Being married is not always easy. Every couple has their ups and their downs for numerous reasons. It may be because of poor communication skills, destructive power struggles, or caustic fighting patterns. I am going to let you in on some really good advice. It is actually much deeper than simply learning better skills to communicate. The ups and the downs are the result of emotional disconnection from your partner. Now if you’re reading this and you have a partner take a moment to think about the disagreements between the two of you. You may start to notice a trend in the arguments.
Imagine person A saying the following: “I am angry with you because you are always late!” “You never tell me what the weekend plans are until the last minute!” “All you care about is work and we never get to spend time together!” Clearly person A can benefit from communication skills as well as learning that absolutes such as “never” and “always” are NOT beneficial AT All when communicating dissatisfaction with your partner. What is not so clear is that person A is feeling emotionally disconnected. Underneath all the distress and anger person A is really asking, Can I count on you, depend on you? Are you there for me? Will you respond to me when I need, when I call? Do I matter to you? Am I valued and accepted by you? It can be very difficult to hear the real message from your partner when they are upset because we tend to have our own agendas and that is to defend and protect ourselves. When we get fired up the sympathetic nervous system activates, we are then in fight or flight mode or the “irrational brain.” This is when we can say or do things we may not truly intend. When this happens, it is so important to take breaks and revisit the discussion at another time.
To practice staying in the parasympathetic nervous system, or “The Rational Brain,” I recommend trying YogaTalk Cards. I created YogaTalk Cards for couples to not only have fun together but to practice communicating and having difficult conversations calmly. It is a way to strengthen emotional connection and build trust. You can find the link for YogaTalk Cards at the end of the blog, where you can see examples or purchase your own.
Here are 5 simple tips for you to strengthen emotional connection for a great marriage:
1. Make the important decisions.
All too often we can really let important decisions to make store away which then causes same issues to cycle due to the avoidance. Sit down with a glass of wine or tea, maybe put some tranquil music on and make those decisions. There is probably a couple big
ones coming to your mind right now the answer is just do it. Then at least this way you are both on the same page of how to move forward.
2. Do your part.
We CANNOT control our partners. It is so much more important to be the right person than to try and get your partner to be the right person. If you both live by this tip then it makes you both the right person, make sense? Do not focus on your partner as the source of the problem. Instead ask yourself what you can do to make the situation better. I am not saying go buy them a gift, what I am trying to express that it could simply be going for a walk because you need to calm down even though your partner may be way more upset than you. Or do positive things for your partner and the relationship. Do something small they will like, but without expecting to be noticed or praised. Decide to let go of the negative or annoying comments. Be the best you YOU can be.
3. Create a safe space for connection.
When you have the skills to handle conflict you then have the keys to open emotional and physical intimacy. To feel safe during conflict and disagreement is so vital to your relationships harmony. If you do not feel safe to discuss issues with your partner you will lose connection with them. Persevere a space, date, and time. Make it important and a routine. Before the routine of fighting and arguing takes place instead. Remember the way we handle differences can matter so much more than what those differences are.
4. Be approachable.
Some self-disclosure, there have been times when I have felt my husband was so upset that it would be better for me to do things on my own as well as make decisions on my own. Even though I knew it was wrong to do I did it anyway, because it was easier than approaching my angry partner. Making yourself non-approachable can cause damaging echoing effects in your relationship. It is crucial that even when we are angry that we don’t become an enemy to our partner and that we compartmentalize the differences. Be someone that your partner can turn to at any time even when you are stressed. Do this by going to your happy place remember the love for your partner and be approachable.
5. Respect and nurture your commitment.
Celebrate anniversaries and make them important to you. Let your partner know how excited you are for that day to come and how happy they have made you through time. When we are committed to someone that means we sacrifice, forgive, protect priorities and traditions and develop teamwork. Our commitment to our partner brings another form of safety to the marriage or relationship. This sense of safety is the feeling of having security and permanence in the relationship. We need to know that struggles will not destroy the relationship which is why sometimes we tend to have arguments or repeated arguments as a way to test ourselves, “Are we strong enough for this?” When commitment is being questioned always choose nurture to give that needed reassurance and deepen the emotional connection.
Something I always tell couples when they come in to see me is, “Neither of you are my client. Your relationship is my client and I am here to treat and do what is best for your relationship. Remember getting married is a major commitment, you become one with your partner. It is not about what you need or what they need. It is about what your relationship needs.”
Feel free to contact Linda directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions!