As usual, a lot of my inspiration for my blog entries comes from what I am seeing in my office. It comes as no surprise that a marriage counselor would see a lot of couples who have become disconnected from one another. Although it is a good idea to go to marriage counseling for preventive reasons, people rarely choose to do so. In fact, many wait until their relationship is unbearable or is on the verge of divorce. As of late, there has been a trend that I have seen in my office with the women being angry and stating that they “have one foot out the door”. Their husbands are shocked but many times are able to acknowledge that they have done wrong in the past. (This could go the other way as well. In my recent experience, however, it has been the women ready to leave- perhaps this shift is due to women’s liberation?) What all these women want to know, is if they can reconnect with their husbands and get the spark back in their relationship.
My answer to them is yes… but only if they really want to. You fell in love once and you have a shared history of wonderful memories. (I am assuming here, and if you don’t, well then thats a whole other story and it is best to seek the help of a qualified marriage counselor on this one!) It is always possible to get the spark back if you want to. Here are some things to keep in mind first.
1. It will take work. You are looking to make a change in a feeling and this can be hard to do without also working to change your thoughts and your feelings as well. You have to be willing to put the effort in.
2. It will take time. You and your spouse began to drift apart slowly, not overnight and likewise can not expect to feel a change in your feelings overnight.
3. You have to put all your effort into. You can not make a change at this level while also having one foot our the door. You have to decide that you are going to put 100% effort into falling back in love and that you will be open to the efforts of your spouse.
4. There may be other feelings that act as roadblocks in your marriage. It will be important to identify what these are in order to be able to move past them. For instance, there may be resentment and anger built up due to past hurts or you may feel as though your partner has never really made you feel loved and cared for in the past, even though they do. You will not be able to fall back in love while also carrying these feeling around. If you are unable to identify or work through them on your own, it may be helpful to seek the support of a marriage counselor.
In the next few blog entries I will share with you some of the suggestions I have been giving my clients on how to reconnect. You may find that some of them are not a good fit for you while others are. Chances are you will need to try out several for a while before you notice any changes. Feel free to try as many of the suggestions as you like and to try others you may come up with.