When Your Spouse Shuts You Out -3

The Way Out
The first step to dealing with emotional distance between partners is to identify the root cause and to deal with it. Don’t settle for living in isolation. Here are some suggestions for re-establishing a loving connection with your spouse.

Agree to talk
At some point you have to agree to talk about the problems that exist between you. If you are going to resolve issues, there needs to be mutual commitment to listen to the other person’s concerns and to work towards improving the situation. Don’t corner your spouse with an unexpected lecture, but set a time and agree to start to work through your issues.

Be prepared
Before you talk, take time separately to think through the unresolved issues you will be discussing. What are your concerns in the relationship? In what areas do you feel you need to improve? What are your expectations from your spouse? To put your thoughts down on paper may be best, but either way, be prepared to be open and honest with each other about the real issues between you. “Be sure to take the time to really listen to what your spouse is saying. Give each other uninterrupted time to share your views on things.
Be direct but gentle
Neither of you has anything to gain by holding back your true feelings. Remember unresolved issues lie at the heart of emotional detachment. So lay all your cards out on the table by sharing your feeling clearly. Don’t allow things to get out of hand. Be committed to talk though things sensibly. Take breaks to cool it if necessary, but agree to continue. Ask each other tough questions, and talk through difficult issues that have been eating away at your relationship. Regardless of which partner is at fault, you both need to work at resolving the problem.

Begin to meet unmet needs
Often, a person pulls back from a relationship because, in her mind, her needs are not being met. A healthy marriage demands that both partners actively work to discern the needs of their spouse, and work to meet those needs. Seek to understand your spouse’s needs and ask yourself how you can start to better express your love by meeting these needs. Make your spouse and his/her happiness your new priority.

Deal with your own stuff
If I am feeling abandoned by my spouse, I need to ask myself a tough question: What have I done to drive my spouse away? Now, it may not be only your responsibility. Nevertheless, you have find out what you are responsible for and make take responsibility for your actions. Really listen to your spouse. Of course, there are things your mate needs to deal with, and he/she may be withdrawing from you for selfish reasons, but that cannot stop you from taking steps you need to take. Both parties must be prepared to make apologies and extend forgiveness as part of your recovery from the emotional detachment.
Intentionally re-engage
If you are to re-establish your emotional connection, it won’t happen by accident and it won’t happen overnight. You need to agree to make your relationship a priority and spend some quality time together. Plan a few dates and put each other in your schedules. It’s time to re-enter one another’s lives again.

Act kindly
This may be a revolutionary idea, but it can have that kind of effect on your marriage. You must act kindly toward your spouse. Small gestures of warmth, acts of kindness and efforts to rekindle the romance between you will go long way toward renewing your bond with one another. Do this from the heart with real commitment to make necessary changes.
Love unconditionally
Somebody has to break out of the negative cycle of eye-for-an-eye, poor-treatment-for-poor-treatment. You need to step out of the insult-for-insult cycle and respond differently. You cannot control your spouse’s behavior, but you can control your own. Regardless of how your spouse responds, you must choose to treat him/her with love. This is not easy to do when your partner is not reciprocating, but it is what you vowed to do when you promised to love each other “for better or for worse”. And nothing breaks down emotional barriers like unconditional love.

Seek divine help
I am going to challenge you to ask God to change you. God wants your best and He’ll always be ready to take full responsibility for any life that is totally surrendered to Him. That also includes re-engaging with your spouse and getting attached in love again. God wants that and He will guide you if you will allow him to.
We have got issues to work through in our relationships. Whether your problems stem from bitterness, unforgiveness, dishonesty, lack of kindness, unfaithfulness or something else, there is a way out. Your marriage can work and it will, if you resolve to change. You can have the desired warmth. Go after it this now and you will have it.

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