I write about saving and rescuing marriages. As a result, I sometimes receive emails from folks wanting to know why their marriages are ending and what they can do to stop, delay, or bypass this process. Often, when I ask why the marriage is in trouble, I get a range of about five different answers (depending upon whether the husband or the wife is giving them). Common answers are stress, money, sex, some external crisis or stressful situation, or infidelity.

Now, these things all occur in marriages and these things all cause problems. But, these things are not what has started the process, nor is it the thing that will deal your marriage its final blow, (at least in my opinion or experience.) No, these are external things that are a symptom of something else entirely- a lack of intimacy. Many people will try so hard to address the money or stress issue, thinking that once they do, the marriage will rebound. Although this may be true short term, without bringing the intimacy and the connection back, you will only be in the same place once another stressor is placed upon the marriage. This article will discuss addressing the real reason that marriages end.

Why The End Of A Marriage All Comes Down To A Loss Of Your Connection (Usually As The Result Of Neglect:) When a counselor once told me that my separation (and possibly impending divorce) was likely due to the loss of my marriages "connection," I thought she was just trying to tie it up in a neat package so that I could process it. But then she had me do an exercise that made it very clear. She asked me to think about when my husband and I were first dating. Then, she asked me to think about, describe, and pinpoint our first fight. I had an easy time remembering our courtship, but a difficult time remembering the first fight. There wasn't much to it, and it was over quickly. I hadn't thought much about it since.

There's a reason for this, of course. When you are deeply in love, little stressors just sort of bounce right off of you. You're seeing life through love colored glasses, so you're not going to let any petty slights or annoyances mess up the good thing you have going. When a couple is in love, small fights are just that - small things that blow over quickly. No one wants to draw it out, because doing so would only get in the way of all the good feelings you're experiencing and the fun that you are having.

But, of course, responsibilities begin to rear their ugly little heads. Eventually, we all have to get back to real life and turn our attention to our jobs and our extended families - all of which gives us less time to devote to our spouse or significant other. Often the red flag doesn't go off in our heads and the alarm bells don't sound because we know that this is completely normal. It happens to everyone. That said, just because it's common doesn't mean it isn't deadly to a marriage. So, it's not the eternal thing that you really need to address - it's the intimacy that needs to return.

We also often make the mistake of thinking that our spouse knows exactly what's going on in our life. They know exactly how many balls we are trying to juggle, so they should understand that the time just isn't there. They do understand this with their heads, but not with their hearts.

Why Your Spouse Has Probably Shut Down And Is Not Listening To Your Attempts To Turn This Thing Around: Often by the time people contact me, their marriages are at the point where very little helpful communication is happening. Usually one of the spouses has sort of given up, since typically some attempts have been made to change things, but these things have failed or not been followed through with. So, the spouse who wants the break or divorce now sees the marriage as cold and dead, and can't even begin to imagine how it could even be possible to change things now.

I often hear varying statements like "my wife is not the same person. She never has time for me. Nothing I do is right in her eyes. She doesn't even begin to understand me." And, often with a little prompting, they'll even go a little further and tell me how their wives used to "get them" like no one else, could understand what they were saying with only eye contact, and cared deeply about their happiness and experiences. They feel this is a sharp contrast to what they are experiencing now. This loss frustrates them and contributes to their shutting down.

Putting It All Together To Prevent Your Marriage From Ending: Hopefully, by now you have a little more insight into what you need to do if you want to save your marriage. You absolutely have to return the close bond that used to exist between you. Because if you can do that, all of the seemingly insurmountable issues will diminish to only petty annoyances that will be dealt with. Once the two of you are looking at life from love colored glasses again, the big things will again look like small things.

But, how do you return this intimacy when you are barely speaking? First, you have to both want the same things (or at least make your spouse think that you do). So, you sit them down and tell them that no matter what happens, you are going to work on improving the relationship between you because they are too important to you for the relationship to become cold and distant - no matter how this ends. Neither of you should live with this kind of stress and uncertainty and you both deserve to be happy so you are going to act in such a way that makes this happen.

Don't push and don't overdo it. Just work on, day by day, returning a playful, fun element to the relationship so that your husband isn't running to flee every time he sees you for fear that a fight is coming. You don't want to try to talk about your deep, problematic issues. At first, you're just creating a scenario where two people who once loved one another very much begin to see what first attracted them in the first place. If your husband used to love your laugh and your laid back, easy personality, make sure he is seeing just that when he interacts with you.

Little by little and bit by bit, the tension should begin to ease and you can then once again build a base that is founded on a close bond, a deep understanding, and an appreciation of one another. Once you are back to this place, working through the external issues becomes much easier.

When my husband wanted a break, I focused on the external issues when trying to save our separated marriage rather than looking at the intimacy and closeness. Thankfully, I soon realized where I was going wrong, changed direction, and this eventually worked. You can read that story on my blog at http://isavedmymarriage.com/

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