Every marriage has emotional question around security and connection. In a previous post about marriage I presented some basic questions from the writing of Susan Johnson.
In her book Hold Me Tight, she suggests three basic questions:
Are you accessible when I try to reach out to you?
Will you be responsive to my needs?
Are you engaged in this relationship?
The best way to look at Accessible is “do you make your spouse a priority”. When they need you are you available. The focus of this is not physically accessible but emotionally accessible. Can your spouse get your attention when they need it and keep your attention.
Responsiveness is trying to understand their needs and meet them. It is not mind reading but it tries to be being aware of their needs. It can be as simple as comforting them when they are hurting or celebrating an accomplishment. It is knowing what makes them tick and what ticks them off and responding to both. It is creating a safe emotional connection based upon their needs.
When a couple is accessible and responsive it creates a couple that is emotionally present and connected - Engaged. This is the couple that emotionally compliment, understand and support one another. They develop a confidence that the other is their for them and they can depend on them for emotional and physical support.
When all three of these are present the couple becomes more calm, less needy and unsure.
When these processes work together the couple feels supported and connected and they become less unsure and needy. The couple begins to support and reinforce the others strengths. They stop creating insecurity and drama in the relationship.
How have you done in these areas in your relationship? What things have you done to help your spouse feel supported and loved?