Following are leftover questions from my online chat, “The Boredom Factor,” Jan. 29:
I thought the man I married was perfect! Three years later, I still love him, but so much has showed me his other sides, that I wonder if we’ll last. He got laid off suddenly, two years ago, and became depressed, feeling a failure.
He no sooner landed a better job, than his father passed. He now just works and comes home to brood. He’ll watch TV with me to try to be company, but inside he’s a hurt son. Can we regain the bliss we once felt?
The one-two punch of lost work followed by death of a parent, are heavy blows. His reaction’s normal, not some lasting flaw in his character.
He needs grief counselling, and he needs your understanding. Once he’s seeing a professional, encourage him to trust you, too, with his feelings about his father.
Then, you can plan together some steps to lighten up your life. Start slowly by socializing with closest, comfortable friends.
When do you know if a steady relationship’s good enough, or the lack of passion will lead to divorce? I love my wife; we were passionate at the beginning. But since we had children, she’s withdrawn the sex to once or twice a month.
Otherwise we get along well, trust each other, and enjoy the kids. I just don’t know when I’ll not be able to restrain my need for more.
Ask The Question and listen. She’s limited your sexual relationship for some reasons you haven’t heard. Discuss gently, without blame, to show you want to understand:
Does she fear another pregnancy? Is she over-tired? Has her changed life got her feeling depressed? Has her feeling of libido just changed?
If you both discuss the possible answers, there are optional steps to pursue together, e.g. a medical check-up, providing or hiring more help in the house, more secure birth control, counselling for depression.
You’re still together. If you want to keep it that way, you have to get pro-active as a team. You need sexual intimacy, she has to make you aware of her needs, and then you can both look at compromises.
My wife was dynamite when I met her – loved to go out, travel, try new things, meet people, and learn new skills.
We’ve been married five years, have two youngsters, and she’s changed completely.
The kids rule – we can only go out if my mother can babysit (only relative here). We can’t travel due to too many diseases to catch on planes, hotels, or other cities.
Every night we’re at home and it’s laundry or vegging out. How can I get my adventurer back?
She’s on a different adventure now, protecting young kids. If you can afford to hire a babysitter whom she comes to trust, she’ll start to go out. Also, this helper can do some chores, so she can relax more.
It’s a transition period for her, with huge feelings of responsibility as a mother. Show her you can also care for the kids while she goes out for a break. A spa appointment can help her start thinking of herself, again.
Talk about simple future adventures –e.g. a weekend getaway to a child-friendly place. As the kids get more mobile, she’ll welcome change.
UNLESS, she’s become obsessively anxious about their health and safety. In that case, a talk with her doctor and a therapist may be needed.
I love my fiancée, she’s honest, loyal, sexy, everything I could want. Except her personal interests besides our life, and me center on shopping, gossip, and celebrities. Currently, every minute together is about the wedding and honeymoon plans, I get that. But everything else goes back to those things I don’t care about. She’s sensitive, so how do I tell her?
A Big Yawn
Try to widen her world. Read a book together, perhaps a celebrity biography to start, and talk about the history of that person besides the hype.
Be honest, but not insulting. Say you’re not interested in gossip unless it affects your lives. No different, perhaps than her disinterest in baseball statistics.
Compliment her shopping taste, but say she doesn’t have to share details. However, you should participate in shopping for furniture and decor that’ll be part of your life, too, for years.
Tip of the day:
If you’re bored, it may mean you’re not talking about, or working on problems in your relationship.