Man-to-Man: A confused husband
Vail CO, Colorado
I moved out of the house a month ago after yet another argument with my wife. I’ve been married for seven years. We have a daughter and a son. It’s been a tense and, I guess, lousy marriage for a long time. My wife has said we’re like ships passing in the night, and that she’s tired of the limbo. She’s so protective of the kids that for the past five years I’ve slept in my son’s room while she sleeps with the kids in the master bedroom.
It all started because our kids would throw a fit at bedtime and she just couldn’t take it.
Oh, and we haven’t had sex since, that’s five years! I’m wondering whether anything can be done to fix our marriage.
Out and Down
This is one fine mess you’ve gotten yourself into! First of all, you need to get back into your house and start acting like the man, father and husband I’m sure you’d like to be. Although it may be easy for you to blame her for her over-protectiveness, you have to take full responsibility for accepting the unacceptable: not sleeping with your wife for five years, spending your nights in your son’s room, and not seeking out help and a solution.
There’s an easy fix for getting your little ones to transition into sleeping alone in their rooms. But that time has probably passed. Now it’s time to tell your older children it’s time to sleep in their rooms. Sounds like it’ll be mom who has the hardest time with this transition.
I don’t have enough info to sort through how this whole mess began, but I’m certain you were never the man you wanted to be, nor the man your wife needed. Now it’s up to you to decide whether you want to be that man, and then see whether your wife will fall in love with this new man.
I encourage you to read my book, “Hold On to Your N.U.T.s: The Relationship Manual for Men.” It’ll explain how to silence your little boy and how to take charge of the sex and romance.
Don’t expect overnight results. But once you begin to make changes and become the strong man your wife can depend upon, you just might see this ship begin to turn around. In the meantime, seek out the support of men so you receive the fathering you need as you make your way through these treacherous waters.
I’m a divorced dad with two daughters who live with me. My new girlfriend has a problem with the fact that my ex-wife’s photograph is displayed in our home. I’m not sure what to do?
Dear In Conflict,
You don’t know what to do!? Your primary responsibility is to father your daughters. It’s bad enough the kids have had to deal with the trauma of a divorce, now their feelings and relationship with their mother are under attack by your “girlfriend?”
Your job is to protect and nurture those girls. That needs to be your new N.U.T. ” non-negotiable, unalterable term. Remember, your girls will grow up to seek out men just like their dad. Are you being the example you want to be for your daughters? The pictures stay. If your girlfriend can’t support that decision, show her the door.
Wayne M. Levine, M.A., mentors men to be better men, husbands and fathers.
E-mail your questions to MantoMan@ BetterMen.org. See how you can become a better man at http://www.BetterMen.org.