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Okay, What does one do when one does not really like their


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spouse?

 

I am not talking about some grievance I have with him. He doesn't done anything drastic. We are both under a lot of strees which I'm sure is attributing to this feeling. We have been married for over 18 years, so clearly I know this feeling to shall pass. I'm committed to this man.

 

And yet, lately I feel myself feeling indifferent and not so interested.

 

When one has these feeling what should one be doing to get past it?

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That's a pretty difficult question.

I guess the first thing would be to stop thinking bad thoughts about him and cut yourself off when you tell yourself you don't like him.

 

Maybe some time away. separately. If you are both stressed, getting away from the situation might help. Take some time, a few days at least, and go some place without him. Or let him go somewhere without you. Either way when you get back together, it will be with fresh eyes.

 

There are a lot of great books about relationships out there, but it really depends on what type of person you are to read the one that will make a difference.

 

Also, outside exercise helps. I know that sounds weird, but when I start feeling cynical about some one it's usually because I'm not eating well and need exercise in nature...and I mean outside the house, such as a walk around the block, hiking, something like that.

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Look for things to celebrate about their spouse. Something. Anything, no matter how small.

 

I'd encourage picking up the Love Dare. Even if you're not Christian (I say this b/c there are Bible quotes, etc used) its an excellent way to change personal view point.

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Thanks for the suggestions. I am not husband bashing, but rather asking what postive things I can do to improve the situation. I have not even said anything to him about these feelings because I know they are my issues and it would hurt him.

 

We are spending time apart right now because he is gone during the week for work. Normally, I think this would not be a good thing , but I think right now its a good thing for me to have some space.

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Look for things to celebrate about their spouse. Something. Anything, no matter how small.

 

I'd encourage picking up the Love Dare. Even if you're not Christian (I say this b/c there are Bible quotes, etc used) its an excellent way to change personal view point.

 

 

This. Definitely. It will put a framework to the suggestion to seek the good in your spouse, and dwell on the good, not the bad.

 

Love is action, not a feeling.

 

Also, there are seasons in a marriage, just like in life...some seasons are more enjoyable than others...but they change, just like seasons...and the best may be yet to come!

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I have found that for me, personally, my feelings follow my actions. So, when I'm feeling that way about my dh, I'll ask myself what sort of things I would be doing if I was feeling lovey-dovey towards him. Would I put a love note in his lunchbox? Would I cook him is favorite meal? Etc. Then, I start doing those things, even though I don't feel like it and the first few times irritate me to no end. After a couple of days, I start feeling lovey-dovey towards him again. The feelings follow the actions. :grouphug: I'm sure we've all been there and it's no fun.

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I strongly agree with the time away from home - - but with your spouse. Even if it's to a cabin in a state park. My dh and I have been so stressed the past 3 years so I understand what you're saying (btdt at times), but we are still making time to get away (as a family, so dd is with us) from the things that are stressing us. This makes a HUGE difference in how we respond to each other. We really need those few days every now and then away from reality. When we're away from the stress, I can easily see what I really like about him! :) And, I'm much nicer, too. :) :) It's keeping our relationship sane and keeping our family strong. Thoughts are with you and your family. :grouphug:

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I have found that for me, personally, my feelings follow my actions. So, when I'm feeling that way about my dh, I'll ask myself what sort of things I would be doing if I was feeling lovey-dovey towards him. Would I put a love note in his lunchbox? Would I cook him is favorite meal? Etc. Then, I start doing those things, even though I don't feel like it and the first few times irritate me to no end. After a couple of days, I start feeling lovey-dovey towards him again. The feelings follow the actions. :grouphug: I'm sure we've all been there and it's no fun.

 

 

:iagree:

I also think about the things that made me fall in love with him, I think of all of the great times that we've had together. And yes, like the pp said, sometimes I'll just "pretend" to be lovey-dovey and just thinking that way makes me genuinely feel that way towards him again.

