Couple's Retreat: A comedy centered around four couples who settle into a tropical-island resort to help their ailing relationships. Marriages are so fragile in the early years that any provocation can shatter them, the writer says.

QUESTION: Before we married, my husband was vigilant, passionate and jealous of other men’s interest in me. But now, a year after we wed, he puts work first, is too tired for sex and never compliments me. I’m tempted to respond to a colleague’s flirty overtures to see if it makes my husband more attentive. Should I?

 ANSWER: I certainly would NOT advise flirting with a workmate as a way of jazzing things up.

Marriages are so fragile in the early years that this provocation can shatter them. In the first year, most of us have to learn how to be a wife or husband. It takes years of training. Men need to be taught the vital impact of small romantic gestures, while women need to cut their spouses some slack on minor grumbles.

Calm conversation and coaxing are more effective than dramatic scenes and hectoring. Men don’t tend to relish emotional demands. You need to put them in their comfort zone to reap sexual dividends.

Have you tried to initiate sex with whatever foreplay your spouse most enjoys? It may be trite to say it, but in bed you often have to give to receive.

You also need to identify the reason for his decreased romantic attention. Is he the type who loves the chase and thrives on uncertainty? If so, he could find the status quo of married life boring.

This type of man is deeply insecure and often needs therapy to adapt to matrimony and deal with deep-seated issues. Then there are men who become lazy. They feel they can dispense with all that romantic nonsense after their nuptials.

Your husband’s preoccupation with work, however, does not suggest a slothful man. It sounds to me as if he falls into a third category: the pragmatic male who feels so secure in his marriage that he turns his focus to less resolved areas, such as work.

For his bride, it can feel as if romance has died overnight. By the time she’s notched up 20 years, however, she’ll know these episodes of distraction do not weaken the underlying bond of love and friendship.

Many couples who experience leap over this hurdle. You just need to listen to one another. - Daily Mail