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joe2011

Unsure in my marriage, advice needed

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This is difficult for me to share, but I'd like your advice.

I've been married for a short time now. First some background: I've only dated a couple girls (one I married and the other I only dated twice, not long enough to get to know).

I have severe worry/anxiety/fear every day that affects me emotionally and physically. I feel like I go crazy every day as I can't concentrate at work and I don't feel like doing things I like (hobbies, etc).

I went to LDS Counseling Services and I talked about the girl I was dating (and now married). He said there are like 3 things required for a marriage to work. I can't remember really, but it was something like the ability to talk about anything, commitment, and passion. I only mentioned her for a moment but he thought maybe there wasn't passion in my relationship.

I've always thought she has the best personality of anyone, and she's cute. I think her personality is what attracted me to her. The first girl I dated I was very attracted to physically, but I didn't get to know her. My wife isn't a model, but I think I felt like the first girl was. I've only been really attracted to about 3 girls ever, where I've thought they were very good looking. The rest didn't really do much for me, so I thought maybe it was me and I should get to know them and not base it just off looks (and lower my "looks" standard I guess). I think my wife is cute but don't feel that strong attraction physically. If I had to guess I think she does toward me.

Back when we were dating, I would go back and forth a lot. I would get the advice of a close friend and my parents. They told me nobody is perfect. I prayed about it extensively and even talked to my bishop. I still wasn't totally sure, and with the pursuasion of my close friend/parents I decided to marry her. I thought once I had decided this, then I could be happy and not have the worry/anxiety/etc.

Now I still go back and forth, and it's the worst feeling. I'll look at a picture of her and be turned off, then I'll start to move toward thinking this isn't right. I'll have thoughts of leaving her. Then later I'll spend time with her not focusing on looks and be very happy to be with her. So then I try to tell myself to just concentrate on that during the other times when I lose it, but it never works.

Someone asked me once which one of us do I think our kids would look like. My first instinct thought was I hope it's not some of the features I don't like about her. Another time I was feeling horrible because of the related thoughts I have, and I was trying to think when I was the most happy. Then the first instinctive thought I had was when I was on a date with the first girl, I was extremely happy after the date. I couldn't believe I was thinking that and not when I was getting married to my wife.

She is completely happy with me in every aspect and I wish I could be the same for her. I do have to say that I'm a perfectionist and very picky. I've thought sometimes that maybe I'm not meant to be with anyone. I'm also worried that I'll have this pain/etc. for eternity, or if we have a family and some day I just can't take it anymore. But then the thought of leaving her isn't what I want because she is such a great girl and wife.

I read from one of the leaders said that any rightous girl will work out in marriage if both are willing to put forth the effort. I would think that marriage would be sort of sad if it's more like effort putting toward a job than loving/attracted to someone.

I guess my biggest concern is that I don't have strong enough feelings for her, or that I think of her as a cute friend because I don't feel the physical attraction like I did toward another girl.

With all of these thoughts going through my mind constantly, I find myself wondering if I truly do love her. I think maybe I'd be better off separating and finding someone I do feel happy with all the time and the attraction is there, and if I don't because I'm too much of a perfectionist then I guess that's the way I am. It feels like I'm doomed no matter what I choose.

After several months and this isn't getting better for me, I'm not sure what to do. I've prayed a lot. She is ready to have kids and I just see the possibility of something not going well. I don't know why I can't just be happy. Does anyone have any advice?

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I actually can't continue reading this simply because some red flags popped up in my mind soon after starting...

So your wife isn't physically attractive enough for you? Sad... I'm sure she'd be upset if she knew that. I know I would if my husband had to "concentrate" on other things than my looks to be "happy" with me.

Let's face it, if you were even second guessing while you were dating her, you shouldn't have married her. Plus, you seem to base a lot of your feelings on looks, which ... well ... everyone knows you generally shouldn't (and don't) marry for looks; you marry for more than that.

Hopefully you can learn to look past her outside beauty... or apparent lack-of in your eyes (sigh)... and see her for her inner beauty, which is what seems to count the most.

Heavenly Father made your wife the way she is inside and out, you know... hopefully some day you'll be able to appreciate her the way that Heavenly Father does.

I don't mean to rant and sound harsh (even though I realize I am being such), but this post just seems so... I don't even know the right word. It's just that if you didn't seem to be happy with your wife while dating, then why on earth would you put yourself in an eternal position of marriage and cross your fingers that it might work out? I DEFINITELY advise you NOT to have children... the last thing those children would need is to see a marriage fall apart, and it seems like it might already have, as it seems somewhat one-sided.

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This is difficult for me to share, but I'd like your advice.

