Angela gives great advice. I came up with a couple of questions reading the
"Newly Wed's" letter. Had her husband finished his degree? If so,
did he go through a period of optimism looking for a job that faded when one
could not be found? Although the unemployment rate has fallen, the labor-force
participation rate has fallen as well. The job market remains weak, especially
for new college grads.
How long did they date before they got married? How well did she know him?Divorce is frequently the result of marrying too young, not dating long
enough to get to know the person you're tying yourself to. It sounds like
he's not mature enough to be a husband.She is right about one
thing, certainly: they didn't have kids together.
I'm interested what her husband's expects of himself. How does he
perceive his role in the marriage? Does he feel like he's carrying his own
weight? In short, does he even recognize his problem? Or is he comfortable with
his behavior?I rarely favor of divorce unless abuse or infidelity is
involved. The symptoms described in the article are more indicative of someone
who is discouraged, who has lost confidence. But why? It could be the tough
economy. It could be unfulfilled dreams or expectations. It could be sin, such
as pornography. Any of those could cause the best of men to lose confidence in
himself. He sounds to me like someone who needs help pulling himself out of a
deep hole, not a fatally flawed person who should be tossed on the scrap
heap.In my mind, the wife's role is "good cop." Love
him, don't nag him. Someone else (a parent, in-law, sibling, friend, church
leader, in some cases a professional counselor) needs to play "bad cop"
and help him see himself clearly. If the wife does it, there will always be
residual damage that mars their relationship.
The other side of this argument is if this young married woman discovers that
her husband isn't doing the basic things and won't do them, it is
better to leave now and start over because she has no children. She is still
young enough to find someone who is motivated.
I am leaning toward joe5's point of view that the husband is probably
discouraged for some reason. The cycle of computer games and laziness may be his
way to escape reality and avoid confronting the underlying problems head on. What may be the source of discouragement (assuming this is the problem)?
Did he lose a job or have a hard time finding one recently? What were his
expectations of married life that may not be getting met in his eyes?Some open conversation is in order, but both husband + wife will need to try
to be non-accusative since things rarely get resolved in the spirit of
contention.And the small things that help: Are you two praying
together? Do you hold family home evening as a couple? Are you going on dates?
Are you reading scriptures? Do you serve in the church? Do you strive to keep
the commandments?I want to say to the wife to not blame yourself. I
am sure you're a wonderful woman and wife, but marriage has a lot of
growing pains. Try to soften your husband's heart so you two can have an
honest discussion to improve things.
Definitely talk to your bishop. If your husband is spending all day on the
computer, he may have a problem with pornography as well. Are you home all day
or is he alone most of the day? Whether the problem is depression or addiction,
he needs help. Divorce isn't the answer unless you have fasted and prayed
about it and feel that it is the best decision.
The one big problem I see with young couples that reoccurs as they get older if
they don't address it, is being afraid to admit that adult life decisions
are harder than they thought and that they need to ask for help and advice
before it gets worse. They get too embarrassed, or they think their
"role" should come more naturally to them
(mother/provider/wife/husband), or they don't want to appear less
capable/successful and its an ego or confidence problem, especially if his wife
is working successfully and he is not. Maybe he is scared of having kids and
figures this passive agressive method will keep that reality from closing in.
Some people have big dreams and plans but struggle following through and
completing things.Talk to your Bishop. See if he can talk to your
husband. Maybe get the ward employment specialist on the task. Close family or
friends can step in where appropriate, or can provide some background to his
personality and motivations before you knew him. See if your husband will do
volunteer work with you out in the community (this can help broaden his
I agree with Angela abut starting with your Bishop then counselor...if finances
are a problem ANY Bishop will cover that to help the marriage...on the OTHER
hand...I ALSO agree with the comment referring to pornography. Sister, it's
possible you're an enabler(I'm the worlds best enabler)and he's
all talk(before marriage)and all no do after. IF Bishop/counselor doesn't
result in some permanent improvement(which may take time)DON'T wait forever
to get on with your life, as was mentioned above.If you discover you are an
enabler GET HELP with your own counseling BEFORE you try another relationship. I
hope you, at least, are making your Heavenly Father first in your marriage and
He will guide you....
yeh.. work on the marriage but stay on the contraceptives. A baby won't
make it better, just more painful. And don't have the time open-ended. Give
him a year or so to get it together and then cut your losses. Don't toss
your life on a video addict couch spud. It's worse than being a single
parent... with prayer and consulting your bishop, of course. But the choice is
yours and your responsibility
Is he depressed? That line about him climbing back into bed sounds as though he
is. Does he play computer games ALL day? This doesn't sound to me like
someone who 'loves his computer games' as Angie says.Yes,
bishops are wonderful, but some things need professional help. Go to a
therapist. I know plenty of relationships where the wife does everything or the
husband does everything and the marriages are not equally yoked partnerships.
It's painful for everyone involved (including children--and it teaches them
this behavior). If this isn't depression but a life choice, leave.The idea that someone else should play bad cop and the wife just be the
support is wrong. This husband knows what's going on--even if he is
depressed. Please remember, divorce CAN be an answer. It may not be
a pleasant option, but if he refuses to change, know you have choices. Sometimes
getting out is better than prolonging the inevitable. And yes, marriage is hard.
Life is hard. But it's impossible to have a happy marriage when only one of
you is trying.
I heard a story about a girl that has a few months to live. She was laying in
the snow making a snow angle. She said we are like snow flakes, only hear for a
little whale, The only thing we can control is our impact, the impression and to
inspire others to build on.
A lot of unemployed people are depressed. I've noticed that men,
especially, are more likely to shut themselves off from other people when they
are in this situation. His behaviors probably don't have anything to do
with the wife but are his way of dealing with his depression. He needs help and
will probably not seek it on his own. The best thing could be a male mentor, in
his work field maybe, to talk to him and make him feel like he has something
valuable to offer, help him network and brainstorm ideas for a job search. Maybe
a Bishop or Elder's Quorum president could help find such a person. For the
wife, too, focus on building his self-confidence rather than pointing out what
he's doing wrong. He probably already knows what he's doing wrong.A good book to read: How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About
It. It is mostly about how men and women are different--this reaction to
unemployment is a pretty male reaction and it could be helpful to a wife to
understand it better, as well as understanding her own responses better.
