By Marcilla Tims
Are there ever times that you feel disconnected from your partner?
This is probably one of the complaints I hear the most often from couples when they enter couples therapy. They feel really disconnected, and they don’t feel close. They feel like they are roommates living under the same roof. They are living parallel lives which lack passion, and are irritable about their partner’s presence. Things about their partner just irk them.
This is usually an indication of a lack of connection.
The culprits usually are:
– Lack of time due to a busy schedule filled with care-taking of children, work demands, and travel
– Lack of intention and prioritization of the relationship
What results is lack of connection because the prioritization of the relationship is at the bottom of the list. It should be no surprise that when your relationship is not being prioritized, you don’t feel connected to your partner. Couples are often surprised by this, and assume that the way their relationship was before will always continue.
But in order for the relationship to feel connected, we have to be intentional about connection and its prioritization. The reality and truth is if we prioritize our connection in our relationship, the relationship will be a place of sanctuary. It will be a place of refuge and renewal…a place we can come to for comfort. And, most importantly, not be another thing that stresses us out!
Rituals of Connection
One of the things that I recommend for couples is to evaluate their rituals of connection in their relationship. What I mean by that is taking stock of the daily practices that each partner does to stay connected. These aren’t time intensive or hard to incorporate.
– How you say goodbye in the morning (e.g. with an embrace or a kiss)
– How you say hello in the evening (e.g. with an embrace or a kiss)
– How you talk about your day and check in about energy levels/mood as you transition into the evening
– Coffee dates in the morning before your kids have woken up
– Going to bed at the same time
– Shutting off electronics at a certain hour so it you can be with your partner without distractions
– Having a standing couch date on a weekday to watch your favorite show
– Sending texts that are playful, flirtatious, or lighthearted
While all of these suggestions may not work for you, I think it’s important to incorporate a few of these rituals into your daily life.
Some of you might be thinking that these ideas are activities that you already engage in, or these ideas are activities that we used to do, but now have fallen by the wayside. Maybe, there are different rituals of connection you would like to try.
I want to challenge you, if you are feeling disconnected from your partner, have that conversation with them about your rituals of connection. It’s a cumulative practice meaning that it sustains connection over a period of time if you practice it on a regular basis.
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