Ask Angela: I'm 24 and I think I'm headed to a divorce

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  • Mallie64 Provo, UT
    March 6, 2014 8:13 a.m.

    I sat in church one Sunday next to an older couple, the man got up and bore his testimony and I leaned over to his wife and said "I wish I could find me a husband like that" her reply was sweet and simple "dear, it took me over 50 years to help him become this way".

    I am a victim of divorce, and had 3 young children. Make sure you don't involve a child it will not make a marriage better I think back almost 16 years ago now and I just went in blazing with "I want a divorce"and for someone who is depressed or making poor choices, they will most likely reply something like"fine". If you truly want to fix the marriage I think talk of divorce or attorney's should be the last resort. But only you can receive inspiration about what to do from the Holy Ghost, I would pray and seek guidance about professional help. Our dear Bishops are not marriage counselors but they could get you to the right one. These computer games are a very hard on the spirit .

  • PepperLayne Salt Lake City, 00
    Dec. 29, 2013 12:11 p.m.

    Here's a thought - Have you ever tried playing video games with him? It's obviously something he enjoys doing, maybe showing some interest in what he likes to do is the key here. Video games themselves are not horrible things - lots of couples enjoy gaming together. I'm not saying turn in your Pinterest board for a Xbox Live account, but it's possible that he didn't show his interest in gaming while you were dating for fear of putting you off because gaming has this stigma attached to it that gamers are lazy, unmotivated couch potatoes, when 99% of the time, that's the furthest from the truth! And maybe he sees the "nagging" as just another person who doesn't understand his hobby, so he just keeps playing to drown you out. Just because video games are involved doesn't mean those are the problem. Learn something about his hobby and recognize that it's something he likes, even if you choose not to participate (or maybe you'll like it too! You never know).

  • smarty pants Herriman, UT
    Dec. 28, 2013 7:16 p.m.

    Dear newlywed, you are right about making plans for the future. He needs to stop acting like a teenager who plays video games all day long. He is a married man and has a wife. He needs to start looking for a part time job and finish whatever education he began or find a career. There are many part time jobs out there. When there it's a will you find the way to do this. All that about depression can be true so maybe it will be good to take care of that, but to justify him all the time it's not right. I've seen so many close friends going to therapy, to just find that the husband is justified for everything. At the end it's just a waste of time and money. I say ask go to his family and your family first. Good luck. And you are not nagging, you are just looking for progress. Having no children at this point it's the best. If divorce is the answer, it will be easier to not deal with custody, visit time and all that drama that hurst children in the long term .

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Dec. 27, 2013 8:08 a.m.

    To me it sounds like the husband is addicted to video games. He needs help for his addiction. He needs to go into counseling. He may have other issues like depression. He really needs to be in the LDS Church's Addiction Recovery Program. Even more than that the wife needs to be in the LDS Church's Family Support Group. There are lots of wives who have faced similar situations, and this wife needs that support.

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    Dec. 16, 2013 6:34 a.m.

    Given the relatively benign nature of these problems (at least there is no abuse or adultery going on), divorce is probably premature at this time (especially if we are talking about a couple who have been sealed in the temple). However, I really have to question this girl's judgement in selecting her husband in the first place. She married him on the basis of a whole lot of promises but without expecting to see any results first. She should have seen him commit to finding a job and laying down ground rules for how the household would operate before they got married. I was in a difficult situation too before I got married (and still am to a large extent) but at least I was putting forth the effort to find employment and become financially stable. This is why the Church teaches that we should have long courtships and short engagements, instead of just jumping into marriage haphazardly as is common in Mormon culture.

  • SheBear Orem, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 4:12 p.m.

    I hasten to add that I didn't mean in my most recent comment that the husband described in this article has committed any grievous sin. I only meant to respond to the idea that a "yes" answer when praying about marrying someone means the marriage will definitely last; it might not. Nor does it mean a person must remain in a bad situation. There isn't enough information about this marriage for any of us to know what the wife should do. She'll have to figure that out herself (with prayer and good counsel, one hopes). But the option of divorce shouldn't be dismissed out of hand, and not all people who choose to divorce are bad.

  • SheBear Orem, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 2:28 p.m.

    When the Lord answers "yes" to the question of marrying someone, that doesn't mean the marriage is going to work out. People still have agency. There have been people, even bishops, Relief Society presidents, etc., who've committed unrepentant grievous sin. The scriptures contain many stories of people whose choices (Eli, David, Judas...) lost them their covenant promises. That doesn't mean the calling was a mistake. God never removes the power of agency from *anyone*. There have been many people who made a righteous decision, based upon prayer and other good resources, to marry someone who eventually made divorce a necessity. We believe in keeping covenants, but if you have kept your covenants and your spouse hasn't, the covenant is still broken (sometimes temporarily, sometimes permanently). It is easy to fall into an idolatry of marriage. God has commanded some people to leave family members, even spouses--and His command takes priority over any other. In His own time and way, and in a way that truly blesses the wronged spouse, God will make good the blessings promised to someone who has kept his or her covenants.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 12:12 p.m.

    I have a hard time recommending divorce in this situation. Yes, I understand that it must be incredibly frustrating being the wife in this situation. But marriage is a LONG-term commitment. I have been married for over 20 years. There were situations that took 5 or more years to change behaviors in my marriage - both her issues and mine. I am so glad I didn't divorce after even a few years of waiting for my wife to change her behavior on some issues. I am so glad she didn't divorce after waiting for me to change my behavior over an issue that took over 5 years.

    I realize I don't personally know the husband in this situation, but I have a hard time thinking he will permanently stay in his situation. When a marriage partner continues bad behavior for months, even a few years at a time, it is easy to think it is permanent, and will NEVER change. But that isn't always the case.

    Stick it out, and maintain the patience of Job. It could very well work out in the end.

  • BleedCougarBlue Enid, OK
    Dec. 13, 2013 7:03 p.m.

    Talk to a counselor.

    Invite him to come along.

    Talk to your bishop.

    Invite him to come along.

    If your husband starts to make positive changes in his life, stay.

    If your husband refused to make positive changes in his life, leave, and do so immediately.


    1 - Because you don't have a "marriage", you have a dead weight. Any "marriage" like that will be immediately disolved by God upon your/his death, anyway.

    2 - Because if the plane is going down in flames, sticking around to be a part of the crash is not going to help you at all. Period.

    Good luck.

    Signed -

    An LDS husband (with kids) in a troubled 25-year marriage.

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    Dec. 13, 2013 12:58 p.m.

    Dear Angela,

    My wife is nagging me to death and even threatening divorce. She does not have a paying job, but considers it her full-time job to plan holidays and ride me down about everything. I don't know if you have ever been out of work, Angela, but it is very stressful. I feel shell-shocked. Job hunting these days is largely done online, and I submit resumes daily. Computer gaming has been my hobby for a long time (my wife knew and accepted this before we married) but now wants me to stop doing it. Look, I have graduated from college and done everything right; now I am suffering tremendous stress while attempting, single-handedly, to make our future happen. I do have the same long-term goals as her, but it is hard to discuss them right now while she is so hyped-up and I am so stressed. Why can't she understand? What makes her pursue the "scorched-earth" course rather than love and understanding?

