Christian Living


Marriage 911 04/05/16

Five Ways to Create Connection to Your Mate

Couple smiling

Have you ever wished you could create a closer connection to your mate? Do you find yourself wanting to be closer without knowing how to make the connection?

Most couples want, more than anything, to have a closer connection to their mate. They want and crave intimacy ("into me see"). They want to be known and to know their mate. They hate the distance that occurs with conflict in all of its forms.

My wife, Christie, and I practice making contact with each other often throughout the day. We like to touch each other when passing by. We appreciate simple acknowledgments of the others presence. A simple smile is enough to brighten our day. I sometimes take these points of contact for granted when I hear the stories of couples caught in an endless cycle of distance.

Carrie and Dan were one such couple.

"We hardly talk to each other when we're driving anywhere," Dan stated stoically. "We don't have much new to say to each other, so it's pretty quiet."

"I usually read when we're alone with each other," his wife Carrie said. "There is so much distance between us. I don't like it," she continued, "but that's the way it is."

"It doesn't have to be that way," I said. "Are you both trying to create points of contact? Do you know what I mean?"

Both shook their heads. I asked how often they did one or more of the following:

  • Smiles
  • Soft touches as we pass each other
  • Words of affirmation
  • Words of thanks
  • Apologies
  • Knowing affectionate glances
  • Short 'I love you' texts
  • Quick phone calls to tell our mate we're thinking of them

Carrie and Dan readily admitted they were doing very little to keep the fires of love burning in their marriage. In fact, they were allowing distance to grow between them. They agreed they needed to take responsibility for their marital connection.

Why are these points of contact so important? Because, relationships are like plants that need constant tending. It doesn't always take a lot of tending—many times it simply needs small moments of contact. Those knowing glances that say, "I care about you." Those smiles that shout, "You are important to me!"

A relationship cannot continue without these nourishing points of contact. Scripture tells us, "Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth" (1 John 3:18). Notice the emphasis on actions.

Here are five action steps you can take on a daily basis to increase the connection between you and your mate:

1. Go out of your way to do something nice for your mate every day.

The operative word here is to 'go out of your way.' Your mate will know if you have put effort into your actions. They will know if you have thought about them. Make sure you have considered what they would consider as 'nice', and then do it.

2. Buy your mate something small, but meaningful, every week.

A meaningful gift need not be expensive. Something simple, but meaningful, will speak volumes and make their day. Spending time looking for that small, but significant gift, sends a strong message of 'I love you.' As you get into the habit of doing this it will become easier.

3. Arrange for a meaningful date at least once a month.

Once a week invite your mate out on a date. Perhaps you will take turns doing this, but again, this need not be extravagant. Often the simpler, the better. This is special time for the two of you to be together and catch up on life and what is happening with each of you.

4. Write a love letter, letting your mate know what you appreciate about them.

While these steps involve action, this action step also involves words. A note or card with words of affection can add a strong dose of zest to a marriage. There is an added benefit to the writer of the note—affection grows as we reflect on our positive feelings for our mate.

5. Engage in non-sexual touch.

While sexual touch is nice, non-sexual touch can be very gratifying as well. Non-sexual touch sends a strong message to your mate, that they are appreciated for who they are.

Fortunately, we all have the power to strengthen our connection to our mate. One small step built upon another and soon we have reignited the sparks in our marriage.

If you have further thoughts on this topic, we'd love to hear from you. Comment below or send a confidential note to me. Read more about The Marriage Recovery Center on www.marriagerecoverycenter.com, where I offer more ideas on how to save a marriage in trouble.

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