I can’t tell you how many times couples have come into my Houston relationship therapist offices and told me that they felt like they were drifting apart. Often, it will be one person who says they feel this emotional disconnect, while the other is fine with things the way they are. As you might imagine, this attitude on top of the spouse’s belief they they’re already not connecting serves only to make that person feel worse and create further marriage issues.

Several things can happen at this point.

1.)    The spouse who doesn’t feel like there’s a problem (we’ll call this person neglectful spouse just for the sake of expediency) can work to change and give the partner more of what they need.

2.)    The neglectful spouse can refuse to change and their significant other can leave them.

3.)    The neglectful spouse can refuse to change and their significant other can learn to live with them as they are.

4.)    The partner feeling disconnected can find ways to meet their emotional needs, which will make them more attractive to their partner, who will be more interested in pursuing them.

Work Together or Change Yourself, Says Houston Relationship Therapist

The traditional therapy answer might be that both partner need to give a bit and work together to reconnect, and there’s definitely some value to that first solution. But sometimes the person being pursued is genuinely happy with the way things are and doesn’t know how to change, no matter how much they try.

That’s why I recommend that my Houston relationship therapist clients try both approaches. If only one person is feeling emotionally neglected, they should seek out things that help them feel fulfilled. Maybe this means making new friends or taking classes and learning new skills. Whatever it is, by fulfilling their own needs, many people find that they become more satisfied in their relationship and that the marriage issues they felt they had lessen in importance.

While this is going on, the neglectful partner should make attempts to reconnect with their spouse by planning dates, finding activities to do together, and simply making more of an effort to engage with them, even if it means scheduling time together. The best part is that most neglectful partners become more interested in engaging as their spouse starts to find emotional fulfillment out in the world.

Don’t give up if this doesn’t seem to be working right away. It can take time, and if you feel like you’re struggling, you can always speak with the Houston relationship therapist.