I noticed that ^ this ^ was one of the main reasons why Jason and I began to have issues in our marriage. Obviously if you throw in a new baby to an already existing issue, that issue becomes much larger. To figure this out takes a while. To nurture your relationship back to health takes time and effort. Not 50/50, but 100/100. When you and your spouse are together remember you have 3 relationships wrapped into one: one as friends, another as lovers and one as parents. Always protect your friendship. That’s the door to all of the others. Discovering this opened the door to restoring my marriage. It rekindled our flame. We date each other. We talk (or text) throughout the day. And we hang out when we are both home (usually when both kids are asleep). It’s not perfect, but it’s better than ever before.
There will be many ups and there will be many downs, but they’re better to face when you have a friend by your side. Don’t lose sight of this, ever. Falling in love is great, staying in love is hard, but it is always worth the effort when you know it works. Don’t let the downs consume you. For those that rehearsed this “for better or for worse”, yea, even when you feel disconnected to your spouse, this counts as a worse. So fight for your marriage. Take a step back, become friends again. When time begins to lapse, and circumstances begin to change, too often we hold on to the person we first met many years ago, and then don’t even realize that that person you married is no longer the same person. And that’s okay. But please…
Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
No. I’m not talking about “let’s sit down and talk”. We think we are laying all of the cards on the table by doing this, but much too often it’s simply not enough. Unless you are communicating to the person that they truly are, all you are doing is talking. It’s not to say that your spouse doesn’t care about you, but simply the way they communicate is different than the way you communicate.
So here are some notes I’ve had written down in my notebook for quite some time. I’m sharing this with you because it has helped me to understand my husband better. It helped me to realize that my best friend spoke differently than from when we originally began our journey together. We need to snap ourselves out of the mentality of “if they really love me, they’d get me”. No. You both need to get each other. Originally some of this stuff I learned for work, but I then decided to apply it outside of my work, and it made a huge difference! So here we go…
We as a people have representational systems. It’s the part of the brain that is being used most dominantly. Some are Visuals, Auditory, or Kinesthetic.
Visuals use the seeing part of the brain. They move and speak quickly. Pictures flash through their minds and they try to keep up with them.Visuals tend to stand with a more erect posture, and they use words like: see, look, picture or viewpoint.
Aduitory people use the hearing part of their brain. They are more moderately paced and toned. They pay attention to the way things sound. They have a more melodious voice and they use words like: hear, call, ask or sound.
Kinesthetic people use the feeling part of their brain. They speak and move slower- breathing is low and in their abdomen, often they hardly speak. They communicate with touch and feelings and they use words like: grasp, handle, solid or warm.
To take it an extra step beyond this, here are some differences in personality types. There are four main personality types that we tend to be more of. There are Drivers, Expressives, Analyticals, and Amiable.
Drivers tend to act like leaders and directors. They (are): competitive, fast paced, indifferent, very direct, problem solvers, know what they want, and want immediate results.
Drivers are typically motivated when they have an opportunity to be creative, to take the lead and give direction. They like problem solving, particularly problems others can’t handle. What de-motivates a driver are mundane and repetitive tasks. They don’t like to be fenced in and they will resist leadership of a non-decisive person.
Expressives, they tend to be more of a socializer. They are: optimistic, aggressive, entertaining, fun-loving, talkative, dreamers, people oriented, touchers, trusting, and fast paced.
Expressive people are typically motivated being involved in new and creative ideas that support “The Big Cause”. They want to be accepted as leaders, and in a worthy challenge they will draw a team together to accomplish it. What de-motivates an expressive person is being hemmed in. They don’t work well with details and they want to see results not so much the process. They do not respond well to personal criticism.
Analyticals tend to be more of a thinker. They (are): detailed, factual, accurate, questioning, precise, task oriented, lack trust, collect data, and follow rules.
Analytical people are typically motivated by tasks that call for efficiency, precision, and give visible results. They become de-motivated by uncertainty, lack of clear explanations, and projects that are incomplete. They dislike being forced to do something that is contrary to standard procedures.
Amiables tend to be dependable and relatible. They (are): consistent, team oriented, warm, good listeners, polite, loyal, dislike risk taking, traditional, perform by rules, neat and organized.
Amiables are motivated by appreciation for tasks well done and by clear instructions. They prefer tradition. They become de-motivated when they don’t know what to do. They may back off when they feel they are being taken for granted.
Lets take this one step further. I’m sure most of you have heard of The 5 Love Languages. If you haven’t please check out their site, take the test, and buy the book. This will help you to understand how you and your spouse/significant other love. It’s one thing to have a different personality type, but it’s something completely different to understand how we love differently too.
The 5 love languages that are explained are: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. I won’t go into too much detail with this because as soon as you take the test, you will figure it out right away. Plus the styles of love are almost self explanatory. If you are “guessing” what to do to understand the different love languages, please do you and your spouse a favor and invest your time into reading the book.
I hope this helps for those who feel lonely and/or disconnected from their spouse. Parenthood can be such a lonely journey and being disconnected from your spouse can cause a lot of tension in your relationship as friends, lovers, and parents. If you are struggling, please take the time to seek the other out and communicate in the way that is most effective. I can’t tell you how many times I thought I was doing enough by sitting down and talking to my husband to express how I felt, and felt like he didn’t care because he didn’t get me. It wasn’t until I spoke in his love language, or communicated and reached out to his personality type and connected with him with the representational system he used most, that I finally began to see changes. And my, that was such a relief. Our life has been much easier and much happier. It’s not perfect, but it’s so much better.