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Dear Wendy

He seems to be thinking about a future without me

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  • #879694 Reply

    During this crazy situation in the world, a lot has happened in a short period of time. I got laid off from my dream job, I have some health issue that couldn’t show up at a better time than now so nothing seems to be going right. I am at home 24/7 with my husband and we started fighting. We talked it out today, finally and some things he said kind of make me wonder. He told me that he feels that after the fights that happened in the past few days he can’t be with me the same way he used to be. To be more specific, he used to compliment me a lot and say sweet things, etc and that is what he is referring to. Now he also added- and I’m gonna try and word it as he said it- that maybe in a few years when he ends up marrying again he won’t be the same way with whomever he might end up with, saying that I was the last he complimented so much, etc. It bothers me that he put things that way, that he sees himself (assuming) married to someone else.
    Now we decided to give it a bit of time to see how things develop between us from now on and maybe consider working on our issues and continue being married to each other or separate.
    I’m not motivated to do anything for the moment because of what he said. But after all tomorrow is another day.
    I would love your input on this and if you think that I have a chance to be successful in working through issues if he thinks that way…

    #879697 Reply

    Wow. I’m not married and have never been, but to me that sounds like a terrible, hurtful thing for him to say for many reasons. Marriage is supposed to be forever. If my boyfriend – not even my husband – referenced that “he wouldn’t treat whoever he ends up with as well as he did me”, I would be like WTF? It is presumed that we are together long term, as, I would think, you would be presumed in your marriage. I would say try to get to marriage/couples counseling; I feel like there’s a lot we don’t know and can’t fix on this forum and a counselor would be best. But you have every right to be very hurt and angry – I would be, too.

    #879709 Reply

    Realistically, marriage is not forever, @TheLadyE. People frequently marry the wrong person, or things happen and/or they grow apart.

    It’s impossible to decipher what’s going on here, but it sounds like this is all very recent, as of the last 2-3 weeks, when everything has been turned upside down. But something is wrong if he’s talking about the next person he marries. That in itself is a betrayal. I just am not able to get any idea of how bad things really are from this post. All I can say is don’t do anything rash right now, wait til things stabilize and go back to somewhat normal, and see if he’s willing to go to counseling with you or if he’s truly just done. It sounds like you two have really really bad communication, and it’s worth finding out if you can get video couples counseling to try to work through the difficulties right now.

    #879710 Reply

    Not enough information to make an informed opinion, but it sounds like husband has already checked out. If he hasn’t cheated, then this isn’t really a betrayal. As Kate says, marriages aren’t always forever. Almost half are not. It’s good to be honest about your feelings, but this comes at a horrible time with the two of you cooped up together 24/7. LW knows whether or not this is a sudden, surprise change in what had been a smooth, happy marriage, or whether things have been generally rocky. She also knows how serious and going to the heart of what makes a relationship/marriage/love work.

    It could be a strange reaction to the fear and claustrophobia of the deadly coronavirus and the need to abandon normal routines and shelter in place. It could be a relationship which works in small doses, but not 24/7. As a retiree, even though I was very happily married at the time of retirement, I remember the trepidation that both my wife and I experienced at the prospect of spending so much more time together. We were looking forward to the opportunity to spend more time together and lose the stress of work, but also unsure how the dynamic of our relationship would change with that extra 50 hours a week of potential together time. And that was with the anticipation of being able to get out and do more travel, attend more local events, dive deeper into mutual hobby. It would have been incredibly daunting to do that under conditions of forced isolation.

    So, does the fighting give insight into what is bothering husband? Marriage counseling sounds like a great idea. It sounds like your husband is saying he wants a divorce, but perhaps this is just fear of death and claustrophobia being projected onto you. Do you have serious risk factors which lead husband to fear you won’t survive this crisis? Could that be where he is coming from?

    #879711 Reply

    I’ll just add that I honestly do not understand when people write in about some things their husband said and want us to decode it. It’s like, did you not ask him what he meant? Did you not then probe deeper and have a conversation? He’s your freaking husband who you’ve known for years and you live with. Where’s the part where you said, “wow, the next person you marry? What do you mean by that?” Where’s the part where you tell him that really hurts you and worries you and how long has he been feeling like that? The part where you talk about maybe going to counseling?

    Someone says something like that in a marriage, you need to discuss it and figure out if they’re just speaking out of frustration or they have been thinking about divorce for a while or what. You don’t just let it sit there unexplored.

    #879727 Reply

    What the heck happened in that fight? Either he’s just trying to hurt you out of anger and cruelty, or something was said during the fight that he feels he can’t forgive.

    And Kate is right. We can’t answer the questions you’ve asked. Only he can. You don’t just say “well, he started talking about his next wife, so I guess we’re going to separate.” TALK TO HIM.

    #879742 Reply

    I second talking and communicating – but it also sounds to me like he was trying to punish you for your part in the fights, push you onto the emotional backfoot so you’ll be more acquiescent next time – like he’s dangling some nebulous threat of divorce so you’ll be too terrified to push any issue the next time, and won’t put up a fight for fear if displeasing him. Deliberately or unconsciously, is the next question.

    #879751 Reply

    Very bad trip indeed. I wouldn’t be surprised if what bothers him most is your health issue. Some tend to run away in such circumstances. You don’t say how you both behaved during these fights, but well: everybody is nervous right now. I wouldn’t panic and would tell him: “what you said is not OK at all. We are married, we committed to be there for each other, we are all stressed by the context and I need your support right now, especially as I feel poorly. I apologised for my part in the fights, and I am hurt too by what you said to me. Let’s respect each other more and avoid the quarrels’ triggers for a while. What can I do for us to feel better at this time?” And listen. Then ask him something: for example, an apology for what he said.
    Then you have to give each other some room: avoid each other for a while. Go to separate room, don’t send dependence signals. Sorry for that difficult time, it is tough for you!

    #879816 Reply

    The reason behind the fight is important but the behavior in the fight might be the clue we’re missing.

    There are too many pieces missing but it sounds like the husband regrets giving so many compliments to the OP – maybe they weren’t reciprocated, or he put her up on a pedestal and he assumed she was more perfect than human.

    Therapy would be a good step. If he’s not willing to even consider it – then you need to talk to a lawyer.

    I’m sorry this is happening during such a stressful time.

    #879821 Reply

    The poster has vanished.

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