Can you out grow your spouse?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-01-2014
Can you out grow your spouse?
7
Sat, 03-01-2014 - 9:48pm

Hi Ladies. I'm glad to find a community in which I can find comfort in women that are going/have gone through something similar.

My husband and I have been married for just about four years. We are both in our late 20's. We met after we both got out of long-term relationships. We connected instantly and eventually ended up married and living together six months later. We've gone through our share of struggles, he had alcohol issues (that I didn't know about before we got married. He was good at hiding it). He is clean and sober going on two years now and we even went through a brief period of separation. Anyway, we've done our share of couples counseling and have gotten to a good place. That being said, I just don't feel connected to him any longer as a lover and partner. He is a wonderful person and I love him, but I feel like I've outgrown him. I graduated college right before we married and he just graduated this year. I've been the main breadwinner for most of our marriage and I feel like I've put a lot of my goals (traveling, starting a family, buying a home, etc.) on hold so he can finish school and pursue his passions. He is very emotional and dependent on me for his happiness, whereas I am more independent and social. If I leave the house for a brief time or when I'm at work, he'll call me and tell me he misses me constantly. I've really discovered and found myself in the last year since I've gone to counseling for some personal traumas from the past and I feel like I'm a butterfly that has finally emerged from its cocoon (as corny as it sounds). I'm at a real crossroads. I want to feel equal and challenged in a relationship and right now. I feel like we've done our part for each other and have really helped each other grow out of some difficulties, but beyond that... I just don't feel anything anymore. I feel like I'm acting and inside, I feel unhappy. If I do something, I feel like he'll blame himself and try to do something like hurt himself or not be able to deal with the pain. His family is absolutely wonderful and I would hate to dissappoint them. I just don't want to keep living like this... I feel like there's something more for me out there and I'm letting the days pass as I feel unhappy. 

Phew. Anyways, have any of you experienced this? What did you do? I'm really confused here.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Sat, 03-01-2014 - 10:04pm

I think you can outgrow your spouse. It sounds like you have progressed and grown a lot more than him. He seems to be awful insecure if he is constantly calling you at work or every time you leave the house for a short time. In all honesty that would drive me crazy if I could not go somewhere without my H calling me constantly. Does he not trust you or something? Was he always like this. or was there something that triggered this behavior?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Sat, 03-01-2014 - 10:04pm

I think you can outgrow your spouse. It sounds like you have progressed and grown a lot more than him. He seems to be awful insecure if he is constantly calling you at work or every time you leave the house for a short time. In all honesty that would drive me crazy if I could not go somewhere without my H calling me constantly. Does he not trust you or something? Was he always like this. or was there something that triggered this behavior?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Sat, 03-01-2014 - 10:04pm

I think you can outgrow your spouse. It sounds like you have progressed and grown a lot more than him. He seems to be awful insecure if he is constantly calling you at work or every time you leave the house for a short time. In all honesty that would drive me crazy if I could not go somewhere without my H calling me constantly. Does he not trust you or something? Was he always like this. or was there something that triggered this behavior?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Sat, 03-01-2014 - 10:08pm

Sorry this posted mutiple times. This has been happening a lot on here lately when Ionly hit send once. Don't know why they don't let you delete these?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Sun, 03-02-2014 - 12:08am

Of course you can, and you have.  It sounds like you jumped into the relationship with him way too fast, and progressed to marriage without really knowing each other, or at least you didn't know him.  If he was able to hide his drinking issue from you while you were living together, then it must not have been much of an issue.  He obviously has SOME issues if you feel he depends on you for his happiness!  Calling you to tell you he misses you when you've only been gone for a short time.......is not healthy, for sure.  You need to let him know that being so clingy is NOT normal, and he needs to stop it.  Hopefully he will be able to learn to stand on his own two feet quickly.  "If you do something".......meaning if you tell him it's over and you want to end the marriage, you're afraid he won't be able to handle it or might hurt himself......that statement shows that he has problems!  And, hard as it may be, you aren't responsible for him or his mental health.  Before you do it, try to get him to go to counseling with or without you so that you can air your grievances with a third party present......and let him know that you have to move on, and he needs to do the same.  In the end, if he can't handle it, it's NOT your responsibility.  I was married to a man with alcoholism and emotional problems for 20 years.  I told him I wanted a divorce, and told him to leave.  He cried, and he told me he would commit suicide.  I told him to do what he had to do......and guess what?  Within two months, he was married again!  He found someone else to deal with him and his problems.  After several years, she divorced him too.....and he didn't commit suicide, he DID drink himself to death......his suicide of choice.  Not MY problem.   What your husband does with his life is not your problem either!   Good Luck.

Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
Wed, 03-05-2014 - 2:59pm

Firstly, yes of course one can outgrow their partner. People can grow apart too, which probably has some overlap with the idea of one outgrowing another.

So, given that, have you outgrown him? It definitely sounds like it.

The basis of your issues probably started in your decision to marry so quickly. You did not allow yourselves time to get to know one another nearly enough. You found out and are still finding out things about him you should have known before the marriage. So you might say you two probably should not have married initially. Well you did, so what now? You made a mistake, we all make them. Should you be forced to live with that mistake for the rest of your life? Of course not. As was mentioned, it is not your responsibility how he might handle a break up. Of course you want the best for him and are concerned but that does not mean you have to wait around for him to grow up. In the end it will probably be good for him too, he will be able to pull himself together without his crutch around.

Others here would tell you, life goes by so fast. I went through a divorce and in hindsight it should have happened much sooner than it did. So much wasted time.

Community Leader
Registered: 09-25-2003
Fri, 03-07-2014 - 7:39am

YES.  You have already gotten great feedback.  I would add that you had already outgrown him before you met him.  It takes at least 3 years to reallly know someone.  Anyone can hide who they really are for an entire year, but you can't hide all of the issues when you have known someone for 3 years.  You jumped in way too fast, both of you for the wrong reasons.  Get out before you make babies.  Your husband is far too insecure to for this relationship to ever work.  It sounds like the more independent you get, the more needy he becomes.  Two individuals must be emotionally happy and stable.  I would recommend that after you divorce you don't date for a couple years so that you can figure out who YOU are as an individual first.