Learn how to realign with your partner to keep your relationship strong
The beginning of a relationship is a happy time. Couples usually feel in sync with one another and spend a lot of time together. The factors that drew you together, such as attraction, shared interests, and common values, are at the forefront and serve to strengthen your growing connection.
But as time goes on and life stressors take over, problems can arise in any relationship. You may find yourself feeling out of touch with your partner or spending less quality time together. It’s normal to feel this way in a long-term relationship and the good news is that there are things you can do to realign with your partner. Here are five steps you can take to bulletproof your partnership.
Get in touch with yourself first
It can be easy to lose ourselves in a relationship. We get caught up with wanting to please our partner, raising kids, or bogged down with challenging life circumstances.
Taking care of yourself and addressing your own needs is essential for a good partnership, though. It is only by caring for ourselves that we’re able to show up fully for someone else. Take some time to evaluate what’s important to you. What brings balance and harmony to your life? What gives you a sense of purpose?
What are your values? These are the tenants that you live your life by and should always respect. Once you’ve made self-care a priority and realigned yourself with your core values, you can approach your partnership from a strong and centered place.
Spend quality time together
Just because you might live with your partner and see them all the time doesn’t mean you’re spending enough quality time together. Ideally, quality time should be a time where you’re focused on each other and the present moment rather than work, kids, friends, etc. Some ways to quality bond with your partner include:
Spend time away from screens. Take a walk without phones or have dinner together without distractions.
Get out in nature. Having a picnic in a picturesque location or spending an afternoon at the beach or on a hike can be a great way to reconnect.
Do something active. Studies show that couples who engage in physical activity together are more satisfied in their relationships.
Take a yoga class. Yoga helps you focus on the present moment and become more in tune with your body which can benefit your relationship.
Practice open and honest communication
Good communication is a key element in any successful relationship. If you feel out of touch with your partner it can be tempting to keep it to yourself and hope it resolves in time. This and other issues, however, require open, honest, direct communication. Having a frank conversation about feeling out of touch can actually bring you closer together.
If you keep things inside you may start to feel like you’re being inauthentic with your partner. Your feelings may eventually come out in other, more destructive ways, such as losing your temper or shutting down emotionally. Being open can help the two of you better navigate life’s challenges – just be sure to communicate your feelings respectfully and compassionately.
Relationships are built on trust and trust breaks down when there’s dishonesty. Sometimes it’s daunting to tell our partners the truth but a pattern of dishonesty will eventually erode confidence in the relationship.
Identify shared values
Chances are you share some core values with your partner. It may be part of what attracted you in the first place. Core values can include healthy living, an emphasis on family, or the importance of community.
It can be helpful to discuss your core values with your partner and find out where you both align. Perhaps you both value family time or strive to give back to your community. It’s important to live according to your values. Once you and your partner have affirmed your values you can hold each other accountable for living accordingly.
Consider couples counseling
Couples counseling can be an invaluable tool for realigning with your partner and bulletproofing your relationship. Counseling can help couples communicate better, handle relationship stress more effectively, and reconnect physically. Some couples may shy away from counseling out of fear or because they’ve attached a negative stigma to therapy. Committing to couple’s counseling is one of the healthiest things you can do for your relationship, though. It shows you care enough to work on yourself and partnership and that you value your partner’s needs in addition to your own.
Realigning with your partner
A couples counselor can provide ongoing support as you work to reconnect and grow in your relationship. If you’re feeling out of touch with your partner and have already tried some of the steps listed above, therapy can help you find your way back to one another. To get started, book an appointment with one of our therapists.