    Stressed, not depressed

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 10:28 a.m.

    I would have a very direct discussion with him along with a trained, certified marriage counselor who has been or is married.

    If your husband doesn't change and if your marriage and his actions really are the way you say there are, then divorce should be strongly considered. It sounds (again, according to your side) that he isn't a devoted, caring provider or even a caring, loving spouse.

    To be sure, people can change and I hope he does.

    The marriage counselor can help you see areas that you don't see now including any areas where you may need to change or improve to make your marriage a success. Marriage though is like a living thing - it takes DAILY nourishment and care.

    I would not bring this up with your bishop as he isn't trained in marital counseling, unless he too is a certified, trained marriage counselor. As a bishop, he is trained to teach the doctrines and beliefs of the LDS church, but that is about it.

    Best of luck to you and your husband!

  • rogerdpack2 Orem, UT
    Dec. 12, 2013 3:40 p.m.

    Sounds like he's addicted to those video games. Best see a counselor and pull the plug. Good luck!

  • Anadine South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 12, 2013 10:57 a.m.

    It sounds like he may have depression. I would talk to him about counseling, and talk to your Bishop. If he is experiencing depression, nagging really won't help. It tends to enhance the problem rather than help, because the person struggling only internalizes the nagging or critiquing and becomes more depressed. Ask your husband if he's willing to talk to someone and then make an appointment. If he doesn't want to have counseling then go for your self and see if you can get some help in how to deal with your frustrations and learn more effective communication techniques.

  • mancan HC, UT
    Dec. 12, 2013 9:30 a.m.

    Not being able to get a job is a cold hard reality of this economy. I don't think that is the only problem here. There are plenty of fast food places and stores looking for help, even if it pays minimum wage and is only part time. But work is an eternal principal and nobody should sit around being lazy just because the dream job hasn't materialized.

    But if sincere efforts to find a job are not getting results, I suggest putting that time to good use. I suggest a balanced approach to include getting a part time job, spend a few hours each day checking the want ads for a long-term full-time job, and use other time to go to the temple or do family history work. It is possible that people in this situation have ancestors eagerly awaiting temple work to be done for them, and once that work is completed, miracles will happen to open doors for that dream job. Some guys really need to wake up to the eternal responsibilities that they were sent here to do. An Xbox was not on the shopping list for this mission!

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Dec. 12, 2013 3:37 a.m.

    Just a status report from a nonbeliever:

    Still happily married.
    No god needed.
    No praying together.
    No addictions. No porn. No gaming addictions.

    Life is good, without any god.

  • Bob K porland, OR
    Dec. 12, 2013 3:19 a.m.

    I appreciate that the typical lds advice is "Talk to your bishop", but I think, barring an exceptional person holding the position, that a mormon bishop, being a volunteer, not a trained marriage/family counselor, might have little to contribute beyond typical church suggestions. Also, HER talking to the bishop or both going at her insistence is unlikely to change the husband.

    Perhaps if the husband had strong beliefs, the bishop MAY be able to inspire or shame him into doing his duty, however, but that won't break bad habits for long.

    No one mentioned that he is bullying her -- even over the dishes -- if she is being completely truthful, then, whether it's due to emotional illness or not, he is having it all his way and taking advantage of her. I find that when people take advantage, they actually come to resent the "giver", who is being a doormat.

    People change when they have decided to -- she ought to give him a good reason.

    I would go with "Tell him he has 30 days to come up with a plan to fix this, or move out until such time as he proves willingness to work on the marriage"

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    Dec. 11, 2013 11:11 a.m.

    I think depression is getting too much blame here.

    Two men wake up unemployed, depressed. "A" keeps his shrink appt, complains of his lot in life, comes home and plays video games. He knows his wife will feed him.

    "B" drags his depressed self out of bed and hires out as a day laborer, digging a ditch. Each thrust of the shovel is an angry stab at his lot in life. At day's end he's paid in cash, drops by the local Chinese for his wife's favorite takeout, and goes home.

    Which man will have a grain of self-respect? Which man/marriage has a ray of hope?

  • sisucas San Bernardino, CA
    Dec. 11, 2013 12:22 a.m.

    My wife wouldn't have put up with this for a second. She has always been supportive, but if I would have been sitting at home playing computer games she would have moved back with her parents in a week. I'm not advocating divorce at all, but he needs to know today that this is not acceptable and if he wants to keep you then he'd better play ball.

  • across the sea Topeno, Finland
    Dec. 11, 2013 12:08 a.m.

    Who pays your bills? Are you? If it is somebody else - tell them to leave you! Too often parents spoil their children's marriages by assisting financially.
    If you, after prayer and counselling, wish to keep him in your life - treat him as if he would be the person you want him to be.

    Sad to read these comments where so many ridicule bishop's. Yes, we may not be educated to professionally counsel, but we still seek to help you - and not judge you. And to the ones who worry about addictions - they are ALL alike be it substance, sex, work, religion, or porn...they rob you of your ability to develop and grow, they spiral you to nothingness that you described in your letter.
    BUT there is HOPE - so go see your bishop...and take responsibility of YOUR future.

  • rlsintx Plano, TX
    Dec. 10, 2013 7:34 p.m.

    Get the man to a personal counselor first, I'd bet he's clinically depressed.
    Get him employed next - involve the Bishop and employment resources available elsewhere too.
    Talk to a professional counselor about yourself too, you may be creating some of the problems unwittingly. Men are complex creatures too.
    Talk to a marriage counselor next.
    If he sees you care about these things as privately as possible and don't embarrass him in the process, you'll probably save the legal fees.

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Dec. 10, 2013 7:20 p.m.

    Don't know why I spend time writing this, maybe just wanting to help.
    There is much more to say about it, so here some points :

    What are they doing in their gospel lives ?
    Have them found the joy of service and helping others that suffer worse ?

    Are they praying together every day, and are their prayers going beyond the ceilings ?
    Do they know what marriage is for, or comprehend scriptures related to it ?

    Have them discovered the source of ego-centric feelings, and where did they catch up to it in the first place ? The human soul is great in the eyes of God, do they think so for each other ?

    Selfish thinking may drag out all love.
    So love is the center of marriage, and either they have neglected these feelings or it was never there in the first place. Being bussy can cut out love.

    Take a break and rediscover true feelings for each other.
    Your prayers will support that love, if it is true love.

    Sorry to have found that truth, but solving these problems is all based on gospel desire and knowledge. And discovered by you, not counselors.

  • Girl Talk Farmington, UT
    Dec. 10, 2013 5:12 p.m.

    The husband could be depressed. That is something to look into - although, the husband's actions are a sign of his behavior. Depressed or not, you do not "change" someone. I am speaking from experience. My current husband and I are happily married. That was not the case in what we refer to as our previous life (with ex-spouses). We have both said that we saw the signs early on and chose to "stick it out" thru better or worse. That is what good LDS people are supposed to do. We have both said we could have saved ourselves a lot of trouble and heartbreak had we just ended our marraiges early on. Although those experiences taught me what to look for in a quality man. That is why I am happily remarried today.

