Together for 6 years, Married for 2, and I'm only 23
This is the first time I'm posting anything on here, but I think I really need to get some things out there and any advice anyone has will be most gratefully received.
This is going to be ridiculously long, and I don't really expect anyone to read it all, I suppose its just helpful to write it down sometimes.
My wife and I have been together for 6 years now and married for 2. We met each other when we started college and were really good friends for around 9 months before we got together. In a move which seems absolutely foolish now, and but at the time seemed to make sense, I proposed to her after 6 months of us being together, asking her dad for permission and discussing it with my parents first. It was a symbol of commitment rather than a want to get married right away and we both agreed on this. Everyone was opposed to it, as you can imagine with two 18 year olds, but they let us get on with it.
Part of the reason I proposed was that I was going to medical school, possibly in Edinburgh (our family home was in Manchester) and I wanted to show that despite the possibility of us being apart I still wanted to be with her. It ended up that I went to medical school in Stoke-on-Trent and my wife decided to make the move with me. Moving job to here and uprooting her from the frequent contact with her family that she always had.
She couldn't make the move immediately and there was a period of 6 months where we would only see each other at the weekends. This time was incredibly difficult and we argues whenever we saw each other, possibly to make it easier when we had to say goodbye at the end of the weekend.
During these 6 months of me starting university I became good friends with a girl at medical school and we became quite close. Initially I thought we were nothing more than good friends but soon I realised I did have feelings for her and there was a considerable degree of flirting going between us.
She would often sit with her head on my shoulder and people started questioning whether there was anything going on between us.
I was feeling so lonely at the time never seeing my then fiancee, and I enjoyed the attention this other girl was giving me, but still knew I loved my fiancee very very much.
Nothing ever happened between us, other than drunken nights out and me sleeping in her halls room, but nothing ever happened because I couldn't do that to my fiancee.
Over time I began to realise that I was happy with this girl and incredibly unhappy whenever I was with my fiancee and it began to seem that the sensible answer was to end things with my fiancee and go after this girl.
I can't really remember how it happened but I ended up telling my fiancee that I wanted to leave and that there was someone else I was interested in. She was incredibly upset and ended up leaving our flat where we were. It was at this point that I questioned what I was doing. It is all a blur now but all I know is that we ended up working things out. I stopped all contact with the girl at medical school and things became quite cold and awkward between us. She eventually ended up getting with another student and we just left the past behind us.
As for me and my then fiancee, she moved to Stoke and things get much better. Now that we were both seeing more of each other things got back to how they used to be. We bought a flat a couple of months after and we got married between my second and third year at university.
I suppose around 6 months or maybe a year before we got married we started to have trouble with sex. It began to become painful for her and she stopped wanting it. It became almost a joke in our house that I would beg her for sex and we would never have it.
She was investigated by the doctors for a cause of the pain but nothing could be identified, and so we ended up become accustomed to the routine of not having sex, which at 21 was rather depressing, but I submersed myself in university work and her in her own work.
We were firsts for each other, and I have always been quite awkward and shy around intimacy with girls and lost all my confidence as I was turned down every time. But understandably she didn't want sex when it was going to hurt.
And so we just existed together, and planned the wedding. The wedding itself was incredible and I couldn't have been happier, I was going to marry my best friend. And our family had finally convinced themselves we weren't immature fools anymore, although I'm not too sure reading this back now.
Our wedding night she said she was too tired to have sex and we left it there.
The night after before we were due to go on our honeymoon we stayed in a travel lodge and I decided to pursue sex that night, we tried but it was too painful for her and again we left it and quickly brushed it under the carpet.
Our honeymoon was a cruise around the Mediterranean, visiting a lot of places we had always wanted to, but ultimately getting to spend time with each other without the pressures of university and work.
We had a great time and actually had sex almost every night we were there, with no pain, and it felt like it used to be.
When we got back life just carried on has it had previously, the sex stopped and became painful again, and we haven't had sex for the past 2 years, and I have just stopped trying or to be honest even really caring.
University became a lot heavier for me as I've progressed and I've taken on a lot of extra-curricular activities to boost my CV, and I have to admit I've been very selfish over the past couple of years.
I've always been a very socialable person however and whenever I tried to get us to do things as a couple with others she would never really want to. We were always fine when we are on our own, we will go into Manchester and have a good day, or go out for meals, and are happy in each others company.
It however feels now like we are friends and nothing else. We don't kiss or hug unless it's to say bye. There is no intimacy between us at all. I know we care about each other very much, there is no question in that at all, but I care about a lot of my friends as well.
My wife has suffered from quite bad depression over the past couple of years and was on anti-depressants for a couple of years before managing to come off them. She has always been unhappy in herself and this I think accounts for many of the issues with intimacy that we have had.
As well as this with her working and me at medical school our time together is forever limited, and money is always extremely tight. It's like the ideal situation in which a couple can't work.
We've tried sex therapy, but my wife stopped seeing him when he wanted one to one sessions as she says she too uncomfortable talking about it.
And so here we are. I get on with my life, she gets on with hers.
We've bought a new house, with 3 bedrooms ready for us to have kids in the future and now have a dog as well.
It seems so ridiculous when I see it written down like this on the background of everything that has happened. It's like we're just trying to carry on and never address anything.
We can't communicate. I shy away, and she just ends up shouting at me. Whenever I try to bring up that I'm feeling unhappy I get the line 'Well you know where the door is'. I just can't convince myself that she would even notice if I was gone.
Would things be any different if we were just two best friends living together? Probably not, that's all we are now, and whilst I think that friendship is obviously important for a marriage, there also has to be more, and I just don't think she wants more.
I keep telling myself that we just need time to sort things out, that when I'm qualified and earning money things will improve and that when we have kids it will all be better, but I also think I'm lying to myself.
I can just see us existing this way for the rest of our lives, not truly happy but just getting on with it.
And we are happy, but I just don't think there is what there should be when you are in a relationship. My longest relationship before this was 2 months, so this is all completely uncharted territory, but I shouldn't be feeling like this after 2 years of marriage should I?
We were idiots I think to get married when we did, and get a house, and a dog, it's just masking our problems. And the thing is I don't know if she even knows we have problems. I can't talk to her about it for fear of hurting her or her getting angry, and so I resort to writing it all on a website.
I suppose there are 3 possible solutions to this, 1) we push through this and start working together and things all turn out fine 2) one of us figures out we're not actually happy and actually has the guts to end it (which I suspect would ultimately be me) or 3) I get frustrated and do something stupid like sleeping with someone else, which is the last thing I want because I couldn't hurt her like that, so I suppose its either of the first 2.
I just don't know what to do next.
Ultimately if we solved the issues around our relationship such as me starting to earn money after qualifying, spending more time with each other, solving my wife's self issues, and my confidence issues, then we would be fine, but can that all be solved?
When I qualify sure I will have money, but I'll have even less time to spend with each other. I don't feel my confidence can grown until my wife starts to show me more intimacy and she won't show me more intimacy until her issues are solved which I don't know whether is possible because I just think that's who she is. Her parents never show any love at all, they have just existed with each other for the past 35 years of marriage, and I think she thinks that's normal.
I just don't know what to do. I can see myself trapped in this unhappiness for the rest of my life because I never sort anything out. I don't know how to improve it, if it can be improved, or do I just need to admit defeat and be happy with the time we have had but understand that it would be better for us both to move on?
I wish there was some sort of manual for this...
Not sure if anyone will have read this mass, but if you have well done for surviving it and I hope the matchsticks aren't hurting your eyes too much.