On hitting the reset button on your life

I having been looking so hard to find some advice online about my marriage- but basically all of the advice I find is Christian based. And “serve yo man” is not really my thing.

So I’m coming to you.

My husband spends probably 75% of his free time with his friends (out and about- movies, fitness, etc,) or playing this game Paragon with them. I feel neglected, but when I bring it up I feel like such a nag and frankly pathetic- because I’m literally begging for attention. We haven’t even been married for a year and it feels like we’re living parallel lives.

I’m so lonely Coke- how do I reach out in a way that doesn’t seem like the angry naggy wife?


Fuck reaching out. If you don’t have any kids, immediately file for divorce and walk the fuck away. You were an idiot to marry him in the first place, but hopefully you’ve learned your lesson.

If your family shames you or pressures you with religion, tell them all to go fuck themselves. If you belong to a church that doesn’t support your decision, give them the finger on the way out the door. If you’re surrounded by friends who judge you for taking action to fulfill your emotional needs, then those people aren’t actually your friends.

You’re lonely and angry because you’ve been sold a lie, and yeah, it’s kinda your fault for buying it, but this is your opportunity to wake the fuck up and recognize that you’re miserable because you’ve been leading an unexamined life.

You are not finished growing. This is not all there is. You can have more, but you have to be willing to make bold moves. You can’t sit around and hope things will get better — they won’t. Don’t ask for permission — demand the things you want for yourself, and spit in the face of anyone who expects you to apologize for it.


34 thoughts on “On hitting the reset button on your life

  1. Charlene says:

    “You are not finished growing. This is not all there is. You can have more, but you have to be willing to make bold moves. You can’t sit around and hope things will get better — they won’t. Don’t ask for permission — demand the things you want for yourself, and spit in the face of anyone who expects you to apologize for it.”

    I really appreciate this, CQ.

    • Chloe says:

      Hi Charlene, I did too. It certainly hit home. So much so, I’ve written it in my book of quotes that I go to, to help pick me up, sometimes. Thanks, CQ.

  2. Amanda says:

    jeez dude, you don’t have to get divorced yet!

    it would be one thing if she talked to him and he refused to try harder, but she doesn’t say he rejects her complaints, she just ‘FEELS’ like a nag.

    Was it like this before you were married? what has changed? are you just sitting on the couch at home and maybe he’s bored doing that so he’s out with his friends instead? does he invite you places and you refuse to go? are you too picky with what you want to do together so he has to do things he wants to do with others? do you dislike the friends he hangs out with?

    I feel this question went extremely unexamined.

    if what you are saying to him is not unreasonable (“Hey, i’d like to hang out with you and your friends’ ‘hey, lets do something just you and me on saturday and you can hang out with you friends on sunday’ ‘hey, i’m going to go do something by myself or with my friends without you’) then maybe consider that he doesn’t give a sh*t and break up, but since you chose to get married, you both deserve a chance to speak up and make changes before you throw in the towel. (in my humble opinion)

    I agree with “You can’t sit around and hope things will get better — they won’t. ”

    but that doesn’t mean you just walk away right away. things have the potential to get better if you communicate that there is an issue to begin with…after that, then you can decide if things really have no chance of changing and move on if necessary.

    • KittyNinja says:

      I sure do love to second guess my feelings by blaming myself instead of acknowledging that my feelings are legitimate and that there is something very wrong.

      While I support working on relationships when both people have their heads in the game, I also recognize what it’s like to almost marry an entitled boy in my early 20’s. Very little in the OP’s letter indicated that she is married to an adult who recognizes the impact his actions take on his partner. She doesn’t feel pathetic and act like a nag because he respects her and listens to her feelings. Where did she get these words? Why isn’t he saying “goodness, no sweetie, you’re an amazing person and your feelings matter to me. Let’s work on that.” She feels like that because he gets annoyed that she would have the audacity to bring up her dissatisfaction with a mediocre relationship.

      There a million fish in the sea to fuck and marry. She should cut this one loose while she is still has the emotional energy to recognize that her feelings are valid.

