This will be long, and I’m sorry. But I just need someone to talk to about all of this – I don’t want my friends and family to judge me and/or my H based on the situation(s) at hand. If we go separate ways, then they can judge if they’d like, but if we remain together I don’t want them to judge us and have opinions about us/our relationship unnecessarily.
We started dating when we were 20 (almost 21), moved in together after 8 months, and got married at 22. Young, and fast, I know that now. But we were madly in love, he was moving away for work, I was finished with school and had a job opportunity where he was going, etc. I know now that I wouldn’t do it the same way again – I’d move with him, sure, but I wouldn’t get married nearly as fast.
While dating/engaged I finished up with college, he got his certificate (trade school, so he was done a year before me), he got his first job, we got a puppy to add to the dog he already had, we remodeled his entire house (stripped down to the studs in every room and then fixed ‘er up from there), he taught me to snowboard, we took a 3,000 mile (round trip) road trip to visit his brother at college, we were financially independent from our parents, he had surgery, and many, many other things. I only tell you all of this to give you some semblance of our relationship prior to moving and getting married. He also really put me on a pedestal. Spoiled me rotten in the romance department. I loved every minute of it, and did my best to return it.
After getting married, we moved 3,000 miles. Away from my family and hometown, back to his hometown and within 5 miles of his mom and stepdad, dad and stepmom, and his older brother and his wife. We didn’t honeymoon – he had to fly back asap (three days) after the wedding to keep working. I packed up my car and drove 3,000 miles with my dad and sisters – they got to see a lot of things that they’ll probably never see again. It was a last hoorah for the four of us, I suppose. They stayed for about 10 days before heading back home.
My H was building us our apartment. His dad owns a building that had a portion that was unused and unfinished, so my H made it into an apartment for us. It was supposed to be done before I got up there, but it was nowhere near finished. I was a biitch and threw a fit. I refused to help him with it. I was upset that it wasn’t done (he had been back for 3+ months at that point) and didn’t see it as “my responsibility” to help him finish HIS job. I know, mega*****. I wish I could go back and change that. I have apologized to him more than once about this (he likes to bring it up in arguments/discussions about our relationship). I wish I could explain why I acted the way I did, but I cannot. The best that I can come up with is that I was adjusting to a lot of things and very well may have been depressed. All I know is that that person was not me.
I got pregnant almost immediately. It wasn’t on purpose, but we both went from “wtf?!” to excited. Nervous, too. But I had a good job with great insurance benefits. We were ready to tackle the parenting thing head-on. We had talked about kids while dating/engaged and he was excited to be a father, I was excited to be a mother. We had planned on starting our family early, but perhaps not quite this early. But, we rolled with it.
He finished our apartment in August (we were married in June, my family left just after the beginning of July). I did help, but very little, and complaining about it the whole time, too. I was selfish. I was exhausted from my pregnancy and slept a lot. Once the apartment was finished we moved in all of our stuff. It was fun, it was exciting. I was slated to begin my job in mid/late August, and he got a good paying job in his field, too. His job would typically take him out of town for M-F. He’d leave Monday morning and come back in the afternoon on Friday. This was all weather-dependent – he may leave a day or two later if the weather wasn’t conducive to small plane travel, or he may stay where he was over the weekend for the same reason. He wasn’t gone every week, but definitely at least 3 out of every 4 during the month.
We would be able to talk on the phone in the evenings, sometimes in the morning too, but usually not. He kept a journal and would “talk” to me that way – I’d read it when he came back on Friday afternoon. I typically cried (to myself!) Monday nights, sometimes on Tuesdays if it was a rough week, was ok by Wednesday, and by Thursday I was giddily excited for his return on Friday. I let the house become a mess and then by Wed/Thurs would clean up a bit. Not scrubbed clean, no. But definitely got the dishes taken care of, countertops cleaned, etc. We would reunite, the weekend would be great, and he’d be off again on Monday. Wash, rinse, repeat.
FIL owns a small plane and was generous enough to fly out to get DH early on Thursday so that DH could be there for my “big” ultrasound (found out the sex). DH told me after our ultrasound (later that night, after we went out to dinner with MIL) that FIL had taken it upon himself on the plane ride to tell DH just what he thought of our relationship. He felt that I was lazy, DH did too much for me, that our division of household labor was unfair, etc. He asked DH if he was happy, because he didn’t seem to be. DH told me that he told his dad that our relationship was just fine and he didn’t need to be concerned with it, nor talk about his wife in that fashion. I was very hurt and pretty upset with the whole thing. FIL later “apologized” to me, saying “I told him (DH) that that was supposed to stay just between myself and him. I’m upset that he threw me under the bus here” I followed by telling FIL that DH and I share everything with one another, and of course DH was going to tell me what he had said about me.
