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You Asked: Should I Try to Make This Work?

Dear Sugar,

I am in a little bit of a dilemma and I need some advice. I got married at a very young age (19), one year after I had my first child. My pregnancy wasn't planned but we both decided that getting married would be the right choice. I have always loved my husband very much, but over the past two years, I don't feel emotionally or physically connected to him. I feel like he is my best friend, not my husband. We've separated in the past, but always got back together within a couple of months. The last time we separated, he said some really hurtful things that made me want to call it quits but there is still a piece of me that wants to make this work.

During this last separation I met someone else. We go to the same gym and every time we see each other we flirt a little, but nothing has ever happened. I think about him all the time, and every time I see him I feel like asking him out. I feel like we really have a strong connection, something that I haven't felt for my husband for about three years. I'm still married and trying to make my marriage work, but can't seem to get this guy out of my head. I am also trying to decide why I'm even trying to make my marriage work. Sometimes I feel like I'm only staying with him for financial reasons and because he is all that I have known since I was a freshman in high school. I also feel that I deserve to be happy and I can't help but feel that there is something more for me out there. I am just really confused and any help or advice would be really appreciated!
— Missing Out Olivia

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Dear Missing Out Olivia,

It sounds as though you're at a real cross roads in your relationship so I think the best thing to do is take a few steps back and really try to look at your situation objectively. Since you married your husband because you felt it was the right thing to do rather than because you were ready, I'm not surprised that you've hit a few rough patches along the road. As much as you want to work everything out, it's really important to trust your gut and listen to your heart. When couples marry young like yourself, it's common for you both to grow as individuals, not necessarily as a couple. The feeling of being more like best friends than lovers is a popular predicament, but it is possible have both.

The first thing I would suggest is seeing a marriage counselor. It could be that you're thinking about this other man because he's giving you the attention that you husband isn't. If you voice your feelings to your husband, perhaps he will make the appropriate changes needed to make you happy. If you feel that your relationship has simply run its course, it's perfectly OK to move on with your life without him. It's never a good idea to stay in an unhappy relationship out of fear or dependency. Sure, it'll be very scary to leave him and to leave the comfort of someone you've known your entire adult life, but if you aren't happy, your child is bound to suffer as well. You both deserve to be in a loving relationship, but only you know what it will take to get there. I wish you luck.

