3 Ways to Get Your Spouse's Attention
Once you feel like your spouse has "checked out", it can be challenging to get back on the right track again.
Feeling unseen and unheard can cause you to make panicky, desperate, fear-based decisions which can, in turn, cause your spouse to want to create even more distance between the two of you than before. That's the opposite of what we want to have happen, but don’t worry… we’ve been there before and have some ideas to help you navigate through it. Take a look at these 3 steps to get your spouse to pay attention before it’s too late:
STEP 1: Be-YOU-tification
Before you can deal with your spouse and "their issues", it's crucial that you take a step back and look at yourself. Ask yourself these 6 questions:
Have I created a safe environment for my spouse to engage with me or do I get angry or easily upset?
Do I nag them every time they try to engage with me or do I verbally appreciate them for how they participate in our marriage and life together?
Do I take their every attempt to come into my world as an opportunity to have a deep and heavy conversation, or do we also have fun and lighthearted moments together?
Have I sought counseling or spent time building self-awareness, working on my own thought life, my own responses, and my own insecurities?
Do I own my mistakes and apologize when I need to?
Have I clearly communicated, in a loving way, what I need?
Even if you’re in a one-sided marriage, you can still work on yourself and make sure you’re the most emotionally healthy version of “you”. When one partner starts working on themselves, it brings new life into the marriage that will effect both of you. So be courageous and figure out a few positive steps forward that you can take to be more emotionally healthy and more self-aware.
STEP 2: Invite your spouse in & don't single them out
The fastest way to keep your spouse checked out is to tell them everything you think is wrong with/about them and beg them to change for you. When you do this, you single them out and place heavy blame on their shoulders that they then have to carry around alone. Your marriage, for better or for worse, is about the both of you.
Invite your spouse into your world and give them a chance to respond.
Own your mistakes, apologize for your part, then share your hurt and share what you’re struggling with. Only then can you figure out what changes you can make together. Be a team!
Step 3: Slow & steady wins the race
Did you know that even if you have a healthy conversation about how to improve your marriage, your joint expectations moving forward can make or completely break everything? It is very important that you agree to work on one or two things at a time and that you work on them slowly and together. In fact, your spouse may feel hesitant taking steps toward a connected marriage (and might in turn shut you out or check out of the marriage all together) if they feel overwhelmed by a long laundry list of all the things they've done wrong and need to figure out how to make right. But, if you focus on one or two things you can both work on, it will allow you both room to breathe and the ability to be successful in real and positive change.
Slow, steady, and together —
that’s how you achieve the marriage you want.
If you have no clue what to do next, we’ve got you covered. Become a member at MyMarriage365 and watch our webcasts When your Spouse Stops Trying, The Proper Apology, How to Identify and Express Your Needs & many more!
If you want to make a better marriage, make a better you. MyMarriage365 will get you there!
Written by Anna Collins
Anna Collins lives in sunny Southern California with her husband and two children. She is passionate about her marriage, staying at home with her kids, writing, coffee, good conversation, and game night. Her life dream is to someday write a book and see it published.