The Fallout of a Disconnected Marriage and How to Remedy Them
It’s no wonder, that with so many factors working against marriages – our busy schedules, our mismatched priorities, overuse of technology, and lack of personal discipline (to name a few) – that we feel disconnected to our husbands.
Because marriage magnifies God’s beautiful design, it’s no surprise that the union of marriage is under attack. You’d be abnormal if you’ve been married for any extended period of time and have never felt alone in your marriage.
However, continuing to stay in a season of disconnect with your husband creates varying degrees of the following symptoms, which if not remedied, can have detrimental effects.
Here are a few symptoms of a disconnected marriage:
Lack of intimacy – sexual and nonsexual. As you and your spouse take small steps away from each other in otherwise normal mundane moments of your day, what often results is a lack of interest to connect intimately. You or your husband may become disinterested in showing sexual or nonsexual affection or withhold sexual or nonsexual affection in hopes that by withholding affection, connection would result. You and I both know this isn’t the result of withholding and that by withholding affection, disconnection only increases.
Increased level of conflict. The more you and your husband are not intimately connected, the higher your level of conflict. You’ll begin to notice more times of miscommunication, false assumptions, and attitudes of negativity or bitterness. Conflict brews, and soon it feels like you’re on different pages.
Higher chance of four indicators arising that lead to divorce: contempt, criticism, stonewalling, and defensiveness. Research shows that when couples show signs of attacking their spouses character, being disrespectful, reversing blame, withdrawing or shutting down, it predicts the end of the relationship. Identifying these is an important step in moving away from them.
Decrease in empathy, care, or concern. When you feel disconnected to your husband, you might start feeling a general sense of disinterest in him or for him. Indifference might become a familiar camp where you tend to feel like you don’t care about things you used to care about. Mainly, your husband.
Outside temptations become more attractive. A random guy at the coffee shop. A message from an old friend. Junk food. Laziness. When we feel lonely in our marriage, we’re at risk for flirting with short-term fillers that trick us into thinking they can somehow meet our needs.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you can take steps today to get back on track. Small steps of progress in the right direction should be celebrated!
Relax, have some fun! Research also shows that connection grows when we enjoy the presence of others. Recently after a wife shared with me that she and her husband have been ‘off’, sharing more exchanges of dissatisfaction with each other than anything, I replied by asking, “When was the last time you had fun with your husband?” She smiled, saying, “I can’t remember.” Before she left, I said, “Sometimes we just need to be reminded that we do, in fact, like our husbands.” It’s true. Sometimes it takes going on a date with another couple for me to gaze over at my husband after a hard season and think, man, I do like you!
Get your mind right. We’ve got to give ourselves a good cleanse by reading God’s actual words. When was the last time you sat down and saturated your mind with God himself? If it’s been a while, do whatever it takes to make it happen and make it your common practice.
Get in the groove. Sometimes we forget that we know how to ride the bike of connection. We see the bike but just need a push to get back on and get going. You can enjoy a team of wives just like who are getting on the bike with you by reading Dear Wife: 10 Minute Invitations to Practice Connection with Your Spouse. While you read, you’ll get many more ideas to practice connecting with God and your husband!
Let’s be wives who fiercely fight for our marriage. Let’s decide to not focus on the symptoms but instead do the hard work, because it’s always worth it. There is a community of wives learning and loving on one another at A Wife Like Me, and great resources for you to grow in your marriage on our website. We’d love to see you there!
Amanda Davison is the wife to a Minnesota farmer, mother of three, and President of the nonprofit, A Wife Like Me. She is an author and speaker, and serves on staff at her local church, where her and her husband lead the marriage mentor team. Amanda is relentlessly sharing how her education in counseling and God’s word changed her life and marriage. You can be a part of the growing community of wives on Facebook or Instragram, and can find many helpful resources for your marriage at A Wife Like Me.