Whether there's a sudden shock to your relationship -- such as infidelity -- or losing your connection happened gradually, reconnecting with a spouse is a process that takes time and commitment. Sometimes reconnecting is as easy as taking a break from the daily grind to truly appreciate each other's company. In other cases, you may need to devote more thought and energy to the recovery of your relationship.
Consider the Start and the Cause
Before you can start the reconnection process, you need to understand why there's a distance and how long it has been there. This can help you to create a plan of action that is unique to your situation. For example, a disconnect may form when the two of you stop focusing on each other and let the mundane tasks -- or conversations of everyday life -- take over. Emotional distances can also result from feeling overwhelmed in other areas of your life, major issues and life changes, or the lack of effective communication. The way that you choose to reconnect may vary depending on why your intimacy level went downhill. Separate the symptoms from the cause. Arguing, ignoring each other or a dip in your sex life are the symptoms -- not the root problems.
Take Time off From the Daily Grind
The same routine day after day. Kids who need to go to soccer, softball, volleyball, dance class and the mall in a never-ending stream of carpools. Long work days that run way over the typical nine to five. These can all take a toll on your marriage connection. When the daily grind drives a wedge in your marriage, schedule daily 15- to 20-minute conversations with each other, suggests psychologist Kalman Heller in her Psych Central article "How Can I Improve Intimacy in My Marriage?" Follow this up with a longer weekly conversation that lasts for an hour or more. Make topics such as work or the kids taboo. You can talk about your feelings, but you can also discuss world events, pop culture or any other interests the two of you share. Another option is to schedule a date night once a week, or at least a few times a month.
Try Nonverbal Connections
Talking isn't the only language of love. The electric spark that made it a challenge to keep your hands off of each other in the beginning is likely to fade as time goes by. When the physical romance gets low, you may feel like your spouse is more like a pal than a lover. Make time to physically connect your spouse. This may include something as simple as a massage after work or something more involved, such as sensual romantic weekend retreat.
Recommit to One Another
Whether you begin by scheduling daily conversation times along with weekly in-depth talks or by setting aside time to go out together, you need to make a commitment to reconnect. The commitment needs to come from both of you, equally. Sit down and discuss your plan of action. Agree to exactly how much time and what activities you will engage in. If you can't come to an agreement, consider seeking outside help. A marriage and family therapist, counselor or psychologist can help you and your spouse to work on your distance issues and create a mutually agreeable plan for reconnection.
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