3 Ways To Reconnect With Your Partner When You've Become Emotionally Distant

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How To Fix A Relationship With Proper Communication & Getting In Touch With Your Emotions & Love Connection
Love

Emotions are a huge part of healthy relationships and figuring out how to fix a relationship with a broken love connection can feel hopeless. But, as long as you have proper and effective communication, you can change it for the better.

It can feel very lonely and upsetting when you slowly realize that either you or your partner is emotionally checking out of the relationship.

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You can make up all kinds of stories as to why it’s happening but the truth is that you probably don’t know for sure. You just know that the feeling of love and connection doesn’t seem to be as strong as it used to be...or maybe it wasn’t ever there.

Here’s the thing about emotionally checking out of the relationship: It can part of the momentary natural flow of being human and/or it can also be a wakeup call for anyone who wants a strong, vibrant, and growing healthy relationship.

Most of us emotionally check out when we get overwhelmed by thinking about a situation or a perceived problem. We don’t know what to do so we go numb.

We have fear, doubts, uncertainty, or are simply unable to respond in a certain situation or a certain moment. We instinctively pull back from people and situations when we want to protect ourselves from some real or usually imagined threat.

But, there is one important thing to remember: When someone checks out of the relationship emotionally, it doesn’t always mean that that’s the end of the relationship or that they’re going to be checked out forever —​ but it can be a wakeup call.

For example, Penny and Kyle are in a relationship and had been dating for several years. They just moved in together but it seemed to her that he had checked out of the relationship a long time ago. They didn’t have fun together the way they used to and it seemed to her that they’d fallen into a routine that was lifeless and boring.

When she brought up the fact that they never did anything together anymore, Kyle would just grumble that he was tired and there was too much else to do. Penny was frustrated and didn’t know what to do next so she scheduled a conversation with us to get some clarity about her situation.

As we talked, she had a few insights that unstuck her thinking about her relationship. These gave her new hope that she could really reconnect with her partner in new ways.

If you feel like you or your partner have checked out of the relationship, here are 3 ways to fix it with more effective communication skills and getting in touch with your emotions and love connection.

1. Decide if you truly want to reconnect

So often, when we're feeling emotional, we might try to talk ourselves into something we think we should want and what’s truly in our hearts is something entirely different.

That’s why taking an honest look within yourself is the place to start.

As Penny looked inside herself, she saw that she had been making the situation worse by her incessant thinking that he didn’t care anymore and had checked out of the relationship.

She was shocked to see that by doing that, she’d checked out of the relationship as well by putting up barriers to connection! She realized that she did like who he was and wanted to be with him but wanted their relationship to be the way it used to be.

As we talked, she saw small ways they did connect but she had dismissed them because the relationship didn’t look like it used to look.

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2. Open the door with an invitation

The door to reconnection can be opened in small ways and it always begins with an invitation–not a complaint that only brings defense.

Penny saw that in her attempt to get Kyle to talk about being checked out of the relationship, she had pushed him away and he had become defensive, shutting her out.

When she honestly became curious about what Kyle wanted without her judgments mixed in, she was able to ask if he was willing to have a conversation with her about what they both wanted.

3. Watch to see something new and listen to hear something new

When you open your heart to seeing and hearing something new — inside you as well as from the other person — a non-judgmental, loving space opens up between the two of you.

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A couple of weeks later, Penny told us that she had invited Kyle to a conversation and to her surprise, he was willing. As she listened, he told her that he had been overwhelmed at work and was trying to decide whether to apply for another job or not.

Kyle said that he just felt hopeless and didn’t have anything to give her at the end of the day.

This was more information than he’d shared with her for a long time and she just sat and listened. She asked him if he wanted suggestions from her and he told her that no, he was figuring it out on his own and to be patient with him.

At that moment, Penny felt closer to him than she’d felt in many months and was hopeful that with that conversation, they had broken through a barrier that they had both erected.

Reconnecting when one or both of you have checked out of the relationship isn’t always possible.

Notice how powerful and how dramatic the changes within Penny and her relationship were by simply noticing a few things and being open to some new possibilities she hadn’t seen before.

If you or your partner has checked out of the relationship or you’ve noticed that one or both of you check out from time to time as a coping mechanism for something going on in your world, maybe we can help.

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Susie and Otto Collins are certified Relationship Coaches who have helped men and women have happier, easier communication, relationships and lives for the past 20 years. Go to their website for more articles on communication and other relationship topics.

This article was originally published at susieandotto.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.