It seems obvious that when two people cease to communicate their relationship begins to die. And yet so often I see couples in my office that have simply stopped talking about anything of any importance. They seem to manage to communicate about household chores or perfunctory childcare issues, but when it comes to what’s going on between the two of them there is radio silence.
The good news for the couples that I see is that, in general, they miss the interaction with their mate, which is why they have chosen the therapy route in the first place. The path to reconnecting is not always easy, and after a long period of time in silence many couples struggle to regain both the interest and the ability to talk to one another.
Even though I have been in practice for 2 decades, I am still amazed at the ability of two people, living under the same roof, who rarely speak to one another. In some cases there is simply a slow disconnect that resembles more apathy than anger. In most instances there is deep hurt and rage brewing beneath the surface, and the longer the silence continues the more damage it does to the union.
Typically both parties are reluctant to jump in and change the status quo, often because of fear of rejection, but in order for the relationship to survive someone needs to do so.
If you believe that you are in a relationship where the mute button has been pushed, then there are a few things you can do to start to reconnect. You must first acknowledge that, in a healthy relationship, couples talk about things that matter to them. They express their needs and disappointments, and they plan together how to resolve troublesome issues. They also share meaningful experiences in their day-to-day life.
Begin to take charge of the situation by scheduling time to talk to each other. Write down feelings and thoughts, throughout the week, that you can share with your mate during these discussions. Reconnect by finding common interests. This is how relationships begin and are rekindled. If you find that too much time has passed and the distance is too great then seek the assistance of a counselor or therapist to help get the relationship back on track.