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Would you change something about yourself to save your marriage?

(71 Posts)
Nessalina Sat 28-May-16 20:46:53

My DH is not happy because there is something about me that is upsetting him. He won't tell me what it is, but he's been in a black mood today and when I tried to find what, he said it's something to do with me, but won't say what.
I feel like I have tried to change a lot about myself in the 10 years we've been together, and lately I've been trying to lose weight as he said during a counselling session that he finds me less attractive now I'm heavier than I was when we met. I'm also trying hard not to do a habit that I have in front of him (like biting my nails, but not that, too outing) even though it's something I've always done and he never used to have an issue with it, he now hates it.
I thought after counselling sessions that things were better, but he still isn't happy, and I feel like if I bend any more I'll break. I don't want to live in fear of judgement. But am I just being awkward. Should I change to make him happy? sad
We are married, and have a toddler, and he's a great dad, really involved, genuinely 50/50 parenting. He has a history of anxiety and depression, but I don't know if that's really relevant here.
I'm rambling. Just really upset and don't know what to do.

maggiethemagpie Sat 28-May-16 20:51:00

I think if you change something to make another person happy, you do that at the expense of your relationship with yourself. Which, I have learned, is far more important than your relationship with anyone else.

Besides what if you change it and they are still not happy.

No, take the risk to be yourself. If he can't accept you as you are that's his problem, not yours.

RosieandJim89 Sat 28-May-16 20:52:27

It would depend on what that something was and if he was making any effort to make compromises. I wouldn't change things just for him if it makes you unhappy. If he was unhappy because I was messy I would try harder. If it was something more personal then no. You are supposed to love your partner for who they are not who you want them to be.

Piemernator Sat 28-May-16 20:53:38

Regardless of his MH he is being spectacularly awful to you.

I'm wondering if he just wants you on edge due to his own insecurities. He is the only person that can make himself happy.

AnyFucker Sat 28-May-16 20:55:25

Jesus Christ. What happened to you to make you such a man pleasing doormat ?

Your joint counsellor wants sacking that he/she hasn't picked up the abuse in your relationship.

museumum Sat 28-May-16 20:59:28

I would only if it was something I wanted to do and was good for me - like say giving up smoking or tutu g down drinking.
If I did have a bad habit like nail biting but more off putting I might try to stop but I'd expect support and help not criticism.

I do try to be less messy now I live with Dh than I was when I lived alone.

To be honest though it sounds like your Dh is just picking away at you rather than having issues with just one thing.

seeyounearertime Sat 28-May-16 21:00:47

he said it's something to do with me, but won't say what.

I'd suggest the thing you change is the person you're with. He's a fucknut.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Sat 28-May-16 21:00:58

Perhaps you could ask him to change something about himself. He could stop being such a judgemental twat and love you for who you are.

SanityClause Sat 28-May-16 21:02:33

Gawd, if it's not one thing, it's the next.

Is there anything he actually likes about you? Or is he trying to change you into a different person entirely?

Nessalina Sat 28-May-16 21:03:38

Ha! Thanks for your brutal honesty AF. I do sound like a doormat.
I'm not a 'man-pleaser', I'm a him-pleaser. I don't think it's mad to want your husband to be happy. But I really don't know if he CAN be happy.
I cried buckets in the session when he talked about my weight, and the counsellor (Relate) was obviously concerned, but I guess I give off the vibe that I can look after myself I think. I'm quite confident generally, in work and with friends, but my body image is shot after pregnancy, and I really want to feel better about myself.

Nessalina Sat 28-May-16 21:08:30

These things always sound more brutal when you right them down. He said he can't talk to me about what it is because he 'doesn't want to upset me'. But it is upsetting me. I asked if whatever it is was more important than our relationship and our son, and he reckons it is, but won't tell me what it is. It's so fucking frustrating.

thecatfromjapan Sat 28-May-16 21:08:57

He won't tell you what it is? That's someone power-tripping you.

I agree with AnyFucker: You need to change your counsellor.

In the short-term: yes, we often modify ourselves in relationships, all relationships (with some friends, I will be loud; with some, quiet; with my children, I will take on far more of a ledership role than I would with friends; etc.) BUT what appears to be going on here is that your partner is forcing you to feel negatively about yourself, on edge, judged and found wanting.

That is a weird dynamic - abusive, frankly - and your counsellor should have picked up on that and challenged it.

I think you need a really good dose of self-love and confidence from somewhere. It's not going to come from your intimate relationship - your intimate relationship is clearly undoing all of that. I can't think where you might get that from. Do you have trusted friends, who think you are great, just as you are?

claraschu Sat 28-May-16 21:11:05

My husband has a couple of habits that drive me crazy. I feel like he could make the effort to change for me. He chews with his mouth open and sometimes he sniffs repeatedly and doesn't bother to blow his nose. The sounds drive me crazy (misophonia).y

AnyFucker Sat 28-May-16 21:11:35

You would feel better about yourself if this inadequate twat wasn't taking chunks out of your confidence

How did you end up in joint counselling with him ? I would have recommended individual counselling for your self esteem issues. A good counsellor would then have explored why you are trying to please someone who will never allow you to feel good about yourself.

thecatfromjapan Sat 28-May-16 21:13:26

That's the point - it IS upsetting you. Of course it is. If someone said to me, "I don't like something about you but I'm not going to tell you what it is ..." I'd be worrying. Multiply that by 100 if it were somebody I truly care for.

