Just one year old marriage and in crisis
April 14, 2014 7:48 PM   Subscribe

Just one year old marriage and in crisis

Here is my situation, a bit longer so kindly as to bear with me.

I just got married to a smart, matured and lovely woman exactly 13 month ago, we dated for 6 weeks and due to circumstances, (I had to stay in my native country and she decided to stay with me, instead of going back to her country)we had to move together. Even before the 6 weeks moving in happens, we had some problems and misunderstandings, but the same amount of fun, I would say. We start out as a friend and we told our life stories to each other, which turn out later bothered me a lot, like she cheated on her long term ex a couple of times.

We had, for the next 10 month, living together to have fights (a lot I would say), but also pretty good times. We can laugh together, and see things on the same perspectives. But, we had a major communication problems and I start to resent her as I am naturally indecisive when it comes to my needs. I worked on that as we almost can talked about anything. Things get better I would say, but we never had any time to work on our love. It has been always making things right, to the point I don’t even recall why we got in love, or why I decided to propose or why we got married. We have talked a lot about our doubts and I personally thought about breaking up a lot before we got married. But then, things got better and it all start all over again. Now, we have a beautiful little baby.

Our current situation: we both decided to work on this relationship, we buried ourselves in self-help books and our communication is improved well, and we don’t fight anymore. As things got better between as, all the doubts I used to have start to come back to me for no obvious reason. I started to ask her why she did that and this when we were dating. Why I didn’t break up and stand up for my self back then? I started to ask why I did get married when I felt that I had to break up? Why? Why? And a lot awful of WHYS? She recognized it and she talk about it with me… and I told her I don’t feel like a family here and that I don’t even know why? She, on the other hand, very happy with the marriage and said she would never change it for anything, and that she will always be here for me if I needed her to fix this and crying.

I start to mistrust her (thinking all the time that if she cheated before and she will on me) or getting all sorts of ideas.

My main concern is how to avoid this negative thinking? Even more, what if they are not negative thinking, but the true feeling? What if I never loved her and I just slide instead of decide on my life? I am confused and depressed. And I want advice and your intake. Thanks.

P.s. Many close friends comments on our relationship when we back dating (even her closet girlfriends) that it wasn't a right combination. And now I start to hold on that too, even thought i see both made a good progress.
posted by Sall to Human Relations (21 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Just because she cheated once, that doesn't mean she will cheat again.

That said, if you aren't happy with the marriage, the time to get divorced is sooner, rather than later, definitely before kids are in the picture.
posted by empath at 7:53 PM on April 14, 2014

I think it's too late for that.

Couple's and individual counseling would be in order, stat. You need real live disinterested third parties helping you get perspective, as individuals and as a couple. Self help books don't provide that.
posted by supercres at 7:56 PM on April 14, 2014 [4 favorites]

You have a child so regardless of whether you have a marriage in future, you will always have a relationship. It is a heck of a lot easier to co-parent when married; and easier to have a relationship when you share mutual goals. She is still happy and wants to work on your relationship. You don't seem to have current concerns, more like intrusive thoughts or delusional thinking (from what she said over a year ago, from your friend's comments from the very start of your relationship). I think you need an unbiased third party to talk out these issues with both of you. Stop having these conversations together where you dump all your doubts about her from before you proposed - work on that with professionals. If something comes up right now, sure talk about that. But it is self-destructive and creates a negative, self-reinforcing cycle to blame her or yourself for past "mistakes" (in quotes, because it is debatable if they are mistakes).

You have an infant together; a lot of parents get all muddled up from lack of sleep, overwhelming responsibilities, and hormones. Don't make rash decisions that will impact everyone's lives while you are basically in crisis mode. Reach out to your support network and make sure you both get some sleep, time alone, and time to be a couple.
posted by saucysault at 8:19 PM on April 14, 2014 [28 favorites]

Well, I can tell you that placing your faith in what other people think is a betrayal of your Wife, your Marriage, your Child, and especially Yourself. Other people don't live under your roof or sleep in your bed. Don't let outsiders undermine your primary relationship like this, ever.

You sound like your own worst enemy. You sound like you are creating problems where none need to exist.

The fist few years with a baby are the absolute worst in just about every relationship. It is the BIGGEST stress I personally can think of.

You need a therapist and couples counseling.

If you don't love your wife, you should end it. I don't think, however, that you know what you are feeling!!

Counseling to get some space and clarity.

