When you exchanged vows, you felt a sense of unity with your spouse. As newlyweds, you practically read each other’s minds and finished each other’s sentences. For years, you blissfully experienced the passion of married life and sharing your hopes and dreams with the love of your life. But now you can seem to feel connected to them like you used to be? Is it just a rut or are you headed in a dangerous direction?
Even the most “in tune” couples can fall into the trap of emotional detachment, if they’re not careful. How do you make sure you start reconnecting before it’s too late? Know the signs! Here are some of them.
1. You scold him or talk to him like a child
Talking down to your husband as if he’s a child is indicative of waning respect as well as emotional detachment.
“Talking to your husband from a position of superiority creates contempt,” clinical psychologist Kathy McMahon, Psy.D. tells Redbook magazine. “Not only does it damage his self-esteem, but it physically harms him and increases his risk for infectious illness.”
Once it becomes a habit, it can breed resentment and cause him to be just as distant as you are.
2. You can’t stop criticizing him
If you can’t seem to quit picking on him or bashing even the little quirks–some of which you used to find adorable–then it’s time to take a step back and see if this habit is the result of being emotionally detached from him. While giving honest critique is essential to self-improvement, even in marriage, there has to be a balance. Don’t constantly criticize him without praising him when he does something right. Being so quick to bash or say negative things about your husband may be a sign is that you care less about him.
3. You’d rather spend time on social media or with your friends
According to studies, couples with kids only talk to each other for about 35 minutes a week. This is a startling statistic that should not be taken for granted. Do you find yourself constantly scrolling through Facebook or instagram while your husband is right there beside you? Do you constantly seek out ways to get out of the house? Though it’s healthy to maintain friendships and interests outside of marriage, it becomes problematic when it becomes an escape at the expense of time that could be spent talking to your husband and trying to sort issues out.
4. You no longer celebrate his victories
If you’re no longer invested in what matters to him and if you brush off his passions and dreams, then it could be a sign that you’re no longer fully emotionally attached to him. Celebrating the wins is just as important as being there for your husband through tough times. Being there for each other through life’s ups and downs deepens and strengthens your emotional bond.
5. You assume he’ll stick around no matter what
There is nothing wrong in being secure in your husband’s love. The danger lies in when you use this as license to take him for granted. Thinking that he’ll stand by you no matter how you ignore him or take him for granted is not healthy. So is putting off making time for one another once your kids get older. Procrastination will only make things worse.
Do what you can today to renew your bond in small, thoughtful ways. Push through the lack of attachment and honor your vows to love one through anything, including your own feelings of detachment.
sources: Redbookmag.com, PsychCentral.com, CouplesTherapyinc.com, FocusontheFamily.com
READ: 7 Behaviors that look like love, but are actually emotional abuse