This is about my wife, whom I've been married to for a number of years. She's a good woman, a good mother and a good wife. Everyone likes her. I like her, too, but I'm pretty sure I don't love her anymore. I didn't realize this for the longest time. I thought I was just bored with my job or my life, but it turns out I'm bored with her. I could never tell her that, because it would break her heart. I'm not really the type to talk about these kinds of things. Just writing this is a real challenge for me.
I don't want you to misunderstand me. I still care for my wife. I just don't get any special lift from being around her. I feel like I know exactly what she's going to say and do at all times. There are no more surprises. Despite this, I'm not looking to get out of the marriage. For me, a commitment is a commitment, till death do us part. But I could use some coping strategies, which is where you come in. What does a guy do when his gal no longer does it for him? And please don't recommend counseling.
Married to It
Married to It: You'll be glad to know that your situation isn't quite as dire as you seem to think it is. In fact, I'm going to make a prediction: If you follow my advice to a tee, I predict you'll fall in love with your wife all over again, and you won't have to see a marriage counselor if you don't want to. Ready to hear what I recommend? Okay, here it is, in a nutshell: Pretend.
That's right, pretend. Pretend you're still in love with her. Pretend you never fell out of love with her. Pretend you're as in love with her as you were on the day you got married. And if you think you may not have been in love with her on the day you got married (hey, it's not that unusual), pretend that you were and that you still are and that you always will be.
I don't mean pretend to yourself, although that would be great if you could pull it off. I mean pretend to her. Hug her. Kiss her. Bring her flowers. Tell her how much she means to you. Massage her feet. Run up ahead and get the car door for her. Overdo it on Valentine's Day. And then turn right around and overdo it the day after Valentine's Day. You get the picture.
If you do all this, I can almost guarantee it will have an effect on the way she feels about you and the way you feel about her. But here's the catch: You need to do it for a pretty long time. In fact, I would recommend you do it one year for every 10 years of your marriage. So, if you've been married for 35 years, you'd do it for three years and six months.
Why that long? Because we're trying to change the way you see her, and that takes time. Because we're trying to change the way she sees you, and that also takes time. And because she's worth it after all the time she's invested in you. This may come as a big surprise to you, Married to It, but you're probably not her idea of Prince Charming anymore either.
But you will be if you follow my simple instructions. And if she asks why you're acting so strangely, just say "Hey, can't a guy fall in love with his wife all over again?" Of course you can. To become a prince, all you have to do is stop acting like a frog. And to stop acting like a frog, all you have to do is pretend you're a prince. Someday, once her prince has come back, you'll love her again, warts and all.
If your fairy godmother is a guy in drag, write to: MR. RIGHT, ISTHMUS, and 101 KING ST., MADISON, WI 53703. OR CALL 251-1206, EXT. 152. OR EMAIL MRRIGHT@ISTHMUS.COM.