Blog Post 1 – 25th February 2021
Providing loving support for our marriage partners
Author: Dr Jim Byrne
Copyright (c) 2021
I help a lot of couples to improve their marriages and couple relationships. Very often the marriage or relationship is on its last legs when the couple arrives to see me. Years of disrepair have worn it down to the point of no return. But no matter what the state of the clients’ relationship, we always begin in the same place.
In E-CENT couples’ therapy, we provide a secure base for both partners, in order to promote secure attachment between them. Why is this important? We are modelling how to be supportive in a close relationship.
According to Levine and Heller: “If we are unsure whether the person closest to us, our romantic partner, truly believes in us and supports us and will be there for us in times of need, we’ll find it much harder to maintain focus and engage in life. … When (research) participants felt that their goals were supported by their partner, they reported an increase in self-esteem and an elevated mood … In (another) experiment, we saw that physical contact with a spouse can help reduce anxiety in a stressful situation. … Spending time in the presence of your partner…” (if you are in a satisfying marriage) “…actually benefits you by lowering your blood pressure to healthier levels”. But your blood pressure will be raised “if …you are not satisfied by your marriage”. … “Not only is our emotional well-being sacrificed when we are in a romantic partnership with someone who doesn’t provide a secure base, but so is our physical health”. “Our partners powerfully affect our ability to thrive in the world. … Having a partner who fulfils our intrinsic attachment needs and feels comfortable acting as a secure base and safe haven can help us remain emotionally and physically healthier and live longer”.
Levine and Heller (2011) Attached. Identify your attachment style and find your perfect match. Pages 31-33.
Sometimes the couple have left it too late to salvage their relationship, because they had such low expectations of close relationship. They thought they could muddle along forever, carping and criticizing; blaming and neglecting their partner.
Whether this is good news or bad news is a matter of judgement: But this approach is doomed to failure. Badly treated partners eventually do quit; sooner or later!
Don’t wait until the eleventh hour to seek help. Fix your relationship while there is still some love and respect left to salvage!
Happy relationships are possible.
Invest in one!
Dr Jim Byrne
Doctor of Counselling,
Email: Dr Jim.***
Or Telephone: 01422 843 629 (from inside the UK)
Or 44 1422 843 629 (from outside the UK)