She comes to me for help.
She is desperate.
She is not getting through to him.
“Why does he not see me?”
She’s tried everything.
And the best response she’s getting from him is his “What else do you want?”
She gave sex, she withdrew sex.
She cried, she pleaded, she fought, she was even about to hit him.
He is oblivious to her pain.
She wants connection.
She wants to be heard.
She want to relate her feelings.
She wants intimacy – no sex.
She want to be held.
There is nothing coming back.
He says: “We had great sex two days ago, the house is warm, the kids are doing well, the fridge is full, we are happy – what else do you want?”
But she’s not happy – that much is clear. Just not to him.
She loves him, she loved him.
Their romance was always great and he was so cute when they were dating.
Then they moved in with each other and he started to settle.
Then the two kids came along and the distance grew.
He’s a good father and he is fun to be around.
But she is not getting through to him anymore.
He is tired from work.
He’s meeting his mates and having one or two beers too many.
He’s spending more time on his computer, x-box, smart-phone, TV than with her.
And he is not talking to her anymore.
Sure, he talks to her – but not about the real things, the deep things.
So she comes to me.
She is desperate.
“How can I make him show feelings?”
“How can I make him see me?”
“Why doesn’t he talk to me?”
She can’t understand him.
And she can’t stand the growing void between them.
She’s lying awake at night – wondering, thinking, frustrated.
It’s like banging her head against the wall.
What could she do? What could they do?
The biggest issue here is that he does not realise how bad things are.
She won’t leave him – at least not physically.
But she might leave him mentally and then they will live together like flatmates.
They are in there late 40s.
They wait till the kids are out of the house – which might take another ten years.
And then they’ll look at each other and realise that there is nothing left.
Nothing left to be said.
Nothing left from their previous feelings.
Nothing left to be done.
She can’t change him.
Why would he change? He is happy the way it is.
He literally does not see her pain.
“What else does she want from me?”
There are three steps to get you out of this situation.
And each step can be long, tedious and all require patience.
Put yourself into his shoes for a moment.
Try to understand him.
What is he going through in his life right now? He might be totally stressed out at work.
He might be in physical pain.
He might miss the ease of getting an erection and wishes he was 20 years younger.
He might be grief-stricken over losing his parents or one of his best mates.
Try to understand what is going on in his mind.
Stress. Job. Finances. Health. Youth.
Maybe he is as worried about your relationship as you are, but does not dare to voice it.
Deep inside him he wants to be the infallible leader, the fearless warrior and the mighty king – showing his fear to you could/would undermine his role – so he’s better not sharing it in the first place.
He’s not even aware of what is going through your mind.
You need to tell him in a very blunt way: “I am not happy in our relationship.”
You won’t be able to reach him, the moment he walks in the door from work or if he’s in front of the TV.
Get him out of the house – just the two of you. Go to a cosy restaurant, have a stroll at the beach. Anything that gets you away from your normal surroundings.
If you can, organise a weekend away – without the kids.
And then take the opportunity to speak up.
Something along the lines of “I love you. And I know that you love me. Still, I am not happy in our relationship. I’m missing our deep connection that we used to have.”
Make him aware of the pain and desperation you feel.
Now that you’ve put yourself in his shoes (understanding) and now that you’ve told him about your feelings (awareness), you can decide together what is the best next step.
And that is different for every couple.
Try to meditate together could be a starting point. Having regular active appointments could be another.
Even encouraging him to spend alone-time with one of your kids at a time could be a vital step to bring a father back to his senses.
In my Relationship Health Centre you find a great video where I give guidance about how to communicate better and Talking. (It’s only US$ 3.90)
Or if you want to discuss your personal situation with me, please give me a call and we can set up a time. You know with me as your coach we are not airing dirty laundry but looking at the future and the next steps you can take to create your loving, intimate and respectful relationship that lasts.