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Having second thoughts about getting married...long post

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive June 2004: Having second thoughts about getting married...long post
By Echo on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 12:36 am:

I don't know if anyone will be able to help, but I just don't have anyone to talk to about this. I don't feel comfortable talking to friends because I think they will somehow look at us differently.
I'm 24 years old. My fiance is 31. We have been together for 2 years and have a 1 year old daughter. The wedding is scheduled for October and I'm having second thoughts about whether it's really a good idea for us to get married.
I do love him and I think he still loves me, but it seems that I can just never do anything to make him happy.
Our two biggest and most frequent arguments are about me not cleaning the house, and me not making any money.
I'll be honest and say that when I first moved into his house I was messy. I had never really had to clean a house before and didn't know how. As a SAHM I've gotten lots of practice, and now feel more than capable of doing it. I've truly come a long way, and while there's room for improvement, I work on it every day. I'm better this month than I was the last, just like I'll be better next month than I am now.
The problem is that he hasn't been able to see my efforts at all. The house will be presentable and he'll come home, see dishes in the sink, and tell me I'm not doing my job. It makes me feel horrible about myself to know that I spent a great deal of my day cleaning the house and then he comes and tells me all I did was sit around. I feel I have to somehow prove to him I've cleaned, when it's quite obvious to me that the house would be a wreck if I've done nothing. We have this argument about 3 times a month.
Then he consistently reminds me how hard it is for him to support the family and that one day I'm going to HAVE to get a job. I don't feel I need to. I'm happy living a simple life, and I don't really need too much. We live pretty comfortably off his salary. We are NOT rich, but we have a lot of extras that I don't think are necessary, but he likes having them. Digital Cable with HBO, HUGE grocery bills because he likes to have tons of extras. Or perhaps best of all is his new $5000 motorcycle that he just had to have with full insurance coverage. The list goes on and on. (and he doesn't work horrible hours either. 40 a week at MOST. He leaves at 8:30am and often comes home before 3.)
The only thing I spend money on is groceries and the baby. I rarely get anything for myself, and even then, it's something I really need.
He wants me to get a job so that we can buy a $300,000 home, but I'm not willing to put my dd in daycare to have that. I would be happy with much smaller. So he says I should work nights and weekends. So I offered to get a job working at a local diner on Sundays. It's not much, but I figure I could make $100 a week, and maybe that would be enough to show him that I was contributing a little. Not good enough. He feels it would be better if I was making $400 a week. How is that possible working part-time with no degree? I'm not willing to spend all day taking care of the baby (since he does absolutely NOTHING), then spend all night and all weekend working. We have this argument about twice a month. Sometimes more, sometimes less.
I guess I just don't know if this stuff will ever be resolved. I'm sure I'll have some sort of job eventually and the house will get better, but he makes me feel worthless. Like I can do nothing right. I feel like we're going to get married and then regret it a few months later because neither one of us is happy with the other person. I'm not even excited about getting married anymore. I just keep imagining myself saying the vows and feeling like I'm lying about them.
I really want things to work out for us, (He's not all bad) but I'm just so scared that we'll realize they won't right after we get married. I don't know if these feelings are normal or not. I just always see people so happy about their weddings. I definately don't feel the way they look, which leads me to believe that maybe it's not the right thing to do.
I feel better having vented, although the problem is obviously not solved. Maybe if anyone has had similar feelings it would help. Or just any advice.
Sorry it was so long.

Oh, and I've suggested counseling to him but he doesn't want to pay for it.

By Tink on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 01:02 am:

I think the way you are feeling is very normal. My dh and I didn't live together before we were married but we battled about these same things for the next couple of years. If you had asked me about 2 years ago if I would have married him again knowing what I knew then, I would have said no. Things have gotten better but only because my dh lost his job and I went back to work so he was responsible all day for what I had been. Did he clean as well as I did? Nope. Did he do as much with the kids as I did? Nope. Did he keep up with the laundry, make dinner and take care of baths and homework the way I did? Nope and it caused plenty of fights I'm afraid. BUT he did see how much work goes into running a home. Would I reccommend this method to anyone? No but it worked, even though I hated it while it was going on. Although, a lot of the women on here are fans of therapy and I think it has it's place, I don't think it is the only answer to marital issues. I think when you are married to someone before all these issues come up, you may be more committed to sticking with him. I would ask him to tell you what he thinks are the things he would like done when he gets home, prioritized. Then I would take care of the things that are most important to him but let him know that items 8, 9, and 10 are low on your list and may not get taken care of. My dh really likes the living room to be clean when he is home. So he cleans the kitchen for me during the day when I work so that I can cook dinner in a clean kitchen and I make sure the living room is spotless before I leave for work so that he spends his days in an area that is to his liking. We work opposite shifts. I would also say that in order for me to do this, I need you to _________ (take the baby for an hour when you get home, clean the bathroom, run a load of laundry each day, etc) He does need to be more understanding and I don't know what you can do to explain that to him. My dh didn't get it no matter what I said. Good luck.
P.S. Have you been introduced to FlyLady? She taught me to clean because I really hadn't ever been taught and was a terrible slob. www.flylady.net

