It is painful to be in a relationship where you sit up at night trying to figure out how to feel connected again. The silence between you and your partner is uncomfortable and familiar.
Many couples come into my office with similar stories:
1. They are better friends or roommates than they are lovers
2. The kids left and now they do not know each other
3. They are living completely separate lives.
The sad truth: I can usually trace the disconnect back to silence.
Most people do not enter into relationships with the expectation to drift apart; they just do. They let work, kids, family, activities, and life get in the way of building the love they want. Couples struggle to juggle all of the responsibilities of life so something has to give. Unfortunately many people assume they have time later to work on “us” because so many other things are demanding our attention. Some couples address it in short spurts with weekend getaways or date night. Other couples assume this is normal in long-term relationships and allow life to take over. The silence is deafening and neither of you know what to do about it.
Address The Elephant In The Room
This may sound like common sense, but ignoring the problem will not make it go away. Talk to your partner about how you feel. If you are feeling disconnected most likely your partner shares your experience. They may even thank you for bringing it up. Just talking about it can begin connecting the two of you in ways you have not been in years. Start the conversation without anger or blame; attempt to find out why. Avoid blaming or accusations.
Develop A Plan And Stick To It
Contrary to popular belief marriages can be healed outside of going to therapy. Honestly, therapy is not a guarantee to save your relationship. If you are both committed to your relationship you can read books by reputable authors, get support from couples you respect, go on a retreat; whatever you think would work best for you. If you find that you need more professional assistance make sure that your therapist specializes in your presenting concerns, has a clear plan, and is objective. An excellent therapist for individual counseling may not necessarily have the training and expertise needed to provide effective relationship counseling.
Make One Another A Priority
In order to start the process of transforming your relationship you must make it priority. Many marriages fail because the relationship is secondary to any and everything else. What you feed will flourish, what you starve will die. It is hard to excel in other avenues in life if your marriage is failing. Take the time to invest in your relationship to ensure it survival. The returns on your investment may continue for years (even generations) to come.
It is important to remember your connection was not broken overnight and cannot be rebuilt overnight either. It takes time to find those things that bonded you two in the first place. Your connection will be rebuilt one moment at a time as small drops into a bucket that can fill to overflowing; What keeps you from starting today?
Do you need support for your relationship? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org