I have a situation that I'd like a bit of input on. In involves my fiance and I. Most of you don't know me at all and I'm not sure how to start, but here I go.
I’m not sure if we should be together anymore. I got laid off about 3 months ago because the company I worked for went bankrupt. It took me a while to find a new job and when I did, the job was in a different state. She moved here with me and it’s been hell ever since. We’ve had
quite a bit of stress in the last 3 months. We’ve been broke, we’ve had to change wedding plans, she’s homesick…etc…
All we seem to do is bicker at one another. It seems like everything is going downhill. I love her with all of my heart, but I’m about ready to just let go…I feel like telling her that it’d be best if she just moved back. We don’t talk to each other like we used to for fear of the other getting mad at what we say, it’s hard.
I’ll always be her friend, I’ll always love her…but it seems that we’ve lost something we can’t get back. I’m starting to feel that I’d be better off without her, I miss having fun together. We’ve had some major arguments lately, both of us have said things we can’t take back. I guess what it comes down to is, I’m not happy anymore
and neither is she. Happiness isn’t something you can just make happen is it? Once it’s gone, it seems to be a long road back. Any ideas?
Ask her what she thinks. I mean, at this point, what do you have to lose?
Be completely honest with her on how you feel. Avoid superlatives like “never” “always” etc.
Pick a time when things are calm, she’s relatively unstressed and sit down and talk it out. If you guys had enough of a committment to decide to eventually get married, I think you both deserve the chance that open, completely honest communication might bring.
To me, this sounds like the sort of severe slump most marriges go through every ten years or so. That dosn’t mean you should break up orthat you should stay together, just that wether you go through life with this woman or aith another one there are going to be periods when life gets very stressful and where you just don’t like each other very much–there are going to be layoffs, there are going to be people dying (perhaps children, certainly parents), there are going to be extended illnesses, there are going to be radical periods of personal change. ANy relationship you have is going to be severely strained at times.
To me, three months after a move/layoff isn’t even enough time to start thinking about whether or not it is time to break up. Of course everyone is still miserable three months later. Moving and poverty are hell, and it takes along time–a year or more, if you are not used to moving, and didn’t really want to move–to get your feet under you. I wouldn’t do anything hasty–don’t get married, don’t break up, and DO NOT start a family–for a while.
I think there are two things you should do. First, you should engage in some of that sweet communication that BunnyGirl was talking about. There may be issues you don’t know about. Second, you should start being an ideal finace, even if it isn’t repcipocated. Somebody has to break the pattern of mean, thoughtless, disrespectful behavior. Remmeber, she moved for you. I would court her all over again–maybe you can’t afford to do fancy courting, but try and treat her with special gentleness and attention, the way you would treat her for the year after her Mom died. Make allowences, and give her the benefit of the doubt. Assume that she is really trying to make this work, and needs your help. Sometimes people need to see behavior modeled, and if you set the pattern for hte kind of relationship the two of you used to have, there is a very good chance she will follow-espicially since we are talking abouta three-month slump. In the context of a 50 year marrige, that is no time at all.
For what it’s worth, I am recently married, so that will no doubt influence what I have to say about it.
The experiences that you recently went through and are having now would happen whether or not you were married, and no matter who you were married to. Losing a job and moving are among the most stressful things to go through, and there was no doubt an added financial strain because there was some lag between having the old job and finding a new one. Money is the #1 thing couples argue about, so adding that to the job loss and move had to be horrific.
I went through the exact same thing with my (now) husband, and we broke up over it after he moved to another state ahead of me. I was happy with my job, finally had made good friends post-college, and got steadily colder feet about the wedding. So I called it off, and went through the most bitter, lonely, horrid time I’ve ever had. Ever. He and I never lost contact with each other, and eventually we worked through our mutual disappointment and confusion and happily, got married about a year after the original wedding date.
The key is, I think, to decide whether or not it’s her making you unhappy, or the situation you’ve found yourselves thrown into. If it’s her, call off the engagement. If it’s the situation, keep in mind that this situation could have just as easily arisen after your wedding, at any time. Part of being committed is the “for better or worse” part, and you’re in the “for worse” right now. Talk to each other and/or a profesional (together) about better ways to communicate with and support each other. Schedule times she can count on to go visit home.
I’m sorry you’re going through such an unhappy time. All the best for finding the right path for both of you.
It seems like everytime we try to talk like that lately, we argue about what the other has to say. We sat down last weekend and seemed to work things out. Things went nice for a couple of days and the sh&t hit the fan again this morning. It almost doesn't seem to be worth it anymore.
I'm starting to think that it's her that's making me unhappy, to me the situation isn't that bad anymore. We're beginning to dig ourselves out of the debt we incurred when I lost my job, and the area of the country is beautiful. She's never been away from her family...I barely remember living with mine. I don't especially like going home anymore and the urge to be by myself gets stronger daily. I just don't understand why everything has to be a soap-opera.
I try hard to be the knight in shining armor. I write poetry, offer footrubs, give flowers....it just seems that our communication is broken. She doesn't seem to be my soul-mate anymore....I just don't know what to do. I also get very defensive when she's moody. That doesn't help matters. She really is a beautiful, sweet woman, I just don't know if there's been to much bad water under the bridge.
It sounds to me like you are assuming that since you’ve had enough time, she should have had enough time. But it just dosen’t work that way–for one thing, she lost alot more than you did, and she did it for less reason–you moved because of a great oppurtunity to a beautiful part of the country. She moved away from everyone and everything she loves for one simple reason–you. You moved TO somewhere, she moved FROM somewhere. And even if all that wasn’t true, people are jsut different and need different amounts of time. Someday, oyu will have hte same thing happen to you–something tragic will happen and for two weeks everyone will be all sympathy and two weeks after that everyone will expect life to get back to normal and you will still be floundering.
What you do is, you quit getting defensive when she is moody. Now, don’t let her abuse you–nothing justifys that–but she is entitled to her moods. Just let her be. As trite as it sounds, she needs to grieve. I wonder if some of the problem isn’t that since the move was for you, oyu feel responsible for her happiness–you get mad when she is sad, cause you feel guilty. Well, she did decide to move–that was her choice. Just give her time and space, and hte freedom to miss her home without feeling like you are going to be mad at her for it.
Look, there isn’t time in three months for that much bad water to flow, unless you or her are sleeping around/gambling away all your posessions. Trust me on that. There will be much worse periods in any relationship you might ever get into. Go talk to couples that have been married 50 years, and they will tell you that.
Overall, I get the impresion that you are impatient for everything to magically just get better. Unfortunantly, it dosen’t work that way, and it would have been better if someone had told you this before you moved. She’s made a major sacrifice, and she needs more than three months to get used to her new life. She is probably also miserably lonely. I do hope that the two of you are getting out and meeting people–taking dance classes, having people over to dinner, taking college classes, whatever. The more connections she has in this new rown the less she will feel like a stranger in a strange land.
My husband and I have to sometimes practice what we call “Putting the pin back in the grenade.”
When things aren’t going well, each of us can do things that would justifiably set the other one off. Maybe we word something sarcastically, or roll our eyes, or bring something up from the past in an unfair way. The other person can run with it, or they can choose to put the pin back in the grenade and let it go. When we do the latter, it keeps a discussion a discussion, instead of becoming an argument. The more we do it, the more we become aware of the what the triggers are, and it’s easier to (a) not be a jerk in the first place and (b) not react when the other person is being a jerk. For some reason that grenade metaphor works well for both of us.
If you can both commit to doing that, maybe you can talk about what’s going on and what you both need to do, rather than bicker.