Having been divorced I can say from experience it is painful but not the end of
your life. Counseling is a must. We all make mistakes and are capable of
repenting and moving forward. There are many singles in the church who yearn
for the intimacy and yes even struggles that marriage can bring.
The husbands actions make him seem like a real bum. Is there a chance that he
is clinically depressed? Marriage is tough and often is a trigger for mental
illness. If this is a possibility, look into professional help.In
the meantime, it sounds like this is a fortunate man ... his wife still would
like to stay with him. Individual counseling as well as marriage counseling
would help both individuals to define expectations, set reasonable limits and
freedoms, and most importantly support a decision that is best for both the
individuals and the marriage.
I went through the exact same thing, you are not alone. Addictions and
depression often affect people in ways that make it so they can't function
like a normal person. I remember looking at my (now ex) husband and thinking,
"Why is it so hard to apply for a job" or "Why can't you
actually DO what you say you are going to do". What I didn't
understand was that he was a raging pornography addict and clinically depressed.
My guess is, he wasn't like this before you got married, but has slowly
fell into this rut. Addiction fogs minds and makes lessons the ability to
perceive right from wrong. I'm sorry to say it, because it is a hard
journey, but until your husband confronts addiction and depression, he
won't have the ability to be the husband you married. I would start
educating yourself about addiction. There are tons of great sites and books out
there that will give you the insights you need to help you figure out the path
forward. Good Luck to you!
What is there really to save here? They don't have any kids and probably
have very few assets. The guy sounds listless and it's the same tired tripe
of telling the wife to be "supportive".24 is a great time to
get divorced. You've been able to see what doesn't work, but
you're still young enough to make a better choice.She can even
go back to grad school or finish her own degree if she hasn't. Regardless
of this guys goals and ambitions, she should have backup plans of her own.The marriage is already failed, she's no longer his wife and has
become his mother.
Trust your gut on this -a 2 year long marriage is a long time to make up your
mind if you should stay or cut your loses and move on. Love alone is not enough
to make a marriage work. He might have had a mental breakdown but are you
willing to stick around to deal with it every time it come back? I don't
think bishop's route is the right course to take because his advice will
tend to be one sided- bishop is your spiritual leader- he will never advice to
break the marriage even if that's the best action for the two of you.
My number one concern is how my relationship with the Lord is and what HE wants
me to do. I can't "fix" another person, but I can work on my
relationship with HIM, and seek His Will. Any 12 step group asks that we spend
quiet time and prayer and meditation. My husband was addicted to pornography,
was a sexaholic, etc. I fasted and prayed for years and asked for Heavenly
Father's Will. We are still married after 32 years of marriage, and I am
in S-Anon a 12 step group for wives that are married to sexaholics. We have
both grown enormously. In my experience, if the wife does not get help for
herself and inventory why she attracted a man or relationships along the same
line, then she will keep attracting the same kind of person. I had to inventory
all my relationships and I found out I was dating the same kind of men, that I
could care take and fix and "help". It is in constant prayer and
inventory that my life has changed, not in pointing fingers at him and wringing
my hands. That is a recipe for insanity.
Skip the bishop and head straight to a good qualified marriage counselor. Most
bishops are well meaning. But unless yours is a psychologist for his day job,
he should not become involved. Your husband will feel like you and the bishop
are ganging up on him (or that you went to tattle) and he'll become
defensive. I know that counseling is expensive, but you get what you pay for.
Christmas Carole:If he does have a pornography addiction, which is
completely separate from video games, then that is sometime that needs to be
addressed. But she does not deserve to be called an "enabler".
She's already feeling bad for being a supposed "nag" (by asking the
question: Are you going to get a job?). We don't need to add
"enabler" to that. Either label is unfair.
He sounds depressed and addicted to video games. A real problem. They both
need counseling. Divorce could be an option. I would go to the bishop to let
him know that you need help and then make an appointment with a license
therapist. A bishop may or may not have the skills necessary to deal with this
issue. And if the answer is divorce then do it and do it before you get kids.
Don't be his mom or his "cop". Forcing him to interact with you
will not help the relationship. GET to therapy so you can find out why you stay
in a relationship that is giving you nothing. LOVE is not enough.
Get some help--tell whoever is helping you that you feel like his mother and
everything that was explained in your letter. If he can't seem to re-align
to what you had both planned from the beginning, you are in a good position to
decide whether or not to stay or go. Please don't start a family until
things are worked out!!! Don't forget, marriage is 3-way, between you,
your spouse and the Lord.
Video games are for losers. Same thing goes for sitting around watching
football.Go out and get a life of your own. Have a little self
control and be responsible.
Get a good professional counselor. The Bishop is not a marriage counselor,
though if you go to LDS Family Services you will probably need to speak with him
first. I do want to point out that this scenario is quite unfortunate and have
seen a family member go through a similar situation. Guys, on the flip-side if
you find that your spouse if refusing and unwilling to be intimate regardless of
what you do for her or the family, speak with a good counselor and don't
leave her until you have worked it out first.
I'm very surprised at how many people talk about divorce so easily.
Marriage is very hard and a mature person realizes that. You can't "cut
and run" when times get hard. In fact, that is the time to invest even more
in the marriage.My personal experience (anecdotal, not scientific)
is that people who divorce once usually divorce again. It establishes a pattern
of failure and it becomes easier to do. I know several young LDS women who
divorced young, ended up divorced a second or third time while they were still
relatively young. By then, they felt out of sorts with LDS theology on marriage.
Leaving the church, some moved on to live-in relationships which also invariably
failed. Now they are in their 50s with no faith, no family and no hope. Some
still act like they are 25 and try to be party girls. Others have become bitter
and are utterly alone.Divorce rarely leaves a pretty picture in its
Perhaps the husband is suffering from depression.
I was unemployed at one period for 5 months. I thought it couldn't get
worse than that. The next time it was 10 days short of a year. I have been
blessed to never have been in that situation since. Fortunately I was single at
the time and I moved back home during the 2nd episode, which wasn't too
easy as I was in my 30's. But you just have to keep trying and eventually
you'll get a job. That first paycheck looks mighty good, whatever size it
is!I remember some sage advice: Never marry a man who doesn't
want to work and never marry a man that all he wants to do is work.
