Marriage Maintenance Presentation


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Hand to Hold Guest Presenter David Griffin, LPC, speaks at Hand to Hold's
Quarterly Discussion Series entitled “Maintaining Emotional Engagement: Re-focusing the Eyes of Your Hearts” on February 18, 2011. When our worlds have been turned upside-down by an early birth, medical complications or the loss of a child, we seldom have the time or energy to nurture each other. Hear guest presenter, David Griffin, shares tools you need to make your relationship with your partner a safe harbor. For more information, visit

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  • “What do you see?”
  • “What do you see?”
  • Here is another way to build ‘stronger emotional bonds.’ “What do you see?”
  • “What do you see?”
  • Marriage Maintenance Presentation

    1. 1.
    2. 2. Maintaining Emotional Engagement<br />Re-Focusing the Eyes of your Heart<br />
    3. 3.
    4. 4.
    5. 5.
    6. 6.
    7. 7. Romantic Love (Marital)<br /><ul><li>Last maximum of two years
    8. 8. Focused attention
    9. 9. Heightened energy
    10. 10. Elation (mood swings)
    11. 11. Obsessive thinking(most powerful characteristic of romantic love)</li></li></ul><li>Romantic Love (Marital)<br /><ul><li>Craving for emotional union
    12. 12. Intensely heightened energy
    13. 13. Elation as things go well
    14. 14. Terrible mood swings when things are going poorly</li></li></ul><li>The Key to Successful Marriages<br />The key element needed for a loving and successful marriage is<br />building strong emotional bonds AND quickly and thoroughly repairing any damage to the emotional bonds when damage inevitably occurs. <br />
    15. 15. The Key to Successful Marriages<br />Communication and conflict resolution work not because it teaches the skills, but because it builds stronger emotional bonds and helps couples repair damage to the emotional system.<br />
    16. 16. The Key to Successful Marriages<br />Likewise, forgiveness, apology, restitution, and reconciliation seem particularly valuable because it helps repair damage to the emotional bond. <br />
    17. 17. The Key to Successful Marriages<br />Of course, couples need to develop additional ways to build “stronger emotional bonds” and quickly terminate conflictual interactions that are likely to seriously injure emotional connections.<br />
    18. 18. Emotional Engagement<br /><ul><li>Why did you choose to marry?
    19. 19. How important was “trust” when you chose to marry?</li></li></ul><li>Emotional Engagement<br />Definition of Marital Trust:<br />“Knowing that your spouse will never intentionally do anything to bring you harm.”<br />
    20. 20. Emotional Engagement<br />When you hear the word “attachment,” what comes to your mind?<br />
    21. 21. Emotional Engagement:Attachment<br />Individuals have more or less secure attachment styles in their close relationships with others. These are based on early interactions with primary caregivers from childhood (especially the mother). Based on the work of Bowlby (1969).<br />
    22. 22. Emotional Engagement:Martial Attachment<br /><ul><li>Feelings of calm/contentment
    23. 23. Emotional union with long-term partner
    24. 24. Nest (home) building
    25. 25. “Mate guarding”
    26. 26. Cooperative parenting (the main point of attachment)</li></li></ul><li>Emotional Engagement:Marital Attachment<br />Marital researchers Johnson and Greenberg found marital distress arises from “attachment wounds,” emotional wounds that result from a perceived threat to basic adult needs for safety, security, and closeness. <br />
    27. 27. Emotional Engagement:Marital Attachment<br />With these fears, couples begin communicating through “negative interactional cycles.” These cycles create a combination of patterns: “blamer-withdrawer” and “criticize-defend.” <br />
    28. 28. Emotional Engagement:Marital Attachment<br />When couples are able to recognize these styles, and have committedintentto change, they can move into healthier and more emotionally nurturing ways of loving each other. Defensive posturing gives way to emotional connection and compassion for each other.<br />
    29. 29. Emotional Engagement:Four Attachment Styles<br /><ul><li>Secure: “I trust you will be there for me if I reach you, you will attempt to understand me and respond to me I a considerate manner.”
    30. 30. A positive view of self / a positive view of others.</li></li></ul><li>Emotional Engagement:Four Attachment Styles<br /><ul><li>Avoidant:“I am not sure you will be there for me unless I react in a particular way.”
