What to Do When She Pulls Away (Long Term Girlfriend / Wife)

What to Do When She Pulls Away (Don’t Panic!)

Before I can share with you what to do when she pulls away, we need to explore why she pulls away in the first place.

I’ve been in a few “honeymoon” relationships and was married to a man that I was with for over 12 years. I speak partly from personal experience when talking about what to do when your wife pulls away.

I’ve also spoken with many, many women who’ve left their men and shared with me the reasons why (when they knew why).

However, I feel that because of the many nuances of how long term relationships can deteriorate, I need to emphasize that I’m not a professional therapist and these are my opinions.

In other words, not everything in this blog will apply to your personal situation.

Why Is She Pulling Away?

Assuming you haven’t cheated on her or deceived her in some other major way, which is a whole other topic, her pulling away can depend on things like:

  • how long you’ve been together
  • how long she’ been unhappy
  • if she recently: updated her hairdo/lost weight/joined a fitness club/started going out with her single friends etc.

Let’s delve into these in a bit more detail.

How Long You’ve Been Together

There are different stages to relationships, from the honeymoon phase (50 yard dash) to the comfort zone stage (500 meter race) to the endurance phase (pick your long distance marathon!).

The Honeymoon Phase

If you’ve been together a short time, under two years, she might start seeing the relationship for what it really is.

Meaning: not through those rosy-coloured glasses we all have during the honeymoon stage.

In the honeymoon stage we’re chemically programmed to notice all the good stuff about our love interest and less of the so-called bad stuff.

Blame it on hormones if you like, but it’s a biological phenomenon.

So, after awhile — somewhere between 12 and 18 months, usually — those hormones start to calm down and then we see the cracks in the foundation.

Like you leaving your dirty socks and undies all over the place. Or that you flirt with other girls.

She may be pulling away to get enough space to evaluate beliefs, values, goals and wonders if those cracks can withstand the test of time.

The Comfort Zone Phase

Somewhere between two years and say ten — I’m guesstimating here — couples enter the comfort zone phase.

They know each other well enough to be themselves. He leaves the seat up; she doesn’t always shave her legs.

The comfort zone phase feels cozy, like a worn pair of slippers, but it’s also a time when couples stop doing the things they did in the beginning to woo and impress their partner.

They stop trying.

She may be pulling away because she feels taken for granted or bored, even if she’s doing the same thing to you (taking you for granted).

The Endurance Phase

After ten to fifteen years — it varies per couple — partnerships move into the endurance phase.

There’s comfort between the partners and a level of acceptance if not full respect.

You accept each others quirks and may even find them endearing.

She knows how you like your coffee in the morning and you know not to wake her before 7:00 AM. #crankylady

You’ve become accustomed to each others flaws and idiosyncrasies.

If she’s starting to pull away at this time, she may be wondering where her own identity stands and where life itself might be taking her.

Yep, she may be going through the classic midlife crisis.

If she’s going through a midlife crisis, it mostly likely has little to nothing to do with you. She’ll blame you for a range of things that will not make any difference to her happiness even if you give her 110% of what she’s asking for.

But if it’s not a midlife crisis, then she might be resentful of the comfort zone and both your lack of effort.

If she’s been trying to encourage you to do things and she’s also making an effort to woo you, then you need to take responsibility for ignoring these signs.

When a woman in a steady long term relationship pulls away it’s usually because she’s:

  1. Uncertain that she’s made the right choice in partner to begin with.
  2. Bored because you’ve become complacent in the relationship (you’ve stopped trying to be mysterious); or she’s feeling suffocated because you act needy and put her on a pedestal.
  3. Developed into a different person and doesn’t feel like you’re keeping up / still compatible / trying to grow with her.

Ultimately, she’s either lost faith in your masculinity and ability to lead and contribute to the relationship in meaningful ways; is bored by your inability to do your part to stimulate her (mentally/emotionally/sexually); wonders if she’s made the right choices in life (this has nothing to do with you).

How to fix it…

How long she’s been pulling away (and whether or not she’s already met someone else) will determine IF any of these strategies work and if they do how long it will take.

