You’re starting to feel disconnected. Your partner doesn’t show you the same attention that they used to. You want to ignite that spark again but you’re not sure how. Date nights take a lot of effort. What else can I do?
What the evidence has taught us is that the small moments may make the biggest changes. You have to find ways that are applicable and realistic for you and your family.
Here are 3 ideas that can improve your relationship:
- Sliding Door Moments. This term comes from Dr. John Gottman and his research regarding couples counseling. The idea behind this term is you create awareness about your partner’s needs and decide to turn towards your partner instead of ignoring the need. To paint the picture, imagine you’ve been looking forward to catching up on your shows all day. You’ve avoided the spoilers online and you’re excited. You’re walking over to your blanket to get comfortable on the couch and you catch your husband with a look of stress on his face as he stares at his computer. You can do one of two things. You can keep going to your couch and watch your shows or you can check in with your husband and ask what’s wrong. When you turn to your partner, it’s a small moment showing you care and you create a moment of connection.
- Express Your Needs. You cannot read each other’s mind. Your partner cannot read your mind. If you want something, learn how to tell your partner what you want. We become frustrated in relationships when we have expectations for our partners on what they should be doing, saying, or thinking. Your partner may have no idea that you are wishing he or she could read your mind and do exactly what you expect. Maybe you are thirsting for a romantic getaway and want your partner to plan it. Maybe you need help with the kids and expect your partner to just notice the need. Maybe you need more words of affirmation. Letting your partner in and expressing this need gives them the opportunity to respond to it. The more specific you can be the better.
- Create Rituals. Date nights are great if you have the time. Your daily rituals of connection may need to be more realistic though. Where in your day can you create a small moment of love between you and your partner? Ritual ideas could be asking about each other’s day after work, kissing before you leave somewhere, or five minutes of cuddling before bed. These rituals may seem minuscule but they make a difference. Don’t be concerned if it feels inorganic in the beginning, remember the more the ritual becomes a daily thing, the more it’ll feel natural.
In summary, create awareness and take the step to turn toward your partner when they may need something. Learn how to clearly communicate your needs in a way that your partner is receptive to. Then, start creating small traditions between the two of you that slowly start to intertwine your two worlds back to one.
in your marriage or if you and your spouse are lacking intimacy, it may be time to seek professional help in couples therapy.
Are you ready to take the next step in your love life? Contact Susan Block, LMFT, and her team for your complimentary consultation. Our telehealth counseling services are 100% remote and available to couples across Florida and beyond. Give yourself the gift of therapy and spend some time exploring your mental health. Call today!