The Power of Healing in Relationships
Originally Posted on February 14, 2013 by BJ Howell.
Fact: Many relationships fail because of a lost connection.
Fact: People carry baggage…from childhood hurts, from one relationship to the next, from self imposed beliefs, etc.
Fact: Sometimes people unconsciously seek out relationships that mimic previous unresolved emotional wounds.
When your relationship is in trouble and you want to save it, what can you do? How do you rekindle the love? How do you heal past hurts so they don’t negatively effect your relationship? Realizing what the true issues are in your relationship, along with learning how to love and be loved in a healthy manner can save your relationship. One key piece is acknowledging that healing happens within the context of relationships. So, thinking it’s time to divorce and move on without working through the issues or the baggage that has accumulated could cause you to pack it up and move it to the next relationship. Or thinking it’s all the other person, when you keep ending up in the same type situations. Or finally, thinking it’s just too late because you have grown apart, could be the wrong way to look at it. Communication is important. However, not just communicating, but sharing emotions, talking about the tough stuff that you are feeling or that you experienced in the past that seems to keep coming up is important. Feeling connected enough to share your emotional needs or wants is the type of healing communication that relationships need to be successful.
Over the last couple of years there has been a great deal of information about the hormone, oxytocin, sometimes referred to as the love hormone. “Oxytocin evokes feelings of contentment, reductions in anxiety, and feelings of calmness and security around the mate. Many studies have already shown a correlation of oxytocin with human bonding, increases in trust, and decreases in fear. One study confirmed a positive correlation between oxytocin plasma levels and an anxiety scale measuring the adult romantic attachment”. Wikipedia
Oxytocin is needed for children to thrive. It is needed for adults to thrive as well. A recent study on men, confirms that the presence of oxytocin helps with sharing emotion, which is a huge component of bonding, healing and sustaining emotional health, and healthy relationships. From our early years we know that learning happens within the context of relationships. It starts with our introduction to the world and continues throughout life. So, it is only natural to assume that healing happens within the context of relationships also. The effects of oxytocin can help facilitate that healing.
So, what causes oxytocin to be release? Hugs, affectionate kisses, passionate kisses, back rubs, hand holding, loving gazes, snuggling, etc. Virginia Satir said “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth”. There is no denying that adults need to feel loved and connected. If you are currently in a relationship, why not meet the needs of your partner and get your needs met at the same time. Make a plan for how you will start to heal and strengthen your relationship.
1. Soul search the reasons why the relationship isn’t working or what parts are not working. This means the piece of the relationship that you control. What are you donating to the issue.
2. Decide if you are 100% in. (If you are in an abusive relationship, it may not be healthy to stay. Seek professional help if you need to).
3. Be vulnerable. Have a honest heart to heart conversation with your partner. Express what your emotional needs are. Be willing to listen to their response.
4. Make the 1st move. Being disconnected is an uncomfortable feeling in a relationship. Reaching out to someone to try and reconnect is scary, but it is necessary for healing the relationship.
5. Ask what your partner is receptive to, and get the oxytocin flowing!
Reconnecting or deepening the connection is the biggest step in strengthening your relationship.
Hug it out! And Be Empowered!