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Woman creates 'demanding' relationship contract with husband of 6 years. 'Are these ultimatums too harsh?!' UPDATED 4X

Woman creates 'demanding' relationship contract with husband of 6 years. 'Are these ultimatums too harsh?!' UPDATED 4X


When this woman is upset with her husband, she asks the internet:

"I made a plan to create a relationship contract with my husband of six years and I'm having second thoughts. Is this a good idea?"

I am extremely unsatisfied with my husband, and I’m going to give him a contract in a last-ditch attempt to make this marriage more satisfying. It’s still functional (if annoying), but I haven’t given up on it being a joy in my life just yet.

My husband (34) and I (31) were set up by family members almost seven years ago. Our families are conservative and value marrying young, and we were both getting a little old to be unmarried by their standards.

We’ve been married for six, and had two daughters (5 and 2). He’s an accountant, I’m at home with the kids now and will eventually go back to working.

In the course of our marriage, a bunch of problems have developed. I’ll explain them, why they bother me, and what I did about them.

he started believing that he has depression and anxiety and actually wanted to get a therapist. I don’t believe that those are real things, and I definitely don’t want him going to some lying bitch who will cost a hundred dollars an hour to fill his head with lies.

He stopped talking about it, but he still clearly thinks that his problem is clinical (he once ordered a weighted blanket online without telling me. I threw it in the trash before he got home). I made it clear that I don’t want to hear about it and that he needs to man up.

He’s become really emotionally weak in general and always seems on edge around me. We set a rule that if he starts crying, he has to leave the room so that he’s not doing it in front of me or the kids. I need him to set a good example for them.

He was thin to begin with, and he looks like he’s lost at least twenty pounds (he blamed “anxiety” before I set the rule against talking about it).

I’ve told him to get on that because it makes him look like less of a man and he’s already short. No dice. I told him that it makes me look bad as his wife. No dice. I have to scold him into finishing his plate like he’s a child.

He seems to be avoiding spending time with me. He takes the kids and leaves to stay at his parents’ every other weekend, and often visits friends on weekends when he doesn’t (again, often taking the kids).

Often I’ll tell him not to, but he does it anyhow. This has gotten more frequent as time goes on, and now he’s rarely home on weekends. He works 10:30-8:00, and often he’s not home until nine or ten at night. He says he either had to do some overtime or he went out with a friend after work.

Either way, it’s happening much more than it used to. During my second pregnancy, he offered looking after the kid in the morning so that I can sleep in. He can’t stop me from waking up and being with him at that time, but he does say that he likes having time alone with the kids.

We end up fighting a lot when we’re together. It’s mostly because if he’s not around a lot, I have to get out all my grievances with him while I have him. I feel like part of the reason why he comes home late is so the kids won’t see us fighting.

He’s best friends (or at least used to be, he doesn’t talk to me much about his friendships anymore) with this gay couple.

Now, I’m a live-and-let-live type, but my husband seems like the type to be especially vulnerable to their influences (right after we married, he told me that he’s not a very se%ual person but that we could have se% as often as I want.

In general, he shows very little lust, and essentially none in recent years) and I don’t want them confusing him about who he is or what he wants. He also takes our daughters around them. I’m not sure how comfortable I am with that.

He still offers se% when asked to, but he never initiates anymore. I once quit initiating to see how long it would take, and it was almost three months before I broke down and initiated. The sex itself is fine. He’s never been very enthusiastic, but as of late he‘s been even less so, and won’t tell me why.

Anyhow, the contract: He has to stop believing that he has depression and anxiety, and toughen up emotionally. He is allowed to cry at home twice a week. He has to gain back the weight he’s lost.

He can visit his parents for the weekend once a month, and can leave for a friend’s house for upwards of three and a half hours once a month (visits of three and a half hours or less are not restricted in frequency).

He has to stop hanging out with the gay couple he’s friends with. He has to initiate s% at least twice a month, regardless of the frequency at which I am initiating. He has to initiate physical intimacy (kissing) at least twice a week.

I will get up early at least twice a week from now on, and the kids will see us interacting like a couple should. During this time he is not to start arguments.

In general, he is to stop giving me the impression that he’s avoiding spending time with me. His curfew for weeknights is 9:20, and he may break it once per week.

Divorce goes against our religion, so I don’t have to worry about him dropping me over this, plus he’s a pretty passive person in general. And despite everything, I do still want him around.

He’s a great provider, the kids love him, and raising two children by myself without his help would be difficult. Plus, no one would want a woman in her 30s with two kids. But I wish he were the man I married.

He’s gotten weak and cowardly and it only gets worse the more I tell him to get it together. Basically, I wish I could still respect him. Maybe if I tell him as much, and he sees direct, specific ways he can change that written in ink, he’ll wake up.

Four months after he signs the document, we can review it, and if all goes well, hopefully the habits will be in place and we won’t need a contract anymore.

Anything I should change before I finalize it and print it out? TL;DR: I am thinking of making a contract in order to make a marriage that we're basically trapped in more pleasant. I need advice on how to make it as effective as possible.

And now, OP's 1st update:

So, two weeks ago I made a post to Reddit about how to fix my relationship with my husband. A little background- we’re 31F and 34M, and have two kids- 5F and 3F. Our religion forbids divorce, and my reputation and social life would be at serious risk if it were known that we had marital problems.

