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I've been married for 4 years. We met when I was a freshmen in college at age 18 and he was 21. He was my first love. Our problems started little by little. The first real eye opener began on our honeymoon. We lost our luggage on our way to our Cancun beach resort so it all started off with a huge bummer. My husband did not take it well. He became very depressed and just sat in our hotel room most of the time and he was just very cold to me. I cared that our luggage was stolen but I didn't matter more than the opportunity we had to spend time together on the warm beaches I tried to encourage him to get out of the room. We were there for 5 days and it wasn't until two days in that his mood started to change. I'ts always been a sad memory for me.

Within the first 3 months I found out he was addicted to pornography and had huge doubts about the church so I would was going to church alone every week most of the time with tears in my eyes because I saw my dream of a righteous husabnd and a happy family being taken away from me. I felt totally betrayed and hurt and a thousand other feelings I had never experienced before. In the beginning he told me he wanted to overcome the problem and wanted to be a better member of the church but he mostly just talked about it. When it came down to doing these things he would come up with an excuse to not do them. For example he consistently would complain about his back hurting that he could not go to church, I believe he did have pain but his back but it only held him back from going to church or something he didn't want to do. I saw right through that and it made me angry. At one time he told me that he had stopped with the pornography. But later he confessed that he had lied to me. This has been a constant thing. When I talk about it with him he mostly told me what he knew I wanted from him. Like" I've been doing better" "I want to change so we can be happy". This last week I asked him how he was doing. (this is never easy for me) He was very open to me that he doesn't think giving up pornography is going to make anything better for him or for me. I told him that most of my disappointment and sadness in our marriage comes from that and that I think he could be happier if he gives it up. But he became defensive and told me I didn't know how it affects him or what he would feel without it and we got into a fight.

Along with the pornography he constantly shuts me out and ignores me when we have an argument. Gets upset about the smallest thing I do wrong, rarely has a positive attitude, is not very open with me, never plans anything with me, he ignores his family and I have to struggle to get him to participate in activities with my family. He's seen a therapist once but has not gone back and he refuses to take any medication.

I don't think things are ever going to change because he seems as though he already has his mind made up. I want a worthy priesthood holder in our home, I want someone to be with me during church and share the same values as I do. I want someone who will be able to find the good in things in life. I was a happy person who never felt depressed before we were married. Now I feel like I'm in a dark hole with no way out and I struggle every day to keep it together.

As much pain as I have I still do love my husband and I want to help him. But I don't know if it is enough love right now to make things work. I am completely exhausted with this relationship a lot of the time I think I want to get a divorce. But then I think that there has got to be some way to change this and I don't want to give up on him. Anyone have any suggestions that could help me?

Edited by KELLS
clarifications, misspelling

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Wow. I hope other people give you their opinions so you have a variety of things to think about, but I would say two things: 1.RUN AWAY before you have lots of children! I have 5 and my husband has cheated and has a "looking" and "thinking" problem and I wish I would have left before the children came. 2. No one's opinion really matters except God's. He will tell you exactly what to do.

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I'm not even sure what a thinking problem is, Tara.

To the OP:

You're in a rough situation. Depression is a serious problem. It causes lethargy and lack of caring about issues. Apathy becomes a difficult thing to overcome because you need to care to change something.

I think you need to sit him down and say "I love you. I always will. But I can't spend my life waiting to be happy. I know I can't change you. You have to change yourself.

If I'm to be happy in this life or the next, something needs to change in this relationship. If you won't change, I will change the situation. If that means we have to break up, it will break my heart. I don't want that, but I won't be held hostage to sadness my whole life."

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I agree with you 100% Funkytown. Give him the ultimatum, lovingly explain how you feel, give your marriage a time frame that you are willing to live with to see if things are improving. Just my opinion. Life is to short to live miserable.

