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Adult Love: A Key Part of Parenting
“… Our attachments to the significant people in our lives fulfill our innate need for security, protection, and contact. Like gravity pulling us towards the earth, our need for connection calls out to us, and moves us towards the ones we love the most”
The dream to find someone to love and be with is introduced to us at a tender age through stories and fairy tales that end with “happily ever after." Finding love becomes both an ideal and a dream we all share: To meet and spend our lives with that one person who wants to be with us more than anything else in the world. We call that “true love."
Dr. Sue Johnson, developer of Emotional Focused Therapy (EFT), believes that adult love relationships are based on powerful and compelling emotional bonds referred to as attachments.
Our survival depends on our powerful emotional attachments. – it’s hardwired into our very DNA. Adult love is like a beautiful tango. Each dancer needs to be finely in tune with the other, anticipating the other’s next move. Even talented dancers sometimes miss a beat or step on their partners’ toes. The same is true of our relationships. With the best of intentions and the purest feelings we can still get off track, or even get stuck. The very survival of “true love” depends on what we do when we have a misstep. Finding a way to regain balance and feel good about each other is imperative to keeping love healthy and alive.
Consider “John and Mary." They have been together for 15 years and have 2 children. Over the years they focused more on their children, family life, and career, and less on each other. Over time, the distance between them grew. Mary found herself becoming demanding in order to get John’s attention and the reassurance that John still loved her more than anything. And John found himself withdrawing and detaching from his needy and demanding wife in an attempt to protect himself. So, like countless couples before them, their loving dance was replaced by a negative cycle which met neither of their needs and began to take them to a destination neither wanted. Underneath their distress, they were really saying: “Do you still notice me? Can I count on you when I need you? Do I really matter to you?” And neither could hear what lay below each other’s words.
But they were not ready to give up on each other or their family. They took the brave step of seeking help. With the support of a trained EFT therapist at DM, Mary and John began to find their way back to each other, to renew and deepen their bonds. They sought and found a new way to still the noise of life and “hear” what the other was asking and build more trust & safety with each other.
Have you ever wondered about how some people who happily committed to each other found that their love could fade away? That one day they could look into the eyes of their loved one and not see the love reflected back? One of the key issues in relationship conflict is maintaining the security of the emotional bond – keeping the relationship more important than the problem. Emotional Focused Therapy (EFT) is a groundbreaking treatment model and clinically proven approach which restores adult love. It focuses on strengthening the emotional bond between partners to weather all storms. EFT is an evidence based scientifically documented approach, and is one of the most effective couple therapy treatments, shown to increase couple happiness and lowering marital distress.
Tango is a very passionate, romantic, intimate experience. So are human love relationships. We long for emotional connections with those closest to us, those most important to us - for this is the most important priority. A dance as intricate as the tango necessitates being able to predict and understand our partners to stay in step. It takes knowledge, understanding, practice, forgiveness, love… and sometimes even starting over. Like with anything worth having, keeping love alive and vital takes work, effort, and energy. But it’s worth it… because love is the most powerful thing on the planet. May love fill your hearts and your life! Sometime we all need a time to reflect, recharge, and rethink our next move. DM can help!
About the Author:
Mona Segal, MSW ME.d is a Family Therapist and Educational Consultant, and the Director of DM Family & School Services, with offices in Montreal, West Island, & Laval. She works with youth from toddlers to teens, adults, couples, & families, and offers groups for youth and parenting workshops.
Call DM at 514.483.9339 or connect at www.dmfamilyschool.com
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