Marriage is a tough job. Learning to live with another person, even one that you love takes time to get used to. If your marriage has hit a dry spell lately, don’t get frustrated and upset.

Here are a few ways to get to the bottom of the issue of a disinterested spouse.

You come home after a long day at work or maybe you are a stay-at-home mother. When your spouse comes home, you give him a big kiss and ask about his day. He mumbles a quick response and heads off to the computer room, where he stays for the next hour or so. Or, maybe he comes home and announces that he and the guys are going to a ballgame and he won’t be staying for dinner.

If you have experienced something similar, you may be scratching your head trying to figure out what is going on. The first thing I want to say is not to jump to conclusions. Everyone needs their space now and then.

Communicate with your spouse. If you have a problem with their behavior, let them know. Chances are your spouse is not aware that there is a problem going on. Sit down with him and tell him how you feel about his apparent disinterest. Men are not the type of people to open up readily about their problems. Women, on the other hand, like to talk about an issue until we’ve picked the bones clean. When he is out with his friends, he can casually mention a situation that he is having. The guys may comment briefly but then it’s over and done with.

Couples naturally grow apart when they have a family. Once the children come along, there is less time for intimacy and more time for arguing about the kids. A lot of energy goes into raising kids and keeping a home. Most of us just look for any chance to unwind.

You might not like what your spouse has to say, but listen anyway. This is the only way to find a solution. Suggest a date night with your spouse. Get to know the other person all over again. Send the kids to a friend or relative’s house for the entire evening. Rekindle the intimacy that has been missing for so long.

Let your spouse know that you are there to listen if they have a problem they want to discuss and you won’t offer advice if they don’t want or need it. Somewhere along the way things have gotten off track, but they can be fixed if you both want it. Communicating with each other is the only way to get both of your needs met.

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