Dr. Sue Johnson’s study, now 25 years in the making will be soon published. From her books and other research, we know that love isn’t a mystery, it’s a wired in survival code to keep those we depend on close. Her study shows that we can now isolate key elements in love, and systematically guide two disconnected people to a loving connection. Emotionally Focused Couple therapy is the product of this research. Re-mapping your relationship – it’s science.
What else would you want to do on a Friday night? Perhaps not a first choice, BUT we can’t always control timing. Changing how you feel is a process often involving small steps. If you feel it’s time to get out of that jealous slump you’ve been in about his 25 year old co-worker (for example), try reaching for a feeling that’s a little better, anger for example. After you’re good and angry, try for worry. You could move all way up to appreciating your partner, but if you can’t, go easy on yourself, one step at a time. Sometimes it’s good to indulge your state, and sometimes it’s time to move on from it. In emotionally focused therapy we spend time knowing when each option is most appropriate, but it may be safe to experiment with at home…
Sometimes you share with her and it helps and sometimes it…well makes it worse. This can often come down to empathy versus sympathy. Empathy is a word that comes up a lot in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy. But the actual meaning of empathy can be vague. Here it is explained in cartoon form and narrated by Brene Brown.
I’m a fan of sweet talk, maybe because the south runs through half my family. I don’t mean sweet fake though, but sweet genuine. What if we did more acts of kindness like Shea Glover did in her video?
Sweet complements are generous and can really switch your brain’s state. Doing hard work in your relationship? Find one thing you can really appreciate about your partner and let them know. Or if that’s too much just hold it in your heart and think it when you are around her. Are you and overachiever? Then spend 5 minutes appreciating your partner out loud.
Ever find yourself saying that inside your head?
Carl Rogers is famous for saying that it wasn’t until he accepted himself that change was possible. The same is true for how you regard your partner. When you accept all of him (yes I mean THAT quality too!) it’s then he could emerge into his most brilliant self. If it’s difficult to accept him fully, it might mean something about your relationship with imperfection. At the very least, in the moments you find yourself judging, turn inward and get interested in who you’ve been about imperfection.
Now the photo won’t download perfectly, how perfect. It reads “Perfectly Imperfect”…
Your parents (insert best friends, sister etc…) are probably going to take your side if you are fighting with your partner. That’s their job, unconditional love. Is it reality based? How could it be? They are getting your point of view – and you’re upset. In fact, don’t take any non-professional relationship advice too literally. (Yes this includes internet chat rooms). I don’t mean stop reaching out for support from loved ones, but before you prove to everyone that your partner is the bad guy, make sure you throughly understand your role in getting the relationship here. What would his/her family say about you?
Exceptions? People advise with what they know, so if you want to emulate their relationships it probably is ok to listen up.
There’s lot so things we CAN do to express our love and listening is a big one. In a podcast by Tara Bracht titled Sacred Pause she said, “The deepest expression of love is a non doing presence.” Find your heart, and put your hand there, bring your breath there. And with that awareness listen to your partner. That might then lead to a hug, or doing something kind for your partner, but it starts with deep listening.