Maybe you and your partner have been together for a while now, and as a couple, you have drifted further and further apart. They have their interests, hobbies, and activities, and you are finding it more and more difficult to get their attention. It’s hurtful to feel like your significant other is ignoring you. As a result, disappointment and resentment build within you. You aren’t ready to throw in the towel yet, but you know you can’t keep this up forever.
Perhaps you have even tried to talk this through with your partner, but so far, they have changed nothing and seem satisfied with things the way they are. The good news is, if you have the energy to work on the problem yourself, there ARE things you can do to turn things around on your own—even if they are not going to join you in the effort. The following questions may help you to determine a direction to change things and to turn a corner in your marriage. Ask yourself these things:
What was it that made it different?
- If things really changed at a point in time that you can pinpoint—what went on then? What happened, what changed things? Is there something that you are aware of or that you think might have contributed to the change in your relationship?
What do you think will happen if it continues?
If things continue the way they are now, do you envision any changes? Will the two of you be able to go on like this indefinitely? Does it feel like this is just a season in life, and there is light at the end of the tunnel; or is it a problem that isn’t going to go away?
Who can support you and encourage you to hang in there?
- When you take on a project such as this, it is helpful to have a close friend or family member who will be your confidant and a source of encouragement. If things have been pretty bad for a while, they may not change for a while. You need to be prepared to get NOTHING in return for the effort you are putting into taking care of your spouse. That is hard work, so enlist some form of encouragement from someone who is able to keep things completely confidential.
When will you start your campaign?
- Once you have a plan put together; set a start date for your “Love Campaign” and get to it. If you can find the energy to stay at it consistently for 40 days, it should make a difference in your marriage. If nothing changes, then it is time to consider another approach. Marriage, and long-term relationships, can be hard work. Depending on the personalities of the two people involved, problem-solving can become extremely complicated. If your partner has pulled away and there seems to be no talking about it, prepare yourself to go to war with a “Love Campaign” and see it through to the end.
What was done to address it?
- If you are reasonably certain that there was an event or series of events that precipitated the change in your marriage, what was done to address the situation? Were things addressed properly, or is there still some unfinished business? Do the two of you have the ability to work through it, or has he closed the books on the matter?
If you don’t confront it, what can you do differently?
- If you are convinced that there is no value in any attempt to discuss things and face up to the problem, is there something you can do? What are some known complaints that your spouse has about your life together? If they have some legitimate complaints and concerns, are you willing to address them? Do you need help or input in addressing or working on the issues you want to change? Do you have or can you find the energy to step up your game at this stage of things?
- Can you work on your “stuff” if needed, or pour extra energy into taking care of them? Construct a list of the things you know you can do that will tell your spouse you are serious about being the wife or partner they want or need. If you need help, consider the book The Love Dare by Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick, or look it up online. The book contains a 40-day guide to help you take care of and win back the love of a spouse who has grown cold toward you. To attempt the “Love Dare,” you just quietly begin the process. No announcement is made about what you are up to—you just start doing it and follow the guide each day for 40 days. Written by Christian authors, the book contains a daily devotional to encourage you in your “dare.”
When did things change?
- Think back to when you really began to notice a change in the relationship. Was it a gradual change between the two of you that happened over time? Can you trace it back to a particular point in time? What stands out for you as far as when it began to be different between the two of you?