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Emotional Disconnection in Marriage – How to Feel Less Alone

Here are several ways to overcome emotional disconnection in marriage. If you feel alone all the time – and yet you’re married – you need to figure out how to reconnect.

How to Feel Less Alone in MarriageOne of the first things to do is figure out if your husband is actually hearing you. Why Can’t You Read My Mind? Overcoming the 9 Toxic Thought Patterns That Get in the Way of a Loving Relationship is written by Jeffrey Bernstein, a psychologist specializing in couples and family therapy and Susan Magee, who wrote The Power of Positive Confrontation. They offer couples a way to renew the spark in their relationships. They claim that one of the most significant steps is to focus on yourself rather than your partner by ridding yourself of toxic thoughts, “negative thoughts that have lost their basis in reality and have gotten out of control.”

Here’s what G.B. says on Is My Marriage Over? 7 Signs Your Spouse is Ending the Relationship: “We’ve been married for 28 years and I feel like a stranger to my husband. I share my thoughts, worries, etc and he listens but never responds. It’s like I am forgotten, not important, not worth his attention. How do I fix it when I feel so alone? I have no friends to talk to. My children are adults and have their own issues. I am tired. I can’t fake it any longer. I am trying to find a way out.”

When You Feel Alone in Your Marriage

Last week, I went to a live marriage counseling session (a marriage counselor counseled a couple in front of a group of married couples). The couple has been married for six years; she’s the “pursuer” who wants more emotional connection in their marriage. He’s the “pursuee” who thinks things are fine the way they are. She feels alone in their marriage; he’d be happy with their relationship if nothing changed.

Turns out, this is a very common interaction or “marriage dance” between married couples. How do you stop the dance? You could leave your marriage or try different ways to overcome your feelings of emotional disconnection in your marriage.

Get an objective perspective

The couple who participated in the live marriage counseling session didn’t even realize they were doing this common marriage dance, of pursuing and being pursued! They just thought they had different opinions about their relationship. Indeed they do.

To stop feeling alone in your marriage, you first need to make sure you understand what’s happening. Why do you feel so disconnected? What do you want your spouse to do? What can you do to improve your marriage? Since you can’t change your spouse…what do you need to change about yourself? Another option is to learn How to Go on a Marriage Retreat Without Leaving Home.

Find out if your spouse is on board

You can’t overcome emotional disconnection alone, my friend. If your spouse isn’t willing or able to meet your needs, then you need to either accept him the way he is or end the relationship. How do you figure out if your spouse wants to participate in your marriage? Ask him to go to marriage counseling, a relationship retreat weekend, or even just read a book about emotional connection. You’ll know right away if he’s willing to invest the time and energy needed to build a healthy marriage.

Figure out what your marriage expectations are

The live marriage counseling session taught me that neither spouse is “right” or “wrong” in how they view or live out marriage. They just have different expectations of what marriage is all about. If you feel alone in your marriage, you need to figure out what exactly what you expect, and where your expectations come from. For instance, G.B. knows her husband listens to her, but he doesn’t respond. What sort of response does she want? Why does she need a response? If she can clarify her own needs, she’ll be more likely to communicate them to her husband. And if she’s clear and concise, he’s more likely to listen to her – and perhaps connect with her emotionally.

Stop pursuing your spouse

Emotional Disconnection in Marriage

Emotional Disconnection in Marriage

This is a surprising way to cope with emotional disconnection in marriage: The marriage counselor told the wife who wanted more emotional connection to stop pursuing her husband. This is incredibly difficult to do, especially for a woman who wants to build a strong, healthy marriage! But, that’s the key to ending the pursuer-pursuee marriage dance. Stop chasing, stop asking, and stop focusing on how alone you feel in your marriage.

The marriage counselor said he’d need about 10 sessions with the couple, to help them create more emotional intimacy. If you’re a pursuer who feels alone in your marriage, you may not be able to stop pursuing and reconnect without the guidance of someone who is experienced in this.

Take care of your emotional and social needs

If you crave emotional connection, you need to create relationships outside of your marriage — whether or not your spouse is willing to build a better marriage with you. You need to make friends by doing volunteer work, joining book clubs or hiking groups, joining a church or spiritual organization, or taking continuing education classes. Challenge yourself by pursuing a different career or going back to school.

The happier and more fulfilled you are, the more attractive you’ll be to your spouse…and the less you’ll have to pursue him. It’s all about building a strong personal identity, which is crucial to being in a healthy love relationship.

If you feel emotionally disconnected in your marriage, do you think the solution is to stop pursuing your spouse? Comments welcome below…I can’t offer advice or relationship counseling, but it may help you to write about your experience with emotional disconnection in marriage.

Read How to Get Help for Your Marriage for more tips on connecting with your husband.

May you be blessed with a renewed sense of connection to your partner, and remember that being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you decided to look beyond the imperfections.

Is your relationship in trouble? Get 7 Steps to Fixing Your Marriage from relationship coach Mort Fertel. It's free and helpful, no strings attached.

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73 thoughts on “Emotional Disconnection in Marriage – How to Feel Less Alone”

  1. Thats what i did pursuing different hobbies talking to more friends and enjoying life iutside marriage. It only lessens suffering, not solve the void you feel in marriages

  2. Sometimes marriages go through ups and downs, which are normal and even healthy. We pull away and then (hopefully) come back together. Hopefully, hopefully! Emotional disconnection feels painful and lonely, but even the best marriages experience it.

    Here’s an article I wrote today, which you might find helpful:

    How to Save an Unhappy Marriage Without Couples Counseling

    I think the bottom line is that we need to get as emotionally and spiritually healthy as possible. We need to find happiness and connection in as many ways as possible, and not rely on our husbands for all our emotional needs.

    The trouble, of course, is finding time to do that amidst the business of everyday life!

  3. I tried to stop pursuing my husband and he didn’t notice. I made other friends and this led to me having an affair. Here’s what I noticed. He doesn’t want to spend time with me. He likes being disconnected and doesn’t see a need to change. All this is saying is that I need to change my expectations. I’m tired of always being the one who has to change. I have to bend. My needs are unfulfilled. Why on earth would anyone stay is this nonsense? Oh yeah. Children. Don’t want to screw up there. I really wish I had chosen more carefully.

    1. yeah, i have a female friend in the same situation, except she only had an emotional affair (as far as I know). Staying for the kids isn’t healthy either. They see and feel the disconnect and tension, it works on them. Eventually, you and the husbands attitude will rub off on the kids and you will all be miserable. I see it with my friend and actually have stopped communicating with her, because that drama is toxic and I don’t even live in the house hold…

  4. I have only been with my husband for 8 years. Our relationship has been healthy and strong up until a little over a year and a half ago. We both wanted another child so two month’s later bam. Troughout the pregnancy the baby and my health plus my five year old were my main concern. Around my due date I noticed that he stated to pull a way. Let me just say that I have always been confident but ever scene this started I have been a mess. Not only did I just have a baby and gained 60lbs but I feel like my marriage is going down the pooper. I tell him that our relationship has changed and he feels it hasn’t. I feel so alone. I am a stay at home mom, not many friends, and I have my children literally 24/7 I even home school our 6 year old. My husband was coming home not talking much and then passing out. After a month or so of this I confronted him about a coworker and how I am sure that they were having an emotional affair (she was confining in him about everything and he was always mentioning her in every conversation) he stopped talking to her and we actually have been communicating more. But because of the distrust from the emotional thing with his coworker and gaining weight I have become obsessed with our relationship. I obsess about him cheating and when I confront and push for him to tell me anything it starts arguments. I keep pushing to make things the way they were but it just feels like we will never be the same. I love my husband and my little family so much and I just want it to work but after confronting and nagging and just becoming this person that I don’t want to be that i have never been. I need to disconnect, I need to find myself and its so hard when my life has become wrapped up in him and our children. I am doing one thing for myself by going to school so I am trying to do what you suggested.

