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My husband and I live separate lives, is this normal?

 We still get along but the truth is we are living parallel lives (Photo: iStock)

Hi Chris,

When my husband and I were dating, we spent all our free time together. It was what we enjoyed most, so we would cancel everything else just to be together. We talked every day and constantly phoned each other.

And when we were together, we gave each other our undivided attention. But now that we are married, we ignore each other even when we are in the same room! And we are not together that much anyway.

What with work, golf, aerobics, and socialising? Is this normal? We seem to still be getting along, but the truth is we are living parallel lives, and it is beginning to disturb me. What do you think?

Undivided Attention

Chris says,

Hi, Undivided Attention!

Most married couples tend to neglect each other. This is a grave mistake because the root cause of most break-ups is not infidelity, but inattention. The fact is that you would not even be in a relationship if you had ignored each other on dates. That is still true now that you are a couple.

So you must find time to give each other your undivided attention. Thirty minutes a day is enough. But every single day. It does not work if you only schedule time together at the weekend.

Your couple time does not include watching TV. Or time spent with your relatives, friends or children! Especially your children. That is difficult of course, but most couples do not realise just how much their children intrude on their privacy. You cannot make love when they are around, but children prevent much more than that. They wreck the affectionate and intimate conversations that are crucial between couples.

So send them to bed on time, every day. And get close. Talk affectionately, relax and cuddle. Women usually try for conversation without meeting their husband's needs for sex. Men want sex without meeting their wives' need for affection. Neither approach works well. But if you spend 30 minutes talking and being affectionate just before bedtime, then relaxation and intimacy usually follow. So you are both happy!

But how do you find the time? It is all a question of priorities. Isn't it amazing how a workaholic husband who is always late home can suddenly find time to have an affair?

The reason is that he had the time all along, and could just as easily have spent it with his wife. Then they would still be in love with each other. Instead, he is infatuated with someone else, all because he got his priorities wrong.

The same goes for the time women spend on their work, their children, the salon, and their friends, instead of with their husbands. It is all about priorities.

Being affectionate with each other is more important than anything else you do. It isn't that you do not have the time. You are just using it for something else. You fell in love because you spent time together, and met each other's emotional needs. You stay in love the same way.

All the best,


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