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First I would like to say this....The posts that I give my opinion on are in no way being anti-marriage. I think that marriage is very important and should not be taken lightly...however having said that I do think that people that are obviously not looking for the same things in life (and after) shouldn't be together. I believe couples should try to work thru difficulties in marriages & go to counselling and give things a time frame that both people are happy with but.....if it looks like a duck, talks like a duck, and walks like a duck....guess what IT"S A DUCK...wether it wants to be or not is really irrelevant. Im going to steal the quote from someone else post on here "past behaviour is a good predictor of future behaviour". Decide what & how long your are willing to invest (or waste) your life & emotional well being. In the end the decision is personal. Myself I would get out of dodge if the person isn't willing to put the effort in. I have read this quite a bit in other posts "I do still really love my husband", my point I would like to make is that's fine but are you really getting truly loved back. It's a two way street and if someone is not reciprocating the emotions etc back....then you are not really getting loved, he is your husband and your not his mother. Count your small blessings, at least you haven't brought children into the marriage. Best of luck on your decisions

Edited by honestabe

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I'm probably the odd ball here, (and this is my personal opinion) but I'm always shocked and saddened to see so many posters advocating divorce with so little information given. The default should always be to save a marriage unless an individual is in physical danger (then run away ASAP). I'm truly sorry that so many are burned, but it doesn't have to be that way.

The time to run away is before one is married, not after.

As members of the Church we all know the heart of the gospel is change. Faith/Hope, Repentance/Forgiveness, etc.

I had a quasi-flash thought appear. Does the OP feel loved? Does the OP's spouse love them? When working with behavioral issues with little kids you never tackle all of them at once. You tackle just one behavior that you want to eliminate and set boundaries. You work on that behavior until it is resolved. Generally the many of the other behaviors end up resolving themselves.

It might be good to have a sit down in a calm manner explaining you don't feel loved (if that is the case) and give an example of why. Ask him if he loves you, ask him if he wants to love you. Ask him if he feels loved, and that you love him. And then maybe start with if you love me, then let's work on 1 behavior to demonstrate that love (love is action, not a word or feeling). Both individuals have to be in agreement on what to do. It can't be "stop porn" and he says "yeah . . . okay". And with little kids, you set all the parameters up from, what is the consequence of screwing up (b/c little kids will always screw up). You give them opportunities to screw up so they can learn how to control themselves. It's a process, but it gets better with time.

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Now I do agree, if one of the parties is not willing to work (compromise) in the marriage . . . then divorce might be an option.

An unwillingness to try to understand the other's point of view, try to compromise and find a solution, basically a my-way or high-way attitude . . .

That means one individual does not love or care for the other at all. At that point something must change only after all options have been exhausted to bring a sense of love, respect, and mutual understanding back into the relationship.

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First I would like to say this....The posts that I give my opinion on are in no way being anti-marriage. I think that marriage is very important and should not be taken lightly...however having said that I do think that people that are obviously not looking for the same things in life (and after) shouldn't be together. I believe couples should try to work thru difficulties in marriages & go to counselling and give things a time frame that both people are happy with but.....if it looks like a duck, talks like a duck, and walks like a duck....guess what IT"S A DUCK...wether it wants to be or not is really irrelevant. Im going to steal the quote from someone else post on here "past behaviour is a good predictor of future behaviour". Decide what & how long your are willing to invest (or waste) your life & emotional well being. In the end the decision is personal. Myself I would get out of dodge if the person isn't willing to put the effort in. I have read this quite a bit in other posts "I do still really love my husband", my point I would like to make is that's fine but are you really getting truly loved back. It's a two way street and if someone is not reciprocating the emotions etc back....then you are not really getting loved, he is your husband and your not his mother. Count your small blessings, at least you haven't brought children into the marriage. Best of luck on your decisions

I've never seen your posts as anti-marriage. Heck, I believe that most people are in favor of marriages. But I do not think anyone truly supports an unhealthy and miserable marriage. I'm very much in favor of trying to work it out, but there comes a time when a decision must be made.

I'm probably the odd ball here, (and this is my personal opinion) but I'm always shocked and saddened to see so many posters advocating divorce with so little information given. The default should always be to save a marriage unless an individual is in physical danger (then run away ASAP). I'm truly sorry that so many are burned, but it doesn't have to be that way.