  5. hey there lonely friends,

    If you don’t have any kids in the relationship, get out and stop wasting your time. You could have 3 short great relationships in your your life instead of the one long sad one. We have to stop thinking that life with one relationship is the only way. It’s not a fairytale for everyone and enjoy relationships and the connection you get from them while it’s there. Then move on if all that is worth while has passed. Kids make it hard because they deserve both parents. But you don’t have to stay once they are grown. I’m ready to move on as soon as life allows me.

  6. Overall good information but it would seem that all the literature pegs the man as being emotionally distant and not wanting to grow together emotionally or improve the relation. It is a diservice to men that want to connect on a deeper level but are stymied by the women they love.

  7. I’ve made myself busy, I’m back at the university, in a Christian sorority, taking piano and vocal class, a zumba instructor, have my own cpr business, work and manage 2 different dental offices, have twin 13 yr old I take care of love and share us today of. I have my own bible study I teach bible study and I still feel alone, disconnected and no true friendship or intimacy with my husband. In I’ve tried sharing with him 50 million times it’s getting me no where and it makes him mad because he said I’m not in submission in I’m very ungreatful. But at the same time why doesn’t he listen to me and why does he try to force me to submit when all I keep asking for is love. Uhhhhhh I’m busy he is and I just wanna be loved. In when he’s mad at me he either ask for a divorce or threatens me with then your paying half the bills in We sleep in separate rooms and have always it’s normal I guess do I like it no. I will admit he makes me feel different emotions inside I shut down in say leave me alone in he does. So it’s like an every other week if not every weekend we dont talk for days. I pray we mature in God intervenes. This can’t be our marriage the rest of our lives. This is horrible

    1. I so feel for you. You’re trapped. I was a “born again believer” for years, though it tore me to shreds faking my sexuality and trying to be “good”, the person who could never say no, who’d been brought up to conform and be compliant and dutiful and “nice”. My parents and school just wanted a performer who never screwed up, no rebellion, no real rights, ready to take on work and bring in a pay packet.
      To be brief – my life was hard and confusing for a very long while, but I finally escaped back to the real world where I discovered how to stop rescuing people, stopped getting ripped off, stopped trying to please that demanding god who was always silent. Submission? It’s a paternalistic idea from ancient times, when women were blamed for bringing evil into the world. Take back your life, get it under your own control, on your own terms that work for you. Realise your faith decision was based on emotion and unmet human need, not reason, and that you are a first class citizen, not some second class submitter based on your sexual identity. Women are the equal of men – period. Your husband thinks otherwise, and it’s very convenient for him to treat you as men used to treat slaves, as born to be the underdog. Religions always put men first, because men invent them. Dump that submissive guilt trip and low self-esteem, which sadly is the norm for believers who are, in truth, brainwashed into that role (as the men are to theirs, by the way). Put the church to one side and it’ll fade away in your priorities, and you can stop being a put-upon caterpillar and turn into the beautiful butterfly that is waiting within. It was the best thing I ever did. I so wish I’d done it years before. Be aware that the fear of letting your god go is all part of the brainwashing in every faith system. Jump out of that skin!

  8. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    It’s always a good idea to go for counselling alone, even if your husband doesn’t want to go to marriage counselling! The healthier and more grounded you get, the better able you’ll be to make good decisions in your relationship. You’ll be able to set healthy boundaries and respond in appropriate ways to your husband. This will help improve your marriage.

    I’m sorry that you went through an emotional anxiety breakdown. Marriage can be difficult enough, without having additional layers of emotions and anxieties on top.

    If you’re looking for free counselling for coping with emotional disconnection in marriage, try doing an internet search. Remember, however, that you don’t know how trustworthy or credible a free online counsellor is! Professional counsellors need to earn money to pay the bills, just like any working person. Sometimes people who aren’t trustworthy will call themselves a counsellor and say they’ll give free internet counseling…and then they try to sell you some sort of service or package.

    I’d try calling a free helpline or women’s distress line in your community. They often have resources for counselling, social services, etc that can help you deal with emotional disconnection in your marriage.

    And, I encourage you to get involved in your new community. You may not know anyone there now, but if you meet other parents and neighbors, you’ll soon have people to talk to. You CAN create a strong support network – and it won’t take long – but you really need to start today. Go to the park. Build friendships with women who are strong, healthy, smart, and grounded. They will rub off on you!

    And, keep writing. You don’t have to spill everything here, but writing in your journal is a wonderful way to work through your confusions, fears, doubts, and questions. You’d be surprised at how beneficial it is to write about how emotionally disconnected you feel in your marriage. You’ll feel less alone, even if you’re talking to yourself!

    How connected are you to God?

  9. We have had tumultuous times in my marraige for the past 2 years. Somethings occurred and I had a bit of an emotional anxiety breakdown. I went on anxiety medication after I was injured running, which happened to be my method of anxiety control. All that was due to this influx of circstances. When i was on the meds they worked to well and shut everything off emotionally, except hostility. I didn’t want anything to do with anything. When he had had enough and had gone thru all the scale of wondering if I was cheating on him, if I wanted out of the relationship to the point where he felt he needed to accept that things were in fact over between us. He never correlated the medication to the change. We finally had a reveal in arguement to realize how unhappy he was. We sort of mended some but clearly not all of that dissention. Now he said he feels monogamy is a sham and marriage is an illogical institute. The problem is he is pushing me away with how he jokes with our friends about finding other women attractive and that marraige is unnecessary and he doesn’t see how after all we’ve been thru how it instills doubt about our everything in my head. We have two small children and I have followed him half way across the country to a place I’ve never been and know noone and he is all I have here. It hurts and confuses me and I have no one else here to talk to. He is my best friend and all I have and he’s pulling away and it makes me feel so stranded. I know I am the pursuer, but I can’t change it cause I don’t have anything else, I am also required to be a stay at home parent because his job requires him to travel all the time. I need to fix this, I asked him to go to counseling with me but he said no. How do u help this on a limited income and no help to take care of life and kiss so I can have time to help it? Is there free Internet counseling or something anyone can direct me to?

