I Can’t Understand My Husband

Reader’s Question

My marriage is a modern arranged marriage. I mean before we met each other my husband’s father met me. He liked me (don’t know why) and then after going back to New Zealand he referred me to his son (my husband) and then my husband and me, we both started chatting online. Although my English is not great (whereas my husband understands English only and not Hindi), I can somehow make people understand my sentences.

I told my husband about my English condition and he mentioned that he is not under any force for marriage with me.

After 6 days of marriage, I found that He was ALREADY married twice. The first of his wives was Australian and a singer in choirs and also a solo performer. Second was American and half Indian. I also came to know that he had lots of girlfriends and all kind of relations with them.

When I found his past, I asked him to tell me everything in detail but he lied a lot about that and from that point I lost trust in him. I warned him that I will leave him if there is anything in the present and he reassured me by saying that there is nothing in the present and will not be in the future.

We have some communcation problems because of language. He often gets irritated because of my English. From first day of marriage he makes physical relation once a week (one year of marriage is completed just a few days ago). He also started taking singing lessons one year ago (like his first wife). Sometimes he indirectly refer his first wife. I think he still admires her though they are not at all in touch.

I asked him the reason for his previous divorces, and he told me that his first was not in love with him and she was with him just to get permanent residency in the UK and she was also very busy with her singing. Whereas his second wife was always saying that “this marriage was a mistake”.

My husband didn’t have a good childhood experience. As he was the eldest son of two and his mother left his father at age of 8 yrs, then his father married another women, whom his father left. His father was very strict. My husband is not very attached with family.

He was a very academic and intelligent person always but he had all kind of fun in his life. I never ever had a boy as my friend (I am from India).

I don’t know why his marriages broke but now he always pretends he is tired and getting old. He tries to escape bed time. He studies all the time and is busy with books. All the time he talks about politics to me and sometime ago he was saying sex is a animal activity.

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I can’t understand his behaviour. Help and suggest how I can get his love please. When I was new once he said to me that he wants mental satisfaction and physical. I listen to his thoughts carefully but I can’t talk about politics and science with him all the time. He wants me to support his ideas and gets angry if I don’t agree with his ideas.

Help me understand him please. I am also not sure that whatever he told me about his divorce reasons are true or not. Any suggestion for improvement in myself? I am not a bad looking girl either.

Psychologist’s Reply

I think you have a communication problem, not a language problem. You and your husband have problems talking about the marriage, the sexual relationship, honesty, and other important things. He wants to talk about politics because that is easier than talking about the marriage.

In the marriage, each of you may have a different level of romantic and sexual experience. If he has been married to two English-language and English-country women, you may be culturally different to him. That’s not bad but marriages must talk about those things.

He may also have some uncomfortable memories of his past relationships. These memories can often interfere with your marriage. His bad memories of childhood may also be interferring with your marriage as we often see our family as the way marriages should be. In his case, he has no healthy family, wife, or father models. Thinking about his two prior marriages, he may feel this marriage will also fail.

You are probably doing nothing wrong at all. Due to his experiences and background, he may be finding it difficult to have another relationship. As you discovered, online and Internet relationships can be wonderful — but they are artificial relationships. Living with someone is totally different. We don’t have 24 hours to think about a reply to a question when the person is in the same room…waiting for our response.

This may sound strange, but email each other, and privately. Don’t read it or type in when the other person is looking over your shoulder. Talk about personal issues through these emails — then don’t discuss them in the house. Ask questions back and forth. In this way, personal issues can be talked about in a more planned, deliberate manner. It’s like solving a problem in a friendship by letters or email. This may be helpful because you may have difficulty with your language during quick, emotional discussions and he may have difficulty expressing his feelings. Emailing slows down the process and both of you may benefit.

I suspect both of you don’t know what to do at this point. Marriage counseling may be helpful if both are interested.

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