When Your Spouse Becomes a Roommate: 3 Simple Ways to Turn Things Around

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"We live more like roommates than spouses."  

"We just slowly drifted apart."  

"We don't have any common interests any more."  

"We never do anything together."  

These are comments that couples frequently make when they first seek marriage counseling.  They cite numerous reasons for the distance between them.  They're too busy with work and family demands.  They're too tired at the end of the day.  After the children were born, everything changed. Perhaps one person is harboring resentment from a past hurt.

You don’t even remember when you last held each other or kissed. We’re talking about more than a quick hug and peck on the cheek.  

You may pass each other on the way in or out of the house. You may sit in front of the TV together. And you may even exchange a few words, checking in with each other now and then. But where is the rest? Do you even miss each other when you don’t connect daily in some form?

Ask yourself: Are we still lovers? Or have we become nothing more than roommates?

If it’s the latter, here are 3 simple ways you can turn things back around.

 From Roommates Back to Lovers

In order to bring your best to any relationship, you have to be at your best – centered and well-balanced. Therefore, begin with taking good care of yourself so that you’re not too exhausted and tired to give your best to your partner.

1.  Communicate with your spouse regularly

Maybe you do talk. But what about? Mundane things? Responsibilities? Paying the bills, housework, repairs, or your children’s schedules?

In order to bring the romance back, you must have meaningful talks about your lives, your needs, and your wants. Get to know each other better. Delve beneath the surface and discover how both of you may have changed through the years.. It’s far too easy to assume that because you know your partner’s habits, you know who they really are.

Take time at the end of each day, turn your full attention to each other, make eye contact, and ask questions. Show delight and gratitude for your partner, and remind yourselves that you should be each other’s priority.

And if you have some kind of conflict, it’s even more important to start talking. Putting up walls blocks intimacy. Tell your partner you miss them. Talk about facts without labeling them good or bad. Engage with a smile, gentleness, and love.  Avoid accusations and criticism.

2.  Spend meaningful time together

Making time for togetherness isn’t about sitting in the same room doing separate things. It’s about aligning your schedules and recreating a sense of connection.

You don’t have to immediately plan an extensive and glamorous date. Start with 15-30 minutes a day. Unplug from technology and share what's on your mind. Pay attention to your partner. Notice the way they move, the way they smell. Let your eyes linger on each other. See them as someone desirable, not just someone who lives in the same house as you.

Make time to take a coffee break together during the work week, visit your favorite restaurant, or have a quiet romantic dinner at home. Have fun and laugh together. Take a trip down memory lane and remind yourself why you fell in love with your partner. Look at photos, love notes, cards; relive the memories you’ve created together.

3.  Fan the passion

When you feel overworked and tired, sleep can sometimes trump intimacy. But the lack of intimate, sexual encounters can cause your connection to completely deteriorate. You may even end up seeking that kind of attention elsewhere.

To counter that end, do things that promote affectionate feelings and get you physically close to your partner. Brush against each other when you pass in the house. Make time for cuddling, holding each other, and sharing a long, slow kiss. Those kinds of interactions rekindle and fan romantic flames. Take time to renew your desire for each other.

And while it may not sound romantic, to get back into the swing of it, you may want to schedule sexual intimacy. Intimacy is that vital, and absolutely worthy of your intentional, vigorous, and continuous efforts.

Don’t wait for your partner to make the first step. Take the initiative and get the ball rolling to turn things around.

Talk to Each Other  

Spend Time Together

Fan the Embers Back Into Flames