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We're going on 18 years too and I know exactly what you mean. Marriage is really full of ups, downs, and everything in between! I think the key thing is remembering, as you said, "this too shall pass!" One thing that helps me (a little, LOL!) is to count my blessings and focus on the positive things my dh brings to my life and to our family.

 

Emotions are unreliable. Love (or even like) isn't simply a feeling, it is a conscious decision we make. Sometimes it's easy, sometimes not so much ;)

 

Keep on keeping on!

 

Blessings,

¸.·´ .·´¨¨))

((¸¸.·´ .·´ -:¦:-Tina ~

-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´*

http://seasonsoflearning.blogspot.com/

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I heard a practical idea from Focus on the Family last weekend. Create a Love Story book. Write down the story of how you met, fell in love etc..., including pictures of those days, and have it bound. I'd like to do this for dh & me, and also have for the kids - to inspire them to dream of their own spouse & marriage.

 

Marriage is hard work sometimes, but worth the effort!! Write down & focus on the things about your spouse that you are grateful for.

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I have found that for me, personally, my feelings follow my actions. So, when I'm feeling that way about my dh, I'll ask myself what sort of things I would be doing if I was feeling lovey-dovey towards him. Would I put a love note in his lunchbox? Would I cook him is favorite meal? Etc. Then, I start doing those things, even though I don't feel like it and the first few times irritate me to no end. After a couple of days, I start feeling lovey-dovey towards him again. The feelings follow the actions. :grouphug: I'm sure we've all been there and it's no fun.

 

:iagree:

 

Yep, me too, although sometimes it takes more than a couple days for me.

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spouse?

 

I am not talking about some grievance I have with him. He doesn't done anything drastic. We are both under a lot of strees which I'm sure is attributing to this feeling. We have been married for over 18 years, so clearly I know this feeling to shall pass. I'm committed to this man.

 

And yet, lately I feel myself feeling indifferent and not so interested.

 

When one has these feeling what should one be doing to get past it?

 

:bigear:

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I think this could turn into more of a marriange management thread...

 

I felt this way last week! But we did get away from the kids, house, everything and just had a fun afternoon away from it all and it fixed everything.

 

Usually when I feel like that I'm projecting my stress onto him (or anything else in my path).

 

Focus on reducing your stress and get away from it all with your DH and see if you don't feel better.

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:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

 

My husband has been going through this with me :001_huh:

 

I can tell you what we learned. His feelings were related to depression and most of all supressed anger. Depression is actually anger turned inward. I don't know if that fits your case at all. For him, he was so depressed that he had no feelings for anything or anyone. The only thing I think he could feel was anger. It had taken over. He could still function in daily life though without appearing angry.

 

It stunned me, because I had not known anything was wrong. Truly, not much was wrong, it was just a spill over of anger related to other things and I was there.

 

His doctor recommended 2 books: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/080913702X/ref=oss_product

 

The other is called Uncoupling and is sort of a sociological study on how marriage falls apart, written so that you can see the warning signs and stop them before you go too far.

 

I have no idea if the cause of our situation is anywhere close to yours.

 

For me, when I feel "disconnected" it helps me to "date him ägain", take time for myself and make down time a priority.

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Do you keep a journal? The one time in my life when I was consistent in keeping a journal was when I was dating and engaged to my dh. Every so often I need pull out that journal and read how I felt about him then. It changes my whole outlook on our marriage.

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I begin to make sure I look good. Put on makeup, do my hair up (beyond the I'm a mom today and don't have time to function !) and try to dress nicer. And since I'm wacky, I make sure the house is clean, clutter free, and refreshing looking when you walk in. (and yes sometimes I walk in and out my house just to get the feel of "Ah, I'm home!) And if I have any over due projects (like the set of pjs waiting to be sewn up) I get them done. THey are usually 5 -1o minute projects that I have just kept putting off.

