One of the most satisfying benefits of friendships and love relationships is to form a connect on a deeper level with your partner or friends.
When we sense our link to those that we love, we feel the complete joy of being a valued human who holds an important place in the world.
This feeling of connection is an integral part of our well-being. It reminds us that our lives have meaning; it protects us from loneliness and proves to us that we are all part of the family of mankind.
To connect emotionally with your partner is an essential part of the process of falling-in-love, and one that often happens naturally as you spend time with your partner discovering them and how they perceive the world around them.
As you share your views, you weave this emotional connection in relationship, which is one of the guy-wires that keeps your love relationship grounded and keeps it from flying away even in times of disagreement and other less-than-happy moments that happen to all marriages.
But what if you are having trouble connecting emotionally with your spouse or partner?
You know you are in love, and you want to make sure this love stays strong. You know that an emotional connection in marriage and relationships is just as important as a physical one.
So, how to connect with your partner or more specifically how to connect emotionally with your spouse?
What are some of the ways you can make sure you are doing everything you can to plant, nourish and tend to your emotional connection with your spouse so that it blooms and takes root in order to help you through the rough patches that may occur during your life together?
To help you understand how to connect with your spouse emotionally or how to connect with your partner emotionally, here are some ways to emotionally connect with your husband or wife.
Bond in the healthiest way possible
Connecting emotionally with your partner starts with a bond, and that bond needs to be constructed in a healthy way. Here are some of the components that make up healthy emotional connections:
1. Practice empathy
Wondering, how to connect with your partner emotionally? Start by learning and practicing empathy.
Empathy is the act of placing yourself in the other’s shoes, of seeing things from their perspective.
When you are empathic with your spouse, you emotionally contact with them because they sense that you know them so well, you can use their “eyes and heart” to look at things their way.
Emotionally connected couples practice empathy not only with their spouses but with all of the people whose paths they cross each day: parents, children, friends, colleagues, the barista at Starbucks…everyone!
2. Listen actively
Active listening connects you emotionally to your partner as it shows them you are fully engaged in the conversation. Active listening validates the other person’s feelings.
To listen actively, allow your partner to talk. Then repeat what you have heard, using your own words. A conversation about household chores might look something like this:
She: “I’m really tired of being the only one who seems to be concerned with keeping the kitchen clean.”
He: “It sounds like you aren’t getting the help you need to get the kitchen.”
She: “That’s right. I just can’t do it all myself.”
He “Tell me how I can help you. How would you like us to divide the kitchen cleaning work up?”
Non-active listening would be using short word responses such as oh, ok, whatever, cool, uh-huh.
These are merely filler words and do not indicate that you are really taking part in the conversation in a mindful way. (You may be used to hearing these brief responses when you talk with a teenager!)
3. Build consensus together
Even if one of you is the breadwinner in the family, deciding how to spend that money should be a joint decision.
Whether you are making a decision to uproot the family for a better job offer or upgrade your home, to connect emotionally with your partner listen to each other’s opinions on these large scale decisions even if only one person in the marriage will be bankrolling them.
There are some ways of relating to others that stand in the way to connect with your partner, but all of these can be surmounted with some dedicated effort, provided perhaps by an outside person such as a therapist. These include:
One of the people in the relationship may feel uncomfortable using techniques like “active listening” and “practicing empathy.”
One of the people in the relationship may not like examining heavy emotions at close range
One of the people in the relationship may think that devoting time to building emotional connections takes too much energy
Someone’s personality type is “get in and get the job done” and resents that connecting emotionally isn’t quick and easy
Certain roles have taken shape in the couple, due to one person being the “emotional” one, and one being the “stoic, non-feeling” one. Changing roles is hard work and requires an overhaul of the couple’s dynamics.
In these cases, it is vital that the couple work together to overcome these obstacles. If they don’t, the relationship can work, but without the depth and satisfaction that an emotional connect provides.
A relationship lacking in emotional connection is more like a partnership, and that is not what most people seek when they fall in love.
Once you acquire the skills to connect emotionally with your partner, you will find that your ability to connect with others around you becomes easy, natural, and extremely satisfying.
One positive takeaway is the sense of belonging that you will feel; that sensation of inclusion that buoys you and reminds you that you are not alone as you move through the world.
And this is the real purpose of marriage: to join two people together on both the physical and emotional level so that they can provide each other with a sense of belonging and feeling “home.”
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.