(That's an issue, too.) Good luck to you two. Just remember,
problems can be addressed successfully together. Abandoning a spouse should be
for something very serious, such as abuse, infidelity, etc. Checking out of
reality is a serious issue but the situation can be resolved successfully.
I've been in his shoes and I would guess, based on your description that he
is a pornography addict. I am a recovering pornography addict and, in the past,
my addiction and my inability to overcome it caused deep depression in me to the
point where I withdrew from my family, did nothing but play video games, etc.
during my free time. Luckily, I had already finished school and gotten a job by
the time I married my wife, but my confidence is shot and I've struggled to
find the motivation to continue in my education in order to progress in my
career. Thankfully, about 8 months ago, I found the LDS Addiction Recovery
Program. It has completely changed my life! I am still an addict and I struggle
with staying clean every single day, but for the first time in years I have hope
that I can overcome. I recommend trying to get him to go to a recovery meeting
and go to a support meeting for yourself. It can help, I promise!
I had a friend married to a guy like this who wouldn't work or finish
school. He also played a lot of video games. He ended up abusing her - tried to
choke her. Thankfully she left him. In this case, I have no idea how big a bum
this guy is, but I would say if he is unwilling to work and all he does is play
video games, it isn't going to work. If he'll get the help he needs
and starts becoming productive, then I hope it works out for them.
He sounds clinically depressed and may be hiding other addictive personality
traits. I agree with Moniker's suggestion to skip the Bishop - if he's
not a certified counselor, it will simply add another layer to your convoluted
marriage. The Church has a great addiction program that the two of you could
attend together. But, he first has to want to be helped. If he is reluctant, you
can attend on your own, but if that is the path you choose, make certain you are
doing all the Lord requires in your life. Make yourself happy, first of all -
pray, attend the temple, fulfill your church callings with a cheerful heart. He
will either note the difference in your demeanor and want to move forward with
you, or will withdraw even further, at which time you advise him to go for
counseling or towards a divorce. Divorce is not the forbidden word it once was.
Make your life in tune with the counsel given each of us in the scriptures and
by our General Authorities. He will either see the need to change or not. You
cannot change him, you can only change yourself.
Do everything you need to so you will have no regrets. This means different
things to different people/situations. I divorced a video gamer after
counseling. For me it was the best decision and I'm happy.
It is the perverse cultural pressure placed on young LDS people to 'Marry
in the Temple" or be doomed for all eternity!It is therefore no
surprise that a majority of LDS marriages do not survive their first ten
years!Personally I am convinced that yes everyone should at least
once in their life comply with D& C Section 132 just to demonstrate to
the Lord compliance therewith; If however things fail to work out the person is
found blameless @ judgement day, as for marrying again that is entirely
overrated and optional!
First and foremost, she needs to stop nagging and being his “mom.”
That said, she has every right to communicate that she is not happy and the
reasons why, and this is key – in a “stating the facts”
non-judgmental manner.She should also ask the same from him –
there may a whole host of things he is unhappy about in terms of what his
expectations were when they got married. But she needs to understand
that she cannot motivate him to do anything he is not internally motivated to do
(i.e., if he doesn’t want to be his best and make her happy, she
can’t force him to). Marriage is about supporting each other
and doing everything you can to create the conditions where each will (and want
to) thrive, and honest communication is the key. If after all that (including
professional help to guide the process) he still just wants to sit around and
play video games, then you can make an informed decision knowing you gave it
your best love & support based effort.PS – DO NOT have
kids until this is resolved!
There is a lot of talk about the husband being depressed. While that is one
possibility, there is another: that his pre-marriage talk was a show put on for
the benefit of the girl he wanted, whose wishful thinking in turn made her brush
off the warning signs. It could be that what she is seeing today is the real
person. I seldom advocate divorce, but this situation - assuming it's being
faithfully depicted - sounds precariously close to a get-out-now.
Sounds like he could be on porn to me. That takes all the fire out of a man.
The greatest advice I was given is focus on the reason you married him. I
don't know if you were married in the temple and, if so, remember Jesus
Christ is your mediator. If you weren't married in the temple then I
highly recommend praying fervently to your Heavenly Father who will comfort you
and the spirit will guide you. The Atonement truly brings comfort and strength
to help you make the right choices. In our early married years, I had a
teaching job while my husband was looking and he felt more pressure from friends
and family then me. I felt I was doing my part and there wasn't any reason
to nag him because I believed in him. Men are very insecure and need a wife to
We live in a time when obvious truths are shunned and complicated
reasons/excuses are preferred. Sad, that. Many times simple answers are the most
accurate. Can anyone say 'lazy'? Saint Paul's admonition that
'if any man will not work, let him not eat' isn't all that
convoluted. I happen to know clinically depressed peopled can work, and work
rather well. A hungry stomach has a marvelous way of motivating
people to rise above depression, porn and anything else used as an excuse for
empty refrigerator syndrome. As for marriage counseling, has anyone
ever known counseling to heal a bad marriage? Really make a bad one good? Young lady, either boot your boy and get on with life, or prepare
yourself for a lifetime of misery and lame excuses.
There is No room in a marriage for video games.At a recent youth
standard's night our stake pres. said it's okay to play video games,
but you should "barely play them" which means almost never.I say throw out the video player and say no more!Also, there is a
Very good Mormon Message called "Saving Your Marriage" watch it! It
shows a guy going to the hospital, compared the life of a person to the life of
the marriage - "A marriage, like a human life, is a precious, living
thing. Spouses should exercise faith in Christ and love for each other to heal
and strengthen their relationship."Christ heals marriages.Read together the book "Preparing for an Eternal Marriage, Religion
234Building an Eternal Marriage, Religion 235" pdf available online
or through distribution services for about $5.00 It is like a phonebook in size
and contains everything you need to know about what is and is not appropriate in
When I married..which has now been 30 years ago, I realized that my husband and
I had some big differences in the way we looked at our future. I
already had my BA degree. He didn't and I soon learned..in subtle ways that
that affected his self esteem. He had a job when we married but he began to jump
from job to job..to try and make more, which didn't work of course. Then, the inevitable..we had to have church assistance for a couple
months. I didn't want it. He was ok with it. I prayed about leaving him,
and felt strongly after that, the answer I received was to stay, back off on
being the financial supporter and bill payer and make him take responsibility.
