There are moments in nearly any relationship where one might feel a disconnection. It isn’t uncommon, but over a prolonged period of time can lead to an unhappy marriage. Therapists often hear ‘I’m feeling no emotional connection with my husband’ as a major factor that leads to seeking marriage counseling. There are many factors that can cause problems in a relationship and ultimately lead to this feeling of lost connection. While marriage counseling may help couples who are facing problems, the key to a solution is knowing and identifying what those problems are.
What to Do When You’re Feeling No Emotional Connection With Your Husband
One of the biggest problems that therapists report seeing in couples is ineffective communication. The inability for couples to communicate effectively with each other often leads to other difficulties in the relationship. Oftentimes it goes on for so long there is little that therapy can do to help solve the underlying issues.
If you have been harboring these feelings, take a moment to focus on what changed. Ask yourself ‘when did I start feeling no emotional connection with my husband?’ Was there a sudden change that occurred or was it just something that happened gradually over time? Try and think of the last time you felt truly connected to your partner. Was it a time when it was just the two of you or out with friends or a group doing something fun and exciting?
VIDEO : Emotional Disconnection in Marriage / What to Do About It.
Often times it’s a slow, gradual process of emotional distance that ultimately results in losing connection with one another. In fact, you may not have even noticed you were slowly growing apart until it suddenly feels as though the two of you have become mere roommates rather than partners. Take a look at each of your daily habits and compare them from when you were newly married or at the beginning of your relationship.
Sure, over time you grow out of the ‘honeymoon phase’ as you get more comfortable with one another but that level of comfort shouldn’t lead to becoming out of tune with each other. A key to maintaining a strong and healthy marriage is through intimacy. No, we’re not talking about just what goes on in the bedroom, either. Intimacy is much more than that and plays a vital role in marriage on many levels. It’s the closeness you have with someone that you can come to them with your emotional needs. Intimacy builds a strong bond, trust, care, and nurturing between two people.
Signs Emotional Intimacy is Lacking in Your Relationship
‘I’m feeling no emotional connection with my husband’ might be on your mind from lack of emotional intimacy. Here are signs to look for that could be the result of the connection issues you are facing in your relationship.
Feeling Distant – Maybe you can’t pinpoint what it is, but somehow you are feeling distant or isolated from your husband. You may not be spending much time together or talking as much as you used to. You feel as if you can’t get a reading on your partner’s true feelings. A lack of emotional intimacy can lead to this distant feeling between couples and creates the feeling of being out of touch.
Are you sharing common interests and hobbies together? Emotional intimacy between two couples requires balance in your lives and finding things to do together. It’s fine to take up hobbies or new interests that your partner might not share, but if all of your time is spent doing things apart it will create emotional distance.
Lack of Transparency – A solid foundation of emotional intimacy is built on being able to be transparent with one another on how you are feeling. If you are not talking about the emotions you are feeling it can create a disconnection. It can also potentially lead to conflict because when your emotions aren’t expressed frequently with each other it can eventually come out in problematic ways.
You should feel comfortable with your partner and trust in them to be vulnerable and share your emotions. Maybe you’re afraid of having your feelings not be validated by your partner. Try opening up to your spouse by starting with the small things such as the daily anxieties you are facing to see how they respond and encourage them to express their feelings on the matter. Use words like ‘I need’ rather than criticizing or making accusations towards your partner. Express your concerns and emotions with consideration of their feelings.
Maybe the lack of transparency isn’t mutual, but only one of you is sharing. This can make it hard to pinpoint there is a lack of emotional intimacy. If you or your spouse is the one always sharing your emotions while it appears the other only listens it could be a sign that one of you isn’t secure or comfortable with sharing their emotions. Emotional intimacy is a two-way street and requires communication from both of you. This also applies to listening to one another. If only one of you is truly listening to the other it creates emotional distance through lack of empathy and compassion.
Lack of Emotional Support – More than just sharing your emotions with each other, providing emotional support to your partner is a crucial part of maintaining an emotional connection. Do you turn to your partner for advice or to someone else? If one or neither of you are asking the other for help when it is really needed this is an indicator that there is little to no emotional support in the relationship. Your spouse should be the first person you turn to for guidance.
