6 Bite-Sized Practices To Fix Any Marriage, Any Time

Photo: Dean Drobot / Shutterstock
couples chatting

In the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's vital to know how to connect with your partner and keep your relationship thriving.

My husband and I have been staying safe at home for three solid months now — as have most of you, I'm sure. We have new routines and settled in as much as possible.

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Then, some days ago, I realized that I miss our pre-COVID days of going to work and coming home from work rituals.

Transition rituals are exceptionally important for daily connection!

Part of our transition connection rituals included six-second kisses and 20-second hugs in the morning before he left for work and in the evening when we came back together.

Six-second kisses and 20-second hugs are the ideal times to produce that needed brain chemical oxytocin, the love drug. And they feel great!

These were bite-sized ways to connect during the transition. They marked the shift from one role and way of being to another.

While we've both been working from home, these have disappeared since neither of us leaves to go anywhere!

It's time to be intentional about connecting again. Intentionality prioritizes things that you want for your relationship.

It can be a great tool to help you refocus on the relationship, or aspects of the relationship, in any circumstance, but especially in these truly unprecedented current times.

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Here are 6 bite-sized ways to fix any marriage, any time:

1. Be intentional

If your intention is to increase connection, do things with this intention in mind.

Ask yourself if this activity increases connection and aligns with your intention.

2. Create intentional rituals around the workday start-up and shutdown

Even if you're staying home right now, you can mark the transition from breakfast to work time and work time to dinner, etc.

How about a six-second kiss and a 20-second hug?

3. Begin an intentional gratitude practice

Offer one thing to your partner that you are grateful for or proud of them for. You can also add one thing you're proud of or thankful to yourself for yourself.

Again, this is about staying true to your intention — connection, intimacy, and love — and creating a daily ritual for connecting.

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4. Have some technology-free time

Create some space in your life for connecting with each other without technology! You might play a game, discuss a book, or plan a trip.

This, too, is about intention. It's about being present in the current moment, rather than in each other’s physical space but not actually present with each other.

5. Reminisce about past trips or experiences you have enjoyed with your partner

This brings more happy-loving brain chemicals to the forefront in the current moment.

6. Have a date night, morning, or afternoon

Spend intentional time being present with each other. This could look like a picnic, a bike ride, or a hike.

Discuss what you want more of in your relationship and set the intention to move in that direction. Create intentional rituals designed to align with that intention.

Here we are, talking mainly about connection but this works for intimacy, love, and many other things. Your imagination only limits it.

What can you intentionally cultivate in your relationship right now?

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Emy Tafelski, MA, LMFT, is a licensed marriage and family therapist, and founder of ME-Therapy, a therapy practice helping people rediscover their authenticity, brilliance, and wholeness after the world knocks them around.