Feeling Distant From Your Spouse? Here’s What Might Be Bothering You

The first few months and the early years of marriage can be blissful. You enjoy each other’s company and get excited about the thought of starting a family and living the rest of your lives together. But sometimes the trials of life take a toll and your once blissful marriage starts to feel strained. You used to talk to each other until midnight, sharing your hopes and dreams. Now, you barely say hello when you come home from work. Things are starting to look hopeless and you can’t remember the last time you were genuinely happy.

What happened? Why are you suddenly feeling distant? Here’s what might be bothering you.

1. You’re bored

couple on their phones

Boredom could kill your relationship. | iStock.com

One of the biggest threats to relationship satisfaction is boredom, according to a study conducted by Good in Bed and K-Y Brand, toughly 25% of survey respondents said they were bored in their relationship and another 25% said they were on the brink of boredom. The top three relationship milestones leading to boredom were getting older (38.5%), having children (32.2%), and moving in together (15.6%).

What you can do

Couple taking photo of themselves on cruise

Add some spice to your relationship. | iStock.com/michaeljung

Routine can become the death of a relationship. On one hand, it can be comforting to know what to expect from your partner. However, doing the same thing every day, month after month, and year after year, can get stale. Before you even realize it, you can start to get bored and take each other for granted. Try to change your routine by having a regular date night, taking a vacation together, or looking for new ways to spice up your sex life.

2. You’re in love with someone else

couple kissing

Are you in love with someone else? | iStock.com

You might feel like you and your spouse are drifting apart if you’re falling in love (or are already in love) with someone else. Roughly one in five adults admit to being in love with someone else despite having a partner, according to a study conducted by One Poll, which you can see over at The Telegraph.

Perhaps unresolved hurt or anger gradually drove a wedge between you and your spouse and you became drawn to someone else. Eventually, what started out as an innocent friendship became something more as you shared your frustrations about your marriage.

What you can do

Couple making eye contact

Don’t stick around if you’re in a miserable relationship. | iStock.com/ArthurHidden

Depending on the situation, if you feel strongly for the other person, you might want to consider exploring a new relationship. Life is too short to stay with someone just because you’ve been together for a long time or your friends and family are telling you it’s the right thing to do. It’s unhealthy to stay in a miserable relationship if your heart is somewhere else.

If you have children, however, you’ll want to think your decision through very carefully. If you feel the relationship is worth saving, try couples counseling. But if things aren’t working out despite your best efforts, it might be time to move on.

3. Your kids are causing conflict

father and son

Different parenting styles can often become a point of contention for many couples. | iStock.com

Are most of your arguments with your spouse about the kids? Different parenting styles can become an issue for many couples. Most days can feel like a game of “good cop, bad cop.” The added stress that comes along with parenting can sometimes put tremendous strain on a relationship. A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found relationship satisfaction sharply declines after the birth of a first child.

What you can do

couple on a date

Don’t give your spouse a back seat because kids are now involved. | iStock.com/dima_sidelnikov

Children are a blessing but they shouldn’t become the center of your world. Don’t ignore your spouse once the kids are born. This behavior will gradually create resentment and anger. Carve out a special time just for you and your spouse that doesn’t include the kids. Remember what contributed to you falling in love and try to re-create those feelings.

4. Your differences are becoming a problem

couple quarreling

Opposites don’t always attract. | | iStock.com/AndreyPopov

Opposites attract — or do they? Your differences initially attracted you to each other, but now it’s causing a lot of friction. At first you loved the fact that your spouse was the life of the party and always liked to go out. Now, you long for a quiet evening at home every now and then.

What you can do

couple having a discussion

Try to come to a compromise. | iStock.com

If your personalities are beginning to clash, you’ll have to just accept the fact that this is who you married. Perhaps you could suggest a compromise where you go out once or twice a week and then spend the rest of your time at home. Work out an arrangement that makes you both happy.  

5. Your spouse cheated and is hiding it from you

man texting

Your spouse could be hiding something. | iStock.com

When it comes to relationships, one cause of frustration is when you feel distant but can’t seem to identify the cause. If everything seems to be going well, but you can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong, your spouse could be hiding something. And that something could be another partner. Some spouses withdraw after cheating not only because of fear of being discovered, but also from guilt.

What you can do

couples counseling

Have an open heart to heart with your partner to get to the bottom of things. | iStock.com

If you suspect your spouse is cheating, don’t start snooping around so that you can find answers on your own. You might find something that steers you in the wrong direction and causes relationship drama that could have been avoided. Your best bet is to ask him or her directly. Have a heart to heart and try to get to the bottom of things. Once you get the full story, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether you want to stay or go.

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