How do I make my marriage work?

Jenifer - posted on 01/24/2010 ( 23 moms have responded )

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I'm 28, I didn't ever date seriously in High School. I dated one guy for 3 months when I was 18/19, it didn't last. I dated another guy for a year off and on before we got married. Our marriage was serious for a year and went down hill over the next four months until he moved out and we called it quits for good. I know that he wasn't the one for me, we both accepted that it just wasn't meant to be. Not long after I met a guy who had a little boy (4 yrs old), he didn't have custody of his son, the mother did. After dating for about 3 months I got pregnant (at 21). As crazy as it sounds it was a planned pregnancy. I had triend getting pregnant with my ex-husband and it just didn't work. Long story short my ex (son's father) screwed up our relationship, before I found out I was pregnant, we made our son the last time we were together. I dated a guy I had known since 16 and we found out I was pregnant while I was dating and again long story short the realtionship ended. I am really good at running or kicking people out when the going gets tough and if I was really in love maybe I would have worked at it harder. Or maybe I was in love, but pushed him away once I was hurt. I don't know. So I have had 3 relationships all about 3 months long and one relationship/marriage that lasted under 2 years. I dated a bit, but it was never serious.
On my son's First Birthday I got a call from this guy, I had joined a dating service and with this service you get a letter in the mail with some info and a phone number. We got the letters on Valentine's Day and he called me the next day, my son's B-day. I talked to him for like 3 hours the first night. I told him about my son, my ex's and everything. We talked about what we wanted and what we didn't want. I didn't want someone who smoked or an alcoholic. One Grandpa died from smoking, one was an recovering alcoholic. I wanted someone who was Christian, would love my son as his own, wants more kids, I hada plan to have 2 more before I turn 30, and I was 23 at the time, so to me it was a realistic expectation. I do have PCOS and it took me 11 months to get pregnant with my son, so to me 7 years was reasonable. So all of this info I was upfront with, I wanted to start out everything honestly, I don't believe in hiding big things from the one you love. I am divorced and I would always have my son and I believe I have the right to want what I want and I think someone who wants me should want the same things as me.
The guy, mentioned above, asked me to marry him on May 1st and we married on August 20, 2005 and for the first two years everything was pretty much picture perfect, I mean minor issues here and there, but nothing serious. Oh and my son's father wants nothing to do with my son and my son has had some developmental issues, but for the most part he has been under control. So anyways 2 years in and he starts smoking and he hid it from me and lied about it for 2 months before I found out and he refuses to quit. I think it's gross and I want to leave him just for that. He has had an alcohol problem which at times has been pretty serious. His parents know about it and don't like it, but when we drive 6 hours to there house to stay there for a few days they buy enought alcohol to keep a family of 6 buzzed for a week and expect him not to drink? I don't even know what to do with that situation, but I have to think I will not be taking my son there unless it is alcohol free. I mean why should I be 6 hours away from anyone I know in another state while my husband is drunk for 3 days. I think if he wants to go be a drunk, he can go on his own and if they want my son, their only grandkid there the alcohol will be gone. If not they can drive the 6 hours and come see him here. I figure I won't debate all this until it comes closer to our next trip there which will be Easter or Memorial Day, so I have a little time.
I really want kids and so far just the one, he will be 6 next month. My husband refuses to actively try. First I said why don't we have sex every other day and that was apparently too much for him. He wouldn't do it every day so for me that was a compromise. Then I started temperature tracking and calculating my cycle and only asking him to have sex every other day when I was most likely to get pregnant. After 3 years of trying and begging my husband to have sex with me I gave up. I gave up oin asking for sex all together. I am used to sex once or twice a day and my husband knew this from day one. He will let us go a month without sex unless I pretty much forse him into it.
So basically how do I get my husbadn to quit drinking, and smoking because he loves me and how do I get him to make a baby with me? I want my marriage to work and so does he I just don't think he thinks he should have to put any effort in to this. I have tried talking to him and expressing clearly how I feel and he just sits there mute. I want him to debate it with me tell me what he wants. Oh and I am fine not having more kids if I get him to quit drinking and smoking, but kids or no kids I need SEX. Maybe that's crazy, but I need it and I think the best place for me to get it would be with my husband, how do I convince him of that?

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23 Comments

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Jaimee - posted on 02/17/2010

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thats good to hear, i hope all continues to go well! good luck and take care!

Jenifer - posted on 02/17/2010

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He is doing much better, the last few weeks have been better than the last two years, thanks for all your help.

