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Complex marriage

I don't even know where to start. My marriage is complicated to say the least; my husband and I have been married for 2.5 years but we have only spent about 1 year of that together. I'm Canadian and he is American and so sometimes distance was something we had no control of since he hadn't received his residency yet. For the past two years I've been living about 9 hours away from him where I was completing my masters degree. I was able to move to where he was living for 4 months because I got an internship in the same city he was living in. As of September he moved to a new city where I moved this past summer. I'm still working on my thesis and working part-time so a lot of things have been difficult for me. Even though things have been difficult I was able to start of life for myself here with friends and playing on various volleyball teams. My husband on the other hand moved here with a very sour attitude. He didn't want to live in this city and so to him everything was horrible here. It didn't help that he had a messed up arm and foot so he was unable to play any sports and make some new friends. After about 4 months he was finally able to get a job but of course it doesn't pay him as well as his last job so I would hear everyday about how he felt used.

Even though I felt very drained from my thesis and work I tried very hard to support him and push him to find his niche here. After a while though I just couldn't deal with his months and months of negative attitude. He wouldn't even go any in the city unless I had taken him there before. So I felt like I was shouldering all of the emotional weight of the relationship. On top of this and probably because of all this stress I gained about 20 pounds. So I didn't really want to be touched b/c it didn't feel sexy anymore.

I believe I have set the stage for what is going on now. We have been fighting all the time sometimes just little snips at each other and then sometimes complete cry fest and sleeping in separate rooms. This past weekend he took me away for a nice night at a hotel and dinner at a restaurant we had always wanted to eat at. Everything was good until later on in the evening when I had repeated something that I said earlier and he yelled at me for complaining all the time. I then proceeded to say "thanks for ruining this wonderful night."

Once we got home the next day we had a full out discussion about what was really going on and how we are both unhappy. I took it as an opportunity for each of us to find something small to work on and to keep bettering the relationship and he was hinting around about divorce or separation. He didn't actually say those terms but he did say we should maybe take a break and that we are going in separate directions, which I then pointed out to him that he was talking about separation and divorce. We ended up "making up" and saying that we are going to push through and find our happiness but I like to have a plan to change things otherwise if we keep doing the same thing won't it just bring us back to where we are? I tried talking to him about getting some relationship books where we can work together at improving our selves but he doesn't want to read anything.

So how do I help us get better? How do I get my husband to work on some of our issues without pushing him away? I still see this wonderful future we could have but I think it will take a little more work and maybe a slightly different path to get there. If anyone has any ideas I would love to hear because I just don't know what to do right now.
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replied February 16th, 2011
Community Volunteer

Your husband could be suffering from depression. You didn't say if he has his degree, be it or not, he has to find his path just as you have found yours. You can't make him into being the outgoing, charsmatic, energy person that you are. Find him a very good therapist, give him the name, phone number and address. Tell him the first step in healing is to admit there is a problem. At first let him go alone. Later, you may join him. Don't push, or critize just be firm and don't back down in him doing this. He has some serious underlying issues that is far beyond your rim of expertise. Sometimes love just isn't enough. You have to allow him to help himself by simply stepping back and let them feel the pain, in order to heal. It may be that the two of you have outgrown this relationship; and that is ok, it is better to find this out now than to continue to live in pain and be unhappy. Please don't allow him to play the vitim and allow him to tangle you up in his web of ohhhhh poor pififul me... It's time for Mr. Tinker Bell to grow up.

Good LUck
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