Couples Counseling Articles

Experiencing Connection

Couples Connection

‘Connection’ is a baffling concept for most of us and a word we use loosely these days.

It’s meaning is derived from Attachment Theory (developed by British psychiatrist John Bowlby in the last century). Attachment Theory explores the profound impact of early caregiver-child relationships on a person’s emotional development.

  • Essentially, secure attachment to a responsive and nurturing caregiver fosters a sense of safety and trust, leading to healthy emotional regulation and social connections later in life.
  • Insecure attachment may lead to difficulties in forming close relationships and managing emotions throughout ones lifespan.

Irrespective of our childhood experiences, human connection is something we all long for…deeply.

Please don’t confuse connection with a particular relationship, contract, family member or friendship.

Connection’s essence is self-arising’ and cannot be willed or manufactured into existence.

It’s either there…or it’s not. And when it’s there…you know it.

When it’s disrupted or threatened, emotional chaos reigns.

Mostly, we try to avoid the chaos. You know, that internal feeling of implosion and rage.

We problem solve, bat it away, suck it up or deny the chaotic feelings altogether. And, we know intuitively, that we can’t do all that…and remain physically and emotionally healthy.

Better to learn how to keep our precious human connections safe and secure.

We can do that by creating the conditions in which connection will flourish naturally and unfold in its own time.

Three simple tasks are the most direct path to connect and bring us closer to our intimate partner.

  • We can reflect on how we show up in our relationship.
  • We can refine our approach toward our partner and
  • We can step into the essence of relating to another human being by sharing; without demands or expectations.

When we do these three things consistently, we begin to realize the essence of connection is as it is.

It cannot be changed. It can only be nurtured.

When connection is broken perhaps irretrievably, we may have some difficult decisions to make.

The control we have around connection…is in creating the conditions in which we can experience more of this wonderful thing in our daily lives.

  • Am I taking time to slow down, pause and allow myself to focus on the important stuff?
  • Even if it’s just for 30 seconds….
  • Do I notice when I take my partner for granted and wander off into demands rather than requests?
  • Do I show up with expectations rather than appreciation?

Sure, we’re all in a hurry. We get caught up in the daily tasks of living, careers and calendars.

But unless we’re willing to nurture our environment and the people in it, it’s very difficult to cultivate the essence of connection.

Every now and then it will peek through the busyness of life and give us a moment to savor but then it’s gone and we may not know how to get it back.

Better to recognize the enduring longing for connection inside and the instability of a demanding world outside…and take nothing for granted.

Use a simple framework over time to refine your approach. Then connect with a calm, steady, open heart.