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Marriage ruined my relationship

Marriage & Life Partnerships Debunking the old-ball-and-chain stereotype one couple at a time.

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Old 12th February 2018, 7:37 PM   #1
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Marriage ruined my relationship

I'll try to keep this short.

My husband and I have been together for 6 years, married a year. Overall, while our relationship had it's ups and downs, it was pretty damn good. We're best friends. We had a satisfying sex life. We had plans for the future.

It feels like as soon as we got married we started struggling with living together. We had already been living together for three years when we got married. Literally, nothing changed except we made it legal and I took his name.

Before we were married we never fought about dishes, laundry, trash, etc. We functioned like a well-oiled machine, both of us doing our parts.

Now, it's a constant battle. A sink free of dishes is important to me, not him. Laundry folded a certain way and hung up is important to him, not me (I would just leave laundry in the basket if I could but I make an effort to respect his wishes). Over and over again we butt heads over these kinds of domestic issues. We both work full time but I end up doing these chores 80% of the time and I feel resentment that I have to ask him to help me, like he's a child. He's a grown man, he can see when dishes and laundry have piled up, but if I don't ask him he will not do it. I hate to admit that I feel such contempt over this. I don't want to nag him so I walk on eggshells. Sometimes when I ask him and try to be sweet about it he turns around and lashes out at me and barks that he will get around to it when he feels like it, which can be a day or two.

So we either sit in the filth until he does his part or I give in and just do it. There are times I ordered pizza for dinner because we didn't have any clean pots and pans for me to cook with, and I refused to do them when it was his turn to help out.

We've gotten into fights this year in ways that we've never fought before. We both have an MO. He likes to say "Maybe we should just get a divorce" and I like to start packing my bag to go stay with my parents. I'm serious when I'm doing it, I'm legitimately sick of the issues, but once I cool down I'm devastated and just want to fix things.

He goes for a 20 minute drive, sends a text asking me to wait for him to get back, then apologizes and tells me he doesn't want a divorce, that he was speaking out of frustration.

We both can be prone to depression, especially me, but I've been seeking treatment for longer than he's known me and I've been thriving for the most part. We have no kids and neither one of us has ever had a desire for kids.

Sex ... we had a healthy sex life. It was awesome. We're both in our early 30's. Our wedding night we were so exhausted from the day, the reception, and general stress of the whole thing, that we didn't have sex. Okay, no problem, I'd heard that is fairly common. We cuddled and watched Star Wars instead. Considering how we both felt, it was amazing.

But ... December was our one year wedding anniversary ... and we've had sex maybe 5 times in this entire year.

I just sat back and realized the last time we had sex was in October. When we make time for it, it's satisfying for both of us. We both have that glow and admit it feels like immediate de-stress. The intimacy and connection is there, we enjoy it like always, we lay in bed for a bit cuddling and being goofy with each other. But to get to that point, it's like we don't have the will to try most of the time. I wouldn't call it bored, it's more like ... complacent?

You hear about people getting married thinking it will change and better the relationship. I didn't think anything would change - and I didn't want anything to change.

Maybe this would have happened anyways even if we didn't get married. It was bound to happen, six years together.

But I'm ashamed. I feel like our marriage is too young for us to be struggling like this. We never went through a honeymoon phase. I was actually sick with the flu for most of our 6-day honeymoon in the Georgia mountains. An omen for the rest of our first year?

There are other minor issues that have been exacerbated since we married, but everything usually boils down to chores and intimacy.

We've talked about counseling. Just the thought of going to counseling fills me with shame. It feels like already admitting failure. But we're already hanging by a thread. I also think about how heartbroken my parents would be if we fell apart. They adore him, and they should, he's a great guy - the best guy I've ever been with.

One thing that hasn't changed is we are consistent with "I love you baby", kissing, and all those little affections throughout the day such as texting to ask "How is your day going", reaching over and touching each other while on our computers side-by-side, etc. We've always been awesome at affection and I'm proud that is still here.

We just have so little patience for each other these days.

(Sorry, this is not very short after all)
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Old 12th February 2018, 8:01 PM   #2
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These things, well, it's Marriage. All common. It's usual to have this kind of "power struggle" over household duties.

Fights=resentment=lack of effort=little to no sex. Without sex and intimacy you'll fight more. Around goes the hamster wheel.

