Please help me avoid a major marriage crisis
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I got married to a great guy last month, who I had been with for nearly three years. Prior to him proposing (in November 2010), we lived together for about a year. We are, or at least used to be, a great couple: we travelled around the world together, enjoy a lot of the same music and authors, and share the same tastes in terms of going out, having a drink, etc etc. We were living in Europe and we decided to move together to South America and spent most of last year planning for the relocation.
However, things have not been always very easy for us. During most of the year we lived together, he had to deal with a really stressful divorce (he was legally separated for nearly two years, then pressed ahead with the divorce when we met), which consumed him to the point he nearly had a nervous breakdown. The detail here is that he used to hide a lot of the things that were going on regarding the divorce (such as the fact that she wanted *all* of his money and valuable belongings, as well as "custody" or his two pets that he loves so much, or the fact that his financial settlement could potentially be affected by the fact we were living together. What he told me later is that he wanted to protect me from all the nastiness that he had to deal with.
Towards the end of November last year, I was about to publish a book and was super stressed out. At the same time, his divorce was reaching a critical stage. He didn't talk to me about the details, as I mentioned above.
I might add that we used to have a pretty active sex life, but since the divorce started, he was always so stressed out that having sex was the last thing on his mind. Gradually,making love became a rare occurrence.
I then found out that he was sex texting someone. Long story short, I left him and told him all our moving plans for later in the year were cancelled and the relationship was over.
Just to summarise this bit, after a week away I gave him a chance to tell me what had happened. It turned out that he didn't have sex with the woman in question, but allowed the texting to continue because he desperately needed attention and I was so absorbed in my book (and he wouldn't share anything about the divorce with me), so it was a case of me not giving him enough attention and him not being transparent with me. The real causes of this have been identified and I have forgiven him and the woman has never been in touch again and he hasn't been contacted her (or anyone else) since. I have forgiven him, although I would be a hypocrite if I said that the thought of it happening again doesn't haunt me to this date, despite his reassurances that it will never happen again, that it was the stupidest thing he's ever done, etc.
Two weeks after that happened, he proposed. It was a wonderful setting and the whole weekend was perfect. This was always on the cards and we talked several times about marriage before, so I didn't feel it was a way to correct what had happened - and he reiterated that - but a real desire to stay together. I said yes and we got married a month later, in a simple but truly wonderful ceremony.
We have since relocated, and are settling in Colombia now. There is a lot of bureaucracy to deal with and we are starting from scratch. The adaptation for him is even more difficult, since he doesn't speak Spanish, doesn't have friends and is not used to the local culture and systems and ways of doing things. And because of that, we constantly have arguments. He seems increasingly impatient, drinking every day and the sex (or lack of it) problem still continues. On that last point, I think I hardened up as well...if he gets closer, or tries anything, I move away, I don't feel comfortable, or sexy, or worth the attention.
I wonder what I should do to turn this situation around? I know that getting some routine in place would help...He is starting a Spanish course soon and we plan to join the local gym...
But what do I do to get back to the loving relationship we used to have before all this divorce situation came about? I know it is a two-way thing, so how can I open up for sex again? And how can I be more understanding and patient in this time of adaptation? I am scared that I might resent my husband so much for everything (past and present) that our marriage will collapse. I don't want to turn into one of those old women full of hatred and grudges against their partner. I love him very much and want to save our relationship.
Thanks for reading this, suggestions from people who encountered similar situations are very welcome.