It's not OK. It is absolutely legitimate to feel upset. Of course you're upset.

The thing is, someone who does that to you is - actually - not someone who is trustworthy when it comes to letting them tell you about yourself, or when it comes to your emotional well-being.

He is not acting with love towards you when he does this.

BotanicalPJs Sat 28-May-16 21:15:49

I would try and change anything to save my marriage because my marriage is so important to me and I wouldn't want to be without DH.

MatildaTheCat Sat 28-May-16 21:17:12

I suspect it's something sexual. If he's willing to criticise your weight he doesn't have many boundaries in terms of upsetting you.

Tell him he has to say what it is but he will have to hear your list of items you would like him to change.

Marriage is about acceptance and compromise. Ok, if you have a habit of spitting on the carpet every few minutes he may have a point but if he simply dislikes your very existence he needs to X amine what he wants from life.

If he's been watching porn and wants you to bahave in the manner of a porn star then you might want to take control of this situation and tell him to fuck off. Actually you might want to do that anyway.

macromolecule Sat 28-May-16 21:20:29

If he REALLY didn't want to upset you surely he wouldn't have said anything at all?

But since he has, it's incredibly cruel to say that to you and leave you trying to guess what the issue is. He can't expect to say that and leave you hanging. My exdh used to do similar to this and it was all a game designed to make me beg him to tell me what was wrong. Pretty much when I said, fine, have it your way and stopped begging, he'd come and find me five minutes later and tell me! In the end when he wouldn't tell me I just used to say that's fine! And then completely ignore him.

Is it possible this is what he's doing? In any case I advise not begging him to tell you and also not giving a shit! If he won't tell you what's wrong how can you be expected to care?

thecatfromjapan Sat 28-May-16 21:21:29

By the way, I think this, from MaggietheMagpie, is relly, really important:

"I think if you change something to make another person happy, you do that at the expense of your relationship with yourself. Which, I have learned, is far more important than your relationship with anyone else."

Life is a long journey. A large part of that journey is about learning who you are, who you might be - and you are going to change a lot on this journey, in ways you enjoy and ways you don't. You are only just starting out when it comes to learning about yourself. It seems awfully soon to compromise yourself before you even know who you are, what you want to do, what you want to be, what you ar going to need on this journey.

Ideally, we should look for fellow-travellers who are going to really help us on this journey; people who are really interested in us, like us, and really want us to succeed.

KondosSecretJunkRoom Sat 28-May-16 21:22:50

If I was being unkind or being an arsehole, I would change that to save my marriage. But other than that, I would change very little. And it's not that I don't love my dh or value my marriage, it's just that I think it was dead in the water by the time we had started making each other jump through hoops.

PurpleDaisies Sat 28-May-16 21:24:37

The fact he won't tell you is a big problem. I made my dh stop picking is nails in the living room because it made me feel sick. I'd be willing to do similar...that sort of thing's just give and take but if it were something really big and important I'd seriously question our relationship.

The trouble is your dh has given you nothing to go on. That's not the action of someone who genuinely wants to save a relationship.

starry0ne Sat 28-May-16 21:24:46

Not in these circumstances..

He is making you feel like crap....There is something wrong with you and I am not going to tell you what it is ..I shall just watch your self esteem drop further...

My Favourite commet of the thread was Perhaps you could ask him to change something about himself. He could stop being such a judgemental twat and love you for who you are

Joysmum Sat 28-May-16 21:30:38

He doesn't want to tell you, not because he doesn't want to upset you but because it ramps up the pressure on you and makes you more malleable.

It's manipulation, nothing more.

If he didn't want to upset you he'd not have mentioned this supposed problem.

Get wise to him hmm

80schild Sat 28-May-16 21:35:02

A person that genuinely loves you will only want you to change if they think it will make you happier (e.g., losing weight, being a bit more sociable) and not because it will make them happier.

If it is making you miserable then I would say he is being selfish and needs to confront his own issues.

Canyouforgiveher Sat 28-May-16 21:35:41

tell him you need to talk to him. Sit down with a very serious face. Say "There is something about you I hate. I need you to change it if we have any chance of surviving as a couple. I won't tell you what it is because I don't want to upset you but it is going to make me very bad-tempered"

Then get up and go about your business as usual. If he wants to continue the conversation say "no I don't want to upset you but I have to let you know that I will probably be in a very bad mood for days because of this issue that I can't tell you about"

See how he feels being at the receiving end of such twaddle and emotional fuckwittery.

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