Commitment to a relationship isn't expressed when things are fun and the going is easy. Commitment is expressed when you awaken to a more distant relationship that causes pain. You question whether you will ever regain the connection you once felt and feel helpless to make it happen.
Here are some suggestions for finding your way through the rough patches in your relationship.
Expect the path to become rough.
Don't allow yourself you become shocked and emotionally overwhelmed when you see distance forming in the relationship. Couples should expect issues to occur in their relationship that cause distance. You do not share the same experiences, outlooks and expectations. These differences can be difficult to negotiate.
Insecurity can cause one to question whether distance is a sign pointing to the end of the relationship. Insecurity can be expressed vulnerably or can lead to criticism and blame.. Secure couples don't overreact to this distance. Instead, they focus on healing the divide. Emotions are held in check through focusing on the issue rather than the distance that has occurred.
See the need for change.
Just as sports teams must make adjustments to their game plans, couples must learn to see tensions as signals for change. Insecure couples see tension as something to be avoided while secure couples accept tension as signalling dissatisfaction in one or both partners. A rough path can lead to higher ground.
Feelings are expressed for connection, not blame.
Secure couples open up more when there is tension. They own their emotions and express a desire to be heard. Their partner listens with empathy but also provides encouragement that change is possible.
Insecure couples express feelings as criticism and this triggers a defensive response. Defensiveness shuts down communication, causing more distance. Secure couples accept tension and pain as a natural byproduct of distance from their partner. They work to address these feelings and often heal the distance simply by connecting emotionally.
Balance tension with recreation.
Tension can weigh you down. Often rough patches in a relationship develop over time and can only be resolved over time. The tension in the relationship must be balanced with an effort to lighten up through mutually enjoyable activities. Agreeing to enjoy a night out or to find an enjoyable show to watch on TV can help to manage the tension.
Affirm your commitment to the relationship.
When tensions form, insecurity can be triggered. You may question you partner's commitment; does he/she really care about you? Secure couples can ask for reassurance of their partner's commitment to the relationship and can offer their own commitment to moving forward in the relationship.