Posted by: Lin | 2007/02/21

Husband has changed alot

We've been married for 5 year and 4 months. The problem is that my husband's changed alot. He was a very caring and loving person and didnt mind showing that he loved me (kissing, holding hands, ect). The change was about a few months before I fell pregnant. I fight about this alot. I tried speaking to him in the "I feel that..., I would like it if..." but he's still so distant. Sometime I wonder if he still loves me. And when I ask him, he assures me that he does. Is he lying? I have even threatened ( a few times) to leave him. I dont want to because I love him very much, it's just that I cant live with an emotionally detached person. I need the warmth and love and caring. I need him to show me that he cares. I need him. He seems to not want to work on this marriage...

Do you think that the marriage is over? Has he fallen out of love with me?

I love him with all my heart and would do anything for him. What can I do? Please help me make sense of his behaviour. What can I do differently?

Thanks for your time.

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Our expert says:
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Some men find it surprisingly difficult to handle the realities of pregnancy, and may withdraw emotionally in relation to that. WOuldn't marriage counselling be a good idea, so you can each understand the situation and each other, better, and sort this out as well as is practical ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: -|||- | 2007/02/22

What I’m going to write may lead you to believe that you are at fault. Please, it’s not meant like that !!!! I’m just trying to put things in a slightly different perspective.

I’ve also become the “detached spouse” in the days I was married. Reflecting on my marriage now I realise a couple of things. This may be very general, but take what applies to you.

When the X and I got married it was only the two of us and all our time and love and efforts were devoted to each other. There was one cake each of us brought to the party and it was there to be shared by the other. The difference came into our marriage the moment the first kid arrived. The different ways the wife and I viewed life then became more apparent. Men in general realise that they still have only ONE cake to bring to the party and that there are more of you (yourself and the kid/s) who need to share in it and they don’t feel guilty about it as they accept it as a fact of life. Women in general see it differently. All of a sudden they feel that they now need to bring TWO (and later three or four) cakes to the party as they would not like to neglect anyone. As time goes along they realise that they are not able to keep this up and they start to feel a failure. This feeling is also not by the least measure relieved by the fact that they start to sense their partners as being “dissatisfied” by them. They later have so many balls in the air that it’s just not true. On top of it they stop claiming a part of the cake for themselves, because it just doesn’t feel right to “neglect” people around them.

Men, especially those who have had the role models I had in my life see marriage as an evolving relationship. They sense the change a kid brings into the marriage and they quickly take the queue. Most of us feel that our wives should very well know that you love her. Why not if you bring home the bacon, the kid’s school fees are paid, they are dressed properly etc ? We start loving our spouses via the children. We neglect the fact that the moment a woman seems to be coping well is actually the time she needs emotional attention and love the most. Phlegmatic gents are even more so. They reckon that their spouses should know they love her because he told her so several years ago and she should know that if anything changes she’ll be the first to know. We send the wrong messages while we mean to do the best for our loved ones.

Women judge the love of their spouses by all these support and emotional attention they receive from them. Men have in the back of their minds a “pecking order” and they’ve come to peace with it. What we handle badly is the fact that there’re no musical chairs in the pecking order. We can handle it to be no 1 on the list once in a while, but to be no 3 all the time just doesn’t float with us. Not women ! They also know about the pecking order, but they have one for everybody in their lives with that person on top of his own list not to make them feel neglected.

Men tend to not take on jobs that they do not consider theirs. In the process there are some loose ends that will never be catered for if women don’t attend to it and go into overload. We take the route of least resistance unfortunately and I must admit that we are quick to see our partners as being nagging when they simply ask to be relieved from the duties they’ve taken onto themselves which was in the first place ours. Sadly so. The biggest insult to a woman is to tell her she’s a bad mom and she'll do anything to avoid being told that. Tell that to a man (not all) and he’ll just go: “Ag she’s just nagging ‘bout nothing”

And then we all end up working two jobs to keep the pot going and drink anti-depressants………..

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