Avatar universal

What can I do to get the man I love to work on our marriage?

My husband and I have been married for only a month and have been together three years. We got into a small argument after opening up a joint account and he stayed out all night which is totally out of character he usually comes straight home talks to me on the phone the whole way, we have a ton of inside jokes and he’s extremely clingy and affectionate always wanting my attention and excited to make our baby giggle. Since the argument things have dwindled very quickly and I can’t get him to talk to me to even set up normalcy for finley I’ve told him I’m okay with separating, okay with him coming home and working on things but I just think we need a schedule for our baby and timeline to work on things. On Sunday I caught him lying and at an apartment at his work (he’s a maintenance man) and he came out the back and said he was there with his friend who’s friends with the guy who lives there, none the less he’s been lying about where he is and what he’s doing and coming home super late saying he was doing maintenance and not giving any affection and being emotionally distant. In the past we have had one break like this after an argument where I said hurtful things I begged pleaded and saw him on once a week dates for three months and he treated me similarly and he ended up breaking up with me and a week later begging for me back. I don’t know what to do to get him to come home and get his priorities back on track. He says he doesn’t know what he wants but just married me a month ago. He refuses to have any conversation and doesn’t say anything more than maybe or k
8 Responses
134578 tn?1614729226
Yoiks, that is not good. One little argument and he walks out? I believe him saying he does not know what he wants, but after three years, maybe he should figure it out. Right now he is hiding out, so he won't have to decide, but it really seems that his actions are signalling more than mere ambivalence.

If I were you, I would tell him just what you did tell him, we can separate but basically I just need to know what is what. See if he is open to talking to a counselor, or a minister if you guys go to a good church, or even to a trusted aunt or uncle. He needs to be able to lay things out in his mind so he can tell you where he is mentally over this relationship.

Whether or not he got married to you only three months ago, this is a longer-ago pattern, and he really doesn't sound entirely ready to have gotten married. I'm sorry but you do need to stay open to the possibility that the marriage was a wrong move for him, you do NOT want to be married to a foot-dragger for years who never fully meant it. Marriage is hard enough when it is entered into with happy commitment by two adults. Again, I'm very sorry. But you sound like you have your head on straight about facing whatever the status really is. Write back.
ITs just hard because our relationship was perfect in the three years I’ve only been unhappy collectively for three months. I have talked to family and my husband several times, my counselor is worried he’s using. He always seemed so confident in working things out and we had a strong bond where he was consistently affectionate and goofy with me and racing to get home to me we would lay in bed talking and laughing for hours he would text me randomly to remind me he missed me and then this sudden change. Our relationship always seemed strong and loving but I do struggle with depression from a long childhood of abuse and neglect and I have accepted my part in getting things to this point. The only productive things he has said is I haven’t lost him he will hopefully never have to decide to be apart from me this probably won’t last forever he could say he loves me more than anything and it would be true but he doesn’t say it and he’s said that he’s not ready to throw in the towel to his mom and some days seem better than others but it seems like he just needs the chase at this point because when I left him alone for a couple days he sent me a text all bitter because I’m acting like I don’t care and didn’t try to talk to him so I’m just super confused do I give him the space to miss me? Do I do small gestures to bring the love back like what do I do... I just know the marriage wasn’t a question in his mind until that argument and he’s said since then he feels like I regret marrying him and he feels like he can’t mwke me happy and I’m too critical essentially. I’ve tried to change the way I communicate and the  way I handle things and have been proud of myself for not continuing to act out of weakness and desperation.
He has also said maybe to counseling but he doesn’t want to go.
SOrry to add again but he made a new friend at work who he has said encourages him to do mean things to people to be funny and is not kind to his significant other and has no longer been spending time with his usual supportive group of friends and is now constantly staying at this new friends apartment
Do you really think he might be using? Would he tell anyone if he is, such as a counselor?

I don't think you can influence this more than you have. Besides, that is, staying as level as you are.  Can you make it easy for him to see a counselor? (Such as, if you made him an appointment, would he go?)

