updated 14 Jan 2010, 10:20
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Thu, Jan 14, 2010
The Star/Asia News Network
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Married for three years, hubby not keen to start a family

FOUR months after our marriage three years ago, my husband left to work outstation. I live with my family and he comes back fortnightly for the weekend.

I feel depressed and lost because my husband is bad-tempered and selfish. He doesn’t respect my feelings or advice and does whatever he wants. When I need him, he’s not there for me. We have lots of arguments because his friends, hobbies and family are his priority.

I’ve told him many times that I don’t want a big house or luxury car. I want a family with him and a caring husband. He promised to be a better husband but nothing has changed. He still enjoys going out with his friends and giving part of his hard-earned money to his parents and siblings, who are old enough to have families of their own.

I can’t say anything or he’ll call me calculating. He wants me to wait as he needs time to settle part of his instalments and save money. How long should I wait if he doesn’t have a proper financial plan?

He is not keen to start a family; he doesn’t think a long distance relationship is not good. Sometimes I feel like leaving him but my family doesn’t understand or support me. They say I’ve chosen this road so I have to accept it. They think divorce is a bad thing. All my relatives think I have a good husband.

I hate myself for not having the courage to leave everything behind. I’ve tried to read self-help books and find faith and hope in religious teachings. But I can’t be happy with a “lost” marriage and a family that doesn’t support me. My heart hurts whenever friends say they’re going to have a baby.

I can’t seem to trust my husband any more even though he says he loves and misses me. Should I give him more time to change? How can I make my family understand that divorce isn’t a bad thing?

Suffering Alone

IT is unfortunate that your family is not empathetic about your feelings as they probably believe you have a good husband. Your man appears to be a filial son, a generous brother and a loving, caring husband who is working very hard to get his wife the best in life. Sadly, no one is aware that you would like a home of your own, and children to fill it with laughter.

You are lonely and no one is listening to your heart. You dearly want your husband to share your days and nights, to hold and cherish. However, he believes that he should be the breadwinner, big brother, and friend to his buddies. He expects a patient, understanding wife who is quietly supportive of him. As long as he is a responsible husband he thinks you lack for nothing.

Perhaps you should plan on moving out if you feel your own family is suppressing your cries for help. You seem on the verge of giving up on your marriage but you are alone and afraid. If so, then you must have the courage to do something for yourself.

Suggest to your husband that you would like to move out and get a job. Be honest and tell him that you want a house and kids and are prepared to help out with the money. The commitment of buying a house also means that he cannot give away his money so freely.

Do not always feel that no one cares. Your family probably believes you are missing your man and this is just a period of adjustment in a long distance marriage.

Your husband loves you and has been trying to be a better spouse but he seems unaware that he is not fulfilling your needs and expectations. On your part, be less uptight about his spending money on his family and time out with his pals. Resentment, nagging and bickering will cause a wider rift and create tension between the two of you.

Instead of stewing in anger and disappointment, learn to create your own space, and time for yourself with friends and colleagues. Never depend on your man to give you everything. Your happiness will come from within when you feel fulfilled, contented and thankful for what you have.

Family cannot be expected to understand your emptiness when you seem to have so much. In any marriage or relationship, there will always be challenges and problems. But you need love to ride through this rough patch, so console yourself and give yourself hope.

Create the home of your dreams. Fill it with love and passion when your man is home, seduce him with tenderness so that he will consider a job close by. Do not give up so easily if you still love him.

But know that you can never change him overnight – or perhaps at all. Learn to understand him, persuade him subtly. When he is a father, he will be different and more conscious of his responsibility to you and his children.

If you cannot to cope with your unhappiness, divorce would be your last option.


readers' comments
Hard to keep the vows for better or for worse. It seems today we look at these vows as "better for me but worse for you . For rich but better not poor"

Pre marriage counselling is mandatory for young couples to learn that the married state is not honey and roses but strewned with thorns and trials.

Love is a committment and not a feeling. Feelings fade away after the honeymoon period.

Studies show that those who remarry after a divorce are more likely to divorce again.

In the West, if you have never divorced, they look at you as some strange human being...
Posted by honkypong on Tue, 12 Jan 2010 at 06:29 AM
In fact it's very simple: this husband might be a good one in his own way (hard-working, having lots of friends, generous with his family etc) but simply not the right one for the wife, hence the profound misery.