    31. 31. An overly inflated view of self / a negative view of others</li></li></ul><li>Emotional Engagement:Four Attachment Styles<br /><ul><li>Anxious: “My reaching for you won’t be reciprocated with care but with rejection so it is best to be self sufficient.”
    32. 32. A negative view of self / an over inflated view of others</li></li></ul><li>Emotional Engagement:Four Attachment Styles<br /><ul><li>Fearful:“The very person I need to turn to for comfort is the person who has hurt me. So I reach for you for comfort then push you away in fear of being hurt.”
    33. 33. A negative view of self / a negative view of others</li></li></ul><li>Emotional Engagement:through the Lens of Attachment<br />Two Kinds of Anger<br />Anger of Hope: “I will get angry in hopes of you seeing my hurt or longing and you will respond in a considerate manner restoring our bond.”<br />
    34. 34. Emotional Engagement:through the Lens of Attachment<br />Two Kinds of Anger<br />Anger of Despair: “I long for you to see me, understand me and respond to me, but my attempts become entangled with hostility and anger and my anger of hope becomes an anger of despair. <br />
    35. 35. Emotional Engagement:through the Lens of Attachment<br />My longing for closeness gets lost in the heat of my emotions and my natural attachment protest gets caught in a web of despair.”<br />
    36. 36. Emotional Engagement:through the Lens of Attachment<br />Three ways to react when you sense your spouse is not there for you:<br /><ul><li>Fight—get anxious, louder, go after, up-the-anti
    37. 37. Flee—cool down, shut down, withdraw, walk on eggshells
    38. 38. Freeze—cool down, wait for the heat to blow over</li></li></ul><li>Emotional Engagement:through the Lens of Attachment<br />Three interactional patterns you can get stuck in:<br /><ul><li>Criticize/Pursue—Defend/Withdraw
    39. 39. Criticize/Pursue—Criticize/Pursue
    40. 40. Defend/Withdraw—Defend/Withdraw</li></li></ul><li>Emotional Engagement:through the Lens of Attachment<br />Couples long for emotional closeness<br /><ul><li>However, couples get stuck in ways of relating as they attempt to be heard, understood, connected.</li></li></ul><li>Emotional Engagement:through the Lens of Attachment<br />Couples long for emotional closeness<br /><ul><li>Couples apply these ineffective strategies to every argument and “negative interactional patterns” begins to re-define the relationship and hinder you from emotionally connecting.</li></li></ul><li>Emotional Engagement<br />Identify the negative interactional pattern you are stuck in:<br /><ul><li>What are the hot topics that trigger your arguments?
    41. 41. How do each respond?
    42. 42. How do you reconnect?</li></li></ul><li>Emotional Engagement<br />How do you reconnect?<br /><ul><li>Do you return and resolve? </li></ul>or<br /><ul><li>Do you ignore each other and harbor resentments … that returns back again in anger the next argument … that continues fueling the cycle. </li></li></ul><li>Emotional Engagement<br />To stop this negative interactional cycle, access the emotions that fuel this cycle.<br /><ul><li>Under the anger of the pursuer are feelings of aloneness, abandonment.
    43. 43. Under the coldness of the withdrawer are feelings of inadequacy, helplessness.</li></li></ul><li>Emotional Engagement<br /><ul><li>It is these primary emotions (fear of abandonment, aloneness or inadequacy, helplessness, etc.) that fuel your negative interactional pattern and it is this cycle that keeps you disconnected.</li></li></ul><li>Emotional Engagement<br /><ul><li>Accept, reveal, and access these primary emotions that have been channeled through your secondary emotion (anger) in order to stop the perpetuating negative cycle.</li></li></ul><li>Emotional Engagement<br /><ul><li>To be authentic with yourself and primary emotions, you must trust each other.
    44. 44. Remember the definition of ‘trust’?
    45. 45. “Knowing that your spouse will never intentionally do anything to bring you harm.”</li></li></ul><li>Emotional Engagement<br />This trust will allow you to be vulnerable with your primary (true) feelings and break the negative cycle of arguing over symptoms and not dealing with the issues.<br />
    46. 46. Emotional Engagement<br /><ul><li>The pursuer will now soften.
