"Does my husband still love me?"
It might seem like a harmless question, but many women are so afraid of the answer that they won't even whisper it to themselves.
Even though you are pretty sure that he does, the mere suggestion that the answer could be 'no' burns into your mind and soon begins to infiltrate everyday life as you start to look for evidence one way or another.
Even if you are brave enough to ask the question out loud, the results can be less than satisfying.
Some men will see a grunted reply (which could be a yes or no depending on the mood) as sufficient, which is fine if that's all you need, but soul-destroying if you wanted to be swept off your feet and told how madly in love with you he is, followed by lavish displays of his true feelings.
Unfortunately, you, like most women, want the latter.
He may not be able to give you what you want to see, hear and feel.
So ensues an argument where neither of you make your point with any success, and both of you walk away dazed and confused, wondering how marital bliss turned to a marital crisis in the blink of an eye.
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We are all different in the way we express emotion.
A small minority of us are exceedingly good at letting people know exactly how we feel, expressing their feelings in a way that is rational and diffuses anxiety, making the world a more peaceful place.
Some people are terrible at expressing themselves, going to enormous lengths to appear to the world as a rock.
Sometimes this is because they feel stronger and see the expression as weakness.
Other times it is used as a self-protection device.
If they do not allow others to see their emotions, they are less likely to be hurt.
Most of us fall somewhere in between, expressing thoughts and feelings in a way that is driven by emotion, which is often seen as irrational at best, but at worst, even the question 'does my husband still love me?' can sound downright hysterical.
Of course, there is no question about his love for you in your husband's mind. He stays with you, sleeps with you, and helps when he can.
These are the ways he shows his love. The very suggestion that he fails to show how much he cares can confuse his mind.
Unfortunately, in your mind, these loving actions are the bare minimum for a housemate, and you need and expect far more than that from a truly happy marriage.
So what do you do? Ask him and fall into the timeless argument or do nothing and let the frustration fester?
If you want to get love from your husband, you need to take the time to find out what love means to him.
For some men, love means sharing and having special moments together as a family.
For others, it may be as simple as a hug and a peck on the cheek.
Maybe he is the type of man who mows the lawn, washes the car, and shaves every morning as a way of showing his affection and respect for you.
If these expressions of love are not understood, he may feel hurt, deprived, and rejected.
Just as you do when he overlooks efforts you make to show him how much you care.
One thing I know for sure is:
Men need to be needed.
It's almost a primal instinct which a relationship coach (James Bauer) calls the Hero Instinct. He's talking about this in his book "His Secret Obsession."
Before you start panicking and looking for ways to get love from your husband, analyze if your husband can express his love and feelings for you in a way that you need.
It may be that his love runs deeper than all the oceans combined, but he doesn't know how to show it.
Maybe he knows what he should do but doesn't have the confidence in his abilities to express his love.
Either way, once you know and understand this, you have the most wonderful opportunity to teach and guide each other.
While this takes time and patience, it also allows you to experience a new intimacy as you learn from each other.
Suddenly you will go from trying to save the marriage to building a fulfilling relationship on a stronger foundation than ever before.
One thing to keep in mind is that one of the universal ways men show their love is physical intimacy.
Once you understand that your husband is really making love to you and not just 'having sex,' it will help you both reach a new level of emotional understanding.
This does not mean that you have to lose your self-respect and dignity to get love from your husband, but know your limits, voice your boundaries, and let him show you how much he cares.
Marriage is about two people working together as a team.
If you want to know if your husband loves you and vice versa, you have to support and understand each other.
Marital problems become a non-issue when you have this deeper understanding between you.
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