How Can I Reconnect with My Husband and Save My Marriage?

BY: - 22 May '18 | Marriage

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Dr. Buckingham, I am a 32-year-old woman married to a man 18 years older than me. We have been together 11 years married for 9 with 3 beautiful children.  Life was great at one time but that was many years ago. This marriage has been unhappy for about 6 years. It’s like one day a light bulb popped on in my head and I thought, “OH God what did I do.” I want to reconnect with my husband and save my marriage.

My husband is mean and boring now. He never wants to talk or laugh. He never holds me and only says I love you if I say it first. I know this because I paid attention for a year to see if he would say it first. I feel so lonely in my own house. I would have been gone, but I want my children to have a solid foundation. Then I wonder how solid is their foundation with miserable parents. I asked my husband one day did he hate me and he responded no but his actions say something totally different. I am just so hurt to see how he has lost love for me so fast. He has not been working and had issues with his health. I do take that into consideration. However, it cost nothing to make me laugh and it is definitely free to have some good old-fashioned conversation. I have my whole adult life invested in this relationship. How Can I Reconnect with My Husband and Save My Marriage?

Thanks,

Unhappy Wife

Ask Dr. Buckingham

Dear Unhappy Wife,

I am somewhat confused because, in the beginning, you stated, “Life was great at one time, but that was many years ago.” Then you went on to say, “ It’s like one day a light bulb popped on in my head and I thought OH God what did I do. My husband is mean and boring now.”

I realize that things can change over time, but I am confused because behavior typically does not change overnight. Things were great at one time and then a light bulb popped on. In my opinion, the “light bulb” occurrence is a conscious awakening of something that was already present. You examined his behavior over a year and witnessed something that you did not like. If this behavior was present for a year, I am wondering if it was an underlying issue that was ignored before. Situations might change over time, but how we cope with them is typically built in our character.

In order to provide a thorough and accurate response, I would need to know what was great at one time. This is important because the key to reconnecting with your husband and saving your marriage is for you and your husband to revisit what you all did well to make things great. Unfortunately, so many couples fail to develop a plan for keeping their marriage steamy. I’ve found that when things are going great, individuals are intentional about making them great. Examine what you and your husband did before and see if there is something that you can reignite now.

Remember that behind every behavior there is an emotion. Considering that your husband is not working and has health issues his spirit might be different than before. Your husband could potentially be suffering from depression. With this in mind, I recommend that you seek professional counseling. A professional can help you process your emotions and help you reconnect with your husband by enhancing your understanding of what he might be going through.

As someone who has acquired a few health issues over time, I can say that my mood has changed slightly. Given this, I have to be conscious of what I do and do not do and what I say or do not say. I share this to say that your husband’s health issues might be impacting his mood. I am glad to hear that you are taking this into consideration because it can be difficult to make others laugh when you struggle to find laughter internally.

Laughter and conversation are extremely important in a marriage, but so is emotional and mental stability. It is hard to be good to someone else when you are not good to yourself. Your husband has to get his mind right before he can stimulate your mind through conversation. Attending professional counseling is your best course of action to reconnect with your husband and save your marriage.

Best regards,

Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to askdrbuckingham@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions, and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

About the author

Dwayne Buckingham wrote 220 articles on this blog.

Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, author of Qualified, yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single and Unconditional Love: What Every Woman and Man Desires in a Relationship, is a highly acclaimed international clinical psychotherapist, life coach, relationship and resiliency expert, motivational speaker and corporate consultant. He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of R.E.A.L. Horizons Consulting Service, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. To learn more about Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham visit his website at www.DrBuckingham.com.

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17 Reasons I Am Grateful for My Husband

BY: - 25 May '18 | Marriage

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When you’ve been married for a while, your relationship can take a hit on the gratitude side if you are not intentional about finding the good in your mate. Think about it. As a newlywed, the first couple of months are literally a honeymoon. You know how to love your spouse. You know why you love your spouse. You know why you are happily married. After a while, however, their polish starts to fade and you’re no longer blinded by love. The flaws that were once easily dismissed have become points of contention in your marriage and you don’t quite know how to handle it. Let me clue you in. Get grateful. Yep, that’s right. Gratitude is, indeed, the best attitude. As a wife of 16 years to the love of my life, 17 reasons I am grateful for my husband can easily flow from my lips like a river. But I get that it doesn’t work that way for everyone. Bring this topic up say, seven years ago, and it wouldn’t have worked that way for me either. So, before I drop my list of 17 reasons, let me first tell you what I did to find my spirit of gratitude.

I identified my weaknesses first

You know, the Bible is true when it says that you should “first remove the plank from your own eye before you can see to remove the speck of dust from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:5 (NIV) Sure, my husband isn’t perfect, but I couldn’t see my own faults because I was so busy picking on his. Once I began to shine the light on my own glaring imperfections, I began to realize he’s one heck of a man for putting up with me. And, for that, I was grateful.

I got real about the root of our marital conflict

Okay, so we began to understand that neither of us is perfect. Now what? Well, our next step was to stop pointing the finger at each other like children and begin to take a hard look at our union like grown folks do. Were we engaged in effective communication? What bottled up needs did we need to let out? What did we each need to change in order to ensure we never returned to the place we were in?

Related: 17 Reasons I’m Grateful For My Wife

Now that the door had been opened and fresh air was let into our relationship, I could once again see the halo over my husband’s head. It was as shiny as ever. And here are 17 of the many things that keep me seeing it every day.

17 Reasons I Am Grateful for My Husband

  • He makes me laugh so hard I fall on the floor
  • He takes care of me when I am sick
  • He goes out of his way to get my favorite…
  • He drops whatever he is doing and comes to me the moment I say I need him
  • He dreams big and works hard
  • He hugs our sons and tells them he loves them
  • He encourages and actively supports my ideas…the good ones
  • He challenges my mind
  • He teaches our sons to be responsible
  • He trains our sons to be men
  • He takes care of our extended family without hesitation
  • He thinks and acts spiritually
  • He is gifted
  • He is sexy
  • He is fun
  • He serves without complaint
  • He does the laundry
  • Wow, I can’t believe it’s 17 already. I really could keep going.

There aren’t enough words to explain the way gratitude has changed the trajectory of my marriage. It is a force to be reckoned with. So if you want to see your marriage become better and better every day, find more and more things to be grateful for in your relationship. That’s really all it takes.

BMWK, why are you grateful for your spouse?

About the author

Joann Fisher wrote 156 articles on this blog.

Joann Fisher has been a writer and editor for both print and online newpapers and magazines for the last 10 years. She now serves as a Writer/Editor at BMWK and lead Editor for The Joy Network.

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