Michelle says, “My spouse and I have grown apart. He is no longer someone I would even consider dating. What should I do?”
Read more to find out what counselor Alison Pitts has to say about feeling isolated and emotionally disconnected in marriage. She offers ways to reconnect with your spouse, and explains how to reach out to community for help.
About the Author
Alison Pitts, MS, LPCC is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, specializing in Marriage Counseling, Premarital Counseling, and Anxiety & Depression in Women. You can schedule an appointment with Alison for online counseling.
(Transcript is generated by a software and may have discrepancies from the video.)
Welcome to My Counselor Online. I’m Cassie and this is My Counselor Says. My Counselor Says is where you submit a question, either for yourself, or for a friend, and one of our incredible therapists takes their time and answers your personal question. So let’s go find out what My Counselor Says.
Alison Pitts on Feeling Isolated in a Marriage
That’s a great question, Michelle. First off, I want to say that I’m so sorry you’re in that position. That can feel so isolating and lonely to be in a marriage where you feel like you no longer know your partner, or that your partner has changed so much, and there’s this huge sense of distance. I’m so sorry. That is such a difficult position to live in.
Communicating a Lack of Emotional Connection
The next thing that I would want to say is, have you expressed these feelings to your husband? And if you have, how has that conversation gone?
I think a lot of times we confuse commonality with connection. And when we’re having these moments where we feel so far away, or that our spouse is so different, or that we have nothing in common anymore, what is normally happening is that we’re just feeling really disconnected. It’s not that we don’t have stuff in common; It’s that we’ve lost that sense of emotional intimacy.
And so, I wonder how that might change for you to bring it up to your husband in a way that’s soft, talking about that sense of loneliness and disconnection, and how that might change things for you.
Finding Ways to Reconnect with Your Spouse
The other thing I want to encourage you to think about is trying to find new things and places of connection. These could be new opportunities to not only grow and stretch yourself into new areas, but maybe there are some activities that can provide a platform for you and your husband to work on that connection.
Reach Out to Community for Help to Reconnect in Your Marriage
Another thing to consider is bringing people in your community into the relationship. What I mean by that is, sometimes when we’re going through difficulties in our marriage, we feel a sense of responsibility to protect our partner; We don’t want to say anything bad about them.
And so, we don’t talk to anyone about what’s really going on. We may say things like ‘things are just okay’, or ‘he sucks’. Instead of doing this, actually reach out to community and say, “We’re having a hard time. Do you know anyone who’s gone through this? Do you have any words of wisdom for me in how to navigate this?”
See if there’s anyone in your community who may have gone through something similar, that can not only build you up, but give you an example of what it might look like to walk through something like this.
I hope that was helpful. If you ever want to talk more in detail about your situation, any of our awesome counselors would love to talk with you, and journey with you through your process of figuring out how to move forward from here and continue to build yourself up as you navigate this really difficult situation.
Thank you so much for submitting that question! We certainly love to answer your questions. If you have a question for yourself or a friend, you can submit it using our web page and then look for the answer in an upcoming edition of our weekly e-newsletter.
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