Relationships fall apart when the emotional living space between partners isn’t being tended to. What we ultimately seek in a committed relationship is to love and to be loved, in a way that allows both partners to flourish and feel safe. Recent work in attachment theory suggests that both partners can develop the ability to better serve the relationship, and their partner by getting to know their partners inner child, and their partners childhood experience.
This process of connecting, safe attachment, independence, and working as a loving team, can begin to take place when we are able to enter our partners world lovingly, without our own agenda.
I had the fortune of being able to attend one of Heidi and Yumi’s weekend seminars. The experience was intense (I may get into this in another blog post).
Marriage counseling can facilitate new paths towards intimacy, by teaching techniques for feeling safe while being vulnerable. This takes practice, like anything else of true value.
This particular exercise left me in a place where I felt like I was losing all grip of reality. I was seriously considering a call the paramedics. It was the most intense life experience that I can remember. Ultimately it was a pivotal healing experience.
The “Crossing the Bridge” exercise (shown in the video below) involves both partners seated face to face within roughly two feet apart; one partners is the “visitor” and the other is the “host.” When centered and feeling safe the host invites the visitor to cross the bridge into his/her childhood emotional space. The visitor states that they are ready to “visit” hosts world, when they can honestly say that they are walking into it with an attitude of love and support. The visitor is not to be allowed to bring any “contriband” or concerns of their own. They are to be a loving presence and witness their partners inner child.
Here is the process: