How can you save your marriage?

How Can You Make Your Marriage or Love Last?

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What Does a Lasting Love Look Like? When your marriage or love relationship is in a secure place, you’re able to pause and observe what is happening when you and your partner or spouse are getting stuck, regulating your emotions, and then reflecting on what the conflict between the two of you means for both of you. Once you understand and make sense of the meaning for yourself and your spouse or partner, you can then ask for what you need, and be open to responding to what your partner or spouse needs.

What Does a Distressed Marriage or Couple Look Like? If your marriage or love relationship is distressed, you most likely will have difficulty managing your emotions, understanding the meaning for both of you behind conflicts, and responding effectively with what you both need. In a distressed marriage or love relationship, you’ll likely get stuck in the typical negative patterns of the “Demon Dialogues” described in "Hold Me Tight" by Sue Johnson, the creator of Emotionally Focused Therapy:

  • Attack/Defend
  • Attack/Attack
  • Withdraw/Withdraw

The negative patterns you get stuck in are most likely reactions to the “raw spots” or sensitivities that all of us have in our marriages or love relationships. These sensitivities filter through what is happening in the moment between you and your partner or spouse, using the lens of associations from your past experiences.

What are these Core sensitivities?

 

  • Abandonment
  • Emotional Deprivation
  • Mistrust
  • Defectiveness

When your love relationship or marriage is emotionally secure, you and your partner or spouse may hit areas of sensitivity at times while managing them in a way that can actually be healing. For instance, if you’ve experienced instability in your key relationships, your partner or spouse can work on staying emotionally present with you when your fears arise, helping you to soothe the sense of danger your mind expects from unreliable relationships. As you work to soften your reactions to your partner or spouse, he or she responds in ways that help you know you can rely on him or her, even without being perfect. The expectation in your mind that important people aren't reliable or won't be there for you shifts to knowing from experiencing that your partner or spouse is there for you.

What Can You Do To Improve Your Marriage or Love Relationship? 

  1. Identify the negative pattern that takes over your marriage or love relationship when you feel disconnected or alone
  2. Define the sensitivities you and your partner or spouse have underneath the intense emotions or numbing out that occur
  3. Invite your partner or spouse to "take the elevator down" with you into your deeper emotions (fear, sadness, shame), and help him or her understand your vulnerable side
  4. Identify what you need, based on your emotional state. Ask your partner clearly and directly for your need to be met, most importantly, in an inviting way
  5. Understand your partner or spouse and his or her vulnerabilities, along with the meaning behind what upsets him or her. Invite your partner or spouse to tell you directly what he or she needs

 

Share Your Experience in Your Marriage or Love Relationship

Have you had times when you've realized you've been caught in a negative pattern with your partner or spouse? Do you know what lied underneath the conflict for you and for him or her? Have you found a way to successfully navigate conflicts in your marriage or love relationship? Share your experiences, and help others learn more. 

Need a Marriage or Couples Counselor or Therapist in NYC?

The Loving at Your Best plan for marriage and couples counseling and therapy in NYC helps couples learn to reconnect and to thrive. Even if your relationship has been stuck in a very negative place for a long time, there can still be significant hope that you and your spouse or partner can get your relationship back. If you'd like more information, contact our office today at 212-725-7774, or schedule an appointment directly online: www.LovingatYourBest.Genbo ok.com

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How Can I Save My Marriage or Relationship?

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Perhaps you've come to the point where you're asking yourself how you can save your marriage from divorce or relationship from separation. One of the most important things you can do to start is identify what it means to be close to your partner or spouse.

How we connect with others has been studied for more than 50 years, and knowing what your patterns of connection are can help you get closer with your spouse or partner, and even help save your marriage or relationship. The most important parts of connection with your partner or spouse involve three key parts:

  1. being close in proximity to your partner or spouse
  2. trying to avoid separations
  3. being able to turn to your partner or spouse when you need him or her, especially in times of threat or danger

Four core patterns of connection help us understand where you may get stuck in your marriage or relationship, and how you need your connection to be to feel safe and secure:

  1. First, an anxious-preoccupied way of connection leads a partner or spouse to be fearful, angry, and unsettled when connecting and dealing with emotions. This may be expressed through anger or aggressive actions that can turn a partner or spouse away.
  2. Second, an avoidant way of connection leads to distant, apathetic responses experienced by the other partner as backing away or dismissing his or her experience.
  3. Third, a disorganized way of connecting occurs when you or your partner or spouse have a history of unresolved loss and/or trauma that involves being frightened, experiencing a lot of unpredictability, and having a relationship with a caregiver or romantic partner who is unavailable. Even worse, the caregiver becomes a source of danger. The person we rely on for safety becomes a threat, and we develop a pattern of connection that leads to disorganization.
  4. On the opposite end, if you feel secure in your relationship, the well-being of both you and your partner or spouse is an ongoing priority. You seek closeness and proximity without anger or urges to withdraw.  When your partner or spouse wants to be close to you, you don't get angry or want to run, but instead welcome the closeness and respond to him or her warmly.

Share Your Experience: How Can You Save Your Marriage or Relationship?

What have you tried so far that has helped improve or even save your marriage or relationship? Where do you get stuck together with your partner or spouse that stops you from feeling safe and secure in your connection? Have you identified what your pattern of connecting with your partner or spouse is? Do you connect through anxious-preoccupied patterns, avoidant patterns, disorganized patterns, or secure patterns? What about your partner or spouse: is he or she connecting through anxious-preoccupied, avoidant, disorganized, or secure patterns? Do you relate to the key tenants of safe and secure relationships: seeking proximity, minimizing separations, and being able to count on your partner or spouse when you need him or her most? Share your experiences in the comment section below.

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