Lonely-in-love from Makhanda in the Eastern Cape writes…
My wife (34) and I (39) have been together for 15 years and have a five-year-old son and a one-year-old daughter.
Our relationship has always been easy-flowing and natural, from us moving in together to starting a poultry business, getting married and then having children.
She is an accountant by profession, and I spend my days tending the chickens and operating our business that we started in 2014.
The past year has not been easy. Eight months ago, while we were in lockdown and she on maternity leave, my wife told me that she was struggling to be happy.
She felt taken for granted. She does most of the domestic work, watches the kids, makes sure we are fed, that kind of thing.
Hearing her say that broke me. I decided to change, helped around the house, made sure she had time to do things for herself and do the things she loved. She caught up on lunch dates with the girls, spa dates, and hit the gym.
Our situation has improved a little and her transition from full-time mom to working mom has been going well.
Trouble is, Lulu, she has fallen out of love with me.
She loves me as person, a partner and the father of her kids, but her passion for me has faded away.
She told me that she has been feeling this way for quite some time now. Our marriage was always a priority before the kids. We used to go on adventures and romantic getaways and travel.
I want to fix things. I have suggested counselling, but she is not comfortable airing our dirty laundry in front of another person.
Do you have any tips? I am trying to make sure we do more as a couple and reconnect, so we find that sweet love again.
My dearest Lonely-in-love…
You have been married for a while now, and sometimes life happens. After years and years together, one or both partners no longer feel as “in love” as they were once before. But is it entirely impossible to fall back in love again?
No, all it really takes is time and effort.
Your wife is busy, my angel, finding balance in being an overall superwoman, juggling her home life, work and life as the mother of two tiny humans.
Those responsibilities are overwhelming, to say the least.
Think of it this way. She was a caterpillar in your marriage before kids, carefree, easy-going. Now kids happened, suddenly she has morphed into a butterfly. She never knew how to fly. Now she is just in her head always wondering if she is a good mom, if she is selfish to want to have time for herself, wondering if it is okay to chug that entire bottle of wine she hid in the OMO washing powder box.
Life changes, especially for women.
Think about the emotional and hormonal changes of the cycle of being pregnant, birthing a child, parenting said child, re-entering the workforce (maintaining your status as a boss biatch) and the added expectation of being a loving, happy wife.
That is the weight of the world, Saturn, and Jupiter combined on her shoulders.
I can see you are being supportive, but you can only experience a fraction of these new adjustments she must face.
She keeps refusing therapy. Leave it up to her.
Your wife kind of reminds me of a cat. You need to earn her affection and trust again by giving her a little space to breathe and figure it out.
She wants that agency for finding her own clarity of the situation.
As for that dwindling spark, there are many things you can do to reignite the flame.
Surprise her with little tokens of appreciation. Do things together again. You used to travel. Take her on a getaway trip. I am sure your babies have aunts or Gogo’s to take care of them?
If you and your wife come to the consensus that yours is a marriage worth fighting for then, by all means, bring out the gloves and beat the sh*t out of this funk…
Remember you are a whole autonomous being by yourself. Seek out assistance from a counsellor by yourself and then detail what you have learned about yourself to her.
Life has overshadowed your “love” feelings. It happens. Deal with the changes and adjust.
Keep loving her and staying supportive, but let her find her own comfort in her new phase.