What is Surrogate Spouse Syndrome?

Have you ever heard of surrogate spouse syndrome? It’s a term used to describe a condition where one partner in a committed relationship or marriage replaces the emotional connection with another person.

This can be someone from outside the relationship, such as an ex-lover, co-worker, or even a close friend. It can also refer to situations where one partner creates an emotional connection with objects like video games or television instead of their partner.

If left unchecked, surrogate spouse syndrome can lead to the breakdown of a relationship. Let’s take a look at what causes it and how it can be addressed.

Understanding Surrogate Spouse Syndrome

Surrogate spouse syndrome occurs when one partner looks for emotional fulfillment from someone other than their significant other. This often happens when communication breaks down in the primary relationship, leaving one partner feeling neglected and unfulfilled. As they search for someone else to provide them with emotional support, they create an unhealthy attachment that strains the original relationship.

In some cases, surrogate spouse syndrome occurs because one partner is not actively seeking out companionship from their significant other.

Instead, they may turn to friends or family members for emotional support instead of relying on their partner for comfort during difficult times. This often leads to feelings of jealousy and resentment in the main relationship, creating tension and further complicating matters.

Addressing Surrogate Spouse Syndrome

  • The best way to address surrogate spouse syndrome is by focusing on improving communication within your primary relationship.
  • Make sure you are taking time out of your day to check in with each other and talk about any issues that have come up since you last spoke.
  • If you’re feeling overwhelmed or need advice on how best to address certain issues, seek out counseling services that specializes in couples therapy so you can get help from an unbiased third party.
  • Communicating openly and honestly will help bring clarity back into your relationship and ensure that both partners are getting the emotional support they need without turning elsewhere for it.


Surrogate spouse syndrome is an issue that affects many couples in long-term relationships or marriages who lack proper communication skills between each other. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to address this issue so that it doesn’t become detrimental to your primary relationship.

Take some time out of your day every day to talk openly and honestly with each other about any issues that arise between you two so that no resentment builds up over time due to lack of communication and understanding between one another. Additionally, if needed seek out counseling services so both partners can gain unbiased advice on how best to move forward together as a couple rather than apart as individuals looking for fulfillment elsewhere outside their committed partnership with each other.