Just like a garden, a relationship needs regular care and attention. As therapists we often see relationships that have been neglected over time. Demands of life have gotten in the way. From work to children, energy has gone for everything but the relationship. Unfortunately when a relationship gets consistently put on the bottom of the "To Do" list, week after week, like weeds in an unattended garden, distance grows in the unattended relationship. Over time the gap widens and couples feel more like roommates rather than partners.
One of the key elements of a healthy relationship is a mutual agreement between you and your partner is that your relationship is important and valuable. Because it is valuable, it warrants time and energy. Make your relationship a priority. Start small. Look for easy ways to positively connect throughout the day, a note, a text, a quick call to say "I'm thinking of you". Avoid talking about tasks such as the children's schedules or bills to be paid. Just chat like you're calling a friend. Once a week pull out your schedules and block out time for one another. It can be a dinner out, a shared activity or hobby or simply conversation over a cup of coffee. Avoid using these times to focus on problems, instead use them to reconnect. Over time these regular positive connections can help partners to better know one another and lead to a deeper level of connection.