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A mediocre marriage

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  May 26, 2010 09:22 AM

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Q: Hi Mere,

I have been a faithfully devoted reader of yours even though I have moved to NY.

I have been married for five years. I am 27 years old and I have a very young child with my husband "Steve."

Like I said, Steve and I have been married five years, but we've been together for almost a decade. We met online when I was a junior in high school. Anywho, to make a long story even longer, after talking online for two years, we met, connected, and were engaged within a year. I was engaged by the time I was 20 ... and also very overweight. I love Steve, always have, always will. I just feel like things are off between us.

When we were about a month away from our wedding, I found out he had been online, trading pictures with women and commenting on their pictures. He was so apologetic, and to be honest, I was scared that I would never find anyone else because I was so overweight. And I loved him, so, so much. So I went through with the wedding.

He is my best friend, really and truly, and I would tell him all of this if I didn't think it would hurt him. We have been separated once before, a few years ago for a few months. We decided to try to work it out. The next year I had our child. Since then (well, for longer than just then) things have been strained between us. I have lost A LOT of weight (something snapped inside me when I realized that I had another life to worry about) and slowly but surely I lost 112 lbs. So here we are, 2010, 112 lbs lighter, in a whole lot better shape (I actually fit in for society's standards), and more confident. Not completely though.

Since about a year after we started dating, we have had issues with our "frequency" *ahem*. At the beginning, we were all over each other, then it became less frequent, maybe once every other week, then once a month, then once every other month. Now I am lucky if it happens every three or four months. Like I said, I am 27, I have a young child, and I am so scared. He is an EXCELLENT father and he loves me, but I don't feel as though he is IN LOVE with me. I don't even know if I'm in love with him at this point. I gave up my job so that he could take his dream job in NY and now I am a stay at home mom and I spend all day alone with my son (have been going to Mommy and Me classes, but those haven't been working out for us the greatest).

I just want to know what you would do in my situation. Does a passion-filled-relationship exist? Is it possible to have someone that is IN LOVE with me, as well as treat me with respect? I don't think it's fair to have my child grow up with my husband and I having just a friendship. I don't want my child to think a relationship can't be more. Will anyone else want me even though I have a baby? Or should I just accept what I am in and realize that I am lucky to be married to a friend? I asked Steve to go to therapy with me and he said that he "doesn't need it."

Steve wants me to figure out what it is that I want and to talk to him about it when I have decided. I don't know what to do. I hope you can help ...

– Oh, So Confused, NY


A: OSC, you know what bothers me most about your letter? This: "Steve wants me to figure out what it is that I want and to talk to him about it when I have decided."

Um ... does Steve not have an opinion? He quite obviously hasn't rallied and yelled, "I love you. Please don't leave."

I cringe at the thought of telling anyone to get divorced, so I'll say it advice-columnist-style. You are way too young to be in a relationship with a guy who makes you feel like a roommate. Kid or no kid, you deserve to be in a happy household, especially at your age.

I can't promise you that the transition out of your marriage would be easy, and I certainly can't promise that there will be some awesome guy who appears out of nowhere and says, "Wow, I'd like to help you raise your baby." But there might be. And at the very least, there would be hope.

Steve's lack of accountability in this process is what makes me think that he's already banking on a split. He's refusing therapy. He is what he is. He's a good father -- which will come in handy whether you're in the same house or not -- but he's not a good husband, at least not for you. If he has no plans to change, you have to think about what's best for you and this baby. I think it's pretty important to have parents who are full of hope about life. You seem to feel the same way.

Readers? Should she stay? Is there something to be salvaged here? Are people open to dating someone with a very young child? Is here weight loss an issue here? Discuss.

– Meredith


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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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