Good morning Moms, Dads, Girlfriends and Lumber Jacks (that’s for all my hairy-faced friends.) Have you ever felt closed off from someone you love? Have you felt lonely in your marriage? I think one of the hardest places to be in life, is living in a house with someone you don’t feel close to. Don’t you agree?
Marriage can sometimes feel more like two roommates coming and going than two people in love. Or maybe marriage feels like co-parenting, where raising the kids is the only thing really keeping you together.
Why do I feel locked out?
Where did the closeness go?
What about the friendship and romance and cute little gifts and loving words?
It seems like all that’s left are the responsibilities.
You and your partner more than likely respect and value each other a great deal. You have been through a lot together, and don’t want to give up on the good that you have. But the feelings of loneliness, depression and boredom are hard to fight off. You’re afraid that any topic of significance might land you in a fight. Or that you’ll strike up a conversation, and you’ll get a one-word response. Or that a date night meant to bring you together will end up making you feel even further apart.
You are what I call… Losers. Don’t get offended just yet! Let me explain. Being a loser has nothing to do with how much time you sit on the couch, or how many bags of potato chips you consume or how many hours of Netflix you can binge in one setting.
NO! Being a Loser just means that you are losing out on truly KNOWING one another. You are losing out on the INNER life of the other person because busy-ness, child-raising, job stressors, and pressures get in the way. You lose out on sharing deep, meaningful experiences together because life’s demands keep you distant and headed in separate directions. Relationship Losers lose out on each other.
Relationship Losers feel like an invisible wall separates them from their partner and neither can see into one another’s heart. They are afraid to be vulnerable with each other. They are afraid to tell the other what they really feel or really want. They are afraid that if they really share their deepest selves, they will feel weak or be rejected.
If these things describe how you feel currently in your marriage, don’t worry. You’re not alone, and you don’t have to feel this way forever.
Many marriage go through times like this. It doesn’t mean that there are major issues, or that the marriage is broken, or that the coldness can’t be warmed up.
It DOES mean that the marriage needs some time and attention. Couples who find themselves Losing Out on each other are in the PRIME POSITION for their next INTIMACY BREAKTHROUGH. These couples long to not only get back the closeness they used to have, but they want something even deeper. They just don’t know how to get it.
Next week, I’m going to talk about three simple ways to rekindle some intimacy through:
1. Having “THE” Conversation
2. Breaking Down Walls, and
3. Getting back some US time.
For now, spend some time looking inward about the fears you may have about getting closer. Usually people fear one of two things in relationships: 1) Being Abandoned, or 2) Being Controlled. Explore the fears you have regarding getting closer to your partner. Maybe you wonder if he’s capable of loving you the way you need. Maybe you’re afraid of disappointing your partner. Maybe you’re afraid of exposing your vulnerabilities because of potential judgment. Whatever your fears may be, they are difficult to admit, but common to all of us.
Next week, we will look at practical steps to help turn your Loser relationship into a Lover relationship.