Missing that Romantic Feeling
Q: : I am having trouble with my husband of three years. We fight and argue but then we make up. I want us both to be happy, and we have a baby. We almost divorced, though. I left because I didn't like his attitude. He wasn't the same guy he was when we first met. When I left, he kept our baby and wasn't going to let me see her until we got a divorce. We got back together, but at first he said he didn't love me like he did when I left. Now I'm not sure he really loves me or not. I tried to spice up our love life; I want it to be romantic, but I don't know what to do or say. I want things to be like they were when we first met. I have trouble keeping the house clean and fixing homemade meals. I really want to be the wife he always wanted, and I want him to want me in his life. -- Rene, 23
Dr. Susan: Both of you need a reality check. No one's marriage is the same after three years and the birth of a baby. The romance almost always simmers down a little. It also sounds as though both of you are hotheaded. You left and he kept the baby? I doubt that his changed feelings have much to do with your imperfect cooking and cleaning. When you both made the commitment to marry and then began to raise a family, you promised to stick together through thick and thin. Perhaps you need to learn how to fight more fairly, with less arguing and more clarifying of viewpoints. I understand your urge to be the wife he always wanted, but that was a fantasy and this is real. Nobody gets exactly what they wanted. We think we do, and then a couple years pass by, and surprise! It's not that our mates have changed so much, but we see them differently now. Grown-ups accept that and make a point of getting to know the real person they are hitched to. Because you share a baby and both of you care about her, a couple sessions with a counselor might help you get along better.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.