Roommate Marriage: What If You Want More Than a Best Friend?

Roommate Marriage: What If You Want More Than a Best Friend?

In my marriage counseling in Raleigh, NC, I see a lot of couples that take each other for granted, assuming that their relationship can last no matter what. What they usually say is:”Well, we’re married and love each other! Isn’t that enough for our marriage to lasts?”

Guess what? It’s not. No relationship can handle neglect.

Okay, the constant butterflies in the stomach are simply not sustainable. Most likely, your relationship will develop into a reassuring friendliness over time, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, there is a growing number of couples who seek marriage counseling in Raleigh, NC these days, and as my other fellow counselors in Wake Forest, NC, I have seen a lot of people who struggle with a roommate marriage issues.

A lot of partners who seek marriage counseling in Raleigh, NC usually say that they didn’t see it coming – the relationship wears down slowly at first. However, soon the distance and loneliness in your marriage increase and you wake up one morning next to a roommate and not a lover.

But hey, you still consider each other best friends. You still get along fine. You share projects and chores, take care of kids, and visit each other’s families. Yet, you can’t escape the feeling that your marriage is in a rut and all you want is that roommate to go and bring your lover back instead.

But I have good news!

See, if you have gotten to the point where you can admit that your marriage is in the ditch, you’ve actually already taken a big step toward your relationship recovery!

How to Rekindle Intimacy and get Your Lover Back?

First things first. Discuss your relationship with your partner and agree that both of you are responsible to take steps to reawaken intimacy. Openly acknowledge the emotional emptiness you are feeling and the desire to restore closeness. At the same time, make sure you listen to what your partner has to stay to find out how they feel.

Bring Back the Romance

To restore your intimacy, you need to decide to be romantic again. Take initiative and start the changes in your relationship – plan fun activities together, laugh together, arrange date times and special dinners at home. Let your partner know that you are not roommates and don’t want to be. Fill up your days with love notes, lots of hugs, kisses, and touches. Do everything you can to let each other know that you care and want to be together.

Express Gratitude

Research has proved that the benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless. Science says that if you regularly count your blessings, you will be able to express more kindness and love, experience positive emotions, and have more positive relationships.

So, start appreciating your partner. Express your gratitude for what he or she does for you and for all those ways he/she enriches your life. Make your relationship priority and take time to talk and listen to each other. Only this way you’ll be able to learn about each other’s needs, desires, feelings, and fantasies. Surprise each other and do special things that you know the other will enjoy. Frequently talk about the things you fell in love with about each other.

In addition, each night before you go to bed, try to remember three things you are grateful for and share them with your partner. This should strengthen the bond and grow romantic intimacy between you two.

Exchange Small Gestures of Affection and Attention

The small signs that say “I love you” can do much for your relationship, a survey in the UK says. Namely, researchers found that it is the little things like listening to your partner, helping with chores or saying “thank you” rather than big romantic moves that will make your marriage great.

So, next time you’re both getting ready for work, sneak a love note into your SO’s pocket. Compliment them often and tell them how they look or smell fantastic (when they do, of course!). Kiss your partner goodnight and initiate cuddling. Give them a hug or a massage or bring breakfast in bed (and stay there even after breakfast is long gone). These and similar everyday bids for connection can help rekindle passion and bring you closer together.


When was the last time you felt passionate about your partner? You may have, as many other couples, fallen into a roommate marriage trap – you still feel like best friends, you don’t often fight, and you share chores and childcare equally. But, what if you want more than a best friend?

Sometimes marriage turns into simply sharing a living space with another adult person. A person you once called your lover.

I hope this information helps you understand how to rekindle the passion in your relationship and rebuild the exciting feeling that comes with a marriage. Knowing why people might end up feeling disconnected in marriage can help you take steps to rekindle and live again with your lover and not a roommate.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call at (703)-347-3200 for your free of charge 15-min consultation and/or to schedule an appointment in my Wake Forest office or online.


Irina Baechle,LCSW is a founder, owner, and a licensed therapist at IrinaBaechleCounselingLLC. She specializes in helping distant couples and anxious singles build truly connected and meaningful relationships. She currently offers online and in-home counseling services to residents of Virginia and North Carolina (and most countries abroad). Click here to schedule your free 15 min consultation. Follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Youtube for useful tips and resources.

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