Relationship Connection: The Silent Marriage

silent marriage


My husband and I have nothing to talk about. We go on dates and just sit there and watch other people and talk very little. It’s like that at home, too. We’ve been married for 16 years and it seems like we just go through the motions most of the time. I’m worried about us not having anything to say to each other. Is this normal.


While it’s hard to say what’s “normal” for any couple, I can say that this pattern appears to be distressing to you and possibly your husband. It’s worth looking at and figuring out what can be done.

There are lots of reasons couples can go silent. In my professional experience, the two most common contributors are unresolved resentment or the disconnection that results from failing to nurture the marriage relationship.

Unresolved resentments can come from previous injuries to the relationships, such as betrayals or misunderstandings. If these injuries aren’t adequately resolved in favor of the couple, then there can be hard feelings that keep the couple distant.

Dr. Bill Doherty said, “One of the biggest threats to modern-day marriage is daily living.” In other words, if couples aren’t proactive about capturing time together, they will wake up one day and realize they don’t even know each other.

If you don’t see any unresolved issues in your heart, gently ask your husband if there are things that he’s still upset about from the past that need to be discussed. Give him a chance to think about it and then get back together to discuss. Sometimes it takes a while for these to surface. If the coast is clear, then I recommend looking at ways to get the two of you reconnected as a couple.

I’m guessing you didn’t lack for conversation when you were dating. Most couples have plenty to talk about when they’re getting to know one another. It’s typically the daily grind of life, parenting, work, and other commitments that makes it tough to nurture the marriage.

Sometimes a marriage simply needs a “booster shot” in the form of a couple’s getaway. This shouldn’t be a vacation, but rather a chance to specifically get reacquainted with one another. It’s a way of showing each other that your marriage is a priority.

You might also consider changing up your dating routine. If you’ve been doing the “dinner and a movie” thing for years, maybe it’s time to mix it up a bit and try something that will get you talking. Our brains crave novelty and it makes for great conversation!

The marriage should be thought of as a separate entity that needs to be nurtured on a daily basis. I’m a big fan of the book “Take Back Your Marriage” by Dr. Bill Doherty, which explains how couples can resist the pull of life to keep their marriage front and center.

The most important thing you can do is work to have the connection to your husband. Instead of complaining that it’s boring to be married to him, let him know how important he is to you and how much you want to interact with him. Find out if he feels the same way. You might be surprised.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

1 Comment

  • Joyce Kuzmanic February 23, 2011 at 9:16 am

    “our brains crave novelty” . . . love that! in other words, we need to be interesting to each other –
    we work hard on that in courtship, don’t we?!
    sometimes we need to reinvent our selves as we present to our spouse – and have interests of our own that are independent so that we have something “novel” to offer the other

    excellent article

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.