Joe,

If you are willing, I suggest you go to individual counseling with a psychologist and see if he can rule out any medical issues you may be having. I don't know you but here are some ideas to maybe think about, and all of my ideas might be wrong but maybe one will ring a bell:

1 you have low testosterone

2 you have looked at too much pornography and only find fantasy women attractive, rather than real people

3 you are chemically imbalanced with some sort of common anxiety disorder such as obessive compulsive disorder where everything and everyone has to look perfect to be pleasing to you

4 you married someone you were never in love with because of pressure from friends and family, and now you wish you could get out of it

5 you are immature and think that the grass is always greener on the other side, and the fantasy of having a passionate, happy marriage has been replaced with reality.

One thing you said caught my eye - something about not wanting your marriage to be work for both of you, but for the passion and love to come naturally. This is something that is unrealistic. Every married person that has been married for a while will tell you that it is work, no matter who you marry and how good the two of you are, your relationship will always be a lot of work. If you were to divorce and then marry a women with an absolutely stunning body, after a few weeks of marriage, I promise you will start noticing the mundane, annoying things about her that will take away the fantastic beauty that she once held in your eyes.

I remember long ago dating a body builder and thinking how handsome he was. The longer I dated him, the less attractive he became because I got to know him better. By the time we stopped dating, I was completely unattracted to him.

Also, if you were to marry the most beautiful woman in the world, her looks will eventually fade. I am guessing that you already know these things, though.

I hope you find the help you need and know that the Lord has whatever answers you need.

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Abe Lincoln once said we are about as happy as we decide to be. I think that applies to marriage too. If we take inventory of how blessed we are, rather than think about the one that got away, we will be much happier.

I have seen families where a couple marries just out of high school The man is basically a nerd, but once he hits his thirties he suddenly looks handsome. Maybe his wife by then just looks like a 30-something nerd. Then the guy feels the temptation to take advantage of his looks. It does not turn out happy when this occurs and the man feels entitled to feel like he is in high school again.

Remember what happened to David due to his longings. The Prophet Nathan chastized him for taking another man's wife even though God had blessed him with six wives already. Maybe Bathsheeba was more stunning than David's other six wives? Be caeful brother.

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My passion for my husband is for who he is. He is a good, kind, wise, intelligent, decent man.

Write down all the things you love about your wife, take away the pictures. Tell them to yourself. And go from there

Like is way more important than love, love is what keeps the marriage together when you don't like each other very much.

The other possibiity is you are gay.

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I believe you need to follow up on your aniexty problem. My housemate has it and it can be crippling at times. I have another friend that can get overwhelmed at places like the grocery store because it is too large of a space for her to comfortably to be in. She has to grocery shop at little corner stores and spends a fortune for her food and other purchases.

You aren't going to find someone that you will be happy with 24/7/365. I think you are not happy with yourself and getting someone else to fix your problem just isn't going to work.

Please don't have children until you get some of these issues involved. If you do and you leave, you will really hurt your family as well as increasing your own pain.

It would be wonderful for both you and your wife if you could find small acts of goodness to shower upon her. Things that you could plan and be unexpected for her. Like bringing her home a cold beverage or a single flower, running her a bath or washing the dishes or even staying of top of emptying the trash can.

Treat her well. That is the very least she deserves.

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I like what crazypotato said about all of this. Every marriage is work, every marriage requires work, and in almost every marriage you get to a point where you don't find your spouse as attractive as you once did, the key is to fall back in love with your spouse over and over again. Like a few of the posters have said, focus on what is wonderful about your wife, stop focusing on looks, because let me tell you, time has a tendency to take looks away, both yours and your wifes. If you base your marriage solely on looks then even a hot supermodel wife will eventually lose her looks over time, and your marriage will fall apart because all you are focused on is looks.

I agree that you should probably go speak with a counselor, and I would recommend an LDS counselor. Someone who can help you sort out your thoughts and feelings and can hopefully set you on the right path. Marriage will never be easy, but if you are willing to work at it marriage can be wonderful.

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I would think that marriage would be sort of sad if it's more like effort putting toward a job than loving/attracted to someone.

Welcome to life, marriage, and reality. Love IS work. Love is a choice, not happenstance. Do you think charity for our fellow man just falls into our lap because you and I find our brothers in Elder's quorum 'so darn attractive'??? Love is an act, a conscious choice, a gift of the Spirit. It can be cultured and developed - but not by focusing on the negatives as you are finding out.

The grass is not always greener on the other side - it is greenest where we water and fertilize it. (so quit watering and fertilizing fantasies and water and fertilize your reality!)

Skip the psychologist. You need to go see a psychiatrist. Get a proper diagnosis (Generalized Anxiety?), and get on a med so you can think clearly and appropriately about your life, marriage, and situation.

