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I'm the husband in a very young newly wed couple (22 year old male and 23 female). I'm having a few problems so if you want to just grab something to drink and then read this it might be in your best interest. Before I start, I appreciate you looking over my problem with the intentions of trying to help and I thank you in advance if your advice helps.

 

Even before we got married I've had problems with my wife. Even knowing that the problems have never been solved I married her because we do love each other just have LOTS of conflict. I pretty much married her hoping that things would get better after she saw that I wasn't going anywhere and that I was hers. Let me give you more background.

 

My wife and I met over the internet the beginning of 2001, we chatted a few times but since she lived 250 miles away I didn't see a reason to try to get to know her. On september 11th (before the towers fell) she left to come meet me in person for the first time. 1 month later we moved in together by where I live (so I took her away from her parents 250 miles away). 2 months later from then we found out she was pregnant. 4 months later from then she accepted our engagement. 2 years go by and then we get married. So to say the least, life has been in the fast lane.

 

I'm having problems of her taking responsibility. We now have a 3 year old son and she'll make sure he's fed and not sick by giving him medicine but other then that I get nothing else out of her. The laundry isn't ever done unless I do it (I work 60 hour weeks so there's hardly time to do it) as a matter of fact she'd rather wear a dirty shirt several times before finally considering it "dirty". She doesn't disinfect the house. She can't commit to any time schedules like oil changes or interviews. She works for a big 3 but she's going to get fired at the end of July and she has no plans jobwise for when that happens. Basically, she lives like her mom watches over her cleaning up after her still.

 

I also have a problem where when I approach her about my problems she'll tell me "I don't want to talk about them right now" or "right now isn't a good time". When I do finally get a chance to talk to her I have so much to talk about that she doesn't want to hear it all after 20 minutes of talking. When we finally come to a conclusion, I'll do my part and she'll still do what angered me in the first place.

 

She also has no intentions on spending time with me. She goes to this free online book site and spends all of her time reading books online that other people like me and you would post. I've asked her what kind they are and she said she mostly reads sci-fi and murder mysteries. If she's not doing that she reads manga on her computer or she just goes to random sites on the internet to kill time. If given enough alone time, she would spend the whole day on the computer doing "something". I don't want her to give up her hobbies but I'd like to do something with her even if it's enjoy a story together but the minute I come in her computer room she minimizes everything she's doing looks at me with a "go away" look and then I get uncomfortable about her stare down and leave the room after telling her that she spends too much time on the computer. I'd have to say in a given day, I spend maybe an hour at best with my wife.

 

I also have a problem with who wears the pants. I have no problem if she does, after all, she handles all of the bills by paying them over the internet and she is home more but what I have a problem with is whenever a company needs to be called or a company is calling she makes me take the calls and make the executive decision on it. Half the time I never know what to say because she refuses to keep me informed about financials so when she hands me the phone to dispute a charge I don't even know what the charge is in value I have to ask the person on the phone. Also it seems like she only wants to make the "ultimate decision" when one of the decisions could inconvenience her like "who goes to the store to get 3 pages of grocieries and who stays home to watch our son" or like "who does laundry and who gets to take a nap with our son".

 

I also have a problem that I don't think she's putting effort into the relationship. A little background on her and me, I used to be 150 lbs and I'm 5'8" so I was healthy and had very little fat in the ab region. She was 100 lbs and 5'3" and wore a size 0 in jeans. Now I'm 190 and she's 140. We put on baby weight obviously. Now I don't care about weight, sure I would love to see her sexy anorexic self again but a size 5 is healthy for her height/weight. Regardless of the situation, she's unhappy about her weight but she doesn't do anything about it. I've offered to go on jogs with her or buy aerobic equipment but she says she "hates to sweat" so she bought a diet patch which seems to be suppressing her appetite but she's not losing any weight because she's not boosting her metabolism by getting her heart pumping... Well at any rate, since she doesn't like her size she only wears a baggy t-shirt and baggy jeans then expects me to come on to her like I'm a rabbit ready to bang. Not to mention she never combs her hair unless she's just leaving for work and she has never done her make up (which never was a problem to me because I liked the earthly look).

