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Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Our New Baby Has Cooled Our Passion

Written by  Dr. Louise Klein

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QDear WholeFamily Counselor,

I've been married for two years with a five-month-old-baby. When my husband and I got married, we seemed to be very in love. When I got pregnant our marriage began to fail because he said that he doesn't love me anymore as he used to in the beginning (he said that he loved me with all his heart because he was always thinking about me and always wanted to be with me; now he only wants to work). I told him to go away, but he's still living at home and he does not want to sleep in the other room. I really don't know how long I can stand this. Am I right letting him live in our house even if he says he does not love me anymore? He treats me very well but it's not as it used to be. I miss my obsessively in love husband. I want someone who cares for me.

Confused wife

ADear Confused Wife,

A critical piece of information is missing from your letter. How long did you know your husband before you married him? It's natural in the first rush of excitement to be obsessed with each other. Couples during this intensely romantic period are often only interested in each other and shut out the rest of the world. If you got married during a period of great passion and love, then you have to face the reality that all relationships go through cooling off periods especially after the birth of a new baby.

Now you're both juggling the new responsibility of being parents and probably suffering from a lack of sleep and any meaningful time together. You both need to be aware of these changes. It may be that he has retreated into his work as you became the primary caretaker for this infant. He may feel shut out as you put most of your attention on your newborn. Before it was only the two of you and now you have a demanding infant whom you can't ignore. It's not uncommon for husbands to feel rejected and cut off from their wives after the birth of a child.

Another thing: Do you have help with the baby? If you don't, then you need to get a babysitter or family member to come in to give you support so you can get a break both for yourself and for the marriage.

It is a big leap from the loss that you now feel as your relationship goes through this natural change to deciding that the marriage must be over. I know that you miss your "obsessed" husband but it doesn't sound like he feels like this is the end. I can feel your disappointment that he's not as attentive as he used to be but asking him to leave seems to be premature. I would suggest that you initiate contact with him. Be your old romantic, loving self with him, and see how he responds. I suspect his reaction will be quite positive.

Have you considered seeing a marital therapist to help you explore your marriage? If your husband won't go, then at the very least you should enter therapy to explore your own feelings about him and the marriage. You have a new baby. You have to take into consideration the impact a divorce would have on this child's life. However, you're far from divorce. First, explore other options. You owe it to yourself.

Dr. Louise Klein

Last modified on Monday, 16 January 2012 18:57
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Dr. Louise Klein

Dr. Louise Klein

Louise Klein was born on the West Coast of Canada but lived for many years in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. She has a doctorate in clinical psychology from Widener University in Pennsylvania. Dr. Louise Klein is an experienced therapist in insight-oriented talk therapy. She has worked with individuals, couples and groups for many years. Her experience with families includes stepfamilies, adoptive families, nuclear families and families dealing with illness or death. Dr Klein is also trained in thought field therapy and regression therapy and has taught and worked internationally. Louise Klein lives in a rural community with her husband and St. Bernard and has a stepdaughter in college in New England.

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