut your losses, maybe you can even get the marriage annulled… & then focus on why you allowed yourself to be treated this way for so long.
Skyblossom January 3, 2012, 5:37 pm
You’re so right about being a team with the same goal. That sums up marriage so well. Shared values, shared objectives, shared fun and shared support make a huge difference.
Elle January 3, 2012, 12:07 pm
LW, if you won’t go to counseling, at least pick up Lundy Bancroft’s book “Why does he do that?…” on emotional abusers. I’m pretty sure you will recognize your husband as one of the types of abusers.
I would like to know how you react when he brings up divorce. If you’re upset, which is a normal reaction, he may do it for the thrill. He (maybe) likes to inflict pain, and then come back on his decision and make it all better. I think the same scenario played out in the form of the multiple breakups you two had before you got married.
Another hint that he is an emotional abuser, from what you wrote in, is the quickie wedding. Or, I should say, the very short engagement. You, LW, should have learned from the past, and you should have known that he was 99.99% sure to change his mind. You agreeing with it makes me think you’re gullible/inexperienced. As the other commenters said, you should get counseling for that.
And I am not a mental health proffessional, but I don’t think his behavior is normal. I don’t know that many people that go back on their decisions so often. I’m talking about him breaking up with you to be with other women, then coming back to you a month later. Out of all the women out there, he probably sensed that you are the only one willing to put up with his flippant behavior. Emotional abusers, manipulative people have a sixth sense for finding people like you, LW. (and me – I’ve been in an emotionally turned physically abusive relationship)
And next time he brings up divorce, call his bluff. React completely different from what you used to. It will throw him off. Also, give him an ultimatum. Tell him it’s the last time he will ever utter those words to you. If he changes his mind, he’s an emotionally manipulative person. Unfortunately, he won’t stop here. He will find other ways to inflict pain.
I hope you realize you can’t change him if he doesn’t want to. Hoping he will change won’t work either. I mean, marriage didn’t change him…. I hope you will give joint counseling a shot, and that things will get better.
NerdyArtGirl January 3, 2012, 12:58 pm
I know everyone is telling LW to get a counselor. I agree with getting a counselor/therapist for herself to work out her own problems. But as far as the marriage goes, what she really needs is to cut her losses and get a divorce lawyer. As much as I am a proponent of working things out, it sounds like this marriage isn’t ever worth working on. The way things have been going from what it sounds like, no amount of counseling is going to fix it.
plasticepoxy January 3, 2012, 1:19 pm
Except for the marriage part, this sounds just like an ex boyfriend of mine, down to the telling me that some days he loved me and some days he couldn’t stand me, and telling me I was boring/not exciting enough. I thought that I needed to change. I was right about part of that. I did need to change, to make myself happy. And I changed myself by leaving him; best thing (and one of the hardest) I have ever done for myself.
LW, I offer a suggestion my sister gave me once, altered to suit your situation: go for a trial separation. If being separated (I would suggest no contact for a set amount of time, so you can get your legs under you, along with professional counseling to help you work through the possible dissolution of your relationship) is better for you than being married to him, continue the process of dissolving the relationship. If it’s better for you to be married to him, you can resume your marriage knowing it’s on the right track.
If you were going to resume the relationship, I hope it would be with a set of standards for each party to follow, such as proper ways to communicate (not blaming the other party for your unhappiness, as he’s doing right now, that’s unproductive), fidelity, how to be respectful of each other, etc.
Through my dirty lens, I see an emotionally abusive man manipulating you into staying in a relationship that is harmful for you. I think you should leave him and not look back, except to remind yourself where you don’t want to be, and what to look out for in the future. I think counseling is very important for you, to understand why you think it’s okay for him to treat you as he has. YMMV.
AKchic January 3, 2012, 1:37 pm
You shouldn’t have married him. Since you did, all you can do now is get out of the marriage. He isn’t going to change. He didn’t change because you married him, did he? No. He won’t change now. Maybe in 20-30 years, but how many STD risks, illegitemite children, and Jerry Springer guest appearances are you willing to deal with?
Get out now, and start looking for some confidence in yourself. It’s what you need. You don’t need validation by having a “man” or a relationship, but in yourself. Good luck.
