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Feel that I should leave. Can I?


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17 months ago, I left my country in order to marry my husband, with whom I've had a long distance relationship for about 4 years. We had bad times trying to get me here (bureaucracy, visa, emotional draining and all that stuff), but in the end things went well and we are now married and pregnant with a little girl who's coming within 2 months. I must say that my time here has not been easy, as is never easy to leave a country, family, friends and start a new life in another land with a person you didn't have the chance to know more intimately. My husband has many good qualities, and we have much love for each other. He's a good husband in many aspects but in others he's disappointed me a lot. What hurts me the most about him is his selfishness - not concerning to material things, but to actions. For example, he doesn't cooperate much in the home chores (and I never ask him to do anything, since I understand I am home full time and he's working, but I'd like he could at least minimize my efforts, washing his glass when he drinks water, for example!). Other sensitive point is our sexual life, which is very unsatisfactory. I've learned how to cope with his low sex drive, but it's hard to recognize that he almost never seems to care about my pleasure.

 

Many times I wondered if I had taken the right decision leaving my country and all the freedom and support I had there; here, due to the limits of language and communication, I don't have all the job options I used to have in my country, added to the fact that I can't drive and in the town I live, it becomes impossible to have the minimum of mobility if you don't have a car. Work is an essential part of my life and I've tried to pursue a career even with my limitations. I feel horrible having to depend financially on another person, I feel like I was handicapped and inferior. I've accepted the fact I can't look for a job so far, due to the baby and everything else, but sometimes it makes me very anxious and unhappy. I end up attributing all my problems to the fact I am not independent, and consequently, not free.

 

Since I got pregnant, my husband has been very attentive, giving me all the assistance I need, but he never demonstrated to be really happy for having a baby. He's all the time worried about our finances and the money we'll have to spend, but the emotional, spiritual value of having a child doesn't seem to count. Yesterday I got really pissed off when he came home saying that he's thinking about accomodating the baby in something like a cardboard box or a basket in the first months; he doesn't feel inclined to pay for a crib now, since it's time for him to pay his car insurance. Believe in me, he was not joking. We are not rich, but if we can go out for dinner every weekend what's the deal in buying a crib for our child? It's hard to understand how a father can't wish the best for his child. Thanks to his family, which has been wonderful in every aspects, we already have everything for the baby. My in laws are delightful and excited with the idea, since she'll be the only child in the family in many many years and their only grandchild. But I am so disappointed and hurt with my husband behaviour that all I think now is about coming back to my country as soon as my baby can travel. I love him and I've done the possible to be patient and comprehensive about the problems he claims to have, but now the future is starting to scare me. I am afraid of finding out that the man for whom I abandoned everything is uncapable of donate himself in real love gestures. Plus, I think about myself, in how lonely I feel sometimes, in how limited and unvalued I feel, and how it's all affecting my self esteem and even my progress in my career here; sooner or later, no matter how much love I have for my baby, it'll affect her. I am still young, attractive, intelligent and talented, and I feel I need to take advantage of the time I still have to achieve good things for me and my daughter. Otherwise, I think of my in laws, in how they dearly want this baby, in how they have helped me to feel good and loved and in how unfair I'll sound if I leave and deprive them from this that will be the biggest happiness in the last years of their lives.

 

Thank you all for hearing me, and my apologies for my mistakes in the English. I am a real mixture of contradictory feelings and emotions right now.

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oh wow dreamcatcher....I wish I had some great words of wisdom for you right now (hugs)

Congratulations on the baby!

Have you really sat your husband down & talked to him about all these issues? or are you holding it inside? Marriage is about compromise & communication. I don’t' think it's quite time to give up on this yet. find a way to really communicate with him (if you haven't already, if you have what was his reaction?) You have a lot of feels & emotions & fears (understandable) but he needs to be aware to them. He's your husband. Find your voice. if it's in writing, a talk at the table, a cousellor to help communicate, something to get things out and resoloved.

 

I'm sorry things aren't how you imagined it would be, but I'm sure it's been a lot of adjustments & stress lately. You've had the move (leaving everything you knew & everyone you knew), the marriage & the baby all in the first year plus getting to know eachother in a more intimate way.

 

is it possible to find a job related to your passion that you can do from home? bring in some extra cash? doing something you love

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Hey dreamcatcher,

 

I think that now that you are pregnant, things are heavier on your shoulders. It's a big step to leave your country and everything that you are used to for a marriage in another country. You have been together for 4 years, that is a VERY long time to be together in long distance. For both of you to be able to cope with that, there must be love between you.

 

I think it's best if you wait with these kind of decisions until the little one is born. You are in your last months, and your hormones are different. Your husband doesn't experience your pregnancy the way you do. You have the baby inside, you have a connection with her that is unique to a mother. I think things for your husband may change AFTER the baby is born.

 

Of course being without a job doesn't really help right now, but when your daughter is a bit older, you can start your own career and feel more fulfilled.

 

Don't make any decisions now. Try to enjoy your pregnancy. Is there any way you can meet more pregnant women, are you in a lamaz class? Do you have friends?

 

Take care,

 

Ilse

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Thank you so much, Flower and Ilse. Your responses really warmed my heart. Important things were told and I really appreciate your help.

 

Flower, I rarely talk to my husband about the things that make me upset or hurt. I recognize that maybe this is my biggest problem. I have a tendency to bear things in silence, to keep resentments although I know this is not good whatsoever. I know he doesn't mean to upset me, most of times he does things impulsively; then, I am always very careful with my reactions. I use to wait an opportunity to talk to him about a certain issue, but it's never easy. I think there's a great fear of rejection behind my attitude. I´ve been trying to change this bit by bit.

 

Sometimes, when I let him know that something is not good for me, he says I am "overreacting". But in general he thinks about the subject and end up trying to change his behaviour.

