My husband & I have had a lot of problems the last 2 years.
First he pushed me away by not talking to me anymore & telling me to go out with my friends instead of with him. To try to re-open the lines of communication, I wrote him a letter saying that I felt he was pushing me away & I wanted to fix our communication problems he told me we didn’t have problems, yelled at me that I was crazy/over-dramatic like my mother & then went for a walk outside. I have now learned this is how he always handles problems. If I don’t 100% agree with what he says or thinks he says I’s attacking him so he starts yelling/cursing/deflecting to get me to “stop talking & go away”. Within 6 months, I found out he knew he was going to get laid off from his job & didn’t know how to handle it so that was the reason he pushed me away. I tried to be supportive of him & I’m very successful in my career with a lot of connections but he pushed me away even more in 2012.
This led us to have two problems in 2012:
1) His fault-
- let me help him find a job because he says “I’m weird & do things differently than normal people”.
- talk with me about creating a budget together or combining our finances because he says he’s embarrassed about his lack of income (which I told him I don’t care about but he just delays meeting with me or storms out).
- get counseling or google online to deal with his problems because that’s weird too
- initiate sex & rarely has sex with me (even if I beg/cry for it he just tells me I’m “so weird because other wives stop wanting sex”)
He tells me he loves me but when it comes to any serious conversations about goals/life he still gets angry at me saying that I’m attacking him and he refuses to acknowledge me sexually other than telling me “You look pretty today”. (Note: I was a model & I want than words.)
2) My fault-
I’m not happy to admit this but I’ve cheated. At first it was an accident when I was drunk with a friend. I stopped talking to him & tried to focus on fixing my relationship with my husband. But then at another party I woke up at stranger’s place. I freaked out because I’m afraid of getting STDs, never was a cheater type before & I didn’t even know this guy so I stopped going out, stayed home & saw a doctor to get tested over the next several months. Fortunately, I don’t have any STDs but then I started drinking alcohol at home instead of sex. My life then became just work, drinking at home & then sleep. Meanwhile, my husband was mad at me for invading his “home office” so he left to “look for a job” on his laptop at a cafe.
About 3 months ago, I realized that I needed to fix myself before I tried fixing our relationship again. So, I sold my biz & took time off to “find myself”. Meanwhile, my husband continued his usual looking for a job, playing video games, watching porn & watching sports. I tried to get him involved in my “fix myself & be happy again” plan but he said I was “weird & normal people don’t do that”. I then stopped fighting with him because I needed to fix ME. We started living 2 different lives & don’t talk unless it is about cleaning or our cat. I recently got a new job so my life is fine now except my relationship with my husband.
My question is this: should I try to save this relationship? If so, what should I do?
For what it’s worth, I think my husband wants to salvage our relationship but he doesn’t know how & I honestly question his competence on solving any problem after seeing him fail to solve even basic problems over the last 3 years of our 5 years together.
Okay. Here’s my first question:
I have now learned this is how he always handles problems.
You just learned this now? After how many years of being together? 5? There’s something wrong there.How could you possibly just be learning now how your husband deals with conflict?
I guess one suggestion that people will offer is that this man is threatened by your success and feels inadequate because of it. That’s possible. I typically think that’s a handy go-to excuse for women, though. I don’t think most men care if their partner’s make more than them. That’s one of those seeds planted in other women’s heads over long gab fests with their girlfriends. At the very least, he feels like he’s not doing what “a man” should do because he doesn’t have a job. He had something that is an integral part of our identities taken away from him. Putting you down makes him feel less like a loser. But having you constantly buzzing in his ear like a naggy little gnat isn’t helping.
To be honest, it doesn’t sound like you’re approaching this the right way. You appear to be talking at him, not to him. You’re not acknowledging his feelings. You’re just pushing him to change without taking into consideration what he’s going through. You’re making him sound like an Ogre, and I’m sure he is, but you don’t sound like a cake walk, either. You sound rather immature and self-involved yourself. How you two ever thought you were mature enough to get married is beyond me.
This is yet another reason why I don’t advocate people getting married in their twenties. It sounds like you and he both never developed the proper tools necessary to maintain healthy communication and resolve conflict. Nor did you learn how to be accountable for your actions, which is a crucial part of being an adult and having a relationship. These skills come through experience and trial and error.
Now for this doozie:
I’m not happy to admit this but I’ve cheated. At first it was an accident when I was drunk with a friend.
Um…no. It wasn’t an accident. You’re not taking responsibility for this. Like I said. You lack accountability. That’s a sign of immaturity. Immature people shouldn’t get married. It’s all shades of adorable that you question his competency at solving problems…but he didn’t break his marriage vows. You did. Which means your ability to solve problems blows, too. Your solution to your unhappy state was to “accidentally” fall on a man’s penis. Sorry, but your husband won that round.
About 3 months ago, I realized that I needed to fix myself before I tried fixing our relationship again.
How very Eat, Pray, Love of you. Too bad you were married and it was no longer all about you. Again, I’ll point out how self-focused you seem to be.
I think if there’s any hope of saving your marriage, the two of you need to get to both couples counseling and individual counseling. You’ll need your own private sessions so you can have a safe space to share your personal experiences and feelings. The couples session will help teach you both how to communicate and take responsibility for your actions. The therapist will act as a guide and mediator and they’ll teach you how to communicate. However, without the ability to empathize for each other, you’re in for an uphill battle. That is something you’re both going to need to work on individually. You both need to stop being so self-absorbed and put yourself in your mate’s shoes.
Since you got married, you owe it to yourselves and your vows to at least try to make this work. If it doesn’t, and you learn that you two just aren’t cut out for marriage, then go your separate ways. You don’t sound particularly devoted to your husband. If you’re not willing to do whatever it takes and endure whatever growing pains necessary, you shouldn’t be married.