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  1. #1
    Member Openwindow's Avatar
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    Did I Make A Mistake In Marrying Him? Please Help!

    I am hoping someone can help me.

    I have been married for almost 4 years, and have been with my husband for 8 years. I have always sensed (even before our wedding) that I was making a mistake and marrying the wrong person. He is a good man, he always tells me he loves me, does thoughtful little things for me and has always treated me well. We met when I was 29, married when I was 33. Before him, I had never had a long term relationship, and had not really dated much. When I turned 29 I started thinking about getting maried and staring a family, and met him shortly thereafter.

    I feel like at the time we got married, I saw a friend and someone who could be a good husband and father (we have 2 babies under 2 now, and he is a good father). However I just can't shake the feeling that something is wrong. It comes and goes. I feel like I have never been in love with him, and have never felt physical attraction to him. We have now only had sex 1 time in 13 months (I know this is in part because we have 2 small babies but it just isn't right for both of us).

    Things have been particularly hard for us lately because he can't seem to keep a job, and now we have 2 small children to support. He is currently unemployed again, and is in a really dark place emotionally. The same thing happened last year when I was pregnant with our 2nd child. I have tried to be the strong one telling him everything is going to be okay (when I was / am terrified myself)- always trying to support him when I felt I had no support myself. I feel like I am always trying to boost him and raise him up but don't feel he does the same for me. I know that the last couple of years have been tough on him professionally and know that as his wife it is my job to hold him up in these tough times, but it doesn't seem to let up. I have never thought of myself as someone who would bail when things get tough, I know that marriage is full of good and not so good times, but he always seems to be having a crisis and I am exhausted. I often feel like I am the only adult in this relationship.

    I feel like he was not sure he wanted to marry me and I kind of pushed him into it. But now he says things like "I don't know what I'd ever do if you left me". There is a part of me that wonders if he means that, he would never leave me because he would not want to look like "the bad guy". I sometimes feel like he's testing the water with me when he says things like that.

    I wonder if I am just restless because I feel like I never had a chance to have romance and make wonderful mistakes when I was in my 20's before I settled down. I wonder if I reallly did make a mistake when I was married. Regardless I know it is my own fault. I just don't know what to do.

    Please any thoughts would be helpful. Brutal honesty please- I know this is my fault

  2. #2
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    What were the vows that you took when you got married? Were they the usual ones? If so - did you mean them when you took them?

  3. #3
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    This may not be the most relevant question here, but I find myself wondering...why is it that you didn't date much nor have any long-term relationships in your 20s? Perhaps whatever led you to be less active romantically in your 20s are now cropping up and making you uncomfortable in your marriage. Which would mean it isn't so much that you married the wrong person, but more that you have some unresolved issues with committing or long term relationships in general. It's one thing to feel like it's the right time to get married and start a family. It's quite another to be truly ready for that step.

    Another thought: without more detail, I almost feel like this is sort of a case of "GIGS" (as they say) coming on later in life as well...i.e. I went through a similar thought process with my first long term boyfriend at 20, but if I hadn't started dating so early I might have felt it during my first long term relationship, even if it was in my 30s...

  4. #4
    Member Openwindow's Avatar
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    Hi DN, thanks for responding...

    Yes, our vows were the usual ones. I did mean them when I took them. I have always honored them and continue to honor them. I had serious reservations before the wedding, but chalked them up to normal jitters, thinking things would get better once I adjusted to married life. Those "off" feelings go up and down, but have never gone away entirely. I know it's normal to feel so much frustration when things are hard and you need to be the strong one for so long and I know that's my job as his wife to be that for him. But even when things are going along okay I can't shake the feeling....

  5. #5
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    Hi Open,
    You’re marriage sounds pretty normal to me. We married folks all stumble along. We have successes and failures. It’s not perfect.

    Happy marriages are earned. Tell your husband how you feel about his man/child stuff. Expect change and give him time to change. Be stern if you must. (Buy Gary’s Smalley’s “For better or best”) It may help you understand him.
    It's very hard on a man when loses his job.

    Love… Okay, if you can find a robot man otherwise given time every man on earth will let you down in that department sooner or later.
    If you were compatible before marriage than that's it…He's the one.

    Think about respect instead. He has let you down, (poor communicator?), which in turn is making you lose respect for him.

    Tell him.

  6. #6
    Member Openwindow's Avatar
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    Hi Taking the Blame,
    Thank you... the question of why I didn't date much could be a relevant one I guess. I experienced childhood sexual abuse and spent a lot of my twenties dealing with that as it cropped up in my life, during the time most people would be experimenting with relationships, I was afraid to. I consider myself lucky to have found someone who would accept me the way I am though I feel I kind of walked through life blindly for a lot of it.

  7. #7
    Member Openwindow's Avatar
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    Hi Lester,

    Thanks for your advice...it makes sense. That is a perspective I hadn't thought of and now that I think of it, I have lost respect for him through this. His "childishness" obviously is something that comes out worse when times are rough. I have a tendency to allow myself 5 minutes to cry about something and then I work to fix it, he can dwell and dwell on things and not "man up" like I expect / hope he would. I know losing a job is hard on a man, especially with children to support, and I don't want to kick him while he's down by hitting him with this now... but I do think when the smoke clears here we need to talk about his man / child stuff.

  8. #8
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    Are you sure the childhood sexual abuse doesn't have anything to do with not having sex in 13 months? I know you had two babies, but still, even so, most couples would do things that were intimate even if it wasn't full penetration. have you ever been to counseling for it? It may just be an illusion that most people are sexually free in their 20s or you missed out - not everyone has that. Maybe it is in the way of fully feeling intimate, etc. with your husband. BTW, marriage is about a "we" and if one falls down, the other keeps going. Unless he has been unemployed his whole life - some people just go through a rough patch of a few years. I don't necessarily think its about "manning up" if he is trying to find work and is just not successful. Maybe it involves a different career, but he has to select one on his own.

  9. #9
    Member Openwindow's Avatar
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    Hi Abitbroken,
    I have never been to counseling for it, but felt I had successfully dealt with it. I am realizing that it is not sex but intimacy that is the issue, and I will try to work on that.
    .
    I understand that in a marriage one person often holds up the other one when they are down. I just feel like I've been the buoy for most of our marriage. He's lost 3 jobs in his field in 4 years, and it's been a combination of circumstances beyond his control, and his own professional skills. He is rethinking if he is doing the right thing and I know only he can know for sure. When I said "man up" I meant he is constantly looking for reassurance and validation in every aspect of his life. I think this might even be part of the reason he loses jobs because he tends to need a lot of hand-holding for everything and can come off as high maintenance.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Openwindow View Post
    Hi Taking the Blame,
    Thank you... the question of why I didn't date much could be a relevant one I guess. I experienced childhood sexual abuse and spent a lot of my twenties dealing with that as it cropped up in my life, during the time most people would be experimenting with relationships, I was afraid to. I consider myself lucky to have found someone who would accept me the way I am though I feel I kind of walked through life blindly for a lot of it.
    Ahh. Understood. I am sorry you had to go through that, and I don't have any experience in that area, so I am hesitant to pass along advice in light of your answer to my question. However, you say later on in this thread, in response to abitbroken, that you have never been to counseling for your childhood experiences and that you felt you had dealt with it successfully. I would think you might want to give counseling or therapy a try in that case, because perhaps you never did deal with this issue successfully, and it may be that it continues to interfere with your ability to have a happy, committed long-term relationship/marriage with someone. I think it's at last worth a shot before you try to determine by yourself whether or not you married the right person.

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