JK January 3, 2012, 1:40 pm
Yay, you´re back!!! I was just thinking it had been a while since I´d read any of your comments. 6napkinburger seems to be missing, as well.
And I love your comment, as usual. 🙂
AKchic January 3, 2012, 2:56 pm
Yeah – to say that I’ve been really sick is an understatement. I’ve managed to drop 12-14 pounds in the last 7 days thanks to it. The last few weeks of December have not been kind to me. My hand/wrist is almost healed up though 🙂 Shouldn’t scar too badly.
JK January 3, 2012, 3:03 pm
How horrible. That kind of sick is awful.
And what happened to your hand? Did a bear get you? 😀
AKchic January 3, 2012, 3:53 pm
*laugh* My grandpa happened to it. What happened was, in 1981, when my grandma went down to OR to visit my aunt, my grandpa got really drunk and broke the table leg. Him and my uncle (still in high school) glued it back together and put the table back together. They told nobody. In 2000 when my oldest was born, my grandpa gave me the table. My grandpa went to his grave in 2007 without telling anyone else about the table leg. Fast forward to the night of the 23rd and I leaned my hand on the table to stretch up and grab a picture hanging above it, and the leg gave out. Table went down, I went down (you get the idea). My left hand was sliced up, left wrist sliced up and gouged, entire left side bruised to hell. Should have gotten stitches, but I wasn’t going to the ER. What woman wants to admit that her table broke under her weight when she wasn’t even SITTING on it? *laugh* I did a quick patch up on it (I’m CPR certified) and then my EMT stepdad checked it the next day.
Called my grandma the next day, who called my uncle, who told her what they did in ’81. Glue lasted 30 years, impressive. Wish I knew which brand. Tabletop is still intact. A friend is a woodworker and going to make me new table legs this spring.
Of course, if my grandpa kept that a secret, we are now wondering what else he did/broke/fixed and kept quiet about that we’ve all got lying around waiting to break on us…
JK January 3, 2012, 4:29 pm
Holy crap, I remember you told us you were going to use that table (on the thanksgiving open thread?). Sounds painful, glad you´re doing better!!!
AKchic January 3, 2012, 4:37 pm
Could have been worse. *laugh* At least I’ve got a good story and I’ll have a decent scar to show off to compliment it! It could have been much, much worse. I mean, I could have blown off my fingers or lost my eyebrows making my own fireworks for NYE or something. *snicker* Of course, that does seem like a likely tale coming from me, now doesn’t it…?
katie January 3, 2012, 8:37 pm
it all started in 1981….
lol- thats a funny story!
Bagge72 January 3, 2012, 1:47 pm
Get an annulment and if you can’t then get a divorce. It seems that you are worried about what people are going to say since your marriage is only going to last 5 or 6 months, but I say don’t worry about that, because most likely everyone is talking crap behind your back anyways, and I’m sure they have through out this whole relationship. I would also guess this is why you got married after only a month of being engaged, because you thought so many people would protest. It seems like you have some inside information about your partner, and I say save that, because that will help you get an annulment. All of your friends are going to be relieved once you get rid of this guy, and will be there for you, and probably wont say I told you so.
JK January 3, 2012, 1:52 pm
“…most likely everyone is talking crap behind your back anyways…” so true.
I love your bluntness.
Bagge72 January 3, 2012, 2:54 pm
Yeah I don’t want to be mean, I just think that she needs to know that if she is holding onto this, because she is afraid of what people will think or say, they are already thinking or saying worse, because nobody wants to see there friend be stuck with an asshole, but everyone is either afraid to say it, or they have said it, and she just isn’t listening.
Painted_lady January 3, 2012, 3:05 pm
I so agree with this! The girl who was my best friend growing up would pick these really awful guys and hang onto them with the kind of tenacity that would put a pit bull to shame because if she left them, it meant she was wrong about them and everyone else was right. Except she just added “willfully blind” onto “completely wrong about this guy.” She never saved face, just got herself further enmeshed in their lives.
moonflowers January 4, 2012, 1:50 am
I’ve learned that the only way to snap myself out of similar behavior is to ask, “Would you rather be right, or would you rather be happy?” And 99% of the time, they’re mutually exclusive, and being happy almost always works out better than being “right.”
