103. I have been married for less than a year, but...
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I have been married for less than a year but I am having marital problems already.
We dated for 2 1/2 years. We met at church. He was my best friend and we could talk about any topic. I could share my hopes and fears and he was there to listen and support me and I did the same for him. We joked around with each other a lot. As far as I could see he was a man of integrity.
For the last 3 months, I have noticed some changes in him. He doesn't seem as interested in spiritual things. He doesn't go to church as often anymore. When I ask him to pray he is not in the mood. He seems to have lost his faith in God.
Our relationship is no longer the same. He's never in the mood to talk like we use to, or joke around. I asked him what was wrong and he said nothing. He has become more distant.

Things have gotten worse; we are now more like roommates than man and wife. I noticed a number keeps coming up on my home phone bill. So I checked his cell phone and he called the same number. I call the number and a woman answered (she pretended she had called the # by mistake). She then called my husband on his cell. He is angry that I went through his phone and also that I called her, but has given me no explanation as to why they are calling each other.
I suggested we go for counseling but he said no. I have tried to reach him, but nothing works. I have prayed and cried. I keep wondering what went wrong. I have gotten no response to my questions. The man I love and who I was sure loved me, seemed to have disappeared.  I prayed about our union and I really thought God wanted us to be together.

I remember the look on his face when we were at the altar. I felt so loved, so special, so cherished. Now when he looks at me he seems so cold. He doesn't care that he has hurt me. I told him he needs to let me know what he wants. If he is sorry he married me then let me know and stop stringing me along.  I want our marriage to work but as they say "one hand cannot clap".

I am not sure what to do next. I can't stop crying. I feel so disappointed and I miss our friendship most of all. I feel so alone. I haven't discussed our problems with my family and friends. I keep hoping we'll work things out. Please help me Dr. Smith, what can I do? Please pray for us.


Dear Hurting,

You have a problem. I sensed you pain, and it is not irrational, it is real. I have no explanation as to why your husband would turn a green lizard on you so quickly. It baffles my imagination. You seemed to have done all the right things; it was not a quick marriage, because you dated for 2 1/2 years. You married someone who pretended like he loved the Lord and pretended like he loved you immensely.

How could it have fallen apart so rapidly? Only God Himself knows, but I have a few things that I need to discuss with you.

1.    His heightened sensed of religiosity. Was he this religious before you dated him or became illumined after? Frequently, lovers interpret pseudo-spirituality for reality. However, if a lover becomes extremely religious after they have fallen in love, it’s a sign that they are just a fake. Unfortunately, most times the other lover sees it as a transcendental revelation from God.

2.    In those 2 ½ years of dating, were you sexually involved? Two many people are making the mistake of drinking the honey before the honey moon. So, after marriage they are just on the moon, forgetting that the moon only last for the night. It disappears in the presence of light. The moon can only shine in darkness. It is a spiritual fact that the man or woman you are in loved with and is having sex before marriage, will, a) end up not marrying you, b) will be unfaithful later on in marriage, or, 3) show lack of respect for you in marriage. You see if his/her character allows him/her to falter before marriage, then, the same is quite likely to happen after marriage.

3.    Did you check out his background? How did he handle past relationships? Did you talk to anyone about him before deciding to marry him? These days, people are claiming that their relationship is their business; therefore they do not need to discuss their business with anyone. That is farthest from the truth. If you are going to marry someone, you better make it the business of some others. You see, marriage does not exist in a vacuum, and no one is an island. How much homework did you do?

4.    Did you go for pre-marital counseling and if you did, for how long? Pre-marital counseling can reveal a multitude of sin and weaknesses. Yet, most people getting married, does not take this vital process seriously. Often times pre-marital counseling is the last thing the couple do before their marriage. After everything is set for the wedding and all deposits made or bills fully paid, then they say let us go for some counseling. Ha, Ha! lol, what are they counseling? They are not even hearing what the counselor is saying; their eyes and ears are so full of love. They will agree to everything, and will promise to change everything, just get it over counselor. We are in love, we are meant for each other, God brought us together, who are you to think otherwise. We will be getting married whether you think it is right or not. Had they done the pre-marital counseling prior to any date setting or any financial investment, they may have viewed things differently. Pre-marital counseling is not a joke it should be used to explore if two people are compatible for marriage.

5.    Were there any “Red Flags” that you consciously or unconsciously ignored? Red fags are flaws, subtle or overt, that and individual possess. Frequently, individuals in love see these red flags but fooled themselves into thinking that after marriage they will confront it, change it or live with it. But it is just not that simple. Red flags are to be confronted before marriage and appropriate steps taken. If red flags cannot be moved or changed, then you should have the courage to end all plans for marriage. This is not an easy thing to do, and love general appeals to the heart and not the brain, but after marriage, removing red flags is almost impossible.

I know I am asking you questions that are after the fact, but that’s all I have to work with, “after the fact”, you are reaching out to me “after the fact”. My heart goes out for you though. I know you are hurting and if you were in the country where I reside I would offer my service. If you are on skype you can reach me through that medium and I will give whatever possible help I can.

Your husband needs therapy, he needs someone to get to him and put some senses back into his head. Obviously, his heart is flirting with another woman, so early in his marriage, is sickening. Not that it would have been accepted later in the marriage. An affair is never accepted. Period.

Keep trusting in God, pray hard and ask Him for an intervention one way or another. Also, go talk with your pastor and ask him to help you. Tell your husband that I need to talk with him and arrange for a skype or telephone conversation. This is the most I can offer at the moment, may God’s continual blessings rest upon your hurting heart and give you peace.

God bless and I am praying for you.
Dr. Smith
For more information about Dr. Smith's services go to www.familyfixers.org