Melissa and Alex described their relationship: no sex, no affection, little time together and a few conversations. Maybe they loved each other but certainly weren’t in love. They were no longer having the nasty fights familiar earlier in the relationship, but they weren’t connected.
Melissa said, “I feel like roommates.” There was the advantage of splitting expenses and sharing chores, but not much more. The excitement and enjoyment that initially brought them together were long gone.
This process can occur for conflict-avoidant couples in which at least one partner is conflict-averse. Rather than addressing issues and themes with each other, it’s preferable to avoid the conflict. Couples like Melissa and Alex no longer want to discuss the issues and themes that historically have escalated into conflict. Other couples are worn down by the wear and tear of life and have lost each other during the journey.
Restoration comes from talking about disconnection. Couples can reconnect when they talk about disconnection and it’s underlying causes. Maybe they need to learn to not fear conflict. Maybe they need to learn to prevent escalation. Maybe they need to learn to connect when exposed to excessive life challenges. To be more than roommates, let’s get the conversation started.