 

And for some reason, I feel better. Then when I feel better, I find myself smiling when hubby comes in instead of grumpy. Smiling goes along way!

 

It does pass but you have to find the "system" that helps you to make it pass. As you've read, everyone finds the "thing" that helps them pass this hole. I'm going to do that story book idea and maybe do it hubby for CHristmas. I like that idea.

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well, we all have positive and negative traits, and while our husbands DO get under our skin at times, I'm sure WE get under THEIR skin, too. ;) I think of this when dh is upsetting me in some way. I know I upset him, too, but I'm more likely to talk about it. :tongue_smilie:

 

Also, our thoughts grow and fester easily. When those negative thoughts come in, squish them out with a positive one. :) It works, it really does. And if done enough, it becomes habit.

 

Have you talked to him about what's bothering you? Sometimes this is necessary, other times it's really better to be silent. Only you can determine that.

:grouphug:

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I don't know if you're the praying kind, but I ask G-d to help me see my husband through his eyes. I ask the L-rd to make me fall in love with my husband again.

 

Often times we expect more from our spouses than we do our friends. If our best friend forgets us, we listen to all her reasons why she has too much on her plate and why she's been so forgetful lately. We sympathize with her. But if our hubbies forget something it's "How could you? Don't you love me?" So I check whether or not my expectations of him are in line or not. I expect him to cut me slack and sometimes forget to do the same for him. (Of course if it were a pattern, I'd be saying hold on pardner! I'm talking about "one-offs" here.)

 

Dating him on a regular basis helps too!

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I would do as others have suggested and remember the reasons I fell in love with him. Know that mature love is a decision, not an emotion. Decide to love him. Then, write a list of all the things you've ever wanted to do, and things that would make a great date. Get out of your comfort zone and think outside of the box. Then, book some events and classes. Enroll you and dh in dancing lessons, a painting class, a cooking class, a massage class, fencing, boxing, archery, horseback riding, pottery. Create new memories together. Make it a priority to do something new together every week. :grouphug: The gist of it is this: build a history. We shouldn't stop building after so many years. There's so much more to do together. We just have to do it. :grouphug:

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18 years here. When I go through those "what was I thinking?" periods, I make myself stop and ask "what was I thinking?" There were things about my husband that made me want to marry him. If they're still there, I have to find them under all the carp of day-to-day living. If they're not there anymore, I may have to redefine the relationship. Sadly, this is when many people opt out instead.

Edited by Mejane
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A wise person said to imagine all the negative things about your husband on one side of him, all the wonderful things on the other, and then CHOOSE to only look at the positive side of him. I keep a mental list of the times that dh has been unbelievably good to me when I absolutely didn't deserve it, and I play it in my head whenever I need it.

 

We are selfish, and we often want to think the best of ourselves and the worst of others. It is an active, daily decision to think the best of someone and love them, and that's why it is hard work. Your actions should be pulling the train, not your emotions. Start acting like you feel interested and loving, and your emotions will follow.

Edited by angela in ohio
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well, we all have positive and negative traits, and while our husbands DO get under our skin at times, I'm sure WE get under THEIR skin, too. ;) I think of this when dh is upsetting me in some way. I know I upset him, too, but I'm more likely to talk about it. :tongue_smilie:

 

 

Yes! I was coming here to say what I do is think about the fact that he has to put up with me! I mean, in the end, no one is really a prize all the time, eh?? That usually gets me to :) about our overall relationship.

 

Hang in there. As you noted, this too shall pass.

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Guest Alte Veste Academy
We are both under a lot of strees which I'm sure is attributing to this feeling.

 

lately I feel myself feeling indifferent and not so interested.

 

 

 

All of the below is purely theoretical as it applies to your situation because I do not know details.

