Thanks to TV and movies, many couples have been led to believe the secret to reconnecting and rekindling the passion is through a cruise, luxury cars or jewelry. But the reality is, once there’s a disconnect between partners, gifts and vacations simply don’t cut it.
It may seem counterintuitive, but love isn’t mended through grandiose deeds, but through small acts of kindness – in the seemingly micro moments. It is in these moments when we have a choice to listen to our partner or love them.
If you and your partner are feeling disconnected, here are a few ways you can reconnect.
Pay Better Attention
It isn’t maliciousness but rather mindlessness that often causes a disconnect. When your partner turns to you with an emotional need, or to simply be heard, do you stop what you’re doing and give them your full attention? Or do you mumble something and nod a little, all the while scrolling through your phone? Do you turn away with a harsh, “I’m in the middle of something” or do you stop what you’re doing and respond with warmth and kindness?
One of the most important steps to reconnecting is to become more self-aware and understand that you are most likely, not paying your partner the kind of attention they seek and deserve. When they reach out for you, reach back. Showing kindness and respect, especially in those moments when it feels hard – like when the game is on or your best friend is texting you the latest family gossip – will go a long way.
Try To Understand Them Better
Often times disconnection comes not from what is said between you both but what isn’t said. Many couples complain they feel their partner wants them to be a mind reader. Of course, it’s easy to get caught in this trap. When we’ve been with someone for so long, we just assume the other person should know what we need or are feeling.
But evidence shows that what most people really want is for their partner to take the time to get to know and understand them. Think about it; if you’ve been with your spouse for three, five, or fifteen years and you still don’t know what scares them, frustrates them or pleases them, what does that say? They are not worth you taking the time to try to understand them as a person.
If you truly want to reconnect, know it will take work, and much of that work will simply be learning how your partner operates. The good news is, understanding each other better means you won’t take things so personally anymore. Instead of seeing your partner as angry or defensive all the time, you’ll recognize their sensitivities and fears.
Reconnecting shouldn’t feel like work all the time. The best way to spark some joy and passion is to have fun together. Go to a movie, go bowling, try ice-skating. Whatever it is, just try to have some genuine fun together. Leave the talk about work, the kids, any ongoing conflicts at home and talk about anything else, even if it’s the weather.
Relationships are work, and most couples will experience a sense of disconnect from time to time. If you follow these steps, you’ll be able to not only reconnect but feel closer than ever. And, if you feel you need more help reconnecting with your partner, you may consider seeking the guidance of a therapist.
Are you looking for couples counseling in New Haven?
James Killian, LPC is the Principal Therapist & Owner of Arcadian Counseling in Woodbridge, CT where they help couples and individuals reconnect in their relationships and move From Surviving to Thriving. If you’re looking for couples counseling in New Haven call today for a free consultation!