Are you feeling distant and disconnected from your partner?
As the honeymoon phase ends and couples become involved in life, careers and raising a family, they often find themselves drifting apart and loosing that special “we-ness” they enjoyed earlier in their relationship.
Drifting apart unfortunately is a frequent occurrence for couples. It does not signal that you are with the wrong person or headed for divorce. Instead, it signals that your relationship needs your attention.
When a beautiful orchid is neglected and goes without nourishment, it loses its blooms and beauty leaving only a skeleton bearing little resemblance of the original orchid. So, too, is a relationship in need of attention and nourishment and without these, it, too, will simply become a skeleton of a once enjoyable connection.
I am very grateful to my husband who early in our parenting life suggested we regularly plan a special date night out by ourselves. Often, we’d enjoy a nice quiet dinner reconnecting with each other. Other times, we’d see a movie and enjoy dessert afterwards as we discussed the movie and our lives. I looked forward to these times together and believe they nourished our love so that when our children went away to college, we still knew each other and still had a strong connection.
When we could not afford a baby-sitter, I’d make our dinner and set a small table in front of the fireplace for us to enjoy eating once the children were in bed. As I prepared the table for our dinner, I’d tell the children I was preparing a Love dinner for dad and me to enjoy when they were asleep. Hopefully, they learned to prioritize their relationships from our modeling.
I remember one couple sharing that they nourished their relationship by enjoying tea together each evening after dinner in the living room which was off limits to their children during tea time. They would share the events of their day reconnecting and strengthening their bond and connection.
I recall a workshop participant commenting on the importance to him of their morning hug ritual which let him know that he was loved and that the relationship was good. Who knew a simple gesture without words, a hug, carried so much meaning. Imagine if this were you, would you let your partner know how much this gesture meant to you and the meaning you attached to it? Alternatively, imagine how you would feel if your partner shared how much a morning hug meant to him?
How do you nourish your relationship? Is your relationship a priority? Is your partner a priority? Do you listen to your partner without distraction? Are you curious about what your partner shares? Do you do things together? Do you have a date night? Do you daily share the events and challenges of your day with each other? Do you engage in leaving and coming home rituals of connection?
These questions are actually ways of nourishing your relationship. Try just one idea today and continue to nourish your relationship in the same way for a week or two without telling your partner and watch how your partner changes and your relationship blooms from your effort.