Does your partner still call you sweet nicknames like they used to when you first got married? Or have you gotten to the point of finding no reason to be sweet because, somehow, things have changed, but you can’t pinpoint exactly what?
If you are at the phase in your marriage when you and your partner act more like friends or buddies instead of a romantic couple, you have gotten into what is referred to as the roommate phase of marriage.
What is this roommate phase of marriage and how do you snap out of it? Is it telling of something catastrophic building up that might end up going separate ways?
Let’s learn about this roommate phase and the roommate marriage signs. If you currently have this dilemma or are afraid you’re trekking the route, read on.
Defining the roommate stage of marriage
One of the most romantic stages of married life is the honeymoon stage. You know the feeling like you can’t be far from each other for hours. Plus, you can’t get your hands off each other. And most nights (or days) won’t be complete without romance.
When marriage feels like roommates or the point when you realize the honeymoon’s over, that’s usually when the roommate phase begins.
Therefore, the roommate phase of marriage happens when partners stop perceiving their relationship as something special. It is when couples have gotten too comfortable living together, just like two buddies sharing a living space.
Instead of being interested in one another physically and emotionally, you begin to cohabit in a platonic manner. It feels as if the magic is gone, and the romance has died.
The marriage reaches a state where you no longer care when your partner hasn’t gone home, even if it’s already late. You no longer notice the new haircut, if the change in clothes fits you, or if any of you appreciates the food.
Both of you may have stopped asking about each other’s plans. Your spouse feels like (a) roommate, and they feel the same way about you.
Some people may think it’s better when marriage feels like roommates than a constant warzone. At least you’re living with a friend rather than with a partner who hurts or hurls insulting words at you.
But come to think of it, why did you marry in the first place? Were you looking for a friend or someone who can be romantic and unleash what your heart and lust desire?
For a number of reasons, from couples neglecting to prioritize their relationship to a loss of attraction, the roommate phase can creep in.
Understanding the roommate syndrome
When partners are overly preoccupied with their own interests or have rigorous work schedules, they may cease prioritizing the romantic component of their relationship. At this point, the couples practically become roommates without boundaries or a couple (in a) roommate (state).
Through the days, they help one another when it comes to doing what they think is necessary but have very little room to ensure that their relationship remains strong.
Both individuals in a relationship are satisfied by activities outside of their marriage. These include their careers and hobbies. They may think the relationship is still stable, not realizing that they are already acting like marriage roommates.
Thus, they make compromises to the gradual demise of the marriage. They do what they want to do and put aside the essential aspects of their relationship, including intimacy, which they’ve dismissed.
They haven’t been intimate with one another for too long to the point that they have gotten used to the setup. They have developed roommate syndrome even without intending to and without realizing it.
The hard truth about the roommate phase of marriage
To be brutally honest, the roommate phase of marriage is when two people are still bonded but no longer connected. They stay together because they are married, but things are no longer how it is supposed to be.
You still enjoy each other’s company during the roommate phase of marriage, but sadly, you are no longer in love. You are only staying together because this is what you think is the right thing to do. Or it can also be because no one wants to break the relationship first to avoid hurting one another.
The sad truth about the roommate phase is that it gets hard to find ways how to be happy in a roommate marriage. And it’s harder to leave this stage than to enter it.
Roommate marriage signs to look out for
Have you ever felt like you know all about the roommate phase of marriage just because you’re beginning to see the common roommate marriage signs?
A roommate marriage (leads to) divorce kind of situation is inevitable. No matter how hard it seems to be, understand the marriage roommates signs and act on them before it’s too late:
1. The marriage feels like a burden
There will be no passion or connection between you two if you no longer see reasons why you and your partner should do things together. You will not feel the need to spend more time with your partner, such as walking the dog or doing housework.
2. The roommate phase of marriage lacks intimacy
You’re not having sex. And that is something unusual for married couples. For a marriage to last, it must have intimacy; otherwise, it will deteriorate and fail.
3. You’re no longer seeking affection
When a spouse feels like (a) roommate, you two can stand being together even if you don’t have enough affection for each other. Kissing and holding hands will help keep the flame alive in your relationship. Without showing each other affection, your relationship is just that – marriage roommates.
4. You are often angry at each other
It’s a red flag that you’re letting anger kill the passion in your marriage. It happens when you’re upset with each other over unresolved problems. Know that this is a recipe for catastrophe.
5. You have your own spare time
While it’s good to have your own interests, you should also spend some free time with your significant other to strengthen your relationship. Enjoying the same activities can bring you closer and remind you why you married this person.
But if you have gotten too comfortable at the roommate phase of marriage, it no longer matters if you spend time with your partner or not. You have long stopped wanting the presence of your spouse and caring about the future of your marriage.
6. You’re miserable
You might constantly be seeking answers on how to be happy in a roommate marriage, and you wonder why. It is probably because you can no longer remember the last time you had fun in the marriage.
If it’s too hard to recall the last time you went out on a romantic date or shared a passionate kiss, you may already be losing the connection as a married couple. You get too absorbed with the other facets of life that you lose interest in how your partner is doing.
7. You message each other even when you’re both at home
You’d rather message your partner to ask for an errand or remind them about some things than talk to them face-to-face. This is despite being in the same place or at the house you share.
