What to do when he’s distancing himself?
If a man distances himself from his wife or emotional partner, it can be regarded as a passive-aggressive way to deal with the problems that have long been existed in their relationship. It doesn’t matter if your partner/spouse is distancing himself from you immediately after an argument because he’s not trying to find a way to end this relationship. Nor does he want to show apathy towards you, but it means that he needs more time to reconsider the problems. So if your emotional partner/spouse has recently distanced himself from you, doesn’t show affection, and no longer pays attention to you as before, read this article to understand the causes and practical solutions to the question of what to do when he’s distancing himself.
Another issue may have distracted your spouse/partner
One of the reasons your spouse distances himself from you may be that he is thinking about something that you think is more important than your relationship. For example, your partner/spouse may be involved in heavy workloads, or family and personal issues may have depleted his concentration and mental energy. When responsibilities, duties, and external sources of stress and anxiety completely distract your love and confuse him, give him the right to be hard on you.
He’s always on his phone
Now that we are talking about distance, we should not forget one of the most common causes of coldness in romantic relationships: a cell phone. Your partner/spouse may be constantly on his phone, for instance, he is always texting, answering emails, watching movies, and playing with his phone, and it seems that he can’t put it away for a moment and pay some attention to the issues around him. When the man you love prefers to listen to music instead of listening to you, it is certain that your relationship will be jeopardized and you will distance yourselves from each other.
You aren’t a good listener
Another reason your spouse distances himself from you is that you don’t listen to his words. If you can’t be silent for a moment and listen to your spouse, you constantly interrupt him and don’t make any efforts to listen to him, it is natural that he reacts in the same way as you did. If your spouse realizes that his words don’t matter to you, he won’t listen to you when you need someone to talk to. So, it’s better, for you, to do your best to be an active listener for him and pay attention to his words and his intention which determines the tone of his utterance. (To read more see non-judgmental listening.)
You don’t pay attention to your spouse
If you are wondering to find an answer to the very question of what to do when he’s distancing himself, it’s not bad to ask yourself the question “do you pay enough attention to your spouse?” If you are the one who is uninterested in your relationship due to distraction and mental turmoil, you may spend too much time on your phone and, in doing so, you will convey this feeling to your spouse/partner that he no longer cares about you. In such a situation, it seems quite natural if he ignores you. In order for your spouse to pay attention to you again and to rekindle the spark in your relationship, he should feel that you are giving your all to improve your relationship and, eventually, breakthrough communication gaps in your relationship. To get more information on this issue, you should understand why spending time with your partner is important.
You constantly criticize your spouse
Sometimes the reason your spouse distances himself from you is that you are constantly criticizing him. If every word that comes out of your mouth is an insult, criticism, or contemptuous comment, your spouse is more likely to go cold on you in that he’s regularly bombarded with your discouraging and humiliating words. It is true that you should always express your opinions and feelings freely and inform him about your thoughts and feelings, but it would be better to check your communication skills, at first, if you always have aggressive and insulting behavior that annoys your spouse/partner, make an all-out effort to change your bad behavior. (To read more see how to discuss relationship problems without fighting.)
What should I do if my spouse/partner distances himself from me?
If your partner/spouse distances himself from you, it is better to let your spouse know how upset you are about his disregard for your feelings, but as soon as you feel that he is trying to repair your shaky relationship, you need to be patient. Don’t forget that it takes time to change bad behavior. We all know that it is difficult to break old habits, even if you strive to improve yourself. It is true that when you see the same old behaviors, you become frustrated and disappointed, but remind yourself that your spouse is on a steep path and you shouldn’t expect him to change overnight. Focus on the small positive changes you see in your spouse and hope that he continues to grow until he expresses his true love and affection for you again.
Give him some time and space
This space can be physical or emotional. It is very difficult to distance yourself from your spouse, but if you give him space, he will feel safe and it will be easier for him to reconsider past issues. Perhaps your spouse/partner is worried about the fact that intimacy and closeness will impose a lot of demands or responsibilities on him. Nonetheless, when you distance yourself from him, you prove to him that you respect his privacy and boundaries. In addition, it fulfills his personal need to be alone and gives him the opportunity to relieve his stress and anxiety.
Focus on improving your relationship
You probably think that this advice contradicts the previous one, but it doesn’t. Romantic movements and gestures that inject more energy into your relationship are perfectly permissible, provided you don’t expect compensation. Think about what makes your partner/spouse feel loved and valued, then put it into action. You don’t have to do great things. You can just do small things in a great way like buying his favorite snacks or refueling your shared car are enough to prove your interest and attention to him. (To read more see how to communicate effectively in a relationship.)
Don’t criticize him
Of course, we do not mean to pretend that your spouse/partner is perfect and ideal. But spouses/partners in healthy and secure relationships have more opportunities for constructive and sincere criticism than those who go cold on each other. If your relationship is fragile and on the brink of falling apart, you may lose it forever by criticizing and blaming your spouse/partner. First, try to ponder your criticisms and see if you are really right, then carefully discuss the issue that needs to be raised in this situation with your spouse/partner. (To read more see how to be your best self in a relationship.)
Positive, loving thoughts
Remind yourself of your spouse’s/partner’s virtues that made you fall in love with him. Compliment him, thank him for his kindness, and commend him for his accomplishments. More than that, you can let him know all the good things you have thought about but never told him. Watch and admire your spouse’s/partner’s positive changes, or at least his efforts to improve himself.
Try to improve yourself
If you want to know what to do when he’s distancing himself, try to become a better partner/spouse for him. In this case, you are going to become a stronger and healthier partner/spouse for him so that you can build a brighter future for your relationship. Find a way to meet your communication needs and use your free time to enrich your relationship. In doing so, you can also spend quality time with your family and friends and, at the same time, provide your spouse with the opportunity to solve your relationship problems.
Things not to do in this situation:
Don’t moan at your spouse because he has gone cold on you
If you have talked to each other about your relationship and shared the same views on ways to improve your relationship, but your spouse/partner doesn’t keep his promise, it is appropriate and even necessary to remind him of your conversation. However if you have tried to talk to him, and he appeared reluctant to listen to your words, constantly whining about his coldness and inattention will not work for you.
Don’t go cold on him
When you’re ignored by your spouse/partner, especially if he distances himself from you, it’s tempting to retaliate on him. But if you still value this relationship, it is better not to spoil everything so that he will have the chance to improve his behavior and get close to you like never before. Keep in mind that if you reciprocate his wrong behavior, you will be separated forever. Now that we know how to react when he’s distancing himself, you should learn how to make your partner feel loved and appreciated.
Don’t impose too many demands on your spouse
In order to repair a relationship on the verge of collapse, you need to temporarily make fewer demands on your partner/spouse. In fact, you can’t restore intimacy to your relationship by being stubborn with your spouse or imposing too many demands on him.
The Bottom Line
Most couples who have been together for a long time occasionally experience difficult periods of coldness and distance from each other in their relationship. In such a situation, it is very important to maintain a positive attitude, unless you have a serious reason such as being abused or betrayed to be pessimistic about your relationship. If there is no serious problem in your relationship, you can get closer again by following the recommendations in this article.