By Echo on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 01:15 am:

thanks Tink. I'm definately going to suggest the priority list. And I'll check out the website too.

By Dana on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 07:28 am:

Echo, I lived those complaints as well. DH and I married when DD was 2. I too, was not very well versed in house cleaning.

Let me tell you, all his complaints about the house not being clean enough, or things I didn't do "just right" really cut away at my self esteem.

As the baby got older, my ability to clean got better. It had nothing to do with me learning more. It all had to do with how much time I had to commit to cleaning vs tending a child.

I always felt an inner battle between cleaning the darn floors and wanting to play with my baby. I have to say, playing w/ the baby or going out with the baby usually won.

Maybe you could let your DH watch the baby for a weekend...not just one day. Let him see how much cleaning gets done, and how much cleaning REALLY DOES get done when watching a baby. You are constantly cleaning....you just can't tell it cause you keep cleaning up the same stuff over and over. And then he can also see how important playing and teaching your child is...and certainly a higher priority than the sink.

DD started school this year and my house is SO much cleaner now. I finally had time to do the FlyLady routines (sort of LOL). It all comes with that child growing up and needing less of your FULL attention.

As my pastor told us during our pre wedding counseling "XXX, you really need to understand that YYY, is doing a FULL TIME job of caring for your child. All your memories from you household are memories of a mother who had school age children or grown children. You can't remember when you were a toddler and even YOUR MOM couldn't keep a house clean then. Things will change as the child gets older. Righ now, your house will not look like the house you remember while growing up."

Things do get better, but for me, it is still a battle.

Have a sit down talk with your partner and pastor if you can. Things do not get better because of the marriage certificate. It won't change unless you make it change. Find out now if your partner is open to learning more about what you do each day.

By Amecmom on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 09:41 am:

Brooke,
I agree it is absolutely normal to have fears and doubts before taking a big step like marriage. I'm sure your husband to be is also having doubts and worries (mainly financial ones). His picking on you could stem from those worries.

Or - these two issues could just be an example of an underlying problem. If as you say, you've made great improvements in the way you keep house, then I would think your guy would show that he's proud of you and would encourage you, rather than putting you down.

I have a feeling that even if the house were spotless, he'd find something else to pick on. What was he like before you lived together? Was he supportive of you or did he put you down in other little ways? Little put downs can hurt, especially if they are constant.

Having him do your thing for a day is a good idea, so he will see what your day is like. However, he may just be one of those people who will turn around and say, "Well that's not so hard ... " Even if he's exhausted.

My cousin takes care of her son all day until her husband comes home and then she goes to her job at the mall evenings and weekends. She really enjoys getting out and being with other adults for a little while. It's not for everyone, though.

You absolutely need to talk about this before you get married. Not so much for the housework or the job issues, but to be sure there isn't some other problem that's causing him to pick on these things, rather than being supportive of you.

Ame

By Emily7 on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 10:30 am:

I agree with Ame.
When you found out you were pregnant what was said about you working? Have you asked him how much housework he will be doing if you get a job.
Flylady is a wonderful site!!

By Mommyathome on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 10:37 am:

((((hugs))))
Cold feet are normal for lots of people before the big day.
However, I have to say that in my experience, and in what I've seen with others, a couple is usually *soooo* much in love before the wedding that they can't see the faults in the partner. They think they are the *perfect* one. Then, after marriage, all of those faults seem to creep up and become more and more noticeable. I think that since you've been living together, that you've just hit that point in your relationship where the faults are becoming more noticeable.
I ditto Ame, when she says that you need to talk about this before you get married. This is the rest of your life (and your childs life!) and you want to make sure that this is what you want, and this is how you want to live.

