He’s Pulling Away From Me. What Can I Do?

I often get emails from wives who are afraid that the writing is on the proverbial wall. They tell me that they can literally feel their husband pulling away. They notice that he’s not paying as much attention, doesn’t seem nearly as content and happy, and makes an awful lot of excuses so that he doesn’t have to spend quality time with them. Many of these wives worry that their husband has “fallen out of love” with them. They worry that eventually, he will want to leave them, separate, or divorce.

But more than any of this, they just miss their husbands and the way that the intimacy that they used to share felt. They miss the reassurance of knowing that the two of them were on the same page and were in tune with one another. They miss knowing that their husbands found them attractive, alluring, and wanted them very much. This entire cycle has made them lonely, doubtful, and sad. And, they are looking for a way to turn this around and to get their husband interested and invested once again. In the following article, I will offer some insights and tips on what to do when you feel your husband pulling away.

Trying To Identify Why He’s Pulling Away: First off, there are many reasons that he might be distracted. And all of them don’t necessary have to be about you or your marriage. He might be having severe stress in work or in other areas of his life. Sometimes, he is reluctant to share this vulnerability with you because it would not make him seem very strong. It’s important that he knows that you and your marriage are his safe place to fall. Offer to lend him your ear and your support any time that he needs it to see if this will get you some answers. But, if this has gone on for a very long time, with no end in sight, it can be advisable to try to take some action.

A huge part of a fulfilling marriage is mutual affection and attention. You deserve this as much as he does. And the lack of it is very likely to bleed into other areas of your marriage. These things are the building blocks on which other areas of you marriage stand so it’s important that you don’t just wave it goodbye and let it go. If you can determine the reason that he’s pulling away, then by all means do so and then address this. But, if he’s not giving you the answers that you need, sometimes you’ll just have to begin taking action and hoping that his responses will begin to show some improvements.

How To Get Your Husband To Stop Pulling Away From You: This can be sort of tricky because if you begin nagging or making demands, he’s very likely to only pull away even more. Always keep in mind that it is human nature to move away from demands or things that make you feel worse about your situation or yourself. Likewise, people are more likely to move toward things that validate them or give them positive feedback.

To that end, you may have to be the one to give a little in exchange for finally getting what you want. Often, if you want more affection and attention from someone, the best way to start to get this is to give them precisely what you want and to model the behaviors that you are trying to encourage. In other words, if you want his undivided attention after dinner every night, begin by giving him yours. And, when he responds by giving you even a little bit of the behavior that you want, offer lots of positive reinforcement.

You want to create a cycle where he is feeling appreciated and knowing that you’re happy with him. Once you get the positive pay off coming his way, he’ll likely resist you much less. He too will be more invested in the relationship and he will come toward you willingly rather than begrudgingly. Always remember that you are much better off if he acts as the result of his own decisions rather than from pressure from you.

You don’t want to pull him along when it’s not really where he wants to be. With that said though, you can most definitely set it up so that, over time, he wants to do this because you are offering positive reinforcements. This might mean that you need to settle for small and gradual victories. It’s unrealistic to think that you can expect an about face in his behavior. But over time, if you begin to demonstrate and then praise the behavior that you want, you should begin to see some improvements.

Maintaining Your Integrity: The last point that I want to make is that when you’re going through this process, you always want to maintain your self esteem and integrity. Women who have a healthy dose of self esteem are almost overwhelmingly seen as more attractive. You want to make it clear that you want the intimacy because you love your husband and find this an important part of the relationship.

However, never give off the perception that you are solely dependent upon him for your own happiness. In many ways, men are not that different from us. They want to feel valued, loved, desired, and appreciated in the same way that we do. But they don’t want to know that your ability to feel these things is solely dependent upon them.

Sometimes, when they doubt these things, they pull away. But if we can offer some reassurances and demonstrate a positive pay off when they return this back to you, things can pretty rapidly begin to change for the better. I know this first hand.

When my husband began pulling away, I did not pay close enough attention and it almost cost me my marriage. I did not understand these principles and I went about changing this in completely the wrong way. I stooped to negative behavior that only drove my husband further away. Thankfully, I soon realized my mistake and decided to approach things from another angle and this eventually worked very well. You can read a very personal story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com/

Leslie Cane’s blog is at http://isavedmymarriage.com.  She enjoys sharing the story of how she saved her own marriage to help others.

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