Five tips on how to reconnect with your spouse, inspired by a comment from a husband. He is beginning to realize how much he neglected his wife during their marriage, and wants to reconnect with her. But, he’s worried that it’s too late.
“I realized that I have neglected her a lot in our relationship,” says Tony on Is It Too Late to Repair Your Relationship?. “I have blown off things I thought were no big deal…when she tried to tell me I hurt her, I didn’t hear what she was saying. She said I’ve treated her like a mother, not a wife, and that she doesn’t feel cared for, wanted or desired. I haven’t made her a priority in my life. She says she doesn’t know where our lives are going. That terrifies me. I don’t know how to start showing her that I DO want her, think of her, and desire her. I know that this point in our marriage is mostly my fault because of the way I’ve treated her, unintentionally or not. I want to save our relationship and reconnect with her. I want to make her, and us, happy again. I just don’t know where to start.”
My first tip for him is to learn what it means to really connect with his wife. I recommend The Secrets of Happily Married Men: 8 Ways to Win Your Wife’s Heart Forever by marriage counselor Scott Haltzman. It’s a guidebook that helps men give their wives exactly what they want, and helps husbands receive what they hoped for the day they got married.
And for you, I have several tips on how to reconnect with your spouse (husband or wife!)…
5 Tips on How to Reconnect With Your Spouse
These thoughts on reconnecting with your spouse general – they’re not meant to be specific advice for specific couples. I can’t do that here! The best way to fix your relationship or save your marriage is to talk to someone in person, who can discuss the intricacies of your personalities, interactions, experiences, and even your childhoods.
There are no guarantees that these tips will help you reconnect with your spouse – but I do know that they’ll give you something to chew on. I wrote this for the husband who commented on my article.
Give your spouse time and space
It’s important to find the balance between giving your spouse time and space to breathe, and reassuring your spouse that you do want to fix your relationship. You don’t want to suffocate your spouse or make her run in the opposite direction, especially since your new perspective of wanting to reconnect and save your relationship isn’t entirely trustworthy yet. That is, how does she know this will last? What if you’re just apologizing for years of neglect, but it’s only “for show”?
Tell your spouse how important it is to reconnect, and how sorry you are for neglecting her. And remember that talk is cheap. The best tip on how to reconnect with your spouse is to take action.
Take action – show your spouse you’re serious about reconnecting
How can you show your spouse you want to reconnect and rebuild your marriage? By taking action. You don’t have to drag your spouse to marriage counselling (unless she wants to – I’d love it if my husband suggested counselling. No marriage is perfect, and I think it’s important to look under the hood and give things a tune up once in awhile).
If you’re not into marriage counseling, then read books like The Secrets of Happily Married Men or The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage by Laura Schlessinger.
Ask your spouse how to reconnect
The worst answer you can get is, “I don’t know. I don’t think there’s anything we can do to rebuild our marriage.” But at least then you’ll know! If she is totally uninterested in saving your marriage, then what can you do? I don’t know. It’s a terribly helpless, powerless feeling – one that men are definitely not comfortable with. But you can’t force your wife to want to stay married, or to love you again.
All you can do is be sincere and honest about your desire to rebuild your marriage. Reach out, and keep reaching out to your spouse. Show that you want to reconnect with your spouse in words and action. You want to move forward to a new stage of life.
If you don’t know how your wife gives and receives love, read Examples of the Five Love Languages.
Remember that it takes two to fix a relationship
It can be so difficult to reconnect with your wife after years of marriage – this is where the whole “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” cliché comes in! Sometimes, wives or husbands let things go for years and years. They ignore problems, and those problems get worse and worse. When they finally face them – which is what Tony and his wife are doing now – they’re simply too big, exhausting, and complicated to fix.
It’s easier to just walk away from the marriage than try to fix years of neglect and learn how to reconnect with your spouse. That’s partly why the divorce rate is so high, because couples just give up.
If it’s any consolation (and it’s probably not), you are not the only husband who has neglected his wife and wants to rebuild his marriage! I wrote 6 Tips on How to Make a Relationship Last for Jason, who was in the same boat.
If you have any tips on how to reconnect with your spouse, please comment below.
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.