(Closed) Are we missing something or is this real life?

posted 4 years ago in Married Life
Post # 2
Member
2304 posts
Buzzing bee

Hi Bee,

Well, I think from your post that you two just got lazy in your relationship priorities, and you see the danger in that and want to address it, whereas he does not currently and doesn’t think it is a problem.

However, I would argue that it is a problem as it doesn’t leave a very firm foundation if you run into any significant relationship challenges while you’re in this funk.

I thought that our 2-3rd year of marriage was the most difficult because we’d settled from the wedding excitement, we’d settled into our new life, we were away from home/family (living overseas), and we had really challenging work schedules. When we hit the challenges, it was easy to have a really negative mental dialogue about ‘why did I ever marry him?’. We were in that phase of barely connecting, no romance, little appreciation of the other person’s presence or contributions. I do think you are missing something right now, because I felt I was missing something (which we found with effort and dedication to deliberate change) when I was in this place. I don’t think this is normal or optimal relationship functioning.

I think you might want to be a little more proactive. Schedule dates, cut back on work, STOP eating in front of the TV and pay attention to one another as important, interesting people. Ask him to cut out the video games and possibly change his sleep schedule (if work allows) so that you can have more quality time together.

Have you read the 5 love languages? Maybe you can use that to find a way to connect with each other in the way that speaks to the other person most effectively. Unfortunately, he sounds like he doesn’t want to put in the effort right now, which is going to make things a lot more difficult.Good luck!

 

Post # 3
Member
610 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

I am not married yet, but I have been with my partner (now FI) for over 14 year. 

Relatinships ebb and flow, in that aspect he is very correct. 

But, it doesnt HAVE to be that way. 

It sounds to me like making date-night at minimum once a month a priority will do you both some good. It will break up the current cycle you are in. If you (both you as an individual and you as a couple) continue to do the same thing hoping for a different outcome, nothing will actually change. You need to do something different. 

YOU plan the date, YOU surprise him, YOU make it different. 

Try looking up Groupon, I always find different ideas of things to do I might not have normally tired or thoguht of. Recently, we went Axe Throwing for our date-night, I planned it. We had a blast! It was so weird and hard and funny. 

Post # 4
Member
2051 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

We’ve been together for 8 years and also married for 2. A few years back we were both working full time and studying part time. It was hard to find the extra energy to do anything as a couple and I remember having an argument with my friend who was in a long distance relationship. She told me I should count myself lucky because we saw each other every day. I said when you were in a long distance relationship, you put a large chunk of time aside for each other, made each other a priority and had a time when you could just focus on each other. That isn’t what we what we were doing. We weren’t making each other a priority. And realising that and trying to change stuff, is hard when you’re trying to still stay employed and keep up with your studies.

I don’t think it’s just down to you to reset the priority on your relationship. He needs to do it too. I’d consider doing a date jar. Get a jar/box and a load of coloured cards. Set one colour as free dates, one as more expensive dates, ones with travel, ones at home and so on for whatever categories suit the tow of you. Then give him half the pile, a mix from the categories, and get him to right some date ideas down. Put the finished ones in a jar and take turns each week to pick one – if you know money is tight, pick a free one.

I find the more time I spend with my husband, the more time I want to spend with him. So forcing ourselves to have dates every so often leads us to schedule dates without being forced.

Post # 5
Member
609 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I guess we have phases like that. Long commutes, three jobs between the two of us, two kids, the kids’ germs so someone is usually sick… Sometimes all we can do is have a ten minute conversation and crash. Sometimes DH is asleep by the time I handle the kids’ bedtime. 

I don’t have any easy answers, but I guess once you’ve recognized the problem you can fight it. It doesn’t even have to be date nights if you’re both exhausted, just more effort to talk to each other. Just because you’re married for a long time doesn’t mean you know all about each other, because both of you keep changing.

Post # 6
Member
3747 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

I agree with the others that while this is common, it’s also important to try to get out of the rut.  My ex-husband and I fell into a rut like this, and consequentially we grew apart and it’s a big reason that we ended up getting divorced.  Looking back, some of the biggest contributors were

1) not going to bed at the same time = fewer snuggles and physical connection and much less sex = him feeling not loved by me

2) very different schedules = way fewer fun activities done together = fewer commonalities and connections in our life besides the not-fun ones like bills, chores, blah blah blah

My current partner and I have the opposite situation with these two factors, and it’s very obvious to both of us that that’s one reason we’re so happy.  I’d try to rectify some of the things you mentioned (going to bed together at least some of the time, setting aside a few hours every weekend for a fun activity together, going out to dinner instead of doing takeout).  Otherwise, after a while you might look around and realize that you’re not in love with each other anymore 🙁 

Also, the part about going hiking and him walking ahead rather than with you sounded soooo familiar.  This was how my marriage got.  We both realized after the fact that a big part of it was that we had pretty infrequent sexual intimacy, and my ex was subconsciously resentful / feeling disconnected from me as a result.  He would have told you that of COURSE he still loved me!  But he didn’t actually feel that love as much, which resulted in him not being affectionate / acting connected to me in day-to-day life.  Which of course made me less interested in having sex with him.  It’s a vicious cycle and one that you don’t necessarily realize is happening at the time.  Obviously I’m just projecting here, but it’s maybe something to think about since your intimacy is lacking as well.

