5 Ways to Stop Feeling Alone in Your Marriage

The worst type of loneliness is being married but feeling lonelier than when you were single. How do you cope with emotional disconnection in your marriage? Is it possible to reconnect with your husband and rebuild your relationship?

Last week my husband and I went to a couples therapy group session. A marriage counselor counseled a married couple in front of four other couples. I didn’t even know this type of therapy happened; it was incredibly helpful! I am grateful to the counselor and the married couple for being willing to share this experience with us. Here’s what I learned from the lives couples therapy session.

Do you feel emotionally disconnected and alone in your marriage? You are not alone. “We’ve been married for 28 years and I feel like a stranger to my husband,” says Here’s what Gloria says on How to Know if Your Husband Still Loves You. “I share my thoughts, worries, etc and he listens but never responds. It’s like I am forgotten, not important, not worth his attention. How do I fix it when I feel so alone? I have no friends to talk to. My children are adults and have their own issues. I am tired. I can’t fake it any longer. I am trying to find a way out because I don’t think I can overcome the emotional disconnection and walls we’ve built up. How do I feel less alone in my marriage?”

Feeling alone when you have a husband is a more painful type of loneliness than if you’re single, widowed, or divorced. When you’re alone in marriage, you’re constantly reminded of what you’re missing and how your relationship was when you first got married. You know your marriage could be better, you wish you could connect emotionally with your husband…but you don’t know how to rebuild your relationship.

Overcome Emotional Disconnection in Your Marriage
How to Connect Emotionally With Your Husband

The bad new is that there isn’t a magic solution. Reconnecting with your husband requires energy and time. Most importantly it commitment on both your parts. You can’t connect emotionally with a husband who isn’t interested or able to commit to your marriage.

But there is good news! You have more power than you think. You can sit up, take notice of the things you can change, and choose to let go of what you can’t change.

You can live with joy, peace, and freedom – even when you feel alone in your marriage.

How Do You Connect Emotionally With Your Husband?

The couple in the live couples therapy session have been married for six years; the wife is the “pursuer” who wants more emotional connection in their marriage. She wants to feel closer to him, to talk more, and to connect the way they did before they had two children. The husband is the “pursuee” who thinks things are fine the way they are. She feels alone in their marriage; he’d be happy with their relationship if nothing changed. He doesn’t feel the need to connect emotionally, and he very much enjoys the way he spends his time.

According to the couples therapist, this is a very common interaction or “marriage dance” between married couples. So how do you stop the dance and reconnect with your husband?

1. Seek an objective perspective

The couple who participated in the live marriage counseling session didn’t even realize they were doing this common relationship dance. They didn’t know anything about pursuing and being pursued – they just thought they had different opinions about how a marriage should be. It wasn’t until the couples therapist pointed out this dance that they realized what was happening. That’s the beauty of marriage counseling: it can give you an objective, healthy look at your relationship. A counselor can put words to your feelings and give you tools to rebuild your life together.

To stop feeling alone in your marriage, you first need to make sure you understand what’s happening. Why do you feel so disconnected? What do you want your spouse to do? What can you do to improve your marriage? Since you can’t change your spouse…what do you need to change about yourself?

2. Ask your husband if he’s willing to open up emotionally

You can’t overcome emotional disconnection alone. If your spouse isn’t willing or able to meet your needs, then you need to either accept him the way he is or end your marriage. Neither option may seem appealing or easy…but if you want to be happy, then you have to make a choice.

How do you figure out if your spouse wants to participate in your marriage? Ask him to go to marriage counseling or a relationship retreat weekend. Give him a book to read about healthy relationships and emotional connection. You’ll know right away if he’s willing to invest the time and energy needed to build a healthy marriage. Maybe you already know what your husband is and isn’t willing to do.

3. Explore your and his marriage expectations

The live couples counseling session taught me that neither spouse is “right” or “wrong” in how they view or live out marriage. They just have different expectations of what marriage is all about. If you feel alone in your relationship, you might find it helpful to figure out what exactly what you expect from your husband and where your expectations come from.

For example, Gloria knows her husband listens to her, but he doesn’t respond. What sort of response does she want? Why does she need a response? If she can clarify her own needs, she’ll be more likely to communicate them to her husband. And if she’s clear and concise, he’s more likely to listen to her – and perhaps even connect with her emotionally.

4. Stop pursuing your husband (!)

This is a surprising way to cope with emotional disconnection in marriage: the couples counselor told the wife who wanted more emotional connection to stop pursuing her husband. Let him go.

This is incredibly difficult to do, especially for a woman who wants to build a strong, healthy marriage! But, that’s the key to ending the pursuer-pursuee marriage dance. Stop chasing, stop asking, and stop focusing on how alone you feel in your marriage.

The counselor said he’d need about 10 sessions with the couple, to help them create more emotional intimacy. If you’re a pursuer who feels alone in your marriage, you may not be able to stop pursuing and reconnect without the guidance of a counselor who is experienced in marriage therapy. Learning how to love an emotionally unavailable man is a process that can take time and guidance.

5. Get emotionally and spiritually healthy

Nothing and nobody can meet all your emotional needs for connection and intimacy – no matter how great your husband or healthy your marriage. It’s just not possible for another human to be your only source of emotional stability or intimacy. Some women make friends by doing volunteer work, joining book clubs or hiking groups, joining a church or spiritual organization, or taking continuing education classes. Others challenge themselves by pursuing a different career or going back to school.

What makes you a happy, fulfilled woman? It can never be one thing – whether that it’s a man, family, job, possession or body shape. My source of peace, love and joy is the presence of God. The healthier and more grounded I am spiritually, the more open I am to emotional connection in my marriage. If my husband can’t or won’t be emotionally available to me in the ways I need, I’ve developed a relationship with God that fulfills me. It’s incredible – and it’s definitely not just for me! God is for you, too 🙂

Take care of your emotional, spiritual, and social health. Build a strong personal identity as a child of God. Not only is this key for a healthy marriage, it’s crucial for a life of joy and peace.

What do you think? Feel free to share your comments – big and little – below. If your husband is struggling, you may find it helpful to read How Do You Help an Unhappy Husband?


Leave a Reply to Stephanie Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

103 thoughts on “5 Ways to Stop Feeling Alone in Your Marriage”

  1. Wow. This are great tips! I love that you chose to talk about loneliness in marriage because everyone goes through this at some point of their lives.

  2. My husband is not abusive, but he just seems like he is existing. He isn’t making the money he used to make so he is just there. No motivation, no drive, not like the man I used to know when we first fell in love. Do I wait around for him to get back on the wagon, or do I keep it moving? I’ve invested time and money. I put in applications for him to get jobs and go to school. I paid for his school. I’m trying to be there but I just have become too frustrated and TIRED!!”

  3. I am an emotionally unavailable man. I believe it has hurt my wife tremendously. I’ve since learned that I was Emotionally neglected as a child which would explain my lack of emotion. I’m working to improve but I’m afraid it’s too late. My wife gave up and stopped pursuing our relationship nearly 5 years ago. Now it’s my turn to hurt like she did. Time has passed and I no longer feel connected to her at all and I’m not even tempted to try because it fails and hurts every time. Pretty sure we aren’t going to make it once the kids grow up and leave. This is not what I want.

  4. Thank you for the information, it is really helpful. To me it seems my husband is more in his phone most of the time communicating to other people and mostly ladies but not to me. This is what is hurting, because he has a background of not being faithful, so as for now I do not know what is going on. He says he is not involved, but these are just his friends and he seems nothing wrong having almost 95% of all his friends are women. The other thing is sharing porns with these people. This confuses me a lot, as he is claiming also to be a believer in Jesus.

  5. I found an interesting research study that describes how emotional disconnection affects married couples. It’s called “Emotional disconnection disorder threatens marriages, researcher says” — here are a few excerpts from the study. The link to the full article is below.

    Communication can be challenging for any married couple, but a personality trait called alexithymia that keeps people from sharing or even understanding their own emotions can further impede marital bliss. University of Missouri interpersonal communication researchers found when one spouse suffers from alexithymia, the partners can experience loneliness and a lack of intimate communication that lead to poor marital quality.

    “People with alexithymia have trouble relating to others and tend to become uncomfortable during conversations,” says Nick Frye-Cox, a doctoral student in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. “The typical alexithymic person is incredibly stoic. They like to avoid emotional topics and focus more on concrete, objective statements.”

    People who are emotionally disconnected can describe their physiological responses to events, such as sweaty palms or faster heartbeats, but are unable to identify their emotions as sad, happy or angry. In addition, emotionally disconnected people have difficulty discerning the causes of their feelings or explaining variations in their emotions.

    People with alexithymia avoid forming relationships; however, they get married because they still feel the basic human need to belong, which is just as fundamental as the need to eat or sleep, Frye-Cox said.

    “Once they are married, alexithymic people are likely to feel lonely and have difficulty communicating intimately, which appears to be related to lower marital quality,” Frye-Cox said. “People with alexithymia are always weighing the costs and benefits, so they can easily enter and exit relationships. They don’t think others can meet their needs, nor do they try to meet the needs of others.”

    – Emotional disconnection disorder threatens marriages, researcher says

  6. I stopped pursuing my spouse and focused on myself and guess what? He didn’t even notice. Even when I told him that I was going to give him 2 months, he was unphased… it wasn’t until I told him later that night how much trouble our relationship was in that he reacted. But I know deep down inside that it’s too late to save our marriage and getting this off my chest has been liberating, crushing and mind blowing all at once.

  7. So I feel alone in my 23 year marriage. As I look back it’s been this way for awhile… even before we had a child. Our first few years were awesome, but it’s been on a steady decline ever since. I cannot tell you how many times that I have brought issues up for discussion and have either been shut off right then and there or was told things would change and then they never do. Just last year I told my wife we seriously need to work at our relationship… more open and honest communication.. date nights.. etc. It’s been over a year now. We have not set aside time for a date night or anything. I honestly don’t remember the last time that we had sex. It’s been at least one time this year, and just a few times last year. I have stop asking or initiating as I am tired of being rejected by her. The constant rejection has been going on for some time. I’m just tired of it. I feel like a paycheck and a roommate. I don’t feel like a husband. I don’t feel like this is a working marriage. I feel lost. I said that we should see a counselor, and she says we can try on our own first. But we never do anything. We went to a marriage retreat once but have never initiated anything that we learned. Maybe it’s all over. I don’t know. I just feel like I’m stuck.

