There are some things that no one ever tells you when you get married. We put on beautiful clothes and plan for months to stand in front of family and friends. The food is perfect, the venue is pristine, and we strive to create the perfect image that the happily ever after will last well into the sunset.
But life isn’t always fairy tales and often it can feel like we loose connection with the prince we found ourselves dreaming of. Reconnecting with your spouse, especially as a working mama, can be difficult and frustrating. We are busy. We have kids crying for out attention, our bodies are aging, and our minds are spinning.
We may be juggling work, extended family, kids with special needs, or opposite schedules. There are ways that you and your spouse can reconnect after growing apart.
How do Couples Grow Apart
Drifting apart as a couple can occur over small amounts of time or within the context of a major life changing event. Couples often find themselves in the midst of difficult circumstances that require processing and self care.
When my husband and I went through several family losses and job changes in a row, we each struggled to communicate in an effective way. We needed time to evaluate our own needs and grieve appropriately. As a result, we struggled to find a balance between what we each needed personally and together as a couple.
How Married Couples Can Reconnect
Just a disconnections can be a slow downward spiral, reconnection takes time and patience in building. As with anything, progress toward the end goal is the most practical way to see improvement. As you strive to reconnect with your spouse, there are six simple approaches you can consider.
Think back to the first time you interacted with your spouse. There was something that drew you to one another. Some spark that made pause and take notice. You had a connection.
My husband and I were both teachers and we found connection in sharing about the silly things kids did in our classes. This intentional conversation allowed us both to process what we were doing and find support in stressful situations.
Over time these conversations turned to other things. Our interests, our hobbies, areas we found we both enjoyed or didn’t. By being intentional about spending time together and finding common ground we established a solid foundation.
Find one area that you can be intentional in with your spouse and work on this. Maybe it is in just decompressing after work for a 1/2 hour on the front porch three times a week. Do you have the time to grab a cup of coffee each Saturday morning together? What about making a point of always going on a specific errand together.
These small steps in intentionally connecting build reconnection.
Pray for One Another
Praying for one another is one of the most important things you can do for your spouse. This simple act will help you as you seek to understand your husband. You are not trying to solve his difficulties, but rather you are taking them to the feet of Jesus.
By praying for your spouse you are taking your worries and your concerns to someone who can solve them. Often I get into the trap of thinking “…if my husband would…..then….”. But the truth is that my husband can only be changed by him. God will work in your husband’s life and by praying you are allowing yourself to let go of your frustrations and let change occur.
Find Ways to Show Appreciation
Appreciation for others often goes by the wayside when we get busy. We can get into a rut of constantly taking others for granted and forgetting what is being given to us. We project our own needs over the sacrifice of others.
But God calls us to be grateful. When I show gratitude to my spouse for all of his hard work, or his sacrifice of doing the dishes, or taking care of the kids, I am telling him how much I care about him. If my best friend took my kids for the afternoon, I would totally thrilled and probably give her flowers and a brownie. But sadly, days can go by without be telling my husband how much I appreciate what he does.
Showing appreciation also helps us show our kids how to not take others for granted. They learn that we are to be thankful for people we have in lives and express this in healthy ways.
Patience is extremely difficult when we are under a lot of pressure. Being married brings an entirely new approach to patience, as we are tried and tested on a daily basis. But practicing patience refines us to be all that God calls us to be.
When I get especially frustrated, I have learned to ask myself the following three questions.
How important is this frustration?
Have we been through worse?
Will this really matter in an hour, a day, a week?
Thinking through these questions help me process whether or not my impatience is necessary.
A practical way my husband and I have found to reconnect is to serve together. When we both take on a project that involves our attention and it is not necessarily on each other, but on helping others we connect on a different level.
Serving together puts us all on the same playing field and allow us the opportunity to lean into one another’s strengths. We are able to encourage each other and share our experience. We get tired together, experience victories together, and have common ground we have shared.
Have Fun Together
Lastly, we can reconnect with our spouse in finding ways to have fun together. Life can be so incredibly busy. It is hard to find the time. But if we intentionally go back to things we enjoyed as a new couple, we can often regain that connection.
Doing something fun doesn’t have to require a lot of money or time. A simple hike, playing the kids video game, watching a movie, doing a puzzle, taking up a new sport or hobby are all way by husband and I have reconnected. This brings us each relaxation and something to look forward to when life throws us a curve ball.
Reconnecting with our spouse takes hard work. Slow progress is better than no progress. Tackling all six of these may seem difficult due to whatever season you find yourself in. However, by practicing one or two simple steps each week, you open yourself up to being able to connect with your spouse on a level you may have never been able to before. That makes it all worth it!!
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