Marriage and the Husband-Wife Relationship/getting married for the first time



Thank you for taking the time to read my message. I'm getting married in September to a man I've been with for two years, and have been best friends with for three years. I'm bad at putting into words what I want to say, so please forgive me. I'll start at the start...I'm 23 and he's 26, we met right after I had gone through a bad breakup and made an instant connection. We met in a college creative writing class and began texting from the moment we woke up to the moment we fell asleep for about a year. We didn't miss a day. I'm an emotionally damaged person with chronic depression and have considered and attempted suicide a few times. My fiance is bipolar with a horrible temper that runs in his family. We were both alcoholics before we met. He saved my life. I moved in with him six months after we entered a more serious relationship. I love him very much. But we fight every couple weeks. And it's almost always my fault because I'm so insecure and literally hate myself so much that I often want to die. I take things out of context and look at them from obscured, manipulated angles so that I can perceive anything he says as an attack on me. I try so hard not to do this, but I get so upset and lose myself. Hrs the only person I've ever been comfortable enough to argue with. I've supressed all of my emotions for years and let people use me as a doormat. But at the thought of losing him I fall to pieces. Like if he gives a girl I don't like a ride I get so mad, even though they're just coworkers. And it's not that I think he's going to chat - I'm afraid he's just going to fall in love with someone else. I'm not pretty, don't have a nice body, no talents, and I'm not at all interesting. I only like spending time with him and my best frmale friend and no one else, and I suffer from separation anxiety, so I refuse to spend the night away from him. Literally all our problems stem from my self hatred and I don't know what to do. I'm so worried he doesn't love me and I read about people marrying people they don't love and it breaks my heart. I don't know how I can fixthese problems. I'm bad at talking about my feelings, and I don't want to destroy our mmarriage.  Thank you for any advice or insight.


Hi, Jamie,

Good for you for being so clear and honest with yourself.  So few people are willing to look at themselves and identify what they struggle with - and all of us have struggles.

Disney and the movies would have us believe that when we are lucky enough to find someone to love, that we will live happily ever after…  well, that's just not true.  The smart ones among us know that they need an education to be able to build the life they would like to have.  You are smart enough to have gone to college!  I hope you let yourself seek an education about your feelings and about how to make a good marriage.  The place for that kind of education is in counseling.  Your college may offer it for free.  Or you can find a counselor in your community.  But, I hope you do this so you can find more peace for yourself and not wind up sabotaging a relationship that means so much to you.

Good luck!
Jan Harrell, PhD

Marriage and the Husband-Wife Relationship

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Jan Harrell, PhD


I believe I can address any questions and concerns a person might have.


I have been a clinical psychologist for 32 years. I co-authored a book on relationships, Love Again ~ Creating Relationships Without Blame, with my husband of 40 years, who is also a psychologist. I have taught at UCLA and at Southern Oregon University. I was the psychology columnist for the magazine, Make You Happen! for 1 1/2 years.

I have a doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Southern California.

©2017 All rights reserved.