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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Whats wrong with my relationship?


    I'm just about to turn 40. I have been married since 7yrs back and have a 4.5yr old. I have never had any issues like this before and not sure what is going on. Me and the wife have not been intimate for about 6months. When i try to talk about it she says she does not really see an issue as its my fault for not initiating. I miss her I miss a lot of things. I miss our life when we met. things are just strange. Now i try to be more close to her but it feel awkward. I can't concentrate at work, i feel sad empty, not happy and spend much time just being quiet. I love my wife and my son but life just seems to very very boring and well i keep to myself. I'm not sure whats going on but im scared. I'm thinking i need to see someone so have booked with the GP but feel like stupid and wonder what to say. Hard to explain how i feel. I just feel like all of this is my fault and i need to fix myself.
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  • Experience: 25+ years working in clinical and organisational settingsSpecialities: relationship therapy, trauma focussed therapy, mood disorders, anxiety, panic disorders.Therapies: Emotion Focussed Therapy, Gottman Marital Therapy, … View Profile


    I'm sorry to hear about your relationship sadness. It sounds like you and your wife have lost ‘contact’ with each other. This is a common problem in households with small children. John Gottman, a relationship researcher has found that one of the mistakes couples make is they forget to nurture their relationship. He found that ‘masters of relationships’ did two things to keep the intimacy in their relationships, they went on a 4 hour date each week, and they spent one hour a week talking about their relationship.  Their date was just for fun, not for talking about their problems, just for laughing together and creating positive shared experienced. Similarly the one hour talk was not for problem solving their issues, but for checking in with each other, talking about whether you are getting what you need/want from the other and how to feel closer, happier together.  It sounds like you and your wife could benefit from the help of a good relationship counsellor. You could also try reading one of John Gottman's books together and/or listening to his CD's and doing the exercises he suggests. I would recommend “7 Principles for Making Marriage Work” or “10 Lessons to Transform Your Marriage”. Either of these would help if both you and your wife committed to doing them together. 

    I hope you can work it out - best of luck. 

    Trish Purnell-Webb

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