Are you truly connected to your mate, or are you a victim of creeping separateness?

Years ago when my husband and I were in the spring of our love we read A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken. Within its pages Greg and I found a love story that mirrored ours in many ways.

Connection for us then was as natural as the perennial crepe myrtles that lined the streets of Georgia Tech where we strolled hand in hand. It was effortless. We longed to be together and used any excuse to talk. When Greg studied in Paris during our senior year the days between calls seemed like weeks. One call from a malfunctioning phone booth lasted for four hours until the cold night won and we sadly said goodbye.

Vanauken introduced us to the idea of “creeping separateness,” calling it the killer of love. We wanted our love to remain strong through the years and we intuitively began to guard against this foe.

Creeping separateness is almost impossible to detect in the day-to-day of living life. It is like a disease discovered only in autopsy, when it’s too late. But creeping separateness has many signs: one day it dawns on you that you’re not depressed, but simply lonely, or you find your thoughts drifting toward past loves and the “what-ifs.” Your spouse’s antics that were once cute are now immature. You can’t remember the last time you really kissed, belly-laughed, or made love (rather than had sex). Disconnection and the ensuing isolation can leave us vulnerable to emotional affairs, inappropriate online connections, porn use, or worse.

Are you cultivating connection in your marriage, or are you a victim of creeping separateness? It’s one or the other; there’s no autopilot in love.

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Therapist Mindy Pierce of GROW Counseling in Atlanta knows the dangers of creeping separateness and developed a wonderful, easy way to nurture connection. With short, concise conversation starters, Stronger Connection Cards help a couple go beyond day to day communication about home life, work, or children, and begin meaningful dialogue about things that matter. In a world where many in relationship feel lonely and isolated it is clear that deeper connection is needed. SCC foster this with topics ranging from a couple’s early attraction, to faith, dreams, and thoughts on sex. They not only help you learn about each other, but you’ll discover ways to affirm each other as well.

The best gifts come in small packages, so give the gift of connection this Christmas that will join your hearts in new and life-giving ways! SCC make great stocking stuffers for your husband, wife, or married adult children or friends!

And if you’re struggling with some of the challenges of living in a sexualized world, TrueNorth Freedom Project can help you with that.

Anne Kerr

Founder and CEO of TrueNorth Freedom Project in Atlanta Georgia

annek@truenorthfp.org

Photo credit: Toa Heftiba