I have been married for 4 years, and at first, he was my dream husband. He led me to believe that he was everything I needed and wanted in a man. He is a good provider, was loving and caring. He made me feel special in every way possible.
As time has gone on, he has changed. He has become more controlling, jealous, mean and hateful. Nothing I say or do is right. I don’t know what happened and I don’t know how to fix it. I love him and I don’t know what to do.
I don’t think he is cheating or anything he just slowly changed from the man I met.
Confused in Iowa
Dear Confused in Iowa,
No marriage is easy and no two are alike. Two imperfect people are coming together and becoming one and that process can be painful and difficult. Often times people misunderstand what marriage should be, they watch TV and movies and think marriage will be full of passionate sex and romantic moments all the time. However, a marriage that lasts isn’t one that has been through nothing and survived, it’s a marriage that weathered every storm and made it through.
I came to understand that marriage is more like a business relationship. You need to marry someone you can trust to make the hard choices with you and for you. Someone that will stand by your side even in those moments when they aren’t happy with you. A marriage certificate is a binding government document that gives both parties a level of control over each other’s lives.
A lot happens with a new marriage especially with kids involved. Financial stress can also take its toll as you begin to build your life. Raising kids together also ads a lot of stress to a relationship because typically both parties have different ideas on what they think good parenting is. When a couple has a healthy sex life it really has little impact on their marriage but if they aren’t having sex consistently it will become the number one problem in a relationship, because for humans sex is a form of bonding that we require to feel connected but if outside factors are taking a toll on the relationship it can reduce one or both parties desire to engage in sexual activity.
This is a young relationship and you are both trying to teach each other. I suggest a few things. One, talk about the things that bother you, even if it’s easier in a letter. Two seek help from a professional if you cannot do it alone. Remember that both people in the relationship have feelings and just because you don’t agree with the feelings your spouse has doesn’t mean that they don’t have the right to feel that way.
Take time to nurture your relationship as it’s still new. Make sure that you date, make sure that you make time for each other which can be hard when you are busy but it’s vital to a healthy marriage to stay connected. Do something random and special from time to time to show you appreciate him, much of his lashing out on you could be from other sources like work and ‘he brings it home.
Sit down and discuss things like finances and a parenting plan and try to get on the same page or at least agree to hear the other person and come to some sort of understanding. There are two books I suggest everyone reads when it comes to marriage. One is The Love Dare and the other is The Five Languages of Love. I am a firm believer in doing everything in your power to work through relationship problems unless your life is in danger.
People make mistakes, people do things they shouldn’t and nothing in a marriage should be unforgivable. There are always ways to work things out. It just requires both parties to put forth the effort, acknowledge their shortcomings and does the work.
Best of luck, I hope you are able to work through your issues and remember why you got married in the first place. Don’t trust Facebook or social media advice because unless they are in your marriage they don’t know the full story.
if you have a question email Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org, please put “Ask Mary” in the subject line