ReginaRey January 3, 2012, 1:58 pm
While she may have married in order to stave off the protests from more reasonable friends and family, I have a feeling she married him quickly in order to keep him around. Somehow, I think she thought marriage would lock him down in a way that simply being boyfriend-girlfriend couldn’t. Like I said earlier, commitment is a state of mind. No ceremony or piece of paper is going to change anyone’s state of mind, and as for her boyfriend, I doubt he ever took marriage and all that it entails very seriously. He’s definitely proven he’s not in the “married” frame of mind.
Bagge72 January 3, 2012, 2:55 pm
Oh I agree, I think both reasons are a major reason why she married this boy.
katie January 3, 2012, 11:50 pm
i dont think she has grounds for an annullment, unfortunately….
Temperance January 3, 2012, 2:01 pm
LW, your husband sounds like an emotional abuser. He’s berating you and making you feel bad about yourself (“not exciting?!?!” .. to me, that just screams that he wants some strange) so that he can do whatever the hell he wants while you work your butt off to please him.
I think you are a good person who wants to be married, and I think you would make a great partner to a guy who loves and respects you and women in general. Men who need to stick it in random chicks all the time generally don’t love and respect women.
I also think that you know that divorce is on the horizon. Good luck. <3
*HmC* January 3, 2012, 2:21 pm
I can’t believe this letter is real. Why in holy fuck would you marry someone that finds you “boring”, let alone someone who is a serial cheater? Nothing constructive to add I guess, sorry…
Leroy January 3, 2012, 4:02 pm
Save your self the time, money, and heartache and divorce him now.
Why would anyone even bother with a spouse that behaves that way?
And I’m not someone to throw around the term ‘abusive’, but his behavior really is abusive.
*HmC* January 3, 2012, 6:24 pm
Reading all the comments on this letter has reminded me of something I read on here long ago, I think by _JSW_ … is that his name? He basically pointed out the hypocrisy of this mentality that divorce is evil in the same country where you can hop to Vegas and marry someone you’ve known for 2 hours. Yet, when you want to get divorced, then the government steps in and makes you wait a minimum of 6 months before the divorce is finalized (that’s the number in California anyway), to supposedly give you a chance to think about what you’re doing. Why the roadblocks and stigma towards separating from a potentially horribly chosen mate, when getting a marriage in the first place is easier than getting a permit to add a bathroom onto your house?
I mean, I’ve done quite a bit of work in Family Law. I’ve always thought of myself as fairly anti-divorce (especially if kids are in the picture). And while I can attest that a lot of married couples probably resort to divorce before really examining other options… if they shouldn’t have been married in the first place, then why is it at that point that society (and the law) jumps in with all their judgment and roadblocks? Why don’t they jump in in the first place, urging people that while marriage is wonderful, it is a decision to be taken extremely seriously?! How about a mandatory waiting period to GET a marriage instead of a mandatory waiting period to DISSOLVE one? How about we prevent divorce by helping to prevent inappropriate marriage?
Choose thy love, love thy choice. I love that saying. Because both sides are equally important.
Painted_lady January 3, 2012, 7:07 pm
So, so, SO agree with this! I’m all for people being able to take part in a marriage that has nothing whatsoever to do with faith (not to say the people who do include their faith in their marriage are wrong, to be clear about that), but one of the things faith-based marriages really seem to have going for them is that the church may refuse to marry anyone who doesn’t seem to put the right amount of thought into their marriage – obviously I disagree with the religious figures who refuse to marry, say, two people who’ve lived together first, but requiring people to talk about fidelity and kids and how they’re going to handle major decisions and conflict is fantastic. Requiring some sort of stamp of approval from a counselor or similar might go a long way in preventing divorces. I’ve already let Painted Dude know that we’re going to some counseling sessions before we get married just to shore things up before we commit to forever (as evidenced above, I already freaked out about committing to a 12-month lease).