Physical Distance – Emotional distance can also stem from physical distance. Things like hugging, holding hands, or sitting close to one another bring you closer to your partner. Do you and your partner have any physical connection when you are together? Think back to the beginning of your relationship when you stood close to one another, went out on dates together, and embraced each other. These patterns should be continued throughout the life of your relationship, not just in the beginning. Are you truly sharing your lives with one another or are you merely moving through the motions living separate lives? If you aren’t sharing your lives together physically it can be harmful to your relationship and diminishes any emotional connection.
If you are feeling as if intimacy has been lost in your marriage or not feeling an emotional connection with your husband the best place to start in reconnecting is finding the source of the problem. There are many factors that lead to the loss of emotional connection. Crazy work schedules, busy lifestyles, kids, and everyday stresses of life can all contribute to losing touch with one another. Take a moment to contemplate on those things and ask yourself ‘Am I too busy with my own life that I haven’t made time for my spouse?’ Are there family problems or physical/mental health issues that might be behind the emotional distance? When you can narrow down the possible factors that may have contributed to problems in your marriage you can begin to take steps towards amending them.
The Role of Technology on the Lost Connection in Modern Day Relationships
There are many things we have technology to thank for. Advancements have provided great benefits in making our lives easier and have led to growth and improvement in many areas. Social media, for one, has certainly made it easier than ever to connect with friends and family. It may, however, be part of the problem. Think about your use and reliance on technology and take a moment to reflect on this, ‘Could my dependence on technology be the cause of feeling no emotional connection with my husband?’
Technology can either hinder your relationship or add value to your relationship. It’s up to the both of you to make decisions for the benefit of your relationship. What’s the healthy choice? When couples use and engage in technology together it can be beneficial to bring them closer together. For instance, finding a show you both enjoy and recording it to save and watch when the two of you are together is a positive use of technology in relationships.
It becomes a problem and challenges your emotional connection to one another when it replaces your spouse. Social media often promotes a soundboard to seek advice and opinions from others while also expressing yourself. It should not, however, stand in the place of communicating your feelings and emotions with your partner.
Looking at the effect of technology and its connection to relationships takes a deeper look at how our brains are wired. Our mental well-being is dependent on the healthy development of neurons in an environment that is safe and secure. This allows the development of connection patterns over avoidance patterns which foster healthy adult relationships.
As humans, we have four basic needs that must be met from the moment we are born. These include the need for secure attachment, control, enhancing and protection of self-esteem, and the need for pleasure and distress avoidance. The reliance and dependency on technology can challenge these needs leading to dysfunctions in social interactions and brain development.
Of the four basic needs, the most prominent is attachment. Forming the right kind of attachment is important in establishing healthy emotional connections. When you find trust in an attachment figure, you are less likely to experience distress from anxieties than those that are lacking an attachment figure. Looking at the influence of social media and technology affects how we communicate and function in relationships, which can either promote or hinder attachment.
If you were to walk into a restaurant full of people sitting down eating you will more than likely find at least one or more couples who are each looking down at their phones rather than talking to one another. While it’s difficult to determine the status of a healthy relationship based on these observations, it can be inferred that there is some distance between these couples. Being present in a physical sense, but closed-off emotionally creates the ideal environment for loss of emotional intimacy.
The use of mobile phones, computers, and the Internet has had an enormous influence on how we socialize and communicate with one another. We have formed such an attachment to our devices that it feels as though we can’t go a day without them. The problem that leads to a disconnection among couples is when it comes to face-to-face interaction. Are you using technology to engage and interact together or is it being used separately? If you are both lying in bed staring at your own electronic devices every night, this is not an example of using technology together.
Technology can be useful in maintaining a connection to your partner with the right management. When you are apart from each other, for instance, it can provide a means to maintain communication with one another. When you are together focus on being present and open communication face-to-face. Make eye contact while holding a conversation and create boundaries for time together without the distraction or engaging with technology, such as bedtime.
