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Ways to reconnect w/your partner (From Members BB)
Hi Sister SMOMS,

With Valentine’s Day this week, our romantic relationship moves front and center. This can be a great thing or a painful thing or maybe just a sadly neutral experience. With so many emotional and logistical issues poking and prodding at a stepmom and her beloved, it can be a very vulnerable time for both of you. Vulnerable because of all the hopes and dreams that may have been damaged by the outsiders in your world.

With the intention of helping you all create a warm, close, tender connection with your beloved, here are a few suggestions to consider. All of these suggestions are about how YOU can be different, see and/or do things differently with the overarching goal of tapping into the powerful love that brought you all together in the first place.

While it would be super if everyone else would just “back-off” this week and that your Beloved would suddenly wake up to whatever it is you’ve been trying to get him to see, these ideas are limited to what you can control...your thoughts, words and actions.

1. The first idea is inspired by Marianne Williamson. She writes about the “Course in Miracles” and this line came to mind when I was thinking about this post so wanted to share. Her approach, “Bring to any situation, that which is missing.” I’m hoping I remembered that quote accurately. This may idea mean adopting a “nobody’s right, nobody’s wrong, what do we want to create here?” attitude. It can mean giving up our pride and following the edict of “I’d rather be happy than right.” (See my stepmom specific article for more about this idea). It also means making strengthening and experiencing the deep love connection between you & your partner more important than actions of the past. This can be a sensitive, angering, upsetting consideration for some. Please see my article about my process of getting to this place in the article, "His Kids:HIS Call" in the Stepmom Specific Section.

2. Below are 2 articles in the relationship articles section of the forum that may give you some ideas about new ways to look at our contributions to any stress we are feeling. Not to shift blame to ourselves, but to find new ways to shift our attitudes. When we change, everything around us changes also. It’s a way to break any relationship log jams. It’s a way to feel even more confident that you are doing everything you can do. These things are not going to apply to everyone but they will give you ideas or the sense of satisfaction that comes from realizing how wise you’ve become as a stepmom. I’m hoping that the links will work, if not you can copy and paste them into your browser and it should get you there.

Are you keeping an emotional ledger with your Beloved?

Testing and Proving Love. Are you doing this common tactic (consciously or unconsciously?

3. Another idea is to give each other a list of the 10 things that make you each feel loved. This is described in detail, in the stepmom specific articles section and hopefully easy to reach with this link:

4. Another thing that can get in the way of a romantic intimate connection on Valentine’s Day are the beliefs we hold about who should do what and when and how they should do it. Unconscious beliefs and unspoken expectations and assumptions are 3 destructive forces in many relationship situations. How to avoid those? Talk to your Beloved and make the conscious decision to create the best Valentine’s day celebration that you can. Whether it’s on the actual Valentine’s Day or another day that works better for you both, the point is to leave nothing to chance.

So talk about it, “Honey, what would you like to do so we can have a nice time together to celebrate our love?” If you get anything that feels like, “I don’t care.” or “Whatever you want to do.” I encourage you to look into their eyes and tell them that this is important to you (especially if there’s been lots of stress between you.) Do whatever you can to resist the urge to become hurt or angry about their reaction and take adifferent tact.

Most guys like to asked for help, they like to solve problems, they feel good about themselves when they come to the rescue. So, ask them to help you plan something. Give them your ideas to prime their creative pumps. Suggest recreating a memorable date from way back at the beginning of your lives together. Engage your imagination. Refuse to give up without exhausting all your options. Why? Well, it all depends on what you want to create and how much you want to feel that intimate, close, happy feeling with the one your love. Women can be incredibly resilient when they have a goal in mind. History shows us that, movies too. It may mean sending your pride and/or ego away for the week and if you can create a few hours of “emotional cease fire” so you can re-connect with the one you love...I imagine it will be worth it. I recognize this is a very personal situation and that you have to decide for yourself.

4. Finally for this post, I want to encourage you all to tap into your reservoir of happy memories and give you and your beloved a chance to step back into those close, happy times you two have actually shared. Sometimes, besides just sharing your top 3, it can be fun to talk about it in the morning and suggest that each of you think about your top 3 most romantic moments, agreeing to share them when you two can be alone. This approach is fun because all day you find yourself remembering as many happy times as you can, even if you only share three and this can boost your romantic connection, even before you share with each other.

If doing this triggers anger or you find it hard to do, due to all the hurt or stress, I”m so sorry and I really understand that. I had a couple of years like that myself so I know how it feels. Sometimes it can trigger even more stress to realize how much romance has been lost due to external stresses that were not caused by either of you but affected both of you. This is a difficult situation. What worked for me was digging beneath the traumas and remembering those first few days, weeks, months together. It’s almost like they are hidden under layers and layers of thick blankets and they can only be found if we’re willing to a) look for them and b) see beneath the blankets themselves.

This can be challenging sometimes also yet my experience is that if you can make doing whatever you can to tap into that strong love that brought you together, it will work. It can be fragile, like the first tiny flames of a campfire, but if you’re willing to tend to it patiently and keep fueling it with your loving attention, chances are very good that you’ll have a roaring fire in time.

Well, these are just a few ideas.
Hoping at least one will give you some inspiration if you are looking for any.
These ideas are not meant to all be followed, just as an emotional buffet. Take whatever you like, ignore the rest.

From my heart to yours, wishing you a warm and wonderful connection with your partner, Cathryn

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