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.