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Thread: Newly married after long distance relationship - confused abt how to communicate

  1. #1

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    Newly married after long distance relationship - confused abt how to communicate

    Hi,

    This is my first time asking for advice on a forum, so I'm not quite sure what to start with..

    I'm 27, I've been married to a wonderful man for a little more than 7 months. We are from different countries /cultures and we met online (at work, we both used to work for the same multinational but in different countries). Before getting married, we never lived together, we met frequently, but it was a long distance relationship. He converted to my religion so that we could be together and he said he would make efforts about it (stop eating pork, doing Ramadan...). It was hard and being able to finally live together was a dream come true.

    I left almost everything to move in with him in his country, I can't complain though because the lifestyle here is much more "comfortable". However, I left my job and I'm now looking for a job in here. I love living with him, I have no regrets, but I do have fears.... Here's why..

    1. Few months before getting married he told me he doesn't want to have kids, it was a shock for me, I told him I know I don't want to have kids now neither but I'm sure I will want to in few years. We discussed it and he said he was OK for having 1 kid but not before his 30 (which seems reasonable). However, when we started living together, he denied saying that, he said he didn't remember and that... Well.. He doesn't want to have kids... I tried not to make a big deal out of it, I tried to remind him of the whole conversation, he made jokes about it and changed the subject..

    2. Also, weeks before getting married he told me he changed his mind and that doesn't want to do the Ramadan. I believe religion is a "personal" matter. Again I didn't make a big deal out of it, I told him I didn't want him to force himself into doing things he doesn't believe in, but that ofc I'd really appreciate the effort. Since that day, every time we talk about it he would put himself on the defensive. I try to avoid the topic...

    3. Another thing that worries me is how he always jokes about the fact that I have 'too much sex drive'.. At first, it felt strange to me to feel kind of 'rejected' when I tried to initiate sex (I believe I'm an attractive woman..), but now I'm more used to his habits so...I know a little bit better when to try or when to shut it off.. Sometimes it's frustrating but that's ok. However I still feel it's incredibly hard to talk with him about the topic.

    4. As I said earlier, I'm not currently working, I do fill my days with different kinds of activities (including cleaning and cooking, because according to him he prefers that I take care of it because I have time and that way he can enjoy his free time doing activities with me / other). Having to do all the cleaning and cooking alone bothered me at first, but I got tired of arguing about it, I just think it's not worth making him nervous about it, so I just take care of it. But now what bothers me is that he keeps asking me what I'm doing, what I did of my day (that's nice, he's interested in what I do..) but he does it in a very intrusive way, he always says I'm not doing much thing during the day, that I could do more, that I'm not being productive...etc. And it kinda hurts.. I'm taking classes (to learn a new language), I go to gym, I give particular French classes (that I have to prepare), I clean and cook, and yes I have free time to watch series or play on the computer..but according to him, I'm not being productive..

    ... I have many other things I can mention but these are the biggest things that bother me and that I'm scared of talking to him about. I'm scared of arguing with him, I'm scared of making it bigger... I love him with all my heart, and I hate having these fears, but I feel really hurt and untrusted... It makes me feel bad about myself, I feel like I disappoint him, that I'm not worthy of his trust and of everything he does for me... I really feel that we have communication issues but I have no idea how to solve it, he's always 'busy' and this kind of stuff is like "too cheesy" for him, he'd rather not waste time just "talking"..

    He would always say I make dramas out of stupid problems, that I overthink, overreact... Etc. Which is probably true...I get emotional quite fast and I can freak out about little things >< but I really wish he could listen to me and respect my feelings. I just really don't know how to make him truly listen without pushing him out because he hates arguing and he will always avoid conflicts..

    Btw, I know I mentioned religion in my post, but this is not the issue, the issue is that I can't communicate with him on "very serious topics" because he always turns it to jokes / gets nervous about it and we end up arguing then just exhausted and without ever solving it... Please don't mention to divorce as an advice because that's absolutely not an option for me, I love him so much and he really is a great funny kind guy, and I know he loves me!

    Sorry for the long long post and I hope you will help me with some advice..

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Firstly, you didn't have to live together to get married - many couples have successful marriages without living together, but the success of a marriage when people have not even spent time together dating and living nearby is very mixed. Marriages that are arranged between two people that share similar family backgrounds, faiths, culture fair a little better (and atitudes about kids, etc are known in the matching up process). because they choose to love eachother but have a good similarity to make things work.

    I think that you did not take the time to get to know this man before you married - and now it is biting you. being of two different cultures makes for a lot of differences --- and you should have been very clear in the "getting to know you stage" about children.

    2. Also, weeks before getting married he told me he changed his mind and that doesn't want to do the Ramadan. I believe religion is a "personal" matter.

    religion is a "personal matter" among work colleagues but in a marriage it is not a "personal matter" - its an important part of your relationship, whether you share the same faith, believe differently or whatever the case. Would you have married him if he did not convert?

