I want to be happy. Should I be?
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Considering Divorce or Separation If you're considering divorce or separation, this is the place to talk.

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Old 01-29-2011, 01:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question I want to be happy. Should I be?

I'm pretty new to this forum. I've posted a few responses to some threads but have just been an advisor and observer up until now. I have been reluctant to post my own story because I'm not sure that I even know what I want.

Here's my story. Please try to see through my babbling.

I am 28 years old. My husband and I got married after dating for just over a year and have been married for 2 1/2 years now (first and only marriage for both of us). We were both 25 when we married. We don't have any kids. We own a large home together in a very nice neighborhood. We are both educated and employed and make decent livings. We both have supportive families and a good group of friends. Neither of us abuse the other and neither of us do drugs or drink heavily. Neither of us have had any affairs.

I have everything that any normal person could want. Right? Problem is, I don't think I want it. My whole life, society crammed my head full of happy ending stories of a right process: college, marriage, house, babies. My whole life I imagined that my life wouldn't begin until I found someone to marry. Now that I'm married, I feel like my life won't begin until I get divorced.

My marriage has been tumultous to say the least. We have a history of fighting. He is selfish and lazy which causes a lot of issues. We are both control freaks and both like to be right. I have struggled with some depression and anxiety, which he doesn't handle very well.

Basically, I'm not happy. I'm struggling with the urge to stay in my marriage for the sake of the union, or to get a divorce for the sake of my own happiness. How does one choose? I am not religious, so don't have those expectations looming over my head.

I don't see us lasting for a lifetime. When I think about spending the rest of my life with him, I feel like I'm wasting away. I feel like I have so much to offer the world that he holds me back from. I feel like I have an amazing, wonderful, helpful person inside of me that just can't get out because he's restricting my ability to be myself. Perhaps I am restricting myself from being myself for this idea of what a wife should be. I put pressure on myself to do things a certain way because I feel like a wife must act a certain way and I must live up to those actions.

Even worse, I feel physically ready to start having children, but I'm afraid of bringing children into this world when our marriage seems to be so unstable and unfulfilling. Furthermore, I don't doubt his ability to be a good father, but I DO doubt his ability to be a good husband while he's a good father. His selfishness and laziness scares the crap out of me and I fear that he'll expect me to do all of the baby work. So how does one handle the fear of the unknown future?

I'm really starting to question whether I belive in marriage or not. The idea that the government can hold two people accountable for a committment seems ridiculous to me now that I think about it and have experienced it. Two people should be together because they want to be together, not because they feel obligated or forced to stay together, right?

I do not want to leave him to find someone better. There are no other men in the picture. I actually figure that if I divorce him, I won't ever want to get married again. Perhaps marriage is just not for me. I want to find myself. I guess you could say that I want to be free to do whatever I want, whenever I want, without worrying about how he would react. I'm not talking about partying and socializing either. I'm talking about things like: letting my sister and her kids move in temporarily because she has fallen on bad times, or maybe donating money to help a good cause, or maybe traveling to see my dad just because he misses me. All of these things are examples of things I want to do, but can't because my husband would object or make me feel guilty about.

We have talked about divorce on multiple occassions. We have agreed to work on it. We went to see a sucky counselor who told us it seemed we had all of our issues worked out and not to go back to see her for at least a month. My husband took that as we were fixed, but obviously we are not fixed if I still have these issues. He has told me that he wants to be with me, but if I don't want to be with him, then he doesn't want to be with someone who doesn't want to be with him.

But when the opportunity presents itself to walk away, I just can't bring myself to break it off. I do love him and care about him deeply, but that loving feeling has started to fade. Everything he does annoys me and I don't want to be intimate with him anymore. I just don't like him.

So if you marry someone that you clearly don't have a "connection" with, or someone that you aren't entirely compatible with, do you stay together for the sake of the union and the sake of your committment, or do you divorce for the sake of finding happiness although it might seem selfish?

