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Mistakes leading into and sustaining my marriage

by shadow-elk

Over ten years ago, I left a long-term relationship for what I hoped was going to be a happy, fulfilling marriage.

I’d been raised to be a good girl. A doormat, really. I was to put others’ needs before my own. If I was nice, others would like me and do things for me. I was also taught that men would do stupid things and I just had to accept the things they did; “boys will be boys.” This poor upbringing led me to believe that it was normal for men to be childish, sex-hungry idiots and I just had to put up with it.

My first real relationship was in my 20s. My boyfriend was elated to find out that I was still a virgin. He pressured me into sex. I tried telling myself that it was good, tried living up to his expectations, but I never enjoyed any of it. He still lived with his parents. He couldn’t hold down a job. He wanted to stay in his room, eat junk food, and watch his anime and porn. He would describe his fantasies and dreams of me being slutty and fighting with or having sex with other women. He took naked pictures of me. Three years of this. Remember, I’d been raised to believe that this was normal of men. But probably deep down, I didn’t think I could do better.

Some years later, I bought into his idea of trying a threesome. He was open to trying it with a man (but he really wanted it with another woman). That’s how I met the man who would eventually become my husband. The threesome didn’t happen (probably the only right thing I ever did in my adult life), but I did end up leaving my boyfriend. Two months later, I was engaged to this new man. We married two years later.

It’s been a repeat of my previous relationship. The original plan was for us to live a maximum of two years with his parents while we saved up for a place and he paid off his credit card, which was only $3,000 USD at the time. During the first two years of our marriage, he would take pictures of me in the shower, grab my genitals and breasts. I told him I didn’t like it. He said, “But you’re my wife.” He eventually stopped when I admitted to having a dream where I mutilated my face so men wouldn’t find me attractive. But he would still slap or grab my ass when he felt like it.

Five years ago, when he lost his job, I tried coming up with a plan on how we could manage our finances. After some cajoling, I got him to admit the amount of debt on his credit card. $13,000. And he wouldn’t say how he got it up that high. He got offended and insulted when I tried to get him to talk about it. Sometimes I’d spot ads for “adult friend finders” on his phone or laptop (and I still do); he also spent more money on comics and “collectibles” than paying off his debt.

At my job, I formed a bond with an older man. It turned into an emotional affair. I wouldn’t allow it to become physical or sexual. But I did dream about finally having children and a home to call my own. My husband found out. It almost ended our marriage. But the Other Man turned out to be emotionally clingy and a manchild. He thought having a girlfriend would make him young, turn back the clock. He would talk about his dream about people in public marveling at us, a gray-haired older man with a younger woman and their cute baby daughter.

I ended the affair. I still beat myself up over it. I tried repairing the marriage, hoping that this was a wake up call for my husband, that he needed to get his act together. But it didn’t.

He’s racked up his credit card to over $15,000. We’re still living with his parents. We still don’t have children because I refuse to raise them in a house with controlling, emotionally abusive, hoarding in-laws. He’s more concerned with building his toy collection and reading comics than building any kind of future with me.

This has been over ten years of my life wasted.

Most of my paycheck goes towards paying off my own debts. I’m always looking over and revising my plans for payments. I’d thought that my husband would see this and be motivated to do the same for his own debt. But it hasn’t.

I have shit taste in men, I know. I know there are good men out there. At least one would love me and respect me, and even be a provider. I can’t draw any of them into my life, though. My social life is practically non-existent. And I’m afraid that I’ll find more of the same. (My last therapist basically told me that it’s my fault I keep finding these kinds of people. But I don’t know what the hell I’ve been doing to bring these people into my life.)

I need to become my own provider. But how do I do that? How do I get a job with the few skills I have when jobs are demanding professionals with 2-5 years experience? How do I get a job with no connections and no friends to vouch for me?

So I sit here in bed, looking over a decade that’s been wasted, terrified of seeing what the next decade will look like. The same disappointments played out, the same dreams never coming true, everything standing still because I can’t take care of myself and my husband won’t take care of me.

At this point, I don’t think it’s worth it. I’ll be 40 in four years. What do I have to look forward to? What will I have to show for my life?

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2 comments

BL98 9/6/2018 - 2:27 pm

Look, i do not know you nor your full story so don’t follow any of my words if are not benefiting you. First thing first, i think your therapist is right. Before you want to punch me in the face, hear me out. Most of the time you moved too fast. You did not took enough time to analyze everything with your mind being clear and not clouded. We act stupidly when we are in love and in need for protection ( money, a place to live, emotional love, and so on ). Like taking time to know all their interests and maybe putting them to small tests ( NOT doing favors for you, but working together ). From my own point of view you’ve been educated pretty bad about human nature all together. Why treat man like ONLY sex-needing animals in the first place ? If you do not treat them like human beings they won’t treat you as well either. And try to embrace the needs of human nature, we all need food, we all need water, we all need love ( emotional love ) and yes, we all need sex ( physical attraction, in one way or another ). If any of those needs are not satisfied do not expect for a close-perfect relationship. And, for all that matters, i do not blame you, the things we are thought about sex ( and many other things ) stay with us many years until we know how to teach ourselves better. Look, it is really simple. Allow yourself to be human. Allow yourself to explore. Allow yourself alone time, if you so much need it. Change your group of friends, change some of your interests ( that’s the exploring part too ). And, let’s be honest with the financial part : If you want to make millions of dollars, i do not know the secret, but i guess any kind of job helps, right ? Start from the bottom and save some money on your own. Make plans and seek further help ! I am getting mad because of the idea that if one man / therapist / someone that tried to help – doesn’t fit your needs, no one will…. bullsh*t. I am telling this again, i am not in your shoes and i will never be. This is why i do not blame you for anything. Even tho it sounds like i do … Just try your best. Death awaits at any corner … if you want to take her hand, you can do it at any time, but if you want to live a little, you have to struggle, you have to fight somehow.. and the method to fight now, it seems, is to ” rewire ” your brain … like i did -and still do – , and many many others that are keeping depression away. I wish all the best luck to you.

DownisthenewUp 9/6/2018 - 3:19 pm

Im the same age as you and my life hasn’t turned out the way I hoped. Only difference is you got married. Your past is your past. Hindsight is 20/20. If what you want for your future doesn’t involve living like you are, you have to make changes. You’ve come to terms with your situation so that’s the next step. Your husband will never change, if he did he’d change into his father. Get any measly job you can and hide some away until you have enough to rent a room from another female. Once on your own you will feel better. For your next guy find one who has a close relationship with their mother while not being dependent on their mother for anything. That guy will more than likely respect you.

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