Here are extra questions and comments from my live chat on "Separate Lives, Cold Bed" (September 21):
During two years together, she's changed a lot. Very moody, we don't have disagreements - we fight. Also, her sex drive disappeared. She's a light sleeper and has moved into the spare bedroom. I can't get my head around why these changes happened.
Unless she has a mood disorder (which needs diagnosis, treatment, and/or therapy) her moodiness is being used like a silent temper tantrum. She's clearly unhappy for some reason, but not saying why. Withholding sex is an even bigger nail in what may be the coffin of this relationship. Tell her so.
I'm told that these years when the kids are young are the most challenging, but if we don't connect and fix now there won't be any other years.
So meet those challenges with discussion, and willingness to adjust schedules to find some times for you two alone. Keep the connection bubbling - it can be ten minutes in the shower on a Sunday morning, and/or a date night every two weeks.... use whatever opportunities you can.
After seven years married, he lost interest in sex and refused counseling. We divorced (no kids) five years ago. Am now in a new, serious relationship, and would like to know how to keep the fires burning!
Again, creativity is crucial. Find romantic moments... some in passing, some arranged. Meet after work for a drink, take weekend getaways when possible, and find time for sharing feelings as well as chores.
Life, work, and family events change marriage dynamics. As the more submissive partner, I stood back thinking "HE" had to make it change. When I had enough, I told him what I wanted changed and why... or "otherwise we're through," regardless of kids. I walked away for four days, he wanted me back, and things changed - not perfect, but changed. I think walking away was better than coasting and staying unhappy.
A tough love approach that worked.... most likely because you were prepared to stay apart if it hadn't.
Initially, we were always happy to be together. Three years since my wife's promotion to upper management, we hardly talk. She's 37, and saying we should have a baby soon. But she wants a full-time nanny and a weekend babysitter so she can keep working this hard. Should I get out before she gets pregnant?
Stick with birth control until you have a serious talk about each of your goals and visions for family life. If they're all about HER producing a child and YOU not having a companion or partner, exit.
Ever since my husband retired, he's re-discovered golf, former college buddies, watching soccer games, and anything but being with me.
We've gone from regular weekend sex to less than every couple of months, and only because I insist. Should I consider divorce? I thought I loved him, but I don't really know who he is anymore.
He's high on Freedom, which is natural, but he's lost the plot of what marriage is all about. Tell him so. Try to arrange a schedule with time for you two together, as well as time for his personal pursuits. If he's unwilling, take a break from all your wifely chores - cooking, cleaning, and shopping - and spend more time with friends, and personal pursuits like art classes or film club, etc. If that doesn't work, take a break from this non-union (get legal advice first).
My husband of 17 years left abruptly to live in London, England. He says he needs "alone time" awhile, but thinks he wants us to be a couple when he's done. Meanwhile, he's not been alone or done anything to work on these issues he's claiming to have.
I'm supposed to just hang on for another few weeks until he comes home and lets me know what he then feels/wants. I'm so broken and confused. I feel like an idiot waiting for him. I feel used.
Am I supposed to just wait and let him have this time? I have so far, but it seems to be getting a bit ridiculous. Yet I'm scared to move forward without him.
Do "wise waiting" by getting informed. See a lawyer to learn your rights if he wants to separate. See an accountant or financial advisor to learn what you'll need to manage decently on your own.
Tip of the day:
Work consciously at staying connected, if you want the relationship to survive.