  10. my boyfriend who i live with for 2 and a half years with the exception of of a 6 week breakup just days before our 2 yr anniversary…he had an argument with me and ended things cos after following my sixth sense i found him distant after he got a work promotion..which he got recognized because of the changes i had made in his life..3 months later after decideing to snoop, i found out he had an online dating profile and had been looking at fb photos of halfnaked woman for hours daily yet he constantly complained at how busy he was at work which explained his lack of contact during his time at work..For 6 months i have been feeling a lack of connection ..something which made me feel we constantly had..we went on a 3 week holiday at the time i felt insecure about our new female neighbour who had moved in and became very clingy as she had just left her abusive fiancee…i tried to help her as i was in the same relationship with my ex husband and felt it to be somewhat of a measure of confidence that i had in my new relationship to help her and befriend her as i was now safe with my new man…shortly he changed ..ignoring me paying more attention to her needs..admiring her and even flirting.. i became aware and then insecure till it became an issure of argument..i asked if he liked her or wanted her as his desire towards me dwindlled..we became so distant that i only talks involved her ..i was panicky and desperate but at the same time became friends with her male interest but he didnt want a relationship ..after 2 months of non intimacy with my man and eventually ending my friendship where my neighbour accused me/my man of cheating in her flat and claimimg to find a used condom in her flat..We ended our relationship with just an argument i got drunk and cut his clothes up broke her stuff in anger and rage ..he out of town for work a week later and asked me to move out before he gets back which i did..i found out he became such boosom buddies with her because of the damage i caused..6 weeks later he wanted me back and so did i..5 days after moving back in i found out he slept with a prostitute a day after our anniversary..and local one within a week before i moved back ..he didnt tell me until i asked if he slept with other woman…5 days later after getting back and sleeping with him i missed him soo much i thought he did too..my heart is sooo sore 3 months later as he says i have no leg to stand on as we had broken up ..i didint want to break up ..i feel he boke up with me to sleep with other woman …and maybe try for something with the neighbour but nothing happened ..now that i found out he has emmotionally disconnected himself from me ..i feel so broken cos i had him back for about a week..all of him but because i felt hurt by him having sex and creating emotional connections with other woman so soon after he left me..his left me again and im resentful and angry and just cant get over it or feel i can trust him again..i love him dearly he has my heart cos sometimes i feel him and most times i dont.

  11. I’ve been married to an emotionally unavailable woman for years and have finally had enough. I have tried everything. 2 items in the article that seem very naive are the “stop pursuing” idea. My wife is fine with it but it doesn’t help me any. The other is the stupid “outside interest” idea, if what you’re missing is a deep emotional connection with another human being, “outside activities” ain’t gonna cut it unless they include intimacy. I’m so done, years of being hurt, years of denying my own needs, if you’re in this situation I recommend you get out as soon as possible, they will never change, they don’t see the need to or in my case are just incapable of any kind of emotional intimacy.

    1. It’s so hard to walk way from a marriage even though there is no emotional attachment anymore, at least for myself. I look back on my marriage and He was emotionally there for me at one point, but life changes and so do we. Was your wife there for you before? What did you find fulfilling with her before you married her? I don’t know John, is it that they are unable or they don’t have the same needs? I tried talking to husband for years about our relationship and it just fell on deft ears. I felt like he didn’t care what I wanted or thought. I am at a cross roads with him, I want to leave, but I’m worried about the kids. I wish you the best in whatever decision you make.

    2. So sorry to hear about your painful situation. I agree that the “outside interests” seems a bit simplistic, but I guess it means you have a support network if things go south. I also have been married to someone who prefers the television to spending time with me and this has wrecked my sense of self worth. Now in my 40s, I feel like it’s too late to meet someone more engaged, and I haven’t spent enough time on the “outside interests” and building a strong enough life outside the relationship, so I can see the point of this post on emotional disconnection in marriage.

    3. I agree John. I’ve been married 25 years and the suggestion of persuing additional outside interest doesn’t appeal to me either. I already attend everything alone anyway. When you’re married other married people commonly ask about your spouse & wonder “where are they.” Im sick of hearing myself say “he’s at home” (and feels zero desire be in my presence). I’m ready do say “I don’t have a husband” because I don’t! He is DETACHED & comfortable being detached. I’m the problem. I left once, he begged me to come back, promising things would be different. We can’t have a conversation about anything he identifies as conflict. I’m ready to be done myself! ?

      1. I can understand this, my husband don’t do anything. When I was first married I stayed home, no outside Interest.. NOW, I have the Interest, It was hard to force myself to do it. I looked back on how many times I would sit by myself. Or how I could count on one hand how many time we went to dinner in a year!. When we did go out I would try to have a talk with him. BUT, it usually wind up with me watching other couples talk. I come to the point I’m done tying, If it meant for us t go are different ways, I’m ok with it. At least I can say, I gave 110% I can’t give no more.

    4. John,

      My girlfriend Just left me after years of being together. She felt emotionally disconnected. Although she won’t feel This way, because she failed To see from My perspective, I can attest To the truth about emotional disconnection in a relationship.

      I have many hobbies and passions. The fact she needed at least 2 hours a day of my time weekday and my complete weekends, made me very stressful as I could not spend as much time as I wanted to chasing my dreams of financial freedom. When I discussed wanting to have more time she cried and felt hurt. And we started arguing. I learned it was best for me not to share my thoughts and emotions. But she always demanded me to putting even more pressure on me.

      After a year of relationship I came across being indifferent, not attracted and out of love with her.

      She began trying harder.

      Eventually she left me because she felt no connection anymore, and thought -after years of trying- I wasn’t going to change. She tried hard to change me. From her perspective it had nothing to do with her stop chasing me. From my perspective, it had everything to do with it.

      Long story short. This article about emotional disconnection is right. You don’t need to break up. It will be more or less about one chasing the other too much. Besides there is another thruth. Your spouse is NOT responsible for your hapiness. Unless your spouse was abusive, running away from your relationship is really giving up whilst taking all your problems into the next relationship. It doesn’t solve anything.

      1. Your spouse is NOT responsible for your happiness. I agree with this, It took me a long while to get there. Now, I’m not saying when me and husband first married he didn’t try. In addition, after a while I could see him stopping. While I did address the issues they were starting to fall on deaf ears. I be the one who would say: What do you need to make him happy. There are time I could count on one hand how many minutes we talk a week. It take two people to make each other happy not just one doing all the work.

    5. My husband has been emotionally disconnected foe a while now. He’s a great man in general, but we’re lacking that aspect. I’ve expressed how this has made me feel and what I need from him, but three years later….no change. I can’t pretend anymore.

    6. I am in the same situation as you with my husband. We have been married over 10 years and have kids.
      I also dont agree witht he article regarding not pursuing and attention outside. My needs are outsiders can complete.
      At time my husband says he will try and i see him trying but i have to constantly remind him and I am just exhausted that i have to keep reminding of loving me.

    7. Agree with you my friend 100%!! Same situation here. 30 Years of being treated like a stubborn child for every emotional need I ever had, not even speaking about physical needs. I have many outside interest that I tried to pursue to try and make sense in my life and made me feel worthy as a human being, but it just don’t cut it. It has done nothing for the hurt and rejection, actually just gave her something more to belittle me with. I am seriously looking for a way out!!!!

