Signs Your Spouse is More Like a Stranger
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Honey Who?1 of 11
By Meghan Beresford for YourTango
Staying connected to our loved ones can be difficult. "Couples forget to prioritize their time together. Suddenly every available moment is overscheduled, and the only time the couple shares together is spent sleeping," says relationships expert Melodie Tucker. These ten signs can help you figure out whether or not your spouse has become a stranger.
Too Many Surprises2 of 11
It's one thing for your lover to keep you on your toes. But if you're regularly caught off-guard by things your husband says or does, it may be a sign that his views or priorities have changed. Solution: Check in with each other at least once a week. Ask, "How are you doing?"
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No Common Pals3 of 11
It's healthy for you to spend time apart, but it's not normal for you and your man to travel in entirely separate circles — you'll never get to experience the side of him that comes out when he's not just one-on-one with you. Solution: Invite a few of his friends over for dinner one night. You'll avoid impinging on his guys’ night out, and you'll get to meet his friends on your turf.
Too Much Chore-Talk4 of 11
If you communicate mostly through Post-its and to-do lists, you may end up with a roommate, not a romantic partner. Solution: "Put the relationship back at the top of the totem pole of responsibilities," says YourTango expert Lisa Kift. "Ask each other 'How are you doing?' and then ask 'How are we doing as a couple?'"
No Fights5 of 11
Even people who are deeply in love disagree from time to time. If you never butt heads with your spouse, it may be a sign that one of you has stepped back emotionally. Solution: Don't intentionally pick fights, but pay attention to your feelings and notice if you're ignoring resentment. If you are, speak up!
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No Hobby Knowledge6 of 11
If he collects Star Wars figurines but you don't have a clue which is his most prized Vader, you're missing out on an important point of connection. Solution: You don't need to take up his hobby; just appreciate his enthusiasm and joy.
So-So Sex7 of 11
If sex has become a birthday and anniversary chore, you're skipping one of the best benefits of sharing a bed. Physical touch is a powerful way for busy couples to connect, and its absence can be a fertile breeding ground for resentment and miscommunication. Solution: "Hold hands and give each other at least four hugs a day," says Tucker. Just a little bit of contact will help you stay in touch with each other.
Hints Don't Work8 of 11
If you've been seething for hours and he hasn't even noticed, you and your spouse may have nonverbal communication problems. Solution: Don't fall into the "He should know what upsets me by now!" trap. Obviously, he doesn't. Clue him in.
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No Attention to Detail9 of 11
He spends most of his waking hours at work, and while it's possible to go overboard with bringing work home, it's important to have some insight into his workplace triumphs and frustrations. Solution: Don't just say, "How was work?" Be specific: "How did Jim respond when you asked him to wear earphones instead of playing his music loudly?"
No Fun10 of 11
Date nights help you celebrate your relationship. When you let them disintegrate into King of Queens marathons, you're both sending the message that you value the relationship less than you once did. Solution: Plan a special night where you do something you've never done before. Try a new restaurant, visit that new park, or just talk a walk in a new part of town.
No Deep Sharing11 of 11
Discussing your secret wishes and plans for the future, leads to connection. Solution: Start by talking about what you've shared, then move to more personal stuff. "Have some fun and laugh together every single day. Share your fears as well as your hopes. Reminisce about the good old days (and nights!) of your courtship," suggests Tucker. Not sure what to say? "Compliment each other!" she says.