It can happen to anyone. One minute your relationship is coasting along just nicely; you feel connected on all levels, you feel like your partner is the best in the whole world, the sex is awesome and life couldn't be better. Next thing you know the wheels have completely fallen off; you are constantly arguing, nothing your partner does is right, you don't know why you got married in the first place and you are wondering what the hell happened.
It doesn't matter if you have been together for 5 months, 5 years or fifty years (ok after fifty years I'm pretty sure you will have this stuff sussed)
How do we go from being all loved up one minute to barely being able to stand being in the same room the next?
It is quite simple really.
We take each other for granted. We stop noticing all the little things that our partner does for us each day. Instead we focus on all the annoying little habits; they left the toilet seat up ... again, they squeezed the toothpaste in the middle instead of from the bottom, they left their wet towel on the floor or they didn't take the garbage out.
My pet peeve with my husband is he hangs his wet towel over the shower instead of on the towel rail. And do you know what I do about it? Nothing.
Why because in the words of Wayne Dyer "You can be right or you can be happy."
Most of us choose to be right, which doesn't make for a happy home life.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying to give your partner a free pass all the time. I am saying let's focus more on the good things and let some of the small stuff go.
It is a slippery slope when we focus on all the petty irritations in life; the more we look for them the more we will find.
Conversely the more we focus on the good things the more we see of those too; he texts us when he's going to be late, she cooks our favorite meal and has it waiting for us, he helps you pick in the laundry when its raining, he stacks the dishwasher after dinner, he kisses us and tell us how beautiful we are when he gets home from work.
Small gestures = big rewards
It is the little things that happen every day that lead us towards a deeper intimacy .... or away from it. There is a lovely story about the day a husband forgot to kiss his wife before he left for the day
( Please note I realize not all husbands go out to work and not all wives stay home. As a woman who works from home this is my reality. If it isn't yours just substitute whatever works for you).
Meanwhile back at the story: Hubby leaves the house without kissing his wife, she gets grumpy and snaps at her child , child gets grumpy and snatches a toy from the toddler, toddler gets grumpy and pulls the cats tail. All for the sake of one ten second smooch.
It is so ingrained in my husband that he kiss me when he leaves and when he gets homes that on the
(odd) time when he forgets he will ring me as soon as he gets to work because he felt something was off shortly after getting in the car. He even makes a point of kissing me if I am still asleep.
Intimacy is waaaaaayyyyy more than just sex
In fact intimacy starts well before you even get to the bedroom. Intimacy is all those little gestures I was talking about; the kiss before you leave for the day and when you reunite, random hugs, affectionate strokes as you pass by, texts during the day or , better yet, actual phone calls just to say "hi". All these small gestures let he other person know that you are thinking of them and so the intimacy grows.
Intimacy is sharing all your doubts and fears and feeling that you will be heard and not judged. Creating a safe space for each other to be open and vulnerable will not only grow and develop your intimacy but will also forge a strong bond between the two of, an "us against the world" united front of security and bonding.
Intimacy is something that you have to work at, it is a muscle that requires constant use or it will become flabby and out of shape. Not a great shape for any muscle to be in.
"I don't have time"
Really? You don't have time for a peck on the cheek? Or the time to send a text saying "I love you and miss you xx". What about the time to snuggle with your partner as you watch a favorite show together ( or, if you are determined to build more intimacy, to snuggle while watching a program he loves -even if its not a fave of yours)?
None of these things take much effort but the increase in bonding will be, as they say in the Mastercard ad, PRICELESS.