It's difficult to change what the wife wants, and it's difficult to change how the husband behaves. Therefore there is clearly only one way out.

In more liberal societies (e.g. US, western Europe etc) people often get married a few times before they find their true compatible partners. Failing of first marriage is pretty normal.
Posted by karl-heinz on Mon, 11 Jan 2010 at 23:11 PM
Let me recap your situation. Your husband is working to support your housing, food and everything. He also provides for his parents and brothers and sisters which you think is a waste of his money. You want a kid and your husband says now is not the time because he has other things like housing and others to pay off plus the fact he is outstation, which he thinks is not good for the kids.

For youself the reason you want a kid is because u want a family.

You called him bad tempered and selfish because he enjoys going out with his friends.

So that is the reason for a divorce.

Grow up woman, a marriage is not a simple equation that adds up. If you thinks that marriage to the right person means .....
Posted by icemanV on Mon, 11 Jan 2010 at 20:39 PM
It is really sad to hear of stories like this...Some people take a long time to settle down and get married while other may just have a whirlwind relationship and get married just after meeting each other for a few weeks...

I do not think there is a "foolproof" method to choose a life partner and I always tell the young that you will never really know a person until you sleep with him/her and wake up on the same bed the next morning without any "make-up" (make-up not in the sense of cosmetics, but rather orgainizing your thots so that you appear better than you really are). I really support pre-marital counselling because, some better organised ones actually try and identify the couple's individual ideas of the "perfect marriage" and highlight potential differences. Of course, you can bluff your way through one, but if both are .....
Posted by kooldog59 on Mon, 11 Jan 2010 at 19:09 PM

Just wonder: In the first place, why had the writer married the man if he was truely "bad-tempered and selfish"? Surely she should have been aware of his undesirable traits before marrying him, shouldn't she?

However, if she was really deceived by him--who showed his true self only after the marriage, then perhaps she really should consider divorcing him and find someone else who is willing to start a family with her--before it is too late for her to have babies lor.
Posted by sugoku01 on Mon, 11 Jan 2010 at 17:15 PM
I am more than depressed to learn about this case. The reason is that somewhere somehow the order of issues has been incorrect. Ideologically, the child is both part and future of the family. Best advice is to go and discuss with parents or someone who is a specialist in this field.
To father and to mother a child is not easy. Our lives are gifts from Heaven and so are our children.
Perhaps, there are moments when the eyes are myopic due to strong negative attraction but could be corrected easily.
Posted by Superidiot on Mon, 11 Jan 2010 at 13:52 PM
Actually, since baby is all you care, then any men will do, lah.
I think there is a cabby waiting !!
Posted by Ssquirrel on Mon, 11 Jan 2010 at 11:15 AM
I told my husband that if he doesn't want anymore baby then I will go for another man, eventually he has nothing to say but agree. 3 years is too long for a person to change, do not wait anymore cause age is catching up and time do not wait for you, so do whatever you want. Don't care about your family, they may not understand how you feel, be brave, 1st step always not easy but the road after that will be smooth. Go and look for your next happiness. Wish you all the best.
Posted by butterflynladybird on Mon, 11 Jan 2010 at 11:07 AM
I think the husband is not ready for marriage/family.

I think this is quite common amongst men. Me, too was not ready when I was "coerced" by my gal then to get married in my early 20s ! And the first 3-4y rs of the marriage was horrible - yes, frequent quarrels, as I was very active in sports & spent more time on them than on my wife. Now we are fine.

To me, it is usually the womenfolk that seem to be in urgency to get hitched with their men. I don't know whether that is a mistake on the gal's part. But I suppose they feel that time is running out for them and wanna start a family before they get too old for it. If this is the case, then that is the price to pay, I suppose.
Posted by Ssquirrel on Mon, 11 Jan 2010 at 11:01 AM
BTW, if one asks this question "Should I give him more time to change?" The correct answer should invariably be no. Asking this question simply indicates that no amount of time will make him change. Otherwise there won't be this question in the first place.
Posted by karl-heinz on Mon, 11 Jan 2010 at 10:21 AM

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