When I was 28 and still single, I met a man on a dating site who seemed kind, had a good job, and was having trouble finding a partner just like me. Stupidly, I got into a relationship with him and agreed to marry him after just five months of chatting online. In turn, I nearly ruined my life by rushing into a marriage I wasn’t prepared for.
Marriage is a bigger decision than I truly realized.
To some, marriage might just be a piece of paper, but it’s meant to be a lifetime commitment and it deserves all the thought that a decision of that importance entails. Needless to say, I didn’t give it this level of thought. Marriage is something you have to be ready for. I should never have pushed myself to do something I was uncomfortable with and unprepared for.
I did it for the wrong reasons.
Society still largely expects women to focus on marriage and having children and I fell prey to its expectations. All my friends were already married and my parents wanted grandchildren and cautioned me about the ticking of my biological clock. I didn’t want to get married until I found the right person, something I was told I was being picky about. In the end, I married my husband because of what everyone else, not because I truly wanted it.
People can and do lie on the internet.
Remember how I said the man I met had a good job and educational background? Well, he didn’t. He works a low-paying job that requires long, long hours. We’re constantly struggling to get by day to day. Money isn’t everything and you don’t have to go to a great college to succeed in life, but lying about it is a whole different thing. He assured me that he had money to take care of me but I’ve ended up spending thousands of dollars in savings to keep us afloat and keep a roof over our heads. It’s not the life I was told we would have, and if I was lied to about this, what else has he lied about?
I didn’t know about his family.
My husband didn’t want to talk much about his family when we first met online. Being a private person myself, I didn’t think this was out in the ordinary. But after we married, I realized why he’d be so reluctant to discuss them: my in-laws are old-fashioned and close-minded. They seriously dislike me and his mother regularly comes by unannounced to check on me and criticize everything I’m doing. They refuse to get along with me and expect me some kind of old-fashioned housewife. When you marry, your spouse’s family becomes yours, and this isn’t the family I wanted.
You don’t know how someone is really like until you spend time with them.
When chatting with him over the internet and even on video calls, my husband seemed like a kind man with a good heart. It just goes to show that you don’t really know how someone is until you spend time with them. My husband has a tendency to lose his temper suddenly and he gets angry at me for visibly no reason sometimes. He never listens to me and often talks down to those around him. He’s a completely different person than he pretended to be and I never would have married him if I knew.
I never met him so I couldn’t be sure we really were a good match.
Our personalities are so wildly different that getting along is difficult. We fight all the time and he can be scary when pushed too far. He’s a slob and I’m neat, he’s quick to anger while I can be dismissive, the list goes on and on. Plus, there’s zero chemistry in the bedroom.
We have different values.
I like to think of myself as an accepting and progressive person. I believe in LGBT rights. I believe in fighting racism and sexism. I believe in true equality and equity. My husband believes in none of these things. In this household, I’m forced to adhere to traditional rules. I have to clean the house and cook unassisted. I have no say in financial decisions. My job is to raise our kids and push out more if he so desires. With both my husband and his family angrily demanding these things of me, I feel like I can’t stand up for myself. It’s just me against many, many people. What chance do I have?
It was a culture shock.
I had to move far away to be with my husband and I had zero time to adjust. The culture is different, I stand out obviously, and it was so overwhelming when I first came here. If we took it slow, I could have adjusted over many visits. Instead, I had to learn to adapt all at once, and it caused me to sink into a depression that won’t go away.
I can’t leave him.
We have children now and despite all his flaws, my husband is a good father and my children love him dearly. I could never rip them away from him and I also cannot bear to lose them to him. In addition, I gave up my career when I moved and spent most of my savings on keeping us going. If I leave him, I will have nowhere to go and no way to support myself. I’m trapped.
It was my choice and now I have to live with it.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself that it’s my life. Marriage is a huge decision and I let myself be swayed by my family and my friends. This blinded me and caused me to make poor decisions. Now I feel like all I can do is make the best of a bad situation.
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