March 27, 2021

Taking a risk on love

Taking a risk on love

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***Trigger Warning: This episode briefly discusses history of abuse***

Is love worth the risk?In this podcast episode, Elizabeth Polinsky interviews April, a military spouse, on her experiences of taking the risk on love. We discuss challenges of military family life and infertility, as well as tips for communicating and growing closer together despite obstacles.

IN THIS PODCAST

SUMMARY: 

  • Challenges of military family life 
  • Impact of infertility  
  • Tips for communicating 
  • Tips for overcoming obstacles

MAIN POINTS:

Introduction to April:

April is a military spouse, 23 yrs old, and has been married 4 years. Creating a life she loves with her husband has been one of the best things to happen. 

The Love Story:

He was the server at a restaurant that she went to when celebrating her birthday. Her friends gave him her number and he called her. On their first date, they went running and hiking. He was three hours late to work because he didn’t want to leave their first date.

​She had a difficult relationship and had been in an abusive relationship prior. It was shocking how wonderful he was. She wanted to focus on the good that could be in her future instead of focusing on what had happened in her past. She made a conscious choice to invest in the relationship and move forward.

love

You want to actively show your partner your deep vulnerabilities because most partners actually want to jump in and reassure you and provide empathy.”

Elizabeth Polinsky 

Challenges they faced over the years: 

  1. Long distance due to military life which exacerbates anxiety and depression
  2. Learning to communicate when long distance
  3. Health complications
  4. Infertility

​They have been trying to have another baby for 3 years and this has caused a lot of pain. It has been one of the biggest hurdles they have faced. Especially because she wants to have a baby with her husband, the right person. ​

Not having your partner around can actually cause anxiety and depression symptoms because we rely on them for support; they are our home base for comfort and support.”

Elizabeth Polinsky  

April’s tips for navigating challenges: 

  1. Communication is key–being honest and sharing your feelings
    1. Men cannot be mind readers
    2. Opening up without blaming 
  2. Understanding our love languages
    1. They have differing love languages which means that they don’t always get the message that their partner is trying to send
  3. Sharing vulnerable emotions
    1. When she feels sad, it often comes off as anger because she is more comfortable with anger than with sadness. 
    2. She has learned to explain to her husband that underneath the snappiness is actually sadness.
    3. Sharing vulnerable emotions helped them get through the infertility as well as help them bond and grow closer during that time period. It helped them feel on the same page.
  4. Have a regular meeting about the relationship
Couple-in-Love-Outdoors

How to navigate a relationship when there are different love languages:

(learn more about love languages here)

  1. Show appreciation after a partner does something that is your love language
    1. You want to encourage and show appreciation for what they are doing. The more you show appreciation, the more likely they are to do it (ie. positive reinforcement)  
  2. Recognizing and accepting that their love language is different.
    1. It’s normal for people to go back to what feels natural 
    2. Try to recognize when your partner is trying to show love even when it isn’t your love language
  3. Recognizing that it is my partner’s choice when to show love
    1. People often want others to show them love when they want it and how they want it. 
    2. Instead try to appreciate it when a partner chooses to show love to you

Book Recommendations: 

Liz’s Useful Links: 

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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.

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