Repairing a Marriage

Heather Kobler


Dear Heather:

I am a housewife and my husband and I have been married for 25 years and both of us will be 50 soon.  The last year or so I have noticed that both he and I do not seem to be engaged like we were before. We don’t talk much or go out for dinner and there is almost no intimacy.  Our kids live away from home now and the house seems to be still and quiet.  It’s like there’s been a death in the family.  Lately, I have even found myself fantasizing about finding a man to try and have a meaningful relationship with.   I feel like I’m starving.   Can you help to take steps to repair the marriage?

Signed: Anonymous

Dear Anonymous:

It sounds like your “pilot light” has been blown out!  But please know this, you are not alone.   Each of us have our strengths and women are much more perceptive then men.  So the fact that you are noticing these changes in your husband as well as yourself is a good sign.  It means your antenna is still working.  I think that you need your “million mile tune up,” however, understand that it will take some time for this to happen, but it will be worth the work.  It is vital that you make the effort to get your marriage back on track before considering starting a relationship while you’re still married.

Friendship’s and marriage require the same effort that tending a garden does.  The more care that you put into your garden, the more beautiful your flowers will be.  Women are natural nurturers, but we must begin by “filling ourselves up” first before we can mend our marriages.

When your last child moves away from home it can be a difficult time for both parents.  If you have been defining yourself through your children, you need to change gears and get a life. You are writing the script of your life.  If you do not like how your life is going get into “re-write” mode.   Someone told me to get a life decades ago, and it was like a thunderbolt hit me!  I was waiting for my husband to come home and make me happy!  I realized that making myself happy was my responsibility, not my husband or others!  So I took the advice I was given, and my life changed forever.

I think that you should begin your personal “tune up” by taking inventory of yourself.  List the things you are doing on one sheet of paper, and the things you would like to be doing on another sheet of paper.  Ask yourself this; “If I had a magic wand, what would I add, delete or change about myself?”  You may be surprised at your answers.   Turn off your television, and listen to the silence, and take time to reflect about the changes you will begin to make in your life.

There are activities you can participate in that might provide you great joy.  Going for long walks alone is a great way to inspire yourself.  You could go back to work, intern or volunteer at a local hospital, Girls and Boys Club, school, library or museum.  I hope you have a network of friends that you enjoy.   My friends and family have been an invaluable part of my life and times and they are my treasures.  If you don’t have a treasure chest of your own, you need to start building one now.

Do you still remember all the things you first loved about your husband?   Do you give and receive affection from one another?  Occasionally my friends will tell me their husband doesn’t hug them anymore.  Here is a simple solution for that:  if you give a hug, you get one too!  Does it really matter who initiates the hug?  Affection is such an important part of any relationship.  The giving and receiving of affection is like getting a gift and if you hug someone for 30 seconds your brain produces endorphins and euphoria follows!

Once you understand your feelings and figure out what’s missing from your life, you can discuss the situation with your husband and together you can move ahead with a richer relationship.  Women have a tendency to put others before themselves, but now you need to put yourself first.  I suggest a medical exam with blood work to rule out any medical issues.   Remember this; Love is the answer to almost every problem.

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