Love in the Mountains: Feeling the disconnect? |

Love in the Mountains: Feeling the disconnect?

Jessica Heaney
Love in the Mountains
When disconnection shows up in your relationship, it's important to know how to acknowledge it and what to do next.
Special to the Daily | E+

In every relationship, disconnection happens. While it may be normal, it isn’t healthy. When disconnection seeps into a relationship, what we do with it matters most. Like a slow leak, when left to its own devices, disconnection can cause severe damage over time. And if we wait for the flood, we’re sometimes too late to the scene.

When couples enter my office in complete crisis, with their marriages and relationships on the brink, I often discover disconnecting patterns that started early in the relationship. For years, they either didn’t notice the slow leak or they had no idea how to talk about it or what to do with it.

It’s important to understand that as social human beings, we are wired to be in relationships. And more so, we are wired to be in relationships where we can depend and need others. We weren’t made to be isolated and solely independent beings. Being on our own causes illness, disease, depression and anxieties. So, when disconnection shows up in your relationship, it’s imperative you know what to do next.


Tune in and notice the red flags of disconnection.

Whether it’s less time spent together, more conflict, less physical touch or the perpetuating silence when you’re in the same room. Red flags vary for each relationship. But there’s a common feeling that signals disconnect. It’s usually a ping of loneliness or feelings of misunderstanding and when you start to question whether you matter to your mate.

Tune in and become aware of your red flags of disconnection.

Close the Gap

When disconnection shows up, a common response is to wait and avoid. And nothing could be more damaging.

This is when the slow leak can start to wreak havoc. The sooner it can be addressed the better. Yes, we all might need to take a break when things get heated. But learning how to come together ASAP to repair and close the gap is critical.

Face and trust your feelings of disconnection. Then, courageously go toward your partner to tell them what you’re noticing. Most importantly, let your partner know that you’re seeking to close the gap between you and that you’re not looking to place blame or attack.

Check In

If you and your partner can make it a regular habit to check in on your connection, then you’re well on your way to having a strong secure relationship.

Begin being purposeful in asking not just, “How are you?” but asking “How connected do you feel with me? Have I been showing up for you?” These are emotionally intimate questions and conversations. At first, they may feel awkward or strange. That’s OK. Because moving into discomfort is how we grow in relationship.

Take the risk. And you’ll soon find the reward.

I would love to hear from you. Send me a note with your burning relationship questions. Or reach out to schedule a meeting with me, your local relationship specialist and therapist, at or

Jessica Heaney is a licensed clinical social worker who knows the relationship struggles of living in the Vail Valley. If you’re a Vail Resorts employee, then your EAP benefits give you and your partner six sessions with Heaney. For more information, visit If you want to learn how to date for commitment and how to stop dating the king or queen of first dates, then contact Heaney at