 

You are alright, I've been through a lot in my first year here, it was like an intensive course of "how to be strong". In a certain way I am proud of myself for having being able to cope with all that and learn my lessons. About work, I am a freelance artist, what gives me all the freedom to work from home. It's not easy, I've been struggling a lot (mainly now, with all the issues of pregnancy), money doesn´t come in a regular basis but it was the best I could think about in my current situation.

 

Ilse, what you said is exactly what I think everyday (about the 4 years in a long distance relationship): we've been through a lot to finally stay together, we can't let things deteriorate. I'd better follow your advice and don't make any decisions right now. I've been through a lot of stress since the beginning of my pregnancy.

 

Yes, I am enrolled in a childbirth class, but that will start only next month. I don't have any friends since I came here... I have friends I left in my country, I am always in touch with them, but sometimes I really miss a friend closer to me...

 

Take care, guys, and God bless you.

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My daughter-in-law also came here from another country for love, and she's had many of the problems you describe. You are both very brave women, and I salute you. Two of the biggest things that go wrong in ANY marriage get amplified when you come from different cultures.

 

The first is different expectations and how we thereforeeee interpret our spouse's intentions. An example would be not getting a crib until the baby's 3 or 4 months old (it's common practice in the US, not a sign of indifference or cheapness). Another would be washing glasses as you use them (some people consider this the considerate thing to do, others think it's wasteful of water, few discuss what they're thinking about it, and almost none catch on in their first marriage that it's far better to buy disposable glasses than to lose a loved one or raise a child with limited access to one parent).

 

The second is feeling overwhelmed or depressed and expecting a spouse to take care of what we feel we can't take care of. An example is feeling isolated when you can't drive, don't work, know none of the neighbors. It's much easier to blame a spouse for this isolation and consider leaving than to actually take driving lessons, meet the neighbors and ask if there are jobs where they work that they could drive you to, or walk to classes or talks at the library or evening school to meet people. Another is accepting a spouse's low sex drive as a problem instead of trying out new clothing, new lighting, new approaches, new times, or new words to get things going.

 

Waiting for my husband to meet my needs was my biggest mistake in my first marriage. I felt angry or hurt all the time. In retrospect, most of it could have been solved if I'd simply presented my needs to my husband and asked for his help in figuring out how I could meet them. Instead I kept my unmet needs to myself or shouted them at him as accusations.

 

My daughter-in-law was pregnant with her first when she arrived here and has had two children now. When the second was 8 months old, she finally got herself a mainstream job where she gets paid US wages and meets lots of area natives (instead of working for immigrants, dealing with immigrants, for absurdly low wages). She'll get her driver's license soon. She seems a whole lot happier.

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assumeLove I very much appreciate your response. It showed to me some angles of the question I had not thought about before. I totally agree I don't have to expect my husband meet all my needs, that's a big truth. However, I think that some things I exposed maybe had not been very clear, and I apologise for that.

 

No, I am not blaming my husband for being isolated here, this is not really a big deal for me, and even if it was I know it's not his fault. I've been trying hard being independent on him, but unfortunately the circunstances now do not allow me doing much. But it's a matter of time, I believe.

 

The sex issue was already discussed with my husband and I simply gave up. I don't want to get back to the same conversations anymore, because they burden him, I know. He doesn't have much interest for sex, period. Even if I showed up covered in the sexiest laces and satins. He has a whole repertoire of excuses for don't make love, as if it was the hardest thing in the world, and frankly, I am tired. Then, to avoid conflicts and avoid destroying my confidence, I prefer he takes the initiative - what rarely happens. I know he has troubles, I already encouraged them to seek for help, but he refuses. It seems he is living ok with that - but he doesn't consider he has a wife who doesn't. This is why I think he is acting selfish. I love him immensely, and it's hard to sleep everyday with a person you love but cannot touch him, and never feel him touch you. It's torturing. I just don't know how much the relationship will last this way, frankly.

 

The baby issue: I agree with not buying a crib for the baby in the first months, but I don't think that putting a newborn in a cardboard box, like she was a puppy or a kitten, is a nice alternative. Mainly because it's not safe at all! It sounded to me he doens't care about our child, and this is what hurt me.

 

Again, thank you very time for your time in having written. Hugs!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've lived abroad for 8 years. My situation was different from yours DreamCatcher (moved abroad with my little family) but I just wanted to let you know...

 

... because you have left your country and live in another one I find it often make things worse. It is quite something to leave your country and settle down somewhere else you know! Personally, I thought I was on another planet, not just another country. And leaving your loved ones behind and coming to a country where you don't know much people, where you don't have friends, well it's hard. I can only imagine being pregnant now will make you feel more insecure and unsure if it was the right decision for you to move abroad.

 

Just know it is NORMAL to feel the way you feel DreamCatcher (even more because you are pregnant, hormones and all). When I was living abroad, I even went to see my doctor because I thought I was losing my mind. I felt that bad and insecure! Then I met with other expats and found out all the women felt the same way, went through the same 'process'. What a relief!

 

I like very much Isle's suggestion : Don't make any decisions now. Try to enjoy your pregnancy.

 

Your social network is highly important. Try to meet new people and make friends. Birth classes would be a good place to start with.

 

What always helped me feel a bit better was 'goodies' from home. Have someone send you stuff you enjoy and miss. Sounds crazy but it helps!

 

Husband and pregnancy - For a man, sometimes the baby is not here yet... even if the wife is pregnant up to her ears. My husband realized we had a baby when the nurse handed our daughter to him. Look! A baby! He was in shock. I was tempted to say to him : 'Do you think I was hiding a turkey under my clothes or what??!' ... Everything changed from then on. So don't worry too much.

 

The very best to you

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