  12. I have been engaged for over a year to a wonderful man that swept me off of my feet 3 months into our relationship. we are both in our early 40’s and this will be our second marriage. In the beginning, love in the clouds to say the least. I didn’t concern myself with what he was doing when I wasn’t around and who he talked to, because I immediately trusted him. In our time together in the last year and half, we have learned a lot about one another and each others habits. I know he is a private person, as is his father. It is hard to live with someone who is so opposite of me. I am an open book. I have been getting that gut feeling that he is texting other women and on some nights when he isn’t with me at my house, he only texts short texts like one word ones. He doesn’t answer when I ask what he’s doing, he just says he’s piddling around in his garage and that he doesn’t keep his phone at his side when he’s working on his car. I do get that, but he blatantly doesn’t answer and thinks its funny that I grill him. He just continues to act this way. Yesterday, we were at the grocery and he stared at this women every chance he got. It totally broke my heart. I asked if he knew her and he said I was just being crazy. He laughed at me again. I have been forced to keep track of his phone contacts and texts for a month now, due to other things that have raised questions. He has some that I cannot find who they are. He used to hide his phone, until we had a huge fight a couple weeks ago. Now he leaves his phone lying around for me to see. But,,,, now there’s nothing to see because he’s erased much of it. I just feel so alone in this relationship. He refuses to read a Biblical book about relationships. I know he’s not a reader, though. He is a very good person to me and my son. He finds everything funny. It’s just hard for me to discern the difference. I am not finding anything on his phone records, but I still feel helpless. what do I do? I am following my heart. I love him very much and I know he loves me. Help!!!

    1. This type of emotional disconnection is exactly what I’ve gone/going through!! The man you love is a Narcissist and most likely a serial cheater. Their most talented at deceit!! They need the acceptance and adornment of other women… You are very unlikely to “find” proof through his phone… Unless you know what to look for and when to look.. First if he knows you’re doubting his faithfulness he will be on his “A game” , check it when he thinks he has you convinced his eyes are only for you. My husband had an iPhone so he would block certain numbers before he came home so no accidental text/call came through, before that he would save the contact as unavailable so he could say it’s probably a bill collector and ignore the call… Once I busted him out on that he knew he had to step up his game… As did I , he downloaded a free text/call app… Actually several and before he’d get home he would delete the app off his phone and restore it when he’d leave, he also set up secret emails and used fake names, I found this out by double clicking the home button and all opened apps would appear.. He used the fake name and used pictures of someone that looked similar to sign up for tinder, meet me, coffee meets bagel, POF, Ashley Maddison, Craigslist, and the most disgusting back pages where you can chat with and they have their phone numbers listed for “escorts” ummm prostitutes and one night I found his secret text app and 12 hookers he was trying to meet up with.. In the 4 years we were together there was only very short (6 weeks on average) after I caught him that he was ever faithful, they will never change… I will pray for you, from experience as I am still going through this even after a year of couple & individual counseling the hope they give you is only false hope, they only love themselves

      1. Your advice has aspects that trouble me; the instant diagosis of narcissism (I disagree); then, imagining your situation is her situation to a tee… it ain’t, and implying that a relationship can be built on checking up by phone-spying etc. Incidentally, the reality is, many folks have a second mobile they never disclose. This whole “I caught him” agenda makes you the policemen, your partner, the felon. Sister, there’s no trust there at all, no basis for any kind of loving relationship there, surely. It’s dead in the water.

  13. I am so glad I took the time to look into this ! This is a horrible feeling and I would pray that no one ever feels this way ! Thank you everyone for your inputs
    I’ve been with my bf for 14 years five kids started at the age of 13 of course it has not been easy after he walked out two years ago for a whole year we are tryin at it again for the past six months. I am at a point where I feel beyond neglected disconnected and it makes me start to think all kinds of things ! I feel like I am pushing him away and all I want to do is love him . During the day he is always busy to talk or text and when we are home he is playing with kids or tired ? He thinks I’m crazy and I have issues I feel like I’m in love ! Im sure it’s something I feel within myself and I need to work on myself but when feeling. This why how do I get out of it ! Where do I start I’m scared I’m getting ready to throw in the towl ?

    1. Like most of the dysfunctional relationships we have, the problem here is 99% communication… or rather, the lack of it. 5 kids in, no marital commitment yet, so let me ask you. Have you developed yourself in those years, or are you just a “carer”. A women needs self-esteem, stimulation, meaningful roles beyond parent and care provider for her man. Do you read? Discuss life with other intelligent folks? Go to theatre, concerts, go on courses to get more skills? Or is your life a constant round of washing, cooking, bathing the kids, driving them around etc? A bored person is a boring person. It could help to look to your own personal growth, that is where your inner life comes from. Unlock the inner you, don’t be looking to find all your life’s meaning in your man’s approval.

  14. I have been with my now husband for 11 1/2 years. We started dating when I was 16 and he 19. I became pregnant with our first child soon after dating. All these years and four kids, two dogs, house and so on we are still together. We been through a lot, both sides making few mistakes along the way but no physical cheating… at least on my half.. not to sure about his. Anyways at the ten year mark we got married and things been going really good.. at least I thought they were. Today he sat next to me and told me he feels that our relationship is fake and he went on to say that he also feels as if I am not loyal to him, nor a good wife. My heart sank, I do everything for this man… a lot of things women these days do not to anymore. All my time is with him or the kids. I stay at home so I do every single thing minus paying bills. If the lawn needs work, Im the girl. If the toilet needs fixing, Im the girl. EVERYTHING. But in his eyes nothing. Now Im at this empty crossroads. I thought everything was fine only to find out nothing was fine. What am I to do?

    1. First, when my husband and I were younger, I did like you. I wouldn’t ask him to do nothing at all. If I did wasn’t much. When I’m at work and I here what other men do at home. I just want to laugh.
      But, I hate to say this to you. What he telling you are excuses. You both married way to young. Now, He stepping back and looking at his life. To make those cold remakes he looking for a out. I hate to say it also, your at that crossroad. You have to think about you and them kids When we had the house, I did lawn work, took out the trash. ect. If my car need work I took care of it. There will be a lot of tears you going to have to stay strong. I will you luck

      1. nikki, “There now” is spot on imho. The man’s grown up, you too, the fire of sex that worked fine in your teens can’t drive the marriage engine on its own now. Most important, you have to find a route to honestly tell each other what you want – stay, go, whatever, and negotiate your shared responsibilities. As the saying goes, you can’t put it where it isn’t … If the love is gone, only habit and entrapment remains. Find a way to clear the air honestly, and be prepared to do whatever’s needed to make you both happy while doing your best for the kids. I grew up with parents who stayed together without love. It’s so hard for me and my bro to be in the middle of their war. Hard on a kid to grow up coping, in such an environment. Better for a kid to relate to both parents living separately. It’s torment to live in a depressing, unhappy but, to the world, “normal” nuclear family setup with the stress of the parent’s broken relationship unresolved and jangling every time you come home from school.

