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Thursday, 22 March 2001

Too Much Work -- Not Enough Intimacy

Written by  Dr. Marc Gelkopf, PhD and Elisabeth Gelkopf-Belais, SW

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QDear WholeFamily Counselor,

Hi, me and my husband have been married for three years now and we have an 18-month-old son. When I first met my husband he was fun, outgoing and liked to do things.

Now he thinks he is too old and doesn't want to do anything anymore. We are only 26 years old. On top of that, the sex has stopped. Granted we have a hard work schedule so we never see each other, but it is starting to bother me. Also, my outlook on life and interests are in living in a new home in the city, where he'd rather live in the country in a log cabin home...

That is not me. I love my husband dearly and would die for my son. He is my life. I am just not happy with the way our marriage is coming along. I know most men don't like to clean and so on. But once in a while I will ask him to just pick up before he goes to bed and it is never done. With my schedule and his, it is hard for me to do everything. But I do it anyways.

Please, can you give me some idea on what to do here? I love going out with my friends and when I do all he does is make fun of them and me. This is something I like to do. Am I wrong? He doesn't like to go out, so why should I suffer?

Desperately needing help.

ADear "Desperately Needing Help",

We hear that you really feel that the person you are with is not the same as the person you married. We also see that you are having a hard time living with this person you are now rediscovering and that you feel that together you do not have the same expectations anymore, although you really love him. Furthermore, apart from not being fun anymore you feel that this relationship is becoming a weight on your life.

The situation you are in is one many couples find themselves in a number of years after marriage, with a first child and the toll work is taking on your marriage.

You have created a situation where you don't see each other enough and this doesn't give you any time to grow together as a couple building your marriage and your family. Instead, it seems each one of you builds his life and expectations separately. Because of this you have become two individuals that share a house and a child, but neither a bed nor a dream.

By this we mean that you do not have any physical or emotional intimacy together which makes it impossible for both of you to be satisfied in your family life.

Without this intimacy you will grow even further apart. You may still find a way to enjoy life and do things that satisfy you when you are on your own, but you will not be able to build any intimacy with your husband and you will continue to grow further apart.

If you want to save this marriage, what we suggest is that you find the time to reconnect with your husband. Convince him that you need to get together again. You both need to know each other anew, as both of you have changed and you have lost touch with each other.

You need to take time to do things together like going out on evenings, taking a vacation together, and spending time doing something you both enjoy. You must talk together, listen to each other, and learn again about one another.

Be together.

Dr Marc Gelkopf, PhD and Elisabeth Gelkopf-Belais, SW

Last modified on Tuesday, 24 January 2012 18:28
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Dr. Marc Gelkopf, PhD and Elisabeth Gelkopf-Belais, SW

Marc and Elizabeth are a husband and wife team of psychotherapists who work with individuals, couples and families.

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