By Kaye on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 10:42 am:

I just feel lead to say, if you are having doubts, then maybe you need to rethink this! This engagement period is supposed to be very pleasant and happy. Marriage only gets harder from here. Maybe because you are living together you have pushed into things earlier, but still if you aren't "sure" I would wait. When I think cold feet, the things that come to mind, are is he the one, could this really last forever, just him and no one else, what if I get tired, or he gets tired. What I am hearing from your post is, he doesn't treat me very good now, but maybe he will change, I am not happy now, maybe he will change. It is certainly much easier to not get married than to divorce.

By Rayanne on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 10:59 am:

((((Brooke))))

Cold feet is normal. I am still learning how to clean and we have been married for 3 1/2 years now. Have you told him how you are feeling? Maybe if you did that he would stop and think.

By Ginny~moderator on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 11:04 am:

If you have doubts, you definitely need to re-think. Sounds to me like there are two serious issues going on, and they morph into one issue - he feels it is appropriate for him to scold you and treat you like a child - or at least not like an equal partner adult.

I would urge you to (a) put off the wedding and (b) get into some couple counseling so you can surface and discuss these issues and whatever else may be underlying. He may not want to pay for counseling, but if you two don't get married and stop living together he is going to be paying child support - counseling, believe me, is probably cheaper.

By Debbie on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 11:23 am:

It sounds like more then cold feet to me. You two seem to have a couple of issues that you really need to resolve before you get married. I urge you to sit down with your fiancee and discuss the way he talks to you and how it makes you feel. You also need to discuss and come up with an agreement about whether or not you are going to work. These are major issues that aren't going to go away. Good luck to you. I hope you get these issues resolved, so you can get excited about your wedding again.

By Karen~moderator on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 11:46 am:

Ditto Kaye, Ginny and Debbie. I lived with my X before we were married and there were some red flags which I *subconsciously ignored*, that I should have paid attention to. I've BTDT, and am speaking from personal experience. If there are issues in your relationship, or situations or problems or attitudes that are causing you to have doubts, do not get married until/unless they are resolved. It will only be harder to address these problems and correct them later on.

It sounds like your fiancee is a bit spoiled and selfish, in that he likes all HIS creature comforts and extras and seems to feel it's perfectly fine to have them since *he* pays for him, and it sounds like no matter what you do, or how hard you try, it's never good enough.

Forgive me for saying this, but it appears he is controlling and unwilling to compromise, and I know from my own experience with exactly such a man, a marriage will not work under those circumstances.

If I were you, I'd definitely put the wedding off until you resolve some of these issues you are having. If it turns out that you cannot reach a happy medium, just know that there are worse things than not being married, such as being in an unhappy, stressful marriage and trying to get out of it.

I truly wish you the best with this.

By Momaroze on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 12:01 pm:

I skimmed quickly through the posts. I agree with Debbie. Try to resolve your issues before marriage. Like Dana said, your self esteem may go down the drain if he continues picking things apart. Besides, having child/ren, your house may never stay clean for long. Your dh will have to adjust.

By Lauram on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 03:38 pm:

I have to say that I strongly agree this is much more than "cold feet." If someone were saying those things to me, I personally would not be able to take it. Where are you in the relationship? And what's up with the emphasis on cleaning???? Money is a big source of stress in a marriage- even a happy one- so I would think if you see warning signs about that now it may be an indication of big problems to come. I really take issue with his "demands" on you. Who is he to say those kinds of things? It sounds like he has a power issue. That, to me, sounds like a HUGE underlying problem and a precursor to many problems ahead. Maybe I took your post wrong, but from what you've said, if it were me, I would get out while I could! You're only 24! You've got a whole life ahead of you! Hope you find the answers you are looking for as you figure this out! :)

By Bea on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 04:13 pm:

Brooke, I'd like to give you a different perspective on the working issue if I may. With the competitive atmosphere in the workplace today, most workers don't have the job security that was normal a generation ago. There is always that fear of down-sizing looming over your head. Spouses who both work have a safety net. If one should be laid off, that second income could be the difference between survival and catastrophe. Even a part-time salary can tide you over when added to unemployment compensation. His fear could be the source of his stubbornness on this topic.

If he won't seek counselling you might ask a neutral friend to act as a facilitator, and have a deep and candid discussion with him over these important issues. The friend would keep you on tract and moderate arguments that could arise. These are important issues that really need to be faced before you both vow to spend your lives together.

By Echo on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 11:36 pm:

Thanks everyone for all your advice.

I definately plan on sitting down and having a serious conversation where we can both hopefully try to resolve some issues. Or at least work towards that eventually happening. I do plan on saying that we shouldn't get married until we can work things out, so hopefully he'll take things seriously.