Jenifer - posted on 02/02/2010

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Jaimee -My husband has never treated me badly in front of my son and has never treated my son badly when he was drunk, I do not let him near my son when he is drunk and my son is almost always asleep when my husband is drunk. He does not swear at me in front of my son and he doesn't come in to eat dinner either. He has never been physical with me cause he knows I'd kill him.
Sarah-Yes I jump into things quickly and I have been in this relationship for almost 5 years. I am not sure what you mean by best self forward, I am brutually honest. I told him exactly how I feel the first time I talked to him. I was honest about my son, my divorce and how I fell about smoking and drinking. I am an honest person. I am not going to behave all sweet and angelic, if that's not who I am. I will be the truest me I can be. I talked about all our goals with hima dn we went through marriage counseling before we were maried, the issue isn't how well I know my husband the issue he has changed into someone I do not know and I am not sure if I like him. I am not sure if this is a permanant change, in which case I am gone, or a temporary change that he isn't fully aware of. I know why I jump into things quickly and have addressed those issues years ago, I have addressed them and I tell al from day one, I do not hide and I do not lie, I am who I am.
I AM ON BIRTH CONTROL, which means I can not get pregnant, I am no it because in my relationship now is a bad time to have a baby. All I am saying is that it does not make me want one any less. Honestly with my son not haveing his father in the picture is not an issue. He does not want to be involved in my son's life at all. My husband is the only father he has ever known. Again, I am not actively trying to have a baby. And I do put my son first which is why I am trying to work on this.

On another note, his drinking sems to be under control He has been behaving himself since my last post. And again, so far nothing myself or my husband is doing is adversly affecting my son. My son has many developmental isues and is under the close care of his mother and many professionals both at his school and privately hired by me. I know that if I run from this relationship when there is the possibility of making it work that will adversly affect my son.

Sarah - posted on 02/01/2010

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I think you need to focus on getting things better within the relationship and not about having kids. It may or may not get better. He has to make the choices for him as to what he is going to do with his life. You also have to work on you. You jump into relationships very quickly and don't give yourself much time to really get to know that person. It really takes about 2 yrs to really get to know someone for who they really are. When you date you are putting your best self forward (as you should). As you get to know each other more and get more comfortable with each other you start to learn who each other are. Your goals, values, families, etc. There are reasons why you jump into things quickly and that is something you need to work on. Adding another child to your relationship will add more stress and more issues. That is also not fair for the child. As I am sure you have seen with your 6 yr old it is not easy when his parents are no longer together (not that you should be). It is hard for kids and if there are already issues in your relationship it is not right to put a child in that. Part of being a parent is putting our wants aside. You may want another child, but now might not be the right time.

Jaimee - posted on 02/01/2010

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jenifer,
honestly from all you've said so far it sounds like his given up, it does take two to make a relationship work, the more you push the more he will too, my dad is an alcoholic so i know from a childs point of view what is like, esspecially if there a nasty drunk your son will see this and eventually your son will loath him, not see him as a roll model, he will either see how you are treated and hate him for it or he will grow up and think that is the way to treat a woman or he could grow up and resent you for staying and putting up with it, im glad my mum left and took my bro and i when she did, it was the best thing she ever did for us and her.
'you should never stay with someone just because you think its best for the child!' as my mum had qouted to me when my partner and i had our issues and my excuse for staying was for my sons sake! my partner is nothing compared to how your husband sounds though and my partner did make and has continued to make an effort when he realised i was ready to leave if he didnt open up and talk to me so we could sort our relationship out!
have you asked your son what he thinks when your husband treats and speaks to you the way he does?
how does he speak to your son when his that drunk?
if your relationship is unhappy how do you think that is reflecting on your son? especially when he comes to the kitchen table to eat his meal and all he does is swear at you and put you down in front of your son.
when you give an ultimatum and you actually get him to leave then he begs to come back but starts his abusive crap soon after you have given in because you love him and believe his lies, thats when you make him leave again and remind him of the previous ultimatum and DONT let him come back permenatly till your darn possitive he has and is continuing to make an effort.
you need to be strong and stick to your guns when you've made a decision to tell him to go!

