In relationships with people that you love, it’s so important to create heart-to-heart connections, and it’s so important to learn how to keep those connections.
Life flows through the connections we have with one another and when we don’t know how to do it or why we’re doing it, or hoping it will happen accidentally, what ends up happening is that our relationship end up in a condition.
When we have a plan and an intent and an understanding of what we’re building, then what we can do is build something ON PURPOSE. We can build something we want to live in. We can build something that other people want to live in.
When we don’t have a plan, when we don’t have understanding, when we’re not loving on purpose, then we end up just living in this “thing”, and everyone that was born into it has to live there too.
So many people go into marriage counseling with this list of “here’s what they are doing wrong”. There’s an effective approach right there, how about we just trigger each other’s defenses and argue for an hour…
What is the goal of your marriage? What are you working towards?
So many couples struggling in their marriage are actually faced with the reality that they’ve created a goal of keeping a safe distance from each other in their commitment. How much distance do I need from you to PROTECT myself from getting HURT by you?
We are measuring our distance and if we ever accidentally ever bump into each other, one of us will throw a grenade so we can get our distance back. When we’re living a relationship of disconnection we’re trying to parade ourselves as people that are married.
No one has ever written in their wedding vows, “I hope to protect myself from you all the days of my life”.
What is the goal of this relationship?
The goal is to create a loving, intimate relationship. If you really have as a goal to build a relationship of connection and intimacy, and you don’t know how to do it, then that’s the right place to start.
The purpose of this teaching is to find and use the tools that help to build that loving, intimate relationship when they don’t know how; even if you’ve become afraid of each other, however that happened.
The first thing we have to do is to believe that LOVE IS WORTH DYING FOR and in order to create this intimate connection that we are willing to lay our life down for each other. That we are literally going to create a friendship out of this relationship, we are going to PRACTICE vulnerability, trust, and pursuing one another in LOVE.
That often comes at a fairly expensive cost because relationships can be a lot of work. There are times when we just don’t know what to do, there are times when we think we are going to sink and die, literally stuck in a situation that we’ve created for ourselves. “I didn’t see “that”, I didn’t see that we were so stuck, this feels like abandon the ship time”.
Whether it’s with your husband, your teenager, your child, whoever – creating a loving, intimate connection with people can be a lot of work. If you don’t have a plan on how to create that then you “end up” somewhere.
One of the things, as loved ones, that we carry with us every where go, is the goal of connection. The goal of a loving, intimate connection.
When there is a betrayal in the relationship (no matter how big or small) there is this massive disconnect and people become defensive when they become scared and they become selfish when they become defensive and so it’s impossible for two selfish people to have a loving, intimate connection.
At that point you need to take a “connection posture” with one another. You need to both make a decision to make your goal to be creating a loving, intimate connection. I don’t know how to do it, but that’s my goal…
You begin to move towards one another until you realize being connected is SO MUCH BETTER than the other option.
Everything is 100 times worse when you become disconnected. That’s the biggest problem you have in your relationship, not really how they betrayed you or the little things that have hurt you, it’s the pulling-away, backing-off, disconnect that is the biggest issue.
Until we’re connected again, everything is going to be 100 times harder. Living disconnected complicates your life and your relationships and it makes things feel impossible. It makes things feel just insurmountable.
Once we get that connection back, there’s a revival that happens to your situation, there is a new strength, a new life to what you’re facing, and all of the sudden it just doesn’t seem as impossible as it once did.
Do you love her?
“I love you very much” becomes a secret. It becomes something that you have to go digging around just to find. People do all kinds of crazy things to each other to try and get “I love you very much”. They become scared because “I value our relationship” feels like a secret. “I love you very much. You’re worth dying for. I’d give my life for you.” becomes a secret in our families, in our marriages. When that is missing, fear and anxiety replaces it and people are at their worst when they’re scared.
The problem is that it’s not about you not being able to receive love, it’s that your love languages are very different.
The Five Love Languages are: gifts, touch, acts of service, quality time, and words of affirmation.
Know how YOU receive love so you’ll know how to communicate what you NEED. Otherwise you’ll be left feeling a disconnect, but you won’t know what to do about it either.
