When it comes to spiritual connection with a partner, there are two highly intertwined reasons why couples feel they lost their connection:
- There is something the partners stopped doing.
- Partners become used to each other, and the novelty effect is gone.
The good news is that love is not a mystery, and there is more research and science about maintaining and regaining a connection with your partner than you could possibly imagine. A mindful effort to recreate certain habits might be just enough to bring back the connection and intimacy. We are here to help remind you of those healthy relationship practices.
Talk openly to Rebuild an Emotional Connection with Your Partner
Psychological intimacy is a crucial element of marital connection and a baseline for physical intimacy as well. As you get used to your partner, it might be very easy to forget about sharing and discussing your deepest feelings and concerns. If you feel that you have lost your connection with your husband, try to talk openly about it, and suggest the healthy ways to improve your relationship that you are going to learn about in the next sections.
Make sure to keep your conversation calm and your conflict constructive by avoiding sarcasm and criticism while respecting your partner’s thoughts and attitudes (American Psychological Association, 2020). Research has demonstrated that a sense of psychological intimacy is nurtured by those partners who keep their conflicts minimal, deal with those conflicts by initiating face-to-face discussions about their differences, and share the mutual feeling that the relationship is fair. (Mackey et al., 2000).
If you keep silent about things bothering you, especially those that awaken negative emotions of any kind—“waiting for the right moment” or any of the common “reasons” one may have in fear of losing—you are bound to not make any progress. Practice listening and communicating effectively to help you regain connection with your partner, as it is the basis of a healthy relationship.
How do I make a request that does not turn into protest?
"Instead of criticizing the other person, tell them what you want, and tell it without implying that they are not doing it. Because then they are paying attention to the part you say: "you are never doing it, you are wrong, it's you again" - partner will hear only this part and do what every human being does - defend themselves because nobody likes to be attacked." This is according to the world's famous Ester Parel in her interview with Jay Shetty. Psychotherapist Esther Perel is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and podcast host. Her celebrated TED talks have garnered more than 30 million views. Full interview: https://open.spotify.com/
Connection With Your Partner is About More Than Home Activities
It is completely normal to get busy managing housework and responsibilities with children. However, this makes couples forget to talk about other topics. As time goes by, but responsibilities do not decrease, it is up to couples to learn how to manage their time together. In order to maintain a spiritual connection with your partner, take time for meaningful conversations to share your hopes and dreams as you did before. Miller (2013) refers to Gottman, the founder of The Gottman Institute when considering marital conversations: "Conversing about who we are, what our mission is and what our legacy is, creates shared meaning and purpose in the relationship" (p. 42).
Reignite Your Spiritual Connection with Your Partner by Watching Movies and Reading Together
As silly as it sounds, studies show that watching a sentimental Hollywood romance film might help couples sort out their difficulties in real life (Rogge et al., 2013). As we have already mentioned, simple reminders of the importance of relationship maintenance might be enough to reignite your connection with your partner. Hence, simply reading or watching a movie about couples making an effort to establish long-lasting and strong connections, and then further discussing them, can be a reminder of healthy practices. This can also motivate you to make an effort in order to reconnect as a couple. Movies that depict the many highs and lows of relationships are the greatest way to begin a productive conversatioN:
- A Star Is Born (1954),
- As Good as it Gets (1997),
- On Golden Pond (1981),
- Yours, Mine and Ours (1968),
and many more have been utilized in research on this topic while movies that follow only the birth of romantic relationships were avoided. Therefore, when you decide to practice this simple activity, you will have plenty of choices to find a movie that both you and your husband will enjoy.
The findings emphasize the need for communication in a marriage and finding opportunities to express your differences. A movie is a safe way to start a conversation with your spouse, and it may keep you both chatting for hours. You may even find that you're increasingly conveying your points of view, thoughts, and even feelings on a more delicate, comfortable, and comprehensible level.
Daily Connection with Your Partner: Small Things Matter
One of our best suggestions on how to regain connection with your partner is to kiss more frequently!
- According to one study, couples who started to kiss more showed significant improvements in relationship satisfaction (Floyd et al., 2009).
- Doing and saying small things to make your partner feel special determines a happy marriage and prevents divorce (Veroff et al., 2007, as cited by Miller, 2013).
- It has been shown that couples who successfully manage their interactions continuously affirm their love towards each other (Veroff et al., 1995, as cited in Orbuch et al., 2002).
