How to connect with your spouse again

Covid-19 has brought on a lot of changes in how we live our lives and how we connect with others. We now have couples that both work from home most of the time. Movement is still somewhat restricted so we don’t go out us much as we used to. We spend so much more time together and do almost everything together. This must mean that couples should be much closer right? This is not necessarily the case. The reality is that we might be closer, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we are connected. Spending all our time together, doing everything together, sharing all the daily responsibilities like cooking and cleaning does not mean we are connected. Not in a way that a couple should be.

We are so caught up in surviving the stressors of everyday lives that we often do not even realise that we have lost connection with our significant other. Our conversations becomes less intimate and more domestic. Conversations tend to be limited to questions such as: What are we having for dinner?; Who is picking up the kids?; When are we going to the store? Because we are spending all this time together we do not set out time for more intimate and meaningful conversations. Because you are in each other’s space 24/7 it does not seem important, you are spending all this time together already so why make special time. The problem with this is however that your partner or spouse then becomes more of a co-worker or a roommate than a lover. And that is not a good situation to be in. In the absence of connection cracks start to appear in marriages and relationships. We fight more. We get irritated by the smallest things. Things we used to love about each other now annoys us endlessly. We even start to experience loneliness in a house packed full of people. We start to feel hopeless.

But all is not lost. You can break the pattern by doing these two simple things.

1. Notice when you are losing connection

There are some warning signs that tells us when connections starts to fade away. The sooner we recognise the signs and realise what is happening the sooner we can come back to being connected.

Signs to look out for include:

  • Being withdrawn, always on your phone or social media
  • Laughing less
  • Arguing more
  • Criticizing your spouse more
  • Feeling irritated
  • Finding your partner’s every action annoying
  • Feeling lonely

Realising what is happening will enable you to address the situation and get help before it reaches a breaking point.

2. Re-establish connection

Space and intention are two key elements to re-establishing connection. Space gives you and your partner the time to have conversations about something more meaningful that what’s for dinner or who is going to the shops. Try and find time each day when you can create this space to connect meaningfully. You might sit down together and have a coffee, go for a walk or spend some time together before bed without any phones or other distractions. Whatever works for you, do more of that.

When you have created that space intention comes into play. This is where you deliberately avoid the domestic conversations about dinner and logistics and focus on each other. When your intention is to connect the conversation will start to shift. Questions like How are you really doing?; and What are you struggling with at the moment? should replace the “What’s for dinner?” type questions. You can plan a date night or even discuss what you appreciate about each other. Just as long as you move away from the ordinary logistic discussions of day to day of life. The key shift here is a shift from the intention to get stuff done (which is our default way of being) to the intention to connect.

Connection is one of the most important parts of a healthy relationship. So go on – GET CONNECTED!

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