How to connect with my spouse | Couples Therapy | Dr Jamie Long, Psychologist

15 “Thirty Second” Ways to Connect with Your Spouse

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A happy and successful marriage requires a lot of time and effort. But what happens when there simply isn’t any time? In a crunch to show your love, here’s 15 quickie ways to connect with your spouse.

  1. Daily Touch: Don’t let the sun set on the day before you at least touch your spouse. Whether it be a kiss, holding hands, a hug, or a back scratch – humans need physical contact. It’s one of our most basic needs! No matter the type of touch, make it last for 30 seconds!
  2. Be Curious: Ditch the obligatory “how was your day?” and replace it with a unique and thought provoking question to open dialogue. Demonstrating genuine interest in your partner shows that you C.A.R.E. and enhances one of the joys of marriage — the sharing of lives.
  3. Seize a moment: In between meetings and during a hectic day may not be the best time to strike up an intimate conversation. Avoid being discouraged by curt or closed responses by catching a moment when you’re both feeling relaxed and peaceful. Capitalize on these moments to increase intimacy and connection.
  4. Express Gratitude: Sometimes it’s all too easy to make a laundry list of ways your spouse annoyed you today. Chances are, they have contributed in at least one way that made your day a little easier or more enjoyable. Let them know how you appreciated them today.
  5. Sleep naked: It takes more time to put on your flannels than it does to slip into your birthday suit. In a recent study, couples who slept naked reported more satisfaction with their sex life. It appears that removing the outer barrier (pajamas) is a quick secret to staying active under the covers.
  6. Relive a Memory: When two people feel disconnected, it’s important to remember what brought them together in the first place. Every now and again, share a memory from the courtship or an especially loving time. Relive a funny story, a touching moment, or look through some old photos.
  7. Create New Memories: Boredom and predictable routine can suck the life out of any relationship. Lack of intensity can sometimes be confused as lack of intimacy. It’s important to try new adventures both together and individually. Not all new memories need to be elaborate. For instance, just before going to bed, step outside to admire the stars together.
  8. Plan a date: The actual creation of a lasting new memory may take longer than 30 seconds, but sharing ideas about how to spend time together doesn’t have to. Enjoying time together must be a priority and it takes a little creative planning.
  9. Listen and check for understanding: You may know your spouse better than anyone, but making assumptions regarding what the other person intends to communicate is a potentially damaging mistake. Instead, try asking more questions or simply reflect back what you heard. For example: “Are you talking about…, Did you mean…, etc.”
  10. Share a laugh: When things get tense, remember the humor in it all. Humor can reduce tension and lighten the mood. Think about what makes you and your spouse laugh and share it. Likewise, don’t forget to laugh at his or her jokes. It’s polite.
  11. Expressions of loving-kindness: People in successful relationships treat others with love and kindness – kind thoughts, loving words, and kind actions. It only takes a moment to say “I love you” to your mate either verbally or through an action.
  12. Flirt: If you want to physically connect with your spouse, it’s more likely to happen with some effort. Wear something special that you would on your honeymoon or behave like you’re going on the first date. Your love will appreciate feeling wanted and special.
  13. Spontaneous fondness: Think of the smile on your spouse’s face when you stick a loving note onto the car’s dashboard or write a note on the bathroom mirror. What do you like about your partner? Expressions of fondness are critical factors in enhancing intimacy and friendship.
  14. Start a new ritual: Think of a ritualistic way to feel connected. For example, make Mondays massage day — exchange a quick shoulder/neck/foot massage. Saturday — Stare at the stars before bed. Get the idea? Creating a shared ritual can ensure you’ll enjoy private moments on the regular.
  15. Turn off the electronics: We live in a world of electronic overload: DVR, laptops, Pinterest, facebook, Twitter, plus a plethora of i-gadgets. Switch your whatchamacallit to the off position then do #11.

Can you commit to practicing at least one act each and every day? Try it and watch how your connection grows! Do you and your partner have a special connection technique? Share it in the comments below!

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