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    Dec. 10, 2013 4:28 p.m.

    brahmabull: I must apologize for earlier statements that may have seemed to be unkind. That was never my intent. You bring up some important questions. Why does it appear that some prayers are answered and some not? Why do good things happen to bad people and bad things to good people? Wouldn't it be that only good would happen to good and bad to bad? Those are questions I think everyone asks.

    Was this marriage doomed or is there real love here that just may be seem at times. No one likes to be nagged on. No one likes to be told what to do all the time. So what is the answer.

    Prayer calms that heart and the soul. This is proven by many different studies. But why doesn't he answer every prayer the same. Why does a young family die on vacation while a drunk survives? Why did this marriage go where it is? The answer is pretty simple if we look at it. This life is a true test of whether we are going to live by the word of God or if we are going to live by Satan's word.

  • SheBear Orem, UT
    Dec. 10, 2013 3:37 p.m.

    In this sort of situation, what incentive does a negligent spouse have to change? Often it is only divorce that can awaken an unreliable partner to the fact that reciprocity is necessary in marriage. At the same time, it's important to offer a less functional partner every chance to acknowledge inadequacy, enter therapy, and get whatever help is needed. Some people *will* change for the better. Or sometimes a low-functioning spouse is suffering from a condition that can't be helped, and if that's so, faithfulness is called for, in the same way it's called for with any chronic illness. But if the problem is not acknowledged, or if *available* help is refused, one partner can't make up for what the other won't do (as another commenter has noted). This young wife seems to have good intentions and to truly care about doing what's right. She needs to know that, yes, divorce may be the right choice. I affirm the necessity for prayer in making such a decision. If divorce is what turns out to be right for this young woman, God is amazingly matter-of-fact about it.

  • Noam Provo, UT
    Dec. 10, 2013 3:18 p.m.

    I was shocked to read that they have only been married 2 years and she is using the word divorce, without having considered counseling or other options. If this marriage is doomed to failure it will not only be because of the poor performance of the husband but also the lack of commitment on the the part of the wife. We don't often use the the words "for better or for worse" in marriage vows any more, but there is still wisdom in them. I agree with heidi- ho in that before this wife makes the decision to quit this difficult situation , there is probably some deep soul-searching, with the help of some appropriate counseling, that needs to go on. Difficulties in marriage( or in anything else) can happen at any time but whether at the beginning or later on, to jump ship is very seldom the answer. In addition, if some hard work has not been done in the first marriage, by both parties, statistics have shown that subsequent relationships don't usually fare much better.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Dec. 10, 2013 3:10 p.m.

    He plays video games all day and doesn't hold down a job?

    This young woman married a boy, not a man.

  • kiterel Provo, UT
    Dec. 10, 2013 2:36 p.m.

    I am pretty flabbergasted at all the responses to immediately claim that this husband has a pornography problem. Where in this letter was that even mentioned? I am guessing it just makes it as an easy response to always claim well he must be looking at porn. It's like the Mormon way of seeing the world. He isn't finishing school, or finding work, he is a porn addict!!!!

    Ever stop to think that maybe the guy is just a tool who the girl never should have married? Maybe he is just one of those guys we all know who isn't mature enough to get married, yet felt pressured to do so by everyone around him. No it can't be that, it's because he is a total sex addict according to many on here.

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    Dec. 10, 2013 2:15 p.m.

    @ Joe5
    The fact that your daughter left her husband and moved back to your home is a very important point. I'm sure your daughter had to do list for him to earn her trust back. To me addiction is fixable, lazy is not fixable. How can you make someone work when he doesn't want to? The impression from this article is the dude is lazy. Perhaps the next action for the lady in this story is to pick up and leave instead of nagging. The only person you can change is yourself - why try to change someone i.e. husband when you have no power to do such. If he wants to come along and change his behavior, you move on to the next phase or just move with your life

  • Big Joe V Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    Dec. 10, 2013 1:08 p.m.

    There is an adage that is true, "don't marry potential". This man is having his cake and eating it too. If they get into therapy the wife should really get a handle on where his head is at and where hers is also. If potential isn't happening then move on to what you really want and make a list and don't accept anything until it measures up.

  • LDS Aerospace Engineer Farmington, UT
    Dec. 10, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    I've been married for 30 years,
    let me tell you a little story I call reality...

    I'm 54 years old,
    I work 45-50+ hours a week,
    and then another 15-20 in the yard and garage,
    I make $75,000 a year [she does not work outside of the home],
    I pay the bills, do most of the cooking, cleaning, repairing, and fixing,
    I'm 110% active LDS, High Priest, Quorm Intructor, and Temple worker,
    We have 4 children - Temple married, RMs, and Eagle Scouts.

    I consider myself far from perfect, but still a pretty good catch.

    I'm told constantly that I'm --
    gone too much,
    don't make enough money,
    not spiritual enough,
    too tired,
    too lazy,
    and too busy for her.

    Welcome to marriage.

    [and NO, I do not believe in plural marriage!]

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Dec. 10, 2013 8:54 a.m.


    Don't you think god would have seen this coming when they first prayed to get married? If he didn't want them married, he would have given them the 'No' answer. You have to use your brain, you shouldn't rely on prayer as it gives confusing and unreliable answers at best. I tend to think it doesn't give any answers, except for the answers that are already in your head.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 10, 2013 7:15 a.m.

    It's easy to spout advice to a stranger. The outcome doesn't affect us. I've tried to think what I would say if you were my daughter. I have six children, four of them married. One of my daughters married a man who struggled with pornography. At rock bottom, she left him and moved back home. She ultimately decided he was worth keeping. They are still together happily and now counsel others on pornography addiction.

    Each of us giving you advice has weaknesses, just as your husband does (and just as you do). After reading our comments, ask Him who has no weaknesses.

    Divorce almost always leads to misery for both of you. It will affect your parents, siblings, and friends. Like nuclear war, you know the option exists but you really never want to exercise it unless your very life is at stake. My advice to my daughter and you is back down from DEFCON 1 until it is the only option.

    You said you still love your husband. Prove it by helping him become what he is capable of being. This is the time to invest everything you have into your marriage.

  • hcsmith7 Orem, UT
    Dec. 9, 2013 11:11 p.m.

    I am so frustrated by the number of people that are assuming because he likes video games he "must be addicted to pornography." Good grief. My husband plays FIFA almost everyday and he doesn't watch pornography.

    Why in the LDS church is pornography our suspicion when anything is amiss? It seems to be our "worst case scenario." When I used to hear about pornography in church, there was this underlying message I heard that "if my boyfriend/husband looks at pornography, he is looking at people that are better than me, and he will never be satisfied with me again." I would almost begin to hyperventilate thinking about it. It took me a long time to realize that this is just not true. In my opinion, the church talks about it so much that pornography becomes more appealing. And then you're some kind of freak for being curious enough to look at it. Sad. Obviously this girl is going through a hard time. Telling her that her husband is looking at porn is only going to turn her into the computer history police. One more thing to stress about that she doesn't need.