      Long time readers of CT know she would recommend couples therapy in a situation that calls for it. Very little in the OP’s letter indicates that is worth it for the OP, and no one should stay in an unsatisfying and one-sided relationship. Maybe if she leaves, hubby will think to recommend couples therapy. Either/or, they both deserve to lead satisfying lives. They don’t have to stay married to do that.

    • HaIvan says:

      well, she already brought it up with him, she says so in the post. so – where is this lack of communicating the issue coming from

  3. LO says:

    “…demand the things you want for yourself, and spit in the face of anyone who expects you to apologize for it”

    This is the fire reading your posts lit under my ass when I most needed it, and I’m glad to see it’s still there.

  4. JC says:

    My mother divorced my father for the same reason. She didn’t want to be a nag, and she wanted him to want to be at home with her and the kids. I respect her thinking on that, and back at the time (mid 1970’s), this was an especially brave decision to make. Divorce was still frowned upon by society generally, perhaps not unlike how it is viewed in some religions today.

  5. Being Bold says:

    So I am actually the OP.

    I just randomly looked on here and what do you know, a question answered.

    I sent that in probably over a month ago, and things have changed since then.

    I sat down with D and explained that I was ready to divorce, that I felt like the person I agreed to marry was not the person who I married. We talked about how his stress has led him to play games to relex (when we started dating he didn’t play games and openly though it was a waste of time, so naturally I was reeling). I talked about how I need more attention and I want to be a priority over his friends. He explained that he knew I was mad and being with his friends was the easy choice. I understand that to some degree, but still felt it unfair so we decided to work on establishing time together where we can just enjoy each other without the stress of who is mad and who is holding onto anger, etc etc.

    He deleted the game, and we have promised to spend most meals together without complaining about each other so we always have something we enjoy to come back to. We both decided to put our friend time on the marker board so it’s not an angry surprise. It’s been a nice change to be able to stop being mad long enough to enjoy each other, like we always have.

    I can understand Coke’s response without more information, and I’m glad I found the courage to just tell him it was time to make a big change.

    • Karen in Montreal says:

      And if things slide back to the bad place they were in, or you find yourself having to frequently ‘coach’ your husband into acting like an adult, or you start to feel like a nag again because he doesn’t care how you feel unless you’re heading out the door …. well, then you’ll know! And you’ll know you gave it an honest chance.

    • Alexis says:

      Did you submit this question before you tried to talk to your husband? And, I’m sorry if this sounds mean, but your husband sounds like a man-child and I can’t help but think you’re suppressing some information or some of your emotions. Like, damn. You were ready to divorce and y’all compromised on a marker board and not complaining at meals? After being married for less than a year? Are you sure you’re happy, girl?

      If you are, then props and I hope it all works out. If you’re not, like Coquette said, there’s more out there.

      Really ask yourself, though, because you do not sound like someone who has examined what she needs or knows how to ask for it.

      • HaIvan says:

        ^ agreed. OP I totally get if leveling with your husband re: divorce caused him to get his act together but he playing chicken with your marriage, like he already knew he was causing a problem, but chose to avoid even so much as acknowledging it until you went in with the big guns? that attitude isn’t something you solve with chore charts or shared calendars

    • HI says:

      Dear OP,
      How old were you when you married? How many years were you together before?
      I’m asking for my own sake. I thought I was firmly against marriage (and he was too), but in what seems to finally be the blossoming of an already 3 year relationship in my very early twenties, I’m kind of scared that we’ll just end up getting married just for the sake of better planning how to live together long term and to have children.
      That seems so normal and obvious, I’m wary of it. Especially since neither of us nor anyone who knew us thought (and many mutual friends still don’t think) we could ever end up together long term.
      Setting up a house or rearing infants isn’t something either of us imagine doing in the next couple of years, yet we’ve recently began to enjoy more lengthy arguments on where we would raise kids, the languages they would learn, their cultural and national identity, how our jobs and future income could adapt so as to take care of one another and possible children.
      It might be that we’ve been together so long that we’ve run out of ideas to intellectually challenge each other. But I don’t think he talks about this just to entertain me. I think he also thinks that we might spend a lot of our lives together. That would make me someone who only ever had one serious partner before committing. I feel like I’m not doing things the right way round.
      This took a turn. I’m (actually not) sorry for over thinking personal shit so publicly. Everyone take care.