AKchic January 3, 2012, 7:38 pm
*laugh* Ah… it would be nice if we could all just handle the “mandatory waiting period” for marriage without that embarassing question of “why was I born only 3 weeks after you and Daddy married?”. (“Oh sweetie, we had to legally wait to bind us together, but physically we just couldn’t – sorry!”) THAT is the reason why we don’t have a mandatory waiting period on marriage. Shotgun weddings. In some states, the shotguns are almost mandatory. Once an unwed woman was confirmed, or “almost certain to be” “with child” – well by God she was marrying that no-good boy who done did it to her. “Make an honest woman of her” is the phrase used most often, as if somehow, women are naturally immoral, dishonest thieves if they’ve had any sexual contact prior to marriage (I thank the bible’s characterization of women for that).
You might as well require that people keep it in their respective underpants (if they bother wearing them) until marriage, for all the good it does. Or not imbibe in any mind or mood altering chemicals while dating. Both lead to a fast sprint down the altar sometimes.
oppositeofzen January 4, 2012, 8:38 am
“Make an honest woman of her” is the phrase used most often, as if somehow, women are naturally immoral, dishonest thieves if they’ve had any sexual contact prior to marriage…”
Of course women are naturally immoral and dishonest. Which is why we shouldn’t be allowed t vote, hold a job, go to college or pretty do anything for ourselves. No telling what we may do. 🙂
katie January 3, 2012, 8:44 pm
i totally remember that post- it was something about if marriages took years to complete and included expensive court fees, but divorces could be had in vegas anytime, the divorce rates would be lower.
its so true.
once in highschool, we did a mock congress in my debate class, and i introduced a bill that put parents through a screening process. i seriously still think that is needed in our world, and a screening process to get married doesnt sound bad either!
i heard someone else say once (i cant remember where) that marriage should be the end goal- not the beginning. that if after going through so much stuff together- kids, family problems, health problems, whatever- then you could get married. like you passed the test or something. i thought that one was interesting too.
Skyblossom January 3, 2012, 6:58 pm
LW – are you happy? Probably not. Now imagine spending the rest of your life like you’ve spent the last two years. If that seems depressing know that it’s okay to leave this relationship. It’ll be hard and it’ll hurt to move on but someday you’ll thank yourself for creating a better life than the one you have now.
spark January 3, 2012, 7:05 pm
Honestly, I think you should just MOA. Counseling isn’t going to fix this–he does not want to be in the marriage, and it’s doubtful that he even wants to try. He never wanted the marriage! Run now, before you acquire assets and children and an even harder time leaving.
Red_Lady January 3, 2012, 9:02 pm
I’m normally pretty against divorce. I think some people are too quick to jump at divorce as a quick solution, instead of sticking to their commitments. But in your case LW, it sounds like you never should have married this guy in the first place. Did you two have any pre-marital counseling? ‘Cuz I have a hard time believing that someone would encourage you two to get married, given your extremely rocky and short relationship. You deserve to be married to someone who is supportive and respectful of you, not this asshole you described. It sounds to me like you should get a divorce, and PLEASE do not rush into another marriage. Make sure you really know the guy you are marrying, and make sure he makes you feel good about yourself, and that you feel good about making him feel good.
mcminnem January 3, 2012, 9:19 pm
LW, your husband is abusing you.
His restlessness? His boredom? His cheating? HIS PROBLEMS. Those things are his fault. A very common behaviour among abusive people is to act badly (cheat, throw tantrums, put you down, hit you) and then tell you it’s your fault. He cheats and jerks you around, but it’s not because he’s a jerk, it’s because YOU “aren’t exciting enough”. If only you were good enough, then he would be faithful.
Don’t put up with it, LW. This man does not deserve a marriage.
Go find someone who does.
moonflowers January 4, 2012, 2:03 am
LW, counseling will be the best option to save yourself at this point. At least it may open your eyes to how poorly your husband is treating you and what healthy relationship boundaries should be. This relationship has never been healthy before, and barring substantial change in both of you, it sounds like it may never be.
In addition I’d also recommend reading Baggage Reclaim (http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/about/). It’s a great site written by a woman who lived through her own painful history of poor relationships with emotionally unavailable men before finally learning about how healthy relationships work, how to avoid emotionally unavailable men, and recovering her own self-esteem and self-respect.