  • San Diego Orem, UT
    Dec. 9, 2013 10:46 p.m.

    Sounds like there is more of a problem here than appears on the surface. May be depression or something else that is serious. Get some counseling.

  • Redbull Sandy, UT
    Dec. 9, 2013 9:37 p.m.

    Leave while you can. If he's this lazy this early it is not going to get better. Sorry but Angela's advice was way too rosy. we're talking about the rest of your life here. Get out!

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    Dec. 9, 2013 9:13 p.m.

    It sounds like the wife wants to crank out kids and talk about holiday plans and is nagging her depressed husband to provide financing. Too many women look at men as a stream of income (with insurance proceeds at the end) with the sole purpose of financing their agenda.

    What does he want? How is she contributing to the family (does she have a job)?

    I agree that counseling is needed asap so BOTH members of the marriage can see how they are contributing to the dysfunction.

  • El Chango Supremo Rexburg, ID
    Dec. 9, 2013 9:13 p.m.


    A majority of LDS marriages DO survive their first ten years. Statistically, LDS Temple marriages end in divorce less than 10% of the time. That's over a 90% "survival" rate.

  • Serious Rexburg, ID
    Dec. 9, 2013 9:07 p.m.

    I hate to say this, but I would cut your losses and move on. You need a man who can provide and be a father so that you can focus on being a mother when that time comes. The most heartbreaking situations I've seen are when marriage problems arise when small children are present and then all of these problems will be compounded.

    Move on while you still can. I say this as a happily married (in the temple) father of 4.

  • defender TWIN FALLS, ID
    Dec. 9, 2013 8:56 p.m.

    Your absolutely wrong about skipping the bishop. Bishops can be the key to helping the couple resolve things in light of gospel teachings . Also he holds the keys to revelation on their behalf. If transgression is involved he can help with the repentance process. I'm not down playing the role of a good therapist but usually the Bishop has good insight on which therapist may best as well.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 9, 2013 7:01 p.m.

    Obviously considering the breadth of responses we all see the "Elephant" differently and through the lens of our own lives. I think the issue is severe enough for the young lady to take an inventory of where she is at, what resources she has and may need for what ever course she chooses to take.

    If the husband had issues with games, they are as addictive as gambling and pornography. Is it worth it to stay with the possibility of improvement over time, with no guarantee or leave and seek another marriage which also has no guarantee. Only she can decide.

    Bishops are mortal and fallible, counselors have issues too that cloud their advice. But I feel this: He won't change until there is a reason to change. Addicts have to hit "bottom" before the bell rings in their heads that the ship is not stopping to take on some ice for the reefers. Bottom might be in divorce court or out on the street.

    I wish her luck. I grew up in a very rocky home. There are kids to consider in this mess of a marriage, it will leave scars if not resolved.

  • Pavalova Surfers Paradise, AU
    Dec. 9, 2013 6:29 p.m.

    How are bills getting paid today? Sounds like he needs to get out of the house and get a job. I know its easier said than done, but lets not start throwing the "depression" label around. In this country we are so willing to label people. Sometimes people are just lazy and want others to pay their way.

  • archemeedees Tooele, UT
    Dec. 9, 2013 5:49 p.m.

    Don't have kids with this guy. Tell him it's the games or you. And check the computer for pornography. He has no right to be a leech off you just so he can play games all day and ignore you. Talk to that bishop and get a plan going--if he doesn't show any signs of wanting to change, leave him before children enter the picture.

  • mmom ,
    Dec. 9, 2013 5:24 p.m.

    I'm all for saving a marriage, but considering your age and no children, it might be worthwhile to consider what you want a lifetime of. Do you love him enough to deal with these challenges the rest of your life, or would it be better to bow out now? Some issues like passive aggression don't typically easily change, even though people can change. Challenges like this can quickly make the love fade. Consider doing all of the above, including an attorney consult. You don't have to follow through with divorce, but it's a piece of your options puzzle that may make your choices and consequences more clear, and may give you the ticket you'll want to cash in if changes aren't forthright or lasting. If your marriage doesn't make it, better to figure that out now than 25 years and 5 kids later. You may also want to communicate your love for him and expectations clearly in writing so your husband understands his part in saving the marriage, as well as yours. That may help relieve the nagging. The more clear the expectations are, the better you can evaluate progress and your choices.

  • MacFan1950 Harlem, GA
    Dec. 9, 2013 5:04 p.m.

    I agree with @Kay Hunt. There is an addiction issue here. The Church has a wonderful addiction recovery program that will help John re-focus his life on living the Gospel. John needs to take advantage of Christ's atonement and allow himself to be healed. Of course, no one can force John to do this, but it certainly would help. Also, many of the addiction recovery programs have companion sessions for those with addicted loved ones. Both of these folks need to understand the power of the Atonement and how it can change their lives if they will embrace it.

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Dec. 9, 2013 4:50 p.m.

    Since space is limited, I like to add for you these thoughts.

    If you both have married at the wrong time and to the wrong place, then take it easy, because it was a learning experience, there is no need to rush anything.

    If that idea reaches both of you, you will regret this step, and remember love.

    If you want to learn something here, learn of others. Don't seek help but learn from others first, seek a wide variety of experiences,told by others.

    And this is what wise people would tell you. The regret to have lost your love can never ever be compensated with another person to replace it. Never !

    So the question is not what are his or your faults, but why do you love each other.
    Never push your love to achieve his love. Seek time for him to come to his senses.
    And make a checklist of your own shortcomings.Change first, before you expect anything.

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Dec. 9, 2013 4:41 p.m.

    1. never seek help first, if you two love each other

    2. if one of you is lacking love, you are on a no win game, you need to work hard to have a fund to rely on, so you both can go on vacation, start from the very beginning

    3. all of the above comments are putting you at risk, since who knows what will be after a divorce, or counceling without his approval

    4. having family and marriage rules to go by is useless, unless you both come up with it

    5. if you have married the wrong guy, everybody will support you to get out, but they can and will never repay you, if they were wrong (most the time they are wrong)

    6. if you want to approach the Lord or the church, always do this together, doing it on your own would bring in false spirits

    7. you have most likely married the best you will ever find, so quit being smarter and let him teach you as he lives, then switch for some time and so on. Never get into a 1-only thinking habit.

  • Idaho_Boy Aberdeen, ID
    Dec. 9, 2013 3:57 p.m.

    In today's society the mentality is if something is broke, throw it away and get a new one. That is not how our grandparents/great-grandparents saw the world. If something was broke you fixed it. For myself before I made the decision to get married I could see flaws in my fiance. I also knew that I had flaws myself. I remember thinking that I wasn't make a commitment for 5 years or 20 years I was making a commitment for forever. That has been testing multiple times to the extreme and will be tested in the future. We are coming up on 25 years and it has been more difficult than I could have imagined when I made that decision.

