My husband is the love of my life, and we are in the second decade of our marriage. I met him in college, and we decided to tie the knot when we both found stable jobs. My daughter was born in the first year of the marriage, and our younger son joined us two years later. I would describe our relationship as very stable and full of understanding. But, in the last year, I noticed a change in the general atmosphere of our household. Our kids, now aged 9 and 7, don’t seem to need us as much as they used to. Unexpectedly, we found ourselves with a lot more time on our hand we they are at school, because I started working from home recently, and my husband began a new project so he also spends very little time at his office. Now, we both started something new and are spending more time together, but at the same time I feel that we became slightly cooler to each other. No one is to blame, and no one did or said anything problematic, but I am positive the he feels something similar. Unfortunately, we don’t talk about this at all, although at least I would appreciate some support in my new career, and I am pretty sure he is also insecure about his new business task. Physically, I feel the same way around him, but the words are lagging behind. How do I break this verbal deadlock and get back the old, warm atmosphere in our house? Mandy, Charleston County, SC.
This kind of situation is nothing out of the ordinary. You and your husband are just experiencing the power of spoken language and the way it impacts any relationship. If the words are a problem in your marriage, you should use them to sort it out. Words of affirmation can help you in this undertaking.
Express the Love
You describe your marriage in a way that is full of love. The verbal aspect must follow the unspoken one, and you seem like a person who has a lot of love to give. Before you can use words of affirmation, you must feel this love surging through you, and remember why you have chosen this man as your life partner and the father of your children.
Encourage Space, not Emptiness
This part of your life seems like a stressful period, even it is more lucrative or productive than your earlier work engagements. You changed your work dynamic, while your husband got a new project. All this can be a cause of stress. Also, your kids are growing up and changing, which is also a famously turbulent time for most families. Instead of taking stress in your marriage head on, just observe it and let it untangle on its own. If you feel like your husband isn’t in the mood for talking, don’t force a conversation. Words of affirmation that are needed in your marriage must flow naturally and spontaneously. At the same time, the space between you shouldn’t grow infinitely and eventually mutate into emptiness, so keep a check on it.
Words That Offer Support
Words of affirmation have an amazing benefit when they are used properly. It seems like you know, or at least suspect that the pressure coming from the new project is eating at your husband, but that he is having difficulties expressing this. Use words to send encouragement and all the faith you have in him and his abilities. Slowly build an atmosphere of sharing your thoughts, and with them, feelings. Don’t do this in a commanding way and don’t get into a preachy, parent role. Be thoughtful and subtle, but don’t let all those words become locked inside of you.
The Healing Process
Give yourself time, and give the same thing to your husband. As you begin to exchange more thoughts and feelings, the current state of your marriage will start to change. But be mindful that changes may include unpleasant or emotionally tough moments. This is all normal and expected, so don’t be frightened if these situations occur.
Talk and Keep on Talking
You should always communicate in your marriage. This may seem like a shallow remark, but often, it’s easier to just keep quiet. Your task is to keep on talking even when you don’t feel like it. Words of affirmation have to fulfill your lives and stay there, especially in challenging or troubling times. This doesn’t mean they will always come effortlessly, but the words themselves have to be powered by love.
Don’t worry; you have the biggest advantage any wife can have: you genuinely love your husband. With the right way of communicating affection and affirmation, your marriage can soon get back on track with all the love and tenderness you need.