Can't say enough that I'm impressed you have your head on so straight and are pragmatic. It's not a time for manipulation. Do you "give him the space to miss you?" Not if it's fake. Just be who you are and try to live your usual schedule, and he will see that you are the same person you always are, and will either step up or fall apart. Trying to add an element to make him do something will not really do any good. He is the one who has to man up and decide things. You, just keep your eyes on the prize of having a rational life for you and your baby, and do what makes sense for you.
I’m not really sure about if I made an appointment would he go but he’s very reserved and wouldn’t likely open up to a stranger about that kind of thing. My plan for now is to just live my life like normal and have him reach out when he wants to and otherwise make other arrangements for my child and cut off most communication except for maybe an occasionally positive message like “goodnight I hope you sleep well” or “I miss you” or something short and sweet and positive. If he continues to take our son to his moms in the morning I might start packing his lunches with a note in it like I used to but I don’t know if I should because he really would be kind of enabled and not feeling the consequences of treating me like garbage. Maybe I’ll just mostly avoid him except a few positive gestures and interactions but withhold physical touch until he gets his **** together? I need help setting boundaries.
Put the note in his lunch if you are feeling it, even just a mild one like "Thanks for taking Junior to Grandma's every day." Don't say things you don't feel, but don't be negative, and certainly don't withhold it as a means of supposedly punishing him, that is a passive-aggressive game and won't work anyway because he probably won't notice it much. (He's not going to say "Oh, no, there's no note! I see the light! I treated her like garbage.") In fact, I don't think he did treat you like garbage. He is not behaving very well, but it was not a personal affront to you in the way that it would be if he called you names and dragged you through the mud or something. He is mostly absenting himself and acting like he is ambivalent. That's not treating you "like garbage."

Anyway, stay sane. Keep level. When you get to a moment when the two of you can really talk, if he is open to it, you could ask him if he is using. It might shock him so much that he will tell you what the real issue is, if that's not it.
I left out a lot of details for the sake of keeping it short. Thank you for all your help :) I appreciate the advice I’ll use the note thing especially
You know, even if the notes don't penetrate his thick skull, you will be doing the thing that is true for you, and connections are built little brick by little brick. If you were to bend over backward with effusive love and try to sweep everything under the rug, that would be false to you and hurt your heart because you are not being true to yourself and your indignation. But you *can* get behind that it means something to you that he takes the baby to grandma's, which helps you and shows his intention to do the things a father does. Positive things don't have to be big things. But they do exist in all situations, even when there is also a recent issue. And they can create the openings needed to keep communications going.
973741 tn?1342342773
Hi.  welcome to the forum!  So, does your husband have a history of drug use?  That was my first thought as well if he does.  Secrets, disappearing and behavior changes are some of the hallmark signs.  I think finding out why he is lying is a top priority.  He may need more help for himself that working on improving this marriage right this second if he has fallen back down a rabbit hole.  And you hate to wonder about an affair.  But I kind of go there as well.  

Babies do change the dynamics of a relationship and some men have a hard time with it.  How old is your little one?  

But this issue sounds sudden and like there is a different root cause than what is happening IN the home and it has an external core.  So, let me know if drugs could be the issue or what you think is at the bottom of this disappearing and not being where he says, etc.  When you ask him about this, what is his response?
I have only known him to smoke weed and our son is one, we moved out together before our son was born and I told him there would be no smoking anything around the baby or my new furniture so he gave up cigarettes and pot. But I do know that in high school he tried pills and cocaine and acid and things of that sort but that was like five to eight years ago. All of his friends say he’s not the type to cheat and honestly the man I know and love wouldn’t and always respected me and helped me with the baby. I did say hurtful things in our argument in the bank parking lot but we’ve always worked together after fights breaking up has never been an option despite the one other “break” we had. I have not asked him about the drug usage and he’s clearly said he could not handle a relationship with someone else and that would be too much for his current mental state. He has recently met a new friend at his new job who he has told me dares him to do stupid things at work for the laughter and does not treat “his woman” who had his son very well. He’s said he would never stoop to that level but now he’s apparently staying on this guys couch and constantly with him. Part of me does not believe he’s sleeping at this guys apartment. I feel like I can’t control him I can’t stalk him all I can really handle is me and I don’t know how to set boundaries and make sure he knows I’m here for him and honestly want to work on this but I also want him to know he can’t treat me like this because it’s  hurting my son. My son hasn’t acted different and isn’t sleeping as good since his dad hasn’t been out of the routine. My husbands whole family is kind of on his *** right now and I don’t know that the pressure helps at all but they see how he treats me and are ashamed that he’s been not making his wife and son a priority and to make matters worse he’s shutting out all of his friends who encourage him to make good choices. He always has teenage like responses to when I try to communicate with him snd it doesn’t do anything but hurt but me andmake things worse and more damage to work through if he comes to his senses.
I should add he’s constantly leaving to “go work on his car” and when we went to the store to get our sons party stuff he kept trying to get away to text on his phone and hid the screen from me. He never used to even touch his phone and is usually old fashioned about things like that.
973741 tn?1342342773
I'm the sort that looks for the why.  Sure, could be simple mental crisis stuff that some guys go through after life gets serious (living with significant other, having kids, day in day out work . . .) but something about this seems like there is more to it.  