  8. Not pursuing my husband didn’t work for me. He just wants to be alone! I was involved in everything from play groups to friendships to church activities and committees, small groups, volunteering, etc. and he just stayed home and was happy to be alone while I was kept busy!! He just wants to isolate himself. He didn’t see a problem with our declining intimacy or that he was missing out on all the family fun. What he has to do, is work, which he does and I am grateful. All he WANTS to do is watch TV and play on his phone (to be fair, he does manage the finances and cut the lawn – during season).

  9. This is BANG ON, how my relationship is. Interesting part is, I discovered the pursuer pursuee part on my own, and stepped back to see if and when he would pursue me. It doesn’t really happen. I need daily affection and closeness and a light-hearted interaction with my husband and he’s just tired. He is legitimately tired ! He works hard. But he is the guy who walks behind me, stands behind the group, doesn’t openly share affection with me. Everything with him is like pulling teeth ! I’m so tired of begging for attention, affection, a laugh, a comfortable way of relating. Now, I’m trying to accept that this is just how it will be. But it makes me sad. He says nothing is wrong, he loves me to bits, etc…but if I don’t feel it, is it really there?

      1. literally the same situation. I am pulling my hair out I don’t know what to do. I know he loves me so much he does everything for us but I am to the point I just don’t want to be touched or anything because no matter how many times he says “I will try” to give more affection he never does. For me to want to be intimate I need an emotional and physical connection OUTSIDE of the bedroom! I try loving him the way he loves (acts of service), loving him the way I need, talking, fighting, anything and everything and nothing changes. I love him so much and he is my bestfriend but I am vibrant and fun and deserve to be shown some affection. I am only 30! We have been together 13 years and this has always been an issue so like he told me the other day “I can’t change him” I just don’t know what to do. I don’t want to split up our family but damn…

  10. I’ve read many marriage articles, but this one really help me to actually understand in a way I was not able to before . I am thankful! Also I’ve read the book Love and Respect but somehow along the way I realize I have become mostly focused on the hurtful things said in his anger and my desperation, AND the loneliness that seems to be all consuming that I had forgotten the “respect” aspect for men. My husband tells me often he feels disrespected even though that’s not my intentions and I myself often feel disrespected by him but more than that I feel unloved. After reading article I wonder if I am somehow coming off on some way or another as not respecting him. Tonight I’m going to prep my husbands coffee pot for in the morning and leave him a note on the bathroom mirror that says ” I respect you” ❤ it may or may not help us to begin to reconnect and I’m still very hurt right now but the words and the perspective I got from this article gives me hope and I’m willing to try. After all my husband is worth it!!! Ill also be re reading love and respect. Hopefully with my husband!

  11. The feeling alone in my marriage is the worst feeling by far. But the advice of putting me first is very inspiring to constantly reach out to someone and get the blow off is very hurtful. I am a believer in God and I do believe that I can rise above this and be better as a person, woman, mother etc..I will no longer be to this person who doesn’t recognize what a gem I am to them. I am a survivor. God first, me ,kids and husband where ever he finally catch up to.

  12. Reading this definitely supports the direction and behavior changes that I have made and need to continue to make… I have been married for 14 years. I have two young children 12 and 3. My spouse and I have been on a steady decline in the amount of time we spend together and the decline in intimacy has been occurring for more than half of our marriage. I have experienced periods up to 18 months with no sex or intimacy of any kind… The last 3 years have been the worst. We spend very little time together and with 2 kids (I should add the 12 year old has CP and requires assistance with all Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)) our lack in time together has gotten progressively worse as the 3 year old is very active and mobile where the 12 year old was not… Keeping up with them both is very time consuming and exhausting. When my spouse has time to spend with me he instead chooses to spend time on his hobby. The other common occurrence as it relates to the lack of time together is the lack of time we spend together as a family. My spouse feels this need to always spend ‘free’ time with his family. I am fine with doing this on occassion but I want and have shared a desire to do more with just us and the kids. I have spent every year for the last 13 years on a winter vacation with his Mother and stepdad and of this same 13 years we (us and kids) have spent 2 weeks each summer again with his Mother. I am done with the “family” vacations and want to make memories with our family….. I have gotten to the point I will maybe attend 1-2 family events a year. I feel I have more than accommodated a need to spend time with his family. Now if he spends time with his family he takes our 3 year old son while my 12 daughter and I stay home or do our own thing… again resulting in less time together. My spouse has shared his feelings that there is nothing wrong with our marriage with the exception of the lack in intimacy. Where I feel my behavior is finally starting to make a change is in being the pursuer and arguing/fighting over the time he spends on his hobby. The constant calling out the lack of intimacy has done nothing and I have finally gotten to the point where I do not ask for it, or bring up the topic. The behavior and thoughts I NEED to change are those related to the toxic thought patterns. I journal alot as I can’t share these toxic feeling with him and my close friends have become more distant as they have growing families and career commitments. I find MANY examples in my journals of these toxic thoughts. I need to find a way to cope with them and turn them around. I feel like I dwell on these thoughts vs getting back to what is important to me and makes me happy. I am sure many can relate to having kids and a career and you feel like “you” have disappeared. There is little time to exercise, or meet with friends, or do much of anything you used to enjoy. At least this is how I feel and I strongly believe that in part I am doing this to myself. It has affected my relationship and is affecting my health with depression, obesity, increased stress, etc. I am definitely experiencing some self awareness in that I can see the cycle and my role in the cycle of complaining about our lack of time together, and intimacy. This results in a huge blow out fight or the silent treatment, which in turn makes me feel alone and unhappy. My coping mechanism is food which has resulted in obesity and elevated BP. After a few days or a week things calm down and get back to a status quo until some trigger sets of the next cycle. I feel the need to somehow turn the corner to just make a conscious choice to STOP focusing on the toxicity of the situation and refocus my energy to allow myself some “me” time and to implement some action or activity or something when I have or start to have these toxic thoughts which lead to some triggering event. I am frustrated and feeling resentment towards my spouse due to this disconnection but focusing on this has done nothing to improve it. I can so appreciate the comments on focusing on myself. I am a believer in that a happier and more fulfilled person is more attractive. During the earlier part of our marriage and shortly after the 12 year old was born I went back to school to switch careers. This made me feel great about myself in accomplishing a 2nd degree in a new field and doing this while still working full time and taking care of my little one… I felt much happier in our marriage during those years.
    Final comments. I absolutely feel that pursuing my spouse has resulted in zero gain or improvement in our relationship. I can not change him but can only control and change how I react to him or the situation. I can only control me. I do feel refocusing on me and my kids vs the negativity of my marriage is the way to go… I am looking forward to reading the recommended book to work on my toxic thoughts.

    1. Michelle,

      Your words were almost like they were coming straight from my heart. We have been married for four years, We do not have any children, but my spouse is very distracted and emotionally distant. My father died on expectedly a month after we were married, and we immediately went into survival mode. The pattern of making up because I’m desperate to feel loved, then a fight leading to the silent treatment for several days is exhausting. I am so alone and he seems to have no desire to be close with me. I feel like When I give him sex or something to give into him, he gets what he needs and then is good for a long time without any emotional intimacy. I’m getting to the point of emotional numbness and thinking maybe divorce is the best thing. I’m sorry you are going through this too.

    2. Hi Michelle, I totally understand your concerns and pain. As I too am dealing with the same thing. I would love e to be your friend.

      1. It was hard for me to even search for an article related to being married and feeling alone! Sure, this happened while dating a few times and it was easy to recognize the issue, and then move on. Now of course, I’ve been married for 7 years and have one 4 year old and two other step kids. Things were going great for several years and then within the last year or so, things have changed. One thing I have noticed is that there aren’t a lot of men writing these articles, it’s mainly women. Even the professional ones refer to “try this on him.” Just a little background. My wife is 7 years younger than I am (I’m 42) and we work at the same location, in the same industry. We are both type “A” personalities and she isn’t your typical woman/wife. She likes guns, not flowers (as much), or the typical things that most women like. Everyone loves her at work, guys flirt with her because she is beautiful on the outside and is good at what she does. She is a good mom, but very controlling, as I can be sometimes. I have an extremely high sex drive and our sex life has gone down the tubes. The first few years, we seemed to be in sink and there weren’t any issues with sex. She would dress up, or look sexy in the bedroom, which went on for years, even with kids and being tired. Then she was dressing sexy at work, coming home and looking like my grandmother. I also noticed that she was talking to several men at work, more so than her job required. I don’t believe there were meets, or anything other than the same guy in her office when I would pass by. I can’t say for sure there wasn’t a texting frenzy going on, but when I called her on it and gave her an out, she assured me it was work related. The bottom line is, we have pretty much stopped having sex and a hobby isn’t going to solve this issue. Neither will hanging out with friends more. When I spoke to her about this, she says I never initiate. Has anyone heard this excuse? So, women should never initiate? In the previous article, some poor woman was writing how she was initiating but wasn’t getting attention from her husband. God bless her. My wife uses the excuse that it’s my job, all the time basically. Then I realized that the issue was situational ethics. I’ve also heard that I don’t do anything to get her in the mood, I.E. long massage or similar. Let me assure you, this was never an issue early on with us. How do sexually active people get married and someone or both no longer care for sex anymore, short of medical issues and/or age? I’m older and have a high sex drive! I can tell you that my hat is off to the woman that journal, or find ways to improve things. without cheating I also get why people cheat on each other. Were currently on a trip with her parents and the kids. Essentially, the day consists of me driving everyone, holding all the bags, paying etc. There is no hand holding, no kissing and no sex later. What the hell? I feel like I’m being used as I write this. I almost feel like she’s content with how things are. When I bring up my feelings, I’m just being needy and she gets mad at me. Thanks for whatever you can offer…

        1. How are things going Joshua? Since it’s been a year I thought I would see if you tried anything new or had any changes? Thanks…

          This sh8t is hard. Why do people get married again? 😆

        2. This sounds familiar. My husband was my emotional rock in the beginning then being married for a year things slowed down. He is more focused on his job as a loss prevention person.and starting his own side business. Makes friendships with people at work. Is emotionally there for girls at work. He says they make him feel needed. I keep trying and pursuing but it goes no where. It just leads to a fight. I have stepped back and stopped pursuing at times and he will usually come back around and warm back up to me. We hardly see each other as I work all day and he works nights. And when we are home together he says we see each other all the time when I tell him we need to spend time just the two of us. Or just rolls his eyes. I know he loves me but feeling alone isn’t worth it sometimes.

