It can be confusing and frustrating when your significant other emotionally disconnects from you. If this has happened to you and you’re wondering why, consider the following possibilities:
The Problem May Not Be Your Relationship
If your relationship was going smoothly otherwise, there’s a chance that your significant other is experiencing a stressful situation at work or from family issues that have nothing to do with you. Your loved one’s attention is likely focused on dealing with these things, and the distance between you is nothing more than a natural result of those circumstances.
The Solution: Realize that this situation isn’t about you, and it is nothing personal. Back off and give your loved one a chance to deal with the problems. Things with your relationship will likely resolve when your partner’s work-related stresses or family issues have been dealt with.
Your Partner Is Feeling Smothered By the Relationship
If you’ve been a little too clingy, your loved one may react by pulling away from you. They may feel the need to spend some time apart from you.
The Solution: The best course of action in this situation would usually be to back off and give your loved one some space. You risk killing the relationship by being too needy. Keep in mind that it is healthy for couples to each have their own individual hobbies, pastimes and interests. It isn’t always ideal for a couple to spend every waking moment together.
Don’t call, don’t text and absolutely don’t show up at their place unannounced. Wait for them to make the next move. The key here is to be perceived as strong and independent rather than hopelessly demanding.
Your Loved One Is Having Doubts About the Relationship
All relationships have issues that need to be resolved. This is perfectly normal, especially in the beginning stages where the two of you are working to determine whether you would be compatible in the long term.
The Solution: Have an open and honest conversation about your beloved’s concerns, and do your best to work through them. Even a great relationship will have hurdles. For example, perhaps your families come from different religious backgrounds; if religion is important to both of you, that is an issue you’ll have to figure out how to resolve with mutual respect. Issues like these will have to be addressed at some point, and it is healthy to determine whether you’re able to work out compromises in cases like these.
Your Loved One Is Afraid of Getting Hurt
If your partner has already been through a hurtful or destructive relationship, they may be feeling vulnerable. When someone has been hurt, it’s natural for them to be wary of repeating the experience. Nobody wants to endure a broken heart.
The Solution: Realize that your partner’s distant behavior might be caused by fear of another heartbreak. It may be a signal that they are erecting protective barriers in hopes of guarding their heart from additional pain. If this is the situation, you will most likely have some work to do in earning their trust:
- Be sure to always follow through on your commitments
- Keep their secrets
- Forgive their mistakes
- Communicate openly and honestly
- Be loyal
- Keep your disagreements private
If you prove yourself to be trustworthy, your partner is likely to respond by dissolving the distance between you.
Your Partner Is Falling Out of Love
Has your sweetheart totally stopped investing time in the relationship? Have they been making excuses to avoid intimacy? Does it seem as if they are falling out of love with you?
The Solution: Communication will be essential for resolving the issues happening in a situation like this one. It would be beneficial if you could agree on a mutually convenient time to talk through the situation. You’ll want to ask your loved one specific questions about their perspective on how to revive the relationship. In particular, you’ll want to find out what they suggest doing to feel more connected.
If your partner is open about their perspective on the relationship, it’s crucial for you to make an honest effort to understand their feelings. If they don’t open up, or their responses are unclear, it could be beneficial to seek help from an objective third party. You might consider letting them know how couples counseling helps and then suggesting it as the next step for reinvigorating the relationship.
Your Partner Is Interested In Someone Else
It’s possible that your loved one might have connected with someone else. If this is the case, they may be contemplating an affair or already having one.
Possible Solutions: This is a tricky situation, and there is no easy, one-size-fits all solution for it. Your response will depend on the specifics of the situation – in particular, it’s important to determine whether your partner is actually cheating or just thinking about it. Another important factor is how much you have invested in the relationship.
There are some telltale signs that your loved one may be cheating:
- They’re making an effort to hide their phone from you
- They’re spending more time at work than usual, or their schedule has undergone some other recent drastic changes
- They’re often unreachable
- They’re working out more often, taking greater pains with their appearance or dressing up more than they ever used to
- There are unexplained purchases showing up on credit cards
- They are suddenly hostile or overly critical towards you
The most straightforward way to figure out if your beloved is cheating is to ask if they are seeing someone else. Watch the resulting body language as they answer your question. Direct eye contact is a good sign, while squirming, fidgeting and avoiding your gaze are not good signs. Cheating doesn’t automatically have to mean the end of a relationship. In some cases, couples therapy can save a relationship where cheating has taken place.
These are some of the most common reasons that a relationship might suddenly grow distant and disconnected. If this is happening to you, it’s worth assessing the situation to determine the issues your relationship is facing; then you’ll be better situated for taking action to solve the underlying problems.