There are so many ways of detaching and disengaging in a relationship that we’re not always conscious of when we are doing it. Here is a list of some of the most common ways people disconnect from each other:
- Making your intimate partner a lower priority in your life. If you do this, your partner will feel less important and undervalued.
- Not allowing enough quality time together, or not doing many things with each other.
- Not paying attention, being distracted, preoccupied or being chronically tired.
- Being a poor listener. Frequently interrupting, talking over your partner, or listening for what you can disagree with or argue about.
- Having a defensive wall up, so your spouse doesn’t feel you’re receptive to his/her feelings, requests, hurts or needs.
- Not honoring what your partner says matters to him/her.
- Not showing empathy or compassion for his/her feelings, wants or desires.
- Infidelity. For some this includes porn, and it definitely includes sex and sexual flirting.
- Being extremely possessive or jealous. This will cause your spouse to pull away from you.
- Judging, criticizing or shaming. How are criticisms offered? The difference between saying something in anger/irritation and saying something from kindness and tact is huge.
- Getting abrasive quickly or frequently. It pushes the other person away.
- Treating your feelings, needs, irritations, sensitive subjects and requests as far more important than your partner’s.
- Withdrawing friendliness and generosity of spirit as soon as you get upset or angry.
- No matter whether you are addicted to the internet, overworking, excessive drinking, TV, porn, food or drugs, all of these will keep your relationship more distant.
- Incessant complaining.
- Demeaning or belittling words (or behaviors). Being rude. Name calling. Being hateful.
- Taking more than you give.
There are ways of changing these behaviors. You could make your relationship a higher priority, carve out more quality time to be together, give your partner your undistracted attention and presence, be a much better listener, control your anger and be less adversarial, be more kind and friendly, add romance and make sure you create ways to have fun together.