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Q I love my husband and he feels the same, but in recent times the ‘spark’ seems to have gone out of our relationship. We both work and things seem so mundane, it feels like we rarely have conversations these days. How do I recapture earlier happier times?
ALife can sometimes feel like a treadmill; we hardly have time to breathe, let alone invest time to nurture relationships.
I think that it is a great sign that you’ve taken the time to email us for advice. It shows you know you need to ring the changes. I know for sure that your issue will resonate with many other couples.
It’s easy to feel that there is simply no time to sit down and talk things through, but the simple answer is you just have to take control and make time. Rarely are things so important that they can’t wait a day or two, so I suggest you ask someone to look after the children and plan something fun and exciting for you and your husband to enjoy. I use the word exciting, because that’s what you need to kick-start things into a new phase.
Many couples in your situation opt to go down the candle-lit dinner route to rekindle things a little, but I feel doing something completely different together, something that’s fun and not overly focused on obvious romance, allows you to laugh and chat and fire up those lines of communication again.
And good communication is most definitely the glue that sticks relationships together, so having the space to reconnect and develop a plan that will allow you to maintain that new connection is vital.
Engaging in meaningful communication is so important. By meaningful I mean taking the time to put aside distractions and listen to what your partner is saying.
You can initiate this process, which can feel a little clunky or false, but stick with it and see if you can build in time every day, when the kids have gone to bed, to just chat and enjoy each other’s company.
Of course, this will require the commitment of both of you, so openly talking about it with your husband is a wise idea, rather than trying to engineer it. It’s has to be something you both buy into.
Showing affection is also the bedrock of a strong relationship. Taking the time to say nice things to each other, being encouraging and respectful and those little touches that make the other person feel loved can all fade without effort. So, make the effort. Positive relationships, no matter who they are with, require each person to put in equal amounts of effort; they to be worked on all the time. Not in an onerous way, but in a way which oils the wheels, so the ride is much smoother.
RUSSELL HEMMINGS is a life coach, and clinical and cognitive behavioural hypnotherapist