Emotional disconnection or disengagement in relationships happens when there is an lack of positive actions, attitudes and affection toward the partners. In other words, caring is not there. It’s this gradual feeling of growing apart. A loss of the sense of closeness between the couple. And one or both don’t feel loved and appreciated.
This sense of not feeling cared for by your spouse is usually a drift that happens when couples are unresponsive or emotionally unavailable to one another. They don’t seem, or act, like close friends and don’t make many moves toward their partner to “soothe” them when things are difficult.
So, how do I take practical actions toward caring for my spouse?
First, remember that:
Verbal communication is complex:
- Communicating effectively requires skill
- It is developed through practice
- And perfected through trial and error
- Misunderstanding is common and normal
- Be patient with your spouse, and with yourself
- Attitude is everything
The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone? Eccl 6:11
Next, focus on:
- The goal is to fully understand one another at the emotional level
- Healthy relationships work at building a foundation of trust where each person has room to be who they are and feel how they feel
- When we believe our feelings and opinions are understood and matter, we relax and become more open and cooperative
- ”Emotions are the voice of the heart”
- When the voice of the heart is valued, the heart and spirit will remain open
- Safety first! Choosing to care is the first step in creating safe communication
- Know the difference when you need Heart Talk (link to BLOG), and when you need Work Talk
- Communication is not complete until: The listener understands what the speaker is saying, and the speaker feels understood
Starting anywhere except attending to the emotions will derail you most of the time.
The Key to Caring for Your Mate:
- Offer or respond to their request for your involvement
- Don’t impose yourself to take responsibility to manage their needs
- Be understanding, encourage them and assist them
- Caring interaction is being safe so you can enter each other’s “space”
- Help them with, and honor their boundaries
- Make the decision to place your spouse in a position of high value, worth and importance (treasure);
- Adjust your perception; see them as God sees them (curiosity)
- Affirm your mate verbally: encourage (words of life), not critical (words of death);
- Affirm your mate with actions (Love Language)
4 wastes of time
In communicating when attempting the solving of differences:
- Who’s right and who’s wrong.
- Who’s at fault or to blame.
- What really happened?
- What’s the solution?
Caring for your spouse puts the brakes on the drift of emotional disconnection. It helps you create a relationship that both of you feel great about, and great about the direction it is heading. A mindset of care and one of intentionality of actions toward your spouse is necessary. Awareness of each other’s actions and attitudes gives you the opportunity to reinforce and appreciate your spouse for the effort they are putting into the relationship and toward you.