I have been married to a great guy for the past three years, but I feel like the honeymoon is over because my husband won't sleep with me. I have been trying to have a baby and believed he was on board, too. However, his unwillingness to make love has me feeling frustrated, unwanted and inadequate. What should I do? I have a stepson who is residing with us, however I don't feel very maternal with him. He is a great kid, a teenager, respectful to others and generally follows rules. My lack of maternal feelings with him stem from a combination of resentment; he came to live with us less than a year after we got married, and me not having conceived a child of my own. I also sometimes feel left out of decisions concerning him. Please know I do love my husband immensely, but not having sex is a large thing for a woman who is trying to conceive. I'm ready to leave. Please help!
It takes to two to make a baby and a village to raise one, but it seems like both you and your husband are choosing to act as single parents, and it's disconnecting your relationship. You claim you want a baby, but haven't worked through your feelings of resentment for your stepson, or acquired the instincts to help raise him. You may believe that your maternal instincts will automatically kick in with your own child, but your husband is only witnessing how you treat his son. What kind of message do you think you are sending him about the type of mother you will be, if you haven't done the work to accept his son?
Your husband and stepson are aware of your resentment, and since you don't take an active role in raising him, the bond between stepmom and stepson hasn't been established. When you married your husband you accepted that he had a son and chose to take on the role as a parent. You should be a part of the process of raising him. Let your husband know that you want to be included in how you two choose to raise him and that decisions should be made as a couple.
Sex is a very important component to a healthy relationship, and you need to really communicate with your husband to find out why he is choosing to withhold. The pressure to have a baby may be the turnoff, since you're looking at your husband as a 'baby maker' instead of focusing on the pleasures of sexual connection. This can cause stress and pressure on the relationship and can drive him to avoid sex. For the moment, take the baby talk off the table. It's time to approach sex as a means to reconnect physically and emotionally with each other.
Before you can bring a child into a family, you want to make sure that it is a stable and loving household. You can't be concerned with having a baby without taking into account how it is going to effect the other members of the family. What do you need to do in order to prepare your stepson for a new brother or sister? How do you make sure that both children will get the love and attention they need? Are you financially ready to take on this type of responsibility? When the time comes to begin trying, these are the types of questions you should be discussing with your husband. Once you have rekindled some of your emotional intimacy and created a loving home life for your stepson, then broach the subject of bringing another child into your lives.
Rebecca Brody is a relationship coach and columnist in NYC. She hosts www.ImprovDates.com, and works with private clients. Send your questions to Brody@TheLuvCoach.com or visit her at www.TheLuvCoach.com.