    2. I know exactly how you feel. My wife and I have been married 12 years. 2 children and married young. We both worked different hours to care for the kids and she recently told me she doesnt love me anymore. I think shes living on autopilot, I feel its the same way I have been the last 6 months, I can see the same reactions in her, I woke up as soon as I realised she was unhappy but im not sure I have time to fix it now, but I think its just a phase where you both think the oyher doesnt care, if you suggest marriage councelling be clear why and when you need it. I think people give up too easy on each othet these days.

  15. Girl - Breaking Up

    I have been with my fiancee for over 4 years now but we are not yet married. I fear there may have been a level of disconnection from the GET-GO. From day 1 there was something awkward about the way we communicated; it was like I never spoke, only he did.
    my partner also had and still somewhat has addiction issues (he is not ‘addicted’ like an addict on TV or a typical addict but he uses drugs to deal with feelings); because he has depression / anxiety, these feelings are pretty darned negative most of the time.

    I know this article says to save your marriage but I honestly think I should just end it.
    I feel like if I was invested enough in him, I would try to help him with his addiction and mental problems. But I do not try to help him. I feel that I don’t care about ‘fixing’ the disconnection. I have also developed feelings for someone else at this point and it seems like it’s too late. This other person is healthier and doesn’t use drugs

    1. Your other half could use a proper mental health assessment. he may have clinical depression, anxiety, substance abuse or another treatable condition. You haven’t used the word love. If it was never there, the relationship seems to be heading for the rocks. If you have transferred your feelings to another person, that likely puts the cap on it, but do try to leave your present guy with some way ahead. if he has big psychological issues, dumping him will usually make those worse. Don’t just run away, try to be kind and act in both your interests thoughtfully.

  16. My husband is busy in his own work and I feel alone in the marriage. He had mood swings if he feel like talking, smiling den only he does otherwise he doesn’t pay attention towards me. Wat should I do wat to do so that we can have great bonding. In fact he talk very less with me and behave my stranger with me

    1. I can understand where the ladies on this blog are coming from. I’m going threw the same exact thing. My husband and I hardly talk and when we do it might go a hour and that if. Most of the time it 10 or maybe 15 mins. at most. I had my cards read one time and what she said hit home. You lost your self-worth in the marriage your there BUT.
      There no emotional connection no nothing. Mother day, I went out by myself. After I brought this to his attain all I got was; I did get you something what else did you want.
      I do like everyone else feel alone. He went on to tell me things Like, I just don’t what to talk to you about ,further when we have went out together there really wasn’t much said. Usually nothing but quiet. I realize I need to put me first stop worry about everything including my married.
      The woman who read my cards told me I would remarry. This person would make me very happy. All I could think was I wouldn’t now how even act. Sometimes I watch movies like , America Shiper and see the love they had. I wonder if I will even get that ever.

  17. Been there done that…….awful……..he didnt want me around friends………or to go back yo school………..or to have any outside interests………..but yet no sex for seven years after nightly sex if you could call it that because it was always his way……… I was so lonely……….no emotional conection at all……….felt if I didn’t leave I would not survive…….I left……I was loneliest with him than I ever was by myself………..


  18. Dear Kathy,

    Thank you for sharing your experience of emotional disconnection in marriage, and feeling alone in a relationship.

    It sounds like there is alot of history between you and your husband, and it’ll take time for you, him, and a counselor to sort through it all. If he’s not willing to see a therapist, I encourage you to talk to somebody in person — on your own. You don’t need your husband to go with you! You need to make sure you’re as emotionally healthy as possible, and then you can steer your marriage in the direction that you think is best.

    It’s amazing what happens when we sort ourselves out spiritually and emotionally. My prayer for you is that you find the help you need in person or even online, and that you are able to work towards some sort of decision about your marriage. Above all, I pray you find the people and resources you need, so you don’t feel so alone in your marriage. Emotional disconnection isn’t a good thing to experience – nobody wants to feel disconnected! May you connect in healthy ways to positive people.


  19. Hi, I need help.Two years or so ago, my husband came home very drunk. I asked him where he had been and he told me none of my business. So I started to do some checking and I found out he had been on Craig’s list on casual encounters- I found while he was out of town he tried to get a young lady to come to his hotel to have drinks to see where things would go. He was on this site for about a month- I’m not sure if he got anywhere with it. But he was responding to the ads.

    Then two days later my best friend told me that my husband had been at her house and that he told her that if she didn’t have sex with him that he was going to go out and find it any way he could. I believe that they had an emotional affair, and when he demanded sex she balked. They spent a lot of time together while I was at work and when I was at home. It seems we could not do anything without her.

    When I confronted him on this he told me that the Craig’s list was just “a phase.” He also told me he just had a crush on my friend. He told me he wanted passion – the feeling of raw hot sex and he was not getting it at home. He stopped having sex with me except once maybe twice a year. He could not sustain an erection and when I tried to snuggle he just told me that it wasn’t going to work or turned me away. The last instance, with my friend, It was new years and a big group of us rented a house and my friend was upstairs in her room, my husband went upstairs in front of everyone went to her room and shut the door. He told me he wanted to iron out their issues. I was embarrassed and thought it was very disrespectful to me. They no longer speak to each other.

    Next he started to email a woman in Calif. They emailed at least once or twice a week. They spoke about their family, talked about me-he said I was a good Mom, generous and kind. They talked about affairs and he said he thought about it but never had one. He invited her to come to our home and stay a weekend. He did tell me he had started to talk to her and that he invited her to our house. When I saw all the things they had been emailing to each other I told him I did not want her to come to my home. He did not tell her what I had said and continued to invite her. She never came and they stopped talking to each other. This went on for about 6 months.

    We have spoken about all of these issues and he feels that he has done nothing wrong.

    I hurt my back and it got so bad that I could not even stand up. I had been sitting on the couch because I could not sleep in bed and this night I could not stand, my legs were so weak and the spasms were very painful. He was asleep and could not hear me call him so that I could get to the bathroom. Unfortunately I had to pee on the floor-so when he finally woke up I told him what happened. He told me that he had a very important meeting that morning and that he was still on probation and could not take me to the hospital. His plan was he would call our dear friends after he was sure they were awake and see if they could come over to get me-take me to the hospital and he would meet me there. Gave me a glass of water and a bucket to pee in. It was another 4 hours before they came. They came to get me, gave me some painkillers and took me to the hospital. He met me there-I was treated and we went home.

    Another time I came home from work at night and he forgot to turn on the light. I fell down the stairs; he was already in bed and did not hear me. I had done some shopping before I came home and started to throw items at the door to get his attention. He came out yelled at me about a flashlight, picked up the groceries, and went back to bed. Left me on the stairs. I managed to get into the house but had all night to get angry. In the morning he came into the bathroom, asked me how I felt and I blew up I yelled and yelled at him. He got angry at me, told me he was tired of walking on egg shells and left. We didn’t speak all day and he said he was sorry but was still mad at me for being angry.

    Now I don’t believe I get mad very often but when I do-you know it.

