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What Has Love Got To Do With It?

Written by: Dr. Sunayana Nature Baruah, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Dr. Sunayana Nature Baruah

Everything. A lot of us think that once we find ourselves in love with a loving partner, communication will come naturally and easily to us. This cannot be further from the truth. Communication breakdowns are the number one reason why relationships, be they of three-month duration or three decades fail. We feel like the love has fizzled out because either, “he never listens to what I have to say,” or “she nags too much”. The next time you find yourself at an impasse that is impacting attraction and love in your relationship, follow these next few steps to bring back that spark that might have died down due to constant arguments and miscommunications.


Contemporary art collage of human hands holding a heart.

1. What are the main issues and complaints you have of your partner and he/she has of you? This could range from..”I am the one who is doing all the work around the house and when I ask him to help, he ignores me.” Or “I am already doing so much around the house so when she asks me to do more, it feels like it is never enough for her.”

 

2. What positions do you take while interacting? This would mean observing what kind of positions you both take in everyday interactions, while bringing up difficult conversations as well as in arguments. Do you always pursue your partner for expectations, tasks, to-do lists, and plans? Or do you withdraw in the face of this pursuit? Do you generally lead discussions, or do you follow? Do you generally attack or do you find yourself defending yourself? Do you define what is wrong with your partner or do you defer blame to someone else during an argument?


3. Identifying your cycle of interaction: What are the protective feelings and behaviours that you engage in when it comes to arguments? Protective feelings are the defensive feelings that keep us feeling protected in an argument by pushing the other person away. Do you feel angry that you are being unheard and neglected and you lash out? Do you shut down because you feel frustrated that what you do is never enough and stop talking or remove yourself from the room?


4. What are the underlying vulnerable feelings behind these protective feelings? It is important to reflect on yourself for this step. Behind this anger that you feel, is there sadness that your partner does not hear you? Behind this frustration that what you do is never enough is there a feeling of inadequacy and perhaps, shame? Identify what your deeper feelings are.


5. What are the heartfelt needs you have from your partner? Identify what is the one thing your partner can do that will make the underlying sadness go away or what they can do to make you feel like what you are doing is enough, to make you feel adequate. A lot of times, clients in my office state,” I would like to feel good enough for her for once.” Or “ I just need to know that he is there for me no matter what: “ I do not want to feel alone in this.”


6. Identify the source of your sensitivities: Where does this feeling of being neglected come from? Do you have a history of growing up in neglect and being left alone as a child? If you are prone to feeling inadequate or ashamed; did you grow up in a harsh, critical environment where you were constantly shamed and fed with messages such as “ you will never be good enough.”, “you should be ashamed of yourself”, “you are a failure and a loser”.Follow these steps to map out and break out of the negative cycle of interaction and communication you both might be getting stuck in unknowingly. You can even use the table below to help you and your partner work through what you might be dealing with currently. Communicate well and stay in love.


Mapping out your couple’s love cycle

 

Partner 1(Me)

Partner 2(He/She/They)

Common issues and ‘complaints”

 

 

Positions taken in interactions

 

 

What are the protective feelings?

 

 

What are the underlying vulnerable feelings underneath the protective feelings?

 

 

What are the heartfelt needs from your partner?

 

 

Identify the source of your sensitivities

 

 

Other relevant issues such as past relationship injuries such as experiencing infidelity, violence and/or trauma etc.

 

 


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Dr. Sunayana Nature Baruah Brainz Magazine
 

Dr. Sunayana Nature Baruah, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dr. Sunayana Nature Baruah or Su as she calls herself is a licensed Clinical & Counselling Psychologist working in France. She graduated from the Professional Doctorate programme in Counselling Psychology of Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. She is a Chartered Psychologist with the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) and a member of the International Psychoanalytical Association(IPA). She has worked with adults of all age groups in hospitals, primary care clinics and private practices across India, Ireland and now in France. She has extensively worked with people who had experienced trauma in their lives as well as eating disorders and body image issues. Her motto: Mental health is health.

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