Couples Living as Roommates: Emotionally Distant Couples

Empty nest age couple with conflict and distance in relationship. This image is meant to portray the disconnect that is remedied by a marriage retreat or marriage seminar in New England.

In the Beginning…

Your relationship worked. There were some bumps on the way but you navigated them together. There might have been some conflicts at times, but nothing bad. Your relationship was fulfilling and your sex life satisfying. People may have looked at you and thought you were the ‘perfect couple’.


You both matured, and what you needed from each other began to change. Conflicts started popping up more frequently about small and big things. A pattern of one person talking and the other person shutting down started to emerge. The relationship became exhausting; it felt like no matter what was tried, there still wasn’t a connection. So, eventually, you both stopped trying to make a connection.


On the surface, you ‘get along’ but you feel hopeless. You run the household more as business partners than as a couple. There aren’t many conflicts, but there also aren’t many emotionally deep conversations. You don’t have many shared interests and wonder what will keep you together once the kids are gone. Sex has become awkward and is infrequent. It’s not a great relationship, maybe not even good, but it’s not BAD, and so you stay.

One or both of you think, “There’s no point in trying to connect, it’s not going to change anyways.” or We never connect; I don’t think you even like me at times.”

I get it.

You had a good enough connection when things were easy. Life became more complicated and some distance emerged. One of you tried to bring back the connection, but it ended up in endless conflicts with little change. So you gave up. Now, no one tries to reach for the other. It’s like you are frozen in this ‘in-between’ space, not knowing how to reach out to one another, how to connect. 

This pattern is somewhat common for couples who have been together for years, especially with couples that focused on the children as a joint effort and not on the relationship. If we understand it, we have ways to address it. 


Having tools to communicate and discuss the more complicated topics that tend to be avoided.

Knowing HOW to reach for your partner in a way that opens up your partner and brings him or her closer.

Enjoying time with your partner again, like how ‘it’s supposed to be’.

Understanding and hearing the emotions that are hidden under the awkward silences and shutdown expressions.

Addressing the absence of sex in a safe and productive manner so you begin to enjoy one another again.

I Can Help.

1. Right now, get some free tools and tips to start making things better TODAY. In my videos and blogs, you will learn about your relationship and also how I work.

2. Sign up for my emails. In them, I include activities you can do to help your relationship’s connection, links to current blogs/videos, and updates on things I am doing to be helpful to couples.

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3. Before things continue further and you feel even more stuck, make significant change in your relationship by attending either my Hold Me Tight® Semi-private Workshop or my Hold Me Tight® Private Retreat. Over the course of two days, you will learn tools and practice skills that will change how you communicate and even possibly transform your relationship.

Which is Best for You, Workshop or Retreat?

You know your relationship best.  Look over the two treatment options below and choose the one that fits you and your relationship.

ONLINE “Hold Me Tight Workshops®” for Couples

Close up photograph of LGBT couple kissing during a formal event. Image meant to represent emotional connection and the ability to resolve conflicts when a couple attends a couple and marriage retreat with New England Hold Me Tight.

If you are having disconnection but are able to break through it when you try, the Workshop provides a generalized format that teaches you tools and gives you practice so you understand one another better. The ice in your relationship will thaw and you will begin to connect with one another on a deeper level again.  

Private Couples and Marriage Retreats

Couple walking on path in New England on rainy day. This image represents how to fall in love again after attending a Hold Me Tight Workshop for couples in New England.

If your relationship is ‘frozen’ so that one or both of you is significantly shut down, I recommend the Private Retreat option.  With this option, you learn how to communicate more authentically and productively address conflict if it happens. The Retreat allows you complete privacy, my full attention, and the ability to regulate the intensity more than the Workshop allows. The pacing creates a balance of emotion and ‘space’ so no one is overwhelmed and there is a sense of safety with one another. I see relationships improve significantly in the Workshop. Relationships are transformed in Private Retreats.   

Either way, we will get you started back onto that path where you can communicate and connect with your partner again.

Remember, I want you to succeed.

“Hold Me Tight®” is a registered trademark to Sue Johnson.