    Another time I got really angry at him. Since I work two jobs, get up at 4:00am every day, home some days at 10:00 (two to three days a week.) I felt that he should help a little bit in the house. Now my fault was that I did not say anything to him about this and I should have but I felt that he would realize how hard I work. I do all the shopping, cleaning, dishes, cooking, laundry and work two jobs, 6 to 7 days a week. So one day he went to work-(he just makes his side of the bed), walked by a full and overflowing trash-stacked all his dirty dishes on the counter and left. I lost it- I took the trash dumped it all over the kitchen threw the dishes all over the place. Then I left and went to work…I called him and told him what I did-said I was sorry. He cleaned it all up by the time I got home.

    The last time I got mad was just recently. My husband had mentioned that he wanted to go to the movies and I said that sounded like fun. So we get to the theater and he looks at me and tells me “you’re paying” He didn’t tell me that I was paying but I paid and we had a nice time. I just let it go, but I was saving for a pair of shoes, mine have holes in them.

    A week later he tells me he needs new shirts- so I buy him three new shirts so no new shoes for me. And he asks me if I want to go to the gun show and if I would like to go out to dinner. I say yes lets go. We go to the gun show then go to dinner. We eat, have a nice time, the bill comes and he gives it to me and tells me “I don’t have any money”. Well I was unaware that I was going to be paying for dinner too. So I pay and didn’t say anything then. I go to work and when I get home he’s asleep. So I wait till morning and I told him I thought that it was disrespectful and I didn’t really have the extra money. Well he starting yelling at me telling me that I should have mentioned it at the time because he would have paid for it because he had the cash and he would have paid if I couldn’t and that he wasn’t going to “take me to dinner ever again”, and that he was tired of walking on egg shells again, gave me twenty dollars and left the house. I tore the twenty into 4 pieces, I was so mad and when he came back in and saw the pieces he told he me I was acting like a two year old and if he had known I was going to tear the money up he would never have given it to me. I gave him scotch tape. He left with the money and I cried. Still wearing the holey shoes – their work shoes and I work in a court house. I believe I do not yell or get mad that often.

    And then there is his drinking and playing with guns. That will have to wait; I fear this is too long already. Well maybe not…

    The one other time I got mad at him. Short story version—we were at a new year’s party, I was the DD-we had our then teen aged son in the back seat. I was driving home and there was a bunny running ahead of the car. So my drunken husband thought it would be funny to pull out the gun from under the seat, lean out of the car and unload the gun into the bunny. Mind you we live in an area that has snow and the road was icy that night, I tried to stop the car and was all over the road. I was so mad I could not speak while he laughed—and since I didn’t laugh or even speak to him he got very angry and well my son started to cry and thought his dad was going to kill me. That’s the short version.

    I would like to stay married, but how do I get him to see that this behavior is hurting our marriage and hurting me or help me to move on and change the way I think. I know that I can’t change who he is, and can’t control what he does-he is going to do what he does despite what I feel, on a certain level. But how do I talk to him about this so that he decides for himself if this marriage is worth fighting for

  20. Dear Beckie,

    Thank you for being here, and sharing about your marriage. It sounds like you’re really struggling to be happy in your marriage, and your husband isn’t willing or able to meet you halfway.

    And, it sounds like he has a lot of power in your relationship! You said he’s destroyed every friendship you’ve developed, which leaves you with nobody to connect with.

    I wrote this article with you in mind – I wanted to share ideas on building a life outside a marriage, especially for women who feel alone and emotionally disconnected:


    Of course, one blog post can’t heal your marriage! I encourage you to find someone to talk to, someone objective, who can help you see where you begin and where your husband ends. You have every right to expect some things from him – his job IS to fulfill some emotional, social, and physical needs. But, how much can you expect? Are you expecting too much from him?

    I don’t know the answers to those questions, but it might help you to talk them through with a counselor, pastor, or even a life coach.

    I hope you read the article that you inspired me to write :-) and that you let me know how you’re doing. I can’t offer counseling or advice, but I can listen! And it often helps to write our feelings, because it can bring clarity and insight. A relief of a burden, sometimes.


  21. My husband and I have been married for 10 years. We have three amazing daughters, 8, 5, and 1.
    Since my pregnancy with our second daughter, I’ve been warning him that there were issues. He works jobs that allow him great freedom with his boss, but require long hours and offer scanty pay for the amount of hours. And when I ask him to make more time for us, he says he’s working so much for us (not true. He works so much bc he doesn’t want a boss hovering over him and so he chooses this line of work) and because he works so much for us, when he’s off of work he wants time with friends.
    He feels like I’m smothering him and holding him hostage at home. I feel like he’s neglecting me and no longer wants to spend time with me, maybe even no longer loves me.
    I’ve been trying to save us for years, I stopped pursuing years ago, I don’t nag, I have sex with him whenever he wants, even when it makes me feel dirty afterwards bc it was lust without connection. I’ve tried being kind and understanding to his mother, who openly wishes for both of her sons to divorce their wives and move back home with her. I’ve tried making every change within myself that he’s pointed out as not liking about me. I thought if I became everything he thought he wanted in a wife, eventually he would recognize that and be more available to me, emotionally and with his time.
    During my third pregnancy i spent more time planning how my children and i were going to survive when i peft him after the baby was born and our lease was up. Then when she was born, I nearly died from complications. When he was sure that I was going to live, he made m all of these extravagant promises. I would forever more be first in his life. He would always make time everyday to spend alone with me. He would call me while he was at work. Never again would he let his mother interfer in our marriage.
    He broke all of those promises within 48 hours. But I’ve used it to give me hope for over a year.
    6 months ago he finally woke up and realized that we have issues that need fixing. Except he thinks the issue is me being too clingy and not being tolerant enough of his friends and family.
    I don’t have friends. I’m an introvert and don’t need many to begin with, but he has systematically destroyed every friendship I have developed over the last 10 years. And he gets angry with me for not having friends to fill the emotional needs I expect him to fill.
    I don’t know what to do.
    Is it really all of my fault? Am I really that blind that I can’t see that? Or am I just too blind to see that the man I thought I was marrying 10 years ago was a fantasy?
    I don’t know what to do, and I am so exhausted and utterly filled with resentment. But I’m still in love with him. It’s not that I can’t imagine my life without him, it’s just that I don’t want to. It breaks my heart. But what can I do when he won’t chip in and help fix things?
    Thank you so much for your articles, I’ve been reading them all morning. Hopefully something here will help my marriage. But knowing that I’m not alone in my situation, even if I feel alone in my marriage, is very reassuring. It’s not just me, this can happen to anyone.
    Thank you ladies! And thank you Laurie!

  22. Brien, have you and your wife tried marriage counseling? Mort Fertel’s 7 Secrets to a Happy Marriage is a good start, if she or you don’t want to see a counselor in person.

    When was the last time you took your wife out for dinner, just the two of you, and talked about your love for each other? Do you ever have a “date night”?

  23. Hello Amanda,

    Thank you for your wonderful offer! How lovely is that, to donate spa services to pamper women who don’t feel connected in their relationships. This is wonderful.

    I’ll go visit your Facebook page :-)


  24. I feel as a husband my wife is pushing me away over having bad arguments and disagreements. She always mention to me to work on myself more to overcome certain issues. I always work to be honest on all levels and she always stonewall me at certain times. She has more energy for her family and friends. I always feel she don’t give me the same energy level. As the husband my concerns of needs and wants suppose to be top priority. Please advise me of this current status. Frustrated husband wants out if things don’t change.

