This is a preview. The full article appears in Neil's book: Love, Sex and Staying Warm: Creating a Vital Relationship

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 When I am withdrawn, you could pull me back by …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 …

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Tagged: communication   growing apart  

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