Many young couples especially those with small children struggle to maintain closeness- and no wonder!
The priority is taking care of the kids as it should be. Often whoever comes home last for work is faced with a tussle of activity-homework, food preparation, eating, cleaning up, bath and finally bedtime ritual. Whatever stress these activities may provoke add to the work day’s accumulation so that by the time there is a quiet second to look at your spouse in the eyes it’s difficult to come up with exactly what to say to re-connect and take full advantage of any time without distractions. So skip the words!
This simple breathing exercise, done quietly together with only foreheads touching , takes as much time as 7 deep breaths…a minute maybe? Whether you’re lying on your sides or sitting upright, face each other directly and gently touch your foreheads together. Put your chins down slightly so your noses aren’t quite touching (it’s okay if they touch a bit but touching noses is not necessary for this exercise).
With your foreheads touching, breathe seven deep, slow breaths in sync with your partner. The first one or two breaths might feel like they’re taking up a lot of conscious thought, but by the third or fourth breath it will feel very natural.
This exercise isn’t limited to seven breaths -you can keep going for several minutes if you’d like- but I find that seven breaths is the perfect minimum number of breaths for couples to really drop in to the moment and feel connected.
When I first suggest to couples that they intentionally set aside time in their calendars to connect as a couple, I am sometimes met with resistance.
“We’re dating/we got married for a reason… shouldn’t we just feel connected automatically like we used to when we first started dating?”
It is a romantic concept that your relationship should fully run on autopilot however relationships thrive when you put effort into them.
And yes, I’m sure you can get by just fine without doing anything and have a ‘good’ relationship. But if you want a great relationship I’d recommend giving a few of the above exercises a try. Worst case, you lose a few seconds or minutes of your life on an exercise that didn’t do all that much for you. Best case scenario, you discover one of your new favorite things to do with your partner and it becomes an effortless and easy way to re-connect as a couple whenever you feel you may need it.