Question: Dear Luise: I don’t remember when my husband and I last had a personal conversation. We talk about the kids, the budget, home maintenance, and once in a while about a neighbor or friend, but when I want to get close to him about how I feel, he looks like he’s going to die of boredom. It seems like we are just going through the motions of having a close relationship. He never really listens to me beyond the subjects listed above. He also doesn’t think anything is wrong and won’t consider counseling. Is there anything I can do to change his attitude? Thank you. Sherrie
Answer: Dear Sherrie: You are probably going to need to talk with a counselor, even if alone, to get some support regarding either accepting the status quo or deciding what you want to do about it. The chances that you are going to wake up one morning to find that you are married to an intimate, soul-searching, communicative husband are pretty slim. It’s probably time to face the fact that your husband learned to distance himself from women long ago and there’s no way you are going to change his attitude.
It might be helpful to take some responsibility for the position you find yourself in. Was he prone to deep, philosophical conversations with you before you married? If so he must be one heck of an actor. We can all be pretty devious when we are trying to impress someone, so I guess it’s a possibility. If not, then you had a part in setting this up.
I have been in this situation and the hardest part for me was admitting that my husband was the way he was. It took me seventeen years to get it. I don’t recommend the day dreaming approach to anyone built of stronger stuff. Nothing can be addressed and resolved that isn’t first seen and accepted. A counselor can help you sift through your feelings about the spot you find yourself in and assist you in determining the best solution. It will have to come from you. Waiting for someone else to change so you can be happy is not a practical approach to a full life. Blessings, Luise