Fostering Connection within Couples

Written by: Rhonda Fields, MA, CCC, Capital Choice Counselling Group

Couples often lose the original emotional connection (to participate in research which is interested in helping couples find emotional connection, click here) which attracted them to one another in the first place. Falling out of the feeling of love is common for most couples.  Couple therapy can help to reestablish emotional connection. Therapy for couples helps change distance back into connection. Couples therapy helps us see each other in a new real way. The rose-colored lens through which the partners once saw the other as, “just the lover I wanted,” has changed. The faults of the other have become glaringly present, and each unconsciously, perhaps, harbors resentment that his or her partner has not met the deep needs that each partner brought into the relationship.

The task of the couple therapist is to acknowledge that effective couple communication is important to a strong and loving relationship, but even more so to recreate the emotion connection for a safe, trusting and loving relationship. Emotional connection means seeking comfort or support from your partner, acting as an ally to your partner, behaving as your partner’s best friend, conveying emotion to your partner, conveying unspoken messages and body language that your partner is respected and loved, and understanding some important meaning from your partner’s words, expressions and nonverbal cues.   In other words, it is not just what you say to your partner, or what you do, it is how you communicate your attitude towards your partner as a person, both intimately tied to you and distinctly individuated from you.  It is about how you touch your partner in loving ways.

Dr. Sue Johnson, founding director of the Ottawa Couple and Family Institute writes that emotional connection is based on the answers to two questions: Are you there for me? and Will you respond to my needs? When these answers are affirmative, emotional connection is fostered. The good news is that emotional connection can be re-found and cultivated, sometimes with the help of a counsellor. To book a CCCG couple’s therapist for your relationship, click here. If you would like more information about the author, Rhonda Fields, or to book an appointment with her, click here.