You’ve always been one of those people who understand the importance of establishing your unique character and relishing in it. You took the time to develop who you are and have defined the things that you enjoy and are meaningful to you. You truly like who you’ve become. Of course, your partner loved who you were, which is why you found each other. You looked forward to each other’s company and adored one another. How is it now, you may ask, that you feel so far apart? Why does it feel like your partner doesn’t feel the same about the person you’ve worked so hard to become? With these thoughts, you are set to revive your relationship.
Reconnecting with yourself
Relationships have so many important things to attend to. Giving attention to your spouse and family, meeting household needs, and completing your work responsibilities can prevent you from being in touch with yourself and the passion of your early relationship.
Believe it or not, making more time for yourself may be the key to rejuvenating your earlier excitement.
You owe it to yourself and your loved one to reawaken that part of you that makes you feel uplifted. So let us break down how to reconnect with yourselves, and resurrect what you both enjoy most about one another! You would not realize it, but you are well on your way to revive your relationship.
A story you can relate to…
Jamie* delighted in Mark*’s bold entrance into the dinner party. Mark filled the room in a most lively way and captivated everyone he spoke with. Jamie caught Mark’s eye also. There was a quiet air of confidence about her. He liked that Jamie seemed to know who she was and was able to command respect from others.
Jamie and Mark fell in love and later got married, but eventually often found themselves in conflict with one another. Jamie often accused Mark of wanting to dominate her. She complained of his unrelenting minimization of her suggestions for financial management. Mark found himself increasingly annoyed with Jamie for ignoring his input and implementing her own way with the finances. Both Jamie and Mark sensed that they were becoming more distant and found themselves hesitant to be the confident people they were, which led to other identity issues and relationship problems. Who are we to our partners if not our truest self?
Why does this happen, and how can revive your relationship?
People can lose touch with themselves when they forget what is most important to them. Not feeling in touch with your own identity can take other forms as well. Perhaps you no longer connect with your original sense of creativity. Or maybe you’ve lost the spirituality that kept you grounded and able to inspire others.
But keep this in mind- you cannot maximize your marriage if you do not make space for self-appreciation through developing and maintaining who you are.
Take time to remember what you enjoy about yourself and how it made you and your partner feel. It also helps to understand any current relationship insecurities. Understanding and accepting the reasons behind your insecurities may help you learn more about yourself and your partner. Integrating what you enjoy about yourself with the needs of your relationship can create deeper joy and connection for both you and your partner.
Think of some specific activities that have made you come alive. If you are still interested in them, indulge in them again. The same goes for new activities that energize your soul – make time for them. If you and your partner enjoyed them together, make time to enjoy them together again. It may be what you need to reawaken your passion for one another.
Remember Jamie and Mark?
The things they loved about one another later felt conflictual to them. It’s important to strike a balance between the things you enjoy doing and the things your partner needs from you. Enjoy who you are, while being able to use various other parts of yourself to respond to the needs of your relationship.
Perhaps it would have been helpful to Jamie and Mark if they had set time aside to engage in activities that made them feel in touch with their strong selves as well as time to be vulnerable with one another, lending other parts of themselves to respond to each other’s needs.
You may feel that you do not fully know yourself yet– who does? Take time to discover, enjoy, and value new experiences that speak to who you are apart as well as together. Continued discoveries about life, yourself, and your partner is a vital part of building a relationship of integrity and respect. When each of you upholds your own integrity, the needs of the relationship can be addressed on what is real. When you are honest with yourselves, it becomes easier to focus on what’s right between you.
Revive your relationship – how do we get there?
Therapy is a great way to get in touch with our inner joys and needs. Therapy can be a place of discovery, a place to slow things down a bit; enough to take an honest and safe look at your strengths that can be maximized to help a meaningful relationship flourish. Therapy can also be a place to speed things up toward progress in a way that might not have if there were no therapy. Therapy can be a good way to unlock the barriers to rediscovering yourself and what your relationship can be. We are here if you two decide to have a shot at how to revive your relationship!
*These are fictional characters and not based on a real example.
Jacqueline McIntosh, LCSW