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Old 8th July 2013, 01:00 PM   #1
jss2013
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Need some advice - new husband not sure of future?!

I'd be really grateful for some advice from other users on this forum. I've been married for only just over a year, and it seems we have already run into problems, and I have to say I'm really shocked. We've been together for six years and had a genuinely great relationship until now - common interests, loving, affectionate and a lovely life at home. We got married last June and had a wonderful wedding and things have been fine until the last couple of months. I've asked (probably too much) what my husband's problem is, why he has been quiet and so on and he hasn't really said anything but yesterday it all came to a head and he says he's just not sure of the future. He doesn't know whether he would prefer to be alone... I'm so shocked I just don't know what to do. He says that this has happened in previous relationsips before, after a few years it's almost like he feels trapped. He says that he was pleased it hadn't happened with me and because it was the best he thought it could be, we got married. I asked him when the change came about, and he says in the new year basically and he has just been coasting on. He says he is tired of the commute to work and back (we both drive an hour each way to work) and now he is worried about the future as he doesn't understand why in each and every relationship he seems to get to this 'wall'. I don't mind if this is 'bumps' along the way to a happy marriage, I told him that no marriage can be easy and all needs work and he agreed and I said I supported him and am here but want he to remember how things were and try and get back on track. It seems he thinks the 'spark' has gone, but I think it's buried under other stresses than totally gone (work, finances etc.). I don't know what I should do, I feel desperate and alone - I love him so much and would try anything to get our marriage back on track. He claims he still loves me, it's just not as exciting as it was apparently and he doesn't understand what has changed. I have looked in books and online and most of the advice seems to be to give him his space while he sorts his head out and not to nag and bombard with questions - what do you all think? I worry that if I'm not 'present' in the process of sorting things out he will think I'm not bothered and it's not important to me, when it's quite the opposite. Sorry to have waffled on, I'd really appreciate your thoughts. I never expected to run into issues so quickly, especially based on our past which has been great apart from the usual ups and downs. Nothing unusual. Thanks a lot.
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Old 8th July 2013, 05:45 PM   #2
chosen
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Re: Need some advice - new husband not sure of future?!

Hi jss
I have heard of so many cases where a couple have been living together and then they marry and ....wham, things begin to go wrong. The thing is, before a marriage, which is or should be a deep commitment for life, there is always, even if only subconsciously, a get out clause, ie you are not legally committed to each other and so if anything goes wrong, you don't need to have a divorce so its easier.
I think that may be part of the reason, that he now feels sort of trapped.

From what you have said through, he is imagining that there must always be a 'spark' or some 'excitement' there or its not worth bothering with. This is so not true. Most of life is fairly routine and samey, and marriage is all about staying together through this and through think and thin.

Another thing is that marriages do not grow or stay strong with no effort and no input. Its like a garden, if you don't work on it and pull up the weeds and cut bushes back and plant nice things, it will get overgrown and choked and will not look nice.
If he is bored and wants that 'spark' back what is he prepared to do about it? Maybe you could ask.
Could you both plan nice evenings out together regularly? A hobby to take up together? Romantic weekends away? Nice holidays? Its so easy to just let things chug along and get samey and boring, but with effort and imagination things can change.

My husband and I are both on our second marriage, after we both had long first marriages. We have been married now for nearly 8 years. Even though we have a very happy marriage, I still book us onto a marriage course, either a weekend or one over a few weeks, every other year, as a sort of MOT. We make sure that we go out together regularly, even if just for a coffee, and TALK. We try and get holidays away twice a year(usually just in the UK)away from work and computers etc to just be together. These times are very valuable and precious.

I think some good marriage counselling may well help, but I think he has unrealistic expectations about what life and marriage is all about, and doesn't seem to realise that HE has to put effort in in order to get anything out.

It worries me that he doesn't seem to have any concept of commitment or of keeping promises made. You do not just think of bailing out because you are a bit bored.

Another thought is could you move nearer to your work so you dont both have that long drive every day?
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Old 8th July 2013, 06:28 PM   #3
jss2013
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Re: Need some advice - new husband not sure of future?!

Hi Chosen,
Thank you for your reply and I really appreciate your thoughts. I think what you say about a marriage being like a garden is really true and this is what I have been trying to tell him - but we need both of us to be fully committed to maintaining it. I have asked if he can commit to improving it and he says of course, as it's so important, but I sometimes think that because he's so tired with other stresses it takes second place when it should be his priority. I understand that he could be frightened by his emotions as he has felt this in other relationships too but what I can't seem to make him understand (without things getting heated and then he clams up) is that he isn't trapped, it's a work in progress and we have so many great things that we have done and experienced together up to this point to build on. I definitely think we need to break routine a little - I almost think he feels like we had a massive build up to our wedding and everything and were so excited that when it was done and the dust settled he feels like everything has gone a bit 'flat' and doesn't know how to deal with that. I think it's normal to need time to settle into new routines and find our new place as a team in our marriage and I just want him to be able to see that it takes work but the rewards could be great if we are both willing. It's interesting what you say about holidays and your MOTs with your husband, I think counselling might help but I think we need to work at it alone first to see how things go. We have a holiday coming up together (hopefully!) which I am really looking forward to and hoping will give us time to reconnect and remember why we fell in love in the first place. Can I ask what you think about giving space, to work through these thoughts? Do you think I am doing the right thing by trying to take a step back (although not easy ), offer my support and let him work through these issues?

Related to the commute to work, we work in opposite directions unfortunately, so we chose somewhere that gave us both the possibility to keep our jobs.

Thanks again for any advice you can give, much appreciated. Fingers crossed for us and I'm really happy for you to hear that your second marriage is working out so well.
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Old 8th July 2013, 07:01 PM   #4
chosen
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Re: Need some advice - new husband not sure of future?!

