As I was standing in line waiting, a man was standing nearby. He was talking to his wife on the phone trying to figure out her order. His voice was loud, back and forth the conversation went, he trying to get her order correct and growing more frustrated and condescending with each interchange of the conversation. The conversation dragged on for what seemed like hours to me. The tone of his voice sent me into major anxiety and I wanted to run out of the store. It took all the strength I could muster to wait for my order to be completed. It felt intolerable for the 5 minutes it lasted. I couldn’t help but think about what this couple must feel each time they have an exchange similar to that phone call. If a couple has most conversations like this one in their relationship it can be called emotional trauma for both people. It certainly was traumatic for me to listen to his end of the conversation that day.
As a Couples Therapist who focuses on Intimacy issues, I’m interested in helping people to feel safe, and to support a secure bond with each other. Most couples come to therapy wanting help because they are feeling unsafe emotionally or have experienced some form of betrayal of trust which has shattered the secure bond between them.
Safety and developing a secure bond in the relationship can be created by improving true emotional connection with your partner. That means doing some things differently to improve your relationship.
10 TIPS TO EMOTIONAL CONNECTION
1. Identify and name your feelings. The first step to identifying your feelings is to recognize you are having a feeling. Many guys and some women are unable to even recognize they are feeling anything. When asked what they are feeling, reply “I don’t know”. If you are human and you are alive you have feelings, period.
2. Share your feelings with your partner. Once you can identify your feelings, then you need to share them with your partner. Your partner wants to know you and your feelings are part of knowing you. You can’t share what you dont know. If you don't know your own feelings then you can't share much of who you are. You learning about your own feelings, helps you be able to connect to yourself emotionally which helps you to connect to others emotionally. This is a Key Step!
3. Practice one person at a time sharing, and listening for understanding. This technique helps people share one idea or perception at a time. Take turns One person shares their feeling first, the other person listens for understanding and repeats back what they heard. if they got it right then switch roles, if not try again.
4. Spend quality time together. spend time together where you are present emotionally, physically, and spiritually with each other. Be in the present moment.
5. Make your partner your go-to person 24-7. Find ways to make your partner feel they are your number one priority. Return phone calls promptly. Send positive text messages to each other through out the day. Be creative.