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This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
wondering if divorce is our answer or should we fake being happy forever.
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An_229374 posted:
I'm a 28 year old married man and my wife is the same age. It seems like every month or so, one of our married couple friends get a divorce. My wife and I, don't argue all of the time, but if I acted more like a lot of men I know, then I'm sure we'd always argue. When we got married, we were big church goers, and since then, I've fallen off the whole church thing. She still goes ever so often, but not as much as she used to. We have a 2 year old that takes up a lot of our time. She has expressed many times how she wishes I would go to church, or how I should do this or that. I've expressed to her that I would like us to be more social and go out to a club from time to time or to a sports bar to watch major sporting events. She wants me at the house all of the time because she likes the idea of us being a close family that does things together. I like to be home, but I also would like to see my friends occassionally. She wants us to do family activities that cost money, but when I sign up for overtime, she gets upset because i'm not home. I pay all of the bills, do all of the cooking, do the dishes, yard work, and even bathe our son while she's working out. I'm so unhappy with my life right now. I feel like a woman. It's embarrassing to talk to friends who are married and their wife lets them have freedom. I'm unhappy with her as well. She isn't what I want in a wife. She's a wonderful mother and our son is crazy about her. A lot of the way she acts comes from the way that she was raised. She didn't have anyone to teach her how to cook or anything. We're just so different from what each other wants in their spouse that i'm not sure we're going to get over that. Part of me says I want a divorce, but the other side worries what will come of it. She has no one else to rely on, and I fear that she would get desperate and end up with some guy that would abuse her or my son, or she'd move to some dump apartment where i'm not there to protect them incase something happens. I can sense that she's unhappy as well. Each day, i'm finding it harder and harder to fake being happy. I don't think couseling will help because at the end of the day, we're still going to have the same personal desires that we've always had. She's still going to want me to be a devoted church going family man, and i'm still going to want her to increase her social life skills. I'm literally married to a prude. I'm not wanting her to strip down and jump on a table or anything, but just go places that other people our age go occassionally......not all of the time. I seriously don't think we're going to be together forever. My question is; with all of our differences and desires, is it worth it to try and work it out, because neither is going to give in. Or should we just divorce?
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cjh1203 responded:
"I don't think couseling will help because at the end of the day, we're still going to have the same personal desires that we've always had."

A marriage is rarely made up of two people who have exactly the same desires, wishes and priorities in every area of their relationship.

You say that neither of you is going to "give in". A good counselor can help you find ways to compromise and accommodate each other without having to completely give up control to the other person. It can help you find ways of doing things that satisfy both of you. It can help you find out what other issues may be behind a lot of your problems -- ones that you may not even be aware of -- and I can guarantee there are issues like that. It can help you learn to communicate so you really hear and understand each other. It can help you feel like partners again, instead of two people trying to control each other.

It sounds like you're both so set on having the other do what you want that the battle of wills has become more important than the relationship.

You've obviously already decided you don't want to be married to her any more, but you have a child and you owe it to him to try to stay together. Counseling isn't going to hurt, and it could completely change your marriage. If it doesn't help, and you do end up divorcing, at least you've made the effort.
 
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naggingwife74 responded:
From your post it sounds to me like you have drawn all of these conclusions about your marriage without even talking to your wife about how she feels. You say you sense that she's unhappy, have you actually asked her if she is happy? If the two of you don't talk about some of the things that are making you both unhappy and work on compromising to make each other happy then you're right, nothing will change.

The issues you listed don't sound like irrational desires and they also don't sound like things that can't be worked out. Neither of you have to become what the other person wants but you both do need to bend a little and do things the other wants to do.

If your wife enjoys church and wants that to be a family thing, why can't you do that? It is once a week. You said you were doing it when you first got married, it isn't unreasonable that she would expect that to continue. You changed that, she didn't.

If you want to go out every once in a while and enjoy some adult time with people your age there is no reason that she can't do that for you. She would probably have a good time if she let herself. It doesn't sound like you want anything out of the ordinary, it sounds like you are missing some fun in your life and marriage.

Also, unless she use to date abusive guys there is no reason to assume that is where she would end up. Divorced people, men and women, do amazing things when they suddenly have a child to care for as a single parent. Who did she rely on before you got married?

