Dear Coleen: I miss passion and regret settling for my reliable hubby

Dear Coleen

I’m a 38-year-old woman, married with two young ­children. While my marriage is OK in that it’s stable and we love and care about each other, and adore our kids, there’s no excitement or passion.

I’m not blaming my husband. We got together when I was 31 and still pretty fresh from an on/off relationship with the love of my life, who provided lots of excitement and passion, but was totally unreliable.

So, I kind of settled for my husband, who’s steady and ­reliable, and nothing like my ex, and we married quite quickly. My biological clock was ticking and I felt this was my chance to have a grown-up ­relationship and a family with someone I could count on.

All my friends were happy in relationships and I suppose I panicked that I was going to miss the boat. Don’t get me wrong, I did love my husband when I married him and still do but, seven years down the line, I’m just not sure it’s enough.

Everything feels mundane and I can’t help thinking what my life would be like if I was still with my ex or with someone else. I feel very guilty about it.

Coleen says

Well, if you were still with your ex, you’d probably be stressed to your eyeballs, living in limbo, feeling insecure and paranoid with low self-esteem, and without your two adorable kids. So, forget about him.

You figured out he wasn’t good for you and that you didn’t want to have a family with him. End of story.

Don’t mistake drama and unreliability for excitement and passion; they’re not the same. I think in some relationships we can become addicted to the drama and it becomes the norm. We get used to it and might even be attracted to it because it’s familiar, but it shouldn’t be normal and it’s a very stressful way to live.

Even the best relationships and marriages require effort to create excitement, passion and romance. But, I bet there was a time when all your husband had to do was look at you and you’d feel excited.

If you love him, then why not put all your energy into reviving the romantic side of things and see where it leads you? He could well be feeling the same and be totally on board with shaking things up. It’s easy to forget you’re a couple when you’ve been together a while and kids are in the mix.

Talk to him about what you’d like from the relationship and, if you try these things and still feel the same, then you can at least be confident you gave it your best shot.

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