How secure is your relationship?
Adult partners can offer a safe port of call for each other in times of need by providing a secure basis where each can explore and develop his or her potential.
Do you turn to your partner for support and comfort in times of distress?
If you are in a committed relationship a secure connection between you and your partner is established and preserved when you BOTH have a lived experience of responsiveness in times of need.
Relationship security changes everything!
When we feel secure in our intimate relationship a deep psychological resource is created.
The power of this sense of security helps to create:
- Higher relationship quality.
- More positive emotions.
- More emotional expression.
- More constructive ways of dealing with negative emotions.
- More curiosity and tolerance for uncertainty.
- More constructive ways of coping with stress.
- Physical health benefits such as reduced risk of heart disease, improved immune functioning and ability to cope with pain.
A secure relationship promotes freedom and self-confidence in both partners.
If both of you go out into the world feeling stronger, supported, cared for and more confident you are better equipped to deal with the ups and downs of daily life.
This spills over to benefit your children, colleagues and the community.
How are you creating safety?
The focus of relationship safety and security is heavily shaped by your emotional intelligence. This influences emotional intimacy which is how your relationship grows.
Emotional intelligence is often described as a style of emotional attachment in intimate relationships.
Attachment is a deep and lasting emotional bond that connects one person to another.
Your own attachment style will have been influenced by your early relationships with your parents, caregivers and subsequent adult partners.
Each and every one of us will have developed our own style of emotional attachment over the years.
This is why couples counselling is so powerful because it explores each partner’s style of attachment and how it promotes or destroys relationship security.
It is the way in which you and your partner give each other support and comfort that creates safety.
Here are some ways:
- Listening when the other is worried.
- Being attentive when the other is sick.
- Helping practically when the other is tired.
- Inquiring about your partner’s feelings.
- Staying engaged patiently when your partner is confused.
- Discussing and debriefing events of the day together.
- Expressing concern and/or providing physical comfort when your partner is sad or hurt.
Ask yourself these questions about creating safety in your relationship.
How does my partner give me support, comfort and encouragement?
How could I offer my partner a safe haven in hard times?
You can enhance the security in your relationship by supporting your partner to grow in the following ways:
- Support their work and activities.
- Ask questions and be curious in their opinions.
- Listen to their hopes and dreams.
- Take an interest in their studies, community activities, hobbies.
- Acknowledge their capabilities, and potential for growth.
- Bolster their confidence with encouragement.
Consider the following questions to boost your relationship security.
How has your partner encouraged you to grow and develop?
How do you support your partner’s dreams and aspirations to grow?
Is it hard to find answers? Are you focusing on your partner’s flaws?
It may be that you’re holding on to past hurt or anger and it’s getting in the way of moving forward?
It may even be stopping you from seeing how your partner is attempting to connect with you?
Get some help to unpack some of these blocks to moving forward in your relationship.
Check out our couples page for more info.
(Adapted from An Emotionally Focused Workbook for Couples. Veronica Kallos-Lilly, Jennifer Fitzgerald)