The time to run away is before one is married, not after.

As members of the Church we all know the heart of the gospel is change. Faith/Hope, Repentance/Forgiveness, etc.

I had a quasi-flash thought appear. Does the OP feel loved? Does the OP's spouse love them? When working with behavioral issues with little kids you never tackle all of them at once. You tackle just one behavior that you want to eliminate and set boundaries. You work on that behavior until it is resolved. Generally the many of the other behaviors end up resolving themselves.

It might be good to have a sit down in a calm manner explaining you don't feel loved (if that is the case) and give an example of why. Ask him if he loves you, ask him if he wants to love you. Ask him if he feels loved, and that you love him. And then maybe start with if you love me, then let's work on 1 behavior to demonstrate that love (love is action, not a word or feeling). Both individuals have to be in agreement on what to do. It can't be "stop porn" and he says "yeah . . . okay". And with little kids, you set all the parameters up from, what is the consequence of screwing up (b/c little kids will always screw up). You give them opportunities to screw up so they can learn how to control themselves. It's a process, but it gets better with time.

Well, we can only work with what we have. I give the advice I dare to give based on what I know.

I'm a big fan of forgiveness. Without forgiveness we have nothing. But even with forgiveness you must protect yourself and your own spirituality.

I agree with you about love being there. I think in a truly loving relationship both partners will do what they can to please their partner. However, I do not agree with the notion of outwardly pleasing your partner while inside feeling bitter about it. To me, that's deceit.

Now I do agree, if one of the parties is not willing to work (compromise) in the marriage . . . then divorce might be an option.

An unwillingness to try to understand the other's point of view, try to compromise and find a solution, basically a my-way or high-way attitude . . .

That means one individual does not love or care for the other at all. At that point something must change only after all options have been exhausted to bring a sense of love, respect, and mutual understanding back into the relationship.

This is really what it all comes down to. Again, I support marriage and working on it, but a marriage is two people, not one person trying to make it work.

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Thank you! Thank you!

I really appreciate all of your comments. I value marriage and that’s why I am struggling with this so much. This has given me so much insight and I am grateful for your honest opinions and support. Writing this post has been one of the best things I’ve done to get help for my marriage. So I just wanted to share that I’ve decided to give him an ultimatum. I found the link to the LDS help groups http://www.providentliving.org/pfw/multimedia/files/pfw/pdf/57458_ARPSLC_pdf.pdf. I’m going to share with him that I want him or us to go. I have a tendency to take charge of things because typically he doesn’t take the initiative. So I’m going to leave it up to him if he wants to take this opportunity to help himself and our marriage. I also have some work to do to make myself happy so I think it might be a good thing for us.

Has anyone ever gone to one of these meetings before? What are they like?

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Glad to hear it!

One thing to keep in mind with the ultimatum (especially since you seem devoted to making this marriage is work) is don't expect perfection. If he is struggling with addictions/depression as seems to be the case, he's probably not going to be magically cured anytime soon. You're ultimatum should be mainly based on signs of improvement or even sincere willingness.

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backroads . . . good posts.

I would also add to make sure you have metrics in your ultimatum. With addiction/depression it is almost a given that he will slip up (so I wouldn't be too crushed if he does), it's more of are the slipups better/worse, is he making a concerted effort to improve, etc. The only way you know if it is better or worse is to have something to compare against. And there needs to be consequences when he does slip up, not necessarily as drastic as "I'm leaving" but maybe a "go sleep on the couch" :-).

I hope things improve and your marriage is salvaged and blossoms.

I recognize at times a divorce is warranted and necessary, but since I view a marriage as a living breathing entity, to me it is extremely sad and disheartening when it happens. At one point in the marriage life was bliss (otherwise why would you have gotten married!!) and now so much pain. A divorce is not something that should be celebrated (IMO), but something to be mourned as necessary just like putting down a sick dog.

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