Our sense of connection to our partner is the bond that keeps us together. We are hard wired to connect. When we are emotionally connected, the relationship has a stable foundation of strength, trust, and respect on which to stand. Over the course of a relationship it is normal for a couple’s sense of connection to ebb and flow. But maintaining a strong connection ensures your relationship will experience less emotional distancing, conflict and disruption.
How couples manage on-going stressors in the environment or long-standing patterns of negative communication can eventually divide couples and before long the connection can begin to weaken and lead to a heightened level of stress that has both emotional and physical consequences.
To strengthen a couple’s connection, it’s important that partner’s think about how they reach for each other. When we reach out, we are demonstrating that we want to connect with our partner – that we are open and hope our partner will be open to receive us. Many couples find themselves in a dace of “hide-and-seek” whereby one partner withdraws under stress and the other partner pursues. I often ask my clients, “how do you allow yourself to be found when your partner is seeking to find you?”, and vice versa. A simple bid to connect, whether it be a touch, a loving gesture, or kind words of affection are the important acts that help us keep and strengthen our connection.
If you sense the emotional connection with your partner has weakened don’t be alarmed. It is normal for relationships to wax and wane similarly to how the seasons come and go. However, if you believe the duration of the disconnection has gone on for too long or you are struggling to get it back, working with a trained couple’s therapist that you trust can likely get you and your partner back on track within a short period of time.