Dr. Carr: Couples often come into therapy when they are caught in repetitive patterns of relating that have become painful. They have difficulty communicating and they misperceive each other’s intentions and behaviors. This can lead to a lot of blaming and criticism. At that point each has stopped listening to the other and responses are defensive. Neither feels heard or understood. There is a loss of empathy and resentment is blocking feelings of love and attraction.
Dr. Carr: Sure. For couples who haven’t seen each other all day, I tell them to give each other a long hug upon first greeting. Just stay in the hug position until they feel their bodies relax. It usually takes longer than one initially feels comfortable with, but if they stick with it, they achieve a sense of connection and affection.
Another easy tip is to simply take a few minutes each day to check in with one another about the day (without distractions like the TV or cell phone). Even having a designated fifteen or twenty minutes to share a cup of tea, hot chocolate or glass of wine to express the things that are on their minds will enhance the sense of knowing each other’s inner world.
To read the whole blog, head here: http://www.marriage.com/archives/578
For a good therapist in the Los Angeles area, contact my mom here: http://www.mcarrmft.com/
I definitely feel blessed to know that I'm equipped with some of the tools (mentally) to succeed at a relationship and at marriage. But no matter how much you know about psychology, being human is important too. Listening to the other person and really, really taking their feelings into account is what matters most. That and remembering why you love the person in the first place.
The real deal sealer though? I have to agree with my mom on this one--a little conversation over a glass of wine or dinner each night gives us just enough to feel like we reconnect in that deeper way.
How do you connect with your significant other on a daily basis?