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Lulls are Inevitable

Lulls are inevitable, even in the best of relationships. For me and my husband, Rob, we have been going through a lot of transition recently. In January, I started my private practice and then a few months ago, he started a managerial role, with a lot of responsibility.

Somehow, we got into a rut of talking about our work almost incessantly. On top of that, we were both tired from the transition and spent free time at home, numbing out on tv. These patterns went on for several weeks. And then one day, we named it. We named what was happening and we decided we needed to change it.

First order of operation, was to go on a date. Rob knew I wanted to go to El Jefe Cat Café – a café with coffee and adult cats and kittens. He got online and made reservations for us to go for an hour the next day.

*Research shows doing novel or new activities as a couple can produce chemicals similar to those felt in the honeymoon phase of a relationship.*

I told Rob that this was the best date ever as I am obsessed with cats. The café is three stories. The first two stories has about 30 adult cats and the third story has about 11 kittens. We were each given a little pouch of treats to give to the adult cats. Before we saw the cats, I got an Americano and Rob got a Mocha. I also bought a t-shirt that has a black cat with a coffee mug on it and says, “I like cats and coffee and maybe 3 people.” So relatable.

I picked out a little fluffy tortie cat (like my girl cat Joy) who had only one eye. She was tiny and followed me around everywhere. Rob picked out a beautiful tan cat that he called Belle and who purred for him when he petted her. When we went to the kitty room, all the kitties instantly ran to us. They were crawling all over us. We were in heaven.

This date really filled my cup and helped me feel more connected to Rob.

Next, order of operation, solve the issue of talking about work all the time. We decided to be funny about this. There was a show we both liked, Extraordinary Attorney Woo. This show is about a brilliant, autistic lawyer. One of her obsessions is whales. On the show, she was told by her dad upon going to work, “no inappropriate whale talk.” So, this has become our catch phrase when we are talking about work too much, “no inappropriate whale talk.”

The last thing we did to problem-solve the space we found ourselves in was to put a time restraint on the “inappropriate whale talk.” We decided on 15 minutes a piece to decompress after work. We still want to hear about it, but we don’t want to get stuck in it.

If you find yourself in a lull, feeling bored or feeling stagnant, just know that this is a normal part of having a long-term relationship. The good news is you don’t have to stay stuck in it. The first step is to name that it is happening and from there you can set a plan to course correct.

If you find you need additional assistance, if you are in Arizona, you can reach out to me for couples counseling either virtually or in person in Tucson. If you are not in Arizona, you can search psychology today for a couples counselor near you. Don’t let the rut go on for too long without intervening. You deserve to enjoy your relationship.

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