Everyone in a relationship says hurtful things once in a while, unfortunately.  We normally can move past that if our relationship has stability and overall is positive.  I would wonder if it is not something like he has upped his drug usage to more serious offenses than pot or simply gone back to getting high when you asked him not to OR there is dabbling in things like other women OR there is a safe place to just be irresponsible like playing video games or whatever stupid stuff guys do and get given a hard time by their partners for as they should have other responsibilities (like their wife and child) to attend to.  Or the other possibility which is hard to swallow, that he is seriously wondering if he wants to be in this relationship and is afraid to come clean about that.  He's avoiding being there and he's avoiding being honest.  

Something is going on it feels like.  My warning bells would be WAY up.  You'll get nowhere talking to his friends or family or even acquaintances about it. I'd stop that altogether.  (plus, I learned long ago that if you complain about things to these people, they NEVER forget and then hold it in their minds defining that relationship forever.  Example, I had a friend whose husband had a one night stand on her.  He also racked up credit card bills behind her back putting them in major debt.  She told him to leave.  He called her bipolar and left and went to a motel. They had a 6 month old.  After a week passed and my friend had not heard from her husband at all, she began calling him.  She then began begging him to come home to work it out.  He told her that she acted crazy and he needed to think about it, mind you, HE had done some serious crap in their relationship.  He stayed gone a full second week and then came home.  That was 18 years ago, and they are still married with FIVE kids.  Guess what?  I can't take their marriage seriously.  I can't stand her husband.  I do not want to be around him.  **I** will never forget how he acted and what he did.  My friend has moved on but it is always in my mind because I know every gory detail.  I realized you have to be careful.  You DO need a confident but make it a very small and select group because if you DO get together again, they may judge the relationship based on his previous actions and doubt it.  OR another issue is that they can interfere and become involved in the issues you have with your man and give THEIR opinions to your problems as a couple and you don't need others to mess things up or say the wrong thing or speak for you, etc.)   You are probably going to have to just ask the really hard question stating that you WANT and CAN HANDLE the truth.  

Anyway, I may be off base on some of this or get some details wrong. But you do paint a picture of a man up to something.  And uninterested in his REAL life.  You are probably smart to just live life as a busy woman with a child and let him know you are there if he gets his 'stuff' together (was going to use another word but think the site would filter my word, ha ha).  Do you have insurance that would let you see a therapist on your own?  I found that to be really helpful to work things through and get a clearer picture of something.  And therapists are like your own personal cheerleader and offer coping strategies and ideas to improve things.  But I know it takes time and money . . . so not sure if your insurance would cover something like that.  Church's often have trained counselors too.  Any denomination, no denomination, whatever suits you.  

Is your man staying at your place or is he gone at the new 'friend's at night?  

Oh, and I'm sure it hurts even more because of your child.  Mom's are so attached to our kids, it is hard to imagine how anyone can be distant to their child like that!  