Therapy isn't a sign of failure, it's being proactive. Bottom line is your problems are a result of poor communication, which is basically all therapy is about, learning to communicate on your spouses level.

Honestly, having been with the same woman since I'm 17, almost 30 years now, when I read your problems I think "that's it" not to minimize your frustrations. This are all things that could be easily fixed with the ability to communicate without allowing anger and a "well you did this" attitude.

When imagine your marriage, I think you guys aren't listening to one another and well your frustrations are more valid and important than the others. So you get well he isn't doing this so I'm not doing that.

Get into marriage counseling, you will be amazed at how easy these things can be fixed by learning to communicate.
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Old 12th February 2018, 8:07 PM   #3
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We worried that marriage would ruin our relationship. We lived together for over 7 years when we decided to marry, but agreed that if things changed for the worse, we'd divorce and try to recapture what we had. Our sex life in particular was spectacular, and we did not want to risk that due to the possible complacency that marriage sometimes creates.

Fortunately, nothing changed other than gaining the pragmatic benefits of marriage (e.g., health insurance).

I agree with DKT3 in that you should try marriage counseling.
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Old 12th February 2018, 8:11 PM   #4
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I agree, marriage counseling is a good starting point. Your relationships sounds like it needs a good tune up.

You are probably still adjusting to being married. It's another level of commitment and a public one at that.

Before even asking about marriage counseling, have an open discussion about these issues and see what he says (i.e. household chores, intimacy, etc.)
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Old 12th February 2018, 8:26 PM   #5
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Whoa... First, I think counseling is in order, and I will get to that.

I am also in my 30's also married after many years together (14 in my case!), also do not have kids, also have very busy lives... and also have some issues with chores. Given all of that, here is my advice.

1. NEVER, ever ever talk about divorce. Just don't do it. Getting that upset, and talking about throwing in the towel like that - its immature, and will cause serious, permanent damage to your relationship. Telling your loved one, this one you vowed to stick by through thick and thin - that you are rejecting them over an argument. Can't tell you how hurtful that is.

- one thing I have learned, after years together, ups and downs. Is that no matter what we argue about, its not worth hurting each other over. Asking for a divorce is very hurtful.

2. Pick your battles. I hear ya on the dishes etc... but here's the thing. Is it worth trashing your relationship over? Is it worth all of the anger, resentment, and a dirty house? What takes more energy? Doing the dishes, or fuming with anger and developing bad feelings for your spouse over them?

I used to do this too... I wanted it done, didn't want to nag, he said he would do it, but I wanted it done NOW etc. Thing is, it wasn't worth the fight.

I sat down my husband and talked to him like an adult. I told him how I needed more help, I told him how it made me feel taken for granted. I listened to him and understood that wasn't his intent, and he listed to me when I expressed how it made me feel.

Something I have learned is the value of being open and vulnerable with your partner - not defensive. And understand that we may interpret actions differently.

Was talking about it a cure all? Nope, would I still come home from work and find dishes in the sink? Yep. Now - this is where your mileage may vary, but after we communicated, and both had a better understanding - I would come home, see dishes and start doing them. He would pipe up "You relax, I will do them!" and I would shrug and say, well I want them done now... and continue to do them... and he now, gets up and takes over for me, and won't let me finish the dishes.

That is because he understands how I feel about it. And because I understand how he feels about them, and how its not a jab at me (just like you and the laundry) its just not a big deal, and certainly not worth fighting and hurting each other over.

3. You both need to learn how to communicate and control your anger. Honestly these are all little things and should NEVER get to the point of talking divorce and packing bags. You both need to learn how to diffuse the situation WAY before it gets to that point.

And this is why I say counseling. Sounds like you both have pretty crummy conflict resolution skills, and need to learn how to convey your feelings in constructive, and loving manner. You both need to learn how to listen and be heard. You both need to learn how to respect each other's feelings.

Sex... yeah that is a big problem too, and I hope that counseling would help you two bridge the gap. If you both enjoy it, it sound again, like a communication issue. You two need to know how to woo each other throughout the day. About how sex doesn't start in the bedroom it starts with how you treat each other. You two need to understand how important it is to make your partner feel desired. How to put sex on the table and follow through. Again, its a communication thing. You need to talk about it in an open vulnerable way where no one is going to be getting defensive.