  25. My husband disconnected me the day after our wedding night. He is more distant and cold and doesn’t care about me. This has been going on for over 40 years. I have no idea why we are still in the same house! He lives his life in the basement and I upstairs, we never communicate, let alone see each other. He has worked the midnight shift for the last 40 or more years, that way he doesn’t sleep with me. He’s never taken me any where, I know he has vacation, lots of it but he just goes to work any way, never home on holidays. I think he might retire soon, but I’m sure that won’t make any difference, it might be worse. I just go along and do my own things, like I’ve never been married.

  26. Hi Laurie
    I’m not even entirely sure how I came across this blog online but I’m so glad I did. I am a mother of 2 toddlers 2&3 with my fair share of difficult times in my marriage. I also lean in towards God. Growing up in a Christian home is a huge blessing. I live in Coquitlam BC and recently opened a beautiful spa in my home. I would love to bless woman from your site from time to time by donating free services to some of these struggling woman. I believe sometimes us women really need a healing touch. Not that I’m a healer lol but when we are emotionally neglected it can be such a huge relief to have someone pour into you for a change. Just to have a few moments of peace can be a breath of fresh air. Please feel free to connect with me via email and check us out in Facebook @ Time Out Spa Lounge. We are currently renovating for child care so mothers can bring their young children with them to be cared for while enjoying that much needed “Me Time” we all deserve.
    Your advice has been very inspirational. Bless your heart!

  27. Laurie
    We are going together for group therapy. My husband went once by himself, and I have gone twice. Our therapist hopes to find the “connection” that will bring us back together. My husband is worried that if we work hard to over come this crossroads in our marriage, may revert bad to bad habits and little to no communication. I have a hard time with conflict and shut down. He does not pursue me to resolve these issues, so now we have 20 years of small and probably big issues that need to be resolved. I want to reconnect and stay with him. He has been unfaithful to our marriage. I maybe foolish, but I believe in our wedding vow. And this is the better or worse part. We need to find common interests. He showed little interest in things I like and then I intern did the same. I like to cook, and read, quilt and often times just being with my husband was enough. I feel like I have become the delusional wife thinking that everything will be good or better than before. I am scared and I don’t know what to do. I

  28. Dear Susan,

    What does your therapist tell you to do, in terms of reconnecting with your husband? I’m also curious about what you want to see happen in your marriage. You say your husband needs space, so he can figure out what he wants.

    What do you want?

  29. We have been married for 20 years. I know that we both were unhappy. I thought once my husband returned to work, and I was home more, not working so much, things would get better. Nope! He tells me that he has been lonely for a long time and has been involved with a “friend” someone I also know and so do our children. I feel betrayed, but we are in counseling.I want this to work. He says he needs time to think. So now I am left in limbo, waiting for him to make up his mind about OUR future. He complains that we don’t do anything together, I suggest things he will sometimes do them, or he will say he is going or doing something and I invite myself and he says he needs to be alone. Now what? I know that I am trying, maybe too hard. He says that we have grown apart, the therapist calls it a disconnect. Is there anyway that we can reconnect. There must have been something 20+ years ago that connected us. I don’t know what to do. I love him, we both are imperfect. I pray daily for help. I am not a religious person, but I do go to church and pray and right now that’s all I have. My bestfriend, my husband, is confused and so am I. I don’t know what to do.

  30. Thank you for being here, and for sharing how it feels to be alone in your marriage! I think we all go through phases of feeling lonely in our relationships – it’s part of being human.

    But if you feel lonely more often than you feel connected, then you and your partner might want to find ways to overcome the emotional disconnection. Life – and marriage – is better when you’re connected!

  31. Hi,
    Im 28years old with 3 sons between the ages of 8 & (5 Twin). Me and my partner have been together for 10 years we had our first son at age 19, hes now 41. He no longer commmunicate with me and its driving me crazy. I have to sugess everything besides work and fridends thats it yet still he thinks that its ok for him to get sex when he wants it. I dont care how much lies he continues to tell me I no that hes cheating. I’ve received letters/ text messges from his girlfriends and he denies them all. I really dont want to hurt our children, I love their dad but I cant take it any more im a emotional reck and for him right now communication is not an option. Everyones thinks were just this perfect little family.

  32. Hi Laurie,

    I have been married to my second husband for five years now. Eight months ago I gave birth to my second daughter but his first child. To make the story short, my husband didn’t want children and after a few struggles we both agreed on trying to conceived. He loves my daughter and treats her as his own, he is madly in love with his own daughter as well. We recenlty found out that we are having another baby. I get horrible morning sickness and I am not always pleasant to be around. Besides being a mom I work full time and I am taking five classes pursuing my Masters. My husband and I are so disconnected from eachother. He makes me feel like I bother him. If I ask for something for example, Tyleno for a headache because I have gestational diabetes and I get horrible migranes if my sugar gets low he complains that there is always something wrong with me. He tells me that I am too emotinal. I get so angry because he does not understand how I feel being pregnant and exhausted. My 8 month old is almost walking and is very active. I am extremly tired but don’t get enough rest between work, kids and going to school 3 times a week. I am 5 months pregnant and still suffer from severe morning sickness. I am a fire craker and I am not good at keeping my emotions inside. He is intraverted and loves to be alone. I am trying to give him space but I feel that if I don’t fight we will drift away. I have been divorced before and I plan to do whatever I can to make this marriage work. It’s hard when it seems like I am the only fighting. I feel better venting.

    Thank you,


  33. Hi, I have been married for over twenty years and blessed with two brilliant kids. My husband is a business man who started very very small and I have supported him at work, and emotionally in his long bad times. My very demanding In laws stayed with us for years but I did my best to take care of them, the numerous relatives, kids and husband all this time. I gave up my career to make sure no body is neglected. During this time, my husband has become a very successful man and a public figure. About 7 yrs ago I found out that my husband was cheating on me with another woman who has been married and divorced twice before. She is older than me and known to be extremely aggressive. Over these years she has used my husband to succeed in her business. Meanwhile my husband left the house 3 times for long periods of time 6 months. 1 year and then 3 months. But he did come back each time. During this time the paramour tricked my husband in marrying her in a religious ceremony outside theU.S. and adopted a child. I have cried, fought patiently waited, done every possible thing on earth to convince him to stop what he is doing. Every time I tell him that I want out of this marriage, he promises and swears to end the relationship only to break every deadline that he & i have agreed on. He keeps telling me that he is emotionally out of the relationship but the other woman won’t let go. Every time he buys her something, he buys me same thing or something similar. When he is home with the kids and me, he seems extremely happy and involved, but definitely visits all exotic resorts with her. He has moved her outside US and spends equal amount of time with her and here at home with us. While this all has been going on, I found out that he has another relationship going on with a very powerful woman in an official position for the past 10 years and is also engaged to her. Also I suspect that he has a relationship with a prostitute. I have always been a woman of principles and and take my marriage vows seriously and expect the same from my husband. Inspite of having lots of patience, I have come to a point that I just cannot take it anymore. I gone into deep depression and in a very disturbed state of mind. I wake up in the middle of the night with hot flashes and find myself crying in sleep, nightmares etc. I don’t trust my husband anymore. My kids know about all this but they don’t want me to get a divorce at least until they go off to college. Also I am unable to disconnect inspite of all this emotional torture and pain inflicted on me by my husband. I don’t know what to do. I wish there was a pill I could take that would help me forget the existence of my husband. Please help.

