Marriage is often considered inherently complex. In many ways it is, however there are certain basic components that must be present for a marital partnership to thrive. One of these elements is the need to be loved, which ranks as one of the greatest of all human needs.
When we experience a loving closeness with our spouse, we are free to be ourselves, thereby drawing them into the depths of who we are as a person. On the other hand, when our marriage is filled with tension and distance, we endure an unspeakable amount of emotional pain.
Dr. Sue Johnson describes it this way:
"In fact, the reason that distress in a relationship so often plunges us into inner chaos is because our hearts and brains are set up to use our partners to help us find our balance in the midst of distress and fear. If they instead become a point of distress, then we are doubly bereft and vulnerable...The other side of the coin is that loving connection is the natural antidote to fear and pain."¹
Her statement is revealing, in that it makes clear just how much we human beings need to know we can turn towards our spouse and resolve the points of tension between us. However, the question for all of us is:
"Will we make the time to know and remember how our spouse desires to be loved, and make it a point to consistently engage them in that manner?"
As a Marriage and Family Therapist I work with many couples, and the one's who have made the most progress in establishing a greater sense of connection and emotional security are those who've done those things well.
May we always remember that having a loving and vibrant marriage is entirely possible, and far less complicated when we are dedicated to doing the seeming basics allowing our spouse to feel loved.
- Jonhnson, S. (2013). Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships. Little Brown and Company.
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Eric Gomez, MS LMFT MHP
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Fulfilled Christian Counseling