Should I go my way alone?

by Tacha

We are interfaith couple, I am christian and he is Muslim. My name is Tacha and my spouse name is Don. I am 31 years old and so is my spouse. We dated for a year and half and have been married for 1 year and 7 months. We have a 9 month old baby girl.

My hobbies are reading , painting, shopping going for movies going to church activities. My husband's hobbies are lots of outdoors like skating, hiking, reading, playing sports.
For living I am a stay home mom and taking some classes online. My husband is a full time mining engineer. I love that my husband is a hard worker, kind, giving and very helpful. I can't tell you what he loves about me, because he does not tell me much.

We were supposed to write vows for one another after the wedding on our honeymoon. I gave him his and until today he did not give me one. He tells me he doesn't want to give me one.
The problem is that he says that we rushed into having a baby, the baby came too early. He says I got what I wanted: a baby and be married by 29.

He does not talk to me or communicate unless it is about the baby or house related help. When I ask him why he is so quiet, he says he has nothing to say.

We argue often and when we do he tends to be very cold and hurt my feelings. When I ask him to apologize he refuses he says he has no reason to apologize for. We don't agree on anything. He says he feels like this marriage won't last.

Often he brings up that the baby came early and he has a lot of things he want to accomplish with his life. So I told him if he feels this way he can go his way and I go my way. This has been going on since July 2011. So right now I am at the point of just leaving him and go move in with my mother for now.

Elly's answer

Tacha I am so sorry it has all gone so horribly wrong for you (both). From what you are telling me it appears that the trouble started during your honeymoon.

Wedding preparations and your relationship

I suspect, however, that there were indications that all was not well before your wedding. I don't know that this happened to you, but often couples get so drawn into all the wedding preparations that they lose track of how they actually feel about each other.
Arguments are often blamed on the stress associated with organising the wedding. Even if it is apparent that there are relationship problems, many don't have the heart to say that they are not happy. When the whole family is involved in making all the arrangements, perhaps funding much of the wedding and the invitations have gone out, it would be your worst nightmare having to admit that the wedding is off because the two of you have stopped loving each other.

Let's look now at one aspect of your communication with each other ...

Battle of wills

I wonder if there is a bit of a battle of wills going on between the two of you - he doesn't speak and you appear to insist on getting an apology. An apology not spontaneously offered is not really worth much. You may just get a fleeting sense of satisfaction that you have won, but it will still leave you feeling let down.

Cultural, religious and personal differences

I can so understand that you are finding it hard to reach Don, when he appears so dismissive and undermining of you. I do wonder what is going on for him - it certainly appears that he is feeling trapped. Has he perhaps tried, in the past, to communicate with you, but found it difficult or felt you weren't really listening, that he was not getting through to you?

The two of you have such different backgrounds that it is very likely that you each have made assumptions - probably many unconsciously - about each other's needs, wants and expectations in the relationship. And we haven't even talked about the likely expectations of your extended family, although you don't mention those. On top of that it seems you have completely different hobbies and interests.

I wonder what attracted you to each other? You clearly do know what you love about Don and I can understand that you are desperate for him to tell you that he loves you.

How do you know he does/doesn't love you?

It is difficult to work out what Don's motivation was for marrying you. However, I would not want to let go just yet, Tacha. It may be that Don just cannot express love for you in a way that you want him to, but that might not mean that he doesn't love you.

I suspect that it was your idea to write vows - a great idea, but perhaps not one that was 'do-able' for Don, because he may even find it really hard to express himself in other situations too.

Repairing your marriage?

I would really like the two of you to go for couples counselling. I don't know if Don would be up for that, or indeed that you are, Tacha. I think though, that if you could find a good marriage counsellor, you may be surprised by what Don might say in the sessions. I have found so often that partners will take the opportunity to tell each other things during counselling that they just could not say at home.

If counselling is not an option for you, for whatever reason, then the next best recommendation I have is Lee Baucom's book: Save The Marriage. You can find the link on my page How to save your marriage/relationship. It is full with really solid relationship advice and you will find it helpful even if Don does not appear to be interested in trying to work things out.

I wish you all the best for a happier future for the three of you, Tacha.


Image courtesy of: Ambrozjo

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