Dear Dr. Romance:
Thank you for writing "Lighten Up - Cures for Marital Boredom." Please allow me to give my opinion as to my priorities. I always had the idea to start from the bottom of your list and go upwards. Work together to create a partnership. Sex is important in life, but not number one as to your list. Unless a couple iron out their difficulties, of what ever nature. the problem remains hidden for next time to crop up. If a wife at home works as a maid, then a cook, phones her friends to know news about them, and by 6:30 PM she is off to bed; is this the married life?
It was never my intention, in nearly 40 years together, I received 5 birthday cards, but funny enough, she reminds every one three weeks before her birthday. If she doesn't treat me the same way I treat her, how can we have a smooth life? I never missed her birthday/or apresent. But she asks: How much does it cost? The price is beyond, it's the respect. Perhaps that's what we could afford.
In my bloody country is a craze, about marriage/women beaten. Instead of setting up a helping line, they are infuencing women to leave home. I do not support beating, but, this system is not the solution. Even for the state to pass laws, we must find out why. Why is there no support line for men? Keep giving your good work, perhaps we meet in heaven.
You have to begin wherever you can. Find a way to talk to your wife. She probably has some confused ideas about marriage, but I'm sure she can learn. Ask her what she wants in a husband, besides gifts. That will get a conversation started. Tell her you would like to improve your relationship with her. Ask her to tell you the things she tells her friends, if she will. When she gets the idea that you will listen to her, she'll be more likely to listen to you. Culture is often a problem in every relationship, in every country. We have to work together with our partners to transcend culture and create relationships that work for us, despite the traditions and myths. "Couples Can Cooperate for Success" will explain how you and your wife can work together to be happier. How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free has a lot of excellent information and exercises you can use to open up your communication and begin to work together.