Reconnect. Heal. Love Being Married.
Love Being Married – Part III
A couple of weeks ago I talked about working with the “cycle” that all couples have, particularly slowing it down. This cycle is born from our feelings of disconnection in those moments we so deeply desire our partners to be there for us. We want to know that our beloved is accessible, responsive, and engaged, especially when we are in need (sad, mad, hurt, and so on). When we feel they are not there for us we lodge a protest, which they, usually unhappily, react to. The dance, or the cycle, begins.
Once couples can recognize and interrupt their cycle, especially in moments of need (sad, mad, hurt, etc.) they can respond to one another differently. It is in these different responses, especially when they are practiced over time, that couples learn to Love Being Married.
When a husband comes home and responds to his wife’s frazzled greeting with a quick kiss and eye contact, and she pauses to squeeze his hand as she is grabbing a child running by they have connect. They are also much more likely to later connect intimately (emotionally and maybe physically) than if they had jumped into their cycle. Prior to them learning that the husband just wants to reengage with his wife when he comes home, and them also learning that it is one of the worst times of the day for the wife to stop and talk, the exchange might have looked like this: husband somewhat aggressively saying, in response to his wife’s frazzled greeting, “You don’t even care that I am home!”. The wife would have responded angrily with, “You come home and don’t even notice the kids, and want me to stop everything because you walked in!”
In their cycle they would fight about his demands for attention, his “obliviousness”, her “coldness” and the attention she paid to the kids, rather than stopping to understand that they both needed something from one another, which was primarily connection and understanding.
Once they learned about the underlying needs, and allfights that couples have contain these underlying needs for emotional closeness and genuine understanding, they also learned how to respond firstto those underlying needs. Then they could address to the “content” of the argument from a place of secure attachment and relative emotional peace. That is what makes couples Love Being Married.
If you don’t Love Being Married consider what the underlying needs (and fears) are in your arguments. I know if you look closely you will find the desire to be seen and understood. If you struggle with sorting through all of this on your own please call me today. Using a proven couples counseling method, Emotionally Focused Therapy, I help couples learn about their cycle, how to slow it down and interrupt it, and learn to Love Being Married through attachment building interactions, even the ones that look like arguments.