  34. I think all spouses feel emotionally disconnected at some point in their marriages. You can’t be totally connected all the time – it’s not natural. Sometimes we need to pull away for different reasons: to grow, to mourn, to think, to flourish.

    Emotional disconnection is a problem in marriage when you feel alone more often than not. If you rarely or never feel connected to your spouse, then it’s a serious issue.

  35. I tried all the tips in the marraige books including leaving him alone. I don’t sleep in the bedroom and give him his “space”. All he does is yell at us. I feel so alone. I also have no friends.

  36. I really like the book ScreamFree Marriage, because it discusses how to find emotional connection outside your marriage. We’re not supposed to need our spouses to make us feel emotionally whole.

  37. I don’t know ? I have been Married to my husband almost 15 years and found out in November (2011) that he had been having an “Emotional Affair” with another woman, she was his vice presidents daughter I had met her several times at Christmas parties. Anyway I have felt a disconnect with my husband for awhile and have never been able to figure out what the issue was or is? When I confronted him because she sent him a text message that I answered because he was out of the car, he said it wasn’t what I thought she was just a friend ect. My husband offered to go to counseling in which we have gone one time, I had even ordered Mort Fertels program before I found out about the affair because we were having problems with connecting, “I wonder why”. Anyway he just quit Our Mort Fertel Program which was not an option as far as I was concerned, and it was helping alot. My thought is that you can’t be an opisitional spouse and want better but not seek better. I finally told my husband that he was not taking accountablility or trying on our marige and that I want out, “Finally” NOW he wants counseling? I think that you have to have a spouse who loves and cares about you enough that he or she will do anything to save your mariage if they truly want things to work. I am a Christian I understand being patient and hanging in ,but for how long when your spouse is selfish? I some point you have to quit sacrificing your happiness hoping someone else will change for the better of the marriage. I have had to change some things for him as well because I love him but you can’t always be the one putting in effort with no reciprocation back.

  38. This is SO true. I went through about a year of trying to make things better in our marriage and my husband only seemed to be really confused by it. It didn’t help a thing. Marriages cannot be one-sided, it’s not the way to go. FOCUS ON YOURSELF~only way to feel better. The marriage may or may not follow but atleast you will have a better you!

  39. This sounds all too familiar about the pursuing dance and trying to get closer when it just seems to push them away more. I will be starting some therapy soon as we are currently living apart and will look into this. I know it doesn’t help but like you said it is soo hard to stop bothering them about it and focusing on myself again beacuse all I want is a good healthy happy marraige!!
    Thanks, Glad I found your articles :)

  40. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your comments. I agree that a relationship with God can help when you feel alone in your marriage. That spiritual and emotional healthiness can help with those awful feelings of disconnection, especially if your spouse is also connected to his higher source of power.

    Do women feel more emotionally disconnected than men? I don’t know – I think it depends on the individuals. But I do think that men don’t need as deep of an emotional disconnection as women do.

  41. Thank you very much for sharing this one.One thing I want to add,relationship to God is also important to stay strong.I’ve been
    married for 12 years,we put God the center of our married life that’s why
    we stay strong in every problem that comes..

  42. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear AK and helpmeplz,

    Thank you for sharing your marriages here. I’m sorry you’re struggling with your husbands, and that you feel so alone. Living with emotional disconnection is very lonely and isolating.

    I wrote this article for both of you, because it seems like you have so much in common! Both of you are struggling with lack of physical intimacy in your marriages, and you don’t know what you want.

    You’re Not Happy Married, But Don’t Know If Divorce Is the Answer

    I hope it helps, and welcome your thoughts. Writing how you feel is the best way to gain clarity and insight, so feel free to share here. Or, get a journal and try to write every morning. Just write your thoughts and feelings – whether they’re meaningful or not. Often just the act of writing can help you figure out what you want!

    Keep in touch – let me know how things are going.


    1. I cant beleive there are women out there like me, so lonely and so so sad. Every one thinks we have such a happy marriage but the lonelyness is so hard i sometimes just hug myself to sleep at night. I do have faith and i pray alot but i think this is just the cross i was born to bare. Not sure. comforting that i am

  43. Hi,
    I have been married for almost 6 years now and we have 2 beautiful children. We have been through a lot in our marraige and yet here we are. He has a daughter who is 17 froma previous marraige who hates my guts who I am not to fond of either. We have lost all intimacy in the past 2 years, the last time we had sex like 4 months ago- it felt more like a tranaction than a moment to share passion. I am a law student and also a stay at home mom currently looking for work to help out here at home with the bad economy. He wants me to quit school and not work and he also doesn’t like ANY of my friends or relatives. I have no social life what-so-ever and have lost my sense of self… I feel very alone and like he is trying to trap me. He hangs out with his friends secretively or comes home drunk or wreaking of alcohol, he breaks every promise he makes to our kids and me, and puts EVERYTHING as a priority except spending time with us. I thought it was just me, like he resents me for something, but even when I offer to leave him alone with the kids, he refuses. He is 13 years older than me and is always making me feel stupid or saying things just to get under my skin or insult me. He never wants to spend time with me or our kids and his excuse is that he is always tired or busy. I feel like I might as well be a single mom. I don’t think he is cheating but I can’t figure out why he is being this way. I’m tired, and it hurts that he doesn’t want to be with our kids – I don’t want to give up any more of myself and I shouldnt have to. I want to stay together for our kids and because I think I still love him, I don’t know anymore. I am very lonely, and this makes me scared to leave him because I don’t know if I can do this by myself and I don’t want to quit school because I’m SOO CLOSE! I also don’t want to take away the only fahter figure my kids have just because I am feeling lonely – I don’t want to punish them for my feelings…. help

  44. My husband and I have been married for almost six years, together for eight.we’ve been through alot over the past year and were almost divorced, he then changed his mind and wanted to stay. It was all a sudden suprise to me when it happened and since then it has been a struggle. He loved me and doesnt want to leave me but he wants to be with other women and can’t decide. I cant emotionally trust him any more.. our sexlife doesnt exist. I cant take the going back and forth about what he wants its crushing me. what should I do.

  45. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Uppal,

    Thanks for your comment. Funnily enough, a reader recently said that her husband wants her to be dependent on him. He resents her university degree, and is threatened by the thought of her becoming independent. She feels terribly alone in her marriage, and emotionally disconnected.

    I guess not all men like independent wives.

  46. I think all men like wives who are independent and look after things themselves.Emotional support’d be forthcoming if the wife’s disturbed state affects him personally in day to day functioning.When the children leave the nest emotional support becomes mutual.In all stages of life the success of every woman is herself.

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