Need to Spice up Our Marriage and Fast!

Updated on November 30, 2009
B.C. asks from Centerville, UT
20 answers

My husband and I are having some problems, mostly trust, communication and just not being on the same page. This could be a VERY long story, but I am trying to keep it short and sweet... My husband and I have had alot of problems in the past, him cheating mostly, but we have over come that. He was doing great, not talking to females, not going on the internet site etc. We were happy,(i was happy?) trying for another child, when all of a sudden he is just acting weird...meaning, very moapy, quiet, bored, just not himself! Make a looooonnnnnnnnggggggg story short! I need to show him that I love him and our family with all my heart, without "smothering" him... He says I smother him, and he may want a divorce...I guess I dont see it as smothering, I see it as love and just wanting to be with him, he works alot, so when he is home, I like to spend time with him. So am I to late or how can I turn this around? I want him to feel wanted, special, and appreciated, but i guess I have been doing it all wrong! =( I am so torn, I dont want my family to fall apart..... not now, not after everything we have overcome... Please help.....

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So What Happened?

HUGE Thank you to EVERYONE! I went to see a lawyer, if my husband is really wanting this divorce I need to be ready and know what my legal options are. Sad to say but that is how it is.It cannot be just about the "smothering"!! I am NOT throwing myself at him like I have in the past... I know thats kind of what my question was but my feelings have changed. Dont get me wrong, I am 100% willing to work on this. I love him, I love our family, and kids are NOT meant to be split up. By me feeling so confident this time, I think it is throwing him back. I am stronger and more confident now! I had my share of crying, but not this time, maybe that is a bad sign... i dont know. I cant help but to act this way, I know my options now, I know I am a TERRIFIC wife and mother, he will be the one with the loss, not me. Thank you again for the encouragement and the great advice from you all!!!!!!

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E.C.

answers from Denver on

I would reccomend the love dare series. You can get it at the bookstore or even walmart. I would reccomend watching the movie Fireproof.

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M.R.

answers from Grand Junction on

I don't have much advice, but maybe a few things for you to think about.

Why are YOU the only one bending over backwards trying to make HIM happy? He cheated? He should be jumping through hoops trying to prove his loyalty now.

Why should you have to PROVE you love him? You stayed with him after he cheated! He should feel quite lucky!

Don't turn into a doormat trying to make this guy happy. he sounds like an ungrateful, spoiled you-know-what, and you sound like a woman with too much faith in him.

I'm so not trying to be mean, but mentioning the mopey attitude he has, it sounds like he's already made up his mind he's not going to be happy and the harder you try, the more he's going to see you as smothery.

Couples counseling? Trial separation? A woman like you with much love to give shouldn't have to beg a man to accept her love. You deserve better than that! Someone who would happily receive your love AND reciprocate equally!

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T.W.

answers from Denver on

I am so sorry to hear all of this is happening to you. It is SO HARD to keep marriage alive now days huh? Needless to say, one thing I know is men in general feel smothered very easily. They are not typically huggy, kissy, sappy, etc. I heard a couple of basic rules about keeping your husband happy many years ago and have always thought it made sense.

1 - This one is VERY important - Men DO NOT think like women!!!! Us ladies go around thinking all the time that we think alike and this is so incorrect. As a woman you probably feel loved and wanted by hugs, sweet words, kisses, cuddling, and your husband may feel loved and wanted by dinner being ready for him when he gets home and the opportunity to veg in front of the TV without interruption (alone time). Weird huh?

2 - So this one seems really odd, but it is a group of words that have not sent me astray - sex, food, respect. These items should take some sort of priority and probably in that order.

It seems that men are always on the hunt, they need to be challenged as it were. If they have a woman at home that just dotes and fusses over him, where is the excitement in that. Don't get me wrong it is a good thing sometimes to but in short bursts, not all the time.

I hope this helps, I do not think you are too late, you just need to regroup! Good luck!

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D.N.

answers from Provo on

I think there may be something more going on...could he be depressed? What's his reason for wanting a divorce? What are you doing when he says you're smothering him?

Sorry for all the questions but there has to be more. Generally men like the attention they get because it really boosts their egos. I think it's commendable that you have been able to get past the cheating. That's hard to overcome. Maybe you should try marriage counseling. If he won't agree to go with you, you should for sure go on your own.

