Reconnect. Heal. Love Being Married
HEAL – Part II
In my last post https://indivisiblecouples.com/reconnect-part-i/ I talked about the fact that couples have conflict about common issues but it is less about the content of the fight that is important and more about the deep desire that couples have to connect to one another.
Dr. Sue Johnson (2008), creator of Emotionally Focused Therapy, tells us that the primary question that underlies the conflict that couples have is A.R.E. you there for me? A stands for Accessible. Can I access you? R stands for Responsive. Are you responsive to me? E stands for Engaged. Are you engaged with me.
When we fight about particular issues the underlying question, whether conscious or not, is A.R.E you there for me? If the answer is thought to be, or is actually, “no” then protest occurs. When one person protests the lack of accessibility, responsiveness, and engagement the other may fight back or withdraw. This is the “cycle” that I talked about in my last post.
Once a couple begins to understand that they are fighting to connect, and that it is usually fear that prevents that connection, they can slow down. Once they have slowed down, they can learn how to spot the cycle when it is beginning, or before it gets too “hot”, and pause or stop the cycle. Once they can consistently recognize and disrupt their cycle they begin to learn what they each need and what their beloved needs. They can learn to explore their fears. Ultimately they can learn how calm those fears with and for each other, and even heal those wounds and insecurities.
A great tool for couples is Dr. Johnson’s book, Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love. Dr. Johnson walks couples through seven conversations that allow them to identify their cycle, work with it, and ultimately heal and love being married.
Sometimes couples are not able to work through their cycle on their own even with the powerful exercises outlined in Hold Me Tight and need more support and guidance. If you feel that you would like to work one on one with someone on the principles outlined in these blog posts or in Hold Me Tight call me today, I would love to help you and your spouse Reconnect, Heal, and Love Being Married.
Reference: Johnson, S. (2008). Hold me tight: seven conversation for a lifetime of love. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company