I’m not going to sugarcoat it. Feeling a person you love slipping away from you is absolutely agonizing.
Unfortunately, it’s also very common.
Love is a wonderful thing, and when it’s new, it can make the whole world seem more beautiful.
Unfortunately, we don’t stay in that state of bliss for long.
Sooner or later, life gets in the way. The chores, the bills, taking care of family, and holding down a job can all help to suck the magic out of the relationship you have with your spouse.
And when that happens, you may worry that your wife’s commitment to you and the life you have built together is starting to fade.
If you feel like the spark has gone out of your marriage, there are a few questions you should ask yourself first. After all, all marriages go through ups and downs.
But if you want to solve this problem, you’re going to have to ask yourself some difficult questions.
1) Are you fully committed?
The first question to ask yourself if you feel as though your wife is pulling away is whether those feelings are real. After all, you don’t want to confront her about an issue that’s all in your head.
And if you’ve never heard of it before, allow me to introduce you to the psychological phenomenon known as projection.
According to Psychology Today, projection is the process of passing your own inner feelings onto someone else.
So if you feel that your wife is not as committed to you as she used to be, ask yourself if the real reason you feel that way is because you are not as committed to the relationship as you once were.
This can be a painful thing to find out. But it’s vital to know exactly how you really feel before you talk to her.
Plus, there’s always the possibility that your wife really is less committed to you because you are less committed to her.
People can be very perceptive, and it’s possible she’s picked up on your changing feelings toward her and is simply reacting to that.
It’s normal for someone to pull away if they feel someone they care about no longer loves them the way they used to.
Now, if that’s not the case, and you still feel as committed to your marriage as ever, you need to consider some other possibilities…
2) Do you make her feel secure and loved?
It’s tempting, when writing an article like this, to fall into the trap of stereotyping people. You know the type of thing I mean: “women need X,” or “men need Y.”
So instead, let me put it this way: everyone has a need to feel secure and loved in their relationship.
And that’s as true if you’ve been married for 50 years as it is if you started dating three months ago.
The trouble is, it’s easy to fall into the trap of taking each other for granted.
Life gets in the way, and we all get busy. Soon, kissing one another on the way out the door or finishing every phone call by saying ‘I love you’ just becomes a meaningless ritual rather than the expression of affection it’s supposed to be.
Relationships are living things, and they need attention. If your wife no longer feels loved by you or secure in your affection, she may pull away and show less commitment to your relationship.
As marriage counselor Leah Abrusci says, “The most important thing is that you both feel like the relationship is getting the time and attention that it needs.”
3) Do you still value her as a person?
As our relationships with one another change over time, the way we look at each other can also change.
Maybe your wife went from being the hot girl you dreamed about to now being the tired and rundown mother of your kids. And as we take on new roles in life, it’s easy for other people, even those closest to us, to mistake the role for the person playing it.
In other words, do you still see your wife as an individual with her own needs, desires, and fears?
Or have you fallen into the trap of seeing her as your wife, an accessory to your life?
People can tell when that happens. But it’s a mistake that’s easy to make.
If you want your wife to stay committed to your marriage, you need to let her know you value her for the unique individual she is, rather than for the roles she performs in your life.
4) Do you still romance her?
Related to that, it’s important to ask yourself if you are still pursuing your wife the way you did when you were first together.
Everyone wants to be desired. And that doesn’t change just because you put on a wedding ring and say some vows to each other.
Lots of people fall into the trap of thinking that their marriage is a done deal. It seems like such a solid and stable thing, and they lose the desire to pursue one another.
But romance is important, to men and to women.
Does your wife know that you still find her desirable? Does she know that she still turns you on?
If not, there’s no better time than the present to tell her.
5) Does she have a different attachment style from you?
Strictly speaking, you should understand how your wife shows passion and affection before you marry her. However, that’s not always the case.
Plus, people change over time, and a person’s attachment style may change as they grow older.
What do I mean?
As psychologist Kendra Cherry writes, there are four main attachment styles that people use to relate to one another in intimate relationships:
- Proximity maintenance, or the desire to be physically close
- Safe haven, or the tendency to rely on the other person for feelings of security;
- Secure base, the tendency to trust the other person to have their back;
- Separation distress, the anxiety they feel when they are not around the person they are attached to.
What does this mean for you?
Well, it’s important to understand how your wife shows her commitment to your relationship. Because often, it’s not the things we say but the things we do that matter the most.
It’s possible your wife is still just as committed as ever to your marriage. She just shows it in a way that you haven’t learned to understand.
6) Is she going through a hard time?
Another question you need to ask before confronting your wife is whether something else is going on in her life that is causing her behavior.
Work stress, family problems, or mental health issues can all impact the way we relate to other people. If your wife is struggling right now, she may withdraw from you, which can make it seem like she’s less committed to your relationship.
But if that’s the case, the opposite is probably true. It’s possible she needs you now more than ever.
7) Are you communicating well with each other?
Communication is the key to a healthy relationship. And if your communication breaks down, it’s possible for both partners to feel less committed to the relationship.
Do you try to understand one another when you talk?
Do you really listen?
When you fight, do you fight fair, without bringing up unrelated grievances or making personal attacks?
If your wife feels she can no longer communicate effectively with you, she may withdraw. And that might explain the lack of commitment you’re feeling from her.
8) Do you make plans for the future together?
There’s a tendency in society to treat marriage as the end of the story. The happily-ever-after.
But anyone who has been married knows that’s far from the case. In fact, more than anything, marriage represents a new beginning of a new life together.
Still, there’s a temptation to stop thinking so much about the future once you’re in a committed relationship. Often, we tend to run on autopilot, assuming that everything will remain the way it has always been.
That can be dangerous.
Does your wife talk about the future? What will happen when the kids are grown up or your careers come to an end, for example?
Does she make plans for the future, and are you part of those plans?
Because if not, you may well be right that she is less committed to your marriage than she used to be.
Keeping your commitment strong
Everybody knows marriage can be tricky. And the feeling that your partner lacks commitment to your relationship can be extremely painful.
That’s why it’s better not to let it fester.
If you want to know what’s really going on, you’re going to need to talk to your wife.
But first, ask yourself these questions. That way, you may get a better understanding of where she’s coming from so that the two of you can work on your problems together.