We had late charges. It made me sick.., he bounced checks, etc. it
was a difficult time. I eventually took back all bill paying ans still do all of
it today. I encouraged him to decide on a degree he would love, not
one that would make us wealthy, and he is the hardest worker I know. I am so
proud of the man he has become!
There is SOMETHING more going on here. There is a reason he isn't doing
anything. There is some issue with depression, is there lack of sexual
fulfillment? WHAT is it that started all of this? I say COUNSELING is needed
first. If that doesn't help, THEN I would go to more desperate measures.
And no offense, while I am LDS myself, bishop's are not always trained
enough to give the type of counseling necessary to salvage a marriage. But go
get counseling NOW, as most couples wait until it's far too late.--Been there.
The problem with this age, is that this all starts before they get married.
Young Adults are simply not socializing properly! They are so intertwined with
technology, that they text, rather than speak with each other. How many of you
have YA's come home from an activity reporting that the guys went &
played x-box etc., and the girls congregated in another room? Our YSA's
need to be taught how to HAVE a relationship in the first place. What you should
bring to and expect from a relationship? How do you talk/socialize? Sadly, gone
are the days when a young man would muster up the gumption to go and tell a girl
that she was pretty, or liked her dress, or liked her! Today, they will TEXT the
young woman "u looked gr8 2day!". What does this do? Nothing! The old
way, the young man would get an immediate & personal reaction from the young
The problem with that husband is he isn't ready for the responsibility of a
family man.I don't agree that this sister should drag herself
into the Bishop's office, and telling her to do so is only suggesting that
she cannot trust in the testimony of her own senses. Her husband is the one who
needs to decide that he has a problem that warrants him to talk with his Bishop.
If he doesn't, then it isn't the wife's responsibility to do that
for him.So, I ask you sister, why are you trying to keep this man
around? If you had any other pest, would you go to your Bishop about
exterminating them? Let him go while you have no children because
the minute he finds out that he about to lose his free ticket, he will no doubt
try to impregnate you, then you will have double trouble. You have tried to
help him fix this, he isn't interested. Move on
Bishops can be a great help because they are a third party governed by Gospel
principles. Bishops are also trained to bring "professionals" into
situations that are appropriate for "professional" help.From
what is actually in the letter, it sounds like this "husband" has not,
and is not, finishing school. If that is actually the case, then that
eliminates the discouragement due to the lousy job market angle.If
he has dropped school, then I think that she needs to expect this guy to begin
showing (with help) improved behavior on a very short time table, or divorce is
the best solution. If he did finish school, then I think that being depressed
due to the lousy job market is highly likely. If he is willing to get help with
the job search and the depression, then things might work out.This
marriage is never going to work if it depends on the wife "fixing" the
husband. He needs to fix himself with the help of others. The wife can be
supportive, but she can't be the driving force.24 years old is
too young to remain knowingly unequally yoked.
Go see your bishop, he can then set up a referral to see a counselor. Figure
out what your goals and priorities are whether that is going to school, work,
etc. Then stay close to the Lord, prayer, scriptures, going to church, and
random acts of kindness for your husband. Good luck.
The rest of my comment ….From her reaction, he would
learn many things, whether he should/should not pursue this relationship. I say
-ditch the technology. It stands between proper and lasting communication that
will sustain marriages through difficult times. We don’t need to involve
our Bishops, certainly NOT Lawyers, or Counsellors. Advise young people to work
things out, discuss expectations etc. This young woman should tell her husband
she needs to be made a priority, as does his supporting her and perhaps their
future family. In turn, she too, will do her best to assist him through the
difficulty and struggles of getting and maintaining a job. Life isn’t
easy. It’s supposed to have trials. Running, or divorcing ourselves from
our problems will only bring about future disappointments. We can only be
strengthened when we endure. Enduring trials in marriage starts with
communication, not throwing in the towel. TALK ABOUT IT!
For a marriage to work, there have to be two people working at it. What the
letter describes is a, unfortunately not uncommon, situation where only one
person seems to be interested in trying. Obviously, we only have one side of
the story. The point is that if one party isn't trying at all then there
is little hope.Again, a Bishop isn't a substitute for a
marriage counselor, but he can be a great resource for getting two LDS spouses
pointed in the right direction for getting "professional" help.Many here seem to have a low opinion of Bishops' abilities in such areas.
Frankly, I have a low opinion of the average family, marriage, or mental health
counselor. A good one working with the right clients can do great things. More
often than not, people don't end up with a good one, or they end up with a
good one that isn't a good fit for them (and/or the other parties
involved). The advice here is probably representative of the range of advice
one would get from the professional community (not necessarily the same advice,
just the same magnitude of range of advice).
RE:GeoMan, a Bishop isn't a substitute for a marriage counselor, but he can
be a great resource for getting two LDS spouses pointed in the right direction
for getting "professional" help. “This [marriage]
union is solemnized by the authority of the everlasting priesthood into a holy
and sacred ordinance, the temple sealing. It is also called the new and
everlasting covenant of marriage, and its purpose is to bind couples together on
earth and bring them to a fulness of exaltation in the kingdom of God in the
hereafter.” (“Remember Your Covenants,” Ensign (Conference
Edition), May 1994, p.42).In a January 28, 1999 City Weekly article
titled “Only for Eternity,” author Andrea Moore Emmett quoted LDS
Church spokesman Dale Bills who said, “We have to see sealing ordinances
as a promise pending faithfulness and yes, some will live polygamy.”
What would prayer accomplish in this situation? Do you not think both of them
prayer before they got married in the first place?
Brahmabull: Using your logic, one need only pray at the beginning of life and
then kick back and relax for the next 80 years or so. It doesn't work like
Good advice, Angela, especially on them seeing a counselor. This has all the
signs of an addiction of some sort. Whoever has leverage with this young man
needs to get him in front of someone who can help him find his road back. It
can't be the role of the wife alone.
@ joe5, you can pray all you want but don't expect an angel to come tell
you that the dude is lazy or someone else other than himself can change his
ways. When you see him play computer games every day, you need to use your
brain, given you by God, don't sit there and cry for him to change.
