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  • Writer's pictureJenn

Distancing in Marriage

Are you a distancer in your relationship?

This may look like a calm marriage at times without yelling or arguing

But there is an undercurrent of feeling hurt, unappreciated, defeated, hopelessness, and despondency driving the silence.

Distancing can be from avoiding "I can't deal with it"

"It will just make a problem where there isn't one"

Or giving up:

"Nothing will change anyway"

"I've tried everything I know how to do"

The primitive mind, the one that tries to protect you from pain,

Will whisper that distancing is the "safe" thing to do

That you will be safer from hurt or pain or exhaustion if you are away from the source (him)

Or he will be safer away from you.

  • Safe from the ways you were treated in the past

  • Safe from your fears and insecurities

  • Safe from your thoughts about yourself or

  • Unresolved events

Shutting down in marriage often shows up in other places.

A dullness or lack of vibrancy in life

Increased stress in other areas like work or motherhood

A strong need for alone time...but it doesn't fill and recover you

But it cuts you off from a relationship that used to provide strength and comfort

.....and can again.....

When the brain isn't "failing in anticipation of failing"

Dear friend,

You aren't alone. There are things you can do. You can do this.

Here are some suggestions on how:

  1. Be willing to feel. Big love is available to those who are willing to feel big growing pains. You can't go all in while bracing yourself for impact. Emotions can not hurt you but resisting them causes suffering. Be on board with the whole experience.

  2. Notice the true source of your pain. It's what you are making things mean. If everything he says or does is running through the thought, "He doesn't care. He doesn't respect me" your brain will find what it is looking for. Same with, "Whenever I talk to him I hurt him". Your brain will get on the job of proving that true for you.

  3. Change those thoughts to something that helps you connect.

"I can change. And when I change, everything changes."

Decide who you want to be in your marriage.

Want some ideas?

Here are some that are absolutes in my identity that make huge impacts in my marriage.

They are deal-breakers if there is no space for them in my relationship.

I tell the truth. If I start feeling like I have to lie or pretend or avoid...there's a problem. I'm not going to tell him that I feel like doing something if I don't. I won't tell him I'm okay with something I'm not.

I turn toward you, not away. Even when that part of my primitive brain is shouting to disconnect, I stay with the discomfort and pay the price of connection because I believe it is worth it.

I will not make myself small or weak to make you feel strong. There is room in our marriage for two strong people.

I have permission to feel all of the human feelings: anger, frustration, disappointment, but I won't blame you for them. They are mine and I take full ownership of them. Sometimes I want to hold onto them for a while and that's okay.

You have permission to feel all of the human feelings too. I won't try to wrestle them from you, fix them for you, or make you wrong for having them.

I talk about the hard things because intimacy requires truth and honesty. I believe you are strong enough to handle my truth and I trust myself to handle your feelings about my truth. This marriage is worth the effort.

I do not beat myself up for being human. I take care of this girl in every way I can.

These things may feel like throwing gas on the fire.

If silence has been the go-to I think it's time that someone does.

Light. It. Up.

Rock the boat.

Make some noise.

Change the music.

Don't collapse. Keep going. Assert your voice. Push through.

Be the first one to start cleaning out the stagnant water.

I know you can do it.

But if you want it done the faster way....

I have friends that text me when they are struggling and ask me, "Do you have a minute to talk? I just need to figure something out."

They know that I am there to listen

I'm not going to try to make them do anything or talk them out of anything

I'm going to show them where they are creating their pain

And where to use their power

By the time we are done I know they will know at least one thing to do the minute we get off the phone

You can do this too.

If you are struggling in your marriage I want you to have that person who will tell you

"Tell me all the things....'s where you need to work."

I am here, willing and ready, to help you get through this challenge and on to a better relationship.

Set up a call by clicking below.

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