She is completely happy with me in every aspect

This is a curious statement IMO. I would imagine that were she even 1/2 aware of the thoughts you are having about a girl you dated twice, the thoughts you are having about her, and the questions you are having about the marriage, I doubt her happiness with you would be 'complete'. So notice (assuming your perception is correct - and I'm surprised you are moving forward with presumptions - do you two even talk?) - her happiness is a frame of mind based on the constructs of what she is aware of, what she focuses on (your positive traits, not your anxiety), and how she thinks. Perhaps you could learn more from you dear wife than you realize.

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My passion for my husband is for who he is. He is a good, kind, wise, intelligent, decent man.

Write down all the things you love about your wife, take away the pictures. Tell them to yourself. And go from there

Like is way more important than love, love is what keeps the marriage together when you don't like each other very much.

The other possibiity is you are gay.

I like the way you present the Christian view of love. Love is for the person, not what they can do for you. I fear modern society has made love something that is earned. Once we make love something you have to earn (based on looks, money, popularity) you build your marriage on a foundation of sand. Once someone's looks go, or someone loses their job, then the marriage will be doomed. I fear this happens in LDS temple marriages too.

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I think it is easy for us to assume that Joe is shallow and only into looks, but personally, my gut feeling is telling me that his anxiety is getting in the way of things too. He sounds like he is really trying to find his wife attractive because he knows he should, but doesn't know how. I know that I have made like 100 million stupid mistakes in my marriage, too, especially as a newlywed. But it is soooo hard to see yourself objectively when emotions and baggage can cloud your thinking, but hard to accept your own glaring faults and admit them to the public.

He was very brave to post what he did about himself and his marriage. Joe, if you get help from the Lord and from the appropriate resources, I think you will be okay.

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Guest mirancs8

I'm reading your post and what seems to be glaring at me is your frequent comments regarding appearance saying "she's cute", "My wife isn't a model, but I think I felt like the first girl was", "very good looking", "lower my 'looks' standard lower my 'looks' standard", "I think my wife is cute but don't feel that strong attraction physically", "I'll look at a picture of her and be turned off", "I'll spend time with her not focusing on looks", "our kids would look like", "some of the features I don't like about her", and so forth.

I would like to echo what ryanh said, "do you two ever talk?" The post reads like you are a very shallow minded individual who has a tad bit of a warped view on marriage. Whatever it is that you are dealing with psychologically you need to address it with the appropriate psychiatrist as well as a psychologist. You seem to be focusing on all these faults you find in her (appearance and such) but instead you need to address your issues so you can work together on your marriage.

You don't give up on your wife because of looks. Your wife can always look more attractive for you, but the question is are you making her feel beautiful and loved so that she wants to look attractive for you? Marriage is much deeper and more complicated then simply the skin on the outside. No, there many things that have to come and work together to keep the marriage healthy and happy. Marriage is A LOT of work! You don't just run away instead you spend time talking and working together through whatever issues there are. Most anything can get resolved. As you and your spouse work equally together you will each have a greater respect and love for each others dedication to the marriage.

I can imagine as a women if she knew what you were thinking it would just break her heart. Marriage is a serious commitment that not only you made but she did as well. Give her that much... go seek help and work on your issues so that you can work on being a loving husband to her.

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I think it is easy for us to assume that Joe is shallow and only into looks, but personally, my gut feeling is telling me that his anxiety is getting in the way of things too. He sounds like he is really trying to find his wife attractive because he knows he should, but doesn't know how. I know that I have made like 100 million stupid mistakes in my marriage, too, especially as a newlywed. But it is soooo hard to see yourself objectively when emotions and baggage can cloud your thinking, but hard to accept your own glaring faults and admit them to the public.

He was very brave to post what he did about himself and his marriage. Joe, if you get help from the Lord and from the appropriate resources, I think you will be okay.

Ow yes we know very well it is very brave for anyone to post here :eek: because you know we just all give it to you straight. lol

Seriously though it's never easy to talk about your issues then have 20+ people come at you with theories, experiences, possibilities, ideas, diagnosis, hypothesis, strategies.... am I missing anything? We all have different life experiences so I'm sure you have a great range of comments.

You just need to get help for your own issues which seem a bit over the top... maybe OCD in there too with the anxiety??

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Guest mirancs8

A Sister said to me this past Sunday what her husband said to her early in their marriage when they were struggling. He said to her the following in the heat of an argument. If you want to see me as a jerk, I will be a jerk in your eyes. If you want to see me as a absent father, I will be an absent father in your eyes. If you want to see me as a horrible self centered husband, I will be a horrible self center husband in your eyes. How YOU choose to see me IS how you will see me no matter WHAT good I do in our relationship.

They are married over 20 years and there is so much love and respect between them both. When he said that to her it stopped her in her tracks and she realized he was right. She never thought those things again about him. I haven't been able to stop thinking about her sharing this with me. It hit a nerve with me because it is very true. You can learn a lot from others experiences in their own marriages.

