Couples that are experiencing a low in their relationship usually refer to it as having communication issues and not getting along. They bicker and fight, fights escalate and then there is shutdown, they don’t see eye-to-eye and can’t seem to get on the same page, they struggle to get their needs met, everything is a tit-for-tat or keeping score, and they just can’t enjoy each other. They feel disconnected and alone. Intimacy is but a faraway dream. Does this resonate for you? Are you wondering how to get back your connection and intimacy?
Note, that the bickering, fights, and impasses might take on any flavor, where it feels like these are the issues to contend with… They might be on chores, money, children, in-laws and the like, but when partners feel Connected they figure these things out… Whatever your impasse and issue, please be open to the idea that that is actually not the issue…
Because our mind, sense of self, dynamics and dreams are so elusive we have no better way to communicate about what is happening and address what’s needed head on, so we get entrenched on a topic or concern and make it about that… Whatever is not working in the relationship manifests as issues on the weeds of life… We lose sight of the awesomeness of our relationship and our partner… We lose perspective and get lost…
Our job is to transcend the minutia and weeds, the things and topics troubling us, and get a grip on the emotional and relational aspect of what is playing out. And, this my friends, is the Gift in whatever issue you are having… For when you figure out how to address this (from heart/love not head/ego) and shift the stuckness, you are able to get on the same page, change patterns and get your needs met, connect and enjoy intimacy, and easily collaborate…
Of course, you still need to ongoingly mind your mind, use great communication skills, attend to yours and your partner’s needs, nurture your relationship, and set up systems for working well together.
Note, it’s challenging to do anything good for the relationship if we are crooked on how we look at our partner and our relationship. It’s virtually impossible to have great communication, connection and collaboration if we are looking at our partner as the enemy… It’s impossible to change patterns and create what we won’t if we have a dirty operating system…
Also note, that whatever issue you are hang up on it becomes almost irrelevant once you shifted your mindset, got on the same page, and are attending to each other… At that point, only systems for working together are needed… But these are super challenging to put in place and honor when you are being funky… This is why most of my writing focuses on the mindset side of things and self-care to help you get unstuck and self-regulate - both help with reprogramming… You are welcome.
Once you shift from looking at your partner as the enemy, the rest is much easier including nurturing the relationship… Relationship nurturing is the antidote for breakdowns and the lubricant for manifesting and creating the relationship and life you want…
Assuming you have been working on your mindset and are no longer blaming your partner for the status of things, then we can do a little Connection work…
It helps to look at Connection as a verb, something that is actively pursued and nurtured. Most partners assume they’ll just feel connected, forever… And, that their connection is bulletproof... It can be, but it isn’t automatically…
Let’s start with the basics:
Individual Brilliance – To make sure you minimize angst and turmoil in your relationship and create a strong, loving and successful relationship, make sure you embrace a tolerance for differences, individuality, and separateness. This might sound counter intuitive as we are talking about connection and building intimacy. But believe it or not, this is what keeps things interesting and alive... You are bound to get into a rut when you obsess about similarities, agreement and togetherness…
Connection Habits – To make sure we invest in nurturing our relationship, the simplest and easiest way is to create Connection Habits™ and integrate them into our daily routine… Connection Habits are tangible, concrete and repeatable actions of a TLC nature - loving, caring, affectionate, compassionate, giving, attuned, present, touching base, checking in, reaching out, and the like…
Dating Your Partner – To make sure you keep things sexy and alive you have to get out of the grind and go on dates. And, for these dates to be rewarding and effective, you have to leave your roles at home and only show up with You. With your male or female energy and the essence of you… It’s a whole different ball game when you don’t bring your to-dos, issues, expectations and dynamics with you… Be prepared to be pleasantly surprised…
Going back to the point of how you look at your partner and your relationship, these basics become challenging when you are going through a rough time in your relationship. You would most likely be threatened/triggered by differences, individuality and separateness… You are unlikely to feel like doing any TLC. And, you are unlikely to feel like planning and going on a date and enjoying the after party. (Wink!)
Therefore, if you are struggling with these, make sure you go back to your mindset and your perspective. That needs attention first if you are to be able to get on to the good stuff…
ASSIGNMENT: Identify if you are ready to work on Connection or if you still need to uplevel your Relationship Mindset™…
To increase your Connection, intimacy and fun select which of these you want to start with:
Individual Brilliance – Build-in time for yourselves into your routine to do what you like, then share about it with each other. Bring new energy to the interaction…
Connection Habits – Pick an action you can commit to doing every day to give your partner TLC – add it to your daily routine.
Dating Your Partner – Commit to at least Monthly Dates. Take turns planning them with the aim to please your partner…
Commit to nurturing the relationship and to having fun doing it!
Keep investing in your Relationship Enrichment, keep working the 5 Elements of the Successful Couple Strategy™. Today we played with Context/Mindset (E1) and Connection/Intimacy (E4). Woot!
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PS2 – We’ll be having Facebook Lives to go along with our blog posts! Tune-in on Thursdays at 10:30 am ET (mark your calendar!)
PS3 – Check out Related Posts:
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Do you play with your partner?
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Are you being nice to your partner?
Feeling stuck in your relationship?
Do you support each other?
Are you ready for deeper connection with your spouse?
When do you get on your partner’s nerves?
How much do you get your partner?
Can you change your partner?
Can’t get your partner to do what you want?
How do you show your commitment?
PS4 – Get your Quotes & Quickies™ for this post!
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Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT is the Founder and Director of Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC, a private practice that specializes in working with couples, she is the creator of the MetroRelationship™ philosophy and the Successful Couple Strategy™ that assist couples succeed at their relationship and their life. Stay Connected™ with Emma and receive weekly connection notes in your inbox with Personal Development and Relationship Enrichment insights and strategies, visit: www.metrorelationship.com