I sometimes hear from wives who are not yet separated, but who worry that a separation may occur in the future. Many of these wives can feel their husbands' interest and affection slipping away.

One of them might say something like this, "my husband and I actually became closer when we became parents. We had our children very close together and we really had to work as a team. However, now that our children are school-aged, my husband seems to have completely lost interest in them.  He spends less and less time at home as a family. He also seems to have lost interest in me. He makes every excuse he can to spend more time at work or with his friends. Sometimes, the kids will say or do something and I will literally see him cringe. My children are not naughty. Their behavior is typical of their age, but my husband doesn't get this. I worry about our marriage. He seems so disinterested. What is to keep him from coming home someday soon and telling me that he wants out? He seems to actually resent his responsibility to us so I doubt he is going to feel enough loyalty and responsibility to stay."

This is a very valid concern. The vast majority of women who I dialog with (who have also dealt with a separation) can pinpoint precisely when they began to feel their husband pulling away (myself included.) Sure, we try to convince ourselves that we are just imagining things or that our husband will come back around, but this is sometimes wishful thinking. The distance can absolutely lead to a separation, so it is very smart to address the distance as soon as you notice it.

Carving Out Enough Time To Make A Difference And Address Underlying Resentment: Often, when husbands begin to pull away from their children, it can be at least in part because of underlying resentment. The husband usually does not even realize that he feels this resentment. But, somewhere along the way, he can't help but notice that his wife spends a huge amount of time tending the children and less time on him. He may also resent that, because of family life, there is little time to kick back and have fun. Yes, he may love his children deeply. But that doesn't mean he doesn't miss the life that he had with his wife before children. This doesn't make him a bad guy, and this problem is most definitely solvable.

It's very important to make time for the two of you - alone. I understand hating the idea of leaving your kids with someone else. But look at it this way - taking this time is going to be very beneficial to your children if it means that their parents have a stronger marriage and that their family remains intact.

I realize that you may be thinking, "my husband is avoiding me like the plague right now. How am I going to make him go out with me?" Sometimes, it is better if you don't really give him a choice. It could work like this: one night your husband will come home from work thinking that it's going to be a typical night. When he comes inside, announce that you've arranged a night out for just the two of you. Make sure you plan fun activities so that you can keep things light. You are not looking to have deep conversations during these outings, at least at first. You want to have fun with and re-connect with your husband.

Do this as many times as is necessary so that it becomes a habit that you BOTH look forward to. I realize that this requires you to take the initiative and be vulnerable. But, I wish I'd done this. I might have avoided a long and painful separation. (That entire story is here.)

The Trickle-Down Theory: You may also be thinking, "even if fix my marriage, that won't necessarily make my husband invested in our kids again." I respectfully disagree and I'd at least stress that working on your marriage is a good start toward working on your family.

A man who feels fulfilled and taken care of in his marriage is going to have much more to give to his kids because love, and not resentment, will become his primary emotion.

If you've improved your marriage and you still notice a distance from his kids, then you may have to use the same method, this time with the kids. Schedule time for your husband to have with them alone. Schedule fun family outings so that you always have something to look forward to.

Never forget that although you may be in a rut right now, you are a family and that bond may go a long way toward healing this rift. Once you can turn drudgery and resentment into excitement and intimacy, there is a very good chance that your husband may become engaged in family life and marriage once again. If it helps, you can read about how I got the intimacy back in my marriage (during a separation, no less) by using this strategy: http://isavedmymarriage.com

Author's Bio: 

There are links to more articles about saving your marriage http://isavedmymarriage.com