Wife's Tired of Marriage

Q: We have been married, with kids, for five years. Recently, my wife has seemed to get more distant in the relationship. When I ask her what's up, she says she loves me, but is tired of being married. Our sex life is nearly non-existent. She claims I have not 'been there for her,' and I admit that while working at my last job, I was not able to spend as much time as I would have liked to. Now I have found a new job that is Monday through Friday, so we have more time off together now, and I'm able to help out more with the kids and housework, but she still brings up the times when I wasn't able to be there. Recently, I noticed a message from a client of hers asking for a lunch date on her birthday. In the message it stated it has been "too long already." When I asked her about it, she said it was strictly a business lunch, and that she would never have an affair. Am I reading too much into this message? -- Jonathan

Dr. Susan: Let me put this gently: hardly anyone thinks they're the kind who'd have an affair. But the fact that your wife of five years admits she's tired of being married should be a bright red warning light for the two of you to make your marriage a priority before it's too late. It's unfortunate, but a lot of people think marriage is supposed to entertain them and keep them stimulated and happy all the time. When times are tough, jobs take extra time, kids are demanding, and the bloom is generally off the rose, they start looking around for fun elsewhere. That goes for women and men equally these days. The business lunch might be only that, this time, or it might be more. But you and your wife need to find some engaging stuff to do together that will keep your marriage perking along, from showing genuine affection in lots of ways to getting away from the house and kids more often. Remind her, first of all, that you love her more than ever, and that you'll do whatever it takes to get back on track with her. And really pay close attention to what she says. You may not get another chance.

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