DEAR ABBY: A decade ago, before my wife and I had children, we were deeply in love with each other. Everything was great in the bedroom and outside. After we had children, my wife did a 180. She’s no longer affectionate with me at all.
We barely hold hands, we never hug, and kissing is prohibited except maybe a kiss before bed. We kiss like it’s an obligation. There’s no touching in our relationship. In the bedroom we used to be more physical and less restrained. I wanted her to be satisfied, without getting more specific. Now, if we are intimate, it’s once a month during the summer and maybe twice a month otherwise. She won’t allow me to touch parts of her body, and she’s physically and emotionally remote.
When I addressed this with her, she informed me that other couples are intimate less frequently than we are. She has let her body go, and doesn’t diet or even try to watch her weight, and I’m concerned for her health because she has become obese. If I try to bring these matters up, she flies into a rage. Abby, am I being selfish? — MISSING THE CLOSENESS
DEAR MISSING: The answer to that question is no. Something has gone radically wrong with your marriage and you have been iced out. Sometimes when children come into the picture, couples “forget” how to be friends and lovers because they are so distracted, tired, etc.
You and your wife need to discuss this in the office of a licensed therapist. If she’s unwilling to do that, have some sessions alone so you can find a way to get through to her or figure out whether you want to continue living in “Siberia” until your children become adults.