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E.F.

answers from Casper on

B.,
One of the best things you can do is figure out what his love language is. It will speak to him leaps and bounds if you show him you love him in the way he can recognize love. you could read the book called "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. Which will explain them in depth or you could see how he tries to show you love and repeat what you see. For example, he could be Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Acts of Service or Physical Touch. Once you figure out how he feels love, you can work on showing him you love him in his own "language".
It is sometimes hard to keep showing him you love him the way he recognizes love, especially if you don't share that love Language. But love is about being selfless, and it sounds like you are willing to do whatever you can to show how you feel for him. So to keep your "love well" and his full, I suggest, you figure out and help him understand how you feel loved too. I can attest that your relationship will only get stronger as you both try to give each other love in the way it means the most you individually.
Good Luck in Love'n
E.

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V.F.

answers from Cheyenne on

Wow, I read your post and it sounded like I had written the question. My husband and I had been married for 5 years when things started going crazy for us...and not that things had been wonderful prior to that. :) But anyway, at 5 years we ended up splitting up for about 7 months. I'm not suggesting this but it did help me see what I needed to do. I completely understand that you want to be with him once he gets home and he sees it as smothering - so did my husband. I also was nagging all the time! :) Anyway, I just had to finally step back and let him have his space. When we got back together it was hard because I wanted to just hold hands and be all lovey - and he didn't ...but slowly he has come around to little things. And all I can do is be patient! We also found out that my husband is bi-polar and so depression caused alot of the distancing he was doing...I pray all the time that I do or say the right thing - I don't know how religious you are but it helps me to stay patient in those situations where I want more or where I just don't know what to do! :) I don't know that I really gave you any advice but I just want you to know you aren't alone and you can survive this rough patch...hang in there!

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A.P.

answers from Boise on

I would recommend reading the "Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. Your love language may very well be "quality time" but he may feel loved a different way. The challenge for you is to read the book and talk to him about it. If he is open to it, maybe you can read it together. He may be able to understand why you always want his time and you can see where his is coming from. Thats the first step. Get on the same page. Next find special things to do together, away from the kids.
Also, it sounds like he may need to "decompress" a bit right after work. I recommend greeting him and then keep the kids at bay for a few minutes so he can have time on his own. Let him know you will be doing this so he won't be confused by the sudden change. Then after a week or two talk to him about what is working and what isn't.
Good luck!

I am a SAHM (or jack of all trades) of two wonderful children, ages 5 and 2. I have been married for over 11 years to my best friend. We have not been without our challenges and have learned a lot amidst them.

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J.D.

answers from Denver on

Why should YOU be the one to read a bunch of books and do everything to try and make HIM happy? Who's making YOU happy? Marriage is a two way street.

I'd try couples counseling. You'll drive yourself crazy reading stacks of books and doing everything you THINK will help him be happy. If he isn't interested, then tell him it's counseling or he can start thinking about how much child support will be coming out of his paycheck for the next 16 years.

Sorry, to be harsh but I don't have any patience for men like this, especially when children are involved.

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M.W.

answers from Boise on

B.,

I see that he really was cheating on you. That sucks!

First, listen to your husband about the smothering. Men need time alone when they get home from work to deescalate. Leave him alone and let him come to you.

2nd - the ONLY thing that has helped my marriage was a book called "Fascinating Womanhood," by Helen Andelin. Real women in that book have turned their marriages around, even after affairs.

You could give the book a try - read it with an open mind because it is really hard to take it in.

But also, as heart-breaking as it is, you may be married to a jerk. He may be cheating again, especially since he is sulking and asking for a divorce. It may be too late.

Just pray a lot, and please read that book. It doesn't work miracles, but almost. But if your man is a bad guy, there is nothing you can do. Just try doing what the book says. It explains how men think and what they want in a wife, and also how to get your husband to deeply love, respect, and serve you too.

Hugs,
Marci

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M.R.

answers from Salt Lake City on

~B.
This may sound harsh and it's probably not what you want to hear, but I have to say it because my husband is always complaining about me being all over him. To me, just like you it's just Loving him and being happy to see him. I don't think it's a problem that I'm always "smothering" him, but to him it is.
So here's my advice: LEAVE HIM ALONE, and he'll come back to you. Like if he gets home from work ask him if he needs you to do anything for him, if he doesn't let him just be himself. In my case when my husband get home this is what I say to him: "Hi, love how was work? are you hungry? Do you want me to do anything for you?" He usually says that he wants to relax so if he goes in our bedroom to relax I go to the living room or somewhere else. Then when he's done, in about 20 min. he'll come out and thank me for leaving him alone and he's ready to have "together" time. This really works especially if the two of you are going through problems like this. Trust me, I've been through the problems of him saying that he was sick of me. I just learned this. Please try it. It will work. I know how hard it is to listen to the one that you love so much to tell you that he doesn't want to be with you. They usually just want their own space.
Best of luck!!!

