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Have I married the wrong person?

Published:Tuesday | April 6, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Q.  I married my high school sweetheart when I was 19 years old. We grew up on the same avenue and even went to the same church. He was popular due to his athletic abilities and I was well liked because of my beauty. It is now three years and I am not enjoying the marriage and I have started to wonder if I married the wrong person.He is very defensive, not telling me where he is going, or what time he will be coming home.He is critical of my housekeeping skills and sometimes he talks to me with contempt.

However, at work I have met a young man who is a conversationalist and sometimes we eat together in the canteen. I enjoy his company.He affirms me and talks to me with the utmost respect and will even open doors for me.

Did I marry the wrong person? Should I start a relationship at work and see if indeed I married the wrong person?

A. Marriage is a step of faith and it is difficult to predict whether a marriage will work.It is equally difficult to answer whether you have married the wrong person. Furthermore, you are comparing your husband to a co-worker.

It seems that your husband is behaving in an immature manner in not wanting to be accountable for his whereabouts and his time management. He wants to behave as a cowboy with no responsibility and no reporting to a wife.This must be causing you some anxious moments, especially in a Jamaica prone to violence.You need to make him understand that it does not make him less of a man if he shares his whereabouts and plans with you.It could be a macho thing on his part. He could also want to show independence and be trying to point to the fact that he needs his space.

Things are complicated because you are seeing grass that appears greener in your co-worker.There is always the danger that because we spend so much time at the workplace, at least eight hours, we can become attracted to a well-meaning co-worker.

However, office romances have their complications. Furthermore, this co-worker might perceive the relationship as platonic while your imagination is running wild and wanting to take it to a different level.This could endanger the good relationship that you have.I would suggest you keep it at the non-sexual level.

Instead, you are still young and you should work on the marriage and not abandon ship.It is early days and you are adjusting to each other as life-long partners, which is different from being school sweethearts.You need to ask him what he expects of you and why he expects those things from you.

Good qualities

In the meantime, you could try to be more affirming of him. Highlight his good qualities. You should also try initiating a conversation.Tell him what happened at work and ask him about his day.

But what do you do if after trying all these suggestions you still feel you have married the wrong person? There are some persons who feel they have married the wrong person but stay in the marriage for the children's sake or for appearances sake.Do you have any children with your husband, and would you stay for that reason? Some stay for financial reasons and also because both families are close.

In addition, you can grow to love the person as the marriage develops and some things that bother you now, might not in another five years.

You are unhappy now but the possibility exists that your marriage can work. Just work on it some more.