marriage counseling

“Adult romantic love is an attachment bond, just like the one between mother and child.” Sue Johnson
Society has told us that in order to be independent, healthy adults, we need to separate ourselves from our parents, and learn to not depend on them for nurturing and comfort. However, the need to depend on one person, to know that when we call, that person will be there for us, never disappears. As psychiatrist John Bowlby said, “from the cradle to the grave,” we need to have someone to be there for us from the moment we are born until the moment we die. For this reason, romantic love is not illogical; it is, in fact, the continuation of an ordered plan for our survival.

However, there is a difference: our partner doesn’t not have to be there physically. As children, we needed our caregivers in order to safe and protected. As adults, we can use mental images of our partner to call up a sense of connection. Whenever I have to do a presentation, I get anxious and nervous. What I do to calm down, is to picture my husband in mind and his encouraging words.

The Laws of Love – 1

The Science of Love -1

“The eskimos had fifty-two names for snow because it was important to them: there ought to be as many for love.” Margaret Atwood
 You know that feeling; that feeling of longing. It’s the ache that something vital is missing from your life. You want more; more meaning, more connection, more energy – more something. Longing is that feeling that course through your body just before you decide that you’re restless, lonely, or unhappy.

Longing is not a state of mind, it’s physical. Your whole body craves some essential nutrient that it’s not getting, that is quite difficult to define. Sometimes you can numb this ache with a deep dive into work and television. More often than not, though, these and other attempts to fill the aching void are just temporary distractions.

What you are longing for is love. Love is the essential nutrient that your cells crave: true positive connection with other living beings. Love nourishes your body the way the right balance of sunlight, nutrient soil, and water nourishes plants and allow them to flourish. The more you experience it, the more you open up and grow, becoming wiser and more attuned, more resilient and effective, happier and healthier. You grow spiritually as well, better able to see, feel, and appreciate the deep interconnections that tie you to others.

Just as your body was designed to extract oxygen from the earth’s atmosphere, and nutrients from the foods you ingest, your body was designed to love. New science of love for the first time is able to prove this to be true. We know today, that the love you do or do not experience may quite literally change key aspects of cellular architecture that affect your physical health, […]

It is difficult to talk to my partner. How do I get my partner to open up?

Every couple has a dance, a cycle. There are moments that the couple is fully in sync with each other, but there are moments of missteps. In the dance of tango there is no script, is the connection with the partner that determines the next step. If we are not in sync, we will step on each other toes.

Every couple has those moments, but we need to repair the disconnection.

Complaints and criticism towards our partner are not the best ways to repair the disconnection. These actions may lead our partner to shut down and be distant emotionally.

It’s important to do some self-evaluation.

Are you emotionally and physically available to your partner?
Is it easy for your partner to access you?
Is your partner able to share his or her feelings with you?
Whenever someone is struggling, the person will send out some signals. Can you pick up the signals your partner is sending you?

A good start is to begin a conversation about the sense of disconnection you have noticed and difficulty both of you are having in communicating with one another.  Ask your partner about the things you might be doing that are causing him or her to shut down. This is a difficult step, but it can be helping in restoring connection.   When listening, keep your mind and heart open to hear your partner’s views of the problem. Make sure to set aside any kind of judgment about the things your partner is sharing with you. Be humble to see that there are new things to be learned. Let the words come and have an impact in your life. Listening to your partner’s perspective, shows that you respect his or her thoughts and feelings.

 

The Laws of Love – 1

“The primary and main human instinct is neither sex nor aggression. It is to seek contact and comforting connection from another being.”  Sue Johnson
 

English psychiatrist, John Bowlby, was the first to give us an understanding of love. Bowlby suggested that all of us are designed to love a few others to keep us feeling safe and protected from birth until the time we die. Sue Johnson, in her book “Love Sense,” says that “although sex may push us to mate, it is love that guarantees our existence.” When we come into the world, our attachment system has been hard-wired to seek connection with another human being. If you watch a baby being born, you will notice the way the baby will reach out to connect to the person who has been carrying him or her for nine months. The brain attachment system moves us to pursue physical closeness and build interactions with a few of our closest people, beginning with our mother.

Reference: Johnson, S. M. (2013). Love sense: The revolutionary new science of romantic relationships.

Do You Need Pre-Marital Counseling?

As we are preparing to enter into the “Wedding Season” of 2013, I wanted to take the opportunity to give some input and perspective into the benefits of pre-marital counseling. Some religions require for couples to go through session prior to marriage to make sure that they are embarking on this journey for the right reasons.  In lieu of any religious requirements or in addition to them, pre-marital counseling can be a great benefit to a lasting marriage.

Even in the most intimate relationships, it can be difficult to discuss your hopes, dreams and expectations. While we can agree on where we will live, how we will pay the bills and whether we will have children, there are other issues that can be more easily addressed during a counseling session then in a one-on-one discussion with your fiancé. One of the biggest benefits of pre-marital counseling is the ability to learn how to communicate effectively with your partner. All relationships are based in communication. Yet often times with our most intimate relationships, we think that the other person “knows” or “understands” what we are thinking or saying. This is not the case. A counselor can give your tips and strategies to improve the communication in the relationship and make sure you understand each other’s needs.

During the session, you will be asked questions to determine areas where you are compatible and non-compatible. While these differences may not be deal-breakers, by identifying them early on, you can help alleviate problems further down the road. Also, by knowing where these differences are, you can work to compromise in these areas instead of moving forward and possible causing areas of contention.

Marriage is hard work. You need to work on […]

By |April 16th, 2013|Categories: Blog, Counseling, Couples, Marriage, Relationships|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Do You Need Pre-Marital Counseling?

Top 4 Reasons that Couples Divorce

As we move into the beginning of a new year, many couples make the difficult decision to divorce. Statistics show that the month of January has the highest number of divorce filings nationwide. So why is that?  During the holidays, emotions are running high. Many couples who are having marital problems try and stay together through the holidays either for the children or to see if being together as a family during this time can strengthen the bonds between them. If you are experiencing any of the problems listed below, it is time to consider a divorce.

 

 Your spouse is violent either physically or mentally toward you and/or your children. Violence should not be tolerated under any circumstance. Serial abusers will tell their victims that, “they can change” or “this will be the last time”, but too often that is not the case. If you are being abused, seek shelter and assistance from either family or a shelter.
Your spouse is in denial about a drug or alcohol abuse problem. If you spouse abuses either drugs or alcohol and doesn’t admit to the problem and the problems it is bringing to your family, you need to consider leaving. For some addicts, the realization that their spouse is leaving the relationship due to this problem can force them to admit they have a problem and seek help.
Your spouse is having an affair. Having an affair does not automatically mean the end to the marriage. However, if your spouse is ready to move on with the other person and has no intention of ending the affair, it is time for you to move on as well.
Your spouse is controlling your life. When you are talking on the […]