Posted here for Fay by moderator:
I've been reading through your advice and found your perspective enlightning. I can't say I always agree with your advice, but it definetely puts another spin on communication.
I have been 'married' for almost 7 years with a man from Europe. We have had a very tough year, with our communication problems becoming more evident. I met him when I was 17 in the states, and because his work visa had expired, he had to go back to Europe. He proposed 1 month before he had to go, I accepted because I was crazy about him, but didn't know if we'd ever see each other after he left. I had a good job in an office, but after 3 months without him, I quit my job, sold my car, everything i owned except for a suitcase of clothes, and flew to Europe to be with him. It was really hard, but I learned the language, got on really well with his family, and worked under the table when I could, but it was impossible to get a work visa. I tried to get citizenship, but couldn't (my grandmother was born in Europe). After my visitor visa was up and the officials were ready to throw me out of the country, we got married with a JP and that solved the issue (I was 19 by this time). It was clear to me this was just a legal proceedure (I didn't invite any family) and we would have a proper wedding in a year or two. Well, we still haven't gotten married properly, and because so much time has passed, my husband feels like it is just too much work to have a wedding, even though I made it VERY CLEAR it was important to me.
We do not communicate well. When I say that, I mean that we cannot discuss things together with out it being more like McCain and Obama bashing eachother. Every opinion, thought or observation I make, he takes the opposite side. I yearn to have someone who is my partner and not my enemy all the time. Even when friends are discussing things with me, and start to go over the line and attack me for my personal view which isn't all that extreme in most cases, he will agree with the other person. I have never seen him side with me. There was even an occasion where a friend went off the deep end (he has issues) and was screaming inches from my face and I was terrified he was going to hit me. My husband didn't say anything to the friend during the episode nor afterwards. My sister, who was present at the time, felt my husband should have stepped in, and I feel she is right.
This last year has been really hard, because I have gotten tired of the bad communication and have tried to make improvements. After one discussion we had where we both wrote down our needs from the relationship to make it clear what each one of us needs to work on to make the other happier, I felt good and had hope. On my list were: I want to start planning where will we live (Europe or the States), when will we have kids, I'd like my white wedding, and more physical contact. On his list were: me to always use a kleenex when my nose is running, rinse the dishes, more sex, and for me to watch less TV. I didn't critisize him at that point for putting down pet peaves rather than real issues, I was happy he was participating. So I went about consiously doing the things he had on the list. I didn't watch more then 2 hours of TV a week, blew my nose all the time, rinsed dishes and had more sex. What did he do? Nothing. He said, once again, that the wedding would need to wait 2 more years. After that, I gave up.
I think it was kind of a protective wall I put up. I stopped wanting a stupid wedding, stopped wanting to kiss him, stopped wanting to BE with him. We basically were room mates who would argue alot.
Now I have met a man from another country, and he is really special. I have VERY strong feelings for him. PLUS, I've decided I cannot be away from my family any more and need to move home in the next year. My husband is trying to save the relationship by writing me text messages saying we need to start fresh, and that he loves me more than anything and I'm the only one he wants to grow old with. But I just can't see me being 70 years old with this man who cannot even agree with me that the sky is blue! This method of communication is killing me inside. I have slept with the new man in my life. I feel terrible about it, but I will never tell my husband that. I love my husband but I'm not 'In love' with him. I don't want to ease my conscience but rip him apart as a result of telling him about the afair.
You say in your advise that a relationship without complete honesty isn't a truely loving relationship. So, should I stay and keep trying, or go home and start fresh????
I appreciate your advise!