Managing Stress Together to Stay Together
This is still from the Sound Relationship House by Gottman, with Stu Jacobson, PhD contributing an idea.
How well do you as a couple manage the spill over of stress?
Jacobson found that some couples maintain the gains in couples therapy and there are those who relapse two years after therapy. The effect of stress management was the only factor that mattered.
This factor alone eight of those couples who have made progress in a relationship to maintain a positive changes it happens if they developed.
We highly recommend that you have a stress reducing conversation for at least 20 minutes every day. This conversation gives you a great opportunity to turn towards each other, thereby increasing your emotional bank account.
Consider that this is part of the magic five hours a week. Post that on your fridge and remind yourself of it.
The stress reducing conversation is the talker and listener. My website has an audio of me describing talker and listener as well as a handout with it. Very important. If you can successfully do the talker and listener, you will find that most of the problems will be easier to handle as a team.
Giving support meetings maintaining eye Contact, asking questions to demonstrate genuine interest. You’re showing empathy and you demonstrate that you are an ally for your partner. You communicate understanding and you don’t give advice unless asked.
It’s us against others.
I will not side with the other or your adversary or opponent in your story.
Even if I agree with the other person, I will empathize with my partner’s emotions.
I’m gonna focus on what my partner is feeling now -what my partner is perceiving.
There is solidarity and the thinking is, “This is our problem and we will face it together. I will provide affection and comfort as a way of giving support come here and let me hold you. I am totally on your side.”
Continue reducing stress by showing that you are interested in the person speaking, be excited when they’re excited and sad when they’re sad match them be their ally. When they have fear, irritation, or anger let them know that you can see where they would have that feeling.
Don’t Stonewall or ignore. Don’t fail to respond. Don’t get defensive. Don’t criticize them they are going through stress. Do not side with their enemy.
Sex, romance and passion are part of turning towards.
We often struggle with talking about it openly. Pay each other compliments, give surprise gifts, tell them how they are special.
Make them feel special.
Find out what soothes them and continue your courtship- that’s number one.
Number two -develop rituals routine ways to talk about sex.
Talk about having a signal whether or not you’re in the mood for sex. Talk about how to communicate what you prefer as foreplay or sexual positions you like (that you’ve done together before).
Number three- make the relationship a priority, schedule date nights or getaway weekends. What are your preferred times and frequency for having sex? No judgment blame or harshness during this conversation.
Romance, passion and good sex thrive when there’s an atmosphere of safety and warmth.