Questions from my inbox
As a therapist that covers intimacy and sexuality as the core of my practice, I often get asked some really deep questions. There are times when my inbox is so full of similar questions that it confirms to me that there is more commonality in the subject of Sex & Relationships than one would expect. My intention therefore in sharing these with you, is to enlighten and inform. If you are experiencing an issue, chances are that there is someone else experiencing it too.
My wife has been having some mid life crisis the past seventeen months. We have three awesome kids. I feel that she is lost and wants to walk from being a wife and role model mother that she once was. She has lost all empathy and affection to life and her family. I have read your website and wondered if this is something you have come across before in Couples?
Thank you for reaching out. This is a huge discussion, and without a personal consultation with your wife and the limited information you have shared, I can only offer the following generalization.
There are so many variables that could be impacting your union.
Firstly being a role model mum comes with huge pressure to perform, and maintain.
Hormonal imbalance, depression, lack of chemistry with a partner, isolation from church or community, family or friends, may lead to apathy and melancholy. A desire for wanting more out of life is not unreasonable. She may need space to create something fresh, to release the feeling of stagnation. She could potentially be, being manipulated by an outsider, a friend or lover?
I see couples with issues such as these during my Intimacy Retreats, when one or both lose communication and then loss of connection follows. Some feel that they are no longer seen as a lover or soul mate anymore, and rather only as a mother figure, which holds less attraction for some.
There may be boredom or a curiosity to explore their evolving sexuality or sexual desires, if they haven’t done so previously. For some individuals, it may seem easier to walk away and explore this on their own, especially if they don’t feel safe or willing to explore or experiment within the relationship. I encourage couples to find new ‘out of the box’ ways to connect with each other. As well as encouraging open communication and adding a bit of spice to your life, it is liberating.
Life is too temporary to be fearful. Wouldn’t it be exciting to embrace new experiences together, at least once? And if you both really don’t enjoy the experience at least you can say, we won’t be doing that again, or hell yeah, let’s have more of that!
I suggest you take time to have an honest conversation where you can both hear each other’s perspective without judgement, blame or interruption. Use “I” statements when speaking for yourself.
What does she need to feel safe, loved and validated? Are her love languages being acknowledged? Check in with yourself if you can hold this space for her. It is also important for you to look after yourself too. You can do this by booking in for a Lingam Massage, which I have created for men in similar situations.
If you both decide to allow some freedom to explore away from the marriage, choose the duration, set some boundaries that you are both happy with, and then revisit the conversation after the duration period has ended.
Finally, should you feel that your wife needs a qualified support worker or a medical professional to help with assessing her, visit your GP so that any physical or emotional conditions can be eliminated and referrals made to practitioner’s that can be of assistance.
Best Wishes, Pauline