How to Reconnect with your Partner: 4 Practical Suggestions
How to Reconnect with your Partner: 4 Practical Suggestions
Do you remember the honeymoon stage of your relationship? You spent hours thinking about your partner and couldn’t wait to be reunited at the end of a long day. Date nights were planned and exciting; you and your partner dressed up, enjoyed a nice meal and the conversation flowed smoothly. In the early stages of a relationship many people feel emotionally connected and sexually on fire. What happens? After years of being together, many couples report drifting apart. With kids, work demands and all the other stressors of adult life, it is easy to feel disconnected and left wondering where all the magic went. One of the biggest relationship myths is that healthy relationships should be easy and require little maintenance. The opposite is true! Thriving relationships, like any other important aspect of your life, requires continual attention and care. Buying your wife a fancy diamond ring or putting on sexy lingerie to excite your man is not the solution. The key is learning to emotionally connect with your spouse in the ordinary moments of life. While it may not be possible to return to the honeymoon stage, you can fall deeper in love with your partner today!
Here are 4 suggestions to help you connect with your partner
Ask your partner a meaningful question
When was the last time you asked your partner a meaningful question about themselves or how they view the relationship? With kids in the mix and busy work schedules, it’s easy to limit conversations to grocery lists and coordinating carpool. The only way to ensure your partner feels understood and heard is to consistently ensure they are in a position where they can share openly and honestly. Skin Deep is a company that helps people cultivate emotional connections through meaningful questions. You can buy a deck of cards that will help you facilitate a conversation with your partner that will help them feel better understood and appreciated. The next time you’re on a date or road trip, pull out the Skin Deep cards and start a meaningful conversation with your partner.
Express fondness for your partner
Criticism is an intimacy killer. Many couples report not wanting to connect with their partner because they feel emotionally picked apart and judged. Criticism is different than offering a complaint. A complaint is tied to a specific issue that was hurtful or inappropriate and needs to be addressed. When my partner asks me to pick up my clothes by the side of the bed that is a complaint. Criticism is a personal attack that usually involves exaggerated and universal accusations. The husband that tells his wife she “always” puts her mom before him or “never” initiates sex is criticizing her. The antidote to criticism and one of the only ways to connect with your partner is to express your fondness for them. Fondness is a traditional word that brings together affection and admiration. It is not enough to feel fondness for your partner. You have to express it with words. The more specific you can be the better. Instead of merely saying to your partner, “I’m attracted to you” or “I’m proud of you” why not say, “I’m attracted to your _____” or “I’m proud of you because _____”. You can find many moments throughout the day to express your fondness for your partner, including text messages, at dinner and before you go to sleep.
“Play” at your relationship
Rob and Kristen Bell suggest that “working” on our relationship may not be the best metaphor to describe the importance of being intentional and putting effort into connecting with your partner. Instead they suggest that “playing” at the relationship may be a better way of expressing the same idea. With kids, work and stress it is easy to lose touch with the parts of ourselves and our partner that bring laughter, joy and exuberance into our hearts. According to Jack Brittle, “If laughter is what makes us human, then humor is a necessary tie that binds us to one another and reminds us that our relationships are designed to bring joy.” Our relationships are desired to bring joy. One of the best ways to reignite your love and passion for your partner is to spend intentional time playing and laughing together. Maybe you watch a Netflix comedy special at night before bed. Or you could enjoy a day at the amusement park together. Humor and play establishes deeper bonds of friendship in the relationship. Friendship is an integral part of the emotional and sexual connection every couple longs for.
Accept your partner’s bid for connection
The main thing partners fight about is not sex, finances or in-laws. The main source of conflict is failures of emotional connection. Throughout the day, your partner puts themselves out there and makes a bid for connection. This can be as simple as “can you take out the trash” to more complicated like, “I’m really struggling at work.” Sometimes we are clear about our desire to connect; often times our bids for connection are veiled in what may sound like criticism or desperation. Couples who can take a step back and understand their partner’s request as a desire to connect and receive support, rather than an expression of criticism or selfishness, are more likely to feel more emotionally attuned and happy. The goal is to turn toward your partner, rather than away from them, when they make the small (and sometimes large) bids for connection throughout the day.
Counseling can give you tools to create a thriving relationship
Every relationship can benefit from couple’s counseling. Couple’s counseling is not just for relationships at the brink of falling apart. Couple’s counseling can help any partnership that needs help navigating conflict. A skilled couple’s therapist can guide you in identifying the sources of conflict and help you develop the skills you need to improve your communication! You can also work on specific goals that will help you and your partner establish patterns of emotional and sexual connection that can improve the overall quality of your relationship. If you are struck in conflict with your partner and would like help getting unstuck, please give us a call at the Counseling Center at Cinco Ranch. We would love to help you cultivate a happy and meaningful relationship with your partner.
Begin Counseling in Katy, TX
If you are ready to improve your relationship one of the therapists at The Center at Cinco Ranch can help! We provide couple’s counseling as well as other services. To begin counseling in Katy, TX follow these three steps:
- Contact our office to set up an appointment or to get more information couples counseling
- Meet with one of our skilled therapists
- Find ways to thrive in your relationship!
Other Therapy Services We Offer
Here at The Counseling Center at Cinco Ranch we offer counseling services for people of all ages including: women’s issues, treatment for anxiety, trauma counseling, counseling for kids, counseling for young adults, teen counseling, eating disorder treatment, depression treatment, family therapy, and group counseling.