Dan and Marie had been happily married for 15 years with two children – a boy 10yrs old and a girl aged 8yrs. Marie had no complains but sensed that both she and her spouse were drifting apart.
One morning, Dan came to their bed as she was sleeping and said that he needed to go out and would like to borrow her keys. Before she could even reply he took her keys and left. As she was lying on the bed, she
recalled her roommate in college and felt a similar situation. Then the thought
Was Dan her roommate or her spouse?
Is this what a loving spousal relationship evolves to in the long term.
Where were the butterflies she felt when they first fell in love?
Below are three signs that your spouse is turning into your roommate:
1. The usual affectionate actions like greeting, giving loving kisses and loving caresses become less common. The absence of these affectionate gestures canreduce the intimacy between the couple.
2. Quality time is something that couples treasure. However, being bogged down with work, pressured with daily cares and with all the housework, couples will often find themselves having less time to share. They may stop their quality time, sharing about their day and life and find themselves drifting further apart. Time spent together is limited to chores and obligations. Having meals or even going for dessert could be treasured moments. Over the years, many excuses could be made to stop having these moments together. Excuses would be made for skipping meals together.
3. Communication between couples is important. But years of being together might make each other communicate less and think that they are aware and understand the different issues and concerns of the other. They will begin to communicate in different ways. They could start texting, send emails or use the children to pass messages. Face to face communication about their emotions and feelings cease. Conversations become business like.
This lack of intimacy, quality time and communication could lead to scenarios like the following exacerbating the problem:
Certain habits, personal or toilet practices may cause annoyance. They could be petty habits but if these feelings of annoyance are not shared and understood they could cause trivial irritations leading to distancing from each other. A healthy dose of communication will help each other to understand the problem and accommodate each other.
Household chores could fall to one person, who feels that it is a burden and that they are not being helped by the other. The other may appear to be free but unwilling to lift a finger to help as they do not see it as their role. This could cause tension between the couple and cause them to drift apart. This can apply to many different areas of family life and even if one partner is not actually doing all the work, a lack of communication about their feelings and a lack of acknowledgement from their partner can also make them feel under appreciated.
What are some steps you can take to avoid this?
1. Maintain your physical intimacy. The power of touch and what it conveys is underestimated. A touch can convey more than a words can, emotionally, it can soothe your feelings, biologically, reduce blood pressure and increase your feelings of being close with your partner. Being deprived of touch can increase feelings of isolation. Make it a point to convey your love and affection with your touch.
2. Make it a point to schedule a date night where you devote some time to yourselves as a couple. Remove your father and mother hats and reunite as lovers as you first did. Identity is important and as important as your other roles are give priority also to your roles as lovers.
3. There is a belief that if my partner loves me, then I will not need to communicate my feelings as I will be understood. Moreover, we assume familiarity will allow our partner to understand our emotions, but do not forget that you both are changing and growing together everyday. Your perceptions are changing and the most simple way to ensure you are understood is to communicate your feelings. Take the time to share about your day and your feelings, so you can both understand each other better and also increase your emotional intimacy.