I don’t feel married

Did you just move in with a partner?

I'm looking to talk to people who moved in with someone right before this stay-at-home stuff started – the people who moved in with fall/winter/January leases and start dates. If that's you, can you email me at [email protected] with "love letters" in the subject line?

Also, we chat at 1.

I've been married for less than a year and I don't "feel" married.

My husband and I have been together for almost a decade. We were engaged for two years. I treated getting married as if I was renewing my driver's license – I'll get around to it. A month before the wedding, I was fighting with family  and trying to make everyone happy. After the wedding, I couldn't stop obsessing about the things that went wrong.

Since I got married, I haven't felt comfortable. I never understood what marriage was. I know I sound stupid, but I didn't realize how permanent everything is, and the sacrifices you have to make for another person. I started thinking about my life choices and all the regrets. I start imagining what my life would have been like if I had broken up with my husband years ago.

I'm not happy career-wise and I'm not ready to have children even though I want them eventually. I've realized how selfish I've been throughout our relationship because I’ve been focused on my wants and needs. I feel guilty because my husband tells me how happy he is being married and how much he loves me. Meanwhile, I don't feel married. Marriage isn't something I'm excited about. I feel horrible about it.

Why do people make such a big deal about getting married? I cringe when I see weddings/proposals now. I didn't feel like this a year ago. What happened to me? I wish I were different. I wish I were someone who could be excited about marriage – giddy, even. We haven't even gone on our honeymoon yet and I'm not really eager to plan it. I'm more concerned about getting a better job. I'm afraid that everything I've been writing points to divorce. I don't want to be a statistic. I want to feel better. I want to be better.

– Married


It sounds like you could use some counseling. Therapy is a good thing right now. This isn't just about your marriage, it's about having faith in your own choices and desires. If you look at yesterday’s letter, you'll find a list of resources for people seeking help right now.

My sister got married in 2012. She was in her late 30s, and the party was fantastic – a great celebration of love. Years later she told me that the first year of her marriage was weird because it wasn't really any different than the year before. Yes, she was legally connected to her now-husband because of the paperwork, but it's not like she saw her life change in any tangible way. They were already living together. There was this feeling of emptiness because after all of that planning and hype and stress and loved ones in the room, it was all ... the same. That wound up being great, though, because she was able to focus on her everyday life with her partner. That's what was most important.

It’s OK that you're more excited about finding a new job than taking a honeymoon. You don’t have to push yourself to have kids before you're ready. You don't even need to feel married; you just have to want to build a life with the person you're with. Some people love the idea of weddings and marriage – it means something big to them. But getting married can also be like getting a driver's license. You take the test and get the paperwork so you can travel to new places.

Maybe it's better to focus on your partner and all of those new places.

– Meredith

Readers? Does the letter point to divorce? What did the first year of marriage feel like for you?