If that doesn't seem to work, I'll try to think of someone who can kind of mediate for us. A different perspective could definately help.

Thanks again. And don't worry. I'm not the type of person to sit around and take that crap. I always let him know what a jerk he's being when he does those things. He rarely understands it, but believe me....I let him know.

Hopefully we can work things out. I'm gonna try anyway.

By Bobbie~moderatr on Thursday, June 3, 2004 - 12:33 am:

You don't want to go into a marriage thinking things will change once we are married. IF these are major issues to you they need to be worked out now. Once you are married they will only grow into bigger issues. And I agree it is easier not to get married than it is to get divorced.

Time for a long sit down talk with him for sure. Lay it all out on the table, you honestly have nothing to loose. He will either hear you and work towards fixing the issues or he won't either way you will know where you stand. Which is a lot better than sitting around doubting yourself.....

Good luck and big hugs. I think this says a lot about who you are by the way... A lot of people would just get married and then expect things to magically get better and then fall apart when the don't.

By Tink on Thursday, June 3, 2004 - 12:51 am:

OK, going out on a limb here, but I think this is a normal getting used to living together issue. Most couples I know have different ways of living and different standards of "clean" and IMO guys tend to be a little obtuse when it comes to how much work it is to take care of a child and a house. I doubt that most of the people I know are totally dysfunctional. Does that make it ok for him to talk to you like that? No But there are probably times that you talk in a way that isn't the most productive. I know that some of the reason that My dh and I are so much calmer about our problems is that we have gotten a little older and a lot better about communicating and listening to each other. Should you expect him to change once you are married? No but he will, for better or for worse and so will you. If this had come up after you were married would you divorce him over the cleaning issue or the way he talks to you? If you would, then you should back out. If not, then a serious talk is in order with guidelines and expectations laid out but maybe there is a chance. I am glad to hear you are a stick up for yourself kind of gal. Stick to your guns but don't be inflexible. Good luck to you.

By Bobbie~moderatr on Thursday, June 3, 2004 - 01:06 am:

They have been together 2 years. Shouldn't take two years to adjust to a routine... And being talked down to doesn't go away it only gets worse. They need to talk...

By Vbw1978 on Thursday, June 3, 2004 - 01:09 am:

I am getting married in June have been through similar problems with him. We have been together for a little over 7 yrs. Cant believe that we made it through the last 5 ! LOL
I have cold feet now & that is what you sound like. I personally dont think that you guys should stop in your relationship BUT if you really dont feel this deep down then you should maybe put it off - so that is not always in the back of your head, then you will never feel "happy".
I wish you ALL the luck ! It is hard to make a big commitment like that !

By Tink on Thursday, June 3, 2004 - 01:23 am:

Bobbie, I don't know how long they have been living together, but my dh and I were together for 2 years, but not living together, before we were married and we had no idea how to keep house together. And the routine changes while you are pregnant and when there is a new baby in the home. My routine really didn't get settled until my children were 6 months old. My dh was terrible about talking down to me (he is older and I do think this can have something to do with it) and that has gotten immensely better in the last 2-3 years. This has happened without counseling, just a lot of commitment to change on both of our parts. I learned to listen to what he wanted instead of just rebelling when he said I "should" do something, and he stopped telling me what I "should" be doing. If you read my posts, I say over and over that they need to have a serious talk but that doesn't mean that their relationship is doomed. I think there are a lot of posts here saying that if he talks to her like this there is no point in getting married. I think the important part is whether he is open to compromise.

By Bobbie~moderatr on Thursday, June 3, 2004 - 02:03 am:

Tink, I read your post. I also don't think there are any post saying there is no point in marring him. There are however post telling her to work this out before she says I do. Her relationship may not be like yours. Maybe not like anyone of the ladies that have replied with their life stories to this post. She came here for opinions, advice and to vent about it. She got just that. What she does with it from then on is always up to her. We have no way of knowing her situation any further than what she told us and we can't make a clear cut decision as to whether she should go ahead and marry or not. All we can do is take what she said... "We have been together for 2 years and have a 1 year old daughter.", "I do love him and I think he still loves me, but it seems that I can just never do anything to make him happy.", "Maybe if anyone has had similar feelings it would help. Or just any advice." We read her post and gave our suggestions. We are all at different stages of our lives. We all have different life experiences. That is what has made this board the way it is for all these years. She asked for opinions and she will do as she needs to in the long run no matter what anyone else says.