By Thanksgiving his work was slowing down (pretty seasonal). We were in a good financial spot. We bought things for the baby (pnp, crib mattress, stroller system, etc.) after finding out the sex. We were in a good financial situation and purchased everything ourselves, and not on credit cards. Our parents bought us nothing. His parents (both MIL and FIL and their spouses) were less than pleased with me being pregnant so early on. We found it necessary to not ask them for a thing and sort of “prove” that we were capable and worthy of being parents.
My H’s dream has always been to own his own business and be self employed. I really supported his dream and encouraged him to pursue it. I had the medical benefits, so we didn’t need to worry about that. He slowly started networking and taking jobs in November/December. He completed his first one right before Christmastime and learned a LOT in just that one job (mostly that he underbids and underestimates the amount of time it is really going to take him to produce something of the quality he’d be satisfied with putting his name on). We went to Hawaii for Christmas vacation. 10 days I believe. MIL’s parents live there and DH’s brother and (now) wife were getting married. We considered this our honeymoon. MIL was generous enough to put us up in a very nice hotel for our first 3 nights there. We then stayed 2 nights in the house MIL and her husband had rented. Then moved to an extremely nice hotel that we paid for for the next 3 nights. It was pure bliss. DH and I were very happy. He was stress free from finishing up his first contracted job, we didn’t “nickel and dime” our trip, we could feel the baby moving, we spent a lot of time exploring the island and hanging out with DH’s family.
We both returned to work right after the first of the year. DH more heavily talked about really starting his business (not just working jobs in his spare time) and quitting his other job. But, for the time being, he stuck with the job. However, because work was slow, he also took on side jobs for his business and would work on those when he could (which was fairly often, as work really slowed down in the winter). It was during this time that I “made it clear” that the business was expected to support itself. Any bills/loans incurred by the business needed to be paid by profits from the business, all overhead costs needed to be covered by the business, etc. DH agreed. Our bank accounts are linked (they’re held at the same bank) but were to be kept separate.
I gave birth to our child in March. We had scheduled a c-section but my water broke a week before I was scheduled. When I got to the hospital we still proceeded with the c-sec (baby was estimated to be very large). The baby was 10 and a half pounds, so the estimates were right. We’ll call the baby R to avoid giving away the sex and giving away too many details
R needed oxygen so DH stayed with the baby while I got closed up and recovered (I had to be able to wiggle my toes before I could go from the recovery room to my room). When I returned to my room DH and R were waiting for me. I finally got to hold our baby, DH and I had a few moments to ourselves, and the nurse was there to help me do the first attempt at breastfeeding. I had just gotten set up and there was pounding at the door. FIL was here! DH went and answered the door, told him he was glad he was here, but I had just gotten into the room, was just now trying to feed R for the first time, and it might be a bit before we were ready for anyone to come in. FIL’s response was “I have a plane to catch now let me see my grandbaby.” DH closed the door, told me the conversation, and I continued to get to know and try to feed our child. Another knock, which we ignored. Then another knock, followed by the door starting to open. DH rushed to the door – FIL was barging in “I have to leave for the airport but I refuse to not see my grandbaby before I go.” DH came in very apologetic. I put my boob away, wrapped R back up, and couldn’t do much else as I was still numb from the waist down, drugged up, and catheterized. The welcoming committee came in, my baby was taken from me, FIL cried, pictures were taken of everyone (none of me, though!). BIL finally was holding R and insisted on taking a picture with me. I looked awful, but felt grateful that I hadn’t been completely forgotten. They all left fairly quickly and it was back to just DH and I. MIL and her husband came later, but were very respectful. That night BIL and his wife came back again, and brought me beer. I was very grateful, haha. We went home 2 days later.
DH was supposed to go back to work on Monday. He came home for lunch, pissed off at the grunt labor he was doing and the people he was working with, and with the news that he had just been offered a job (for his business). It’d be a high income job, with more on the way. I told him I would fully support whatever choice he made, and formally put the “offer” on the table for him to quit his “real” job and put his effort and time into the business entirely. He resigned right then and there. I think he may have finished out the day, but otherwise he came home and hung out with our newborn child and I.
