by Tauna Meyer
My husband walks in the door and we exchange a quick smile. He drops off his things and heads into the kitchen to grab his dinner (he works fairly late in the evening most days) while I continue working on my computer. He sits down on the other couch and begins to eat.
“How was your day?” I ask.
“Ok,” he says, ” just another day.”
We make small talk for a few minutes and then I go back to my computer and he grabs his own or puts a show on Netflix. Before we know it, it’s late, we’re tired, and we head to bed. We kiss goodnight and set our respective alarms for the next day.
I lay there praying about all the concerns that flood my brain (because that’s what happens when it’s time to sleep) and then I feel it … a small but painfully hollow loneliness creeps into my heart. My choices are to wake up my husband and start a deep conversation about it (because 11pm is perfect for that) or I can talk about it later. I choose later, and then forget about it entirely until the next time a hollow loneliness creeps up on me.
The Best of Marriages
My husband and I have a wonderful marriage. We are uncommonly content, loving, and full of joy. We are blessed to have a dynamic in our marriage that works wonderfully. We never fight, although we occasionally wade through a disagreement.
Yet we still sometimes find ourselves feeling disconnected from each other. No marriage is perfect, and just like everyone else, we bring our own sins and dysfunctions into ours. We are also introverts by nature, finding our refreshment from solitude rather than connection with others. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it can sometimes become a hurdle to overcome in our marriage relationship.
It happens to the best of marriages. However, there are a few things we have noticed about that disconnect in our marriage and in the others’. The chances of a disconnect between man and wife are more common when:
- There are stressful circumstances.
- We don’t know how to connect.
- The disconnect seems insurmountable.
- There is a habit of disrespect.
- We put our needs above our spouse’s.
- We don’t give our marriage the proper priority.
- We’re being lazy.
- We’re tired or overly busy.
These things are sure to bring a disconnect in your marriage. Some of them are things we can control, and some of them are not, but we can decide what to do about it.
What to Do When You Feel Disconnected From Your Husband
Dear wife who feels disconnected: you are not alone. Feeling disconnected from your husband is a hard place to be. It can feel lonely, and it can hurt. Your disconnect may be severe and may be due to years of issues or you may just occasionally struggle with it in your marriage. Either way, you are not alone.
And you know what? You are SUPPOSED to feel disconnected.
Not that being disconnected is a good thing, but when it happens you SHOULD be sensitive enough to pick up on it! God designed women to be more sensitive to that disconnect in our relationships. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but it’s generally true: You will notice the disconnect before your husband does. It doesn’t make him a jerk. He’s just wired differently.
Regardless, the responsibility to connect and restore closeness falls on both of you. Here are several things my husband and I have learned to do when we start to feel that disconnect creep in. Working on these habits is a team effort, but it will become such a blessing to your marriage!
Lean Into God
God designed marriage, and it is intended to reflect relationship with Him. However, you will not be completely fulfilled in your relationship with your husband. This is simply because that total fulfillment can only come in relationship with Christ. When loneliness and disconnect creep in, run into His arms first. Remind yourself of your identity in Christ and your complete security in Him.
Don’t neglect this important piece! Pray earnestly for your marriage. Nobody cares for your marriage more than God does. Cover your husband and your relationship with him in prayer, and watch God do amazing things.
Make a choice to make the first move. Approach your husband with love and a desire to connect with him rather than any resentment over an area where he has fallen short. Remember that you are both doing the best you can and need a lot of grace!
Cut to the Chase
Husbands generally appreciate being told what is going on rather than having to guess. I make sure to cut to the chase instead of hoping he’ll just “get it.” I go to my husband (or he comes to me) and say, “I feel like we’re not connecting. It’s starting to bother me. Let’s get back on track. How about an idea for connecting ?” Work together with him, and forget about playing hard to get. Who has time for that?!
Make It a Priority
There are hundreds of things that can pull you in different directions. It takes focus and dedication to place your marriage in the proper priority, giving it the time and attention it deserves over career, home, friends, church … everything but God! Spending time with your husband, planning dates or ways to connect, and praying for him. These are all ways that we show the priority of your marriage.
Even when you might not feel like it, be affectionate. This is about sex but is also about all the other ways we can show affection. Create a safe place of emotional and physical intimacy with your husband. Hold his hand, touch his shoulder, speak highly of him, and build him up.
Make Regular Connections
Commit to a regular time to “date” your husband. It could involve hiring a sitter and going out for dinner or just a quiet night reading together or playing games. Find a hobby or pastime you enjoy together. Try new things! But make that regular date set in stone. Don’t make it into a “state of the marriage” address, either! Dating your husband doesn’t mean holding a business meeting with him. You might chat about marriage, children, and other things, but the primary focus should be simply enjoying each other’s company.
My husband and I have become so practiced at connecting in these ways that it is second nature. We immediately know when there is danger of disconnecting from each other and begin doing what it takes to get back on track. I pray that you will find the same freedom and joy as you put these ideas into practice yourself! Your marriage is more than worth it.
What can you do to stay connected in your marriage today?
A Note: I realize that sometimes the disconnect can be severe and as a result of years of issues. Sometimes the husband doesn’t want to mend the disconnect or there are other circumstances that make it particularly difficult. I can only offer my prayers and suggest that you find help and pray hard for your husband and your marriage! God knows your heart and the heart of your husband. He is the only true Healer. I pray that you find the help you need and the encouragement of other women who can come alongside you. One thing is for certain: You are not alone!
Tauna Meyer is the founder of ProverbialHomemaker.com and author of the curriculum Sound Words for Kids: Lessons in Theology. Tauna is a homeschooling mom of six who speaks to women with encouragement that is relatable and tools that work in real life! She has a passion for helping moms overcome the hurdles that keep them from homeschooling successfully, all while pointing themselves and their children to Christ. She and her husband, Aaron, are also board members with OCEANetwork, the Oregon Christian homeschool organization that works to protect and expand homeschool freedoms in Oregon.
This article was originally published in April 2015 on Tauna’s blog, ProverbialHomemaker.com. Republished with permission.