By: Abby Glaser, Community Advocate
A few weeks ago our executive director shared lots of great tips on staying connected with your partner. Hopefully you found some valuable information there! You may have come away from it wondering how you became so disconnected in the first place? There are lots of reasons couples might find themselves disconnected from life stressors to internal struggles that aren’t being addressed. I would like to share with you what that path to disconnection* often looks like and what you can do to turn the tide!
Disconnect often starts with Fatigue: Overtime, financial pressure, health problems, work issues, business, children, extended family stress, etc. Things coming between us.
Irritability/Insensitivity: Snap, yell, fly off the handle, emotional shutdown, criticism, sarcasm, cynicism. Moving against each other.
Aloneness: No physical or emotional closeness, no honest thoughts or feelings shared, fear of rejection or negative response from partner. Moving away from each other.
Arrogance/Alienation: Feeling sorry for self, “no one cares or understands”, “I deserve to be happy” Mindset is blaming each other.
Adulteries of the heart: flirting, workaholic, kidaholic, fantasizing.
An emotional/mental filling of the void.
Addiction: Filling the relational void with other things. Sex, drugs, alcohol, food, shopping, work, excessive exercise or relationship with another person. A total replacing of the original relationship and intimacy.
If any of these things are present in your relationship, don’t lose hope! There is still time to change the tide. If you find yourselves struggling with these things, you may really benefit from our coaching! Through a combination of virtual learning and in person coaching we can help you restore that connection and learn to better manage life’s stressors that can come between us.
In the meantime, you can start to incorporate small habits each day that can make a big difference in the trajectory of your relationship. Things like the four connection points Lavern shared recently or adding daily 5 minute RINGS chats into your routine!
The road back to intimacy starts with awareness and seeking to understand one another without defense. It will require honesty and forgiveness along with new skills to replace the old unhealthy patterns. But it is possible to not only grow closer but to find a deeper level of intimacy than before!
*Source: Tim and Linda Buttrey (as adapted from a model by Tim Clinton) Used with permission
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.