Long Engagements Are Probably a Good Thing.

I wonder sometimes if there is something wrong with me. I am married, I have a child. I am smart (I like to think more than most). I am attractive. I put others wants before myself all the time. I give up myself too easily. Now that I am getting older it is catching up to me. I'll be 30 in a few years and I still don't feel like I am where I need to be. I don't even feel like I'm on the right path.

I met my husband in a very bad period of my life. I barely knew him and we were married less than a year after starting to date- but he was having a lot of problems and I could save him from some really bad things. I always had this feeling of being empty inside. I always tried to fill it- boyfriends, alcohol, nothing lasted very long. I got pregnant and I found out that a big hole was filled with my daughter. Now I'm wondering what else I'm missing.

I don't know if I love my husband the way I'm supposed to. I feel love for him, but being with him doesn't feel right. We don't have the same interests, the same education, the same parenting style, the same taste in clothes and music... we are not even sexually compatible- and I'm the one who has to compromise on that front since I'm the one who wants more and is more adventurous.

I feel like my options are to either keep "faking" at being my husband's wife or to ruin the lives of my daughter, stepchild and husband by leaving. I have done a lot for him (understatement) and I am wondering if now that he's "fixed" and doesn't need me- that I have lost my need to be with him.

I won't leave him for that feeling- but the rest is starting to eat at me. He doesn't understand me and he doesn't "get" me the way that I know people can. I have had connections with other men and I always ignore them out of loyalty and sense of respect (where was THAT when I had one of my bad phases?) I would rather I seem to be coming across as a snotty ***** than to encourage interaction and have something "just happen". I have no specific person in mind when I write this- but I often wonder a general "what if" and then feel guilty.

This whole thing has been triggered by a friend of my husband's who complimented me. A lot. On my intelligence and many other non-looks related things- including how he felt he should have stepped in years ago when he had the chance- he was with my husband when we met, but I knew him years before meeting my husband. This is a guy that I was roommates with once but nothing happened. It never would... I don't think. I don't think we are compatible (religion being one biggie), but my husband never compliments me and it made me sad that his friend was the one making me feel good and attractive while we were all together.

My husband is not a bad guy. I just don't know if he's the guy for me and that makes me sad. I do know that if I had another baby that some of those feelings would go away- for a while anyway- but I worry about how I would feel after all the kids are older and there is nothing left.

I feel incomplete.
quietfire quietfire
26-30, F
6 Responses Apr 20, 2007

This WOULD have been me if my boyfriend had married me a year ago, when i wanted him too. I saved him... gave him everything i had. Helped him more than most people help anyone. And tried to pretend like he was what I wanted. I love him to this day, but I know he isn't what I want.

you deserve to be happy and it's never too late to start over. you have one life to live, you deserve to feel like you're complete in it and you need to rid yourself of any regret you have. take the plunge, seize your life before it's too late!

quietfire: you shared your feelings 2 years ago. What's the situation now?<br />
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Two feelings when I read your original post:<br />
1. I am in no position to judge, but "To save my marriage" might not be a good reason to have a child. I say this out of love: My dear friend found out his parents had him in order to save their marriage. (They eventually divorced.) He has had to live with that knowledge; he has never felt unconditionally loved.<br />
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2. Your sentiment about "saving your husband" resonates with me. I have the personality of wanting to help others selflessly. I wonder if you fell in love with "helping him and saving him", not him. Any more thoughts or progress in that self discovery?<br />
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Respectfully,<br />

i can totally relate. i so dont know the answers. i just wish i had kids at this point to have something to show for all that i feel or dont feel. its crazy how we think we have everything we need in someone and then one day we wake up and say damn! I so can relate. if you need a friend or an ear i am here.

