Post # 1
BACKSTORY/RELATIONSHIP HISTORY: When we met I was 17 (he was 18) and we were madly in love for one year. He went on a church mission for 2 years and cut off contact to focus on his mission. This completely blindsided me and broke me for a long time… I lost all trust in him. I tried to date others and move on from him. He returned home from his mission and I just could never get over him. From there we dated for almost three whole years with the nastiest kind of drama! We were on/off for three whole years – stretching the relationship more than I thought was possible. That means almost 5 years of toxicity. We are COMPLETELY opposite in personality and thought process but similar in humor, goals, political ideals, beliefs, and standards. This worked in the beginning year but not so much afterwards. We are now 23/24 years old and seven months married…I’m wondering how I got here? I could never let go of that first-love feeling but I feel like I have become a different person. We don’t seem to be on the same wavelengths really at all. We were both so desperate to be together, to be “us” again but now as I am married to him there are so many times with him that feel…off. When we were “on a break” (before marriage) I dated other people. My eyes were opened to was compatibility looked/felt like but I always returned to my first love. I’ve been much more compatible with others, one person particular that comes to my mind often now (and I feel guilty about that) because we were so much more like-minded. He was so romantic. With that guy timing was off and I’m wondering if it was a mistake not to go with my gut. I have ALWAYS valued marriage, me and my husband were raised devoutely Christian, we both married as virgins and that was very very important to us. I just feel like my brain is a mess. My heart is confused. I wake up often feeling anxiety about my situation (I am not a normally anxious person). I know not every marriage/relationship is “supposed” to go any particular way. Every relationship is different. But I shouldn’t I at least feel good/stable about my marriage? Stable about having a family one day (I feel uneasy thinking of having kids with him, although I used to adore the idea). We are more stable now than we used to be, we don’t fight like cats and dogs now… but I do feel a sort of aching for a relationship where I truly connect with my partner… I know this is a lot of information, there is a lot I have left out of the description, but I think I would like to start here and go from there. Please help me 🙁
Post # 2
You sound like you already have one foot out the door so I’m not sure it will help.
P.S. Always trust your gut.
Post # 3
Could you seek some guidance at your Church? It sounds like sadly you prehaps we just not suited to each other. Big hugs bee.
Post # 4
Its really too bad you didn’t come to this realization before the wedding. But, it’s hard when everything is planned, and you don’t want to break your family’s hearts, and you hope everything will be better after you get married – but then you discover it’s really not.
I say you should go with what your gut says. If you could be happier without him, then that’s what you need to do I would get into couples councilling first to see if what you have left together. If you discover that you don’t have much in common anymore, then don’t prolong the agony.
Post # 5
There is no amount of counseling that will fix this. I say that with the utmost respect and sympathy. You are still so young and you have so much time to start over and find what’s right for you and it is clear from your feelings that this is not it. Fundamentally you seem like different people. It will only get worse and harder as you go along. You said yourself you are not compatible. That description says it all. It means you do not fit and do not go together. And — If you can’t imagine having children with this man, that’s really all you need to know. DO not make the mistake of going on because it’s easier. You will be miserable and if children come into play, it gets a million times more difficult to break up a child’s home than to walk out now. Trust your gut. I wish you the best. Hugs.
Post # 6
It sounds like the memory of a teenage first love and your faith got the best of you. How did 3 years of a on again off again nastiest drama type relationship lead to marriage? I think if you reread what you wrote about a marraiage being stable and good… and compatability and then take a good look at your relationship… you have your answer.
Post # 7
What specifically has made the relationship toxic?
Post # 8
I say this as someone who entered a relationship with someone at a young age (actually younger) than you and were on/off, felt toxicity of the relationship, just wanted things to be “how they were”, and wanted to be married, and believed it was something that was sacred and not something to get in to and out of easily:
If you have been feeling this way for so long, and you feel as you have said, I think you know what you need to do. It is not easy. Yes, you married him, but it is important to make changes to your life NOW, before you are married longer, before kids. I feel it will be easier, and painful as all of this is and will be, than to wait.
It’s good you tried seeing other people in the time you were apart, you noticed how you are with others in comparison to your now-husband. I don’t want to bash anyone who has a relationship at a young age or is only with one person. We all want to be happy, to be loved, and people often want to just be in relationship rather than be alone, even if they experience pain with someone. I had been in a relationship with plans to marry for many years and just kept feeling like I was staying for the reasons above. After a series of events from continued drama, I couldn’t take it anymore and ended it.
Best choice I ever made in the world. It hurt me a lot, and I took years to really begin to move on and be able to meet others for potential relationships. You will be able to do the same, you’ve even mentioned you’ve found more compatibility with others.
It’s okay, and it’s going to be okay. Sorry if it seems like I am rambling, I just felt a piece of your life echoed my own and I want you to really know it’s okay.
Post # 9
This is a tough one. But you’ve only been married a very short time so it seems early to give up on it so soon. I realize you’ve known him for a long time but he is now your husband so your relationship is as serious as it gets.