(I fear you might be putting yourself and your wife through hell because when she was younger, she cheated in a previous relationship. If you are the kind of guy who only can see women as either "Madonna" or "Whore," than please skip all of my advice and head straight to a divorce attorney. Anything else is a waste of your time*)

*I have no idea if you are this type of guy, but it is something to look at given your obsession with your wife's past.
posted by jbenben at 8:24 PM on April 14, 2014 [13 favorites]

Upon preview, saucysalt says it all a lot nicer than I did.
posted by jbenben at 8:25 PM on April 14, 2014

sorry, didn't see the sentence about the baby

Yes, get counseling.
posted by empath at 8:28 PM on April 14, 2014

Based on some past experiences, I would suggest to you that you are sabotaging yourself, which means you are trying to ruin your own happiness.

You see that things are going well in your relationship currently and now you have to reach back into the past and try to dredge up reasons for drama. You are asking things like "why am I in this relationship?" at the same time as clearly stating the answers (i.e. you have a lot of fun with your wife, she's the kind of person you can tell anything to, she loves you and wants to stay with you forever and will do anything you ask to work on the relationship, you have a beautiful baby - and you're wondering why you're in this relationship/married to her?! Something doesn't compute here).

Secondly, realize that when you are constantly telling a person and showing them that you do not trust them, and radiating jealousy and insecurity, you're driving that person away from you. If you really wanted to discourage her from cheating, show her love and trust. Cheating is never the right thing to do, and I don't know why she did it in the past, but given the good things you say about her, I think you should be willing to give her the benefit of the doubt that there were extenuating circumstances or that she learned from her mistakes and sincerely regrets them.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 8:37 PM on April 14, 2014 [9 favorites]

I suggest you buy the book "Intimate Connections" by Dr. David Burns and do all the exercises in it a lot.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:17 PM on April 14, 2014

Also, check up on the logic of your beliefs. You ask if she cheated on someone else would she cheat on you and express a fear that the concern is real.

But your fears are not evidence of anything. They are emotions. In terms of "will she cheat on me?" what do the facts say? Do you have any evidence she is? If not, your fears are likely not based in reality.

Put simply, you lack the ability to predict future behavior with your emotions. The fact will be that sometimes people will cheat and sometimes they won't. But your fear of it is simply not predictive of these sorts of things.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:22 PM on April 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Have you gotten the opportunity to get out and reconnect as a couple, without your child?

Babies are wonderful, but they are also stressful. It's easy to get so wrapped up in the "parent" role that we neglect the "partner" role and the relationship. I think it's normal to feel kind of frustrated and sad about the lack of closeness as a couple when you have a young child.

You seem laser-focused on her past transgressions in her prior relationship. You can't build a future together if you are always going to be looking towards the past. She gave you a beautiful baby. She's told you that she's always going to be there for you. She is committed to the marriage and willing to work on it. She's enduring the stress of a baby and a morose husband who doesn't trust her.

I think that you need counseling to address your trust issues. And you need to show some compassion towards your wife and the mother of your baby. How about instead of grilling her about her mistakes, you compliment her on something she's done well recently? Or maybe you arrange a babysitter and take her out? It's not an easy time in your lives, but it does get better once you find your rhythm. Hang in there, reach out to your support network, and get the help that you need.
posted by Ostara at 9:59 PM on April 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

You are obsessed with the past and the imperfections of her past, specifically. This obsession will prevent you from being present and engaged with her in the present. Her past doesn't matter as much as you seem to think and you being preoccupied with finding her faults will erode your relationship. For the sake of your child, try to refocus on actively building the relationship you want.

If you allow your fears and anxieties control you the way that they are now, all of your relationships will suffer. Examine why you are so focused on undermining rather than building this relationship. Building a strong, loving, and happy relationship is a skill, not a magical event. Develop that skill.
posted by quince at 11:07 PM on April 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

Look, at some point, love is a choice. There's no "one." There's no woman who will make you happy forever. She doesn't exist. She's a fantasy.

Grow up. Leaving a marriage and a young child, to me, should not be "itchy feet, what if I can do better, what if I was wrong and my friends were right years ago." I mean, abuse? Alcoholism? Gambling addiction? Cheating (actual cheating, not you being paranoid)? Yeah, those are legit reasons to walk. "She doesn't excite me anymore? My friends don't like her?" Nope, sorry. Not legit. Not to me. Not with a child. I mean, I realize you're a man; you didn't carry the baby for nine months. Maybe to you the kid just showed up one day. Oh, hey. Kid. Okay. But you were a child once. Remember that? Reach back. Way back. Remember how much you loved your own mother? Think about that. Your child will love his/her mother. He/she will love her even if you don't. You need to respect that love even if you cannot love her yourself.

This is very sad and I am sorry for you. I truly believe you've tried to be happy. But I think maybe you have the wrong idea of happiness, or what brings happiness in the long run. Living with dignity and doing the right thing brings happiness in the end. You sound like you are young and confused and still have some growing to do; I think it is very unfortunate that you did not finish your growing up before you had a child.