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BRANDYNICOLE730 BRANDYNICOLE730 8 years
Well, I think divorce is completely selfish. If you didn't want to be with your hubby for the rest of your life, it would've been a lot easier to not raise your children in a family household for the first few years. Now, that YOU are not happy, you want to turn your children's lives upside down, and make sure they have to go to counseling if they want any chance of having a decent relationship when they are adults. Take some initiative in fixing your marriage, rather than running away when things get tough. Just because the divorce rate in the US is over 50%, doesn't mean it's the right thing. I'd like to see the statistics of children that come from divorced families that grow up and get divorced. I bet it is a huge precentage.
citizenkane citizenkane 8 years
DearSugar: I know that these letters that end up being public are 'randomly' chosen, but it seems like we get A LOT of letters very similar to this (i.e. Should I leave my husband?)....... How about some variety??
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
I know it would be a lot easier to see what happens with the other guy before making a decision about your husband but that isn't fair to either of the men. You need to think about your relationship with your husband and figure out if you are better off as friends. I think it's better for your child to have two parents who care about each other and get along than parents are married. You may have gotten married too young or the two of you may have just grown apart. Either way... make a decision for yourself not thinking about what is best for either or these men only you and your child.
Berlin Berlin 8 years
exactly, you NEED counseling for this. It could be just that you are attracted to a different man b/c you aren't getting what you need or crave from your husband, but that doesn't mean that your life would be spectacular with this new guy. You need to be mature about this and deal with it up front with your husband. This is why getting married at such a young age is so bad...b/c you are too immature to handle arguments (both of you, not just you darling!) and things are said in the heat of arguments that are childish, and that most adults really leave out of the mix because they know it's not only hurtful but untrue (just like snotty teens yell 'i hate you' to their parents when they get grounded). If you get divorced, you have almost a 70-85% chance that the second marriage will fail as well. Not to mention flirting is great, but it certainly is not indicative of how the relationship will be...does he even know that you are married with kids? If yes, then how faithful do you think he'd be to you? And if no, how likely do you think he'd stick around if he found out. You need to just relax and work on your marriage. You can get that romance back and if it is gone, then that's a good reason why you are seeking it elsewhere. But you can't just let one fail and expect to pick up with another. Do the right thing for your husband, for yourself, and for your kids! Also you are just going to be teaching them that when things get rough in a marriage to go ahead and quit and find the next thing that gets your heart going...not very stable and not very good. If you get a divorce and jump into another relationship, or even get a divorce without counseling, how likely do you think it will be that your precious kids will have a successful marriage? Give your marriage your all and don't be so ready to give up! You have to fight for the good things in life...
Berlin Berlin 8 years
exactly, you NEED counseling for this. It could be just that you are attracted to a different man b/c you aren't getting what you need or crave from your husband, but that doesn't mean that your life would be spectacular with this new guy. You need to be mature about this and deal with it up front with your husband. This is why getting married at such a young age is so bad...b/c you are too immature to handle arguments (both of you, not just you darling!) and things are said in the heat of arguments that are childish, and that most adults really leave out of the mix because they know it's not only hurtful but untrue (just like snotty teens yell 'i hate you' to their parents when they get grounded). If you get divorced, you have almost a 70-85% chance that the second marriage will fail as well. Not to mention flirting is great, but it certainly is not indicative of how the relationship will be...does he even know that you are married with kids? If yes, then how faithful do you think he'd be to you? And if no, how likely do you think he'd stick around if he found out. You need to just relax and work on your marriage. You can get that romance back and if it is gone, then that's a good reason why you are seeking it elsewhere. But you can't just let one fail and expect to pick up with another. Do the right thing for your husband, for yourself, and for your kids! Also you are just going to be teaching them that when things get rough in a marriage to go ahead and quit and find the next thing that gets your heart going...not very stable and not very good. If you get a divorce and jump into another relationship, or even get a divorce without counseling, how likely do you think it will be that your precious kids will have a successful marriage? Give your marriage your all and don't be so ready to give up! You have to fight for the good things in life...
jillerin457 jillerin457 8 years
Didn't we just see this one last week?
sarah_bellum sarah_bellum 8 years
Well said, jaxon. As a product of the whole "when you're happy, you're kids will be happier" philosophy, I have to say, that usually it's a crock of sh*t people say to ease their guilt about not putting their kids first. Putting your children at the mercy of your fickle love life is probably the most selfish thing a parent can do, and it's really sad to see so many parents doing it. I'm not saying never move on and have a personal life, but at a time when your child's family is disintegrating around him/her, your preoccupied with some crush at the gym. Your priorities could use a little adjusting. Please try marital counseling. It sounds like there might be something to salvage between you and your husband, and even if there isn't, at least you'll be able to tell your child that you tried everything to keep the family in tact. I hope it all works out for the best.