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T.S.

answers from Denver on

I spent 17 years trying to "keep him happy", to spice up the marraige. I planned dates and suprise dinners, I gave him little notes and told him how much I loved and appreciated him. Everything that everyone says about "keeping your marraige alive" I did. It never stopped his affairs. It never stopped his addictive behaviors. Because it can't. Only he could do that and he was choosing not to.

The only way a marraige can thrive is when both people are fully committed. If one is not fully committed, the other cannot carry it alone.

You say that the cheating is in the past, how far past? You have only been together for three years. I watched my husband pretend he was fine for a couple years at a time. However, you need to look for all the signs other than just an affair. Lack of communication, blaming you for his unhappiness, deception (lying, white lies, lies by omission, exaggerating, avoidance), distancing himself, highs and lows in his emotional state (distancing followed by hearts and flowers), not being responsible for his own circumstances (blaming not only you, but his boss, coworkers, other family members, the government, etc.)

I know you are in a great deal of pain and feel overwhelmed and frustrated. I would ask: How do you show yourself that you are loved? Do you feel "wanted, special, and appreciated"? The thing that will rescue you is to focus inward and heal your wounding and let him be responsible for his. Counseling is important for you right now. He may or may not join you, but you could definitely benefit greatly from it.

I found that counseling was essential whether I decided to stay or leave. I knew that even if I left I was going to carry all my own stuff with me that had attracted that type of man and I would just repeat the same pattern. It wasn't about him, it was about me. I was a doormat. I was co-dependent. I was a co-addict. I had many wacked belief systems about myself: how I was supposed to behave as a wife, how I was responsible for everyone else's well-being, that if I was just more fun, organized, sexual, up, etc. then it would all be okay. I needed to heal myself.

Yes, I ended up leaving when I began to heal. However, I have worked with women that have found their husbands responding positively to the the changes they have made and have chosen to heal as well. We all had to stop trying to fix the other person though and look to ourselves.

I'm not saying that you don't continue to do the loving things you would do in a marraige. I am, however, suggesting you explore how some of the things you may be doing are not from a place of wholeness in yourself but come from a place of wounding.

I also do not absolve these men from their own responsibilities for their own behavior. Just the opposite. Healthy boundaries say that I will choose how I will be treated and I will no longer give myself away to your wounding. Your husband has his own wounding that he needs to decide whether he is going to heal or not or continue to act out and blame others. You cannot heal it for him no matter how much love you pour over him. You can be a support but that is different than trying to fix it. I now understand profoundly that the best support we can give anyone is to heal ourselves.

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K.P.

answers from Boise on

I think the smartest thing you can do right now today is call Dr. Laura. If you're unsure of who she is (that would surprise me) you can check her out on drlaura.com. I really think she can give you some insight and help on what to do. All you have to do is call and tell her what you've said here, and she will guide you in the right direction to save your marriage. Good luck.

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M.K.

answers from Provo on

Marriage IS a two way street. I am sorry that you have to be the one doing most of the work. In contrast to what some others have said, focusing on what your husband is not doing and on how you have to do everything is not going to help your marriage at this point. It will only create more resentment towards him and it can taint your efforts to help him feel loved. Yes right now you seem to be carrying more of the burden but don;'t focus on that., You are carrying it right now because you love him, focus on that. Personally, I think it just takes men a lot longer to come around and realize that they are being selfish and not doing their part. It sounds like he needs some help to get out of himself before he can realize what an absolutely amazing woman you are for staying with him after his despicable, loathsome, selfish, marriage busting behavior. (sorry I had to vent). Hopefully he will come around, but it is going to take some patience on your part it sounds like.
Many men feel like because they work and provide that they are doing their part. Work stresses them out. They do need some alone time. It can be very frustrating because they seem to fail to realize that staying at home with little kids is hard work too and you are not just sitting around watching soap operas and eating chocolates and gossiping and doing whatever you want. They seem to think that you have freedom that they don't. yes the work is different and yes you are your own boss, but they just don;t get how much work it is to be a mom. (and its true not all moms put in equal work)They feel like they deserve to be pampered and do whatever they want with their free time, since they have so little (and they mistakingly believe that you have so much).
My brother and sister in law listened to the CDS, Light His Fire and Light Her fire and they said it made all the difference.
Communicate honestly. Coax your husband into communicating with you. How can you give him what he wants if you don;t know what that is? He needs to know and understand that you are emotionally going through a lot, it takes a lot to rebuild trust. Be honest with your feelings. I also like the five languages of love. Ask him how he likes you to express your love to him? What makes him feel loved. But he needs to understand that he also has to be willing to figure out what helps you feel loved.
I hope this helps, but I am no counselor. I would recommend some counseling if you can't seem to work it out on your own.
I admire you for your willingness to fight for your marriage. It takes a lot of courage and humility to do what you are doing.

