Like roommates, unaffectionate, non-sexual

-- Question for John --

My marriage needs help. I find myself resentful when I think about the things I want to change but in over 10 years things have only gotten worse. My husband is unaffectionate. Sex is virtually nonexistent. It’s a very isolating feeling to live with someone who feels more like a roommate than a lover or a spouse.

It never used to be this bad but early on it wasn’t what I thought it should have been. I thought I could help him with his “ways”. (His family seems to be much the same.) I came from a very affectionate family so this has really been a struggle for me. He kisses me each day hello and goodbye. About the same way I kiss my child when it’s time to go to school. It’s never in a romantic or passionate way.

Sometimes we go for months without any kind of sexual contact. But the average is once every month or two. I am basically the maid, cook, nanny and have no real feeling of intimacy or passion anymore.

I have gained weight and can’t seem to feel worthy of taking care of myself because I seem to be the one taking care of everything else. He is not happy with my weight and that may be the problem but to me that is a superficial approach to love from a husband.

-- Answer from John --

I know what a painful thing this is. This will eventually destroy the marriage. So this is the time for you to step up to the plate and put this issue in front of him, before it is too late and you give up.

Many couples end up in dullness because they have consistently avoided something — like conflict, for instance — or they have chosen to go numb rather than confront discomfort. You suffer from avoided issues, or the lack of good communication tools to use to address them. Instead, you are trying to keep things comfortable, probably because each of you simply does not know how to get through the impasse.

At minimum get yourself some good self-help books and read them. You are now in the dark as to what to do.

For yourself, it is time for you to take care of yourself. Start eating better and exercizing. Do this not for him at all.

Do it for yourself. Why? Because you will inherently feel better. That you owe yourself.

Also, open up with others. You may have isolated yourself too much inside this relationship, and that could be a big factor in keeping the marriage stuck in the mud.

Find support of friends. Do fun things with friends. Consider telephone coaching if local help is not available.

Find happiness for yourself first and foremost, by doing things that open you to having more pleasure and fun without him. Take a class.

Do anything. Get moving here! Read self-help books for yourself, regardless if he is interested or afraid to be interested.