You’d both rather dismiss thoughts through apps than genuinely chat with each other about your life, dreams, and feelings. You treat each other like you’re living with someone you will split the monthly payments with rather than the person you’ve promised to love and cherish in sickness and health.
8. You’ve got a big crush on someone else
Crushes can occur even if you’re married, and they usually aren’t a major concern until you ignore your partner in favor of your crush. Physical and emotional distance may result from this.
What does this mean? Perhaps you are using your attraction to the other person to assess how you feel about your marriage and relationship. Perhaps you should add more excitement to the marriage.
You have to accept that something is missing from what you have. This marriage feels like roommates, which should be different from how it should be. Diverting your attention to another person will only make matters worse and spread the distance between you and your partner.
9. You avoid conflict
Fighting occasionally might do good for the relationship. They help you resolve problems, clear the air, and allow you to let your thoughts be heard.
When you no longer respond to things that used to upset you, you should consider whether you still care about where your marriage is going.
It can be a good idea to seek help through marriage counseling at this point in your relationship. You are deep into roommate syndrome, and the relationship is in a rut. You have to accept that you need help and get it solved fast.
When you no longer share the same vision about where the marriage is heading, it’s a big sign that you need help. You have to meet in the middle and be on the same page.
For example, you want to build a home, but your partner would rather spend time with friends. Or you want to get promoted at work, and your partner wants to start raising kids. Maybe your ambitions are completely different from your partner’s.
Moreso, you might approach each other more like roommates than as love partners if your objectives don’t align. Please talk about your priorities and how to realign them for both of you.
Married roommates – 10 characteristics
Do you know why the roommate phase of marriage is a problem? This is because it makes both of you feel lonely.
The roommate stage of marriage creates an invisible gap between you and your partner. Thus, you must get out of the roommate phase and look for how to be happy in a roommate marriage.
You have to do it now, or it will be too late.
Do you have roommate syndrome in your marriage? Here are the ten characteristics of a marriage feels like roommates stage:
1. No vision
You live each day as you, please. You no longer care how your decision will affect your partner and vice versa.
Among the most common roommate marriage signs are having no plans for the marriage. You’re unconcerned even when nothing is happening with the relationship.
This is because you don’t care anymore. You may have stopped caring long before you realized you were in the roommate phase of marriage.
2. Not feeling safe in the marriage
The relationship is supposed to be your haven, a home you long to go to whenever you feel scared or down. But this is no longer the case.
You come home to your partner because there is nowhere else to go. But you’re not happy. You cannot share with them the things that excite you or the scary things that happened at work.
They have also stopped sharing details about their day. As days pass, you no longer know much about one another. The day will come when you realize that you’re living with a secretive friend or, worse, a stranger.
3. No more sex
The level of intimacy in your marriage changes over time. From being active, it happens more seldom; if it does, neither of you enjoys it. So you stop doing it, and you feel better without intimacy.
What’s a marriage without sex? It’s like living with a friend sans romance. You’re in a roommate phase wherein you don’t feel it’s right to get intimate with your friend. It feels this way even when you’re living with someone you married and used to be intimate with.
4. Spiritual disconnection
You feel disconnected in many ways, including on a spiritual level. A couple (in a) roommate (state) stops sharing this value. You cease seeing the point of sharing the spiritual bond you used to have.
5. Being complacent
The marriage feels like roommates when it becomes more of a routine than anything else. You live together or maybe do certain things together, not because you enjoy them. You do them because it feels like you are required to.
The relationship has reached the point when it feels stagnant. Nothing is happening; you and your partner are only going with the flow. You may have stopped caring even when you’re going with different flows.
The roommate phase of marriage feels boring. And it becomes sad as you last in it.
6. Being disengaged
If you only look closer into the relationship, you will realize that many things have changed. This is no longer the marriage that you used to be excited about.
You no longer connect with your partner and stop caring even when they don’t tell you about their plans.
The roommate marriage (leads to) divorce if you allow things to go on like you’re with a buddy rather than a romantic partner. You will see no point in continuing with the marriage if you cannot bring back the connection you once shared.
7. The relationship feels like a business
You stay together not because of love or affection for one another. You stay in the relationship because it will be a burden if you leave, even though you have reached the roommate phase of marriage.
Why can’t you leave and find happiness somewhere else? It may be because of a loan you’re still paying for as a couple. Or you may be bound by a contract in the place where you are staying. It can also be because you have nowhere else to go. So you’d rather stay in an unhappy marriage than be in a place where your finances do not feel secure.
8. You’re both too busy
Your spouse feels like (a) roommate when you stop caring why they spend too much time in the office than at home. They also act the same way. During this roommate phase, work becomes your solace. You’d rather spend your time working than be in the same space with a partner you feel nothing for but friendship. As you go on like this at this roommate phase of marriage, both of you become too busy that you no longer have time or make time for each other.
9. The relationship feels like a nervous breakdown
Just thinking about marriage makes you feel burned out. You’re not doing anything to make it prosper, but it feels exhausting.
You get easily tired when you do things you’re not happy about. This is why you feel this way in your marriage. You’re not happy; none of you are.
10. You’d rather ignore the red flags
Both of you may have already known the relationship is in the roommate phase of marriage. But no one wants to bring it up or talk about it.
If you keep ignoring the signs, you will never get out of the roommate phase. You both have to accept that there is a problem that you need to resolve as a pair. That is, if you still want to save what’s left of the marriage.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle Read more in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.
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