 

That said, I wonder if both of you being under great stress is the key to the problem. When only one person in a marriage is stressed out and the other is doing OK, it is more likely that the other person is able and/or willing to see the incredible stress we're under and love us more, offer kind gestures, truly listen and understand, offer relief, etc. When both people are stressed, it can almost become a competition (whether loud and ugly or silent and unrecognized) where each person thinks the other should appreciate, empathize, save, etc. and nobody ends up getting what they want and need. Then both parties end up hurt and frequently hurt each other more by withdrawing emotionally and/or physically (the former being especially painful for women and the latter being especially painful for men). There can be a mindset of "if I'm not getting what I need, I'm not giving either." Again, this can be purposeful or unintentional but either way it is destructive.

 

This kind of thinking and behaving can spiral downward pretty fast. One way out of this is to try to decrease the stress on your side as much as possible (and purposefully working toward meeting your own needs--deep breathing, meditation or prayer, exercise, delegation when possible, etc.) while making a purposeful effort to be that change you want to see in your marriage. Treat your DH as you want him to treat you, even if that may mean temporarily biting your lip about your own stress while he unloads his onto you. It will pay off. Somebody has to be the bigger person first.

 

If this is way off base, I'm sorry. I'm going with what I know in response to a (necessarily) vague statement of the problem.

 

:grouphug:

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One thing that has helped me in the midst of those seasons is to make a list of all his good qualities, even if they are ones that I'm not seeing at the time, but that are displayed more at work. Then I read over that list frequently. It feels sort of hokey when I first make it, but it really does help my mindset to focus on his good qualities.

 

:grouphug:

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In addition to the relationship suggestions, I'd go to the doctor for a full physical. Sometimes our physical health can impact our emotional health in ways that we aren't aware of.

 

I'm not saying it's the answer to the entire problem, but it's a piece of the puzzle that's often overlooked.

 

Cat

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I hope the thread doesn't get locked, because I don't see you bashing. I think it's a great thread. I think many of us are where you are. Things just get kind of blah sometimes. John and I will celebrate 12 years on Sunday, and it's all kind of blah to me.

 

I envy those who refer to their husband as their best friend. I guess I can say he is mine because I don't have a best friend. It's sort of default. But, it's not as great as friendships I've had before -- even with guys.

 

We are committed, but just blah right now. We appreciate each other, and we probably have more IN common than not, but I am still prone to see our differences.

 

But, the other day, John was sitting across the living room from me, and he said, "I am really starting to like you." I looked surprised. He has always been able to name lots of things he admires about me, so I was wondering where this statement came from. He went on saying how much I do with the boys -- how much I am teaching them, how smart I am, how capable, etc. He said he has never met anyone like me. He just said that the longer he has been with me, the more he likes me.

 

Those words gave me the best feeling.

 

We are very different in that he is a man with hands! He builds things, fixes things, etc. He liked adventure and outdoor stuff. I admire that about him. But, I love discussing things we're learning, and I enjoy reading. He is not a big fan of books. He has been watching more documentaries, though. And, he's been trying to learn investing tips and trying to understand more about the stock market. I sense sometimes that he is trying to become more self-educated. He has what I would consider some learning disability when it comes to reading. He honestly has a hard time remembering things.

 

All of this to say, we are very different in many of the things we enjoy and our giftings, but we do have things we enjoy together. We especially love B&Bs, cabins, hiking, arboretums, sitting in the back yard looking at birds, going out together. Oh, and he likes chick flicks. And, we are well-matched philosophically and religiously. I think I need to spend more time focusing on how much with have in common rather than the opposite.

 

Realistically, he could be a guy who likes shoot-em up movies, has sports on all the time, and doesn't know how to fix a toilet. He could see garden flowers as a waste of money and spend lots of money on midlife crisis things. :) He could look down upon our homeschooling and nag about how much I spend on resources. He could think taking me out to eat once a week is a waste of money. He could complain when I ask if we can just do carry-out because I've had a rough day. Sometimes, I think we just take things for granted.