Thank you

It may be a good idea to give him space in a sense, but also to communicate about things you can both do to make it better.
Did you know that it is quite common for one or both members of a married couple to get slightly depressed and to feel let down after a long planned for and highly emotionally charged wedding? The daughter of a friend, planned her wedding for 4 years(!!!!) and it was all she and her mum talked about. Needless to say she go quite low after wards and felt very flat.
Is there any possibility that one of you could look for job nearer to each other?

One good marriage course that we went on last years was this one. IT is run by churches but I have known people go went on it who werent Christians. You don't have to be. You can find out of there is one near you, but I suspect that t will be September before any new one starts now.

http://www.relationshipcentral.org/marriage-course
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Old 9th July 2013, 12:19 AM   #5
1aokgal
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Re: Need some advice - new husband not sure of future?!

Dear Jss...

Welcome to the forum. So sorry you and your husband seem to have hit this time where there is doubt about his committment to your marriage. It seems he is a repeat "short termer" who feels trapped after a short time together as he has done in other relationships. Marriage is a contract between two people, and instituted by God for the purpose that two will remain together, "until death do you part." Marriage isn't a sale item that one returns to the store when there are rough spots. I wonder if he understands the Christian concept of marriage at all or has the slightest respect for the fact he made promises to you? A husband doesn't cancel out at the first opportunity!

Give him space? Heck, no. I would not give him space!! I'd crowd him as much as possible to recall that you married because you loved/love each other! A year together usually means, for the most part with people, that you can't keep your hands off each other. That you can't pass a secret place without checking in there for some intimate time at every opportunity! So if the intimacy has not been figured into your schedule with your husband, than I can see why he may be thinking he doesn't know if he wants to stay married!

The hour long commute for the two of you was a mistake. That is the personal time for the two of you that you are losing to traffic and other priorities. There has to be other jobs, because a job can be replaced and that comes to be the second place choice to the marriage!!

My husband and I are friends. That is as important as being husband and wife. When other stuff goes over the years, or there are difficulties, or illness, the friendship remains. You have to spend time with each other to nourish that friendship. We do things...mostly outdoors, and keep sendentary TV time at a minimum. We walk, hike, bike, boat, and plan day trips. We bought a gym/spa membership together for years. We enjoy the time we spend, an hour or so every few days, to go take the dog to the dog park together. We get in a movie every few weeks and mostly we talk, talk, talk about politics, current news, court cases, celebrities and our hopes and wishes. That means there is never a time when I am not interested in who he is or what he thinks. We are married 33 years and I find him a kind, decent, hard working man. I admire him, like him, and love him deeply. All of the input from our various activities and things we do together, nourishes the belief I have, that he is the one for me.

We made it through job difficulties, financial worries, relocations, serious illnesses and separations that his work inflicts on us with time away for months at a time. What I am saying is it gets down to the fact you have to schedule time for you both. If you both get into the kitchen together and cook dinner together, with good music and talk, ..that is together time. Those are happy times and things that bind a couple together for the long term.

There also is a quality that comes with a marriage to be childlike together. You can have the water fights, the silly times, when humor makes time pass gently, that we as a couple, look forward to and enjoy. When we have serious discussions we respect and hear each other out, so there is no conflict. I'd advise you to find a job close to home, so you don't blow the time you have for each other, to commute to a job. Move closer to the job is also a thought. Put your marriage as a priority.

The person who gives the other "space" will be the loser. That "space" should be no further than a room or two away, because friends talk out issues. They don't run away. "Space" is an escape. Be like the loyal little dog who does not move far from his masters' heel! Make your husband the one who leads you and your household, and stick close to where he is. If you do that , you will be together through whatever comes. I wish you the best. I hope you can let yourself go and be very in love with your man, and make him see how you feel about him before it is too late.

Last edited by 1aokgal; 9th July 2013 at 05:34 AM.
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Old 9th July 2013, 11:12 AM   #6
Helen_uk
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Re: Need some advice - new husband not sure of future?!

It's strange how for some people , getting married seems to equal feeling trapped isn't it ? maybe it's that formal , til death do us part commitment that scares them.

I had a couple of friends years ago who had lived together for over 5 years when they decided to get married , within the space of a year they'd separated . However although they'd ended the marriage and went on to have a subsequent divorce they remained living together as friends and when the woman developed colon cancer the guy cared for her til the end. I think that shows the friendship part of marriage is every bit as necessary as all the other parts.

I think 1aokgal has it perfectly , marriage encompasses such a lot of things and each tiny part is important , and needs nurturing . If one part then fails ( such as physical intimacy for instance ) then the other threads of the marriage keep it sound. The three things I'd find impossible to live without are faithfulness, loyalty and commitment , whilst those are still in place , a marriage is worth fighting for.

The travelling time is obviously a problem and I assume it's not possible to travel together , would it be possible to move closer t your places of work ? or for one ( or both ) of you to change jobs ?
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Old 9th July 2013, 12:55 PM   #7
Raymond
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Re: Need some advice - new husband not sure of future?!

All good advice which I won't add to.

What I am picking up is the fear factor. You said jss that this has happened to him in previous relationships. That is something in him and is not particularly your fault. Nevertheless it needs to be addressed. You said he doesn't know the future. Who does? What one can be sure about is that making that committment to our spouse and laying the groundwork will affect the future for the better as will having a positive vision for the future. Sowing the right seeds now will reap a future for you both. Drawing back in doubt will be self fulfilling. The opposite to fear is faith. I wonder if something negative happened in his childhood that made him afraid to hope?

Last edited by Raymond; 9th July 2013 at 01:03 PM.
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