A friend of mine and I were talking about her feeling like she might be having issues emotionally reconnecting to her spouse and so I decided to do a little research on the topic.
With my schooling in Psychology, I thought about the ways relationships tend to change over time (and my female friends would agree after marriage) As I have seen myself (and experienced) there tends to be quite the change in dynamics of a relationship once the couple has become "too comfortable"- now we are not talking too comfortable in a "I can do my makeup in the bathroom, while he uses the restroom" or "sometimes we have burping contests" comfortable. The sort of comfort level I am talking about I like to refer to as the "I already got you-what else do I need to do" syndrome.
Don’t get comfortable in the way I am about to talk about... this is the kind of comfortable that can ruin relationships...
Feeling emotional unconnected to your spouse? Read on...
To describe what I am speaking about above I would use the example that sometimes, once you have been with someone for a while, you exit the "dating stage". Now the "dating stage" I am referring to is where you are constantly doing everything in your power to prove your affections to the person you are courting.
IE: buying flowers, writing love notes/sentiments, gift giving, sharing common interests and goals etc. Once you leave that stage in the relationship things get much more serious and people tend to focus more on things like: expanding the family, career goals, home purchasing, bills, politics, etc. Things which can cause emotional separation if delved upon too intensely. When your focus shifts, once you have entered this stage you tend to rely on your partner more as a co owner/decision maker; rather than your partner/confidant- you think of them in more of a business type of relationship rather than the healthy spiritually bonded relationship you were meant to have.
Making this emotional separation from your partner (like I said in an intense way) causes you to put aside the things that were once important in fundamental building blocks for the foundation of your marriage/LTR (long term relationship).
I think that people get so engrossed in the Ebb & Flo of daily life that they either neglect the emotional ties out of frustration from something their partner is doing, forget to do those things because they consider their partner "already bought" and don’t even put a thought into the emotional upkeep, or are so far stretched from the original bond to their partner that they give up....All which are detrimental to the relationship.
The 1st scenario is detrimental to the functionality of the relationship because you are not being communicative to your partner. Instead of talking to your partner about your feelings of resentment and working out a plan to get past them, you decide to emotionally punish them- which will never help you- to get over this you need to let up your grudges, forgive/ forget all (like Jesus does for us) and move along to much happier outcome.
The 2nd scenario is detrimental to the functionality of the relationship because you can never EVER give your partner enough affection- remember that is what built this relationship in the first place!
Some people get lazy and think that since they did all the lovey-dovey stuff in the beginning, that those things were all that were required to get you and keep you INITIALLY, and now have stopped that behavior because you have been won over. What are needed in this situation are 3 things-
1. Open up the communication again and tell your partner how you are feeling
2. don’t do 50/50 in your relationship- do 100/100: meaning give your partner your full attention/love/devotion (even if it is not reciprocated right away, it will be- "sound like killing with kindness"?...it sort of is) make sure you are doing everything in your power to make sure that your partner is emotionally full...think of your partner like a bucket...don’t just put in "drops of kindness" find out what will "turn the hose on" in your partners mind to make them feel like the love is flowing out of you with no real end....even an overflowing bucket will help the flowers to bloom!!
3. Remind your partner what it is you need in the relationship to feel emotionally connected- NO ONE IS A MIND READER (despite what all these wiccan/witch/magical people say on TV) tell your partner what you want, and chances are you will see improvement, because they will know what you want first and foremost, and secondly know what they can do to help you.
The 3rd scenario is detrimental to the functionality of the relationship because one or both partners have completely given up on using their social skills to communicate their needs with one another and has not even tried to revive the relationship or has tried verbally, but not physically...in this case I would suggest using the advice of a good church councilor to help rebuild the foundation of your relationship, because what your relationship needs is a game plan that this out looker can help you develop before you put yourself in "manual override"- which could result in a crash n' burn scenario.
In any of these scenarios, I encourage you to be faithful and not worry- God has joined you together in marriage and he will help you to save it-or at least nourish it- if you want the help.
Side note: Prayer is the best ally in any possible development of a relationship- USE IT!!
Now aside from just asking your spouse what they need emotionally to survive in the relationship I suggest a few tools to use.
One of them happens to be a self help book to develop a sense of who you are- and what you want...because sometimes it is hard to tell a spouse what you need, if you don’t really know. Another slightly easier suggestion is reading a book by Dr. Gary Chapman called "The five love languages”: this book tells you about the five ways that each person interprets acts as love
1. Words of affirmation- positively uplifting your spouse verbally "honey you are such a good, dad"
2. Quality time-arranging and enjoying activities with your spouse (gardening, sports, cooking)
3. Recieving gifts- giving/making presents for your spouse (flowers, chocolates)
4. Acts of service- providing an act that shows your care (doing the dishes, taking care of
Laundry, paying the bills)
5. Physical touch- making sure you are physically connected (massages, hand holding, brushing hair out of another’s face)
I loved these examples of ways to interpret love; because each person can relate to at least one of these and can tell their mate which ones they need displayed from the other partner to feel loved- to feel like their "love bucket" is full- if not overflowing. :0)
I have also compiled a list of things you can do to connect to your spouse below:
- Go on dates ( take time to go to the movies, play mini golf, eat at a romantic restaurant)
- Do hobbies or activates that you both enjoy- TOGETHER (gardening, sports, crafts)
- Find out what each others love language is, and exhibit it 100/100 ( physical touch, gifts)
- Take 2-5 un-interrupted minutes a day to stare into each others eyes (pheromones are released causing a chemical bond with your spouse)
- Pray together and/or do a daily devotional together at the start/end or both of your day (this will create not just one on one time, but God is a pretty big ally in this all
- Talk positively about your spouse in public (studies show that when you say positive things about your spouse with an audience, you are more likely to want to do it often- plus you appreciate your spouse more)
· -Seek council, everyone is broken- and everyone should work under the guidance of a mentor or councilor- you are not perfect nor is your spouse and everyone could use a little direction
· -Joke with one another (tickle your spouse or create personal jokes to form a better bond with them)
· -Know the difference between a task that can wait and a task that cant (set aside ones that could be done later, to make intimate time for your spouse)
· -Pick your battles ( only argue/discuss things with your partner that will really make a difference- no reason to argue over spilled milk)
- Be patient ( if marriage were easy, no one would get divorced...realize that it is a growing process and be happy with the progress both you and your spouse are making)
· -Don’t over think things ( anxiety can cause un needed strain on your relationship- take some things at face value, and move along)
· -Don’t guess your partners motives ( communicate with them if you are ever unsure of what they are thinking...a wrong guess could cause catastrophe)
· And last but not least….Don’t forget to love love LOVE them...and constantly try and find new ways to do that!!
Some of the inhibitors of gaining a great relationship with your spouse:
- A friendship that your spouse feels is emotionally unfaithful
- Excessive TV watching
- Excessive computer game playing
- A hobby or interest that is invading your bonding time with your spouse/family
- Excessive work hours
- Excessively friendly touching, hugging, or kissing of friends
- withholding sex from your partner
- holding grudges
- Extreme jealousy
- An addiction problem
- being selfish
- Lack of communication
I hope that you all find this information extremely helpful, and decide to use some of it for the greater good of your relationship. Remember everyone could be loved more than they are...and every relationship could get better.
I’ve come to know: There are so many ways to connect/ reconnect to your partner. All you need is prayer, drive and information!!