When you first met her, you felt a spark that came over you. She became your best friend, your closest lover, and so much more. As time passed, things continued to be great… until they weren’t.
Somewhere along the line, you started to feel like there is a disconnect between the two of you. Is it all in your head? Can you save your relationship and go back to how things were?
Before you assume the worst, it’s important to gauge how your relationship currently is. After all, there’s always a chance that the disconnect you’re feeling might simply be a matter of your imagination.
These signs suggest that the disconnect you sense is really there.
- You stopped sharing secrets with one another and daily updates slowed to a crawl. When your partner had a big thing happen to her, were you the first one that she approached with the news? If not, this is a sign that she’s starting to emotionally distance herself. The same can be said if you stopped telling her news first.
- The relationship feels tense. A lot of people claim that the first sign they noticed when things really started to fall apart in their relationship was when they realized it felt like they were walking on eggshells around their partners.
- There is a person you “shouldn’t be worried about.” Affairs often are a key reason why partners act distant and disconnected. Emotionally, they have started to disconnect from you because a new person is their partner.
- You often feel like your partner is hiding something, or your partner overtly doesn’t talk about their day. Does your partner act like they’re afraid of talking to you? When was the last time they actively told you about their day—all of those little details that we tend to tell people when people ask about how things are going?
- It almost feels like you and your partner ran out of things to talk about. You may have had a friend who just turned into a one-topic person back in the day. This is often a sign of a disconnect or keeping someone at a distance.
- You almost feel like the relationship ran its course. This often is a sign that you may be right.
- The quiet between you two is deafening. This is the type of quiet that happens when you’d both rather stare at your phone screens on date night than talk to one another. This is quiet where people would typically remark about if they were watching you two interact.
- You currently feel more like roommates than friends or lovers. The disconnect often happens around the time that kids come into the picture. This is primarily because you both are focusing on the kids rather than each other.
Of course, sometimes you just know that there is something wrong going on with your relationship that’s causing a drift.
When your gut is telling you that you no longer have that connection, it’s best to listen to it.
How do you fix a relationship that has a disconnect?
That’s the hard question that many men face—and often face alone.
While it is not always realistic, you might be able to mend that relationship before it’s too late. Here’s what you can do to fix things:
1. Figure out if your relationship even has a chance at survival
We all like to think that relationships can always be fixed, but this isn’t true.
Some relationships have devolved so much, that they no longer are salvageable. This is particularly true when you’ve let it turn toxic.
When a relationship starts to show resentment, contempt, or rage on a regular basis, it’s done. The same can be said when it turns abusive.
However, it also may be time to split up if your lives are growing in opposite directions. Sometimes, people just grow apart.
2. Start by looking for obvious reasons for the disconnect
Most disconnects don’t happen without reason. They happen because something is going wrong with your relationship and has started to make your partner feel unsafe about sharing with you.
Or, it could happen because your partner just checked out. These issues are the most likely:
- Bad Communication Habits/Shooting The Messenger
When your partner complains about something or brought something up, how did you react? Did you repeatedly ignore her when she begged you to listen to her or brush her feelings under the rug?
If you don’t stay calm and behave supportively when your partner does something, you are going to eventually teach your partner that communication is a risk.
In many cases, women who feel like there’s no way to talk to a spouse without blowback will stop talking to them altogether. Then, they leave.
If you or your partner slept around, it’s time to look at the obvious issue. Disconnects tend to happen when one partner has started to catch feelings for someone else.
If you have noticed a new “male friend” or a coworker who’s just a little too close to your partner, it could be infidelity.
Unfortunately, if your girlfriend or wife has an affair, chances are that your relationship is dead on arrival. You may need to rethink if you even want to have her as a partner.
- Living Separate Lives
There is nothing wrong with having your own hobbies and friends apart from your partner. In fact, it’s healthy. What isn’t healthy is when you are both basically living parallel lives under the same roof.
The most common way this happens is when a guy goes to work, comes home, plays video games for hours on end, then goes to sleep.
Most of the time, the wife or girlfriend feels neglected and hurt. Eventually, she detaches from him in favor of her own life… and leaves.
3. Have honest, open communication
It’s important to realize that most women are not comfortable admitting problems point-blank. Your partner may not be comfortable admitting something is wrong—and you shouldn’t try to force stuff out of her if she’s not willing to talk about it.
However, if she admits that she feels pushed away, ignored, or hurt, now would be the time to listen. Remain calm, don’t yell at her or try to discredit her.