If you want to know more about our marital problems, go look at the only post in my post history.

I took everyone’s advice- I started being nicer to my husband, got a marriage counselor, never used the marriage contract, and even replaced the item of his that I threw away (it’s ordered. He’ll think it showed up months late, but I’m not admitting to throwing it away when our marriage is already so precarious).

For a while, I even thought it was working, because he seemed a little more at ease with me and we weren’t fighting as much.

Then, yesterday happened. The marriage counselor said outright that though he almost never recommends divorce, I had “come from an abusive household,” and was “creating a toxic environment for my family.”

None of this is true. He said that he couldn’t force us to get a divorce, and that he would continue to help us improve our relationship if we didn’t, but that he couldn’t keep going in good conscious without saying that. He also offered to see us separately to help us handle the emotional side of the divorce, if that’s what we decided.

I was disappointed, because I thought I’d found a counselor who understood our situation on a social and religious level. I told him that his services would no longer be needed, and we paid him and left for home.

I told my husband on the way back that the counselor was just trying to double his profits by seeing us separately instead of together, and he forced a laugh. Then he started asking questions about how I treat the girls.

I treat them fine. He mentioned that our five year old has started leaving the room whenever she cries (up until two weeks ago, I a rule against my husband crying in front of me, so he would leave the room when he started crying during our fights).

It’s not my fault she picked that up! I never had that rule for her. He said that that doesn’t make that better. Of course it does?? Anyhow, we were fighting the entire car trip.

Last night I didn’t see him. I was asleep before he got home. We saw each other this morning, but didn’t really speak. Then tonight, he brought up divorce again and we got into another screaming match.

I told him that if we divorced, it wasn’t just me that our families would hate until the end of time- they’d hate him, too. He was going to make us both pariahs in our church and social circles.

Then he took the kids and left to God knows where, saying that he didn’t care because he couldn’t live like this anymore. I’m terrified right now and I don’t know how to talk him out of doing this. What do I do?

Update 2:

I am 31F. My husband is 34M. Our kids are 3F, 5F, and one on the way. We're effectively divorced, but we're not going to go through any of the legal stuff yet, because my husband feels it would be wrong to put me through that while I'm pregnant (why he feels it's better to do while I'm caring for an infant is beyond me).

He makes the money, I stay home with the kids. He's said that he'll leave me enough to live on, and if I get custody of the kids, more than enough for them to live on- but he's going to fight to get custody if he can. He plans on leaving the kids with his parents while he works if he can pull it off.

This is obviously ridiculous. Yes, his parents are retired, but foisting a toddler and an infant on them five days a week (our oldest is in kindergarten)? His reasons for this is because he disagrees with some of my parenting methods, but come on- they're in better (and younger) hands with their mother.

Update 3:

I’m planning to become a nun in roughly seven months. Where do I go? What do I bring? What do I have to have done beforehand?

I’m not telling anyone what I’m doing beforehand. How easy will it be for them to track me down? I want them to never see me again, but they probably won’t look too hard.

Also, can you become a nun if you were married before? We’re currently separated and I could get the divorce in writing at any time. I’m in Arizona, btw, but I’m willing to travel to anywhere in the United States for this.

Update 4:

I lived all my life thinking that if I just followed God enough and did what I was told it would give me happiness and pride. Instead all it gave me was a miserable marriage to a pathetic man, judgement from all my peers, and so few skills that I have no idea what to do next.

I’m 32F, and have never worked for money in my life. I’m three months pregnant our third child, and he wants to divorce me as soon as I’ve recovered from the birth.

He wants to take the kids due to differences in parenting methods, and I’ve decided not to fight it. I don’t even want visitation rights. If I never see anyone from my old life again, it’ll be too soon.

So... how do I do this? How do I get work skills? What do I do now that I serve hedonism instead of God? Where do I go for social support now that I can’t go to church or anyone from my old life? What do heathens do for fun?

Part of me is really excited to wear slutty dresses and watch Marvel movies and drink cocktails and have casual se% and live alone in an apartment with four cats and a common-law lover and stuff like that, but I’m also scared.

I don’t know what I’m getting myself into. What if I don’t like it? I can’t wait to leave my family, but what if this isn’t any better?

What steps should I be taking right now?

Update 5:

10 months ago, responding to a comment about having been a terrible wife. Yeah. I’ve started going to therapy and I can see that now. My husband is doing better now that we are only coparents.

We’ve decided that it’s best if I don’t have equal custody of the kids, but I’m still going to have visitation rights with them every other weekend. We’ve both left Fundamentalism, and I can’t lie, it’s lonely.

I wasn’t really supposed to interact with people outside of it, so I don’t really have friends anymore. Getting a job is also proving pretty difficult while I’m pregnant, but hopefully it’ll go better once the baby is born.

We already have a place figured out for me to move into once I’m recovered from the birth, and we’ll formally divorce whenever one of us decides it’s necessary. I imagine since he’ll have young kids to look after it’ll be a while, but we’re okay with that."

3 months ago, responding to a comment about whether or not she has stopped abusing her children. "I only see them every other week, but yes."

Sources: Reddit
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