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Stay in Love Review

The new way of seeing love suggests it is a constructive dependency. We become more independent through a healthy dependency, this is the paradox of love.


Research consistently reports that emotional isolation is more devastating and damaging to our overall well being (including physical health) than any other form of harm.


The difference between distressed or non-distressed couples is not wether they fight or not, it is not about how compatible they are, nor is it not about how much they have in common. The difference is that the non-distressed couples have the ability to reach and respond to each other in the face of relational issues (and disconnection).


The most powerful relationship protection is emotional connection combined with emotional responsiveness. Together, connection and responsiveness, work to establish a secure bond between two people.


The single most defining factor in our relationships is how we react to emotional disconnection or perceived disconnection.


How we react, the moves we make, in turn pull moves from our partner. In this way, our reactions inadvertently influence the opposite of what we seek or need.


Our way of reacting becomes an established pattern or cycle. Every point of disagreement, conflict or struggle will adopt the cycle (for example, blame - blame, withdraw-pursue).  The cycle, if left unattended, will take over the relationship.


The problem is not the people. We are not flawed, incapable, or problematic. The reactive pattern is the problem. Once couples understand this, oh there is this thing we do, it's happening now, we are getting caught in our cycle, they can unite against it like a common enemy, and then turn together towards emotional connectivity.


Our loved one is our shelter in life. When this person is unavailable and unresponsive we are overtaken by a tsunami of emotions. The cause of the tsunami is that  our brain codes disconnection as danger and reacts as such; Attachment panic floods us and we freak. 


Scientific studies of the brain have revealed that emotional or social related pain is as real as physical pain. Just as real as the pain of a broken bone. The brain codes rejection or relational threat with our safe haven person in the same way it experiences a physical pain.


For the most part, we have “dysfunctional” ways of trying to reestablish safety with our partner. Until we learn how to reach in an effective way, we will continue to react. The way people react with each other, in other words the moves they make, are actually an attempt to stop the disconnection and get back to safety with one another. 


Any perceived threat to our attachment literally freaks us out causing us to withdraw or protest against the threat.


A protesting response is really an attempt to be seen and understood so that we can reconnect and return to safety with each other. To the protester/pursuer, connection makes everything safe and secure again.

A withdraw response is really an attempt to exit the pain or shut it down. To the withdrawer, the avoidance of pain and disconnection makes everything safe and secure again.


We are reacting to the fears inherent in these questions: Do I matter? Am I valued? Are you here for me? Am I wanted and accepted? Essentially, at the base of our reaction is the fear that something we need is missing or is threatened.


Understanding what triggers relational danger for us personally and knowing how we in turn react to those triggers is the first step towards stopping the reactive cycles and creating secure bonds. 


With this self awareness, we can influence the ending of the negative cycle, and introduce new music to change the dance we do together.


The new music is your deeper feeling, and attachment needs and fears. The old music was the surface reactivity, the protesting or withdrawing.


The music of vulnerability is played when we become aware of, and share, the pieces of our attachment wheel.  

The trigger for my attachment fear was…….

On the surface I probably showed……….(this is your secondary emotion. The emotion you use to protect your deeper more vulnerable primary emotion).

But deep down I just felt sadness, anger, shame, fear, rejection…(this is your primary emotion).

What I longed for was…………

The main message inside it all for me was……………..I am being left, my old story of I am not wanted got triggered.

When I reacted this way……it pulled these moves from you (my partner)…..

The result was we were both alone, hurt and disconnected.


Sharing the content of our attachment wheel is how we reach for our partner and step out of reacting. Reaching is essential in creating a secure, safe bond.


We change our relationship experiences when we move ourselves into our deeper emotions (primary emotions) and in turn, move our partner with our deeper emotion. It's all about movement.


Practicing the practice of intomesee in our daily lives is one way to develop our ability to look within. Looking within is necessary in order to be vulnerable. Remember: when in challenge we do not rise to the challenge we fall to our level of training. Practice intomesee everyday.


Being a safe haven for our partner, and helping our partner out of distress.

Vulnerability is what makes you safe to your partner. Reactions look and feel dangerous.


A safe and emotionally available partner understands that how we react pulls our partner off balance emotionally and turns on their attachment fears.


Hear and spot their attachment cry. Practice picking up on their attachment fears.


When I get critical you feel inadequate and attack back.

When I turn away you get really triggered into feeling not worthy and you shut down in that place.

When I withdraw that scares you and you react with anger against your fear.

Note: There is no personal faulting, but rather recognizing and owning our part and our influence. 

We can be a safe haven partner by:

Oozing with empathy: offering empathy and compassion makes magic happen. What is life like for this person in this moment? What might it be like to be him/her right here and now? Speak to your inquiry.


Using the skill of “name it to tame it” is a way to soothe our partner when they have flipped their lid or when they are experiencing distress. Any other response (advice, control, distraction, etc) will just be noise to them. Noise that they will not even be able to hear.


Refraining from criticism and stonewalling make us safe as these are extremely destructive relational forces that cause people tremendous pain and distress.

Criticism literally hurts.

Stonewalling leaves our parter with nothing and in a place of nothingness which will freak them out. They will either react with intense anger or have a melt down.


Stepping out of the right/wrong framework.

Right/wrong is armor, it is invulnerability. 

No right/wrong allows for differences. It makes us safe to our partner because it allows space for both of us to be accepted and responded to. No matter who I am, no matter how I am, my experience will not be rejected by you. There is space for me to be me with you.


Sometimes we default to wronging each other simply because we have not learned language to express our emotions authentically and responsibly. We lack the language which supports us to access and reveal our true experience. Using the phrase “hearing you say that I feel” keeps us out of reactivity such as blaming or wronging. Hearing you say that also keeps us in a revealing state “this is me in this moment”. A revealing state creates intimacy. A blaming state destroys intimacy.


Being able to differentiate between what we notice and what we interpret/imagine.

I notice and I imagine allows me to go beyond my story and know you more clearly and accurately.

When someone is fixated in their story, and they do not see their story, they annihilate the other person.

Using I notice and I imagine keeps us in a curious state of awareness. We understand  that we are always assigning meaning to what we experience. Our meaning may or may not be accurate. Being aware of the meaning/story we assign gives us the chance to check it out and go beyond it.


Holding the perspective that there is no one truth, but rather there is your experience and mine. Do our experiences agree or not agree? What can we learn or understand about each other in this place of agreement or disagreement?


A safe person is able to come forward authentically (me) and consider and be interested in the other person. What is happening for them in this experience? 

(we = me + you).


We: is the need for attachment.

Me: is need to experience my authentic self.


The magic spot is holding hands with both :)


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