Among the numerous consultations we handle daily, one of the most common cases we get is wherein one of the spouses is absent in the relationship.
This could be caused by a general feeling of disillusionment with the marriage or exasperation over a partner’s behavior. Whether one of them has moved out or is still there but acting very distant, it’s difficult for the other person to deal with this change in their marriage.
And so the usual problem is that the partner who wants to make things work becomes frustrated from the their spouse's lack of interest in saving their marriage.
Then, the struggling spouse begins to entertain thoughts of hopelessness and the desire to throw in the towel.
However, just because the frustrated spouse may have these cataclysmic feelings, it doesn't mean they have to let it fester in their consciousness. When a certain type of emotion is nurtured, there's a tendency for it to snowball and gather critical mass.
If you're going through this situation, read on...
Regaining Your Personal Power
The negative thoughts swirling in your head can ATTRACT similar thoughts until you develop a crippling mindset which will taint your outlook with hopelessness. Don’t give in to this pattern – acknowledge your emotions for what they are and move on to a constructive course of action.
Remember, the mind is capable of exaggerating your worst fears; don’t let it play tricks on you. As powerless as you might feel, you can regain control of your emotions by realizing that you have the power to feed an emotion or DISMISS it.
While you don’t have total control over the circumstances in your life (such as an estranged spouse), you'll always have control over your reactions to them. Empowering yourself with this important truth is the first step to improving your marriage – along with your life in general.
Start by transforming yourself. A happy, positive and loving person attracts people and inspires change in them - even if might take some time.
If your spouse doesn’t want to be on-board with the relationship, that is their choice. He or she needs to realize their accountability in the relationship and how they’ve contributed to the state of your marriage.
In case your spouse refuses to see a counselor, go ahead and set up an appointment for yourself anyway. At the very least, a trained professional will allow you to vent your emotions and process them constructively (as opposed to sulking).
A specialist will also help you focus on the core issues that are troubling your marriage so that you don’t develop a narrow-minded view of your situation.
Get Validation From Your Life, Not Just Your Marriage
Furthermore, tap into the areas of your life so that your troubled marriage doesn't make you feel that you're lacking in some way. Create a support system by reconnecting with family members and old friends. They can give you a different perspective on your situation and give you the strength to carry on in spite of the challenges you face.
Indulge in your passions and get involved in a cause or hobby that’s close to your heart. In a trying time such as this, it’s important to become whole by getting reacquainted with yourself.
Some of your individuality might have faded into the relationship - now is the time to regain the qualities which make you unique.
By asserting your independence, you’ll become happier with who you are and less needy. This is the kind of person your spouse will want to come home to.
Paradoxically, taking this opportunity to do your own thing will bring your spouse closer to you and remind them of the person they married.
A Change Of Heart
Eventually, he or she will open their heart to you once more and allow you a chance to reconnect. Sometimes, a person needs to know exactly what they stand to lose (i.e. you) before they realize that they need to stop taking it for granted.
Regardless of whatever happens to you, remember that you’ll always have to take care of yourself. How can you be there for the people in your life if you neglect your well-being? Though the path is strewn with frustrating setbacks, you will come out of your ordeal as a wiser and stronger person.
As you become the best version of yourself, you’ll rebuild the friendship you share with your spouse. Ultimately, you’ll accept each other for who you are and develop a deeper, more profound love in your marriage.
My situation is complex. Ny civil partner of 6 months left me after a 6 year relationship. We were blissfully happy, hence getting married! She left after saying she'd lost that special part of being in love that means you can always forgive and forget. We have 5 year old twins (through IVF) and they were premature and spent 9 weeks in intensive care. She never really dealt with the emotions of fearing her babies would die and on a few occasions planning their funeral. I begged her on many occasions to seek help but she wouldn't. She left me 3 months ago and has had a nervous breakdown. I can't tell if the breakdown caused her to leave or the loss of her love for me caused the breakdown. She says she resents me.Says I stopped her enjoying her kids because she worried all the time they were too noisy, too naughty etc I have 2 teenage girls adding another complication to the mix, my 15 year old is very up and down and volatile at times, I've just accessed another round of therapy for her.
My ex doesn't want contact with me, finds it unhelpful etc I have strong suspicions there is someone else and many of our friens do too but I don't know if I'm looking for someone else to blame. I live in hope she'll get better and we can start over but her personality is one of never looking back, moving forwards. What a mess, would be grateful for any advice.