struggling newlyweds

lilmissOctober 27, 2008

i honestly never thought that i would be seeking marriage advice after only a month of marriage. but here's the long and short of it.

My husband and I love each other very much. We went through SO much to be together not the least of which was maintaining a trans-Atlantic relationship for 2.5 yrs. Now that we are married, things are just...not as i expected i guess. My husband has a VERY difficult time communicating about anything other than day-to-day activities. and i am exactly the opposite, i am always talking about how i feel. I have such a desire to be a good wife. I want to do everything perfectly, i truly want my husband to be happy and content and taken care of at all times. I do little things for him every day to make him feel special and loved and looked after but i just feel as if he's not happy. He doesn't have a work permit yet (not a u.s. citizen or legal resident yet) so he is stuck all day in our tiny condo with nothing to do. he has no motivation, no drive, no purpose. just watches youtube and sports center all day long. if i suggest we do something together he gets exasperated with me and won't cooperate. if i try to talk to him about how he is feeling he just says "what do you want me to say?" or if i ask him what he wants to do he says "whatever you want". then, he complains that we only get to do the things that I want to do and he feels like he has no control over anything in our relationship. i'm so frustrated because i TRY so hard to please him and he continually feels like i call all of the shots. I've tried to explain to him that I am not a mind reader and if he does not tell me how he feels or what he wants to do i have to just guess. and i am usually wrong.

our sex life is boring as well and that causes me no end of pain and misery. I know he's bored, he knows i'm bored but when i ask him he's just like "stop being so sensitive, it isn't the end of the world". but it IS TO ME!! i don't want him to be unhappy or unfulfilled. I just keep thinking to myself "i bet he wishes he had never married me". i feel like a failure.

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I think a huge part of the problem is because he is totally dependant on you financially @ not able to contribute at this time. That can be very emasculating and shameful to a lot of men since they equate so much of being a good provider with being a man.

But in the mean time perhaps there are some guy jobs around your condo that need fixing or even if he can help your friends or family with some jobs around the house it may help him feel more like he is contributing and being useful. I kind of understand how he feels as I have been financially dependant on my DH the past 4 months and it does make me angry & depressed at times even though it isn't his fault. Though our circumstances are very different I suspect your DH,s funk will lift when he is able to get to work.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 3:44PM
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thanks, I hope so. I have tried to get him involved in little things around the house but he just won't do them. He is only interested in TV and computer stuff, i honestly think he could care less about the household chores or helping me out. He used to do the laundry all of the time and i would come home to a clean house every day but ever since we got married (and a short while before that) he could just care less. i'm so frustrated with him,i feel like all i do is cry all the time which probably just pushes him farther away.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 3:49PM
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It sounds to me like he could be depressed.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 4:03PM
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What did he do for employment before you were married? How did he support himself? How long will it be before he is a legal resident?
Maybe he is depressed over not working but if he had any work ethic at all he would be doing something to contribute.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 4:11PM
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He worked for a Marketing firm in the U.K. for several years and really loved it, he was doing some P.R., promotions and merchandising for several different companies. we just submitted his immigration paperwork so it will be at least 3 more months before he is able to work. He has said he is 'stuck in a rut' but he has absolutely no desire to pull himself out of it.
i just feel like i am the only one who cares about this at all. the more i try to get him to talk to me and be closer with me he just pulls farther away. i never expected our lives to go in this direction so quickly.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 5:05PM
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lilmis, just reading your posts it seems to me that you are constantly "at" your husband. If your husband is not a communicator always asking him things or talking incessantly is not going to help him. Doing little things for him may make you happy, but does your husband like being fussed over so much? I'd back off a bit and give him some room to breath. That doesn't mean you can't have a normal conversation with him. Just don't push it so much trying to be the perfect wife...there is no such thing. When he gets his working papers hopefully your situation will improve and he will feel better about himself. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 6:01PM
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He sounds like he is acting like a child, having a tantrum because things are not going his own way.

"I just keep thinking to myself "i bet he wishes he had never married me". i feel like a failure." - It is not yourself you should be blaming, perhaps this guilt you feel is in fact working against you both. Perhaps you need to focus more on action, on the future (how his work permit is pending).

Perhaps he can step out the door and do some volunteer work. I am sure, as there is here, volunteer organisations where his marketing skills can be put to use.

Perhaps if you changed the mood of your home to one of positive words, and not the doom and gloom that is going on now.

