Q: Dear Meredith,
I am recently married and frequently unhappy. My husband and I have been together for 4 years total, but married only since last summer. We're in the middle of a relocation and I arrived 6 months before him.
Throughout our relationship, there have been more downs than ups. I had hoped for so long that marriage would help us, and that it would provide much needed stability and comfort for him. Over time I've realized that my husband is just the type of person who isn't and perhaps can't be happy. In fact, I think he's often really hampered by his own sense of entitlement, instead of noticing the good in the world.
Here I am, six months into faux-singlehood and loving it. I manage my own time -- I work, kayak, jog, explore, and make friends. I'm really loving it. With less than a month until my husband's arrival, I know that I am having serious doubts about our relationship. I am SO much happier without him around. I don't want to go back to a life where I cook, clean, and provide a shoulder to lean on, while he gripes about everything in his life.
With less than a year of marriage under my belt, but quite a bit of certainty, what should I do?
– Grass is Really Greener, Boston
A: I hate writing this, but yeah, it sounds like you guys got married for the wrong reasons. You thought that marriage would improve your troubled relationship, but that's not how it works. You know that now, of course.
The ray of hope here is that you've both had six months to experience life on your own. You've had epiphanies about your relationship. Maybe he's had some too. It's also possible that this new place -- and your new routines -- will help you change the dynamic of the marriage.
I want you to tell him what's going on -- that by the time you moved, you had become overwhelmed by the negativity, and that these six months on your own have taught you that you need a partner who's excited about life. We're all allowed to gripe, but there has to be a balance. Tell him you want to hear about the things that make him happy.
After he arrives, try to include him in your new life. Show him where you kayak. Take him to a new restaurant. Give him the chance to get excited this new place. Be a partner.
If after a few months it's as bad as it ever was, you'll have to talk to him about next steps and letting go. But please give the marriage a real shot first. Communicate your needs and take advantage of the change of scenery. You never said anything about loving him, but I assume you do -- or did. He deserves to know why the grass is so much greener.
Readers? Any hope here? How can she communicate her needs? Is she overestimating how happy she'd be if she were single? Should they end this marriage?
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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.