    There is no doubt that your husband is using video games to escape reality. He doesn't really want to be playing video games all day. He wants to do something productive, but is scared for whatever reason. Love him and tell him that you believe in him. That you know this season will past and that he will be a great husband and father. Remove divorce from your options and get to work becoming one with your husband.

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    Dec. 9, 2013 3:44 p.m.

    @ joe5, you can pray all you want but don't expect an angel to come tell you that the dude is lazy or someone else other than himself can change his ways. When you see him play computer games every day, you need to use your brain, given you by God, don't sit there and cry for him to change.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Dec. 9, 2013 2:43 p.m.

    Good advice, Angela, especially on them seeing a counselor. This has all the signs of an addiction of some sort. Whoever has leverage with this young man needs to get him in front of someone who can help him find his road back. It can't be the role of the wife alone.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 9, 2013 1:47 p.m.

    Brahmabull: Using your logic, one need only pray at the beginning of life and then kick back and relax for the next 80 years or so. It doesn't work like that.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Dec. 9, 2013 1:39 p.m.

    What would prayer accomplish in this situation? Do you not think both of them prayer before they got married in the first place?

  • donn layton, UT
    Dec. 9, 2013 1:28 p.m.

    RE:GeoMan, a Bishop isn't a substitute for a marriage counselor, but he can be a great resource for getting two LDS spouses pointed in the right direction for getting "professional" help.

    “This [marriage] union is solemnized by the authority of the everlasting priesthood into a holy and sacred ordinance, the temple sealing. It is also called the new and everlasting covenant of marriage, and its purpose is to bind couples together on earth and bring them to a fulness of exaltation in the kingdom of God in the hereafter.” (“Remember Your Covenants,” Ensign (Conference Edition), May 1994, p.42).

    In a January 28, 1999 City Weekly article titled “Only for Eternity,” author Andrea Moore Emmett quoted LDS Church spokesman Dale Bills who said, “We have to see sealing ordinances as a promise pending faithfulness and yes, some will live polygamy.”

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    Dec. 9, 2013 12:54 p.m.

    For a marriage to work, there have to be two people working at it. What the letter describes is a, unfortunately not uncommon, situation where only one person seems to be interested in trying. Obviously, we only have one side of the story. The point is that if one party isn't trying at all then there is little hope.

    Again, a Bishop isn't a substitute for a marriage counselor, but he can be a great resource for getting two LDS spouses pointed in the right direction for getting "professional" help.

    Many here seem to have a low opinion of Bishops' abilities in such areas. Frankly, I have a low opinion of the average family, marriage, or mental health counselor. A good one working with the right clients can do great things. More often than not, people don't end up with a good one, or they end up with a good one that isn't a good fit for them (and/or the other parties involved). The advice here is probably representative of the range of advice one would get from the professional community (not necessarily the same advice, just the same magnitude of range of advice).

  • Coco10 CANADA, 00
    Dec. 9, 2013 12:48 p.m.

    The rest of my comment 
    ….From her reaction, he would learn many things, whether he should/should not pursue this relationship. I say -ditch the technology. It stands between proper and lasting communication that will sustain marriages through difficult times. We don’t need to involve our Bishops, certainly NOT Lawyers, or Counsellors. Advise young people to work things out, discuss expectations etc. This young woman should tell her husband she needs to be made a priority, as does his supporting her and perhaps their future family. In turn, she too, will do her best to assist him through the difficulty and struggles of getting and maintaining a job. Life isn’t easy. It’s supposed to have trials. Running, or divorcing ourselves from our problems will only bring about future disappointments. We can only be strengthened when we endure. Enduring trials in marriage starts with communication, not throwing in the towel. TALK ABOUT IT!

  • ? SLC, UT
    Dec. 9, 2013 12:35 p.m.

    Go see your bishop, he can then set up a referral to see a counselor. Figure out what your goals and priorities are whether that is going to school, work, etc. Then stay close to the Lord, prayer, scriptures, going to church, and random acts of kindness for your husband. Good luck.

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    Dec. 9, 2013 12:34 p.m.

    Bishops can be a great help because they are a third party governed by Gospel principles. Bishops are also trained to bring "professionals" into situations that are appropriate for "professional" help.

    From what is actually in the letter, it sounds like this "husband" has not, and is not, finishing school. If that is actually the case, then that eliminates the discouragement due to the lousy job market angle.

    If he has dropped school, then I think that she needs to expect this guy to begin showing (with help) improved behavior on a very short time table, or divorce is the best solution. If he did finish school, then I think that being depressed due to the lousy job market is highly likely. If he is willing to get help with the job search and the depression, then things might work out.

    This marriage is never going to work if it depends on the wife "fixing" the husband. He needs to fix himself with the help of others. The wife can be supportive, but she can't be the driving force.

    24 years old is too young to remain knowingly unequally yoked.

  • Mugabe ACWORTH, GA
    Dec. 9, 2013 12:27 p.m.

    The problem with that husband is he isn't ready for the responsibility of a family man.

    I don't agree that this sister should drag herself into the Bishop's office, and telling her to do so is only suggesting that she cannot trust in the testimony of her own senses. Her husband is the one who needs to decide that he has a problem that warrants him to talk with his Bishop. If he doesn't, then it isn't the wife's responsibility to do that for him.

    So, I ask you sister, why are you trying to keep this man around? If you had any other pest, would you go to your Bishop about exterminating them?

    Let him go while you have no children because the minute he finds out that he about to lose his free ticket, he will no doubt try to impregnate you, then you will have double trouble. You have tried to help him fix this, he isn't interested. Move on

  • Coco10 CANADA, 00
    Dec. 9, 2013 12:27 p.m.

    The problem with this age, is that this all starts before they get married. Young Adults are simply not socializing properly! They are so intertwined with technology, that they text, rather than speak with each other. How many of you have YA's come home from an activity reporting that the guys went & played x-box etc., and the girls congregated in another room? Our YSA's need to be taught how to HAVE a relationship in the first place. What you should bring to and expect from a relationship? How do you talk/socialize? Sadly, gone are the days when a young man would muster up the gumption to go and tell a girl that she was pretty, or liked her dress, or liked her! Today, they will TEXT the young woman "u looked gr8 2day!". What does this do? Nothing! The old way, the young man would get an immediate & personal reaction from the young woman.

  • Spikey Layton, UT
    Dec. 9, 2013 12:16 p.m.

    There is SOMETHING more going on here. There is a reason he isn't doing anything. There is some issue with depression, is there lack of sexual fulfillment? WHAT is it that started all of this? I say COUNSELING is needed first. If that doesn't help, THEN I would go to more desperate measures. And no offense, while I am LDS myself, bishop's are not always trained enough to give the type of counseling necessary to salvage a marriage. But go get counseling NOW, as most couples wait until it's far too late.

    --Been there.

  • Southernmiss kaysville, UT
    Dec. 9, 2013 12:01 p.m.

    When I married..which has now been 30 years ago, I realized that my husband and I had some big differences in the way we looked at our future.