 

I want to have this work out, not just because of my son but because I've always believed that if people were once brought together for reasons other than lust then they can be rejoined some how, it's just that since I can't talk serious with her and I can't get her to actually hold to her promises on changing I'm just having one hell of a time trying to get things to work...

 

I have so much more to say and ask help about but I think that there are already a handful of things that I said here that should be responded to first. Again thanks for your help.

 

LuvyDude182

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Wow. That sounds like a terrible situation you have there. By the sounds of it she could be somewhat depressed. Did she have any postpardum (sp?) depression after your son was born? I know I am only 19 myself, but it kind of sounds like she is still in the teenage mindset and cannot cope with the responsibilities that marriage and childcare come with.

 

Maybe you could look into some type of marriage counceling to see if you can work out the real problems behind her behaviour. Otherwise you might end up in something that is very unhappy; a path that you seem to already be heading down.

 

 

Best wishes and hugs

 

 

Raven

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Again I appreciate all the advice but let me cover a little bit more ground in hopes that people can understand my situation a little more.

 

I told her that I would be willing to go to a marriage counselor or to a psychiotrist to have them try to find out what the true problems are and help us find solutions to each others problems. She said that she's not interested in going because it costs money but mainly because she said we should be able to solve it on our own.

 

I don't know if she went into "the baby blues" but I do know that the gyno gave her hormones (birth control?) for use after our son was born and she only took it for a week because it was hard to stay on a timed schedule for her. She was supposed to take it for a month and a half I think... So she may be in depression, it would explain her lack of interest in sex now, I have sex maybe once every 3 weeks unless I nag her that I really need some because I can't do it for myself every night, it only delays my urge not rids it.

 

More in the morning, I'm tired - it's 4 a.m. here

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very big problem you got there dude. have you tried getting her mother to talk to her. maybe she needs some coaching or something.

 

and you mentioned both of you met online and she has been spending time online. could she have met someone else?

 

maybe both of you shld also sit down have a nice talk and draw up some house rules. i know plenty of ppl who do that.

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I've tried to get her mother in on the problems but when her mother talks to my wife it seems to only make things worse. My wife feels that I shouldn't have to talk to ANYONE else with our problems because she doesn't want the world or anyone out of the household to know that we're having issues....

 

I don't think she met anyone else but it could be possible she spends an awful lot of time on her computer and her email. It just feels like every step we go forward she takes 6 back...

 

I don't know if house rules will help, I'll try it though. The problem really sits in the fact that she doesn't believe she's wrong by any means. She things that I nag her all the time to get off her computer or to do things with me and I'm just irritating. So laying down the rules of the house would end up "leave her alone while she's at the computer", "don't talk to anyone about our problems", and "don't nag about cleaning, it'll get done".

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Anyone else with good advice, I'm not trying to turn down everyone's help, I'm still going to try to do house rules and see where that goes it's just I've lost a lot of self esteem arguing with her and having the result always be the same, let's talk about it later.

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Luvy,

You need to learn how to pick your fights. If you have not had open communication with her as to how you feel about all of these issues, you are suppressing your feelings and will explode one day.

 

You have several issues with her and some with yourself. She has nothing to do with your gaining weight. You must take responsibility for that one. From reading your post, it appears as if you have a lot of despise for your wife. You can either continue critiquing her, or approach her and reward her for all the positives in her life. How bout getting a gym pass with her (most gyms have daycare, at least here in California) and work out with her. Each 5 lbs that comes off, take her shopping for new clothes as a reward.

 

As for her being on the computer all day - you might consider asking her for help with any tasks you might have to complete. You said that she pays the bills over the Internet - a positive thing. Dwell on that. Reward her for positive, productive behavior instead of criticizing her for non-productive behavior - the results will astound you. If she enjoys sci-fi books, fine - buy her a gift certificate to the bookstore, or online bookstore she enjoys. One important thing is that you need to appreciate her joys in life - and reading is one of them. You don't have to like the same types of things, but you need to appreciate them and show that you care about her happiness as well. If you've never tried it, it is NO easy task staying at home raising a child. In fact, working 60 hours a week is probably easier than raising a child at home.

