Dear Crystal,
I have been married to my wife for ten years, we are proud parents of an eight year old boy. They say that, the first 2 – 5 years , or so of marriage is the hardest. My wife and I met in college, we both hold good jobs, we have built a beautiful life together. We got married rather young, in our early twenties. Over the years, our marriage seem to have declined. We don’t talk a lot, if I bring up an issue she gets on the defense to the point where she would go as far as sleeping in another room. Every chance she gets she’s gone with her girlfriends, she never misses a party, she is in every event, rather than staying at home with us. I am not saying that she cannot go, but I feel like she needs to be a mother and a wife first. I have even brought up the subject of having another child, her response is that she has worked hard to achieve her figure and is not willing to mess it up again. I feel sorry for my son because most of the time, it’s just the two of us… most of the time, I feel like a single parent. I often wonder if she hates me and or regrets marrying me. She does not have an ounce of motherly instinct when it comes to our son. At times I wonder where her priorities and interest lies, because it certainly isn’t with us. What do you suggest?

Alone

Dear Alone,
I appreciate your letter, It’s rear to see a man express his emotions on a public platform. Marriage is no easy task, when you enter a marriage, you become a team, working together to accomplish a single goal, which is a happy, healthy marriage. On the basis of teamwork, I usually think of the 5 C’s of effective Communication: Consistency, Collaboration, Clarity, Creativity, and Commitment.
Effective communication removes all bias, and help you and your partner to listen, observe, understand, then relay what was communicated (active listening)
Collaboration: This is working together, once you work together it produces better results. Each party does not give 50/50, but instead each team member must bring 100% to the table.
Consistency: Your actions and behavior should be consistent, in doing so, it fosters trust in the relationship. That way when something seems amis with one partner, the other can easily tell.
Clarity: Be clear and concise about what you truly want in the relationship and you both must be on the same page. When you communicate with clarity, your words are aligned with your body language, facial expression, and tonation. This will help to reduce confusion and friction in the relationship.
Creativity: Do “out of the box” activities to keep the fire burning. Lock in the nights, at least once a month to do activities (just the both of you) such as going the movies, hang out together, do fun things together, this can be as simple as a family game night with your son. Don’t stop there, let the creativities expand to the bedroom (wink, wink, if you know what I mean).
Commitment: This is a crucial part of any relationship. The goal is to be together for the long haul no matter what the circumstance.”

I understand that you may be hesitant to speak to her as you have mentioned that you have tried talking to her before and that conversation resulted in an argument and her sleeping elsewhere. You both should never go to bed angry, someone has to be the bigger person, address the issue at hand, apologize and compromise. Remember it’s not about what you say, it’s how you say it, and perhaps you may have not expressed yourself in the right manner. What was your approach? Maybe you should try again, and if that does not work, you should consider speaking to an unbiased third party that you both respect, like a senior member of the family, or a Counselor/Therapist.

Relationships aren’t easy, it is a two way street. Marriages go through phases, sometimes you will get along and sometimes you won’t. It is unrealistic to think that marriage will always be smooth sailing. Hang in there, communicate, reciprocate and sometimes you both have to push your egos aside in order to have a healthy, working, and successful union.

Take care,

Crystal Clear

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