Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Not attracted to my husband anymore

Dear Edahn,
I've been married for nearly 9 years now. I got married right out of high school. We now have kids. We've both had affairs and been through plenty of bumps in the road. I no longer find myself attracted to this person I've married. In fact, it's been over 2 years or so since I've had any type of warm fuzzies for him.
I've come close to divorcing him 2 times. Now? I'm just sort of numb. Some time ago I resolved to just stick with it. I figured the grass may always be greener on the other side - but both sides have to be mowed. I'm still waiting to feel good about him again. Will that ever come? I keep thinking that if I stick it out, eventually I'll love him (romantically) again.
We don't fight anymore, we just are. He's a great father, and technically a good husband now. I just don't know how to make the good feelings come back. Do you think they ever will? I also can't help but wonder if there IS someone - that one person - out there that would be my perfect match. But again - does it matter? Could he be my perfect match? How do I let him?

THERE ARE DIFFERENT KINDS of attraction in this world. There's the I-want-to-rip-your-clothes-off attraction ("passion"), and then there's the sacred attraction you feel when you're with someone you trust, care for, and love in a simple, pure way ("true love" or "platonic love"). I have the feeling that you're searching for passion, but I would ask you to be open to experiencing true love, even if you're not sure what it looks like. If you just read that and laughed, that's okay. Trust and care are probably not words you've come to associate with your marriage. So lets talk a little bit about how to build that.

The kind of trust I'm talking about isn't just trust that you won't cheat on each other (though that's a requirement) but trust that it's safe to be around that person and that you don't have to be someone else. It requires that you both suspend whatever expectations and requirements you cling to, expectations for each other and for yourselves. That includes your desire to be attracted to him, to repair this relationship, and to understand where to proceed. Just put it all on hold for a second. Instead, put your effort into just being with your husband, just cooperating, just doing simple things together like grocery shopping, getting coffee, and shaving each other's backs. Don't worry where it goes and if it's enough. Be brave and share some of your humor and playfulness with him, without any expectation that it'll turn into something, be reciprocated, or even be appreciated. If those old expectations and needs come up, just be cool and let them pass through. Think of them as natural interruptions in the one-on-one hockey game that is a relationship. Game on!

See where it goes. It might take a little experimentation and adjustment, and will certainly take courage to be open to creating a new relationship. And that's really what this is -- a new relationship. You're shedding the old patterns, the old mistakes, and the old method of relating and finding a new way to care for each other in a very simple and innocent way. This isn't a guarantee that you'll end up together, but it's a guarantee that you'll be stepping in the right direction which is peace. Where ever you go from there will feel right because it'll be carried out with genuine care and a good conscience.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

wurd

diss said...

Sounds like divorce is inevitable. She's already given up. Yes, trust can be built back to some extent, but she's bored and wants something new...something she won't get from him.

Edahn said...

It does sound like she wants something new, and that something new -- a new dynamic -- would be healthy. But does she need to seek something new from someone else? Would that be wise at this point, considering they have kids? I'm not so sure.

diss said...

Well trying can't hurt; I'm just pessimistic about the outcome.

Sometimes divorce is the best option. She doesn't have enough information now to make that conclusion, but it seem likely to me that she'll get there.

TO said...

Good one, Edahn.

Edahn said...

Glad you think so. :)

Debbie said...

Shaving each other's backs? LOL. I like the fact that you didn't focus on her past. It would have been easy to criticize her for marrying at an age too young to have much self-understanding. I appreciate that you didn't take your advice there. There is no sense in looking back. Loss of passion for another is a tough problem b/c once lost, it is very difficult to regain. Maybe that's why we yearn for it so much. Maybe that's why women love flowers...they're so beautiful when they're alive but they die so quickly. If roses lived forever, I wonder if we would love them as much.

Edahn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edahn said...

Agreed that the past isn't the issue. It's important and I'm sure at one point it'll come up in some form at some point, but it'll be brought out in a caring environment. The most important thing now is building that caring environment.

Debbie said...

True dat.

Sara S said...

"u shave my back, i'll shave urs." like "u scratch my back...."

Edahn said...

True love starts with reciprocal back-shaving.

Sara S said...

if that's not love, i don't know what is.

Edahn said...

This? http://goodbadandugly2.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/true-love1.jpg

Sara S said...

omg