I try to write about topics that I hear from talking to other men about their marriages. People often ask me how I have the authority to write about improving marriage when I am not married any longer. My answer to that is I have lived what these men are experiencing, shared their emotions, and learned from my mistakes. The best teachers are those that have experienced, overcome and learned from adversity.
I was on the train recently and ran into a friend, Lester, who I had not seen in about 6 months. After going through the usual “how’s work”, “how’s the family” and other germane questions, I told Lester that I was writing a book to help men in their marriages. You should have seen his face drop!
I said what’s up? He said that he and his wife have absolutely no intimacy any more. She refuses to go on vacation with him or even for a night away from the house. He said that she is so frozen emotionally towards him that she will not share any intimacy, even hugging in bed. His train stop was before mine, so we didn’t have the opportunity to finish the conversation. But I need to reconnect with him shortly to see if I can help. Now that my book is just a week away from being available on Amazon, a first edition copy might be a nice gift.
This takes me to the topic of this post, feeling despondent in marriage.
Have you gotten to the point in your marriage where no matter what you do, your wife will not be loving or share intimacy? As much as you try to be loving and caring, it just doesn’t matter. If so, don’t despair… you are not alone! I believe sexless marriages are an epidemic in our society. Men just don’t talk as freely about their marital predicaments as women. But that is changing. Years ago, guys like Lester would not have told me that they were not having sex with their wives. But the times have changed!
For some couples, nothing you do can reverse the current state of affairs. But you need to try and remedy your situation before take drastic action, like divorce or cheating. I know quite a few men where their marriage was in the dumps. But when they changed the way they approached their wives, love and intimacy returned to the relationship.
What’s the cure? That’s too much to cover in just a blog post. Hey, I just wrote a 200 page book about it.
But it starts with communication and action. You need to open the channels of communication. Let your wife know how much you love her and that you want to have a mutually satisfying, loving marriage. Ask her what she needs for that to happen. Tell her you want to start anew by letting everything go from the past. If she wants to talk about the problems, that is fine, as long as you are looking to learn from them and have a positive attitude towards the future. I actually think it is very important to have that open discussion so that you can learn from the past and work towards a more harmonious future.
Once you learn what she needs, don’t hesitate to tell her that you will try your best to change and be conscious of her needs. But let her know that if you do that, and you will be patient during the process, that you have needs in return from her… and I don’t just mean sex! Men also need to feel appreciated by their wives. So if appropriate, let you wife know that you would like positive reinforcement about the things you do for the family and also from what you do for her. When the subject of sex or intimacy comes up, be the man and let her know that intimacy is an important part of marriage. Tell her that you will be patient but that you would really like to try and open the channels of love again in the marriage.
Take it slow is the rule. Be kind and understanding. Listen intently to your wife. Spend additional time with her. Romance her with fun activities. Over time she will see your sincerity in wanting to have a wonderful marriage like the one you envisioned on the day you got married.
Steve Schloss is the author of “The Man’s Secret to a Happy and Sexy Marriage in Less Than 10 Minutes a Day”