Springtime is a vibrant time of year when love can energise relationships. This is evident as we approach St. Valentine’s Day when we see couples focus on each other, renewing their commitment of love. St. Valentine’s Day can be difficult and can lack meaning for some couples as the love and hope they once had has faded and become dim and even invisible within their relationship. Many may feel trapped in a union lacking love, or may feel the quality of their relationship has deteriorated too far to reignite the love and commitment they shared in former years. Some couples may believe their loving relationship is behind them as they reflect with regret on what might have been.
Despite their difficulties many couples would like to try to revive their relationship but feel it may be too difficult and don’t know what to do or where to start. Some may have become cynical towards each other, and others may be entrenched in their own disappointments, losses, fears and suspicions and feel they cannot move forward. “If only” becomes their unspoken mantra of yearning that permeates their lives.
“ If only John would open up and tell me what he really thinks!”
“ If only I could forgive Niamh for her infidelity!”
“ If only I could believe he wouldn’t have other affairs!”
“If only we could overcome the loss of our baby and talk about it together!”
“If only he had told me how bad things really were financially!”
“If only she hadn’t pushed me away after the kids were born!”
“If only he would tell me I was pretty like he once did, then I’d believe that I mattered!”
“If only John would come home to me and not drown his sorrows in the pub!”
The first steps of relationship reconnection may seem simple but can bea challenge which requires courage for couples. Reconnection can begin with open communication and goodwill towards each other. While partners need to honestly and candidly accept their part in the relationship difficulties, a culture of blaming each other will do little to reignite the love once shared. Saving and restoring the relationship is the responsibility of both partners and not solely the partner whose behaviour may have contributed significantly to the deterioration of the relationship. Couples can extend and experience forgiveness, which can in turn help them to begin afresh. Understanding and acceptance of each other can grow and develop through mutual, open communication. If respect for one another is restored, it can be followed by trust and love. Couples who work to repair their conflicted relationships frequently ask:
“Can we ever get back to where we were?”
“Will it ever be like it used to be?”
For couples who engage with reconnecting in a genuine way the answer is yes. In some instances couples endeavouring to reconnect find that they are capable of making their relationship even more loving than it once was. In doing this they will have learned from their experience, grown in self-awareness and deepened their level of love and commitment.
Discuss with each other the issues you feel you need to talk about sothat you can begin to reconnect with each other! What do you feel are the obstacles to reconnection? Discuss the first steps you feel would be necessary so that you can begin afresh!
If you are encountering problems in your relationship or if you would like to explore unresolved relationship issues, and would like to speak to a marriage and relationship counsellor , you might like to contact ACCORD Catholic Marriage Care Counselling Service.
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