I think that if you are willing to give up before talking to her and trying to work things out, with or without counceling, then you are probably right, your marriage is not going to work out. But you say she isn't what you want in a wife, you don't think you will be together forever and you are faking being happy. It is possible you have just grown apart but you will never know what can change until you make some effort. I hope you consider communicating with your wife over the next few months and trying to work on some compromises that will make you both happy. The simple fact is, you did get married, you had a child and now you have an obligation to try to make it work for the sake of your family that the two of you created. And no, that does not mean faking it, nobody should have to do that in a marriage.
 
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stephs_3_kidz responded:
I agree 100% with cjh and nagging. Neither of you have unreasonable demands.

I really don't feel like the two of you had a clear picture of each other and each other's expectations before you got married. Did you know that she didn't do housework or cook? If she is a SAHM, to me, that would be unacceptable. I don't know many men who *would* be ok with being the sole provider and then coming home and having to take care of everything on that end, too.

It bothered me when you said, "I feel like a woman". Um, that stuff is NOT just woman's work. That's not a very good attitude to have about it.

Here's a suggestion: TALK to her. Tell her exactly how you feel. I think you expressed yourself very matter-of-factly and very well in your post, why not just print it out and show it to her?

Marriage counseling WILL help. It will provide you with the skills to improve your communication and understanding of each other. It will also enable you each to see your own flaws and how you are each contributing to the problems in your marriage. It IS effective. And if either of you want to save the marriage, you will put forth whatever effort it takes until everything is exhausted. Doesn't your son deserve that???

What I find very unfair, though...is that you gave her the impression before you married that you WERE a devoted church-going family man. So that means you failed her in that area. YOU changed what YOU let her believe you were. You are tired of the whole church scene and you want to go out and party. Guess what?? You can still go out as a couple, go out with other couples, and have good, clean fun without compromising anyone's religious beliefs. Not wanting to party it up doesn't equal being a prude. I'm 33, never partied/drank, and I've turned out just fine, so has my husband.

You know what would be so fun to do as a couple? Cooking classes! Time alone as a couple, AND improving both your skills in the kitchen? Priceless. And a great way to reconnect.
 
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cjh1203 replied to stephs_3_kidz's response:
The remark about feeling like a woman really bugged me, too.

The idea of cooking classes is a really good one.

When my parents got married, my mother literally didn't even know how to boil an egg because she had grown up in a house with servants. My father taught her to cook, and she learned to love cooking and has always been excellent at it. That might be a good way for this couple to connect, too.
 
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tmlmtlrl replied to stephs_3_kidz's response:
I think the cooking class idea is Great!! It would be a nice way to get out together, bond, and learn something new. Just because she wasn't taught how to cook doesn't mean she can't learn how to cook. Maybe it bothers her too that she can't cook?

It looks to me that you two are stuck in a rut. It's been a long rut because neither one of you is talking about it. The things you talked about here aren't deal-breakers, and it seems pretty clear to me that you really love her still. So yea there is something here to still fight for!

It's ok that you got in a rut. Now you both just need to fight your way out. A counselor will help teach you how. A counselor isn't there to point fingers and make one give in to the other. A counselor is there to give you the tools to communicate properly for each other (because we are all unique).

Fight!! Either fight your way out of this marriage or fight your way into having a better marriage, but don't make a huge mistake and walk away from your family!
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.
 
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naggingwife74 replied to stephs_3_kidz's response:
Stephs, I agree about her being a SAHM and him still having to come home and make dinner and clean up. I know that there is a lot to do when you stay home with the kids but there is no reason that she shouldn't be taking care of these things since he is working.

Your idea of cooking classes is a great idea, it will give her some lessons and them some time together out of the house. After the class the two of you could even go out for a couple drinks or something else in a more adult setting, it would make for a pretty fun date night.
 
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stephs_3_kidz replied to naggingwife74's response:
Right, I see no problem at all with him coming home and pitching in but there is a problem with him being 100% responsible, and they only have 1 child.
 
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cjh1203 responded:
I have to ask something. In the title of your thread, the only two options are to "fake being happy" and divorce. I assume you knew that nobody was going to tell you to spend the rest of your life faking being happy, so that would leave divorce.

I don't see anything in your post to indicate that you love your wife at all, or that you have any desire to work on your marriage, and you seem to have already made up your mind that you want a divorce and are looking for validation of that decision. That makes me wonder if you are having an affair, or if there is someone else you want to be with. Is that the case?
 
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tmlmtlrl replied to cjh1203's response:
Ugh, you had to say it.....I was thinking it. I was having the thought that he seems to want out for no apparent reason -- so what is the real reason, and then thought another woman.

