RR07 – Cuddling is Crucial

My shoulder was made to hold your head, my hand to hold yours by Katie Tegtmeyer, on FlickrToday’s “Relationship Reading” is from chapter 20, page 441, of the Handbook of Attachment.

Debra Zeifman & Cindy Hazan note:

“Cuddling, or contact comfort, as demonstrated by Harlow (1958), is crucial for the establishment of emotional bonds.”

This quote resonated with me for a number of reasons:

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RR05 – The Roots of Relationship Distress

Today’s “Reading that Resonates” (or maybe I should rename these Relationship Readings?) is from page 30 of the “Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love” by Sue Johnson.

RR05 - What is at the root of relationship distress?

“Underneath all the distress, partners are asking each other: Can I count on you, depend on you? Are you there for me? Will you respond to me when I need, when I call? Do I matter to you? Am I valued and accepted by you? Do you need me, rely on me? The anger, the criticism, the demands, are really cries to their lovers, calls to stir their hearts, to draw their mates back in emotionally and reestablish a sense of safe connection.” ~ Dr. Sue Johnson

I went back to look this up again today because: Continue reading

RR#2 – Connection and the Freedom to Explore

Today’s RR is another quote from chapter 1 of the Handbook of Attachment:

“Thus attachment, far from interfering with exploration, is viewed as fostering exploration.” ~ Dr. Jude Cassidy, pg. 8

RR#2 - [Secure connection], far from interfering with exploration, is viewed as fostering exploration.

This resonated with me because:

  • I’ve experienced it. When I have felt the most connected to my wife and other special others, I have been more willing to try new things, learn new things, and take risks.
  • this is in stark contrast to the notion that attachment is all about being chained to someone and that being connected to someone is an abdication of freedom.
  • on a related note, it was validating. I love romantic gestures, but have been accused of offering too much and caving in to the whims of my “ball and chain” wife. What people don’t realise is that these “connection builders” have helped to build trust and love in my relationship; so much so that I have significant freedoms that other men don’t.
Random thought for the day: I’ve also decided to refer to attachment as “connection” or “secure connection” when I’m talking to  non-psych types. If finding that the word attachment comes with too much unintended baggage. Really, all we are talking about when we talk about attachment is our deep connections… especially those connections to the people we’d turn to in times of distress.

Does this quote resonate for you? Positively? Negatively?  I’d love to hear your comments.

002 – Does Attachment Theory Apply to Adults?

Attachment theory tells us that we are made to be connected to others. However, a lot of the initial research involved mothers and children. Does it apply to adults as well? In our latest podcast, Rebecca and I talk about this with Dr. Phil Shaver, considered by many to be “the father of adult attachment theory.”

 

 

If the player does not show, you can click here to listen: 002 – Attachment and Adults featuring Dr. Phil Shaver

Transcript

(Please note: The audio is transcribed “as is,” spoken grammar glitches and all.)

G:  Today we are talking with relationship expert Dr. Rebecca Jorgensen and special guest, researcher Dr. Phil Shaver.

G:  Hi Becca!

R:  Hey there Greg, so nice to talk to you today.

G:  In the next few podcasts we’ll be presenting our interview with Dr. Shaver about adult attachment and I’m finding that the concept is quite new to people – at least the adult part.  People are often perplexed that it even applies to adults because so much of the original research is about the mother-child bond.  Can you talk about those roots? Continue reading

Dear Becca: Events or Emotions?

Dear Becca,

To rebuild a wounded relationship, is it more important to carefully unravel problematic events or to explore the emotions of the situation?

Sincerely,

Michael

Dear Michael,

To repair a wounded relationship, the first step is to prioritize the relationship. It’s the relationship that needs repair.

Often when we want to repair, we want our partner to heal us, to comply to what we think needs to happen to repair trust or to be convinced we really matter and are important to our partner.
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