In today's society the mentality is if something is broke, throw it away
and get a new one. That is not how our grandparents/great-grandparents saw the
world. If something was broke you fixed it. For myself before I made the
decision to get married I could see flaws in my fiance. I also knew that I had
flaws myself. I remember thinking that I wasn't make a commitment for 5
years or 20 years I was making a commitment for forever. That has been testing
multiple times to the extreme and will be tested in the future. We are coming
up on 25 years and it has been more difficult than I could have imagined when I
made that decision. There is no doubt that your husband is using
video games to escape reality. He doesn't really want to be playing video
games all day. He wants to do something productive, but is scared for whatever
reason. Love him and tell him that you believe in him. That you know this
season will past and that he will be a great husband and father. Remove divorce
from your options and get to work becoming one with your husband.
1. never seek help first, if you two love each other2. if one of you
is lacking love, you are on a no win game, you need to work hard to have a fund
to rely on, so you both can go on vacation, start from the very beginning3. all of the above comments are putting you at risk, since who knows
what will be after a divorce, or counceling without his approval4.
having family and marriage rules to go by is useless, unless you both come up
with it5. if you have married the wrong guy, everybody will support
you to get out, but they can and will never repay you, if they were wrong (most
the time they are wrong)6. if you want to approach the Lord or the
church, always do this together, doing it on your own would bring in false
spirits7. you have most likely married the best you will ever find,
so quit being smarter and let him teach you as he lives, then switch for some
time and so on. Never get into a 1-only thinking habit.
Since space is limited, I like to add for you these thoughts.If you
both have married at the wrong time and to the wrong place, then take it easy,
because it was a learning experience, there is no need to rush anything.If that idea reaches both of you, you will regret this step, and
remember love.If you want to learn something here, learn of others.
Don't seek help but learn from others first, seek a wide variety of
experiences,told by others.And this is what wise people would tell
you. The regret to have lost your love can never ever be compensated with
another person to replace it. Never !So the question is not what are
his or your faults, but why do you love each other.Never push your love to
achieve his love. Seek time for him to come to his senses.And make a
checklist of your own shortcomings.Change first, before you expect anything.
I agree with @Kay Hunt. There is an addiction issue here. The Church has a
wonderful addiction recovery program that will help John re-focus his life on
living the Gospel. John needs to take advantage of Christ's atonement and
allow himself to be healed. Of course, no one can force John to do this, but it
certainly would help. Also, many of the addiction recovery programs have
companion sessions for those with addicted loved ones. Both of these folks need
to understand the power of the Atonement and how it can change their lives if
they will embrace it.
I'm all for saving a marriage, but considering your age and no children, it
might be worthwhile to consider what you want a lifetime of. Do you love him
enough to deal with these challenges the rest of your life, or would it be
better to bow out now? Some issues like passive aggression don't typically
easily change, even though people can change. Challenges like this can quickly
make the love fade. Consider doing all of the above, including an attorney
consult. You don't have to follow through with divorce, but it's a
piece of your options puzzle that may make your choices and consequences more
clear, and may give you the ticket you'll want to cash in if changes
aren't forthright or lasting. If your marriage doesn't make it,
better to figure that out now than 25 years and 5 kids later. You may also want
to communicate your love for him and expectations clearly in writing so your
husband understands his part in saving the marriage, as well as yours. That may
help relieve the nagging. The more clear the expectations are, the better you
can evaluate progress and your choices.
Don't have kids with this guy. Tell him it's the games or you. And
check the computer for pornography. He has no right to be a leech off you just
so he can play games all day and ignore you. Talk to that bishop and get a plan
going--if he doesn't show any signs of wanting to change, leave him before
children enter the picture.
How are bills getting paid today? Sounds like he needs to get out of the house
and get a job. I know its easier said than done, but lets not start throwing
the "depression" label around. In this country we are so willing to
label people. Sometimes people are just lazy and want others to pay their way.
Obviously considering the breadth of responses we all see the "Elephant"
differently and through the lens of our own lives. I think the issue is severe
enough for the young lady to take an inventory of where she is at, what
resources she has and may need for what ever course she chooses to take.If the husband had issues with games, they are as addictive as gambling
and pornography. Is it worth it to stay with the possibility of improvement
over time, with no guarantee or leave and seek another marriage which also has
no guarantee. Only she can decide.Bishops are mortal and fallible,
counselors have issues too that cloud their advice. But I feel this: He
won't change until there is a reason to change. Addicts have to hit
"bottom" before the bell rings in their heads that the ship is not
stopping to take on some ice for the reefers. Bottom might be in divorce court
or out on the street. I wish her luck. I grew up in a very rocky
home. There are kids to consider in this mess of a marriage, it will leave scars
if not resolved.
@monikerYour absolutely wrong about skipping the bishop. Bishops can be
the key to helping the couple resolve things in light of gospel teachings .
Also he holds the keys to revelation on their behalf. If transgression is
involved he can help with the repentance process. I'm not down playing the
role of a good therapist but usually the Bishop has good insight on which
therapist may best as well.
I hate to say this, but I would cut your losses and move on. You need a man who
can provide and be a father so that you can focus on being a mother when that
time comes. The most heartbreaking situations I've seen are when marriage
problems arise when small children are present and then all of these problems
will be compounded. Move on while you still can. I say this as a
happily married (in the temple) father of 4.
Re: LEGAL IMMIGRANTA majority of LDS marriages DO survive their
first ten years. Statistically, LDS Temple marriages end in divorce less than
10% of the time. That's over a 90% "survival" rate.
It sounds like the wife wants to crank out kids and talk about holiday plans and
is nagging her depressed husband to provide financing. Too many women look at
men as a stream of income (with insurance proceeds at the end) with the sole
purpose of financing their agenda.What does he want? How is she
contributing to the family (does she have a job)? I agree that
counseling is needed asap so BOTH members of the marriage can see how they are
contributing to the dysfunction.
Leave while you can. If he's this lazy this early it is not going to get
better. Sorry but Angela's advice was way too rosy. we're talking
about the rest of your life here. Get out!
Sounds like there is more of a problem here than appears on the surface. May be
depression or something else that is serious. Get some counseling.