I had 6 weeks of maternity leave. I did not adjust well to becoming a mother (this is really hard to say and admit, by the way). I have no doubts in my mind, now, that I had PPD – but I wouldn’t consider the thought back then. DH and I started having trouble – I wanted him home more, he wanted/needed to spend more time with his freshly started business. It was like I understood this, but didn’t comprehend it. I don’t really know how to explain it. I knew he needed to spend time there, and I wanted him to spend time there, but it was as if my brain wasn’t getting the right words out of my mouth. I tried encouraging him to leave R and I, we would be fine, we’d see him later, etc. But at the same time I’d call him in an hour “just to say hi” or “see what’s going on” or to ask when he’d be home for dinner. I knew it wasn’t right, but at the same time I couldn’t get myself to stop. Poor DH… He tried pleasing everyone but I know that it wasn’t going well for him.
I went back to work in mid-April. Summer break hit in mid-May and I was back home with R until mid-August. My “behavior” with the tug-of-war with DH and the business continued. I still knew it wasn’t right, but at the same time I couldn’t get myself to stop. We’d get in arguments and then, basically, “kiss and make up.” We’d sweep things under the rug and promise to “do better.” On our anniversary (yay, one year!) he told me that he knew that things had been rough, he was sorry, he promised to be better and that things would get better. I more or less said the same thing.
I was definitely still depressed. I was a biitch, I was selfish, I was lazy. I was a good mom, but man I struggled with being one. Over the next year I (we) got into numerous arguments. and multiple disagreements with his parents. He finally told me he “wasn’t sure that this (our marriage) is going to work” in September-ish. We started marriage counseling, probably once a week. We “graduated” from that right before Thanksgiving. The only thing we concentrated on was communication tactics. I won’t say that we didn’t need those skills, but I don’t know that that was the only counseling we needed. I apologized for all of my past behavior, told him to give me a chance, we hashed out things that were problems (both things he thought were a problem and things I thought were problems). We came up with solutions, compromises.
Christmastime was great. We really seemed to be on the same page. FIL came back to town in mid January and had a “talk” with DH. The next night DH was telling me he “wasn’t sure that this is going to work.” I found a letter that FIL had written to DH. It had a lot of harsh language about me, my character, my personality, my capabilities of being a wife, etc. DH and I worked it out. We sat down, we talked, he told me what he thought needed/had to change in order for our marriage to work, I told him the same. He said “ok so I guess I can throw these away” – he had printed off divorce papers (from his dad’s computer, no less). He threw them away, we laughed about it together. We were back to being happy and committed to making our marriage stronger.
In March we planned to go to my hometown for R’s first birthday. DH told me just a few days before the trip that he had a job come up and would have to leave early. We arrived on a Thursday, the party was on a Saturday, and DH left that night. R and I returned on Friday. While we were gone DH said he missed us, couldn’t wait for us to get back, but then felt “let down” when he actually picked us up from the airport.
DH and I had a serious talk. He told me that I was “doing everything right” and was making vast improvements on the areas of our life/relationship that he thought needed to be made, but he just wasn’t feeling it. He didn’t feel happy, he more felt obligated. He told me that if he were to get up and walk out of the door, he thinks that he could do it and not really look back. We went back to counseling. I told the counselor exactly that phrase, and so did DH – and all the counselor wanted to talk about was our communication. DH and I weren’t ever the fondest of our counselor, but this one session really confirmed to us that he wasn’t the right guy for us.
I asked DH to give it a year. I told him our relationship had vastly improved from March. When I returned from going home, it was as though a fog had lifted for me and I became the person I had been “missing” for the past year or so, and DH totally agreed that that was true – that I was more the person he had been expecting to marry. I strongly feel that that was when my PPD finally absolved, and it was only then that I was able to look back and really think that, yes, I was suffering from depression. He agreed that our relationship was improving and that if things continued going this way he didn’t see any reason why it couldn’t work out between us. I was happy – elated – that he felt that way. Because I did, too.