  13. Dear Vig,

    Reconnecting emotionally and physically with your husband is only possible if he is willing to reach out to you. You can’t rebuild your marriage by yourself, because it really does take two partners to create a strong and healthy relationship.

    All you can do is get as spiritually and emotionally healthy as possible – which is one of my tips on how to deal with emotional disconnection in marriage! You only have control over yourself, and the only person you can change is you.

    Here are a few questions for you:

    What is your goal for your marriage, and how can you start reaching towards that goal today?
    What do you think your husband wants from your marriage?
    What are your options for reconnecting with your husband?
    How would you feel about letting go of what you want from your marriage, and accepting your husband the way he is?

    Take time to think about these questions, and find the answers that are in your heart. You know your marriage and your husband better than anyone…what do you think the possibilities are for your future?

  14. Hi,

    i have been married jus one year. To start of the note i was not interested in this marriage but after marriage i couldnt think of being selfish with my likes/dislike. Before i start of my life with my hubby i make sure to let him know about this and before i start up my Happy married life.i did tell him that i wasnt interesed in hooking up with him but right now i just need some time. but within few days hardly a week passed i have fallen for him completely

    We started our life happily like every other couple but there were lot of communication gaps.My hubby doesnt like to talk much , he hardly initate ny conversation.

    As days passed i realised that he has been lonely throughout his life , he passed his time with palying games on mobile and laptop without human interaction which sounded really annoying to me. He doesnt have friends too. in this one year i know that he get along with one of his friend and they both doesnt share anything apart from office,cricket, TV shows and Movie (he is yet to be married) and games.

    i lived in a join family with my in laws and gone thru terrible days, there were many instance that i have been humilated but my husband showed no interest to console or convence me. He jused to go to bed as if nothing had happen. Slowly this behaviour of him has bother and due to various downs happen in my intial days the trust has been broken.

    Right now we both stay apart from his parents but since the day we moved out , days are going like Hell.He torture me but not talking, shifted to a different room. Though we are in the same home he doesnt think am a living human roaming around. He ignores me completly to the core. He doesnt reply nor atleast respond that he is listening , He ignores me completely.
    i have a Strong feeling that the broken heart and trust can never be back, though he has ditched me i still try to make our relationship better but he doesnt give me a hand to walk along .He doesnt care, Love or have any emotions towards me

    Please Advise.

  15. I have been with my wife 15 yrs, married 10, we have been best friends since we were 17, we used to have a lot of fun together in and out of the bedroom. She likes to tell me that her friends think I’m an amazing husband and father to our two amazing son’s. (these words very rarely come from her perspective) I feel so disconnected from her, I help out around the house, cooking, cleaning, gardening, bathtime, bedtime with the kids, (I have an awesome relationship with my sons) I massage her feet when we are watching tv, tickle her back when we are lying in bed, bring home flowers, she knows she can talk to me whenever, i ask if she wants my help or just be a listening ear, I don’t get it, every time we have a chance be intimate, she’s either, tired (like I’m not) has too much on her mind (that she doesn’t want to talk about) or worse, says somethong ‘romantic’ like “alright, get on top of me” or “I suppose you want sex” I love her with all my heart, but this is breaking it. I have tried talking to her about my feelings multiple times, she doesn’t listen or seem to care.

    1. Lonely hubby it seems your wife lost interest because your the perfect guy. Some women don’t like all that attention they feel men are wimps when they are so emotional about there feelings. On the other hand I would love a husband like that my husband is like your wife. Stop trying so hard and pull back some. She knows you are there for her every waking minute she has to get a jolt by you not being there all the time for her. It’s will be hard but trust me I did it with my husband and it worked. I know you will be going against you grain but stop running after her because she knows you are always there for her. It’s when they realize ” wait why is he not chasing me”. Than watch the table turn you do what she is doing to you and show you don’t care you can take it or leave it. She is going to be chasing you and the ball will be in your court. It works I did it with my husband . It feels good he has to do the chasing now. you always have to keep people like them on there toes or they will just walk all over the person giving them attention. Let me know how it worked out. Email me cathysunshine1@icloud.com. 😉

    2. Dear Lonely Hubby,
      I know what your problem is since we’ve lived the exact same life. Let me tell you what I found about my/our type of relationship…
      You may be a fantastic person and a great husband but you sir, are a DOORMAT. The very moment you let her walk all over you and your feelings the very first time was the day you unknowing tattooed “WELCOME” across your forehead. You let her know in that one instant what her so-called limit was. Every instance from then on, she has manipulated YOU to fit her lifestyle and in that instant your lament began.
      So you ask “How can I take back the power I’ve given her over all our lives”? Well, you can’t… not without being ready to toss the whole relationship. The second you say “Enough!” is the second you become the raving bastard husband. At least that is how she will treat you and that is how she will retell it to anyone who will listen to her twisted tale of sainthood. Unless SHE is willing to apologize honestly for her treatment of you and agree to change her ways, you are headed to divorce court. No matter how long she drags it out pretending to change, if it’s not genuine, she will just be gathering all the receipts, bills of sale, converting cash, etc until the time comes to slap you into the floor with divorce papers. Few women possess the will to change as they have been primed from birth to be right, to be the fairest of all (get the picture?). Only you can gage the earnestness of her self-rehabilitation but be prepared for the worst since that is the most common course of action.
      I wish I could paint a rosy picture but I’d rather draw you to the truth.
      Best of luck regardless.

    3. Either she’s suffering from a hormonal change that has left her completely disinterested…. or you’re getting bad at sex. Before you start telling yourself she always liked it before and not so gently hinting she talk to her Gyno, give some serious thought to your love making.

      Because she’s telling you that she suffering through it. It’s obvious by the way she’s said she doesn’t want to do it and makes bad jokes about getting it over with. That is not how anyone should feel about sex.

      Ask yourself how often you touch her in flirting ways without the goal being get tab A into slot B. Sex starts way before the bedroom. Holding hands, cuddling. A quick smooch in the car or the elevator without it being about sex right now makes your spouse feel desired.

      Many women feel like their husband just wants to stick it in and get off, unfortunately many women can’t get off that way. Even if they were able to in their youth. Men are visual. See a boob, ready to go. Women often need to feel like it’s specifically them that is wanted, not just sex in general. How often do you have sex and she doesn’t get to orgasm? How often – if ever – does the reverse happen?

      It doesn’t make you a bad husband or person, the focus of sex in media and porn is 98% focused on the guy’s pleasure. The whole point is his orgasm. After the early flush of wanting each other all the time and the grind of daily obligations sometimes you have to actually form a habit to show your spouse you are attracted to them. Unless you aren’t, but that is a completely different issue to address.

      If you examine your relationship and genuinely can’t see any of the above being the issue, suggest she speak to her doctor regarding her lack of energy and interest. Particularly if you see that she’s feeling this apathy in multiple areas of her life. Depression and hormonal imbalances creep in on us and sometimes we don’t see it’s a problem until we’ve discussed how we are feeling with a professional.

      Anyway, TL;DR point is that many people are very angry at their spouses here and foisting their very negative opinions and feelings on your wife. Only you know, somewhere in your heart, whether this is a thing born from lack of investment in your sex life or true bitterness and resentment in multiple areas of your marriage. If it’s looking more like the latter, you owe it to yourself to be frank and tell her you don’t want to see the marriage fail and you expect her to seek counseling with you. You don’t deserve to have a spouse who barely tolerates your sex life either. Good luck to you!

  16. Sometimes marriages go through ups and downs, which are normal and even healthy. We pull away and then (hopefully) come back together. Hopefully, hopefully! Emotional disconnection feels painful and lonely, but even the best marriages experience it.

    Here’s an article I wrote today, which you might find helpful:

    How to Save an Unhappy Marriage Without Couples Counseling

    I think the bottom line is that we need to get as emotionally and spiritually healthy as possible. We need to find happiness and connection in as many ways as possible, and not rely on our husbands for all our emotional needs.

    The trouble, of course, is finding time to do that amidst the business of everyday life!

  17. I tried to stop pursuing my husband and he didn’t notice. I made other friends and this led to me having an affair. Here’s what I noticed. He doesn’t want to spend time with me. He likes being disconnected and doesn’t see a need to change. All this is saying is that I need to change my expectations. I’m tired of always being the one who has to change. I have to bend. My needs are unfulfilled. Why on earth would anyone stay is this nonsense? Oh yeah. Children. Don’t want to screw up there. I really wish I had chosen more carefully.

    1. yeah, i have a female friend in the same situation, except she only had an emotional affair (as far as I know). Staying for the kids isn’t healthy either. They see and feel the disconnect and tension, it works on them. Eventually, you and the husbands attitude will rub off on the kids and you will all be miserable. I see it with my friend and actually have stopped communicating with her, because that drama is toxic and I don’t even live in the house hold…

      1. I know this is old as dirt but thought I would chime in as a kid of two divorced parents that stayed together for my sake.

        Maybe parents think they are good at hiding it but eventually I did just feel the tension, especially in high school. It kinda initially warped my idea of what a healthy relationship was. I never saw my parents go on dates or laugh together or cuddle. I definitely thought it was normal for the husband to sleep on the couch (my dad did for 8+ years). They divorced within months of my high school gradutation. My dad admitted to staying together for us and it just stung after the fact.

        I have no perspective as far as kids that dealt with divorced parents pre-adulthood. But really, I can only imagine you are better and more pleasant people when you are happy and not full of regret.

