They won’t look at themselves. Again they are blocking the connection.
Stonewalling means we withdraw from the interaction. We simply are not there. We may instead be out, tune our partner out, or even engage in behaviors like addiction.
There is no relationship if one person is absent, whether purposefully or not.
Fighting over the symptom of the problem
It is easy to get caught in the symptom.
So, for example, you want to spend a holiday at your parent’s house, and your spouse wants to stay home for the holidays.
It seems as if you are fighting over where to spend the holiday. What you are really fighting over is, “Do you care about what I want?” or “Am I important to you?” Both of you feel the other does not care about what you want or need.
Learning to talk about attachment needs is the key
Attachment needs can be explained as the needs mammals have to feel safe and connected.
And they are particularly pertinent in relationships.
Here are some examples of attachment needs you must understand to save a marriage.
We need to know our partner has our back and wants what is best for us.
We need to know we are important to them, and they care.
We need to know we are good enough, that they value us.
We need to know that our partners are accessible, responsive, and engaged with us.
We need to know what we care about matters to our partners.
We don’t feel emotionally safe, and cannot connect
Emotional safety comes from a variety of behaviors, including the ability to be vulnerable.
It comes from appropriate communication.
It comes from talking about our deep needs. And it comes from knowing our partner has our best interest at heart.
Without emotional safety, we cannot truly let go. We don’t fully trust. We probably won’t share our deepest fears and desires.
Emotional safety is the bedrock of a truly connected relationship.
As you read this article on marriage saving tips, did you resonate with any of it? What problems did you identify with? What relational positives work in your marriage?
To save a marriage and make it great is like any journey of mastery. Just like learning any other new skill, it takes time and attention.
Have you started on the journey of making your relationship the best it can be? It may be time to begin. We have access to so much information. There is no reason to settle for a less than great marriage.
To read a story about a couple learning to connect, read thisarticle, The Real Relationship: Working it Out.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
I have authored a low-cost DIY online educational platform for couples to restore their relationship and create more intimacy and closeness.
WeConcile® can be used with a therapist to augment the therapy or without a therapist.
Couples read or listen to the content, do exercises and guided discussions. They are guided through learning in a systemized and step by step way. In Level 1 each couple first does an assessment to help them define their goals and issues. In Level 2 they then move into learning about their cycle. This is followed in Level 3 by learning about attachment and defining their own attachment needs and fears. In Level 4 they learn to view their experience through various lenses. In Level 5 they explore how they operate in a ‘we.’ In Level 6 they learn about the impact of their past on their relationship skills.
WeConcile consists of 24 levels. Some couples only need to complete a few levels to find the change they desire. Others will need to do more.
WeConcile uses established relationship science and incorporates theory from a number of couples modalities including Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples, Imago Relationship Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, mindfulness and attachment theory.
(Jennifer J is also listed in Best Marriage Therapists in Olga)