Dear Dr. Norquist:
My husband and I have been married for six years and have three young children. We always had a wonderful relationship, but lately, things seem to be going downhill. We never have any time to be together. I love my children dearly, but sometimes I am at my wit’s end. I feel like the only time I talk to my husband is when I’m saying “I can’t, I am feeding the kids” or “I am doing this or doing that with the kids.” I can tell he is as frustrated as I am. Please don’t suggest a marriage counselor because he won’t go and also a weekend to get away is not possible. Can you recommend anything else?
Dr. Norquist responds:
Perhaps if the two of you engaged in caring for the children’s needs as a team, you both would feel more connected with each other. You created these children as a team, and now are both responsible for caring for their needs. Try to look at this as a long-term team project, and each try to carry at least half of the workload when you are both home. If you can do this, then the two of you can feel uplifted, and supported by each other’s’ effort, as well as by the sense of connection that develops between people working whole-heartedly on the same project. This is a project that should easily capture both of your hearts!
With the demands of three young children you are not going to be as available for him as you used to be. If at all possible, he needs to join you. The time period when the children are young passes quickly. In 4-5 years, your children’s needs will be less time consuming, and it will be easier to find time to be together. For now, try the team approach and then do what you can to set up special evenings out together for the two of you, a couple of times a month.
Check out Dr. Norquist’s new blog GrowingThroughParenting.com
(Dr. Sallie Norquist is a licensed psychologist (NJ #2371) in private practice and is director of Chaitanya Counseling Services, a center for upliftment and enlivenment, in Hoboken.) Dr. Norquist and the staff of Chaitanya invite you to write them at Chaitanya Counseling Services, 51 Newark St., Suite 202, Hoboken, NJ 07030 or www.chaitanyacounseling.com or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions can address various topics, including relationships, life’s stresses, difficulties, mysteries and dilemmas, as well as questions related to managing stress or alternative ways of understanding health-related concerns. 2018 Chaitanya Counseling Services