DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a stay-at-home father with a son and a daughter. My wife works from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at a law firm and travels frequently on the weekends. I feel my relationship with her is getting weaker, and I can see us drifting apart. I believe that we still love each other and are both committed to our marriage, but we see each other so little that it’s hard to maintain the type of relationship we had before work and kids got in the way. I don't want us to grow further apart and would love a way to redefine a new relationship. How do I do this? -- Stay-at-Home Husband, Dallas
DEAR STAY-AT-HOME HUSBAND: What you are feeling has historically been the feeling of the stay-at-home mom. As you are experiencing, it can seem disconcerting and uncomfortable to be in this position. You love your spouse and family and want nothing more than to remain close during the journey of your lives. This is where clear, compassionate communication comes in. Sit down with your wife and tell her how you are feeling. Better still, show her what she’s missing. Plan a special moment for the two of you where she can feel relaxed and at ease. Do things that remind her of how much you enjoy being in each other’s company. Extend that to moments when the whole family has a blast. Then sit with your wife and remind her of why you love each other. Ask her to carve out time for you and the family because you miss her and want to stay close.
Showing her your love rather than guilting her into spending more time with you should help her to see that the family is worth her focus.