What is it that I need to feel connected, to feel love, to feel safe around you?
Connect: Feels loved through the symbol of this gift. The gift means “you were thinking about me today when I wasn’t even around” and “you know me, you know what I like”. The Gift-Love-Language people receive a feeling of being loved and valued when they’re thought of, when the token of a gift represents that they were on your mind. As well as, it represents that you know them. You’ve demonstrated through your gift-giving that you’ve been paying attention to who they are.
Disconnect: The big disconnect from the big injury that says, “I haven’t been giving a thought to you”.
Connect: Feels connected through physical contact. The touch love language has a little “timer” and it’s counting the nano-seconds since I was touched last. Touch communicates “I love you, I care about you”.
Disconnect: The lack of touch communicates neglect. I begin to feel neglected over “long” periods of time. If you’re a Touch-Love-Language person, “long periods of time” could be the fifteen minutes that we’re in the same room together and you sit arms length away from me.
Acts of Service:
Connect: Feels connected when I know that the things that are important to me are important to you. The Acts-of-Service-Love-Language person feels loved when you HELP them.
Disconnect: there’s a feeling of deliberate intent of your spouse trying to control you to get you to do what they want done.
Words of Affirmation:
Connected: A NEED OF BEING ENJOYED, a need of being liked. They feel safe, valuable, encouraged, and connected. Words-of-Affirmation people literally believe that the tongue has the power of life and death. They experience words, but more than that, they experience “energy” or “vibes” as life and death.
Disconnect: They are hyper-sensitive to feeling threatened and feeling the need to protect themselves from others. They experience an exchange of love and life and so they are hyper-sensitive to criticism. They are hyper-sensitive to anger.
If you’re going to share criticism or hard-conversations with an Affirmations-Love-Language person then you’re going to have to build “Hero Sandwhiches”.
“You rock. You suck. You rock. Here, take a bite of this”.
You have to keep them engaged, you have to keep them with you. You need to get them to understand that it’s not that they aren’t liked, it’s that when you come at an Affirmation-Love-Language person with negativity or criticism, they interpret it as “you don’t love me”.
Go ahead, pour on the “I love you”s make them clear, write them in big letters, and set them out there. YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO CREATE A SAFE PLACE.
Connect: Feels connected when you ENGAGE with them. Engaging with them is listening, participation, interest. You must show interest through engaging in whatever it is that is interesting to them. If you have a spouse who is Quality-Time-Love-Language, they have ideas spinning through their head of all the things you could do together. You’ll learn how to turn your affections towards their interests because you love them and you want them to get your message.
Disconnect: If you don’t take an interest you effectively send a message that says “You don’t matter to me”. When you don’t have time for your Quality-Time-Love-Language, then you’re accused of having your priorities all out of whack.
People are built to be loved, to experience love, and when they consistently don’t feel loved in a relationship they have to PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM YOU. They have to find a place that is safe from this consistent message “you don’t value me, you don’t make time for me, you aren’t careful with your words towards me” etc. Therefore I feel SCARED to be VULNERABLE around you because it’s going to hurt me, it’s going to scare me.
We find ourselves in these disconnects where we’ve effectively sent a message that we don’t value the other person and in turn we’ve come up with these messes. We’re obviously disconnected, obviously sitting in the middle of that, we need to LEARN how to LOVE WELL in a way that the one we love can understand.
WE DO LOVE EACH OTHER, we just disqualify ourselves in our situations, we made a big mess, we had a disconnect. “Especially if you’re a words-of-affirmation-love-language person you’d like to just move on. You’d like to just put it behind you.” But the best thing you can do is APOLOGIZE. Apologize for sending a message that you don’t value them, that they aren’t important to you.
APOLOGIZE FOR WHAT YOU’VE CONTRIBUTED TO THE DISCONNECT.
Relationships are effectively kept healthy by protecting those connections and supplying those connections with what they need and making them a priority so that we tend to the connection. We no longer are managing our periods of disconnection with momentary connections, we’re now managing our connections with momentary disconnects.
UNDERSTANDING THAT WHEN WE BECOME DISCONNECTED; THAT’S THE BIGGEST PROBLEM WE HAVE.
I’m trying to effectively getting “I love you very much” across to you.