Edited by nestof3
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Realistically, he could be a guy who likes shoot-em up movies, has sports on all the time, and doesn't know how to fix a toilet. He could see garden flowers as a waste of money and spend lots of money on midlife crisis things. :) He could look down upon our homeschooling and nag about how much I spend on resources. He could think taking me out to eat once a week is a waste of money. He could complain when I ask if we can just do carry-out because I've had a rough day. Sometimes, I think we just take things for granted.

 

We think just alike! :001_smile:

 

I think having had many friends cry on my shoulder, and dh and I having helped a few couples, too, has given me a great perspective. I married dh because he was the best man I knew, and he still is. I can look at the things other wives have to put up with and feel very lucky. It is best to think of what I do have and what he is rather than what I wish for. :001_smile:

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you've had lots of good advice. action leading to feeling is a great one to work with. sunday is 10.10.10. why not surprise him with 10 things you value about him? 10 kisses during the day? i'm definitely spinning off the 10.10.10,thread, but it could be fun. and productive.

 

when i need help remembering to behave in a loving way, i haul out the photo albums. using digital pictures as a screen saver works well, too (dh's solution).

 

the picture may not change, but you get to choose the frame, and that can make alll the difference.

ann

 

eta: something we do by times is to write in a gratitude journal. at dinner, each person names three things from their day that they are grateful for. we're doing it right now, because i'm the one who is feeling down. it helps with the framing.

Edited by elfgivas@yahoo.com
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you've had lots of good advice. action leading to feeling is a great one to work with. sunday is 10.10.10. why not surprise him with 10 things you value about him? 10 kisses during the day? i'm definitely spinning off the 10.10.10,thread, but it could be fun. and productive.

 

Neat 10.10.10 idea :) Hmmm. . .that leaves room for a lot of creativity!

 

Anywho, I continued to think about the original post and it brought to mind a poem I wrote for *myself* during one of those dry seasons. So I hunted it down from my overloaded desk drawer and took this opportunity to post it to my blog in hopes that it might be meaningful to someone else as well.

 

http://seasonsoflearning.blogspot.com/2010/10/with-new-eyes.html

 

Blessings,

¸.·´ .·´¨¨))

((¸¸.·´ .·´ -:¦:-Tina ~

-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´*

http://seasonsoflearning.blogspot.com/

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18 years here. When I go through those "what was I thinking?" periods, I make myself stop and ask "what was I thinking?" There were things about my husband that made me want to marry him. If they're still there, I have to find them under all the carp of day-to-day living. If they're not there anymore, I may have to redefine the relationship. Sadly, this is when many people opt out instead.

 

 

Wise words. :001_smile:

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Years 18-20 have been our hardest, harder than other years that should have been more stressful. I don't know why. But in the past few months (Wednesday was our 20th anniversary), things are getting better. I hope things look up for you soon. It looks like you are getting good advice in this thread.

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and as others have said there are always ups and downs and even days when there just any excitement anymore. My husband has a pretty stressful job and homeschooling is just as stressful. We have always found it important to take some time away and just be with each other. We try to plan a weekend and do things that keep us together. We both like the beach so we'll walk up and down the beach, sit on the porch and make sure we TALK to each other. I find it helps us to remember what we had so when we get back to the real world those memories are closer to our heart. There are a lot of things that my husband does that just drives me crazy and now that children are grown, at least in college, I find myself saying how am I going to put up being with this man all the time without homeschooling keeping my mind to busy to think about it in the past. Again I go back and look at why I loved him in the first place, try to think of the fun times we've had and I love to go back through our pictures and be reminded of just how much I love him and that even in marriage there are just somethings that we have to be willing to overlook.

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I agree with the pp who said when they feel bad about their husband, its because they are not taking good enough care of themselves. That is my experience, also. Once I take the focus off my husband and back onto myself and my life, and really take care of myself, my husband seems a much nicer person :)

Marriages do go through cycles and we are indoctrinated by movies and soapies to think they should be a certain way consistently. If we dont feel in love with our dh in our 5th of 50th year of marriage...well, its actually pretty normal. Being in love is a hormonal thing, and hormones change all the time. Love is usually pretty ordinary. I think many people only realise how much they loved someone when they are gone.

