Connection, says Hovey, “is something we should foster every day, by taking a few moments to be fully present for our partner, create small moments of warmth and joy and develop a sense of a shared journey.”
Plan a weekend away
Today there are many activities a couple can enjoy during a weekend getaway. “You can do a couples retreat weekend at a spa or sign up for a couple’s yoga or meditation class or even do a couple’s therapy workshop. There are all kinds of weekend workshops specifically for couples that help people reconnect with each other when they feel they are drifting apart. The idea is to choose something you both enjoy,” says Dr. Hovey.
Go off the grid and spend time alone together
Dr. Hovey says that “Simple exercises like writing down a few things you like or appreciate about each other and sharing your answers can help a lot. Conversely, you can write down a few things that you have built up resentments about and share your answers. Have a discussion with each other that you both agree is about greater understanding, not judgment or criticism.”
Create moments together
Having a routine to connect, like having coffee together in the morning before the kids are up, is important. Creating this habit where partners focus on checking in with each other will have the effect of both people feeling heard and understood.
Humor is a great way to connect
Laughing is a proven way to release tension and research shows that couples who have a long-term happy marriage think a good sense of humor is important. Dr. Hovey says that “You don’t need to focus on having fresh jokes and make your partner laugh, going to a comedy club or enjoying a funny YouTube video together has the same effect.”
Try something new
A study performed by the Stony Brook University found that couples who spent time jointly doing new and exciting activities were more satisfied with their relationships. Having a couple’s bucket list is a great idea for those who want to balance their children and married life with some fun activities while strengthening the bond with each other.
Dr. Hovey thinks that “Whether you take dance lessons, join a book club or volunteer for a charity, trying a new activity as a couple will help create memories and strengthen that bond. The key is to find common ground and look for hobbies you would enjoy together.”
“Relationships take a lot of work and both partners should be deliberately chasing the spark moments, by constantly looking for opportunities to spend quality time together. And luckily there are many options to choose from, depending upon your location, budget, and preferences,” concludes Dr. Hovey.
Dr. David Hovey is a life coach, inspirational speaker, and psychotherapist based in West Hartford, Connecticut. He helps his clients find their path during challenging transition times and thrive. His philosophy of therapy is deeply grounded in the belief that all people possess a unique inner wisdom that can lead them to healing. You can find more at https://greaterhartfordcounselingcenter.com or book a consultation with Dr. Hovey at (860) 571-4646