Finding ways to reconnect with your spouse is a daily struggle for most married couples. You look at your partner from across the table and think, “Do I even know him/her?” How did we go from “passionate lovers” to “placid roomates”? What do we have in common anymore? How can we spark the passion and reconnect not only intimately, but mentally and emotionally too?
If you’ve been in a relationship for an extensive period of time, you have no doubt found yourself asking questions (and others) in an effort to understand how your relationship has changed.
Change is NOT always bad.
Let me just say that now! We should not only expect it, but welcome some changes. They can bring a depthness to your marriage that did not exist in the early years. Yet with those years, we begin to notice more of friendship or “roommate” approach to our marriages as the passionate flame slowly burns down to embers. We still love our spouse, deeply. We just don’t seem to have those mentally-stimulating conversations or ardent embraces happen very often, if ever.
My husband and I will be married for 11 years this coming summer. We live a very busy life, as most couples do! We have 4 children under 8 (3 under 5 and one on the way). He’s a sole pastor to our church. I work part-time out of the home and part-time in the house. We also plan on homeschooling our oldest next school year.
We have had our ups and downs in our marriage, in all aspects. The past few years, however, we have worked at communicating more about what we each individually need to feel more connected to the other.
Like us, most people are limited in their time and finances. It’s not easy for us to just drop everything and go somewhere special, or even to get a babysitter very often. So we took a closer look at what we were doing on a weekly basis that was simple and easy, but made the other person feel loved and cared for. We discovered we were connecting to each other in small but significant ways.
And we want you to reconnect with your spouse too.
We came up with 10 unique ways to reconnect with your spouse that you can start today! This is Part 1 in a 3-part series that will give you a variety of ideas and ways that you can reconnect with your spouse on a daily basis.
1) Pick ONE night a week for an in-home date with your spouse.
This is not an earth-shattering idea, but it’s been one of the most effective ways we’ve found to connect with one another. It happened without us even trying really.
I’d get home Thursday nights from my work, the kids would be in bed between 7:30pm-8pm, and we’d have 2-3 hours to ourselves. Usually we ordered take-out from our favorite Mexican place, grab our favorite beverages (wine for me, whiskey for him!) and turn on our favorite show.
Or sometimes we’d find ourselves in a very deep conversation about a specific issue. These are my favorite nights, because we are both pretty passionate people and thrive on intellectual conversations! But this could be any topic for you and your spouse. For example, you could plan your future vacation. Or talk about projects around the house. Basically anything!
Whatever it was, we were together, sitting next to each other on the couch, and enjoying one another. It gives us that precious time of peace and quiet to fully give our attention to each other and focus on US.
Pick something you BOTH enjoy, or see what habits you’ve already created that allow you to connect with each other. Those valuable hours can help you both focus on each other and allow you to connect in more ways than one.
2) Eliminate the phrases/words “Fine” or “Ok” from your vocabulary.
Or anything similar that basically shuts down a conversation. Come on, we all know it. Someone asks how you are, how your day was, how things are going – and you reply, “Fine.” What you’re actually saying is, “I don’t really want to go into it and have no desire to talk to you right now.”
When your spouse comes home from working (or you come home) and someone asks that question, this tends to be the normal response. I get it: you just worked all day and you don’t want to re-live your day the second you walk in the door.
But your spouse hasn’t seen you and is attempting to connect with you. He/she wants to know what head space you’re in. They desire to know what you’ve been doing and possibly, gain some insight into how the rest of the day or evening will go.
Give your partner more than one or two-syllable words. If you’ve had a bad day, you’re grumpy, or just really don’t feel like talking, then give a response to let your spouse know: “Thank you so much for asking but I really don’t want to go into it right now – can we talk later tonight?” These words will show your spouse you appreciate their question and sets up the expectation of a future interaction. No one will be offended because we’ve all been there – but just the simple acknowledgement of your spouse’s questions will further the bond of trust and love between you.
3) Make an effort to text at least ONCE a day.
Think about it. How do you feel when a friend or family member just texts you for no reason, simply to see how you are doing? You feel loved, cared for – you are on their mind. And that makes you feel connected to that person, even for the briefest of moments.
We are away from the one person that we are united to for life – as our marriage vows declare, we are one flesh before Christ – for most of the day (or night in many coupes’ relationships). Our time together is limited by work schedules, family obligations, and many other things. Taking 30 seconds to stop and send a brief and loving message to your love is such a small action that can leave a big impression.
You can’t have any expectations when doing this. Many people are in a job that doesn’t allow them to text or call easily. Your spouse might not react or return the text. He/she might be surprised if they start receiving texts from you suddenly (many people aren’t accustomed to hearing from their spouse unless something is needed). Don’t let their lack of respond or appreciation deter you.
Have NO expectations!
You aren’t reaching out and trying to connect with your spouse for just this one time. If you make a goal of sending a text, email, funny GIF, anything once a day when your spouse is gone, you will start a beautiful, loving habit! It will be something that your spouse will look forward to getting, which will have them looking forward to walking through your front door and giving you a hug and kiss.
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