The answer to this question is what I work on with my clients whether they are individuals or couples. Before any of us can share our hearts with our partners we need to know them deeply ourselves. This also takes time and attention. When our hearts are ignored, we feel it. I watch my individual clients feeling depressed or anxious when they are not paying attention to their hearts. I notice that couples will stop making eye-contact with one another or they will stop making time to be alone together when their hearts are being ignored. The eyes have been called the “windows to the soul” and I believe this is the case. I believe that we often need to close our eyes when we are trying to connect to our own hearts because the outside world can be so distracting. Try it. Close your eyes and sit for a few minutes with your heart. What does your heart tell you? Is there something that feels heavy on your heart that you need to address? If there are resentments and pain in your relationship, they will weigh heavily on your heart and it will make this exercise more difficult. I work with individuals and couples to help them learn from and transform the heaviness. I believe that we all want to be happy and in love in our lives. I believe that there are lessons to learn from the heaviness that can teach us things in our lives that we need to learn. I believe that partnership has great potential to help us heal pain and patterns from the past that no longer serve us if we remember to stay connected to our hearts. When we put all of our attention on the “neck-up” business of life, our hearts suffer.
I think that marriage or long-term relationships get a bad rap in our culture. People assume that relationships deteriorate over time and that drifting apart from one’s partner is normal. I don’t agree! I think that our relationships can remain connected and loving no matter how long we have been together. Sometimes we just need some help along the way.