Is your spouse disengaged from your marriage?
When one of you disengages from your relationship, the marriage itself stops thriving. In turn, that can cause the other spouse to feel lonely and stuck. Living in this dynamic for years can eventually lead to the end of a marriage.
Does this sound familiar to you? If you’re unsure how to respond, we’ve gathered some suggestions to help you get started.
Signs Your Spouse is Disengaged
First, let’s take a look at some general signs your spouse has disengaged from your relationship.
- Has become withdrawn
- Doesn’t seem to want to work on your relationship
- Won’t engage in difficult conversations to solve problems
- Seems disinterested in spending time with you
- Has developed poor communication habits (or avoids communication completely)
- Spends more time away from home or closed off in another room
- Is unwilling to seek help or join you for couples counselling
Observing these behaviours in your relationship can be heartbreaking. It can make you feel hopeless if it goes on for an extended period of time. You might be desperate for answers and wondering how to turn things around.
If your spouse has indeed become distant, is there anything you can do to improve your marriage?
Get Clarity on Your Marriage
If you sense that your spouse is disengaged, the most loving thing you can do for both of you is to ask for clarity. Ask them how invested they are. A question like this can pose as a wake-up call for your spouse.
Let them know how much you value them and your marriage. It’s possible that your spouse doesn’t realize how much they’ve pulled away from you. When you ask the right questions and bring the issues to the surface, you give them a chance to take a closer look at where they stand.
You might also decide to tell your spouse that you aren’t willing to maintain the status quo. Consider saying something like, “What I need is for both of us to work toward a more fulfilling marriage. I want you on this journey with me.”
Focus on What You Can Do
Even if your spouse isn’t interested in counselling or taking steps to improve your relationship, you can still take action yourself. When just one person in a marriage continues to work toward a healthy dynamic and positive change, that benefits the whole relationship. Your spouse doesn’t have to be directly involved in the work you’re doing for you both to benefit.
Yes, it would be ideal if both of you could get into therapy and work together on the marriage. But let’s say you’re the only one doing the work right now. Even if that’s the case, every step you take toward healing benefits your relationship.
We like to say that your marriage is only as healthy as you are. Regardless of your spouse’s actions, you can continue moving toward healing. Our book, Healthy Me, Healthy Us, is a guide to help you do just that. Take a look and pick up your copy here.