Buyer’s remorse

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Q: I have been married for 3 months and all of a sudden my husband says he’s confused.. He doesn’t know if he wants to be with me..He doesn’t know anything about his life..He is 30 years old.. He doesn’t know if he wants me to stay or leave.. I don’t know what to do..please help

A: It often happens when people make an important major purchase. They think about it long and hard. They do the research. They comparison shop. They save the money. They finally write the check and take the coveted prize home. Then they torture themselves with thoughts about whether they did the right thing and made the right choice. Sadly, this keeps them from enjoying the very thing they wanted so much and worked so hard to get.

You and your husband are in your 30′s. Either you waited a long time before finding the right person or one or both of you got burned in relationships and took a while before you had the courage to try again. Deciding to marry wasn’t something either of you did lightly.

It sounds like your husband has gotten scared. What if he’s made the wrong choice? What if he has set himself up for hurt? Maybe if he had waited longer, he would have found someone even better. What if. What if. Whew! There are lots of what ifs when we make a committment to another person “for better or worse”. It’s some reflection of how important the decision is for him that he is second guessing himself now. Meanwhile, this must be making you feel awful. It’s hard to watch him suffer. It’s even harder to be sympathetic. After all, the choice he made is you. You must be terribly hurt and angry that he is confused.

If you approach him with concern instead of anger, he might let you in on what is worrying him so much. You can let him know that you love him and that you are committed to making a good life with him. You can remind him that you aren’t children and that between the two of you you have a lot of skills, experience, and heart. You can tell him that it’s understandable that with a divorce rate approaching 50%, he might wonder what he has gotten himself into. But you can also tell him that you have faith in him and in your love for each other and that you have confidence that the two of you will be in the over half of couples who do make it. This may be the first challenge of many that you will be facing as a couple. It’s an opportunity to work as a team to get to the bottom of the issue and to find ways to support each other through it.
I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Oct 2006

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2006). Buyer’s remorse. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2006/10/21/buyers-remorse/