Vail Daily column: What to do if you’ve grown apart | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily column: What to do if you’ve grown apart

Neil Rosenthal
Relationships
Vail, CO Colorado

Dear Neil: Over the past two years my husband has been growing away from me. He says it’s me just being emotional, but he doesn’t touch/cuddle me anymore, and he is no longer interested in how I feel. I don’t think that we will last much longer. Do you have any advice?

No Longer Close in Denver

Dear Denver: See if you can engage your husband in a very open and honest discussion about the differing emotions the two of you feel about the state of your marriage. This is a discussion to explore feelings, air emotions and to correct problems. Your goal is to speak your feelings and to hear his feelings, not to defend yourself or justify your behavior. Sit facing each other holding hands, with each of you taking turns answering each question thoroughly before you go on to the next question:

I have been protecting and/or hiding myself by …

It hurt me when …

I’m still hurt about …

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I’m angry about …

I distance and withdraw from you by …

One of the ways I can be difficult is …

Sometimes I hurt you when I …

When I am withdrawn, you could pull me back by …

I have contributed to the problems between us by …

If we were going to solve the problems in our relationship, I would need to …

If we were to solve the problems in our relationship, I would need for you to …

The most important things you could do that would help me to be closer to you are …

I would like to apologize for …

I would feel greater support from you if you would …

I would feel greater respect from you if you would …

Trust would be stronger for me if you would …

I would feel that you were putting greater effort into the relationship if you would …

I would like us to do more fun activities together, such as …

It would feel that you were being more of a team player if you would …

We could prevent harmful interactions between us if you would … if I would …

I could assist us in feeling closer and more intimate by …

You could assist me in feeling closer and more intimate by …

I would like for us to accomplish or experience sometime in the next five years the following goals …

We could make more time to meet our goals and to do the things that give us pleasure if you were to … if I were to …

I would love it if you would nurture/spoil me more by …

I would be willing to nurture/spoil you more in the ways you are requesting if …

If I knew for certain that we were going to work everything out and stay together, I would …

Please forgive me for …

I forgive you for…

I love that we …

I love that you …

I feel especially cherished by you when …

I feel most connected to you when …

Neil Rosenthal is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Westminster and Boulder, specializing in how people strengthen their intimate relationships. He can be reached at 303-758-8777, or e-mail him from his website http://www.heartrelationships.com.