Statistics show that the current divorce rate is nearly 50%! While some may believe a major conflict between couples is what leads to the destruction of a marriage, it’s more likely the result of emotional distance. As we become more reliant on technology and hooked to our electronics we slowly become desensitized to the world around us. It’s hard to effectively connect with someone on an emotional level when you are always staring at a screen. So what can you do to fix it?
Reconnect Emotionally to Your Spouse
To deepen your emotional connection to your spouse a healthy relationship requires connection and securing an attachment to your partner. A healthy attachment is when you value bonding with your partner and have some sense of dependency while still maintaining a sense of self. Knowing when and how to turn towards your spouse for support when you need will help open and create the space you two need.
Contrary to what you might see on TV, reconnecting with your partner emotionally does not require some grand gesture. If you are having problems in your marriage a fancy vacation getaway is not going to fix it. Those emotional connection issues will still be there. It’s the little things that will make all the difference in recreating that connection that has been missing.
Be Intentional. It doesn’t take much, but being intentional with small meaningful actions during the day helps maintain an emotional connection with your husband. It’s usually not intentional that couples ignore their partner’s emotional needs. It usually stems from simple mindlessness, overlooking the little things that might be taken for granted. Little things like asking for help around the house can often be misinterpreted depending on how it’s reciprocated.
Make efforts to be mindful when expressing your needs. If you come off as criticizing their lack of effort they are most likely going to be on the defensive. Likewise, be mindful in your response to their needs. It is proven that couples who work to establish and maintain some form of connection daily have lower divorce rates and lead to a happier marriage. Wish them a good day before leaving for work and take a moment during the day to let them know you are thinking about them.
Rebuild a Physical Connection. It could be something as simple as a quick kiss or hug and I love you every day before parting for work. Holding hands when you are together and sitting close to each other creates a physical connection. Take a moment to share something about your day. Establishing and maintaining these patterns requires a degree of emotional connection that can help in rebuilding what you once had. Small touches when passing by each other or subtle playful advances can keep the romance going in your marriage by actively working towards staying physically connected with each other.
Find Common Ground. At the beginning of any relationship couples typically spend time doing things together that they share interests in. If you have been feeling no emotional connection with your partner it could be time to rediscover things you share in common. Find those hobbies and activities you once shared. Make time to do things together that you both equally enjoy. It can be something simple like creating a puzzle, listening to music, or taking a bike ride around the block. Pick up a new Netflix series or television show you both like and watch it together. Doing things together and compromising on things you might share different interests in can create much-needed space to open up and share your feelings with one another.
Be Present. Sharing your emotions and being vulnerable to each other is one of the fundamental steps towards re-establishing a connection. Likewise, it requires being intentional with each other. Practice listening to one another and hearing the other person’s feelings. Acknowledge their feelings by practicing empathy and compassion so they do not feel invalidated.
Make Time for One Another. It’s easy to get so caught up with everyday life that you forget to make time for your partner. This is especially true for parents. Still, prioritizing your relationship and making time for one another is part of a healthy relationship. Go on dates by setting aside a night for just the two of you to do something fun and different. Ask each other meaningful questions and give honest answers. Continuously taking time to get to know each other on a deeper level is a lifelong dedication. The things you liked and were interested in 5 years ago may have changed and the same can be said for your spouse.
Support Each Other. Don’t be afraid or shy away from asking your partner for advice. Being there for your spouse means not only being open to their feelings and emotions but providing a secure space they can come to for advice. You don’t always have to agree or take their advice on everything but take value in their opinion and express your feelings assertively, yet remain respectful if you feel differently.
Over time any relationship will go through changes as you grow older and evolve. Changes like going from a couple to a family will certainly shake things up and it’s a process that continues as the kids grow older and you go through various life experiences. The key to anything that is worth keeping is that it takes work and a mutual effort. Securing a healthy attachment to your husband requires constant care to maintain that healthy connection. Before you hang up the towel and think there is nothing left in your marriage try to implement these methods and give it time to see if things get better. Don’t be afraid to seek counseling or guidance from a couple’s therapist. An expert may be able to pinpoint problems you didn’t realize that you can work on to reconnect with your partner.
Additional Resources :
- Lessons from a Couples Therapist: Marriage Is Destroyed by Emotional Distance, Not Conflict / PsychCentral