Long term marriages that have become platonic friendships can be revitalized.
This summer we held our first Keeping Love Alive Marriage Retreat at The Cottage Clinic. It was one of the best experiences of my life. The experiential two and ½ day workshop was based on the best selling book, ‘Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love,’ by Sue Johnson. The program presents a streamlined version of Emotionally Focused Couples therapy, an empirically proven approach to creating adult loving relationships – it has a 70-75% success rate for couples!
While it was my first time facilitating this particular workshop, my co-facilitator, Dr. Rebecca Jorgensen, has given them all over the world. We made a good team and the workshop was well received. The primary reason that I am deviating from my usual advice column format is to hopefully relay a message of hope. Two couples contacted me prior to the workshop inquiring as to whether participation could help re-kindle their long- term marriage, in which there was friendship and love but their children had left the nest and there was no spark left.
With overly zealous concern, not to ‘sell’ our program with unrealistic expectation, I discouraged them from attending. And during the program, I watched fifteen couples from all over the world, shift their relationships to a deeper, more loving connection; I’ve changed my thinking. I learned that where there is friendship and love in a marriage but the spark has become dormant, it is possible to rekindle passionate feelings and intimacy. It is the quality of the emotional bond that is the gatekeeper for sexual intimacy for men and women.
The fact is that we are attaching mammals. The research is clear. We need each other for survival. We die or get sick in isolation. According to the latest research, married people tend to be healthier and live longer than their unmarried counterparts. The Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy approach focuses on creating and strengthening the emotional bond with your partner by identifying and transforming the key moments that foster an adult loving relationship. And that’s why I’m excited about it. I’ve seen it work.
So, long message short, if you and your partner are feeling alone in your marriage, it’s possible to change the negative patterns that you find yourselves in. We now understand exactly where love goes wrong and how to make it right. We have a research-based approach for how to create a secure and lasting bond that can lead to lasting passionate love for a lifetime. Obviously, I cannot make any promises, but a good place to start is to buy, ‘Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love’ by Sue Johnson, Ph.D.
Diana Weiss-Wisdom, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Rancho Santa Fe, CA. (858) 259-0146 or firstname.lastname@example.org