      • Meg says:

        Trust your gut. No amount of data about her experience or anyone else’s can bury your gut instinct. You can spend the rest of your life (or 10 years) trying to bury it, but your gut- like truth- will always prevail. There’s a reason for your doubt. Trust your instincts. Trust yourself. Your answers are within you.

        • Hi says:

          Thanks Meg 🙂
          My gut says there is nothing straightforward about envisioning spending another fair chunk of your adult life with your so. Or maybe I’ll get run over by a bus tomorrow. Point is, as much as I’d like to have all the answers, I don’t. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though.

      • Friites says:

        Holy shit did I post this? I am in almost the exact same situation. He’s my first romantic relationship, period, and we’ve been together for 5 years. My partner has no real flaws that make it obvious that I have to get out. He does things that irk me (or straight up piss me off) from time to time but then I talk to him about it and we move on. He’s kind and considerate about my feelings and opinions, he likes to do nice things for me “just because”. But I can’t help this feeling of dread when I think about marrying him. Marriage does feel like the logical “next step” in our relationship, but I’m not sure I’m actually keen on it. I have nothing to compare our relationship against. I don’t want to marry this guy (as much as I love him to pieces) and figure out that I’m miserable. I hope we both find the answers we’re looking for. Good luck to you.

        • it's clear says:

          God. What would he feel if he read that?

          That realization alone should be enough for you to break it off. You’re clearly in desperate need of something new, fresh, different. Your bread surpassed going stale, it fucking grew mold. I really don’t understand andybody who sticks around in these long-term relationships that sound extremely bland, and eroded. Sure, I could cite fear, and insecurities, and past traumas, and do the psychological examine and “make sense of it”. But fuck that. No excuses. It’s selfish to be in a long-term relationship and feel that inside (unless you have kids together, which I don’t, and am out of my league assessing what sort of allegiances that might stir up).

          I guess that’s why people cheat late in relationships? It’s dead, but they are obligated by loyalty, or delusion, or fear? Thankfully I’ve never been a part of that. Never cheated or been cheated on to be exact (in any significant way at least, ie: by somebody I love/d).

          I’m just of the belief that if I ever wrote what you wrote above, I’d sit down with the person I care about, and tell them: I’m sorry but this isn’t making me happy anymore. I feel stuck and I’ve felt stuck for some time. My intuition is telling me I need too get out of this relationship. I’m not ‘in love’ with you anymore. We were young, and I’ll cherish what we had always, but I grew in a different direction, and that’s okay. And I’m only human. And if you respect me you won’t try to stop me. You’ll try to understand that I have to move on for myself.
          That’s what respect and consideration for somebody you love as a person is. Afterwards, you severe all ties, clear and concise, as to not confuse them further.

          It will hurt, you will grow and evolve and feel things you’ve never felt, but one day, possibly years down the road, you’ll be in the arms of somebody you can’t imagine living without. You’ll be enamored again, and see a future together.

          I’m not going to let up:
          I mean he still does “just because” stuff for you, what if he’s ultimately enamored of you? What if he see’s himself spending the rest of his life with you? It’s possible if you’re good enough at living your lie, that he doesn’t have the slightest clue you could ever be behind the words you wrote in this comment section.

          I’m not shaming you btw, I’m asking you to think and evaluate, to be viciously honest with yourself. Relationships require luck and careful nurturing and admirable growth to go “the distance”, and even then, congrats on fucking the same person until you die. It’s funny how it’s one of the most sought after things in our culture. To be together into old age, die hand in hand. Even when I write it, and recognize it as outrageous, I kind of like it. I’m preprogrammed to, or am I?

