Most couples know that in order to genuinely connect there needs to be a desire to understand the other, and there needs to be a willingness to be vulnerable and express your needs. This can be easier said than done. Some days we can be feeling more fragile than others, and it can be hard to express to our partner that we may be needing ease and gentleness from the other (societally, there is a common belief present that showing vulnerability is a sign of weakness, but really, the opposite is true). When we don’t get such a need met, we can become critical, defensive, contemptuous, or stonewall the other (who oftentimes has no idea what is going on internally for us!).
Most people aren’t always able to express precisely what they are feeling moment-to-moment to their partner (or even to themselves). One (albeit semi-geeky), way that my partner and I convey to the other that we are feeling emotionally or mentally depleted is simply to express to the other “I need a foreheader”. A foreheader is a kiss on the forehead, but asking for one indicates to the other our need for gentleness, connection, and support. More often than not, we don’t even have to get to the “why” of what lead to the need for a foreheader, or get into any problem-solving – it simply expresses a sense of being there for the other. If one of us have experienced a particularly rougher than usual occurrence, we ask the other for a “corner-eye” (kiss). This denotes to the other, that we are needing increased ease and gentleness. For us, “foreheaders” and “corner-eyes” are rituals of connection. A Ritual of Connection is a method of “turning towards” another person that is reliable and can be counted on. I find the best rituals of connection for couples are ones that are uniquely (and geekily!) their own.
Partaking in the giving and receiving of rituals such as foreheaders can actually enhance intimate partnerships…..
The Gottmans are considered the leading experts in couples therapy in the Western world. It is said that John and Julie Gottman can predict with 94% accuracy whether couples will get divorced – they have literally got intimate partner relational success down to a science! If your relationship is struggling, it simply makes sense to look at what the research reveals on enhancing the quality of your relationship. The great thing about their relationship tools is that they are easy to understand.
One such tool is The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. These four elements predict relationship FAILURE:
If you are experiencing relationship difficulties and are looking for tangible tools to increase connection with your partner, contact me at email@example.com