  1. If you slacked, start wooing! Stop being so predictable; add back some mystery, surprise and suspense.
  2. Take up a new interest that doesn’t involve her. Autonomy is attractive.
  3. Get back in the gym / get a job / take out the garbage. (For you mostly, but also for her if you’ve slacked.)
  4. Start rounding out your life as though you were single (without crossing loyalty lines). You complete you, that’s not her job.
  5. Don’t chase her or beg her to stay. That’s little boy behaviour. You’re her partner not a dependent.
  6. Understand that she may not even know why she’s pulling away. (Though she may give you reasons, they may be unconsciously false.)
  7. Improve your mood / demeanour to positive variations. Negativity or a victim mentality is a major turnoff.
  8. Start leading and making basic relationship decisions. Take some responsibility so she doesn’t always have to. Choose the restaurant!
  9. Don’t tell her the real reason you’re doing all this (yet). #mystery
  10. If doing all of the above doesn’t inspire her to spring back to you, talk to her about it. Give it some time! #patience #equalpartner #notneedy

Be Patient

Realize that if any of the above has slid, it’ll feel uncomfortable for both of you to change now, but you must if you want to alter the trajectory of your relationship.

You need to reclaim your mystery, masculinity, and playful side. Women start to lose interest when these traits disappear.

Women are not loyal like dogs; they’re temperamental like cats. It’s our nature, sorry, take it up with God.

You’re basically going to have to seduce her mind all over again.

We are not responsible for our partner’s happiness, but we are responsible for contributing to it, especially if we’ve slacked off. That’s not what she signed up for, the warranty runs for the duration of the relationship.

And if she’s become a different person and / or so have you, then those two new people must rediscover if they’re still compatible.

What If These Tips Don’t Work?

You may have to face the fact that you’re no longer the match for each other. (Maybe you never were.)

Break ups are one of the most painful things you’ll go through. (I’ve been there, they suck.)

But after the heartbreak wanes a bit, you may also realize that you get to go out in the world and find someone who will really love you for the man you are  if you’re truly ok with who you are.

Hint: Never go for someone’s potential! You must accept them, “As is where is.”

There are definitely traits that all women crave in a man.

If you want to become the kind of man who won’t be left again — and gain the respect of your friends, peers and self — then invest in yourself with  WakeUP2Luv program today.

WakeUP2Luv helps men in any stage of their lives become the best men they can be.

The program should be reviewed at least once a year to keep you on track to being your best you as a man. (You have unlimited, lifetime access.)

I wish you the best, dude.

Big hug to you if you’re struggling to hold on and not knowing what to do when your wife pulls away.

xo AJ

About the Author Anna Jorgensen

Vancouver Dating Coach for Shy Guys & Introverted Men. Matchmaker Liaison. Founder: Wingmam

Leave a Comment:

5 comments
Scott C. says November 13, 2019

Excellent post. You covered a lot of ground here. I was going to comment about how my first marriage ended, but after thinking about it, mostly it was because she drove me away (yes, I initiated the divorce), so not really appropriate for this post. Keep up the great work!

Reply
    Anna Jorgensen says November 13, 2019

    Great addition, Chris, to show men they don’t have to wait until she decides to divorce if the relationship just isn’t working, anymore. 🙂

    Reply
Stephen Billon says November 20, 2019

So glad to have seen your videos on youtube and now found your site.Very good and very true information, thank you! Things went sideways for me and my lady about 10 days ago and it’s still a toss up but god I want to keep her. It’s given me some tools finding your vids and am now a work in progress. Thank you

Reply
Stephen B says November 20, 2019

So glad to have seen your videos on youtube and now found your site.Very good and very true information, thank you! Things went sideways for me and my lady about 10 days ago and it’s still a toss up but god I want to keep her. It’s given me some tools finding your vids and am now a work in progress. Thank you

Reply
    Anna Jorgensen says November 20, 2019

    Glad you found my videos and website.. definitely check out my Get Ex Back playlist but keep in mind most of the advice is for shorter term relationships and dating. There one in there specifically for LTRs, though. Good luck! 🙂 Anna

    Reply
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