Jenifer - posted on 01/27/2010

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He refuses to sit down and talk with me, he considers it a waste of his time to talk to me, When I talk to him I am calm and relaxed even when he contiually attacks me and swares at me. I know I am not his mother and I don't want him to be, but I have to worry about my child and I do have say of who can be around him adn what they are allowed to do. Smoking is not ok and neither is being a drunk. He gets drunk and then says all sorts of mean things. Maybe my problem Is I am not willing to just lie down and let him walk all over me. I will stand up for what I believe in especially of it affects me or my child.
I will see if I can find the movie, but he won't even cooperate with me to fix the duishwasher, so how can I expect him to work on our marriage?
Last night he told me that eating dinner with my son and I is a waste of his time. How am I supposed to want to work on a relationship when he is such a jerk?

Nichole - posted on 01/26/2010

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it takes two to make a relationship work and two to drive it in to a ditch. nothing will change until you BOTH take resonsibility for your part in the mess. all I keep seeing is he he he maybe you both sit down and decide if you are going to be able to salvage this or not and try to let go of the anger if he won't talk about it maybe he has already given up. it sounds like maybe you have to and are just looking for permission to walk away.I really hope you can talk to eachother and work through this.

I have to say this I'm sorry but you are not his mother. a helpful hint no one wants to sleep with thier mother.

[deleted account]

The love dare is great!!! Watch the movie if you can and together if that is possible. Its called Fireproof. my husband and I watched it and it brought us closer together, My nan watched it and she walked away buying the dvd and the love dare book to do with her husband. and another copy for her daughter who just recommitted their wedding vows with a Tahitian wedding. My husband and I used to have marriage counseling not because we had to much wrong but because we both come from some pretty messed up families and didn't want the same thing happening to us.
Hope everything works out for you

Jenifer - posted on 01/26/2010

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To Angela- I'm at a loss, I don't know if maybe the reality of marriage just took that long to kick in or what, his longest relationship before me was only 5 months and was when he was 19, he was 26 when we met and he had not dated at all since then. I've gone to church without my husband for years, I have to take my son, who has ADHD which usually means I have to leave early. It is hard to put my son through it, so I do not go often, he can't sit still and doesn't like loud music. I have asked him a few times, but never pressured him. I do not believe this is affecting my son, but if I leave it will. If I leave my husband it will devastate my son, so I need to make sure I can't work this out before i end it, because a change like my husband not being here will seriously set my son back.
To Jaimee- I've tried the ultimatum, it didn't work, he left, begged to come back, then he started drinking and lying again.
My big issue wiuth sex is I like it and he knows it so he witholds sex just to piss me off, but he also won't even kiss me somedays, so I don't get what the deal is.
He will never go to a doctor's appt with me, he has never been to one with my son, or to the hospital or ER with him, he avoids doctor's like the plague... I've tried every approach I can think of and some nights he turns me down cold, like there is someone else, which I know there isn't or like he just isn't attracted to me.
I'm not offended I may be forceful, but I feel like I have to be and if he would behave like a grownup and treat me with respect then he would get the same from me. But if he wants to behave like a child and sware at me, then he can go fly a kite. I guess I used to care how he feels and I just don't know if I care anymore. He can be so hurtful sometimes, he just now came downstairs and started swaring at me cause I don't even know why... I mean can't he talk to me like I am actually a person with feelings? It pisses me off when he swares at me, I just want to wash his mouth out with a whole bottle of soap and kick him...
I'm ok around alcohol, just not drunk assholes, my husband . I am ok with a drink, but does every meal have to have wine or a beer with it I mean 3 cases of beer, 2 bottles of liquor and 3 boxes of wine for 5 people and 4 days? Two of us don't even drink. I mean I used to have a drink here or there, but with him being a drunk, I will not drink with my son in my house. Last drink I had I had the house to myself for the weekend and that was October. If I start drinking and he is drunk I will surely beat him bloody, all the anger I am trying to control will explode. So I stay sober and resolve my issues calmly, I mean one of us has to.
I don't think I will be driving 6 hours to have my husband treat me like trash again. He was a jerk to me on Christmas Day and if my son hadn't been there I would have left. I didn't want to ruin it for my son.
I have tolds him that I know I am not perfect and even suggested that we sit down and discuss the issues we have with eachother, he has refused that for 4 years and it is only getting worse. I just wasnt this to work for my son and hope that my husband will be the man i fell in love with, the man I married, not this mean person he is now. Somedays I see a glimmer of hope and then he's holding a beer again...
How do I relax and not just kick him in the nuts like I want to?

