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We cry for connection

August 4, 2011

A Great Idea…

“Distressed partners may use different words but they are always asking the same basic questions, ‘Are you there for me? Do I matter to you? Will you come when I need you, when I call?’ Love is the best survival mechanism there is, and to feel suddenly emotionally cut off from a partner, disconnected, is terrifying. We have to reconnect, to speak our needs in a way that moves our partner to respond.” (Dr. Sue Johnson, in her book, Hold Me Tight, pp. 46-47)

In Other Words…

When we are hurt, we tend to lash out. Unfortunately that drives away our most important resource for healing: our partners. When we express our pain without attacking our partners, we may find ways to work together.

When we are the ones being attacked, we can learn to listen past our initial reactions to see our partners’ needs and pains. We can resist the temptation to become defensive. We can join forces to defeat common enemies.

How This Applies to You…

The next time you feel angry, resist the temptation to attack your partner. Find a way to invite your partner to engage in peaceful and creative problem-solving.

The next time you feel that your partner is attacking you, instead of responding defensively, try tuning in to your partner’s needs. Focus on his or her pain and try to understand it. Then you may be able to help address it.

 To Find Out More…

For an excellent (and free!) program on marriage, see The Marriage Garden at Arkansas Families.

For excellent books focused on marriage, read Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson or The Marriage Garden by H. Wallace Goddard and James P. Marshall.

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