Feeling disconnected from your partner is unsettling. You may be wondering if your relationship is at risk, if you have fallen out of love, or even if your partner is having an affair. This can leave you feeling vulnerable, unhappy, and alone. Before assuming you’re headed toward a breakup, know that feeling disconnected is a sign that your relationship needs some maintenance.
It is unlikely that your relationship is broken beyond repair. The good news is that there are 3 tried and true ways to reconnect with your partner. Read on to see how to rebuild your relationship bonds starting today.
What Pulls Couples Apart
If you were to describe the early days of your relationship, chances are you’d say you were inseparable. When couples first get together, their lives become intertwined and “couple-centered”. Couples have a nesting and infatuation period when life becomes about your couplehood, and this is when you feel closest to each other.
When people feel disconnected, they’re often evaluating the state of their relationship now in comparison to the earlier version. Unfortunately, this isn’t a fair comparison. After some number of years together, things shift. Kids, careers, finances, and other responsibilities pull partners away from each other. Life becomes “other-centered” and it’s very normal to feel disconnected.
3 Ways To Reconnect With Your Partner
Find Your Own Fulfillment
Because growing disconnected from a long-term partner is normal, try to find fulfillment in your life that doesn’t involve your partner. Sometimes feeling disconnected in a sign that you
are codependent and rely on your partner to feel happy. Having your own life is important. Develop relationships with coworkers or meet people by volunteering, enrolling in a class, or picking up a new hobby.
The great benefit of having a fulfilling life of your own is that you can bring aspects of that life back into the relationship. This, in turn, will help you and your partner reconnect. You can share your observations, learning and impressions, and feel closer as a result. And of course your partner can do the same. When each of you has something unique and personal to integrate back into the relationship, you will strengthen your bond and make your life together more interesting.
Spend Time Together
Make an effort to spend time together. And it really can be an effort, especially with busy lives we all tend to lead these days. It won’t happen by itself. Propose date nights, schedule activities, and set up low-effort routines like walking the dog together each night after dinner. It’s commonly advised that couples with children aim for a weekly date night. But if this isn’t possible, carve out as much time for each other as your schedule will allow. Consistency is key. This will make it easier for you to keep up with romance and get back to an active sex life.
Similarly, it’s important to spend time together as a family. Life can be quite hectic these days. Some couples have a divide and conquer lifestyle. This is most prevalent for couples with children. One partner covers morning duties, the other handles evening tasks, and as a result, you’re left feeling disconnected and stuck in survival mode. More family time can correct that. Share the experience of parenting by taking your child to the playground together and pausing work so you can share a meal. Don’t let a sink of dirty dishes take priority over precious little time you can use to be together and build good memories.
Learn Each Other's Love Languages
You may feel disconnected even though you spend time together. Feeling lonely in a marriage is common and is a sign that you need to have meaningful interactions. You can’t only talk about the logistics of running a household or family. You need to be able to talk about life, aspirations, and mutual enjoyment. It’s also important to express your feelings in ways which are meaningful to your partner.
An effective way to have meaningful interactions is to use each other’s preferred love languages. For example your love language may involve kind words and compliments while your spouse may not be great with words but will respond more to physical affection. Once you learn about and apply each other’s love languages, you will begin reestablishing a deeper emotional connection.
Feeling disconnected does not mean your relationship is over. It’s a phase which can crop up at various times. As long as both partners are aware of the causes of feeling disconnected, you can take the necessary steps to reclaim your closeness. If you’ve tried but haven’t been able to bridge this divide with your partner, or simply want some professional support, LifeWise is here to help.