 

The bottom line - open up communication, reward her for positive behavior, appreciate her hobbies, and lose weight together by working out/modifying both of your diets followed by rewards.

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Thank you for your reply, I was afraid that my post was going to get ignored because so many were coming in.

 

I think opening communication is the hardest thing to do right now. Whenever I have something on my mind (both positive and negative) I try to let her casually know and if it's really important I try to pull her aside to talk with her (normally resulting in "I don't want to talk"). I think the problem I'm having is she isn't interested in talking about our problems and when she does it's only to shut me up; nothing is done about my issues with her.

 

We recently had a long discussion about the problems we're having and how we were going to solve them (I thought it was a step in the right direction). I started to work on myself, I was told that I don't give her enough alone time on her computer. So I let her have incriments of an hour or more on her computer with the door shut and I watched our son but she would yell at me when I came in to check on her at the hour mark saying "you're not giving me alone time".

 

The first thing she was supposed to work on was trying to be more responsible with chores around the house even if it's just helping me with them. I knew this wouldn't be easier for her because she's a former tomboy that lived on a farm for 6 years or more. I never saw her trying improve on this, I didn't say anything for a week, just observing to see if she would be a self-motivater because I didn't want to feel like I was "nagging" her but things never got started/finished even while I was home offering to watch our son. So I did 19 loads of laundry this week on my vacation and she didn't want to contribute any of it.

 

I agree that I'm suppressing my feelings but if I'm not allowed to talk to her or anyone else about my feelings what am I supposed to do? If she realizes I'm on this message board this is going to cause an argument too (which is why all names are anomynous so I could argue that this could be ANYONE in the world and none of our friends could read this and not know it's us).

 

As for the gym membership, I'm all about it, no daycares at the ones out here, I've called around already. There's Baileys and Fitness USA by us and there's also a recreation center we could go to too. I've went 3 or 4 times without her and then I invited her to go with me and she said "no thanks, I don't want to sweat"..... I'm going to be honest, I'm fine with my weight, I know I'm not amazingly sexy because of my gut but I don't have a low self esteem because of it. I am who I am because of my personality not my looks where as she even said so herself (jokingly at the time but I'm not so sure she was joking) "I wish I was 100 lbs again so everyone would want to do everything for me again".

 

I need to work on talking positive with her but am I supposed to just ignore all of the negative and think of all the good things? Wouldn't that be suppressing? I do have a lot of despise for my wife right now, she wants to be the leader but she refuses to communicate her thoughts/feelings and she steers our relationship into self centered chaos whenever she gets the chance...

 

Sorry for the long reply, just let me know what would be a good approach on opening up the communication and what battles I should fight for? Ignoring me on the computer? No responsibilities? No sex/cuddling/touching and how it's causing me to feel like I'm her best friend rather than her husband? I've got a lot of issues to work out and sure some of them are with myself but a lot of them are because I can't tell her how I feel without her telling me "no that's not how it is" then following up with her point of view and then ending it rather then trying to make me feel better about my problems. Like I'm convinced she doesn't love me and she's only with me for my income and she tells me she loves me but she doesn't show any signs of that.

 

Again sorry for the long reply.

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Luvy,

Approach her when she's in a good mood. Sit her down, and let her know you're in this marriage for the long haul. It's ok to criticize yourself in front of her, because she might even defend you but don't criticize her. Instead, make your talk with her an "us" issue, whereas you both are striving to make your marriage work, together. Offer some of your ideas of how you can accomplish this (one of them, being marriage counseling) and ASK her for some ideas of how you can improve each others lives. Don't put all the weight on her.

 

Enlighten her (and yourself) that a big part of being married involves compromise. You do this, she does that, and together it makes both of your lives more easy, more comfortable, and more enjoyable while strengthing your relationship at the same time. Luvy, communication is an absolute must though. To answer your question, NO, it's not suppressing your feelings when you avoid negative talk. It's simply a matter of changing your way of thinking and focusing on the positives. This is also a big reason of why I recommend working out - you get more than the physical conditioning it provides - it also helps condition your mind and you are able to work out or reduce some of your frustrations.

