My husband used to be so in love with me. He was supportive and caring. He used to be my best friend, my family and my lover. And suddenly, I almost couldn’t recognize that lovely man in a person I was sharing my life with.
We’ve been married for seven years at the time when I started realizing has changed towards me. Simply, he was not the same person that I exchanged vows with seven years ago. I was afraid that he hated me. And this is how I thought that I knew.
He was always scowling at me.
No matter what I would do, it wasn’t good to him. Most of the time he was bad tempered. He was constantly criticizing everything I do. The way I cook, the way I dress or decorate the house…nothing I’ve done seemed to be good enough for him.
Many times he has been verbally abusive. He would lose his temper easily with me, so most of the time at home, I felt like I was walking on eggshells.
He didn’t show affection anymore.
I felt very lonely and sad because my marriage was lacking those small but important signs of affection. Kisses, hugs, romantic dinners and morning intimacy before both of us head for work… I couldn’t even remember those essential proofs of affection between us anymore.
Most of the time my husband was very distant and cold. He didn’t seem to be interested in how I looked anymore. Never noticed when I wore some new, special peace of clothes. When I would ask him, he always reassured me that he loves me but I simply couldn’t see it in his body language and his actions.
Our Intimacy Suffered.
Furthermore, our sex life deteriorated significantly. My husband would say that he was attracted to me when I would ask him, but he never flirted with me anymore and our intimacy was down to the minimum for a long time.
Things between us were different when we first married. He was much more affectionate and had a very strong drive and interest in me. Those days, however, he barely noticed my existence in the bedroom.
I even suspected that my husband was having an affair, because he often worked long hours and would come home very late. But, I don’t think he did, after all. I haven’t found any signs of it so far, anyway.
He often had his excuses ready, complaining that he was very tired, had an important meeting in the morning or something similar. I even suggested that we should look out a marriage counselor for affection issues, but my husband got very upset and refused it at that point.
My husband would forget important dates.
All right, I am aware that men are not so good as women when it comes to remembering important dates and anniversaries. However, my husband wasn’t one of those men while we were dating and when we first married. He would always surprise me with a beautiful bouquet of favorite flowers for my birthday and small gifts for our wedding anniversary.
For years, he wouldn’t remember most of the important dates and events. What was worse, he didn’t even seem to care much. My only explanation for this was that my husband didn’t love me anymore.
What did I do to get his love back?
I lost my peace and kept thinking how to fix my marriage and take my loving husband back. I was wondering should I cut my losses and leave? But I didn’t want to do that for so many reasons.
The most important, I still loved my husband very much. As I mentioned, I don’t think he has ever been unfaithful to me and somewhere deep in me I believed I can still reclaim his love. So, I decided to put all my efforts in action.
I felt trapped in a bad relationship and wanted to restore our marriage, but I needed my husband’s support.
I “Put His Shoes On”
So, I tried to stand in his shoes. To look at myself, our marriage and relationship dynamics from his perspective.
It was very hard, but I had to be honest to myself. It was true that I did not cook as often as I did in the beginning of our marriage. I wouldn’t ask him for his opinion when I would decide to decorate the house or buy something expensive, for example. Number of times, he was upset with a good reason.
So many times I felt that I had to defend my decisions and actions. I felt attacked. In fact, I realized that my husband was hurt because I never asked for his opinion in important family matters, believing that he doesn’t care.
The truth was that he felt abandoned and lonely the same I did.
I Took Communication Classes
I decided to upgrade my communication skills. My marriage was lacking a constructive communication, so I decided to turn the page and do something about it. So I enrolled to online marriage communication course.
I learned how to talk about my feelings and my needs assertively and communicate with my spouse supportively. I polished my listening skills.
For example, if both of us would get upset, I would count to ten, take a deep breath and try to understand how is my husband feeling at the moment. Furthermore, I would reflect his worries to him showing that I understand how he feels.
And it worked! It happened lowly in the beginning. However, I could feel that we were getting to a point where we could have a conversation about unpleasant topics without accusing each other.
We do fight sometimes, of course. But even when we do, we sit and talk as soon as we both quiet down after the initial distress. We listen to each other. And somehow, we always find a solution. I was proud of myself that I showed my spouse how to successfully communicate. To my great joy, he followed my example and improved his communication skills as well.
So, a key to a good marriage communication in our case proved to be ability to listen without judging, say our needs in an assertive way and respect each other’s point of view.
Learning how to communicate positively was a process. But it was definitely worth the effort.
Also read:- How to effectively communicate to your partner
The Power of Apology
I had to learn how to say “I am sorry”. And to really mean it when I say it. There were some situations when I treated my husband disrespectfully. For instance, when I didn’t ask for his opinion when I decided to paint our house. He came home one day and lost his mind finding the painters all over the house, working under my instructions.
Oh, I had to learn to apologize for that and many other situations when I was being disrespectful. And guess what? A miracle happened. After I would sincerely apologize, my husband would say something like, “You did hurt my feelings, but I accept your apology”. It was that simple.
Now we try not to hurt each other’s feelings as much as we can. But when we do, we know how to accept the responsibility for our words and actions and say “I am sorry” as we mean it.
Little Things that Brought Back Passion
I started arranging surprises for my husband. A short love message on our fridge’s door, small gifts when he doesn’t expect them, romantic candles-dinner-music evenings and similar.
One year for our anniversary I decided to secretly organize a charming city-break weekend just for two of us. I was afraid how my spouse would take it, but still decided to give it a go.
His first reaction when he saw the itinerary was shock. But then, to my endless happiness, he picked me up and kissed me for a long time, something that he didn’t do long before that.
However, we spent an amazing weekend together and that was truly the shifting point in our marriage. We were back on the track.
How Our Intimacy Flourished
AS with the other aspects of our relationship, I’ve decided to be honest and straightforward when it comes to our sex life. Talking to my husband sincerely about my needs and fears, I learned that he felt neglected as well. My husband told me that many nights he would try to connect with me, but I was so distant and cold to him.
I couldn’t believe! We were walking around the elephant in the room, too hurt to open our hearts to each other.
Marriage Counseling as a Great Support
To make sure we restored our marriage to a perfect love story it used to be before, my husband and I decided to seek professional support. We considered a lot of options and chose online marriage counseling as the most private and convenient option. It helped us maintain our newly build good relationship and answered many questions.
Our marriage is a healthy relationship filled with love and understanding today. As any other relationship, our marriage also has ups and downs. But I don’t doubt my husband’s affection anymore. It took us a lot of effort to get here where we are, but it was definitely worth it.