Am I entitled to admit that I made a mistake? Am I entitled to say that I wouldn't have known that it would've worked unless I at least tried it once?

Although this example is over-simplified, I feel like this situation is like trying out a musical instrument. You REALLY want to be a guitar player. You have tons of friends who play and they really love it. So you buy an expensive, amazing guitar, buy the speakers, amps, music, and charts that you need to learn, you invest in playing lessons, and you do it. You learn. Your fingers hurt at first, but you figure that feeling will go away eventually. You find out you're really good and people love to hear you play. So you book tons of gigs at all kinds of places. After all of this investment with time and money, and all of the committments you've made, you realize that you don't like playing the guitar at all. In all actually, your fingers still hurt really bad and playing depresses you. You'd rather be doing something else with your time and energy. Do you continue playing to make everyone happy and do it just because you invested so much money and time in it, or do you give it up because it doesn't make you happy?

Possibly a bad analogy, and i'm not saying the significance of marriage can be reduced to learning to play an instrument, but hopefully you get my point.

Any advice?

Last edited by Confused-Wife; 02-03-2011 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 01-29-2011, 01:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: I want to be happy. Should I be?

I think what might be holding me back is that I don't want to hurt him. I don't want to force him to be the first divorce in his entire family as far back as I can tell. I don't want to be the reason why his family is diappointed. It's just not fair to him. This whole thing is just not fair.

I have a problem seeking out my own happiness for the sake of someone else's. It's just not natural for me to be selfish, which is a reason this seems to be so difficult.
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: I want to be happy. Should I be?

I am also seeing a counselor on my own to deal with my anxiety, depression, and indecision. She seems to be really nice with those issues, but I still have these feelings about my marriage.
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: I want to be happy. Should I be?

Here is my thought when trying to think things like this through, we only get this one life, we don't get a chance to do it over, you have to do in this life what will make you happy and make you look back at your life when you're old and say "I wouldn't have done it any other way". I'm not one to give advice, as I have problems of my own, so who am I to say what anyone else should do. I tell my H sometimes, because of these problems, if you don't love me anymore, if you would rather be with someone else or just don't want to be with me anymore, please tell me so that I don't waste my life being with someone that doesn't love me, and so he doesn't waste his life being with someone he can't stand, really, what's the point in that??? I'm not a big advocate of divorce either because I think people anymore use that as an easy out instead of working on things and giving it time, of course me and my H have children so I tend to look at it a little differently because we have that to consider. However, if you guys have done counseling and have worked and worked and it's still obvious to you that it's going nowhere, then you have to do what makes you feel right with your life.

Last edited by GreenEyes; 01-29-2011 at 02:14 PM. Reason: Added
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: I want to be happy. Should I be?

I' ve never posted anything before. But it seems I'm in a situation not so disimilar to yours, Confused-Wife and I just had to join in.

We've been living together for 5 years now. I have everything needed for happiness: good eduacation, big house, him, that everybody adores.

I really love him and that makes me impossible to leave, but lately our fights are getting really nasty, he's said some things I would not expect from a sworn enemy let alone the one who's supposed to love me more than anything. Nothing I do seems to be right, I am always to blame for everything that goes wrong in our life. All I need is a little appreciation - what I do get are harsh words how incompetent I am. The kisses are scares and not the right ones, you know, when you are not able to catch your breath. He pretends he doesn't see how hurt I am because he rejected me in bed once again. Every phone call, every email is more important than I am. But when I try to leave, he begs me to stay. I suspect though that's because he doesn't want complications. And all and all we are quite happy. Except that I need someone who will slay dragons for me instead of a dead fish. Everyday I say to myself that it must be more to life than this, I deserve more. I should not settle for less than everything. But in the end I do. Bitter and ready to jump through hoops because I am fooling myself it's a relationship worth saving. But deep down I know. I' ve always known. Maybe I am just not ready to face it yet. Maybe you are not ready either. But you know what has to be done.
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: I want to be happy. Should I be?

