Enmeshment vs Connection: What Separates the Evolving Couple from the Stuck Couple

Connection

The foundation of a vibrant intimate partnership is the experience of feeling connected to each other. This is akin to some kind of attuned flow state between two people. It’s a couple’s homebase. From this fertile connectivity, anything is possible.

When two people don’t have this kind of connection as a ground to return to, and they don’t make it THE primary issue to focus on, they get distracted and loop in symptomology.

Attending to the ever-shifting, dynamic, relational current between each other, is a daily practice for the committed couple. To work their connection, both parties need to take on, as a devotional practice, their connection to themselves. I’ll struggle to connect to you, if I’m not connected to me.

Their core connection requires that both people are committed to their own sovereignty in the relationship (differentiation), while simultaneously (more…)

Men: Learn How To Validate Your Woman’s Feelings

Men often struggle to validate their woman’s feelings. And, it’s a crucial skill to learn in a long-term partnership.

This one took me years with my wife. “Honey, I totally get your experience,” I’d say… “But I don’t feel seen or understood here,” she would respond. Grrrrr. When she told me this, it triggered my “I’m not doing it right,” among other things. Underneath that, my inadequacy button was firing. Since I didn’t want to feel that, I kept telling her defensively, “I do too get you.” It’s similar for many men who, for whatever reason, want to be right, or definitely don’t want to be wrong or criticized for how they are listening. But this is missing the issue, and missing our women.

There are many reasons why it’s hard for men to validate a woman’s experience. One is that we live in a culture that trains us to invalidate each (more…)

How to Find a Good Couples Counselor

A question from a reader:

“Hello Jayson, what should a good relationship therapist be like? how do I know I have chosen the correct one? Or should i say, how do my partner and i know we have chosen the correct one?”

First, get a word of mouth referral from trusted friends. Going blind is dicey.

Next, trust your gut. Feel into your heart and gut and there is probably a signal whether this person can help you or not.

Third, IMO, they must be devoted to truth. Not their truth, or your truth, but THE truth. The truth is simply looking for what is so in every moment. What is really going on in this relationship? I prefer practitioners who seek what is true and what is so, then have the (more…)

Can A Relationship Work if One Partner is Growing and The Other Isn’t?

Can a relationship really last if one partner is growing and the other isn’t?

I see this a lot in my office.

One person, for whatever reason, finds themselves in my office wanting a different life or they really want to deepen their intimate relationship. They have chosen to work on themselves because they believe it might help them in their life.

This is a bold moment in a person’s life, perhaps one of the most inspiring for me to witness.

Their partner chose not to come in and are at home or work, not on the same page, nor are they interested in getting help, support or guidance on their relationship or anything else.

At some point in our conversation, this comes up.

Sue’s Story

For example. I had a client we’ll call Sue.

Sue wants her life to be different. She wants to feel closer to (more…)

Dwelling Versus Feeling

Dwelling on something is different than feeling it.

When I DWELL on some issue, I’m mostly just thinking about it. It has a flavor of heaviness and stress. It doesn’t feel good and I delude myself into thinking i’m feeling it. It’s a side step because I’m afraid to feel a strong emotion or sensation. Then it might come out as a complaint about some aspect of my life. I might even act like a victim because I’m not over some issue that’s been going on for quite a while.

FEELING an issue on the other hand, is to come into direct contact with the emotion and/or sensation by feeling it, all the way down, in my body. It burns and can be very intense, but it’s like a wave, it just moves through me, if i let it. In my experience dwelling prolongs and creates more suffering for myself, while feeling discharges raw inner material and helps me grow stronger.