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A marriage lacking energy

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
I've been married to my wife for nearly 13 years, and before that we were together for 10 years. Right now it feels like I'm living with a stranger, a flat mate rather than a life partner. We have two kids, 10 and 7, and a lot of our energy goes into them. So much so that it feels like there's no energy left for each other. It feels to me like we don't talk about anything except the kids. Other than that, we've got nothing. I desperately want to connect with her, but I don't quite know how. She is almost always tired from work or other activities, and just wants quiet time, staring at the telly mostly. I feel incredibly frustrated and sad. I'm trying to reach out, but I feel I get very little in return. I tried to suggest a weekend away together recently, but she says she wants to spend time at home. We're hardly ever physically intimate with each other - perhaps once every 3 months, if that. I just don't know what to do. She insists she loves me, but in this state, and with the (lack of) response I feel that I'm getting, I'm not sure how I feel about her. Thank you for reading this far - if you have any suggestions, they'd be most welcome.
8 Replies 8

Community Member

Hi Dadortwo.

I see you've posted before but I can't find out where, or if you've posted about similar issues before. I just don't want to repeat myself or give you information that I've already provided.

Without going into too much explanation, it could be an attraction issue amongst other things. I always recommend getting two short books by Athol Kay. Just Google it. You can get them on your phone so that it's discreet (via iBooks etc). Basically the theory is to work on improving yourself and as stepped approach. No harm in looking into it. He also does an excellent video series about getting the marriage you want - more happiness, more energy and more sex. Good luck. Just don't tell your wife what you're up to - let her notice the positive change in you and hopefully that spills over to her, you get the idea...

Community Member

Hi Dadoftwo. You've spent so much time building a life together, working, obviously putting money aside for a 'rainy day' etc. You've become strangers because while you've been working together, you've had to be apart, if you understand my meaning. Communication becomes difficult when different things take precedence. The children would've taken a lot of time with their interests. Did you spend time with them enjoying sports or leisure time, or was it just your wife or you with them while the other spouse worked? Is she alright physically, perhaps she has something wrong that she isn't telling you about. When I was with my hubby I often felt left out, when I tried to explain to him we were like strangers, he didn't listen. I'm not saying that is the same as you, but sometimes with mothers, we get so caught up with working, taking care of the family etc, we tend to overlook our own physical needs. I'm not talking about the physical side of marriage, I'm talking about the emotional side. Perhaps she is tired and needs a break. Going away might not be conducive for her at this time. Could you perhaps take the kids out so she could have a rest, enjoy some time for herself. Kids can be exhausting and demanding and mothers get over tired trying to be everything to everyone. Maybe take the kids on a overnight 'sleep out' to give mum a break. You've been together 23 years, somewhere in that time, you've disconnected. To reconnect, means letting her know you understand she's tired and wants a break. She sounds fairly depressed and perhaps just taking over might give her that 'lift' she needs.


Thanks Apollo. I'll take a look at those books. I haven't heard of Athol Kay before, which is surprising as I'm a bit of a self-help tragic (as I suspect most of us are!).

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Lynda, and thanks for replying. I think we're both very tired, especially at this time of year. It's been an extremely busy year. In terms of emotional health, she is the even one of us - very self-contained, comfortable with herself etc. etc. But this can be a detriment as well, because she doesn't seem to need connection as I do, and doesn't seem to understand what I need. In fact, I don't think either of us understands the other's needs - perhaps that's why we are where we are? Physically she's fine, fit and healthy. She does drink a bit more than I think is healthy though.

I hear what you're saying ... thank you for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate it.

Community Member

Hi dadoftwo,

I think it is great that you have asked this question and that you are trying to reconnect with your wife. In our society it seems all too common that when either partner is not having their needs met, they are all too happy to have their needs met elsewhere. It's so good to see someone that is actually putting in some effort and thinking about your wife. I think the suggestions by Lynda and Apollo Black are wonderful. I would love to hear how you go.

Maybe after a bit of time on her own, you could see if grandparents might be able to take the kids so you and your wife can have some time to spend with each other... doesn't have to be anything fancy, sometimes just having time together at home can be nicer than going out and spending money. When you have this time together, definitely talk to her and try to connect emotionally before initiating anything physical. Your wife may be completely different to me, but in my opinion, it is very important to make sure she knows you don't just want sex, but that you want intimacy and affection that is meaningful and satisfying for both of you.

As she has had 2 children, again I don't know her but I am just guessing, but she may not feel as sexy as she used to. Make sure to reassure her, tell her how much you are attracted to her and that she is beautiful, that you appreciate her and love her. We all feel insecure at times and this may contribute to her not seeking intimacy very often. Tell her as often as you can that she is beautiful. Try to initiate different forms of affection without it leading to sex. Just hold her hand when she is watching TV or have an arm around her. Sneak a little kiss on her cheek when she is washing dishes, or even better... tell her to take a seat and you will do them, or do them together (I'm sure you already help out with all the housework as you seem very loving and genuine).

It might be hard as the weather heats up by try to cuddle in bed without expecting sex, just give her a cuddle, then a kiss on the cheek and say goodnight. When she sees that you are offering affection without any pressure regarding sex she might find it easier to relax and therefore more likely to seek out more affection.

I really hope it works, I know that even though sex isn't everything, it can be really upsetting and difficult to cope with when you feel a little starved. A good sex life can really help couples feel connected and stay strong.

Good luck xo

Read the MMSL Primer first

Hi Dadoftwo

I envy you having 2 kids. Although the work and kids have become too mcuh for you, is it time you have the kids minded as others have suggested and do a date night at home. Either cook her a favourite meal, or order in food...not too expensive...try the candles and music or even just a platter you could both share on the couch in front of the TV, if that's her chill-out for the moment. Try different approaches such as this and others suggested by the other postings...Be patient...it wont change overnight, but hopefully you will see results soon...bit like sowing seeds and watching the slow emergence of small shoots and they blossom into something beautiful

Have a great Christmas...dont let the situation get you down to the point where you become the problem

Community Member

Without knowing all the details of the last 10-20 years, I can only tell you why I feel nothing towards my husband of 10 years & see if you can relate.

Personal, hurtful things that have happened to me over time, that I've shared with him, have been thrown in my face during arguments.

Nowhere near enough equality around the house. I work full time yet he has a very old fashioned view of housework & I am killing myself to try & keep up with a family of four including a dog & all the mess that generates.

Expects that I can just "switch on" for sex, besides hardly speaking to me for days on end.

Says & does embarrassing & disrespectful things in front of close friends all in the name of a "joke."

Horse racing and gambling. It's a complete turn off. Just sayin'

I could make a list a mile long but all I'm saying is look honestly at yourself & don't fob it all off as being her problem.

Good luck!