    I already had my BA degree. He didn't and I soon subtle ways that that affected his self esteem. He had a job when we married but he began to jump from job to try and make more, which didn't work of course.

    Then, the inevitable..we had to have church assistance for a couple months. I didn't want it. He was ok with it. I prayed about leaving him, and felt strongly after that, the answer I received was to stay, back off on being the financial supporter and bill payer and make him take responsibility.

    We had late charges. It made me sick.., he bounced checks, etc. it was a difficult time. I eventually took back all bill paying ans still do all of it today.

    I encouraged him to decide on a degree he would love, not one that would make us wealthy, and he is the hardest worker I know. I am so proud of the man he has become!

  • voiceofreason1234 SANDY, TX
    Dec. 9, 2013 11:34 a.m.

    There is No room in a marriage for video games.

    At a recent youth standard's night our stake pres. said it's okay to play video games, but you should "barely play them" which means almost never.

    I say throw out the video player and say no more!

    Also, there is a Very good Mormon Message called "Saving Your Marriage" watch it! It shows a guy going to the hospital, compared the life of a person to the life of the marriage -
    "A marriage, like a human life, is a precious, living thing. Spouses should exercise faith in Christ and love for each other to heal and strengthen their relationship."

    Christ heals marriages.

    Read together the book "Preparing for an Eternal Marriage, Religion 234
    Building an Eternal Marriage, Religion 235" pdf available online or through distribution services for about $5.00 It is like a phonebook in size and contains everything you need to know about what is and is not appropriate in marriage.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    Dec. 9, 2013 11:29 a.m.

    We live in a time when obvious truths are shunned and complicated reasons/excuses are preferred. Sad, that. Many times simple answers are the most accurate. Can anyone say 'lazy'? Saint Paul's admonition that 'if any man will not work, let him not eat' isn't all that convoluted. I happen to know clinically depressed peopled can work, and work rather well.

    A hungry stomach has a marvelous way of motivating people to rise above depression, porn and anything else used as an excuse for empty refrigerator syndrome.

    As for marriage counseling, has anyone ever known counseling to heal a bad marriage? Really make a bad one good?

    Young lady, either boot your boy and get on with life, or prepare yourself for a lifetime of misery and lame excuses.

  • valiant Salt Lake, UT
    Dec. 9, 2013 11:15 a.m.

    The greatest advice I was given is focus on the reason you married him. I don't know if you were married in the temple and, if so, remember Jesus Christ is your mediator. If you weren't married in the temple then I highly recommend praying fervently to your Heavenly Father who will comfort you and the spirit will guide you. The Atonement truly brings comfort and strength to help you make the right choices. In our early married years, I had a teaching job while my husband was looking and he felt more pressure from friends and family then me. I felt I was doing my part and there wasn't any reason to nag him because I believed in him. Men are very insecure and need a wife to bring comfort..

  • Old RM Mesa, AZ
    Dec. 9, 2013 10:46 a.m.

    Sounds like he could be on porn to me. That takes all the fire out of a man.

  • BishpD Vienna, Austria
    Dec. 9, 2013 10:09 a.m.

    There is a lot of talk about the husband being depressed. While that is one possibility, there is another: that his pre-marriage talk was a show put on for the benefit of the girl he wanted, whose wishful thinking in turn made her brush off the warning signs. It could be that what she is seeing today is the real person. I seldom advocate divorce, but this situation - assuming it's being faithfully depicted - sounds precariously close to a get-out-now.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Dec. 9, 2013 9:57 a.m.

    First and foremost, she needs to stop nagging and being his “mom.” That said, she has every right to communicate that she is not happy and the reasons why, and this is key – in a “stating the facts” non-judgmental manner.

    She should also ask the same from him – there may a whole host of things he is unhappy about in terms of what his expectations were when they got married.

    But she needs to understand that she cannot motivate him to do anything he is not internally motivated to do (i.e., if he doesn’t want to be his best and make her happy, she can’t force him to).

    Marriage is about supporting each other and doing everything you can to create the conditions where each will (and want to) thrive, and honest communication is the key. If after all that (including professional help to guide the process) he still just wants to sit around and play video games, then you can make an informed decision knowing you gave it your best love & support based effort.

    PS – DO NOT have kids until this is resolved!

    Dec. 9, 2013 9:55 a.m.

    It is the perverse cultural pressure placed on young LDS people to 'Marry in the Temple" or be doomed for all eternity!
    It is therefore no surprise that a majority of LDS marriages do not survive their first ten years!

    Personally I am convinced that yes everyone should at least once in their life comply with D& C Section 132 just to demonstrate to the Lord compliance therewith; If however things fail to work out the person is found blameless @ judgement day, as for marrying again that is entirely overrated and optional!

  • lasaurus MIDVALE, UT
    Dec. 9, 2013 9:52 a.m.

    Do everything you need to so you will have no regrets. This means different things to different people/situations. I divorced a video gamer after counseling. For me it was the best decision and I'm happy.

  • heidis Kelso, WA
    Dec. 9, 2013 9:51 a.m.

    He sounds clinically depressed and may be hiding other addictive personality traits. I agree with Moniker's suggestion to skip the Bishop - if he's not a certified counselor, it will simply add another layer to your convoluted marriage. The Church has a great addiction program that the two of you could attend together. But, he first has to want to be helped. If he is reluctant, you can attend on your own, but if that is the path you choose, make certain you are doing all the Lord requires in your life. Make yourself happy, first of all - pray, attend the temple, fulfill your church callings with a cheerful heart. He will either note the difference in your demeanor and want to move forward with you, or will withdraw even further, at which time you advise him to go for counseling or towards a divorce. Divorce is not the forbidden word it once was. Make your life in tune with the counsel given each of us in the scriptures and by our General Authorities. He will either see the need to change or not. You cannot change him, you can only change yourself.

  • Itsme2 SLC, UT
    Dec. 9, 2013 9:45 a.m.

    I had a friend married to a guy like this who wouldn't work or finish school. He also played a lot of video games. He ended up abusing her - tried to choke her. Thankfully she left him. In this case, I have no idea how big a bum this guy is, but I would say if he is unwilling to work and all he does is play video games, it isn't going to work. If he'll get the help he needs and starts becoming productive, then I hope it works out for them.

  • brainoncapitalist Orem, UT
    Dec. 9, 2013 9:34 a.m.

    I've been in his shoes and I would guess, based on your description that he is a pornography addict. I am a recovering pornography addict and, in the past, my addiction and my inability to overcome it caused deep depression in me to the point where I withdrew from my family, did nothing but play video games, etc. during my free time. Luckily, I had already finished school and gotten a job by the time I married my wife, but my confidence is shot and I've struggled to find the motivation to continue in my education in order to progress in my career. Thankfully, about 8 months ago, I found the LDS Addiction Recovery Program. It has completely changed my life! I am still an addict and I struggle with staying clean every single day, but for the first time in years I have hope that I can overcome. I recommend trying to get him to go to a recovery meeting and go to a support meeting for yourself. It can help, I promise!

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Dec. 9, 2013 9:33 a.m.