          The worst part about this is that he’s the first person you ever met or slept. Because there’s nothing cute about that. And it’s like being tethered to a fucking chain of the only world you KNOW. You are stifling your ability to evolve as an individual and won’t completely comprehend what I mean until you are moved on. Trust me. (I’ll give 1% of that population a pass, maybe they really connected beyond anything I could ever comprehend (spare me…… but MAYBE)).

          My point here though, is show dignity. Trust in yourself. I mean, if that’s truly how you feel in your gut and it’s been processed and examined and still continues to linger…… then wtf are you waiting for? TIME TO MOVE ON!

          • Hi says:

            Sorry to flood the comment section, but I just can’t get over how staggeringly stupid your premise is.
            Have you ever even been in a long term relationship? Bitching about your partner is an essential part of not going mad. I don’t say the same things to my partner as I do to my mum as I do to the internet. He complains about me to his friends, and I’m relieved he doesn’t do it to my face, except when we have a real issue to discuss. Relationships aren’t the crystal pure bond that you are imagining.
            Also, the fucking bread/mold metaphor? Oh my god, after 5 years OF COURSE it isn’t new and exciting. The only relationship I could imagine that would be new and exciting after five years is one between two wildly emotionally unstable people with a few shades of abuse.
            Also, do you realize how fucking hard it is to actually date in this day and age? I’d rather do almost anything else. Most people are fine as acquaintances, and almost inevitably dumb AF when you start looking at them as partners. There are only like 10 people including my family with whom I can imagine spending as much time as I do with my partner without eventually losing my mind.

            Holy fuck do these paternalistic stupid fucking responses get me riled up.

        • Chris says:

          Friites – You don’t have perspective enough to know if he’s a suitable husband, or if you even want to get married at all.

          If he’s the best guy in the world you’ll know too late, but he’s not going to be anyway – he irks the shit out of you, after all.

          End it, meet some other people, and figure out just how he compares as a partner, lover, friend, etc. Don’t string him along, and don’t try and give him false hope thinking it gives you someone to fall back on.

        • Hi says:

          To people responding to Friites, get off your holy high horses. Clearly, neither of us are ready to get married anytime soon. I can only speak for myself, waiting another few years seems mandatory.
          Being a perfect candidate for traditional marriage in your early 20s isn’t a bad thing. It’s just that society has used marriage to fuck over women in so many ways for so long, the true sign of blinding stupidity would to not be on your guard when thinking of the idea. We’re not Bible thumping Bristol Palin types, we just happened to find that our first time partners were good long term partners. None of you know if any of your relationships are going to work out, that’s just goddamn reality. Again, I can only speak for myself. Friites gave a private harsh as possible judgement of her partner, and he sounds like a partner she truly knows. She seems reasonable enough, she’ll make her own fucking choice.

          • Chris says:

            I may have read Friites post differently than you. She said there’s a feeling of dread. Those are her instincts on this.

            No qualms from me on marrying young. I was 22, and the only way out of this thing is going to be in a body bag. But at 22 I thought my wife was absolutely perfect, and it’s only recently that I realized how crazy in love I must have been (crazy being the operative word here), and still am, because I wouldn’t put up with any the shit she does from someone else. Those little things that would irk me, or “straight up piss me off” roll off my back easily with her.

            Not everyone is going to get that way about their spouse, but Friites has dread, and while she’s obviously engaging in a mature relationship where they talk about stuff and then move on, the growth curve on that relationship may have simply tapered off, and it’s just inertia at this point.

