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Ask TherapistMaryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5808
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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Hello, Im married to a wonderful guy who loves me very

Resolved Question:


I'm married to a wonderful guy who loves me very much. I met my husband when I was 19, and got married when I was 21. To give you a short background info, I transferred school to be with him, just 3 months after I met him, and could no longer afford to go to school because of the move, and had to start working so that my husband can finish school and we can live together. Because of my citizenship status, and since we "knew" we'd get married someday anyway, we went to the court and got married a year after that. We came back to his hometown after he graduated, and had our wedding with the families and friends. I'm 23 now, and we're living with his parents until he finds a job and maybe I can finally go back to school then.
Okay so to get into my problems.. We have little arguments often, which I think is perfectly normal. I do get very frustrated with him often, for how mellow and "fragile" he can get. He does not have any aggressive (not in a bad way, but more like getting what you want kind of aggressive) genes in him at all. I bugs me very much since I'm a traditional gal- I like to be rescued. When we were dating, there would be guys around me in bars/clubs, and my husband (boyfriend or fiancee then) never stopped them or did anything to keep them away from me or keep them from giving me their numbers. He says that he does not like to fight. Don't get me wrong, he is a strong guy with a tall, well built body. He played sports all his life. He just doesn't have the courage or mentality to stand up for what he wants.
Another thing with him that bugs me is that he always wants things to be fun-and-games. He does not like confrontations, or negative comments at all. He can't take criticisms and he just wants to be praised and loved all the time, like a puppy. I don't want to treat him like he's such a fragile person, almost like a kid, and I need a strong man who can take charge. I feel like I'm babysitting him all the time. He gets hurt emotionally often, and I'm so tired of being careful with what I say or do, unless it's something pleasant for him.

Setting all that aside, there's nothing I can really complain about him. He really loves me and cares for me. Even though I have my doubts often, I am not sure if I will ever meet another person who can care about me as much as he does. He does make me feel special.

But lately, as I started working and have my own circle of people, which is something that hadn't happened since I met my husband, I have more doubts about my relationship. Ever since I met my husband I spent every single day with him and had not have any social life of my own. I met a few guys lately, and although it's not like I want to date them or anything like that, I like spending time with them. But I know, as a married woman, I shouldn't be hanging out with a single guy alone. But I'm only 24, and that just does not seem right. I gave up my social life, dropped out of college to work and support my husband, and now I can't even have guy friends without his approval? It's just all upsetting to me. I'm young, fun and attractive (as stuck up as it sounds, haha), and I want to go out and have fun (not sexual) with anyone I want. I want to have my own life that ended since the day I met my husband. I'm tired of being his sidekick, who exists just to support his life. I wonder if I would've still gotten married when I did under different circumstances. I really don't think I would've gone to the court and gotten married at 21, if I can go back now. Part of me wants to end this, but I don't want to disppoint the people around me (especially my parents) and most of all, I cannot break my husband's heart. He's a good hearted person and I know he will be a mess. That would break my heart just as bad. But how can I find happiness in my relationship like this?
I'm all confused and don't know what to do.

My story could've been much longer, since it's something that's been going on for 4 years, but hopefully I gave enough info for you to help me.

Thank you for your time.

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  TherapistMaryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Hi Alice, I'd like to help you with your question.


It sounds like you have a few things going on here. One, you married young and so took on responsibility early on in adulthood. Two, you married someone who you wanted to care for you (and he does in a certain way) but that ended up needing you more than you need him.


As you describe your husband, he does sound like a nice man who cares for you. But at the same time, he is needy. You mentioned that he did not stand up to the men in bars asking you for your number nor does he have courage. You also mentioned he wants you to do for him all the time and that you cannot hurt his feelings in any way. From this description it sounds like he has a very poor self esteem. Anyone who does not stand up for themselves or gets their feelings hurt easily lacks the self esteem to feel they are worthy to ask for what they need. He could also have a dependent personality as well, but at this point it sounds like a low self esteem issue.


From what you said about how you feel, it sounds like you have built up some resentment about the situation. You took responsibility early on in the relationship to support the two of you and you continue to be responsible for your husband's fragile ego. That is a lot of burden. Meanwhile, you feel you are not getting your needs met in the relationship and now desire to go outside of it to seek what you feel you need.


You can go outside your marriage to get what you need, but the damage to your relationship would be great. Even if you did not intend to cheat, you may be tempted beyond your limits. Or your husband could do something one day to trigger your boundaries. And if you did cheat, you would ruin the trust between you and your husband.


Try talking to him about counseling. You both need to talk this issue through to see if you can work it out, before you take any other action. To find a therapist, talk to your doctor about a referral. Or contact your local United Way about low cost/no cost therapy in your area.


Also, try talking to your husband about improving his self esteem. There are many resources on line and through books that can help him. Here are some:


Self-Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem by Patrick Fanning and Matthew McKay PhD


The Self-Esteem Workbook by Glenn R. Schiraldi


Start here and see where it takes you. With just some therapy and self help, you could both improve your relationship to the point you are both happy.


I hope this has helped you,

TherapistMaryAnn and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

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