    I was unemployed at one period for 5 months. I thought it couldn't get worse than that. The next time it was 10 days short of a year. I have been blessed to never have been in that situation since. Fortunately I was single at the time and I moved back home during the 2nd episode, which wasn't too easy as I was in my 30's. But you just have to keep trying and eventually you'll get a job. That first paycheck looks mighty good, whatever size it is!

    I remember some sage advice: Never marry a man who doesn't want to work and never marry a man that all he wants to do is work. (That's an issue, too.)

    Good luck to you two. Just remember, problems can be addressed successfully together. Abandoning a spouse should be for something very serious, such as abuse, infidelity, etc. Checking out of reality is a serious issue but the situation can be resolved successfully.

  • Bernard GUi Puyallup, WA
    Dec. 9, 2013 9:32 a.m.

    Perhaps the husband is suffering from depression.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 9, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    I'm very surprised at how many people talk about divorce so easily. Marriage is very hard and a mature person realizes that. You can't "cut and run" when times get hard. In fact, that is the time to invest even more in the marriage.

    My personal experience (anecdotal, not scientific) is that people who divorce once usually divorce again. It establishes a pattern of failure and it becomes easier to do. I know several young LDS women who divorced young, ended up divorced a second or third time while they were still relatively young. By then, they felt out of sorts with LDS theology on marriage. Leaving the church, some moved on to live-in relationships which also invariably failed. Now they are in their 50s with no faith, no family and no hope. Some still act like they are 25 and try to be party girls. Others have become bitter and are utterly alone.

    Divorce rarely leaves a pretty picture in its wake.

  • STB Pleasant Grove, UT
    Dec. 9, 2013 9:23 a.m.

    Get a good professional counselor. The Bishop is not a marriage counselor, though if you go to LDS Family Services you will probably need to speak with him first. I do want to point out that this scenario is quite unfortunate and have seen a family member go through a similar situation. Guys, on the flip-side if you find that your spouse if refusing and unwilling to be intimate regardless of what you do for her or the family, speak with a good counselor and don't leave her until you have worked it out first.

  • Red San Antonia, TX
    Dec. 9, 2013 9:13 a.m.

    Video games are for losers. Same thing goes for sitting around watching football.

    Go out and get a life of your own. Have a little self control and be responsible.

  • mominthetrenches South Jordan, Utah
    Dec. 9, 2013 9:04 a.m.

    Get some help--tell whoever is helping you that you feel like his mother and everything that was explained in your letter. If he can't seem to re-align to what you had both planned from the beginning, you are in a good position to decide whether or not to stay or go. Please don't start a family until things are worked out!!! Don't forget, marriage is 3-way, between you, your spouse and the Lord.

  • Kay Hunt Celebration, FL
    Dec. 9, 2013 9:00 a.m.

    He sounds depressed and addicted to video games. A real problem. They both need counseling. Divorce could be an option. I would go to the bishop to let him know that you need help and then make an appointment with a license therapist. A bishop may or may not have the skills necessary to deal with this issue. And if the answer is divorce then do it and do it before you get kids. Don't be his mom or his "cop". Forcing him to interact with you will not help the relationship. GET to therapy so you can find out why you stay in a relationship that is giving you nothing. LOVE is not enough.

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 9, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    Skip the bishop and head straight to a good qualified marriage counselor. Most bishops are well meaning. But unless yours is a psychologist for his day job, he should not become involved. Your husband will feel like you and the bishop are ganging up on him (or that you went to tattle) and he'll become defensive. I know that counseling is expensive, but you get what you pay for.
    Christmas Carole:
    If he does have a pornography addiction, which is completely separate from video games, then that is sometime that needs to be addressed. But she does not deserve to be called an "enabler". She's already feeling bad for being a supposed "nag" (by asking the question: Are you going to get a job?). We don't need to add "enabler" to that. Either label is unfair.

  • heidi ho Fort Collins, CO
    Dec. 9, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    My number one concern is how my relationship with the Lord is and what HE wants me to do. I can't "fix" another person, but I can work on my relationship with HIM, and seek His Will. Any 12 step group asks that we spend quiet time and prayer and meditation. My husband was addicted to pornography, was a sexaholic, etc. I fasted and prayed for years and asked for Heavenly Father's Will. We are still married after 32 years of marriage, and I am in S-Anon a 12 step group for wives that are married to sexaholics. We have both grown enormously. In my experience, if the wife does not get help for herself and inventory why she attracted a man or relationships along the same line, then she will keep attracting the same kind of person. I had to inventory all my relationships and I found out I was dating the same kind of men, that I could care take and fix and "help". It is in constant prayer and inventory that my life has changed, not in pointing fingers at him and wringing my hands. That is a recipe for insanity.

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    Dec. 9, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    Trust your gut on this -a 2 year long marriage is a long time to make up your mind if you should stay or cut your loses and move on. Love alone is not enough to make a marriage work. He might have had a mental breakdown but are you willing to stick around to deal with it every time it come back? I don't think bishop's route is the right course to take because his advice will tend to be one sided- bishop is your spiritual leader- he will never advice to break the marriage even if that's the best action for the two of you.

  • Mukkake Montreal, QC, 00
    Dec. 9, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    What is there really to save here? They don't have any kids and probably have very few assets. The guy sounds listless and it's the same tired tripe of telling the wife to be "supportive".

    24 is a great time to get divorced. You've been able to see what doesn't work, but you're still young enough to make a better choice.

    She can even go back to grad school or finish her own degree if she hasn't. Regardless of this guys goals and ambitions, she should have backup plans of her own.

    The marriage is already failed, she's no longer his wife and has become his mother.

  • Ohio Reader Columbus, OH
    Dec. 9, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    I went through the exact same thing, you are not alone. Addictions and depression often affect people in ways that make it so they can't function like a normal person. I remember looking at my (now ex) husband and thinking, "Why is it so hard to apply for a job" or "Why can't you actually DO what you say you are going to do". What I didn't understand was that he was a raging pornography addict and clinically depressed. My guess is, he wasn't like this before you got married, but has slowly fell into this rut. Addiction fogs minds and makes lessons the ability to perceive right from wrong. I'm sorry to say it, because it is a hard journey, but until your husband confronts addiction and depression, he won't have the ability to be the husband you married. I would start educating yourself about addiction. There are tons of great sites and books out there that will give you the insights you need to help you figure out the path forward. Good Luck to you!

  • Homperp Allen, TX
    Dec. 9, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    The husbands actions make him seem like a real bum. Is there a chance that he is clinically depressed? Marriage is tough and often is a trigger for mental illness. If this is a possibility, look into professional help.

    In the meantime, it sounds like this is a fortunate man ... his wife still would like to stay with him. Individual counseling as well as marriage counseling would help both individuals to define expectations, set reasonable limits and freedoms, and most importantly support a decision that is best for both the individuals and the marriage.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Dec. 9, 2013 8:35 a.m.

    Having been divorced I can say from experience it is painful but not the end of your life. Counseling is a must. We all make mistakes and are capable of repenting and moving forward. There are many singles in the church who yearn for the intimacy and yes even struggles that marriage can bring.

