Is love really all you need? Looking for more in life.

by Marie

Marie's question and Elly's reply
Can two people who are so different really sustain a healthy and satisfying relationship? I do love my husband, but I don't want to look back later in life and regret never giving myself a chance.

My name is Marie, and I am 28 years old. My husband, Alan, recently turned 30. We have been together for 8 years, married for 6. By choice we have no children, only dogs whom we love like they were.

In the beginning we were inseparable. I thought that he was the most interesting and amazing person I had ever met (sometimes he still is), and I was content to just be his. We were young, and at the time I felt like as long as we were together, we could take on the world.

Things change. I've changed. So has he. Change isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I know that we're not the same people we were then. I still love animals, and he's still into comic books, but the ways in which we see life and what we each want from it, are more opposite now than I ever anticipated.

Our marriage hasn't been perfect (if that's even possible), and almost didn't even last as long as it has.

A few years ago I reached a critical point of emotional instability, and left. I felt unloved and unappreciated. Even worse, I felt that the man who once was my whole life was now incompatible with me.

We spent a year separated, and we both dated other people. He took it badly and got into gambling, strippers and hard liquor.

I fell further down the rabbit hole and lost myself to alcohol and self abuse. I hit rock bottom when I tried to end myself with a razor blade and a gallon of tequila. In a drunken state I texted him one last goodbye

Somehow, he knew that I was in trouble and came to my rescue, actually kicking down my front door so the paramedics could get to me. What I got from this was a 6-inch scar to my left wrist to remind me of where i've been in life, and a new-found respect for my husband, my hero.

That traumatic event brought us back together in a way that I doubt anything else could have. Things were amazing again for a while. I got help for my depression, and we were happy spending time with each other.

Yet once again I find myself unhappy. In growing older, he has also grown more cynical and selfish, qualities I find very undesirable. He loves ME, but he has very little care for family or friends, much less the rest of humanity. He values material possessions, and has no interest in taking care of himself beyond basic physical needs.

Me, I have a constant urge to improve myself. I love nature, and I value my relationships with the people around me. I feel like i'm still trying to discover who I am, and who I want to be. I'm ready to stop living for someone else and just start living.

Elly's advice

I wonder if either of you have really changed that much. Perhaps you have stopped seeing Alan through 'rose-tinted glasses'. The bits of his personalities that bother you now, perhaps did not seem much of an issue in the early years. He may have been more prepared to 'fit in' with your expectations, whether or not you expressed those overtly. The same counts for you.

However, whatever you both now don't like about each other now appears to outweigh that what you still love.

As I was reading your description of Alan, I had a sense that he was much older than you. I wonder if you feel like that. I am guessing that Alan is perhaps depressed. He must have felt your slow withdrawal from him over time.

Anyway, in answer to your question - it really depends on:
- how free you allow each other to be
- how much you spend your time focussing on and ruminating about the negatives
- how satisfying other aspects of your life are, such as family, friends, hobbies, interests, exercise, etc, for you as a couple as well as individuals
- how well aware you both are of the difficulties
- to what extend you are able to discuss your problems
- what you are each doing about it

Marie, you may also need to ask yourself: what is it about me and how I am with Alan, that he has given up making an effort?

It seems to me that you are both stuck.

Here is my advice:

- Use my Stay or Walk Away relationship compatibility quiz to find out what how serious the problems are and what can be done about it
- work on your relationship, I can recommend: Save Your Marriage Today
- Go for marriage counseling

I hope this is of some help to you, Marie.

I wish you all the very best for your future happiness.


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