John Gottman, an American psychologist well known for his relationship research, suggested that an emotional connection and a striving toward an equality of influence are key factors that predict relationship well-being.
Below are few simple suggestions to consider for including in your conversations with your partner, with the goal of fostering emotional intimacy and closeness, as well as addressing ways to support both partners in the relationship.
These aim to create opportunities to connect heart to heart, as sometimes in the course of our days the details of daily chores and roles can hijack our energy from what is meaningful and intimate.
Describe some ways you would love to spend time with your partner/ What activities would you like your partner to share with you...
Do you have a list of local places you’d like to visit? What are they?
Are there personal goals you’d like to achieve?
What are some behaviors you would love to see your partner do, that would nourish your sense of feeling cared for? List 5 or more…
What is going well for you at the moment and what is most challenging for you at the moment?
Finally, the below “Well-being thermometer” is a tool designed by Virginia Satir for suggested use at family meetings. Family members are welcome to discuss whatever items they find of relevance:
When including these in your conversations remember that the most productive dialogue is where both parties strive to understand the emotional experience of one another, with the primary goal to connect by hearing about one another’s experience as it is in the present moment.
In this way it is my hope that we keep striving to make our relationships places where both partners may experience themselves seen and heard, where their thoughts and feelings count...
Gottman, John M, and Nan Silver. Why Marriages Succeed or Fail: What You Can Learn from the Breakthrough Research to Make Your Marriage Last. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.
Satir, Virginia. The Satir Model, 1st ed. Palo Alto, CA: Science and Behavior Books, 1991.
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