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Thursday, 13 November 2008

Alone and Unhappy In Second Marriage

Written by  Dr. Louise Klein

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QDear WholeFamily Counselor,

This is my second marriage. In the first marriage my husband was too much, always wanting sex and all over me, very possessive. The possessiveness is what made me run away from the marriage. We had a beautiful girl who is now six. I'm now in my second marriage. I am totally in love with him.

When we met we were always making time for one another. Planning things together and making love at least once a day. He did special things for me and was very romantic and gentle. That is why I married him. Now we have only been married for one year (together for two) and we have a beautiful little girl (seven months). He is very different. I understand that he is tired from work. I work also and take care of the children. We spend time together on my days off in the mornings and his days off in the evenings. Just like it was in the beginning, except now he has no pizzazz. No romance. He just wants to watch a movie and go to sleep or play a game on the computer.

He is always leaving for work early on my days off like he is trying to avoid me. He says that he loves me very much, but to tell you the truth I don't feel it. He is always putting me down, joking around with me, not watching what he is saying and hurting my feelings. I try to be romantic with him, kiss him hug him and hold him. He doesn't want to... or turns his head away. Or tells me he is too tired or watching TV. When we go to bed it is always the same scenario. I want to make love and he says he is tired. I get upset and then after crying he finally makes love to me quickly and roughly. Like he gets off on my crying for his lovemaking. I just don't understand. And he says he doesn't understand me.

I have told him many times how I feel. I don't want to be in a relationship where we are just roommates, where we just live in the same house without any emotions for each other. Just go to work come home and go to bed. I love him with all my heart. I do special things for him without a reason, a special card, a love poem and kisses for no reason. I am not feeling the same for him. I don't understand how to make him love me the way I want.

I told him that we need to go to a counselor but he will not and he always winds up crying and telling me he will change and make things better. Then a month later it's the same old thing again. I get upset and we wind up yelling (well, I wind up yelling). I now told myself if it doesn't change soon I will leave the relationship. Of course I really don't want to leave. I love him but I'm not happy. I feel alone. Please help me.

ADear "Feeling Alone",

It sounds like you've gone from one extreme to another. You describe your first husband as being very possessive and that this ultimately left you feeling smothered. Now you fee that your second husband is losing interest in you and this leaves you feeling unloved. Let's first take a look at you and your part in these marriages.

If we were in a therapy session together I would want to ask you some questions in order to better understand your situation. You said that you "ran away" from your first marriage. How old were you the first time that you got married? How old when you divorced? How soon after your divorce did you become involved with your second husband?

If my math is correct, you must have gotten pregnant within a few months of meeting him. Did this happen with your first husband as well? Isn't it ironic that you left your first marriage because "he wanted sex all the time" and yet now you're the one who is missing your daily lovemaking with your second husband? Maybe you're feeling as confused by this turn of events as I am.

Do you think of yourself as an impulsive person? I'm just wondering if you have a tendency to rush into situations, feeling that they're "perfect", only to be disappointed later when the situation does not live up to your expectations. This could apply to jobs or other friendships, too. Does this describe you? If you feel that there is a grain of truth to what I'm saying, then I want you to take a look at how you may set yourself up in situations that leave you feeling disappointed. This is not to say that your husband's behavior isn't upsetting, it clearly is, but I want you to take care of yourself first.

The truth is that all relationships change over time. This is because we humans grow and evolve. We're also affected by the stress in our work and home lives. You have already made the adjustment to one baby so having the second was probably a lot easier. But your husband may be feeling overwhelmed by the needs of a newborn and the responsibility of being a father. Maybe there are problems at work that you don't know about.

This is not to say that he doesn't love you, I believe that he does, but he's just feeling blocked by some issues in his own life. Sexual desire also waxes and wanes over the course of a marriage. This is a part of the life cycle of a marriage but it can feel upsetting if you're the person whose advances are being rejected.

You two really should see a therapist together but if he won't go then you should see someone on your own. Right now you're obviously not relating well to each other. A therapist could help you to communicate your needs to him in a way that he can hear. You need to find a way to feel less dependent on him for approval and nurturing. I'm not saying that it's only your responsibility to make this marriage work. Hopefully the changes that you make will encourage him to look at his role in your marriage and seek some help.

Dr. Louise Klein

Last modified on Tuesday, 24 January 2012 19:21
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Dr. Louise Klein

Dr. Louise Klein

Louise Klein was born on the West Coast of Canada but lived for many years in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. She has a doctorate in clinical psychology from Widener University in Pennsylvania. Dr. Louise Klein is an experienced therapist in insight-oriented talk therapy. She has worked with individuals, couples and groups for many years. Her experience with families includes stepfamilies, adoptive families, nuclear families and families dealing with illness or death. Dr Klein is also trained in thought field therapy and regression therapy and has taught and worked internationally. Louise Klein lives in a rural community with her husband and St. Bernard and has a stepdaughter in college in New England.

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