3 Surprising Reasons Why Your Partner Might Be Acting Distant

Posted by on Aug 15, 2020 in Couples Counseling | Comments Off on 3 Surprising Reasons Why Your Partner Might Be Acting Distant

You thought your relationship was rockin’ every day but then you start to notice that your partner is acting distant. That is not a good feeling. Distancing can make you feel lonely and rejected.

A breakup isn’t happening but something clearly isn’t right between you. You likely wonder what is going on in your partner’s life. You want to know why they are acting this way.

Things like work stress, family problems, and money troubles can often contribute to distance. Yet, the real reason your partner is acting distant might be much closer to home than you realize. In fact, it may be that the cause of their distancing is your actions and behaviors.

Taking a look at your own actions might not be fun or comfortable but it is useful and important, nonetheless. Although you are certainly not responsible for your partner’s behavior, one reason you may be distant is that couples tend to emotionally feed off of one another. Therefore, you are likely influencing your partner’s behavior even if you don’t mean to or realize it. Second, it is easier to change your own behavior than it is to change someone else’s. 

Here are three ways you might be contributing to distancing by your partner:

Your Partner Feels Neglected by You

How much of your time and attention does your partner get from you? Do you make the relationship a priority?  It is not unusual for a partner to pull away if they feel they are not getting enough time and attention from the other.

The time and kind of attention required can vary from person to person.  Some partners might need much more time and attention to feel that they are valued and connected. Others might need less. Still, regardless of the time or attention, what is important for your relationship is that your partner feels valued, needed, and prioritized in your life.

When Your Partner Doesn’t Feel Heard or Understood

Another reason your partner might be acting distant is that they don’t feel you hear or understand them. It is important to be heard and understood by the person you care about the most. When you hear your partner, it means that you are actually considering what they say. Additionally, you remain open to their point of view, even if you disagree.

This fosters a better understanding of your partner’s perspective and where they are coming from. This brings you both closer as a couple.  However, when this doesn’t happen, your partner may pull away from you.

Some examples of not hearing or understanding your partner include:

  • Bringing up issues your partner feels were already settled.
  • Dismissing or refusing to accept what your partner is telling you.
  • Interrupting or speaking over your partner when they speak.
  • Trying to change their beliefs or perceptions because you think they are wrong.

As you can imagine, these traits can seriously harm any relationship if they are left unaddressed.

The third and final reason why your partner might be acting distant is that they feel overly criticized. This can occur in several ways.

When Your Partner Feels Criticized

  • Are you frequently pointing out what they are doing wrong?
  • Do you rarely tell them what they are doing right?
  • Are you making blanket statements or negative generalizations about their character?
  • Do you berate your partner or call them names?

Nobody likes constant criticism. If this is happening, it might be the reason for your partner’s distance. 

If your partner is feeling neglected, unheard, or criticized in your relationship, then it only makes sense that they withdraw. They are emotionally protecting themselves from the thing that causes distress. Unchecked, this could spell disaster for your relationship.

However, all is not lost if you are contributing to your partner’s distancing. In fact, there are solid steps you can take to bridge the gap between you and your partner and feel closer together again.

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