How do I Rekindle her Emotions?

Visitor's Question from a 31-40 year old Male
I have been married for nine years and we have a 7 year old son. My wife says she loves me but don't want me. She says my personality has changed and she does not like it. She wants no intimacy or romance from me at all. But we are in counceling and she wants to try and make it work.

I do love her but am not sure of the changes she wants. I am trying to be patient, but to not be able to show affection to her hurts alot. She says she doesn't know if she will ever want me again only time will tell, but how much time and how much pain I can endure is hard to say.

I have not been happy for 2 years or more. This all just came out in the open. She did cheat on me three years ago but said it was a big mistake and had alot of pain dealing with it. She says that that is the last thing on her mind cause she wants no one right now. I gave her many chances to leave in the past but she did not want to. We do get along well.

She keeps her feelings to herself and thats what brought all this on over time. The ? is should I just get a divorce or should I try to win her heart back and how do I do that? Advice
I would definitely try to work this through if she's willing to talk with a therapist. There are several things here.

First, she DID cheat on you before, and that is about the ultimate betrayal in a relationship. You have every right to be unhappy, hurt, distant, etc. because of that. The therapist can help you with all of those emotions and give you the best chance possible to work through them. Maybe that caused the change in you that your wife sees. If so, she can hardly blame YOU for the change, and together you can work to reform your relationship.

As far as her "loving you but not feeling romantic", all relationships go through stages. The famous "7 year itch" is a real thing, where people are together for so long that they feel like best friends. Which is a great thing! But people raised on MTV-passion romance think that something is wrong because of that best friendship and that they therefore can't be lovers. Which is completely untrue. I have info on the relationship stages here -

Also often parents start to think of themselves as "mommy and daddy" which for sort of obvious reasons are not things you want to associate with sex and romance. So now that you have a 7 year old son and he's turning into a "young man" it can be hard for her to think sexual thoughts without it feeling a bit "icky".

Finally, romance and lust are things that naturally come at the beginning of a relationship. You are fueled by raging hormones and the rosy-vision of new love and all of that. As a relationship goes on those naturally fade - you'd burn out if you ran at a high lust level for your entire life! But you can of course keep some romance and spark in your life even as you go through decades together. You are primarily best friends with a common life path - but those occasional romantic dinners together and shared sunset watching can keep things interesting.

I have lots of advice on keeping the love alive here -

instead of thinking "we can't have any romance", realize that love IS romantic, period. Teenagers might give candy because it's all they can think of. But long married couples can sit with a partner and watch their favorite show even though something else is on - and that is a true sign of love too. Maybe a much truer sign because it's about time and companionship and not about a cash outlay.

So find small ways, daily, to show that love and affection. Love doesn't have to be about sloppy kisses. It can be about making time for each other. Take up a new hobby you'll both enjoy. Make sure at least once a week you have time for JUST YOU TWO. It is VERY easy when you have a child to revolve your life around the child. But if you destroy your relationship in the meantime, what sort of a lesson does that teach the child? The child would much rather have 2 happy parents that sometimes did things without him vs having two miserable parents on which he bases his view of "how adults act".

Good luck!

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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