Should I Leave My Marriage?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Hello, I have been married 1 year and feel we should separate. My husband is from a different culture (middle-eastern) and I am american. He’s always gone. He’s spends most all of his time with his guy friends they are a group of 5 and they never sperate. My husband is the only one married in his group. His friends have really come between our marriage in more ways then one. His friends are very immature cussing about other people is what they do most of the time.

My husband and I are 26 and his friends are around the ages of 22. My husband won’t give them up or spend less time with them. He has really changed since being around them. He doesn’t notice.

We have way more issues than this. Being distant is another big issues if he’s not with his friends he’s working on plays. And pushes my hugs and kisses away. I feel beyond hurt and neglected if I try to talk I get “Not Now, will talk later.” and later never comes.

I wrote about 1 page full of things I feel hurt by. Should I give up???? He doesn’t seem to care and seems very selfish. He said I love you when you do as I wife should being doing. He said Im not ready to be a husband. And you need to satisfy me by giving me sex or something bad will happen.

A. Your husband is telling you both in actions and in words that he’s not ready to be a full adult and husband. He is hanging around with single guys who are younger and who are not married. He’s made it clear that his first loyalty is to the group, not to you. The friends haven’t come between your marriage. He has put them there.

You end your letter by adding that he is threatening you. That should send up some red flags as well.

None of this looks promising for making the marriage work. No matter how much you want to make a life and a future with him, you can’t do it alone. One person can’t make a marriage any more than one hand can clap. Some of what you are experiencing may be a cross-cultural clash but I don’t think that explains everything. He’s acting like a man who wants to be 22 and single, not married with responsibilities to someone else.

Before you give up, I hope you will try to have a serious talk with him. Take the time to be clear in your own mind about what you will and won’t accept for married life. Then pick a time to talk to him when he isn’t pulled to be with his friends. Don’t answer his threat with anger or with threats of your own. Keep your anger under control so he doesn’t get defensive. Ask him if he has been trying to tell you that getting married was a mistake. If so, what does he want to do about it? If not, what is he willing to do to become a true married partner and what compromises does he want from you? His answers will give you the information you need to make a decision.

It’s terribly sad to end a marriage, especially so soon. You married with love and hope in your heart. He apparently didn’t fully understand what it all meant. With a little more information, you can decide whether he will join in making a partnership with you or if you need to cut your losses, mourn the relationship and move on.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 3 Jan 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). Should I Leave My Marriage?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/01/03/should-i-leave-my-marriage/