TODAY

TODAY   |  April 02, 2013

Relationship 411: Getting back on track after baby

Three relationship experts – Argie Allen of Drexel University, matchmaker Matt Hussey, and psychiatrist Gail Saltz – tackle viewers’ relationship issues, from where to meet quality men to how to get your relationship back on track post-baby.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this morning on "today's relationships" 411, answers to your questions about love, money and marriage. let's meet psych triand "today" contributor gail saltz matt huss ye, author of "get the guy" and r.g. allen, relationship therapist at drexel university . good morning everyone.

>> good morning.

>> good to have this crew with us. we have a lot of questions so we want to get right to it. we begin with tammy in aurora, ohio, she has a question for you on skype . tammy , good morning, what's your question?

>> good morning. my husband and i have four children and for the better part of the last three years we have lived in separate states due to my husband's job relocation and we're only able to see each other on holidays. this adds a lot of stress and financial stress to our relationship. how do we stay connected?

>> r.g., why don't you take this one. they're only seeing each other on the holidays. how do you keep the magic there?

>> a lot of couples are going through this because of the economy and the job market . what i would say to tammy this is the way you connect with your boo, with your honey if you will. remember the old-fashioned letter writing that we don't do anymore, we tend to type or text or whatever? write a letter, maybe once a week or every other week and send it snail mail , not e-mail, because snail mail , you get the better, you can put it in your hope chest when you're missing your partner you can read it. you're reaching out through skype and also have a skype date, have a family time with your partner, and then put the kids to bed and have a skype date, watch a movie, those things and have a way in which you text the way you love your partner so on a day you're thinking about them, it takes only a couple seconds but it goes a whole long way if you're just reaching out with a little pet name that recognizes that love for each other.

>> we got the term boo into our first answer so we're off and running. tammy thanks for your question. e-mail from brezya in las vegas . i'm a 30-year-old woman who has been in a one and a half year relationship with a man who is my best friend . we are truly compatible and he makes me very happy, unfortunately i'm not in love with him. should i continue the relationship in hopes of falling in love or end the relationship and lose a great friendship of hopes of finding love elsewhere?

>> this woman is panicked, feels on one level she's running out of time and another level she might lose her best friend . we're suffering from a case i don't want to lose him but i really don't want him either. you got to be careful in that situation. in that moment there's probably more she wants from him, right. if she's got a friendship i'm sure she wants more than friendship. she wants someone who is going to turn her on, someone who is going to be a man for her, set her world alight. right now he's not doing that. one and a half years you should know but face it, if they've been in a rut, in a pattern there might be ways he could step up. i would say communicate the ways that he can introduce more passion. if she knows he needs to step up, if she knows he needs to take charge more, be more ambitious, whatever it may be, get him to step up in those ways, communicate she needs that. give him a three-month window. you don't have to tell him that but give him a three-month window. if she feels herself become more attracted and passionate, see where it goes. if she doesn't, it's far too early to settle.

>> we'll go to skype , dirk in cincinnati, ohio. good morning, what is your question.

>> good morning, when i met my wife, lori, she had four lovely daughters and that was a little intimidating. i suppose i needed the challenge, but it was love at first sight , we began our marriage with a household full of four girls. we're now approaching our tenth anniversary and our youngest, jadie, is off to college so this is the first time in our relationship that it's just been the two of us. so starting this exciting new phase in our life, what tips can you provide for rejuvenating that initial love that we had and for keeping our romance far into the future?

>> the empty nest . first of all congratulations on launching because that's a big deal and it allows you to be spontaneous now which is fantastic. there are three things you need to think about, mental stimulation, so doing things together that excite you mentally that are interesting that you can talk about, because after having all those kids in the house, couples often grow apart and don't really know each other so well anymore, don't have those kinds of interesting intellectual stimulations and that's key. romance is the second part, again, all the kids in the house you probably stopped holding hands, you probably stopped giving each other little nuzzles, little back rubs, candlelight so introduce those things back in and three, of course is the sexual part, which is very important, and you can be spontaneous, afternoon delight, morning time is great. you don't have kids around, but what you do need to think about as you age is that what sexually works may change. so intercourse isn't everything. yes, i did say that. and what you need to think about you might need to switch it up and that's okay because sex is really about sexually pleasing each other and getting pleasure, and it's okay to make changes in that.

>> dirk, thank you for your question. r.g. allen, matt hussey , dr. gail saltz good thoughts from all of you.