In the "Becoming a Connected Couple" blog series I’ll be describing a number of quick exercises and concepts that can help move your relationship from disconnection, to connection.
EXERCISE #1: The Welcome Home Hug
Problem: Getting into (silly) arguments at the end of the day or after any period of separation.
One partner (partner A) is stressed/tired/amped up from a busy day at the office, the other (partner B) is relaxed/quiet/calm because they have just put a child down to sleep, exercised, meditated, etc. When partner A comes in the door he or she is in a dramatically different state of arousal than partner B. If they begin to interact from this place, they are at risk for conflict simply because their nervous systems are in completely different places. In a connected relationship, it is important to be mindful of reunions and separations and in this case, to intentionally reconnect after each separation. The Welcome Home Hug is one way to do this.
Solution: Reconnect with The "Welcome Home Hug"
When partner A comes through the door, the instructions are for both partners to, drop what they are doing. I mean it. If you are holding a baby, put her down. If you are carrying groceries, put them down. If you are on the phone, get off. If you are cooking dinner, stop. Go to each other and hug. Stay in the hug until you can physically feel your partner relax into it and don’t let your partner go until you feel them relax.
Why: Let your nervous systems connect with each other
The welcome home hug gives you and your partner a chance to align your nervous systems. Having full body contact you allow your nervous systems to “talk” and even out. This prevents partners from shocking each other’s nervous systems which is common reason for getting in an argument.
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