Is My Marriage Connected?
Some may believe themselves to be connected when they get married. They say things like now that I’m married I can stop searching for a mate. I "have" somebody now. And now there will always be somebody in my court.
Though in the case of marriage, as many of you already know, you can’t stop searching for your mate, you don’t "have" somebody now and there isn’t always going to be somebody in your court unless you are connected.
With that said, connection is a part of marriage. How do you know if you have it?
Because connection is intangible, its difficult to know that you have it in your marriage.
Webster’s Dictionary describes connect as a verb that means to bring together or into contact so that a real or notional link is established. And it also means to join together so as to provide access and communication. The synonyms listed are attach, join, fasten, couple, secure, fuse, stick and others.
So for our purposes I would like to focus on a few of key parts:
A real or notional link;
Access and communication
And finally attachment.
I think all three of these parts, if you, will belong in solid marriages.
A real or notional link
It’s the marriage itself: the commitment before God and witnesses to love and to cherish for your partner for all of the rest your days. It’s the feel good day that was painstakingly planned, as well as the legal agreement that keeps you filing your taxes together. It is the theoretical belief that you in it to win it!
Access and Communication
This, in my view, is the cornerstone of the marriage. In my practice, every couple who sits in my therapy room says that they have difficulty with communication! Every single one says it and EVERY single one means something different!
My couples tend to believe that they are not communicating. I beg to differ…she doesn’t like what he’s saying, or how he’s saying it, or he can’t hear her over the noise in his own head, or vice versa.
EVERYTHING IS COMMUNICATION.
Stopping when your partner walks in the house in the evening to look at them, or not stopping, is communication.
Taking out the trash, raking the fallen leaves and making sure the snow is shoveled, or not, is communication.
Opening doors, preparing dinner, inquiring about your partner’s day, on and on…its all communication.
The act or lack of the act communicates something. So when the communication speaks to your partner in a loving way, and that’s the message you intended for them to have, its good communication.
This part is brings in deeper emotional intimacy…
Attachment means intimacy as a close familiarity or friendship; closeness. Synonyms for the word are closeness, togetherness, affinity, rapport, attachment, familiarity, amity, affection or warmth. Sexual relations or lovemaking can be included as part of the definition as well.
Humans look for connection. We connect with our parents when we are young. We connect with friends in school. We connect and disconnect with relationship partners when hormones begin to rage in our teen years. As we become young adults we look for connection from people who have similar interests to validate who we are, what we think and how we feel. Humans want to connect.
Intimacy between two people connects them with a closeness that helps each person to understand the other and build friendship or closeness that in turn allows for attachment and connection. When a person is able to be vulnerable, open and accepting and these conditions are reciprocated, the feelings that erupt can bring forth intimacy. An important factor of a relationship is the ability to share the quiet space within without walls or guards. Children welcome vulnerability with their parents because they have not learned to build walls that can block the attachment. Siblings develop the close familiarity through shared experiences growing up in the same household.
Married couples share a different level of attachment because it is the only attachment that includes sexual intimacy. This type of intimacy increases the natural vulnerability and closeness within the relationship. Marriage is the emotional connection dance between two people who love each other. Sometimes one partner dances with a stubbed toe and the other bears more weight, sometimes is totally well balanced and all the stars are aligned and other times the only thing that keeps you on the dance floor is that you have to file taxes together! I venture to guess that it’s the real or notional link; the access and communication and the attachment that keeps you on the dance floor.