Reconnecting after dates

Reconnection rituals can be very helpful for couples especially in the beginning stages of opening the marriage or relationship.   These rituals offer a predictable routine that occurs each time a spouse or partner returns home after being with someone else.  Couples are encouraged to develop their own reconnection rituals that are meaningful to them.  Here are some suggestions from experienced MOM couples:

When the date is over, you may ask your spouse to call or send you a text that he/she will be home soon.  One husband sends his wife a text that he is on his way home and that he loves her.  The wife responds by texting back that she loves him too.

Another spouse often brings a small thank you gift or flowers for his wife after time away.

You might ask your partner to take a shower upon returning home. One spouse describes being sensitive to scents and wants her husband to smell like their own soap.

For many couples touching is important in reconnecting.  As soon as you can find private time, sit together physically touching, holding hands, or touching with feet or legs.  One spouse found that physical touch helped her feel grounded and connected, and kept her anxiety levels tolerable.

Talk about it.   Talk some more.  And then talk again.  Be open and honest.

You might ask questions about your partner’s date in small increments depending on your level of comfort.   You will know when you need to stop.  Sometimes you may need to know many details about your partner’s date and sometimes very little.  Reserve the right to ask for more details at a later time if you need to do so.  For example, one spouse would say things like, “tonight I feel like knowing if you just had drinks or if it was it more.  Don’t tell me what the ‘more’ was until I ask.”  It takes time and practice to learn when to stop asking.

You may need to know and feel reassured that safer sex is being addressed.  This is an important, ongoing discussion.

Humor can be very helpful.  One spouse says that she will often ask a question and then whatever the answer is, she will say, “but I am better at that, right??”  Of course she expects that her husband will always agree!

Share any feelings you and your partner are having, including any struggles.  Validate one another’s experiences if you can.  Talk about what went well, and what you might want to do differently next time.

Some couples find comfort in exchanging verbal affirmations with each other.  One couple uses the same exact words each time they reconnect.  The husband says, “Thank you for opening your heart for me to do this.”  The wife replies, “I love you and I want you to be happy and whole.”

The “two minute hug” is another wonderful way to reconnect.  Stand up and hold each other for a minimum of two minutes.  Simply breathe together and allow your bodies to relax into each other.

Plan an activity that you can do together.  One couple plays a game of pool.  You could go for a walk or take a shower with each other. One spouse prepares a nice meal to share with her husband when he returns from a weekend away.

 

Reconnection rituals, if consistently practiced, can offer comfort and reassurance for both partners, and reaffirm mutual commitment to the relationship.

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