Dealing with an Unaffectionate Spouse and a Loveless Marriage
When a couple grows apart and ends up in a loveless marriage, it is usually because both parties have stopped putting effort into the relationship. However, there are some cases where one person withdraws and ceases to make emotional investments into the marriage leaving the other person feeling rejected and unloved.
Usually, the person on the receiving end will try a couple of different techniques to bring their unaffectionate spouse out of their shell. They may beg, yell or retaliate by withdrawing emotionally from the marriage. Needless to say, none of these techniques are particularly good for the marriage.
How to Rekindle an Emotional Connection with an Unaffectionate Spouse
Do not beg for affection
Constantly nagging and pestering your partner for affection is the same as begging for affection. When you beg for affection you are essentially trying to guilt your partner into showing you love. This can cause your spouse to feel weak, manipulated and resentful towards you and resentment will only make your loveless marriage worse.
Instead of begging, calmly explain to your spouse how their actions make you feel hurt and unloved. Do not say “you never show me affection” or use similar absolute statements. Start sentences with “I feel” and explain your feelings without being accusatory towards your partner. Once you have said your piece, give your spouse a chance to speak. Allow them to explain to you how they feel without interrupting. When you are both done speaking, brainstorm on possible solutions and compromises.
Find out your spouse’s love language
Sometimes the problem isn’t that there is no love in the marriage but that you and your spouse are speaking different love languages. Your love languages determine the way you give and receive love and it is very important for you to learn and speak each other’s languages.
The five languages as described by Gary Chapman in his bestselling book “The Five Love Languages” are quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts and physical touch. If you haven’t read the book, make a point of reading it. It will give you better insight into your spouse’s love language and your own.
See a counselor
Couple’s therapy can help you figure out what triggered your spouse to withdraw emotionally. This is important because emotional withdrawal and a loveless marriage is often the result of past issues and hurts. A therapist can help you make those connections and point you towards possible solutions.