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One question we get all the time is, “How do I use SMART Contact if I don’t have kids?”
If you and your spouse aren’t talking, the thought of going days or weeks without talking isn’t just painful- it’s terrifying! Especially if you feel like there’s nothing to hold your relationship together like having kids would… so what can you do?
Well, here’s what you should NOT do: “Constant contact.” Do not contact your spouse EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. thinking will “bring them back.” (It will not. Annoyance pushes them away.)
Here’s what you should also NOT do: “No Contact.” Do not ignore your spouse for a period of time. If they reach out to you and you don’t respond it will NOT make them curious about you, or jealous. (It’s definitely not smart to ignore your spouse!)
So what actually works? Here’s what WORKS: SMART Contact.
*For an in-depth video detailing each aspect of SMART Contact, watch this video first: “Save Your Marriage While Separated: Do This!” https://youtu.be/5Rb1CIgt37I
SMART Contact can be more difficult without kids, but you can absolutely do it! It means you need to reach out to your spouse only when it is relevant- not reaching out about relationship problems, making your spouse feel guilty, or telling your spouse how much you love and miss them- No! Reach out about bank accounts, businesses, house payment, mail, taxes, pets, legal documents… you get the idea.
Aside from “business items,” SMART Contact also includes how you respond to your spouse when they reach out to you. (Especially if it makes you mad.)
For example, when Kimberly and her husband were separated, they didn’t have kids. Her husband sent her a text, saying, “I’m going to buy a new car.”
She went crazy… but NOT to her husband- she reached out to a trusted mentor about her husband reaching out. Her mentor helped her pause, asking, “Do you really need to fight about this?” So rather than a snarky response, saying how stupid he is, how angry she was, all she did was sent a short text back, saying, “Okay.” She didn’t try to fight.
Several days later, he responded with another text saying he was sorry for things he had done. Instead of responding to that text message, she called him and just listened.
After hearing this story you need to know SMART Contact may not work like this for you, but it can! It may take more time… less time… It may be more like a roller coaster.
The bottom line is this: be consistent. You have to be consistent. This won’t change things overnight, but it’s a way of communicating over time.
*SMART Contact™ is a registered trademark of Marriage Helper.