Remember those days of dating where you would talk for hours and hours to each other and you didn’t want to go home or say goodnight because there was just one more thing to say? Remember how exciting it was to hear of dreams and plans and hopes and desires? Remember how watching your loved one speak about such things, caused a physical reaction in your body like goosebumps or chills? And remember how the sound of their voice made you feel secure and loved and wanted?
The next step naturally progressed to marriage and the time spent organising the day/honeymoon/where to live took up most of the conversation space. Once the wedding day dust settles and married life takes its course, perhaps those hours and hours of talking are distant memories and the longer you’ve been married, the more you’ve come to realise those deep heart chats are no longer part of your daily or weekly routine like they once were in the dating days.
What happened? Did life become too busy, busier than driving to each other’s houses and staying up late because “good night” wasn’t a really good night because it meant you had to leave each other? Did you become complacent and familiar with each other? Did you assume you no longer had things to share? Are you no longer putting into your marriage at the same capacity you did when dating?
How is this working for you?
Do you realise how important it is to stay connected in your marriage and how communication is a key element to connection?
Do you understand when disconnection creeps into your marriage, it brings a yearning for connection with whomever you may meet so infidelity is but a mere step away?
Have you forgotten the power of unity?
When did you stop talking to each other?
When did you stop really listening to each other?
Why did you stop dating each other or making time for each other?
What does your spouse do for you that confirms they are a safe place for you to be able to share?
What do you do for your spouse that tells them you are a safe place for them?
These questions I ask of myself and I’ll admit, I’m not sure I have the answers to every one of these questions yet. What I do know is how connected I feel to my husband when we sit and share our hearts, not just the days activities, and how disconnected I feel when this doesn’t happen regularly enough. I also realise “regular” means different things for different people so here’s another question, do you know what “regular” means for your spouse or even for yourself?
Actually for me, “regular” means weekly date nights, which have become a “non negotiable” for me. Little Miss Cranky Pants comes out if I don’t get to have a date with Matt (keeping it real people). I’d love to say that we do something daily to ensure connection is felt between us but we’re not there yet! My desire is for a daily way of really ensuring the bond between us is strong…I will hold myself accountable here and say I will discuss this with Matt this week, so that we can have a way that unites us both and meets both of our needs. Our relationship is the most important one we have on this planet so it’s important to aim for the best.
So what are some things you can do to build into your partnership? What are some simple little things you can suggest to your partner that you know will help you feel “togetherness” in your relationship?
I would challenge you to make your own list of “regular connection” tips that you can share with your loved one OR perhaps you can use this challenge as a way to get conversations happening between you both. You can easily do this by following the three steps below:-
1. TALK ABOUT TALKING – I can pretty much hear you saying, “What does that mean?” Simply, show courtesy to your partner by asking, “Is this a good time to talk?” After all, the purpose of this challenge is to make a path towards closeness so by asking if the time is good or not, allows your loved one space to decide if they can give you the attention you need in order to share what’s on your mind. If the time isn’t quite right, then ask when would be a good time, and like any other “appointment” we might make in life, book it in! Even be so organised as to nominate a location. Make sure it’s a safe place where you both feel comfortable and at ease. Is it at the beach? In your bedroom? In the lounge room? In the car on a road trip (my personal favourite because we’re not intensely looking at each other and conversation seems to flow really well for us in the car)? On a walk after dinner? At the park while the kids play? It’s up to you to decide WHERE is a good space for you both. Carve it out. Make it happen.
The Part B of this step is to let them know how much time you might need and what it is you might want to talk about. For example, I would say, “Matt, is this a good time to talk? If not now, when would be? I think I need about half an hour because I’d like to share my ideas on how we can put into our relationship on a daily basis and hopefully we can come up with some great ideas together.” Obviously, make this your own and if your partner’s name isn’t Matt, then don’t say that 😉
2. BRAINSTORM – Once a time and place are locked in, where you have each other’s undivided attention, start by sharing a piece of your hearts desire and provide some ways you’ve come up with that will allow you to have unified moments together. Define “regular” so that they can appreciate how often you may need these times of togetherness. It’s then their turn to define what “regular” might mean for them. This will help you both see your differences and work within that or even perhaps recognise that you’re on the same page regarding how much time you need together in order to feel like you’re on the same team. From there, grab a piece of paper or use the notes in your phone and write out as many ways of connecting you can think of. THERE ARE NO WRONG ANSWERS IN BRAINSTORMING! You can write the doable and the ridiculous. The idea behind brainstorming is to empty the brain of any and all possibilities. When you both feel empty of ideas, cross off the ones you know are not possible and keep the ones which ring true to your hearts.
3. MAKES YOUR IDEAS YOUR ACTIONS – Now that you’ve taken time to talk about talking and have actually talked and brainstormed fantastic ideas that suit you both, it’s time to put your plans into practice. It doesn’t matter who goes first or who should take responsibility for it, JUST DO IT. Be the bigger person. Be the person of your word and make those daily/weekly/fortnightly/whatever it is you have both decided is the amount of time you BOTH need and DO IT!! Get to it and start putting these things INTO your relationship and see how it enhances your lives individually but more importantly TOGETHER!
**If you are truly stuck with this one and desire deeper connection with your spouse but it doesn’t seem possible, I would love to chat to you more about this so please contact me directly. I’m on your side!