My advice is this: Take divorce off the table for now, in your mind. Step back a little from the constant tape running through your head of all the negative things about your husband and your disappointments with him. He can’t make the past up to you because the past is dead and gone, over and out.
Keep in mind it is human nature that once we start relaxing into marriage it becomes less a romantic ideal and more about day to day reality. Focus on making your own day to day reality better in whatever way you can. Work on yourself, in other words. Focus on being the best you you can be.
Communicate with your husband without bringing up the past or without criticizing his every breath. He’s allowed to be different from you. Scrub all thoughts of other men out of your brain. Focus, if you can, on some good qualities possessed by the man you committed your life to. Quiet your brain when it tries to take you down a negative path.
At least do all of this for the next 30 days.
If after that time period of being completely committed to making it work, and being as loving a wife as you can be, you still can’t stand the sight of the man you married, try to imagine your life without him. Really without him, as though he left you and were never coming back ever again. If it feels good to you to imagine him gone, then be honest with him and either pursue marriage counseling or decide if you want to separate from him.
What’s going on is he put you through trauma. He betrayed your trust by leaving and it’s natural that you’re afraid he will do so again. He should be trying to make that up to you now. Maybe by marrying you he thought he was doing that. Talk to him. What he did to you was wrong but that does not mean there is no hope left for your relationship. I also agree with everyone else that counseling is a good idea.
Post # 10
It seems like you were chasing the high of your first love. Its a special feeling for everyone… but a memory cant overcome basic personality compatibility. Nor is 3 up and down nasty drama toxic years before marriage a promising sign either. To be honest I think you have an uphill battle or a divorce infront of you. It does sound like you picked the wrong person… and were so focused on the distant past to justify promising your whole future. You can try counselling, but I dont think it will overcome that feeling in your gut (aka the truth). You wont be the first or last devout Christian to marry young and regret it. I wish you happiness and love in the future, even if its with someone else. Good luck bee.
Post # 11
I think you need to step back and get a third person to examine your relationship, like counseling and see if you can stay married.
Post # 12
I think counseling from a clergy member or counsellor might help, but as someone who met my first love at 19 and finally married him a long time later, I can say that one thing any marriage needs to realize is that no one is a static person. You change, he changes, and part of marriage or any relationship is determining if you can grow together. I am certainly not the same girl I was 20 years ago at 19 and neither is he the same exact person.
I’m sorry you feel so lost after you went ahead with your vows – too many people seem to think that getting married will “fix” any doubts or toxicity and it rarely seems to do so.
Post # 13
you mention this other guy is romantic and there’s a lot of nostalgia for how your first love was in the beginning. Sadly those things aren’t the things that carry you forward. Romance and first love feelings don’t build a marriage.
Are you looking for things that fade with time or are you two actually incompatible? This is your challenge to answer.
Post # 14
I think you already know your answer. I don’t think you ever should have married him. You were both really young and you said so yourself that your relationship has been very volatile and full of drama. Being compatible on paper is not the same thing as being compatible in life and there is much more to a marriage than having similar views about situations and I think you are starting to see that and it is hitting you hard. If you are not happy be honest with yourself and then be honest with him. You are not obligated to be with someone if you are unhappy. You are very young and have your whole life ahead of you and you don’t have to settle and spend it being miserable.
Consider counseling on your own and then possibly couples counseling if you want to make an attempt at salvaging your marriage but based on what you said it does seem like a mistake.
Post # 15
I’m very sorry, Bee. What a sad state to be in. My guess, is maybe somehow there was also perhaps an idea that being married would “fix” things. As someone very familiar with the influence of “religion” on standards and expectations, I understand why being married as a virgin was important to you and why marriage is so important (and probably that divorce is a really really undesirable option). Based on your post, I’m also making certain assumptions about the church you belong to.
I’m guessing, then, that it’s quite possibly unlikely your church/clergy will help you in the way you need. (I apologize for sweeping judgments — I’m going off of what I’ve seen in other friends’s lives). I think, maybe you could use some counseling (non-church related if possible) for yourself. Take some more time to get to know you, know what your beliefs really are regarding marriage, maybe even your faith and if you agree with how things you have been taught or thought you believed still line up with your worldview, your church, your experiences now, etc.
I actually think it would be worth you doing this before making any decisions about divorce. I would say that if you get divorced, there will be far reaching implications in your family and church circles, too, probably? So, can you take some more time, sort through what you really want, and then reevaluate divorce?
You kept being drawn back to this guy, and I think you owe yourself some time to figure out what you want for sure, but I wouldn’t immediately give up someone that has meant so much to you for so long either if the situatin is not abusive or dangerous. I used to always think separation was a bit silly, but now I understand more of it, and that might be something to consider too. Just some distance and time away from him for you to be able to clear your head and then open discussions with him on how to reconcile and address the issues, if that’s what you both want after some time apart.
I hope that all makes sense, and I wish you the best!