But I can tell you that in my experience.... brushing doubts under the carpet in hopes they will fade because things work so well for someone else doesn't make for a happy life down the road. What worked with your DH may not work with hers. And what works in my house would probably not work in yours. And she needs to find what will work in her house... But she shouldn't say I do and have her mind screaming run.......

By Palmbchprincess on Thursday, June 3, 2004 - 07:11 am:

Personally, I think you should explore these feelings. Things seemed really tense, and we fought a LOT leading up to my wedding, Things escalated steadily, but I just chalked it up "cold feet" I remember telling my maid of honor I really wasn't sure if it was the right choice, even on the way to the wedding!!! I felt obligated to go through with it, and kept thinking things would get better. (Mind you we had known each other for 2+ years by this point) Less than 2 years later, we are divorcing. I'm a big believer in trusting your gut, and the things you mention in your post aren't your disagreement. When Nate (my S/O), and I moved in together, he would sometime clean behind me. (He has OCD tendencies, a real neat freak!!!) I'd been a SAHM for 2 years, and was offended that my cleaning wasn't "good enough" so he felt the need to re-do it.) I told him how this hurt my feelings, and we came to a compromise. I got lucky because Nate, unlike my ex, understands that home is the reponsibility of both partners. His "work" doesn't end when he walks in the door, neither does mine. If your fiance wants things done a certain way, and you can't seem to please him he should do it himself. (Ask Nate, his philosophy is if it bothers him he can just do it himself!!) As far as money, let him do this math... MSN did a short breakdown on a homemaker's worth (for life insurance purposes). Figuring on their pay rates for 40 hours a week (even though we work 24/7) you'd make $24,000 a year. Here's a link to the site...
http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/CollegeandFamily/P46800.asp
Personally, I think your fiance is being inconsiderate and unrealistic. Best of luck, maybe a good heart to heart can hash these issues out!!!

By Dmom on Thursday, June 3, 2004 - 04:08 pm:

Sometimes it is not issues like housework, money, who is gonna work, who is gonna stay home, it is the way the issues are expressed and the way they are handled.

When one partner (the gentleman or the lady) takes total control of a situation or issue and the second partner (the gentleman or the lady) has no options, then, you may have a serious inquiry toward separation.

Some issues that come up are:

money: one partner has all the money, all the time, leaving the other partner destitute

in-laws: one partner allows their family to participate in occaisions and does not allow the second partner's family to socialize with the couple (example: "My Mom can come to the birthday party, but I do not want your Mom here.")

socialization: one partner prevents the other partner from engaging in social activities. (example: Mom goes out to dinner with friends, leaving Dad at home with kids, Dad is angered and tells Mom she can't leave the home)

transportation: One partner has access to transportation, the other partner does not.

children: One partner has all the responsibility for childcare or one partner makes all the decisions regarding discipline.

Any issue pertaining to survival:car, house, food, clothing, income, employment, religion...
when one partner makes all the decisions and the other partner has no access.

Now, one person should never be in control of any subject in a marriage but when it boils down to survival issues and basic needs, then there is a serious problem which may not lend itself to negotiation.

I got this information for you from some pamphlets my Mom has at her employment.

You are living there, only you know if you are completely denied access to things you need for your survival and happiness. If so, you may want to ask yourself if you are willing to price the price to make it work.

Good Luck and God Bless.

By Rayanne on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 07:48 am:

I was just wondering how evrything is going with you Brooke.

By Children03 on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 08:27 am:

I think that you should re-think whether or not you should get married in October. That is just right around the corner and from what you wrote, you have a lot of issues that need to be worked out between you and your fiance. I believe that if you are staying at home that you should try to keep the house clean, but sometimes it is hard to clean the entire house, so I think you should ask your fiance "what is the one thing that you would really like me to have clean when you get home?" I did this with my husband and it really works for us. If you get married and have more children later on, it will become even harder for you to juggle children and the house cleaning. My husband made a comment to me once that he could easily do my job. Well, I got sick for a few days and on the last day of me being sick he said "honey, I can't wait for you to feel better again, because this is too hard for me to do." He couldn't clean fast enough, he couldn't take care of the girls every want/need, he couldn't make them meals, and he complained about going to the store. If your husband was in your shoes for one day, I bet he would fall apart. He has NO idea what being a SAHM involves, so he has got to stop making thee degrading comments that are making you feel worthless. It is easier to get married than it is to get a divorce so make sure this is something that you really want. It sounds like you love him and really want it to work so I pray that maybe your husband will have a change of heart and realize how hard he is being on you.

By Children03 on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 08:29 am:

Sorry, I meant your "fiance" in those last two sentences :)


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