I get a lot of correspondence from wives who describe the relationship with their husband as one like "roommates" or "siblings." They will usually use phrases like: "we just coexist but but there isn't loving behavior anymore." Another common phrase is something like: "he doesn't look at me like a man who loves a woman. He sort of looks through me and acts slightly annoyed by my presence. He gives his friends more time and attention than he gives his own wife." Or, "we're not rude or mad at each other, but the relationship is one like between a brother, sister, or other family member rather than people who are husband and wife."
Usually, this correspondence all shares the same theme. Intimacy and closeness has been replaced with familiarity and complacency. This is not at all unusual and it doesn't mean that you don't love each other anymore or that the passion and spark is gone for good. What it usually means is that there has been some shifts in how time is spent and how priorities are made. This is sometimes more a reflection of societal norms and pressures than it is about how you feel about your spouse. I will discuss this more in the following article.
Losing The Passion In A Marriage Doesn't Necessarily Mean That The Underlying Feelings Are Gone: People very often make this untrue assumptions and allow this to perpetuate what might have otherwise been just a rough patch in the marriage that passed relatively quickly. People sometimes panic when this shift comes and assume that their spouse doesn't find them attractive or lovable anymore. This is often entirely inaccurate.
In fact, often all that is needed is changing how your marital time is spent and rearranging your priorities to nurture and intensity the relationship (in a similar way as you did in the beginning of the relationship.) Often, in the beginning, the feelings were, quite predictably, directly related to the time and effort that were being put into them. What is often required is changing the behavior that is getting you what you don't want to the behavior that is more likely to get you what you do want (even if that means that you are the one making the efforts in the beginning.)
How The Lack Marital Time And Concentrated Efforts Negatively Contributes To "The Spark" Leaving Your Marriage: Often, when I ask people what they think is behind the chemistry or "spark" leaving their marriage, I get very similar answers – no matter which spouse is giving those answers. They usually both say things like "we drifted apart," or "one of us has changed," or "the feelings are just gone from our marriage." And, these things may all feel absolutely true. But, it's so important to understand that there is a reason for these truths and that the circumstances can be changed to in turn change the result.
You can start by asking yourself how much time is spent each week strengthening the relationship. I do not mean sitting beside each other and watching the evening news or attending your children's activity jointly. Sure, these things are part of married life (especially with busy parents,) but they don't do anything to reinforce those intimate feelings. What I am talking about are the things that put a huge smile on your face when you were moving toward marriage. These are the things that reinforce the feelings that you probably still have.
People often are not able to see that the feelings between two people are very often the direct result of BOTH the quality and the quantity of the efforts put into it. It's not enough to say "well, we're together all of the time, but we're just sitting side by side." You have to be very active about it. The truth is, it's very unrealistic to think that you can just coast in your marriage and yet almost all of us do it and then scratch our heads and act very disappointed when the feelings inevitably follow the lack of efforts.
You Will Sometimes Need To Be The Spouse Who Takes The Initiative If You Want To Get The Passion Back In Your Marriage: Here is what I see happening quite a bit. Many people know that they have to change things to get different and more favorable results. But, they may try something and feel rejected or feel vulnerable and then they will shut down because they feel rebuffed. They will start asking themselves questions like "well why do I have to put myself out there when he's just sitting there like a bump on a log?"
The answer is that you have to do it because if you don't, then it's possible that no one will and the distance between you will only continue to become further and further apart. You are much better off acting now, even if it feels strange and vulnerable and scary so that you stop any more damage. And, you might have to accept that it will take a while before you get the results that you want.
You do not have to do something that makes you uncomfortable or that you find distasteful. Just start by beginning to bring back some of the activities that you used to enjoy together. Take your focus away from things that don't matter quite as much to your quality of life and put the resulting spare time toward your marriage. This may mean simple and inexpensive things like taking a walk after dinner or making time to really talk and to really listen. It may mean bringing back hobbies that used to bring you closer together that you have long abandoned. It doesn't need to cost a lot of money or take tons of time. It just needs to be enjoyable and to bring about a feeling of partnership.
Many people assume that a lack of passion stems back only to attraction and chemistry. This is only partly true. If you feel close and bonded with your spouse, then passionate feelings will naturally follow. Your brain is as in important a part of passion as is other parts of your body. It's not all about sex. It's as much about feeling loved, feeling understood, and feeling valuable enough to make, and receive, a decent effort.
It was my husband who had "fallen out of love" with me (although I wasn't all that excited by him either, sometimes.) He felt that our marriage was completely over and often threatened to end it. And he wouldn't lift a finger to help me save it. I felt that if I started by changing myself, I might be able to turn things around. Eventually, I was able to not only restore my husband's love, but to save our marriage. You can read a very personal story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com/