One of my passions is helping people grow their relationships. I am seeing more couples who live together, but feel very alone. Although they manage jobs, can parent together and handle the daily responsibilities well, what’s missing is the emotional connection that once brought them together.
It seems to me that this emotional disconnection tends to happen very gradually. Lives get busy and couples seem to think that love will take care of itself. Without infusion of time and energy, emotional closeness erodes due to benign neglect.
Typically each feels that “if only” the other person would make the necessary changes, all would be fine. What I suggest is that instead of waiting for the partner to begin making changes, begin by being more love-worthy yourself. Here are four practical tips of what to do:
1. Ask yourself “Am I behaving in a love-worthy way?”
Be honest with yourself. You will know deep inside you if you have been acting in a love-worthy way. Remember that we earn love.
2. Are you remembering to show gratitude?
Gratitude is for the little things that contribute to life together.
3. Are you being critical?
It is easy to look for what you wish your partner/spouse would do differently. It is much harder to pay attention to the words that are coming out of your mouth.
4. Are you thinking relationally, or mostly about yourself?
There is a big difference. If you are primarily thinking about yourself, you may be losing sight of what you need to contribute to strengthening the relationship.
Being in a relationship requires learning to think about two things simultaneously: taking responsibility for one’s own feelings, words and actions and at the same time, caring about the well-being of the relationship.