Have you felt this way since the beginning? Or is it something that started at some point after the wedding? If so, when did it start? Is there anything that might have triggered it; maybe an argument or an incident where something happened and the thought "I don't want to be married to him" crossed your mind?

On one hand, I do believe that you should make every possible effort to make your marriage work. It's a commitment that you made and you have to do everything in your power to honor that commitment.

On the other, though, if you're truly not happy, then it's not fair to either of you to continue on in a miserable marriage. And you can't let being the first divorce in the family stop you. My divorce was only the second in my whole family, but I did it because I knew it needed to be done. And strangely enough, there are other members in my family that got divorced after me, because seeing me do it gave them the courage.

I would try to get him to go to a few more counseling sessions with you. If he refuses to go, or if you do go and you just can't seem to get rid of these feelings, then ending the marriage would probably be the best, kindest thing you could do not only for yourself, but for him.
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: I want to be happy. Should I be?

I am saddened by your post and not because I object to it but because I feel like we are one in the same. We are singing the same sad song. I feel like I am wasting away, like I have something better then this to offer, like I dont believe in marriage, like I am selfish for wanting to fulfill my own happiness and feel so UNHAPPY. I too have agreed to make this work with hubby and seek counseling but I know I am not in it one hundred percent. I also dont want to find anyone else, I just want to make me happy and find out who I am.

Is that too much to ask?

I hate the fact I will be breaking his heart but like John Mayor says "Later on down the road you will hate that I never gave more to you then half of my heart." In the end we would just both be hurt. That song is my theme song of the moment.
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I think I understand your situation fairly well. I narrowly dodged a similar crisis in my marriage, although my wife posed more complicated challenges, to say the least..

Anyway, question: what happens if you DO find out that breaking up your marriage was a mistake?

Yes, everybody has the right to make their own mistakes.. but do we have the right to make a mistake at the expense of someone else? Trust me on this, you obviously love the guy because you're still with him. However cliched and pathetic that might sound, that is true. You even sound like you love him. Do you want to risk hurting him so bad because of the way you feel?

Look, I'm not saying it's wrong of you to feel that way or anything. All I'm saying is give serendipity a chance. So many of our best choices in life are the ones we made unconsciously. And yes miracles do happen in marriages.

Plus, from what I fathom - your crisis is (if I may use the term) metaphysical... you're obviously facing an identity crisis of sorts; your life has raced by while you were busy putting tick marks in all the societally-imposed checkboxes of success. I dare ask, who hasn't felt that way in life, and particularly at some stage of marriage? I know I have, and thankfully I survived those times.

All you need - both of you - is to look into yourselves sincerely and reevaluate your relationship. Communication is key, but patience is of utmost importance. If you have a shred of love for this guy (and I know you do), pour your heart into making him realize how you really feel - without hurting him. If he understands he'll accommodate your emotional needs better. Try a bit more before you finally give up. Good luck.

Last edited by akcroy; 02-02-2011 at 01:35 AM.
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:55 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: I want to be happy. Should I be?

I understand your situation and your views. Marriage doesn't work like playing guitar because you don't divorce or throw guitar away.
You can keep your expensive guitar hanging on the wall but the guitar won't make you angry.
Since you don't like him and hard to connect with him, you clearly know what you need in your life. You don't want a boss like husband who intends to stop and control you.
Marriage isn't a cage. When you feel that way, you're living in a cage.
You might want to tell your husband you don't feel comfortable to be limited like a 3 year old. You should have freedom to visit your family members, parents or invite them when you feel happy to. Being a life partner, a spouse, it's not enough, he also needs to be your best friend who always support your dreams and things you want to pursue.
A life partner isn't an obstacle or a roadblock.
You might want to give you marriage one more shot. Communicate with him and reach a mutual agreement with him. Falling in love is easy.
Getting along with the spouse and maintain the love well is a hardship.
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: I want to be happy. Should I be?