HEs staying at this friends house at night and I wonder if that’s the truth or what since I’ve caught him lying so much. I’ve asked hard questions and he won’t answer me. I have been seeing a therapist she’s the one who suggested he might be using drugs. He may seriously think he wants out I just feel like since he was the one who wanted to get married so bad and anytime we’ve taken a “break” which was once two years ago he did come back. I just don’t know what I’m dealing with since he’s given me almost nothing to go off of. But anything would be easier than divorce we haven’t tried couples counseling self help books nothing and there is a child involved. He doesn’t have the money for an attourney he’d have to pay child support I just don’t think he’s really thinking clearly.
Hmm. You say anything would be easier than divorce, is it because his mom helps with the child care? Seems like the choices of what is going on are all bad, they seem to be (in order of the evidence most fitting the possibilities):

- He's using, and something more serious than just pot
- He's having an affair (with a woman)
- He's changed his mind about being married but isn't really facing up to that to you or to himself
[and the least realistic:]
- He's going through a teenage midlife crisis of some kind
- He's having an affair with this new guy in his life

(I put the last one in to make you laugh.) My guess would be the first one, hate to say, but all the sneaking off to check the phone is a hallmark of the second one.

Anyway, my dear girl, as you can see, none of these is in your control. There can be a real freedom that comes when you realize you can't make something change, because then you don't have to struggle with something you can't get your arms around and can't really impact. It sounds like his family is on his case so badly that no more of anyone being on his case will help, so you staying sane and even is the key to him finding his way back to what matters to him, if he ever will. Certainly, you care, and you should do everything (like join in an intervention or other productive actions) to help him, but you cannot really make him stop until he wants to stop.

If you are really dying to know and he really won't tell you, you might try a private investigator. Otherwise, just stay even, keep your own head together, and try to work out your life if the worst happens and you do head for a divorce. It sounds like his mom will still be an active grandma no matter what, and that is a good thing. I disagree that "anything would be easier than divorce," living like this and never knowing what is going on is probably long-term worse than a clean break. But if you stay level, it might not reach that pass. Be ready, and keep talking to your therapist. You sound better than this whole situation.
How does one go about an intervention? I appreciate all the advice.
Sorry, but I know nothing about it, only what I've seen on TV medical shows when a family was getting their son off the streets or their mom off prescription drugs. Your therapist might know more, for one thing, if it is even the appropriate thing to do. I think you have to know for sure that someone is using before staging one, and the person has to be ready to fess up. But maybe not.
Incidentally, when I said "join in an intervention," I meant if his family was deciding to do one, don't stay out of it. But I don't think you should organize one, even if your therapist says he might accept one and get something out of it. I don't think you should be the one that organizes such a thing (if it were even appropriate for him and I'm not convinced it is), is that he would feel like it was a power move by you. Maybe to you it sounds like a firm event where he sees the light and grows up, etc. , but coming from you as the organizer, he might well see it as a big control thing. And you're not his parent but his partner. To some extent, it sounds like he suddenly just does not want to behave the way everyone wants him to behave, and will resist, resist, resist efforts to get him to do what everyone tells him to do. That's why "teenage midlife crisis" is on my list above. He might have been getting the cumulative heebie jeebies about having to grow up and be an adult with a child and a wife. Even if getting married was his idea, it doesn't mean he hasn't had some big second thoughts, especially if he's hanging with an irresponsible buddy who is egging him on to be a kid again.
("is that," should have been "because")
3060903 tn?1398565123
You have gotten such wonderful advice here so far.

i'll add my mantra that works so well for so many to keep things simple and to find your peace and equilibrium.

God, Grant Me the Serenity To Accept The Things I Cannot Change,
The Courage To Change The Things I Can
And the Wisdom to Know The Difference.

keep your thread open sweet girl, we're all here and we'll be following you every step of the way, You're NOT alone.

3060903 tn?1398565123
You have gotten such wonderful advice here so far.

i'll add my mantra that works so well for so many to keep things simple and to find your peace and equilibrium.

God, Grant Me the Serenity To Accept The Things I Cannot Change,
The Courage To Change The Things I Can
And the Wisdom to Know The Difference.

keep your thread open sweet girl, we're all here and we'll be following you every step of the way, You're NOT alone.

3060903 tn?1398565123
Take the time to cherish these most special of times with your new baby. They will last a lifetime and your child will be the greatest gift that you'll ever have received. I just celebrated my son's 30th Birthday with his soul mate and no matter what happens here, you WILL FIND YOURS. with time and patience.

