I recently had emails from two female subscribers, they had stopped loving their husbands and were requesting advice. I get quite a few emails from men and women who have waited to get Christmas out of the way before deciding on calling time on their marriage/relationship. One of the women is desperate to leave the home she shares with her husband but can’t see how she would manage on her own. The other woman is pressing ahead with plans for a new life and she’s looking forward to the change it will bring to her life, although she feels uneasy about this massive decision.
Both women however, told their husbands that they had stopped loving them. The decision to confront their spouses only being taken when some trivial incident or event triggered their breaking point. Each woman related that their husband’s first reaction was one of shock and disbelief. If these men had only listened and opened their eyes they would have tried to find out what was worrying their wives.
One lady said that she had felt depressed in her marriage for three or four years. The anguish she felt about the state of her relationship with her husband had made her that ill. Dr Eugene Mead (Journal of Marital and Family Therapy; July 2022 vol. 28, No 3, 299-314) said that January is traditionally the month with the biggest divorce rates.
Other aspects of the downward spiral in one of the relationships was that conversation had dried up long ago and now consisted of a brief discussion of the working day each morning over breakfast. Intimacy had ceased being part of either couples’ lives, especially for the one with young children.
Both had, for several years, tried to manage their problems rather than deal with the causes and now they had reached a crossroads and trying for a resolution was no longer an option. In each case the husbands had failed to notice that anything was wrong with their marriages. I can relate to that because of my own experiences many years ago. I had noticed my wife becoming cool towards me, but I did not want to probe her about it. I didn’t want any confrontation, thought it was nothing and it would blow over. It didn’t blow over but developed slowly over a period of several months. My response was to keep quiet and occasionally ask ‘Is everything ok?”
That’s the thing about men, we only want a quiet life. Our spouses are emotional creatures and they do get upset about stuff easily, don’t they? At that time I had failed to notice or wish to deal with issues obviously troubling my wife. The eventual outcome was that my wife had an affair. Although we did get back together again it began a long period of re-adjustment, discovery and heartache.
These two ladies, who say they no longer love their husbands have, at the time of writing this post, separated from their husbands.
So for all the men out there who are complacent about their marriages/relationships, take a step back and be aware that your partner just might be bottling up their anger/disappointment in the marriage/relationship, waiting for the moment to walk out on you. Of course some of you will think that she wouldn’t possibly leave you. After all, where would she go? Women are a lot stronger and single-minded than given credit for – more than 80% of divorces are petitioned by women!
- Take a moment to run through your relationship in your mind. Are you controlling, intimidating or abusive?
- Does the relationship revolve around you and your interests?
- When was the last time you went out together for a meal, see a show, or share any leisure time together?
- Do you spend most evening away from home ‘on business’ or leisure activities?
- When did you last actually listen to your partner or ask for an opinion?
- Do you do your fair share of household duties?
- Does winding down after work mean relaxing, drinking, watching TV by yourself?
If some of the above points sound like you then it’s time to resuscitate your lifeless relationship before it’s too late.
Relationship Reviver Checklist
- Put yourself in your partner’s shoes and imagine what it’s like living with you.
- Redefine your relationship, devote time to focus on your wife/partner.
- Ask her about her day. What can you do to give her a break from her daily routine? Could you offer offer to share the home chores?
- Tell her and show her you care about her. Take her out for a meal. Buy her flowers even though it’s not her birthday! Just do something that she will appreciate.
- Make an effort to reconnect by conversing with her, just like you did when you were building your relationship.
There are many other things you can do to make your wife/partner feel valued. Taking that first step in examining where you might be failing in her eyes is a start. Be sincere and make lasting changes and you never know she just might come to the realization that she would be mad to leave such a caring, wonderful, loving husband.
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