Dear Ms. Vicki,
My husband and I have been married for almost three years. We have two children who are 15 months apart.
My husband used to always be supportive of me and my goals, knowing what I wanted out of my life. After I had our first daughter, he pushed to get married right away in a courthouse and kept pushing until I finally just agreed. We married only nine days after she was born.
He told little white lies about things he'd do, such as adopting a child (a passion of mine). Now he says he won't do that.
I feel like he took my future and decided it for me. He told me what I wanted to hear, not the truth. He does not communicate with me no matter how much I ask and talk about doing things differently.
I'm just unhappy and struggling to understand because I now can never have what he knew I always wanted.
-- Me and My Air Force Husband
Dear Air Force,
As I read your letter, I was thinking that there is more beneath the iceberg of what you are experiencing and feeling. I think life has happened to you, and you are overwhelmed.
In other words, you are married, you have two young children and you are experiencing the stress of integrating your life with another person. In this case, the other person is your husband.
Moreover, after three years of marriage, you feel that you don't know him at all -- like he tricked you. It's like you were dating his "great replacement," and now that you are married, the real man is in the room and you don't like him.
In his defense, the fact that he has changed his mind about adoption is his choice. The last thing you want to do is to bring more children into a relationship when he doesn't want them. Moreover, you don't sound very happy in your marriage right now. So why would you add another responsibility to the mix? A child needs you to be emotionally healthy.
You sound trapped, almost like you regret getting married. Let me be more to the point: There are reasons you married your husband. Revisit those reasons, like the good you saw in him. Hold on to those reasons.
Here's my advice: First, I think you should start working on your individual goals. Individual goals are good because they will keep you happy and give you something to work toward. They are good for our self-esteem.
In addition, you should have couple or marriage goals too, but I don't think adoption is one of them. Your husband has changed his mind about adoption and that's OK. We have a right to change our minds.
Finally, I don't want you to become resentful toward your husband in the future. For this reason, I would recommend individual therapy to help you. Marriage therapy would be ideal for both of you, but your husband probably won't go. At any rate, it's OK if only you attend and get support from a good therapist.
Keep in touch and let me know what you decide to do.
-- Ms. Vicki