She Said, He Said: There’s no mandate to impregnate; have kids when you’re ready, not your parents

Dear Jeff and Lori,

My wife and I are in our early 30s and everyone thinks we should be working on getting pregnant except for me. Our parents are constantly bringing up how much they want grandbabies, and starting to scare my wife about “waiting too long.” She has recently said she’s ready to start trying, but as much as I love her, I’m not sure she’s ready to be a mom. She loves her freedom of coming and going, staying out at night and sleeping in late, and hates doing housework. I’m worried if we have a kid, all the responsibility will fall on me. She says she’ll change when we get pregnant, but I’m not so sure. How do I get everyone to slow down?

Signed, Not Ready to be a Dad

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She Said, He Said: If chemistry is missing, say something, don’t leave them alone in the relationship lab

Dear Jeff and Lori, 

I’ve been dating a woman for a few months. We met at work and had just been friends for a while before we started dating. I wasn’t that attracted to her physically, but she continued to push for more. As time went on, I began to enjoy her company, and it evolved into a relationship. I’m struggling because at this point, I still don’t feel a real spark, and I find myself attracted to other women. I don’t want to hurt her, but am certain there’s not a long-term future for us. Should I just tell her I’m not ready for a serious relationship?

Signed, Looking for the Right Words

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She Said, He Said: Don't let ‘she makes more’ concerns sabotage your relationship

Dear Lori and Jeff, 

My girlfriend and I have been together for about six months and everything seems to be going well except for the discrepancy in our incomes. I’m an artist, truly love what I do and make a reasonable living at it. She makes quite a bit more than I do but still supports me in my chosen profession. The challenge is she likes to travel first-class and eat at expensive restaurants and I just don’t have that in my budget. She is very generous and offers to pay when I can’t, but I’m worried that my financial status isn’t going to be attractive enough to her in the long run.

Signed, Don’t Want a Sugar Momma

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She Said, He Said: Stop dabbling in relationships and start committing

Dear Lori and Jeff,

I can’t seem to find the right guy. I’ve dated some really great men but after about six-months, I realize they aren’t the one. Most of my friends are already married and say that I’m too picky but I know what I want and feel as though I should keep looking until I find it. The only problem is that I feel like I’m running out of time. What should I do?

Signed, Possibly Too Picky

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She Said, He Said: Is she ‘faking’ it? Maybe. But don’t freak out, fellas

Dear Lori and Jeff,

 My girlfriend and I have been together for about two years and most things seem to be going well except that I can’t really tell if she still enjoys having sex with me. I’ve tried to ask her if there are any problems or things she would like me to do differently and she sort of shrugs off my questions by saying that everything’s good. I’m worried she’s resigned herself to the fact that it’s just good enough. My biggest concern is that she may be faking her enjoyment of sex with me. Is this something women do?

 Signed, Questioning What’s Real 

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She Said, He Said: Feeling Closer Together In Long-Distance Relationships

Dear Jeff and Lori, 

I’m a middle-aged, divorced woman and have spent many years searching for Mr. Right. Six months ago I met an amazing man while he was on a business trip. We had instant chemistry, and spent almost every minute together before he had to return home. We’ve managed to see each other twice since then, and talk almost every day. I love him, but have never been in a long distance relationship before. Am I setting myself up for disappointment?

Signed, Miles Apart

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She Said, He Said: Having children has to be for right reasons, not an expectation

Dear Lori and Jeff,

My wife and I have been married for two years and we both expressed ambivalence about having kids when we met and throughout our relationship. For the past several months, my wife has been dropping hints that she’s getting close to moving past her “prime childbearing years” and if we are ever going to have kids, we need to do it soon. I’m surprised by her shift but want to be supportive. I didn’t think I ever wanted kids, but maybe now it’s a compromise I could make. Any suggestions?

Signed, Not Sure About Kids

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She Said, He Said: Working through work, marriage and working together…it can be done

Dear Lori and Jeff

When my husband and I met, I was early in the process of starting my own small business. Recently it had grown to a point where I needed more help, and we decided it would be a good time for him to leave his job and work with me. Our business skill sets and strengths compliment each other well. But working together has been much harder than we ever anticipated. My husband is really smart, but it feels like he forgets that I’m the one that built the business from the ground up. We’ve both become more stubborn and critical of one another, and the tension has started to spill into our marriage. Can partners to be in business together and keep a healthy relationship? 

Signed, Coworker Conundrum

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She Said, He Said: Keeping home fires burning can require a bit of fuel

Dear Lori and Jeff, 

When I started dating my wife I couldn’t keep my hands off her. She was the most attractive woman I’d ever been with and she still looks amazing to me even after six years of marriage and two kids. The problem is that I’m losing interest in having sex with her. I still have strong desires but just not for her. I’m worried that I’ll pursue another woman and screw the whole thing up. What’s wrong with me?

Signed, On the Edge

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She Said, He Said: Tend to your own foundations again after children leave the house

Dear Lori and Jeff, 

My husband and I have been married for over twenty years and our youngest child left for college this past fall. We got along well throughout the years and both feel as though we’re good parents. But now that the kids are out of the house, we don’t know how to interact anymore. We seem to be getting in each other’s way and there is little patience, lots of annoyance and frustration, and we need to find a way to reconnect or we may end up as silver-haired singles. Any thoughts? 