  18. I have only been with my husband for 8 years. Our relationship has been healthy and strong up until a little over a year and a half ago. We both wanted another child so two month’s later bam. Troughout the pregnancy the baby and my health plus my five year old were my main concern. Around my due date I noticed that he stated to pull a way. Let me just say that I have always been confident but ever scene this started I have been a mess. Not only did I just have a baby and gained 60lbs but I feel like my marriage is going down the pooper. I tell him that our relationship has changed and he feels it hasn’t. I feel so alone. I am a stay at home mom, not many friends, and I have my children literally 24/7 I even home school our 6 year old. My husband was coming home not talking much and then passing out. After a month or so of this I confronted him about a coworker and how I am sure that they were having an emotional affair (she was confining in him about everything and he was always mentioning her in every conversation) he stopped talking to her and we actually have been communicating more. But because of the distrust from the emotional thing with his coworker and gaining weight I have become obsessed with our relationship. I obsess about him cheating and when I confront and push for him to tell me anything it starts arguments. I keep pushing to make things the way they were but it just feels like we will never be the same. I love my husband and my little family so much and I just want it to work but after confronting and nagging and just becoming this person that I don’t want to be that i have never been. I need to disconnect, I need to find myself and its so hard when my life has become wrapped up in him and our children. I am doing one thing for myself by going to school so I am trying to do what you suggested.

    1. Melissa,
      First off, things ALL changed for your husband when you birthed your second child. You changed, and that caused emotional disconnection in your marriage. If you want things to be the same as they were, then take a look at what has changed and how it changed. 60lbs of baby fat can be lost easily in under a year if it is your priority. Sadly, we all want to look like we are still 21 and it gets harder to do so every year that passes. Buy some workout equip and/or join a gym. I say buy because you can use it at home and watch your kids. If he’s gained weight too, see if you can include him in the transformation!

  19. hey there lonely friends,

    If you don’t have any kids in the relationship, get out and stop wasting your time. You could have 3 short great relationships in your your life instead of the one long sad one. We have to stop thinking that life with one relationship is the only way. It’s not a fairytale for everyone and enjoy relationships and the connection you get from them while it’s there. Then move on if all that is worth while has passed. Kids make it hard because they deserve both parents. But you don’t have to stay once they are grown. I’m ready to move on as soon as life allows me.

  20. Overall good information but it would seem that all the literature pegs the man as being emotionally distant and not wanting to grow together emotionally or improve the relation. It is a diservice to men that want to connect on a deeper level but are stymied by the women they love.

  21. I’ve made myself busy, I’m back at the university, in a Christian sorority, taking piano and vocal class, a zumba instructor, have my own cpr business, work and manage 2 different dental offices, have twin 13 yr old I take care of love and share us today of. I have my own bible study I teach bible study and I still feel alone, disconnected and no true friendship or intimacy with my husband. In I’ve tried sharing with him 50 million times it’s getting me no where and it makes him mad because he said I’m not in submission in I’m very ungreatful. But at the same time why doesn’t he listen to me and why does he try to force me to submit when all I keep asking for is love. Uhhhhhh I’m busy he is and I just wanna be loved. In when he’s mad at me he either ask for a divorce or threatens me with then your paying half the bills in We sleep in separate rooms and have always it’s normal I guess do I like it no. I will admit he makes me feel different emotions inside I shut down in say leave me alone in he does. So it’s like an every other week if not every weekend we dont talk for days. I pray we mature in God intervenes. This can’t be our marriage the rest of our lives. This is horrible

    1. I so feel for you. You’re trapped. I was a “born again believer” for years, though it tore me to shreds faking my sexuality and trying to be “good”, the person who could never say no, who’d been brought up to conform and be compliant and dutiful and “nice”. My parents and school just wanted a performer who never screwed up, no rebellion, no real rights, ready to take on work and bring in a pay packet.
      To be brief – my life was hard and confusing for a very long while, but I finally escaped back to the real world where I discovered how to stop rescuing people, stopped getting ripped off, stopped trying to please that demanding god who was always silent. Submission? It’s a paternalistic idea from ancient times, when women were blamed for bringing evil into the world. Take back your life, get it under your own control, on your own terms that work for you. Realise your faith decision was based on emotion and unmet human need, not reason, and that you are a first class citizen, not some second class submitter based on your sexual identity. Women are the equal of men – period. Your husband thinks otherwise, and it’s very convenient for him to treat you as men used to treat slaves, as born to be the underdog. Religions always put men first, because men invent them. Dump that submissive guilt trip and low self-esteem, which sadly is the norm for believers who are, in truth, brainwashed into that role (as the men are to theirs, by the way). Put the church to one side and it’ll fade away in your priorities, and you can stop being a put-upon caterpillar and turn into the beautiful butterfly that is waiting within. It was the best thing I ever did. I so wish I’d done it years before. Be aware that the fear of letting your god go is all part of the brainwashing in every faith system. Jump out of that skin!

  22. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    It’s always a good idea to go for counselling alone, even if your husband doesn’t want to go to marriage counselling! The healthier and more grounded you get, the better able you’ll be to make good decisions in your relationship. You’ll be able to set healthy boundaries and respond in appropriate ways to your husband. This will help improve your marriage.

    I’m sorry that you went through an emotional anxiety breakdown. Marriage can be difficult enough, without having additional layers of emotions and anxieties on top.

    If you’re looking for free counselling for coping with emotional disconnection in marriage, try doing an internet search. Remember, however, that you don’t know how trustworthy or credible a free online counsellor is! Professional counsellors need to earn money to pay the bills, just like any working person. Sometimes people who aren’t trustworthy will call themselves a counsellor and say they’ll give free internet counseling…and then they try to sell you some sort of service or package.

    I’d try calling a free helpline or women’s distress line in your community. They often have resources for counselling, social services, etc that can help you deal with emotional disconnection in your marriage.

    And, I encourage you to get involved in your new community. You may not know anyone there now, but if you meet other parents and neighbors, you’ll soon have people to talk to. You CAN create a strong support network – and it won’t take long – but you really need to start today. Go to the park. Build friendships with women who are strong, healthy, smart, and grounded. They will rub off on you!

    And, keep writing. You don’t have to spill everything here, but writing in your journal is a wonderful way to work through your confusions, fears, doubts, and questions. You’d be surprised at how beneficial it is to write about how emotionally disconnected you feel in your marriage. You’ll feel less alone, even if you’re talking to yourself!

    How connected are you to God?

    1. Thank you SO MUCH for your encouraging response here! I was afraid and wasn’t sure of my options in my community. Sometimes in counseling, it’ll feel like I’m not being heard, so being reminded about keeping a journal is a relief. I might just have to keep it inside my glove compartment too! Thanks for writing about emotional disconnection in marriage.

  23. We have had tumultuous times in my marraige for the past 2 years. Somethings occurred and I had a bit of an emotional anxiety breakdown. I went on anxiety medication after I was injured running, which happened to be my method of anxiety control. All that was due to this influx of circstances. When i was on the meds they worked to well and shut everything off emotionally, except hostility. I didn’t want anything to do with anything. When he had had enough and had gone thru all the scale of wondering if I was cheating on him, if I wanted out of the relationship to the point where he felt he needed to accept that things were in fact over between us. He never correlated the medication to the change. We finally had a reveal in arguement to realize how unhappy he was. We sort of mended some but clearly not all of that dissention. Now he said he feels monogamy is a sham and marriage is an illogical institute. The problem is he is pushing me away with how he jokes with our friends about finding other women attractive and that marraige is unnecessary and he doesn’t see how after all we’ve been thru how it instills doubt about our everything in my head. We have two small children and I have followed him half way across the country to a place I’ve never been and know noone and he is all I have here. It hurts and confuses me and I have no one else here to talk to. He is my best friend and all I have and he’s pulling away and it makes me feel so stranded. I know I am the pursuer, but I can’t change it cause I don’t have anything else, I am also required to be a stay at home parent because his job requires him to travel all the time. I need to fix this, I asked him to go to counseling with me but he said no. How do u help this on a limited income and no help to take care of life and kiss so I can have time to help it? Is there free Internet counseling or something anyone can direct me to?

  24. my boyfriend who i live with for 2 and a half years with the exception of of a 6 week breakup just days before our 2 yr anniversary…he had an argument with me and ended things cos after following my sixth sense i found him distant after he got a work promotion..which he got recognized because of the changes i had made in his life..3 months later after decideing to snoop, i found out he had an online dating profile and had been looking at fb photos of halfnaked woman for hours daily yet he constantly complained at how busy he was at work which explained his lack of contact during his time at work..For 6 months i have been feeling a lack of connection ..something which made me feel we constantly had..we went on a 3 week holiday at the time i felt insecure about our new female neighbour who had moved in and became very clingy as she had just left her abusive fiancee…i tried to help her as i was in the same relationship with my ex husband and felt it to be somewhat of a measure of confidence that i had in my new relationship to help her and befriend her as i was now safe with my new man…shortly he changed ..ignoring me paying more attention to her needs..admiring her and even flirting.. i became aware and then insecure till it became an issure of argument..i asked if he liked her or wanted her as his desire towards me dwindlled..we became so distant that i only talks involved her ..i was panicky and desperate but at the same time became friends with her male interest but he didnt want a relationship ..after 2 months of non intimacy with my man and eventually ending my friendship where my neighbour accused me/my man of cheating in her flat and claimimg to find a used condom in her flat..We ended our relationship with just an argument i got drunk and cut his clothes up broke her stuff in anger and rage ..he out of town for work a week later and asked me to move out before he gets back which i did..i found out he became such boosom buddies with her because of the damage i caused..6 weeks later he wanted me back and so did i..5 days after moving back in i found out he slept with a prostitute a day after our anniversary..and local one within a week before i moved back ..he didnt tell me until i asked if he slept with other woman…5 days later after getting back and sleeping with him i missed him soo much i thought he did too..my heart is sooo sore 3 months later as he says i have no leg to stand on as we had broken up ..i didint want to break up ..i feel he boke up with me to sleep with other woman …and maybe try for something with the neighbour but nothing happened ..now that i found out he has emmotionally disconnected himself from me ..i feel so broken cos i had him back for about a week..all of him but because i felt hurt by him having sex and creating emotional connections with other woman so soon after he left me..his left me again and im resentful and angry and just cant get over it or feel i can trust him again..i love him dearly he has my heart cos sometimes i feel him and most times i dont.

