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9 phrases for when you feel out of touch with your partner

Silence in your relationship is more common than you might think, but you can open the door for communication.

9 phrases for when you feel out of touch with your partner

Something that many people don't really talk about is that marriage is hard. You have to work on it daily and give your partner the time they need after kids, work and all of your other responsibilities.

Constant conflict, chronic disrespect, and serious betrayals get a lot of air time when we're talking about bad relationships. It's easy to understand that relationships fail when conflict is unrelenting.

However, after working with couples for 15 years, it has become crystal clear that those couples have a leg up on other couples who are struggling. At least they're talking, even if they're arguing, because as Lisa Brookes Kift, LMFT explains, not arguing means you're not communicating.

Some partners avoid conflict because they think they're keeping the peace. They tell themselves that whatever is bothering them isn't worth bringing up. It's no big deal. Dr. Gottman's research has revealed that for some conflict avoiders, this interaction is good enough for them. It works.

As he details in Principia Amoris, however, these couples are at greater risk of “drifting apart with zero interdependence over time, and thus being left with a marriage consisting of two parallel lives, never touching, especially when the children [leave] home."

The unspoken issues and irritants add up until the tension hits a breaking point.

Eventually partners explode, or worse, shut down. They try to speak up, but by that point, it's often too late. They don't have any gas left in the tank to fight for the relationship.

Maybe at some point, one or both partners did fight. They did try for an improved understanding. They worked for it. But improvements failed to stick, nothing worked, and needs failed to get met until one or both decided it was better to retreat from the relationship emotionally and stop fighting for it.

Sometimes silence is a deliberate choice. No one is yelling or using disrespectful language. However, those on the receiving end of such silence hear the message: You have ceased to matter. You're not worth my time or my attention.

So how do you break the silence in your marriage? Start by acknowledging it.

Phrases to help break the silence

1. "Hey, we haven't really been talking lately. I have been feeling X and just haven't known how to bring it up."

2. "Can we check in? I know I've gone radio silent and shut down. I'm not even sure I can explain it all but I'd like to try, if you're willing to listen to me bumble about a bit while I sort it all out."

3. "I'm not sure what's going here, but I feel like we haven't really spoken in X amount of time. Do you have time to talk tonight?"

4. "I miss you. We don't really talk anymore, and I am not sure why. I haven't asked because I am afraid you'll say it's my fault but I miss you. I miss us."

Partners stop talking because they fear what might happen after the conversation starts. What happens if we start talking and can't work it out? What happens if I ask my partner what's bothering him and I can't handle the answer? What happens if I tell my partner what's bothering me and she doesn't care?

Those fears play into why people stay silent. Tell your partner what's on your heart. Remember that you two fell in love for a reason and created this incredible family.

Phrases to help state your fears

If you're worried about what your spouse might say, think, or do, be transparent about that. Tell your partner what you want them to know:

5. "I know I'm not the best communicator, but silence can't be good. I really don't want to fight with you. I want us to work this out together."

6. "I know we keep trying. I know we keep failing. But silence is giving up, and I don't want to do that."

7. "I know that we haven't been talking. The truth is, I'm scared because I'm desperate for us to connect. I feel like we are on opposite sides and I want to feel like we're a team again. I want us to figure out some way to work this out even though neither of us really knows how to start."

8. "Hey, I don't want you to feel under attack here. I know I am to blame, too, but this conversation has to start somewhere. Our relationship is too important to me to not try so here's how I'm feeling."

9. "I caught myself the other day telling a friend about how great you were with X. I realized I never told you that I thought you did that well. In fact, I can't remember the last time we had a conversation that went beyond our to-do lists. Can we figure out a time to just check in, please?"

Now that you've broken the silence in your marriage and opened the door to connection, the next step is to walk through it together.

Written by Heather Gray for The Gottman Relationship Blog.

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    Ara Katz/Seed

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    I was bi-coastal after co-founding a mobile tech company in New York City with a partner in LA. My life was, for as long as I can remember, consumed by creating and work. I was fairly nomadic, loved to travel, spent many hours reading and practicing yoga, being with friends [and] waking up at the crack of dawn. [I] was fairly sure I would never marry or have children. And then something shifted.

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    Ha, that makes it sound like motherhood is a destination when at this very moment, more than ever, it evolves daily. I lost my mom when I was 17 and spent most of my life believing I didn't want to be a mother. I had a lot of wiring about its limitations and constraints—I'm sure relics of grief and the fear of loss.

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    Becoming a mother is certainly a persistent lens on all of my choices, but it was really my miscarriage that recalibrated my path. My pregnancy rekindled my love of biology and health and led me to my co-founder and the microbiome. My breastfeeding experience incepted our first product focus, and the newfound accountability for a human inspired our brand.

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    I met my co-founder, Raja, during my pregnancy with Pax. [I] was immediately awestruck by his ability to both deeply understand science and to methodically break down a product, dietary question or piece of advice in a way that's educational (you actually learn something about your body), actionable (you understand what to do with the information) and foundational (you can build on that knowledge in the future to continue to make better choices).

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    Seed Daily Synbiotic

    Seed

    Seed's Daily Synbiotic is a 24-strain probiotic + prebiotic formulated for whole-body benefits, including gut, skin and heart health.


    Q. How do probiotics play a role in your life?

    I mean, I take them, I develop them and I work with some of the leading scientists from around the world advancing the field—so they play a big role. As for my personal health, I take our Daily Synbiotic daily and my son also takes specific strains for gastrointestinal health and gut immune function. Beyond that, it's the re-orientation around my microbiome that guides many of my choices: how important fiber is, specific compounds like polyphenols found in berries, green tea and other foods, avoiding the use of NSAIDS like ibuprofen and antibiotics when not needed, exercise, sleep and time in nature [are] all aspects of our daily life that impact our microbiome and our health.

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    There's one main myth on from which all the other stem: that probiotics aren't considered a serious science. On the contrary, it's a field of inquiry that demands incredible rigor and extensive research. And when anything and everything from chocolate to ice cream to fermented food and kombucha to mattresses can call itself "probiotic" due to underregulation in the category, that grossly undermines the science and their potential.

    The term 'probiotic' has a globally-accepted scientific definition that was actually co-authored by our Chief Scientist, Dr. Gregor Reid ,for the United Nations/World Health Organization.

    At Seed, we work to reclaim the term for science, through the development of next-generation probiotics that include clinically validated strains and undergo the most rigorous safety, purity and efficacy testing procedures. Because why would you invite billions of unknown microbes into your body without asking "what's in here, is it the correct dosage that was studied, and has that strain in that amount been studied in human clinical trials to do something beneficial for my body"?

    Q. Can you tell us a little bit about what product you plan to launch next?

    We are developing a pipeline of consumer probiotics to target specific ecosystems of the body and life stages, including a synbiotic for children. Our next product will reflect a unique breakthrough in the field of pediatric probiotics, which we are excited to announce soon.

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