Archive for April 16th, 2008

April 16, 2008

Two days in one post….

by Rod Smith

“My husband has, in the past, been emotionally immature and unavailable – I survived for years where his priority was work. Things changed when he was retrenched. He seems to have matured, woken up to what is important in life, and these days makes a huge effort to be positive, outgoing, involved with the family and me and helpful around the home. Somewhere my love for him went away and just recently my physical attraction towards him has completely gone. I would rather not divorce. How do I revive love and sexual interest? I just can’t seem to forget the past, and the rejection, abandonment and hurt sits with me all the time. I have an innate distrust of anything he says or does. I have opened up to be badly hurt by him too many times. It seems a very empty way to live to just stick around for money and the kids – and soul-destroying. But I do not know how to move forward. Please help?”

ROD: Please read everything by Joan Anderson (A Year By The Sea, A Walk on The Beach, The Weekend of Your Life) and get busy reconstructing the woman within you. Your re-discovery of love and passion is not, primarily, about your husband.

A psychologist writes…

“I am a psychologist in Westville. I usually agree with your advice and often encourage my clients to read your column. This time, however, I do not agree with your advice to the -in the past- clearly neglected wife (You and Me, 15/4/08). From many years of experience and from my own over 40-year long marriage, I have learned that before you can move on, the wound needs to be acknowledged and attended to by the ‘guilty’ party. That does wonders, then both can read books on relationships, learn to constructively communicate negative feelings, and the relationship usually (if both parties are willing) flourishes!” Anky Willemsen, Westville.

ROD: While acknowledgment of inflicted wounds and attention to those wounds offered by the “guilty” party would be helpful to foster a relationship to recover and flourish, the wife’s determination to learn and to grow is likely to “kick-start” change (desired and undesired) all around. For the woman to consider her growth contingent on the participation of her husband is to make her a victim or hostage once more. The husband could assist hugely in his wife’s recovery of love and passion (of course!) but her growth remains her business.