  25. I’ve been married to an emotionally unavailable woman for years and have finally had enough. I have tried everything. 2 items in the article that seem very naive are the “stop pursuing” idea. My wife is fine with it but it doesn’t help me any. The other is the stupid “outside interest” idea, if what you’re missing is a deep emotional connection with another human being, “outside activities” ain’t gonna cut it unless they include intimacy. I’m so done, years of being hurt, years of denying my own needs, if you’re in this situation I recommend you get out as soon as possible, they will never change, they don’t see the need to or in my case are just incapable of any kind of emotional intimacy.

    1. It’s so hard to walk way from a marriage even though there is no emotional attachment anymore, at least for myself. I look back on my marriage and He was emotionally there for me at one point, but life changes and so do we. Was your wife there for you before? What did you find fulfilling with her before you married her? I don’t know John, is it that they are unable or they don’t have the same needs? I tried talking to husband for years about our relationship and it just fell on deft ears. I felt like he didn’t care what I wanted or thought. I am at a cross roads with him, I want to leave, but I’m worried about the kids. I wish you the best in whatever decision you make.

    2. So sorry to hear about your painful situation. I agree that the “outside interests” seems a bit simplistic, but I guess it means you have a support network if things go south. I also have been married to someone who prefers the television to spending time with me and this has wrecked my sense of self worth. Now in my 40s, I feel like it’s too late to meet someone more engaged, and I haven’t spent enough time on the “outside interests” and building a strong enough life outside the relationship, so I can see the point of this post on emotional disconnection in marriage.

    3. I agree John. I’ve been married 25 years and the suggestion of persuing additional outside interest doesn’t appeal to me either. I already attend everything alone anyway. When you’re married other married people commonly ask about your spouse & wonder “where are they.” Im sick of hearing myself say “he’s at home” (and feels zero desire be in my presence). I’m ready do say “I don’t have a husband” because I don’t! He is DETACHED & comfortable being detached. I’m the problem. I left once, he begged me to come back, promising things would be different. We can’t have a conversation about anything he identifies as conflict. I’m ready to be done myself! ?

      1. I can understand this, my husband don’t do anything. When I was first married I stayed home, no outside Interest.. NOW, I have the Interest, It was hard to force myself to do it. I looked back on how many times I would sit by myself. Or how I could count on one hand how many time we went to dinner in a year!. When we did go out I would try to have a talk with him. BUT, it usually wind up with me watching other couples talk. I come to the point I’m done tying, If it meant for us t go are different ways, I’m ok with it. At least I can say, I gave 110% I can’t give no more.

    4. John,

      My girlfriend Just left me after years of being together. She felt emotionally disconnected. Although she won’t feel This way, because she failed To see from My perspective, I can attest To the truth about emotional disconnection in a relationship.

      I have many hobbies and passions. The fact she needed at least 2 hours a day of my time weekday and my complete weekends, made me very stressful as I could not spend as much time as I wanted to chasing my dreams of financial freedom. When I discussed wanting to have more time she cried and felt hurt. And we started arguing. I learned it was best for me not to share my thoughts and emotions. But she always demanded me to putting even more pressure on me.

      After a year of relationship I came across being indifferent, not attracted and out of love with her.

      She began trying harder.

      Eventually she left me because she felt no connection anymore, and thought -after years of trying- I wasn’t going to change. She tried hard to change me. From her perspective it had nothing to do with her stop chasing me. From my perspective, it had everything to do with it.

      Long story short. This article about emotional disconnection is right. You don’t need to break up. It will be more or less about one chasing the other too much. Besides there is another thruth. Your spouse is NOT responsible for your hapiness. Unless your spouse was abusive, running away from your relationship is really giving up whilst taking all your problems into the next relationship. It doesn’t solve anything.

      1. Your spouse is NOT responsible for your happiness. I agree with this, It took me a long while to get there. Now, I’m not saying when me and husband first married he didn’t try. In addition, after a while I could see him stopping. While I did address the issues they were starting to fall on deaf ears. I be the one who would say: What do you need to make him happy. There are time I could count on one hand how many minutes we talk a week. It take two people to make each other happy not just one doing all the work.

    5. My husband has been emotionally disconnected foe a while now. He’s a great man in general, but we’re lacking that aspect. I’ve expressed how this has made me feel and what I need from him, but three years later….no change. I can’t pretend anymore.

    6. I am in the same situation as you with my husband. We have been married over 10 years and have kids.
      I also dont agree witht he article regarding not pursuing and attention outside. My needs are outsiders can complete.
      At time my husband says he will try and i see him trying but i have to constantly remind him and I am just exhausted that i have to keep reminding of loving me.

    7. Agree with you my friend 100%!! Same situation here. 30 Years of being treated like a stubborn child for every emotional need I ever had, not even speaking about physical needs. I have many outside interest that I tried to pursue to try and make sense in my life and made me feel worthy as a human being, but it just don’t cut it. It has done nothing for the hurt and rejection, actually just gave her something more to belittle me with. I am seriously looking for a way out!!!!

  26. I have been engaged for over a year to a wonderful man that swept me off of my feet 3 months into our relationship. we are both in our early 40’s and this will be our second marriage. In the beginning, love in the clouds to say the least. I didn’t concern myself with what he was doing when I wasn’t around and who he talked to, because I immediately trusted him. In our time together in the last year and half, we have learned a lot about one another and each others habits. I know he is a private person, as is his father. It is hard to live with someone who is so opposite of me. I am an open book. I have been getting that gut feeling that he is texting other women and on some nights when he isn’t with me at my house, he only texts short texts like one word ones. He doesn’t answer when I ask what he’s doing, he just says he’s piddling around in his garage and that he doesn’t keep his phone at his side when he’s working on his car. I do get that, but he blatantly doesn’t answer and thinks its funny that I grill him. He just continues to act this way. Yesterday, we were at the grocery and he stared at this women every chance he got. It totally broke my heart. I asked if he knew her and he said I was just being crazy. He laughed at me again. I have been forced to keep track of his phone contacts and texts for a month now, due to other things that have raised questions. He has some that I cannot find who they are. He used to hide his phone, until we had a huge fight a couple weeks ago. Now he leaves his phone lying around for me to see. But,,,, now there’s nothing to see because he’s erased much of it. I just feel so alone in this relationship. He refuses to read a Biblical book about relationships. I know he’s not a reader, though. He is a very good person to me and my son. He finds everything funny. It’s just hard for me to discern the difference. I am not finding anything on his phone records, but I still feel helpless. what do I do? I am following my heart. I love him very much and I know he loves me. Help!!!

    1. This type of emotional disconnection is exactly what I’ve gone/going through!! The man you love is a Narcissist and most likely a serial cheater. Their most talented at deceit!! They need the acceptance and adornment of other women… You are very unlikely to “find” proof through his phone… Unless you know what to look for and when to look.. First if he knows you’re doubting his faithfulness he will be on his “A game” , check it when he thinks he has you convinced his eyes are only for you. My husband had an iPhone so he would block certain numbers before he came home so no accidental text/call came through, before that he would save the contact as unavailable so he could say it’s probably a bill collector and ignore the call… Once I busted him out on that he knew he had to step up his game… As did I , he downloaded a free text/call app… Actually several and before he’d get home he would delete the app off his phone and restore it when he’d leave, he also set up secret emails and used fake names, I found this out by double clicking the home button and all opened apps would appear.. He used the fake name and used pictures of someone that looked similar to sign up for tinder, meet me, coffee meets bagel, POF, Ashley Maddison, Craigslist, and the most disgusting back pages where you can chat with and they have their phone numbers listed for “escorts” ummm prostitutes and one night I found his secret text app and 12 hookers he was trying to meet up with.. In the 4 years we were together there was only very short (6 weeks on average) after I caught him that he was ever faithful, they will never change… I will pray for you, from experience as I am still going through this even after a year of couple & individual counseling the hope they give you is only false hope, they only love themselves

      1. Your advice has aspects that trouble me; the instant diagosis of narcissism (I disagree); then, imagining your situation is her situation to a tee… it ain’t, and implying that a relationship can be built on checking up by phone-spying etc. Incidentally, the reality is, many folks have a second mobile they never disclose. This whole “I caught him” agenda makes you the policemen, your partner, the felon. Sister, there’s no trust there at all, no basis for any kind of loving relationship there, surely. It’s dead in the water.

    2. You don’t trust him at all. Don’t lie to yourself. You say you feel like he’s amazing to you but something about his behavior has caused you to distrust him. There’s either one of two things happening here. 1) He’s definitely flirting and maybe even cheating and then gaslighting you when you call him out on it. 2) You just can’t trust him due to whatever baggage you already have regarding cheaters in your past and you’re punishing an innocent man.

      Either way, this is a bad relationship for you to be in right now. Your behavior is not okay. You can not snoop his phone and track his correspondence. This doesn’t happen in a healthy relationship. You need to end this now and probably get some therapy.

      FWIW: I suspect you’re gonna ride this out until you catch him red-handed or he tells you he’s done with your behavior. Ask yourself how much of your life you want to waste on a relationship that is pretty much doomed to fail.

  27. I am so glad I took the time to look into this ! This is a horrible feeling and I would pray that no one ever feels this way ! Thank you everyone for your inputs
    I’ve been with my bf for 14 years five kids started at the age of 13 of course it has not been easy after he walked out two years ago for a whole year we are tryin at it again for the past six months. I am at a point where I feel beyond neglected disconnected and it makes me start to think all kinds of things ! I feel like I am pushing him away and all I want to do is love him . During the day he is always busy to talk or text and when we are home he is playing with kids or tired ? He thinks I’m crazy and I have issues I feel like I’m in love ! Im sure it’s something I feel within myself and I need to work on myself but when feeling. This why how do I get out of it ! Where do I start I’m scared I’m getting ready to throw in the towl ?

    1. Like most of the dysfunctional relationships we have, the problem here is 99% communication… or rather, the lack of it. 5 kids in, no marital commitment yet, so let me ask you. Have you developed yourself in those years, or are you just a “carer”. A women needs self-esteem, stimulation, meaningful roles beyond parent and care provider for her man. Do you read? Discuss life with other intelligent folks? Go to theatre, concerts, go on courses to get more skills? Or is your life a constant round of washing, cooking, bathing the kids, driving them around etc? A bored person is a boring person. It could help to look to your own personal growth, that is where your inner life comes from. Unlock the inner you, don’t be looking to find all your life’s meaning in your man’s approval.

