Agony Aunt, Andrea Moon: How can we stop taking each other for granted?
Q: We have been married for eight years and known each other for ten years.
We have three children and a busy and varied life, usually based around the kids’ activities, including weekends. As much as we love and respect each other, I am conscious of feeling taken for granted. We both work as well as me taking care of the children and house. I don’t feel desired or desirable. We are affectionate but for the first time I feel rejected as he never initiates sex. When we do get intimate he seems to expect me to be ready immediately, rather than giving me time to get in the mood. It feels more like a facility than an expression of desire. We’ve both put weight on over the years and I feel like its putting him off. How can I brooch it with him?
A: I don’t think its unusual for a sex drive to get out of synch in a marriage, especially while working and bringing up children. It’s good you are still affectionate together, but obviously the passion needs rekindling. Communication is the key to any relationship. Don’t be afraid of expressing your feelings to your husband. Let him know how you feel and show you still respect and admire him. It is easy to get complacent when enveloped in a busy family life, but we all need reminding how much we are appreciated. He probably doesn’t even know how you are feeling or that you are unhappy. If you are not feeling desirable you need to address why. Have you allowed yourself any pamper time, whether it be a gym, hairdresser or even your own home spa? Just some time out to read or go for a walk. Desirability is a mental rather than physical issue, ao you need to address the underlying resentment of feeling taken for granted. How can you feel romantic if you are seething? You need to like yourself before you can feel comfortable about being desired. Work out how that can be achieved for you. Is it a physical change or just cosmetic? Any chink of insecurity will magnify an unintended rejection or lack of attention. We are taken at our own worth. It sounds like you have started to take each other for granted. There is no chase left or reason to entice you. Once you start to take a little more time for yourself, you will give him chance to miss you.
If you need help in the house or with the kids, ask for it. Shared household chores are a great example to set for your children, rather than it being looked on as ‘woman’s work’. Ask the kids to help out too.
Is there any chance you could arrange a child-free night out, or weekend? That way you could reconnect as adults in a relaxed chore-free environment.