I’m 24 and feel trapped in my marriage

I’m 24 and feel trapped in my marriage

should i get out of my marriage postI’m 24 years old and I’ve been married for almost 4 years… and I don’t know if I want to be anymore. I married my high school sweetheart at 19 because at the time I didn’t feel like I would find someone better. (I was so young and for some reason felt like I had to chose right there and then.)

I’ve never been crazy-attracted to my husband, and after getting married he has let himself go. We argue all the time and don’t see eye to eye in a lot of things. I’m unhappy and have been questioning my marriage for a long time. I tried talking to him about working out together, or for him to get a hobby or something… but all he wants to do is rest and be at home. We are young! We should be out having fun together. But nothing seems to work.

Here’s the kicker: I started hanging out with an old friend from high school (a guy) for almost a year now. I have so much fun with him, and it only makes me question my marriage even more. I’m afraid of telling my husband how I feel, of getting a divorce and having everyone I know hate me and judge me, including my parents. Divorce is NOT an option according to the beliefs of my family and friends so I am feeling incredibly alone. I’ve told no one about how I’m feeling, and I just don’t know what to do. I don’t want to make the wrong decision, and I hope you can give me advice. Kranden

Can I just put the cat among the pigeons for a minute and get one thing out of the way: your friendship with this old friend is a bit of a red flag. Not that I’m saying you can’t have friends of the opposite sex when you’re married or otherwise taken – of course you can – but it’s kinda perilous when you’re questioning whether you actually want to be married anymore. And kinda makes me wonder if your bond with this guy friend is the reason you’re questioning your marriage.

Have you told your husband how you’re feeling? Have you suggested talking to a couples counsellor? Have you told him how unattractive it is to you that he’s intent on creating a butt-shaped indentation on the couch when you’re both young and should be out in the big wide world doing what most twenty-somethings do? If you haven’t, you can’t walk away from your marriage. Not yet. You need to make your needs and your expectations crystal clear and be honest about the fact that you’re not happy and haven’t been for a long time. I think you should also be SUPER honest about how you’re thinking that you don’t want to be married anymore.

If that doesn’t get him off the couch and into marriage therapy with you, and doesn’t seem to care about meeting your needs or whether you’re happy or not with him, then yes – you don’t have to stay in a marriage hellhole of misery that’s sucking the life out of your soul, no matter if you’re 24 or 64. For what it’s worth, I don’t think you’re doing yourself any favours staying quiet about how you’re feeling. Your close friends might be more understanding than you give them credit for – and giving a few friends and family an inkling of how very serious and how very unhappy you are will probably make a bit easier for you if you decide to suddenly drop a bombshell in a community that frowns on divorce.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks. Let them be mad. Let them be judgey. You’re an adult entitled to make your own decisions, no matter what anyone else thinks or expects of you. I know when you’re young it can be extremely difficult going against the tide and sure, separating might be a very lonely thing to do, at first. But it’s your life, and if you know in your heart that you don’t want to spend it with your husband, you owe it to yourself and to him to be honest about that, so you both have a shot at finding real happiness.

Love, reality chick

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Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).


  1. Rachel 8 years ago

    There is life after divorce… For SO many people. Nice advice as always, Lola. X

    • Lola 8 years ago

      Thanks, RC!

  2. Lola 8 years ago

    Hi Kranden, I was exactly where you’re now at 24: stuck in a bad marriage; husband didn’t want to go out or have fun (unless it meant hanging out with his friends); arguments of every description; family that frowned upon the idea of divorce… and had a little daughter as well. However, I faced myself and my ex; we did our yelling… excuse me… talking and I finally decided to call it quits and ask for a divorce. My parents were sorely unimpressed and blamed everything on me: they thought that I hadn’t “worked hard on saving the marriage” (or whatever, in the language of the land – in that case, Spanish).
    Back in the 1980s, the worst thing you could be where I come from was “divorced”. But tell you what, there’s life after divorce. Most importantly, nothing beats self-knowledge and believing in yourself. At age 24, you are too young to get stuck in a rut.
    Regarding your friend, I’d say that while you work things through in your marriage, it would be best if you stopped seeing him. You don’t want external influences that may cloud your thinking or your feelings. Fantasies with third parties can be dangerous…
    Again, there’s life after divorce. I wish you the very best x

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