I have heard women say that they feel like a mom to their spouse.
When I see partners in a successfully maintained couple bubble, one stand out feature is their ability to care for, influence, and manage one another, much of the way expert parents do with their children. You are a nurturing force for good for your partner, exactly like a good parent. Yes, he wants your nurturing and you want his.
Both partners seem to have read and carefully studied the owners manual for the relationship and for each other. Each is familiar with details that no one outside the bubble is likely to know. When the person is feeling bad, they immediately sense why and they know how to remedy the situation. They know the right words to say, deeds to perform, they have the power to elevate, relieve, excite, soothe, or heal each other.
In Neuroscience terms: These partners possess strong orbitofrontal cortices; well-balanced left, and right brains; well developed smart, vagal systems; well regulated, breath, and vocal control; and honed communication skills that keep love close, and war at a far distance.
We are experts who understand our partner, and do what is necessary to relieve the other’s distress or amplify their elation.
My role is to take good care of you, even when you are a pain. And you do the same -nobody really loses. Everybody truly wins when we become the experts on one another. This is an investment in my future.
If we boil our issues down to the essence, I’m willing to bet the most of us can identify with at least three or four the following vulnerabilities throughout her entire life. There may be more but get to know your partner’s main deep ones.
Feeling intruded upon, feeling trapped or out of control, fear of too much intimacy, fear of being blamed, (those tend to be the partner who is more like an island )
At other times, be aware of fear of being abandoned by partner, fear of being separated from partner, discomfort of being alone for too long, feeling that you are a burden.
These are the buttons that we push for each other -not always intentionally.
Can you ease and soothe and reassure your partner when they have these vulnerabilities? That is the goal. Figure it out. Ask your partner and pay attention to the results you get. Adapt accordingly and don’t give up until you can frequently give them what they need to feel safe in the relationship.
If you’re going to ask your partner to be vulnerable and to be open and to let down their guard, you need to know how to help them deal with the stress related to that behavior.
What do you need?
What do I need?
How do we make this a win-win?
If I win and that means you lose, let’s scrap that plan and keep brainstorming.
On one level, we are at the mercy of our three or four vulnerabilities.
How can we develop trust and reassuring and soothing?
How can we help to relieve the other person’s distress?
How can we be sensitive to their fears?
How can we be experts on one another?
How can we repair the situation?
When you are injured, hurt, scared what do you need from me?
How can I help you? Help me help you.
Help me know how to spontaneously make you feel happy and loved.
Is there a phrase, deed, or an expression that can uplift you?