Sharing your life with someone is a phenomenon that can be as complicated as it is beautiful. Each day we are faced with endless choices and decisions—opportunities that can either bring us either closer to our partners or further from them.
With so much going on, how can any of us be confident that we won’t wake up one morning and realize we’re on a totally different page than our significant other? Moreover, what if we already are?
Unfortunately for some, “falling out of love” is an all too common complaint. Fortunately, there are a few simple strategies to prevent this from happening to you, or to get you back on track if you feel yourself drifting away from the person you love.
1. Practice gratitude
There are a whole slew of reasons that people slip into a pattern of criticism and daydreaming about all of the things they wish were different.
For some it might happen when external factors (a heavy workload, health issues, financial issues, drama with other family and friends, etc.) interfere with your mindset and cause negative emotions such as stress and anxiety to creep up into your life.
It’s natural to want to place blame, and sometimes without even realizing what we’re doing our spouses get caught in the crossfire.
Instead of focusing your attention on your partner’s refusal to help with household chores, their unhealthy diet, their lack of support for you during a time of need, or whatever it is that your mind tends to gravitate toward, make a conscious effort to notice the things you appreciate.
There is probably something your partner is doing—even something as small as locking the front door before bed, or handing you the TV remote after you’ve put your feet up—that you can choose to shift your focus toward.
2. Take responsibility
We’ve all heard the cliché “nobody’s perfect.” It’s often used to deflect when we’ve made a mistake, but the reality is that it’s true! Nobody is perfect. That is exactly why it’s important to not only acknowledge when we’ve made a mistake, but to take responsibility for it.
For example, maybe you have been making some passive aggressive comments about that dirty laundry that was left on the floor, or maybe you have been too preoccupied to notice that it’s been days since you’ve shown affection.
Instead of deflecting, take ownership over your mistakes.
By taking ownership for our actions, a few things can happen.
- We get an opportunity to give compassion to ourselves for being human. Therefore, it increases our ability to have compassion for others for also being human.
- We may inspire our partner’s to follow our lead and take responsibility for their own shortcomings.
- It is an opportunity for self-growth. The first step is admitting there is room for improvement!
Communication is where everything comes full circle. Once you can identify a few things your partner does that you appreciate, tell them! Positivity breeds more positivity.
There is a good chance that the more you start noticing things you have to be grateful for, the more brand new things to be grateful for will suddenly show up in your life. There is also a good chance that, if you tell your partner you noticed, they’ll do it again!
Furthermore, if you are feeling a disconnect from your partner, sharing that with them can be an intimidating task, but it can also be rewarding. Having regular conversations about your own thoughts, feelings, or behaviors—both the ones you are proud of and the ones you’re not so proud of—can help you stay in alignment with yourself and can help you bond with your partner
Marriage isn’t always easy. Over the months and years, most people get off track at one time or another. If that happens, it’s okay. Sometimes seeking professional counseling can help. Other times, smaller measures such as these three simple steps can help.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
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.