"Butterflies"

 

Hi Ron,
 
My husband and I have been married for 9 years, together closer to 11. We have dealt with many things over that time, job loss, insecurities, etc. Never have we wavered as far as our love for each other, until now. With each of my pregnancies we have experienced a bit of distance, a feeling of disconnect, especially toward the end. Now that we are expecting our (surprise) fourth child in November, it is in full swing and my husband has told me that he's feeling so disconnected with me that he's actually considered separating. He feels as though he's lost the feeling of "yearning and butterflies" that come along with feeling in love. 


I suppose my question would be is it normal to feel this way at times, especially after close to 10 years of marriage? I always felt like that feeling was something that comes and goes, where the friendship and deeper rooted love is what lasts. I don't know how to help him to see that what he's feeling is normal and we can move past it. As you've been through a separation, maybe you can give some insight. Thank you for your time, 

Alayna

 

Alayna,

‘Butterflies’ are normally associated with the infatuation period of a relationship; that feeling is a purposeful part of the dating and courting phase of our relationship.  As you indicate, long term relationship success is based on deeper love, friendship AND, most of all, on trust and commitment.  Of course, I’m not saying that after 10 (or 50) years we won’t ever feel a deep pleasure for our partner; it certainly should be normal to wake each day with the excitement that we live with that special person God has provided for us.

Your story is painful but not as uncommon as we’d like.  Pregnancy is usually one of the most bonding (and yes, scary) times in marriage; when it instead creates distancing there is some undisclosed issue to be uncovered and resolved.  Knowing as little as I know about your relationship, it would be inappropriate to assume that I know what is going wrong but I will pose a couple of questions: 

- With each child, does your husband claim to get less and less of your attention?  Do you pull back and create some of that distance?
- Does each child seem to represent a new financial burden causing anxiety to build in your husband?
- Is your husband overwhelmed with mounting responsibilities; does he feel inadequate as a parent?  
- Does he feel inadequate with his ability to deal with your emotions?

These are just a few of the questions which should asked by a competent counselor.  Most likely, this is a very solvable problem but don’t delay in seeking help, your marriage and your children (not to mention both you and your husband) are worth a great solution.  

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Ron Kaufmann, MA, CO LPC #11336, EMDR Clinician
National Certified Counselor #267299
AASAT Certified Sexual Recovery Therapist

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