Marriage Missions International

Emotional Abandonment: When Your Spouse Shuts You Out

When it comes to emotional abandonment:

“It’s a complaint I hear regularly from people looking for help for their marriages:

  • ‘I feel distant from my spouse.’
  • ‘I try to get my husband to open up, but instead he just shuts down.’
  • ‘My wife just doesn’t seem interested in me anymore. I feel like we’re a million miles apart.’
  • ‘I don’t know if I love him anymore.’

“What we’re talking about here is emotional abandonment. Instead of physically leaving the relationship, your spouse simply checks out emotionally. They stop investing in the marriage, leaving their mate feeling detached and unwanted. To the outside world the situation can still look rosy, but in reality the relationship is dying a slow, quiet death.” (Dr Dave Currie with Glen Hoos)

Emotional abandonment might not even die quite so slowly and quietly, as the spouse who is shut out tries to grapple with what is happening. Sometimes there is a lot of screaming and finger-pointing within the home —which often seems to complicate the situation even further. And yet, what can the abandoned spouse do to turn the relationship back around in the right direction?

Honestly, it’s confusing —even to those who call themselves “experts” in marriage relationships because everyone’s situation is different. What’s especially tragic is that emotional abandonment is something that seems to be happening in epidemic proportions in marriages today, or maybe it’s just that we hear more about this in today’s world… it’s difficult to tell.

But whatever the case, this is something we need to address because of the devastation it is causing on so many levels to individuals within their marriages, families, churches, and society as a whole, as the family unit breaks down and goes in an unhealthy direction.

To give you some type of insight into what may be causing emotional shut downs and what a spouse can do to turn things around in a better direction, we have found several web site articles that we believe will help. Please click onto the links below to read:



With this next article, written by Dr Dave Currie and Glenn Hoos, posted on The Power to Change web site, not only gives you solutions to consider but also gives you the opportunity to request to talk to a Marriage Mentor over the issue, which you may want to consider:

• EMOTIONAL ABANDONMENT: When Your Spouse Shuts You Out

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.

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162 Responses to “Emotional Abandonment: When Your Spouse Shuts You Out”
  1. Janet from United Kingdom says:

    My husband is a difficult man to live with, always has been. Anger is close to the surface and he unwittingly uses his tongue to put me down. I am very easy going, laid back and happy go lucky in nature. However, if I am in a happy mood he drains it out of me, by dismissing what I have to say.

    He takes more interest in rubbish films on the tv and tells me to ‘shush’, or ‘can I just watch this’ meaning …. shut up! Quite frankly I am sick of it, I try hard to be interested in what he has to say as I don’t want to sink to his level but I don’t think I can be bothered anymore. Life is too short. I’ve been married to him for nearly 30 years and put up with this for nearly all of them.

    Totally fed up, what can I do? I have told him how I feel and he replies ‘Oh for Gods sake, get over it. I can’t be bothered…yet again meaning ‘shut up’ ….. Aaaaaarrrrrgggghhhh!

    • Lisa from United States says:

      I’d like to hear others opinions, for I’m in the same situation.

    • Jose from United States says:

      With all due respect I will apologize now for any reply that may seem hurtful. I will say one must go back to the beginning till about where you’re at now in your relationship and see what may have caused your husband to shut down. Then start from there, to see what can be done to bring him back,

  2. Joe from United States says:

    Why is it always the men on these sites?

    I have a wife who while we were dating had me on a pedestal I never asked to be on. Once we got married and had kids, I had some growing up to do, and know I’ve hurt her – we’ve hurt each other. Like others have said, it happens in marriage. But because of the high pedestal she had me on, something I could never live up to, now any conflict is an opportunity to go into full retreat mode, sometimes over what might be seemingly minor things.

    I wish there was more out there. Everything is about emotionally distant men. There are emotionally distant women out there too. I am still head over heals in love with her, but it feels like an old Charlie Brown placard – “when you get it right, no one remembers, when you get it wrong, no one forgets”.

Marriage Missions International