The following are 3 proven tips towards building a secure, fulfilling and loving marriage.
Tip #1 - It’s not the two of us; rather we are three - myself, my spouse and the safe space between us. The question couples who ‘get it right’ ask themselves is – what am I doing on a daily basis to make this space between us safe and comfortable for my partner? Cutting edge research in interpersonal neurobiology and its game-changing contribution to making couples therapy what John Gottman calls – the ‘art and science of love’, teaches us that our relationship’s success depends on the degree to which we feel safe and secure – at home. When I am feeling safe and secure there’s a better chance that I will be able to summon up the courage to open up and be vulnerable, and it is here - with our guard down and our hearts open - where we are able to connect, deeply and with presence.
The first step is being aware and conscious of this space between us. The next step is to check in with myself and take an honest look at my actions, words and even the vibe that I am giving over – do they nurture and grow that space or are they doing the opposite? The last part is to greatly increase those positive “bids for connection” while greatly decreasing the negatives, such as criticism, contempt and self-defensiveness.
Tip #2 – Are You Available? These three seemingly simple yet profound words are a check-in with my spouse. Is there something I want to share with the other? Perhaps you can recall that experience of wanting to share something with your husband or wife, and, often underlying this was a desire to connect and become closer. What happened at times? Perhaps we were met with indifference, or a sour face, or even irritability or anger. Very quickly all of our excitement and desire for connection turned into disappointment (if not a sense of rejection or a feeling of resentment). In beginning with the question "are you available?" we are asking our partner are you open emotionally and mentally to listen to me, to see me, to connect and come into my world for a moment? And, it's totally understandable, and human, if they say at the moment, “I am not so available; actually, I am upset, irritable, or perhaps tired from long day of work”. But, it does not end here. Now it becomes my partner's (the one who is currently not available) responsibility to initiate an encounter between us in which they are available and interested in connecting. Ideally, this should be relatively soon after, at least before we go to sleep that night.
Tip #3 – Having fun, and often! I know, this is an obvious one, and, yet, many of the couples I work with never get to this, at least not as often as they'd like to. With careers, kids and a million other really important things that take up our day, carving out time for the two of us to go out and have fun, enjoy each other's company and life! – not an easy task. Yet, us choosing and prioritizing to have fun together on a regular basis is vital to a happy and fulfilling marriage.
These three tips are just a small glimpse into the work I do as a couples and marriage therapist to help couples to rediscover and deepen their connection through learning a new way of communicating. As you both begin to feel more understood, really seeing one another, those places and moments of conflict and distance are transformed into places of intimacy and healing.
Learning skills, ideas and concepts based on an eclectic blend of the most effective, research-based couples therapies (Imago, EFT and Gottman) as well as Attachment Theory and Somatic Experiencing, couples become empowered, experiencing progress and movement relatively quickly. Certainly in the session, but even more important, between sessions, couples in my clinic find themselves building a relationship of intimacy. They are encouraged by their ability to take more personal responsibility and witness their relationship becoming less reactive and more conscious.
Investing in a secure and fulfilling relationship is one of the most important and rewarding decisions we can make. Feel free to contact me to learn more about how you and your spouse can make it a reality.
University of North Texas
Certificate Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy Externship (EFT), 2019
Certificate Somatic Experiencing (SE) Level 1 & 2, 2018
Certificate Gottman Couples Therapy - Level 1, 2017
Certificate in Imago Relationship Therapy, 2017
Certificate in Mental Health and Family Studies, 2015
Telephone Counseling, Online Therapy
Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT)
Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT)
Somatic Experiencing (SE)