Direct Answers - Column for the week of July 7, 2003.
I was married three months ago, and I think I may have married the wrong woman. What do I mean when I say that? I thought I was in love, and while I have strong feelings of friendship and goodwill toward her, I feel I am alone in this relationship.
There is an odd feeling of disconnection and an inability to get to a state of real meaning with her. This has existed all through our relationship. "What's for dinner?" and " I need to wash the car" are about as deep as I can get with her. We can't share dreams, since I know her only dream is to have children and "be happy."
I am looking to other avenues for stimulation, reading more books, talking to old friends, and still trying to chip into my wife's world. I care for her, I don't want to hurt her, and both sets of in-laws love us. Yet I sit here and wonder why I married her.
Oliver, you have a huge decision to make. And soon. The sooner the better. You need to decide if you can stay married before your wife starts working on her dream of having children and being happy.
Perhaps the following letter will influence your decision.
Wayne & Tamara
I've been married 19 years, nearly all of them unhappy. I knew after three months I'd made a mistake, but divorce was and is not an option. I love my in-laws, we have three children we both adore, and my husband is the primary wage earner.
We believe God can work miracles. I just don't know if it'll happen in our case. Over the years we've been to five different counselors. Seven years ago my husband checked out of the marriage and had an affair.
After a separation of two years we reconciled, which really was a miracle, and had our third child. I am at the point now where I just cannot stand my husband. We have not slept in the same room for two years, and there is no intimacy on any level. There is no one in my life I
feel this level of anger with.
I have felt from the beginning he does not listen to me! Because I am not listened to, I don't feel respected. I am a Type A person, conscientious, hardworking and concerned about others. He's a friendly person who likes to make others laugh. He's a charmer but basically lazy.
I made the choice to stay in this marriage. It is the practical thing to do, and divorce does not bring all the answers. I'm happiest when he is away. I often think how life would be easier if he were just dead. How do I get rid of all the bitterness? How do I start to like my husband again, much less love him?
Clarisse, you are asking for help and tying our hands. That is like going to a doctor and saying, "It can't be a broken leg." Sometimes it is a broken leg. What you tried for 19 years hasn't worked.
You don't "believe" in divorce. Hardly anybody does. But if you believe fidelity, love, and happiness need to be in a marriage, then you have to believe in divorce, because without those things you don't have a marriage.
It is not selfish to want love, fidelity, and affection. They are human necessities. Think about the kind of marriage you have shown your children. Are you training them not to "believe" in divorce, even if they know after three months they made a mistake?
You have been miserable for 19 years. In addition to five counselors, we'll bet you've also read dozens of books and hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. When you have tried all other avenues, you need to reconsider what you haven't tried.
Wayne & Tamara
About the Author
Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at www.WayneAndTamara.com.
Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801 or email: DirectAnswers@WayneAndTamara.com.