Q: Hello ZeeZee, I want to ask you a question that is really affecting my marriage. My wife no longer enjoys having sex with me. While she still participates, you can tell that though her body is there, her mind isn’t. We have been married for six years and have three children and honestly, I’m starting to believe that she is having an affair. I have thought a lot of times to just go out there and satisfy myself or just divorce her so we can go our separate ways since she doesn’t love me, but I always think of how this could be very difficult for the kids. I love my family, but if this goes on, I’ll have no option but to have my urges satisfied outside my marriage. I have really had enough!
A: I understand how frustrating this situation must be for you. I’d like to reassure you that I have seen even worse circumstances turned around. Without hearing from your wife, I can tell that the one major ingredient that helps marriage thrive – communication – is missing from your relationship with her. In my experience working with couples, when a woman or man tunes out their partner’s desires for sex, there is a much bigger reason behind it. She might be exhausted and not feel you support her through her challenges, she might be disillusioned by any conflict you both are currently experiencing, she might think you only want her for sex etc. There could be a sleuth of reasons why your sex life is suffering, but you will never find out why if the both of you do not open up to discuss the real reason behind the “shut down”. Communication isn’t just declaring your wants to your spouse, it also involves listening to her take on her issues and the both of you talking through them with respect. My suggestion is to take some time away to have a heart to heart talk with your wife – no kids interrupting, no work interfering – without criticising her (e.g. it’s your fault we never have sex anymore). Let her know how this whole situation makes you feel and how vested you are in building your relationship with her. I wish you all the best!
Q: I think I might have the worst meddling in-law ever, and it’s my sister-in-law. She is constantly interfering in my marital affairs and the straw that broke the camel’s back, was when she recently brought my husband’s ex-girlfriend to my house. She tells him all the time how he made a mistake marrying me and doesn’t like me. I love my husband but I can’t stand the way his sister interferes in our marriage. Her issues are many and she will be the reason why my marriage doesn’t work, as every time she interferes, it causes major conflict between my husband and me. What can I do to force her to leave us alone?
A: Thanks for reaching out. It is obvious, based on what you have shared that there are no set boundaries placed by you and your husband regarding how third parties can interfere in your marriage. If you both haven’t set these boundaries, then you should, as this problem will be recurring and can lead to further conflict which can be very detrimental to your marriage. I always tell my couples to ensure they are responsible for the family members on their side and how much influence they wield in their marriage. So in essence, your husband is solely responsible for keeping his sister within the boundaries you have set for handling third party influence in your marriage. Your husband needs to stand up to his sister on your behalf. I suggest you have a discussion with your husband to let him know that he will need to step into the arena and let his sister know that she is being disrespectful to his wife and home. Don’t be combative when you bring this issue up with him, just let him know you’d really like his support in setting firm boundaries for the in-laws. I’d also like to add that it really wouldn’t be your sister-in-law’s fault if your marriage gets negatively impacted by her antics, that blame will rest with you and your husband, as you both are responsible for keeping your marriage fortified against all external influences.
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ZeeZee is a certified relationship coach who believes her purpose in life is to equip people with the right tools for a successful relationship – with themselves and others. Through her website and YouTube channel she shares practical tips and principles that help couples understand the inner workings of a healthy marriage.