By: Angelie Karabatsos, LPC, NCC, MA, MBA
Wilma’s head slowly drops towards her chest. Her eyes feel heavy and begins to close. She blinks several times and shifts position, fighting hard to stay awake. Suddenly she hears a low murmur from the other end of the sofa. Fred snores happily with the noise of the television. Sound familiar? This is a pretty typical Saturday night for most couples. We want to spend time with our partner but life gets in the way. According to John Gottman, couples bid for their partners attention. Many people do not know how to do this well. Ten ways to create connection time in your marriage gives ways to bid for attention and enjoy time spent with partner.
Couples’ in healthy relationships make time to connect with their partner every day. Relationships in general are tough and time seems to be hard to find. Happy, healthy, and long-lasting relationships and marriages revolve around creating quality connection time with our partner. Most people think connection must be a formal date or a romantic weekend get-a-way. Although that would be great if every week, we could do an evening. The reality is that’s not an option.
Below are ten ways to create connection time in your marriage
Spend 15 minutes talking about something interesting you saw or heard. This could be something heard in car radio, social media, or from a co-worker. It’s not really about what you say, it’s about taking the time to engage with you partner because time spent talking creates connection. Discussing something other than the house, kids, or jobs gives a chance to learn something new about our spouse. We do this all day with strangers but forget to do this with our loved ones.
2. Send A Thinking About You Text
Our spouse pops into our mind a bunch of times during the day. We may even think how lucky we are that they are with us. Why not tell them that via text? Find a photo that mirrors how you are feeling about them, put some nice verbiage around it, such as, “this picture made me think of you,” and send it to them. Shortly, you will find a similar reply back or maybe your favorite dinner waiting when you get home.
3. Plan And Cook a Meal Together
We all need to eat every day. Why not plan, shop, and prepare the family meal together. A lot of good bonding time can happen while you are chopping up onions. The physical act of doing something needed creates togetherness and reminds us why we fell in love with our partner in the first place.
4. Sit Together and Hold Hands
Touch is very important in relationships. Holding your spouse’s hand sends signals to the brain that conveys feelings of warmth, happiness, and love. It also deepens trust. Fingers are the most receptive to touch because of the high number of nerve endings, so feeling someone else’s hand in yours enhances emotions. This is one of the best ways to connect with your partner. Spontaneity creates layers of connection.
5. Acknowledge and Appreciate Your Partner’s Heart
Every day we notice little things our partner says or does. Generally, we are really good about communicating things we don’t like. When was the last time we took a minute or two and said what we most appreciated about our partner? What would it be like if you told your partner how their smile melts all frustrations and makes you feel happy.
6. Slow Dance in the Living Room to your Favorite Tune
Remember how important it was to find the perfect first song to dance to at your wedding or the first song you danced to after becoming a committed couple? Take a moment and play or hum the tune. Dance around the living room or kitchen like it was the first time you danced to the song. The kids or friends might think you are being goofy but you are reliving an important moment in coupledom. Celebrate it!
7. Look at Vacation Pictures
Shared experiences creates long-lasting connections. Just because it was ten months or ten years since you went to Hawaii, doesn’t mean you can’t relive the fun and excitement you had during the trip. Turn off all electronic devices, unless the pictures are on the computer, and take a stroll down memory lane. Giggle like you are a couple of teenagers.
8. Go to a Café and People Watch
Sometimes we are sitting with our partner in a coffee shop and we don’t want to do small talk but don’t want to get into anything big. This is great opportunity to people watch and begin to make up a story about another couple, one you don’t know, and have your partner continue on. Take turns, get silly, and enjoy the moment. Connect over how creative or strange you can be.
9. Take a Walk
Whether you are exercising your mind or body doing a shared interest together automatically creates quality connections because you are focusing your attention on your partner and accomplishing something you both enjoy. Put the leash on the dog and head out the door. Within a matter of minutes, you will feel closer to your partner because being close, even if you don’t say one word, drives connection. Notice how you slow down or speed up to be in synch with your partner.
10. Give Your Partner a Hug
Connection time skyrockets when we give our partner an unsolicited hug. Look for times and ways to embrace your honey bun.
Try all ten ways to create connection time in your marriage. It’s easy to create quality connection time once you realize it’s the small stuff that makes the biggest impact. Remember to show your spouse how you feel! If you like to learn more about Marriage Counseling click the link, call, or email.
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