As a recovering couple, you will inevitably hit phases in your partnership during which you feel less or even no connection to each other. This is not the time to consider separating. It is the time to become more independent. If you do not have a practice of introspection, prayer, or meditation, take the opportunity to form this practice when your relationship is in a state of disengagement.
Disengagement can be the result of a variety of stressors that occur naturally during the course of life. For example, having a baby, moving, changing jobs, death, and illness all put added stress on your relationship. You may feel like two ships passing in the night. You may stop having sex. You may not even remember what you used to like about your partner. This can be scary when it happens. But not to worry. These are normal states that come and go.
Most importantly, don't get discouraged. Ask anyone who has been in a long-term recovering relationship how he or she managed to make it work. Nine times out of ten, people will tell you they hung tight through the ups and downs and did not take the down cycles too seriously. They didn't admit defeat or see themselves as failures. Instead, they saw their down cycles as times for growth.
This is not an easy attitude to develop. Without a spiritual life or a strong code of ethics, and the ability to tolerate frustration, partners are vulnerable to acting out in many ways they regret later. The down cycle is not the problem. It is the acting out that occurs during those times that becomes the problem.
As a recovering couple, consciously or not, you've taken vows to live a rigorously honest life and to no longer cause harm to others. These vows are the undercurrent of your life. Don't break them, regardless of your circumstances. During times of disengagement, go deeper into your own self so that you are able to reconnect more strongly with your partner as you enter the next upswing in your relationship.
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