Waking groggily, I felt Jane roll toward me and put an arm on my shoulder. Taking this as a cue, I started to kiss her. "Stop!" Jane said as she rolled away.
"You look so cute in the morning," I said, hoping for a response. But she only moved farther away.
"How come you're not interested anymore?" I pleaded.
"It's too early and I'm tired," Jane responded. "Plus this is the only time you seem to notice me anymore."
"It is not!" I said defensively. "I help around the house and try to talk to you every evening."
"You only talk about work," she said. Then added, "And when was the last time you emptied the dishwasher?"
"You always change the subject," I shot back. "I don't know why sex seems like a chore to you. We used to enjoy it!"
"Why don't you go watch TV or get on the computer like you always do!" Jane responded.
I got dressed and angrily left the room. But Jane's accusations were right. I just hated to admit it.
I was the problem
For some time, I'd been gauging my happiness by how things were going physically between Jane and me. And lately, they hadn't been going well. It just took me awhile to realize the problem wasn't Jane. It was me.
When Jane's interest faded, I was too self-absorbed to see that I was to blame. Instead, I became moody, blaming Jane for not living up to our marriage vows. I was too blind to see that I wasn't living up to them. I'd ceased to keep Jane at the center of my life in the things that really mattered—talking regularly, sharing joys and disappointments, and being an equal partner in caring for our children and our home. I was focused on only two things: what was going on at work—and in the bedroom.1