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Growing Apart In A Marriage

Question:

I have been married for three years and I feel like my husband and I are growing apart. We don’t spend very much time together as a couple or as a family. We have a two year old son, Landen. Every weekend I ask him if he wants to do this or that with Landen and I mostly get a “no,” whether it is to go for a walk or the zoo or a festival. My husband would prefer to work in his garage or in his hobby room or go out with one of his own friends by himself. It is almost like we are roommates doing shift work parenting when I would actually like to do something together. When we do something together it almost seems like he is doing me a big favour. And spending time just the two of us, well, maybe once every few months. Sometimes he comes home from work and just goes to bed without interacting at all with Landen. I understand that work can be tiring and stressful sometimes but Landen doesn’t really understand why his father is shutting him out. I have brought up the topic with him but he doesn’t have much of a response. He does tell me that he loves me but it doesn’t really feel like it. What to do?

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Answer:

In my opinion, it is very understandable that you are worried about your relationship with your husband and the state of your marriage. This includes worry about his behavior and attitude towards Landen.

Open and honest communication are an important ingredient of marriage and intimacy. For some reasons that are unknown to you that communication either stopped or never existed. Therefore, there is no way for you to understand what your husband is doing or why he is doing it because he does not respond to your attempts to discuss open some avenues of communication.

One strategy you could try with him is to suggest that the two of you go for marriage therapy. Tell him all the things you are worried about, especially all the ones you mention here. Impress upon him the toll this is taking on your emotions and your fears about how this could affect Landen in the future. If you feel the marriage itself is at risk, you might try pointing that out to him, not as a threat, but, as a real possibility. Perhaps that will impress upon him that things are not well at home. Then, press home the notion that you want to try marriage therapy.

One more thing: You mention that you and he have grown so far apart that it feels like the two of you are roommates. Based on this comment, I am guessing that your sexual relationship with one another has fallen off. This is another compelling reason for marriage therapy.

There are a few men who stop having sex with their wives after the birth of their first child out of a misperception that the wife is now a mother and its not right to have sex with them. I have no way of knowing if this is true of your husband but its something to keep in mind if he is willing to enter marriage therapy.

If your husband is willing for marriage therapy or is willing to change his mind and start communicating because of the seriousness of the situation, then there could be a real chance for saving this family.

However, if he is not willing or able to communicate or even enter marriage therapy, then, you might have to think about very serious steps you need to take. I support long term marriages but, sometimes, there is no choice but to consider separation and divorce. However, this should not be used as a threat. You have to really mean it.

Best of Luck

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