There is no question about how painful it feels in a relationship or marriage, when either you or your partner have, lost that loving feeling. You can feel quite lonely, lost and disconnected.Not only is it painful, it can feel hopeless. You’re not sure if you’re ever going to be able to get it back again. I’ve talked before about how you can create the conditions for recovering those loving feelings and it’s important.
How do you do that? First of all, the reason why it is all so painful is because we come into the world with a biological need to bond to our mothers, but fundamentally to bond, and that means that we need physical closeness, we need emotional openness, we need affection and warmth and nurture. We actually need all those things, and also to be giving them!.
We also need food and we need shelter and all of those things but as adults we can provide those things for ourselves. But that need for connection, for physical closeness, for touch and the need to touch and be touched, we actually need to be in a relationship with another person and when that other person is your husband or your wife and it looks like that’s not happening, that can feel painful. So like I say, first of all you create the conditions.
Secondly, you actually set about – I’ve said agree to be kind, be caring, to spend time and attention with each other – but you do actually need to commit to being tuned in with each other, being present to each other, to actually physically touching each other. That means holding hands, it means hugging, it means stroking each other or touching your partner as you pass, it means making time. By making time and sitting down to talk and to touch, and even if it’s just a hand on the shoulder, all of those things say you matter, you’re important, you’re special or you’re valuable to me, you’re worth my time and attention. Now that is a form of nurture and if you keep that up, then both of you will begin to at least feel a connection returning.
Now the important thing here is is not to turn this into a sexual encounter. If you both feel like making it a sexual encounter that’s fine but that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking really about building emotional intimacy and taking your relationship to a new level, getting it past this sticking point and bringing it on to a level where you actually are starting to develop emotional intimacy. Because what happens sometimes, because we have such a need for physical closeness and for touch and if we’re not able to do that emotionally and be emotionally expressive, then often it gets subsumed into the sexual relationship and of course eventually the sexual relationship dies down because there isn’t the emotional connection going on.
To get the spark back in your sexual relationship, you actually need to pull back a bit and establish a more emotionally expressive relationship and you do that by spending time, giving attention, by touching, by tuning into each other. Also part of what happens here when we do that, when we create those kind of conditions and we put that kind of connection into it, is we all come into the world, as I say, with a biological need for bonding.
But I’m reminding myself of the childcare practices that certainly were around – I was born in the 40s – but in the 50s and 60s and even in the 70s, the child rearing practices were about babies if they’re crying just leave them to cry it out because it’s not good for them to be picked up, you’ll only spoil them. So babies and children were left to cry, occasionally they’d be picked up, but don’t pick them up too much. But also feeding regimes were every four hours on the clock. If a baby didn’t have it’s whole feed and felt hungry after two hours, the rules of the game were, no, don’t pick them up and feed them, they have to wait. You feed them and make it regular. So actually babies back then, and I would have been one of them and probably a lot of you who are watching this you may have been one of them, or your parents may have been one and actually then carried those practices on with you, actually those babies were emotionally neglected and those things affected their attachment and how things were at the beginning of life affect how we are in our relationships. Those old feelings of longing and yearning all get triggered off.
One of the things in a relationship, one of the functions of a relationship is as a couple that you actually are instrumental in repairing the damage of our early experiences. So make a commitment that you’ll both be there for each other. People talk about I want to be there for him, well what does that mean? It actually means paying time and attention and touching and tuning in and being present and that is very nurturing.
If you’ve got a partner who doesn’t seem able to do that, see a therapist because part of the therapeutic process is that you get that kind of connection from a therapist or even a well trained coach, will tune into you, will be responsive, will be caring and will help you to work your way through.
If you really want to dive into this and tackle all this building of emotional intimacy, head over to kajabinext.com and check out my programme Mend It Don’t End It and you’ll find that there’s 55 videos there telling you all about this process, but look out for the next video, and find out how to Get Back That Loving Feeling https://youtu.be/ukCx6C9aUeE
Bye for now.