BusinessDay
NigeriaDecides2023

5 Tips for reconnection with an emotionally distant spouse

There are seasons in some marriages where you wake up having regrets over your choice of partner. The constant conflict and mutual resentment you nurse towards each other can breed this feeling. Some reasons of wallowing in the state of regrets are, unmet needs and unresolved issues.

What does it mean to be emotionally unavailable? It is a situation where spouses live together but are emotionally apart. You relate like strangers but sleep on the same bed; you lack connection on many levels.

Certain attitudes can aggravate the tense situation. For instance, where the woman habitually brings up sensitive issues using a wrong approach or where the man adopts a master-servant relationship in the marriage.

Here are five ways you can handle the situation.

1. Maintain a peaceful environment

You can enjoy peace when you learn to postpone certain conversations till the time is right for them. If you frequently suffer conflicts in your home, why not let some things be, by processing the matter with an understanding posture? Through empathy, try to discover your partner’s inner child by pursuing friendship; no one is entirely difficult.

Also, no matter what the case may be, respond to your spouse with a posture of honor. Engage in fun activities together and avoid forcing your opinions on your spouse.

2. Elevate your identity

Here, identity means that you must separate the issues in your marriage from who you are. A volatile home can alter a previously confident spouse into a desperate, insecure, suspicious or judgmental spouse. Likewise, the act of controlling and monitoring your spouse makes you lose yourself.

A way out is to intentionally work on your mindset. Seek emotional stability through counselling, therapy, empowering resources such as books and inspiration online articles, and most importantly, build a relationship with God — this will earn you solace in stormy situations.

Know that you are neither a failure nor inadequate nor a problem. You are simply experiencing a temporary season that, if well-handled, you will end up becoming more confident with a thriving marriage.

3. Speak your spouse’s love language

Discover what makes your spouse tick and do more of it. Shower your spouse with compliments on what they have done, how they look, the progress they are making in their businesses or attitudes.

Read also: The Fear of a Failed Marriage

There are five love languages:

Words of affirmation

Physical touch

Quality time

Acts of service

Gifts

Which of these would your spouse appreciate? Can you act on it this season, even if it would take some time before your intimacy bounces back?

4. Focus on the positives

In this season, I want you to recall all the good things that your spouse has done and begin to see them intentionally.

Sometimes, send it as a text message and just say, “I remembered how much you’ve been of help to my project and how you’ve been taking care of our children. I want you to know that I’m grateful.”

If you’re a woman, you could just say “I wanted to thank you for paying our children’s school fees and most of all, for being a responsible father.” Just focus on the things they have gotten right, no matter how insignificant they are.

I know this may sound difficult for those in toxic marriages. However, I encourage you to try and focus on what your spouse has done better in the past. Let the thoughts cheer up your heart and renew your hope in God.

5. Communicate intentionally

Observe a good time to talk about what you feel is wrong in the marriage. In the course of the conversation, boost your spouse’s ego, express your feelings and ask questions — do away with judgmental condemnation and criticisms.

Focus on what you think can be done better. Be patient with your spouse and try not to over-express yourself. When receiving feedback, refrain from being defensive. Your focus should be on the positive outcome you desire.

If you apply these tips consistently at different times in your marriage, you will see yourselves reconnecting on a deeper level. Your marital goal would shift from being the good person in your marriage to maintaining an intimate friendship.

I hope this helps you. Ask questions, if you have any or reach out to me on www.nikefolagbade.com

Nike Folagbade is a family life coach and counsellor. She is the founder of Nike Folagbade International, a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Results Coach. She is also an Associate of Family Systems Engineering and a certified emotional intelligence and anger management coach.

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