- 4 weeks ago
- Wedding: June 2018
I have to admit that it is taking me a long time of thought and reflection to get to the point that I’m seeking advice on a message board. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I just never thought I would be in this place and I am so desperately seeking clarity. I think to explain the cascade of events is going to require a lot, so please bear with me.
We have only been married for approximately 7 months. We definitely had our fair share of issues prior to getting married, but when I look back upon the 5 years we were together (living together for 4, as of January – together for 6) I am fairly confident that at that time the good outweighed the bad.
In my mind, things changed in September of last year. It is a lot to explain and there is a lot to unpack and I’m not sure how much detail to go into in this sort of forum. In the interests of brevity, in September he made a career decision involving another individual that he knew I was not comfortable with. He did not consult me about this. When I found out it had happened and I came to him in tears to ask him why didn’t he at least talk to me about this before making a decision that would impact the both of us the response was, “this is beneficial for my career and you should support my ambitions. if you don’t like it – you can file for divorce.” For months (I wish this was an exaggeration) he denied ever having said those words to the extent that I had questioned my sanity. In following weeks, I came to him to tell him that I was depressed and wasn’t sure if I’m just depressed/post wedding blues or if it was specifically about our relationship and what had been said. Essentially, I was accused of making it up in order to avoid being intimate on that specific evening and was called a pretty bad name (which, in fairness, is completely out of character for him and not the norm). Again, he denied ever having said this for months even after me repeatedly trying to explain that it’s something I would never forget, and how it hurt me even more because I had made myself vulnerable and that was his response.
Without getting into too much detail, he also has an obsession with college football. He does not miss a game. For anything. He has refused to come to weddings with me because of a game. He has gone to weddings and spent the entire time streaming the game at the dinner table during speeches – during dancing – even once where he was streaming the game as the bride was walking down the aisle. (Yes – I have spoken to him about this but I have rationalized that at least I wasn’t technically going alone) I have always known this and have probably been somewhat of an enabler as I look back on things. I bought the gear, I flew to the games, I cheered as loud as I could. But I have done all of these things because I love him and I enjoy seeing him happy. And, I am not talking one game a year. He flies out for approximately 4-5 games per season. I went to 2 this past fall (against what he wanted, but I also have a very stressful/busy career and just can’t take that sort of time off from work constantly). He has a very successful career as well, so I don’t want to imply otherwise. But long story short, my 30th birthday was spent at a college football game. I didn’t want to be there. In fact, I asked specifically to have a dinner with friends or to lie on a beach somewhere for the weekend. I was told he could not miss that specific game and doing anything else wasn’t an option. (For his 30th, I threw a surprise party with all of our friends and had his family fly into town to surprise him as well). I decided to make the most of the situation and invited some friends to come along for the trip. I feel guilty saying this, but while I did have fun with everyone, I had this pit in my stomach the entire time because I resented the fact that I was even there. I am not the type of girl who celebrates a birthday week or needs some huge extravaganza to celebrate the fact that I’m getting older. But, I can’t help but feel like for the one day a year that is technically about me, shouldn’t I get to choose how I want to spend celebrating it? It makes me feel selfish saying these words and I know that it shouldn’t.
The following week of that college football game, we went on a couples trip (6 couples) to Nashville to celebrate one of my best friend’s 30th birthday (she and her husband also came to the game the week before). We flew in late Friday night and left Sunday morning. Saturday was the day to actually celebrate with everyone. He spent that entire day at the AirBnB watching college football games. This is not an exaggeration – the entire day. I was so humiliated and hurt. It was embarrassing for my friends to ask why he didn’t want to hang out with them. Why did he even fly to Nashville if he was going to spend the entire time inside? For them to ask me if I’m not such a huge college football fan, why did I choose to celebrate my birthday at a game? It really sucked being the one solo person in a group of all couples.
I didn’t want to rock the boat so I waited until several weeks later to bring up how humiliated that I was. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t coming from a place of anger, but rather, was coming from a place of honestly feeling really hurt and trying to get him to understand why I would be hurt by that sort of behavior. The response was that I knew what I signed up for. I knew how important the games were to him and that I can’t change him. I asked him whether on that day he felt even a pang of guilt or a nagging feeling in the back of his mind – even for a split second – that what he was doing was hurtful or looked bad or would make me upset – and he said no. I said, hearing that is how I feel now, do you feel guilty or remorseful about it now? He said no. He said he wished that he did but he just doesn’t. This, coupled with the fact that just about any argument we get into he denies saying the things he’s said to me for months on end and never apologizes. I have asked him whether he genuinely doesn’t remember saying these things or if he’s making a conscious decision to pretend it didn’t happen. He tells me it’s not conscious. He is a 31 year old successful man with a great career and extremely well educated. It is hard for me to fathom that he could just not remember things he has said. There is no drug or alcohol problem here either. To me, it feels like he’s trying to convince me it didn’t happen so that he can withhold an apology. Which, in and of itself, is extremely hurtful to me.
To preempt any question on this – yes, we are in therapy. I finally convinced him to come with me. In therapy, this January, was the first time he admitted he even told me to get a divorce back in September. He also told me on 12/23/18 that he wanted a divorce right before we stepped into a party with his extended family – and denied saying that as well. I had to stay behind in tears to get my shit together because I didn’t want to make a scene in front of everyone and he proceeded inside without me. He didn’t admit this happened until therapy – and even then – said he did not mean it. But, when he said it we had been in an argument the previous day – not at that moment – and he said it so calmly and rationally that I can’t believe it was said in jest. I also can’t help but feel like the only reason he finally admitted to saying these things is because I told the story to our therapist and she had a horrified look on her face and he realized that I am a credible person so he couldn’t lie to this third party. But maybe it’s an indication of genuine progress and I’m seeing the worst in him at this point. I don’t know. I don’t want to see the worst in anybody – nevermind the man I married.
I am struggling so much with this. I feel like marriage should not be this hard. I feel as though life is hard and you need to have a teammate. I know it’s not all rainbows and sunshine but this doesn’t feel right to me. But, how do I know whether this is something that is fixable or not? My gut tells me that it’s not but it breaks my heart because we have built this life together and I do love him. But I have been unhappy for months and it’s starting to impact my daily life to the point I’ve been crying at work, which is just not acceptable given what I do. Is this a slump? Are these fundamental differences in personality? I have wondered if I have overlooked these things in the past prior to getting married and the conclusion I have reached is that they were always present to some degree but I was either just willing to accept them before, the good outweighed them, or it’s been exacerbated in the last 6 months – I don’t know. I feel so helpless.
There is even more to go into here, but I tell you guys this much to at least get the dialogue started. Thank you in advance to anyone who has taken the time to read throughall of this. I know it is extremely long.