Our relationship continued on this way and, I think, got even stronger. He had a good balance between spending time with R and/or I and spending time with the business, we had fun, we made date nights a priority, R is getting older and “more fun.” I was going home with R in June for my youngest sister’s high school graduation. The night before we left, R was asleep and DH and I were in the living room goofing around. It was late at night, he was helping me pack my bags, we were talking about the trip and our upcoming anniversary and how I would miss him until he could join us down there. He went to let the dogs out and I grabbed his iPhone to look up something on the internet to show to him (cannot for the life of me remember what it was now). There was already a page up when I clicked on the Safari app. It was signed in to a yahoo email account. My DH has two email accounts – both through gmail. One for his personal emails and one for his business. I have the login information for both of them, just as he has mine. This yahoo account was quite a surprise, and some quick reading I found out that it was a secret account that my DH had set up with a fake name…to pursue men.
All of the emails were from when R and I were still in my hometown for R’s birthday while DH went home early. They clearly stated “I’m a married man looking to satisfy some urges while my wife is out of town.” My heart was racing. I thought it was going to pound out of my chest. He opened the door to come back in with the dogs and I said “H. What is this?” He said what is what? I said, “H… You cheated on me?” My voice was very calm, despite the range of emotions I was truly feeling. He came and sat next to me. I pulled his hand to my chest so he could feel just how hard my heart was beating. I quickly forwarded every email from that account on to my email account so that I would have them. I’m not sure what I’ll ever need them for, if anything, but I wanted to make sure that I had them. He apologized. Profusely. He said we had been having problems, he was curious to try it out. He answered every question that I asked, without hesitation, and with complete honesty. He was sincere. He said he was entirely disgusted with himself – not only for cheating, but for doing something with another man in general. It was a fantasy that should have stayed a fantasy. He regrets his decision every day. I forgave him.
I left the next morning with R. H was…amazing. He was back to his “usual” self – the person I hadn’t seen in quite a while. He sent me texts to tell me he loved me out of the blue, he would call me just because he had time. He told me how much he missed me, how much he couldn’t wait to see R and I. When I picked him up from the airport (R stayed overnight with my family) seeing each other was amazing. Our whole anniversary and the rest of our trip was amazing. He was sweet, kind, caring, happy, etc. I thought “I finally have my H back.”
Things have continued being great like this…until this past weekend. I told him I was dissatisfied with our sex life (we have sex MAYBE once a week, I almost always have to initiate, and it’s not uncommon for me to be turned down – which is why it’s only once a week – not like I don’t “ask” for it more often) and I think that he knows that I am. He said he did know that, but he’s not sure what to do about it. He said that he’s struggling being attracted to me, and not just in a physical sense. He doesn’t WANT to have sex with me, which makes it hard for him to initiate. But when we do have sex, he does enjoy it, and it is very good. He says he loves me as a person, I’m a great friend, I’m a great mom, etc. But he isn’t sure that he loves me as a wife. I think this is the equivalent of “I love you but I’m not IN love with you.” He says he feels that we’ve changed and grown, but we’ve grown apart, not together. He says that I’m not spontaneous enough, outdoorsy enough, active enough, etc. He says that our relationship looks great “on paper” but it’s “just a feeling he has” that is causing his unease about the relationship. He says he’s happy, but he’s not sure if this is the “amount” of happiness he wants to have for the rest of his life. And that that is where he’s at.
I personally think that he’s suffering from a case of “what-if’s” but of course I’m not in his head so I don’t really know what he’s honestly thinking versus what he’s telling me he’s thinking/feeling. I’ve tried to tell him/express to him before that love has various phases and it’s not always going to be butterflies in our stomachs and hearts coming out of our eyes. I’ve told him we truly hit rock bottom, but here we are, still standing here with one another. We’ve gotten so much better since March and our relationship is really starting to blossom again (he fully agrees with this, but goes back to the “on paper” it looks good but he’s still lacking the feelings towards me that he had when we first dated). If our relationship has gotten this much better in 4 months, imagine what it could be in a year. To me, marriage is a commitment to each other. And when there’s a problem then it’s time to sit down together and figure out how to fix it – not throw in the towel because it got hard. That this is what life is, this is what marriage is. When I ask him what he expected differently out of the idea of marriage, he doesn’t have an answer. Right now I feel like we’re faking it til we make it… Or he’s faking, at least. I’m happy until the words “I don’t think this is going to work” come up and thoughts of life without my H and R creep into my head.
Help? Advice? Words of wisdom?
If you made it this far, thank you. I know it was long. I’ll answer any questions you may have.