Studies show that couples that consistently turn towards each other create a foundation of intimacy and trust. In healthy relationships, couples learn to make and recognize bids for connections and repair them when they are rejected. They develop healthy communication where both are heard and understood. They foster appreciation and fondness towards each other, learning how to nurture their relationship. Research shows that 69% of problems couples encounter are unresolved, yet they do not end in divorce. Thus, managing the conflict becomes more important than resolving conflict.
When couples decide to engage in couples therapy, they bring problems in their friendship and intimacy system, conflict management, and the ability to build rituals and symbols of connection. During the counseling process, couples understand each other and the problems they experience in the relationship. They develop skills to manage conflict, understand each other, and learning how to repair in the aftermath of regrettable incidents.
As couples turn towards each other consistently, intimacy and trust grow. When conflict occurs, couples can repair instead of turning away from each other. If a dispute arises, anxiety mounts, resulting in emotional flooding. Flooding prevents us from accepting the bids for connection that our partners initiate. Identifying these feelings and discovering how to soothe ourselves leads to emotional balance. Couples must find safety within the relationship to share their feelings while not being defined by what the other feels.
Sharing feelings is an act of vulnerability that creates intimacy where trust grows, and couples feel loved and desired. Sharing and validating feelings creates emotional safety within the relationship. This vulnerability is the primary way to strengthen a marital bond and keep love alive. Through vulnerability, a secure emotional attachment re-establishes, and intimacy in your marriage preserved.
As a Gottman trained marriage family therapist, I help couples learn how to build a relationship where they turn towards each other, manage conflict, and begin to dream about their future together.