Advice About Connecting with Husband

Updated on October 01, 2009
C.M. asks from Chicago, IL
7 answers

I am a SAHM with a wonderful 2 year old boy however despite the joy from our son, my marriage is really suffering. My husband and I started marital counseling almost 6 months ago. We have good weeks but the bad mostly outnumber the good. I have tried to make the changes that he has requested, but I am not getting any positive changes from him in return. I am grateful he attends counseling but we are not really improving things outside of our sessions. He works sometimes 80hours a week and the stress and exhaustion are hard on him. I need advice about how to try to make things better as I feel stuck. If I suggest that he isn't trying hard enough on our counseling steps he will be offended, but if I let it go I feel like I am ignoring my needs to have a husband who works together with me on our relationship. In addition, whenever we try to work things out on our own time we end up fighting and damaging our dynamic even further. Do you have advice about a different approach or how I can improve upon my hopes to be understanding and supportive of my husband but still encourage him to fulfill my needs in our marriage? Thank you

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answers from Fayetteville on

My husband is in the army. We have a 2 year old little girl. I'm a SAHM, also. My husband and I have had some problems recently, but I made a sound decision to make some changes on my own. I know that being a mom and wife takes a lot out of you, but there are things you should think about. Do you fix yourself up every day? Men respond to women who make an effort to make themselves appealing. I went through a phase where I didn't put on make up hardly ever. It really dampered our relationship. I started putting make up on and fixing my hair every day.

Also, I always have a home cooked meal when he comes home, and as soon as he eats I rub his feet or shoulders or back. It has really helped us out alot. Even tohugh it puts a damper on MY mood, I AM s SAHM and he's the only one working. I feel like I should do things for him like that. My husband is NOT a talker. When we have problems, he's the type to just wait it out and see if it'll blow over. I'm the exact opposite!!! I want to talk about my feelings. We had to meet in the middle. You need to bring it up at the sessions. It's important and if it's NEVER addressed it'll never get solved.

I truly hope this helped! Good luck and I'll keep you in my prayers. Marriage is the hardest job you'll ever have.

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answers from Chicago on

It takes 2 to make a marriage work. If you are the only one putting in the effort it is going to drain on you eventually. He needs to put in the effort too. PP said you should put on make up for him but honestly you should do this for YOU. Dressing nicely and putting on make up will help you feel better about yourself. You also need to understand each other's language of love. I recommend you and your husband read The Five Love Languages.

You might need more touching to feel loved where as he needs things done to feel love or vice versa. Understanding and speaking to one another in your partner's love language helps immensely. As does recognizing the things you do for each other in your own love language.

My husband's love language is when things are done for him or he does stuff for people. So when I make his favorite dinner he really sees this as me showing my love for him. Whereas I am the type of person where touch and verbal expressions of love is my love language. So my husband can best show me that he loves me by hugging and kissing me, and a simple "I love you."

Once you are speaking to each other in your love languages you'll feel much more connected.

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answers from Chicago on

We went through this and it was hard. One thing I found was I had to take an interest in things he liked to do to relax. My husband LOVES football, college, NFL, any football, so I started reading the sports page, tracking teams and watching games with him. I would not make huge conversation, as it ruins the game, but I Would sit with him and watch the game. THen slowly I worked it into conversations over dinner, sking about an upcoming game. He plays fantasy football and this year I am in his league and he loves it, it is something to talk about. You have to connect to waht he does in his down time without feeling like you are smothering him or trying too hard. Watch his favorite tv shows wiht him, without talking about it or interupting or having expectations that he will talk to you, just be there together, it will slowly make a difference or at least it did for us, we are very happy now and he takes an interest in what I do too now, since he saw me doing all that and it was well worth countless hours of football!

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answers from Chicago on

I can't offer much advice, but I can offer you support. I am going through almost the same scenario with my hubby & we have only been married 3 short years! In our case, we have had some traumatic events happen in the past 2 years & a joyful event, which was my 2 year old daughter being born. We do not attend counseling, but have talked about that as a possibility. I don't know if your religious at all, but we seemed to always help us was attending church together. We have had so many unexpected things come up in the past few years, there hasn't been much attendance. I would suggest that as a first step. I would also MAKE time together, no matter how short it may be. Do something you used to do when you were dating. Talking to our priest, this is something he suggested we do & it makes sense. Good luck to you, as long as you have a strong bond, you'll make it through this rough time.

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answers from Chicago on

I like what the others have said & want to add some perspective. I have been where you are an occasionally visit. What I've learned is husbands who have wives who stay home feel a ton of pressure having to provide. It is enormous, crushing pressure. And he doesn't do it to be away from home & nagging he does it because he has to and because he's trying his best to be a provider. When he works his behind off he comes home to be told he's not doing enough. This is my guess. Obviously I can't know for sure so using our own example in my marriage.

When I decided to just do what I can to take care of him, he noticed. I started to wear makeup, dress for myself every day, not to attract him, though it did! I decided that it was worth it to be a good role model for my kids & so I felt good about myself. I kept a clean home because I wanted to. And I made sure his clothes were clean because he needed them to go earn our living. I quit seeing being at home like I was stuck and he GOT to leave when he, in a fit of rage, said do you think I want to leave?! I would rather be here! Wow that was powerful. I wanted to go & he wanted to stay. That put my motor in check and I learned just how hard it was on him. It was hard on me, too, still is a lot of the time but we didn't buy shoes, we had kids so I take care of and love them. My oldest is grown and gone & I'd take him back at his worst in a heartbeat so cherish this time and have patience for your husband. Something else that really helped me was "A Beginner's Guide to Theology of the Body." It really is full of great insight on sex & marriage. The other thing that really saved my marriage is (she has a book called Sink Reflections that is great, too) Marla speaks no-nonsense messages of how to seek peace in your world. I learned that I chose to be happy & take care of things, my husband won't make me happy, I will when I decide to be happy & change the things I have the ability to change.

Good luck!

ps, the toddler years are always harder, stick it out this WILL pass!! Seriously, they demand so much time & energy, they take a huge toll on marriage. Keep positive & remember just when you get used to things as they are, they will change again! hugs!!

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answers from Chicago on

If he's working 80 hours a week, it seems to me he doesn't have time to worry about your relationship. That's rough.

Of course you have needs that need to be fulfilled, but if he is working that many hours, I think it might help if you take a step back. Instead of trying to make it work on your free time, just go and do something fun. When my husband and I aren't connecting, instead of talking about it, we have a nice dinner, drink some wine, hang out, and just try to have some non-serious fun. This usually draws us closer together and things improve without the need "to work" on it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I second the advice someone already gave to you, and that's to read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It is very informative. He has other books about marriage, too. I copied and pasted a site that sells his books. Of course you could always check books like this out at your local library. Maybe your husband's primary love language is not what you think it is. This author has a test for you and your husband to take to determine which way you like to be showed that you are loved. Good luck and like someone said already... the toddlerhood years are rough and with your husband working 80 hrs. per week.... that has to definitely add strain to your married life. But... hang in there, it will get better if you both give it your best shot. The toddler years will pass. Is there anyway he can cut his hours? It's draining even to just think about it:)

Good luck to you, cbM and to your husband.


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