It seems obvious that reconnecting and rekindling the flame with your partner means taking time to be together, but it surprises me how few of my clients take time to be alone with their partner. 

When we begin to unravel the “why” around that, it usually includes a long history of disagreements that have become taboo topics. Money is a big one, parenting is another. When you have big topics that simmer under the surface, it doesn’t feel safe to spend time alone together because there is fear that those conversations will come up. 

While I like the idea of ripping off the bandaid regarding tough topics, it’s never really as straightforward as that sounds. Think about what you do when you actually rip off a bandaid. You check to make sure the surrounding skin is tight, maybe do a little prepwork to make the process easier. The same can be applied to handling those tough topics so that you can let your relationship have some air and heal. 

Set the stage. No one likes an ambush.

Plan a date and set boundaries around it. Go to your favorite restaurant or have a picnic, sit side by side, and bring up the topic in a different way than you have before. 

Perhaps you say something along the lines of, “We have a lot of differing views around the topic of money and seem to have the same conversation over and over again with nothing really changing. How about we set some action steps around money that we can both feel good about?” 

You get 15-30 minutes max to create one action item. You’re not rehashing all the things that have already been said. The action can be really small, like agreeing to talk about money in the future from a calm place or each choosing a book to read regarding finances. Then put the topic aside and change the subject. Talk this plan through with your partner before you go on the date so you both know there is a game plan.

Have a weekly date night where you briefly bring up both of your progress on the action step, decide if the action item needs an adjustment or is good as is, then move on to have your date. 

The point of this is to show you both that you can talk about the tough topic in a respectful way with a focus of being partners in the solution.

At the same time, you’re creating time for you to be alone together without the stress of “that topic” coming up. You know it will, that’s the plan. 

Expect this to be a little awkward in the beginning and know that it will become easier the more you stay consistent with weekly dates with this in mind. 

Not only will this practice help you work through the “danger zone” of the taboo topic, but it will also help you remove the walls that are keeping you apart and build a bridge for you to come together. This takes time, intention, and commitment. And I have all the faith in the world that you can use this as a way to reconnect with your partner and create the relationship you know you’re both capable of. 

I’d love to hear how this works for you. Drop your experience in the comments below.

Until next time,

Tonya Marie

P.S. Grab the free journal prompts that accompany this “Rekindling the Flame: 30 Days to a Stronger Relationship” blog series at the link below.