  28. I have been with my now husband for 11 1/2 years. We started dating when I was 16 and he 19. I became pregnant with our first child soon after dating. All these years and four kids, two dogs, house and so on we are still together. We been through a lot, both sides making few mistakes along the way but no physical cheating… at least on my half.. not to sure about his. Anyways at the ten year mark we got married and things been going really good.. at least I thought they were. Today he sat next to me and told me he feels that our relationship is fake and he went on to say that he also feels as if I am not loyal to him, nor a good wife. My heart sank, I do everything for this man… a lot of things women these days do not to anymore. All my time is with him or the kids. I stay at home so I do every single thing minus paying bills. If the lawn needs work, Im the girl. If the toilet needs fixing, Im the girl. EVERYTHING. But in his eyes nothing. Now Im at this empty crossroads. I thought everything was fine only to find out nothing was fine. What am I to do?

    1. First, when my husband and I were younger, I did like you. I wouldn’t ask him to do nothing at all. If I did wasn’t much. When I’m at work and I here what other men do at home. I just want to laugh.
      But, I hate to say this to you. What he telling you are excuses. You both married way to young. Now, He stepping back and looking at his life. To make those cold remakes he looking for a out. I hate to say it also, your at that crossroad. You have to think about you and them kids When we had the house, I did lawn work, took out the trash. ect. If my car need work I took care of it. There will be a lot of tears you going to have to stay strong. I will you luck

      1. nikki, “There now” is spot on imho. The man’s grown up, you too, the fire of sex that worked fine in your teens can’t drive the marriage engine on its own now. Most important, you have to find a route to honestly tell each other what you want – stay, go, whatever, and negotiate your shared responsibilities. As the saying goes, you can’t put it where it isn’t … If the love is gone, only habit and entrapment remains. Find a way to clear the air honestly, and be prepared to do whatever’s needed to make you both happy while doing your best for the kids. I grew up with parents who stayed together without love. It’s so hard for me and my bro to be in the middle of their war. Hard on a kid to grow up coping, in such an environment. Better for a kid to relate to both parents living separately. It’s torment to live in a depressing, unhappy but, to the world, “normal” nuclear family setup with the stress of the parent’s broken relationship unresolved and jangling every time you come home from school.

    2. I know exactly how you feel. My wife and I have been married 12 years. 2 children and married young. We both worked different hours to care for the kids and she recently told me she doesnt love me anymore. I think shes living on autopilot, I feel its the same way I have been the last 6 months, I can see the same reactions in her, I woke up as soon as I realised she was unhappy but im not sure I have time to fix it now, but I think its just a phase where you both think the oyher doesnt care, if you suggest marriage councelling be clear why and when you need it. I think people give up too easy on each othet these days.

  29. Girl - Breaking Up

    I have been with my fiancee for over 4 years now but we are not yet married. I fear there may have been a level of disconnection from the GET-GO. From day 1 there was something awkward about the way we communicated; it was like I never spoke, only he did.
    my partner also had and still somewhat has addiction issues (he is not ‘addicted’ like an addict on TV or a typical addict but he uses drugs to deal with feelings); because he has depression / anxiety, these feelings are pretty darned negative most of the time.

    I know this article says to save your marriage but I honestly think I should just end it.
    I feel like if I was invested enough in him, I would try to help him with his addiction and mental problems. But I do not try to help him. I feel that I don’t care about ‘fixing’ the disconnection. I have also developed feelings for someone else at this point and it seems like it’s too late. This other person is healthier and doesn’t use drugs

    1. Your other half could use a proper mental health assessment. he may have clinical depression, anxiety, substance abuse or another treatable condition. You haven’t used the word love. If it was never there, the relationship seems to be heading for the rocks. If you have transferred your feelings to another person, that likely puts the cap on it, but do try to leave your present guy with some way ahead. if he has big psychological issues, dumping him will usually make those worse. Don’t just run away, try to be kind and act in both your interests thoughtfully.

  30. My husband is busy in his own work and I feel alone in the marriage. He had mood swings if he feel like talking, smiling den only he does otherwise he doesn’t pay attention towards me. Wat should I do wat to do so that we can have great bonding. In fact he talk very less with me and behave my stranger with me

    1. I can understand where the ladies on this blog are coming from. I’m going threw the same exact thing. My husband and I hardly talk and when we do it might go a hour and that if. Most of the time it 10 or maybe 15 mins. at most. I had my cards read one time and what she said hit home. You lost your self-worth in the marriage your there BUT.
      There no emotional connection no nothing. Mother day, I went out by myself. After I brought this to his attain all I got was; I did get you something what else did you want.
      I do like everyone else feel alone. He went on to tell me things Like, I just don’t what to talk to you about ,further when we have went out together there really wasn’t much said. Usually nothing but quiet. I realize I need to put me first stop worry about everything including my married.
      The woman who read my cards told me I would remarry. This person would make me very happy. All I could think was I wouldn’t now how even act. Sometimes I watch movies like , America Shiper and see the love they had. I wonder if I will even get that ever.

  31. Been there done that…….awful……..he didnt want me around friends………or to go back yo school………..or to have any outside interests………..but yet no sex for seven years after nightly sex if you could call it that because it was always his way……… I was so lonely……….no emotional conection at all……….felt if I didn’t leave I would not survive…….I left……I was loneliest with him than I ever was by myself………..


  32. Dear Kathy,

    Thank you for sharing your experience of emotional disconnection in marriage, and feeling alone in a relationship.

    It sounds like there is alot of history between you and your husband, and it’ll take time for you, him, and a counselor to sort through it all. If he’s not willing to see a therapist, I encourage you to talk to somebody in person — on your own. You don’t need your husband to go with you! You need to make sure you’re as emotionally healthy as possible, and then you can steer your marriage in the direction that you think is best.

    It’s amazing what happens when we sort ourselves out spiritually and emotionally. My prayer for you is that you find the help you need in person or even online, and that you are able to work towards some sort of decision about your marriage. Above all, I pray you find the people and resources you need, so you don’t feel so alone in your marriage. Emotional disconnection isn’t a good thing to experience – nobody wants to feel disconnected! May you connect in healthy ways to positive people.


  33. Hi, I need help.Two years or so ago, my husband came home very drunk. I asked him where he had been and he told me none of my business. So I started to do some checking and I found out he had been on Craig’s list on casual encounters- I found while he was out of town he tried to get a young lady to come to his hotel to have drinks to see where things would go. He was on this site for about a month- I’m not sure if he got anywhere with it. But he was responding to the ads.

    Then two days later my best friend told me that my husband had been at her house and that he told her that if she didn’t have sex with him that he was going to go out and find it any way he could. I believe that they had an emotional affair, and when he demanded sex she balked. They spent a lot of time together while I was at work and when I was at home. It seems we could not do anything without her.

    When I confronted him on this he told me that the Craig’s list was just “a phase.” He also told me he just had a crush on my friend. He told me he wanted passion – the feeling of raw hot sex and he was not getting it at home. He stopped having sex with me except once maybe twice a year. He could not sustain an erection and when I tried to snuggle he just told me that it wasn’t going to work or turned me away. The last instance, with my friend, It was new years and a big group of us rented a house and my friend was upstairs in her room, my husband went upstairs in front of everyone went to her room and shut the door. He told me he wanted to iron out their issues. I was embarrassed and thought it was very disrespectful to me. They no longer speak to each other.

    Next he started to email a woman in Calif. They emailed at least once or twice a week. They spoke about their family, talked about me-he said I was a good Mom, generous and kind. They talked about affairs and he said he thought about it but never had one. He invited her to come to our home and stay a weekend. He did tell me he had started to talk to her and that he invited her to our house. When I saw all the things they had been emailing to each other I told him I did not want her to come to my home. He did not tell her what I had said and continued to invite her. She never came and they stopped talking to each other. This went on for about 6 months.

    We have spoken about all of these issues and he feels that he has done nothing wrong.

    I hurt my back and it got so bad that I could not even stand up. I had been sitting on the couch because I could not sleep in bed and this night I could not stand, my legs were so weak and the spasms were very painful. He was asleep and could not hear me call him so that I could get to the bathroom. Unfortunately I had to pee on the floor-so when he finally woke up I told him what happened. He told me that he had a very important meeting that morning and that he was still on probation and could not take me to the hospital. His plan was he would call our dear friends after he was sure they were awake and see if they could come over to get me-take me to the hospital and he would meet me there. Gave me a glass of water and a bucket to pee in. It was another 4 hours before they came. They came to get me, gave me some painkillers and took me to the hospital. He met me there-I was treated and we went home.

    Another time I came home from work at night and he forgot to turn on the light. I fell down the stairs; he was already in bed and did not hear me. I had done some shopping before I came home and started to throw items at the door to get his attention. He came out yelled at me about a flashlight, picked up the groceries, and went back to bed. Left me on the stairs. I managed to get into the house but had all night to get angry. In the morning he came into the bathroom, asked me how I felt and I blew up I yelled and yelled at him. He got angry at me, told me he was tired of walking on egg shells and left. We didn’t speak all day and he said he was sorry but was still mad at me for being angry.

    Now I don’t believe I get mad very often but when I do-you know it.

    Another time I got really angry at him. Since I work two jobs, get up at 4:00am every day, home some days at 10:00 (two to three days a week.) I felt that he should help a little bit in the house. Now my fault was that I did not say anything to him about this and I should have but I felt that he would realize how hard I work. I do all the shopping, cleaning, dishes, cooking, laundry and work two jobs, 6 to 7 days a week. So one day he went to work-(he just makes his side of the bed), walked by a full and overflowing trash-stacked all his dirty dishes on the counter and left. I lost it- I took the trash dumped it all over the kitchen threw the dishes all over the place. Then I left and went to work…I called him and told him what I did-said I was sorry. He cleaned it all up by the time I got home.

    The last time I got mad was just recently. My husband had mentioned that he wanted to go to the movies and I said that sounded like fun. So we get to the theater and he looks at me and tells me “you’re paying” He didn’t tell me that I was paying but I paid and we had a nice time. I just let it go, but I was saving for a pair of shoes, mine have holes in them.