Angela - posted on 01/25/2010

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Hi Jenifer,

My main thought in all of this is "What caused him to change so much?" Was he hiding something from you when you got married, or has something happened in his life that he can't deal with so he is drinking? It is a very hard thing when you want something to work so badly and he doesn't seem willing to try, my heart goes out to you. The only advice that I can give is find a good church with a strong support system based around Christ and family values if you aren't involved in one already. You may be going without your husband for a while, but I don't think you should pressure him about it. Wake up every day and make the decision to love him, as you are clearly trying to do, and just be there for him. All that being said, it you think that this is affecting your son in an adverse way at all, mentally, physically or emotionally you need leave and take him with you. You can work on things from a distance in a situation like that, it doesn't mean you are giving up on your marriage.

Jaimee - posted on 01/25/2010

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hmmm, ok i understand what its like to feel as though you arnt being herd by your partner when your trying to be open with them and they sit there and just go 'mute', my partner had that issue for quite some time, i gave him an ultimatum and now where both fine and have a very happy relationship.
counseling wont work unless you both want it and both want to be there, obviously!
i understand your on birth control and that is a good thing atm as i think it would put more strain on the relationship.and if you think he wont put out because he has changed his mind about having a baby it may make him run if you fell pregnant.
you shouldnt have had to be forcing him to have sex either, i have pcos myself and it was an issue that me and my partner had to come to terms with as he wasnt quite ready for a baby but i was concerned about the time it could take to actually concive and if i would be able to concive at all so i asked him to come to my appointments with me so the doc could help him understand what pcos is and how it can effect someone in the end we decided i wouldnt use cotraception if we fell pregnant then that was ok it took us 4yrs to concive and if i included previous relationships then it took me 8 yrs all up. so maybe he needs to go to the doc with you to better understand pcos if he hasnt already, as for the sex life maybe try jazzing it up take a different approuch to getting him in bed you may have already tryed all my suggestion i dont know?! you are coming across very forcefull, controlling and pushy to me so maybe thats how he feels, (please dont take offence to my comment im not meaning to come across rude.) i think with the smoking and drinking that he is rebelling against you its his thing that you cant control, if he has or has had a drinking problem and his family dont like it then they shouldnt have it in his face when use go to visit but if thats just you not liking being around it for what ever reason you need to understand that they drink and you dont have to if you choose not to if you really dont like it and dont want you son to be around ppl drinking that is fine just dont go there and explain what you dont like to them and you husband and assure them they are welcome to come and stay at you house with you without the alcohole! maybe use just need a break, dont push too hard or you may lose him altogether, try different approces to get him to open up to you and put yourself in his shoes and think how he feels and dont use an accusing approuch point your fults out to him too so he knows you see his not just the problem or the 'glitch' in the relationship.
i hope i helped and i didnt sound rude! good luck

Jenifer - posted on 01/25/2010

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I'm on birth control, so it can't happen, but I am just saying that doesnt make me not want one...

Nicole - posted on 01/25/2010

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Try the book Love and Respect(focus in the family) it keys in on the the love we need and the respect that men need not that we don't need respect but men thrive on it. Just give it a try its a whole new approach from regular counseling. It does take 2 for a marriage to work but you would be surprised at your husbands response to respect no matter how undeserving he may be. I think the baby making needs to be put on the back burner for now get your marriage straight then start trying again it will happpen. I hope this helps best wishes

Jenifer - posted on 01/25/2010

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He said he wanted kids or I would not have married him no matter how much I loved him. My husband did not drink like this or smoke when I married him or else I wouldn't have married him. I was taking temps, but it wasn't a family processs, I just wrote it down real quick every morning. There is no one else for him. And so far not for me either, I do want this to work, but running is so much easier. My husband seems to be going through a selfish phase, where he is first, his friends are second, the dog is third and my son and I are last. He is very good with my son, when he takes the time to see him. So far I have sole custody of my son. My husband and I have discussed adoption, I mean my husband adopting my son. I think it is a good idea, but at this point I will not give rights to my husband unless we have a kid of our own, cause if this goes south I don't want my son to have to put up with him, but in the same sense if he runs, this will seriously hurt my son. My husband is the only dad he's every known and the yes I will say it, asshole that is his biological father doesn't care about my son at all. In fact, my son has an 11 year old brother and a 2 or 3 year old little sister all his biological father's kids. I am trying to make sure my son knows his siblings on his fathers side cause I am not sure if I will have more kids or not at this point. This is just really difficult. And as far as this working out for my son, if my marriage works my husband will continue tio be his dad and the biological guy won't come into play, his own choice, not mine. My stepdad was my 'dad' growing up and I had him walk me down the aisle at my wedding and I am glad my mom left him, he beat her. My son will understand that staying with his biological dad who cheated on me with a girl who he knew had an STD in my house while I worked 3 jobs to support him and his kid, the now 11 year old just wasn't a good choice, plus the creep moved in with a guy after I kicked him out. And i mean in the grossest sense of moved in with, he has never held a steady job and owes over 30,000 in chiold support. So I know my son can not fault me for that and if I can find a way to kick my husband until he behaves and make this marriage work I think we will be ok. Plus all our family wants him to quit his stupidity and wants him to be with me.

