February 11, 2014
by Casey Truffo, LMFT
Have You and Your Partner Grown Distant?
As the years go by, you may feel like your spouse or partner no longer feels that you are attractive or significant. In fact, you may feel like just about everything and everybody else is far more appealing than you are in your spouse's or partner's world. These other things can include work, hobbies, friends, and coworkers, to name a few. If you are feeling a lack of connection with your spouse or partner, there are things you can do to catch their attention and make yourself more available.
What Can I Do?
- Be Present - Be present in your relationship, always. Maybe the two of you fell in love and everything felt perfect, leading you to believe that you would remain together forever in perfect harmony. Keep in mind, not everybody experiences an instant connection, and not everybody is lucky to maintain an intense closeness as time passes. It takes effort and focus to stay connected.
- Make Eye Contact - You've probably heard that the eyes are the windows to the soul. It is imperative to make and maintain eye contact with your partner. When you look into your spouse's eyes from across a room, you're actually being intimate. Eye contact is an important part of socializing and is an integral part in creating any intimate relationship. Not only does eye contact show you are interested and attentive to the conversation; it also shows trust and understanding, as well as openness and emotional connection.
- Be Physical - Touching the one you love not only feels good; it also increases the "love hormone" called oxytocin. This hormone is important to any romantic relationship and is the reaction to being touched, not only by having sex, but by holding hands, hugging, or touching feet. Be flirtatious and touch their arm or knee when having a conversation.
- Be Interested - Pay attention to your spouse by listening to what is being said and by noticing body language. In order to do this, 100 percent, you have to tune everything else out, and listen to what your spouse is saying. Commit to listen actively when your spouse is talking. When you spouse speaks, make eye contact and be silent while taking in everything that is being said. When you do speak, be sure to be supportive and courteous, which will show you are understanding the dialog, as well as interested in the topic of conversation.
- Be Emotionally Present - Share the intimate details of what is going on in your daily life. Tell them why you were excited or let down by that situation at work or with a friend; let them in on the little details of your day. This will help build a more intimate connection. Being emotionally present proves to your spouse or partner that they are valued, appreciated, and special. Many times, these feelings will be returned to you. Being vulnerable goes along with trusting that your spouse or partner actually accepts the real you.
- Love Unconditionally - Always accept your spouse or partner for who they are, as they are. Never try to change something about them; even something as minor as the way they wear their hair or the fact that they always wear t-shirts when you’d rather they dressed up a bit more. Being able to accept the small things is a good indicator that you will be able to accept the larger things such as learning about your partner's dreams, goals, and feelings without being judgmental or dismissive.
- Laugh, A Lot - Laugh together; have a great time together. Reminisce about funny moments in your life; watch TV shows or movies that crack you up. Laughter is contagious. When you hear somebody laughing, it is natural for you to want to laugh as well. People who laugh a lot have less stress in their lives.
- Schedule Together Time - Schedule time together each and every day, for at least 10 to 15 minutes. This can be before dinner, over coffee after dinner, first thing in the morning, or in the evening, just before bed. Focus on each other without interruption. Also, schedule time away together, without the kids. Have a date night at least once per month, and a date weekend (overnight) at least twice per year.
If you have made an effort to be more available to your spouse or partner and things are still not improving, you will need to have a heart-to-heart talk. However, it is important you know what you want before you start ranting and raving about issues in your marriage or relationship. It's important that you know the difference between your wants and your needs.
If talking it out doesn’t improve your situation, you and your spouse or partner may want to consider speaking with a professional. The counselors at Orange County Relationship Center are trained specialists who can help you work through your relationship issues. Call the Orange County Relationship Center today at 949-220-3211 to schedule an appointment or schedule your appointment using our online tool. It may be the best phone call or the best step you ever made in the interest of saving your marriage or getting your relationship back on track.