Today I want to extend a special welcome to new readers. Many of you discovered my blog through my free online training “5 Critical Shifts You Need to Make NOW to Reconnect with Your Husband and Get Your Relationship Back on Track.” I’m so glad that you’re here, and I hope that my content can be an ongoing resource for strengthening your marriage.
To help you start exploring, I’m answering 10 of the most common questions that women ask about marriage. In each answer, you’ll find links to past blog articles where you can get more in-depth information.
1. Do My Husband and I Fight Too Much?
How often you argue with your husband is much less important than the way you fight. The goal isn’t having a conflict-free marriage. Instead, it’s moving through these bumps in the road in a constructive way that clears the air and strengthens your bond. So if you argue frequently, but you still behave lovingly and respectfully with each other when you do, then your conflicts probably are not a problem.
2. What Should I Do If I Want Sex More (or Less) Than My Husband Does?
There’s no right, or wrong, answer to the amount of sex you should be having in your marriage. It’s all about finding the frequency that meets both of your needs. If you’re not in sync in the bedroom, look for possible causes. For example, maybe one of you is having a physical issue or is feeling particularly stressed lately.
3. Why Is Marriage So Hard After Having Kids?
If your marriage went downhill after you became parents, it’s likely because life got a lot busier and more hectic. When you’re constantly stressed and exhausted, it’s hard to feel connected to your partner.
Our lives often revolve around our kids. We do this because we want what’s best for them. But making them the center of the universe really isn’t best for them or for you.
More than endless activities, kids need parents who are relaxed, emotionally attuned to them and involved in a loving, respectful marriage. So think about some ways you can free up more time for your relationship. This might mean simplifying life or asking for extra support.
4. Can I Put the Spark Back in My Boring Marriage?
Absolutely! If you’re feeling bored with your husband, the underlying reason might be that you have lost touch with important parts of yourself. As busy partners and parents, it’s all too easy to neglect all the other things that used to light us up.
Think about some ways to rediscover your old passions. This doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Revive your yoga practice. Take an online class. Reconnect with a friend you love spending time with. Whatever you choose, you’ll bring new energy into your relationship.
5. Why Has My Husband Changed So Much?
What happened to the great guy you fell in love with? He’s still there — trust me. When it seems like your husband has changed, what’s probably actually happening is that the stress of your day-to-day life is making it harder to see his good qualities. This is just how our brains are wired. To bring your “good” husband back, tackle some of your top sources of stress (like overscheduling). Soon you’ll be seeing him through different eyes.
6. How Can I Get My Husband to Help More Around the House?
If you feel that your husband isn’t doing his fair share of housework, don’t just stew silently. That’s a recipe for resentment. Let your husband know you feel overburdened and ask directly for him to do specific tasks. Then give him a chance to step up.
I can hear what you’re saying: I shouldn’t have to ask! And I understand your frustration. But keep in mind that you are two unique people who came into the marriage with different life experiences, priorities and skills. It’s unrealistic to expect you to coordinate your complicated lives without clear, direct and respectful communication.
7. My Husband Is Cheating — Can Our Marriage Be Saved?
It’s not easy to heal your marriage after an affair, but it can be done. If you want to try to repair your relationship, he must be willing to admit what he has done, acknowledge the hurt it has caused and help you work through that pain.
At the same time, you have to be open to these repair attempts. And both of you must look at what made your relationship vulnerable to the affair.
8. What Should I Do If My Husband Wants to Separate?
If your husband has asked for a separation, it’s perfectly normal to feel lost and panicky. But resist the urge to tearfully plead for him to stay. Instead, deal with him from a place of confidence. You want your message to be more like this: “If you want to leave, I can’t stop you. I’m still committed to this marriage and would like for you to stay so we fix it. But you’re an adult, and I know I can’t tie you here.”
Don’t pressure him to come back. Allow him to experience the reality of what divorce would mean. Give him space to understand your importance in his life. It’s possible he will eventually want a divorce. It’s also possible that he’ll start missing you and the life you have built together.
9. Should I (Gulp) Leave My Husband?
Ending your marriage is a wrenching decision — and a deeply personal one. To guide your choice, ask yourself these questions:
- Did I ask for what I need?
- Did I address any serious issues present (like addiction or abuse)?
- What went wrong?
- And what role did each of you play?
10. Will My Marriage Last?
The best way to predict the future of your marriage is to take a look at what’s going on in your relationship right now. Do you both fight fair? Manage your ongoing issues? Know how to apologize? Then it’s likely that your marriage will last. (Learn more signs of a great marriage.)
On the other hand, your behaviors can also reveal whether your marriage is headed for trouble. Researcher John Gottman identified the four behaviors that predict divorce: defensiveness, criticism, stonewalling and contempt. If you and your husband engage in these behaviors frequently, it’s time to get serious about saving your marriage.