I am so frustrated by the number of people that are assuming because he likes
video games he "must be addicted to pornography." Good grief. My husband
plays FIFA almost everyday and he doesn't watch pornography. Why in the LDS church is pornography our suspicion when anything is amiss? It
seems to be our "worst case scenario." When I used to hear about
pornography in church, there was this underlying message I heard that "if my
boyfriend/husband looks at pornography, he is looking at people that are better
than me, and he will never be satisfied with me again." I would almost begin
to hyperventilate thinking about it. It took me a long time to realize that this
is just not true. In my opinion, the church talks about it so much that
pornography becomes more appealing. And then you're some kind of freak for
being curious enough to look at it. Sad. Obviously this girl is going through a
hard time. Telling her that her husband is looking at porn is only going to turn
her into the computer history police. One more thing to stress about that she
It's easy to spout advice to a stranger. The outcome doesn't affect
us. I've tried to think what I would say if you were my daughter. I have
six children, four of them married. One of my daughters married a man who
struggled with pornography. At rock bottom, she left him and moved back home.
She ultimately decided he was worth keeping. They are still together happily and
now counsel others on pornography addiction.Each of us giving you
advice has weaknesses, just as your husband does (and just as you do). After
reading our comments, ask Him who has no weaknesses.Divorce almost
always leads to misery for both of you. It will affect your parents, siblings,
and friends. Like nuclear war, you know the option exists but you really never
want to exercise it unless your very life is at stake. My advice to my daughter
and you is back down from DEFCON 1 until it is the only option.You
said you still love your husband. Prove it by helping him become what he is
capable of being. This is the time to invest everything you have into your
joe5Don't you think god would have seen this coming when they
first prayed to get married? If he didn't want them married, he would have
given them the 'No' answer. You have to use your brain, you
shouldn't rely on prayer as it gives confusing and unreliable answers at
best. I tend to think it doesn't give any answers, except for the answers
that are already in your head.
I've been married for 30 years, let me tell you a little story I call
reality...I'm 54 years old, I work 45-50+ hours a week,
and then another 15-20 in the yard and garage,I make $75,000 a year
[she does not work outside of the home], I pay the bills, do most of the
cooking, cleaning, repairing, and fixing, I'm 110% active LDS, High
Priest, Quorm Intructor, and Temple worker, We have 4 children - Temple
married, RMs, and Eagle Scouts. I consider myself far from perfect,
but still a pretty good catch.Yet, I'm told constantly
that I'm -- gone too much, don't make enough money, not spiritual enough, too tired, too lazy, and too busy for
her. Welcome to marriage.[and NO, I do not believe in
There is an adage that is true, "don't marry potential". This man
is having his cake and eating it too. If they get into therapy the wife should
really get a handle on where his head is at and where hers is also. If potential
isn't happening then move on to what you really want and make a list and
don't accept anything until it measures up.
@ Joe5The fact that your daughter left her husband and moved back to your
home is a very important point. I'm sure your daughter had to do list for
him to earn her trust back. To me addiction is fixable, lazy is not fixable. How
can you make someone work when he doesn't want to? The impression from this
article is the dude is lazy. Perhaps the next action for the lady in this story
is to pick up and leave instead of nagging. The only person you can change is
yourself - why try to change someone i.e. husband when you have no power to do
such. If he wants to come along and change his behavior, you move on to the next
phase or just move with your life
I am pretty flabbergasted at all the responses to immediately claim that this
husband has a pornography problem. Where in this letter was that even
mentioned? I am guessing it just makes it as an easy response to always claim
well he must be looking at porn. It's like the Mormon way of seeing the
world. He isn't finishing school, or finding work, he is a porn
addict!!!!Ever stop to think that maybe the guy is just a tool who
the girl never should have married? Maybe he is just one of those guys we all
know who isn't mature enough to get married, yet felt pressured to do so by
everyone around him. No it can't be that, it's because he is a total
sex addict according to many on here.
He plays video games all day and doesn't hold down a job? This
young woman married a boy, not a man.
I was shocked to read that they have only been married 2 years and she is
using the word divorce, without having considered counseling or other options.
If this marriage is doomed to failure it will not only be because of the poor
performance of the husband but also the lack of commitment on the the part of
the wife. We don't often use the the words "for better or for
worse" in marriage vows any more, but there is still wisdom in them. I
agree with heidi- ho in that before this wife makes the decision to quit this
difficult situation , there is probably some deep soul-searching, with the help
of some appropriate counseling, that needs to go on. Difficulties in marriage(
or in anything else) can happen at any time but whether at the beginning or
later on, to jump ship is very seldom the answer. In addition, if some hard
work has not been done in the first marriage, by both parties, statistics have
shown that subsequent relationships don't usually fare much better.
In this sort of situation, what incentive does a negligent spouse have to
change? Often it is only divorce that can awaken an unreliable partner to the
fact that reciprocity is necessary in marriage. At the same time, it's
important to offer a less functional partner every chance to acknowledge
inadequacy, enter therapy, and get whatever help is needed. Some people *will*
change for the better. Or sometimes a low-functioning spouse is suffering from a
condition that can't be helped, and if that's so, faithfulness is
called for, in the same way it's called for with any chronic illness. But
if the problem is not acknowledged, or if *available* help is refused, one
partner can't make up for what the other won't do (as another
commenter has noted). This young wife seems to have good intentions and to truly
care about doing what's right. She needs to know that, yes, divorce may be
the right choice. I affirm the necessity for prayer in making such a decision.
If divorce is what turns out to be right for this young woman, God is amazingly
matter-of-fact about it.
brahmabull: I must apologize for earlier statements that may have seemed to be
unkind. That was never my intent. You bring up some important questions. Why
does it appear that some prayers are answered and some not? Why do good things
happen to bad people and bad things to good people? Wouldn't it be that
only good would happen to good and bad to bad? Those are questions I think
everyone asks. Was this marriage doomed or is there real love here
that just may be seem at times. No one likes to be nagged on. No one likes to
be told what to do all the time. So what is the answer.Prayer calms
that heart and the soul. This is proven by many different studies. But why
doesn't he answer every prayer the same. Why does a young family die on
vacation while a drunk survives? Why did this marriage go where it is? The
answer is pretty simple if we look at it. This life is a true test of whether
we are going to live by the word of God or if we are going to live by
The husband could be depressed. That is something to look into - although, the
husband's actions are a sign of his behavior. Depressed or not, you do not
"change" someone. I am speaking from experience. My current husband and
I are happily married. That was not the case in what we refer to as our previous
life (with ex-spouses). We have both said that we saw the signs early on and
chose to "stick it out" thru better or worse. That is what good LDS
people are supposed to do. We have both said we could have saved ourselves a lot
of trouble and heartbreak had we just ended our marraiges early on. Although
those experiences taught me what to look for in a quality man. That is why I am
happily remarried today.
