How to Stay Connected for a Lifetime
Electricity flows through connection. When connections fray, a “short-circuit” can happen. Repair the connection and the power returns.
Living day in, day out for many years can fray your relationship. Small, delicate “wires” pull apart almost imperceptibly.
How do you restore the “power” and “magnetism” of marriage?
Here are some thoughts I have had to work through myself in my 43 years:
Can you continue to accept the person you married? What about their mistakes, failures, personality and secrets you only learn about in marriage? An idealistic view of your spouse kills connection.
The battleground of acceptance is the mind. We hear voices that say, “They’ve changed. They are not the partner I should have married. I see that now.” Back away from that cliff. Take their hand and accept them exactly as you ask them to accept you.
The busyness of life frays the connection. We are pulled in opposite directions. We struggle to have deep conversations with kids screaming in the background.
Set up a honeymoon, a “start over.” Take a weekend vacation to re-connect. Drive a couple of hours away, stopping for fun. Let your first conversations be about something other than difficulties. Later in the weekend, calmly talk through your disappointments and a plan to heal them.
Melanie and I used to rent a golf cart in a hilly golf course where we could ride up and down and laugh for a couple of hours! In 48 hours we re-connected more than 3 months of intensive therapy.
When we stop listening, we stop connecting. Just sitting and staring deep into the eyes of your spouse as they pour out their frustrations starts to put the wires back together.
Try giving them 15 minutes to air out their heart without interruption. Process what part of their feedback has truth in it. Focus on that. Come up with a plan to restore their confidence in you. Show them that you REALLY are serious about listening…and changing.
To plug back in, something else has to be unplugged.
Technology, media, and entertainment have their place. When you are trying to reconnect, however, they have NO PLACE. Imagine the interruption a cell phone call would have been on your honeymoon night!
Get serious about reconnecting. Interruptions and reconnecting don’t go together. Isolate yourselves after the kids go to bed and do nothing but converse without one single notification.
5. Hearts before bodies
Connect your hearts, then your minds, then your bodies. When emotions are gone and conversations are shallow, your sexual life becomes artificial.
If you connect spiritually and mentally, the physical will easily follow. It is a direct reflection of the health of the first two. If there is a problem in the last area, back up and take the time to reconnect heart and mind.
True connection is powerful! It’s what marriage was meant to be.
Back up and try again. You have a lot of years to stay connected!