Love

The Surprisingly Simple Way To Solve Your #1 Relationship Problem

Couple connection on an emotional level

Each couple may rate a different relationship problem as the #1 cause of their misery, frustration, and suffering. But most couples report a lack of intimacy as the biggest nightmare for them because any marriage or partnership without emotional and physical bonding feels like two siblings living in the same house, two friends who are housemates, or two people who aren’t friends anymore who are stuck living in the same house! Who wants that? Noone!

For most couples, living without enough emotional and physical intimacy may be fine when they think about reaching their 90th birthday, but for many elderly couples, loving and intimate touch is a requirement for staving off the depression that often morphs into a chronic disease. A client recently admitted his shoulder always hurts and has hurt for years. What he didn’t know is hot sex can often eliminate all physical pain for hours. His wife has given him “the cold shoulder for eight years,” so his shoulder pain is not a coincidence.

Whether the lack of intimacy is linked to emotional, biochemical, or physical changes in either partner, there are effective solutions.

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How to solve the relationship problem at the core of your struggles

1. ​When compassion goes, passion no longer flows.

The #1 reason physical intimacy disappears is not physical. It is a lack of compassion. Whether this is a problem for you or your partner, your marriage suffers and will struggle to survive. Learn to give your partner empathy with kind and loving words and actions, and little by little or all at once, you will find yourself being touched and loved again.

   

   

2. Empathy is the #1 Solution to Regaining Emotional and Physical Intimacy

Regaining emotional and physical intimacy requires some steps and some examples. To get started, here are some scripts that have worked for thousands of my clients.

3. Connecting to emotions

A couple who had grown apart, and the husband has begun to learn a few simple empathy sentences to bridge the gap between him and his wife.

“I know that lately, we’ve been pretty disconnected, and I’m guessing you’ve felt frustrated because you deserve to have me understand what you’re feeling, right?

“YES!” she says rather shocked.

“When I forgot date night for the last two months you probably assumed I was no longer interested in being romantic with you, yes?”

“Well…..” she replies.

“And when I went fishing with my friends and didn’t suggest that you and I take a romantic trip soon, you may have thought our marriage was in trouble, right, dear?”

“Yes, you do!” she says, feeling the pain she has been swallowing for months.

When your partner begins to connect to their feelings of disappointment, discouragement, or even anger, that’s a good sign.

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4. Introduce the new you

Husband: “I hope you would enjoy planning a vacation during which I can show you how much you mean to me!” he says to her with a twinkle in his eye.

Wife: “Wow, who are you?” she laughs, still snarky and distrusting.

He continues being sweet and open instead of reacting to her sarcasm and says, “It’s still me, honey, just the improved version, or perhaps this is the original model. The guy you married!”. She laughs, and the ice is broken.

couple connected and comminucating

Photo via Getty

5. Be there for your person

A second example shows the wife has also learned a few examples of offering empathy to her partner and will allow them to get back on track very quickly once he hears her new energy and affection.

“Honey, I know you’ve been feeling exhausted from your work, right?” she says.

“Yes, I could sleep for a week!” he says.

She replies, “I would love us to go to the beach this weekend so you can sleep and relax and have no responsibilities at all, and if your work schedule is still too much right now, let’s go as soon as you can, OK?” You can imagine how her husband will respond to this,

“FANTASTIC!” he says.

Few of us know what to say to someone very upset, and since we aren’t taught how to be peaceful and loving and silently support or how to “be there” for someone in pain, learning these simple phrases can begin to transform any challenging marriage or partnership into one of love, trust, and deeper commitment.

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6. With empathy, we guess how they are feeling and what they need. We do not ask, and we do not tell.

  • “(Name), I know you promised to ______________ this week, and I’ve seen how much work you have at the office; would you rather do this next week or the week after; just let me know.”
  • “Honey, I’m guessing you feel exhausted, and you need to rest this weekend, yes?”
  • “Sweetie, it seems that you may feel overwhelmed and you’d like some help with ___________; do I understand?”
  • “(Name) I’ve watched you working so hard this month, I’m guessing you would like me to _________, right?”
  • “Honey, I’ve been working so hard for the last month, and I get you feel bored, and you’d love to go out with your friends this weekend, yes?”

emotionally connected couple

Photo via Getty

Empathy always works, and it clears the air every time. The only thing to consider is how much empathy you offer your partner in a specific situation. It varies from partner to partner and changes based on how upset, angry, frustrated, scared, or sad they might be. Continue offering empathy until you feel a shift in your partner, a release, and you may suddenly see a smile or get a huge hug, which tells you that you are back on track together as a loving couple.

RELATED: How Couples That Stay Together Forever Manage Conflict

Susan Allan is a Life Coach whose Evolution Revolution® Trainings offer proven tools to experience joy, and happiness and let go of suffering.