 

So, in order for this marriage to work, communication lines must be open and criticism kept to a minimal. Remember, praise the positive, try to help out or re-direct when you see negative behavior, and talk to her.

 

Also, keeping a journal (and/or posting here) will help you sort out your thoughts. If you don't want to keep a physical journal, a good resource is link removed. Good luck.

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Chai's given you some wonderful advice. I'd just like to add that I believe she is depressed and is using the Internet to distract herself and escape from her problems. Many people find the Internet addictive, but if she actually prefers the Internet to spending time with you, there's a definite problem.

 

I can understand not wanting to do laundry and keep up the house. It's mundane and boring. But if she's leaving 19 loads of laundry undone, things have gotten to a ridiculous point. Your post reminds me of something I once read about Andrea Yates. (I'm not comparing your wife to her, just hear me out.) Her husband mentioned that over time Andrea got progressively worse. She stopped doing chores and there wasn't a clean glass in the house.

 

Lots of people argue whether or not her husband had equal culpability in contributing to his children's deaths because he failed to comprehend how serious her mental illness was. It's my opinion that he tried his best, but as someone who lived with a severely depressed person day in and day out, he got used to the way things were even though living conditions were horrible. Because the progression was gradual, not overnight, he was like a lobster in a slow-boiling pot of water. It was harder for him than an outsider to see how serious his wife's depression truly was.

 

Again, I don't believe your wife is mentally ill, suffering from postpartum depression, or likely to harm your child. I just think it's time to acknowledge that she's depressed and needs help. I'd have a heart to heart talk with her using Chai's techniques, and then I'd try to come to some agreement about what "small steps" you'd both like to undertake to improve your living conditions each week. Get her to sign onto things. Don't try to dictate to her. And do chores together so it seems more like teamwork vs. "punishment." If she balks, then you need to put your foot down and tell her that you can't stay married like this. Tell her she needs to get counseling or see a doctor for meds, because the way she's living isn't healthy or productive for either of you or your child (to witness and model.) Good luck! You have quite a challenge in front of you.

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The following is a message I have sent to several people now, some of whom have said they found it useful. Originally, it was to a girl who wanted more affection from her b/f but the central idea is about how to communicate what you want from a partner. I hope it may help you. Anyway, here it is:

 

"People move towards comfort and away from pain. So when you want someone to do something, particularly when you are in a relationship with some one it is much better to get what you want or get them to do what you want by making it about you rather than them.

 

When you talk about your relationship make sure you start by talking about the positive aspects as well as the negative, pay him compliments for what he did well. Then address the negative as problems to be solved by both of you working together to please each other rather than attack one another. No recriminations but a desire not to hurt again.

 

My advice is to ask him to talk with you about the relationship Do not say, "We need to talk". When guys hear that from girlfriends, they know what it really means is "I need to talk and you have to listen" and they run for the hills by either retreating into silence or start pushing back. So don't so that.

 

In general, if you say to someone: "You don't do (whatever)" this is perceived as an attack. But if you say, "When you do (whatever) it makes me feel good/wanted/warm and fuzzy/insert positive emotion of choice" then that is seen as a request for help - it is not an attack.

 

So when you are talking to him about what you want do so in a way that is not seen as an attack (pain) but in a way that makes him want to please you (pleasure).

 

Think about the things that you want from him, what you want him to do for you, and phrase them in a way that he will not see as a criticism but as a request. Don't say, in effect: "you are a bad boyfriend because you don't do this, or you do that!!" because that will cause him pain and he will react with anger. Instead, say, "I feel lonely and hurt when you say that (or do that)" That way you are not so much attacking him as asking him to help you by not hurting you.

 

Remember that if you push someone, physically or emotionally they will either withdraw from you or push back. So don't do that. Lead him, by example, into a new way of communicating: negotiate don't demand. Compromise, don't be unyielding. Talk rationally not emotionally about problems. Recognise that he has a point of view – he is not immature because it is not the same as yours. Ask him to help you put the relationship back where it was when you were both happy. Identify what makes both of you unhappy and work together to get those problems fixed."

 

Good luck - I hope there was something there you can use.

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