Why You’re Feeling Disconnected And What To Do About It
Several years ago, my wife and I experienced a time in our marriage when we felt disconnected. She would describe it as being in an “executive marriage.” We each were “in charge” of specific responsibilities, and we fulfilled them well. For example, I was the VP in charge of maintenance on the home and automobiles and bill paying. She was the VP of scheduling, meals, and housekeeping. Our arrangement was fully functional, but we were disconnected and dissatisfied. We longed for a deeper sense of intimacy and emotional fulfillment. If this describes your relationship, I encourage you that all is not lost. You can restore or create the heartfelt connection that you long for. Here are some doable ways to fix what is broken:
Failing to prioritize couple time.
Almost every couple that we coach struggles with the issue of time. The busyness of life – working, raising kids, possibly caring for aging parents, household responsibilities, etc. – often causes the relationship to be pushed to the bottom of the list of priorities. This is detrimental to both your emotional health and the health of your relationship. You must become intentional about spending quality time together if you want a thriving relationship. A date night is just one of the ways that you can spend quality time. Of course, this means it has to be put on the calendar, or it will never happen! Having a conversation in a “Daily Dyad” in which you sit facing one another, make eye contact, and have a conversation can enrich your relationship in just a few minutes each day.
Ignoring the elephant in the room.
Perhaps because you lack good communication and conflict resolution skills, you both try to ignore and avoid an issue in your relationship. This avoidance can keep your relationship on a surface level and cause you to feel uncomfortable, on edge, or awkward around each other. Throwing themselves into work, parenting, and other activities is one avoidance tool many couples utilize instead of dealing with the issue. Relational damage and increasing distance between them are the results. If this is how you have been coping, address the problem (s) now before the distance becomes too great. Make the time and create the opportunity to discuss what you’ve been avoiding. The truth may hurt, but healing and moving closer together emotionally can be the result. If you get into deep water, engage a relationship coach or counselor to help. Chances are, you will feel relieved and closer to one another.
Not restoring the relationship after a conflict.
It is entirely possible to resolve a conflict about operational matters in your home and relationship but not repair the damage that the conflict caused. For instance, you may solve the issue of where to go on vacation but still be hurting from remarks such as, “You always get your way” or “you’re so selfish.” You will definitely only enjoy that vacation if the emotional repairs are made. Heartfelt apologies, owning your feelings and validating your partner’s feelings, saying “I love you,” and offering hugs are a few ways that you can repair the emotional fallout and move back together. Make sure that each of you feels understood, heard, validated, and loved.
Being physically depleted.
Once again, busyness can be the culprit. It will rob you of energy and deplete you physically so that you feel drained. You only have so much energy; if it goes into other people, projects, and responsibilities, you will run out before you get to your partner. Draw some boundaries and ensure your partner doesn’t get the leftovers of your energy. If you invest energy in your spouse and your relationship, you may feel energized and recharged, emotionally and physically. Then, you will have more to give in other areas of your life.
- Not showing interest in each other. Do you remember how interested you were in each other in the early stages of the relationship? You were curious and probably asked a lot of questions in the process of getting to know each other. Nothing was too trivial or too deep to talk about. In time, you may have begun to take your partner for granted, believing that you know everything you need to know about them. You stopped asking questions about little things and then about the more significant issues as well. This lack of curiosity and interest can turn into distance between you that is not easy to overcome. The truth is we are changing and evolving as human beings. If you stop being interested in what your spouse thinks and feels before long, they will become a stranger to you. Realize that there is always something that you can learn about each other and stay attentive and curious about your spouse and their inner world of thoughts, feelings, and perspectives.
Being disconnected from each other is lonely and no fun. It can be pretty disheartening and even scary. If you feel this way, the good news is that you are noticing it and haven’t become apathetic about your relationship. You and your partner can intentionally and proactively fix the situation before it’s too late. Love Recon and Recon Coaching can help. It’s what we do!
If you want to discuss how we can help you and your relationship, don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected] or call 866-218-1716. You may also visit our website, www.LoveRecon.org, for testimonials and information.