New Marriage Seems Doomed

My husband and I have been together for nearly a year in marriage, with four years together before. I have frequently been second guessing my decision every fight we have. This year has been very rocky. At several points he has freaked out in our arguments and hit something. He is now in anger classes as an attempt to shut that behavior down. He says he never would hit me so this is just to be sure. He had never been violent before this year so I think it can be changed for sure. My concern is whether we should keep fighting for the marriage or finally throw in the towel. My pride has been the strongest thread for me to stay. I don't want to give in after a year- everyone here gets married as early as I did and so many continue to seem happy. I thought I attended to all the important things when picking a spouse, how do I adjust when he's changed so much. He is rarely confident, he always feels I'm criticizing him. I do direct him a lot cause he is very spacey. He'll forget to put up the milk or even let me know when plans have changed. I wish he were more on top of things, I dont enjoy playing mom but he gives no alternative. This year has been terrible for sex. We just don't do it often. This month it's been about 3 times. Somehow this sharply declined as before we strived to be regular every other day. He doesn't initiate it and he's become an awful lover. I don't like the way he touches me or tries to initiate. He doesn't ever try to be assertive or deliberate. The sex stopped after some marital problems and hasn't recovered, the lack of sex has caused more problems too like the lack of intimacy.

He used to be so confident and social, now he hates social events- he's become shy and awkward, sometimes I'm even embarrassed over what he's said. He isn't outgoing and gets so stressed with the issue of doing something unfamiliar. He is such a boy that I find myself very unattracted to him. He is terrible at dealing with stress, he has frequent mood swings and isn't nice in fights, i at least try to find a solution, he jumps right into name calling and anger. So much is changed that I'm not really in love with the new him. He is miserable also, we want it to work but I don't know if we can recover from this. I can see he is an attractive and fit person but his attitude and interactions with me get in the way if me finding him desirable. We have tried to work on our problems, we have tried to change our patterns and pay attention to important things, nothing seems to improve. We are both rational in the sense we want it to work out, there have been many changes like where we live, what all we pay for, finishing school, joining the workforce, money issues and marriage issues but if he stays this way I won't love him for much longer.

I can't function in a house with a ticking time bomb who suddenly gets overwhelmed and either cries, screams, or zones out. I feel like a mom as I have to keep track of the finances, the groceries, the housework, the animals and the major details of any plans we make. He helps if I ask but I'm tired of having to ask him to be involved. He isn't as mature as me and that makes me feel less appreciative of him as I have to attend to things he'll most likely overlook. He isn't a progressive person like I thought, he'd be happy with the bare minimum. Our morals and life goals are the same which makes us compatible. We can have fun together but it's so rare cause in our free time we usually end up fighting. He doesn't lie but he also doesn't stand up for himself. The counseling is to try to make him more assertive, better controlled and mentally healthier but it hasnt changed much between us yet. Needless to say we are both deprived, but if I fulfill him I feel worse as I feel like I'm lying in my affection as I don't like the way he loves on me. I have always tried to be clear and direct about what i like and don't but it feels like he's never really paid attention cause the next session I have to still give direction, after 5 yrs shouldn't a man know at least how to love on the woman he's been with all that time?

He is a good man, with a good heart. He tries so hard and becomes so upset when he realizes nothing has improved. he wants us to work really bad. I don't know how to get anything to improve. I feel like such a failure cause I can't just shut up and deal for another year. My mother spent 15 yrs trying to make her marriage work and I cant even go for one. I tried to keep myself from having to deal with this by picking someone who was confident, thoughtful, motivated, enthusiastic, active- who didn't scream in fights but rather talked through them (he used to, and we had some rough fights), who could assert their opinions and was considerate of other views, who wanted to travel and explore. Someone who could help support the things I enjoy like parties, movies, and concerts. Who could maturely face the demands of the world. What should I do now that he is nothing like what I wanted? How do you square with that and adjust to want what you have? How do you face that you're 21 and miserably married to a man who doesn't meet your needs without explicit direction. I am young and very attractive, I have other options, I'm just too prideful at this point and i don't know at what point I can throw in the towel and say "I really did try" without wasting my youth and giving years into a failing marriage.

