Just as a Brazilian Bikini Cut requires upkeep, marriage requires constant maintenance. You would never go eight weeks between wax jobs, nor should you go two months without really checking in with your mate. Staying connected, staying in touch and really hearing where your mate is at and how things are going with her are key to sustaining the best possible relationship.
There are no rules that say you should spend 17.5% of your time connecting to/with your mate, however, connection is absolutely vital to a marriage. Every time we connect, we renew the love and bonds a relationship requires to continue to grow. Just as we evolve as individuals our entire life, our relationship grows the entire time we are together.
Evolution, like a relationship, can only flourish with the right environment and sustenance. Plants, our bodies, our soul, our mind, all living things require certain previsions to continue to thrive.
A couple, K & T, came to see me for relationship issues. During the intake, I asked them what sort of things they did to stay connected. Both mates looked at me blankly. Finally, one of them asked what I meant by connection. This couple was in real trouble.
Connection can be as romantic as a bottle of wine and a quiet evening in front of the fireplace or as simple as a quick cup of coffee at your favorite coffee house. Connection need not be Harlequin Romance material, it need not last six hours a day, it just needs to take a moment, something as effortless as a text saying you miss her.
Connection must come from the heart. It must mean something to both of you. Love must be expressed. True connection will lift you up and strengthen your day as well as your relationship.
When I explained that connection meant communication to K&T, they both responded in sync, “We talk all the time!” This comment was probably as close as they had come to being in sync and connected. Talking is not necessarily communication. Giving one another your schedule and discussing who will pick up the dog food is not connection.
Talk about your feelings. Talk about your day. Have a make-out session before you fall asleep. Try to analyze why your co-worker makes you crazy. Respond, do not grunt, do not “hmm” your mate. RESPOND.
Tease your mate. Send him a funny text that has meaning for both of you. My mate sends me cow pictures all the time. I am from the mid-west and grew up on a farm with cows. He also says I am a cow, which is our way of harassing one another.
I call my mate whenever our dogs do something silly. Recently, I got home from an errand and opened up the door to find a couple of billion feathers spread out from one end of the bedroom to the other. In the middle of the bed, lay our 120 pound Dane/Dobe puppy. He had several feathers on his head, which was far more than our pillow now contained.
Instead of crying, I called my mate laughing. I promised I would save several feathers for him to pick up. We connected.
Turn an argument into a connection. My mate and I can get into arguments that could wake the dead, but in the end, we always laugh. One of us suddenly realizes that the argument is pointless, so in the middle of wanting to turn into an ax murderer, one of us will make fun of the other one’s hair or ears or toenails, mine are like razors and his are like wooden blocks. We get a lot of material from our toenails.
In January, I had a heart attack. I called my mate not sure if I was over reacting to the pain in my chest. My mate, several miles from home, got back to our house before the ambulance he had called while in route. He wrapped his arms around me and carried me to the ambulance. Both afraid, we looked in one another’s eyes. Connection in its truest form.
Tonight when your mate gets home, look into her eyes. You need not speak, just look into her eyes. The eyes say it all. They express the love and concern we may not be able to put into words.
My partner never expressed how frightened he was that he might lose me. He never said how much he would miss me if I were to die. As the ambulance took off, I felt his eyes and knew I would be alright.
Send us a note. Tell us how you connect. We may use your ideas in a future column. Maria’s email is: [email protected]
By Maria Etta Anabel