    I know you say "don't mention divorce". Okay, i won't -- but i think that if he absolutely does not want children even though he humored you before you got married, etc, and tells you your sex drive is wrong and that he always tells you that you worry about stupid things --- i think it should not be ruled out completely at this very early stage. I think misrepresenting his opinion about kids is a big thing -- and for you, it is on you that you did not get to know this guy better. You should be blissful newlyweds - rather than being told that your sex drive is wrong and you worry about stupid things.

    Seriously --- you moved to his country - that's a big deal -- you clean, cook, job hunt and he is telling you that you are not doing enough??

    What happens when you do find a job? will it be good enough? will he help around the house?. It doesn't seem like he would be open to counseling so that you can learn to communicate better as a couple, or would he?? i know sometimes new couples hit a bump after the reality of marriage sets in --- but it just seems he treats you like you are not quite good enough and is he aware of how he is speaking to you? maybe there is a different way you can talk to him about this?

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear this. You sound homesick and lonely. He sounds dismissive of that and most of your concerns except being his perfect housekeeper. But you don't want to leave. Stop defending yourself. Do you have a car? Can you make friends there? How easy/difficult is it for you to work there? Can you do less cooking/housekeeping and take courses, join groups or clubs perhaps from your language, culture or religion. It sounds like he doesn't want to understand you or bother addressing what is important to you, such as children,etc. Was his "converting" just a sham in order to get you to marry him and go to his country?

  4. #4

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    Hi abitbroken, thank you for taking the time to reading everything and replying.

    I know the way I described it it seems like I don't know him well enough, but I really think I do know the most important things about him. He's so kind, funny, honest, helpful,...It's just that...I don't know, I feel like he "changed his mind" abt few things, I really don't know.. Sometimes I think that maybe before living together he thought I was more "worth the efforts", maybe now I'm not that special anymore to make sacrifices for me or whatever, I don't know...

    It's true that we were both so "busy" with the paperwork and making our families accept the situation that we probably missed some "important topics".. But still, when we don't argue about these things we're just so so happy. But then a stupid argument arrives and we don't really talk about it and stays like that for days until we "forget" abt it...

    Abt the religion thing, you are completely right...it's not that personal in marriage, but we have really similar values and to me he's more 'muslim' than most Muslims I know... (I don't want to talk too much about religion here to avoid misunderstandings). My point is simply that he's a good guy, really, sometimes he speaks his mind a little bit too much and with "hard" words, but he's not a jerk.

    Actually I'm supposed to start working (in my field, not the teaching thing) in June. We agreed that then we'll both have to do the house chores, but until then...

    Anyway, I do feel sometimes that he's not very grateful for what we have, and I tried to explain him that it affected my self-esteem (that already lowered since I've been jobless for the first time of my life after having a "manager" job).. But again he says I exaggerate... I'm starting to think I'm the problem but I'm not sure what to do abt it by myself.

    I wish I could find a way to stop feeling hurt by this, maybe I'm being oversensitive but I really don't know how to change that..

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  6. #5

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    Hi wiseman2,
    I cried when I read "homesick and lonely", I really do feel lonely. I only have 1 'true' friend here who considers me more than "the friend's wife". I speak to my friends and to my family regularly but I don't want to worry them about my issues... And honestly I feel a little bit ashamed not being able to manage it myself..

    My friend here says I should 'make it big' so that he realizes abt my pain and he stops taking me for granted, but I don't like the idea of making "emotional blackmailing" (I'm not sure we say that in English..). I want to solve it calmly and kindly, I don't want to hurt his feelings and I don't want him to think I'm completely unhappy with him because it's not true, I'm just confused that we can't communicate abt serious things... I even feel it was easier when we were on the long distance relationship..

    I don't have a car yet, but really I do my best to keep myself busy. It's true that I don't go out so much (he complained about that too a couple of times), but I don't know many people and the ones I know I already meet during the week when they aren't busy working or with their family..etc. However this is a really good advice, I'm going to try to go out more, even if it's just by myself.

    Abt your question, he converted because culturally my family wouldn't accept our relationship if he didn't, and I wasn't ready to lose my family...As I said earlier, we share so many values, but there are things abt religion that he doesn't agree with, so for him converting was really for me.

    Thanks again for your help :)

  7. #6
    Platinum Member thealchemist's Avatar
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    You two have very different stances on many huge compatibility issues.

    You disagree on children, sex frequency, religion, and life roles.

    That seems to be some pretty big and important things.

    If you want children eventually and he doesn't ever then neither one of you will ever be happy about this together.

