Does it sometimes seem like your marriage or relationship is turning colder with every passing day?
Is it true your sex-life is on a downward turn - and has been for a while?
If so, you may be able to benefit from this reply I sent to an unhappy husband who was in exactly this situation. Here's what he had to say followed by my responses...
[Unhappy Married Man] I really need some help in my marriage before we drift even further apart and I'm hoping that you can offer me some help that's the real deal. I have been married for 19 years and find that our relationship and sex life is in limbo at present. There are so many demands on our time that there is none left for intimacy, not to mention sex.
[Relationship Coach] Either consciously or unconsciously, you've made a choice as to where you're going to USE your time. From what you're saying, you've DECIDED that other things are more important than your relationship. That's most likely why it's in "limbo". But of course, you could at any time DECIDE that your relationship is more important than those other things - and begin giving energy and attention to the relationship.
[Unhappy Married Man] I have read a number of articles explaining quick fixes to relationships that frankly do not work. I am not looking for a quick fix to our current dilemma, but something more lasting.
[Relationship Coach] I agree, "quick fixes" do not work because a "quick fix" is nothing more than trying to get something for nothing - and anything worth having has a price associated with it. A mutually warm, loving, and sexual relationship is one of the most valuable things a person can have - and something that valuable doesn't come for free - it doesn't come "auto-magically". The price one must pay to enjoy a wonderful relationship is maintaining a certain state of mind, devoting time to each other, and putting effort into keeping the relationship exciting.
[Unhappy Married Man] I have deliberately used the word "our" because this includes my wife as well. I am not looking for self gratification, but rather the chance to rediscover the strong feelings of love, romance and excitement my wife and I had earlier in our marriage.
[Relationship Coach] This ties back to the state of mind price I mentioned earlier... If you're anything like a normal man, there was a time when you were attracted to the lady who is now your wife. She was all you could think about. She was all you WANTED to think about. That's a state of mind. You CHASED after her...yes, you wanted her sexually but you also wanted her as a person too. That's a state of mind. You used your mind to DESIGN ways to spend more time with her...that's a state of mind. You had plenty of OTHER things that you could do but you were interested in MOSTLY allocating your time to her...every chance you could get to be with her and to do things with her...you took advantage of. That's a state of mind. Probably, as you're reading this, you're reflecting back to that time and remembering that state of mind - and that's the point...you HAVE the mental faculties - the ability - to recreate that same state of mind and OPERATE in that state of mind - AT WILL. It's a CHOICE. All you've got to do is DECIDE that you want to and then DO it.
[Unhappy Married Man] We still love one another but the reality of the situation is that a lot is said in anger over 19 years and the concept of "forgive and forget" is not always put into practice.
[Relationship Coach] We mostly want to view forgiveness as a ceremonial act of the offending party coming to us and begging for our forgiveness and we - like some pompous being of royalty - ceremonially grant them pardon and forgiveness. But of course, that almost never happens and so people go through life perpetually offended as they frequently reflect back on offences. So, a much more useful form of forgiveness is to view it as picking the "weeds" out of the "garden" of your own mind. It's just so much more useful for you as a man to consciously and purposely throw out any negative thoughts that you may be holding onto related to both real and perceived offences - no matter whether your wife ever acknowledges her "wrong-doing" or not.
[Unhappy Married Man] I am sure that a "shrink" will have an explanation for this situation, but please my wife and I are not looking for answers like "did you wet your bed as a child" or many others that come to mind.
[Relationship Coach] I'm with you on this... I'm sure there are social workers and family counselling therapists who are sincere and who help people...I've just never met any of them who could do anything besides take things around in circles and upset both spouses more than they were before. The fact is, if you have a splinter in your finger, there's not a lot of value in talking about how you got that splinter. What's more useful is simply removing the splinter. Similarly, if you're cold, there's no value in talking about the cold. Instead, DO SOMETHING to get some heat going and the cold just goes away. It's exactly the same in a relationship. There's not a lot of value in talking about past grievances and trying to weigh out exactly who was at fault and to what extent they were wrong. But, there IS a LOT of value in DOING things that create a warm, sexual marriage.