Monday, October 24, 2016

Keeping your Connection On

This has been a busy season for Laura and I. I’ve had a lot of work trips that have forced us to be apart for a few days at a time, and even on the normal weeks, we’re both busy with work, and we seem to have something every night.

This busy season has brought to mind memories of when we were dating and first married and how staying connected when we’re apart or when we’re busy was such a struggle for us. Not to say it isn’t difficult now, because it certainly is. We’ve learned a lot along the way though, and I think we do it better than we used to. Many couples handle this differently and for some, it doesn’t seem to be as big a deal as it does to others.

We are quality time people, though, so it’s definitely a thing for us when we don’t have time together.

When we were dating, our relationship was a long distance one for about nine months. Let’s just say it was dicey. Neither of us likes talking on the phone, and both of us were insecure people. Throw on top of that, that quality time thing. We had great weekends together, and we grew together a lot during those times, but then we fought all week. It was a long nine months. However, we did learn something from it. WE HAVE TO COMMUNICATE. Sound familiar?

It really helps both of us when one of us just says it: “I don’t feel connected to you right now.” That tells us that we need to communicate more and better. It’s so easy to be focused on where I am and what I’m doing and get distracted. But when I’ll take the time to let Laura know that I’m thinking about her and that I miss her, it can make all the difference.

Practically, this means that we try to talk more than usual when we’re apart and text multiple times a day. I also credit Skype and FaceTime with improving the quality of our time when we are apart. It helps so much for a couple to see each other when they are apart for long stretches.

And when we’re both in town, but flying all directions at all times, we have to be intentional—not just to communicate but to create time and space for us to be alone.

This may not be helpful to everyone. Not everyone struggles to stay connected when they are apart or when they’re busy, but hopefully it can provide insight for those that do. It’s tough. We’ve been there. But just saying it out loud—“I don’t feel connected”—is a great start. 


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