Marriage feels more like friendship

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine offers guidance to a woman who still loves her husband but feels the spark has gone.


The problem
“After being married for 26 years, I feel my relationship with my husband has got stuck in a rut – and I don’t see any way out of it. We have all but stopped making love and that’s something I miss badly, although my husband doesn’t really seem to mind that much. It feels we’re more like old friends living together, than a genuine married couple.

“Please don’t misunderstand me – I still love him very much and we genuinely seem to like one another’s company. But somewhere along the way, the passion has gone.

“The thing that makes things worse – and I’m ashamed to admit it – is that I have recently met someone else who I have grown close to. Our relationship isn’t physical yet, but it feels like it’s just a matter of time.

“Managing to grab moments together is exciting and has reawakened a passion in me that I’d forgotten existed. He tells me he loves me and wants me to be with him, but I know this would devastate my husband. I feel so confused and uncertain.”

The advice
“If your marriage has become a bit of dull routine recently, it is not surprising that everything about this new man seems exciting. The secret moments together, the little lies you tell to cover it up, even the risk of being seen together all add a touch of spice.

“That initial excitement in a relationship doesn’t last though – certainly not without a lot of hard work – and I think that’s what is missing from your relationship with your husband. If you left him to be with this new man, what guarantee do you have that this will last? You may find that, once the initial excitement has worn off (as it surely will), you are just as unhappy as you are now.

“No marriage is perfect, but I think it would be a great shame to walk out on 26 years of marriage, especially one where you still care for your partner. Surely it is worth trying to see if the love you had can be rekindled? It is possible to put passion and excitement back into a marriage, but both partners must want it and be willing to work at it.

“At this current time, when you and your husband will be at home with each other possibly with more time on your hands, please take the time to talk to one another. You may find that he feels very much as you do, but doesn’t know what to do either.

“Explain that you feel your marriage has become jaded and that the absence of sex is a problem for you. This time together could be a real opportunity for you to change things between you – to become closer and build your relationship back up again.

“You won’t be able to get out to see this new man, so those stolen moments are going to be much fewer and further between than they have been. That means you have more time to focus on your marriage and I really hope your husband is prepared to work with you at trying to save it.

“If he is, and if you need more help, there are highly trained counsellors to support everyone’s relationships during this unprecedented time. Instead of face-to-face counselling, there are options available for telephone counselling, webcam counselling and Live Chat services. It’s good to know that there is expert help and support available when a lot of relationships are going to be under increased pressure.”

What advice would you give?

– With PA

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.

Related articles:
Do sexless marriages survive?
Is my marriage doomed?
Five ways to keep the love alive

Written by YourLifeChoices Writers

YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.

Leave a Reply

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

New virus strain ‘more contagious’

How to calm an upset tummy