Sometimes couples wish they felt more emotionally close to their spouses. You may feel taken for granted and might even recognize that you take your spouse for granted. One or both of you might be daydreaming about dedicating some time and energy to restoring that eroding emotional connection.

You are probably both aware that marriage, like anything else we value, requires nurturing and sustained effort to maintain it. One spouse might even mention that he or she wants to set aside some time to spend together—just the two of you.

Although you talk about it a few times, the idea never seems to generate enough energy or momentum to plan something. Nor does any deeper sharing occur on a spontaneous basis. You may feel relieved that it never comes about because you wonder if you even have anything in common any more. You might wonder whether you could carry on a conversation for more than just a few minutes after you have exhausted “the weather report” and the “kids update”.

Maybe you are concerned that if you do have a “date night” and end up sitting face to face across from each other, that you will be doing so in silence. Perhaps you have a list of things that you would like to talk to your spouse about, but you have a fear of rocking the boat by introducing the subject.

You may have the sense that you can regain that emotional closeness that seems to have eroded from neglect, if only you could break the ice and get started. You can once again regenerate the lost energy or passion from your marriage by doing just that -- getting the conversation started. If you can rekindle the interest in interacting on a more personal level, you can improve your communication and feel safe enough to take risks which could increase intimacy and improve positive feelings. You just have to get started.

Practicing communication skills improves the ability to listen, to understand, and to respond in a positive manner. It can also create an atmosphere appropriate to being able to negotiate for change in the relationship. Regular conversation can set the stage for a change from "dirty fighting" or "avoidance" to effective problem solving. The care and attention that you show to your relationship by engaging in new communication behavior goes a long way in rebuilding positive regard. This effort helps you feel loved and respected by each other. Structured or semi-structured communication exercises can help you get started. Daily Couples Feelings Meetings and "The Honey Jar" are two examples of communication exercises that can assist you in getting started in rebuilding your sense of connection.

Author's Bio: 

Marriage takes work. There are many articles and other helpful resources on my website for your use. You may purchase and download "The Honey Jar", A Couple Communication tool, take a survey, sign up for my newsletter, or "Ask Peggy, Conversations with an LMFT". Go to

The information in this article (and on my website) is for educational/information purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis or treatment.

Dr. Peggy L. Ferguson, Ph.D., LADC, LMFT, Marriage/Family Therapist, Alcohol/Drug Counselor, Writer, Trainer, Consultant, provides professional counseling services in and around Stillwater, Oklahoma.