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JR, M.A.
JR, M.A., Mental Health Professional
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 184
Experience:  I have a master's degree in clinical psychology and am currently finishing my doctoral degree.
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I got married with somebody in my Army unit. I am 24yrs ...

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I got married with somebody in my Army unit. I am 24yrs old and he is 27 and divorced with two children. I feel that we rushed into it. We both want diffrent things and I feel guilty about wanting to leave. We have been married for 9 months and we are both deployed together in Iraq. Please don't think that because of the deployment that that is why I am feeling this way. My friends have suggested that I take a break from him. He is located at another camp, but we are able to have nightly telephone conversations and frequent emails. This is still too much for me and I told him about taking a break. He seemed despondent about the situation but is cooperating. I think Ideally I may want a divorce, but my guilt is so severe that I am struggling with my emotions. I am already seeing a military psychologist. However, I feel that he is way too objective and it isn't instrumental in any of my decision making or feelings of guilt.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  JR, M.A. replied 9 years ago.

Hi mmunster,

I would be happy to help you. Please answer these questions first.

Have you been married before?

How old are his children?

Do you have a relationship with his children?

What about the relationship are you unhappy about?

What different things do you want?

What do you think is making you feel guilty?

Are your parents still married?

This information will help me to give you a better answer.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
No I have not been married before. His children are 3 and 4 (both boys) and I don't have a relationship with them and his is very limited. His exwife has the boys. The things that I'm unhappy about are also the different things that we want. I want him to have a closer relationship with his children, he wants to have more kids with me. I want an education and to be financially stable and be on my way to home ownership before we have more children. He is content with his limited education, and feels that at long as we're together, his financial situation is of no consequence. I want him to get help dealing with anger, he feels the way he handles it is working for him. I know I feel guilty about an STD that I have and now he has, but also, I feel like I'm letting him down, and his boys. I'm still working through my own issues and I'm leery about divorce because it's one more thing that I can add to a list of things that I've planned in my life that have failed. My parents divorced when I was very young, but my mother died when I was fairly young (8). My dad remarried, but is now separated, and he and my stepmother are trying to keep it a secret from me, since I'm deployed. Just a side note, I understand that sometimes these questions and answers are posted but I would really prefer this not be put on the website.
Expert:  JR, M.A. replied 9 years ago.

Hi mmunster,

It sounds like you are very confused and embarrassed about your situation. I suspect that you have learned to think about things like divorce as embarrassing and shameful. Even the fact that your father is concealing his separation from you communicates the message that relationship problems should not be discussed openly. I commend you for sharing your feelings and attempting to communicate with your husband. It must be very difficult for you to open yourself up to him. It sounds like he does not see the problems that you see in the relationship. Men often struggle to express their emotions verbally and may avoid discussing negative events in an effort to avoid the negative emotions associated with the event. Your husband may be dismissing your feelings to avoid confronting the problems you are having together. You probably feel like you are talking to a brick wall sometimes. I know that can be very difficult and frustrating. You are probably just trying to connect with him and share your concerns. You must feel very unloved and hurt. It is ok that you feel this way. There is nothing wrong with you for having these feelings.

Your husband's desire to start a family with you sounds like he is trying to avoid again. He may be attempting to start over and have a "new" family. He may be denying the problems in your marriage because he desperately wants to pursue this fantasy of a "new" family. You are challenging him to confront the reality that he already has a family and he is resisting your attempts to make him face reality. You are 24 years old and have your whole future ahead of you. I understand your apprehension about starting a family. Your intuition serves your well in this decision. It would be unwise to bring children into an environment marked by inconsistency and emotional unrest. You should not even think about having children until your marriage is on the right track.

However, I understand that you have serious reservations about remaining married. It sounds like you married into a very difficult situation. Unfortunately, military couples are significantly more likely to get divorced than civilian couples. The stress associated with deployment and the instability of your lifestyle makes it difficult to establish the framework for a good relationship. It sounds like you realize you made a mistake with this marriage. If you are completely in love with this man, I would suggest that you get marital therapy as soon as possible. Your husband needs to understand and respect your goals in life. You are "one" in marriage, but he must realize that your have separate goals. If he is not prepared to listen and will not attend marital therapy, you should probably seriously consider filing for divorce. Remember, love is more than a feeling of excitement and butterflies. To love, you must choose to lose part of yourself and give to your loved one unconditionally. Ultimately, you must ask yourself this...If I never achieve what I want...If I never finish my education....If I have children before I am ready....If I go along with all that he wants....WILL I BE HAPPY IN THE END? If you can answer YES, then you should try to seek out therapy. If you answer is NO, you should talk this out with him. You should share your feelings and decide if divorce is right for YOU. By the way...You are never a failure for recognizing mistakes and doing something to fix things. By contacting me, it shows that you want to do the right thing. Now go and do it! I assure you...your guilt will be worse if you wait until things get worse.

If you found this answer helpful, please click accept so that I get credit for my work. Thank you and good luck! I am here if you have future questions or want to follow up on this issue later.

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