Hard as it may be, hearing her out and asking how to fix this is usually the best way to help break down that barrier that currently stands between you.
If you are not sure how to ask her about things, you need to tell her you to want to reconnect with her. Ask for couples counseling or to show that you’re interested in making an effort to talk to her, date her, and act like a partner.
4. Make the first steps to start nurturing a connection
It’s important to realize that your partner is worried that your efforts are superficial or that you might put the burden of “trying again” on her.
So, you’re going to have to show that you’re changing—and actually keep it up until it’s genuine change. These steps can help you regain that connection:
- Start by sharing details of things that are going on in your life, and ask her to share what’s going on with her. It’s amazing how much can happen just by giving updates on one’s life. You start to feel like a team again.
- Put down the video game controller/phone. More often than not, the disconnect you feel in your relationship is due to being overconnected to your tech. Games are great, but they should not consume your life.
- Make a point of creating dates that encourage bonding. The easiest way to reignite a connection is to try something new—a new class, a new sport, or even going to a new park can be a good way to try to engage with your partner.
- Be ready to apologize. A lot of major divides stop being so bad once you give a real heartfelt apology to your partner. This is especially true if your partner has repeatedly asked you to change your behavior without you paying much attention to it.
- Ask if she feels like going to couples counseling. While this may not always be necessary, it is a good idea to have a person counsel you if things have gotten really dire.
- Do that thing she keeps asking you to do with her that you keep refusing to do. A lot of wedges get driven between people simply because we stop engaging in their interests. Think about certain things she’s been asking you to do that you’ve been putting on the back burner. Even if it’s not your shtick, that trip to an art gallery or meetup could mean the world to your partner.
- Resist the urge to tune things out after work. If you have a very stressful work situation, then you may have the urge to just head straight home and tune things out. That’s a common way to decompress, but it’s not healthy for your relationship.
- Work as a partner. Sometimes, the easiest way to get the connection you want is to act like a partner. This means doing things like helping her with chores, going grocery shopping with her, and more.
5. Be patient when you try to re-establish this connection
Once a disconnect starts, it’s really hard to bring that partnership back to where it once was.
Relationships have to be maintained in order to survive. You can’t just work towards a connection for a week, huff when your partner seems skeptical and give up.
Relationships don’t deteriorate in an instant—at least, in most cases. If you want to make things work, you’re going to have to give it a lot of time and effort. Most of the time, you will need to set aside at least four months to see if things start to improve.
It’s often best to have a “walk date.” In other words, if you notice that your partner is still not offering you that connection or if your relationship has worsened by a certain date, you need to be ready to walk away from the relationship.
6. Stop being too clingy
Beware of a disconnect that happens from making yourself too available.
Most relationship disconnects happen because one partner (often the male) takes the other for granted or minimizes issues until the other partner no longer feels safe trying to reach out to that person. However, this is not always the case.
It’s possible to make a person feel crowded in your relationship as well. When you start to cling to someone too much, you will make them disconnect and run the other way. If you are clinging too much, you may need to give her space.
The most obvious way to tell is if she repeatedly tells you that you’re acting clingy, if you freak out when she doesn’t immediately reply, or if you insist on talking to her almost every hour of the day. People need to have space to breathe and do their own thing!
How do you fix a disconnect caused by smothering and clingy behavior?
Smothering behavior is a dangerous thing for any relationship. Your best bet is to start (quietly) booking things to do by yourself, reaching out to others for time with them, and working on yourself. You need to have a life outside your partner.
Women are attracted to men who lead their own lives and exude confidence. If you’re constantly hounding your wife for reassurance and can’t handle doing anything alone, you will drive her away. This behavior reduces women’s respect for you—and that’s hard to get back once it’s gone.
Do you notice how hard it can be to make that first move to try to mend a relationship? It can be scary, especially when you never got the guidance you should have gotten from a man who’s been there.
Getting close to your partner again doesn’t have to be an uphill battle.
Communication is not something society teaches men, nor is figuring out that careful balance between confident and aloof. The problem with having a relationship that feels like a wedge is being driven into it is that it’s hard to turn that around.
It can feel like a landmine—any mistake could drive you both apart even more. You also might feel like you don’t have anyone to turn to for advice.
That’s where having a dating coach who specializes in men’s needs can be a lifesaver. Our program is here to instill confidence in men and guide them towards the relationship they truly want—a close, fulfilling, and beneficial partnership.