He Changed Drastically Just After We Got Married

Question and answer details
A (23-female_US)
Assalaamu Alaikum, I am a 23 years old software engineer. I am very depressed. I was married, but after 2 months, I had to divorce. The marriage was not even consummated. I don’t know what problem he had. Before marriage and until the 15th day of our marriage he was good to me, but day by day, he became rude to me. He didn’t care much and completely changed his attitude towards me. I had sleepless nights and couldn’t eat or sleep properly, nor was I able to speak to anyone about this. I didn’t know what to do. When my parents came to know about this, they asked my husband and in-laws to see a doctor, but they responded rudely saying that he will not visit any doctor; if I want to stay like this I can, otherwise, it's my wish. So my parents gave them 4 days to think and come to have a talk again, but they didn’t come. He hardly cared for me, so I had to ask for divorce. He was too good at the time we got married. I am shocked; how can someone change like this? Please help me to get out of this.
Dr. Maryam Bachmeier

Assalam Alaykum dear sister,

You must be very disappointed and perhaps confused about what happened. The events you describe tell me that somewhere, you and your husband did not communicate with each other effectively; some very important heartfelt issues that needed to be discussed were not discussed.

It seems as if you feel that you have been left in a type of “limbo”, and that you have not been able to get closure on this experience. This is probably because you and your husband still have not resolved the issues that were bothering you in the first place.

In a marriage, most couples can expect some conflicts, especially early on. Both come into a marriage with expectations, personalities, and behaviors that may or may not have been shared and understood by the other partner prior to marriage.

Prior to marriage, both spouses are usually on their “best behavior”. However, after a little time, when both relax a little, they revert back to their “usual self”. This is a “self” that may not be known to the other spouse until after marriage. Indeed, this is one very important spiritual reason for the practice of marriage.

In marriage, each partner must learn to give up some of their own selfishness and self centeredness that human beings naturally acquire during childhood. The processes of sharing space, time, and resources with another human being and giving them a place of honor, respect and making this “other person” a priority in one’s life, putting their welfare at the top of one’s list, is a major life adjustment that teaches us how to become mature, responsible, caring adults. It is a process that facilitates maturity and spiritual growth.

To be successful in this endeavor, both spouses need to be committed to working through issues together, while being conscious of the fact that this is a process of learning and growing that will require a conscious effort. In most cases of marriage, both spouses need to learn new communication styles also, and this too requires patience and conscious effort.

Note also that when one spouse is not interested in sexual intercourse, there is often an underlying emotional issue or even fear of inadequacy involved. Now, in marriage, each spouse reveals the most vulnerable part of him and herself to the other, in hope of receiving unconditional acceptance and love from the other. This is quite a scary risk to take.

Considering the things I just discussed above in this response, you might want to reflect back upon the experience and see if any of this is true or might be true for you and you former spouse. Whether the two of you decide to try the marriage again, or if you move on and make yourself available for marriage to a new suitor, you will want to reflect on the experience and determine what you might learn from it.  This will help you to bring closure and prepare you to try again.

You might consider writing to your former husband and see if you can open the lines of communication so that you can discuss the issues that were not talked about during the actual marriage. By doing this, you open the door for both of you to find a mutual space of forgiveness and understanding for each other, and you can end things with positive feelings.

If you have courage and are willing to take these steps, you will likely find the closure that you need for your own emotional well being, and you will be able to move on to either reconcile or to complete this chapter of your life as a more mature and wiser woman.

For further guidance, please try the following links:

About the Counselor:
Dr. Bachmeier is a clinical psychologist who has been working in the mental health field for over 15 years. She is also a published researcher, former adjunct professor at Argosy University, writer, and consultant to her Spiritual community in the areas of mental health, clinical disorders, cultural, family and relationship issues, and more.


Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. You are strongly advised to seek face-to-face counseling and consult your physician or therapist when making a drastic change in your lifestyle in terms of behavior, medication or diet etc.