How to Emotionally Engage Your Partner
A relationship takes work.
Your romantic relationship is central to how you experience your life, and you spend copious amounts of time investing in your significant other. But, inevitably, every relationship will experience strain, and you may grow distant from your partner. Yet this is not how you want to live with your partner. Here is how to emotionally engage with your partner in difficult times.
Figure yourself out
Every two-person relationship is a two-way street—the other person does not shoulder the blame for emotional disconnection alone. You also likely have some internal emotions to sort out. Take time to figure yourself out and find what is driving you apart from your partner or spouse. One helpful tactic for discerning this information is journaling. When there is nothing between you and a piece of paper, you have the freedom and safety to write out your thoughts. The very act of seeing your emotions and thoughts written down will both validate and elucidate your state of mind. Use what you learn about yourself in your next conversation with your partner and be honest about what you're thinking and feeling.
Express your emotions honestly
It is one thing to live with your partner day in and day out. It is quite another to engage with them in a genuine way each day. Practice expressing your emotions honestly; the best solution to disconnection is re-engagement. Though your emotions are messy and confusing, take the time to process them with your partner. If you prefer to process things internally, you may want to spend time thinking through things on your own before you express yourself. No matter how you best communicate your emotions, the most important part is simply talking about them in an unfettered way.
Be willing to listen
Emotional distance often comes when one person feels that their partner does not listen to them. Consequently, they cease sharing their thoughts because they feel unheard. The result is emotional separation, which neither partner wants. Take the time to ask your partner honest questions and listen to them carefully. Show them you hear them by using active listening tactics and giving nonverbal feedback. Relationships work when both people feel fully known and heard, so be proactive about setting aside time to stop and listen.
Love them with action
Your partner may feel emotionally disengaged because they do not feel loved by you. Whether they acknowledge it or not, how you act toward your partner directly impacts the bond you share, especially when the relationship is unstable. For example, try out a few simple ways to express your love for your wife and take the time to actually do them. Show up for your partner and communicate your care for their well-being and life through acts of service and love.
Use these tips for how to emotionally engage your partner the next time you have quality time together. With the right circumstances and intentions, you can heal any relational wounds of disconnection. At the end of the day, do everything you can to ensure your partner knows how dearly you love them.