Some of the most effective actions you can take for improving your marriage are rather simple, and if you commit to doing them on a regular basis, you will transform the mundane aspects of your relationship into opportunities to connect.There are four critical moments of transition in the day that can be utilized to build a strong and lasting relationship: when you wake up, when you leave the house for work, when you return home from work, and when you go to bed. While this does not exempt you from connecting throughout the day, by fixing these four set connection times, it’s as if we’re connecting the whole day.These transition times are crucial. When you wake up in the morning, you set the tone for the rest of the day. By beginning with emotional connection first thing in the morning, you start your day off on the right foot and set yourself up for more positive experiences with your spouse.
Leaving for work is a time when you will be separating from each other for the day. Connecting at that busy moment allows you to take your spouse with you, so to speak. Even if you are separated by distance, you will carry his or her support and love with you throughout the day.
When you return home from work is an opportunity to transition from a busy day and refocus on what’s most important, your family. Connecting with your spouse at that moment provides a refuge from the stress of the day.
Finally, when you go to sleep at night, you conclude the day on a positive note, setting up the following day for even more connection.
Finding these regular times to connect strengthens a relationship. It builds trust and helps you feel that you can rely on your spouse. What exactly do you do in these four critical moments? Share an affirmation or an appreciation. Look into each other’s eyes for 15 seconds. Give each other a hug. Talk to each other.
Discuss what would make you both feel connected. You may need different things, and that’s okay. Alternate or do both. It need not be time-consuming. Even 30 seconds of connection will do wonders for your relationship. It’s amazing how couples can live their lives without finding meaningful connection. When was the last time you looked into your partner’s eyes? Try it and see how it can melt away all of the distractions and take you back to a deep soul connection that you may not have felt for years. We are so distracted in our society with all of our gadgets. We are so busy checking our iPhones, looking at Facebook or an email. When do we have time for each other?
Clear out all of the distractions and make the time to connect with your spouse. You’ll be amazed at how the most simple rituals will create the biggest changes in your marriage.
Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin, MS, LCPC is a certified Imago Relationship Therapist and a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, working with couples in-person and via SKYPE. To schedule counseling sessions, please call 443-570-7598 or visit www.themarriagerestorationproject.com.