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Just asking! It may be useful to pose these questions the other way around: If one is selfish, is that vice? If one is selfless, is that virtue? And what do virtue and vice have to do with sanctity and sin, anyway? Best wishes, 2RM.
Ironically, I've posted quite a few replies to other threads telling others to stick it out and work through it. But my main reason for joining this forum was to get advice from LDS church members about my marriage, especially what to do about it. (I know I'm not perfect, and that I have a temper. I have hit him with my wimpy lack of upper body strength, because he tends to ignore me when I bring up any issues in our relationship. And maybe we just don't work together in a marriage.) I dated my husband for about a year before marrying him. I knew that he was spoiled and irresponsible, but darn it if he didn't love me unconditionally and treat me like absolute gold! This was such a change from my previous (and only other) boyfriend, who had treated my like dirt enough for me to feel comfortable calling him an emotional abuser. I feel for my husband because he was so completely different from what I had experienced from my ex (and my father). I though that men just weren't like that. I did break off our first engagement because I felt he wasn't mature enough to handle supporting a family. We got back together, and I decided to marry him after one prayer. I knew I loved him, but had such reservations about marrying a man who hadn't gone on a mission and who was just plain irresponsible. To make a long story short, I got the answer to my prayer two days later when I got an email telling me that my deposit on single student housing was being refunded because the house was being remodeled; and this was about a month before the semester started. I still had reservations, but I trusted that the Lord knew what he was doing. My hesitance was not bolstered when I told my friends. One was actually excited when I told them. Most of them had been trying to get me to go out to school and find someone else. Fast forward seven months. We're married, and I've survived two semester of school while married. My grades have been in the tank. I told him that school would be my full time job, and that he would need to support the family financially since he wasn't admitted as a student yet. He has been working. I think he has maxed out at about 16 hours a week. Right now he could be working 35 hours a week, but chooses not to because it's "too stressful". He wakes up, goes straight to the living room, and turns on the PS3. He comes home from work and turns on the PS3. I try to get him to help around the house, to call people for errands or to apply for food stamps, . . . he just tells me that he works and I don't. Even when I was in school, he only cared that I didn't have a job. When I did get a job, he only cared that he still made more money (by about $20). I found us another apartment that was cheaper, and he complains that it doesn't have a dishwasher so he won't do the dishes. I am looking for a job. We're borrowing money from my parents every few months just to cover rent and utilities, even now that our rent is $200 lower. I do all the budgeting, and he is always asking to spend (or not asking to and just spending) money on his games. Our expenses can't get any lower. I feel like he needs to grow up and take responsibility for this family. He seems to only care about his half. I am tempted to move out as soon as I secure an income of my own. I have even been tempted to ask my parents for a plane ticket home so that I can go back to my summer job there. I am really quite sick of his selfishness. It doesn't help that I recently went off Effexor (for depression and anxiety); I am wondering of the Effexor just made me patient enough to deal with all his crap. I am literally screaming at him two or three times a week. I just feel exhausted, like I am done hauling him out of bed for church, done telling him to stop playing video games on Sundays, done telling him to work more hours to support us, done defending the amount of work I do around the house while he's sitting on his butt. He claimes to be sick about three days every week, which usually leads to skipping church and missing at least one day of work each week (mind you, working every day means he's only working about 16 hours a week right now). I don't know that I want to divorce him. If he could just grow up and stop expecting me to be his mom, then I would love him again. As it is, I have no interest in having children with him. I do not want my children to grow up and be like him; not to mention that I don't want to have to take care of a child in addition to taking care of him! We've been to counseling (where I felt bad, b/c the counselor was always telling my husband that he needed to shape up), and the only time my husband actually shapes up is after I tell him that I am going to leave. Then he shapes up for a couple week, just long enough for me to change my mind. Sorry about the novel. I just don't know what to do. I don't feel like I can go to my friends or family about this because I spent so long defending my choice to marry him, and if I decide to stay with him then I don't want them to see my marriage that way. We're meeting with our new bishop tonight about his past addiction and our current goal to be sealed in the temple is August (which I am secretly not so sure I want to do), and I might bring up this problem with him. I am just so afraid that my husband will change long enough to change my mind. I don't want that sort of cycle to continue for the rest of my life. I love him, on some level I know I do, I just don't think that I want to spend the rest of my life with a man that is acting to selfish and lazy. I don't think he can change (my father never did) and I won't be sealed to or have children with who he is now. Does anyone have some sort of experience that can help me here? I feel so alone in this decision, but I also know that I can't be objective.
I'm trying to figure out how you determine who the "selfish" one is in a marital situation. I’ve seen this quote in the forum many times: Elder Burton-- Personal selfishness is the main reason for the present high divorce rate throughout the world. Ok, well here’s where I feel a little confused. The above statement may very well be true, and I do agree with it. Unfortunately, my knowing and acknowledging that won't save my marriage. I can only work on myself, I can't force my husband to be more giving and caring. That's entirely up to him. But I do know that it can't just be one person doing all the giving in a marriage, that's not going to work. Furthermore, how do you figure out who the “selfish” person is, when a marriage is not happy? Is it the person with an unmet need? Or the person refusing to meet that need? For example (I don‘t really care this much about foot rubs, I‘m just using this as an example because it’s a cleaner than intimate “bedroom talk” lol) -- say the wife is upset because at the end of a long, stressful and tiring day, she really enjoys both partners laying down and rubbing each other’s feet. It takes all her stress away, and makes her feel romantic and bonded to her partner. But the husband doesn’t like to touch people’s feet, because he thinks its gross. So he refuses to do this activity with her. So the wife picks out something HE likes, but that she doesn’t really care for, and offers to do that for him in exchange every time. But the husband still says, “If getting that means I have to rub someone’s feet, then I don’t want it!” Well… Who is the selfish one in this case? Is the wife selfish for wanting her husband to do something that grosses him out? Or is the husband selfish for refusing to entertain the idea that “a body part is just a body part”, particularly with someone you love, and taking part in the activity?