I'm sure there's much more behind all this, but from what he posted it just isn't conveying "divorce" being necessary or him being at that point.

But maybe it is more about "everyone else getting divorced" and him feeling destined for it.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.
 
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stephs_3_kidz replied to cjh1203's response:
I hate to say it but I had that same thought---if there isn't an actual affair going on, even, I thought about the possibility of someone who is the complete opposite of his wife having caught his eye...
 
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IslandL responded:
I'm curious as to how you got close enough to marry if you feel the two of you are that different. What was it that drew you together? Have you or she really changed in the last few years?

I see some room for compromise here in having a social life together, but you guys need to sit down and talk about it calmly without judging each other. Do you think you could do that?

I wouldn't rule out counseling, sometimes a neutral 3rd party is actually the best in helping a couple communicate what they really want for their lives together.
 
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IslandL replied to tmlmtlrl's response:
I'm thinking more that it is common for couples to marry in their 20's because "all their friends are" and marrying for that reason often doesn't prove to be a very good one.

And then a few years later all their friends seem to be getting divorced and that seems reasonable too if the marriage isn't making the individuals "happy". "I'm not happy, it must be you."

When you become clear that your happiness is directly related to your own efforts, not another person's - you are in a better position to make decisions about your life.
 
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skeeterman7708 replied to cjh1203's response:
I do love her, and honestly would like to remain married to her. I guess I should've provided more detail as to how we ended up together. We met at work, and both of us were really into the social scene and would go out to sports bars, and hang out with friends from time to time, and she was so fun to be around. We dated for about 2 weeks, and she failed to mention that she wasn't fully over her ex, and they got back together. We continued to work around each other and we became really good friends and she confided in me about his bad ways. She ended up leaving him and moving in with an older co-worker who was very involved in Church. My wife got really into the church thing. i decided to give it a try to see if I could just find something positive in it. I had never really tried it, and on contrary to what a lot of people are probably going to say, I didn't do it for her. We began dating soon after, and from there we rushed into marriage really fast, because we had been such good friends for such a long time, we felt like we could make that jump without any issues. We got along very well, and never argued. That was until, we actually lived together. We had been going to a church that the more and more I went, I began to feel uncomfortable. It wasn't just that church. It was all of the nondonominational churches. I'm not one of those people that believes everything that they see or that someone tells me. I had a hard time believing that you could put your hand one someone's head and they just collapse, or that all of a sudden a person could be taken over by the holy spirit and speak in toungues. I also didn't like the fact that everything you did was under a microscope. I love music, but she condemned me for listening to country music. she said that i should throw them all out. i just completely felt out of my element. I missed my brother and my friends, and it just occurred to me that I was sacrificing them for this. I slowly started to going back to my old ways. not drugs or anything like that. I began watching R-rated movies, listening to what ever song, cussed. All of this, while my wife was pregnant. With her, when i was going to church, she was just trying to pressure me into it more and more. If I was reading ESPN books, she'd say, you could be reading your bible. Or if I was watching Tv, she'd say, why don't you watch Joyce Meyer. I was labeled a Luke Warm Christian because of this. I eventually told her that i'm done with church completely, but If I did go back, it would be a Catholic church. It's not that I've made my mind up that I want a divorce, but i just don't see how you can fix something like this.
 
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skeeterman7708 replied to naggingwife74's response:
the reason I feel this way, is because it reminds me of my parents' marriage. My parents never talked about anything and really didn't communicate at all. my dad would come home from work, lay on the bed in their room and watch tv and my mom would fix dinner and he'd grab his plate and go back to his room. They both clearly unhappy and wanted out, but they stayed together because of me. I feel bad, because now that they're split up, they are like two differen't people. I feel like I took their life away.The once a week church thing isn't good enough for her. She's made it clear that she wants a truly devoted christian man. One that will read the bible with her, or discuss the bible verses, and read christain books, listen to christian music, prays all of the time. I don't know....i guess i'm selfish or something. It just bored me and it wasn't for me. She wanted me to go to a church conference called cleansing stream, and I went and didn't like it. We do go out from time to time, but we're both so dedicated to being good parents that we feel guilty if we do too much without him. We never go anywhere without the other, except for her going to church. Before we got married, she lived with a guy who was 37, her ex, and then she left him and moved in with a church going to couple that got her into church. that's who she relied on before we married.


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