Looking for thoughts? - Talk About Marriage
Reconciliation This forum is for those focused on reconciliation and success stories from people who have been through separation and reconciled successfully.

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-13-2015, 02:39 AM Thread Starter
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Looking for thoughts?

Like everyone else I'm looking for opinions.

My husband of 9 months (yes I know) and I are separated. This is week 3. We have been together for 2 years.

Initially when we met, we had talked about our differences and that going forward it's about embracing each other's ways etc. now obviously that did not happen.

Everything was great with him and his family until the engagement. Then our issues began. First, it was about having one-on-one catch up sessions with male friends (in his family that's something only single women do). Then it was about the clothes I wear being too revealing (although this is how I dressed when we dated). Then it was about me doing stage performances as a dancer ( he was aware this was an important hobby of mine). And every time we got into a fight he would say, it's either his way or the relationship is over. Then I would get a phone call from his mom saying life is about adjustments and marriage is about compromise etc. so I gave in. Initially I didn't involve my parents but when the fights became too much I told them. So then the phone calls after our arguments went from his mother to mine. Initially my parents said they don't want to meddle and advised my mother in law the same. But eventually my mom stood up for me and gave my husband and his mom some harsh rebuttals. So they stopped talking to my mom and called my dad instead. My mother in law even had the audacity to complain about what my mom had said to my dad. Needless to say over time I felt anger and resentment towards my husband even as we got newly married and continued to try to make it work. I was angry about him not standing up for me and instead asking his mom to interfere. I am angry about the whole system of complaining to my parents about me. And of course bitterness crept into the other relationships as well. There were other ongoing issues - my husband losing job, him buying an expensive house for us with the help of his family but not really consulting with me or involving me in the decision making process. So now there was financial pressure at some level. As arguments continued my husband found a job in another city (where his family lived) and decided to take it, although I wasn't quite keen on it and expressed it. He left for the city and I felt my anger hit new levels because I was left in a big house all by myself, in a city without any support (I also felt our social circle being zero was a problem he had created because he didn't feel like mingling and our other ongoing relationship issues). So when he was in a different city I felt that his other obligations (towards his family since he was living with them) were more important than calling me/texting me etc. this made me even angrier. So I stopped calling. It obviously infuriated him, because he quit his job and came back but this time his policy was - we cannot have expectations of each other, so that we cannot be disappointed. I told him that was impractical. Anyway, at some point I had enough of this no expectations nonsense and said what's the point of being in a relationship then. An argument ensued and he hung up on me.

I was so fed up and desperate, I told him I can't keep going and I'm moving out. He figured I asked for a divorce so he gave me one week to move out saying he would change the locks on me. I did. Within 2 days of my decision to separate he was asking me to come back saying we would work on our marriage. (Of course, we have had these discussions in the past). I initiated no contact and maintained for 2 weeks after which I called him to tell him some of the reasons behind my anger. Currently, I'm on leave from work (on medical grounds), staying with parents, seeking counselling individually etc.

He of course wants to reconcile. States he will support me in any way he can but of course the 2-3 times we have had a conversation he has expressed his grievances as well.

I'm extremely torn. Everyone wants their marriage to work, as do I. I understand changes need to come from both sides. But I'm afraid as to how far I should compromise in my core values. For ex. He now has no issues with my stage performances but as a compromise from my side does not want me to see male friends one-on-one in a non-work setting. He feels this is reasonable negotiation. I guess I have been raised in a very liberal family and is hard to wrap my head around these rules.

So torn on what to do. I obviously feel anger towards my husband but do still have feelings of love for him. I mean heck, I have been married for 8 months!

Well thank you for reading, at least I got to vent.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-13-2015, 02:59 AM
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Re: Looking for thoughts?

there is a saying that you don't just marry the boy you marry the family and vice versa, in this case the problem of control does not just lie with him but with his mother as well, and i fear that he may come around to being more open in releasing his power of control but i fear she will never unless he puts his foot down. And just wait until you become pregnant her scope of control will even be more of an issue, then i fear you will be stuck for a very long time. How's her health, any chance she will kick the bucket soon? curious are these imposed span of control based on religious principles?
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-13-2015, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Looking for thoughts?

No, my mother-in-law is quite healthy and I dislike her but do not wish her ill health.
They are not a religious family, he states it's cultural/a family thing. I mean I know people from his culture who are not like this. His argument is that he is not trying to control me/tell me how to live, that it's not a trust issue but certain situations apparently make him uncomfortable and as his wife he expects me to respect that.

I obviously can't wrap my head around this because we met under extremely liberal circumstances (dating site, etc)
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-2015, 02:37 PM
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Re: Looking for thoughts?

A few thoughts I have here:

1. I actually agree about one-on-one's with male friends. I have a policy for myself that I won't do anything with another female alone, whether that's a quick lunch/dinner, driving somewhere alone with her, some other activity, etc. I didn't grow up in a conservative culture either, this is just me showing respect for my wife by ensuring that she will have absolutely no reason to worry about me, and for myself by shutting down any temptation. I can also say that it has absolutely never ever caused any awkwardness or issues. I have female friends, but they are all parts of different groups of friends that I will interact with together, never separately.

