“Click.” A door closing as you retreat to separate rooms. A remote turning on the TV to fill the silence. A phone call trailing off.
These are the sounds in a relationship that has lost its spark and connection. This sort of relationship languishing can feel terrible and confusing. What even caused it? And more importantly, how do you restore joy in your relationship?
Sometimes the answers are simple. Or your relationship might need more examining and professional help. But there are solutions to the relationship rut. Read on to discover ways to reconnect with your partner.
Start with Small Changes
Relationships operate on balance. When one partner changes, the other will adjust – in some way – to restore balance.
Maybe the ways you’ve been irritated by your partner reflect your desire for personal growth. Do you want him to exercise more, because you feel the need to be more active? Well, what’s stopping you? Set that alarm and go for a short jog. If you get the momentum going, you may find him beside you one morning. In other words, mix it up and don’t be afraid to try new things. Sometimes small changes like the ones below can make a big difference.
Keep a Kind List
Have you fallen into noticing only critical aspects of your partner and the relationship? Work to notice the good.
Tack a piece of paper and pen on the fridge. Any time you or your partner notice each other doing something even mildly helpful or nice make a note of it. It could be taking out the trash. Or complimenting their outfit.
It might feel silly at first! But it’s a little reminder of what warm love and appreciation feel like.
Prioritize Friendship Over Romance
This might sound like giving up on passion. But what it actually means is: Appreciate the specialness of the everyday. If the romantic gestures you two used to do have long faded, consider the circumstances. Is it because you’ve experienced big life changes?
For example, instead of a thrilling date night, your wife is holding your kid in her lap and spoon-feeding them macaroni and cheese. Can you step back and note the care and attention she’s giving? Can you join the play and give her a spoonful of pasta, too? Use these moments to connect.
When larger relationships issues like trust, finances, and intimacy are neglected they can form a giant puddle that floods other areas of your life.
Start being proactive. Schedule regular maintenance, just like you would for your car, house, or job. And it will help keep problems compartmentalized and manageable.
Skillful Listening and Communication
Truly listening and talking are at the heart of a strong relationship. But it’s normal to struggle with effectively communicating your feelings.
Want to learn more about skillful listening and conversation? Check out my post here on productive and mindful communication.
Change It Up
In some circumstances, your rut simply comes from cabin fever. Or falling into a routine that is predictable and even a little boring.
In that case, do a little research, and commit to going on an adventure with your partner. Try a new food or restaurant, take a class, get outside or out of town for just the day!
Put the focus on fun. Because while it’s true that relationships are work, sometimes all they need is a sprinkle of play.
Restore Joy with Help
If you’re really feeling stuck, don’t go it alone. Many couples don’t try therapy when a simple intervention could have saved their relationship. And even if you can solve things by yourself, therapy can make the whole process easier and save you years of struggle.
Get in touch today to schedule an appointment, and restore the joy in your relationship.