Couples Counseling

Attachment Theory

Attachment TheoryI wanted to share this article on Attachment Theory and its significance to adult relationships. It’s important to understand how the relationship you have with your parents as a child affects your ability to be in a healthy relationship later.

“A secure attachment changes the way a baby sees the world because they learn that they’re not alone,” author Sue Johnson says. “Adults are the same. A sense of connection changes one of the most basic elements of the brain, which is how you perceive threat. It changes the world into a safer world.”

Clinical Psychologist Sue Johnson is the author of Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships.

Check out Relationships First for more articles on building healthy relationships.

Negative Patterns That Predict Divorce

I just wanted to share this video by John Gottman on defensiveness and stonewalling in relationships:

What Couples Who Stay Together Do Differently from Couples Who Don’t

Open and Honest Communication

What Couples Who Stay Together Do Differently

  • Talk and connect every day
  • Practice listening with the intent to understand
  • Work at understanding their partner’s world
  • Show respect rather than contempt
  • Assume their partner has a legitimate point of view
  • Ask themselves, “Do you want to be right, or do you want to happy?”

Everyday Demonstration of Caring Behaviors

Find out their partner’s “love language” and which of the following he/she needs to feel loved, then practice doing them.

  • Words of affirmation
  • Spending quality time
  • Doing acts of service
  • Giving physical touch
  • Giving gifts

Ask their partner:

“What is one thing I could do differently that would make the biggest difference to you?”

Tell their partner:

“Something that would make me happy is…”

Relationship Inventory

Take Time to Talk Intimately with Your Partner

Relationship Satisfaction Inventory

Happy CoupleFill out this inventory and give it to your partner to do the same. Then set aside some time to compare and talk about how each of you has rated each category. Look for the strengths in your relationship as well as identify the areas that could be enhanced, to make this the kind of relationship you would like it to be. Set a goal together to make this happen.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being very unsatisfied and 10 being very satisfied, rate each of the following:

  • Communication skills
  • Creative use of conflict/crisis
  • Common goals and values … what are they?
  • Agreement on gender roles
  • Cooperation and teamwork
  • Sexual fulfillment
  • Money management
  • Commitment to growth, yours and the relationship
  • Giving and receiving appreciation and affection
  • Time together
  • Family matters … parents, in-laws, children
  • Decision making skills