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I Don’t Feel A Connection With My Husband Anymore. What Should I Do?
I recently received correspondence from a wife who told me that she was afraid that she losing feelings of love for her husband. She specifically said that she no longer felt “connected” or “intimate” with him and she suspected that he felt the same way. They weren’t being ugly to one another or fighting or anything like that. But, they were just sort of coexisting without the feeling of togetherness that they used to enjoy.
The wife missed their connection. But honestly, when she looked at him today, she wasn’t sure if she was ever going to be able to get the relationship back. She admitted that she just simply felt “sort of blank” when she looked at him or interacted with him now. The spark was gone. She loved him because he was a great person and father, but she had to wonder if she was “in love with him” anymore.
She wanted to know if I thought it was possible to restore the connectedness between them. And she wanted to know how should she go about making this happen. She felt that she owed it to her family to try to fix this, but she just didn’t know where to start. I’ll tell you some of the insights and suggestions I gave her in the following article.
You Have To Be Proactive To Reestablish The Connection. You Can’t Just Wait And Hope For The Best: When I asked the wife what she had been trying and which of her efforts had been the most successful, there was a definite pause. She had to admit that she was really taking a sort of “wait and see” approach. Things felt awkward and she was reluctant to be the one to step outside of her comfort zone only to have her husband look at her as if she were crazy, or worse, to experience his rejection.
I understand this as my reaction was quite similar. No one wants to be the one to rock the boat. But, the problem with this approach is that if no one is going to make the first move, then you both might be sitting there for quite a while being disappointed and making assumptions that just aren’t true. To ensure that you get what you want and restore the happiness that you deserve, you’re likely going to have to take the initiative. Yes, this may feel vulnerable. And there might be times when you want to retreat. But honestly, retreating is what likely got you here in the first place.
Using Your Knowledge Of Your Husband And Your Relationship To Move Forward And Reconnect Rather Than Continuing On As You Are: As I said, sometimes, you have to be the one to put yourself out there. I realize that many people don’t know where or how to start. However, you really do have more of a road map than you might think. You know how this relationship looked and what characteristics it had when it was most successful.
Often, when I tell people this, they will attempt to turn this around in a negative way. They’ll say things like “well, when we were in love, we were both young and carefree without the responsibilities of real life. You can’t possibly compare our reality then with our reality now.” These points are 100 percent valid. But, they are leaving something out. When things were good, both people were putting in a whole lot of time and effort. Both people were receiving a very positive payoff which ultimately made them feel better about themselves and about how their lives were going.
So, in this way, all of the positive things that are happening in their life become projected onto the relationship. Everything looks shiny and new because we’re seeing it through rose colored glasses. We feel as through finally someone appreciates us, understands us, and brings out the best of us. Unfortunately though, we all know what eventually comes next as the months turn into years and the responsibilities and not so fun things about life begin to pile on.
We begin to have trouble spinning all of the plates in the air. Something has to give. We need to allocate our time a little differently. And, we reason, our spouse knows what we are going through. They know we love them. So we hope that they give us a pass as far as the allocation of time is concerned. But what we often don’t realize is that this omission is going to hurt us as well. A relationship is often only as good as what you put into it. The intensity of the feelings are going to directly relate to the quality of the efforts put in.
The good news though is that you start to restore the allocation of time and the quality of the efforts, the feelings will usually follow. You simply can’t feel connected to someone if you don’t feel like you’re on the same page or that the same things are important to you. And these things can’t happen in a vacuum. They have to be cultivated and encouraged just like everything else.
But, look at it this way. You already know that the both of you are more than capable of being happy together and feeling connected because you have been successful at this in the past. So, now is the time to begin to change the efforts so that the feelings will also change. It’s easy to retreat inward as a means of self protection. But isolation is a sure fire way to feel disconnected.
Giving What You Want To Get: To begin, try to define, as precisely as you can, why you are feeling disconnected. Usually, almost every one has to admit that there is no longer a feeling of “we” or “us.” Many people feel taken for granted and unappreciated. The way around this is usually to begin to provide for your spouse what you yourself want. If you feel that he doesn’t notice what’s important to you, begin to focus what’s important to him.
If you think he’s not affectionate or unappreciative, heap the attention and praise onto him. I know that this sounds backward but it really isn’t. By giving what we want, we’re accomplishing many things. We’re showing our spouse that it’s “safe” to turn our attention towards the relationship, we’re changing up the stagnant culture, and we’re demonstrating what we want.
Often, when you begin to give your spouse the pay off that they want, they will often respond by giving you more of what you want. That cycle of good feelings and projecting on the relationship will continue on. But this time, you’re giving them positive things to project rather than negative ones.
When my husband and I began rearranging our priorities, I did not pay close enough attention and it almost cost me my marriage. I did not understand these principles and I went about addressing this in completely the wrong way. I ignored the obvious and this only drove my husband further away. Thankfully, I soon realized my mistake and decided to approach things from another angle and this eventually worked very well. You can read a very personal story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com/.
Leslie Cane’s blog is at http://isavedmymarriage.com. She enjoys sharing the story of how she saved her own marriage to help others.