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Dear Panel,

I have been married for hostsm.gifthirteen years and we have four children.

My question is, how can I get my husband to love me or make love to me the way he used to?

Desparately Seeking Love

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Why is it that in all things, particularly relationships, people like "desparately seeking love" are trying to get back to the way things were.  Relationships and sex lives continue to grow and change. Maybe moving ahead, rather than pining for the past would be best, don't you think?

Absolutely. But it also sounds like she's feeling short-changed because her relationship hasn't evolved in a positive way. It's devolved. And that's a problem.

But my question is, why is she asking us? Shouldn't she be talking to her husband and asking him why he doesn't treat her like he used to?

And here's another question: after 13 years, is there anything that you feel and treat the same as you did at the beginning? Your husband, kids, job, favorite foods? With me, it's only chocolate I feel as passionately about. But I don't eat it nearly as much (sigh).

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I agree (although I still eat alot of chocolate!).  Maybe she needs to figure out why she wants things to "go back".  Maybe she needs to think not so much about recapturing, as creating a new and better chapter.

And here's my final question -- why is it that she seems to want her husband to change, but she doesn't mention anything about her own willingness to do or see their relationship differently?  I do this, particularly where my husband is concerned.  I want him to change -- to do things my way.  I don't stop and think often enough that I have to be willing to change too.

That's because we're always right, and have no need to change, and men, once they become husbands, seem to be always wrong. But seriously, I think one of the hardest (and ultimately best) things about marriage is being forced to realize your own weirdness and problems, cause you have someone else's eyes to see through. Sure, she has to change, because that's all she can control is herself. But what should she do? Sexy dresses? Lose 20 pounds? Send the kids to grandma's?

As a guy I would add...

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Tell us what you think

How about lighten up?  Look forward to some change.  Talk with your husband.  Laugh a bit about it with your friends.  And if all else fails, find some chocolate.

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