You & your significant other

6 Simple Ways to Reconnect With Your Partner

By Lexi Walters Wright

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Are the demands of parenting your child with learning and attention issues making you and your spouse feel like strangers? If so, you can use these simple ideas to reconnect with your partner.

40Found this helpful
Husband giving his wife a piggyback ride on the tennis court
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Stay in touch ... literally.

When you’re racing around to appointments for your child, you may not feel like you have time to stop and hug your partner. But physical contact triggers the feel-good areas of your brain. In fact, holding hands can instantly lower your stress and increase your happiness level. Even when you don’t have time for full-fledged intimacy, make a point of kissing your spouse goodbye and sneaking in a squeeze when the kids aren’t looking.

Husband and wife working in the kitchen together laughing
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Laugh together.

You and your partner may do a great job with the serious business of supporting your child. But sharing a good laugh can do wonders for the two of you, research shows. Laughing cuts through stress and increases feelings of intimacy. So give in to the playful, silly parts of your relationship once in a while. Start using old nicknames for one another. Revisit your funniest private jokes. Watch a laugh-out-loud movie together.

Husband giving his wife a hug as she prepares dinner in the kitchen
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Say “thanks!”

Gratitude can go a long way toward improving any relationship. Everyone feels good when they’re recognized for the things they do. Plus, saying thanks can reduce resentment—a common feeling between spouses with caregiving challenges. Try saying things like, “I appreciate your coming home early. It’s so nice to spend time with you while I make dinner,” or “Thanks for doing the drop-off today. It really helped that I could get to work early.”

Parents enjoying time together drinking coffee, talking and smiling
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Carve out together time.

If you have a child with learning and attention issues, hiring a sitter for a night out may be easier said than done. Even close family members might not be up for the job. But if you can find someone to watch your child for even a little while, you can grab some time together. Hire a trusted teen or ask a friend to drive your child to practice while you go for coffee.

Overhead view of a husband and wife sleeping with their arms wrapped around each other
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Take back bedtime.

It’s understandable that at the end of your day, you and your partner may both be exhausted. But winding down together—even if you’re too tired for romance—can make you feel more connected. Choose a night or two every week to devote to your relationship. That means no computers and no difficult conversations. Make it just the two of you relaxing in bed (and maybe cuddling) as you drift off to sleep.

Young parents kissing while holding their young daughter
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Show and tell your love.

Combat feeling disconnected by sending reminders that say, “I’m thinking about you. You’re important to me.” Forward your partner a link to something you read that made you think of him. Flirt in public. Email a favorite old photo of the two of you. Make a meal that reminds you both of a shared pre-kids experience. Tell your partner how proud you are of something he did. Kiss for no reason at all.

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About the Author

Portrait of Lexi Walters Wright

Lexi Walters Wright is a veteran writer and editor who helps parents make more informed choices for their children and for themselves.

Reviewed by

Portrait of Molly Algermissen

Molly Algermissen, Ph.D., is an associate professor of medical psychology at Columbia University Medical Center and clinical director of PROMISE.

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