Relationships will change with time. The marriage or long-term relationship you have today will not be the same one you have five years from now.
As a psychotherapist, I have worked with many couples reporting a growing feeling of disconnect in their relationship. Couples tend to get into a rut or routine, and take each other for granted. Taking the time to realize that relationships change can refresh your perspective. Realizing that relationship change is a part of both personal and couple growth is ideal in staying together and staying happy.
Relationships have many layers. Some theorists propose that relationships go through developmental stages. Your feelings towards your partner may ebb and flow as you go through these proposed stages. Being aware of these stages, or layers can help you see what areas you are strong in and which need attention! Feeling emotionally disconnected to your partner can really put a damper on your interactions. Finding new ways to bring back the intimacy in your relationship can strengthen already existing connections that might just need a boost!
How can you reconnect?
Each couple will have different things about which they are concerned when they feel they are growing apart. Assessing what is of essence to each partner is vital in determining what can be done to bring a sense of union back into the relationship. Partners are often wrapped up in their professional lives or family roles. In this, they fail to nurture the central relationship in their lives.
One way to reconnect is to take a ‘time-out’. Finding time to speak to each other without distractions is a great start. Turn off the television, disconnect yourselves from the internet, and leave the kids at grandma’s! Taking time to be alone with one another can bring you back in tune to what it is that first brought you together. Brainstorm what you would like to do as a couple. Perhaps you want to go to a romantic dinner. Or maybe you want to take a photography class as the local community education program.
Whatever your choice, make it something that will help you really communicate with each other. If possible, designate time each week or month, depending in your schedules that will be dedicated to the special activity you choose. This will help you always have that time. Whether you actually engage in the activity or not, at least you both know that time is reserved for you as a couple.
What do you do now to keep emotionally connected to your partner?