    A week later he tells me he needs new shirts- so I buy him three new shirts so no new shoes for me. And he asks me if I want to go to the gun show and if I would like to go out to dinner. I say yes lets go. We go to the gun show then go to dinner. We eat, have a nice time, the bill comes and he gives it to me and tells me “I don’t have any money”. Well I was unaware that I was going to be paying for dinner too. So I pay and didn’t say anything then. I go to work and when I get home he’s asleep. So I wait till morning and I told him I thought that it was disrespectful and I didn’t really have the extra money. Well he starting yelling at me telling me that I should have mentioned it at the time because he would have paid for it because he had the cash and he would have paid if I couldn’t and that he wasn’t going to “take me to dinner ever again”, and that he was tired of walking on egg shells again, gave me twenty dollars and left the house. I tore the twenty into 4 pieces, I was so mad and when he came back in and saw the pieces he told he me I was acting like a two year old and if he had known I was going to tear the money up he would never have given it to me. I gave him scotch tape. He left with the money and I cried. Still wearing the holey shoes – their work shoes and I work in a court house. I believe I do not yell or get mad that often.

    And then there is his drinking and playing with guns. That will have to wait; I fear this is too long already. Well maybe not…

    The one other time I got mad at him. Short story version—we were at a new year’s party, I was the DD-we had our then teen aged son in the back seat. I was driving home and there was a bunny running ahead of the car. So my drunken husband thought it would be funny to pull out the gun from under the seat, lean out of the car and unload the gun into the bunny. Mind you we live in an area that has snow and the road was icy that night, I tried to stop the car and was all over the road. I was so mad I could not speak while he laughed—and since I didn’t laugh or even speak to him he got very angry and well my son started to cry and thought his dad was going to kill me. That’s the short version.

    I would like to stay married, but how do I get him to see that this behavior is hurting our marriage and hurting me or help me to move on and change the way I think. I know that I can’t change who he is, and can’t control what he does-he is going to do what he does despite what I feel, on a certain level. But how do I talk to him about this so that he decides for himself if this marriage is worth fighting for

  34. Dear Beckie,

    Thank you for being here, and sharing about your marriage. It sounds like you’re really struggling to be happy in your marriage, and your husband isn’t willing or able to meet you halfway.

    And, it sounds like he has a lot of power in your relationship! You said he’s destroyed every friendship you’ve developed, which leaves you with nobody to connect with.

    I wrote this article with you in mind – I wanted to share ideas on building a life outside a marriage, especially for women who feel alone and emotionally disconnected:


    Of course, one blog post can’t heal your marriage! I encourage you to find someone to talk to, someone objective, who can help you see where you begin and where your husband ends. You have every right to expect some things from him – his job IS to fulfill some emotional, social, and physical needs. But, how much can you expect? Are you expecting too much from him?

    I don’t know the answers to those questions, but it might help you to talk them through with a counselor, pastor, or even a life coach.

    I hope you read the article that you inspired me to write 🙂 and that you let me know how you’re doing. I can’t offer counseling or advice, but I can listen! And it often helps to write our feelings, because it can bring clarity and insight. A relief of a burden, sometimes.


  35. My husband and I have been married for 10 years. We have three amazing daughters, 8, 5, and 1.
    Since my pregnancy with our second daughter, I’ve been warning him that there were issues. He works jobs that allow him great freedom with his boss, but require long hours and offer scanty pay for the amount of hours. And when I ask him to make more time for us, he says he’s working so much for us (not true. He works so much bc he doesn’t want a boss hovering over him and so he chooses this line of work) and because he works so much for us, when he’s off of work he wants time with friends.
    He feels like I’m smothering him and holding him hostage at home. I feel like he’s neglecting me and no longer wants to spend time with me, maybe even no longer loves me.
    I’ve been trying to save us for years, I stopped pursuing years ago, I don’t nag, I have sex with him whenever he wants, even when it makes me feel dirty afterwards bc it was lust without connection. I’ve tried being kind and understanding to his mother, who openly wishes for both of her sons to divorce their wives and move back home with her. I’ve tried making every change within myself that he’s pointed out as not liking about me. I thought if I became everything he thought he wanted in a wife, eventually he would recognize that and be more available to me, emotionally and with his time.
    During my third pregnancy i spent more time planning how my children and i were going to survive when i peft him after the baby was born and our lease was up. Then when she was born, I nearly died from complications. When he was sure that I was going to live, he made m all of these extravagant promises. I would forever more be first in his life. He would always make time everyday to spend alone with me. He would call me while he was at work. Never again would he let his mother interfer in our marriage.
    He broke all of those promises within 48 hours. But I’ve used it to give me hope for over a year.
    6 months ago he finally woke up and realized that we have issues that need fixing. Except he thinks the issue is me being too clingy and not being tolerant enough of his friends and family.
    I don’t have friends. I’m an introvert and don’t need many to begin with, but he has systematically destroyed every friendship I have developed over the last 10 years. And he gets angry with me for not having friends to fill the emotional needs I expect him to fill.
    I don’t know what to do.
    Is it really all of my fault? Am I really that blind that I can’t see that? Or am I just too blind to see that the man I thought I was marrying 10 years ago was a fantasy?
    I don’t know what to do, and I am so exhausted and utterly filled with resentment. But I’m still in love with him. It’s not that I can’t imagine my life without him, it’s just that I don’t want to. It breaks my heart. But what can I do when he won’t chip in and help fix things?
    Thank you so much for your articles, I’ve been reading them all morning. Hopefully something here will help my marriage. But knowing that I’m not alone in my situation, even if I feel alone in my marriage, is very reassuring. It’s not just me, this can happen to anyone.
    Thank you ladies! And thank you Laurie!

  36. Brien, have you and your wife tried marriage counseling? Mort Fertel’s 7 Secrets to a Happy Marriage is a good start, if she or you don’t want to see a counselor in person.

    When was the last time you took your wife out for dinner, just the two of you, and talked about your love for each other? Do you ever have a “date night”?

  37. Hello Amanda,

    Thank you for your wonderful offer! How lovely is that, to donate spa services to pamper women who don’t feel connected in their relationships. This is wonderful.

    I’ll go visit your Facebook page 🙂


  38. I feel as a husband my wife is pushing me away over having bad arguments and disagreements. She always mention to me to work on myself more to overcome certain issues. I always work to be honest on all levels and she always stonewall me at certain times. She has more energy for her family and friends. I always feel she don’t give me the same energy level. As the husband my concerns of needs and wants suppose to be top priority. Please advise me of this current status. Frustrated husband wants out if things don’t change.

  39. My husband disconnected me the day after our wedding night. He is more distant and cold and doesn’t care about me. This has been going on for over 40 years. I have no idea why we are still in the same house! He lives his life in the basement and I upstairs, we never communicate, let alone see each other. He has worked the midnight shift for the last 40 or more years, that way he doesn’t sleep with me. He’s never taken me any where, I know he has vacation, lots of it but he just goes to work any way, never home on holidays. I think he might retire soon, but I’m sure that won’t make any difference, it might be worse. I just go along and do my own things, like I’ve never been married.

  40. Hi Laurie
    I’m not even entirely sure how I came across this blog online but I’m so glad I did. I am a mother of 2 toddlers 2&3 with my fair share of difficult times in my marriage. I also lean in towards God. Growing up in a Christian home is a huge blessing. I live in Coquitlam BC and recently opened a beautiful spa in my home. I would love to bless woman from your site from time to time by donating free services to some of these struggling woman. I believe sometimes us women really need a healing touch. Not that I’m a healer lol but when we are emotionally neglected it can be such a huge relief to have someone pour into you for a change. Just to have a few moments of peace can be a breath of fresh air. Please feel free to connect with me via email and check us out in Facebook @ Time Out Spa Lounge. We are currently renovating for child care so mothers can bring their young children with them to be cared for while enjoying that much needed “Me Time” we all deserve.
    Your advice has been very inspirational. Bless your heart!

  41. Laurie
    We are going together for group therapy. My husband went once by himself, and I have gone twice. Our therapist hopes to find the “connection” that will bring us back together. My husband is worried that if we work hard to over come this crossroads in our marriage, may revert bad to bad habits and little to no communication. I have a hard time with conflict and shut down. He does not pursue me to resolve these issues, so now we have 20 years of small and probably big issues that need to be resolved. I want to reconnect and stay with him. He has been unfaithful to our marriage. I maybe foolish, but I believe in our wedding vow. And this is the better or worse part. We need to find common interests. He showed little interest in things I like and then I intern did the same. I like to cook, and read, quilt and often times just being with my husband was enough. I feel like I have become the delusional wife thinking that everything will be good or better than before. I am scared and I don’t know what to do. I

  42. Dear Susan,

    What does your therapist tell you to do, in terms of reconnecting with your husband? I’m also curious about what you want to see happen in your marriage. You say your husband needs space, so he can figure out what he wants.

    What do you want?

  43. We have been married for 20 years. I know that we both were unhappy. I thought once my husband returned to work, and I was home more, not working so much, things would get better. Nope! He tells me that he has been lonely for a long time and has been involved with a “friend” someone I also know and so do our children. I feel betrayed, but we are in counseling.I want this to work. He says he needs time to think. So now I am left in limbo, waiting for him to make up his mind about OUR future. He complains that we don’t do anything together, I suggest things he will sometimes do them, or he will say he is going or doing something and I invite myself and he says he needs to be alone. Now what? I know that I am trying, maybe too hard. He says that we have grown apart, the therapist calls it a disconnect. Is there anyway that we can reconnect. There must have been something 20+ years ago that connected us. I don’t know what to do. I love him, we both are imperfect. I pray daily for help. I am not a religious person, but I do go to church and pray and right now that’s all I have. My bestfriend, my husband, is confused and so am I. I don’t know what to do.

  44. Thank you for being here, and for sharing how it feels to be alone in your marriage! I think we all go through phases of feeling lonely in our relationships – it’s part of being human.

    But if you feel lonely more often than you feel connected, then you and your partner might want to find ways to overcome the emotional disconnection. Life – and marriage – is better when you’re connected!