    47. 47. The withdrawer will now engage.
    48. 48. There will now be expressions of needs and wants, thus creating</li></ul>Emotional Engagement / Secure Attachment<br />
    49. 49. Emotional Engagement<br />Now emotionally connected, as a couple you can come together to find solutions to hot topics and issues as they no longer trigger attachment fears. You are now able to feel secure in your marital relationship.<br />
    50. 50. Who Else Can You Trust?<br />Sheri & Bob Stritof, Marriage Guides since 1997<br /><br />
    51. 51. How to Handle a CRISIS TOGETHER<br /><ul><li>Every marriage will go through times of crisis. Some marriages will be strengthened by a crisis, others will be badly damaged.
    52. 52. Here's help in avoiding having your marriage relationship hurt by loss or devastation:</li></li></ul><li>How to Handle a CRISIS TOGETHER<br /><ul><li>Don't worry about keeping the house or current residence super clean. Lower your expectations of one another a bit.
    53. 53. Remind yourselves that this crisis isn't going to last forever.</li></li></ul><li>How to Handle a CRISIS TOGETHER<br /><ul><li>Remember your commitment to one another.
    54. 54. When possible watch a funny movie together. Laugh a little.</li></li></ul><li>How to Handle a CRISIS TOGETHER<br /><ul><li>Find something positive in each day.
    55. 55. Take it one day at a time.
    56. 56. Be patient. It takes time to overcome the trauma of a crisis.</li></li></ul><li>How to Handle a CRISIS TOGETHER<br />TIPS:<br /><ul><li>Be realistic about what you can do and can't do in the midst of your crisis situation.
    57. 57. Although they can take a toll, traumatic events do NOT have to mean the end of your marriage. </li></li></ul><li>Perseverence<br />a<br />
    58. 58. No-Fault Divorce<br />No-fault divorce is a divorce in which the dissolution of a marriage requires neither a showing of wrong-doing of either party nor any evidentiary proceedings at all.<br />
    59. 59. No-Fault Marriage<br />We approach our spouse with a no-fault framework. The goal is to acknowledge everyone’s part in the struggle, and to feel the pain of the struggle, but without finding any fault. <br />
    60. 60. No-Fault Marriage<br />The key element is doing it without finding fault anywhere … to accept ourselves and the situation, to recognize our fears and needs, and to accept that each contribute 100% to the relationship and its struggles. <br />
    61. 61. No-Fault Marriage<br />Though it is difficult to do, it changes everything to look at relationship difficulty without laying any blame. No blame towards your partner. No blame towards yourself. <br />
    62. 62. No-Fault Marriage<br />One client regularly scolded her husband for being emotionally unavailable. Feeling judged and rejected, he reacted to the scolding by making himself more unavailable. Blame maintains stuckness. <br />
    63. 63. No-Fault Marriage<br />When that same client finally spoke to her husband in an accepting, vulnerable way, telling him that she loved and missed him, that the separation saddened her, he immediately became more available.<br />
    64. 64. No-Fault Marriage<br />Of course non-blaming doesn’t mean we avoid holding someone responsible for their actions. It usually makes sense to explain to a spouse that his or her actions were hurtful to you. The important thing is to respectfully address your spouse’s behavior, not attack their personhood.<br />
    65. 65. No-Fault Marriage<br />This is the no-fault marriage. Find a place within yourself where there is no blame of other or of self, where there is no victim. Feel the pain, the discomfort, the sense of powerlessness. Accept these feelings. <br />
    66. 66. No-Fault Marriage<br />Make friends with them. Respect them. Eventually the pain and sense of powerlessness will pass. When they do, you will begin to find the energy to take care of yourself.From Jonathan Goodman-Herrick's book,THE HEART OF RELATIONSHIP: FIVE ULTIMATE TRUTHS<br />
    67. 67. Stress Management Resources<br />1. Hope / Faith<br />2. Time<br />3. Money<br />4. Energy<br />
    68. 68. Stress Management Resources<br />5. Intelligence<br />6. Patience<br />7. Support of Others<br />In a marriage that works together, you can double these resources!<br />