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How to Deal With Apathy in a Relationship

by Jennifer Autry

Relationships commonly go through periods of apathy when both people settle into a comfortable routine. However, it can be frustrating when one partner is apathetic but the other is still engaged -- and wondering how the relationship took a turn for the worse. If couples don't make an active effort to keep the passion and energy in their relationship, apathy can set in, leading to resentment and bitterness. Taking action can help eliminate apathy in your relationship.

Talk to your spouse or partner about how you feel about the apathy in your relationship. Ignoring it will not make it go away. Paul Coughlin, co-author of "Married But Not Engaged: Why Men Check Out and What You Can Do to Create the Intimacy You Desire," recommends keeping the conversation to five to 10 minutes. Explain to your partner that the apathy is hurting your relationship, but be careful not to attack your partner. Talking about some of your own weakness that you believe might have contributed to the situation can help your spouse open up to you.

Give your partner time to think about what you said; let the conversation sink in. Don't beg for attention or pester your partner during this time, which can make him pull away from you even more. Giving your partner freedom and space will allow him to contemplate what you said. In reality, freedom can trigger intimacy, Coughlin says.

Challenge your partner to become more engaged by changing the way you have been dealing with his apathy. Be confident in yourself and the relationship. Establish a sense of independence. Taking these actions may help your partner to think about what he is taking for granted in the relationship.

Remember to laugh and have fun together. Watch funny movies, do an activity together that you enjoy and try to help your partner remember why he fell in love with you. With time and effort, apathy in a relationship can be conquered.

About the Author

Jennifer Autry has been writing professionally since 2006, penning features for "The Liberty Journal," "Shooting Industry," "Pennsylvania Equestrian," "A Time To Love" and "The (Carlisle, Pa.) Sentinel." She holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism with a minor in English from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

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