coming back in connection

In my sessions, I'm being asked quite often about how to deal with disagreements in relationships.

Although every relationship will have some kind of disagreement - even if it’s as simple as which way to put the toilet paper on - I've been hearing over and over again that partners feel pressured to “just get over it.” 

Experience and age-old wisdom shows us that burying feelings never really works.
Repressed or suppressed feelings usually come back up and make themselves known anyway, whether that’s physically within our bodies or through things like resentment, which isn’t a solid base for a relationship.

Throughout my studies at the Somatica Institute, we explored all aspects of intimacy - including coming back in connection after a disagreement.
As a somatic therapist and intimacy coach, some of the principles I integrate into my own life and work include:

  • Recognize emotions are involved.
    Especially if you’re feeling triggered or experiencing heightened emotions, it’s good to make sure those involved - including yourself - know and acknowledge this.
  • Give the benefit of the doubt.
    Most people are simply trying to do the best they can. It can be helpful to keep that in mind with any discussions.
  • Make space for vulnerability. 
    Use neutral, non-shaming language to open up about your feelings, and establish a system for taking turns to ensure everyone’s voice is heard. When others are speaking, listen empathetically.
  • Acknowledge your part.
    Recognizing your own patterns and default habits can help you look at big-picture considerations and changes that might need to be made.
  • Reassure and reconnect. 
    Although having reassuring conversations can help, avoid denying the challenges or offering reassurance that isn’t truthful. Finding a way to reconnect - whether that’s a hug, a walk together or making a plan for the future - is often good for closure.

But doing this all on your own - individually or as a couple - can feel damn hard.
Especially when you’re triggered by a disagreement and literally can’t see past that, because our active amygdala shuts down the neural pathway to our prefrontal cortex - which means our access to multiple perspectives dissapears. 

Having someone who isn’t a part of the relationship (and who, therefore, isn’t a part of the fight) to help detangle things and offer support to both partners can be helpful when it comes to improving communication and finding connection again.

If you find yourself struggling or feel like you want to deepen and strengthen connections, please reach out for help.
You can find out more about my services here.

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Irina emits a healing energy that just feels good to be with. Each time we've met, I've relaxed into her presence, openness, authenticity and ability to offer support. She has helped me gain the perspective I needed to be more compassionate and gentle with myself. If you're ready to do the hard work of personal growth, I'd highly recommend partnering with Irina.

- April