1. They have met someone else (distraction). Their emotional energy is flowing toward another person. This is particularly true when a husband quits trying in a marriage. They will tell their wives “I don’t love you anymore” or “I am not sure I want to be in this marriage”. Nine times out of ten there is someone else.
2. They feel they are not listened to (discouragement). Men tend to complain more often than women that they are not listened to which leads to discouragement. The person concludes, “Why should I keep trying?”
3. They can’t resolve their inner emotional conflicts (detoured). A person quits trying when they are so self-focused and so pre-occupied with their own emotional issues. This is particularly true when someone is suffering from depression. They can be very self-focused about their pain, hopelessness, and sadness. Often they will contribute nothing to the marriage. This is simple because they are being detoured in the area of their own unmet emotional needs.
4. They are tired of feeling like a failure (downtrodden). They feel like their best just has not been good enough for the marriage and that their spouse is never pleased. They feel no matter what they have done they have failed.
5. They see no hope of change (depressed). They will extrapolate. They will say “the last two years…” “The last five years have been this way…” so they quit trying. They give up hope that things will ever change, so as a result they quit trying.
To re-engage your spouse, acknowledge your part in the problem (confession). Look for the hurt in their hurt and validate it (compassion). Finally, respond proactively to meet their needs (change).
Resource: Robert “Bob” Moeller, President Of Marriage Vine, Inc.
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Author: Janie Lacy