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K.K.

answers from Denver on

Dear B., I also wanted to say that sometimes people blame others for their own problems. My dad had some sex addictions and over the years I have listened to him place all the blame on my mother. Either she was not loving enough, she did not know how to kiss, she did not know how to make love, she was too niave. Sometimes people blame other people for their own problems. And my mother thought for years that he was right and it was all her fault. Is any of this going on with you? Because you sound really sweet and really willing to make this work.
Now then, I did not answer your question, to spice up your marriage: Don't be afraid to share your fantasies with your husband, don't be awkward about acting out your/his fantasies, talk about sex while driving in the car, tell him what you liked and find out what he liked, tell him some of the new things that you would like to try, go to a sex toy party or get a catalog and buy a toy or two (choose some toys together), do not deny him sex because you are mad, watch an erotic video with him, (something that is not demeaning to women).
Remember the very best thing you can do for yourself, your son and your husband is to love and respect yourself. You are not at fault here, but it sounds like you would like to help him heal. Sometimes "love conquers all!" He is a very lucky man. GL K. K.

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A.C.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Is he cheating again? That's weird behavior.
I recommend The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands by Dr Laura Schlessinger. The Proper Care & Feeding of Marriage is good too, also by Dr Laura. They changed my marriage. They help you focus on the only thing you can control.....YOUR behavior. Period. He may or may not change his, but all you can do is control your own.
Another EXCELLENT marriage book is by John Gottman, the one with a picture of a wedding band on front.

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S.G.

answers from Boise on

I didn't read all of your responses, but I know that sometimes when we try too hard it actually pushes them farther away, having the opposite effect we desire. If we seem desparate, they lose interest. I would say give him space and let him come to you on his terms. Men don't want to be pursued, they are programmed to pursue us, so let him do just that. It may tear you apart on the inside, but don't let him see that. I wish you all the best, and like someone else said, Dr. Laura's books are phenomenal. Good luck.

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J.S.

answers from Boise on

Dear B.,
Have you heard of the 5 love languages book? I have found that to be VERY beneficial in my marriage. We have had lots of ups and downs in the past 13 years of marriage and the book, "The Five Love Languages" has helped tremendously! I highly recommend it. We all have our own way of feeling love and it sounds like yours would be physical touch or words of affirmation. It's a quick read and very helpful. Read it to find out what his love language is. I hope this helps.

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J.N.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Try to think from his point of view. What does he like? What does he enjoy doing? If he loves Monday Night Football, try to have the house tidy and dinner ready in time for him to sit and watch it tonight. Maybe even get some microwave popcorn or treats ready for him. Ask if you can watch with him, and pretend to be interested. (Or maybe you are). Or if it's something else he likes, try to set that up for him. Don't go overboard. Just set up little things. Don't expect reciprocation right away.

Does he enjoy spending time with his son? Maybe you can arrange an evening or Saturday where you go do something else and let them have "guy time."

If he is agreeable to it, you would probably both benefit from group/couples counseling. Find someone who deals with communication and who will work more on moving forward than digging into the past - I'm sure you've both spent enough time thinking about that.

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A.F.

answers from St. Cloud on

Hi B.! The best advice came from Mindy R. If he wants a divorce just because you "smother" him, then he is going to use ANY excuse, no matter what you do.

The book, Five Love Languages is good but to make it work, your HUSBAND would have to read it too. Don't let him string you along with you trying furiously to please him only to have him throw "divorce" in your face every time he is cranky or upset with you.

Oh, and don't call Dr. Laura or read any of her books. She is a sad excuse for a marriage counselor.

I hope you can work things out. Please remember, if you end up in divorce, don't blame yourself. If your husband lashes out at you that's HIS problem and you are not responsible for his actions or his choices.

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A.M.

answers from Denver on

Have you considered doing the Landmark Forum? Either just you, or if your husband would go too, even better. Its an investment of your money and time, but I believe it is THE best way to see things clearly and be able to talk openly. Its has done wonders for my husband and I and our marriage. You can private message me for more info or google Landmark Forum. I really wish you the best of luck!

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