Hi, I feel for you. I am 22 and on my first marriage and it is wonderful but I know a thing or two about these kind of feelings. My mother has been through 6 divorces and my father 4. All my life I have dealt with learning to become a therapist.<br />
Well, every thing the first commentor said sounds wonderful but I would suggest a coupd of things different. <br />
Making out a list of "pros and cons" can be very difficult to do ob<x>jectively. You have already decided that you may not be "in love" with your hubby so when you make your lists you are naturally going to lean towards writting down more "cons" and you will find your self getting upset when you don't find many "pros". Making a wish list for a "dream husband" is really going to be hazardous to your marriage because when you make that wish list subconciously you will be setting goals that you know your hubby will never be able to reach. Since you would be asking him to do "wish list items" with out him knowing you are "experimenting" on his ability to comply is asking for a bomb to go off. He will naturally look at you like you are nuts if you have never required that specific "need" before. <br />
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Okay, I suggest that you do one of two things.<br />
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You really need to sit with your husband and talk with him. I know that sounds crazy but I believe that when a person vows "for better or for worse" everything in your ability needs to be done to stick to that especially with kids in the mix. Tell him how you are fealing but don't tell him the part that you think you are no longer in love with him (that destroys his ability to listen to the rest of what you what to say). You just need to explain to him that as a marriage gets older things change and with that the two of you need to change together to keep that spark you felt at first. Make this "talk" session seriously informative but light hearted too. <br />
(important note: The t.v. must be turned off for this conversation.)<br />
Sit down and tell him you want to do something fun. This is when you should make a list together. Make a list of pros and cons and of a dream spouse of each other. You just need to set the ground rule that neither of you are going to get raging mad (maybe slightly insulted) and that when you come up with a "wish item" if the other person feels it is out of reach then you both have to come up with a comprimise that you both agree on and don't settle until you are both happy with it. Include stuff that is nit picky (ie.leaving the tooth bush in the shower) stuff that is intimate, fun stuff, "down time", personal time for just you, family time... you get the picture. Then you both need to take your wish lists and pros/cons lists and pin them up where you both will see them every day (preferrably where your kids can't see) I suggest your bath room mirror. It helps both of you (Especially him) to look at the CONS the more he sees those the more inclined he would be to change those and add to the list of PROS. On the other side if he sees the "pros" too it doesn't make him feel so bad that you want him to change.<br />
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option 2 (really short)<br />
Couples therapy. <br />
Try using this as a last resort... Use this when nothing is helping alone and you are ready to say "Listen something is wrong here we're having trouble whether you like it or not and we need help sorting this out...(ultimatum time) go to couple's therapy with me or all is lost." At that point if he wants to save his marriage and he loves you he will do what ever it takes to make it better. If he just blutly refuses then you need to be honest with your self. Think of it as an intervention on your husband... either he goes to couple's therapy or your are leaving. But you need to be prepared to back your ultimatum or else he is not going to respect your emotions. <br />
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If it comes to that then you need to be prepared to separate until he agrees to couple's therapy or until you finally come to terms with moving on.<br />
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Take it from a child who knows... you daughter will feel your pain and misery soon if not already it will hurt her more than you because she has no contoll over helping her mother feel "whole". The first time I felt my mother's misery in an unloving marriage I was 7. I knew!! Every marriage there after I knew.

Being married myself (now on my second marriage) I've been where you are at, feeling the "what ifs" and "is this all there is". Neither is easy to explore.<br />
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My suggestion is to write down all the things you like about your husband. Write everything, like even the smallest thing. For example, he sends me really funny E cards. Then write down all the things you don't like about your husband. Don't leave out any detail (Now saying all this, try not to do this where he can find it, see it, and/or ever stumble upon it) <br />
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Once you have written both your likes and dislikes, see which list is bigger. If for example, your dislike list is bigger, than look ob<x>jectively (this is tricky) at the items you don't like. Are the items potentially things you do not like about yourself? Or does he really own those dislikes completely?<br />
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Now after this listing of likes and dislikes, write down the characteristics of the husband you wish you had at this time. Think on this for a long time. Become truly specific as to what you would like in a husband. Once you've done this, go to your husband and say, "I really would like if sometimes you would {insert one of the husband wish items}." If he totally blows you off and says that you are ridiculous, then, you have your answer that you are seeking. If he stops and tries to do better, then give him and the marriage a chance to grow and evolve.<br />
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Marriage does not complete us nor does it feel the void that we sometimes feel. The void is truly something we must identify the orgin and then begin the process of filling the void ourselves. NO ONE, not another man or children can permanently seal tha void, just temporarily. <br />
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I hope you find the answers you seek..