    The religion issue is also a big deal to many people. Although I can at least see his point here and you seem to be very reasonable as well, it can strain a relationship a lot.

    I understand the higher libido issue very well, I have had to deal with this issue before.

    He is insulting you about your sexual desire because his lower libido makes him feel inadequate to you. Although it obviously doesn't make any difference about his masculinity or anything.

    I am very sorry, your situation doesn't sound very enjoyable.

  8. #7

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    Well, I didn't realize the situation was that bad... Reading your replies I feel like there is no solution..

    I tried to talk to him yesterday, it went pretty bad. Really bad, it was definitely a big argument (that I was trying to avoid..) but I guess it has been useful.

    Abt kids, he said he'd prefer to talk about it when it's really the moment. That he knows I do want to have kids but right now it's just not the priority at all and that it's useless to worry now abt that.

    Abt ramadan he apologized and said he really wanted to do it for me but just thinking about it made it feel like physical torture and he just can't understand how that can be healthy and how it really affects if a person is 'good' or 'bad'. Anyway, he said it didn't mean that he loved me any less, but simply it's something that he thought about deeply and he doesn't want to do.

    Abt the house chores/my free time, he insisted that he believes I could do more and be more productive. I told him I don't know how and he said he doesn't want to make a list... At the end we agreed that every time he thinks of something he could simply say it directly without commenting on my free time or whatever, and I'll take care of it.

    I still feel like he's being ungrateful..

    Anyway, now I feel guilty for arguing with him and for making him feel nervous and upset.. I started texting him this morning when he was on his way to work to apologize and to check on him, but I think I made him more upset...

    I don't know, I feel maybe I'm overthinking this. I wish I could take it off my mind and do other things and give him some space. Maybe he'll appreciate me more if I'm not always around.
    I think I'm too dependent on him emotionally and it freaks me out.. Any advice people?

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    What do your friends and family back home say about all this? Perhaps all the struggles you have with family acceptance makes to you reticent to express your real feelings about what is going on. For now pick your battles. Practice your faith as you are used to and do not worry about what he does and doesn't want to do. Sadly it's almost like a bait and switch once you married/moved to him. Now he doesn't want to practice Islam or have kids, etc. You must start talking to others privately and confidentially about what is going on to gain a clearer perspective.

    Do not get in debates about his insinuation that you are lazy/useless around the house and need lists etc to follow as if you're his housekeeper/employee. Shut down that conversation immediately. Again, please reach out to your people at home and go to your local mosque/imam for help and guidance. Also get to know other women there and see if there are groups for women and friends you could make who understand you and your culture. The loneliness and isolation and lack of support/understanding are making you accept very bad terms from your new husband. Also where is all the money you earned when single? Did he take it/control it? Can you buy a car soon?

  10. #9
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    what did you actually say to him?

    Abt kids, he said he'd prefer to talk about it when it's really the moment. That he knows I do want to have kids but right now it's just not the priority at all and that it's useless to worry now abt that.

    Abt ramadan he apologized and said he really wanted to do it for me but just thinking about it made it feel like physical torture and he just can't understand how that can be healthy and how it really affects if a person is 'good' or 'bad'. Anyway, he said it didn't mean that he loved me any less, but simply it's something that he thought about deeply and he doesn't want to do.

    Abt the house chores/my free time, he insisted that he believes I could do more and be more productive. I told him I don't know how and he said he doesn't want to make a list... At the end we agreed that every time he thinks of something he could simply say it directly without commenting on my free time or whatever, and I'll take care of it.


    I am sorry, but talking about kids is important to talk about -- the tone doesn't have to be "i want them now" - but to have a conversation about it - you are married so it should be a free and open conversation. Its not about"worrying about them". He may be putting it off knowing he absolutely doesn't want kids -- and the longer he can prolong the conversation means that you won't leave. Actually, its something you should have settled before the wedding and if he said he doesn't want kids -- then you should not have married him. you should have married a man who wants kids as well, and is just practical about when that should occur.

    As far as Ramadan -- its fine not to participate -- but really - what is the whole point of converting, then? You would think if he converted to marry you, he would be following all of the observances at least at first.

    I think that its really condesending what he says about your time. I mean, if he were to say "honey, its really tough to me to get to the drycleaner's before they close after work, would it be something you could do instead?" or there were specific things that he was juggling like that. I mean, you don't tell him he should use his time at work more wisely.

    If he said to you "i know i said i would be okay with kids later, but these are my fears about having kids ......" or "i really loved you and wanted to marry you, so i converted, but now i am not so sure it was the right thing. Marrying you was...but i am not so sure on the other part right now.." That would be DIFFERENT.

    I think at least 30% of this lies with you on not doing your due diligence in taking the time to really know him and 70% of him being so condescending. You are not completely faultless in this, but he is not giving you much to work with, either.


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