Reconnecting in our marriage - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 12-07-2010, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I need some advice in reconnecting with my husband.

 

We've been together for almost three years and married for a year and a half. We weren't friends before we started dating. We met at work and started dating after a party we went to. We got engaged seven months after we started dating.

 

He works full-time. I've been in graduate school since right after we got married and I started a full-time job at the end of August. Between our two schedules, we only have Friday and then Saturday night to spend time with each other. When Friday comes around, we just end up sleeping late and then sit around, watching tv. This fall has been very hard for me because I started a new job with a completely different schedule and my classes have been rough.

 

I'm also on Lexapro for anxiety and depression issues. My sex drive has dropped dramatically in the past six months. Between that and the stress of work and school, I really don't feel like being intimate with my husband. My husband is on Lexapro and Prestique and he's told me that his sex drive is pretty low and he's been feeling a lot of anxiety at work. 

 

My husband and I really don't do anything together except watch tv and go out to eat. We're talking about going on vacation to Oregon during the summer, but that's a long ways off.

 

I know (I hope) this is just the stress talking, but I wonder if I made a mistake in marrying him. I know it's a terrible thing to say. We seem to have nothing in common. We have similar senses of humor, but that's about it. I don't feel close to him anymore. I don't know how to fix this.

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#2 of 5 Old 12-08-2010, 04:26 PM
 
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I can relate. There have been times in my marriage where I have not felt as close to my DH as I would have liked. Here is some of what I have learned along the way (I've been with DH for 13.5 years; married for almost 12 years).

 

Please know that you probably didn't make a mistake marrying your husband. When one half of a couple suffers from depression, the marriage can (and without treatment, probably will) suffer. When both partners have anxiety and depression, all bets are off. It's hard to make your marriage feel vital and fresh when both partners feel neither vital nor fresh. Have you (and your DH) talked to your HCP about how your treatment is coming along? There's a chance you're on the wrong med(s) or taking an inadequate dosage. The good news is that there are a lot of options for pharmeceutical treatment of depression and anxiety, so if you feel that your medication is not helping, schedule an appointment ASAP to address your needs.

 

Non-pharmeceutical ideas for treating depression and/or anxiety could include full-spectrum lamps/light boxes, yoga or other breath/body arts, herbals or homeopathics, acupuncture... to name just a few. I encourage you to check the mental health forum for other idea if finding alternatives to/augmentation of conventional medicine appeals to you.

 

Finally, I encourage you to set aside time to spend time together away from home and the TV. You shouldn't have to go far from home to bring a little novelty and interest back to your lives and marriage. Dare yourselves to step outside your collective comfort zone-- doing so while your marriage is young (and before you have children) is SO important. Intimacy need not be expensive-- if you have a couple spare hours in the evening or on the weekend, you can find an activity or pasttime that fits your schedules and budget. A few ideas: go hiking; try skiing or another winter sport; make reservations for a weekend at a nearby B-and-B or spa resort. You can tailor activities to suit your interest and financial means.

 

Make intimacy a priority, and closeness will follow.


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#3 of 5 Old 12-09-2010, 04:02 PM
 
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MissMaegie'sMama gave you some really good advice!  I was going to quote her to highlight a few points but her whole post is very insightful.

 

My DH and I have also been together for 3 years (this coming January) and married for a year and a half.  That doesn't necessarily mean we're in similar places but I feel like this is the point where people know each other so well and are so comfortable that they stop trying to impress one another.  This past year or so has been challenging for our relationship.  We had a baby that took up so much energy and attention, our finances were not improving though we had been working on it for almost a year, DH was unsure about his career, I was incredibly unhappy in my job, etc.  It was stressful, just like your life is right now, then throw the comfortable-no-longer-trying factor into the mix and things weren't looking good.

 

Then, DH and I both started working on our relationship, separately actually.  He started asking how my day went and being very attentive again.  He'd come home with little gifts or treats from the grocery store.  These weren't expensive things but he'd bring home a piece of cake or something to let me know he was thinking about me.  I started being more affectionate, like making sure to give him a kiss and say I love you before I leave for the day and before we go to sleep at night.  Or just touching him while walking by or giving him a hug for no reason.  Sometimes I'd whistle when he came out of the shower.  Since we have DS, date nights weren't always an option but we'd take walks together or go for a drive.  When DH brought up these activities, I scoffed but they were actually very intimate moments.  You could play board games instead of watching TV. Maybe you should consider having one night a week where you don't watch any TV.  It will force you to interact in a different way.


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#4 of 5 Old 12-09-2010, 06:32 PM
 
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I think missmaggie is right about making sure your mental health is on track. When you are in a good personal place it is easier to come together.

Dh and I have been married 10 years and we have had the normal ups and downs. It is a challenge to keep things fresh with each other. Keeping up a friendship and a romance takes work, constant work. This past summer dh and I felt like we needed to reconnect. We put aside time each night after the kids went to sleep to chat-even if it was just 10 minutes and a little cuddle. We constantly text each other little messages-sometimes sexy and flirtatious or silly. We took a couple of cooking classes. We take walks. I joined an activity that he likes and I previously had noninterest in, but it turned out to be fun. The bottom line is: you need to pay attention to each other. We constantly kiss and hug each other. Sometimes we are not in the mood for intimacy of a certain sort, but how about a massage? Dh and I started small- a little foot message or shoulders but we have both gotten pretty good at it. Skin to skin contact can make you both feel good even if it doesn't lead to anything romantic. These little things might seem silly to do at first, but as they become a part of your regular day to day routine you'll look forward to them.

There is a reason you married your dh. Find it again and create more reasons to be with him.

We create our own reality.
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#5 of 5 Old 12-12-2010, 11:48 AM
 
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Lexapro kills everyone's sex drive.  Put both partners on it, and no wonder you feel disconnected!  I was on Wellbutrin once and it worked well and actually increased sex drive and made the orgasms amazing - ask if this would be an option?  If not, can you try some therapy and exercise instead of the meds?

 

The biggest thing that jumps out at me is this: "We have similar senses of humor."  Don't underrate this.  My dh and I had some really terrible times, and the fact that he made me laugh was sometimes all that kept us together.  We worked on it, and today we are great.  Long after we are too old to have sex, he will still be able to make me laugh.  That is huge.

 

I agree with the others to pay attention to each other and do nice things.  Sometimes texting "I love you" can do a long way!  Or today - I folded his laundry just because it would be nice to do.


DS1 2004 ~ DS2 2005 ~ DD1 2008 ~ DS3 2010 ~ DD2 due Dec. 2014
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