I share a lot of the same feelings about my marriage and situation that you do. I wish I could give you sound advice, but I am still struggling myself. I am going to try talking w/ my H and maybe suggest counseling, however, the sad reality is that I am only doing it to "follow the motions" of what others expect me to do. I do not want to end things and then later have regrets, and I don't want to leave him, and him feel as though I 'destroyed' his life.

I struggle with the thought of being selfish, but I am simply not happy. And I'm not sure that I can be truly happy in this situation. I believe I did make a mistake when I got married. And in order to correct that mistake, I have to face the consequences.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I also had my doubts after I got married that this is what my life was meant to be. Although I am on the verge of being single, I feel marriage is the life for me, and if my current marriage ends, I will be better prepared and more sure of myself for the next one.

The idea of getting married to IS to find happiness with someone you can share a deep connection with. That does not happen by itself, you have to make it happen.

You have to LEARN how to play a guitar so you can create great sounding music when you play it. This means taking lessons, practicing, being consistent with practice, and playing in front of others.

Marriage is the same way. We are not born knowing how to build a good marriage, its not intuitive.

You have to learn how to build a good marriage, practice what you learned, and be desciplined and consistent with it. If both spouses do this, the end result is love, the feeling of love, and a deep connection; happiness.

You do not have to give up your marriage to find yourself. This is a price that is too big to pay. You can start a journey of self-discovery to find out who you are and what makes you tick, while married. There is plenty of information out there to help you start that journey.

Who knows, maybe when you find yourself you will discover you were not lost afterall, and marriage is in your core.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Update: We got into a "discussion" again on the night before last. He laid everything out for me. He's started to grasp the idea of breaking up and is starting to get excited about the possible single future, although still disappointed and not looking forward to the hard parts (like finding roommates).

So there we were, ready to break up. We talked about how to split the finances, etc etc. We talked about being rational about it. THEN I CHICKENED OUT! We went to see MY counselor later in the day, and she got him hopeful again that we could work it out.

Why can't I just let go??? Ugh!

I'll respond more later. Just thought you guys deserved an update.
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Old 02-04-2011, 05:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
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FYI, if he's so easily dissuaded from being single again, seems like he loves you and deep down inside wants the marriage to work. My opinion anyway.
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Old 02-05-2011, 01:10 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Is he your "soulmate"? Do you think you'll ever find someone like him? Will you ever be as comfortable around someone else?

Just asking because these are the questions I had to ask myself about my H when I was thinking the same things as you. If he is your "soulmate" (however you view this term), is it possible that you never worked on being your own person before you met him? And now that you're tied down, you think of all the amazing things you could do on your own, and how you wouldn't have to worry about him getting mad.

Think about being without him. Do you think that you would eventually be lonely and wonder why you threw away a marriage only because you wanted to be independent?

My solution to this problem was to become independent while still with him. Once I did this, I realized that I do still love being with him and hanging out with him. It was just that I revolved my whole world around him and thought he was dragging me down, when really it was me. Maybe give that a chance? Try living your life they way you would without him, but still with him. If he loves you & wants to save your marriage, then he will understand. Most men want their wives to be independent anyway, and he would probably understand and support this.
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:10 PM   #15 (permalink)
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DandiKitKat and Freak on a Leash -

You both have great advice! I have been away from the forum for a couple weeks so I could gather my thoughts without having any negative or overly supportive interference.

Update: We are doing a trial separation. For the exact reasons that you listed in your last comments. Strange how we came to that agreement before I even read your comment.

We are being very fair and amicable. We are both trying to work it out so we can determine where we will be the most happy. I am considering moving out of state temporarily to stay with friends and work if my job allows me to.

I have good moments and bad. Sometimes I smile, and sometimes I cry. It's still very tough. I love him so much and care about him.

I wish we had more lives to live.
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