Re-cap­ture lost pas­sion

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PAUSE & PLAY - El­lie Tesher Ad­vice

Q-My wife and I, both early 30s, have been mar­ried for six years, to­gether for four years be­fore that. We have no chil­dren, yet.

Dur­ing the past two years, my fa­ther was di­ag­nosed and passed from a ter­mi­nal ill­ness, my sis­ter went through a bad di­vorce, and I started a new, high pro­file job away from both of our fam­i­lies half­way across the coun­try.

My wife and I be­came in­creas­ingly dis­con­nected. I was al­ways stressed and she’d es­cape emo­tion­ally.

Now, though we’re still very much in love and our re­la­tion­ship is still in­cred­i­bly ten­der, my wife feels she’s lost her pas­sion for me.

I still feel just as pas­sion­ate about her, es­pe­cially now that so much stress is gone.

It’s been many months since we’ve made love, and nei­ther of us know what we can do to re-ig­nite the fire in­side her, or if it’ll ever come back.

We talk about this all the time but are scared and un­cer­tain of our fu­ture.

- Con­fused In Love A-The ba­sic bond is still there. Now you two need to re-cap­ture what was lost. You’ve re­cov­ered from stress. But she hasn’t re­cov­ered from the dis­ap­point­ment and lone­li­ness she felt when you were pre­oc­cu­pied through your dif­fi­cult time.

It was nat­u­ral for you to be ab­sorbed with se­ri­ous is­sues… but she was left to the side­lines, and also had to make her own ad­just­ment to your job move. Woo her, emo­tion­ally. Tell her how sorry you are that she felt alone, say that you want both of you to never again ex­pe­ri­ence emo­tional sep­a­ra­tion.

Sug­gest that you go for mar­i­tal coun­selling NOT be­cause there’s any­thing wrong with your mar­riage, but rather be­cause you both want to learn how to not let fu­ture is­sues or crises come be­tween you.

Woo her, phys­i­cally. Hug her when you leave her, and when you re­turn, and stroke her when­ever you can.

Give this time. BUT, if it per­sists af­ter a few months, ask the coun­sel­lor to rec­om­mend a sex ther­a­pist.

Q-My hus­band and I are work­ing on our re­la­tion­ship again, af­ter a rough, rocky pe­riod.

My prob­lem is that he’s a cell phone ad­dict, con­stantly on his de­vice, and obliv­i­ous to peo­ple or his sur­round­ings.

When­ever we go out for a meal, he’s on his phone the whole time while I’m star­ing at noth­ing.

He’s dis­tracted, ei­ther re­ply­ing to ca­sual mes­sages, check­ing or on his e-mail.

His ex­cuse is that he’s net­work­ing. He apol­o­gizes when I ex­press my dis­sat­is­fac­tion, but he’s soon back on it.

Some­times he doesn't even re­al­ize that I have sat next to him, to re­lax to­gether.

This doesn't help us bond when we’re try­ing to work on our re­la­tion­ship.

How do I make him un­der­stand that his ad­dic­tion is driv­ing us apart?

- Frus­trated Wife


A-Tell him. This isn’t your only prob­lem, but it’s a symp­tom of the larger one that’s be­tween you:

You don’t speak up about real is­sues, and he doesn’t change any­thing.

What­ever put you through a rocky pe­riod wasn’t just the phone. But you’re fo­cused on the ob­vi­ous ir­ri­tant with­out ad­dress­ing the un­der­ly­ing dis­con­nect be­tween you.

Start with his apol­ogy. He says he’s sorry when he’s dis­tracted, so act on it and re­move the phone to another room while you two try to re­lax to­gether, watch a movie, or go out for din­ner (phone­less or turned off.)

Mean­while, if you can’t dis­cuss the other rea­sons you needed to work on your re­la­tion­ship, get back to the coun­sel­lor who ad­vised it… or see some­one new.

Read El­lie Mon­day to Satur­day.

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