My husband and I have put each other through some real crap. There has been cheating on both of our parts etc - but what I credit for where we are today, is are ability to come together when problems arise - and to not come apart.
Sorry for all of the typos! On a cell phone that thinks it is smarter than me
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Old 12th February 2018, 8:45 PM   #6
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You say you fight over things like chores now when you never used to before marriage. So what has changed? Is that you have always done most of the chores without complaint but now that you are married you are expecting him to help more (rightfully so), or is it that he used to help out more with the chores but now that you are married he thinks he doesn't have to?
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Old 12th February 2018, 8:47 PM   #7
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Yeah good question - how was sex, chores etc before marriage? Doesn't seem like a ceremony should change anything. I can't say I swear any difference in our relationship.
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Old 12th February 2018, 10:39 PM   #8
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Men are not thrilled about doing dishes, I guess it takes away
from our masculinity. I'd do it but I also liked to point out that
i cut the grass,shoveled the snow, did oil changes on the cars,
fixed the plumbing, replaced sump pump under the house, Yuk,
chopped the firewood,etc etc.

But I'd also say "a woman's work is never done".
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Old 12th February 2018, 10:53 PM   #9
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I'm with Anika and RC. Why did you not fight about dishes etc before you married? Who's expectations have changed?
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Old 12th February 2018, 10:57 PM   #10
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Both of you need anger management classes. Take it from me-threatening divorce is not healthy for a marriage. I used to do the same until I grew up and realized that an argument is not worth ending a marriage over.

Marriage counseling would be helpful. It is not a "failure" to admit that you need some help to build a happy marriage. It WOULD be a failure if you refused to work on your issues with a professional and divorced over problems which could have been solved with respectful communication.

Remember that chores are not a hill worth dying on either. Clearly, taking turns isn't working for you as a couple. Refusing to do dishes just because it's your husband's turn is not productive either.

Anger management and immaturity seem to be the main problems in your marriage.
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Old 13th February 2018, 12:33 AM   #11
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What works is doing chores together. Wash and dry the pots and pans, empty and fill the dishwasher and clean up the kitchen together. Cat

Last edited by Cullenbohannon; 13th February 2018 at 1:47 AM..
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Old 13th February 2018, 1:54 AM   #12
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From the fights you’re having I thought you guys are in your early 20’s.

First, please don’t have kids. Second, you guys need to have a sit-down as far as splitting the chores. Who’s taking out the trash, who’s doing the dishes, laundry, etc...Third, I think you guys need to set aside one day a week and this will be Date night. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it could be a free concert in the city, a walk in the park, movies and a popcorn or trying out a new restaurant. You gotta go out, dress nice and most importantly don’t talk about problems or anything negative like bills, etc...for one day a week, every week for two to three hours you enjoy each other’s company. Do this for the rest of your lives. Now depending on your budget, have a romantic getaway every three, or six months. If you can’t afford it, use two weeks of vacation time every year to go somewhere, anywhere. This will help recharge your marriage. This is all relationship maintenance. I feel like I should be telling this to him because this advice is supposed to be for the guy and he’s supposed to take charge, lol.

The key here is to not get too familiar with each other. There should also be some space apart from each other. He a separate area in the house where he can play on his computer or whatever away from you, like a basement because cloying sameness kills relationships.

And uh, compliment him everyday that always helps.

Last edited by Interstellar; 13th February 2018 at 2:15 AM..
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Old 13th February 2018, 2:24 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Lowrider93 View Post
Men are not thrilled about doing dishes, I guess it takes away
from our masculinity. I'd do it but I also liked to point out that
i cut the grass,shoveled the snow, did oil changes on the cars,
fixed the plumbing, replaced sump pump under the house, Yuk,
chopped the firewood,etc etc.

But I'd also say "a woman's work is never done".
What so he did dishes before but once married stop doing them?

I don't get how a marriage can destroy the glue that holds you two together so quickly! Go to marriage counseling. fix this before you end up really hating one another.

When I cook, my husband does the dishes. We both do laundry, clean the house and shovel snow and do outside work.
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Old 16th February 2018, 10:23 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by RecentChange View Post
You two need to understand how important it is to make your partner feel desired.
A lot more than these 2 need to understand this. So basic and so true.
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Old 17th February 2018, 5:43 AM   #15
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Can you afford a housekeeper?
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