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I like the way you present the Christian view of love. Love is for the person, not what they can do for you. I fear modern society has made love something that is earned. Once we make love something you have to earn (based on looks, money, popularity) you build your marriage on a foundation of sand. Once someone's looks go, or someone loses their job, then the marriage will be doomed. I fear this happens in LDS temple marriages too.

I entirely agree, a marriage based on entirely passion and lust won't get past the bumps like I am experiencing right now because my husband is experiencing man eyes when looking for a handbag:confused: Both of my bags are right underneath him lol

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This is the saddest post ever for me because I was in your wifes shoes years ago. I can't believe that she doesn't know in her heart because I did.

How unfair to marry her feeling the way that you did and knowing the sacredness of your vows. That being said, I believe that love is a choice. Passion comes and goes but love is not passion. I believe that if you have the desire to love her and honor your vows that love will come.

I know I'm new here and not LDS but I kept coming back to this post and I would write a reply and then delete it. I felt I must respond.

I would be absolutely amazed if she does not know how you feel. People are more transparent than that. I've never gotten over my feeling of loss and grief at being married to a man who didn't love me.

God bless you and your wife and please be as kind and loving to her as you are capable of being and pray, pray, pray.

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All very good advice from lots of people. Before you seek help, help yourself. Sit down and ask your wife what she finds attractive in you. I have always found that there is an attractive quality to people when they are attracted to you. Build on that. Ultimately grow up a little. You are married, there was something there that you thought could work, re-find it and try to be happy. Good Luck in your endeavors.

S T Fin

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The moment you get sick near death and your wife is there to take care of you-you will finally see the beauty in her that you cannot find in any other woman...hopefully it does not have to come to that for you to see her beauty!!! Good luck buddy-maybe you should re-evaluate your self before taking a look at your wifes imperfections. Sometimes having a control issue about perfectionism can drive a person to do things they never wanted to do; however, there is help for this and I am hopeful you will seek out that help either with your Bishop or with LDS Family Services! Take care!

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I have some empathy for what you are going through, for, I had a lot of anxiety issues etc. In my opinion dealing with those things is a little bit more of a long road to recovery. You must work on them with vigor IMO. I don;t think it is something you just decide to stop like some have suggested. A good attitude can help a lot but it certainly will not cure things like this. Take a multifaceted approach against it. That is the best advice I can give.

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Im in the exact same situation (same symptoms exactly)minus the not finding my woman attractive. . . I was just hoping to know if this ever worked out? It is impossible to see a light at the end of the tunnel right now.:(

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I think it depends on your age, and I am guessing you are young.

Passion I feel is pretty important when we are young. Even in relationships. I made HUGE mistakes because of my sexual drive when I was young, not in the Church, and my parents neglected me, so I had zero guidance.

I got married at 25 because I wanted to have sex. That was it. We lasted one year.

I blamed Heavenly Father which was wrong. I had no guidance and had tried to do the right thing with the wrong person.

To make a long story short. I met my husband six years ago and I am alot older now.

I really love my husband and we are not as sexually active and the youngin's but it's okay. We are what we are and we enjoy physical communication when we need to.

But if you are young and your drive is strong it would be so much harder if you just don't feel the special spark. But if you really care and love her. You both can learn to be passionate and together.

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In my experience, the people who have better personalities are the people who are the most attractive to me.

I've had about 2 exes before I met my husband.. at the time I thought those guys were about as good looking as a guy could be.. looking back now they're not nearly as attractive as I used to think they were.

I thought my husband was good looking when I first met him, and the longer I'm with him and the more I love him the better looking he gets.

I read a study somewhere once (I dont remember exactly where I found it) which took place at a summer camp of some sort. At the beginning of the week a group of people wrote down who they thought were the most attractive people at the camp. Then at the end of the week (after getting to know everyone) the people were told to write down who they now thought was most attractive and everyone wrote down different people then they had before.

Just a thought.

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Marriage counseling could help. Anxiety disorder is not very fun...I wonder what became of the OP? It did seem like the problem was one sided, but how can the marriage get stronger if one is in bliss and the other not happy?

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I think it's more likely that the other is either in denial, or playing a good part to try and keep the marriage together. I feel sad for her. :( I hope you can get whatever help it is that you need and both of you can find real happiness together.

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I think that this issue can be solved through prayer and study. I'd spend time writing down every day the things that you love about your wife. I'd pray fervently that you will see her as God sees her, and as a Husband should see his wife. I'm recently married, and sometimes the physical attraction fluctuates. Sometimes it's very strong, sometimes it's not as strong. Do seek counseling, and do pray and do all you can to make your wife happy. She's a daughter of God, and she deserves to have a husband that loves her more than anything. Don't be too worried because the physical attraction fluctuates. If you pray and have faith, and do what you can to make your wife happy, it'll come.

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