It's troubling to feel that your bond with your husband has frayed. All relationships fluctuate with time and circumstance; marriage is especially complicated when your time and energy is divided between work, young children, home and your social lives and activities. Other factors such as money, career, family responsibilities and health can also affect how couples interact. Make small daily changes to encourage your husband to become close to you again and communicate effectively.
Ensure that your home has adult-only areas that are free of clutter and children's toys as well as mail, bills and other reminders of daily tasks. This area can consist of your bedroom, den or study, but should be a quiet, organized and peaceful environment. Keep your bedroom reserved for time to relax, sleep and have intimate relations with your husband.
Organize your daily time and schedule so you and your husband have private time without any distractions. This can be every night after the children are asleep. Complete all daily household and work tasks before this so they are not on your mind. Turn off the computer and do not keep your laptops and phones near you if possible.
Allow your husband to spend uninterrupted time by himself, even while he is at home. If he does not wish to talk, do not insist that he speak to you immediately. He might need space to recharge or deal with an issue. Be supportive and understanding if he needs this time.
Speak to your husband using feeling words, instead of asking questions that he might find confrontational. For example, instead of insisting, "What's wrong? Why aren't you talking to me?" say, "I really miss talking to you, it always made me feel very relaxed and close to you." This might help him to engage in discussion and become more open about why he is distant, without getting defensive.
Arrange a date or activity once a week. Get out of the house and do something active together instead of just dinner or a movie. Browse a museum, take a cooking class or exercise together. Activities in which your husband does not feel obligated to talk at length might make him more likely to want to discuss his feelings.
Consult a marriage therapist or coach. Book a session with a professional and couples therapist or counsellor for both you and your husband or just for yourself. Both individual and couples therapy sessions can help you understand areas in your relationship and in your own behavior and reactions that you can improve.
Nadia Haris is a registered radiation therapist who has been writing about nutrition for more than six years. She is completing her Master of Science in nutrition with a focus on the dietary needs of oncology patients.