Dear Christine, Not Heard in New Haven

Dear Christine,

It seems like every time I ask my wife to do something, like go out for dinner, see a movie, whatever, she says, oh, let’s just stay in.  But when her best friend from high school calls, (a straight friend) she’s like, oh, let’s go out! I’m always invited to go along but I just don’t understand why she doesn’t find that energy when I ask her to do something. Sometimes I don’t really want to tag along but I do because I don’t have anything else to do. 

We’ve talked about it but she says I’m being too sensitive. How can I make a change and get my wife excited about a date night with just me?


Not Heard in New Haven.

Dear Not Heard,
It sounds like you and your wife are in a bit of a rut these days.  One thing I encourage couples I work with is to schedule a date night.  Once a week is usually the goal, but sometimes jobs, having a baby or little children might cause you two to make it a couple of times a month.  The goal of a date night is to recreate the dating stage of your relationship. Take some effort with your appearances, no talking about money, kids, work or household, day-to-day issues.  It’s a time to be romantic, spend fun time together, laughing, talking, eating out, watching a movie, taking a walk, staring into each other’s eyes.  Remember those days?!  It’s important to reserve a regular time to have these dates, scheduled as a priority.  You could alternate who picks what to do or where to go.  You could discuss various ideas you agree to do or try, and then put all of them on slips of paper.  Put the slips into a jar, and come date night, one reaches in and grabs a slip, and you both get to be surprised by what you will now do!  You could even call her up and invite her on the date, like those dating days.  You could text but that doesn’t convey the love and excitement in your voice. 

Maybe she is not so excited about spending time alone together these days.  Making shared time special might help entice her.  Spending time with an old friend is a change of pace, which apparently she enjoys.  I’m glad you feel comfortable to join them.  You may also be a bit sensitive, but your feelings and needs matter.  You need your wife to hear your feelings and needs clearly, even if she doesn’t understand why you feel that way or she doesn’t share your needs or feelings.  It’s ok.  You are different people.  But you have made a commitment to each other and hopefully that is motivating to try to understand how each of you feel and how do negotiate some shared, fun time together. 

Keep in mind that you cannot make your wife or anyone do something.  You need to campaign for this date night and explain what is important to you about it and win her over.  Help her see how these dates will benefit her as well as you.  Good luck.

Christine C Cantrell, PhD
Licensed Psychologist

Christine C. Cantrell, PhD
1026 W. 11 Mile Rd,
Suite C
Royal Oak, MI 48067
248-591-2888Click here to email Christine.

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