sarah_bellum sarah_bellum 8 years
Well said, jaxon.As a product of the whole "when you're happy, you're kids will be happier" philosophy, I have to say, that usually it's a crock of sh*t people say to ease their guilt about not putting their kids first. Putting your children at the mercy of your fickle love life is probably the most selfish thing a parent can do, and it's really sad to see so many parents doing it. I'm not saying never move on and have a personal life, but at a time when your child's family is disintegrating around him/her, your preoccupied with some crush at the gym. Your priorities could use a little adjusting.Please try marital counseling. It sounds like there might be something to salvage between you and your husband, and even if there isn't, at least you'll be able to tell your child that you tried everything to keep the family in tact. I hope it all works out for the best.
jaxon jaxon 8 years
Do not leave your husband for another man. If you leave, leave for yourself. Another relationship so soon after a rocky marriage is trouble. I think this needs to be said: GROW UP!! Your thought process still seems very immature. You should not and cannot find validation in a man. You have children to think about no matter what. You need stablility and you have to solidify yourself before you embark on this new life course. You need to stay away from Gym Guy, not forever, at least until you've made a decision about what YOU want to do. Leave gym guy (and all other fantasy "better men") out of the equation and make a decision soley based on what your/your children needs are.
jaxon jaxon 8 years
Do not leave your husband for another man. If you leave, leave for yourself. Another relationship so soon after a rocky marriage is trouble.I think this needs to be said: GROW UP!! Your thought process still seems very immature. You should not and cannot find validation in a man. You have children to think about no matter what. You need stablility and you have to solidify yourself before you embark on this new life course.You need to stay away from Gym Guy, not forever, at least until you've made a decision about what YOU want to do. Leave gym guy (and all other fantasy "better men") out of the equation and make a decision soley based on what your/your children needs are.
shernic82 shernic82 8 years
I know you want to make it work for your babies, but think about it - when you're happy, your kids are gonna be happier! Don't make yourself miserable just because you want it to work for their sake. They'll thank you as adults for being a strong woman and raising them in a happier home. There is no reason to stay in a relationship you are unhappy with, even if you are married! I had a friend who stayed in an unhappy relationship for almost a year, just because she was afraid it would be bad to move her son and mix him up! Now she has moved out, and she is the happiest I have ever seen her. Just please don't cheat on your husband with this guy from the gym - if you don't want to be with your husband anymore, tell him, and take the appropriate actions. You'll feel better about yourself and you will never be ashamed to tell your children what happened between you and their dad.
shernic82 shernic82 8 years
I know you want to make it work for your babies, but think about it - when you're happy, your kids are gonna be happier! Don't make yourself miserable just because you want it to work for their sake. They'll thank you as adults for being a strong woman and raising them in a happier home. There is no reason to stay in a relationship you are unhappy with, even if you are married! I had a friend who stayed in an unhappy relationship for almost a year, just because she was afraid it would be bad to move her son and mix him up! Now she has moved out, and she is the happiest I have ever seen her. Just please don't cheat on your husband with this guy from the gym - if you don't want to be with your husband anymore, tell him, and take the appropriate actions. You'll feel better about yourself and you will never be ashamed to tell your children what happened between you and their dad.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
I agree with the other posters. Honestly, it seems like you might have a case of "the grass is greener". The feelings of a new crush and flirting are great. It's an amazing high. But those feelings are impermanent and you'll settle in with the next guy like you settled in with your current one. I don't know. Sounds like a little counseling could help. You might just need to put the spark back in your marriage.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
I agree with the other posters. Honestly, it seems like you might have a case of "the grass is greener". The feelings of a new crush and flirting are great. It's an amazing high. But those feelings are impermanent and you'll settle in with the next guy like you settled in with your current one.I don't know. Sounds like a little counseling could help. You might just need to put the spark back in your marriage.
Lele777 Lele777 8 years
Agreed. You definitely need to really think things through. Ask yourself, would you really want to be with this man or feel ashamed of what you had done to your husband? Crushes are a normal part of life, but acting on them will have consequences.
citizenkane citizenkane 8 years
The only advice I have is to put this new guy from the gym on hold until you figure out your situation with your husband. If you stay together, you will regret it if you end up crossing the line with the new guy, and that will just put even more stress into the marriage. Sometimes when people get married young, they feel a stronger urge to explore new things and new people simply out of curiosity and not out of true feelings. Make sure you are not giving up easily on your marriage.
citizenkane citizenkane 8 years
The only advice I have is to put this new guy from the gym on hold until you figure out your situation with your husband. If you stay together, you will regret it if you end up crossing the line with the new guy, and that will just put even more stress into the marriage. Sometimes when people get married young, they feel a stronger urge to explore new things and new people simply out of curiosity and not out of true feelings. Make sure you are not giving up easily on your marriage.
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