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What to Do When You Feel Disconnected from Your Partner

The past few weeks (or, well, in some ways months honestly!) have been a bit hectic and stressful for me.  As a result, I have felt the need to really focus on all the things I need to get done — making to phone calls, sending e-mails, making arrangements, scheduling, responding to phone calls, planning, responding to e-mails, and so on.

Because of all of the various stress that I had been under I found myself very focused on what I all the things I had to do.  And, unfortunately as a result, I found my relationship getting a bit distant in some ways.

Now I don’t mean distant in the way of not ever seeing one another — that was certainly not the problem — but I kept finding us being a bit more emotionally distant.  It was as if my focus or his situation or something was causing us to be a bit disconnected from one another.

Frankly, I didn’t feel fulfilled… and I’m sure neither did he.  Something was off and I couldn’t quite figure it out.  All the thoughts of fearful doubt came in:

“Were we just incompatible?”

“Is it going to end already?”

“Do I need to get out of this now?”

It sounded a bit ridiculous considering all the progress that we had made, but with this feeling lingering for several weeks I found myself really wondering.

That is, until I found myself being drawn to “tweak” a few things — some things that I had thought of upon reflection and some that he had indirectly guided me to.  These tweaks were pretty subtle, but it has made quite a bit of difference.

So here are things to do when you’re feeling disconnected in your relationship:

#1 Go along with what they want to do — even if it isn’t quite your cup of tea.

Is there something that you’re partner wants to do with you but you’ve been making every excuse not to do it?  Do they have a favorite hobby that they want to share with you but your not very excited about it?

Whatever it is — do it with them!  Even if you might hate it.  Even if you find yourself bored or even a bit miserable.  And you know why it’s good to do it with them?  Because if they truly want you to do it, they will appreciate and value the fact that you went out of your way to do it with them.  They will be happy because you decided to really value the relationship more than yourself.

Now, of course, I don’t mean that you need to do it all the time.  But if your partner truly respects you then they will simply appreciate your effort for stepping outside of your box for them.

#2 Reflect back to them their positive traits that you enjoy.

To say “thank you” when they buy you dinner or give you a gift is one thing, but to let them know that they are truly being seen takes it to a whole new level.

So, for instance, is your partner very helpful around the house?  Is your partner a great listener?  Is your partner very affectionate?  If so, then tell them!  Casually say “Wow, you are so affectionate — it’s great!”  In doing so they will feel more seen, loved and appreciated in the relationship.

#3 Let yourself ask those more intimate questions.

Is there something you’ve wanted to ask your partner but you held back because of fear?  Maybe it is how they felt about some past event or what their motivation was behind an action they made.

Whatever it is, ask with openness and curiosity to really know and discover more about them.  If any questions to ask come up with the underlying motivation to release some kind of underlying anxiety or with some need to control, then let it go.  Rather, ask through that inner soul desire to truly learn more about your partner.

#4 Ask yourself (and him): What can we do that would make us feel more love?

Note here that I did not say “What can he do…”  The reason for this is because we don’t want to find ourselves caught up in this place of all these things that we wish our partner was doing to make us happier and more loved.  It isn’t healthy and, frankly, it’s just flat out codependent.

So the key here is to take personal responsibility for your own happiness but, since it is a relationship, to have the intention of really making changes together as one unit.  So what kinds of things could you both change in order to feel more love your relationship?  What new activity might you do together?  How might you start acting differently?  What new things might be talked about?  Will you cook for each other?  Will you be more affectionate?

#5 Spent time giving them you’re undivided attention.

This kind of sounds like a no-brainer but I feel like we all need this reminder every so often.  Whenever we get really stressed out about several things we can find ourselves so wrapped up in all the things we have to do that we forget to simply just stop and take the time to really enjoy being with our partner.

So before checking e-mails or answering phone calls, take the time to simply just be with your partner.  Enjoy early morning hugs and kisses without thinking about all the stuff you have to do.  Focus completely on the present moment of just being with them and that is all.

Yes, it sounds simple but sometimes taking the time to just really be with our partner each day is actually all we really need to turn our relationship around.

Ultimately, remember this: When we are feeling disconnected from our partner it isn’t necessarily a sign to leave but to go deeper.  It’s a sign to make subtle changes in order to open your heart and create more intimacy.  Sure, it may not always work out for both parties and parting ways may become the best option, but it should be the last resort.


Click to Tweet: When we are feeling disconnected from our partner, it isn’t necessarily a sign to leave, but a sign to go deeper. @jenilyn8705

Take action now!

If you’re in a relationship, what could you start doing from the list above today to enhance your relationship?  If you’re not in a relationship, what is something that you didn’t do in the past that you could start doing in your next relationship?  Share it in the comments below!

18 thoughts on “What to Do When You Feel Disconnected from Your Partner

  1. Jennifer, great article to remind me not to take my husband for granted. I will work on #5 tomorrow. Undivided attention is so simple but I don’t do it enough these days. Thanks !

    1. Oh yes — undivided attention is such a simple thing to do, but it is SO easy for us to forget about it when we are caught up in all the stuff we have to do. Glad you enjoyed the article! 🙂

  2. i have been married many years and have a wonderful husband. but we have definitely been through periods of what you describe, jennifer. your tips are spot-on for bringing the focus back to what’s important. i personally think #2 (reflecting back positive traits) is so meaningful, and we should always concentrate on doing this (even during the smooth-sailing parts of the relationship). thank you!

  3. Great suggestions here Jennifer! I find that cell phones steal the love. We have both adopted a bad habit of looking at phones before bed and first thing in the morning. It’s not great, and I think spending focused time with each other is key. Otherwise, there’s no communication! Thanks.

  4. Such lovely suggestions here — and I so appreciate the opportunity to reflect on what I can do to lessen the gap that does happen when work (and kids) take over. Thank you!

  5. I can SO relate to this! And this is such great advice. I recently spent 2 hours “watching” football with my husband even though it wasn’t my cup of tea. I think it was important to him that we spend time together doing what he enjoys. Next step is to reflect back the traits I love about him. Great advice!

  6. Loved the insight in this post. Sometimes the disconnect is simply a sign to go deeper. Your recommendations are simple but very powerful. I’ll refer to this post when I’m feeling disconnected from my beloved 🙂 thanks for the great work!

  7. I *always* do #1 (doing what she wants to do) to the point that I hold off from doing what I want to do. And I always do #5 (give undevided attention). I do this in *all* of my relationships. It’s automatic; these are important to me. And sometimes I don’t get these two things in return and it causes me to become disconnected from her, because I feel she doesn’t desire/want me as much as I desire/want her. And I usually just drift away until we break up. And I move onto someone esle. I think I give too much of myself and I desire much more attention than she desires to give or have with me. This makes me feel less desired and unwanted. This is a HUGE turn-off for me. And I began to lower my expectations and I don’t desire her like I used to. My excitement gets gone fast. And my desire for her goes from 100 to 0, like absolutely nothing. And when I feel like this, regardless of how hard she tries to get me to desire her, nothing really turns me back on. It is SO hard for her to get me to desire her again. And it’s not due to me feeling angry about anything. I just get absolutely turned off. Thanks for the article. I find all of these things to be great to do in a relationship. They are all very much needed.

    1. Thanks for sharing Timothy and glad you enjoyed the article. It sounds like you got some exploration to do about your own patterns to see why you have this trend in relationships and discover what it is that you need to change. That may be recognizing why you’re attracted to a certain kind of person or recognizing your own behavior in the relationships and how it creates that kind of dynamic.

  8. Wow! I’m shocked! This is word for word an article by Huffington Post. I don’t think they would be happy about this…will send to them.

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