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When you’ve been with someone for awhile, it can be challenging to maintain emotional connection or even sometimes to remember why you liked your partner in the first place!!
I’ve written a couple of blogs about friendship in marriage and emotional distance. Relationship Distance: Crossing the Oceans Apart and Rebuilding Your Relationship: Rediscovering Love and Connection both talk about ways couples can work on re-connecting. I want to add to that discussion by talking about rituals of connection.
Sometimes people think re-connecting has to be doing something really special–going out for dinner, going on vacation, or surprising each other with a gift. Day-to-day there are lots of opportunities to connect.
William J. Doherty, an American psychologist has written about being intentional both in your relationship and in your family. He talks about verbalizing our needs, wants, and desires in connecting with the person we love. (See his books, Take Back Your Marriage and The Intentional Family) How can you be more intentional in creating or re-creating emotional connection with your partner?
How do you connect during mealtime? Do you spend meals talking or do you or your partner read the newspaper or watch TV? Do you talk about heated issues or do you share the events of the day? Suppose you made mealtime a time to attend to one another, to support each other, or to share an enjoyable story. What difference do you think this might make in your relationship?
What difference do you think it might make to create some kind of meaningful connection in the morning, a ritual that you both enjoy and look forward to before you head your separate ways for the day? What would you and your partner like to do? Suppose you made a commitment to find out one thing your partner was doing in his or her day before you said goodbye. What difference would this make in how connected you both feel?
How important is it for you to create some bedtime ritual–to cuddle, to talk, or to kiss? Suppose you talked with your partner about what was important to her or him at bedtime and shared what was important to you. What difference do you think it would make in how you ended the day together?
Intentionally taking the time to focus on little day-to-day routines with your partner can go a long way in creating and maintaining emotional connection. Suppose you paid attention to what you were doing to create that connection, what difference do you think it might make in your relationship? I’d love to hear your comments!!