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Struggling to keep myself together

This is a TLDR as there is a lot of information and this is as best as I could sum it up.

I’ve been dating my now wife for 6 years, and we got married last year. I’m 27, she’s 26. We went to high school together. She was from a very traditional Christian family that wanted us to marry first before we lived together. So we dated for 6 years before we finally got married and moved in together last fall. It was never perfect, but nothing in life ever is. She and I got along well but we didn’t have any time as a newly married couple, or even got to have a honeymoon because when she moved in she had just started her new job in medical coding and decided that she would try to tackle full time classes to pursue another degree as well. I’ve always had a short fuse and she’s always been very blunt with words. Unfortunately, tensions were very high, and we got on each other’s nerves very easily. The love was always there, but the way it was shown wasn’t. Neither one of us were doing our part to listen to each other’s love language. Eventually in March we had a final argument that made her leave. She moved back to her parents’ house and we’ve been in a “trial” separation where we were originally just supposed to be taking time apart to come back and be stronger. We never were able to get couples counseling together. She just refused it for pretty much the entire separation. With no end in sight and just feeling in limbo in the relationship I felt lost and still do. About 2 months ago I succumbed to the weakness in my heart and decided that I wanted to die. I overdosed. One hospital trip later and I’m still here. I have been trying to show her that it’s worth giving our marriage a chance, but she is emotionally checked out. About a month ago she told me that she thinks that divorce would be the best option for us at the moment. She actively says that she still loves me and cares about me but doesn’t know if she will be able to get over the past issues, we had in our relationship even though we’ve addressed the issues. She and I have only had counseling separately during this separation and never together. She finally agreed to couples counseling last week but advised me that I shouldn’t get my hopes up or expect a change. This is just a TLDR and there is probably more information I needed to post to give more background, but that is the basics of my struggles at the moment. I’m not doing well mentally. I truly want my marriage to work. I love this woman with all my heart and soul and she says the same to me and that’s why it just is so confusing and hard to handle.

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First off, welcome to the community! You’re in the right place.

Two people can love each other with every fiber of their being, but it takes more than love to make a partnership work. It takes communication and teamwork. Unfortunately you’ve gone pretty far down a jagged path, and the fissure in your marriage won’t fix itself overnight or without A LOT of hard work.

What you can do now is humble yourself. Ask her what she needs, and ask the marriage counselor what tools you can use to meet those needs. Now is NOT the time for responding with short fuses. It’s also not the time for self-deprecation. That’s a fine line to walk. Your wife can hurl all sorts of toxic venom your way, and you need to calmly (and probably internally) respond with “I’m sorry you feel that way.” In a biblical context, when Jesus was being led to death, he didn’t fight his persecutors, but he also didn’t think “they’re right, I’m terrible.” He took what they were doing to him with complete, strong humility, and that’s what made his execution such a powerful act of love.

You mentioned speaking each other’s love languages. Have you read that book by Gary Chapman? It really aids communication between spouses, and in some cases has brought them back from the brink of divorce. An example of miscommunication would be “He buys me flowers every week, but I just want him to do the dishes once in awhile.” It’s not a gripe about chores, it’s that she feels most loved when he performs Acts of Service, not Gift Giving. It’s something I’d highly recommend you read, and her too if she’s open to it.

I wish I could guarantee a happy ending, but I can’t. What I can say is that if you do everything you can, you put the ball in her court. I hope she sees it that way too. Good luck man, we’re pulling for you.

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