Couples who call LIFE Marriage Retreats looking for help for their struggling family relationships are all unique in the details of their marital and family obstacles, yet virtually all of them share some common yearnings for their desired ideal relationship:
- Emotional Connection
- Repair of eroded Trust
- Healing of Resentment and Hurt (with Forgiveness being a prime component of that healing)
Our next several postings will deal, one at a time, with these indispensable relationship ideals.
Dr. Sue Johnson in her book, “Hold Me Tight” writes, “Distressed partners may use different words but they are always asking the same basic questions: ‘Are you there for me? Do I matter to you? Will you come when I need you, when I call’?”
In this world that is so quick to wound and marginalize we are all looking for sanctuary, that safe place of acceptance and understanding where our hearts can knit to that of another, and we can feel a part of a shared past, present, and future. We are looking for connection.
When we miss that union we tend to panic and in our need we often prod, and demand, usually pushing our partner even farther away. Or we might retreat into emotional isolation in an attempt to protect ourselves from more pain and disappointment.
Sometimes the world makes the mistake of believing that men have little need for emotional bonding, that it is a feminine thing. The truth is that every man and woman wants a healthy and fulfilling connection with the people they love, but many of us are clumsy in asking and giving such connection and most of us carry some fear of rejection that holds us back.
Take the time (and even the risk) of seeking and offering those sweet emotional ties to those you love. Much of the negative behavior we see in relationships springs from the unmet need to feel connected. Be patient with one another and seek to understand the pain and loneliness your partner might be feeling; move beyond defensiveness and attack and instead lovingly explore together connection needs and possibilities.
Together you will find sanctuary.