Q: Marriage advice needed 

My marriage of over 20 years is in deep trouble. How do you reconnect with someone you have ZERO intimacy with or seem to have no meaningful relationship with? We go through day-to-day life like we are roommates. We rarely have difficult conversations about our relationship. Issues are avoided and we just go about our day-to-day, but I’m miserable and can’t imagine that he’s not as well. 

He has many wonderful qualities that would be a lot of women’s dreams — he does the majority of the household chores with cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc. But I see other couples clearly in love and I long for that, as there has been no spark for a long time. We do not have sex. We hug and do peck-type kissing when saying goodbye or goodnight. I don’t miss him when he travels for work. 

We will be empty nesters in less than 2 years and I’m dreading having no one to connect with here at the house. There is alcohol abuse on his side that causes friction. His drinking is not a daily issue, but definitely an issue. It’s been addressed, but like everything else, avoid the confrontation. He’s very tight with money and I am quite sure he will not want to spend the money on much-needed counseling. There is a lack of effort on both sides, so I can’t honestly say it’s just him. Any advice on where to begin restoring this relationship is greatly appreciated. If you made it this far, thank you!

A: Hello there,

I can hear from your letter that you are very unhappy in your marriage. I wonder if you have explored the idea of couples therapy or if you have tried it in the past. If your husband is not open to it, I strongly suggest that you get individual therapy for support and processing your feelings and challenges in your marriage. 

While your husband’s drinking is also a concern, he has to be open and willing to address this issue, which is encouraging. Anticipating an empty nest will bring its own set of issues for you to address in therapy as well. 

Even if couples therapy is done, I still recommend individual therapy. Thriveworks even takes insurance, which can make therapy much more affordable if you’re worried about expenses. I hope you find the care you need to restore happiness and contentment back to your life and relationship.


Valerie Proctor, LICSW