Even Therapists Work On Their Relationships.
If I had a nickel for every time my husband was told “Oh you’re married to a couple’s therapist, you must have an amazing marriage”, I’d be a rich lady. He always politely smiles and leaves it at that. I tell him “No way Honey, tell them that I’m a wife at home, not a therapist”.
Because the truth is I don’t sit around psycho analyzing our relationship or doing therapy on us. No way! In reality when I’m at home I really am a wife and mom. Just like the rest of you, I have to work at my marriage too.
And if you ask me, I think we’ve got a pretty rockin’ marriage, but that’s because we are constantly working on it. Sure there are times we disagree, feel disconnected and God forbid argue, but we work hard to restore connection and prioritize our relationship (as much as you can with twin 3 year olds underfoot).
So in an effort to prove that even therapists work on their relationships, I decided to reach out to my trusty colleagues and ask them to share what they do in their own relationships to create connection. Because truth be told (I know this may shock some of you), we aren’t perfect. Nope, we work just as hard on this stuff in our offices with clients as we do at home with our mates. It would be hypocritical and downright concerning if we didn’t, right?
What I love about the conversation that started rolling between my colleagues was that it really highlighted what I know to be a universal truth.
We’re all constantly working on love.
Why? Because love takes constant work. Last week’s blog was all about love being a verb, and today I want to show you exactly how therapists are creating connection in their relationships.
Here are the top 9 ways that therapists across the country are create connections with their mates:
#1 GET REAL
Robyn D’Angelo, LMFT, a great therapist and friend in Laguna Hills, California shares that she creates connection in her relationship by getting real.
“Seriously, just removing all the "I should... He probably wants me to... I'm a jerk if I don't...." And replace them with things like "Ya know what I totally dig about you? Here's what's been on my mind this week... and man, I love that we've created ____ together." Stuff like that. Getting real, taking a risk by being honest and just remembering to tell my partner how bad-ass he is. I could do it more and I work on it but it's a pretty awesome experience for both of us when I just get real. I really appreciate you starting this convo. It's a reminder for me to GET REAL with my partner.”
I just love what Robyn is saying here. Getting real and remembering to tell my partner how “bad-ass” they are! Doesn’t that just make you want to jump up and create action in your relationship?
#2 BE CURIOUS
Another great therapist, Rebecca Wong, LCSW in New Paltz, New York shares about creating connection in her relationship by staying curious and playful.
“Curiosity helps me slow down and notice when I am disconnecting and why, or rather what's distracting me. Perhaps something didn't feel good and I notice I'm checking out or I am overwhelmed by my to-do list, or I'm more interested in blank. Whatever the reason, once I notice it [the disconnect] and my why I can choose what I want to do with it. Playfulness helps me reconnect. It breaks down my own resistance first and allows me to reengage in a meaningful way.”
Curiosity and playfulness help us keep the novelty and fun in our relationships. I think Rebecca really nailed the importance of this.
#3 ASK FOR HELP
Leana Sykes, M.Ed, LPC a therapist in Oaklyn, New Jersey shares about creating connection in her relationship by asking for help.
“I create connection in my relationships by asking for help. Sometimes those of us in helping professions are used to giving help and aren't so good at receiving help. I've found that the people I love need to know that they are able to support me as much as I support them. help=love”
Asking for help and support are crucial to soothing and creating connection in our relationship. I think that the simplicity of Leana’s “help=love” really says so much!
#4 BE VULNERABLE
Colleen King, LMFT in Sacramento, California opens up about creating connection in her relationship by being emotionally vulnerable.
“Expressing our thoughts and feelings in a mutually respectful manner helps to build a sense of safety and trust in our relationships, which leads to emotional intimacy. When we share our fears, hopes, expectations and desires with one another, we gain insight and increase trust. Greater understanding and compassion for each other lead to a deeper love and connection.”
So valuable! I not only identify with each one of these, but I know these folks and that their insights are shared from a place of experience.
The amazing thing is that this conversation created so much movement, that I broke this blog into a 2 part series so there’s even more to share next week.
Stay tuned for the next week’s segment with the rest of the top 9 ways therapists are create connection in their relationships!
As always, I want to hear from you! I want to know what your journey through connection and love is like. Which of these four calls to action to you identify with the most?
Send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, give me a call, 916.955.3200 or comment below.
I can’t wait to hear from you.
PS. If you’re ready to take this blog post to the next level, click here to sign up for my 7 Day Relationship Challenge