Crumbling marriage - together 9 years - married 2
First, a little history:
I have been with my husband for almost 9 years. Of those 9 years, we've been married for 2. My husband has a child from a previous relationship, and has full custody. We also have a 5-month old child together. We've gone through a lot in the 9 years we've been together. In the beginning he was struggling with job loss, and I was in college. We temporarily separated a couple of times only for him to realize he missed me and wanted me back. After I finished college, we moved out of the town we were in. About a year and a half after moving, he cheated on me with a previous girlfriend, who I had actually befriended. We stayed together, but eventually parted ways because he wasn't sure about commitment, and I was sick of being jerked around with his, "I want you", "I don't want you now", etc... During this split, I moved out and got my own place. I started dating, and the guy I was dating was a really insecure, anxious person who I feel like I have now become. My now husband, boyfriend at the time, was an absolute mess when I moved out. It's like he realized what he lost once I was actually gone. Three months later, we rekindled our relationship. He was speaking to a therapist and through working with her, he realized he was fit for commitment and proposed (and I"m sure other things were talked about- he is a child of divorced parents, I am not). A little over a year after we had gotten back together, he proposed. A year after he proposed, we got married.
Since we got back together, we have been happy for the most part. Like any couple, we've had disagreements, but nothing out of the ordinary. We planned to get pregnant after about a year of being married, and now have a 5-month old. We also bought a house 2 months ago (it was a long process- we had to work for two years to bring up credit & save money). I would say within the last month and a half, we've really been at each others throats and arguing about the stupidest things and saying stupid things we don't mean. We also hadn't been intimate from about Oct '15(while I was pregnant), until a few weeks ago. It felt good emotionally to reconnect with him intimately, especially after such a long time. Since our big blow up at the beginning of the week, we even connected the other night, and it was real.
I've tried to nail down his main issues with me, and mine with him.
-- His issues with me are the fact that I'm a crazy worrier. I get really anxious if he wants to go out, especially out of town (he doesn't go out often). I hate feeling this way, but I have trust issues stemming from his past, and I worry that something bad will happen. Me worrying helps me feel in control, and it's really taking its toll on me. The other big issue he has with me is I can be messy. Not dirty messy, but leaving stuff lay around, and I have a lot of "stuff". He said that my constant worry, and wanting to know when he'll be home, and if he can be home by X time puts a lot of pressure on him, and I can see that. I would hate for him to be crazy on me if I wanted to go out (I maybe go out 1 -2 times a year. All of my close friends live far away).
-- My issues with him are he doesn't listen. For example, I told him in the morning where to pick up his daughter, and when she was expecting him. He asked me that afternoon the same thing I told him that morning. It sounds small, but it happens ALL of the time. My other issue is, he doesn't put in effort for us. I try to compliment him on little things, tell him I'm proud of him, grab him a random treat I see that I know he likes. I don't feel like he does anything like that. He used to randomly send me flowers if he knew I was having a bad day, but that hasn't happened for a long time. I'm not looking for flowers, just some sort of recognition, encouragement, etc...
I brought up that we should talk to someone, and to my surprise, he agreed. I feel like that's a step in the right direction. That said, we have different views on what we want to get from therapy. I am going in to therapy to save my marriage. To gain the tools and knowledge to regain the spark and love in our marriage, so we can grow old together. After all, we took vows. He is going in to in more in the middle. He just wants us to both come out and be happy, even if it means we wont' be together I understand that, but I don't want to lose him. I have asked him if he wants the end result for us to be together. His answer is, "if we can fix things and be happy, then yes. But if we can't, then no". He has the mindset that because we've been together for 9 years, it could take a long time to fix, and is it a waste of time. I know we have problems, but I didn't think it was to the point where he is considering divorce. It hurts me to even say that word. We have so much together...two children, a new home, a lot of good memories, mutual friends, etc... it just scares me to death.
To top it all off, I can't talk to anyone about this. It's so hard struggling through this alone, so that's why I found this forum. I don't want to talk to my parents about it, because all they'll do is worry. I don't want to talk to my friends because it's embarrassing. I just want my husband to look at me how he did two years ago when he saw me walk down the aisle. We chose to create a new life, who is only 5 months old, and I want to give him the world.
My heart hurts so bad, and it's so hard to take care of myself, focus on my work, and be joyful with my kids when I'm hurting so badly inside. I love my husband, and I know he loves me, but is that enough?
If you've made it this far, thank you for listening. I'm a complete mess, so please forgive my crazy.
Sorry you going through this, every relationship has its issues.
