Advice column for dating

There are other issues that have arisen during our marriage: I began to discover a community and creative passions I couldn’t share with him; my husband decided he wanted kids, even though I had already told him I didn’t; and I became his sole source of emotional support.In response to the mounting pressures of our relationship, I began to numb myself to the niggling sense that something was wrong.

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I’m also afraid that there really is no one better out there for me, that I should be grateful for what I have, and that anyone I would be seriously interested in would be unlikely to be interested in me in the same way (seems to be the case, judging from experience). Signed, Claustrophobic *** Dear Sugar, I’m a woman living in limbo. You see, I’ve been contemplating leaving my long-term relationship of ten years but I am in total paralysis.

I hate feeling like I’m doing my boyfriend a disservice by not loving him as much as he loves me. My husband loves me, adores me, worships the ground I walk upon–despite the fact that I am oftentimes distant, morose, and completely repulsed at the idea of having sex with him. A year and a half ago, a flirtatious dalliance with a co-worker turned into a tumultuous affair that created a shitstorm in my personal life and an aftermath of what seems like irreparable damage.

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I’m vain, self-absorbed, depressed, angry, self-loathing, and lonely. I was raised to think I was a filthy person and God would only love me if I behaved. Then I met a man who told me God would love me anyway. But I am not really that person, and the longer we’re married the more trapped and broken I feel about burying the real me, the messed up person I already described. We were told we were too young to marry, but despite my own misgivings, I married to prove everyone wrong. I thought if I could be the person I was supposed to be, I would make myself okay. I spent a week in a psych ward for depression a few years ago because I just needed to put the brake on and knew that the only way to get through to him was something drastic: either I killed myself or I got help. However, the mask was back in place as soon as I was released, and my therapy was a joke.

I converted to fundamental Christianity and married the man. He knows all my scars, but as a Christian he doesn’t understand mental illness at all. He says if I just try harder, he knows I can get better. Nothing changed, and I feel myself reaching the breaking point again. We finally bought our first house, and most days I sit around it weeping.

Having said that, if I were to be completely honest with myself, things never felt quite “right.” I know that looking at the fallout of a relationship in hindsight isn’t usually helpful, but I have a shitload of woebegone journal entries to corroborate that feeling, so bear with me.

I’ve come to realize that I’m seriously incompatible with my husband.

I no longer have any urge to kill myself, and can recognize my own warning signs, but I do need a break. I have thought of leaving so many times, but I don’t want to hurt him.

He has worked hard to allow me to stay home (though we have no children).

We got married after six years of dating because marriage was the next step.

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