  45. Hi,
    Im 28years old with 3 sons between the ages of 8 & (5 Twin). Me and my partner have been together for 10 years we had our first son at age 19, hes now 41. He no longer commmunicate with me and its driving me crazy. I have to sugess everything besides work and fridends thats it yet still he thinks that its ok for him to get sex when he wants it. I dont care how much lies he continues to tell me I no that hes cheating. I’ve received letters/ text messges from his girlfriends and he denies them all. I really dont want to hurt our children, I love their dad but I cant take it any more im a emotional reck and for him right now communication is not an option. Everyones thinks were just this perfect little family.

  46. Hi Laurie,

    I have been married to my second husband for five years now. Eight months ago I gave birth to my second daughter but his first child. To make the story short, my husband didn’t want children and after a few struggles we both agreed on trying to conceived. He loves my daughter and treats her as his own, he is madly in love with his own daughter as well. We recenlty found out that we are having another baby. I get horrible morning sickness and I am not always pleasant to be around. Besides being a mom I work full time and I am taking five classes pursuing my Masters. My husband and I are so disconnected from eachother. He makes me feel like I bother him. If I ask for something for example, Tyleno for a headache because I have gestational diabetes and I get horrible migranes if my sugar gets low he complains that there is always something wrong with me. He tells me that I am too emotinal. I get so angry because he does not understand how I feel being pregnant and exhausted. My 8 month old is almost walking and is very active. I am extremly tired but don’t get enough rest between work, kids and going to school 3 times a week. I am 5 months pregnant and still suffer from severe morning sickness. I am a fire craker and I am not good at keeping my emotions inside. He is intraverted and loves to be alone. I am trying to give him space but I feel that if I don’t fight we will drift away. I have been divorced before and I plan to do whatever I can to make this marriage work. It’s hard when it seems like I am the only fighting. I feel better venting.

    Thank you,


  47. Hi, I have been married for over twenty years and blessed with two brilliant kids. My husband is a business man who started very very small and I have supported him at work, and emotionally in his long bad times. My very demanding In laws stayed with us for years but I did my best to take care of them, the numerous relatives, kids and husband all this time. I gave up my career to make sure no body is neglected. During this time, my husband has become a very successful man and a public figure. About 7 yrs ago I found out that my husband was cheating on me with another woman who has been married and divorced twice before. She is older than me and known to be extremely aggressive. Over these years she has used my husband to succeed in her business. Meanwhile my husband left the house 3 times for long periods of time 6 months. 1 year and then 3 months. But he did come back each time. During this time the paramour tricked my husband in marrying her in a religious ceremony outside theU.S. and adopted a child. I have cried, fought patiently waited, done every possible thing on earth to convince him to stop what he is doing. Every time I tell him that I want out of this marriage, he promises and swears to end the relationship only to break every deadline that he & i have agreed on. He keeps telling me that he is emotionally out of the relationship but the other woman won’t let go. Every time he buys her something, he buys me same thing or something similar. When he is home with the kids and me, he seems extremely happy and involved, but definitely visits all exotic resorts with her. He has moved her outside US and spends equal amount of time with her and here at home with us. While this all has been going on, I found out that he has another relationship going on with a very powerful woman in an official position for the past 10 years and is also engaged to her. Also I suspect that he has a relationship with a prostitute. I have always been a woman of principles and and take my marriage vows seriously and expect the same from my husband. Inspite of having lots of patience, I have come to a point that I just cannot take it anymore. I gone into deep depression and in a very disturbed state of mind. I wake up in the middle of the night with hot flashes and find myself crying in sleep, nightmares etc. I don’t trust my husband anymore. My kids know about all this but they don’t want me to get a divorce at least until they go off to college. Also I am unable to disconnect inspite of all this emotional torture and pain inflicted on me by my husband. I don’t know what to do. I wish there was a pill I could take that would help me forget the existence of my husband. Please help.

  48. I think all spouses feel emotionally disconnected at some point in their marriages. You can’t be totally connected all the time – it’s not natural. Sometimes we need to pull away for different reasons: to grow, to mourn, to think, to flourish.

    Emotional disconnection is a problem in marriage when you feel alone more often than not. If you rarely or never feel connected to your spouse, then it’s a serious issue.

  49. I tried all the tips in the marraige books including leaving him alone. I don’t sleep in the bedroom and give him his “space”. All he does is yell at us. I feel so alone. I also have no friends.

  50. I really like the book ScreamFree Marriage, because it discusses how to find emotional connection outside your marriage. We’re not supposed to need our spouses to make us feel emotionally whole.

  51. I don’t know ? I have been Married to my husband almost 15 years and found out in November (2011) that he had been having an “Emotional Affair” with another woman, she was his vice presidents daughter I had met her several times at Christmas parties. Anyway I have felt a disconnect with my husband for awhile and have never been able to figure out what the issue was or is? When I confronted him because she sent him a text message that I answered because he was out of the car, he said it wasn’t what I thought she was just a friend ect. My husband offered to go to counseling in which we have gone one time, I had even ordered Mort Fertels program before I found out about the affair because we were having problems with connecting, “I wonder why”. Anyway he just quit Our Mort Fertel Program which was not an option as far as I was concerned, and it was helping alot. My thought is that you can’t be an opisitional spouse and want better but not seek better. I finally told my husband that he was not taking accountablility or trying on our marige and that I want out, “Finally” NOW he wants counseling? I think that you have to have a spouse who loves and cares about you enough that he or she will do anything to save your mariage if they truly want things to work. I am a Christian I understand being patient and hanging in ,but for how long when your spouse is selfish? I some point you have to quit sacrificing your happiness hoping someone else will change for the better of the marriage. I have had to change some things for him as well because I love him but you can’t always be the one putting in effort with no reciprocation back.

  52. This is SO true. I went through about a year of trying to make things better in our marriage and my husband only seemed to be really confused by it. It didn’t help a thing. Marriages cannot be one-sided, it’s not the way to go. FOCUS ON YOURSELF~only way to feel better. The marriage may or may not follow but atleast you will have a better you!

  53. This sounds all too familiar about the pursuing dance and trying to get closer when it just seems to push them away more. I will be starting some therapy soon as we are currently living apart and will look into this. I know it doesn’t help but like you said it is soo hard to stop bothering them about it and focusing on myself again beacuse all I want is a good healthy happy marraige!!
    Thanks, Glad I found your articles 🙂

  54. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your comments. I agree that a relationship with God can help when you feel alone in your marriage. That spiritual and emotional healthiness can help with those awful feelings of disconnection, especially if your spouse is also connected to his higher source of power.

    Do women feel more emotionally disconnected than men? I don’t know – I think it depends on the individuals. But I do think that men don’t need as deep of an emotional disconnection as women do.

  55. Thank you very much for sharing this one.One thing I want to add,relationship to God is also important to stay strong.I’ve been
    married for 12 years,we put God the center of our married life that’s why
    we stay strong in every problem that comes..

  56. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear AK and helpmeplz,

    Thank you for sharing your marriages here. I’m sorry you’re struggling with your husbands, and that you feel so alone. Living with emotional disconnection is very lonely and isolating.

    I wrote this article for both of you, because it seems like you have so much in common! Both of you are struggling with lack of physical intimacy in your marriages, and you don’t know what you want.

    You’re Not Happy Married, But Don’t Know If Divorce Is the Answer

    I hope it helps, and welcome your thoughts. Writing how you feel is the best way to gain clarity and insight, so feel free to share here. Or, get a journal and try to write every morning. Just write your thoughts and feelings – whether they’re meaningful or not. Often just the act of writing can help you figure out what you want!

    Keep in touch – let me know how things are going.


    1. I cant beleive there are women out there like me, so lonely and so so sad. Every one thinks we have such a happy marriage but the lonelyness is so hard i sometimes just hug myself to sleep at night. I do have faith and i pray alot but i think this is just the cross i was born to bare. Not sure. comforting that i am

  57. Hi,
    I have been married for almost 6 years now and we have 2 beautiful children. We have been through a lot in our marraige and yet here we are. He has a daughter who is 17 froma previous marraige who hates my guts who I am not to fond of either. We have lost all intimacy in the past 2 years, the last time we had sex like 4 months ago- it felt more like a tranaction than a moment to share passion. I am a law student and also a stay at home mom currently looking for work to help out here at home with the bad economy. He wants me to quit school and not work and he also doesn’t like ANY of my friends or relatives. I have no social life what-so-ever and have lost my sense of self… I feel very alone and like he is trying to trap me. He hangs out with his friends secretively or comes home drunk or wreaking of alcohol, he breaks every promise he makes to our kids and me, and puts EVERYTHING as a priority except spending time with us. I thought it was just me, like he resents me for something, but even when I offer to leave him alone with the kids, he refuses. He is 13 years older than me and is always making me feel stupid or saying things just to get under my skin or insult me. He never wants to spend time with me or our kids and his excuse is that he is always tired or busy. I feel like I might as well be a single mom. I don’t think he is cheating but I can’t figure out why he is being this way. I’m tired, and it hurts that he doesn’t want to be with our kids – I don’t want to give up any more of myself and I shouldnt have to. I want to stay together for our kids and because I think I still love him, I don’t know anymore. I am very lonely, and this makes me scared to leave him because I don’t know if I can do this by myself and I don’t want to quit school because I’m SOO CLOSE! I also don’t want to take away the only fahter figure my kids have just because I am feeling lonely – I don’t want to punish them for my feelings…. help

  58. My husband and I have been married for almost six years, together for eight.we’ve been through alot over the past year and were almost divorced, he then changed his mind and wanted to stay. It was all a sudden suprise to me when it happened and since then it has been a struggle. He loved me and doesnt want to leave me but he wants to be with other women and can’t decide. I cant emotionally trust him any more.. our sexlife doesnt exist. I cant take the going back and forth about what he wants its crushing me. what should I do.

  59. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Uppal,

    Thanks for your comment. Funnily enough, a reader recently said that her husband wants her to be dependent on him. He resents her university degree, and is threatened by the thought of her becoming independent. She feels terribly alone in her marriage, and emotionally disconnected.

    I guess not all men like independent wives.

  60. I think all men like wives who are independent and look after things themselves.Emotional support’d be forthcoming if the wife’s disturbed state affects him personally in day to day functioning.When the children leave the nest emotional support becomes mutual.In all stages of life the success of every woman is herself.