When temperatures drop and the weather gets icy and cold, it can be a great excuse to cuddle up with your love in front of a fire or in bed. How delicious to make love with your partner or just spoon under a big cozy blanket!
How horrible when you and your partner are locked in conflict or frozen by hard feelings and resentments. When it's cold INSIDE your relationship, there is no fun, no passion and it can feel like there's no love either.
You might be trying everything you can to break through how closed off your partner seems to you to be. Maybe you've attempted to please him or her at all costs. Perhaps you've abandoned what is important to you in a last ditch effort to get back to being a couple in love.
Whatever you try just doesn't seem to make a difference. The cold and disconnection are still there.
It could be that, instead, you've hardened yourself and become just as icy as your partner. Now, the two of you are barely tolerating each other. If you are polite to one another, it's as if you are business partners, not lovers.
There's no doubt that sustained distance in your relationship can be fatal!
While you can't force your partner to change and stop being icy to you, there are many things you can do to bring improvements.
Here are three tips when it's freezing cold inside your relationship....
#1: Keep your stories in check.
We know, it can be triggering when you notice that your partner seems to be acting odd or “off.” About the time that you recognize that your love has been less talkative or not as affectionate with you as usual, that's when the stories usually ramp up.
It's worrisome when your partner appears to be pulling away from you. It's natural that your mind might kick into high gear trying to figure out what's wrong and how to fix it.
Be very careful when your stories about your partner and why you think he or she is being cold with you start. It's probable that what your best guess is about what your partner is feeling or what he or she really wants from you is wrong...sometimes it's completely opposite of what's true.
Yes, pay attention to the connection (or interruption to connection) between you and your partner. When it feels like there is a wedge between the two of you, recognize that.
But, keep your stories in check. Don't react to your partner based on the stories you may be telling yourself that are not based in reliable fact.
#2: Honestly ask yourself, “Is it me?”
We're not suggesting that you merely dismiss your stories. There might be valuable information in what you are thinking. Your challenge is to question your story and differentiate between what you do have reliable information to support and what you do not.
Here's one question you might ask yourself: “Is it me?” No, we don't mean that you should ask yourself if you're to blame or responsible for your partner closing down to you. It's likely that you play a role, but you aren't responsible for anyone else's feelings or mood.
However, your own funk, grumpiness, insecurity, sensitivity or something else going on with you might be playing a part in the chill that you feel in your relationship.
The knee-jerk reaction when your partner gets cold tends to be something like this... “He's mad at me” or “She's not as in love with me as she used to be.” Reactions like these may simply be untrue. When you act as if they are true, things will probably only get worse.
It's likely that your own mood and behavior are part of the chill you feel. Again, this is not to say that it's your “fault,” but to encourage you to explore your role and how you've been toward your partner.
As objectively as you can, acknowledge it if you've somehow pulled away from your partner in some way. Conversely, admit it to yourself if you've been especially needy or critical with him or her lately.
Noticing your own role in this current relationship challenge can help you shift your perspective and maybe make some changes that can improve your mood.
#3: Invite conscious and wise communication.
At some point, it's probably beneficial for you and your partner to talk about the distance that is now between you two. This can be tricky if your partner seems cold and unapproachable.
Choose wisely when you go to your partner and ask him or her to talk with you about this. Make sure that you are as calm and as open to honest communication as you can be. Pick a time when you both can be focused. Leave out accusations, blame or assumptions about how your partner feels or what he or she wants.
Put yourself in both a listening mode and also in a mode of sharing what's true for you.
In order to “thaw” the chill that's come between you two, try conversation openers like these...
* “Because our relationship is so important to me, I would like us to talk about the disconnection I feel from you right now.”
* “Please help me to understand why you don't seem to be as talkative or affectionate with me lately.”
Be conscious about your own defensive reactions that might come up. Be willing to stay in tune with your own emotions and keep reminding yourself of the ultimate goal-- to re-connect with the one you love.
For more advice from relationship coaches and authors Susie and Otto Collins, click here and sign up to receive their free Communication Secrets mini-course.