In the less apparently loving or exciting times of our marriage, we do just try and keep the little things going...making each other cups of tea, making the time to catch up about our days, going for walks.

Recently I realised I wasnt having enough fun in my life and I started to buy some prettier clothes, go out to lunch with girlfriends, dance in the loungeroom as well as at a local dance, and just open up myself to putting more spark in my own life. DH has a very busy and very social life with his work but I didnt want to be part of it all the time. Then I realised that dh was always wanting me to do fun things with him and I had been saying no for years! Mainly...he loves to take my motorbike riding on a Sunday and often I have said I dont feel like it...well now, I feel like it because its fun and I recognise now how important it is.

I think marriages need fun more than a lot of other stuff... fun things now and then give great memories,stress relief...they provide balance. But we tend to put fun last on the list because we take our lives so seriously.

Fun can be a picnic on the loungeroom floor, or in bed, or a night at a hotel, or going to a dance, or walking, or just going to a coffee shop together on the weekend. It just takes some imagination and babysteps. I had to do it for myself first, though, before I could recognise what a fun guy dh can be and how much I take that for granted.

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I didn't take this as bashing her hubby. She wants to ACTIVELY do something about not particularly liking him. That is what LOVE is, actively working on the relationship. At least she's not just jumping to "grass is greener" divorce like so many who seem to need to learn first hand that it almost never is greener, especially in the first 1-3 years (yes, I realize that isn't ALWAYS the case, but there are plenty of studies to show that it is generally so). I also think that working at the relationship is the RIGHT thing to do.

 

Anyway, I have looked before and found many books and websites mentioned online. You pretty much can go just about any direction you can imagine with this sort of thing.

 

Some people would be tempted to go towards Fascinating Womanhood, for example. I am REALLY tempted that direction and an intellectual/emotional level, but it's SO far outside of my personality and the dynamics of our relationship, that I struggle with application.

 

There was a link put up here a couple weeks ago I found interesting. It started with no criticisms for 30 days. If I could stop complaining, I think my life would be seriously better. Thankfully, I got a magazine with a few articles about contentment and how to be content when so much is wrong (in my case, my health problems severely beat me up almost constantly). I'm going to study those articles and some others. They are Biblically based so I know I'll get God's view which is important to me.

 

Of course, there are some I consider off the wall (just get another wife? LOL). Some like 90 days of sex sound interesting and I would think a couple *would* have to work a few things out to make *that* work.

 

Anyway, so maybe look around and find a "program" that would work for you personally.

 

BTW, any such thing should be written in a way that allows for ONE person to make a significant difference without the other person. It is ALWAYS better for both people to work at it, of course; but a smart idea is one that realizes that not each person of the couple may be ready at the exact same moment to do the exact same level of work.

 

Of course, you SHOULD chat with hubby because he may well be ready and willing which would be even better :)

 

Additionally, you might spend a little more time on yourself also. Being our own persons in a fuller way can really make a difference. Schooling, a job, a hobby. My mother is, at this moment, a conference about BUTTONS. She also works full time in the public school system, has a gym membership, etc. Whatever floats your boat. When she's with my (step)dad, she is devoted to serving him (she doesn't see it that way and would scream from the rooftop that she's not submissive, but....). He irritates her occasionally; but they have a great marriage and only have one thing different from my own goal for when I'm 50some.

 

HTHs,

Edited by 2J5M9K
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Thank you, Thank you , Thank you everyone that replied. I have a lot to think about and am just overwhelmed with all the caring I felt in the everyone's post.

 

I have a few books on my list to read and I'm working on getting a Following in Love All Over Again Plan in place.

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