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Tag Archives: Intimacy

Your Marriage Can Say a Lot In a Picture!

What does this picture say about Marriage?

What components do you need in your marriage, so you can insert you and your spouse’s face on these two figures?

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5 Ways to Make Your Love Grow according to Michael Jackson.

Yesterday was Michael Jackson’s Birthday. The King of Pop, is not usually known for his Love Songs, but one of his best is Lady of My Life (full version).

For Love Tune Tuesday, here are 5 Ways to Make Your Love Grow according to Michael Jackson’s wonderful song.

  • Trust

Just put your trust in my heart and meet me in paradise (NOW is the time.)

  • Work

And baby through the years going to love you more each day!

  • Realistic

No time for castles in space Or living in make believe.

  • Intimacy

Lay your body close to mine.

  • Assurance

You’re my lady all through the night.

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Posted by on August 30, 2016 in Love Tune Tuesday

 

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Love Letter “B” is for Body Language

Wedding cake couple standing back to back, arms folded

You or your partner at times should as this question, “Do I want to be perceived as a person that is focused and under control. If the answer is yes then you must look the part before you can play the part.

A partner that gives off signals of vulnerability and insecurity will not act the part. Ultimately you or your partner and eventually your children will recognize the signals.

Wearing one’s heart on your sleeve all the time can be dangerous. Why would any spouse want to project through his/her posture and movement the language of frustration, uncontrolled anger, self-pity, fear, or complacency. You would not, I hope. So by the mere fact that your body is projecting these signals verifies you are distracted and it’s affecting everyday life.

The interesting thing is you may not be aware of the signals you are giving off, but the people around you are.

Take a basketball player who is so confident that it doesn’t matter how, or where he shoots he knows it’s going to go in. But when he is going bad, he is reluctant to shoot, or will constantly look to pass the ball to others, even though he is wide open. Now, the defense, or the person guarding that player will almost taunt him to shoot because in his heart, he knows that he won’t because he has lost confidence.

If a marriage, it is a vital part of communication that you learn to pick up on your partner’s cues. Remember 55 percent of communication happens through body language. This includes body and facial orientation, posture, shifting, leaning and touching.  The ability to assign meaning to your partner’s body language can improve both emotional and physical intimacy and help your marriage thrive.

Over the course of the week, think about your body language and the messages that it sends to your spouse. .Although it may feel hard at first, concentrate on expressing good feelings and appreciation through body language. Here are some ideas of where to start.

  • Add a good-bye hug and kiss before work.
  • Add a sustained kiss, not a peck
  • Show admiration and interest in your partner through your eyes
  • Lean forward to show good listening skills when communicating with your spouse
  • Evaluate how often you fold arms across the chest like a barrier
  • Relax and smile with mouth, cheeks and eyes
 
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Posted by on September 8, 2014 in Love Letter

 

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Did you know women between 16-24 in the U.S. are 3x as likely to be DV victims? See why!

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The Secure Couple’s Guide to Conflict Resolution.

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In the final installment of the Attachment series, we will deal with the subject of conflict resolution. One misconception about marriages & great relationships is that these couples’ don’t have conflict. Quite the contrary! It’s not the that they don’t have conflict, they just have the right tools to handle it. According to Attachment researchers conflict can serve as a way for couples to get closer and deepen their bond, not drive them apart like in anxious/avoidant relationships.

Individuals have a distinct way to deal with conflict that could be helpful to individuals that have a different attachment style.

These five distinct practices can help diffuse and resolve conflict.

  1. Show basic concern for the other person’s well-being. (Our happiness is dependent on the other and vice-versa.)
  2. Maintain focus on the problem at hand. (When there’s a willingness to resolve a specific problem, people feel that they’re being heard and it brings both parties closer together.)
  3. Refrain from generalizing the conflict. (By keeping the argument restricted to the topic they avoid making disparaging remarks and blowing things out of proportion.)
  4. Be willing to engage (When you are both willing to stay and deal with the issue do you find a resolution that you can both live with and the process helps them be more in-tune with each other.)
  5. Effectively communicate feelings and needs. (Effectively expressing your emotional needs is even better than the other person magically reading your mind. By being an active agent it opens the door to a more emotional, richer dialogue.

