BY BENITA THORNHILL, MA, LPCA, LCAS-R May 4, 2017
You don’t have to be by yourself to be alone. You can be alone sitting next to someone you used to love. You can be alone looking into the eyes of the person you believed to be your soulmate. You can be alone at night lying in bed next to someone you used to laugh and cuddle with.
Being alone is a state of mind more than a physical state of being. When couples begin to miss opportunities for connections with each other, feelings of being alone can start to surface. These feelings can overshadow the fact that physically the person is there because from your perception the person is not there for you and this equates to being alone.
Missed opportunities for connection and resistance to connect with your partner drains the intimacy from your relationship. I used the word drained because the loss of connection is usually gradual. It takes the form of an ongoing detachment from the world of your partner. Maybe it surfaces as an empty space that grows every time you feel neglected, you feel invalidated, you feel unvalued, or you feel unloved.
It is not the big things that destroy relationships and make them seem unbearable. It is the small things that wash in and out just like the tide rolling in and out at the beach taking away bits of sand until it causes significant erosion. Persistency and consistency wins the race.
This detachment can be averted by actively looking for ways to connect with your partner. The following are 5 ways you can prevent loss of connection from creeping into your relationship.
5 Ways to Increase Connection with Your Spouse:
- Look for opportunities to complement your spouse. Finding it hard to come up with a compliment? Here is a freebie, “I love your beautiful smile.”
- Transform the simple into amazing. Cooking dinner? Why not make it memorable? Feed the children earlier and turn on your favorite tunes, light candles and enjoy your partner. Do not discussing finances, children, or anything heavy during your meal together.
- Turn off your cell phone. Be totally present with your spouse without the interruptions of any electronic devices.
- Be grateful. Expressing gratitude for even the smallest things your partner does can go a very long way.
- Touch. The power of touch is amazing! It can relieve aching muscles and it can soothe anxiety. Make it a point to touch your spouse every day.