Maybe your husband has never told you, but occasionally brewing that morning cup of coffee for him really means a lot! Consciously or unconsciously, men need these small signs of affection in marriage, even more so than women as they are less likely to get them from their friends, family, or coworkers. Whether it be:
- a simple love note in your husband’s wallet,
- a compliment,
- an expression of gratitude,
- or a warm hug after a long day at work,
these simple practices are really impactful. Doing these small acts more often will help make your husband feel desired and bring back the closeness you once had. Men often keep to themselves, fearing their masculine role may come into question, so it’s up to you to notice small changes in their behavior and try to fill in the gaps of their discomfort. The result may surprise you as you’ll begin noticing small steps toward increasing affection.
An Emotional Connection with Your Partner Includes Cherishing the Good Moments
When it comes to everyday life, couples mostly keep supporting each other on their worst days and talk about stressful, negative events. However, it is important not to forget to celebrate your partner’s small triumphs. Psychological research continuously shows that both enacted and perceived support during positive events is what reliably predicts positive marital outcomes.
Research has shown that a partner’s presence during negative events might even have negative effects. Perception of the quality of support, rather than the support itself, is what determines healthy marriages and both partners’ well-being (Gable et al., 2012). Moreover, cherishing positive moments in your partner’s life also makes him perceive your support better during negative events (Gable et al., 2012). The next time your husband comes home talking about how his boss praised him or how well he resolved a problem, show that his happiness makes you happy too. Suggest dinner at a restaurant or pour two glasses of wine to make a toast!
How to Regain Connection with Your Partner: Suggest New Activities and Adventures
Habituation, a decreased psychological response to repeated stimuli, is shown to be an obstacle to relationship maintenance (Reissman et al., 1993). As the excitement of a relationship or marriage decreases and partners become predictable to each other, simply spending time together is not enough and they might feel disconnected and distant. Luckily, psychologists have found a way to prolong the excitement and even bring it back once it has been lost. The key is to spend time together by exposing yourselves to less predictable situations in order to provide new experiences.
Although your initial feelings were intrinsic, the memories you create together as a couple bring you closer and maintain your relationship. There is nothing bad in seeking excitement outside yourself and it is always better to do so together.
A well-known psychological principle states that repeated exposure to positive situations with someone makes us relate positive experiences with that person. Furthermore, marriage can’t exclude autonomy, and while it implies coexistence, each partner might also want to explore self-growth in their relationship. You can choose a sex game, a sport, a board game, or traveling, but it is important to find activities that both you and your husband can individually enjoy as that will make you share these great new experiences and bring you closer to each other.
- Floyd, K., Boren, J. P., Hannawa, A. F., Hesse, C., McEwan, B., and Veksler, A. E. (2009). “Kissing in Marital and Cohabiting Relationships: Effects on Blood Lipids, Stress, and Relationship Satisfaction.” Western Journal of Communication, 73(2), 113–133.
- Gable, S. L., Gosnell, C. L., Maisel, N. C., and Strachman, A. (2012). “Safely testing the alarm: Close others' responses to personal positive events.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103(6), 963–981.
- • “Happy couples: How to keep your relationship healthy.” American Pyschology Association. (2020, January 1). http://www.apa.org/topics/marriage/healthy-relationships
- Mackey, R. A., Diemer, M. A., and O’Brien, B. A. (2000). Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 43(3/4), 201–227.
- Miller, A. (2013, April). “Can this marriage be saved?” Monitor on Psychology, 44(4). http://www.apa.org/monitor/2013/04/marriage
- Orbuch, T. L., Veroff, J., Hassan, H., and Horrocks, J. (2002). “Who will Divorce: A 14-Year Longitudinal Study of Black Couples and White Couples.” Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 19(2), 179–202.
- Reissman, C., Aron, A., and Bergen, M. R. (1993). “Shared Activities and Marital Satisfaction: Causal Direction and Self-Expansion versus Boredom.” Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 10(2), 243–254.
- Rogge, R. D., Cobb, R. J., Lawrence, E., Johnson, M. D., and Bradbury, T. N. (2013). “Is skills training necessary for the primary prevention of marital distress and dissolution? A 3-year experimental study of three interventions.” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 81(6), 949–961.
- Veroff, J., Douvan, E., Hatchett, S., and Orbuch, T. Early Years of Marriage (EYM) Project, Years 1-4, 1986-1989. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2007-10-03. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR04557.v1
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