Agony aunt Coleen Nolan gives advice to a reader whose fears her relationship crumbled after they had children – she feels the love is gone but her husband is distraught whenever she talks about separation or divorce
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Dear Coleen, My husband and I have been together for nearly 10 years and have three young children. Our marriage has been struggling for a while, but I feel we’re at rock bottom now and I don’t know if we can save it, which makes me really sad for our kids.
He keeps saying it’s “just a bad patch” and wants to keep going, but I don’t think I can. I feel the love has gone – the sex has definitely gone – and I’m tired of the constant bickering and long periods of not talking to each other.
The sad thing is, we were so in love when we got married and full of hope and excitement for our future.
What advice would you give this reader? Join the discussion in the comment section
We had an amazing sexual chemistry and always had fun together.
I don’t really know where things went wrong, but having children definitely changed things and I got pregnant with our third child very soon after having our second.
My husband is distraught whenever I talk about separation or divorce, but I don’t know what else to do or where to go from here. Is it possible to come back from such a bleak place and make it work? I’d love your opinion.
I think it is possible, but only if you’re both willing to commit to the process, and it sounds as if you’ve all but given up.
I know I harp on a lot about relationship counselling in this column, but I really do believe when you get to this point that it’s worth a shot.
It can be really hard to see things clearly when it’s just the two of you at home, stuck in the same situation and coping with small children. Oddly, I think you can be more honest with each other with a counsellor present and it takes the discussion out of your home environment.
However, therapy takes time and it can be a painful process, but it could help you to see a way forward or at least ease a separation and, if you do split up, you can walk away knowing you did everything you could to save the marriage.
There’s no question that having a young family can put a lot of stress on a relationship. It’s very easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day routine, trying to keep all the plates spinning, so you lose the intimacy you once had.
It takes a lot of effort to keep that romantic connection going in the circumstances, so don’t underestimate the impact of a young family on your relationship when making your decision. Good luck.