Marriage Friendly Therapists
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Posted on 05/25/2022

A Sacramental Bond - Aftereffects Of The Pandemic

A Sacramental Bond - Aftereffects Of The Pandemic

The pandemic has wreaked havoc with our daily lives and, sadly, forever torn from us too many loved ones.  Our normal daily activities and movements were severely restricted and many of us found ourselves living inside a small, stifling bubble.  With restrictions being lifted and greater freedoms enjoyed, we move cautiously into the awaiting world.  But the small bubble we knew often created new tensions in marriages, resulting in some disturbing seismic tremors in the marital bond.

Often what couples felt missing or fraying is what Dr. Sue Johnson describes as an “emotional attachment.”   Attachment science is becoming more and more a focus of couples’ work, recognizing attachment is not only significant for the healthy development of infants and children, but for adults throughout our life span.  As therapists, how do we begin to repair the hurts, distance, and loneliness many couples experience and describe when they come into our office?  For the EFT therapist, it’s coming to understand the cycle/pattern/dance the couple has become captive to, helping them understand it and the powerful emotions driving it.  

It’s also walking with them into an expanding vulnerability as they begin to plumb the depths of these emotions, name them, and share them with their partner.  And it asks of us, as therapists, to draw deeply from our wells of empathy as we look to be present and support them.  The goal is to help them understand the cycle that has disrupted their attachment to each other and so often left them feeling sad, lonely, misunderstood, and afraid.  And, of course, to grow into a fuller sense of being able to give love and to receive love.   And is this not our highest calling as human beings?

The French Jesuit priest and philosopher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, said, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience.  We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”  It’s a very different and challenging way to see ourselves.  It invites us to recognize the spiritual dimension of life, and of our lives.  A sacrament is often defined as a visible means of an invisible grace.  Can our lives be a sacrament?  In the Roman Catholic tradition, seven sacraments are recognized, one of which is marriage, suggesting that marriage is capable of expressing divine grace, a love that mirrors that given us freely from God.  

When we feel that love for and from our partners, we live richer and fuller lives.  Studies have shown that when we have that secure and safe attachment, we handle stress better and our health--physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual--benefits.  Our attachment with our partner strengthens us to risk more vulnerability, to slay new dragons, to extend compassion and forgiveness more easily, to be more generous and grateful, and to see our partner and ourselves in a more positive light.   Our worlds become more open and more expansive because our bond with our partner is solid and secure, no matter what small bubbles any pandemic may bring.

 

Steven Fringer, M. Div., LMFT is a Marriage Friendly Therapist based in Milwaukee, WI. Steven is an experienced therapist who offers couples therapy and individual therapy in his local office and to anyone in Wisconsin through telehealth. To learn more about Steven please visit his profile on the National Registry of Marriage Friendly Therapists. For those readers located in other states we have therapists available in most areas of the U.S., you may search for them by entering your state in the location search bar above.

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