Why can’t insecure couples adopt these practices.

Individuals who are anxious, or avoidants have several aspects that make it difficult for them to adopt these conflict resolution principles.

An anxious partner will have their basic concerns about their partners responsiveness to their needs about being rejected or abandoned. When a conflict arises, they experience many negative thoughts and react by using any behavior to get their partner’s attention. Their response is often dramatic, but ineffective.

An avoidant person is also concerned about their partner not really being their for them, but they will deal with concerns in a totally different way. They will suppress their need for closeness by shutting down emotionally and adopting a sense of independence. The more personal the conflict becomes, the stronger their urge grows to distance themselves from the situation.

Secure Principles can work for any relationship.

If you or your partner has an anxious/avoidant attachment style, you will have to work harder to make the relationship work especially when conflicts arise. Being centered on your own needs and hurts can cause a lot of trouble. You must keep these truths in mind when dealing with conflict.

  • A single fight is not a relationship breaker.
  • Express your fears! Don’t let them dictate your actions. If you’re afraid that s/he wants to reject you,say so.
  • Don’t assume you are to blame for your partner’s  bad mood. It is most likely not because of you.
  • Trust that your partner will be caring and responsive and go ahead and express your needs.
  • Don’t expect your partner to know what you’re thinking. If you haven’t told him/her what’s on your mind, s/he doesn’t know.

I hope that this series will help you restore your faith in relationships and that they shouldn’t be left to chance. Relationships are one of the most rewarding of human experiences above and beyond other gifts that life has to offer. If couples can understand that a mismatched attachment style can lead to a great deal of unhappiness in relationships and work hard to tend to each other’s relationship well-being, you will give yourself the best shot at finding deeply, gratifying love.

Coach Keith

 

Material based on the book Attached. The New Science of Adult 
Attachment and How It Can Help YOU Find and Keep Love.
 
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Posted by on September 9, 2013 in Attachment Series

 

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Just the other day, a young lady contacted me about last week’s blog post, “Does your man make you feel trapped.” She was hype-ventilating as she was beginning to realize that her relationship had the characteristics of what I mentioned in the post.

The first thing I did was to get her to breathe, relax and tell her that all was not lost. Anxious-Avoidant relationships usually stay consistent over time, but they can change. Today, we will discuss how this type of relationship can be more secure. Here are 4 tips that can help lead your relationship to a more secure future.

  1. Model your relationship after someone in your life that has a secure mindset.
    1. Think of that person who gave you a sense of security.
    2. Remind yourself how they interacted with the world
    3. How did they respond in times of conflict
    4. What were the things they said to make people feel more secure.
    5. What did they choose to ignore or respond to.
    6. How did they behave when their partner was down.
  2. Become an expert at analyzing your relationship. – You will have to figure out how to reframe the state of your current relationship in order to move to a secure model. You will have to think about what are the situations that get you going, what shuts you down, your attitudes and expectations and how you can make adjustments to become more secure.

        In order to get started the both of you must create some alone time and think about all your romantic         partners past or present and write them down on a sheet of paper. The names of those partners will           go in column 1.

In column 2 you will write down what was the state of each relationship; what patterns existed; what characteristics stood out the most.

In column 3, what event(s) can you recall that either activated your anxiousness or de-activated your investment into the relationship.

In column 4, ask yourself how you responded to those events: What did you do? What were your thoughts? What were your feelings?

In column 5, which is the most important, describe what was your behavior as a result to the attachment issues you had? For example, you might continuously attempt to re-establish contact at all costs if you are anxious or always try to make your partners feel jealous if you have an avoidant attachment style.

In column 6, figure out how these behaviors hurts you or gets in the way of your happiness.

In column 7, what positive characteristics could you have utilized to move those relationships to a more secure one.

It’s now at this point you should share your personal inventory with a relationship coach, i.e. Coach Keith, your therapist, or a personal friend that can withhold judgement and honestly give you a different perspective on how to move to a more secure model.

