Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Relationship Wednesday:He's unaffectionate, sex nonexistent. We're like roommates.
My marriage needs help. I find myself resentful when I think about the things in my marriage I want to change but in over 10 years have gotten worse.
My husband is unaffectionate. It never used to be this bad but early on it wasn't what I thought it should have been. I thought I could help him with his "ways". (His family seems to be much the same.) I came from a very affectionate family so this has really been a struggle for me. He kisses me each day hello and goodbye. About the same way I kiss my child when it's time to go to school. It's never in a romantic or passionate way.
Sex is virtually nonexistent. Sometimes we go for months without it. But the average is once every month or two. I am basically the maid, cook, nanny and have no real feeling of intimacy or passion anymore.
It's a very isolating feeling to live with someone who feels more like a roommate than a lover/spouse. I have gained weight and can't seem to feel worthy of taking care of myself because I seem to be the one taking care of everything else. He is not happy with my weight and that may be the problem but to me that is a superficial approach to love from a husband.
I know what a painful thing this is. This will eventually destroy the marriage. So this is the time for you to step up to the plate and put this issue in front of him, before it is too late and you give up.
Many couples end up in dullness because they have consistently avoided something -- like conflict, for instance -- or they have chosen to go numb rather than confront discomfort. You suffer from avoided issues, or the lack of good communication tools to use to address them. Instead, you are trying to keep things comfortable, probably because each of you simply does not know how to get through the impasse.
At minimum get yourself some good self-help books and read them. You are now in the dark as to what to do.
We offer a set of powerful, to-the-point books on our website, if you are interested in some specific directions for taking a path like I did.
Based on over 20 years of working with couples to heal their relationships, I have written an e-Book you can download off our website. It offers step-by-step tools and strategies:
• Learn how to change patterns that damage love.
• Heal and overcome old baggage that holds you back today.
• Improve communication to start addressing these issues instead of avoiding them.
• Work through and soothe resentment and learn tools to help you overcome your fear and resistance.
• Create a powerful shared vision for overcoming these problems and building solid trust in doing so.
You can get the same material in my printed book: Relationship Tools for Positive Change
For yourself, it is time for you to take care of yourself. Start eating better and exercizing. Do this not for him at all. Do it for yourself. Why? Because you will inherently feel better. That you owe yourself. Also, open up with others. You may have isolated yourself too much inside this relationship, and that could be a big factor in keeping the marriage stuck in the mud. Find support of friends. Do fun things with friends. Consider telephone coaching if local help is not available. Find happiness for yourself first and foremost, by doing things that open you to having more pleasure and fun without him. Take a class. Do anything. Get moving here! Read the self-help books for yourself, regardless if he is interested or afraid to be interested.
If he is interested, then relationship coaching by phone would be very useful.
You might also suggest the following books to read (both of you read these). One is called Passionate Marriage. The other is Resurrecting Sex. These will directly address the sexual side of things, using a model of relationship work identical to ours in the book above. These books, since they are about sex, however, will be more confrontational and scary, especially to him. He may avoid them. My book is far easier to read and apply right away, and could be a better first step to get the two of you to decide to work on things.
If you want any further analysis of the situation, you might also consider looking at what each of your personality types are to see how that is affecting your ability to move through this marriage-killing obstacle.