This isn’t a story about a digital detox, it’s an unexpected story of reconnection, not only with my husband but with myself.
As a working mum of two primary school aged kids I don’t have much time to myself. In fact I released this weekend when I waved goodbye to my kids and husband, it was the first time in nine years that I have ever been alone in the house for 24 hours.
Somehow I hit the jackpot this weekend. Husband taking the kids to the grandparents for a night, and then the grandparents were keeping the kids another night, so my husband and I had another 24 hours to ourselves.
Leading up to this, I was exhausted. My husband and I were fighting. Everything he did annoyed me.
We hadn’t had sex for months, which is not what you expect for someone who owns a sex shop. But there was flu and a hospital trip in that time, however all the sickness aside, there was still no connection.
How can you connect with someone when everything they do is annoying?
And I knew it wasn’t him. I’m not married to one of those annoying types. It was me.
I couldn’t get my head out of this cycle. I re-read the articles I’d written about connecting with your partner, making time for sex and thinking your way to a better sex life, but none of them helped.
So when I got the chance to spend time on my own, I took it. I only took it because I was exhausted and I just wanted 24 hours where I didn’t have to look after anyone else but me.
And it was a complete 24 hours on my own. I didn’t see anyone else, I had no one else to please but myself.
I took walks, I read in the sunshine, I cooked the food I wanted to eat, I pottered around the house, I didn’t do any work, I didn’t look at the internet, I had a bath, I medidated.
Then when my husband came home he saw the difference on my face. I welcomed him. I smiled at him. All of a sudden he wasn’t annoying anymore.
And our connection had returned. I had more time for him. I had empathy for him.
I think you can guess what happened for the next 24 hours without the kids…
Now it’s a few days after the weekend and how do I feel? Still pretty good. Still calm. Still connected.
How can you switch off and reconnect with your partner?
Try and send the kids off and your partner for a day. Don’t spend the day doing housework, or seeing friends or chores. Just please yourself.
Slow down, don’t use the car or bus. Don’t spend all day on the internet, enjoy the sunshine with a book, engage in gentle exercise, take a long bath.
Then when your husband returns, see if he can return alone. Use your family or friends to have the kids for an afternoon/evening/sleep over.
Keep the good feelings going
Keep doing those simple pleasures every day.
Meditate daily – this will keep your headspace clear. Aim for 15 minutes a day.
Exercise is great for the mind and I usually run, however I found a return to walking, especially in the sunshine which is so much better for providing a feeling of well-being and relaxation. Can you do it daily – even just for 15 minutes?
A return to date nights. This weekend reminded me we hadn’t had a date night for more than six months. Monthly date nights should be on everyone’s agenda.
Practice gratitude. Whenever I practice gratitude I am left with a smile on my face. It helps with empathy and fills your heart with love. This makes it impossible to find your husband annoying!
Image courtesy of Jorge Gardner.