NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Friday, January 3, 2014

Relationships: How to Get Closer When You've Grown Apart

In a prior article, Your Relationship: Telltale Signs That You and Your Spouse Might Be Growing Apart, I addressed some of the telltale signs of individuals in a relationship growing apart.  In this article, I'll be focusing on what you can do if you've grown apart and you want to get closer together.

Relationships:  How to Get Closer When You've Grown Apart

While it's true that for many couples, by the time they acknowledge that they've grown apart, their problems are often too far gone to resolve, for many others relationships, there are still things the couple can do to salvage their relationship.

Make Your Spouse Your Priority
There are many things that can compete for your attention, including your job, your friendships, family, and other activities.

While it's important to have close relationships and activities outside of your marriage, if these other relationships and activities become more important than your spouse, chances are good that you're going to grow apart until the relationship ends.

So, it's important, while finding a balance to have close friends, family and social activities, that you make your spouse your top priority.

Spend Time Together to Bond With One Another
Spending time together is important to getting closer together.  Time together should be quality time without distractions from the TV, phone and electronic gadgets.

This isn't the time to talk about the problems in your relationship.  This is a time to reconnect.

Address Problems as They Come Up Rather Than Allowing Resentments to Fester
Aside from spending time together to bond, there also needs to be time to communicate with each other about problems.

Too many couples try to avoid talking about problems between them.  But, often, all this does is make resentments fester.

It's a good idea to "pick your battles" rather than addressing every little thing that bothers you.  Over the course of a long-term relationship, bickering about petty issues can erode a relationship and create more distance between two people.

Remember What Brought the Two of You Together When You First Met
It's so easy to forget all the things that drew you to each other when you first met.

Talking about these happy memories could help to bring you closer together and motivate you to recapture some of those moments:

Did you used to feel close to each other when you danced together?  Why not play one of your old favorite songs at home and dance together?

Relationships: How to Get Closer When You've Grown Apart: Remember What Brought You Together

Aside from being fun, it can help to increase some of the emotional intimacy that you lost over the years.

Find Something That You're Both Passionate About
Whether it's a hobby or social activity, find something that you're both passionate about and share this experience.

Sharing in a hobby or new activity can bring you closer together.  It can also bring new meaning into your life.

Share Your Hopes and Dreams
When two people in a relationship grow apart, they often stop talking to each other about their hopes and dreams for themselves as individuals as well as their relationship.

Opening up and talking to your spouse about what's meaningful to you can bring you closer together.  It can also increase emotional intimacy that might have decreased over the years.

Recognize That Nurturing Your Relationship is an Ongoing Process
Getting closer together isn't like a one-time event and then you're done.  It's an ongoing process.

You and your spouse need to keep paying attention to each other.

Getting Help in Therapy
If you find that, despite your best efforts, you and your spouse are having problems getting closer after you've grown apart, there's still a chance that your relationship can be salvaged by seeing a licensed psychotherapist who has expertise working with couples.

It's important that you find someone that both you and your spouse both feel comfortable with, so you might need to have consultations with a few therapists until you find a therapist that you both like.

If you begin couples counseling, recognize that years of problems in your relationship aren't going to go away in a few sessions, so you both need to make a commitment to the therapy to work.

I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist who works with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.