Are You There for Your Partner or Spouse?

Are You Available in Your Marriage or Relationship?

When you’re aware of where you are, and can focus on the present, your partner or spouse is much more likely to feel that you’re available to him or her. In this “state,” you’re much more likely to be open and creative with possibilities together in your relationship. You also don’t judge what is happening in the moment, but stay grounded in situations.

What’s a Definition of Being Well?

A state of well-being can be defined as being flexible and receptive in any moment with your partner or spouse, regardless of the challenges you face together. You stay in an open, “approach” stance as you face obstacles. Worries about the future or a focus on the past don’t distract you.

You can bring “presence” to your life in your marriage and relationships, in your work and career, and in your personal passions. You’re able to focus, be resourceful, and maintain a perspective that supports you as a person and your marriage or relationship.

Where Can You Start to Become More Available?

The starting point for remaining present is being aware of yourself, both emotionally and intellectually, asking yourself what is happening right now inside for you. The more you care for yourself, the more available you are to care for other people, especially your partner or spouse. Helping other people also brings joy and happiness to you, since all of us are born to nurture and connect with other people. Without caring for yourself, you’re limited in how much you can care for others.

How Do You Know When Things Aren’t Well?

How do you know when you’re in a bad place, what we call a state of “un-health?” Most likely, instead of being flexible and adaptive, you become rigid or chaotic. Both of these states of un-health result in limiting your ability and capacity to connect with your partner, spouse, or other people. You can develop skills to help strengthen yourself so that you don’t get carried off into rigidity or chaos.

What Does “Presence” Mean?

You are open in the moment, now, to whatever is, and are able to move in and out of different situations without getting locked into a biased view that restricts you. You can learn to be more present through three key skills:

  1. monitor what you’re experiencing on the inside
  2. modify your what you’re experiencing on the inside
  3. practice being present to make it your default

How Do You Know When Rigidity Is Setting In?

Rigidity makes you hold something as a truth, even though reality may be different. If you work to understand what you’re experiencing by naming it, you can actually loosen the grip rigidity may hold on you. Allow your internal responses to inform you, rather than to entrap you.

Over a century ago, Louis Pasteur famously said, "chance favors the prepared mind." Sudden flashes of insight don't just happen, but are much more likely to be products of a lot of preparation and practice.

Are You Aware of Your Two Worlds?

Your physical world includes your first five senses that help you experience the world around you: seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and feeling.

Your experiential world, what Daniel J. Siegel calls a sixth sense, filters information somatically. You ask yourself: what is my body telling me, my heart, my intestines, my muscles? If you pay attention to this sixth sense, you'll notice your body interacting with your first five physical senses. If you work on becoming aware of all six senses, within yourself and within your partner or spouse in your relationship, you can actually see things much more clearly between you, and you'll be much less likely to get trapped in a state of rigidity or chaos.

What Goals Can You Work Toward to Make Your Marriage or Relationship Better?

  • Expand your ability to care for your partner or spouse by caring more for yourself
  • Liberate yourself from worries about the future, or focusing on the past through staying “present”
  • Work on identifying your five senses in the world, your physical senses, and becoming more aware of your sixth sense of your body the internal experience
  • Increase your ability to feel what your partner is feeling on the inside
  • Develop your ability to be aware of your own internal experiences to your partner or spouse, allowing those experiences to inform you rather than entrap you
  • Through practice, increase your ability to be aware of what you’re focused on, and pay attention to your intention
Like the theme of this post? Read more about the practice of mindsight in Daniel Siegel's powerful book, a core reading of the Loving at Your Best Plan.

Like the theme of this post? Read more about the practice of mindsight in Daniel Siegel's powerful book, a core reading of the Loving at Your Best Plan.

You can practice and develop your skills in the (1) physical world, the world that is visible to all of us, and the (2) experiential world, your subjective sense of your life. Through combining how you sense both the physical and experiential worlds, you can be much better prepared for whatever situations you face, both personally and relationally.

Your physical world includes your first five senses that help you filter and understand the world around you, and are what you're most likely familiar with: seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and feeling.

Your experiential world, what Daniel J. Siegel refers to as your sixth sense, filters information through your body, or somatically. For instance, you ask yourself: what is my body telling me, my heart, my intestines, my muscles? If you pay attention to this sixth sense, you'll notice your body interacting with your first five physical senses. As you work to become aware of all six senses, within yourself and your marriage or relationship, you can actually see things much more clearly between you and your spouse or partner, and you'll be much less likely to get trapped in a state of rigidity or chaos.

Mindsight is the ability to see inside yourself, and inside your partner, spouse, and others, to have a "felt" sense of where you and others are at emotionally, and to glean the information influencing yourself and others at any given moment. The Loving at Your Best Plan uses skills and techniques from Daniel Siegel's Mindsight to help clients become masters at practicing mindsight on a daily basis. Mindsight is part of a growing field in Interpersonal Neurobiolgy (IPNB), where science is helping the connections in marriages and relationships grow stronger.

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Share Your Experiences

Have you practiced your own version of mindsight, with yourself, or with your spouse or partner? If so, share your experiences of developing and practicing your six senses with us in the comment section below, and help others learn from your experiences.