How to make your marriage unbreakable


Unity in marriage is everything. With it intact, a covenant or commitment of marriage becomes unbreakable even in the face of events that are capable of breaking it apart.

It takes unity of purpose for both partners and determination to stay committed to being on the same team for better or worse. Not even emotional abandonment can break such a relationship.

What is emotional abandonment?

This refers to feelings of neglect, being shut out, and not being heard in your marriage. You’re left to face certain life challenges, even day-to-day struggles, on your own despite the reality of you being married.

It is when your spouse is so self-absorbed that they genuinely cannot see — or intentionally ignore —  the troubles, tears or challenges you’re going through.

It’s when your spouse:

  • Withholds approval, affection and attention from you;
  • No longer leans on you for advice and support but relies on someone else;
  • Is no longer sexually attracted to you; and
  • Makes you feel socially isolated and rarely goes anywhere with you any more

Instead of physically leaving the relationship, your spouse simply checks out emotionally. They stop investing in the marriage, leaving you feeling disconnected and unwanted.

You can sense the distance. To the outside world the situation can still look rosy, at least for a while. But in reality, the relationship has been dying a slow, quiet death for some time now.

But believe it or not, you can come back from it if you both want to. The key to getting past this situation is working together.

Here are some suggestions on how to do so. 

Examine the cause

Ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Was your relationship always like this or did it deteriorate over time?
  • Does it feel like your spouse’s attitude changed from one day to the next?
  • Is there a situation or event that precipitated their change in behaviour?

If your spouse’s emotionally neglectful behaviour has always been a part of your relationship, there might be a far bigger issue than you realise, in which case, therapy is recommended.

However, if you can trace this change in behaviour back to a specific event, or can say with some certainty that your spouse is just going through a rough patch, that could make all the difference in how this plays out.

If being emotionally unavailable is just how they operate, changing their behaviour will be substantially more difficult, if it’s possible at all.

However, if this behaviour is situational, your chances of mending the relationship are probably far greater.  


The most important thing to do to restore emotional intimacy is to increase the amount of time you spend together. It’s almost like getting to know each other afresh.

Being deliberate in spending quality time together will allow you opportunities to recover the sense of “us-ness”.

Ask questions 

If you are feeling lonely, your spouse probably feels the same way — hopeless and helpless, not sure where to begin.

So, begin with you. Take the initiative by simply asking your partner at least one question a day about something not related to managing your lives.

Questions such as “did you pay the electricity bill?” and “can you fetch the children tomorrow after school?” do not count.

Ask them what they’re worried about, excited about, stressed about, looking forward to. Then really listen to their answers.

Start small, and don’t be surprised if they’re suspicious initially.

Re-establishing an emotional connection is a shift in energy, a shift in wanting to know what the other person is thinking and feeling again, and sharing your own thoughts and feelings.

Be curious

While your spouse has allowed you into their world, it’s important to seek to understand things from their perspective. This will naturally happen by asking questions.

But also important is making a quiet and non-judgmental effort to observe. Perspective will allow you opportunities to pick up what they might be worried about, yearning for, or is weighing them down.

It’s important to engage in the perspective-taking process with a generosity of heart and mind, rather than a critical spirit.

Be careful of your words

A partner who feels always criticised is ultra-sensitive. Even constructive criticism can turn sour.

A person whose character, personality, self-esteem or way of doing things is always hammered will pay extra attention to not just what is said, but also how it’s said.

When you have to point something out, or during conflict, choose your words carefully. Actually, certain things are best left unchallenged — especially when they’re insignificant.

Don’t use extreme or absolute language such as exaggerations and overblown and probably untrue claims such as “you always...” or “you never…”.

Major in your spouse’s love language

Knowing one another’s love language can help you determine the best way to show each other appreciation in a way that is personal and that matters most.

For example, if your partner appreciates words of affirmation but you are showing it in a more physical way, like hugs and touches, it won’t resonate as much with them as it would if you told them how much you love them or how much they mean to you, or wrote it down.

Make small gestures every day

Find a way to pause and acknowledge your spouse in some way in your day, every day — even if it’s just as simple as saying hello and goodbye when they walk in and out for the day.

A phone call or text isn’t bad either.

One of the tenets of gratitude is acknowledging that something or someone really matters to you, and one of the best ways to do that is through little gestures, like kissing them hello and goodbye, saying good morning and good night, and even just pausing to chat when they walk in the door.

Those little moments ultimately add up to the big thing — showing your partner that you genuinely care that they are in your life.



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