Liz had almost no sex and conversation in her relationship, until she discovered with someone else that things could really be different.

Zeitgeist explores the ups and downs of love in a new series: how the heart sometimes takes new paths. Liz, 32, fell in love with Bob when she saw how caring and patient he was with his children.

Catherine Speicherman

“This is the way he looks at me. Sometimes at a party, we’re both talking on the other side of the room, when suddenly our eyes meet. I’ve never seen the look he had in his eyes with others. Like I’m the only one in the world. With his eyes on me, I feel That I am important and beautiful.

I can’t say I was badly married. My ex had good qualities for building something: calm, caring, and I felt safe with him. When I met him over ten years ago, I had some messy relationships. He was the first to act seriously mature. Exactly what I need next.

He thought everything was fine

My ex-husband was a simple guy and was good at everything. A bit normal. Not like me outgoing, busy, present. I was glad at first that things weren’t too crazy for him, but I thought he did it for me. I never thought it would last forever.

I took personal growth courses and learned: if you want something, you have to work for it. I tried to involve him: How do you see our future? What kind of house do you want to live in next? What trip do you want to take, should we start saving for it? I wanted to work on something together, but loved it along the way. It wasn’t his interest.

We lived separate lives. He did his activities with our children, I did my activities. We all went to bed at different times. He never gave me a spontaneous hug or kiss, at most the routine kiss before bed. We hardly had sex unless I insisted.

In fact, we never spoke. If I wanted to have a serious conversation with him, I prepared carefully: I jotted down what I wanted to say, or rehearsed it with a friend. I felt that I should choose the right words, not because he would go crazy otherwise, but because I would miss the moment and he would head for something else. If I say it right, maybe he’ll understand, and we can change something, I hoped. So I nervously suggested date nights To enter: a “mandatory” evening quality time Together let’s do something fun and talk to each other. But that soon faded away.

I don’t think he realized for long how serious the problem was for me. He went to couples therapy, but forgot to do the tasks assigned to him there. It wasn’t just a priority for him. Meanwhile, I thought it was not possible in a relationship to have deep conversations.

Wow, I thought, who are you?

Everything is different with Bob. I knew him from going out, but fell in love with him when I saw him on the playground with his kids. He had a lot of patience and care: how he hugged and kissed them, he was always there for them when they came to him. Wow, I thought, who are you?

I thought long and hard about whether I really wanted a divorce, or whether Bob was just not a fad just because he gave me the attention I didn’t get at home. But this is not true. Bob is just like me: extroverted, loves unexpected plans, going out together and seeing where we end up.

We’ve been together for three months now, but we get to know each other pretty quickly, because we talk about everything. It’s normal for us to chat for hours and hours, and sometimes I hear myself say the most intense things I would never share so quickly. It takes no effort. He listens, tells his story, and asks questions. If I have something on my mind, he almost notices it before I do. Then he says, “Okay, come on, tell me.” This is very different from someone who still doesn’t realize after three days that you’re ignoring them because you’re angry.

We are working on something, we ask each other: How do you act when you are angry, how do you want me to deal with that? But also: Where will we live? How will you approach our work? He has ambitions, wants to learn more, discover more. He recently wondered, “Do you think it’s okay to live in a houseboat or on a farm?” I don’t know what hit me! ”

The names in this article have been changed for privacy reasons. The real names of the editors are known.

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