I was ready for marriage when I said I do. I was ready to compromise, let things roll off my shoulder, and put work into this. I didn't get married with a fantasy in mind. I put work into finding someone I thought would be great for me. I don't know how he changed so rapidly but I'm scared it won't improve from here. I really think we may be better off apart, but I question if we couldn't get by being mostly good together, sadly we're worse off than that but maybe we could improve to a mediocre happiness. I have a little resentment towards him for changing so much. I have some for him for not being able to handle things better, for not taking control of his life and for not taking action to become better. I have frequent crushes on other men, I haven't cheated and won't- I know the towel should go before. But how much pain and torment should we endure before we recognize a dead relationship and move on? Where is the point of no return? For some it's easy, but he hasn't cheated, hit me, stopped trying, or demanded an end so I don't know. We try so hard, but it's been the same sucky thing for a year, is there a point that you should stop even when both parties want to try?
22hime 22hime
4 Responses May 6, 2012

22hime,<br />
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Everyone has that inner passionate self that is just waiting to be unleashed. Most people fall into a neutral, dominate or submissive personality. Some people struggle with self-identification. A wise man who actually helped me save my marriage once said, "everyone is different, and every relationship is different." Married people often forget about what once ignited their passion. I suffer from depression, but as long as I have my career goals, my educational goals, and my wife, I have everything I could ever need.<br />
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Despite society's ob<x>jection to this claim, men want to feel NEEDED. They want to feel important. Men also want to feel loved. You deserve to be loved as well. Tell him you need him. Tell him you want him to be happy. Do something for him that only you can do. Who knows?

We have talked extensively about my and his concerns. To someonefixme, that was not what I meant. I value the commitment made to each other and that so many people have faith in the strength if our relationship. Divorce means to me that I have failed, either at giving or recieving love or both. I do not want it to end and to be the one to say enough would cause me more guilt than I am equipped to deal with. I love him and I want us to work, but I feel we are always working towards goals yet rarely achieving them.<br />
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To tornhusband,<br />
Thank you so much for your post. I really appreciate the encouragement. This is great to hear from someone, that things can drastically turn around. We talk often of our interests, but sex has become so tense for now. I hope that he can take initiative to really become a part if our relationship as you have. I would love for my husband to become confident and sexually thrilling. <br />
When I feel these concerns I discuss them fully, I know what he isn't aware if cant be fixed. However, there are only do many ways you can tell a man you aren't sexually or emotionally satisfied without it affecting their confidence, so we have been focusing on rebuilding that for him. I feel I enable him to be less involved cause if he doesn't attend to something I will. I have stopped driving the relationship and for that we have experienced a fall. I hope he will recognize this (even after we blatantly discuss this) and really take action. If you have any thoughts on how to drive this home please let me know!<br />
Thank you!

He reminds me a lot about how I used to be in my marriage. It tooks several life changing events to really trigger a change and get me pushing ahead. I dated my princess and my wife for 4 years before we got married as well. We had our political movements, our music, and our similar college lives as joint interest. We just celebrated our 8th wedding anniversity, but I just recently "met" my wife about 6 months ago. I almost lost her because I never really took the time to get to know the real her. I thought that this was it...what else is there... I'm married now so everything is as it should be. Secretly, my wife became interested in BDSM, dom/sub activities, and even other men developing an appreciation for the poly lifestyle. She came home one day from work and let me know that she really wanted to be a housewife. That was her dream. Keep in mind, she has a master's degree and is a skilled educator. I was shocked, but I love her so I do my best to accommodate her.<br />
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Once I got to know her, I realized that my wife was 10 times better than the woman I married, and now we have an awesome life together. We were having sex 2 to 3 times per week, sometimes much less. Now, we do it AT LEAST once per day. All I had do to was dominate her in the bedroom, spank her ***, and she cannot get enough of me. I used to beg for sex after a few days of nothing. Now, she texts me at work telling me what she wants me to do to her that night. I NEVER dreamed this would EVER be MY wife. She seemed so conservative to me. She was always such a nice girl. I was trying to be her partner. She wanted me to be her "daddy," her man, her lover. And now, she is my world. We want to have more children together. She is the greatest mom in the whole world.<br />
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Help yourself find out who you REALLY are. And then, help him to find out who he is. Tell him what you need. Don't let someone else accidently come between you two to initiate change like I did. As long as he doesn't physically or emotionally abuse you, give him a little time. He may "grow up" to be your dream come true.<br />
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Good luck.

Dont stay in the marriage just because you want to compete with other people who are still married and happy. Staying married just so it looks more impressive to others (and you) isnt going to help and you know that. Have you told him about how you feel about everything, all the stuff you said up there?