Where we live in Ohio it’s usually pretty warm in July but a couple of weeks ago, it was relatively chilly and we had to wear jackets and cover up with blankets to an outdoor play.
Even Otto who’s really warm blooded had to wear a jacket!
While this was weird weather for us, it can be unusual (or maybe usual) for you or your partner to turn on the “cold” in your relationship.
It’s unpleasant and upsetting to say the least.
When this happens, you might know what caused the “big freeze”–maybe it was something you or your partner did or didn’t do that irritated the other.
But sometimes you don’t have any idea why you’re getting (or giving) the cold shoulder and silent treatment.
Your or your partner’s coldness can show up in a lot of different ways…
-Giving short, one-syllable answers when you’d love to have a conversation
-Not looking in each other’s eyes or one of you turning their back during a discussion
-Physically pulling away from touching each other
-Having every excuse in the world to not make love–or not even giving an excuse
The list could go on and on and we’re certain you could add some to it also.
When this happens, you or your partner may have tried a lot of things that didn’t work (like pleading or pulling away yourself) and you may have just given up until the thaw, which may or may not happen.
Here are 3 ways to help you more easily create the thaw you want in a cold relationship so you can regain your connection…
1. Make completions
If you’re the one giving the “cold shoulder,” open yourself up to discovering what it is that you’re not willing to talk about.
If your partner is being cold to you, open yourself to listening to him or her–and don’t get defensive.
The frustrating thing is that your partner may or may not open up to you and tell you what’s wrong.
Or you may worry that your partner won’t listen to you.
One big reason is that in the past, one or both of you been made wrong and not listened to.
Whether this was you, your partner or both who didn’t listen, there isn’t trust that the other won’t get angry or defensive and the situation and it will just get worse.
So if you’ve gotten defensive in the past (because most of us have) or you’ve made other mistakes and haven’t owned up to them, take this opportunity to make a completion now.
You can start off by saying something like this from our “Magic Relationship Words” course…
“I realize that I’ve been ________ . I’m really sorry and would like to make it up to you.”
Then open up to listening without getting defensive.
We know that this takes practice but believe us when we say that it’s a practice that pays off big time in your relationship when you do.
2. Celebrate each other
One practice that we’ve adopted over the past few years–that we started in our family and now are doing it for our friends–is our special way of celebrating birthdays.
Each person at the gathering, in turn, says what they appreciate about the honoree.
What a wonderful experience to hear genuine, heart-felt words of love and appreciation from those you love!
Too often we forget to celebrate those we love most.
So if your partner becomes cold to you (or you become cold), it’s a good time to genuinely appreciate something specific about him or her–not to get on their “good side” but rather to extend love with no strings attached.
3. Become more playful
As years go on, the fun and playfulness that was between the two of you in the beginning can gradually disappear.
The things that you used to do with each other that were fun, you no longer do. The light way you were playful and flirty with each other is no more.
You may find that you’re both so “serious” and it’s paying a toll on your relationship.
So bring some fun and playfulness back.
Start doing some things that might be considered playful.
It might be to leave a love note for your partner in a place you know that he or she will find it.
It might be playing a sports game that you used to love–even hitting some balls in the backyard.
It might be doing something spontaneously together that’s completely out of character for one or both of you.
Whatever it is, have it as your intention that the two of you will have fun together and deepen your connection.
The choice is really yours–how you want to spend your life.
Whatever the “weather” is right now in your relationship, we invite you to try some of our suggestions to help you create even more of what you want.