Signed, Empty Nester

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She Said, He Said: Partner-family bonding comes through respectful interaction

Dear Jeff and Lori, 

I grew up with a very close family. My parents are still together and my siblings and I decided to stay in our hometown to be near them and each other. We have a very direct and honest way of being with each other. My wife of two years comes from a small family where everyone is focused on being polite. She recently told me she doesn’t like spending time with my family because, in her experience, they are abrasive and she feels criticized by them. I don’t see it that way. I think they really care and want what’s best for us. How can I get my wife to see that and be able to appreciate my family more? 

Signed, Between A Rock And A Hard Place 

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She Said, He Said: It's Not About The Cookies

Dear Lori and Jeff, 

My wife and I had a great marriage for the first few years. We both wanted children and are blessed with three beautiful kids. They are our world and we are dedicated to being great parents. After our youngest was born, we had a few unforeseen financial issues arise, which have caused both of us to need to work full time. Over the last few years our marriage has increasingly suffered. We have almost no time for just the two of us, and we’re constantly snapping at each other over how to raise the kids. A therapist we saw said we needed to commit to a regular date night, but we really don’t have the time or money, and the idea has just added more stress. Is there anything else we can do, or do we just have to wait it out until the kids are more self-sufficient?

Signed, Missing My Wife

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She Said, He Said: Athletic Pursuits Create Rift

Dear Jeff and Lori, 

My husband and I used to play together outdoors year-round. It was a big part of what initially brought us together. We moved to Aspen a few years ago, and he became much more athletically competitive. I’m really proud of him and love cheering him on, but his need to keep getting stronger and faster has also resulted in me feeling left behind. Hiking, biking, and now skiing has become a battle just to keep up. He keeps pushing me because he doesn’t want to slow down and wait for me. I’ve told him it’s not fun for me to always have to go that hard, but he’s always training for something and not willing to miss the workout. I’m worried if we stay on this path that we’ll keep drifting apart. 

Signed,  Left Behind in the Bowl    

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She Said, He Said: Sex Talk - Just Make An Effort

Dear Lori and Jeff,

My girlfriend and I have been together for four years and the frequent and passionate sex we used to have at the beginning of our relationship has become more routine and happens much less often. I still really enjoy being intimate with her but I often wonder if I’m able to satisfy her in the way she satisfies me. Bottom line is I wonder if she still really enjoys it. Any suggestions?

Signed, Baffled in Bed

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She Said, He Said: New Year 2019

A letter to our readers:

We know, first hand, how easy it is to be swept up in the magic of the new year with festivities, friends and fresh starts. But we’d like to take this opportunity to invite you to sink a little deeper into what this joyous time really provides—opportunities for reflection and reconnection. Much of our work focuses on trying to understand what makes great relationships crumble. Time and time again, we observed complacency as a silent source of erosion. We could write chapters on why—fears, vulnerabilities, resentments, comfort and taking each other for granted are just a few. But for all of us in an intimate relationship, being able to recognize complacency and choosing to love a little more actively is a powerful game changer. 

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She Said, He Said: Help For Couples Drifting Apart

Dear Lori and Jeff,

My wife and I have been together for five years and are starting to drift apart. It doesn’t seem like there are any major issues, but the smaller daily interactions and disagreements are really starting to build up and take a toll on our connection. Sarcasm and snippy comments seem to be the default mode of our communication. Everything looks great from the outside but I don’t want to wait until it’s too late to ask for help. What can I do?

Signed, Drifting Apart

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She Said, He Said: Can a Donkey and an Elephant stay in love?

Dear Lori and Jeff,

We need some advice and tools for learning how to coexist peacefully with diverging political views. We've been married for 27 years, and love each other very much. When we met neither of us was politically inclined, though one of us leaned more conservative and the other more liberal. Over the past few years we've both been paying more attention to what's going on nationally, and our opinions have grown stronger in opposing directions. Sometimes it feels like we don't even know who the other is. How do we keep our marriage strong when it seems our values have become so different?

Signed, Red and Blue

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She Said, He Said: Where's the line between porn and cheating?

Dear Lori and Jeff,

I recently discovered that my husband has been spending a lot of time viewing online porn. I've looked through some of the sites he's been on, but because some have different levels of interaction, I can't tell exactly what he's been up to. I've asked him what he's been doing and why, but he shuts down. There are some things I'm willing to accept, but I don't know where the line gets crossed into cheating. I'm worried because I thought our sex life was pretty good, but neither of us have had much time or energy to connect lately. I want to understand what's going on with him, and where it's reasonable for me to draw the line?

Signed, Where's My Line?

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She Said, He Said: My wife retired and now I don't see her

Dear Jeff and Lori,

My wife retired three months ago. She had a fulfilling career, but felt it had run its course and was ready to begin enjoying life more. Financially, we're in good shape, but I can't stop working for a few more years. I've noticed myself becoming more frustrated and irritated with my wife recently. It seems like all she does is hang out with friends, play tennis and shop, and she doesn't even seem all that happy. I thought after she retired she would want to spend more time with me, and would take up more responsibilities around the house. Now, I'm supporting both of us and she's not really showing up in the marriage. Am I expecting too much?

Signed, Missing My Wife

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She Said, He Said: Cheater at heart, or just getting it out of his system?

Dear Lori and Jeff,

One of my closest friends is getting married, and I'm fairly certain her fiance is cheating on her. We live in a small town, and there have been multiple rumors of him sleeping with other women. There's even talk that he's trying to get what he can before he ties the knot. I've confronted him, and he denies it. I don't believe him. I've tried bringing it up to my friend in both gentle and direct ways, but she is so in love with him that she won't listen. I'm worried she's making a huge mistake by marrying this guy. What else can I do? Is it really possible that if he is cheating now, he'll become faithful when they marry?

Signed, Suspicious Friend

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