Young Wife and Mother

by Frances
(Atlanta, Georgia USA)

I'm 21 married and I have a 9 month old. We got pregnant and jumped into a marriage, because that's what you are supposed to do. I don't think I love my husband, I think I only love him because of our daughter. I'm unhappy when he is around. I feel like I can't leave him because he loves me so much...this sounds bad but I constantly think about other people I could be with. I don't mean to do this.... What do I do? I am so confused! I feel like I have ruined my whole life. My daughter is the only wonderful thing in my life!

Ben's Answer:

Frances - it is nobody's place to tell you what to do with such a huge life decision. My personal suggestion would be to follow the path that brings you the most peace. It's common for people to struggle with emotional intimacy with their partner, or to feel frustrated with their partner, or question their love - especially at such a young age. But if you say you are "unhappy when he is around," that's a pretty strong statement. And staying just because you don't want to hurt your husband isn't the best reason to stay in a marriage.

It's not a terrible thing to think about being with other people. But if those thoughts take over and become obsessive, then it's a problem. If you really can't find any joy with your husband, maybe it's time to talk to him about it and just be honest.

If there is anything there at all - any love for your husband, then it's well worth the effort to try to improve the relationship. Couples therapy can be a great way to figure this out, and find out if what is really possible in this relationship. In couples therapy, you may also get clear that this relationship cannot work, and then you would have a supportive atmosphere to talk about that and to end the relationship in an honorable way.

It never works to sacrifice your own happiness to try to make someone else happy. Always seek your own happiness but be as conscious and mindful as you can in your decisions and give yourself the time you need to get clarity.

Best Wishes,
Ben Schwarcz

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