Tah - posted on 01/24/2010

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you say that you having your son worked out alright for the 2 of you, how do you know that, because you are ok with it....you don't know how it may affect your son int he long run, you have to think about those things, also did your husband say he wants kids, sometimes when women start taking temps and doing hand stands on the wall it becomes forced and not exciting, ther is an issue if your begging him for sex, explore that, does he not want kids, does he feel something changed, hate to ask but is there someone else, and how does he treat your son, thats a big one...

Tah - posted on 01/24/2010

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again, i have to shoot straight..you r trying to bring more kids into this mess...please don't..you need to pray about it and start some counseling..you are keeping the cycle going of what you have grown up seeing, drinking and smoking and look who u pick..you need to work on u also and do what's best for your son

Jenifer - posted on 01/24/2010

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I have suggested counseling and he just looks at me with a blank stare. I had my son because I wanted him not because it was right for my relationship and it worked out ok for us then. I should have mentioned I went back on Birth Control, last year, I haven't told him, but I don't want to bring another kid into a bad relationship, but it doesn't make me want a baby any less... I guees it hurts me tha the says he wants a baby, but won't put the effort into it. I thought with me on Birth Control if I could get him to put the effort in and things get better between us then I could go back off Birth Control when it would be right for all of us.
And I know we have a communication issue, I communicate and he ignores me...

Lisa - posted on 01/24/2010

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First off I wld suggest counselling 4 u all and if he dnt wnt 2 go then u go. Because ther r somthngs u need 2 figure out wit u. But dnt quit on ur marriage. I'm going to let u kno somthng sweety marriage is wk. It can b a great thing if u wnt it 2 b but u got 2 wk at it all marriages r like tht. But also u got 2 kno tht both of u all cam in ths thing wit ur own issues tht need 2 b dealt wit. I com fro a family of smokin in drinkin and the real reasons behind it is unresolved issue tht a perso dnt wnt 2 face or dnt kno hw 2 face. I kno whn stuff happen in my marriage I pray and thn I wk on me not on him.Change got start wit self. So its not ur job 2 change him its ur job 2 wk on u. So if u luv him lik u say u do thn u wld pray 4 him and wk on u. Bcaus whn its all said and done and you decide 2 leav if u do thn u will com 2 kno tht u r always ther whn u look in the mirror u r the common denominator.

[deleted account]

Sweetie, it takes two to make a relationship work. If he's not willing to work through problems with you, or listen to what you want and try to compromise, then is it fair to you and your son? Like the others, I would suggest counseling. Also, I have some friends that are doing "The Love Dare" and it is working wonders in their marriage. Good luck Sweetie.

Rachael - posted on 01/24/2010

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hi

i would also suggest realationship counselling it sounds as though you both have things you need to work out and a proffessional cousellor will help you with these issues. If your partner dosent want another baby then thats something you need to accept right now. Get your realationship sorted out then you can think about adding to your family. A counsellor will also be able to help your husband get help to quite alcohol and smoking, if your partner decides to quite for the sake of your relationship. Goodluck :)

Kimberly - posted on 01/24/2010

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Looks like I'll be the first to bite......



IMHO I think that you shouldn't be trying to have another baby if your relationship is so rocky. If you are having so many problems a baby is the last thing you need. It will not solve any of your problems. If your husband truly loves you and wants to make your relationship work I would suggest marriage counseling. To me it sounds like the two of you are very inefficient at communication. Which as we all know is crucial to any relationship to be successful. So the best thing to do right now is counseling and from there you can work on the other issues. Having someone to mediate the issues will be very beneficial. If he is not willing to do this, or work on your relationship then nothing will get better, and its best to cut your loses.



If this is the case I would suggest not jumping into a relationship right away, and definitely do not jump into another marriage. It seems like you are very quick to start a new relationships/marriages after the last person doesn't work out. Give yourself some time to really figure out what you need and want out of a partner. Good luck.

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