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He's given up on our marriage

Terri wrote:

Let's see where do I begin. I am 20 years old and married to a 21 year old Marine. We have been together for the last 4 years and have been married for almost 2 of them. We do not have any children. I knew exactly who I was when I got married, I knew what I was getting myself into and the sacrifices I would have to make. It was all worth it to me. We did rush into our marriage and were barely engaged before we were married but I love my husband with all my heart and I have never had regrets about our marriage.

My husband is currently overseas and the only contact we have with each other is email. Well we got into a fight about a costume that I wore for Halloween. He told me that I shouldn't be dressing like that now that I'm married and I didn't think anything was wrong with it because it was Halloween. Well the fight escalated to the point where he asked me "do you think it should be this hard?". I responded by asking him if he meant that our marriage was hard and he wanted to leave. He told me that he didn't know what he wants.

Well after that there were several emails about him saying that we were too young when we married and we were immature and didn't know ourselves very well and he wants a big family and I only want a few kids and he has lost a lot of feelings for me and doesn't feel the same way he did when we got married. Then came the big one...He then told me that three years ago when we were off and on dating, he slept with my sister. He also told me that someone else he slept with which I thought was when we were broken up was actually when we were dating.

He said that he wanted to tell me all this before we were married and that he regrets everything he's ever done to hurt me. He then asked me how I felt. Well I told him that I take this marriage very seriously and I'm not willing to give up on us. I love him more then he could ever imagine. He responded by saying that he really wants to make this work and he thought he was going to lose me after coming clean with me. He also said that he was thinking about leaving me and that he has lost feelings for me but he is willing to work on it. I asked him if he wants it to work "forever" and all he said was that he can't predict the future and doesn't know what's going to happen but he's willing to try.

I'm so scared that I'm going to lose him and I don't know what to do to make it better! Help me I couldn't imagine my life without him! I know we have our problems but all of this came to me as a complete shock because he likes to bottle up his emotions. I really need some advice because I want to be with him for the rest of my life, raise a family and grow old together but I feel that he doesn't. I'm so confused

Dear Terri,

It doesn't matter what you want; it takes two to make a marriage work, and he has no interest at all. He's tried to get you to walk away by telling you every hurtful thing he can think of, and he's even told you he's lost his feelings for you.

What will come next?

I feel for you - you are entirely the innocent party, by the sound of it - but you cannot force him to love you.

There is one further step you can take - and that is counselling, if he's willing. But with the level of plain speaking he's come to, I suggest you get real, and talk to your parents. And get a lawyer. Save all the emails.

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