Dear Aunt Silvia,
My marriage needs help. For many years I have wanted to change the course it was taking, but every step I made forward, was not worth trying because my partner kept on demoralizing me. It’s now over 10 years and the situation has gotten worse.
My husband is unaffectionate. It never used to be this bad during our early days in marriage.
I come from a very affectionate family so you can imagine how I feel when my husband is least affectionate. He has never been romantic or passionate in any special 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 how painful and lonely this journey can be, but if you do not amend where the wrong is, this will eventually destroy the marriage for good. 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.
It is time for you to take care of yourself- you don’t have to add extra weight to look ugly just because your husband does not appreciate you –if he doesn’t why can’t you appreciate yourself?
Start eating better and exercising. Do this not for him at all but for yourself. Why? Because you will inherently feel better. That you owe yourself.
Also, open up to 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 and family.
Do fun things with friends. 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.
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. Also since these books are about sex, it can be more confrontational and scary, especially to him in the beginning, but if you push a little harder, he may come around since you both need to be sexually active for your love to blossom- as much as we know that we cannot die for lack of sex, it is still a very important factor in a marriage.
If you want any further analysis of the situation, you might consider help of a professional counsellor. If you continue hurting inside, this may affect your relationship with your children, so seek help the soonest.