2. Being a dancer of some kind... I suppose it depends on the type of dancing. Are we talking about stripping or burlesque, or something similar? If it's anything like that, then yes I would absolutely say that is inappropriate once married. It's just extremely disrespectful to a spouse. If it's something like ballet or tap dancing or line dancing or something as part of a group, then I don't see the harm.

3. Him discussing personal relational issues regarding your marriage with his mom is absolutely inappropriate, and should be a boundary in the marriage. It's ok for a person to have a close friend (one!) with whom they can confide in for emotional support and such, but for him that needs to be a male friend who has your marriage's best interests at heart. (Meaning someone that isn't just going to tell him to do something stupid the moment there is trouble) His mom is absolutely NOT that person, and frankly, he should actually be doing everything he can to present you as an amazing wife to his family, not revealing his grievances about you to them. Spouses already feel like they have pressure from the in-laws to be perfect, so making that worse is absolutely wrong.

4. Some expectations are healthy, many are not. You've both got to decide what is fair and what isn't and be honest about that. Expectations can RUIN marriages if it isn't addressed. For instance, due to your upbringing and life experience, you might feel that a good husband who loves his wife should absolutely say/do "X" every day/week/month. It's not even something you think about or ask him to do, you just innately expect it and feel that he should already know to say/do it, because thats obviously (to you) what good husbands say/do. Well if your husband doesn't feel the same way and has no idea that it's important to you, you'll slowly start to question whether he is a good husband at all, because after all, good husbands SAY/DO "X" and if they don't, then he might not care. That's the problem.

As an example, I read about a wife who's dad gave her mom a hug/kiss and "I love you" absolutely every single day when he got home from work, without fail. She saw it every day. In her view, that is what men do when they love their wives, period, and it shouldn't be something she should have to ask for. To her, it's a fair expectation, and if she has to ask for it, then that means he doesn't love her. Of course the problem is, not every guy grows up with that view, and just because he doesn't give her a hug/kiss and say "I love you" the moment he gets home doesn't actually mean he doesn't love her. In fact, most guys would probably be willing to do that if they knew it was extremely important to their wives, but she can't even bring herself to explain that to him because she feels like he should just know to do it. See the problem?

Then there are fair expectations. Like he shouldn't cheat on you, he should be committed to doing at least half of the household responsibilities (which includes generating income), he should value your time/thoughts/needs/feelings, he should be responsible with family resources, he should assist with child rearing, etc.

5. I think your marriage might be salvageable, if only because you aren't dealing with any major "get out now" deal breakers like physical/psychological abuse, theft, drug abuse, gambling, cheating, etc. So I think it's at least worth the effort to try. To start, I'd insist that you and he find and pick out a decent marriage counselor. (It might take seeing a few before you find one you like) Then commit to that process for a while. Lay out your needs for the counselor. Also, I HIGHLY recommend the following books, in order: 1. Boundaries in Marriage. 2. The Five Love Languages. 3. Love & Respect.

I confess, I tend to write the way I imagine I would speak if the discussion were happening in person. That means that I tend to ramble a lot, illustrate extensively, make used of a lot of analogies, etc. I apologize after the fact for the (likely long) length of my posts.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-2015, 04:54 PM
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Re: Looking for thoughts?

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Originally Posted by Mucc View Post
But I'm afraid as to how far I should compromise in my core values. For ex. He now has no issues with my stage performances but as a compromise from my side does not want me to see male friends one-on-one in a non-work setting. He feels this is reasonable negotiation. I guess I have been raised in a very liberal family and is hard to wrap my head around these rules.
I don't think the real root of the issue are these values at all. The root of the issue, the real reason for your anger and resentment, is due to him relying on his family/mother too much. He even "left" you to get a job in another city and live with his family. As husband and wife, you should make every effort to be together. Living together is such a basic thing.

A lot of your story reminded me of mine - not because the events are necessarily the same, but because my husband also chooses his family over me. We separated for a year, he chose to continue living with his family and financially supported them while I supported myself and our 2 year old daughter alone. We "reconciled" and are living together but those feelings of resentment do not go away - they get ingrained. Especially if the separation is a long duration. For a year, he continued to choose his biological family over "us" as a married unit. He has not really changed, other than he is living with me.

Can you accept him the way he is? In marriage, couples have expectations of each other. To not have expectations means there is a huge barrier between you two...I'm at that point now with my husband and it's quite problematic. I feel I can't have expectations of him, because he will disappoint me...so I have stopped making plans with him. It's like we are separated but living in the same home. There are weeks where we get to a good place and act like a loving, caring couple...then something happens that takes us right back to square one.

Think hard about this one. Asking you to not be a stage dancer is not a big deal (in my opinion)...but thinking it's OK for his mom to call your mom or dad and complain about you, or to abandon you so he could live with them, IS.