Don't know why I spend time writing this, maybe just wanting to help.There is much more to say about it, so here some points :What are
they doing in their gospel lives ? Have them found the joy of service and
helping others that suffer worse ?Are they praying together every
day, and are their prayers going beyond the ceilings ?Do they know what
marriage is for, or comprehend scriptures related to it ?Have them
discovered the source of ego-centric feelings, and where did they catch up to it
in the first place ? The human soul is great in the eyes of God, do they think
so for each other ? Selfish thinking may drag out all love. So
love is the center of marriage, and either they have neglected these feelings or
it was never there in the first place. Being bussy can cut out love.Take a break and rediscover true feelings for each other. Your prayers
will support that love, if it is true love.Sorry to have found that
truth, but solving these problems is all based on gospel desire and knowledge.
And that...is discovered by you, not counselors.
Get the man to a personal counselor first, I'd bet he's clinically
depressed.Get him employed next - involve the Bishop and employment
resources available elsewhere too.Talk to a professional counselor about
yourself too, you may be creating some of the problems unwittingly. Men are
complex creatures too. Talk to a marriage counselor next. If he
sees you care about these things as privately as possible and don't
embarrass him in the process, you'll probably save the legal fees.
Who pays your bills? Are you? If it is somebody else - tell them to leave you!
Too often parents spoil their children's marriages by assisting
financially.If you, after prayer and counselling, wish to keep him in your
life - treat him as if he would be the person you want him to be.Sad
to read these comments where so many ridicule bishop's. Yes, we may not be
educated to professionally counsel, but we still seek to help you - and not
judge you. And to the ones who worry about addictions - they are ALL alike be it
substance, sex, work, religion, or porn...they rob you of your ability to
develop and grow, they spiral you to nothingness that you described in your
letter.BUT there is HOPE - so go see your bishop...and take responsibility
of YOUR future.
My wife wouldn't have put up with this for a second. She has always been
supportive, but if I would have been sitting at home playing computer games she
would have moved back with her parents in a week. I'm not advocating
divorce at all, but he needs to know today that this is not acceptable and if he
wants to keep you then he'd better play ball.
I think depression is getting too much blame here. Two men wake up
unemployed, depressed. "A" keeps his shrink appt, complains of his lot
in life, comes home and plays video games. He knows his wife will feed him. "B" drags his depressed self out of bed and hires out as a day
laborer, digging a ditch. Each thrust of the shovel is an angry stab at his lot
in life. At day's end he's paid in cash, drops by the local Chinese
for his wife's favorite takeout, and goes home. Which man will
have a grain of self-respect? Which man/marriage has a ray of hope?
I appreciate that the typical lds advice is "Talk to your bishop", but I
think, barring an exceptional person holding the position, that a mormon bishop,
being a volunteer, not a trained marriage/family counselor, might have little to
contribute beyond typical church suggestions. Also, HER talking to the bishop or
both going at her insistence is unlikely to change the husband.Perhaps if the husband had strong beliefs, the bishop MAY be able to inspire
or shame him into doing his duty, however, but that won't break bad habits
for long.No one mentioned that he is bullying her -- even over the
dishes -- if she is being completely truthful, then, whether it's due to
emotional illness or not, he is having it all his way and taking advantage of
her. I find that when people take advantage, they actually come to resent the
"giver", who is being a doormat.People change when they have
decided to -- she ought to give him a good reason.I would go with
"Tell him he has 30 days to come up with a plan to fix this, or move out
until such time as he proves willingness to work on the marriage"
Just a status report from a nonbeliever:Still happily married.No god needed.No praying together.No addictions. No porn. No
gaming addictions.Life is good, without any god.
Not being able to get a job is a cold hard reality of this economy. I don't
think that is the only problem here. There are plenty of fast food places and
stores looking for help, even if it pays minimum wage and is only part time. But
work is an eternal principal and nobody should sit around being lazy just
because the dream job hasn't materialized. But if sincere
efforts to find a job are not getting results, I suggest putting that time to
good use. I suggest a balanced approach to include getting a part time job,
spend a few hours each day checking the want ads for a long-term full-time job,
and use other time to go to the temple or do family history work. It is possible
that people in this situation have ancestors eagerly awaiting temple work to be
done for them, and once that work is completed, miracles will happen to open
doors for that dream job. Some guys really need to wake up to the eternal
responsibilities that they were sent here to do. An Xbox was not on the shopping
list for this mission!
It sounds like he may have depression. I would talk to him about counseling, and
talk to your Bishop. If he is experiencing depression, nagging really won't
help. It tends to enhance the problem rather than help, because the person
struggling only internalizes the nagging or critiquing and becomes more
depressed. Ask your husband if he's willing to talk to someone and then
make an appointment. If he doesn't want to have counseling then go for your
self and see if you can get some help in how to deal with your frustrations and
learn more effective communication techniques.
Sounds like he's addicted to those video games. Best see a counselor and
pull the plug. Good luck!
I would have a very direct discussion with him along with a trained, certified
marriage counselor who has been or is married.If your husband
doesn't change and if your marriage and his actions really are the way you
say there are, then divorce should be strongly considered. It sounds (again,
according to your side) that he isn't a devoted, caring provider or even a
caring, loving spouse.To be sure, people can change and I hope he
does.The marriage counselor can help you see areas that you
don't see now including any areas where you may need to change or improve
to make your marriage a success. Marriage though is like a living thing - it
takes DAILY nourishment and care. I would not bring this up with
your bishop as he isn't trained in marital counseling, unless he too is a
certified, trained marriage counselor. As a bishop, he is trained to teach the
doctrines and beliefs of the LDS church, but that is about it. Best
of luck to you and your husband!
Dear Angela,My wife is nagging me to death and even threatening
divorce. She does not have a paying job, but considers it her full-time job to
plan holidays and ride me down about everything. I don't know if you have
ever been out of work, Angela, but it is very stressful. I feel shell-shocked.
Job hunting these days is largely done online, and I submit resumes daily.
