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What To Do If You’ve Grown Apart?

Love, Sex, and Staying Warm: Creating a Vital Relationship

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What To Do If You’ve Grown Apart?

Dear Neil: Over the past two years my husband has been growing away from me. He says it’s me just being emotional, but he doesn’t touch/cuddle me anymore, and he is no longer interested in how I feel. I don’t think that we will last much longer. Do you have any advice?

No Longer Close in Denver

Dear Denver: See if you can engage your husband in a very open and honest discussion about the differing emotions the two of you feel about the state of your marriage. This is a discussion that allows both of you to explore feelings, air emotions and to correct problems. Your goal is to speak your feelings and to hear his feelings, not to defend yourself or justify your behavior. Sit facing each other holding hands, with each of you taking turns answering each question thoroughly before you go on to the next question:

  1. I have been protecting and/or hiding myself by …
  2. It hurt me when …
  3. I’m still hurt about …
  4. I’m angry about …
  5. I distance and withdraw from you by …
  6. One of the ways I can be difficult is …
  7. Sometimes I hurt you when I …
  8. When I am withdrawn, you could pull me back by …
  9. I have contributed to the problems between us by …
  10. If we were going to solve the problems in our relationship, I would need to …
  11. If we were to solve the problems in our relationship, I would need for you to …
  12. The most important things you could do that would help me to be closer to you are…
  13. I would like to apologize for…
  14. I would feel greater support and respect from you if you would…
  15. Trust would be stronger for me if you would…
  16. I could put greater effort into our relationship by…
  17. I would feel you are putting greater effort into our relationship if you would…
  18. We could have more fun together if we would…
  19. You could help me to feel closer and more intimate by…
  20. Please forgive me for…
  21. I love that we are…
  22. I love that you are…
  23. I feel especially cherished by you when…

Tagged: communication   growing apart  

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About the Author

Neil Rosenthal, LMFT, offers couples therapy and marriage counseling in Denver, Westminster, and Boulder, Colorado. He specializes in strengthening intimate relationships. His internationally syndicated "Relationships" column is now in its 23rd year. Regularly interviewed by the media, Rosenthal has appeared as an expert on ABC, NBC, FOX and more. He is the author of Love, Sex and Staying Warm: Keeping the Flame Alive.

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