You thought you’d never feel like this once you got married.
You feel so alone. He’s right there, but he’s a million miles away.
Marriage was supposed to be about spending the rest of your life side by side with your best friend…
Having him listen to the story of your day…
Knowing he would always be there to hold onto when life was hard.
Instead, you got this…
A husband who’s more like a roommate.
A husband who has more time for other people than he has time for you.
A husband who doesn’t want to be close to you. Who blames you for everything.
You can’t live like this anymore. Something has to change.
It’s time to meet Dr. Doug Weiss.
Dr. Weiss knows exactly what it feels like to be married and alone. Thousands of couples pass through his practice at the Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs. He’s their last hope.
What Dr. Weiss teaches them is a concept many have never heard of:
It’s the deliberate withholding of love and intimacy in a relationship.
If you’re feeling lonely in your relationship, then this week’s YBTV interview is for you.
You’ll learn what the addiction model of recovery has to do with your relationship problems, why he changed so much after you got married, and the secret reason your relationship only gets better after you’ve reached your breaking point.
What You’ll Learn
It feels like you’re begging to be loved. It feels like you’re unheard. It feels like you’re unwanted.”
You’ve done everything to make your partner desire you.
You’ve made yourself attractive for him, created a beautiful home, surprised him with gifts, done everything he could ask for or want.
And yet the distance between you is a gulf.
You’re more like roommates or business partners than lovers.
Everyone looks at the two of you and thinks your life must be great. But they don’t know what’s going on. When you’re alone together, he shuts himself off. He doesn’t want to touch you or be close to you. He acts like you’re the problem, like there’s something wrong with you.
According to Dr. Weiss, there are millions of men and women all over the world suffering like this in their marriages.
It takes about 10 to 15 years for them to figure out that their spouse is never going to love them, no matter what they do.
It’s time to accept the truth…
Nothing will make him happy.
Why You Couldn’t See the Signs
Your spouse wasn’t like this in the beginning.
He was wonderful when you were dating. He treated you like a queen.
Then everything changed.
“When it shifts, you can feel it,” Dr. Weiss says. “It’s like you can go, ‘Yep, on that day it stopped.’ And what you mean is, their hearts stop connecting to you.”
For some couples, that shift happens the moment they get married.
“I’ve had hundreds of men and women tell me, ‘On the wedding night, they broke my heart. They didn’t touch me. They didn’t want me,'” Dr. Weiss says.
What happened is that the rules of the game changed.
“In dating, you’re still the object of pursuit. But once you’re captured, now you’re the object of disdain,” Dr. Weiss explains.
Your spouse was willing to give you some of his time and energy when you were dating. But now that the marriage requires all of him, he pulls back. He creates distance on purpose. He sabotages the relationship.
He may not even be aware of what he’s doing or why.
You Can’t Make Him Love You
Surely if you were amazing in every way…
The most perfect partner he’s ever had…
He would wake up to how lucky he is to have you.
But that isn’t how it works.
Dr. Weiss’ clients are successful, smart, beautiful women. None of that helps them.
They’re untouched. They’re unwanted. They’re not praised. They’re not celebrated. They’re not encouraged. They’re not pursued. And that feels very painful.”
“Don’t go down the trail of, “I need to do something to be loved,’ okay?” Dr. Weiss says.
“Because he knew how to love you when he was dating you. He’s choosing not to love you now…. He chooses not to do that because he actually wants distance.”
That can be one of the hardest things to accept:
That he’s doing this deliberately.
He doesn’t want to be close to you. He’s intentionally pushing you away.
“Do you know how much strength he’s using not to love you?” Dr. Weiss asks.
He tells his clients that “they have to accept it’s not about their beauty, their body, their sex, their age, the gray hair, the cellulite…
“There’s not one variable you bring to the table that will make him love you, because he chose not to. And you can’t make that choice for him.”
The Only Thing that Seems to Work
But there is one time when he’ll put in the effort.
It’s when things hit rock bottom.
You start sleeping in another room. You bring up divorce. Suddenly, he’s there for you. You’ve got your old husband back.
But his affection is only temporary. It’s an act. It doesn’t mean he really cares.
Soon, he’s back to his old ways…
And you’re just as alone as before.
Dr. Weiss calls this pain for love. It’s where you have to be in pain to be loved.
You see his efforts as acts of love, whereas in fact they’re attempts to stabilize the marriage.
He doesn’t want you to break up. He wants the marriage to continue as it is, because it benefits him even as it causes you pain.
So he’ll do whatever it takes to show you symbolically that he cares, as long as it gets you to stop complaining.
What You Can Do
Believe the behavior. Don’t believe the words”
Intimacy anorexia is a form of addiction.
You can’t solve someone’s addiction for them.
That’s why the first step is to accept you’re powerless. You can’t make him change. What you can do is get help for yourself.
Every week at the Heart to Heart Counseling Center, people fly in from all over the world to attend Dr. Weiss’ 3- or 5-day intensives. He has seen marriages transform. Couples can heal, become friends and lovers again, and live happily ever after.
But if your spouse doesn’t wants to look at his behavior, doesn’t want help, doesn’t want to change, then you’ve got to start taking care of yourself.
“There’s hope for you no matter what the other person chooses,” Dr. Weiss says. “You can be loved. You can be enough. You can be sought after and pursued and wanted.”
To learn more, here are links to the materials Dr. Weiss discusses:
Jump to Topics of Interest
2:11 What is intimacy anorexia?
3:07 The signs of intimacy anorexia
5:04 When it all changed
9:45 Object reality vs relational reality
12:12 What you can do
15:47 Causes of intimacy anorexia
17:43 The next step
Dr. Doug Weiss
Dr. Weiss is a nationally known author, speaker, and licensed psychologist. He’s been the expert guest on numerous national shows including Oprah, Dr. Phil and Good Morning America. He has written more than 30 books on marriage, addiction recovery, and self help, and he’s the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs. Find out how you can work with Dr. Weiss.