"The pain of all your experience is what makes you the person you are now. And without your experience, you are an empty page, a blank notebook, a missing lyric. What makes you brave is your willingness to live through your life experiences and hold your head up high the next day. So don't live life in fear. Because you are stronger now, after everything that has happened, than you ever were back before it started."
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-2015, 04:58 PM
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Re: Looking for thoughts?

Also - please don't have a child until everything is sorted out and you are confident and peaceful in your marital relationship.

Not that you are planning on it, but I know couples who reconciled only because the husband got the wife pregnant during separation.

A child is a wonderful blessing - but you don't want that complication with him at this point.

"The pain of all your experience is what makes you the person you are now. And without your experience, you are an empty page, a blank notebook, a missing lyric. What makes you brave is your willingness to live through your life experiences and hold your head up high the next day. So don't live life in fear. Because you are stronger now, after everything that has happened, than you ever were back before it started."
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-14-2015, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Looking for thoughts?

Thank you all for your thoughtful comments. Thanks for the book recommendations.

I should clarify/add a few points.

1. The dancing isn't burlesque or stripping. Just something I enjoy. I have another profession which keeps me busy usually. I guess I just wish my partner would support/encourage my hobbies/talents.

2. We have both agreed with needing some counselling. Currently, we are in two separate cities, him with his family and me with mine (both of which are different from the city we live in). I will likely go back in the next two weeks. Not sure when he gets back.

3. He bought an expensive house for us. He put in all the money plus his family helped him. This was prior to wedding. The house is not something I could afford. When he started to house hunt I had expressed my concern but his parents and him strongly felt everything needed to be set up prior to wedding. Needless to say I felt uninvolved in such a big decision. He felt I wasn't appreciative of his efforts/house. So stupid bickering started. He is more detail oriented, I'm more ok with imperfection. We have differences in ways of living like all couples do. I tried to tell him that we are different people, so things that bother him don't bother me and vice versa. Obviously, I didn't communicate very well. Meanwhile, when he lost his job, it likely had some effect on him. I felt he was maybe more on edge because of it. This obviously meant financial pressure for both of us. He found a few jobs in other cities. Every time I asked him to take it up, he didn't saying it would affect the marriage. When he found one in the city where his parents are, he decided to take it. Perhaps his tolerance of financial pressures finally gave away, perhaps it made sense that he wouldn't have to pay rent. I guess I didn't feel supported while he was there and he felt the same.

4. I do feel anger about his mom complaining to my parents. No one likes to hear negative things about people they love, and my parents didn't either. It made relationships toxic. He states it's the only way he knew because this is how his brother and his wife solved their issues (they have been married 14 years). I guess I wish he understood that every time his mom called my parents it undermined my respect and as a result I felt a lot of anger. As a result, even when he had a valid point, I was too angry to care (I now realize). The more I asked him to not involve parents, the more he did. And he felt problems came and went, he wasn't heard.

5. I need to decide, when I feel comfortable going back and how much/how to communicate while we are living apart. I know no one can really answer these for me. But no harm in thinking out loud.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-15-2015, 11:08 AM
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Re: Looking for thoughts?

Thanks for clarifying. That does help us see a clearer picture - he didn't move to another city to be with his parents, he moved because it was rent-free after just losing a job. And he understood that moving to another city would negatively affect the marriage. That's good.

Losing a job is a very stressful experience, especially after just buying a house!

I hope you both find counselling helpful.

"The pain of all your experience is what makes you the person you are now. And without your experience, you are an empty page, a blank notebook, a missing lyric. What makes you brave is your willingness to live through your life experiences and hold your head up high the next day. So don't live life in fear. Because you are stronger now, after everything that has happened, than you ever were back before it started."
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-15-2015, 02:27 PM
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Re: Looking for thoughts?

Perhaps you are discovering that the two of you are incompatible. Love is not enough to overcome everything.

I really don't understand why you married him when you felt this way:
Quote:
Needless to say over time I felt anger and resentment towards my husband even as we got newly married and continued to try to make it work.
You had time to see who and what and how he is as a partner. You see it now, actually, as well, yet are considering going back for more. You can't change a person into someone else in order to be compatible, nor can you change yourself.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-18-2016, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Looking for thoughts?

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Perhaps you are discovering that the two of you are incompatible. Love is not enough to overcome everything.

I really don't understand why you married him when you felt this way:


You had time to see who and what and how he is as a partner. You see it now, actually, as well, yet are considering going back for more. You can't change a person into someone else in order to be compatible, nor can you change yourself.
This ended up being true. I went back. Everything was ok for 2-4 months. And then it was back to old habits for him. He asked me to leave after 6 months. I started making arrangements. He then came back 2 days later to say he doesn't want separate paths. But this time I kept walking away. I'm not a doormat and refuse to be treated that way.

It doesn't make it easy. In fact it downright sucks. But I need my self esteem (not my ego) intact.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-18-2016, 03:02 PM
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Re: Looking for thoughts?

I know that was a very hard thing to do, but your right you are not a doormat, and will not be treated as one. He has a lot of growing up to do, and the first thing he needs to do is cut the umbilical cord from his mother. its one thing to have a good relationship with your parents still another to have them fight your battles. I wish you luck and happiness.
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