Making Love Bloom Again
Choosing Nurture over Neglect in Marriage
For the most part, the success of a marriage depends on how well a couple is able to take care of their relationship. It may have matured, but love, just like a tree that sprouted from a tiny seed, still needs proper nurturing to live and prosper. As such, it becomes vital for man and wife to dedicate time and effort in weeding out obstacles that get in the way of their happiness, so their garden of love will continue to flourish for years and years. Otherwise, the strong feelings that they have for each other may wither over time, with one of the primary causes being emotional neglect.
Emotional neglect in a marriage manifests through a lack of emotional support from one spouse to another. It is the inability to meet the needs of your partner due to a distinct lack of action, and oftentimes, finding the root cause may prove to be quite a challenge. Some of the common signs of emotional neglect in a marriage include feeling like you are alone in the relationship, being unsure about where you stand with your spouse, a consistent suppression of your emotions, and procrastinating on crucial, long-term decisions such as having kids or getting a home.
When disregarded, emotional neglect can have a negative effect on one’s mental and physical well-being, and worse, lead to problems that may prove too difficult for couples to overcome. If you feel like it is threatening your marital peace, here are some things that you can do:
Focus on solutions.
When talking with your spouse, it’s good to air your hurt feelings, but don’t let the conversation revolve around them alone. Once those emotions are out, discuss in a constructive manner how you can avoid making your partner feel that way by suggesting actionable solutions that can return a healthy dynamic in your relationship.
Examine any underlying causes for behaviors that affect your relationship negatively. Alone or with your spouse, do a self-assessment. Think about how your relationship has progressed, or stalled, over time, and what changed in your partner’s attitude towards you, if any. Try to trace it back to an event or situation that may have precipitated that change.
Set aside time for each other.
A busy schedule and other pursuits can be a factor in building a wall that separates husband and wife. Make sure to spend quality time with your spouse, and consciously increase the duration of your moments together if you feel like there is an emotional gap that you need to bridge. As you bond, make them feel that you are in the moment. Don’t think about work and other responsibilities, just enjoy each other’s company.
Don’t give up easily.
Correcting a pattern of neglect can be considered a labor of love. It will not happen overnight. However, this shouldn’t discourage you. Some things take time, and if it is your marriage on the line, patiently waiting while working on improving the connection between you and your spouse will always be worth it.