3. The path to a more secure relationship is a continuous journey. Whenever a new situation or conflict occurs use the chart from previous relationship.

4. Learn to always accept disappointment or accept that your partner has certain shortcomings and develop strategies help strengthen your life personally. Such things as:

    • Admit to yourself that in certain areas, their mate is never going to be an active partner, and stop urging them to change.
    • Stop taking personal offense when their mate pushes them away and accept that it simply his or her nature.
    • Learn to do things on your own and don’t expect your partner will always join you.
    • Engage with like-minded friends in activities that their mate doesn’t want to participate in
    • Learn to be thankful for what your mate does do and not what he or she doesn’t do.

5. If those clashes continue to a source of intimacy collisions, and irreconcilable fights, it might be time to let go. 

In the next blog, we will analyze how these clashes can go from bad to worse and how to develop strategies to leave it behind.

 

Material taken from Attached. The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find and Keep Love by Amir Levine M.D.

Learn how to Escape the Trap!

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2013 in Attachment Series

 

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Does your man make you feel trapped without escape?

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If you are an anxious woman and you are dating a man whose M.O. is to constantly avoid intimacy it may feel like a trap without an escape hatch.

Consider this example, you are dating a guy for 6 months and you experience the same disagreements over and over. You are constantly complaining about his obsession with staying in contact with his former girlfriends on Twitter, while he can’t stand when you are checking up on him every time he goes out with his boys. He feels you have separation anxiety and are too jealous. He makes sure that you know it as well. And you know, he is right. You, as a person that has an anxious attachment style can’t control it when these feelings are activated.

Being in this type of relationship is like riding a stationary bike. You are constantly peddling, but going nowhere.When it comes to intimacy and closeness, you are dealing with opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to an anxious-avoidant couple. When one person, “the anxious” tries to get closer, the other “the avoidant” does everything in its power to squash those feelings. According to Dr. Amir Levine, author of Attached., the closer the anxious tries to get, the more distant the avoidant acts. To make matters worse, one partner’s constant need for closeness further reinforces the other’s need to pull away.The type of relational is a vicious cycle and they both remain in the relationship “danger zone”.

Are you in this zone? Here’s what your relationship constantly feels like:

  • indexThe Kinda Qa effect – you will never feel like your relationship is solid. When he decides that he wants to feel close to you, which will mostly involve sex, he will do so. This will activate your intimacy levels to a high level each and every time, only for him to pull pack which will leave the thrill ride over.
  • Be prepared for your self-esteem to take a hit. – In order to exert their independence and power, avoidants will say and do things that negatively affect your self-esteem leaving you feeling need and incapable.
  • If your relationship lasts, you will constantly question if the grass is greener.
  • You will fight about everything else except what you should. – All your fights will be about little things with the undertone of why we aren’t closer.
  • You feel lonely in the inner circle. – You will be dismayed why you are treated like a pariah, when you should be treated like royalty.

How these characteristics translate to your dating reality.

Even though you have fallen in love with this avoidant man, you will find that it’s almost impossible to receive the same love back without conditions.

  1. You will make concessions to the boundaries that are drawn – Your man will have specific rules that you will have to maintain in order for the relationship to exist.
  2. Your intimacy differences will spillover to every aspect of your shared life;from the way you sleep together to how your raise your kids. With every new relationship development the intimacy gap may get wider and wider.
  3. Conflict is often left unresolved to maintain the boundary. In order to resolve any conflict, both parties must create a certain amount of closeness in order to achieve it. While that a sought after emotion for the anxious, it’s uncomfortable for the avoidant.
  4. With every conflict situation you lose more ground with your avoidant man. As you try to reach out to reconcile with him,  he meets you with more hostility.

The trap without the escape continues and any hope of a normal, intimate solid relationship is washed down the drain.

In order to move toward more security, in the next blog we will provide ways for this type of couple to feel less threatened figure out how to activate/deactivate those core emotions to get out of the “danger zone”.

What are your thoughts on this matter? How has your man made you feel trapped?

Coach Keith

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2013 in Attachment Series

 

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