Emotional Abandonment: When Your Spouse Shuts You Out

Emotional abandonment AdobeStock_99535893 copyAs it pertains to emotional abandonment, when your spouse shuts you out:

“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. This often complicates the situation even further. And yet, what can the abandoned spouse do to turn the relationship back around in the right direction?

Addressing this issue:

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.

Insights that may help:

We have found several web site articles that we believe will help in some way. They are ones that give insight into what may be causing this type of emotional shut down. They also give insight on what you may be able to do to turn things around. Please read:



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

Something 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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386 responses to “Emotional Abandonment: When Your Spouse Shuts You Out

  1. My wife doesn’t want me touching her, or give her a kiss before work; she’s not interested any more. When we lay in bed I can’t touch her at all. I’m trying to talk out our differences but we end up arguing. She withholds sex also, and is friends with other men she works with. She doesn’t set boundaries with men and allows them to call her whenever. She doesn’t text me or call me throughout the day. I feel stuck and want to leave. I can’t take the sexual abuse, mental abuse, and emotional abuse any more.

    1. I don’t want my husband touching me; I could care less if he kisses me hi or bye; it’s just a routine and means nothing so I’d rather he just not do it. I’ve been emotionally shut down for years. I don’t deny him sex, but it’s just that and just long enough for him to get what he wants and it’s over. For that I’m grateful.

      I have not been able to get past the emotional neglect caused by him and even though I have verbalized it recently (tried many many times before just to be shutdown immediately) he heard me but it made no difference. I know there is nothing left of my marriage. As long as I continue my daily routine of being maid, baby sitter, cook and a piece of tail, he’ll be just fine. I however die a little more each day. I know I’m supposed to forgive and maybe I haven’t prayed enough, or really it’s just my pride and flesh keeping me from forgiving, I just can’t bring myself to be hurt any further but I too want to be a good Christian at least by staying married even though I’m failing in so many other areas in being a Christian.