September 14, 2020

How to reconnect with your partner

Young Mixed Race Couple

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What makes relationships feel so good and so special? Have you wondered how to recreate those loving feelings you used to have with your partner? In this podcast episode, Elizabeth Polinsky discusses how to reconnect with your partner.

IN THIS PODCAST

SUMMARY:

  • According to the Gottman Institute, couples need a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative interactions. 
  • The key to connection is a secure attachment bond with your partner. 
  • Secure attachment bonds lead to improved physical and mental health. 
  • Most people experience blocks to connection that have developed as ways to cope with overwhelming emotions in relationships. ​

“Connection is about feeling; a felt experience that my partner is there for me”

According to the Gottman Institute, couples need a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative interactions. Couples headed toward divorce have an 0.8 to 1 ratio of positive to negative interactions. This means that negative interactions are significantly more impactful on relationships than the positive interaction. Therefore decreasing the negative interactions, while increasing the positive ones can help build relationship connection.

“I can either add positivity or negativity to a relationship”.

The key to connection is a secure attachment bond with your partner.

  • An attachment bond is a biological system that allows us to develop a close relationship and a close connection to those we rely on. This is often parents or caregivers in childhood. It helps maintain the physical and emotional closeness in the relationship to help insure that your needs are met.
  • Based on childhood experiences, people develop secure or insecure attachment bonds. Secure bonds provide a safe place to return home to and provide self-confidence to go explore the world. Then in adulthood, people tend to develop these attachment bonds to their romantic partners. ​​
  • Everyone has an attachment style which in their internal map of whether relationships can be trustworthy and reliable.

“You can have a healthy secure attachment bond to your significant other. When someone has this close connected relationship to their partner they feel like they have a home to go back to, it is their person.”

Secure attachment bonds lead to improved physical and mental health.

  • The more connected and safe someone feels with their partner allows someone to feel more self-confident and self-esteem. It helps people take professional risk and go explore the world because you know there is someone who is in your corner supporting you.
  • 60% of adults have a secure attachment style.
  • Feelings on insecurity in a relationship makes it hard to connect. The goal is then to build a sense of security and and safety and comfort in the relationship.
  • Security in your relationship improves your physical and mental health, improves your relationship with others, and decreases your physical pain.

“You want your spouse to be your primary support system and who you can go to for comfort.”

Most people experience blocks to connection that have developed as ways to cope with overwhelming emotions in relationships.

  • People get protective of their emotions when they feel hurt. Even when your partner hurts you unintentionally, people will respond defensively in predictable ways.
  • People tend to respond by getting defensive, critical, or blaming; or the will emotionally shut down and withdraw away from their partner.
  • People often repeat these same patterns but expect different results because they get trapped in these self protective patterns of defensiveness. The key is shared vulnerability and kindness.

“Kindness is the key to increasing positivity in your relationship.”

ACTIONSTEPS:

Increase the positives in your relationship–go do something nice with your partner that you know they will like.

Liz’s Useful Links: 

Podcast Sponsor: The Relate Assessment is the most comprehensive relationship assessment in the world and is based on 10 predictors of marital stability. It’s supported by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and is the one my husband and I used during our premarital couples counseling. To get 20% off the assessment, go to https://relateinstitute.com/ and enter “POLINSKY20”.

Thanks for Listening!

     

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    About Author

    Elizabeth Polinsky is a Certified Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist (EFT) providing EFT marriage counseling in the states of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Nevada. She also provides EFT training and supervision to therapists looking to become certified in EFT Couple Therapy. As a military spouse, she has a special passion for working with military and veteran couples, and is also the host of The Communicate & Connect Podcast for Military Relationships.

    DISCLAIMER:

    My podcast, blogs, videos, newsletters, and products are general information for educational purposes only; they are not psychotherapy and not a replacement for therapy. The information provided is not intended to be therapy or psychological advice; and nothing I post should be considered professional advice. The information provided does not constitute the formation of a therapist-patient relationship.

    I cannot answer questions regarding your specific situation; you should consult your doctor or mental health provider regarding advice and support for your health and well being. If you are experiencing a medical or mental health emergency, you should call 911, report to your local ER, or call the National Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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