  • Kinderly Riverdale, MD
    Dec. 9, 2013 8:35 a.m.

    A lot of unemployed people are depressed. I've noticed that men, especially, are more likely to shut themselves off from other people when they are in this situation. His behaviors probably don't have anything to do with the wife but are his way of dealing with his depression. He needs help and will probably not seek it on his own. The best thing could be a male mentor, in his work field maybe, to talk to him and make him feel like he has something valuable to offer, help him network and brainstorm ideas for a job search. Maybe a Bishop or Elder's Quorum president could help find such a person. For the wife, too, focus on building his self-confidence rather than pointing out what he's doing wrong. He probably already knows what he's doing wrong.

    A good book to read: How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It. It is mostly about how men and women are different--this reaction to unemployment is a pretty male reaction and it could be helpful to a wife to understand it better, as well as understanding her own responses better.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Dec. 9, 2013 8:29 a.m.

    I heard a story about a girl that has a few months to live. She was laying in the snow making a snow angle. She said we are like snow flakes, only hear for a little whale, The only thing we can control is our impact, the impression and to inspire others to build on.

  • Carol928 OREM, UT
    Dec. 9, 2013 8:26 a.m.

    Is he depressed? That line about him climbing back into bed sounds as though he is. Does he play computer games ALL day? This doesn't sound to me like someone who 'loves his computer games' as Angie says.

    Yes, bishops are wonderful, but some things need professional help. Go to a therapist. I know plenty of relationships where the wife does everything or the husband does everything and the marriages are not equally yoked partnerships. It's painful for everyone involved (including children--and it teaches them this behavior). If this isn't depression but a life choice, leave.

    The idea that someone else should play bad cop and the wife just be the support is wrong. This husband knows what's going on--even if he is depressed.

    Please remember, divorce CAN be an answer. It may not be a pleasant option, but if he refuses to change, know you have choices. Sometimes getting out is better than prolonging the inevitable. And yes, marriage is hard. Life is hard. But it's impossible to have a happy marriage when only one of you is trying.

  • dotGone Puyallup, WA
    Dec. 9, 2013 8:20 a.m.

    yeh.. work on the marriage but stay on the contraceptives. A baby won't make it better, just more painful. And don't have the time open-ended. Give him a year or so to get it together and then cut your losses. Don't toss your life on a video addict couch spud. It's worse than being a single parent... with prayer and consulting your bishop, of course. But the choice is yours and your responsibility

  • Christmas Carole LAS CRUCES, NM
    Dec. 9, 2013 8:01 a.m.

    I agree with Angela abut starting with your Bishop then counselor...if finances are a problem ANY Bishop will cover that to help the marriage...on the OTHER hand...I ALSO agree with the comment referring to pornography. Sister, it's possible you're an enabler(I'm the worlds best enabler)and he's all talk(before marriage)and all no do after. IF Bishop/counselor doesn't result in some permanent improvement(which may take time)DON'T wait forever to get on with your life, as was mentioned above.If you discover you are an enabler GET HELP with your own counseling BEFORE you try another relationship. I hope you, at least, are making your Heavenly Father first in your marriage and He will guide you....

  • jans Pickerington, OH
    Dec. 9, 2013 7:52 a.m.

    The one big problem I see with young couples that reoccurs as they get older if they don't address it, is being afraid to admit that adult life decisions are harder than they thought and that they need to ask for help and advice before it gets worse. They get too embarrassed, or they think their "role" should come more naturally to them (mother/provider/wife/husband), or they don't want to appear less capable/successful and its an ego or confidence problem, especially if his wife is working successfully and he is not. Maybe he is scared of having kids and figures this passive agressive method will keep that reality from closing in. Some people have big dreams and plans but struggle following through and completing things.

    Talk to your Bishop. See if he can talk to your husband. Maybe get the ward employment specialist on the task. Close family or friends can step in where appropriate, or can provide some background to his personality and motivations before you knew him. See if your husband will do volunteer work with you out in the community (this can help broaden his networks).

  • caf Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 9, 2013 7:51 a.m.

    Definitely talk to your bishop. If your husband is spending all day on the computer, he may have a problem with pornography as well. Are you home all day or is he alone most of the day? Whether the problem is depression or addiction, he needs help. Divorce isn't the answer unless you have fasted and prayed about it and feel that it is the best decision.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Dec. 9, 2013 7:47 a.m.

    I am leaning toward joe5's point of view that the husband is probably discouraged for some reason. The cycle of computer games and laziness may be his way to escape reality and avoid confronting the underlying problems head on.

    What may be the source of discouragement (assuming this is the problem)? Did he lose a job or have a hard time finding one recently? What were his expectations of married life that may not be getting met in his eyes?

    Some open conversation is in order, but both husband + wife will need to try to be non-accusative since things rarely get resolved in the spirit of contention.

    And the small things that help: Are you two praying together? Do you hold family home evening as a couple? Are you going on dates? Are you reading scriptures? Do you serve in the church? Do you strive to keep the commandments?

    I want to say to the wife to not blame yourself. I am sure you're a wonderful woman and wife, but marriage has a lot of growing pains. Try to soften your husband's heart so you two can have an honest discussion to improve things.

  • pat1 Taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 9, 2013 7:12 a.m.

    The other side of this argument is if this young married woman discovers that her husband isn't doing the basic things and won't do them, it is better to leave now and start over because she has no children. She is still young enough to find someone who is motivated.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 9, 2013 6:56 a.m.

    I'm interested what her husband's expects of himself. How does he perceive his role in the marriage? Does he feel like he's carrying his own weight? In short, does he even recognize his problem? Or is he comfortable with his behavior?

    I rarely favor of divorce unless abuse or infidelity is involved. The symptoms described in the article are more indicative of someone who is discouraged, who has lost confidence. But why? It could be the tough economy. It could be unfulfilled dreams or expectations. It could be sin, such as pornography. Any of those could cause the best of men to lose confidence in himself. He sounds to me like someone who needs help pulling himself out of a deep hole, not a fatally flawed person who should be tossed on the scrap heap.

    In my mind, the wife's role is "good cop." Love him, don't nag him. Someone else (a parent, in-law, sibling, friend, church leader, in some cases a professional counselor) needs to play "bad cop" and help him see himself clearly. If the wife does it, there will always be residual damage that mars their relationship.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Dec. 9, 2013 6:50 a.m.

    How long did they date before they got married? How well did she know him?

    Divorce is frequently the result of marrying too young, not dating long enough to get to know the person you're tying yourself to. It sounds like he's not mature enough to be a husband.

    She is right about one thing, certainly: they didn't have kids together.

  • Wacoan Waco, TX
    Dec. 9, 2013 5:40 a.m.

    Angela gives great advice. I came up with a couple of questions reading the "Newly Wed's" letter. Had her husband finished his degree? If so, did he go through a period of optimism looking for a job that faded when one could not be found? Although the unemployment rate has fallen, the labor-force participation rate has fallen as well. The job market remains weak, especially for new college grads.