Distance in a Marriage Can Create Irreparable Damage in Your Relationship

Distance in a Marriage Can Create Irreparable Damage

Once husband and wife habitually refrain from making physical, verbal, and emotional contact with each other daily, they become used to being physically and/or emotionally distant from their each other.  As a result, being close to their spouse feels awkward and unfamiliar. Once you become used to being apart (emotionally and/or physically detached) from your spouse for long periods of time, trying to reconnect with them is very challenging.

It is very similar to trying to lose weight after spending 10 years of neglecting your body and physical health by eating what you want when you want, and how much you want with no exercise at all.  Both of these are examples of neglect. It is much easier to maintain a healthy weight or BMI than it is trying to lose it once you have gained it. In other words, it is much easier to maintain 160 pounds by making healthy choices daily than it is to go from 160 to 220 pounds, and then try to get back down to 160.  The best choice is to refrain from gaining the weight in the first place.

Reconnect before it’s too late

Similarly, connect with your spouse physically and emotionally daily before it gets to the point where holding hands, hugging, kissing, or cuddling is uncomfortable and awkward.  In most cases once distance has occurred to the extent that you end up living with someone you don’t feel connected to, you are just as lonely as you would be if you were single, you share a home with someone but find yourself in the other room longing to be held and loved, and the door for infidelity and/or divorce is now open.  Imagine being afraid to ask for intimacy, hugs, and closeness from your spouse whom you live with.  Unfortunately, many people don’t know what it means to connect with their spouse daily.  Some think because they struck up a conversation at breakfast about soccer practice or discussed the mortgage they have connected with their spouse.

Reconnect before it's too late

Are you experiencing a growing distance between you and your partner?

Couples who become familiar with distance in their marriage tend to get in the habit of making work their priority. Giving each other a cold and insufficient greeting in passing, and being in their own corners or once they are home for the evening. This means they typically don’t engage in much interaction at home, therefore, going out on dates is almost always nonexistent unless invited out by other couples, or satisfying other obligations for events they are invited to.  While out with other couples these same marriages tend to admire and find themselves jealous of other couples they encounter while out wishing they had the same “seemingly” close connection. If the disconnect has already occurred and you are having trouble reconnecting with your marriage, a counselor can help.

Take these small steps to bridge the gap-

  • Calling your spouse to discuss something other than bills or obligations
  • Sending them special text messages during their work day
  • Telling them you love them regularly
  • Random shoulder and back rubs
  • Sitting next to them with your arm around them or holding their hand
  • Going to sleep and/or waking up in each other’s arms rather than each person starting and ending in their own corner
  • Making them feel as though they are a priority in your busy schedule
  • Sending your spouse flowers or a small gift simply because you are thinking of them rather than because you are fighting, and you are trying to gain forgiveness can also be a great approach to connecting with your spouse
  • Going out together regularly (dinner, movies, a walk, a drive, etc.) is also a great approach

Carmel D. Brown
Counselor, B.A, M.A
Carmel Brown is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). She provides therapy for children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families in Private Practice. She has a B.A. in Administration of Justice and an M.A. in Professional Counseling. She has worked with a variety of populations in a variety of settings over the course of the past 20 years. She worked as a probation and parole officer prior to returning to graduate school for a Masters in counseling.

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