You’ve heard that marriage is hard and that it has its ups and downs. But you never heard that there’d be times when you wouldn’t be in love with your spouse anymore. So now that you’re feeling this way you’re worried. And you don’t know if it means your relationship is in trouble or even potentially doomed. Well, don’t worry. Your marriage isn’t doomed. There are lots of things you can do to not just rekindle that spark but to get your relationship back into that deep, abiding love again.
What to Do When You’re Not In Love With your Spouse Anymore
First, you need to recognize that this is going to take work. There are a lot of times that couples think that this is just a phase and that it will pass. But in my experience, it rarely ‘just passes’ without the couple doing some intentional and deliberate work to fix it. Lack of love and affection in a relationship is not a good place to be. And you need to make a course correction. These steps that make a course correction always require you to intentionally and deliberately refocus on your relationship. If it came natural you’d be doing it already and probably wouldn’t feel this way in the first place. So be ready to be intentional and make some deliberate effort to get yourself back to feeling in love with your spouse again.
Identify What Has Taken Your Attention Away
Second, you need to identify what has taken your attention away from your relationship. I say this pretty confidently because I have yet to meet a couple who feels out of love and who also spend a lot of time together going on dates, doing fun things, etc. So if you’re feeling out of love with your spouse, I’m willing to bet you’re not spending the time or attention that you used to on your relationship. So identify what’s taking your attention away. Do you spend a lot of time on your phone/tablet when you’re home? Do you spend a lot of time on a hobby or focusing on your kids? Maybe you’re a busy family and you’re always running around to get your kids to sports/activities, etc.
Regardless of what it is, or how worthwhile you feel it is (like helping your kids) find out whatever it is that’s taking time away from your relationship and make a plan to cut it back. It can be difficult because you usually fill your time with things you enjoy or that you feel are necessary. So cutting back on them with no guarantee that it will revive your relationship is risky. But if you don’t it’ll be really hard to re-focus on your marriage and get that love back.
If it’s your spouse who’s not spending the time or attention on the relationship, identify what it is they’re spending time on instead and make a request for them to cut it back. You could say something like “Honey, instead of watching sports tonight I was wondering if you’d go out with me for a walk instead” or “Can I go with you to take our daughter to her cheer practice? I’d like to watch the practice with you”. Go ahead and invite yourself. It shows your spouse you’re interested in them and most of the time they won’t say no.
Spending more time together usually isn’t enough. Even though it’s necessary, there’s still one extra step you have to take. And that’s showing each other some romance. Romance is what sets you and your partner apart from just being roommates. So go ahead, get a little romantic, flirty and even sexy. There’s only one person you can do this with so go for it!
About the Author:
Aaron Anderson is a therapist and Director of The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. He is a writer, speaker and relationship expert. He specializes in working with couples learn to communicate and overcome sexual difficulties.