The phrase ‘elephant in the room’ refers to an obvious problem or difficult situation that people do not want to talk about.
Ignoring an obvious problem is a type of conflict avoidance- people fear the stress and negativity that could result, especially from pointing out what feels like an “obvious” problem. In reality, you can’t predict what will happen when an issue is brought up until it is discussed. And the issue doesn’t resolve itself – even if you ignore it.
You do have to work through it. It’s not easy, but it needs to be done. For your relationship. For your peace of mind.
Take a deep breath and get started communicating about it. (You may find it helpful to plan how to bring up the issue in a productive and respectful way. Speak with a good friend, mashpia or coach before bringing it up with your spouse.)