Emotional Connection: Glue for Marriage Success
Emotional connection may be the most valuable strength successful marriages in Palos Verdes and the South Bay possess. Emotional connection is the ability to relate and bond with someone on a deep level. According to Dr. Angela Bisignano, “When I see couples enjoying emotional connection it usually indicates the couple is experiencing deep friendship, safety and comfort in their marriage. It represents the glue that keeps marriages vibrant and strong.”
The challenge for many is that over time emotional connection can subtly erode, becoming compromised or neglected. Destructive patterns can set in making it difficult for close emotional connection. Walls of defensiveness, withdrawal and negative sentiment can become the norm. If these negative patterns are left unchecked marriages continue down the road to emotional disconnect. Sadly, lack of emotional connection may be the number one culprit for marriages ending. A good question for struggling couples today may be, “What can be done now to begin the process of emotionally reconnecting so the marriage can survive?”
3 Keys for Emotional Connection
Acknowledging that there is a problem is a good start.
If feelings of loneliness, sadness, anger, or fear are troubling you, then you may be experiencing emotional disconnection. Most relationships will have these feelings at some point in their relationship. The marker for emotional disconnect would be that you are continually experiencing these feelings.
Signs that you are emotionally disconnecting in your marriage could be: sensing your spouse is unavailable, indifferent, unemotional or insensitive. You may be having these experiences, too. If you feel like this describes your marriage you and your spouse may need help.
Be intentional about creating a safe space for emotional connection.
If you sense your marriage is becoming emotionally disconnected, start today by getting it back on track. Begin a conversation with your spouse about your thoughts about the state of your marriage. Be gentle and kind in your approach. Be sensitive with your tone and words. This will help to ward off defensiveness and withdrawal.
The following is a suggestion in how you might begin a conversation. “I would like to talk with your about some things I am noticing and feeling in our marriage. When would be a good time to talk?” The adage, “timing is everything” is true. Waiting for your spouse’s response is crucial. Setting up a time that is good for the both of you is important.
Ask heartfelt questions.
Once you establish a good time to talk, you can begin to share your thoughts. When you feel safe you can ask some of the deeper questions. Every person wants to know that they can find a source of comfort in their partner. C. S. Lewis once wrote, “To love is to be vulnerable.” Good questions to ask:
- Do you love me?
- When I need you, can I rely on you being there for me?
- If I am distressed can I count on you to bring me comfort?
- Am I accepted by you?
- Can I trust you?
- Do you value me and our relationship?
We are created by God to live in relationship with one another. First to God, and secondarily to each another. Our marriage represents one of the most sacred of all relationships. Sharing deep emotional connection is the glue that holds marriages together.
Dr. Angela Bisignano is a licensed clinical psychologist in the South Bay of Los Angeles. Dr. Bisignano serves the communities on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Redondo Beach, Hermosa and Manhattan Beach. Dr. Bisignano’s therapy practice is located, in Palos Verdes Estates. Dr. Bisignano specializes in marriage therapy, couples therapy, relationship issues, and the treatment of anxiety.