During the first few years of our marriage, my husband and I worked together in a third-world country in the daily stressful conditions of extreme poverty. We helped care for two hundred orphaned children. Like many traditional couples, we found the number one reason we argued was because we had lost our emotional connection; we had responded to others’ needs but had neglected each other. It took my husband and me seven years before we figured out the secrets below, and as a result, we had many disappointing dinner dates, when I expected to connect and it just didn’t happen. I had almost given up hope it was even possible when we happened upon three things that made a dramatic difference in our emotional connection.
Here are three tips that could greatly improve your emotional connection with your husband.
1. Schedule time for the two of you:
When I find myself stressed and upset with my husband, usually it’s because we have lost our emotional connection. And usually the reason we aren’t connected emotionally is because we haven’t had any quality time together lately. Quantity time does not mean quality time. You can be taking care of the kids together, working alongside one another, sleeping together, but if you haven’t had one-on-one time lately to share your hearts in a relaxed environment—whatever that looks like for you— sooner or later, you will feel disconnected. Determine to make it your first priority to schedule time together at least once a week. The easiest way to do this is to set a standing date and time each week for the rest of the year, like Thursdays at 5pm for instance. We found that when we tried to schedule different times every week, it took too much effort and often we couldn’t find timeslots that fit into both of our busy schedules. Our answer for this has been to schedule our meeting at the same time every week, so that slot in our schedule is always filled. This prevents other things from taking priority and also makes it easier for us to stay consistent.
2. Spend time together outside of your home.
On our first standing date of the week, we go out for breakfast (we found it’s extremely important for us to meet somewhere outside of our home so we aren’t distracted) just to hang out, reconnect, share what’s going on in our individual lives, work lives and other things we’ve been thinking or dreaming about.
3. Communicate about practical details.
We make sure we take time each week to talk about the more practical details. We have found it works best for us to talk when there are few or no distractions in a place where we can focus on the topic at hand. During this time, we communicate about our schedule, plan upcoming trips, basically take care of anything that’s related to planning, scheduling, or managing our family life. This is a great time to discuss the children and to be proactive in setting family goals and dealing with problems. If there’s a particular family problem that can wait to be addressed until this time, wait to discuss it at a time you don’t feel rushed or stressed or distracted, and you will find that you accomplish a lot together in this time. We have found this intentional time has greatly improved our communication and has increased our ability to function in sync and feel unified with each other.
It took us seven years to discover these secrets that helped us improve our emotional connection. Each couple is different, but the important point is: if something isn’t working for you, figure out why, then try something different. There is always a solution. You get what you put into the relationship, so start by implementing the secrets above to strengthen your emotional connection.
Each couple is different, but the important point is: if something isn’t working for you, figure out why, then try something different.
Readers, can you take a moment to comment below, and let us know which tips you think will be most helpful?
Cassandra Soars has published various national magazine articles on a wide range of topics, including life in Mozambique, Africa, where she lived for five years. Her first book Love Like Fire: The Story of Heidi Baker is available on Amazon.