Whatever happens with your wife, do right by your child, please. That starts with at least respecting his/her mother. If you decide to divorce, you're not a terrible person. If you decide to divorce for the wrong, selfish reasons, and do it badly, you kind of are.
posted by quincunx at 11:08 PM on April 14, 2014 [18 favorites]

You have a kid now, so you need to put 100% focus into making this relationship work. If that means trusting her, so be it.
posted by xammerboy at 12:54 AM on April 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

Our current situation: we both decided to work on this relationship, we buried ourselves in self-help books and our communication is improved well, and we don’t fight anymore.

This is a major achievement, and both of you should be proud, as a couple, that you have been able to improve your relationship so dramatically in such a short period of time. It's actually pretty rare, and I think that if you can accomplish that, then I think you must really have something together.

I think if you allow yourself to take more pride in what you two have created (your healthy relationship and your child) you will see your relationship in a more positive light.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:48 AM on April 15, 2014 [7 favorites]

I had to stay in my native country and she decided to stay with me, instead of going back to her country

Do not underestimate the difficulty with communication between any two people from different countries, different backgrounds, different languages.

If you didn't grow up watching the same TV programs what you think the other person is saying may not be what that person is actually saying.

Also the cheating thing is a sign of poor character which doesn't necessarily change once the circumstances change. YMMV, but my experience is that a used car doesn't suddenly become new just because you bought it.
posted by three blind mice at 5:09 AM on April 15, 2014

Every time that you start obsessing about what is wrong with your marriage, pull out a picture of your baby and imagine another man raising that child.

The baby didn't ask to be born. You are responsible for making that happen. Do the right thing.
posted by myselfasme at 5:23 AM on April 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

What if I never loved her and I just slide instead of decide on my life? I am confused and depressed. And I want advice and your intake.

I think the absolute best thing you could do right now is seek each other's attention and start talking this stuff through...work past all of these misunderstandings. Love within a marriage isn't a prolonged infatuation (not to say that doesn't happen of course), but is instead a long term commitment of working these puzzles of life out together regardless of the difficulty. If you don't feel you can do that, you need to discuss that too with her. It sounds to me like she's very open to making the marriage work. You need to look inward and find out where you're coming from.
posted by samsara at 5:28 AM on April 15, 2014

You owe it to your family to work through your issues. No matter what happens, your wife and your child will be in your life, for the rest of your life.

You sound young, very influenced by what other people think. What is important is your family and keeping your child as safe, loved and secure as possible. No matter how your marriage works out.

Do you have pre-cana counseling where you are? If you're not Catholic, perhaps your faith offers this type of structured coursework. You need to get on the same page as your wife about how you want your life to be as a family.

Even if you decide to divorce, you will need to work out a way where you can both parent your child.

Marriage is hard, especially with the added stress of child-rearing. Fundamental differences can't be solved by reading books. I cannot urge you enough to seek good counseling, and in many cases you can obtain this free or at low cost through your local house of worship.

Good luck to you, it won't always be easy, but it will be rewarding.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:32 AM on April 15, 2014

The only thing I can really speak to from experience is your concern regarding the fact that she cheated in a previous relationship. I also cheated on previous relationships but I have not cheated on my husband and it's been 10 years. The two biggest reasons why are because I love him and he trusts me. And I think about how I would feel if he cheated on me. But the fact that he trusts me is huge.

No one is perfect. Everyone has some baggage. When you got married, you agreed, in my opinion, to leave the past in the past (especially the past when you weren't even in the picture) and work towards building a future together. That future, especially with a kid in the picture, is what's important.

Also the cheating thing is a sign of poor character which doesn't necessarily change once the circumstances change. YMMV, but my experience is that a used car doesn't suddenly become new just because you bought it.

Ouch. Thank God that people aren't cars.
posted by kat518 at 5:57 AM on April 15, 2014 [24 favorites]

You need a counselor and a lawyer. A counselor to see if you can trust your wife after learning of her cheating on a past partner and a lawyer to fuss out the possible child custody issues if you were to divorce since you have international issues. Would she even be able to stay if you divorced and what does THAT mean for the kid?

Don't even think about another kid until you are 100% absolutoootly sure, without wavering for serveral months or better yet years, that you are in this relationship for good. Kids shouldn't have to deal with the fallout of parent's emotions changing with the waxing and waning of the moon.
posted by WeekendJen at 9:29 AM on April 15, 2014

Thank you all for your comments and support. I have seen unfairness from my side in different ways and many opportunities as well for improvements.
posted by Sall at 3:08 AM on April 16, 2014

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