Just tell him that it's time to get moving and you are not going to put up with his complacency any more ! Sometimes people need this sort of reality check to shake them out of their gloom.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 6:10PM
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Thanks for all of your advice, i think it is kind of an 'all of the above' situation. I guess i just feel neglected maybe? i understand that he is a bit 'down in the dumps' so to speak with being unable to work for the past 4 months and 3 more to go. He has contributed quite a lot to our financials though as he had a substantial ammount of money saved when he arrived here (which is now gone). i really want to help him through this but he doesn't feel (or doesn't admit) as if anything is wrong with him.
I just feel like i'm more of an annoyance to him than anything. Even when i come home from work he doesn't even turn off the computer or TV. if i try to have a 'normal' conversation with him he just snaps at me as if i'm just irritating him and interrupting something important. *sigh* maybe as he continually says to me i'm 'making a mountain out of a molehill'. i just feel like after we got married he just changed. and i did too i guess, but in drastically different ways. i got so excited to finally be his wife!!! completely happy and floating around on cloud 9 and wanting nothing more than to finally be able to live the life of my dreams with the man of my dreams. and he just kind of...died or something.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 11:09PM
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Oh dear, I feel for you Lilmiss !

How old are you both ?

You are not an annoyance, you are perfectly justified in your feelings. It is rude of him to not engage with you when you come home from work.

Maybe you are too passive...stand up for yourself !

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 2:18AM
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Well, i can't believe it but my prayers (and maybe the prayers of a few of you?) have been somewhat answered. Last night when i got home from work i just did my own thing, went for a run and went for some drinks with a girlfriend. I just left him alone, spoke only when spoken to and enjoyed some alone time. When it was bedtime i went upstairs & got ready for bed and he came up and layed down with me and wrapped me up in his arms and said "i love you so much baby, you are the best wife anyone could want". and of course i burst into tears, lol. we finally were able to talk and he said things that i didn't even know he was capable of! he decided (i didn't even suggest it!) that the computer will be turned off after 6pm on weeknights and all day on the weekends!!!!!
i don't know what happened, but he finally snapped out of it I guess?!?! the Lord works in his own time, i just have to remember that.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 9:33AM
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That sounds great. Just be sure you don't lapse back into "smothering him". Maybe it will just take a while for both of you to adjust to marriage. Remember not to depend only on him for your happiness. Other people (your friends) still exist after you get married continue your relationships with them.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 5:24PM
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Yes, I will need to work on that I suppose. I need to also work on finding a few girlfriends (married ones would be great) to hang out with.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 5:57PM
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Yes definitely maintain your individuality.

Glad things are looking better for you.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 6:44PM
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Happy to read of the change in him (and in you)! Just give him his space and you have yours also. Take care, NancyLouise

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 7:28AM
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Yes, the keys are, give him his space, complement him, and find a common activity (this requires movement. Long walks are good. Tennis, bicycling, getting out and about!) to do together. Setting aside time to hang out and talk every night, like he did, you have a smart one!, is a good connection maker. Keep on being there for him and with him. This is a hard time, but it will get better if you'll just let it. You are worrying too much, but it's gonna be ok.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 9:17AM
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lilmiss, I totally understand your story and frustration for I too have resently gotten married to my husband whom is from another country. He is currently unemployed and trying to get his citizenship so to work. We have been married for a little more than a mouth and we are struggling dayly as well. I am just praying that everything turn around after he is able to work because less pressure will be off of him fincially. After reading your posting I showed it to him, he informed me that he did feel the same way your husband felt. He informed me just as I struggle to be a good wife, he also wants to please me in being a good husband that provides for his family. He said it is very hard for a man to perform for his wife sexually when there is plenty on mind. As wifes that love our husband, He stress that we must remain patient and supportive at this time until they undergo the unemployment frustrations.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2008 at 10:01PM
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my husband and I have been married for 8 years and together for 15. When I first met him he was just like yours..hated communication. I would relentlessly try and engage him only to watch him creep further into the cave. After years of this, yes, Years, I stopped and realized that our brains are wired completely different. women tend to solve problems by talking to one another and men solve theirs quietly within themselves for the most part. When we both repect each others differences and give each other space, things just flow naturally. We have matured much since those early years, and now when we have a problem, He will actually come to ME and ask to talk..Some things are worth working at and being patient for. He is the love of my life.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2008 at 4:10PM
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In marriage seminars, they will tell you that men's brains are compartmentalized (like a box or a room for each thing) and they joked, claiming that one room is empty where he really is thinking of nothing at all. Really. Women's brains are like a ball of yarn, where one thought leads to another thought, that then reminds her of something else and so on.

They also say that women have an enormous number of words to use each day, and men have like half and they are done.

Most men they say want women to just "get to the point" and keep it short and clear, where women like to talk, and explain all of the circumstances surrounding what they are talking about as well.

Your problem may boil down to the simple differences between men and women.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 9:41AM
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bnice, that was a really great way of explaining it! I think we all can relate to what you are describing.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 10:36AM
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