Good luck 🙂

ETA: oh and some of this stuff is just what happens when you go from the infatuation phase of a relationship (texting all day long, super hot sex life) to the real-life version.

Post # 7
Member
1378 posts
Bumble bee

Honestly, I think it sounds pretty normal, especially given how busy you are. When we are going through a busy time like that, I try to do little things to keep the intimacy alive. Like, I’ll randomly just stop and give him a hug in the hallway. Or sometimes he will come to bed early, just to cuddle with me (although he will stay up later playing on his phone or watching tv).

We don’t go out on dates often either. Maybe once a month but that’s even a stretch.

The thing is though, that excitement may be gone, but there’s a comfort there now. If things were hot and heavy all the time, I just think we’d get tired haha.

One thing we usually do together is cook supper. This will change when we have kids, but it’s a nice activity that we do together and it gives us a chance to talk about our days and such. 

Also: when we find we have’t gone on a date in awhile sometimes we just “pencil it in” so we actually make time for it. Otherwise it really is easy to just go about routine.

Post # 9
Member
7225 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

My husband and I have been married for almost 2 years, together for 11 and also co-parenting for the last 7 years. I definitely know how the day to day mundane life chores can eat up your time and energy and make life feel stale.

We still have quite a bit of passionate intensity and connection in our relationship because we communicate a lot, we work out together 2-3x/week and we have projects that we work on together. His mother told us, some years ago, that it’s really good for couples to have things that they are working on or towards as a team. So he and I build things together and we set individual and collective goals each year and work on them together and keep each other updated and accountable. Those things seem to help a lot. I’m still excited whenever I’m about to see him and I’m still learning about him and curious about him so that feels positive.

Is there any way you can carve out time every couple/three weeks to spend some significant time together? Maybe go on an adventure or find some new thing that you’re both interested in trying? Standard “dates” can feel pretty boring (to me, at least)- if you eat food together regularly- dressing up to do it just feels like work sometimes, but if you’re going rock climbing or hiking or to a painting experience or a gaming convention or something else, then you might be able to laugh and connect more.

Post # 10
Member
436 posts
Helper bee

View original reply
pakbabydoll :  It’s not about being to blame/blameless. And if you look at the PPs posts, I don’t think any of them mentioned appearance at all.  It’s about just finding time to connect– intentional date nights, a couple of TV-free dinners a week, trying to go to bed at the same time a few days a week, etc. Without that connection, you start to drift apart.

Post # 11
Member
1815 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - Pearson Convention Centre

It just sounds like neither of you are putting an effort in your relationship try doing some of the same things that both of you enjoyed or even try going for a walk and talking about how you’re feeling and what can be done to change it. In my opinion relationships need a lot of effort and time put in to them or else they can become stagnant and boring

Post # 12
Member
1473 posts
Bumble bee

It is about not putting the effort in. You need to haev a good talk. He seems to bee fine with the status quo and you need mroe. Agree a date night X times a month. Alternate with who plans. Eat at the table. Istead of tv, play a game. This is coming from someone who is currently bored in the relationship with a partner who is so happy with how things are, so these are things we are going to try. Also, don’t make this about you as woman letting yourself go or not being girly for your man etc. that’s just….no.

Post # 13
Member
510 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

I echo reading The 5 Love Languages. It is a nice conversations starter, especially when you both read it together. My husband and I read it around our one year anniversary. We were not in that stage, but it was more proactive.

Also, we do have weeks or nights like what you are describing. I don’t think it is uncommon. It’s just a matter of not letting it affect your relationship in the long term. 

Post # 14
Member
1338 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

It becomes hard when you don’t hardly see each other, but when you do have some time together actually BE together! Sitting in front of a tv doesn’t really count as “time together” IMO. When you’re eating dinner, turn it off! Talk to each other. Maybe try to schedule in a date night each week. DH & I normally always go out to eat on Friday nights. I look so forward to it and I even try to fix myself up more. Sex can also be on the weekends or if one of you guys wants to compromise on bed time, like if you are okay with staying up a little later or if he wants to come to bed earlier. You just have to make time for each other but it’s something you both should do. He needs to be more open to doing that.

Post # 15
Member
3090 posts
Sugar bee

Not married yet, but we’ve lived together for several years. 

It’s normal for real life to be fairly mundane, especially once you get past that honeymoon phase. 

Using my Fiance and I as an example..  We work long hours & have a very long commute to work.  By the time we come home, we just want to scarf down dinner and do something to zone out until bedtime (ie, watch a movie, read a book, play video games, catch up on weddingbee.)  You go from thinking “This is the most remarkable human in the world and I LOVE them” to thinkiong “Goddammit, why I on the only one who ever scoops the cat’s litter box?”  I sometimes get home and my brain is so tired from work and I had such a rotten day that I honestly don’t have the emtional energy to carry on an interesting conversation.  

We don’t always have energy for formal date nights, but we do try to at least have a low key ‘date night’ at home once a week… order carryout or delivery, open a nice bottle of wine, watch a movie together and snuggle.  We try to regularly do kind things for each other – for example, my Fiance will bring me cappucino in bed on the weekends sometimes.  I sometimes will do the chore I know my Fiance hates most, even if it wasn’t my turn to do it.  Little things like that.

 

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