This guy needs to be required to go to marriage counselling. The advice he's getting right now is way off base. You both need a neutral party to help you both make the best decisions and if he's not there, he's too immature to be married. This is has nothing to do with you, or the argument you had, that should have long been forgiven and forgotten. SM is right, in every marriage things are said in the heat of the moment and they are forgiven, in marriages that survive. and thrive.
3060903 tn?1398565123
It’s just hard because two weeks ago everything was perfect and for three years he would build me a vanity to surprise me take me on carriage rides to be romantic stay up talking and laughing with me cuddle me all night call me right after work and race home to me and our baby change majority of the dirty diapers wake up with the baby so I couldn’t rest, help with cleaning and cooking make me indoor picnics and draw me candle lit baths and eat wings in the bath with me and shower with me and now all of a sudden he has this new friend from work who by the way messaged me on Facebook last night asking me to have a secret thing with him despite the fact my husband is apparently sleeping on his couch and he has a girlfriend and baby. So if he’s under this guys influence where he disrespects his girlfriend like that maybe something more is going on and idk whether to show him the messages or not
Like he used to be so invested breaking up was never an option and I can’t edplain how confusing and shattering it’s been this past two weeks like I’m going crazy trying to see two counselors and kind of being drawn to go see a psychic I mean I set goals everyday I go to work I don’t cry in front of my son and I make sure I laugh at least once and take care of myself and baby but this is very hurtful and I feel helpless because nothing I say makes him see what he’s doing nothing his family says does either
What do you think would happen if you showed your husband the Facebook message, he would get in a fight with his friend? Because if you don't show it to him, I think he would accuse you in some way of thinking of taking part. I'd err on the side of being honest with your husband and showing him, even if it caused a blowup.
I've been thinking about the fact that you say "idk whether to show him the messages or not," and really feel that no matter how it goes if you show them to him, there will be worse consequences if you do not show him. He will think you are keeping other men a secret. You need to show him.
I found out that he’s not staying with that friend from work though the friends girlfriend. I showed her the messages I don’t know what came of that. I showed my husband the message of her telling me he’s not staying st their apartment and I said “start saving I’m done.” Meaning for a divorce.
Ugh, I'm just chiming in here.  Something major is going on and you finally know that to be the case even if you don't yet know exactly what.  I'm really sorry to read this.  I wish this would have had a different outcome.  His loss!
I agree. My biggest struggle is my family along with his is all happy for us and “tickled pink” and just spent all this money on a wedding just for him to ruin it a few weeks later. I don’t really know what to do but I’m starting by looking for a new place to live and I’m taking it day by day
I looked on his computer against my better judgment and he had a girls nudes on there and photos of her with her daughter. He left me and our son and has been staying with them and I’m falling apart
Hm. What a jerk he is, as I mentioned, all the sneaking off to look at the phone is so characteristic of an affair. But what a jerk and let's add idiot -- this obviously didn't happen yesterday, so why did he go through with the marriage? I'm so sorry.
I have a whole list of bad names for him too.  That's unreal.  He's a loser!
The only spark of acceptability in this is he is such a booby prize that you are demonstrably better off than the new dumb girl who fell for him. She is getting a cheating, stupid, broke idiot. You are getting rid of a cheating, stupid, broke idiot. In the end, you win.

ps --Your lawyer, child support, etc.
Avatar universal
I don't think there is much you can do because plainly, he's not interested. You've already tried talking to him about this, without results. It's more important now to concentrate on you and your needs. Make sure you and your child have a safe place to live and that you're able to provide for yourself and your baby. Get emotional support through friends and family, or even consider a professional. Make steps in the direction of leaving the marriage. If he'll lose his temper for months over a small argument, and won't apologise or work with you, it's not worth saving.
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Relationships Community

Top Relationships Answerers
13167 tn?1327194124
Austin, TX
3060903 tn?1398565123
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
How do you keep things safer between the sheets? We explore your options.
Can HIV be transmitted through this sexual activity? Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia answers this commonly-asked question.
The first signs of HIV may feel like the flu, with aches and a fever.
Frequency of HIV testing depends on your risk.
Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) may help prevent HIV infection.
Millions of people are diagnosed with STDs in the U.S. each year.