Let's Talk LOVE...
In honour of Valentine's month, we wanted to examine the expression of LOVE and how it has shown up for us in our lives and marriages.
We have been think a lot about the concept of 'Conscious Coupling'! Meaning, that we are striving to express our love in the world as follows:
- Focusing on relationships that are characterized by responsibility, generosity and respect
- Ensuring that parties feel valued and appreciated for all that is shared
- Striving to reduce the damage (and increase the satisfaction) to ourselves and our children, if there are children involved
We are NOT marriage counsellors but we acknowledge that LOVE is universal and that the relationships we engage and participate in influence and inspire A LOT of our ability to express ourselves authentically. The following us a small step we can take to help guide your relationship towards consciousness:
- Admitted what is wrong and give each other the safe space to say what is necessary without judgement. Understand how your default attitudes are working together to damage your relationship.
- Apologize to each other for all the jerky ways you each negatively impact your relationship.
- Reiterate your love for each other and your commitment for making it work. Thinking about why you fell in love in the first place is a good starting point for the next step.
- Make an actual paper list of all the things you didn’t like about your relationship and lifestyle and work out a plan to reduce the negatives and add in the positives. Maybe you want less work and more play. More sex and less fighting. More quality time and less absence. Then list out all the ways you could make that happen in real, everyday situations. It becomes a blueprint to regaining the satisfaction you are missing.
- Finally, commit to doing the actions on that list and recreate your life and relationship to be something you both value and protect.
The following quote resonated with us, and expresses the concept of conscious coupling eloquently: "In effect, we say to each other: Whatever problems our personalities have together, we will not let that ruin our deeper connection – we will always come back and meet on this deeper level. We will help each other wake up and become all that we can be. We will keep opening to each other and life itself in and through this relationship.”
If you are struggling in your expression of love and in your relationships, here are 3 resources we LOVE if you feel like you could use support and skills. These books are a great starting place and can be found on Amazon. The titles below are also linked to the author/therapist's website for further inquiry:
Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner’s Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship by Stan Tatkin PsyD MFT
Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by Dr. Sue Johnson
The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work by Dr. John Gottman, and Nan Silver.