Computer gaming has been my hobby for a long time (my wife knew and accepted
this before we married) but now wants me to stop doing it. Look, I have
graduated from college and done everything right; now I am suffering tremendous
stress while attempting, single-handedly, to make our future happen. I do have
the same long-term goals as her, but it is hard to discuss them right now while
she is so hyped-up and I am so stressed. Why can't she understand? What
makes her pursue the "scorched-earth" course rather than love and
understanding?Signed,Stressed, not depressed
Talk to a counselor.Invite him to come along.Talk to
your bishop.Invite him to come along.If your husband
starts to make positive changes in his life, stay.If your husband
refused to make positive changes in his life, leave, and do so immediately.Why?1 - Because you don't have a "marriage",
you have a dead weight. Any "marriage" like that will be immediately
disolved by God upon your/his death, anyway.2 - Because if the plane
is going down in flames, sticking around to be a part of the crash is not going
to help you at all. Period.Good luck.Signed - An LDS husband (with kids) in a troubled 25-year marriage.
I have a hard time recommending divorce in this situation. Yes, I understand
that it must be incredibly frustrating being the wife in this situation. But
marriage is a LONG-term commitment. I have been married for over 20 years. There
were situations that took 5 or more years to change behaviors in my marriage -
both her issues and mine. I am so glad I didn't divorce after even a few
years of waiting for my wife to change her behavior on some issues. I am so glad
she didn't divorce after waiting for me to change my behavior over an issue
that took over 5 years. I realize I don't personally know the
husband in this situation, but I have a hard time thinking he will permanently
stay in his situation. When a marriage partner continues bad behavior for
months, even a few years at a time, it is easy to think it is permanent, and
will NEVER change. But that isn't always the case. Stick it
out, and maintain the patience of Job. It could very well work out in the end.
When the Lord answers "yes" to the question of marrying someone, that
doesn't mean the marriage is going to work out. People still have agency.
There have been people, even bishops, Relief Society presidents, etc.,
who've committed unrepentant grievous sin. The scriptures contain many
stories of people whose choices (Eli, David, Judas...) lost them their covenant
promises. That doesn't mean the calling was a mistake. God never removes
the power of agency from *anyone*. There have been many people who made a
righteous decision, based upon prayer and other good resources, to marry someone
who eventually made divorce a necessity. We believe in keeping covenants, but if
you have kept your covenants and your spouse hasn't, the covenant is still
broken (sometimes temporarily, sometimes permanently). It is easy to fall into
an idolatry of marriage. God has commanded some people to leave family members,
even spouses--and His command takes priority over any other. In His own time and
way, and in a way that truly blesses the wronged spouse, God will make good the
blessings promised to someone who has kept his or her covenants.
I hasten to add that I didn't mean in my most recent comment that the
husband described in this article has committed any grievous sin. I only meant
to respond to the idea that a "yes" answer when praying about marrying
someone means the marriage will definitely last; it might not. Nor does it mean
a person must remain in a bad situation. There isn't enough information
about this marriage for any of us to know what the wife should do. She'll
have to figure that out herself (with prayer and good counsel, one hopes). But
the option of divorce shouldn't be dismissed out of hand, and not all
people who choose to divorce are bad.
Given the relatively benign nature of these problems (at least there is no abuse
or adultery going on), divorce is probably premature at this time (especially if
we are talking about a couple who have been sealed in the temple). However, I
really have to question this girl's judgement in selecting her husband in
the first place. She married him on the basis of a whole lot of promises but
without expecting to see any results first. She should have seen him commit to
finding a job and laying down ground rules for how the household would operate
before they got married. I was in a difficult situation too before I got married
(and still am to a large extent) but at least I was putting forth the effort to
find employment and become financially stable. This is why the Church teaches
that we should have long courtships and short engagements, instead of just
jumping into marriage haphazardly as is common in Mormon culture.
To me it sounds like the husband is addicted to video games. He needs help for
his addiction. He needs to go into counseling. He may have other issues like
depression. He really needs to be in the LDS Church's Addiction Recovery
Program. Even more than that the wife needs to be in the LDS Church's
Family Support Group. There are lots of wives who have faced similar situations,
and this wife needs that support.
Dear newlywed, you are right about making plans for the future. He needs to stop
acting like a teenager who plays video games all day long. He is a married man
and has a wife. He needs to start looking for a part time job and finish
whatever education he began or find a career. There are many part time jobs out
there. When there it's a will you find the way to do this. All that about
depression can be true so maybe it will be good to take care of that, but to
justify him all the time it's not right. I've seen so many close
friends going to therapy, to just find that the husband is justified for
everything. At the end it's just a waste of time and money. I say ask go to
his family and your family first. Good luck. And you are not nagging, you are
just looking for progress. Having no children at this point it's the best.
If divorce is the answer, it will be easier to not deal with custody, visit time
and all that drama that hurst children in the long term .
Here's a thought - Have you ever tried playing video games with him?
It's obviously something he enjoys doing, maybe showing some interest in
what he likes to do is the key here. Video games themselves are not horrible
things - lots of couples enjoy gaming together. I'm not saying turn in your
Pinterest board for a Xbox Live account, but it's possible that he
didn't show his interest in gaming while you were dating for fear of
putting you off because gaming has this stigma attached to it that gamers are
lazy, unmotivated couch potatoes, when 99% of the time, that's the furthest
from the truth! And maybe he sees the "nagging" as just another person
who doesn't understand his hobby, so he just keeps playing to drown you
out. Just because video games are involved doesn't mean those are the
problem. Learn something about his hobby and recognize that it's something
he likes, even if you choose not to participate (or maybe you'll like it
too! You never know).
I sat in church one Sunday next to an older couple, the man got up and bore his
testimony and I leaned over to his wife and said "I wish I could find me a
husband like that" her reply was sweet and simple "dear, it took me over
50 years to help him become this way".I am a victim of divorce,
and had 3 young children. Make sure you don't involve a child it will not
make a marriage better I think back almost 16 years ago now and I just went in
blazing with "I want a divorce"and for someone who is depressed or
making poor choices, they will most likely reply something like"fine".
If you truly want to fix the marriage I think talk of divorce or
attorney's should be the last resort. But only you can receive inspiration
about what to do from the Holy Ghost, I would pray and seek guidance about
professional help. Our dear Bishops are not marriage counselors but they could
get you to the right one. These computer games are a very hard on the spirit .