The good thing is you have decided to go talk to someone together! In sure you will find out there is a lot more to this problem then you think.
I really understand your fear of him going out or staying over night as he has cheated on you before which is something you can work through with a therapist.
I used to worry a lot in the beginning about my partner going out even though he didn't do it often and hasn't Cheated on me but I was afraid in case it did, I spend a lot of time worrying for nothing, I decided to give up control and if anything like that happened I had no control over it anyway so there was no point worrying about it unless it happened for real.
In regards to the other issues, the messy thing ? Is that a real problem not really.
Him forgetting stuff, my husband goes through this asking me the same questions even 5 mins after, annoying yes ! Worth leaving marriage over no ! Plus you say you have s 5 month old kid... This can also be from
Having a baby changes things.... For the good but couple life changes too, lots of attention goes to the baby and it's easy to forget each other. Plus now your man feels more responsibility, he has you and 2 kids to think about I know men sometimes take all this on.
The way your husband has a more negitive view about what therapy might bring, could this also be from his view of his parents not staying together, again therapy here will be good.
Hope things work for you good luck
This is a very delicate time for your relationship because you have a magnifying glass on in at you are waiting to see where it goes. One step after another you will go into a couple different directions.... instead you need to step back with broader vision and create a path towards where you want to go.
This is a very delicate time for you because you just had a baby!! You have just been equipped with superpowers. Powers that if not used productively will find their way into use unproductively, even destructively.
I like your husbands attitude. He didn't want to commit because he didn't know if he could. Then when he was SURE you were what he wanted, he married you. He sounds honest. His plan for you two to be HAPPY above all tells me that he is gifted with a practical and spiritual mind. A rock for powerful woman.
Men and women think very differently, and especially since you just had a child, your mind is powered. Its powered so much that its confusing you. You NEED to channel it into projects and managing all the things you need to do and want to do. Women have the power to be happy, sad, focused, confused all at the same time. This is so that we can happily go about our day, sad about the news, focused on your to do list, feeding children, prepare for meetings, do gardening etc. Have you ever seen a HINDU GODESS? They are statues of women with many arms, able to balance many things. You are a Godess.
Men think about one thing at a time, but they are focused, and then they move on to the next, having a collection of decided items and undecided items. But they think about one thing at a time. Deliberate thoughts with focus, clarity and rational.
You mentioned that you want him to see you as the bride that you were.... i'm sure that he wants you to see him as the groom that he was, but you don't trust him.
Trust is so important, and he was honest about his inability to commit, then he committed. I think that he might be faithful. It was so important for him to know whether or not he was ready. It was important to him.
I imagine you are off of work right now, so you also have free thoughts available. I wouldn't worry so much. I would make a final decision on TRUST. And then live faithfully, and free.
Freedom is the most important thing, and your husband knows it which is why his pursuit is for happiness. Happiness is freedom. Its that light feeling that makes you smile when your not necessarily smiling, its that feeling that allows you to dream, its that feeling that makes you feel supported in anything that you want to do. Its a feeling of freeeeee. No worries, no questions.
A free mind is an open mind to life's blessings...which are everywhere.
If you have conditioned yourself to worries, you have to fight it with focus. First by getting into life and finding focus with different projects. You have a baby's life to dream about, research and plan!! You have a gardening projects to research for!! You have always wanted to just paint something. Scrapbooking of ideas that you want to collect for your child so that you will be organized and prepared when the time comes. Maybe you always wanted to play a sport. Join YOGA.
Projects and experiences... this is life, this is living. There are millions of possibilities... start having fun!!
The other way to reverse your conditioning is to catch yourself worrying... and automatically tell yourself, ITS DECIDED. I TRUST HIM. I WANT FREEDOM.
We are habitual creatures... its only natural that it will take time to change. But awareness will now power that change... and you will succeed. We all train our minds how to think just by thinking... we can retrain to.
Pharrell Williams sang it... 'Clap your hands if you feel like a room without a house' ' Clap your hands if happiness is....the truth'
I would be honest with my husband and tell him the truth, a very brief explanation of what has been happening. I would confirm the fact with your family doctor, that when people have babies it effects their focus and emotions...and it will take some time to balance out. Its not your fault.
THEN!!! I would share a very detailed and excited explanation of your solutions. What your excited about... in life!!! What projects and experiences you are going to pursue!! Give yourself permission to be forever young....childishly excited about life and how you will be living it.
Row Row Row your boat..gently down the stream... merrily merrily merrily merrily...life is but a dream.