Gentlemen,

I've been married for a few months and have run into somewhat of a dilemma. My wife told me that we have "lost the romance." The problem, in my opinion, is that we are both incredibly busy. I work full time during the day and then I am studying for the FE (a general test for engineers to begin the process of becoming a professional engineer). My wife is a full time student. Does anyone have some ideas as to how I can keep the romance alive when it seems like we only get to see each other on the weekends? I want her to know how much I care for her but the time I spend working and studying to provide financially for her doesn't always relay the love that I have for her. Suggestions?

Thank you for your advice.

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Maybe you could keep the romance alive on the weekends.

Leave love notes, or a flower, at other times, or a short call.

Please don't try to 'make time' while you really can't. It doesn't work. It fucked my relationship up (amongst other things). I think you should try to make the time that you do have more special. A friend of mine was pretty much in the same situation and you know what he did?

He started dating again. Yup....he started dating his wife like the old days. Sometimes he would think of some fun dates, sometimes she would. They would see each other maybe one time a week, but it would be memorable. The time they saw each other they had loads to talk about. The sheer excitement of seeing each other, all the things that happened during the week. Sometimes it's really better not to text to much.

Hope you'll make it through!

Finding yourself short on time?  Wait till you have children, reduce the time available that you have now to about 1/20.

Romance, like a marriage, takes two active participants to work. Before you spend any cash on flowers and dinners you should have a talk with your wife about what she means by "lost the romance". You've only been married a few months, that's a rather short period of time for two people to drift apart.

Who does your wife think is to blame? You? Her? Both? Because if she thinks its your fault and your responsibility to fix then you're in trouble. No love letter in the world will save you there. If you need to work on your romance as a couple then both need to be involved.

What did you do that was romantic before marriage? How have your lifestyles changed since marriage? Were there these jobs and classes and tests then? Were you living together?

There is SO MUCH talk about the excitement and happiness of a relationship going away after marriage, if these stresses were in the picture before marriage, I'd chalk it up to pop culture's stupid self-fulfilling prophecies. Not your problem.

Just be sure that your behavior hasn't changed too much since marriage. If there were work and school stresses before marriage, but still "romance," just because you're married doesn't mean the "romance" stops.

A few months?  That's a really quick crash-and-burn.  If you're getting complaints during the honeymoon phase, probably time for a significant course correction.

 

I disagree with a couple of previous responses.  First, you have to make the time whether you think you have the time or not.  If you didn't have the time for a wife, you shouldn't have taken one.  If the marriage is a priority -- which it should be -- the romance has to be a priority.  Second, one person can make a difference in a relationship so long as the other isn't actively working against you.  Changes from one party or the other can right this ship.

 

My suggestion is largely in agreement with Rebekah.  If the romance has died, that implies that it wasn't always dead.  Do whatever it was that romanced her in the first place.  Call or text her a couple of times a day for no other reason than to talk.  Set date nights every couple of weeks. 

 

To feel loved, women need several intentional, non-sexual touches a day (overt displays of affection that are going nowhere).  Make sure she's getting them -- kisses, hugs, touch her hand, her neck, her leg, face ... whatever.  This is very important, and probably part of why the wheels fell off so fast.

 

With regard to sex ... have more, and vary the style and setting.  If you're having all quickies ... don't do that, she'll feel used instead of romanced.  If you're not having any quickies ... have some.  Being sexually spontaneous makes her feel desired.  If you're not having sex at all ... get on it.

 

JB

I appreciate all the comments and am going to try to go out of my way to make sure she knows she is still my priority. I'm lacking in the creativity department and getting ideas from other guys is extremely helpful, and sparks ideas of my own. And weekday date night is a great idea as well as other gestures to show her I'm thinking of her...more ideas welcome...

There was a post on the blog around New Years about writing love notes to your wife.

Here's the link: http://artofmanliness.com/2012/01/03/a-resolution-for-romance-the-5...

I say go for it. Can't hurt, can it?

I still think communication is the key but if you want ideas.

Surprise her with a trip. And I know you are broke so I don't mean Paris. Just plan a day for the two of you. Go for a hike or rent bikes and you make and pack a lunch in advance. The effort you put into making the lunch and planning the day while also surprising her will surely make her feel a bit more romanced.

Don't get too hung-up on being creative.  Creativity can only carry you so far before you're fresh out of ideas.  "Creative" has its moments ... but, the real romance mostly stems more from doing the mundane and day-to-day with her in mind.  It really is the small stuff that counts most.

 

JB

I'm only engaged, and we don't live together. I find the big advantage of our weekly date night is we have to talk, and we have to just talk. No looking at the wedding budget or florist's web sites, and certainly no, "Read you book. I'm going to go do the dishes." Lots of time, we just talk in his car. It's not about the candlelight and white glove service. Mostly, we go out for burgers.

Something else to consider is creating reasons to celebrate. We just had Valentine's. His birthday is in May, and I started to plan that, but then went: "No, before we get to his birthday, I want to do something for [religious feast important to us both] in March." It's easy to come up with an excuse to skip a regular appointment. There's always next time. It's harder to cancel the celebration of X.

FWIW, the wedding-planning magazines agree with me. They recommend doing something to celebrate each thing you do for the first time married - first joint tax return, first joint bank account, first invitation reading "Mr. and Mrs." Depending on your personalities and how hard you look, such events might keep going 'til you've been married about 18 months. We likely won't file jointly during our first year of marriage, for example.

And celebrations don't have to be expensive. For Valentine's we went out to a neighborhood place the Saturday before, and borrowed my parents' cabin. For the religious thing, we're bringing special snacks to book club and going to a free museum. For New Years, we cooked a special dinner. I was annoyed when I realized our special dinner consisted entirely of untested recipes. It could have been a culinary disaster, but it was a good trust-building experience.

My girl gave me a toblerone bar for V-day. It was awesome.

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