Why Secure Relationships Help Women’s Emotional Well-Being –
Women in relationships with a deep sense of connection and closeness heal faster, suffer fewer depressions, and express higher levels of happiness. That seems so intuitively obvious! But what do these secure relationships look like—and how can couples create them?
In a secure relationship, both partners are able to:
- identify and accept their own emotional needs
- recognize when they’re feeling disconnected or distant from each other
- engage in intimate conversations about their needs and emotions. Both partners can reach for each other and trust that they will be met with care and sensitivity.
Unfortunately, many of us grew up in conflicted families. Maybe we didn’t feel safe and close growing up, and don’t know how to trust, lean in, and feel secure now. When we don’t feel secure, we often cope by using fight, flee or freeze responses. One partner pushes for connection and the other feels criticized, becomes defensive, and backs off—and thereby deeply frustrates the first partner, who longs to connect. In fact, both may feel a sense of panic about how badly their connection is going. Often this develops into an ingrained and desperate pattern that takes control of the relationship.
Fortunately, the ability and need to be close are biologically wired into us. Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is specifically designed to help people understand their deep needs for safety and bonding, and to de-escalate the painful effects of ingrained patterns of disconnection.
EFT has been well researched, and is effective in ending distress and/or building a strong bond for 65 to 80% of couples. EFT even helps couples who face major issues, such as infertility, blended families, recovering from an affair, and childhood trauma. Treatment is often brief, about 12 to 18 sessions. Of course, when there is more pain and damage, such as an affair, addiction, or past relationship traumas, it takes longer to heal.
A cost effective way to begin is to take an educational program called Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love. The Hold Me Tight workshop is a great way to begin healing conversations with a partner in a group format. Find out more about it here: