Emotional Abandonment: My Spouse is Emotionally Distant
Your spouse may be there in your home physically (at least sometimes) but how about emotionally? Do you feel like you are on your own without a marital partner emotionally?
That’s NOT why you married the person who you once thought was the “love of your life.” But now you find that your spouse is closed off emotionally to you and you feel emotionally abandoned because he/she is uncommunicative.
The following are a few insights and a few questions that might help you that Dr Gary Chapman brings out in his book, “Loving Solutions”:
There are many reasons why some spouses become uncommunicative. Their unwillingness to share verbally finds its root in what is going on inside of them. Often it is unmet needs in the marital relationship that have stimulated resentment in the spirit of the silent spouse. His silence is a way of expressing this resentment. It is his/her way of saying, “I don’t like you, so I will treat you as a non-person.”
I don’t mean that the silent partner is consciously thinking these thoughts; I mean these are the inner emotional reasons why he or she is not talking. If we can discover the emotions inside the person and the factors that give rise to these emotions, we are well on the way to helping the non-communicating spouse to break his/her silence.
The spouse who seeks to be a positive change agent would do well to ask this question: “Does my spouse have an unmet emotional need that may be causing him to resent me?” …Each of ourselves can ask ourselves the following:
- Does my spouse genuinely feel my unconditional love or has my love been conditional—I will love you if…
- Have I done anything to infringe upon my spouse’s freedom? Does he feel that I am trying to control his life?
- Has my speech or behavior struck at her efforts to gain significance? Does she see me as condemning something that she values as being significant?
- Does he see me as a barrier to the fulfillment of his need for recreation and relaxation?
- Is my spouse struggling with the spiritual dimension of life? Does she see me as interfering with her search for peace with God?
Anyone of these questions may uncover the source of your spouse’s silence. The challenge then is to find a way to help him or her meet that emotional need at the same time maintain your own integrity and get your own needs met.
That’s quite the challenge —one that our Wonderful Counselor can help you to work through. To help you on further this mission we recommend that you read the following articles, for which we are supplying links to web sites where they are posted.
Please read them carefully and prayerfully, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal truths to you concerning your marriage. Then glean the information you can use and apply it to your situation.
Below is a web site link to an article that centers on a husband who is emotionally distant, but in reality, if it is the wife who is distant, this same advice can be applied as well. Please don’t get stuck on the gender. Glean through and pray about the insights given.
To read, please click onto the ezinearticles.com link below:
This next article, while I don’t agree with some points made in it, brings to light several points that make reading it, worth it. Please prayerfully read it, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal truth, and disregard that which doesn’t line up biblically and/or doesn’t apply.
This next web site link will take you to some material which gives you the opportunity to learn a lot of things that may help you deal with this issue as well. It’s written by Richard P. Fitzgibbons. As you read and scroll down, you will find several articles to read through (including “Common Causes of Emotionally Distancing Behaviors, Major Causes of Emotionally Distant Behaviors, The Distant Husband, The Distant Wife, Cognitive and Behavioral Interventions” and then some other articles).
While you may or may not agree doctrinally with all that Fitsgibbons presents, please prayerfully read, asking the Lord to show you what He has for YOU to learn. Please click onto the Maritalhealing.com link below to read:
Lastly, from the ministry of Christianity Today a challenge given (in an article formerly posted on the Internet titled, “My Spouse is Emotionally Distant,”), is to “keep trusting God’s power and goodness.” It’s a difficult thing to do when you feel abandoned in many ways by your spouse. But God has promised to “never leave nor forsake” us. Sometimes it’s a matter of F.A.I.T.H. to believe that. F.A.I.T.H. means: Forsaking All I Trust Him. Trust in His power and goodness —no matter what!
Keep in mind the following (which was written in that article):
“Remember who God is! The same God who healed the rift between us and Him can also bring you and your spouse closer together. Zephaniah reminded Judah that God wouldn’t let their sin keep them separated from Him (Zephaniah 3:15). And God wants you to see your sadness about your relationship with your spouse by the same light.
“Don’t be discouraged. God can bring victory over sin (Zephaniah 3:13), and He can use your marriage for good purposes because He loves you and knows what you’re going through. Keep trusting in God’s power and goodness so you can be the spouse God has called you to be —and let God take care of your mate.” (See also Proverbs 3:27-35; Ephesians 4:14-16.)
Prayerfully keep in mind and consider:
“The LORD your God is in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
This article was compiled by Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International.
If you have additional tips you can share to help others in this area of marriage, or you want to share requests for prayer and/or ask others for advice, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.