Are there moments you feel a slight distance between you and your spouse? Do you worry that distance means your partner no longer loves you? My husband and I felt this way early in our marriage, and it took a while before we decided to openly discuss how we felt. We understood the distance had nothing to do with how much we loved each other and a lot to do with a lack of time together. We hadn’t noticed how the extracurricular activities and overtime at work had consumed most of our personal time, greatly reducing our time together.
When there is distance between spouses, lack of love is not always the case. Oftentimes, distance has to do with intense work schedules, overabundance of children’s activities or just a simple need to “reboot.” Married couples become overwhelmed with their everyday routines, and they forget to enjoy each other’s company.
Here are five tips to get closer to your spouse:
1. Be available
When you see your spouse down or unhappy, do not wait for him or her to tell you what happened. If your spouse is the type to feel out of place explaining problems or does not want to worry you, he or she will not volunteer any information. Ask what is wrong and what you can do to help.
2. Be affectionate
If your household is in a constant rush, you and your spouse may forget to kiss before leaving for work or before heading to bed. You may forget to hold hands while running errands together. You may forget to tell your spouse how handsome/beautiful he or she looks that day. Sometimes, you do not have to say a word. A simple touch of the shoulder or a hug out of the blue can say it all.
3. Be spontaneous
Step out of your comfort zone and out of the everyday routine. Instead of waking up to the same to-do list, break the habit by creating a new agenda right now. Forget doing the chores for a day and take your spouse out for lunch at your favorite spot or go to the movies. Find an activity you and your spouse can enjoy together.
4. Be a good listener
It’s imperative that you and your spouse listen to each other. For example, a husband might have reservations revealing his feelings if he senses his wife is not interested. A wife may withhold her feelings because she assumes her husband may not understand her the way her girlfriends do. Try putting these feelings aside and listen without judgment. Besides being husband and wife, you are also best friends.
5. Be encouraging
When you marry, you become each other’s cheerleaders. Perhaps your spouse received a promotion, started a new career or decided to go back to college. Make sure your spouse knows you are on the sidelines, rooting every step of the way.
Try not to let busy schedules put a gap between you and your spouse. It’s wonderful to know you do love each other, but you both deserve to enjoy that love – together.