          • Nona says:

            For sure, I read the dread as a rational fear of getting married. I also read the part where she said she loves him to pieces.
            Maybe this is just a man vs woman perspective in the dynamics of a heterosexual relationship. My parents got married out of necessity at 22, my dad was lovey dovey over the moon at the idea, and almost 30 years later they’re happily together, but my mum still doesn’t see the benefit of being married.
            Personally, the idea of someone being “crazy” in love with me abhors me. Our “courtship” (ie: sleeping together) lasted a year during which we worked together as leaders of a local youth organization before taking the plunge into a romantic relationship. He puts up with some of the less appetising aspects of my personality, but I’m also glad he’s become an expert on calling me out on my BS. For lack of that, I’d be a worse person. I like to think I do the same for him, making each other better partners and better people. Also, growth curves aren’t linear, they go through cycles. You give an example above with your recent realization of how “crazy” your love for your wife is (isn’t my relationship, so I can honestly say – that’s so freaking cute).
            With all the joy this relationship brings, I’m still terrified of becoming a sad stereotype of a woman who fell for her first partner and got married just for the sake of it. I imagined Friites is of the same mind, because my original comment resonated with her. Let’s see what she says (if we get a response)

          • Chris says:

            Good deal, and you’re probably right.

            My wife and I are ridiculous. Love doesn’t make much sense, which may be why dread is an appropriate feeling, unlike what I felt – total and complete confidence. I hadn’t completed college, she had a GED, and we were both completely confident we’d be alright. 4 kids and 2 grad degrees later I go back to the first statement: My wife and I are ridiculous.

            You wouldn’t be a sad stereotype if you married a guy who did you so right (in and out of the bedroom) for a year that you deemed him worthy of more of it. But you would be lucky.

          • Nona says:

            Dear Chris, how I would love to walk the world with your confidence. Unfortunately, I’m the type of gal who finds both relish and anguish in organising five year plans for her life. As you said, love doesn’t make any damn sense, it’s a loose variable. Don’t know if you’ve also had the “why the hell do we still profoundly love each other” discussion with your partner. If there’s an answer I haven’t found it. That results in some form of anxiety, and might I say even dread.
            Also, you and your wife do seem ridiculously cute. Kudos for the 4 kids and 2 graduate degrees 🙂
            PS: yes, I’m incredibly lucky to have found my partner, another thing that doesn’t make any sense.

          • Chris says:

            And the surface isn’t even scratched on luck. I mean, how the hell did we manage to be HERE and NOW? We didn’t. We lucked into a life in the US (are you in the US?) when education is a right, connectedness is the norm, and [nearly all] water is clean, free and abundant. And we’re so rich that we won’t even drink the shit!

            On Confidence: Part of it was just being too dumb to know any better. I’m not as confident, or as dumb, as I used to be, but still have an outsized level of the stuff.

            Thanks for talking, Nona. 5-year plans are worth relishing and anguishing over. It sounds to me like you’re living your life in a way most people could, but won’t.

  6. March says:

    It’s really nice to see a follow-up story. Good for you, Being Bold, and here’s to the continuing good times!

  7. Jessica Sen says:

    Spending time with his friends is the easy way out? So spending time with you is the difficult way? Why? I’d examine that if I were you.

  8. Jessica Sen says:

    Christians claim their marriage is for god and because of that, their focus shifts from each other to the strawman.

  9. Dime-sized-amount says:

    Hi there, OP. I was been married once, when I was very young, and then divorced. After a while I met someone and was with them for a long time, and then we ended things when I realized that our values and communication styles would work together. I’m about to marry again, now in my early thirties, and I feel great about my choice. I think you’re doing okay! Marriages and partnerships go through periods of adjustment as you grow. Fighting can be good and healthy, and is important as you work things out. It sounds like you had a conversation where you felt listened to and you both compromised. This wont be the last conflict and this wont be the last time the two of you grow together. I think that the real question is whether or not he habitually takes you for granted, and if/when he does, whether you can effectively stand up for yourself. Answer these questions honestly and you’ll know if your problems can be solved. I feel like Coquette has some good advice for me when I’m in certain mental spaces, she helps remind me how to be unapologetic about who I am and gain the courage to draw boundaries…but as I’m aging and my relationships are deepening with my partner and my family, I also read Heather Havrilesky, who writes the Ask Polly section on NYmag. She has a lot in common with Coquette. They balance one another out quite well!

    • Hi says:

      Awww congratulations!!! My best wishes to you and your soon to be spouse.
      And thanks for the reality check, allowed me calm down about this whole marriage idea 😉

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