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JR, M.A.
JR, M.A., Mental Health Professional
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 184
Experience:  I have a master's degree in clinical psychology and am currently finishing my doctoral degree.
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I want 4 practical things to do to improve my failing marriage

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I want 4 practical things to do to improve my failing marriage of 12 years. The only thing holding our marriage together is our 9 year old daughter. We haven't had sex in two years, we sleep in separate beds, she puts me down all the time, and my thoughts are leading me to other means of getting sexual fulfillment. Please help. She won't go to therapy.

Hi Ralph,


I am a psychologist and would be happy to help you with your situation. Please answer these questions first, so that I may better assist you.


What are your ages?


Were things always this bad in your marriage?


When and why did things change in your opinion?


Does she talk down to you in front of your daughter?


Why do you think she stays in the marriage? Is it only for your daughter?


What exactly is it about your wife that made you fall in love with her?



Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I am 50 and my wife is 56

Things were better before we got married, but went downhill since we got married

When she realized she was stuck with me and that I was not the man of her dreams

She only occasionally is derogatory toward me in front of our daughter--not usually

A lot of it is for our daughter and a lot of it is financial--on our salaries we couldn't afford two households. I think she does have some feeling for me and I know I have some feeling for her despite our problems.

I like her sense of humor and her incisive mind and she responded so positively to me when we were dating.

Hi Ralph,


Thank you for getting back to me with the additional information. Unfortunately, there is no easy checklist to a happy marriage. In fact, it takes constant dedication from both persons. However, it is certainly possible to improve your marriage. At this point, I would suggest that you change your own framework for thinking about your marriage. You will not be able to change your wife's attitude...BUT you have the power to change your attitude. I will give you some tips on improving your marriage. In order for these to work, you will have to do them with no expectations of anything in return. So going into this, you need to accept the fact that you may not see immediate returns. In fact, you may have to do this for many months before you notice any change. So here are some tips:


1) As simple as this sounds, your wife wants to be treated like your queen. You need to think of her as your queen. Think back to how she made you feel when you first started dating and embrace that feeling. Let that wonderful positive feeling motivate you to treat her lovingly, even when she disrespects you....which she will. Ignore the disrespect and bombard her with genuine loving compliments. When she seems surprised or thinks you are up to something...JUST KEEP DOING me! Let her see the man that she fell in love with years ago.


2) Write her a letter. You need to sit down and think of all the things you love about your wife. You mentioned her sense of humor. Brainstorm and think of all the things she does well...her work, housekeeping, raising your daughter, etc. Find things that you love about her. I want you to sit down and write all of this down. Women respond well to written expressions of is more meaningful. (Think of Mr. Darcy). Tell her why you love her and why you married her. Let her know that you want to treat her well and that you have failed in many ways. DO NOT blame her!


3) Set up a romantic evening. You need to make a reservation at her favorite restaurant. Plan a romantic evening with you wife after giving her the letter. Tell her that you want to do something special with her because you love her. Have a nice dinner and rent a movie that she enjoys. You can curl up with her on the couch and watch it with her. Have her favorite desert ready in the fridge. Make sure to get her some flowers as well. DO NOT attempt to have sex with her unless she makes the first move. If she suspects that you are trying to get sex, just tell her that you wanted to make her feel special...NO SEX NEEDED. She will find this very attractive. Women need affection without sexual expectation.


4) Start doing more around the house to ease her burden. If you are already doing some stuff, you need to step it up. Make her life easier! You are HER MAN! She needs you to shelter and protect her...even if she won't admit to that. Take care of her a bit! DO NOT expect anything in return. If the dishes are in the sink...go and do it! Do not point out the nice things you are doing...just do it!! She will really appreciate this.


Finally, you just need to hang in there. If you honestly do what I have told you to do...she will eventually melt into your arms again. If she does not, she is ill-willed and will never be able to have a positive relationship with you. Give this a shot for 2 months. Do not matter how she reacts to you. Expect a bad reaction at first...but keep on trying. Show her how much you love her by never quitting. BE HER WARRIOR! Fight for her! You can do it!


If you found this helpful, please click ACCEPT so that I get paid for my work. Bonuses are greatly appreciated if you found my answer worthy. If you have future questions, please request me in the subject line of your question. I would be happy to follow up with you later. Good luck!


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