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Sunday, 25 March 2001

Am I Being Foolish?

Written by  Patricia Lawrence Pomposello, LCSW

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QDear WholeFamily Counselor,

Three weeks ago, my husband moved out of our bedroom. He asked me last week what I wanted. I told him I'd like some affection. He said any affection he would give me would be faked. I can't understand why he doesn't move out if he doesn't care about me. Am I being foolish, thinking he still cares?

ADear Am I Being Foolish,

Your husband has decided to sleep on the couch and then to make matters worse, you ask him for affection and he says that any affection he would give you would be faked.

How do you feel about your husband moving out of the bedroom? Are you sad, mad, hurt, confused, humiliated...or all of the above? And how do you feel about his inability to give you affection? Are you talking about it with him? Is he talking about it with you?

It would be hard to answer your question of whether or not he may still care based on the information that he is still living in the house with you. But it isn't hard to guess that there is some kind of a problem.

Sometimes the worst down time is the best opportunity to learn more about one another and find a way to renew the marriage.

I am also guessing that communication between you is not flowing quite the way you would like it to. But since you still desire affection from him, it seems you would like to try to make things better.

It may well be that his moving out of the bedroom is a loud message to get your attention about something. You won't know unless you try to find out by talking with him.

All marriages go through their ups and downs. Sometimes the worst down time is the best opportunity to learn more about one another and find a way to renew the marriage, but both partners must be willing to change and grow for this to work.

Intimacy is about so much more than sleeping together. We often assume that we know things about our partners because we have known them for a long time. What we need to realize is that people are not fixed entities. Thoughts and feelings change. The skill of real intimacy is to learn to ask questions and get to know our partners over and over again. It is not unusual to lose sexual feelings for a partner when we have lost other intimate connections.

Keeping a marriage alive over years requires that we approach our partners with curiosity and deep interest in who they are now -- not just assume that they are the same now as when we married them. Learning to talk is also learning how to listen. And this can be more difficult with a spouse than with any other person in our lives.

If he is willing to seek some professional help, you might find a marriage therapist who could assist you in discussing what is going on in your marriage. If not, then I would suggest you find your own therapist to discuss this.

Wishing you all the best,

Patricia Lawrence Pomposello, LCSW

Last modified on Thursday, 12 January 2012 13:52
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Patricia Lawrence Pomposello, LCSW

Ms. Patricia Lawrence Pomposello is a psychotherapist, specializing in couple and women issues

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