Fri | May 26, 2017

Dear Counsellor: Did I marry the wrong man?

Published:Tuesday | August 4, 2015 | 8:00 AM

Dear Counsellor,

I stay awake many nights wondering whether I married Mr Right. While dating, I was sure he was my soulmate. He was affable, wise and bright. He had a very good job and was fairly well known in the business community.

He took me to an expensive weekend and asked for my hand in marriage. He said he was ready to settle down and have a family. He is eight years my senior. When our son was born, it was the best day of our lives. However, three years later, I am having serious doubts.

He insists that he does not want a helper to grow our child, so we do not have a live-in helper, although we can more than afford it.

It means that, as work finishes, I have to rush home to relieve the helper and take care of the son. He also calls home to ascertain whether I am at home taking care of our child.

He is never home early. It is always a late business meeting, cocktail party, club meeting or playing games with the boys. When persons ask for me at these social gatherings, he tells them I am at home with his son.

I did not even know I was invited. I am told he brags about his son to his friends but does not mention me.

He is an excellent provider for us. We are every comfortable. But even that comes with a price because he makes it known that he pays the bills and, therefore, calls the shots. He also expects me to have his dinner on the table as soon as he comes home and wants me to fix his breakfast because he claims I am a good cook, and the helper does not reach early enough.

Sometimes I feel my husband is avoiding me. We do not go anywhere together. He is hardly at home. When he is at home, he is on his computer or watching TV, and I will be watching TV in another room.

My son does not like to sleep alone. For the past six months, I have stayed in his room. My husband does not miss me. I am not missing him either. We are now in two different worlds.

I do not have a social life. I have no time for my girlfriends, not even to go to the old-school gatherings. My friends have all said I have changed, not for the better. Even my parents have said I am not the same.

I talk to my relatives, neighbours, counsellors and co-workers about my martial problems, just to gain insights into what is wrong and to get tips, to no avail. Did I marry the right person? What should I do?

A: It is not a good idea to be talking to so many different people about your problems. It is understandable because you are stressed and seeking solutions to your situation. However, stick to one counsellor and a close confidant.

Your husband appears selfish. He wants to be married and still live a 'cowboy' life. He is not being responsible. Since he does not want a live-in helper, the must share the chores, including coming home early, some evenings, and fixing breakfast for you. He needs to understand that the world does not revolve around him because he is paying the bills.

It is a red flag that he calls home every day to ensure your location. It could be he is up to some mischief.

Obviously, the relationship is not healthy. You are not happy. You are not being the person you want to be and ought to be. You need urgent help from a counsellor to get back your groove.

If your husband is avoiding you, it means your relationship is in deep trouble. In addition, that you are not missing him is very troubling for the marriage. You need to have a candid discussion. Tell him how you feel and what your expectations are and that they are not being met. He needs to be frank with you also. You then need to go to counselling, together, in order to save the marriage, if that is what you both desire.

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